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Nats give up LHP Glenn Gibson

So it wasn't a player to be named later. Turns out the Nationals were just trying to track down Glenn Gibson, the promising young lefty who was part of a very talented staff at short-season Class A Vermont, to let him know he was part of the trade.

Bowden said he couldn't have made this deal without this past year's draft, in which the Nationals acquired three lefties -- Ross Detwiler, Josh Smoker and Jack McGeary.

Kasten, Bowden and Acta addressed all the concerns about Dukes, but said it was a baseball decision. They're going to have him in counseling, etc., though they wouldn't offer many details about that. I'll get to transcribing some of this and get it to you ASAP.

By Barry Svrluga  |  December 3, 2007; 5:34 PM ET
 
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Comments

Gotta get some offensive talent. Trader Jim is at it again! Giddy Up!

Posted by: Section 320, mjwies11 | December 3, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Put me in the "good job jim" camp on this one. Whether this works out or not, Bowden is trying to improve this team.

Posted by: 9cherries.com | December 3, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

We could call them the trouble center fielders: Milledge and Dukes. What do you reckon the Nats will do with four starting OFs?

Posted by: Mary | December 3, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Why am I not excited about a player who the brain trust says has to be "in counseling" from the outset of his tenure? If that isn't presumptive damaged goods, what is? I don't think they said anything similar about any of Milledge, Young, or J. Guillen, the last three "problem" cases the team brought on.

Posted by: 408 / 204 | December 3, 2007 5:47 PM | Report abuse

This is a bit more than i was hoping they would give up for dukes, i would compliment the Rays for getting some value for him. But the Nats do have young pitching depth and there was no assurance that Gibson would be able to translate his success in Vermont to Washington in 3 years. I will say that there is a greater need for Dukes to work out, but in all I think this is a good move.

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

Glenn Gibson, though? He is a pretty decent prospect (definitely more than a "player to be named later"). With the slim market for Dukes, and the Rays obviously desperate to get rid of him, couldn't Bowden have pulled this off for a lower prospect? Still, this is all a mute point if Dukes lives up to his enormous potential.

Posted by: astruck89 | December 3, 2007 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Jim 'pitching, pitching, pitching' Bowden is already starting to p--- away the Nats' minor league stockpile of arms. Beware: Bowden will move out our talented arms before they ever get here.

Not a good move in my opinion.

Posted by: C'ville Nat | December 3, 2007 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Someone name me one genuine knucklehead who worked out.
OK, besides Babe Ruth.

Posted by: CE | December 3, 2007 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Not to mention a moot point ...
******
Still, this is all a mute point if Dukes lives up to his enormous potential.
Posted by: astruck89 | December 3, 2007 05:49 PM

Posted by: proofreading gremlin | December 3, 2007 5:52 PM | Report abuse

The fact is, since the Mo Pena trade JB has acquired 3 high ceiling athletic outfielders who are still insanely young for next to nothing. If even 1 of the 3 turns out as expected the deals were worth it. If 2 of them do, amazing. If not, you waive or trade a guy like Dukes. He was a Top 100 prospect on Baseball America's 2007 global list, and Milledge was Top 20 in 2006. Great job by the GM.

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

and Ty Cobb

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

Baseball America named Gibson our #8 prospect, and had this to say about him:

Background: The son of former major league lefthander Paul Gibson, Glenn showed off his superior feel for pitching at short-season Vermont. He might have been the New-York Penn League's best pitcher until his final two starts, when he tried to pitch while sick and saw his ERA balloon from 1.74 to 3.10. It was later discovered he had mononucleosis, causing him to drop about 20 pounds and reversing his solid progress in the weight room.

Strengths: Gibson's savvy makes his stuff play up. He pores over hitting and pitching charts before every start so he can exploit weaknesses, and he mixes speeds and locations very well. He can throw his plus changeup in any count for strikes, his slow downer curveball can be above-average at times and his fastball can touch 91 mph and has late movement.

Weaknesses: Gibson's fastball sits in the high 80s and isn't overpowering, which limits his upside and margin for error. He still needs to add strength to his frame, particularly his lower half, to improve his durability and velocity.

The Future: Gibson is ready for a full-season league and should begin 2008 in low Class A. He looks like a safe bet to reach the big leagues as a back-of-the-rotation starter.

Posted by: Three more months | December 3, 2007 5:54 PM | Report abuse

let's hope that in addition to their tax and real estate lawyers, the lerners now have a criminal defense attorney on retainer.

Posted by: blueson | December 3, 2007 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Here's another take, from the Vermont Lake Monsters themselves"

BURLINGTON, VT --- The Washington Nationals traded former Vermont Lake Monsters pitcher Glenn Gibson to the Tampa Bay Rays for outfielder Elijah Burks on Monday afternoon as the Baseball Winter Meetings got underway in Nashville, Tennessee.

I guess the Monsters' perspective doesn't include the big league team, or they they we traded Ellis Burks for Glenn Gibson.

Posted by: Three more months | December 3, 2007 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Stan Kasten has said he wants the Nats to be "America's Team." Starting to look like "America's Most Wanted."

Posted by: swanni | December 3, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

watch out for tricky jim to turn around and move Lastings to oakland for pitchers dan haren or Joe Blanton. billy beane is just as enamoured with milledge as jimmyb. while i would love to have haren, i think blanton is more likely and it would leave duke to start in the outfield, who is not as great an athlete as milledge, but has more raw power.

Posted by: love | December 3, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Gibson was the #8 prospect of an extremely thin Nats farm system and he had a low ceiling, and in the free agency climate where overrated CFs like Torii Hunter are making 90 million, I believe that Bowden's strategy this week has been the correct one in improving the team's woeful outfield production. It also might shed some light on the decision to re-sign Dmitri Young.

Posted by: Federico | December 3, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

You *always* want major leagues who are known quantites versus prospects. Yes, Gibson is a great prospect, but he's had one season, in low-A ball. Dukes had 10hrs in 50 games, projecting to 30-35 a season when he grows up. Worth the gamble to me.

My guess is that Dukes is the 4th outfielder to start the season. Goodbye Logan and Langerhans, and Maxwell starts in AAA.

Posted by: Sec131 | December 3, 2007 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Well, while we're at it, we DO need a lefty bat with power ...
He's a little pricier, maybe, but he does draw. And he might still beat the rap--it could happen. This clubhouse is toast now anyway, wth.

Posted by: BB - the Man, the Myth, the Pharmacy | December 3, 2007 6:01 PM | Report abuse

"Starting to look like 'America's Most Wanted.'"

They'll certainly be wanted if they put runs on the board. We had a bit of trouble with that in '07, if memory serves.

Posted by: Hendo | December 3, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse

A trade is always judged on who gets the best player. Time will tell on this one. Tampa Bay got great value for Dukes! No cents on the dollar here.

Posted by: Dick | December 3, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse

if oakland would have traded either blanton or haren for milledge, the mets would have done it. they already told the mets they weren't that interested any more.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 3, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse

True, Hendo. Dukes' .190 batting average should be immensely helpful

Posted by: swanni | December 3, 2007 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Well, off the top of my head, Brett Myers and Julio Lugo have had some recent off-field problems that didn't seem to effect their performance. Sheffield is certainly no saint. Others from the past? How about Albert Belle, Dwight Gooden, Daryl Strawberry...


___________________________________
Someone name me one genuine knucklehead who worked out.
OK, besides Babe Ruth.

Posted by: CE | December 3, 2007 05:51 PM

Posted by: Scott in Shaw | December 3, 2007 6:06 PM | Report abuse

From that batting average, it looks like the only thing he hits successfully are ex-girlfriends.

Posted by: swanni | December 3, 2007 6:06 PM | Report abuse

I hate this trade. It is an assault on "The Plan," the clubhouse, and the likeability of the team. Likeabitily is all they've had since the July, 2005 collapse. To get such a good prospect as Glen Stephens for Elijah Dukes shows why Tampa Bay's front office in ranked #1 in baseball and the Nats ranked #17.

Posted by: flynnie | December 3, 2007 6:06 PM | Report abuse

It's not like this team is going to contend for a Series title next year anyway. The priority should be to stockpile talent, which is what Kasten clearly stated since he arrived. They have been clearly following through with that plan ever since. In just a year, between trades and the draft, this team's young talent pool has drastically improved at low cost. I repeat, this is a great job by the team's management.

Posted by: Federico | December 3, 2007 6:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm feeling pretty bad for Justin Maxwell right now. He was being hyped as the future CF for the Nats and now he's more likely to get traded this week.

Posted by: ZRunner | December 3, 2007 6:08 PM | Report abuse

While I am not overly critical of the deal, and disagree with the premise that Bowden will trade away "all our young pitching", i think you always try to trade from strength and young pitching is our best asset. What this system lacks is young impact bats with two obvious exceptions, these two deals get us major league ready talent. I do also disagree in the assessment that the nationals have a weak farm system. Baseball America projects them to be middle of the pack in terms of overall systems. Not bad considering it was dead last this past year.

Posted by: Steveo | December 3, 2007 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Now we know why Dimitri got $5 million a year. $2.5 million for his bat -- and $2.5 million for his work as team counselor.

Posted by: swanni | December 3, 2007 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Leery of a player who has to be in counseling, but there are some good role models on this club who can mentor him.

In regards to the person who said Bowden "would P*** away all of the pitching," Kasten won't let that happen. It's how he built the Braves and it's how he's building the Nats.

It will be interesting to see if the Nats move another position player in exchange for a left-handed bat.

Posted by: SavedByZero | December 3, 2007 6:09 PM | Report abuse

They might move a decently-paid position player for a left-handed bat. Not the player who swings it; just the $49 bat itself.

Posted by: swanni | December 3, 2007 6:11 PM | Report abuse

How many more transactions do you think we're in for?

Is there anything we can offer with Milledge that the Mets couldn't to get Haren or Blanton?

Posted by: NatsNut | December 3, 2007 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Gibson is a soft throwing lefy, a 20 year old Billy Traber. His potential is probably on par with that of Matt Chico at best.
Elijah Dukes is a top of the line tools player with monster power.
Dukes may not pan out, but his ceiling is way higher then Gibson's.
Soft throwing lefties can be had (see Chico, Traber, Bacsik, Bowie, etc), legitimate major league power hitters are at a premium.
This is an excellent gamble.

Posted by: Ghost | December 3, 2007 6:14 PM | Report abuse

It seems to me that JimBow is trying a 'break out of the box' approach - we don't have a lot to trade, are leery of paying big $$$, so agreeing to take on someone like Dukes is like finding a strong player who is not in the system. Looks like both Manny and Dmitri were consulted in advance, so a lot of thought was given to whether Dukes could be turned around - if it does not work, not much is lost, but wow, if it does...

Having said this, enough of recruiting bad boys - I would like the next "find" to be from Asia, and open the Nats to a whole new set of fans and followers.

Posted by: Traveler | December 3, 2007 6:16 PM | Report abuse

I will miss following Glenn Gibson, but Bowden is right, with Detwiler, Smoker and McGeary taken in this year's draft he was expendable. Losing a guy with high 80s fastball playing in short season A Ball? Not the end of the world...

If you package Kearns, Guzman/Lopez and some combination of Cordero/Rivera/Ayala what kind of infield or Starting Pitching talent could you get your hands on?

I think this is actually not too bad for J-Max, he gets a year or two to pull in all together in AA/AAA and will be ready to step in if/when any of the Pena, Milledge, Dukes combo washes out...

Posted by: estuartj | December 3, 2007 6:17 PM | Report abuse

"Dukes' .190 batting average should be immensely helpful"

Especially if we look backwards, which we shouldn't, instead of forward as we should.

Forgive me for not giving up just yet.

Posted by: Hendo | December 3, 2007 6:17 PM | Report abuse

If nothing else, you let the young, talented kids play and it may allow you to flip vets or other prospects further down the road, be it this off-season or at the deadline next year. With a lack of quality free agents, it might be the better way to go...

I just hope the designated free agency $ doesn't burn a whole in Bowden's pocket and we spend stupid cash on some veteran bum, a la Cristian Guzman.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 3, 2007 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Bowden is trying an "out of the box" approach because the Lerners refused his expenditure request to buy a box. Even a cheap one at Kinko's

Posted by: swanni | December 3, 2007 6:18 PM | Report abuse

To me, this is about money. They could have gotten many a player better than Elijah Dukes, without the baggage. They just didn't want to have to pay him, so we fans will be stuck with rooting for someone like this. If the Nats feel so desparate that they are resorting to Elijah Dukes, perhaps the decision to pass on Torii Hunter should be reconsidered while Andruw Jones and Aaron Rowland are still available.

Enough of these type of players on a team is going to send people away from that new park in droves. While, as represented on this board, there are some fans that don't care about Dukes' off the field character, there are many paying customers that do and aren't going to be willing to pay $60 a ticket to "cheer" for someone like this.

Dmitri Young was one thing, Elijah Dukes is quite another. Maybe they can have an Elijah Dukes Orange Jumpsuit T shirt giveway for kids 14 and under.

Posted by: Ray | December 3, 2007 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Best Posts of The Day:

Milton Bradley is available as a free-agent too.

Posted by: DE | December 3, 2007 03:19 PM

Well, while we're at it, we DO need a lefty bat with power ...
He's a little pricier, maybe, but he does draw. And he might still beat the rap--it could happen. This clubhouse is toast now anyway, wth.

Posted by: BB - the Man, the Myth, the Pharmacy | December 3, 2007 06:01 PM

Stan Kasten has said he wants the Nats to be "America's Team." Starting to look like "America's Most Wanted."

Posted by: swanni | December 3, 2007 05:59 PM

Posted by: Blue Ribbon Panel | December 3, 2007 6:19 PM | Report abuse

I tell you what- whatever Dukes has done so far, it is clear he knows how to take a walk. I look forward to watching him grow (I say, praying). He or Milledge could easily make up for Church with a little luck.

For once, I think it is good that the Post pays so little attention to the team. The New York papers would be in a froth by now. The kid probably needs a little room and relative anonymity to have a chance to change.

Posted by: Three more months | December 3, 2007 6:20 PM | Report abuse

A carryover from the previous thread - Try to remember this team is building up from a lower than expansion team status. It's all about acquiring pieces at this point. If Dukes can lose part of his "knucklehead" behaviours, maybe we got a steal on this one; Nobody out there can guarantee that Gibson would pan out at this point in his career.

Posted by: statsnut | December 3, 2007 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Now that's funny.
___________

Maybe they can have an Elijah Dukes Orange Jumpsuit T shirt giveway for kids 14 and under.

Posted by: Ray | December 3, 2007 06:19 PM

Posted by: NatsNut | December 3, 2007 6:23 PM | Report abuse

===
True, Hendo. Dukes' .190 batting average should be immensely helpful

Posted by: swanni | December 3, 2007 06:03 PM ===

any chance you know what chase utley's batting avg was his first extended action in the majors? 239. polanco? 254. posada? 250. know what they all have in common? lowell? 253. vlad? 185. dmitri? 241. derek lee? 233 (206 his 2nd year). pedroia? 191. crawford? 259. vidro? 249/220 his first 2 years. aramis ramirez? 235/179. freddy sanchez? 202 in his first 70 ABs. kent? 240.

know what they all have in common? they all hit over 300 this year.

the point? you can't look at a top prospect's first handful of at bats and project them out for a career. or else you must think zimmerman should hit 400, right?

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 3, 2007 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Please tell me who this mystery player was that they could've gotten?

Teams don't give away 23 year olds with monster potential.

Hunter, Roward, and Jones all had their risks and were 30 or above, and two of them were coming off of career years. I just don't buy that the Nats had tons of great options. To get a player with youth and talent, you have to give up big-time prospects, and if the Nats were to do that, they'd be right back at square one.

Posted by: 9cherries.com | December 3, 2007 6:23 PM | Report abuse

I will say that it's early in the week -- and early in the off-season -- but the first two moves screams cheapness and questionable judgment (probably driven by cheapness.)

When your owner is the type who won't approve 12 bats for Ronnie Belliard, your management team tends to do desperate things to try to overcompensate.

Posted by: swanni | December 3, 2007 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Still sore over scrutinized bills are you Swanni? Get another job yet?

Posted by: Anonymous | December 3, 2007 6:25 PM | Report abuse

JimBo. Write down this one word. I'll spell it for you.... P I T C H I N G. Got it? Pitching. One more problem child outfielder and we'll have a set.

Posted by: rg019571 | December 3, 2007 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Posted by,
Want to try a comment that actually makes sense?

Posted by: swanni | December 3, 2007 6:27 PM | Report abuse

if you think this is about "cheapness," you know absolutely nothing about baseball at all. zilch. nada. it's about talent.

thank god they'll save all of that A ball salary they would have paid gibson...

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 3, 2007 6:28 PM | Report abuse

"Is there anything we can offer with Milledge that the Mets couldn't to get Haren or Blanton?
Posted by: NatsNut | December 3, 2007 06:13 PM "

Sure. Chad Cordero and Ryan Zimmerman. Why not? They no longer fit in this clubhouse.

Posted by: flynnie | December 3, 2007 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Swanni,

I'm wondering why these two moves scream "cheapness" to you? We've traded two mediocre to bad players and one mediocre prospect for two outfielders that have the potential to be great.

I don't see the cheapness there. I'm sorry, I just don't.

I understand the argument against Dukes because of his criminal past and against Milledge for his attitude, but I think people are really grasping for straws to say that these two moves are because we are beiing "cheap."

Posted by: mjteggy05 | December 3, 2007 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Just In:
Barry Bonds just signed with the Nats!

...okay, just kidding. I think...

Posted by: swanni | December 3, 2007 6:31 PM | Report abuse

swanni: So nice to see you back on the blog. A question - were you previously employed by one of the other possible ownership groups, or did you come by your bitterness toward the Lerner's naturally?

Posted by: statsnut | December 3, 2007 6:33 PM | Report abuse

It makes no sense at this stage to pursue Aaron Rowand or Torii Hunter. They would be like Soriano of two seasons ago; a gem on an otherwise awful team.

This stuff takes time, and I mean "this stuff" writ large. Time to build a good organization, and time for young instant-millionaire kids to buckle down, learn what it means to work hard, and find their direction.

I'm not an apologist for anybody's bad behavior, but some of you are making these guys out to be the Upstate NY Penitentiary League All Stars. Give them a chance. Besides, and show your hypocrite cards RIGHT NOW: tell me any of you currently in the negative won't eat every bit of what you just wrote if Milledge and Dukes become perennial All-Stars.

Posted by: we all are tall | December 3, 2007 6:33 PM | Report abuse

mjteggy05,
There is well-documented evidence of the Lerners being cheap from the day it took over. (For goodness sakes, MLB spent more on payroll.) Schneider and Church would probably total more than $6 million in payroll this year so off they go (with Cordero close behind).

If they weren't cheap, at least -- at least -- they could sign Livan.

Posted by: Swanni | December 3, 2007 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Carried forward from the last posting:

Well, seeing as how you asked, Natty Delite, I've also enjoyed the dynamic of this blog overall. It doesn't bother me to see people reacting either positively or negatively to a trade, because we're each entitled to our own opinion, right?
I do have misgivings about the Dukes trade, as others do, but to label those of us who do as nancies or prejudiced, or not true fans, or [insert other label of choice here] is not constructive, IMO.

I will admit that I *am* prejudiced against domestic abusers -- of any color (see, for example, Brett Myers of the Phillies). I'm also old-fashioned, I suppose, in thinking that professional athletes should be role models for young people. I hope that Dukes will be able to turn things around. I also hope that he will subject to a zero-tolerance policy, as Dmitri was, and held accountable rather than being given a free pass off the field because of his perceived value on the field.

---

I hope that this blog does not become a negative dumping ground, because we really have a great dynamic most of the time.

I love, for instance, that swanni has come back (hopefully from just lurking?), because he always asks questions or points things out that me, in my perpetually optimistic and Nats-obsessed state, would not think to ask. I think that it shows that he is a true fan.

But putting down a kid who has probably been put down his whole life? Before he even gets to remake himself? That's not who we are. We're Nats fans. We're way better than that. Let's give the guy a chance. If he grew up in an environment like the one I teach in (College Park, GA, just south of Atlanta) then he just has not had the person in his life to set him straight about all of this. Does it excuse him from his crimes? No. But it does give us perspective.

Let's all move on from the (at this point) useless bickering over his criminal record. I want to see what else we have up our sleeve. I also want to see what he does on the field. After all that, we can bash whomever.

And now I'm done with the soapbox. Anybody else?

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 3, 2007 06:28 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 3, 2007 6:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm spending a lot of money next year on season tickets -- I would like to see some of it put into the team instead of someone's pocket.

Posted by: swanni | December 3, 2007 6:36 PM | Report abuse

LOL!!!!

_________________

some of you are making these guys out to be the Upstate NY Penitentiary League All Stars

Posted by: we all are tall | December 3, 2007 06:33 PM

Posted by: NatsNut | December 3, 2007 6:36 PM | Report abuse

natsfan1a,
Do you think Dukes' ex-girlfriend would buy that he's just a misunderstood kid who grew up in a rough neighborhood?

She was scared for her life.

DC parents, hide your daughters now!

Posted by: swanni | December 3, 2007 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Potencially, the Nats got a heck of a player. His character is not the question, and I hate many of his actions. But baseball, in general, is not some moral concept, what with the drugs, the greedy agents and their clients.
He's a kid. Maybe, he'll get it together, maybe not, but if he does, the Nats might really have something.

Posted by: j.campbell | December 3, 2007 6:39 PM | Report abuse

"I'm spending a lot of money next year on season tickets . . ."

Me too.

". . . I would like to see some of it put into the team instead of someone's pocket."

Agreed. There's still a lot of offseason left -- not to mention a lot of this week.

Posted by: Hendo | December 3, 2007 6:40 PM | Report abuse

I hear Rick Vaughn is available.
_________________________________
I'm not an apologist for anybody's bad behavior, but some of you are making these guys out to be the Upstate NY Penitentiary League All Stars.

Posted by: we all are tall | December 3, 2007 06:33 PM

Posted by: Scott in Shaw | December 3, 2007 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Hendo,
I agree and I hope I'm wrong. But the first two moves look like more of the same.

Posted by: swanni | December 3, 2007 6:42 PM | Report abuse

"the same" what? getting higher rated prospects?

===
If they weren't cheap, at least -- at least -- they could sign Livan.

Posted by: Swanni | December 3, 2007 06:35 PM
===

what's sad is i think you're serious with this. i enjoyed livo's time here, too. but he's not a quality FA signing. he won't improve the team that much. you almost sound like you're pining for the 2005 roster. let's be progressive and consider SPs under 40 for a team that's still building, ok?

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 3, 2007 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Scott in Shaw,
Rick Vaughn plays in the California Penal League. I bet those are small time crooks as opposed to organized crime hoods.

Posted by: theraph | December 3, 2007 6:45 PM | Report abuse

I hear Jimbo is trying to get an advanced copy of the Mitchell Report so he can see who will be outed with steroids. After that, their salary demands will drop like a rock -- plus, they may be up for criminal investigation.

Low salary + Criminal past = The Plan.

Posted by: swanni | December 3, 2007 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Livo would eat innings which this team desperately needs. We don't have a pitcher who's capable of going past six innings!

Come on. Shawn Hill? Tim Redding? Jason Bergman. They all start to fade around the sixth.

Posted by: swanni | December 3, 2007 6:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm guessing if we were able to get Joba Chamberlain and Jacoby Ellsbury and Matt Kemp in the same deal some of you guys would call the Nats cheap. Give it a rest. Every team wants young players. Even the Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, and Dodgers want young players. Why do you think the deals for Santana and Cabrera aren't done yet. They don't want to give up the young players. Why has Andruw Jones not signed yet? Nobody wants to give up that much money. Those trades and signings will eventually get done, but 5 years from now how much better is Ellsbury going to be than Milledge? How do you know? Who will have gotten the better deal? Better value? (I'm pretty confident the answer to that one is the Nats.)

Posted by: NatBisquit | December 3, 2007 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Irrespective of whether anyone thinks this trade is reckless, or cheap, or whatever, five will get you ten that at least one GM is sitting in Nashville thinking:

"Boy, I wish my owner had the guts to make these kinds of deals."

Posted by: Hendo | December 3, 2007 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Hendo,
You're not serious, are you?

The Nats are not regarded seriously by the league. Look at how ESPN blew us off for the Opening Night game.

Posted by: swanni | December 3, 2007 6:55 PM | Report abuse

By the way, where's Tom Boswell?

Can't at least one Post columnist write about the Nats. One? Everybody writes about the Skins, even Barry.

Posted by: swanni | December 3, 2007 6:57 PM | Report abuse

At his best Gibson is a 3rd or 4th starter, while Dukes at his best is a 30-30 guy who could hit .300. I think we got the better end of the deal in terms of upside. They both make baseball sense because we have very few young talented bats and now we have two more. I don't think money had ANYTHING to do with either of these deals. As people have said, the only money-related move I can remember is not resigning Soriano and he was not worth $140 million. This is all about becoming a contender in 2009 or 2010 and these moves helped that while signing a 32 year old CF for 5 years and $100 million doesn't.

Posted by: Salty | December 3, 2007 7:00 PM | Report abuse

i have to say, swanni, at least you're good for entertainment value...

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 3, 2007 7:03 PM | Report abuse

The hits keep on coming!

The activity that JimBo and Kasten have had this off-season is looking pretty decent all things considered. As much as we used to ridicule THE PLAN it's really looking like they've got one now, and one that is pulling gems out of nowhere. As long as our guys don't start showing up on the DC episode of "Cops," I think we're golden.

Posted by: Michael | December 3, 2007 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Potential for potenial, this is a win. If Dukes pans out, then he is a keeper for many years before he even becomes a free agent. Remember- the rays were considered a team of the near future because of Delmon Young and Elijah Dukes before they failed a few more times for high draft picks. This could be another piece of a huge short cut, a big payoff from high-stakes poker. Unless Glenn Gibson makes the Hall of Fame and Dukes squanders his chances immediately, you have to understand the chance the Nats are taking.

Posted by: Three more months | December 3, 2007 7:07 PM | Report abuse

On a completely different (and refreshing) topic, check out the staduimcam... they have the lights on!

Now if they were cheap, would they be running the lights in December??

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

Posted by: Wigi | December 3, 2007 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Swanni:

You are one sick dude. Sounds like you'd rather see the Lerners spend their money than see the Nats win.

While admitting the Post coverage of the Nats suc. ., er, leaves a bit to be desired, there was an issue with the Redskins last week that merited coverage. It is baseball's offseason, you know.

Thank goodness ESPN doesn't take us seriously. I would hate to sit out late on a March Sunday night freezing to death when I could take a whole April day to explore the nooks and crannies of the new ballpark. I can't wait. Wonder if the Lerner's will buy toilet paper?

Posted by: Why Ira? | December 3, 2007 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Barry,

I think I like the owners meeting better than the regular season. Thanks for the constant updates. I'm checking your blog every 5 minutes...this is great stuff!

Posted by: phillip | December 3, 2007 7:11 PM | Report abuse

New post.

Posted by: Hendo | December 3, 2007 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Well, we should find out soon enough what we got because he's clearly going to be getting his starts with the Nats right away.

I HATE to see young pitching prospects traded away, but as winter moves go, this makes me a lot happier than seeing them sign some barely above-average free agent to a $50 million multi-year contract. So kudos to Jim, Stan, et. al. for sticking with The Plan. I think we are lucky to have this ownership team in town.

Posted by: blog.letteddywin.com | December 3, 2007 7:18 PM | Report abuse

It's no surprise a malcontent like Dukes ended up in the Tampa Bay system. Elite organizations weed them out. And it's no surprise the Lerners jumped on them. These players cannot be dealt, because no one wants the headaches. TAMPA BAY did not want the headaches. Soooo -- you have the Lerners in a first class stadium somebody else paid for, passing off players of a caliber no other ML team would tolerate, at non-discounted ticket prices. Well, it won't be my money. If I shell out to see major league baseball, it better be for a team with major league caliber players, in every sense of the word. Professionals, not thugs.

Posted by: RL | December 3, 2007 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Hey, frequent RI poster here. Occasional NI reader, but wanted to give a quick thought. If there is one thing we all learned from the Sean Taylor situation last week its that young guys can make stupid mistakes and have a checkered past, but they can also grow up and become mature men. I am 24 and can say honestly that two or three years ago I did a lot of dumb things, at times I still do.

That comes with youth. Any of you who would deny it, well I kind of pity you, because part of the fun of life is learning from our mistakes. These two outfielders are 22 and 23 respectively. One was a showboat in NYC. I find it hard to believe that any player that young would not get the "zap" from playing baseball in that city. I don't think you can say that as much about Tampa Bay, though that city has its dark corners too.

My point is that these two guys have a long long career ahead of them, and we should not draw immediate conclusions about a long future from such a short past.

Posted by: Alex35332 | December 3, 2007 7:25 PM | Report abuse

RL: that's entirely fair but not, in my opinion, particularly realistic in the short term. I think growing or restoring a sports franchise should be added to the list of Laws and Sausages as things you don't want to see being made.

Organizationally, the Nats have very little leverage from which to deal (for which you can thank MLB.) Everybody says the 2007 draft was great. Fine: it won't bear any fruit for a few years, either to call up or to use as trade bait. I think part of the plan REQUIRES you to get value for whatever exists that fills somebody else's need (like BSchneid for Omar's desperate need for defense) and take flyers on players like Dukes and LMillz, who in this case are extraordinarily talented kids that might be head cases.

Since I hate waiting, I prefer to view the potential off-field pitfalls as a safeguard against the worst possible scenario: that they turn out to be both utterly average players and citizens. This happened with me watching Jeffrey Hammonds--he was supposed to be Rickey Henderson incarnate. Turns out Rickey is probably still better now than Jeff ever was.

I think with Dukes and LMillz, we will all be spared the waiting. One way or another.

Posted by: we all are tall | December 3, 2007 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Technically, that's called a "frog-march."

************
I tell you what- whatever Dukes has done so far, it is clear he knows how to take a walk.
Posted by: Three more months | December 3, 2007 06:20 PM

Posted by: BB | December 3, 2007 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Manny Ramirez is considered a knucklehead

Posted by: JSmac | December 3, 2007 8:16 PM | Report abuse

I think that's more "whack job" there.
********
Manny Ramirez is considered a knucklehead
Posted by: JSmac | December 3, 2007 08:16 PM

Posted by: BBc | December 3, 2007 8:26 PM | Report abuse

All of the snide "hide your daughters" jokes aside, for those who are complaining about how this 'affects the clubhouse," do any of you have a first-hand knowledge of what goes on in there or are you working off of some romanticized notion. When guys are together from late February to October, it's never always going to be sweetness and light. How many times last year did we hear about any clubhouse rancor? I think some of you overestimate the "influence" a .240-some hitting catcher had on the team. How about letting some new leaders come forth? DMH and Zim se4m to be good starts.

Posted by: leetee1955 | December 3, 2007 8:42 PM | Report abuse

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