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Don't take your eye off Lo Duca

Just got out of the annual media-and-managers lunch. Broke bread with Manny Acta. Pleasant.

But the news: Still working on Lo Duca, as are the Nats. For a point-by-point breakdown of my misguided off-the-cuff analysis, please see Chris at Capitol Punishment.

Trivia: Who had more RBI last year, Lo Duca or Brian Schneider?

Also: Buster Olney at ESPN has the Nationals as one of three teams interested in Aaron Boone. I was talking with Bob Boone about this possibility late last night, and he was quite coy/didn't know yet. We'll see how that develops too.

Off to the lobby. I'll also be on "Washington Post Live" at 5:35 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet. Maybe we'll have a Tyler Clippard announcement by then. Maybe.

By Barry Svrluga  |  December 5, 2007; 3:01 PM ET
 
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Next: Pre-meeting thoughts

Comments

If the Nats sign Aaron Boone you can kiss Felipe Lopez goodbye. I don't see that as a big loss although I think they should hang onto Kerns. Is Dukes ready to start yet? Dooubtful in my opinion.

Posted by: NatsFanOne | December 5, 2007 3:07 PM | Report abuse

LurkerNowPoster may not like this. She hasn't like Aaron "F." Boone since the homer in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS.

Posted by: Georgetowner | December 5, 2007 3:08 PM | Report abuse

No + Lo Duca = No Duca

Posted by: No Duca | December 5, 2007 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm guessing we would want Boone to fill Fick's shoes as an off-the-bench utility guy, right? Otherwise, where else would we use him?

Posted by: Dupont | December 5, 2007 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Barry, if the Nats get Aaron Boone will the Post print his middle name? You know, the one beginning with F? The Post does have a history of revealing the middle names of newsmakers to its readership. For example, I didn't know what Fred Thompson's middle name was until the Post constantly started referring to him as Fred Dalton Thompson in articles last summer. And if you find Boone's middle name offensive, in the grand Post tradition you could always call him Aaron [expletive deleted] Boone. That would work too.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | December 5, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Hey, speaking of Bob Boone, you think he's interested in back stopping?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 5, 2007 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Says Baseball Reference, A. Boone's middle name is John.

John?

alan

Posted by: amb141 | December 5, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Reposting from the last thread, ESJ's comment about suing over Nick Johnson's leg reminded me of something. Does anyone know if the Nats have changed their medical personel for next year? They were woefully underprepared last year, and they have had more botched surgeries than any organization I've ever seen. A change in this area could be more important than any trade they make.

Posted by: #4 | December 5, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

{reposting}

ugh and more ugh. i present the 2009 free agents:

Second Basemen
Jamey Carroll * COL
Ray Durham SF
Mark Ellis OAK
Marcus Giles SD
Mark Grudzielanek KC
Orlando Hudson ARZ
Jeff Kent LAD
Felipe Lopez WAS
D'Angelo Jimenez WAS
Pablo Ozuna * CWS
Nick Punto MIN
Jose Valentin NYM
Jose Vidro * SEA

Shortstops
Orlando Cabrera LAA
Alex Cintron CWS
Alex Cora BOS
Craig Counsell * MIL
Adam Everett HOU
Rafael Furcal LAD
Cristian Guzman WAS
Cesar Izturis PIT
Ramon Martinez LAD
Edgar Renteria * DET
Juan Uribe CWS

not only do they all look pitiful. but our starting middle infield is here also.

Posted by: longterm | December 5, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Forgive me for being a little OT here, but if you want an example of why it's great to have a team with excellent character, check out Ivan Carter's story "Touching moment at Verizon Center today" over at blog.washingtonpost.com/wizardsinsider


Posted by: joebleux | December 5, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Also....isn't Aaron Boone a 3B? Why would Felipe be gone if the Nats sign him? Bret Boone is the 2B, no? Or am I confusing my Boones?

Posted by: #4 | December 5, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Technically, I believe that would be Aaron [RF] Boone in NJ parlance.

---

Aaron [expletive deleted] Boone.

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 5, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Former Reds fan here but I really would like to see Aaron Boone on the Nats. Class guy, one of my favorite players ever, and he got many a game winning hit in Cincinnati prior to the one that Red Sox Nation remembers in pinstripes. A total personal assessment -- I couldn't break it down in OBP or what position he will play -- but he's a guy that you really root for when he's on your side.

Posted by: Ray | December 5, 2007 3:34 PM | Report abuse

amb, it's a reference to *my* middle name...

---

Says Baseball Reference, A. Boone's middle name is John.

John?

Posted by: Bucky Dent | December 5, 2007 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Also....isn't Aaron Boone a 3B? Why would Felipe be gone if the Nats sign him? Bret Boone is the 2B, no? Or am I confusing my Boones?

Posted by: #4 | December 5, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Hey #4 - you said that already!

And you're correct. Aaron = 3B, Bret = 2B...though both have dabbled in other positions, Aaron more than Bret. Whoever mentioned that he'd be the Fick replacement is probably right as ABoone has played all four IF positions at some point in his career.

Posted by: DE | December 5, 2007 3:43 PM | Report abuse

You refreshing again #4??
;)

Posted by: NatsNut | December 5, 2007 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Boone's middle name is "Bleeping."

Posted by: Yaz's Mom | December 5, 2007 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Please accept my apologies. I'll take whatever punishment is handed out by the NJ kangaroo court, His Honor Judge Hendo presiding. I'm posting from a BlackBerry for the first time today, and I'm basically a Luddite.

Posted by: #4 | December 5, 2007 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I don't see how Boone fits. He's played 22 career games at second, and only one since 2003. He hasn't played shortstop at all since 2003, and only then for five games. He can play first, and he can still hit, but the Nats need middle infielders, not corner infielders.

I think it's pretty clear that Lo Duca is garbage. But if we don't get that kid from Arizona (who I would love to land), he'll be a good enough alternative. Just don't give him multiple years.

Posted by: BRM | December 5, 2007 3:47 PM | Report abuse

If you dump Lopez to sign Boone, you'd better pray that Guzman never gets a hangnail, much less a serious injury. You might as well play Dmitri at short.

Posted by: pondaz | December 5, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Boone has played both 2nd and 3rd. If he is signed he will fill a utility infielder role with Guzman and Belliard as the starters. Thats why it makes Felipe Loez expendable. The Nats website even called Lopez exependable.

Posted by: NatsFanOne | December 5, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

All you bandwagon Red Sox fans please stop posting here about Boone, this is a Nats blog. Please take your pink hats and go check out SOSH. Thanks!

Posted by: Sox go home | December 5, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Boone is more of a Fick/Batista replacement. He won't be the trigger that gets FLop traded. I believe I remember Boone being praised for his leadership with the Marlins last year. He also plays 1B.

Posted by: NatBisquit | December 5, 2007 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Longterm's point about how our starting middle infield will be free agents next year gives me an excuse to repeat that the MI we should be targeting is preferably a "fella" (OK in this context) who is in high minors and could take over in late 2008 or 2009. I don't think we lock up either Guzman or Lopez before the season if we keep them, and if they have good seasons, then they are likely to want to test the market, anyway. Belliard I think is serviceable.

For plan B, I would not mind signing Eckstein and releasing Felipe. The money saved ($5 million estimated arbitration award) goes a long way to the $6 million /yr or so Eckstein will eventually get (he's asking 3 yrs $8 million but has found no buyers). I'd even be interested in Eckstein along with the prospect if the prospect is a SS, figuring Eckstein could slide over to 2d where he belongs.

Finally, if a deal could be cut for Peralta (allowing Asdrubal to moveback to SS, his natural position), I'd do that, too. how about Belliard + Kearns for Peralta and Lee?

Posted by: jon | December 5, 2007 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Nice, ironic title for this post, Barry! You had me laughing out loud.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | December 5, 2007 4:03 PM | Report abuse

flopez only becomes expendable when you have backups at *BOTH* 2B and SS.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 5, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

#4: Case dismissed, provided the accused alleged Luddite promises not to try to roll paper out of the BlackBerry, or change the ribbon, etc.

(Apologies to those born after the demise of the mechanical typewriter.)

Posted by: Hendo | December 5, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

we love toolsy upsiders with zippy experience and we love aging vets who work harder than anyone actually playing just so they can still wear the uniform. i think manny deserves another raise.

by the way, i love the dig at pink hatters...

Posted by: longterm | December 5, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

This is not the first mention of Aaron Boone. I read Barry's 'coy' as 'heading down that path very quickly'.

I sure hope we get this catcher thing worked out soon. I guess LoDuca would be OK, but he's NOT on my christmas list.

Posted by: Wigi | December 5, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

more rob neyer on the royals signing jose guillen...

==

Yesterday I wrote about the Royals signing Jose Guillen, and I did my best to keep my emotions in check (which is exactly the wrong thing for a "blogger" to do, but that's a discussion for another time and place). What do I think about the deal, really? Here's my longer take (with Rany Jazayerli) (http://www.robneyer.com/robrany.html) and here's Joe Posnanski's take (http://www.kansascity.com/sports/royals/story/389748.html) (which is about the same as mine, but written with more verve and includes a little story about me, Bill James and Kevin McReynolds). Bottom line: I wish the Royals had saved their money, and spent it on draft picks, and on locking up homegrown players with long-term deals.

==

sound familiar?

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 5, 2007 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Trivia Answer:

Trick question. Lo Duca and Schneider tied with 54 each.

Interestingly, Estrada had 54 as well.

And no, I don't want him either.

Posted by: WebberDC | December 5, 2007 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Minor league free agent Bobby Scales as a utility bench player is a better and cheaper alternative. He's a offensive minded player with some speed (14/16 SB),good OBP & SLG and is a switch-hitter who can play 3B,2B,1B,LF,CF.

Posted by: Louis J. | December 5, 2007 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I said it before--not LoDuca, please. Too expensive, lose a draft pick, I think, and not good defensively. Hey, it's true, in a bad year offensively, and fewer at bats, Schneider had just as many RBI's.
Cain for Rios--sounds reasonable. How about Cain for Kearns, Lopez, and Cordero (or Ballister)

Posted by: Natspo | December 5, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

The problem with keeping the Boones unconfused is that there are so many of them. Maybe if we pick up Ray (who was, I think, a 1B/C for the Tigers in the 40s). Oops, think he died.

There is also, I think a previous generation who played pro-ball (don't think he made the majors) in the 1920s.

That's four generations and with some on the field and some in FO positions, it's ridiculous.

Posted by: Catcher50 | December 5, 2007 4:19 PM | Report abuse

"lose a draft pick, I think"

No draft pick would be lost if he was signed. Lo Duca was a type B free agent so it's a 1st round compensation round pick (#31-60ish). However, the Mets decline Lo Duca arbitration so the pick debate is not necessary. The Mets will not get a pick for Lo Duca.

Posted by: Brian | December 5, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

jose guillen was taking HGH while here in washington...and still complained every day about RFK...what a dope

Posted by: love | December 5, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

"jose guillen was taking HGH while here in washington...and still complained every day about RFK...what a dope"

The pun of the day award goes to love!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 5, 2007 4:26 PM | Report abuse

How about bulk prices on Human Maturity Hormone? Oh, if only it were that easy.

***************
Jose guillen was taking HGH while here in washington...and still complained every day about RFK...what a dope
Posted by: love | December 5, 2007 04:23 PM

Posted by: Cevans | December 5, 2007 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for your merciful decision Judge Hendo. Nothing alleged though about this Luddite.

The more I think about Eckstein the more I like it. I know everyone is enamored with making the team younger for good reason. However this team needs some veteran leadership and right now all they have is Dmitri. Talk about a guy who plays the game the right way and leads by example. Eckstein would also be able to play both 2B and SS. I say go for it.

Lastly, I would ask all of you to think about the Lo Duca signing this way. What if the trade had been Church and Schneider for Milledge and Lo Duca? That's basically the way it would turn out. To me that's a great trade.

Posted by: #4 | December 5, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Why are we sniffing around Paul Lo Duca? Are there no Molina brothers available?

Posted by: LA Nats | December 5, 2007 4:31 PM | Report abuse

OK, I'm not defending steroids or HGH or even Jose Guillen, but I sure did enjoy watching him play and lest anyone forget he absolutely wrecked his arm and shoulder (and I recall leg too?) playing hard for the Nats. In fact he stayed on the field longer than any reasonable player would have done. So yes he was a dope and yes he broke the rules, and yes he was apparently a difficult teammate, but I'm just saying. He was also finding a way to stay on the field. I respect his efforts just not his methods.

Posted by: NatBisquit | December 5, 2007 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Minor league FA SS Tony Granadillo would be a fine pickup as well. He played in Boston's A+ and AA system last year and hit a combined: .326/.410/.489 with 8 HR's, 7 3B's and 39 2B's in only 472 AB's. Plus, he's only 23 years old! Sign him, put him in Columbus and hope he can take over in '09.

My two cents on the catcher thing ... stay away from Lo Duca. A 36 year old catcher that can't play defense and can't run and can't hit right handed pitching? No thanks. Not even for one season. And Michael Barrett??? NO! He's even worse than Lo Duca behind the plate:

Lo Duca: .989 FPCT, 9 errors, 2 PB's, 23% CS
Barrett: .991 FPCT, 6 errors, 12 PB's(!), 16% CS (!)

With our young pitching staff, we need to either get a young, left-handed hitting catcher than can grow with the pitchers, or a veteran catcher that can play solid defense. Lo Duca and Barrett meet neither of these needs.

Posted by: e | December 5, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

"Lastly, I would ask all of you to think about the Lo Duca signing this way. What if the trade had been Church and Schneider for Milledge and Lo Duca? That's basically the way it would turn out. To me that's a great trade."

But that's not the way I view it. I view it as Church and Schneider for Milledge and the ability to identify the best catching option for the Nationals in 2008 and forward. In a trade, the team is locked into the players and viewing it as "this" for "that" makes sense. In this case, the Nationals have the ability to get a better catcher than Lo Duca and I would hope they pursue the best option. And in my opinion, Lo Duca is not the best option for the Nationals in 2008 and forward.

Posted by: Brian | December 5, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

NatsBisquit,

Thank you for your Jose Guillen post. Something that's not discussed much is that a lot of the steroid use is done by guys so they can play through injury. It's still against the rules, and I don't condone it. Nevertheless, I have a little more sympathy for a guy in that situation.

Posted by: #4 | December 5, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

The allegation, though, is that Guillen has used steroids his entire career. Ballplayers are always injured, it's a long season. That doesn't give him any right to have a leg up on other people.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 5, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Orlando Hudson is a free agent until next year, and he's due for about $5M this year, I think.
That said, I spent a fair bit of time in Phx this year, so I got to see him, and he WILL get on Baseball Tonight with regularity. High energy, great range, seems like a good clubhouse guy, switch hitter, strikes out some, very little power (10 hr/>500AB), but will hit near .300/.375/.450. Coming off surgery on his glove hand, said to be on target for spring training.
Would Dbacks take Lopez + one reliever, and throw in one middling prospect? Dunno.

Posted by: cevans | December 5, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

The challenge was to find trades for middle infileders, but the FA angle is worth noting.

I still favor no more trades, except at the minor league level. But

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 5, 2007 4:51 PM | Report abuse

The D'backs will never trade the O dog for Felipe Lopez and any combination of players,only maybe if Zim were included. I too spend a lot of time in AZ, and Hudson is seen along with Eric Byrnes as the glue to that team.

Posted by: #4 | December 5, 2007 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Eckstein probably wants the four years/$36M Julio Lugo already got, and I don't blame him. Too rich for my tastes, this year, this team.

Posted by: cevans | December 5, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Illeagal steroid and HGH use is wrong. Whether there are good intentions or not. No ambiguity there from my perspective. I simply note that Jose Guillen played hard, worked hard, and endured a great deal of pain to deliver the goods for the Nationals. I really enjoyed watching him play. I cheered. I sang along (Jose, Jose, Jose, Jose, ...., Jose). I saw the throw that ended his season. My own arthritis in my own old sports injuries hurt just thinking about it. (Especially today in the cold). While it is very easy to view Guillen as an example of a clubhouse problem, I am still sympathetic to the guy.

Posted by: NatBisquit | December 5, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

maybe that's why guillen was agro all the time.

we need some more of those Arizona prospects. they're loaded over there (thanks in part to our very own Mike Rizzo...)

Posted by: longterm | December 5, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

OK, just hear me out: Pokey Reese.

Last I heard he was cut by the Marlins (almost 3 years ago) for wandering off in his pajamas, more or less. So he should be available, and really inexpensive; just white out the name and dates on Dmitri's old contract.
Ex-Red, so attractive to JBow? Check.
Good glove (then), which is what you need in a defensive replacement.

Posted by: No name, you'll make fun of me | December 5, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

heck, I think Royce Clayton is available ...

Posted by: e | December 5, 2007 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Barry has a new post. He's a busy guy this week.

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 5, 2007 6:42 PM | Report abuse

The nats should try to get Figgins or Kendrick from the Angels to play 3B, then sign LaTory Hawkins for bullpen help, hire cito gaston as hitting coach, and play more hip=hop during pregame, post-game, and 7th inning stretch. Hopefully they hook a brotha up at the new park and serve some soul food, ya feel me? HOLLA.

Posted by: Young M.C. | December 5, 2007 8:45 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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