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How do you boost payroll? The Kicking Tires Edition

Day Two of the general managers meetings down in Orlando. This missive comes to you from the District, and I'm trying to keep tabs on things from up here. Have hired some spies for down there, and we'll see how it goes.

Let's see what we've learned over the last few days. We know that Jim Bowden has called the agents for Aaron Rowand and Torii Hunter. We know that Stan Kasten himself has spoken with Andruw Jones. We know that the Nationals have made initial contact with such pitchers as Livan Hernandez, Jason Jennings and Bartolo Colon - and, according to mlb.com, Tom Glavine. And we also know -- intuitively, and because it has been beaten into our brains - that the Nationals think of big-ticket free agents as a last resort, that they would prefer to draft and develop their own players.

Still, all this is intriguing. This is, however, the period of the offseason where general managers typically "kick the tires" on just about everyone available, walking around the lot, seeing what they like, seeing if they can get along with the salesman. Most of the time, this ends up with the GM saying thanks but no thanks and walking off the lot.

But in order to understand what the Nationals can actually afford - all while understanding we don't have a complete grasp on what they're willing to spend - let's break down the payroll, something we should have done a while ago. The numbers are only what they're owed in 2008, or an estimate of what they'll make. (Estimates - those eligible for arbitration or under club control - are marked with an asterisk.*)

INFIELD:
Nick Johnson -- $5.5 million
Dmitri Young -- $5 million
Felipe Lopez -- $5 million* (third-year arbitration)
Cristian Guzman - $4.2 million
Ronnie Belliard -- $1.6 million
Ryan Zimmerman -- $500,000* (but could negotiate long-term deal)
Total estimate: $21.8 million

OUTFIELD
Austin Kearns -- $5 million
Wily Mo Pena -- $2.5 million* (second-year arbitration)
Ryan Church -- $500,000*
Ryan Langerhans -- $425,000*
Nook Logan -- $425,000*
Total estimate: $8.85 million

CATCHERS
Brian Schneider -- $4.9 million
Jesus Flores -- $400,000*
Total estimate: $5.3 million

PITCHERS
Chad Cordero -- $6 million* (second-year arbitration)
Luis Ayala -- $1.75 million* (third-year arbitration)
Jon Rauch -- $1.5 million* (first-year arbitration)
John Patterson -- $1 million* (second-year arbitration)
Jesus Colome -- $1 million* (second-year arbitration)
Ryan Wagner -- $600,000* (first-year arbitration)
Jason Bergmann -- $425,000*
Matt Chico -- $425,000*
Shawn Hill -- $425,000*
Total estimate: $13.125 million

Roster estimate: $49.075 million

NOTE: This has only 22 men on it. There is likely a spot for a utility infielder, be it D'Angelo Jimenez or not, at around $500,000, and then two more pitchers, I'd guess.

So we're basically looking at a crude estimate of $50 million or so - maybe as much as $55 million if I've low-balled some of the arbitration-eligible guys. That's without adding a single player.

Say, for argument's sake, that the Nationals are willing to spend $70 million next year. That's not a hard figure. Kasten is loathe to pinpoint a number. It could be more. It could be less.

But that number would leave the Nats with $15-20 million to spare.

Andruw Jones would take up nearly that much money by himself. Glavine would likely command roughly $8-10 million in a one-year deal. Livan Hernandez would be significantly less than that.

Obviously, they could, in theory, have more money to spend if they traded someone like Cordero or Lopez. But that hasn't happened.

So my question to you, as we head into the heart of the Hot Stove - with the Winter Meetings a month from now - is: How would you spend that money? Be creative. Think trades as well, because I think - even with all this contact between the Nats and some free agents - that's still more likely.

Oh, and one more thing: Anyone surprised by this Jose Guillen news?

By Barry Svrluga  |  November 6, 2007; 11:32 AM ET
 
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Comments

"Livan Hernandez would be significantly less than that."

You sure? He's an innings-eater. They've been getting paid pretty well the last few years.

"Anyone surprised by this Jose Guillen news?"

The question should be, "is the beat writer who covered him surprised by the news?"

Posted by: Chris | November 6, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Re. transactions, let me go talk to my sales manager and get back to you on that...

Re. Guillen, he did seem to have some rage issues...

Posted by: natsfan1a | November 6, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Re. drug use allegations generally, I'm curious as to whether any GMs have the opposite view of Minaya's, as quoted below. That is, what recourse is there if they do pick up a player and later find out that he is on the list?

---

"If there was a player that we like and we wanted to get, we've just got to go get the player," Minaya said. "It would be terrible if I was to kind of pass on the player because of - quote, unquote - the potential of the Mitchell Report, and then have that player not be on the list."

Posted by: natsfan1a | November 6, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Man- those A's of a few years ago--- did anyone NOT do roids?
Anyone still have any doubts that Tejada was roidin'?

Posted by: big A | November 6, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

"It was not clear from the records whether two other orders for growth hormone and syringes placed by Guillen were actually delivered: a $4,869.50 order placed in September 2003, when he was with the A's; and a $5,000 order placed in June 2005, when he was with the Washington Nationals."

Q: What's worse than using steroids to boost your performance at the expense of the game?

A: Using steroids to boost your performance at the expense of the game and still sucking.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | November 6, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Before spending any money, the Nats should first get rid of Lopez, Logan and Langerhans. (I see Barry already has them getting rid of Fick. Let's hope that sticks.) These moves may not free up all that much money, but as they say, it's the thought that counts.

Posted by: Section 419 | November 6, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I want them to spend some money on a good center fielder... There is no excuse to have such an important position not be filled (or platooned). Especially with the talent thats out there this year. Time to get serious and spend some money, whoever it is will still be young enough to be part of "the plan".

Posted by: Joe Hardy | November 6, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Rowand and Hernandez, those are the guys.

Posted by: Jason | November 6, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Just a reminder that Church, Langerhans, and Redding will all be up for arbitration as well, if offered of course. Not a huge jump but an increase there none the less.

Posted by: AMH | November 6, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Just a question. Nick Johnson is signed through 2010, correct? What if he comes up lame again in spring training and has to retire. Do the Nats have to pay him his full contract or is there a buyout clause?

Posted by: Sec. 213 | November 6, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Who else thinks we should be looking to unload A. Kearns and/or one of our 1B for pitching help, or a bucket of gatorade for that matter? You could dump $ 10 million with that deal that could be better used in FA for an elite CF, use Mo P and Church at the corners. Surely, someone would bite--Pirates, etc. Thoughts?

Posted by: FJAT | November 6, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

GM: "What do we have to do to get you into this fine Livan Hernandez model today?"

Bowden: "Ummm...I need to talk to my wife..."

GM: "Let's look at it this way...how much can you afford to pay monthly?"

Bowden: "Ummm...well...how much would you give me for that Cristian Guzman model out there in the lot...it's barely been used."

GM: "Hmmm...let me get my used bat man out there and we'll see what he says"

Bowden: "I'm gonna want a tarp thrown in at the very least..."

GM: "I think we can do that"

Posted by: Johnny Baconbitz | November 6, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Let's not forget that the tire kicking thing works both ways.

F/As can't negotiate outside of their old team until later this month. In at least some cases, agents are using stories about "interest" from other clubs as a negotiating tool with the original club, that the F/A really had no interest in leaving.

BTW, I was going to apologize for the triple (quintuple?) post last night, and then I saw that I wasn't the only one. WaPo simply can't let this happen to us. Barry, please yell at someone!!!

Posted by: Catcher50 | November 6, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Wow, the impulse buyers are out in force today. Logan/Church is a lot better than blowing all our money on Rowand, Hunter, or Jones. I doubt we will get any of those three for a price that will look smart in three years, much less the five all of their agents will demand. They are all three on their way out.

To the slamming of Fick, et al., how on earth does it make sense for a team to dump someone just because? Make sure you have them replaced, it doesn't take a genius to know that.

Nats should avoid the free agent market, except for one vet pitcher. I prefer Glavine. If you want a free agent, pick up someone's contract in a trade.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | November 6, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Replace Cristian Guzman with Felipe Lopez there, and you might have a deal worth making. Except that there's no need for a deal - Livo is a free agent. Just sign him.

Posted by: Section 419 | November 6, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I thought Langerhans was released a long time ago. Do I just not know what "released" means?

Posted by: NatsNut | November 6, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

re: Langerhans....or am *I* the one on drugs now?

Posted by: NatsNut | November 6, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Barry: Thanks for the salary numbers. Any chance of you doing a story -- or posting here -- some more details on the overall economics of running the Nats? I know a lot of it might be approximations or even conjecture, but I'd be quite interested in seeing your take on the income the Nats receive from ticket sales, TV, merchandise, etc., as well as their other expenses (e.g., travel, running the farm system). The salary figures would take on a lot more meaning if we knew how those numbers fit into the overall spreadsheet of the ball club. Right now it's hard to know whether a $70 million payroll is too little, too much, or just about right for the DC-area market.

Posted by: Bratislava, Slovakia | November 6, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I love how one of Guillen's shipments was sent straight to the Angels clubhouse.

That Mitchell report had better implicate a lot of clubhouses and not just individual players. And if any former or current managers or GMs say they didn't know their players were doin' the 'roid thing, they deserve to be tarred and feathered.

Posted by: Juan-John | November 6, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse

NatsNut, I think that Langerhans was sent down at one point but was brought up again when the rosters expanded (unless...I'm on drugs, too??)

Posted by: natsfan1a | November 6, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

fick's real value prior to this season was nats had no idea what to expect at 1b or catcher. those two positions are much more settled now at backup and starter. this to me is the clearest move this offseason. RF-it.

glad to hear jmax is getting it together in the AFL.

rauch looks like a great value at that salary. i'm amazed we don't hear more teams clamoring for him. would love to keep him here though but still think him and one of our 1b would return something nice.

i think wily mo is the most intriguing question going into next year. if he proves capable as a full-time starter with that power the look of this team changes dramatically. i'm not interested in rowand. torii could be nice. andruw could be real nice. coco crisp might be best fit as 1 or 2 year plugin but i'd rather see jmax work out than trade something away and find out we didn't have to. felipe lopez and crisp could be terrors on the basepath.

but mostly i want a full cast of starting pitchers. i want chico to be the 5th best starter as soon as possible. all these young stud prospects are still a ways off.

Posted by: longterm | November 6, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

In a fit of Hot Stove fever I read every team's mailbags last night.

It turns out that Jason Bay might be available. I know he would cost a lot to get, but his power and average are just what our line up is lacking! I'd give up Church, Wily Mo and a prospect for him, depending on how long his contract is.

He's an All-Star. We have none. It makes sense to at least try.

Re: Pitching. I think Livo would be a great person for Chico to have around. I know he idolizes Glavine. Livo could teach him the same things though, while maybe helping him, and the other young'uns, more with their breaking stuff.

I am so fired up for this offseason, it makes the regular season pale in comparison.

Posted by: NattyDelite! | November 6, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Several things:
1) Say it ain't so, Jose. Lie to me if you have to.
2) I'd love to see Livo back. And even if he gets dropped to fourth in the rotation after his first start, he should open the new park. He's got history here that Glavine doesn't, and also, if El Duque ever decides to hit Shawn Hill again, Livo can beat him up later for us.
3) Word on the street is that Tim Lincecum might be available from the Giants. I;ve said it before elsewhere, but there's aren't many people I wouldn't give up for this kid.

Posted by: Atlanta | November 6, 2007 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I think Wily Mo is going to be the next big thing. Be ready to lock him down July of next year.

I think JimBo has shown a talent at spotting things that have been overlooked. I am willing to let him try to spot young talent, rather than get all worked up about proven talent. Patience!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | November 6, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm. Using correct words is helpful. So my last sentence should read:
There's not a lot people I wouldn't give up for this kid.
OR
There aren't a lot many people. . .

Posted by: Atlanta | November 6, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Cordero and Church get traded for a mid-level CF or big bat. Glavine is worth the money, bring him on. Would be great to have a HOF pitcher on our staff.

Posted by: G-town | November 6, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

First, like Catcher50 I was a serial poster last night, I kept getting a message indicating that my submission had been rejected and I finally gave up, only to find 4-5 posts on the site this morning. At least I was in good company.

Second, I'm on record as saying I would be happy if the Nats didn't sign a major free agent or trade for a top shelf veteran this offseason. We don't know what we have yet at so many positions and I would be comfortable going with what we have (plus 1-2 starters) and seeing what the picture looks like at the trade deadline next year. For example, is Pena our left fielder and the power bat we need, or is he a strikeout machine that costs us too much there and on defense? Do we have a surplus at first with Johnson and Young, such that one could be traded, or is Nick still hurt and Dmitri regressing to the mean? Are Patterson and Hill at the top of the rotation or on the DL? How is the Church/Logan platoon in CF working, and is Maxwell ready, or at least close? Has Lopez improved, and/or can we get anything for Guzman or Belliard?

Having said that, Barry's instructions were to spend money. Here is a useful website for that purpose:

http://www.mlb4u.com/topfa07.php

So, here goes:

Luis Castillo, 2b, $6m, 2 years.
Kenny Lofton, cf, $3.5m, 1 year.
Livan Hernandez, sp, $18m, 2 years.
Jason Jennings, sp, $2.5m, 1 year.
Ray King, rp, $1m, 1 year.

Total increase: $19m in 2008.

Lineup:

1. Castillo, 2b
2. Lofton, cf
3. Zimmerman, 3b
4. Young/Johnson, 1b
5. Kearns, rf
6. Pena, lf
7. Guzman/Lopez, ss
8. Schneider/Flores, c

Bench: Church, Logan, Belliard

Rotation: Hernandez, Patterson, Hill, Bergman, Chico, Jennings (figuring at least one will be on the DL)

Bullpen: Schroder, King, Colome, Rauch, Cordero

Posted by: Bob L. Head | November 6, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Moving FLop should be a priority. If Guzman is back, you have Belliard, you can have a league average player backing up the infield. If you can't trade him, you non-tender him, he can go to the FA market and you free up 4-5 more million. There is no reason to pay Lopez 5M.

If you can get Livan for 2 years or less, do it. Glavine is a #4 pitcher making #1 money. I say money can be better spent.

Something is wrong with A Jones. I think he must be hurt. I would stay away from the big money he wants. Hunter will want too much and for too long. Those are guys you sign to get you over the top not to build. Bowden has been doing well at signing cast offs and projects. Rowand is worth a look if the contract terms are right.

If they truly have a plan, they should stick with it. If the plan is not to go nuts with bad contracts that kill you later, then you pretty much stand pat in the Winter and make a few prudent FA pick ups and draft like a mother. Raising payroll for the sake of raising payroll is not smart.

Posted by: Timmy B | November 6, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Easy NattyDelite - it is a long off-season!

The Guillen story and the salary story are not unrelated, of course. Very few of us can drop $19,000 on testosterone supplements. And yet I find myself saying things like . . . I can't believe we are only paying him half a million dollars.

I'm not so enamored with either Glavine or Livo - Pitching coaches exist to groom young pitchers. To their credit, they both have a history of taking the ball and picking-up a lot of innings. But how long will that really continue? Surely there are some "less-experienced" pitchers out there who also can be counted on for 185-200 innings a year.

But we should move in CF. Hunter, Jones, or Crisp would be nice additions. And despite his stronger second-half - I am not adverse to seeing Kearns moved especially given his salary.

Posted by: lowcountry | November 6, 2007 2:50 PM | Report abuse

What is wrong with A. Jones?

I would ask George Mitchell first.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | November 6, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Nice point BobLHead. Castillo could be nice. We do need a lead-off hitter.

Posted by: lowcountry | November 6, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Got it, Atlanta, you like Lincecum a lot. What do we have to give the Giants? What's Rowand want? 86 million for 8 years and a new pony? I know that the Phillies were floored when they tried to work out a long-term deal with him. Guillen - he and Matt Williams were getting HGH from the Palm Beach Rejuvenation Center. Matt was so popular that he now broadcasts Diamondback games. Guillen has never had that problem.

Posted by: flynnie | November 6, 2007 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm not defending steroids and HGH users, but Jose is one of those guys who had some injury issues and played through them. It is unclear to me from these reports whether any of these players were using presecriptions from doctors. If so, then I can't lay all the blame on the players. Especially prior to HGH becoming an illegal substance. Usage was widespread. Even with the Mitchell report we will be looking at the tip of the iceberg.

I finally saw that Build it Bigger show about the new stadium and was interested about the study on wind patterns that has the wind blowing in toward homeplate in the new stadium. I think it gives some hoe that Cordero will retain his value as a reliever sans RFK. Maybe its not time to trade Chad after all. Trade Lopez or maybe Church (although I'm curious how he will do at the new park). Maybe trade a couple of the B-Level Minors pitchers (e.g., Hinckley) if you can get somehthing for them. Sign a couple of minor free agents and bada bing, bada boom, pretty soon your talking 82 to 87 wins and maybe still in contention the last month of the year.

Posted by: NatBisquit | November 6, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

You guys are much better with specifics on which players to shuffle around for whom, and who fits into what hole. I love hearing all of it.

What I might add here is that whoever we get and by what means, I am becoming more and more trusting of the FO.

I have a feeling that whatever they do, I'm going to be impressed. They're shopping the hot-shots, which excites me. (Although Hunter and Glavine are the only ones I'd really shell out for). But I have full confidence that if we don't get any of the hot-shots, it's because the price was just too high and not a good move.

My increased trust in the FO is why, like NattyDelite!, I'm just as excited about the off-season. They're pretty much guaranteed to please and delight me.

Posted by: NatsNut | November 6, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

NatBisquit:

The thing is... they're already at 82 wins. They were a .500 team from May on... and yes, I agree, there's a reason that they play the whole season... but they were a qualitatively different team from that point on... So I take .500 as a floor for what they should do next year...

High expectations? Yes. But reasonable.

RE: Free agent pitchers --

The thing about Livo and Glavine is that we're not looking at them as saviors, but as role players in a larger plan - provide a veteran presence and some inning-eating skill in the rotation. If they are hurt or non-performers, there are prospects in the system that can take their place. The key will be what are they worth in terms of payroll.

Not saying you should do it... but, apparently we have $20 million burning a hole in our pocket.

(Stan, I didn't really mean that... just the premise of this post...)

Posted by: Wigi | November 6, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

As for Guillen? What disgusted me most were his quotes. He was all indignant, saying he'd never even considered it, it hurts the game, ruins your reputation, etc. etc. Barf.

And how bold-faced was it to have them delivered TO THE STADIUM??

Excellent point someone made earlier about Mitchell tipping off Red Sox if they're on the verge of signing or trading a dirty player.

Posted by: NatsNut | November 6, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

The way I see it the roster has 3 major needs: CF, leadoff hitter, veteran starting pitcher. There are 3 areas of depth (outfield, middle infield and the bullpen) but nothing too impressive to pull off some quality trades for aces like Johan Santana or Tim Lincecum.

That said I'd go after 3 players. 1) Glavine, he'd be expensive but seems like a perfect fit with "The Plan" to increase payroll but keep the focus on player development by not committing future year funding and by teaching our young starting pitchers which are aplenty. 2) Trade for Johnny Damon. He wouldn't cost us much in talent to give to the Yankees (maybe a bullpen arm and a prospect) and would provide a stopgap in center field until Maxwell or someone pushes him for the playing time. Plus this fills the huge hole in the leadoff spot in the order which may be much more important than center field. 3) Ray King, not expensive, would like to come back, improves bullpen situational use and is always a trade deadline asset.

These additions would leave a pretty decent lineup which would be more than competitive especially with the additions of previously injured players

1. Damon - CF
2. Johnson - 1B
3. Zimmerman - 3B
4. Pena - LF
5. Kearns - RF
6. Guzman - SS
7. Belliard - 2B
8. Schneider - C
9. Pitcher - P

Posted by: Gibby | November 6, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Concentrate on pitching! Sign both Livan and Glavine and have them mentor the junior members of the Nats pitching staff.

Posted by: Nats Fan | November 6, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

What would Damon cost? I'm still thinking Nick Johnson to an AL team for DH and two out of Rauch, Ayala, Rivera, and Schroder, are about all we have to offer outside of prospects. And they should be off limits.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | November 6, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Barry has another post. With grass news. No, not the Bill Lee kind, sillies...

Posted by: natsfan1a | November 6, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

pitching pitching pitching and pitching

Posted by: Jim Bowden | November 6, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure I want Livo back. When the old guys left last offseason, people talked about the new atmosphere in the clubhouse. Maybe that was mostly the Joses, but I wonder if Livo was part of that too. Also, I'd like to hear someone from the organization speak to Livo's ability to nuture young pithers. He was in that role here not too long ago, after all. Personally, I think Glavine could bring more in the 'coach on the field' aspect, but maybe I'm off base.

Barry?

Posted by: formerly 428 | November 6, 2007 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Dejame dicirte que yo soy un picher barbaro que puede ayudar el futuro de so equipo. Yo quiero jugar por los nacionales. Dame el chance and mira lo que voy a hacer. Yo puedo ayudar a los jovences. Ustedes me necesitan!

Posted by: Livo | November 6, 2007 4:43 PM | Report abuse

translation, please?

Posted by: Anonymous | November 6, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Oh. Sorry, was typing in Spanish. Let me tell you I'm a really good pitcher who can have a positive impact on future of your team. Give me a chance and see what I can do. I can help the young pitchers. You could use my services!

Posted by: Livo | November 6, 2007 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Nice post, Barry, and some good work by BobLHead. I kind of hope that some of the big names being floated are a bit of due diligence and smoke screen. I would like to see a RH platoon guy pairing with Church, and would want to see who is cut loose among non-tenders and minor league FAs. Out of our arbitration guys, I seriously think about non-tendering Lopez.

In addition to Castillo, I'd kick the tires on Eckstein, a career .350 OBP guy. MLB4U lists him at 3 years, $18 million. I'm a skeptic on Guzman since his numbers last year were so far out of line with what he's done in the past, but I do not believe he is tradeable. I think Eckstein could play 2d, and Belliard a backup if Guzman holds his job. If Guzman cools, Eckstein can play short and Belliard 2d.

I'd spend the money on signing Zimmerman long term and bringing in a healthy starter who can give you innings (Livo, perhaps, but even he seems expensive).

Posted by: jon | November 6, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

You've got my vote, Livo!

---

Oh. Sorry, was typing in Spanish. Let me tell you I'm a really good pitcher who can have a positive impact on future of your team. Give me a chance and see what I can do. I can help the young pitchers. You could use my services!

Posted by: Anonymous | November 6, 2007 5:36 PM | Report abuse

For money calculation, $1-2 million for CF platoon guy, $6 million for Castillo/ Eckstein, $10 million on a starting pitcher or two, and subtract $5 million for non-tendering FLop. That's about $13 million net, leaving up to $7 million a Zimmerman extension. I hold go light on the middle infield upgrade if I don't have enough money to get Zimmerman signed.

Posted by: jon | November 6, 2007 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Section 506 (Before moving).....Dumping FICK is not just because but rather because he has he is washed up and makes incredible poor base running decisions.
Nats could spend almost $1 million much better....plus Nats owe fans something for keeping Fick on the filed for almost 200 AB's with 2 HR's and less than 20 RBI's. Face it he sucks and Nats never again should keep someone who brings so little to the table. 2007 is over thank goodness and it is time to upgrade not stay still!

Posted by: JayB | November 6, 2007 6:32 PM | Report abuse

They should take a shot at Bartolo Colon. If not, Livo might do. They must trade Lopez, get rid of Logan and Langerhans, and, if Johnson's healthy, trade Dmitri.

Posted by: Mary | November 6, 2007 6:33 PM | Report abuse

They should take a shot at Bartolo Colon. If not, Livo might do. They must trade Lopez, get rid of Logan and Langerhans, and, if Johnson's healthy, trade Dmitri.

Posted by: Mary | November 6, 2007 6:37 PM | Report abuse

i can't see jennings getting signed for 2.5m. there's too much competition for him. nor could i see lofton considering the nats. he's going to want to go to a contender, methinks.

Posted by: other 506 | November 6, 2007 6:50 PM | Report abuse

What about getting Miguel Cabrera (age 24) for some of our young pitching (at a fat-guy discount rate) and then moving Zimmerman to SS? A little out-of-the-box thinking would add a lot of pop immediately.

Posted by: Eric | November 7, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

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