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Dmitri?

So there's a lot of whispering going on about Dmitri Young right now. The Nationals are definitely talking to him about an extension, but I'm hearing both sides. There has been, as I've said before, some internal lobbying to keep him, and Young has said he is willing to stay -- but for the right price.

But in talking to a couple people this morning, they're wondering if he could still be traded. They say that's still a possibility, but they also say that Bowden hasn't received an offer back that is close to what he likes. I keep going back to that Bowden quote: "We're building up, not tearing down."

If it's two years and under $10-12 million (and I haven't heard anything higher than that), maybe it makes sense, because if Nick Johnson is damaged beyond repair, then they have insurance. It could be the same situation as Belliard, in which they like Young as a bench player and an everyday player. And, again, he could be a trading chip in future years.

(Ooh, just noticed that Bill Ladson over at nationals.com is reporting that it's "close." Again, I'm hearing it both ways: Almost done, might not be done.)

(Also: Others chiming in. Ken Rosenthal had mention of it this morning, w/ an exec saying it could be two years, $12 million. Jerry Crasnick at espn.com saying it's two years, $10 million.)

Here's one way teams think of these things: You look at how much you pay the position of first base. In the Nationals' case, if they paid Young $6 million and Nick Johnson $5.5 next year, that's $11.5 for the position. If that position produces as those two are capapble, it's not a ridiculous sum. But these numbers are in theory. I haven't heard hard numbers at all, and am -- now at 12:52 p.m. -- continuing to hear that this could be imminent, but it's not done.

Bowden is having no comment on the talks this morning. But as one person with the Nationals said this morning, "He got another chance here. Wouldn't he want to stay here longer?"

I'll get you more as I get it.

Let's discuss, though, what this means. I was just discussing this with a baseball insider (not a member of the Nationals' staff), and it caused some confusion. If, in fact, Young is an everyday player next year, what does the Nationals' lineup look like?

Lopez -- 4
Guzman -- 6
Zimmerman -- 5
Young -- 7
Johnson -- 3
Kearns -- 9
??? -- 8
Schneider -- 2

Doesn't that look a lot like this year, unless they also get Torii Hunter or Andruw Jones? And is everybody ready for 150 games of Dmitri Young in left field?

And that's presuming Johnson is healthy. If he's not, they're going to have to find some more offense elsewhere.


By Barry Svrluga  |  July 26, 2007; 12:14 PM ET
 
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Next: Lannan through four

Comments

Hard to guess on the Dmitri Young thing. The minute you think you've got it figured out...BAM...you're usually wrong. Whichever way it goes, as long as it brightens the future, I'm fine with it. Just don't get hosed Jimbo.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | July 26, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

dude, make the deal. He's hitting .330-something with considerable power. That's a steal at $4m/year, let alone 2. On a contender, Young, Church and Belliard are the scariest weapons you could have on your bench.

Posted by: section 406 | July 26, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

If they re-sign Young then I think it means Church is gone and maybe a reliever. Can Bowden go without a trade before the 31st? Does Kasten really have him on that short a leash?

Posted by: estuartj | July 26, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the update, Barry.

If it truly is for less than $2M, the team is getting a bargain here, in my opinion. Obviously, if someone's offering a prospect, that's first choice, but it's not materializing then keep him for a reasonable price. He's earned it this year, and provides lots of insurance, including a valuable switch-hitting bat off the bench. Wouldn't be bad to have our own Lenny Harris to shore up the bench, no?

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | July 26, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

"He got another chance here. Wouldn't he want to stay here longer."

That's Bowden. You can hear him say it. :)

Bill Ladson reports that it's imminent that they will sign Dimitri.

Posted by: swanni | July 26, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

2 years 2M doesn't pass the laugh test, man. Young would get at least twice that in the Free Agent market. That's a million a year. He's having a career year. Ken Rosenthal is sayin it's 12M over two years. You drop the 1?

Posted by: Maximus | July 26, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Charlie and Dave also just reported on the pregame show that the announcement is imminent.

Posted by: Greg | July 26, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I thought they signed Dmitri as trade bait, I thought they had a Plan. Maybe for now they plan to have a Plan.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | July 26, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Actually, unless you can get your price, it makes sense to keep Young. Next year we should see improvement & a big jump in '09.

Remember you've got a roster with only 12, or at most 13 position players which is standard that only leaves 4 or 5 bench spots for them.

You need a full-time back up catcher. Leaves 3 or 4 spots.

Belliard, who can back up virtually any infield position. Leaves 2 or 3 slots.

You need a 4th outfielder (Church?). One or two slots.

Young can be your primary PH and relieve the first-baseman on a regular basis. Or, when Johnson can't play. He's your first baseman.

If you keep 13, Fick is your all everything backup for two years, then he becomes the manager at Potomac Nats.

Posted by: Catcher50 | July 26, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Could this just be "a leak" to encourage possible suitors to get of the fence? I hope not. I'd like to see Dmitri in a Nats uniform next year.

Posted by: lowcountrynatsfan | July 26, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

On the radio pregame, Slowes said that an announcement was expected soon, perhaps by the end of the game.

Posted by: natsfan1a | July 26, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, I just saw that Greg had reported that. I should read before I post, maybe...nah

Posted by: natsfan1a | July 26, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

lowcountry - again, i like your thinking.

Meant to post earlier that it could be a way for JimBow to let others know "My phones not ringing as much as I would like it to be ringing" (especially from Mpls and Anaheim area codes)

...And, you better bring currency or else i'll sign him, dammit! (insert image of holding a pen to the shoulder -- heel? -- of Da Meat!)

Posted by: ShawNatsFan | July 26, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Catcher50 makes the most sense in the most direct way of anyone I've seen yet, especially me. For all you Traders out there, remember that we don't want to be trading just for the sake of trading. Only trading for what you want is part of the Plan. If JimBo doesn't think that any trades will help us get what we want, then he is obligated to hold his hand.

I remember when he first got the job all anyone could do is complain about how he liked to make flashy trades and tinker just for the hell of it. I'm in favor of nobody being traded, because I don't think anyone is going to give us the pieces we want or need.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | July 26, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Isn't $5-6M per a lot to be paying your backup 1B and primary PH? Of course he just got an RBI single as I am typing this!

Posted by: DE | July 26, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

When did they take Chad Cordero's picture off the banner graphic on the National's home page? Does that mean he is on his way out?

Posted by: Alexandria | July 26, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

In Charlie's words, "Bad hop base hit" for the RBI. Hopefully we'll get the breaks today.

Scratch that, they've scored the base hit an error on Helms.

Dmitri might make more next year than Nick Johnson. This could create a very interesting situation if both players are healthy in the Spring Training.

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 26, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Alexandria, I remember such discussions taking place earlier in the year. Was his picture ever reinstated?

---

When did they take Chad Cordero's picture off the banner graphic on the National's home page? Does that mean he is on his way out?

Posted by: natsfan1a | July 26, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Okay, a lot of us are typing at work in a place with no TV or radio option. We are relying on you who are to give us updates on how Lannan looks, or how Charlie and Dave say he looks.

I wouldn't even mind hearing some of Sutton's comments. Even if he is an idiot.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | July 26, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Put it down in your notebooks. Lannan's first pitch as a National, ball high.

First batter, an infield hit by Jimmy from the Block.

Inauspicious? For once, I'm optimistic.

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 26, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Uh oh! Small strike zone evidently. In Dave's words - "perhaps just a bit outside - perhaps"

Give'm hell Corralles

Posted by: lowcountrynatsfan | July 26, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Put it down in your notebooks.

Lannan's first pitch as a National: ball high.

First batter faced: infield single by Jimmy from the Block.

Second hitter faced: walk to Victornio.

Inauspicious? I'm optimistic. (It looks like he's getting squeezed here, though.)

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 26, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Cordero's photo has been off the graphic of the home page since March, when the Red Sox trade rumors first surfaced.

Posted by: Ray | July 26, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the double post. The site said my post was rejected. I should stop using so many [RF]s in my posts...

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 26, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Nice little welcome gift from the Nats of 2 runs, with more to come, I trust.

First MLB out: K of Ryan Howard. Not bad.

Does the home plate ump have money riding on the Phillies?

Posted by: natsfan1a | July 26, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

And yes, earlier, I was typing too fast and didn't hit that "1" key.

Let me make clear that I have my suspicions that this won't happen today. I have been wrong before and might be wrong on this, but ...

Posted by: Barry Svrluga | July 26, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I guess that answers the "But can he bunt?" question.

Again, I'm optimistic!

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 26, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Charlie also commented on how the ump jumped right in when St. Claire walked out to the mound to speak to Lannan.

Posted by: natsfan1a | July 26, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Maybe it's just first at-bat in the show willies (re. the bunting).

Posted by: natsfan1a | July 26, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Is Lannon pulling this off with paper clips, bubble gum, and rubber bands? 'Cause that's what it looks like on Game Day.

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | July 26, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Young is having a career year; veterans seldom have 2 of those in a row. If a team trying to win this year needs a rent-a-bat, why wait until you've lost more games he could have helped win? Get him now, win now.
But don't re-sign him here, mid-season. Makes NO sense.

Posted by: CevansJr | July 26, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse

UNLESS you have reason to believe you need a starting 1st baseman

Posted by: CevansJr | July 26, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Hunter Wendelstadt must have Utley on his fantasy league team.

Posted by: lowcountrynatsfan | July 26, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I WISH I had Chase Utley on my fantasy team.

Can we add him to the Nats Killers list?

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | July 26, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Young's natural position is DH. 6 million is too much to pay for that, especially since his power isn't what it once was.

Posted by: Joe the Fan | July 26, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Church is really beating himself up over last night, fouling two straight balls off himself.

Posted by: John in Mpls | July 26, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the Nats are going after that elusive 'goodwill' that fans say is worth the money, even though those fans will probably complain when he reverts to the mean.

Posted by: Paul | July 26, 2007 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Lannan ejected?! In MLB debut? What he intended to hit Utley and Howard for Rowand to bat in?!

Posted by: Section 506 (After moving) | July 26, 2007 2:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm a douchebag.

Posted by: Hunter Wendlestadt | July 26, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

You'll get no argument from me, HW.

Posted by: natsfan1a | July 26, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

From "watching" the game on the radio/gameday:

Lannan grazed Utley who made no attempt to move out of the way. Utley to first.

Lannan pitches Howard inside. A little too much, hits Howard. Wendelstedt immediately ejects Lannan.

(stats people: how many MLB pitchers have left their debut via ejection?)

As if Acta were listening to Slowes & Jageler, he comes out to tell Wendelstedt what he thinks of that ejection. Acta gets ejected quickly, but does not leave the field immediately.

RHP Schroder in to pitch for the Nats....

Posted by: i hate walks | July 26, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Barry has another post, guys.

Posted by: natsfan1a | July 26, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Between Dmitri and Johnson, wouldn't Johnson be a more capable outfielder, dependent upon his leg being fully healed of course?

I would love to see them actually snag one of the prime center fielder free agents for a couple years until Marerro is ready, Hunter would be great but doubt he'll leave Minnesota - but also think if the finances allow it, go for Teixera too. That would be a logjam at 1B but also some good trade bait to land some starters?

Maybe Dmitri can pitch?

Posted by: NatSkinCap | July 26, 2007 5:38 PM | Report abuse

SAVE DA MEAT!!
SAVE DA MEAT!!
SAVE DA MEAT!!


Posted by: Chris in SS | July 26, 2007 5:57 PM | Report abuse

I doubt Torii would come here because he's looking to "win now" as opposed to in a few years as the Nats plan looks... but I'd be quite excited if it happens!

www.mindritesports.com

Posted by: Tim | July 27, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

The only way to view the Young and Belliard signings in a way that is consistent with The Plan is to say that (i) both of these guys are solid bench players on a contending team, can pinch hit and play multiple positions on the field (in Dmitri's case, after losing the 20 pounds); (ii) teams aren't giving up solid prospects for rentals anymore, much less rentals that are merely strong bench players/spot starters; (iii) the farm looks surprisingly strong and deep, i.e., The Plan is closer to fruition than we thought when contemplating a mid-season fire sale earlier this year; and therefore (iv) maybe we should keep the current team intact and simply add a free agent bat or two (e.g., Torii Hunter and Adam Dunn) and go into the new park with what might be a contender if the young arms come through and/or hold up.

Posted by: Chet | July 30, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

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