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Belliard signs with Nats!

The Nationals have signed infielder Ronnie Belliard to a two-year extension beyond this season.

I don't have terms yet, but will get them pronto. TERMS UPDATE: A major leauge source with knowledge of the deal says it's a two-year, $3.5 million contract. He'll make $1.6 million next season, $1.9 million in '09.

This is a very interesting development. As I've written in the paper and said here, there had been some internal lobbying to make this move. The Nationals believe he could be an important part of a winning team, not as a starter but as a bench player.

"I'm surprised," Belliard said by phone a couple of minutes ago. "But when it came out that there was a chance to stay here, I liked it. I appreciate the fans. And these young guys, they want to have a good team. Probably next year, things will be better."

Belliard is making $850,000 this season. He's hitting a career-high .305 in 85 games, and he is the starter at second right now. He can play a little first, he's played short, and Manny Acta loves him at third -- though he doesn't get much time there because of that Zimmerman fellow.

"We like him as a bench player," GM Jim Bowden just told me. "We like him as an everyday player."

More details will be available in the $.35 edition. But interesting that the first big news of the Nationals' trade season is a decision to keep a guy, not move him.

By Barry Svrluga  |  July 23, 2007; 6:43 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Too quiet -- so let's turn to Toby Keith
Next: Who to trade? Who to keep?


Let the future begin!

Posted by: i hate walks | July 23, 2007 6:46 PM | Report abuse

I am really happy about this...Bellard is a clutch hitter, and all around good guy. Good going JimBo!

Posted by: Ray | July 23, 2007 6:48 PM | Report abuse

well done.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | July 23, 2007 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Cool -- thanks for the news, Barry!

Posted by: natsfan1a | July 23, 2007 6:53 PM | Report abuse

What a neat piece of news; and thanks, Barry, for posting it so quickly.

Extra nice since Bells has earned leadoff spot in my Meatless lineup (see previous thread).

Posted by: Hendo | July 23, 2007 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Here's to crossing the Rubicon! Congrats Bells and welcome to the future.

Posted by: lowcountrynatsfan | July 23, 2007 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Are you sure they're not signing him to make him more attractive trade bait?

Posted by: Svrlugamania | July 23, 2007 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Good question, and one I will ask the powers that be when I get ahold of them. I think, though, that they want him here. And if it's two years, $4 million, wouldn't he be more attractive as a rent-a-player for the remainder of $850,000?

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | July 23, 2007 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Does this put Felipe Lopez firmly on the trade block now?

Posted by: Felipe? | July 23, 2007 7:22 PM | Report abuse

[Doing Snoopy Dance]

Posted by: misschatter | July 23, 2007 7:25 PM | Report abuse

By the way, Ronnie's quote ("Probably next year, things will be better") is an instant t-shirt candidate.

Maybe make it "even better".

Posted by: Svrlugamania | July 23, 2007 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Barry, do we know what the Nationals got in return for trading Jermaine Van Buren to the A's? Is his performance going to affect who we get in return?

Posted by: Nats fan | July 23, 2007 7:32 PM | Report abuse

I guess it is IF insurance for the oft injured Guzman if nothing else.

I was starting to hope that the Mets might be willing to give up Lastings Milledge for Cordero and Belliard after they lost Valentin for the season. Guess this kills any thoughts on that trade.

Posted by: NeedANatsFix | July 23, 2007 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Good stuff. Hes a solid player. I guess this means there wasnt a big market for him though, right?

Posted by: Andrew Stebbins | July 23, 2007 7:43 PM | Report abuse

If there is ever a movie made about Ronnie Belliard's life, the "old Ronnie" will be played by Forrest Whittaker.

Posted by: derek | July 23, 2007 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Barry, have you heard any dollar figures for the deal?

Posted by: Belliard- | July 23, 2007 7:53 PM | Report abuse

A good move. Not everyone on the team can be a 20 something. Veteran leadership is a vital component to any team. His ability to stay ready, whether everyday or off the bench I'm sure helped finalize this decision to keep him. I hope the signing wasn't made to make a trade more attractive, as an above post noted, though that possibility does loom, doesn't it.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | July 23, 2007 8:01 PM | Report abuse

... I always post before reading other comments first, but right here I'll surmise that Ronnie's signing will mean Dmitri will soon be traded. Now I'm thrilled Ronnie is staying with us, since he is such a dependable hitter (and from what those who get to see it) a dependable fielder too.

... but I will hate to see Dmitri go. And I admit it: that's a purely selfish response. For him, a trade to a contender will work just fine. But I want 'my' Nats to include Dmitri.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | July 23, 2007 8:14 PM | Report abuse

... BTW, does anyone else, besides me, look at Ronnie B., and see "Manny Ramirez Lite"? Just in the physical appearance.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | July 23, 2007 8:18 PM | Report abuse

The dollar figures are most attractive. Bells will earn a nice salary, and the Nats have a nice deal.

Here's to some fun evenings ahead from our newest right-side-of-the-infield stud. (And to the trade-conspiracists who might be in our midst: All well and good, but please let us gloat for just one night, huh?)

Posted by: Hendo | July 23, 2007 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm....Wonder what this means for Lopez and Young?

Posted by: Ashburn | July 23, 2007 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Blog-Father, for the news regarding Belliard. Pardon, the Trader Jim phrase, but it opens up manny, manny possibilities before the trade deadline.

For all you Dunn lovers, I'm watching the Reds/Brewers game. I saw the Dunn shift first hand and I'd have to say it's crazy!

The Reds color commentator (Who I might add, looks like a former play-girl model) asked a interesting question.

"If Dunn sees the right shift on, why doesn't he drop down a third base bunt to keep the defense honest?"

For those interested in scouting Dunn, he hit a fly ball to LF, in the second inning. In the forth, Dunn shot a line out to CF. In the sixth, hit a fly out to the CF.

Posted by: Viva Livan | July 23, 2007 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Yes! I love that tshirt slogan idea...

"Probably next year, things will be better"

Posted by: DE | July 23, 2007 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Ronnie!
I'm a big fan of his versatility and ability to stay prepared. He has been the second best hitter all year, not just by his average, but because of his poise at the plate and ability to come through in the clutch.

If he puts together years like this in the next two, he's still a good value at 1.6-1.9 mil, plus he's reliable trade bait the next two seasons too.

Mostly I'm glad to see JimBow's first move was to keep someone who's got tools and is so versatile -- and, Manny-lite, this one's for you!

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | July 23, 2007 9:04 PM | Report abuse

As a former lurker, I've decided to say well done Barry, and well done Nats. Gotta love Belliard. Can we do the same with Young too? Please?!

Posted by: Greg | July 23, 2007 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Dunn Lovers,

Dunn strikes out for the first out in the ninth. Still 1 to 1 in Cincy against the Brewers.

No one was on base each time Dunn came up to bat.

Posted by: Viva Livan | July 23, 2007 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Natscan wonders: "BTW, does anyone else, besides me, look at Ronnie B., and see 'Manny Ramirez Lite'? Just in the physical appearance."

Well, maybe ... anyway, for amusement value, here is what Baseball Prospectus had to say about Bells in the offseason:

"Yes, appearances do count in the work world, even in a job where one wears a birdy on one's chest [Belliard played for the Cardinals in 2006]. . . . the contrived sloppy look will earn you a few detractors . . ."

At this point, though, as far as I'm concerned, Bells can play the infield in his Underarmour. (Come morning, I'll hope to have reined in my giddiness at least enough to merit the man a full uniform.)

Posted by: Hendo | July 23, 2007 9:54 PM | Report abuse

YAY for Belliard! Welcome to the club! Now sign Meat Hook and look what we've got next year:

A reliable bench/backup. A chance to give these young guys some days off to get their heads right. Some aging stars to coach the young studs. There is room for both Belliard and Young AND young studs. It is good for the plan.

You have to start building sometime, right? How about NOT spending a ton on a free agent and developing our hitting to be ready in '09.

Think what another year and a half can do to help Zim at the major league level. Imagine Flores with a year of starting every day in AAA and feeling good. Heck, even give Austin and Felipe another year to straighten out their "not in the bandbox anymore, Toto" attitudes (Barry: what are their splits after moving to the Nats last year, anyway?).

Most importantly, imagine another year and a half of the position players coalescing as a team, instead of a collection of hopes and prayers that may be gone at any minute. A year and a half of stopping the try-outs and beginning the play.

I guarantee things will be much better, even if NO moves are made by July 31.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | July 23, 2007 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations, Ronnie! Good goin' JimBo!

As for Dunn, I don't want to watch him strike out every game. According to Barry, since 2002 he has struck out 972 times! 175 times more that anyone else in baseball! Plus he hit in tiny Great American Ball Park. How would his stats look at RFK? Or even in the new ballpark?

Posted by: Nick | July 23, 2007 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Gotta give some propers to Jimmy B for getting this done. Belliard is a gamer.

Posted by: mjwies11, Section 420 | July 23, 2007 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Hi Hendo,

... it never struck me, when I offered a parallel between the appearances of Ronnie and Manny, that anyone might take it as a negative. In my mind, it's au contraire.

... I appreciate the sloppy look, and have no problems with either guy displaying it to the full.

... up with dreads; up with corn rows; up with guys who can hit a baseball!

Posted by: natscan reduxit | July 23, 2007 10:16 PM | Report abuse

... just listened to the podcast for yesterday's game, and have these comments:

1/ Manny says Austin is starting to improve ... now, after the break. It seems to me that waiting half a season to 'get going' is not performance. But Kearns says the same thing himself, so it's not his attitude that is the problem. I guess I expect Manny to stop the constant coddling and to start expressing a bit more outright expectations of anyone in a uni.

2/ I knew the bullpen was doing a great job, and noticed ever since the start of the year that Randy had a good thing going there. But it was very good to hear Barry remind us that they have the best ERA of any pen in MLB, for the month of July. Thanx Barry for that, and for doing all the good work you do.

3/ Finally I gotta say (again) that whenever I start listening to these broadcasts, I get a twinge of frustrated anticipation knowing that the insipid intros of whomever will speak, by the disembodied voice accompanied by the audio version of a Nike swoosh, will be used - as always - to full advantage. I simply want to register my complaint about these totally unnecessary and overbearing interruptions in what are otherwise, very informative and entertaining parts of the total package.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | July 23, 2007 10:18 PM | Report abuse


... very good assessment of what could be the best fallout from this signing. Just one question: could you expalin why you think Flores should spend an entire year at triple-A? I can agree with beginning a season there, but being up as the fulltime back-up or even platoon catcher by ... ... the beginning of June, let's say.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | July 23, 2007 10:33 PM | Report abuse

I think signing Belliard is a good move, especially for that (relatively) low price. Through 2009 the Nationals now can count on having a utility infielder who can play nearly any position on the dirt (I don't think he can catch) when somebody is hurt or just needs a day off; Belliard can also be a solid bat off the bench for pinch hitting duties.

Natscan, I don't know that this increases the likelihood of a Dmitri Young trade. As before I think that's going to depend on what's offered for him. And as before, whether trading DaMeat is a good or a bad idea is also going to depend on what's offered. I think it may, however, lessen the likelihood that Dmitri Young comes back to the Nationals next year via free agency.

Posted by: Section 502 (with analysis) | July 23, 2007 10:33 PM | Report abuse

First, good move keeping Belliard. They can't all be Hall of Famers. Every team needs a solid pro or two who can play lots of positions, endure long stretches on the bench without complaining, etc.

Second, here's a late entry for the National Journal t-shirt contest:
Barry's Blog: So Little Time, So Few Vowels

Posted by: Vandy | July 23, 2007 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Closing it down at the hutch with a sobering thought.

We all would just love it if da Meat, and some others, were signed to long-term deals. Maybe the deals will happen; maybe they won't.

But, I guarantee y'all, the shoes are dropping soon. Be ready for some action. (Not all happy.) Nighty-night.

Posted by: Hendo | July 23, 2007 10:46 PM | Report abuse

I just got home and saw the news! Wahooooooo!!! Thanks for the great news, Barry!

misschatter: love the snoopy dance!

i hate walks: awesome first comment!

I can't believe how heartening it is to think in the future we'll have more than, say, ONE PLAYER, who's on the team now.

Yay Belliard!!

One does get attached to players, doesn't one?

Posted by: NatsNut | July 23, 2007 10:46 PM | Report abuse

So I was watching some of the Rangers game and Wilkerson just went yard. If you are looking for an outfielder with lots of strikeouts but a decent OBP, maybe we could bring Wilky back for the new ball park.

BTW, it sure is nice to have players who want to be players in your town.

And another random thought...Manny is a fine manager. He may become a great manager, but I enjoyed Frank Robinson too. I hope Frank is getting along ok. Barry, can you put 'Check in with Frank" on your to do list. I'd like to know if he has softened on his frustration with the Nationals management.

Posted by: NatBisquit | July 23, 2007 10:50 PM | Report abuse

It's clear that Ronnie Belliard looks like Manny Ramirez heavy.

Posted by: bleedNATSred | July 23, 2007 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Good question Natscan, Re: Flores at AAA all last year. I suggested it because I think this guy has a good future, just not quite yet. I really think Schneider is good for the pitchers, but in '09 during our first wild card race (pennant may still be too optimistic), I think a heavily contributing Flores could be a big boost. The seasoning in AAA will help.

Ditto on the check in with Frank. I will always love him, no matter how far I want him from my young, impressionable players.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | July 24, 2007 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Agreed, I don't see where the signing of Belliard ties in with a Meathook trade. If Da Meat is traded, it will be on its own merits. Now, lets beat them stinkin phillies...yech

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | July 24, 2007 12:52 AM | Report abuse

Put me down as a "yes" for Frank updates, too. I like Frank and don't care who knows it. ;)

Posted by: natsfan1a | July 24, 2007 6:55 AM | Report abuse

Glad to see Belliard get rewarded for his efforts. I knew he was a pretty good hitter but have been pleasantly surprised at his defense. He's not Orlando Hudson in terms of range, but he compensates by good positioning and technique. I also never saw any reports of Belliard's whining or complaining earlier in the year when he went to the bench when Guzman returned from his opening day injury. He just kept his nose to the grindstone and played, and now he's been rewarded.

Posted by: Hondo Lives | July 24, 2007 7:43 AM | Report abuse

1. I add my voice to the pro-Belliard signing camp - good veteran presence, versatile, etc. He's a small but important piece to future success.

2. Good read in the $.35 edition this morning on the 4 players that the Nats have on the market. The Nats will not get equal value for Rauch and Cordero. These two guys are very important pieces for the future of this team. They should not be traded unless Bowden is offered something ridiculous. Lastings Milledge would not be enough. Trading a bat of Dimitri's caliber is not something the Nats should be doing. Church can go, and I would part with him even for a marginal young hitting or pitching prospect. He's a bench player at best who makes lots of unproductive outs.

3. Am I missing something on Adam Dunn? The guy is a free agent at the end of the year, right? If Bowden wants him, why doesn't he just wait until the end of the year and sign him? The Nats have to do that anyway even if they trade for him, and they won't be giving up players in the process. I'm not sold on him anyway for all the reasons others have stated - too many K's, overvalued offensive stats in Cincy, etc. Do that Nats desperately need him for a two month play-off push?

4. I think we all agree that a big bat who plays CF would be a nice off season addition. Here is the list of free agents at the end of the year who fit that category ( a list of all free agents can be obtained at

Eric Byrnes Age 31
Mike Cameron Age 34
Torii Hunter Age 32
Andruw Jones Age 30
Aaron Rowand Age 29

I was hoping the Nats would make a run at Ichiro, but unfortunately he re-signed recently. What do people think of this list? I'd go Hunter, Rowand, Byrnes, Jones, Cameron in that order of interest.

Posted by: #4 | July 24, 2007 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Let me be the first to give you credit as a prognosticator, Barry. You predicted this signing over a month ago during a chat.

Careful now - if Young is traded to the Twins, I'll start to believe the fix is in.

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 24, 2007 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Day Two: I'm really dedicated to this Blog mtrics thing. I'm going to double up on my visits if work does not get in the way (dang work). Obviously the soccer bloggers are a bunch of bleacher bums who don't go to work.

Anyway, today perhaps we can discuss the virtues of bringing up Lannan versus Hanrahan. I'm in the "protect the young guy camp" And favor the "give the older guy a chance" camp. As an older guy I believe it is important to give late bloomers a chance. We are running out of time to find out about Hanrahan. Someone was spreading a rumor the other day that the A's were interested in him. Lets get him up here and find out for ourselves.

Posted by: NatBisquit | July 24, 2007 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Nice addition in Ronnie B. He's the smartest hitter in the Nat's lineup and a gem to watch. Hope he teaches Zims, Kearns, Lopez, etc. the ropes of how to hit MLB pitching.

Next point: How can GMs on other teams say Rauch (the set-up man) and Cordero (the closer) on the BEST bullpen are not worth a closer or set-up man in a trade. Unfathomable! Oh well, their loss. Having the best bullpen has put together nearly 50% of the Nats wins and have less than 1/3 of the teams losses.

Posted by: CT | July 24, 2007 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Nice move for the Nats. Great move for the Post to have a beat writer who loves it like we do.

Posted by: Section 314 | July 24, 2007 8:43 AM | Report abuse

... I read with interest about Zimm's youth instruction clinic (and its worthy cause related to Ryan's mother who suffers from MS). It recalls many fond memories of summer weekends of my youth when visiting scouts from the bigs - those who had been exiled to the boonies-back-of-beyond in the wilds of Maine ... and further. Those guys would go through a few uninterested routines - infield ground balls, fungoes, pitch explanations etc. - all in advance of a few local brews. But for us kids, it was as though we were taking batting practice and training drills in Yankee Stadium, or Crosley Field, or Municipal Stadium, or Fenway Park, or ... or ... Well, you get the idea.

... the only surprise for me in Zimm's story today, was the cost of the event: $250. I don't know what family finances are like in DC, but here in NB, $250 would surely be an impediment to possible attendance by many kids.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | July 24, 2007 8:43 AM | Report abuse

"Natscan, I don't know that this increases the likelihood of a Dmitri Young trade. "

Sect502, my simple thought was just that right from the start, we've been led to believe that Ronnie and Dmitri were the first to be offered on the trading block. So my philosophical equation was that if Ronnie was now secure, Dmitri was more insecure (in terms of being a Nat next year). I admit that was purely a theoretical opinion, and that a bit more meditation might very well lead to a different conclusion. I hope so, anyway.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | July 24, 2007 8:49 AM | Report abuse

I agree with 506 (AM) that sending Flores down after the season is a good move. He has one of the most unpolished big league swings I've seen in a while. He needs 400 ABs at AAA and then be ready to contribute in '09 as a platoon player with Schneider. As much as it pains me to say it because I like ole #23, Jesus may go by him as a player by then and be the starter. As far as next year goes, there are 32 free agent catchers available, many of them like Gary Bennett, serviceable RH hitting back ups that could be signed cheaply for a year.

Lastly on this subject, I like to be critical of Bowden so in the interest of fairness, it should be pointed out that Flores was a tremendous Rule V pick up. Bowden is really good at finding scrap heap players.

Posted by: #4 | July 24, 2007 8:57 AM | Report abuse

I am never critical (sarcasm flowing, causing small puddle next to my laptop), but I must say that signing Belliard is terrific. It's not exactly a deep plunge into the free agent pool, but it's a good sign that the Nats won't be total spendthrifts.

Posted by: swanni | July 24, 2007 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Sect506: ... if Flores takes a full season to 'season' in triple-A, that brings up another important question. Who's going to be back-up to Brian next year?

NatBisquit: "I'm in the "protect the young guy camp" And favour the "give the older guy a chance" camp. As an older guy I believe it is important to give late bloomers a chance." ... I agree wholeheartedly. I'm writing this on the morning of my 61st birthday and would love it if the Nats called today to ask me to attend a try-out camp. I watched The Natural the other night, and I know old guys can still hit.

And to Y'all: ... my computer is going on a three-day vacation of its own starting in about fifteen minutes. So I'll be out of touch for that time. When I get back to civilization, I'll be happy to read that the Nats swept the Philadelphias, with one game another shut-out (that would be Jason's gem tonight) and an extra-inning victory tomorrow after they knock Hamells out of the game. I'll be ready then to join the guys at Shea where the winning ways will withstand all onslaughts of hungry Mets.

... see ya's.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | July 24, 2007 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Swanni, am making note of date and time...


I am never critical (sarcasm flowing, causing small puddle next to my laptop)...

Posted by: natsfan1a | July 24, 2007 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Just kiddin' ya, Swanni!

Natscan, happy birthday, and see ya later!

Posted by: natsfan1a | July 24, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Natscan, you're going to have to blow out considerably more than 61 candles to get all those birthday wishes to come true...

Happy birthday!

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 24, 2007 9:31 AM | Report abuse

The front office might be in the "let's call up the guy who's going to make the least amount of money" camp.

If Oakland is eyeing Hanrahan, calling him up is a double-edged sword. If he produces at the big-league level, his value goes up. If he struggles, interest may disappear completely.


I'm in the "protect the young guy camp" And favor the "give the older guy a chance" camp.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 24, 2007 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Nice move keeping Belliard, he's a great addition, solid bat, solid defense, great attitude.

I like the idea of Flores going down to AAA next year, and then July '08 Schneider is the trade bait, Flores starts the rest of the season. Flores has shown some real talent this season for someone who has only played a few games.

Posted by: G-town | July 24, 2007 9:59 AM | Report abuse

On the Hanrahan v Lannan issue, I think the question is, "Who is the better prospect?" Lannan's key stats (WHIP, K/9, and BB/9) are much better. Bring him up and let's see what he can do. As far as expense goes, I think they'd both be making the minimum if they come up, but I could be wrong. The only factor I think is that Lannan's service time clock would start ticking so he'd be eligible for free agency faster eventually. I don't think that's a factor with Hanraran given his age. I'm not 100% sure about the intricacies of that though.

The minor league affiliates went 0-6 yesterday highlighted by Mike O'Connor's 4 IP, 10 H, 8 ER, 3 HR performance for Harrisburg. The guy who continues to hit that I haven't seen mentioned is Aaron Seuss (early nickname possibility - the Hit Doctor) at Vermont. He's hitting .346 and seems to be very consistent. His 4 BB in 96 AB don't excite me, but it's good to see someone who can swing it even if it's in the low minors.

I would also like to see an update on Smiley Gonzalez. His batting average has been hovering around .240 most of the year in the lowest minor league. He's only 17 but one would think that given the money and fanfare we would see more. My fear is that this was one of Bowden's flash over substance moves - i.e. let's make an overpaying, splashy signing of a Dominican player to show we are a player in the market. Amo los peloteros Domincanos, but did we waste our money here?

Posted by: #4 | July 24, 2007 10:03 AM | Report abuse

St. Barry, thanks for the nuggets of info as always! As much as I love the job the bullpen has done this month, I'm curious how many men already on base they've allowed to score. Specifically I'm thinking of Saul Rivera, who has allowed runners on base to score in at least 3 relief appearances that I can recall. Since he's the one most likely to replace the starter, he's the most likely subject (although Booker had a heckuva K on Sunday).

Not that I'm hating on Rivera, I still think he's done a great job, but the numbers are a little more conservative. Otherwise LIGHTS OUT for the little bullpen that could! It'll be interesting to see who's left after a week!

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | July 24, 2007 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Anybody else notice Viva Livan's new name for Barry? "Blog Father". Awesome.

Posted by: NatsNut | July 24, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

#4 gets to the point re Adam Dunn: "Do that Nats desperately need him for a two month play-off push?"

No, they do not. This is a simple value proposition.

Moreover, if the point is to get value for dollars, then not only do you not deal for Dunn in midseason, but you also shop Ayala, Cordero, Kearns, Lopez, and Schneider and hang onto guys like Bergmann, Chico, Church, King, Rauch, and Young (unless someone makes you a fantastic deal for one of the latter).

There are other criteria that factor into value, of course, such as age, makeup, and projection. It's a wonder anyone can understand them all -- and little wonder that so many bad deals are made.

Posted by: Hendo | July 24, 2007 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Happy birthday, Natscan, and many happy returns.

Posted by: Hendo | July 24, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Hendo -

Help me here. I don't understand your point about value for dollars. Why would that make your first list attractive and your second list not.

Posted by: #4 | July 24, 2007 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Send Flores down?

With all the talk about Belliard's ability to mentor the younger players on the club I'm suprised to hear you guys say this. Schneider understands the game on a very deep level and has (what I think is a) good grasp of a crucial catching skill: dealing with pitchers. If Flores can learn more of that at the cost of a few ABs, please do. Besides, he's a damn good catcher. Do you think he'd really take an assignment to the minors? He's a free agent after this season:

(thanks for pointing out that site, #4!)

Posted by: i hate walks | July 24, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

#4: Because the guys on the left are pulling down over a million per (and thus are attractive to flip for much-lower-salaried but promising prospects), and the guys on the right earn closer to the $500K range (and thus are more likely to be a relative bargain at the price).

Posted by: Hendo | July 24, 2007 10:51 AM | Report abuse

"He's a free agent after this season"

Wha...? Why would you use a Rule 5 pick on a guy who was a free agent at the end of the year? Can someone explain?

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | July 24, 2007 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Ahh... he may not be a free agent after this season. I think I have misread the information on the page about Flores. Apologies.

I stand by the rest of what I said, however. I think sending him down is a mistake.

And no, I'm not his mom. ;)

Posted by: i hate walks | July 24, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Jesus Flores is not a free agent after the season, he'll be under the Nats control for 5 more seasons - the Nats can automatically renew him for the next 2 seasons (his 2nd and 3rd) and then there's 2-3 years of arbitration.

Posted by: comish4lif | July 24, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Hendo -

OK. I'm not sure I agree with your theory completely but it's interesting to think about it. Some of those < $1 million guys will earn more than that next year, but your point is a good one.

Ihatewalks and 506 -

Flores is not a free agent after this season. He's not listed on the web site as one. You gain free agency after being the big leagues for 4 or 5 five years I believe. He's signed only through this year and will have to renegotiate, but the Nats would have to release him in order for him to negotiate with other teams. Players become Rule V eligible 5 or 6 years after they sign their first professional contract if they are not college players, and four years if they are. I think I'm right about that anyway. Someone correct me if I'm not.

As far as Schneider's mentoring, it is helpful, but nothing replaces playing everyday as a way to get better. Guys' skills can deteriorate if they sit around - even when they are 23 years old. Flores needs ABs against high level pitching, something he's had none of before this year. Another year of playing 40 games will stunt his development.

Posted by: #4 | July 24, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Why is there a picture of me on the Nats section of when it's supposed to be of Belliard?

Now I know how Bernie Castro felt...

Posted by: Guzman | July 24, 2007 11:16 AM | Report abuse

so i know everyone adopts the nickname that the players use or in certain instances the media produce. but i have been calling Ronnie "Belly" for about 4 years. i mean, it does fit.

Posted by: theraph | July 24, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

This seems to happen a lot to the Nats....are MASN and WP connected somehow...someone working two jobs?

Posted by: JayB | July 24, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I agree completely. Plus, when the rosters expand - which seems to be how I begin most sentences these days - you can call him up and let him finish off a season of every-day playing in the minors with some polishing and pointers from Schneider in the bigs.


As far as Schneider's mentoring, it is helpful, but nothing replaces playing everyday as a way to get better.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 24, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

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