The Washington Nationals lost their second pitcher in a week yesterday when right-hander Hector Carrasco, a valuable setup man who started games late in the season, signed a two-year, $6.1 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels. Starter Esteban Loaiza signed a three-year deal worth more than $21 million with the Oakland Athletics on Monday.
"It's just like Loaiza," General Manager Jim Bowden said. "We're very happy with the job he did for us, and we didn't want to lose him. But with the level of salary he ended up with from other clubs, we couldn't do it."
The Nationals will receive the Angels' first-round pick in the 2006 draft as compensation for losing Carrasco, 36, who went 5-4 with a 2.04 ERA in a renaissance year for the Nationals. Washington now has three choices in the first round.
Meantime, Nationals President Tony Tavares said yesterday that the club is willing to work with season ticket holders on an individual basis to try to alleviate any problems resulting from the club's Dec. 14 deadline for payment. "We'll work with people on a case-by-case basis," Tavares said, and he urged season ticket buyers to call 202-675-NATS (6287) for assistance.
Tavares said increases in ticket prices -- ranging from $1 to $10 per seat per game for some season tickets and $1 to $5 per seat for individual games -- were necessary because the team will experience increased costs during its second season in Washington. Some ticket prices, such as those in the loge sections and the cheapest seats in the park -- $7 in the upper outfield -- remained the same.
"Even with our increased revenues, we'll have dramatic increases in sales, marketing and administrative expenses," Tavares said. "And with the way the market is for players, it looks like we'll have even more expenses."
Elsewhere, the Florida Marlins continued their salary purge, trading second baseman Luis Castillo to the Minnesota Twins for right-handed pitching prospects Travis Bowyer and Scott Tyler . . . The New York Yankees agreed to terms with former Atlanta reliever Kyle Farnsworth on a three-year deal reportedly worth $17 million. Farnsworth, who closed for the Braves, likely will fill the void left by setup man Tom Gordon, who signed to be the closer in Philadelphia. . . . The Atlanta Braves finalized a three-year, $37 million contract with Chipper Jones.
-- Barry Svrluga