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Lo Duca a losing battle?

Toronto has been in on Paul Lo Duca all week, and now there is a report from the New York Post saying he's close to signing with the Blue Jays. Just ran through the lobby and called a couple folks, and the consensus is he signs with Toronto.

However, the report that he might get $2.5 million appears like it's not correct. One person said he could indeed end up with a year for $5 million. This could be sorted out in the next few hours. Jim Bowden, at his press briefing, said he still would prefer to trade for a catcher, because the player he would trade for would help them long-term. Free agency, in this case, would serve the short term. So we could be back at Damian Miller, etc.

One more thing: The Nationals are in negotiations with the Japanese lefty Katsuhiko Maekawa, who we discussed in the notebook this morning. They had meetings today. Both sides said nothing is imminent, and there are still other teams involved. There's also an outside chance it could happen late tonight.

Time to hack for the $.35 edition.

By Barry Svrluga  |  December 5, 2007; 6:39 PM ET
 
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Next: Is Paul Lo Duca worth this much discussion?

Comments

Good

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

riddance

Posted by: Anonymous | December 5, 2007 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Why would you trade for a player who you think has been hurt due to a bad clubhouse and then sign the leader of that bad clubhouse. Lo Duca is a decent player, but not good if you want to start Lastings with a clean slate.

Posted by: BT | December 5, 2007 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Blue Jays??

I thought Ricciardi was a smart guy. Who knew?

Posted by: Hendo | December 5, 2007 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Oh well. Now get serious about going after Montero.

Posted by: LA Nats | December 5, 2007 6:47 PM | Report abuse

But is it true? The Jays are reportedly offering a 1 year 2.5M deal. If the Nats really want them they can beat that and still be way under the initial asking price of $5M.

Posted by: NatBisquit | December 5, 2007 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Good news. Sure hope it is true. Would like to go for a younger catcher with better defensive skills. Doesn't have to be a high average guy, but someone who can draw a walk better than LoDuca would help. How about a LH hitter to eventually platoon with Flores?

Posted by: EdDC | December 5, 2007 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Oh please oh please oh please oh please!

Posted by: Atlanta | December 5, 2007 6:50 PM | Report abuse

"Now get serious about going after Montero."

LA Nats, you're singin' my song.

Posted by: Hendo | December 5, 2007 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Everyone seems to be awfully excited for a player they've seen very little of in Montero. I like the youth and left handed bat, but if we already have a catcher of the future it might just be better to go after a guy who gives you a quick backup like miller.

That being said, i never liked the loduca idea much, too much money for a guy who probably wont help much.

What about a guy like laird out of texas though? could get him for the rest of his contract, let flores start in AAA for more experience, less pressure, familiarity with young pitchers and then bring flores up next year.

Posted by: VT Nats Fan | December 5, 2007 6:58 PM | Report abuse

It was thought that Lo Duca was one of the guys involved in the "Know your place, rook" note that was left in Milledge's locker so I don't see the logic in bringing him in to further distress Milledge.

Posted by: ZRunner | December 5, 2007 7:03 PM | Report abuse

How about a LH hitter to eventually platoon with Flores?
Posted by: EdDC | December 5, 2007 06:49 PM

----------------------

That's Miguel Montero -- lefty bat with some pop and not a bad catcher. He's young (24), but at this point, why not roll the dice with a couple young guys behind the plate? They can't play any worse than Miller or Estrada -- the only other FA catchers, if the Jays get LoDuca.

Posted by: LA Nats | December 5, 2007 7:04 PM | Report abuse

I think it is safe to assume that we're probably going to see Flores most of the year... He's going to be better than most of the people they'd trade or bid for. Montero is the right choice, even with not knowing that much about him. It is in harmony with "The Plan."

The whole catcher thing isn't near as much fun as the other eight positions. Get it done, and lets move on to the good stuff.

Posted by: Wigi | December 5, 2007 7:04 PM | Report abuse

From the Globe:

We should know something by the time we leave the meetings," general manager J.P. Ricciardi said Wednesday - adding that contrary to various online reports, he was not leaving Nashville until 5:30 p.m. Thursday as opposed to later Wednesday night.

Lo Duca has also piqued the interest of the Washington Nationals, who might be able to give him more playing time than the Blue Jays. Thing is, the Nationals have a highly-touted catching prospect in Jesus Flores and if he's ready to play 110 games he'll play 110 games. Lo Duca has indicated the Blue Jays are his first choice.

Posted by: NatBisquit | December 5, 2007 7:06 PM | Report abuse

I guess we really don't have a minor league catcher worth warm spit since no one has even breathed a word of bringing one up. Any other Rule 5 catchers out there?

Posted by: Dale | December 5, 2007 7:08 PM | Report abuse

I think even if you get Montero you still bring Damian Miller to Spring Training with you. That way the Nats can start Flores in AAA if needbe and if not

Posted by: JPEasy | December 5, 2007 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Out of the box thinking. If the Nats wanted to spend $13M they might be able to take Pudge off the hands of the Tigers and then pick up a couple of draft picks when he walks in free agency. It seems HIGHLY unlikely, but I bet he could be had for way less than market value in terms of trade value.

Posted by: NatBisquit | December 5, 2007 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Montero has a bit better-looking upside than Laird.

That said, dunno what the Nats would have to offer for either. Colome-plus would be my guess.

Posted by: Hendo | December 5, 2007 7:12 PM | Report abuse

I hope Nats can match that offer from Jays..

Posted by: Jb | December 5, 2007 7:16 PM | Report abuse

NatBisquit sayeth:

"Out of the box thinking. If the Nats wanted to spend $13M they might be able to take Pudge off the hands of the Tigers and then pick up a couple of draft picks when he walks in free agency. It seems HIGHLY unlikely, but I bet he could be had for way less than market value in terms of trade value."

You're channeling Bowden... Only one problem... would Pudge get enough playing time next year to be a Type A Free Agent??

Posted by: Anonymous | December 5, 2007 7:19 PM | Report abuse

(that was me)

Posted by: Wigi | December 5, 2007 7:20 PM | Report abuse

NatBisquit quoth:

"'Lo Duca has indicated the Blue Jays are his first choice.'"

That's OK, Paul, you're not our first choice, either.

Posted by: Wigi | December 5, 2007 7:23 PM | Report abuse

So this Montero guy was a .224/.292/.397 performer last year in 84 games. It would be nice to get a little more production out of the catcher. Perhaps Ramon Hernandez is the most reasonable trade target. He would probably cost something we don't want to pay though.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 5, 2007 7:26 PM | Report abuse

VT Nats Fan, does Texas want to part with Laird? If so, I'd much rather have him than Miller, Estrada or LoDuca. It could see paying his salary for a year or two while Flores develops.

On the other hand, if we get Montero, as you say we have two catchers of the future, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. If one washes out, we have a spare. If they both develop, we find ourselves in the same position the Braves were in last year with McCann and Saltalamacchia and we should be able to get a nice player for one of them in a deal.

Posted by: LA Nats | December 5, 2007 7:27 PM | Report abuse

I cannot believe the D'Backs would trade Montero. He's a 24 year old LH hitting catcher. The price would be very steep indeed. Do we want to give up Rauch or Kearns for him? It would take at least that much. That seems a high price to pay when most of you think the Nats already have their future catcher on the roster in Flores. Unless.... You actually don't think he's that good.

In July when Flores is hitting .215 and Miller .154, we'll all be checking the Blue Jays stats longingly.

Posted by: #4 | December 5, 2007 7:35 PM | Report abuse

I'd really like to see Montero. We're back to the fact that the young studs on the mound won't generally arrive until '09 or '10. Having two young catchers feeding off of each other and developing, while providing PAs for both will, one would hope, provide a very good read on which one will become the team leader.

With a young kid behind the plate, we can assume that pitches will be called from the dugout. I'll miss the catcher calling his own game, but that seems to be the way of the world.

Oddly enough, this whole process puts even more pressure for the Nats to come up with a leadoff hitter. With two kids behind the plate, you are, effectively saying that all of your runs will need to come from 1 - 7. Even if one of the two develops as an offensive threat, it won't be for at least another year. If you are going to hope that you can get a catcher who can hit at about .250, the need for a whole bunch of "middle of the lineup" hitters becomes even more extreme. Is it possible that Milledge has enough plate discipline to lead off?

This whole thing also puts severe limits on what you can do in middle infield. It will be a disaster to pick up a banjo hitting SS, who has all sorts of range. Maybe it's time to see if you can come home again. Manny Burriss, where are you?

Posted by: Catcher50 | December 5, 2007 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Right on wigi! This catcher stuff is boring. Bring up Ivany. Excellent defensive catcher to relieve Flores. LoDuca offers nothing that the Nats need.
I'm sick and tired of hearing his name.
Then ,let's move on. How about Cain or Lincecum, maybe a Hu. Sure, for either of the first two we would need to give up something significant, but they are young enoughto fit into "the plan".

Posted by: natspo | December 5, 2007 7:48 PM | Report abuse

natspo, you are wrong, wrong, wrong! The guy wearing the tools of intelligence is never boring. Everything revolves around the guy behind the plate.

By the way, the lights work on the right side of the field. Don't see much on the left side. They were supposed to light a Christmas tree, Kwanzaa candles, and a Chanukeah. What happened? Are they in the press box? Oh, wait, it's December, why is it cold? Maybe we'll just move indoors.

Posted by: Catcher50 | December 5, 2007 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Time to move Zimmerman to short. He plays the position half the time anyhow. El Jugador, Lopez,(I will not call him Flop-he is too good) can play 2d or 3rd. Maybe Belliard can catch. He damn sure can play 2d. I love Flores. His demeanor, his face, the way he hits clutchy. He will just get better with regular playing time.

Posted by: flynnie | December 5, 2007 8:03 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the Nats have anything that would bring Cain or Lincecum.

The Giants need an established power bat and the Nats don't have any of those.

Montero seems to be the best option left, depending on the price. If the price is too steep, then sign Miller and let Flores play 100+ games.

Posted by: SavedByZero | December 5, 2007 8:11 PM | Report abuse

The guy wearing the tools of intelligence is never boring. Everything revolves around the guy behind the plate.
--------------------------------------------
True indeed my friend.

Maybe we could pick up a freshly retired vet for the right price to help the kiddies mature along. If there's a guy out there who can call a good game and act as a second pitching coach then i dont care if they rename the mendoza line after him.

Maybe a guy like ausmus. He might not want to leave houston for too long because there's talk of him managing in that system, but if he's still in moderate playing shape maybe he's listening a bit? What about one of the molina brotehers? one of them has to be a free agent right?

Posted by: VT Nats Fan | December 5, 2007 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Off topic, but check out the stadium webcam.

http://clarkconstruction.oxblue.com/clarkhuntsmoot/

Pretty sweet!

Posted by: Woah | December 5, 2007 8:20 PM | Report abuse

i'm sure montero is expensive. i can't imagine what they are asking for.

i'd think milledge could leadoff. more likely we'll see guzman/lopez at the top again though. i'd love to see milledge/dukes hit 1-2 by end of season though. even more i'd like to see zimmerman hitting 2nd.

it would be crazy but moving zimmerman to short would fast track this team.

Posted by: longterm | December 5, 2007 8:22 PM | Report abuse

LoDuca will start beef in d.c., he doesn't like minority ball players, as evidenced by the many times he ripped the mets' clubhouse, this guy ripped his manager who is black, his hispanic g.m., and predominantly hispanic teammates. Also the nats would be better off if they traded for hernandez from baltimore to play catcher, he could handle the latino pitchers well and comminicate well with the american ones. Also Im hoping there could be a hip-hop all-star rap song with portis, mike sellers (aka t-pain), dukes, milledge, logan, young, and kasten.

Holla.

One.

Posted by: Young M.C. | December 5, 2007 8:23 PM | Report abuse

what we need is some eastern motors representation in their commercials.

i really hope we don't have a stupid stadium name. i'm 99% sure it's gonna be something like "Heroes of Operation Freedom Field"

Posted by: longterm | December 5, 2007 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Catcher50, are you available??

---

The guy wearing the tools of intelligence is never boring. Everything revolves around the guy behind the plate.

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 5, 2007 8:27 PM | Report abuse

To play for the Nats, I meant...

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 5, 2007 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Lovely and pristine, it is. Let it snow...

---

Off topic, but check out the stadium webcam.

http://clarkconstruction.oxblue.com/clarkhuntsmoot/

Pretty sweet!

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 5, 2007 8:30 PM | Report abuse

natsfan, I have to agree! though it should never snow during baseball, something about that stadium in the snow is so endearing.

Posted by: Atlanta | December 5, 2007 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Why not? last year they came from the 3 through 4 hitters.
************
Oddly enough, this whole process puts even more pressure for the Nats to come up with a leadoff hitter. With two kids behind the plate, you are, effectively saying that all of your runs will need to come from 1 - 7.

Posted by: Catcher50 | December 5, 2007 07:47 PM

Posted by: csnark again | December 5, 2007 8:47 PM | Report abuse

"Kiss My Bumper, Just Kiss It!" field.

Posted by: flynnie | December 5, 2007 8:50 PM | Report abuse

new post

Posted by: ce | December 5, 2007 9:05 PM | Report abuse

from espn...

9:12 p.m., from Enrique Rojas • The Nationals and outfielder Wily Mo Pena have reached a preliminary agreement for a two-year, $7 million contract extension, according to sources. Pena, 25, will get $2 million in 2008 and $5 million in 2009. He had the option of arbitration this year and could have become a free agent after the '08 season.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 5, 2007 9:26 PM | Report abuse

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