I don't want to take away too much from the lineup discussion going on in the previous post -- check out Steven's radical suggestion -- but I did want to confirm what many were asking about last night. Yes, the Nationals have signed Shawn Estes to a minor-league contract.
Estes, who turns 37 in a couple of weeks, hasn't pitched in the big leagues since 2008, when he went 2-3 with a 4.74 ERA in nine games for the Padres. He hasn't been a regular member of a big-league staff since 2005 with the Diamondbacks. If he makes the major-league roster, he'll earn a $600,000 salary, with incentives that could push the total value up to $1 million.
I wouldn't get too worried, though. The chance of the left-hander actually making the Opening Day roster is pretty slim. Seems to me that this is simply the Nats taking a no-risk chance on a guy who if everything fell into place could be an asset. If everything doesn't fall into place, he gets cut at the end of spring training, and the Nats don't have to pay him a dime.