Redskins

Dodgers add Greinke, South Korea's Ryu to rotation

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Dodgers add Greinke, South Korea's Ryu to rotation

LOS ANGELES (AP) Flush with cash after the team's sale this year, the Los Angeles Dodgers are busy spending it on starting pitching.

The team introduced left-hander Ryu Hyun-jin (Ree-YOO He-YUN jin) of South Korea on Monday, making him the first player ever to go directly from the Korean league to the major leagues.

And he was just the setup man.

The Dodgers finalized a $147 million, six-year deal with free agent right-hander Zack Greinke later in the day.

``We were definitely hoping for Zack,'' said Magic Johnson, a partner in Guggenheim Baseball Management which bought the team last spring. ``Zack is a proven winner. When you put him together with Clayton, man, we feel really good.''

The deals for Greinke and Ryu give the Dodgers eight starting pitchers under contract for next season, joining 2011 NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Josh Beckett, Ted Lilly, Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang.

That doubles the number of starters the Dodgers had just two years ago.

``Feeling more fortunate than gluttonous,'' general manager Ned Colletti said. ``It's better to be sitting where we're sitting than where we've been. It's rare you need just five pitchers.''

The Dodgers were eager to bolster their pitching this winter knowing that Billingsley (elbow) and Lilly (shoulder) are coming off surgeries.

Johnson called 2009 AL Cy Young winner Greinke ``the big one.''

Colletti added, ``We believe he brings a lot to this team and to a pitching staff that was already very good.''

Greinke split last season with Milwaukee and the Los Angeles Angels. He went a combined 15-5 with a 3.48 ERA in 34 starts, and finished the season going 5-0 with a 2.04 ERA in his last eight starts after Aug. 24.

The 29-year-old pitcher spent his only full season in the NL in 2011, tying a career high with 16 wins.

Greinke pitched from 2004-10 with Kansas City, going 16-8 with a major league-leading 2.16 ERA in 2009 when he won the Cy Young and made the All-Star team.

``When we took over the team, we said we were going to spend money and I guess you guys are seeing that we're trying to do that,'' Johnson said.

Ryu signed a $36 million, six-year deal after talks went down to the final seconds of the negotiating window a day earlier.

``It's not just the spending but who you're spending it on,'' Johnson said. ``It has to be the right guys.''

The Dodgers paid $25.7 million for the right to negotiate with Ryu, whose agent is Scott Boras. If they hadn't reached a deal by Sunday's 2 p.m. PST deadline, Ryu would have returned to the Hanwha Eagles and the Dodgers would have been refunded the posting fee they paid for exclusive rights to negotiate with the 25-year-old pitcher.

``This deal came all the way down to the last 10 seconds,'' said Johnson, who tried out different versions of Ryu's name in trying to pronounce it correctly.

Colletti added, ``This is the place he wanted to be and we always had that in the back of our mind.''

At 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds, Ryu cast an imposing figure as he slipped on his No. 99 jersey, the same number he wore with the Eagles. The last Dodgers player to wear the number was Manny Ramirez.

``I didn't realize he's this big and strong,'' Johnson said. ``Stamina-wise, he'll be able to hold up.''

Ryu was 9-9 with a 2.66 ERA in 27 games last season for the Eagles. He limited opponents to a .232 batting average and led the Korea Baseball Organization with a career-high 210 strikeouts. He has international experience, having pitched in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2009 World Baseball Classic, including two scoreless relief appearances at Dodger Stadium.

``It's my honor to play for the Dodgers,'' Ryu said through a translator.

He said his goals with the Dodgers would be to reach double-digits in wins, have an ERA in the range of 2.00, and surpass the 84-58 record of former Dodgers pitcher Chan Ho Park, the first South Korean to play in the majors when he made his debut in 1994.

Ryu said he would learn English ``little by little'' and rely on his catcher's signals to communicate during games.

``Just tell him with those strikes he'll communicate properly,'' Johnson interjected, drawing laughs from an overflow crowd of team employees and media.

Ryu's contract includes a clause that doesn't allow him to be demoted to the minor leagues.

``We can't be concerned,'' Johnson said. ``We got to go for it. Our scouts tell us he's the real deal.''

Colletti said the Dodgers' confidence comes from having two different sets of scouts tout Ryu. Also, Park put in a good word with the team, having played with Ryu last season in the Korean league.

``He's got a chance to be really good,'' Colletti said. ``He's youthful, but got great competitiveness.''

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Barry Trotz's departure reminiscent of Joe Gibbs' resignation in 1993

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Associated Press

Barry Trotz's departure reminiscent of Joe Gibbs' resignation in 1993

The sudden resignation of Barry Trotz as the coach of the Stanley Cup champion Capitals is the most stunning Washington coaching departure since Joe Gibbs retired from the Redskins about 13 months after the team won its third Super Bowl in a 10-year span. 

In the years leading up to Gibbs’ departure, there were some rumblings that he might leave. As early as 1986, John Madden said that Gibbs was a candidate to burn out of the profession early. During the 1989 season, Gibbs said that he was contemplating retirement, but he retracted his words the next day. In 1990, columnist and TV pregame panelist Will McDonough reported that Gibbs would retire after the season. Retirement rumors popped up again in early 1992, just two days before Super Bowl XXVI. Again, Gibbs denied them. The Redskins easily beat the Bills to claim their third championship in 10 years and there was no apparent reason why such a successful coach would think about leaving. 

Redskins fans had become so used to hearing the Gibbs retirement reports that many just started to tune them out. So on the morning of March 5, 1993, when reports of Gibbs’ resignation as coach started to circulate, many were in a state of denial.

That turned out to be wishful thinking. The fans were given a hard jolt of reality when the team announced a noon press conference. 

There the coach was on TV, as promised, confirming the news. He said it was a family decision. 

“Every year, we get away and talk about it,” Gibbs said. “We always reach the same conclusion. This year, it was different. The boys didn’t encourage me one way or another, but they understood when I told them what I was thinking. I think Pat’s happier than anyone. This isn’t an easy lifestyle for a coach’s wife. The coach is the guy who stands up and hears everyone tell him how great he is. The wife is the one waiting at home alone while the coach is spending every night at the office. 

“I wanted more time with my family. I wanted more time with my sons. I look at this as a window of opportunity with them and I couldn’t let it pass.” 

Although he has been diagnosed with a condition that has caused some pain and some difficulty in sleeping, Gibbs said that health was not a factor in his decision. 

Richie Petitbon, the team’s longtime defensive coordinator, was named the team’s new head coach. It had to be one of the shortest job interviews ever. 

“I get a call from Mr. Cooke who tells me Joe has retired and that he wants me to coach the Redskins,” Petitbon said. “After I picked myself up off the floor, I said yes.” 

After hearing the news, most Redskins fans had to pick themselves up as well.  

Petitbon lasted only one season as the head coach and the other eight head coaches who followed, including Gibbs himself in a four-year second stint, have been unable to get the Redskins back to the Super Bowl. Coincidentally, the Caps’ head coaching job is widely expected to go to Todd Reirden, who was Trotz’s top assistant just as Pettitbon was Gibbs’. 

Washington fans hope that the Caps have better fortune with Trotz’s successors. 

More Redskins

- 53-man roster: Roster projection--Offense
- 53-man roster: Best players 25 or younger

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

 

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Need to Know: Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Defense

Need to Know: Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Defense

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, June 19, 37 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

Redskins 53-man roster projection—Defense 

It may still be early to project the roster, but things are coming into focus after the round of practices in helmets and shorts. Here is my look at who I think will make it on defense; the offense was posted yesterday.

Defensive line (7)
Jonathan Allen, Da’Ron Payne, Matt Ioannidis, Anthony Lanier, Stacy McGee, Tim Settle, Ziggy Hood

I don’t think that McGee’s groin injury will be an issue, but it seemed that Jay Gruden was very tight-lipped about the whole thing, so we will have to wait until training camp starts. This is one more than they normally carry here and Hood’s presence on the roster could be in danger if injuries force the team to carry more players at another position. 

Outside linebacker (4)
Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith, Ryan Anderson, Pernell McPhee

Anderson is certain to make the roster, but he was mostly invisible during the offseason practices that were open to the media. The spotlight will be on last year’s second-round pick in training camp. After a zero-sack rookie season, Anderson will be under pressure to produce this season. 

Inside linebacker (5)
Zach Brown, Mason Foster, Zach Vigil, Josh Harvey-Clemons, Shaun Dion Hamilton

The player I have on the wrong side of the bubble here is Martrell Spaight. If he does work his way on, the spot most in jeopardy is Vigil’s. Harvey-Clemons got a lot of reps with the first team in OTAs and the team thinks he can help in nickel situations and perhaps more. And Gruden called Hamilton a potential future starter. So the two younger players seem safe, leaving Vigil vulnerable.

Cornerback (6)
Josh Norman, Quinton Dunbar, Fabian Moreau, Orlando Scandrick, Josh Holsey, Greg Stroman

As is the case with the running backs that I looked at yesterday, this group seems to be pretty well set. It’s not that it’s an exceptionally strong group, but there isn’t a lot of real competition. Behind these six are three undrafted free agents, and while Danny Johnson, Kenny Ladler, and Ranthony Texada all have had flashes in the offseason practices, they are extreme long shots to make the roster at this point. 

Safety (4)
D.J. Swearinger, Montae Nicholson, Deshazor Everett, Troy Apke

If there are concerns about Nicholson’s health—to be clear, as of now there are none—Fish Smithson could make it as a fifth safety. 

Specialists (3)
K Dustin Hopkins, P Tress Way, LS Nick Sundberg

It looks like the Redskins will have the same trio of specialists for the fourth straight year. I will look it up at some point but for now, I’ll say that it’s been a while since they had such stability here. 


Defensive players: 26
Rookies (5): 
Payne, Settle, Hamilton, Stroman, Apke
New to the Redskins in 2018 (7): Rookies plus McPhee, Scandrick
Not on 2017 Week 1 roster (13): Rookies plus new players plus Vigil (released in the final cut, re-signed later in the season). 

On the 53-man roster:

24 offense, 26 defense, 3 specialists
Rookies: 8
New to the Redskins in 2017: 12
Not on 2017 Week 1 roster: 16

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

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Timeline  

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 37
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 51
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 74

The Redskins last played a game 170 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 82 days. 

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