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Nats: Five who were designated are now free

Minor housekeeping on Nats. Remember that list of people who were designated for assignment from last week? The Nats needed to get them off the 40-man roster.

Well, five of those have elected to become minor-league free agents: infielder Tony Batista, outfielder Brandon Watson, lefty Mike Bacsik and right-hander Chris Booker and Winston Abreu.

Basically, they'll all look for the best opportunity, having their agents check over rosters, etc. They could, after all that, end up back with the Nationals should they decide that Washington presents the best opportunity. Take Bacsik. He never thought he'd return to the Nationals after being let go in spring of 2006, but he returned to the organization last spring and made it to the majors for the first time since 2004.

I'll keep you posted on the others as well.

By Barry Svrluga  |  October 15, 2007; 5:00 PM ET
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Next: The Last Glorious Night of October



How about Johnny Damon or Coco Crisp for CF next year for the Nats? It seems both have been beaten out by youngsters (Cabrera and Ellsbury), and the Nats could get the Yanks or Sox to pony up some of the $ for the contract.

Posted by: Judiciary Sq. | October 15, 2007 5:26 PM | Report abuse

I will be happy for them if they get a better deal, although that will be hard. I am not sre all would be brought back to the Nats, in any case.

Thanks, though. I really want to follow the Nats' roster as much as I want to follow the NLCS. The ALCS, on the other hand, is more compelling.

Posted by: Kevin | October 15, 2007 6:46 PM | Report abuse

I am surprised by Batista being let go so early. He was a good pinch hitter off the bench and could fill in at 1st until they know more about Nick Johnson. I thnk that he could get a contract rather easily.

The others probably need a change of scenery although I think Abreu has potetial, he can certainly bring some heat.

Thanks Barry. You and Dave rule!

I look forward to LOTS of Nats features through the off season!

Posted by: roman1735 | October 15, 2007 9:04 PM | Report abuse

I imagine all five will have the opportunity to go to spring training somewhere. Batista certainly seems to have another year of pinch hitting left in him, but he's also getting to the point in his carerr where he has to face the fact that many teams will opt for younger or faster players. I hope he comes back to the Nats though. Bacsik will probably see some time in both the majors and minors again next year. As a lefty he should get another shot though his best move might be to MASN (lord knows they could use him). Abreu, Watson, and Booker are AAAA. They probably get another taste or two before the retire, but none are likely to be on tan opening day roster. IMO.

Posted by: NatBisquit | October 15, 2007 9:30 PM | Report abuse

I think that batista proved he can handle the pinch-hitting role, if not for the nats than for someone else. Certainly after he adjusted to it, he was reasonably effective coming off of the bench. He might not have as much pop as you'd like in a pinch hitter, but he brings a wealth of big league experience. Maybe it will all come down to how much he's willing to sign for.

Abreau has a live arm, so I think he'll get a shot, at least, to catch on somewhere as a middle distance guy.

As for bacsik, I can only hope we haven't see (or heard) the last of him. He was, in all of his candor, rather refreshing.

Posted by: blueson | October 15, 2007 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Bacsik does seem to have some talent talking. I heard him breaking down one of the NLCS games as a guest analyst on XM Radio last week. He sounded very comfortable doing it.

Posted by: Kevin | October 16, 2007 7:18 AM | Report abuse

I'd love to see Bacsik have success, preferably in DC but if not here somewhere else. He was very accomdating to fans (particularly to children), never complained about his role and carried himself like a true professional.

Posted by: Hondo Lives | October 16, 2007 7:41 AM | Report abuse

To those concerned about how and who the Post covers in sports - check out last Sunday's ombudsman column on the editorial page of the Outlook Section. That spells out the issues and what the Post does about it quite clearly. Simply put, if DC fans want more coverage, they need to go to the games and go to the post's web site and click on and read the stories, journals, etc. about the local teams - the Nats, Caps, Wizards, and DC United. Redskins are fine and safe as #1 - but the fan interest has to be shown in the numbers if you want to see more from the other local clubs. According to the column, more people click on O's & Ravens stories than Caps and DC United.

I don't want to start another useless debate about what's right or wrong to cover. Just want to point out that the Ombudsman column states the facts clearly and simply and what needs to be done if fans want more coverage of their teams.

I'm really enjoying the Post having 3 writers cover the baseball play-offs. Great writing - I'd sure like to see Shenin used more regularly during the season. I think it's time for him to write some opinion/column pieces on baseball a la Boswell. It would be great to see, if reader interest warrants, two perspectives!

Posted by: natswriter | October 16, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

What?! Repeated whining by the same handful of people on Barry's blog doesn't work?

I don't want to start another useless debate about what's right or wrong to cover. Just want to point out that the Ombudsman column states the facts clearly and simply and what needs to be done if fans want more coverage of their teams.
Posted by: natswriter | October 16, 2007 11:44 AM

Posted by: Shocked, shocked | October 16, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for pointing that out, natswriter.

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 16, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

For purely selfish reasons, I hope to see Bacsik back in DC. I truely think that he is one of the "good guys" and his attitude towards the fans (very friendly, very open, alwyas willing to talk/sign items) can only help the game, and bring in/create more baseball fans.

Posted by: LurkerNowAPoster | October 16, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Come in, lurkers, the water's fine!



Posted by: natsfan1a | October 16, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Coco plays a very nice CF. i'd still like to see us make a play for Rocco Baldelli also. buy low! nice top of the order player who just needs health.

Justin Maxwell isn't gettin a whole lotta love in AFL. But Flores does in BA.

Please let TBAT go. i wouldn't wish him on the Orioles, again.

Posted by: longterm | October 16, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else notice how quickly ALL the outrighted players turned down the assignment to AAA for FA?

Posted by: Tom | October 16, 2007 9:31 PM | Report abuse

"Bacsik...always willing to talk/sign items"

Yes, funny you should mention that. Why just this morning I noticed on the Nationals online store website that you can buy a signed "I gave up #756" ball from him for only $99.99. Christmas is coming, and this would be a great stocking-stuffer, no?

Posted by: Section 419 | October 17, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Ugh...Bacsik may be a nice guy but I will not be saddened at ALL if he never plays in D.C. again.

Posted by: badkarma723 | October 17, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

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