Capitals

Victorino, Red Sox agree to $39 million, 3-yr deal

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Victorino, Red Sox agree to $39 million, 3-yr deal

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The fast-moving Boston Red Sox made their second splashy move of the winter meetings, agreeing Tuesday to a $39 million, three-year contract with free-agent outfielder Shane Victorino.

A day after giving Mike Napoli a $39 million, three-year deal, the Red Sox made Victorino their fourth free-agent addition of the offseason following agreements with outfielder Jonny Gomes and catcher David Ross.

Nicknamed The Flyin' Hawaiian, Victorino tweeted earlier Tuesday that he planned to spend the day in Maui on a snorkeling trip aboard the Alii Nui catamaran.

``Just agreed to join the Boston (at)RedSox in the middle of paradise,'' he tweeted later on. ``(hash)BLESSED!!! Can't wait to get to Boston!''

Victorino would earn $13 million annually. The deal is subject to a physical, as is Boston's agreement with Napoli.

``Added another great addition to our team!'' Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester tweeted.

Victorino hit a combined .255 with 11 home runs and 55 RBIs last season for Philadelphia and the Los Angeles Dodgers, who acquired him in late July. He also stole a career-high 39 bases.

A two-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner, Victorino turned 32 on Friday. He also had been pursued by the Cleveland Indians, who offered a $44 million, four-year contract.

Victorino played mostly center field for the Phillies and shifted to left with the Dodgers. He likely would play right field for the Red Sox but could shift to center if Jacoby Ellsbury is traded or leaves as a free agent after next season.

``It's probably the toughest right field in baseball to play, just in terms of the space to cover,'' new Boston manager John Farrell said earlier in the day. ``So that range comes into play. And yet you try to combine the best range available along with offensive production. It might not be your prototypical right fielder where it's a power bat because we do value the defense in that area. That's not to exclude anyone, but defense takes a high priority, in that position at Fenway particularly.''

Boston finished last in the AL East and is trying to boost its offense. Napoli, an All-Star catcher with Texas this year, appears likely to shift his primary position.

``We see him as a first baseman primarily, but with the ability to catch,'' Farrell said. ``We would have him catch in spring training early on, but then certainly make sure that we've got enough reps at first base for not only him to feel comfortable there, but for us as well.''

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Capitals are the class of the Metropolitan Division for fifth year in a row

Capitals are the class of the Metropolitan Division for fifth year in a row

You know what’s fun? Winning Metropolitan Division titles. 

No, it’s not as good as the big prize. The Capitals will never top their 2018 Stanley Cup championship. But winning a competitive division against their biggest rivals five years in a row? Pretty, pretty good. 

Washington took its fifth in a row officially on Tuesday when the NHL announced that the regular season had concluded thanks to the ongoing coronavirus. The Capitals just outlasted the Philadelphia Flyers with 90 standings points to 89. The difference over 69 games? One extra Caps game going into overtime for a single point. 

Credit to the Flyers for making a late run. No one was playing better in the NHL than Philadelphia just before the season was halted. Whether that carries over into the Stanley Cup Playoffs remains to be seen. 

But the Capitals should take pride in that streak. It’s hard to do in an age of parity. They play in a division where the Pittsburgh Penguins won two Stanley Cups in the previous four seasons. The two teams slugged it out three times in the second round. That’s the luck of the draw, and so four straight division titles -- and two Presidents’ Trophies -- meant just one Cup for Washington. 

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It’s also rare to dominate a division the way the Capitals have for five years. The Anaheim Ducks won the Pacific Division title every year from 2013 to 2017. Prior to that, the Detroit Red Wings won the Central Division an astounding eight times from 2001 to 2009. It doesn’t get you a championship -- Washington won the expired Southeast Division from 2008 to 2011 -- but it does mean you played great hockey year after year.

And to do it in the reconstituted Patrick Division, where long-time rivals like the Penguins, Flyers, Rangers, Islanders and Devils joined with newer rivals Carolina and Columbus, makes it even sweeter. Add another banner to the rafters at Capital One Arena. The Caps are the class of the Metropolitan Division yet again. 

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Nationals will not lay off full-time business or baseball employees amid coronavirus pandemic

Nationals will not lay off full-time business or baseball employees amid coronavirus pandemic

The Washington Nationals decided to use “partial furloughs” to keep their baseball and business employees at work through the end of their contracts or the calendar year.

The road map works like this:

All full-time business and baseball employees will receive a reduction in pay and hours ranging from 10 to 30 percent. If the employee’s contract runs to the end of baseball season -- typically Oct. 31 -- then these parameters apply from now until then. If the employee is not on contract, these reductions persist until Dec. 31.

No full-time employee is being laid off because of the economic impact from coronavirus.

An example: If a person works a 40-hour week, and has the 10 percent reduction in pay and hours, they are down to a 36-hour week at 10 percent pay cut.

The reduction scale slides. The highest-paid employees, like Mike Rizzo, are taking the largest reduction in pay. Then on down the line.

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The Nationals deciding to do this now allows their staff to know what the future holds as opposed to wondering month-to-month what decision the organization will make in regard to their job status.

Major League Baseball organizations remain uneasy about their financial future in 2020 since the season has stalled. The league and its team owners are in the midst of negotiations with the MLBPA while attempting to find a safe, revenue-satisfactory path back to the field.

Meanwhile, teams across the league are assessing their non-player finances, and the approach varies. For instance, the Anaheim Angels decided last week to furlough some non-playing employees.

In Washington, no full-time employee will be laid off because of this salary adjustment.

USA Today was first to report the Nationals’ overall decision.

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