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Pre-meeting thoughts

About to go up to the daily Jim Bowden Q&A session. But it's clear from the lobby that Nats baseball folks would like Lo Duca. This may not resolve itself quickly, however, because Lo Duca's agent is trying to drum up as much business as possible. One thing is clear, though: The Nats won't offer more than one year. No one else I've heard of has offered two, so that for now keeps them in it.

Also sense something brewing with the Japanese lefty Maekawa. He didn't pitch well in the Dominican last night, but Manny Acta saw him once when he was down there and likes him, and Jose Rijo likes him a lot.

Minor roster move: The Nats took two players -- pitchers Justin Jones and Billy Traber -- and unconditionally released them, creating more space on the 40-man roster. They have four open spots.

I'll also ask Bowden about the Rule 5 draft, which is tomorrow. The consensus in the industry is that this is a weak Rule 5 crop -- not like last year, when Washington took both Jesus Flores and Levale Speigner. Depending on how it goes above them, the Nationals could sit this one out.

I know that's not much, but it's what I've got for now. Perhaps more after sitting down with Bowden, et al.

By Barry Svrluga  |  December 5, 2007; 4:47 PM ET
 
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Comments

Sigh... I wonder how many fans would be unhappy if the Nats took a pass on Lo Duca.

I think I've only heard one on this blog. (Not me. Emphatically, not me.)

Posted by: Hendo | December 5, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I just don't get why they're so interested in Lo Duca. I'd rather have Damian Miller for one year, or for that matter any of the other options that have been mentioned.

Posted by: 9cherries.com | December 5, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Anyone but Lo Duca!!!!!!!

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

Hendo,

I just think they'd be really weak behind the plate with say Flores and Miller. Flores will get exposed if he plays 120 games next year. They need a legitimate big league regular for at least one more year.

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

Not being a stat guy, and after having read the Capitol Punishment comparison... I have only this to add to the LoDuca thing... When I watched him play last year, I remember thinking on more than one occasion, "Oh, good, LoDuca is up next..."

I think I agree (more or less) with 9cherries, that LoDuca would be my least favorite of the acceptable options.

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

Please no Lo Duca, bring back Lecroy before that...haha o.k. mabye not, we'd spend all the saved money in Kleenex (love ya Frank). Well looks like Schneider's life just got a whole lot better via a trade involving MIN-NYM-OAK that would make the DaVinci Code seem like entry-level Sudoku.....i.e. welcome to Queens, Johan.

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

If true that the Mets get Santana, I sure am glad we've got an all RH lineup to face him.

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

No Clippard announcement yet?

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

Another thought that might tap into Jimbo's creative side. Get Angelos to send us Bedard and Roberts in exchange for our promise to quit b****ing about MASN. He's a bottom line guy, this way he unloads a lot of money and gets to keep t.v. rights under his control: win-win.

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

". . . They need a legitimate big league regular for at least one more year."

Oh, I know. And Lo Duca would be OK behind the plate, I guess. And we would increase payroll, as promised. (Actually, not much, having shed Schneider.)

Except for agreeing about the real need to protect Flores, I'm just not feeling real good about the rationales for picking up Lo Duca. Crappy FA catching class or no, it seems to me we could work a little harder at finding alternatives.

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

I just don't see that Mets/A's/Twins trade happening as advertised. New York has been adamant that they're keeping Reyes, and I don't see that it's fair value at all for Minnesota.

I know I've been going around saying how much I don't want Santana to end up with Boston or New York, but it'd kill me to see him with the Mets, too.

Posted by: John in Mpls | December 5, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

i like the idea of Flores staying in the majors and platooning. Less based on L/R matchups, but more based on who's on the mound for us. Giving a young guy like him 2-3 pitchers to concentrate on working with would probably be good for his development (i think coaches have said he calls a good game for a youngster), and have the backup/platoon/stopgap handle the other pitchers or the injury replacements. thoughts?

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

While I agree, I'm sensing a feeling of urgency to get this sorted out sooner than later from the front office.

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Crappy FA catching class or no, it seems to me we could work a little harder at finding alternatives.

Posted by: John in Mpls | December 5, 2007 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Reyes [ultimately] for Santana = Minaya.

Seriously, I cannot think of a dumber trade for the Mets to make. Hot starting pitchers come and go as their arms blow out (which seems to be akin to death: cruel, pitiless, and often random). A player like Reyes, while also injurable, isn't nearly as delicate a flower.

So, now that we've reestablished that Minaya has a special talent for ruining ball clubs, what can we trade for Reyes?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 5, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

They need a legitimate big league regular for at least one more year.
Posted by: #4 | December 5, 2007 05:03 PM

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

Then why are they talking to Paul Lo Duca?

Posted by: LA Nats | December 5, 2007 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Then why are they talking to Paul Lo Duca?

Posted by: LA Nats | December 5, 2007 05:32 PM
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ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooohSNAP!!!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 5, 2007 5:36 PM | Report abuse

If we agree they need a big league regular, I'm waiting for someone to out forward a better alternative. Lo Duca is not Yogi Berra, but he's been a reasonably productive player for 10 years or so. Damian Miller does fall into that category.

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

"Giving a young guy like [Flores] 2-3 pitchers to concentrate on working with would probably be good for his development (i think coaches have said he calls a good game for a youngster), and have the backup/platoon/stopgap handle the other pitchers or the injury replacements. thoughts?"

Gotta agree with that. Before the Schneider trade, I'd been sympathetic to the notion of letting Flores catch some of our up-and-comers in AA or AAA.

Now, with Schneider gone, it's different. If the best we can do for a second catcher is Lo Duca, it just seems to me that if Flores doesn't catch 100 games a year, things could get kind of ugly.

Posted by: Hendo | December 5, 2007 5:41 PM | Report abuse

You're right #4...I was making a funny, but the sad fact is, Lo Duca might be the best option available. Although, I'd like to see them explore trade possibilities before settling for him. I just can't stand Pul Lo Duca.

Posted by: LA Nats | December 5, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Sure, but what's the driving force on Minnesota's end? Santana for Haren and Hector Pellot? Given the guys we've heard have been discussed in talks with Boston and New York, that would be a significant step backward. This can't be the best offer for Santana.

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Reyes [ultimately] for Santana = Minaya.

Posted by: John in Mpls | December 5, 2007 5:48 PM | Report abuse

My first thought when they dealt Schneider was, "OK, now they're going to have to go find a veteran catcher, like, oh, say, Brian Schneider".

Then I thought, "OK, they've decided that they're going to push Flores into a full-time starting role a little sooner than you would expect".

Now it turns out that they neither plan to make Flores full-time immediately, nor have any viable plan for providing a quality starting catcher.

It sure looks like they have absolutely no freaking idea of what they're doing.

Right now my confidence meter for the front office is registering at about zero. Wait, maybe it's stuck.... let me tap it, and...nope, still zero.

At least they picked up Manny Acta before they went completely insane.

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

There are still a few moves that could push me further up on the WTF scale, but I'm pretty close to where you are. I almost expect one of those moves - such as dealing Kearns and bascially removing any stability or insurance from the outfield - to be announced every time I check this blog.

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It sure looks like they have absolutely no freaking idea of what they're doing.

Right now my confidence meter for the front office is registering at about zero. Wait, maybe it's stuck.... let me tap it, and...nope, still zero.

Posted by: John in Mpls | December 5, 2007 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I still think trading Schneider away was a bad idea. Couldn't it have been Lopez? I know, I know, uh-uh, but still...

Posted by: Juan-John | December 5, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

"It sure looks like they have absolutely no freaking idea of what they're doing."

It's not hard to understand what they're doing: trying to make deals with precious few bargaining chips, thanks to the evisceration of the organization under MLB ownership.

Eventually, one hopes, they'll be in a position to make aggressive, big-name and (smart!) big-money deals like those the Tigers made between '04-'07 to build what could be a world-beater. (I'm still slicing and dicing the development of that team. Fascinating.)

Eventually is not now.

Posted by: Hendo | December 5, 2007 6:03 PM | Report abuse

"It's not hard to understand what they're doing: trying to make deals with precious few bargaining chips, thanks to the evisceration of the organization under MLB ownership."

And I would like to thank Omar Minaya for all he's doing to help fix the problem he caused as well as encourage him to continue.

Jose Reyes, what's your price?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 5, 2007 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Eh, my boy can handle him...

---

If true that the Mets get Santana, I sure am glad we've got an all RH lineup to face him.

Posted by: Speigner's mom | December 5, 2007 6:12 PM | Report abuse

A 1 year deal to Lo Duca wouldn't bother me too much I guess, though I still think they should make a move for Montero too, have him back-up next year and let Flores start the year in Harrisburg with Detwiler, Myers, Maxwell, Daniels, Marrero, Carr and Ian Desmond.

Posted by: estuartj | December 5, 2007 6:18 PM | Report abuse

And I'm still a fan of the schneider trade - good guy, but his value was not going up and we got a quality player for him.

I wish we could have held onto Church since I (and maybe only me) think he is a quality lefty bat that we will miss (schneiders bat we will not). I think the same thing about Lopez, his value can only go up so better to wait for nezt year to move him, though I think he can be a quality player at 2B.

Posted by: estuartj | December 5, 2007 6:23 PM | Report abuse

estuartj,

Im with you on Church, as im sure is no surprise to anyone seeing as though i've been called Church's mom a few times here...

But i feel that we got a great steal on this trade.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | December 5, 2007 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Barry has another new post. No wonder he can't get into the restaurants...

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 5, 2007 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Are the powers that be stupid enough to get LoDuca! Everything from the Nat's camp , since Milledge, has been frustrating. I was an Expo fan--Thought I'd got used to it.

Posted by: natspo | December 5, 2007 7:32 PM | Report abuse

hopefully this team can find some more afro-american players to fill out the rest of the roster, and possible have jeese j. and cousin al sharpton throw out the first pitch on opening day, then we could all raise our right fists high into the air and proclaim : "POWER TO THE PEOPLE"


p.s. this blog needs to hook up with arenas and do an super-blog, also when is lastings gonna do a duet with diddy?

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

who let him in here?

Posted by: c | December 5, 2007 8:53 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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