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Lo Duca to the forefront?

Well, I wrote this whole story on the Nationals' catching situation that appeared in the $.35 edition, and some late-night lobby trolling revealed something that's slightly different than what's in the story: The Nationals believe they are truly in the running for Paul Lo Duca.

Read the story - which says the first option is to trade for a left-handed hitting long-term project, Arizona's Miguel Montero - and then scroll down. Lo Duca would still be Plan B - a free agent signing that would only help in the short-term - but he would certainly be sexier than Damian Miller, who folks told me yesterday appeared to be the fall-back.

Lo Duca is an accomplished hitter and, as one official told me last night, "a gamer." Though his defensive skills have dwindled - or were never that good - he would add some punch to the lineup with quality at-bats.

The key here, as with all free agent dealings concerning the Nationals, is that they won't overpay. The thought is a one-year deal, and though my story says he could get $5 million a year - apparently the number Lo Duca's side was throwing around - officials from some teams were skeptical he would cost that much.

I'll get on this right now. Lobby very quiet. I'm having BlackBerry issues, which pretty much cripples you here. Will try to get those resolved and get back to you.

Also: You must read Boz on Elijah Dukes.

Also, Part 2: You might want to keep an eye on the stadium camera today. At 2:30 p.m., they're having a light-the-ballpark event. Ryan Zimmerman will be in town.

By Barry Svrluga  |  December 5, 2007; 10:55 AM ET
 
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Next: Don't take your eye off Lo Duca

Comments

Keep the updates coming, Barry.

I've always liked PLD and think he would be a nice complement to Flores and add some pop to the lineup. Let's hope that works out.

Posted by: Alan | December 5, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

As long as the price is reasonable, it would be a good one year deal. I watched him on TV a lot and he appears to do reasonably well calling games and handling pitchers.

Posted by: A Hardwick | December 5, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I couldn't figure out why the Mets had absolutely no intention of keeping LoDuca. Seemed like they know something we don't.

As for Montero, I think it's interesting he was the regular catcher for Livan Hernandez in 2007. Maybe its part of a plan to bring them both into the fold.

Posted by: GoNats | December 5, 2007 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Although he's not a LH hitter they need, LoDuca would be a great pick up in many ways. He's he type of veteran presence behind the dish that they lost when the traded #23. Given the questionable character that they've picked up so far, although I think the stuff about Milledge is overblown, I like the balance this provides.

Posted by: #4 | December 5, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

C'mon in Lo Duca, the water's fine.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 5, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

What I like about the prospect of acquiring LoDuca is the idea of having a catcher from a division rival. When we sent Schneider to the Mets, we sent a lot of intelligence regarding our pitching squad along with him. It'd be nice to get some of that back in return.

Posted by: John in Mpls | December 5, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

In the spirit of the season, put the picture of Smiling Dmitry, Comeback Player of the Year - The Yule Log - back up on the gateway to this site. Take down that awful picture of Elijah Dukes - although I suppose it is in the spirit of the season in that never did a man look more in need of redemption, a cup of coffee.

Posted by: flynnie | December 5, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

when i first opened up the webcam for the stadium, i thought "why is there a black and white photo up?" then i realized it's snowing outside.

wonder if loduca would even consider a 1 yr contract instead of wanting 2-3...

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 5, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

"I couldn't figure out why the Mets had absolutely no intention of keeping LoDuca."

GoNats, the answer is the same reason the NJ fans have written off Nook Logan and Felipe Lopez: proximity.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 5, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Wasn't LoDuca one of the Mets dogging Milledge?

Pass.

Posted by: George Santayana, Nats Fan | December 5, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

George: Awesome comment! Not three days old and you're already looking out for your players. Nice.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 5, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Or replace the Elijah Dukes picture with one of a bug-eyed Paul LoDuca pi**ing off umpires and getting thrown out of a game. Man in Need of Redemption,II. And make a sign for the clubhouse from the Book of James: "Be slow to anger, for nothing good comes of human wrath."

Posted by: flynnie | December 5, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

don't worry about schneider's insider knowledge. we'll have an entirely new pitching staff in no time at all. and cordero is pretty obvious to everyone. here comes another one at exactly 88 mph!

i prefer montero over lo duca. although we wouldn't have to trade away anything for lo duca...

Posted by: longterm | December 5, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

NO TO LO DUCA - HE WAS A LEADER OF THE VETERANS VS. MILLEDGE

Posted by: He's also a jerk | December 5, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

okay. i've decided we should trade kearns for a starter (cleveland? minnesota?) and sign andruw for centerfield. keep rauch and cordero and see what happens and next years trade deadline.

it's hard to always be longterm.

Posted by: longterm | December 5, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

http://dcbb.blogspot.com/2007/12/blowduca.html

Read and learn.

Posted by: BLOWDUCA | December 5, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

My recollection is that Lo Duca occasionally rubs teammates the wrong way and that a prominent free agent pitcher a few years ago (Wells/Burnett???) refused to sign with the Mets because they did not want to throw to him.

He is considered a leader on the field.

He runs out of juice by July.

Willie Randolph originally said he wanted him back, then backed off implying that money was an issue.

Posted by: NatBisquit | December 5, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

i agree, lo duca blows. and he sucked hitting second in that silly lineup. he wouldn't get nearly the same protection here.

montero would be better now, and with much more upside. i hope that works out. once again that would hedge our bets with two potential full-time starters at catcher down the road. both flores and montero are known more for their bats and are already better than lo duca with the glove and arm.

Posted by: longterm | December 5, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Lo Duca would be a slightly less ghastly alternative to Cota, Miller, and Moeller.

Slightly lower ghastliness is not something I'd pay big bucks for.

Posted by: Hendo | December 5, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Wow. LoDuca and Dukes together? Lock up your teenage daughters.

Posted by: Millon deFloss | December 5, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Andruw Jones is longterm? Over TWO, CHEAP 22-year olds? He's, like, 80 baseball years old and hit .222.
Are you sure your name is LONGTERM?
_____________
sign andruw for centerfield.

Posted by: longterm | December 5, 2007 11:48 AM

Posted by: NatsNut | December 5, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I understand why Capitol Punishment says Lo Duca's the same player as Schneider without the defense. But we no longer have Scnheider and Lo Duca may be the best available. Also, we got good value for Schneider and come the trading deadline next year Flores might be ready to take over. Johnny Bench is retired. Yogi Berra looks like a prune. Sign Lo Duca and lets go.

Posted by: NatBisquit | December 5, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

As of ten minutes ago Ted and Stan got payment 1 of 2 for the season tickets....not that I'm in the camp of selling my tickets to protest FO moves (not until we get to Angelos-esque disasters), but reading LoDuca doesn't make me feel very good. Wanna talk about a cancer. At least the Dukes tumor has some potential upside, LoDuca has none. An ego-centric pansy over-the-hill catcher who just whines is not something I want helping to mold this young staff. Imagine the clashes between him and St. Claire. I mean Eric Peterson was/is considered one of the best P.C.'s in the game and look what happened to that staff. The battery is a two-part operation and I certainly don't want the anchor portion of it being this guy.

HAHA and yes, I just told you how I really feel. Looking back on that even I'm gonna say 'ouch'.

Posted by: Corey | December 5, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

On a lighter topic, now featuring a snow-covered Nat's Field:

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

Pretty cool (if ghostly).

Posted by: joebleux | December 5, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

natsnut, i know, i know! but i need more moves!!!!

field does look nice.

Posted by: longterm | December 5, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

"Given the questionable character that they've picked up so far, although I think the stuff about Milledge is overblown, I like the balance this provides."

Although LoDuca is no Dukes, he ain't no saint either. "Lo Duca's gambling is issue, not infidelity. Sins of the flesh is small problem compared to betting on sports." is the headline on this August 2006 article:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14353006/

All you who are in a tizzy over the character issues, would it be too much of a stretch for the Nats to have to solve all the world's domestic abuse AND gambling addiction problems simultaneously so as not to alienate some part of their fanbase, while still trying to win enough games so as to avoid losing the rest of it?

Posted by: Section 419 | December 5, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

No LoDuca. Nats would pay a lot of money for a poor defensive catcher and lose a draft pick. And at this point, he is going to help us how? A player like Moreno--that makes sence. At no level does LoDuca fit the team's needs.
And for some reason or another, the Mets didn't want him.

Posted by: natspo | December 5, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Thank goodness for this blog. Without it I'd be signing most players with "yea, go ahead. He's pretty cute."

Posted by: NatsNut | December 5, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

"No LoDuca. Nats would pay a lot of money for a poor defensive catcher and lose a draft pick."

Mets declined to offer arbitration, so the Nats wouldn't lost a pick.

He was a Type B anyway, so the Nats wouldn't have lost a pick.

Posted by: Chris | December 5, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Natspo, Completely agree. I think we should all step back for a second and look at the situation.

What is it that the Nats are looking to accomplish from their catcher this year assuming Jesus is ready for full-time work in 09?

Offense: Any little thing helps, but is certainly not the central need with this position.

Defense: Certainly, since stability back there helps calm a young staff and having the confidence that your backstop is going to frame that 3-2 pitch with 2 down in a jam, get dirty on that 59 foot curve ball, or nail Jimmy Rollins on a 1-2 pitchout.

Intangibles: Priority Uno. This guy is going to be an extension of St. Claire while also tutoring Jesus. He needs to be a calming influence in a young clubhouse that is filling up with questionable character/egos.

The more and more I look at this, the better I see Brandon Inge (again, remember, I have some hometown bias with him). A guy who won't let much get past him, who will certainly be on the coach's side, who will gun down just about anybody who runs on him, and who can add a little pop. Given the Tigers new acquisitions, he may come fairly cheap in terms of who goes to Mo-Town.

Anybody agree to disagree? This is fun.

Posted by: Corey | December 5, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Two comments:

1. Can someone clarify for me the draft pick compensation issue? I thought that the team losing the player simply got an extra pick. People seem to be saying here that the Nats would have to give up a pick. Which is it?

2. Does the Tiger Marlin deal have the feel of players moving from the JV to the varsity for anyone else? The uneven talent flow between the leagues every year is stark to me. I haven't looked at this thoroughly, but it sure seems like this trade is part of a disturbing pattern for the overall balance of baseball.

Posted by: #4 | December 5, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I think it was Nancy Reagan that said...just say no - to Paul Loduca. We don't need another ex-met. 1 is enuf. I think the kid from Arizona seems to be a better fit, doesn't he hit left handed? That stadium web cam with the snow is awesome. Wonder if they'll still have the 2:30 lighting?

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | December 5, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Isn't Rod Barajas still available?

Posted by: Hendo | December 5, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

sun shining down here in the low country, maybe I'll go hit some golf balls.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | December 5, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm not 100% sure, but I don't believe we would give up anything for Lo Duca. The Mets would get a sandwich pick, but that is all...

I still say we go for Montero - funny that we haven't heard anything about what we would be offering Arizona for him, something tells me a straight up trade for Cordero or Rauch would be too one sided for a backup catcher. Maybe if we could get a mid level pitching prospect (A or AA) starter or reliever would be about right...

Also, I don't think that the Lerners or Kasten/JimBow are trying to dump salary, but they are looking to make the team younger - a LOT younger. I think by the trading deadline next summer the only player over 28 on the team will be either Young/Johnson.

I think we go get Montero if we can and then get a backup IF (who can also spell Zimmerman at 3B) either via Rule 5 Draft or a FA signing (unless they believe Kory Casto is ready for that role - which I don't).

Posted by: estuartj | December 5, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Brandon Inge hasn't caught a game since 2004, and they moved him off the position because he stunk.

Posted by: Chris | December 5, 2007 12:44 PM | Report abuse

"1. Can someone clarify for me the draft pick compensation issue? I thought that the team losing the player simply got an extra pick. People seem to be saying here that the Nats would have to give up a pick. Which is it?"

Players are rated Type A, Type B or No compensation.

IF a team offers arbitration to one of their own Free Agents, then they're eligible to receive compensation. If they decline, as the Mets did with Lo Duca, they receive no compensation.

Type A players cause the signing team to fork over their first round pick. (except when the signing team picks in the first 15 of the draft, then it's a second-round pick).

Type B players cause the signing team to give up nothing. But the team that loses the player receives a sandwich pick, a pick made up out of thin air between the first and second rounds.

Posted by: Chris | December 5, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Hey Chris, I understand he hasn't caught for a few years but how did Ripken moving from short to 3rd workout and that was a little longer of a break than 3 years (haha o.k. not the best comparison, but it's all I had on the fly). HUGE CORRECTION: They moved him to 3rd because he they signed Pudge. He's not an all-star, but we're not looking for one....and if he stunk so badly how come he came up in gold glove conversations while playing the hot corner for the AL Champs.

Posted by: Corey | December 5, 2007 12:47 PM | Report abuse

He stunk as a catcher. He's a great fielder at third. There's quite a different skill set involved.

The Ripken thing is silly. In that case, he went from a tougher position to an easier position. You wouldn't move Dmitri to short or third and expect him to field it well.

He could probably do OK back there, but to expect him to pick it up and be a starting catcher after three years off the job is highly optimistic.

Posted by: Chris | December 5, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

If Mets agreed to arbitration with him and he left for free agency, AND if he was a type A free agent, the gaining team loses its pick to the Mets. PLUS they get a compensation pick, right?

Posted by: NatsNut | December 5, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm not saying he needs to be a starting catcher....I'm saying he can be a platoon guy (an expensive one) with Jesus for a year. Also, when Jesus starts he could pinch hit and vice versa. You called me out on the comparison on the position move, kudos, but I did put the disclaimer that the analogy wasn't fully thought-thru. I'll take o.k. back there because we're not looking for huge production from that position at this juncture: we're just looking for a contributor, in more ways than one.

Posted by: Corey | December 5, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Montero sounds by far the best option to fill the catcher slot. He's got lots of upside. (It doesn't hurt a bit that the Nats deal well with Arizona.)

If Barrett doesn't re-sign with the Padres -- and I'm guessing he will -- we shouldn't rule him out, although his arm issues certainly have to be taken into account.

All the other alternatives that I've been hearing lately seem mediocre at best.

Posted by: Hendo | December 5, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

"Anybody agree to disagree? This is fun."

It is indeed, Corey. My only comment on your post is that "Tutoring Jesus" would be a great title for a catcher's memoir.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 5, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

"If Mets agreed to arbitration with him and he left for free agency, AND if he was a type A free agent, the gaining team loses its pick to the Mets. PLUS they get a compensation pick, right?"

You're right. For Type As, it's the other teams pick plus. Brain cramp!

Posted by: Chris | December 5, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Two comments:

1. Can someone clarify for me the draft pick compensation issue? I thought that the team losing the player simply got an extra pick. People seem to be saying here that the Nats would have to give up a pick. Which is it?

2. Does the Tiger Marlin deal have the feel of players moving from the JV to the varsity for anyone else? The uneven talent flow between the leagues every year is stark to me. I haven't looked at this thoroughly, but it sure seems like this trade is part of a disturbing pattern for the overall balance of baseball.

Posted by: #4 | December 5, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Agreed 506....awesome heads up play on that one. Also, no kidding on the brain cramp Chris - beats the hell outta working though. Even though this afternoon needs to be productive, damn you MLB for doing this.

Posted by: Corey | December 5, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Lo Duca is finished and he's a head case.

Just say no to a washed up bum

Posted by: Bill | December 5, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

"I haven't looked at this thoroughly, but it sure seems like this trade is part of a disturbing pattern for the overall balance of baseball. "

This kind of thing is nothing new for baseball. Back in the Damn Yankees days of the original Senators, the Kansas City Athletics were virtually a farm team for those very Yankees.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | December 5, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Barry, Dave - just want to say THANKS for the fantastic coverage of the meetings and all of the moves that have been made thus far. This is exciting, interesting, and scary!

Posted by: Patty | December 5, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

419,

That's true and has always happened. I'm talking about the imbalance between the leagues though. I think baseball may be getting into dangerous if not unprecedented territory concerning the one sidedness of the talent.

Posted by: #4 | December 5, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

i agree that neither loduca nor inge is really the right choice. loduca for all the reasons mentioend, inge because he hasn't played the position in 3-4 years and someone relearning the position isn't necessarily the right guy to be "mentoring" a young catcher on the fine points of handling a staff.

now, if he wasn't so expensive, he might be an interesting super utility guy, one who could play both corner IF spots as well as OF and, in a pinch (pun intended) play a little catcher. a huge improvement over fick from the past couple of years.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 5, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

"Does the Tiger Marlin deal have the feel of players moving from the JV to the varsity for anyone else? "

Interestingly, about 3/4 of the way through Ball Four Jim Bouton gets traded to the National League (Houston Astros) and he is ecstatic to finally be playing with the big boys.

Think of it this way: a National League team doesn't need top talent to compete in the NL. An American League team does. Thus NL teams will undervalue their talent as much as AL teams will overvalue them.

But with the youth of the NL, I expect that to change in ten years.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 5, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Re. LoDuca, uh, aren't gambling issues just a teensy bit of a red flag in the world of professional sports? (Pete Rose to the courtesy phone...)

NatsNut, you're funny re. your signing criteria (and I've seen cuter catchers...)

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 5, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I repeat, Lo Duca is the best available free agent starting catcher. Better than Barrett (who is not officially available yet), better than Miller (who could not be expected to start more than 50 games).

Please remember that everybody - including AROD - get bad stuff written about them in the NY press. Everybody !!!!

If the Nats have to give up another Vermont Lake Monster or Kearns to get a better catcher, would you still rather not have Lo Duca. Because that is what it is going to take. Just because we are interested in Montero does not mean that the D'backs will give him up for nothing.

Gee whiz, so much hate, so little time....

Posted by: NatBisquit | December 5, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

how come we haven't made a trade yet today?

Posted by: longterm | December 5, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

"how come we haven't made a trade yet today?"

Apparently Milton Bradley's not answering his phone.

Posted by: joebleux | December 5, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Fellas, and lady (hi, Patty)...I'm certainly not gun-ho on Inge - just added him as an addition to a previous post as 'food for thought'. The focus of that post was to investigate the qualities of Lo Duca. Here is a refresher:

What is it that the Nats are looking to accomplish from their catcher this year assuming Jesus is ready for full-time work in 09?

Offense: Any little thing helps, but is certainly not the central need with this position.

Defense: Certainly, since stability back there helps calm a young staff and having the confidence that your backstop is going to frame that 3-2 pitch with 2 down in a jam, get dirty on that 59 foot curve ball, or nail Jimmy Rollins on a 1-2 pitchout.

Intangibles: Priority Uno. This guy is going to be an extension of St. Claire while also tutoring Jesus (ha "Tutoring Jesus", a future best seller according to 506). He needs to be a calming influence in a young clubhouse that is filling up with questionable character/egos.

Posted by: Corey | December 5, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

506:

That's the exact point to be made here. There's really only one or two deep pocketed teams in the NL, the Mets and Cubs. Even their resources pale in comparison to Bos and NYY. This is another symptom of the wacky financial structure.

My recollection of Ball Four is different than yours. I remember Bouton's comment to be that the NL was a "hustling league". Historically this had mostly to do with the fact that in the 50's and 60's the NL was a more integrated league. Jackie Robinson etc had brought a style of play from the Negro League that was much more aggressive on the bases.

The NL was also considered better because they were drawing from a wider talent pool. I'm not sure though that the gap was as wide as it is now.

Posted by: #4 | December 5, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

In the spirit of love, the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence looks to be a worthy DC-based organization for those who might be looking to effect positive change or to contribute to an organization that is doing so.

---

Gee whiz, so much hate, so little time....

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 5, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

BTW, natsfan1a: loved your e-mail to Kasten in the previous entry. Donating to an anti-violence charity vs. donating to the Nats coffers is an inspired way to get the point across to the front office.

Posted by: joebleux | December 5, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

What are we, chopped liver?
___

Fellas, and lady (hi, Patty)...

Posted by: Corey | December 5, 2007 01:31 PM

Posted by: NatsNut and natsfan1a | December 5, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

ahem.

Posted by: JennX | December 5, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

A good name for a rock band, too.

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

"Tutoring Jesus" would be a great title for a catcher's memoir.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 5, 2007 12:56 PM

Posted by: Section 222 (Paging Dave Barry) | December 5, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Barry sez "You must read Boz on Elijah Dukes."

Why? If we don't, is he going to set Dukes loose on our women or somethin'?

The last time Boz was "must read" was about the same time that NBC-TV was "must see". It's been a while...

Posted by: Section 419+1 | December 5, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

LOL!!! I was wondering if you were around today too, JennX.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 5, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

ah, come on now. the dodgers have money too. all these owners love taking a loss on their financial statements each year then selling the club at monster profits. but the markets for AL and NL are about equal i'd say. Especially now with a team in DC and not Montreal. Houston should be much bigger. Atlanta could be also. St. Louis should equal boston as a historical franchise with widespread following. I just don't buy the it's unfair AL is rich and NL is wrong side of tracks argument. but sometimes i do get the impression some of these owners are happy letting others grow the game for them.

Posted by: longterm | December 5, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

It was John Thomson who said he didn't sign with the Mets because of Lo Duca.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2726797

He doesn't really say why. Last year Lo Duca was suspended 2 games for throwing equipment on the field after being ejected.

And then of course, as was pointed out in a linked-to-blog earlier, the matter of him cheating on his Playboy model wife with a 19 year old from Long Island.

Posted by: Nate | December 5, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Longterm:

Is there anywhere we could get our hands on individual team revenues? Intuitively I think you're mistaken, but I'd love to see the hard data.

It just seems to me like the Yanks and Sawx are way out ahead of everyone and the next tier franchises in the AL like Detroit and Cleveland have better revenue streams.

Trying to keep up with Bos and nyy simply sets the bar higher.

I could be wrong though.

Posted by: #4 | December 5, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I only cheat on my Playboy wife with a 19 year old from Long Island in my dreams. That's not wrong is it?

Posted by: NatBisquit | December 5, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

"Why should I write about the Nationals if their fans refuse to even read my columns?"

-Thomas Boswell, circa 2009

It actually is a good column.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 5, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Just to mix the topic up a bit, what 2B would you prefer to trade for. I want everyone's answer here, and be sure to include a (reasonable) trade package.

I'll go first: I like Josh Barfield. I think he was great with the Padres, and then he stunk it up with the Indians. Now he's two on the depth chart behind Asdrubal Cabrera. I think we could get him fairly cheap, so maybe send them Rauch and a AA prospect and we could get him. Then we ship Lopez out anywhere to get prospects (preferably a SS and/or pitching).

Takers?

Posted by: NattyDelite! | December 5, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, joebleux

---

BTW, natsfan1a: loved your e-mail to Kasten in the previous entry. Donating to an anti-violence charity vs. donating to the Nats coffers is an inspired way to get the point across to the front office.

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 5, 2007 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, what they said. :-)

===

What are we, chopped liver?

ahem.

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 5, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I am. Been trying to keep up with reading, though not posting much. I'm sure, though, that you're not surprised to learn that I have lots of opinions about all that's been going on. :)

Corey: Please don't use "fellas" as though you assume there are no women here. We are well represented on this blog!

Posted by: JennX | December 5, 2007 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm actually for staying pat in the middle infield. Besides my usual tirade about "is this good for the minors?" I think that next year with Bells, Lopez, and Guz WILL be a new middle infield. Let's see how it actually works before we tinker too much more.

This is the first year we won't have to have major, up heaving change in the Washington Nationals. Let's not create it for the sake of creating it.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 5, 2007 2:15 PM | Report abuse

2:06 p.m., from Buster Olney
• Aaron Boone is drawing interest from the Giants, Nationals and Brewers. The key question is what kind of role he will play.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 5, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Clarifying the compensation issue - LoDuca is listed as a type B free agent on the ESPN website. That means that there is only one compensatin pick - a "sandwich round" pick between the first and second.

Chris / corey - I think Inge problem at catcher was his bat, not his glove. He really struggled as a starter in 2003 (the 119 loss year) and was sent down eventually. He became at a passable hitter after that, but the Tigers signed Pudge in the offseason to fill the hole. By 2004, he became a super-sub. Still had a greatr reputation for throwing, but won the regular 3d base job.

For what it is worth, Jerry Crasnick on EPSN's blog reported yesterday "One NL manager said he thinks Inge could return to catching, since he's a fine athlete and broke into the big leagues behind the plate. But Inge hasn't caught since 2004, so that's probably a long shot. " Crasnick suggests he's more liekly to be offered as a 3d baseman and lists Giants, Phils, Twins, Angels, and Brewers as possible destination.

Any chance we could put together a big package for Jhonny Peralta? The Indians were insterested in Bay and offered Cliff Lee plus Gutierrez plus a catcher swap (shoppach/paulino) per mlbtraderumors.

Posted by: jon | December 5, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

If we are going to trade for or sign a middle infielder we need to make it someone who can play SS, if Guz goes down again (God Forbid!) then Lopez is the only option we have. I'd like to get someone in the 24-25 range who can step up to start at SS if/when Guz gets hurt or when he gets traded before the all star break or leaves via FA after the '08 season.

That might even be a role we can fill tomorrow in the rule 5 draft, though lightening striking two years in a row for seems unlikely...

Posted by: estuartj | December 5, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Oh come on 506 BM, humour me! I am not averse to the three we have being what we stick with, but I love a little debate. Plus we have some great researchers here. From Hendo to JayB to #4 to your esteemed moving self. We can throw down some stats, make some predictions, have a few laughs and armchair GM it up.

Plus it's my planning period and there's no way I'm making the exam today...

Posted by: NattyDelite! | December 5, 2007 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I'll play. If I could trade for a 2B I would look at Mark Ellis (Oakland). Not sure what his contract status is, but I would look at offering a minor league outfielder such as Maxwell and/or a reliever (would Ayala be enough? ... probably not.)for him. (Yes I love Maxwell too, but you gotta give to get). Of course I'd really like to rescue Brian Roberts from Baltimore or Brandon Phillips from Cleveland, but no way we have enough to offer to get him.

BTW, when Cleveland let Phillips go two years ago, did we have/miss a chance to get him?

Posted by: NatBisquit | December 5, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Why would he give up our starting 2B?

Posted by: Cincinnati Reds | December 5, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I can't remember if Cleveland traded him to Cinci, he was Rule 5'd, or if he was waiver claimed.

I think the problem was that with MLB management, and no clear vision, no one on the staff could justify it. Especially with Vidro around.

But excellent choices NatBisquit!

Posted by: NattyDelite! | December 5, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

loduca would probably be the most expensive free agent catcher available, should the nats want to spend the money. it all depends on what the team wants a second catcher to do. loduca and barrett both swing the bat okay. is that what they're looking for? but neither offers a great deal as a defensive catcher, however, and they're both questionable guys in the clubhouse. if they want someone to tutor flores, sub him a couple times a week, call a good game, and work with the young pitchers, i'd rather see them pick up damien miller. i suspect he'd be considerably cheaper as well. just a thought.

Posted by: blueson | December 5, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

To JennX, Patty, and all the other ladies out there....I am very sorry, I promise not to do make that mistake again. Story of my life: being made a fool of by those with 2 X chromosomes (in this case, several, so I guess that's something to build on). Solid input Jon, thanks for your thoughts.

Am I the only one who thinks that FLop can play a legitimate 2nd base? I mean we're all resigned to the fact that he had a disappointing year at the plate. Possible reason: he was under serious pressure at the top (esp. after Guz went down) of the order to be a catalyst for a sputtering order, but with some guys protecting him he could be better. Also, most of his E's I saw were mostly on the throws from short (haha I'll never forget that late-season afternoon game in Chavez Ravine) so he should be considerably better on the other side of the bag.

Posted by: Corey | December 5, 2007 2:40 PM | Report abuse

So the scrapping with Zambrano were Barrett's fault? I though Zambrano was a [RF] and Barrett just pushed back on his ego crap. ??

Posted by: NatsNut | December 5, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

i might be one of the few here who has another year's patience for felipe lopez.

#4. not sure about team's revenues but they are in equal markets for the most part. i'll take a look and see if i have any idea what i'm talking about.

Posted by: longterm | December 5, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I like FLop as a 2b, but not so much as a leadoff hitter. In playing along with the 'name your trade for a 2B' I was looking for someone who can leadoff. FLop is not a great SS. He has the range, but his throwing aim sometimes reminds me of Dick Cheney.

Posted by: NatBisquit | December 5, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Nah. You're not the only one. He's nice looking so I cut him a lot of slack too.
;)
_________
i might be one of the few here who has another year's patience for felipe lopez.

Posted by: longterm | December 5, 2007 02:45 PM

Posted by: XX | December 5, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

aaron boone? trader jim does love those ex-reds, doesn't he?

Posted by: blueson | December 5, 2007 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Sigh, only because Hanukkah has started and therefore I feel the need to be of good cheer, even though my Jewish friends tell me that the holiday isn't really a big deal at all to them...

What about picking up Orlando Hudson (30 year old, nice defensive and offensive stats) and an infield prospect (help on names!) from the Diamondbacks for Rauch and Traber.

They get a proven bullpen guy (which they need) and a plausible lefty as well as dump an old timer and higher salary. We get immediate switch-hitting help in the middle infield and a prospect and can move up Munoz to take over Rauch's slot.

And don't anyone dare use my own arguments against me on this one, I'm just doing it to be cheery! Bah humbug!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 5, 2007 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Corey,
I have high hopes that Lopez can rebound while playing 2B next year. At his yearly cost I think it's unlikely (short of a complete collapse) that Belliard will be starting at 2nd.

I think that is also true of NJ and Young at 1st. IF (and that is a big IF I know) Johnson is healthy - and I'm very encouraged he seems to be doing better now that they took all that metal out of his hip (can we sue for damages on his lost year due to botched medical procedures?), then he will be starting at 1B and our bench becomes a huge asset with Young and Belliard...

I also think the starting OF will be WMP, Milledge and Kearns with Dukes coming on at PH and late inning defensive replacement for WMP.

If we can get Montero and someone to be the backup/bench at SS and 3B via rule 5 then I'll be damned happy, especially since we now have 12 SP coming to camp with a legit chance of being in the rotation on opening day.

Posted by: estuartj | December 5, 2007 2:51 PM | Report abuse

how come we haven't made a trade yet today?

Posted by: longterm | December 5, 2007 01:20 PM
_________________________

We're going to have to change your moniker if you keep this up.

Posted by: lowcountry | December 5, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Forgot to mention: Hudson has a high OBP that is getting higher.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 5, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

"First choice on any move we make is long term," Bowden said. "That's our first choice."

If only they would contact me directly i would be there! although i really don't think catching is my forte.

Posted by: longterm | December 5, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I thought Felipe did OK at second, too... though the sample size is comparatively small.

I am down on Lopez not because he played badly, but because he brooded about it... If Guzman can 1) do what he did last year and 2) stay healthy, he's way above anything we could hope to get at a reasonable price.

I've been thinking that they need to fix the middle infield, but they need to do it with a bulldozer... I don't think they could do anything with either short or second without fixing the other... Plus, Guzman's injury and Lopez' performance make trades problematic. Add to that that there are no credible prospects... then standing pat doesn't look so bad...

But they better have a plan for next year.

Posted by: Wigi | December 5, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

don't hate hudson, but i'd prefer to see someone a couple of years younger if we're going to trade rauch for him. good up-the-middle defense makes your pitching better.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 5, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Where is the 2:30 ballpark lighting event I was promised? The same RF banks are on at 2:46 as they were this morning.

Posted by: Chris in SS | December 5, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

ESJ's comments about suing over NJ's broken leg reminded me of something. Does anyone know what the Nats team doctor and trainer situation is for next year? This area killed them last year with all the injuries they had. They were clearly under prepared physically. Have they changed personel? This could be more important than any trade they make.

Posted by: #4 | December 5, 2007 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Ladson reporting that Cordero joined the Nick Johnson, Ray King, Dmitri Young weight loss program.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 5, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Corey: Welcome to Nats Journal. Apology accepted. Just in case you wanna see for yourself the male-female representation on this blog, check out the photo below...

http://picasaweb.google.com/juanjohnl/PlanetNJ/photo#5113564712374428962

Posted by: Juan-John | December 5, 2007 3:10 PM | Report abuse

And count me in among those skeptical about LoDuca. He looked positively ANCIENT when he played last year. He could barely run down the base path. Only way he'd be able to play would be if he was on close personal terms with Barry Bonds' doctor/trainer.

Posted by: Juan-John | December 5, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Is there a feud between LoDuca and Milledge?

Posted by: Nats Fan | December 5, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

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 3:26 PM | Report abuse

New post up. Everyone head on over there, even the glummy and humbuggy ones. :)

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 5, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

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