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Old Man Winter

Well, here we go. I heard this earlier today and was going to try to hang onto it, but the club just announced it -- faster than I expected.

Pedro Astacio signed to minor-league deal. Chance to make the team. But no commitment if he's ... well, if he's horrible.

Deep breaths.

More deep breaths.

Yes, this is the same Pedro Astacio who went 5-5 with a 5.98 ERA for last year's Nationals. It's the same Pedro Astacio who turned 37 last November and has pitched in the majors since 1992. (Come to think of it, there's now a player in the clubhouse who's older than me (barely) so I guess I should be happy about it.)

I'll track down Jim Bowden and get you his thoughts shortly, I guess. But I have to think that we'll never see this guy in the big leagues unless he's lights-out in the minor-league camp.

(Oh, and we gave him the nickname "Old Man Winter" last year because ... well, it just seemed to be the way he carried himself. Older than he looks. Wiser than he looks. Had kind of an old-school way of dressing on the road.)

By Barry Svrluga  |  March 20, 2007; 12:20 PM ET
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Posted by: Jerome Williams & Tim Redding | March 20, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Pedro Pistachio? What the hell are they thinking?

Posted by: Ron | March 20, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I never mind inviting guys to camp or signing to minor league deals, etc. because it is pretty much a no lose situation for the big league club.

However, in this case I think this begs the question, after five weeks of camp and only one week to go before heading north, how bad have the 40 pitchers in camp been that this move is still necessary???

Posted by: Ryan | March 20, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Excellent point Ryan.

Posted by: rgib | March 20, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: DE | March 20, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Anonymous | March 20, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

You can never have enough pitching (or so they say) - this seems to be a low-cost, low-risk investment. If Astacio can still throw at all there will be some team willing to give up a draft pick for him in July.

Posted by: cmcurtis | March 20, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Just like all those teams gave up draft picks for him, Ortiz and Armas last year, right?

Posted by: Chris | March 20, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

If they think Pistachio could be better than the pitching options they're looking at bringing up now, oh boy.

Posted by: misschatter | March 20, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

"Had kind of an old-school way of dressing on the road."

You can't just leave it at that. How old-school are we talking? 1970s disco outfit? 1940s suit with the straw boater? 1740s knickers with a white-haired wig?

Posted by: Shawn | March 20, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

do you suppose Bowden really wants to keep Chico in AAA and is looking at any excuse for roster filler for slots #4 & 5? In his dreams, it'd be Williams and Redding so Bergmann and Chico could get regular work in columbus.

Posted by: jon | March 20, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for getting to the point on the clothes. He wears what I could only refer to as "slacks," which of course differ from pants in a way that can't be described but is unmistakable. He also wears open-collared shirts that are out of some 70s TV show. It's a very, very cool look.

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | March 20, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

cmcurtis - You are not permitted to trade draft picks in MLB.

Posted by: Captain Pedantic | March 20, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Captain Pedantic (nice screen name) - mea culpa. Let's make it "a player to be named later."

Posted by: cmcurtis | March 20, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

My goodness, lets add Pistachio to the mix and while PTBowdoin is at it why not go and check w/the Pirates and resign Armas (Armas is getting shelled on a regular basis over there in Bucko Country). Then go ahead and do what they wanted to do all along, play for draft picks in 07. Thank the Lord for Shawn Hill. Imagine what could have been or might still be; JPAT, TREDDING, TWILLS, PASTACIO and HANRAHAN now that is absolutely dreadful. Anything that might resemble a major league rotation might spell doom to "the plan". Manny must be wondering what the heck is going on here. Geesh!

Posted by: 41 Games | March 20, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

If they're not contending & he can get guys out at Columbus for a while, why not try him? Let Chico have most of the season in Triple A. Plus the man always took the ball when you handed it to him (7 seasons with 30 or more starts), so maybe he can eat some innings. As noted above, the worst that happens is he's ineffective & is released.

Posted by: Section 418 | March 20, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Just stab me in the eye already.

Posted by: Ouch | March 20, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

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