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Eight Thoughts, Observations and Informational Nuggets

Hopefully, this gives a little context to the Nats' biggest transactional day of the year

ONE. Here's the story on the Rauch trade and Guzman extension. Here's the notebook, which looks at Joel Hanrahan's new role and Wily Mo Pena's lost season. Here's the gamer, and all jokes aside, I think the Nats are something like 0-23 when their run total equals the number of Nats stories in The Post.

TWO. The weekly chat comes along at the perfect time. We'll do it at 2 p.m. EST, 11 a.m. on the west coast.

THREE. Rauch told The Arizona Republic, "I don't think it could have worked out any better. I'm extremely excited to be here and be a part of it and just hope I can help the club win." (If you're curious, the paper has polled its readers on their opinion of the trade.)

FOUR. A few outside-the-organization baseball people with whom I talked last night had two basic thoughts about the Guzman extension. First, they were surprised -- dare I even say, impressed -- that the Nats were able to ink their shortstop for just two seasons. A contract longer than that for such an injury-prone player (especially an injury-prone player inching, by then, toward his mid-30s) would have been excessively player-friendly. Here, Guzman signed for his market value, maybe a sliver above, but the length is the key. By the end of 2010, Washington will hope to have another shortstop ready. Maybe Smiley Gonzalez is that man. Maybe it's somebody not yet with the organization. But this, essentially, buys the Nats some time to figure it out.

FIVE. So, Guzman and Rauch were the two big names. But what's next? Well, it's unquestionable that the team would love to part ways with Paul Lo Duca and Felipe Lopez. Right now, the market for both players is tepid at best. Lo Duca is very open to playing elsewhere, but still views himself as a catcher. Right now, the Nats cannot really get at bats for him at the position, so it's tough for him to showcase whatever ability he still has back there. Whatever value he has in the meantime is going to come from his bat. Since coming off the DL in mid-June, Lo Duca is 18 for 67 (.269). Lopez, meanwhile, has been given more playing time he deserves, simply so the Nats can give their second baseman a chance to play himself out of town. Hasn't happened so far. The briefly-discussed deal with the Orioles is long dead. Any scouts that watch Lopez see his work ethic, his penchant for errors, his come-and-go bat. Pennant-chasing teams don't need that.

SIX. The Rauch deal fits very much within the context of Jim Bowden's trading philosophy. He's always shown a willingness to trade relief pitchers for everyday position players. As GM of the Reds, he traded Norm Charlton for Kevin Mitchell (1992). He traded Jeff Brantley for Dmitri Young (1997). He traded Jeff Shaw for Paul Konerko and Dennys Reyes (1998). And of course, in 2006, he traded two key relievers, Gary Majewski and Bill Bray, to Cincinnati for Austin Kearns and Felipe Lopez. (Well, those were the big names. The Nats also acquired reliever Ryan Wagner in the deal. They dealt Brendan Harris, Royce Clayton and Daryl Thompson.)

SEVEN. Here is assistant GM Mike Rizzo's free-of-charge scouting report on Bonifacio, acquired for Rauch: "He was the fastest guy I ever scouted. I just really loved his acrobatic, live body. Always threw well playing shortstop, always moved really well. We started him switch-hitting then, and the bat has really come on to the point where we think he's going to be a productive major league hitter. Especially - he's left-side dominant right now, and he's still a work-in-progress with the right hand. But he's really gotten a feel for playing the little game; he bunts a lot more now, a lot better. He hits down on the ball. For him, fly balls are bad. He makes his living on the ball on the ground. If the shortstop, the ordinary shortstop, if he has to move two steps to his right, [Emilio] has a really good shot of beating out that ball. As you can see he's slowly learning the strike zone better. His strikeouts have cut down season by season by season. We think he adds a terrific, different dimension to the ballclub. He's probably the fastest player in all of baseball right now. He's an accomplished basestealer that is only going to get better. He's getting better at reading pitchers and working hard."

EIGHT. If you're wondering, and no doubt you are, Joel Hanrahan is sticking with his Brooks & Dunn into music. Just because he's a closer now doesn't mean he needs some Hoffmanian intimidation. Boot-scootin' it remains.

By Chico Harlan  |  July 23, 2008; 11:16 AM ET
 
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Next: Tonight's lineups from AT&T

Comments

good job. now sign more picks.

Posted by: longterm | July 23, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Just a horrible trade by the Nationals. This is all they could get for Rauch? I don't buy it.

Posted by: My 2 cents | July 23, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

dang, got new posted:

---------------------------
was anyone else that watched the game as upset as I was over Lopez' at-bats?

In the second, with LoDuca on second base with two outs, Lopez walks. Usually not a big deal, but when he's got Bergmann coming up next (the pitcher that has ZERO hits this year and has looked absolutely horrible at the plate all year long), as the #8 hitter you HAVE to be aggressive with a runner in scoring position with two outs!

In the 4th, LoDuca on first, Belliard on third with one out. He strikes out on THREE PITCHES! He looked totally uninterested in that at-bat. A simple fly ball probably scores Belly and would have tied the game up. And don't get me started on his error in the bottom of the 4th ...

Posted by: e | July 23, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if Lo Duca will get a look from the Yankees since they lost Posada? Are there any more catchers out in the market? He would be a good fit. He's a veteran and a Brooklyn native.

Posted by: Pablo | July 23, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Felipe Lopez really sucks. You're not going to get crap for him. May as well just release him and call up the light hitting strikeout machine in Emilio.

Posted by: Ehhh | July 23, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

In case anyone's interested, with 624 votes in, 43.43% of respondents said "I hate giving up Emilio Bonifacio, but the deal had to be done."

38.86% said "This is not enough. The D-Backs need to make another move"

19.71% said "It's about time they did something"

The Arizona Republic is smart enough not to allow their readers the ability to vote negatively.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 23, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

responding to a comment from last thread:


was anyone else that watched the game as upset as I was over Lopez' at-bats?

In the second, with LoDuca on second base with two outs, Lopez walks. Usually not a big deal, but when he's got Bergmann coming up next (the pitcher that has ZERO hits this year and has looked absolutely horrible at the plate all year long), as the #8 hitter you HAVE to be aggressive with a runner in scoring position with two outs!

Posted by: e | July 23, 2008 11:29 AM

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

e, I disagree. In that situation, your number one priority is to get on base so that the pitcher doesn't lead off the next inning. As to your other criticisms, well, yeah. I'd like to get rid of Lopez too.

Posted by: abc | July 23, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Carter was never really ours in the Pena deal. The ability of people to just continue to pound meaningless minutiae is astounding.

Posted by: JHC | July 23, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I responded to this when you posted it in the last thread. If you are referring to my earlier comment, then your ability to misunderstand and distort a simple comment is astounding.

* * * * *

Carter was never really ours in the Pena deal. The ability of people to just continue to pound meaningless minutiae is astounding.

Posted by: JHC | July 23, 2008 11:39 AM

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | July 23, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Carrying over:

What concerns me about these deals is it makes pretty clear, especially in conjunction with Lerner's comments about not taking on big contracts, that the Nats are not planning to add star power to their lineup at any position through free agency or trade. They are trying to shoot the moon and hoping that, aside from Guzman, every other position player becomes something more than he currently is. And that really is not a plan, it's hoping that you get lucky.

Posted by: Lerners ARE Cheap | July 23, 2008 11:24 AM

Posted by: Lerners ARE Cheap | July 23, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I hate to see Big John go but I like the deal. I did chuckle reading all the posts that said we didn't get enough in the deal after two years of reading lamentations that JimBo was asking too much for Soriano and Cordero.

I do wonder if we tried to throw-in Lopez as well?

Posted by: lowcountry | July 23, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Was it hard for the D-backs to come up with a uniform that would fit Rauch on such short notice?

Posted by: Just wondering... | July 23, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I heard JimBo offered Lopez for free, and Arizona pulled back Boni and offered Tony Batista's little brother instead.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 23, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Am I wrong?

Posted by: JHC | July 23, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I added some corrections:

What concerns me about these deals is it makes pretty clear, especially in conjunction with Lerner's comments about not taking on big contracts, that the Nats are not planning to add star power to their lineup at any position through free agency or trade [yet. In a couple of years, when they've developed a handful of good, young players, they'll dump filler trash like Guzman and spend money on players who can actually help us win. Guzman, as much as we all love the guy, is not one of those players]. They are trying to shoot the moon [by picking up prospects with very high ceilings, who are always a gamble--but with a potential payoff much higher than the available vets] and hoping that, aside from Guzman, every other position player becomes something more than he currently is. [Guzman is irrelevant, because he'll be gone by the time we're really good. Well done Jim, limiting him to a 2-year contract. As for the other players, we'll need a few extra to pan out so we'll have trade bait for the players we can't grow ourselves.] And that really is not a plan, it's hoping that you get lucky. [Which is, of course, a major element of any plan in a business this volatile. It does suck that we have to pay money to see a team that may or may not actually turn out any good. But as understanding, intelligent fans, we get that there is no right way to build a contending team. If there were, we wouldn't be in this argument to begin with, since we'd all know the right answers.]

Posted by: LAC's editor | July 23, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Yes, you are wrong because you are taking shots ("The ability of people to just continue to pound meaningless minutiae is astounding.") at arguments that aren't being made. Stop arguing with straw men.

* * * * *

Am I wrong?

Posted by: JHC | July 23, 2008 11:55 AM

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | July 23, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Great trade. And I think Rauch said the situation is perfect in the context that his wife is from Tucson and they already own a home there.

Posted by: G-town | July 23, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

So what was the point of mentioning Carter? To cast doubt on Rizzo? If the point is Rizzo and not Carter, you're still putting stock in some notion that Carter was somehow ours, or ours for the taking, and he wasn't.

Some argument *is* being made. Apparently I don't know what it is.

Posted by: JHC | July 23, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

What grade are you guys in?

Posted by: the principal | July 23, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Re-signing Guzman to a 2year deal at market value and not letting him get to the FA market is a huge plus for us. Look at our minor league Short Stops and you'll see why this was a great deal.
- Ed Rogers (30yrs old)
- Ray Olmedo (27, injured and a 6yr FA)
- Ian Desmond (23, high draft pick but moving slowly through the system, just returning from dl)
- Seth Bynum (28, a backup at AA)
- Dan Lyons (24 and hitting well in A but upside of Egonzales spells his doom).
- Jose Lozada (just drafted this year, not ready yet)

Posted by: Sec131 | July 23, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

the point could be made that, instead of trading for carter to make him the PTBNL in the WMP deal, we could have just tried to make the trade for carter and kept him and not bothered with WMP at all. it's not like the cost would have been any different.

at least that's what i would guess the point about keeping carter would be all about.

Posted by: 231 | July 23, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

lol... i have to say that's amusing after your rants last night, dk. ;)
Posted by: 231 | July 23, 2008 12:04 PM

rants = passion. when i stop ranting, thats when you have to worry. thats when ive given up. and trust me, theyre really trying my patience right now. it aint ez.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Well, JHC, if my point about Rizzo intrigued you even though you didn't understand it, maybe you just should have asked as you now are, rather than critiquing arguments not made.

Yes, my point is about Rizzo--generally speaking I am impressed with what I have heard about him. But the fact that he knows these guys we have gotten from AZ doesn't do much to reassure me about Bonifacio. Let's face it--Chico and Mock are average *at best* and not pieces of a winning team.

The best guy from their system that we have had anything to do with--Carter--was a guy that Theo Epstein apparently wanted, and that Rizzo did not. Again, I am not arguing that trading for WMP was a bad move. I think that it was a good gamble and would do it again. But you're wrong to say that Carter wasn't ours for the taking--he was, the D'Backs took Fruto for him. So, why did Theo want Carter more than Rizzo did, when Rizzo knew him a lot better? He seems to be the kind of diamond-in-the-rough that we would target and get from the D'Backs given Rizzo's experience with their system, as opposed to mediocrities with little upside like Chico and Mock. I hope Bonifacio is a bit more, but so far I'm skeptical, and the fact that Rizzo knows him well doesn't reassure me given the Nats' AZ track record.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | July 23, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Curious about the statement below from Bowden and 756* comment.

Did we get offered less for Chad last year? Could Chad not get a 23 year old glove guy who might develop into more than Nook or Willie as a hitter? As 756* points out, Rauch may have been more valuable because he has an attractive contract (not to mention better peripherals than Chad had).

------------------
"You have to trade a reliever when you have the chance to get an every-day position player who's 23 years old. You have to do it."
______________

Arizona is getting 2+ years of Rauch. For that, we should have gotten more. Everyone on XM-MLB is saying the same.

Posted by: 756* | July 23, 2008 1:22 AM

Posted by: PTBNL (not named Carter) | July 23, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

As I recall, the Fruto-Carter switch was why WMP was so cheap. Bowden basically laundered Carter for the Sox and got WMP as a bone.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 23, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

DK said earlier: 7. in closing id just like to wish everyone a very happy wednesday and let people know there is actually a team worth watching in the md, dc area and thats bigtrain. nice team, great stadium, fantastic evening of baseball.
good day.

bigtrain? bigtrain? In case there are other folks who don't know what this is, I just figured out--college-level baseball, part of the Ripken Sr league, with home stadium in Bethesda: www.bigtrain.org. Sounds cool but unfortunately there's not much left of its season.

Posted by: Section 109 | July 23, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Arizona is getting 2+ years of Rauch. For that, we should have gotten more. Everyone on XM-MLB is saying the same.
Posted by: 756* | July 23, 2008 1:22 AM

you dont need every1 on xm tellin u that. all u need is common sense. dk told you that already.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

In all seriousness, dk, why no capital letters? I have trouble taking you seriously.

(Also doesn't help that I disagree with your pessimism and most of your opinions, but that's a discussion for another time.)

Posted by: abc | July 23, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Was it hard for the D-backs to come up with a uniform that would fit Rauch on such short notice?

Posted by: Just wondering... | July 23, 2008 11:52 AM

I imagine Randy Johnson had a few extras lying around.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Carter, in all likelihood, won't ever have a place with the big club. He's working on his 3rd year of AAA ball and loses legitimate prospect status with every day that passes. His track right now is closer to an organizational player or fringe major leaguer than it is to everyday starter. This is what I don't get.

Cracking our lineup vs. Boston's lineup is obviously not the same, but he had no place here when the trade was made. Hindsight is always perfect, but I'd still take WMP every time.

Posted by: JHC | July 23, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Most of the national media that I've seen thinks that Bowden didn't get enough for Rauch. I was watching the Reds/Pads game last night, and the Reds announcers were lamenting that they didn't end up w/ Rauch. I don't know much about the guy we got, but, if I'm not mistaken, Hudson is a free agent at the end of this season, so one wonders why if he was such a hot prospect why Arizona didn't keep him until they know what their 2B position is going to look like next year.

What really bothers me about this trade is, like every other trade, it looks like a salary dump to me. They save $2 mil per year by unloading Rauch's contract for a rookie making minimum, and this gives them an easy out to let Felipe and his $5 mil walk. There's a cool $7 mil savings. So they kept Guzman, gave him a nice raise of $4 mil per year and at the same time further reduced a payroll which is already near/at the lowest in the league. Makes the 'cheap' tag stick just a little bit more.

It also bothers me that 'the future' seems to be a moving target that never arrives. When the team came in '05, they were cutting payroll, they said, to ready themselves to compete when the new park opened. When Lopez and Kearns were traded here, they stated that they were two players for the long term. Now that the original 'future' has arrived, suddenly everything is pushed back a few more years. One wonders what will become of these prized 23 year olds (Zim, Flores, Milledge, Dukes, etc.) when their contracts come due and the Lerners are actually going to have to pay them more than minimum to retain them.

Posted by: Ray | July 23, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

= Jesus H. Christ? AKA Willie Harris??

Posted by: JHC | July 23, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Keep in mind, Ray, that the people calling the opening of Nats Park "the future" were people trying to sell it and a new ball park for the maximum amount of money.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 23, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

dk has a brilliant mind

Posted by: ee cummings | July 23, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

"We started him switch-hitting then, and the bat has really come on to the point where we think he's going to be a productive major league hitter. Especially - he's left-side dominant right now, and he's still a work-in-progress with the right hand."

This guy is starting to sound even more like the second coming of Nook Logan. Let's hope I'm wrong about that, to compensate me for being right about the two-year Guzman deal - a tradeoff I could definitely live with.

Posted by: Ray King's Gut Feeling | July 23, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

this from espn.com:
"Bonifacio has stolen 120 bases over the past three seasons, though he doesn't bring much else to the table."

hmmmm.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I read this Blog last year say two weeks after the trade deadline. It was moan, groan, -- Why did'nt he trade Cordero?--He was asking for too much, etc.etc. It would have been the same this year if Rauch were still with us on August 1. Jimbo/Rizzo traded a SETUP pitcher for a prospect who will play second base far better tha Lopez is now regarless of how his bat works out (something we won't know until May-June next season).

Posted by: Sec 204 Row K Seat 11 | July 23, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Ray,
Does anyone really think the Reds would trade with us again, especially for a reliever?

Announcers can say whatever they want, but I think this trade fits pretty well with market values for relievers. All this talk is conjecture and BS.

As for the salary dump I don't see Rauch's salary as a big savings, not paying FLop $5mil for next season is a great move though, no matter what the teams salary is next year!

I do agree that it looks like the team won't be making a big move for a FA position player, with Flores, DY/NJ, E-Boni, Zim, Guz, Dukes, Milledge & Kearns there aren't a lot of short term opportunities for an upgrade. Starting Pitching may be another story, there a few really good FA possibilities in the off season and as opposed to first baseman, you can never have enough starting pitchers...

Posted by: MO Nats Fan | July 23, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

It also bothers me that 'the future' seems to be a moving target that never arrives.
Posted by: Ray | July 23, 2008 12:52 PM

exactly~

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

If the future was supposed to be now we would have made more a move to hold onto Soriano.

I think the goal was supposed to be we become competitive this year and next and then compete for the WC in '10-11 and the WS in '12-13. The injuries this year have certainly kept us from any hope of competitiveness, but as Kasten said in this interview with mlb.com this weekend the team we've played with and the team they had penciled in are so different it's difficult to judge the work they did in the off-season.

Posted by: estuartj | July 23, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Doctor gave me 6 months to live. When I told him I couldn't pay the bill, he gave me another 6 months.

Posted by: Jimmy Tango | July 23, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Hahaha, I don't know if you meant that to be a zinger, dk, but it was hilarious.

"Yet all experience is an arch wherethro'
Gleams that untravell'd world, whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move."

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 23, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

dk: So when did you scout Bonafacio? You seem to know all about him without ever having seen him play. Must do something right to be an all-star 4 straight years.

What do you know about common sense, anyway? You don't judge deals with what the talking heads say. You judge them on performance. Remember how great the talking heads said the Kearns deal was. They were exactly right about us stealing him, weren't they?

Posted by: Ira | July 23, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Re: Free Agents

With Guzie, would you rather have him for 2 yrs/16M or Furcal for probably 3-4 at 13-15? No other shortstops on the Free agent market are appealing.

I was interested in Hudson, but one thing to consider, even if the money is equal, free agents like Hudson would most likely sign with winning teams unless a) the Nats overpay or b) the player has a tie to the DC area or a reason he wants to play here. While being a teammate of Willie Harris might be tempting, most I would imagine pass.

Who is in favor of going after Texeira? NJ and DY have 1 year left (2009), I doubt there's much of a market for either one so it would require the Nats to eat a contract or 2.

Posted by: joNAThan | July 23, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Chico,
Thanks for the info. We live or die by the information we get and you are now feeding the beast with appreciated regularity.

Let's play two!

Posted by: SlowPitch63 | July 23, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

One of my 5 favorite things about ATT Park: No Clint.

Posted by: John | July 23, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I think the goal was supposed to be we become competitive this year and next
Posted by: estuartj | July 23, 2008 1:07 PM

well what happened? injuries? well every1 has them. no one wants to hear bout your injuries. if you cant win with injuries, youre doin something wrong. and if youve got more than any other team, maybe you should be looking at your conditioning coaches etc.
either way, they failed this year so what makes you think theyll be any more successful next?

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I would love to get Texiera if we can get a reasonable tenure, which I doubt.

One the the biggest advantages this team is going to have moving forward is that they have no long term contract commitments, if memory serves the only player signed for 2010 is Christian Guzman...

Posted by: estuartj | July 23, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

other than the theory that the fans will have to pay for increasing salaries, why does the amount of money mean anything in this sport?

there is no salary cap. who cares how much someone is signed for? the owners are making their money from everything - advertising, merchandise, licensing, concessions, parking, taxes, etc...

does it matter in any way shape or form, if guzman was making 10 million per year instead of 8? this isnt the nfl or the nba. i dont see why it matters at all.

does anyone care to tell me why the money makes decisions in baseball other than to help owners pocket more revenue?

Posted by: theraph | July 23, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

The future has been defined as 2010 for 2 years now.
*****************************************

It also bothers me that 'the future' seems to be a moving target that never arrives.
Posted by: Ray | July 23, 2008 12:52 PM

exactly~

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 1:02 PM

Posted by: Section 138 | July 23, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

They must be really high on Bonafacio. From the extra bases blog at boston.com:

"Red Sox asked about Rauch
According to the Globe's Gordon Edes, the Sox inquired about reliever Jon Rauch before he was traded by Washington to Arizona, but the Nationals were asking for top prospects Michael Bowden and Jed Lowrie. Rauch has a 2.92 ERA and had 17 saves as the Nats closer before being dealt."

Lowrie's been discussed here. Bowden is the only one of their top 5 picks (Hansen, Ellsbury, Lowrie, Bowden, and Buchholz)from 2005 not to make the majors yet, but that is because he was a high school kid when taken. One of the best pitchers in the Eastern League this year (101 Ks in 104.1 innings, with a 2.33 ERA and a WHIP under 1). 21 years old. Compare to Jordan Zimmermann, except 4 months younger.

Just a thought - how many evaluators had Bonafacio as better than Lowrie alone? It seems from the comments made by Bowden and Rizzo that this team is more infatuated with athleticism than with baseball skills. Lowrie, I/M/O, with his high OBP and good OPS, would seem to be a better leadoff hitter candidate than Bonafacio. Not the base stealing threat, but our manager doesn't like steal attempts unless the runner is 75%+, which is not Bonafacio's track record. The only question on Lowrie defensively is whether he can stick at SS. It is conceded he'll be a very good defensive 2d baseman.

Posted by: PTBNL | July 23, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Remember how great the talking heads said the Kearns deal was. They were exactly right about us stealing him, weren't they?
Posted by: Ira | July 23, 2008 1:13 PM

say what you will bout my ma and pa. you can even badmouth my baby sis. but you watch your tongue when it comes to my beloved austin ks. ive killed men for less.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Hold on just a minute. Imagine this kids glove at 2nd instead of FLop. Imagine how many more runs we score this year if Bonifacio gets on. If he gets on, a big if I know . . . he's instantly on 2nd and in scoring position. Think of all those Guzman hits with Bonifacio on 2nd. All he needs to do is hit a FLoplike .243 and I'll be loving the upgrade. If nothing else it will be a pleasure to see, less errors at 2nd and someone who will run out a grounder.

I miss Rauch as much as the next guy but this seems like a pretty good deal. I believe in Rizzo's assessment. All of the whining about we didn't get more, you think Jimbo is gonna turn down more if he got one in an offer? This is the same old let's trade Etan Thomas for Kevin Garnett nonsense. Rauch is good, but come on.

Looking forward to all that speed bothing the crap out of opposing pitchers.

Posted by: Johnny Baconbitz | July 23, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

You're one of those people that just talk to talk, aren't you? You are the most ignorant fan in the world if you think every team has 21 trips to the DL by 14 players, EIGHT of those being in your opening day lineup. If you want to make valid arguments, go ahead, but please stop typing just so some words show up.
************************************
well what happened? injuries? well every1 has them. no one wants to hear bout your injuries....
Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 1:23 PM

Posted by: Section 138 | July 23, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Trade was ok IF Bonifacio turns out to be a plus defensive 2b. There's no present evidence he will be anything other than a speedy guy with no power & no patience--a pre-sabremetics star.

I agree with the posters who speculate that Rauch should have brought more in return.

Re-signing Guzman was a coup. There are flat-out no other SS available this winter who will be as adequately defensively and offensively (no patience, but some extra-base pop). Furcal will be a FA but he might not be healthy. Guzman is in shape, hustles, & his injuries have been flukes, not conditioning issues or muscle strains.

Posted by: 307/418 | July 23, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

@joNAThon: I brought up Teixiera the other day. I love Nick, but he's got to prove (a la Guz) that he can stay healthy before I trust him in future plans. MT is an equal glove (two GG's) and a power upgrade, though a falloff on OBP. And that's a comparison with a HEALTHY NJ, which we've seen far too little of.

As with most transactions, I give the Rauch an incomplete. I'd love a great glove with speed at 2b, as long as I could compliment it with offensive production out of the OF. Can Dukes/Milledge/Kearns supply that? Are we counting on the eventual arrival of Maxwell et al? Or is this a piece that could be available for 09?

Posted by: nat in beantown | July 23, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

O.k., I was content with the trade - but now knowing that we could've gotten Lowrie straight up...I'm a little upset.

I may be one of the only mid-20's aged, so-called "yuppie", person in the D.C. area who can't stand the Red Sox; however, this guy is going to be a legit 2nd baseman. If this trade went down yesterday as Rauch for Lowrie, I'd been bouncing off the walls.

Still though, it is what it is and hopefully this kid will develop into a .250-.260+ guy with good wheels and a solid glove. Looking at the potential of having 3 (speed, fielding, throwing) of the 5 tools with a possiblity for a 4th (hit for average) with some more seasoning.

Posted by: Corey | July 23, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Here are E-Boni's splits;

vs Left .240/.315/.320/.635
vs Right .326/.361/.412/.773

Those numbers batting left handed are pretty good, obviously he needs to work on the other side, just looking at vs righties his OBP is pretty nice and his power acceptable for a lead-off type, especially if he can steal some singles into doubles.

Speaking of which, this season he's stealing at 68% (17SB vs 8CS), but last year he was 41 and 13 (76%) so this is real potential there.

Posted by: MO Nats Fan | July 23, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Where does it say we could have gotten Lowrie? It just says that's what we were asking for from Boston (in addition to Bowden).

Posted by: Jimmy Tango | July 23, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Corey, It doesn't say that. It says the Nats ASKED for Lowrie, hence why the trade didn't go through.
***************************************
O.k., I was content with the trade - but now knowing that we could've gotten Lowrie straight up...I'm a little upset.
Posted by: Corey | July 23, 2008 1:47 PM

Posted by: Section 138 | July 23, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

138, thanks. Sorry, got a little carried away.

Posted by: Corey | July 23, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I guess since it said Bowden or Lowrie, then Jimmy was asking for both of them...hence, why Theo wouldn't agree.

From there, I assumed that one or the other would've done it.

Well, we all knows what happens when one assumes.

Posted by: Corey | July 23, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo talking about Bonif's ability to hit grounders is NOT reassuring.

It seems that Bowden and Rizzo have a unique system of ranking prospects, ala Billy Beane but without the statistics. If fact, I would probably describe it as "hunches of raw tools with a twinge of nostalgia." Personally, I'm not comfortable with their track record.

I still wonder about Guzman. The two years part is fine. I still can't shake the memory of the past 3 years, so the money is a little jarring. Plus, wouldn't we have received compensation picks for him? He was injured much of last year, but his '08 production should raise his ranking.

The Plan is confounding.

Thanks PTBNL for the shout out.

Posted by: 756* | July 23, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Corey, that who exchange is pure BS. Here was the quote;

"the Sox inquired about reliever Jon Rauch before he was traded by Washington to Arizona, but the Nationals were asking for top prospects Michael Bowden and Jed Lowrie."

There is NOTHING in there that says that the Red Sox would have traded Lowrie.

The sox asked about Rauch, we asked for the moon, there is no info whatsoever about what the Sox counter offered.

Let's not kill ourselves analyzing this thing to death, especially based on spotty info, or pure conjecture!

Posted by: estuartj | July 23, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I meant to say, "...since it said Bowden and Lowrie".

Wow, get a little prematurely excited and everything goes out the window.

Posted by: Corey | July 23, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

"the Sox inquired about reliever Jon Rauch before he was traded by Washington to Arizona, but the Nationals were asking for top prospects Michael Bowden and Jed Lowrie."
_______________________________

Makes you wonder if that turned them off. If I was a GM and got ridiculous demands time and time again, I might just stop dealing with that person/organization. Is Bowden the joke GM that almost everyone tries to avoid?

Posted by: 756* | July 23, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

The sox asked about Rauch, we asked for the moon, Posted by: estuartj | July 23, 2008

perfect. thats bowdens mo.
just like with soriano. no one trusts bowden. no one wants to deal with him. everything is about fleecing people till no one will deal with him so he just ends up getting zilch.
guy is the absolute worst gm in baseball. and hes all ours.
whoopie.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm moving away from the window.

*****
Wow, get a little prematurely excited and everything goes out the window.

Posted by: Corey | July 23, 2008 1:56 PM

Posted by: Section 3 | July 23, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

We are assuming the report about the red sox is accurate. Would anyone think JimBow is a fool for asking for Bowden OR Lawrie?

Posted by: estuartj | July 23, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

bowdens whole deal is about tryin to get over on people. to make a good deal with people that you are going to have to deal with time and again, you want both parties to feel good about the trade. not like you got over on some1. but thats jim bowden. why is he still with us.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the signing of Rafael Furcal - he's coming off of back surgery and is not expected to play again this season. This will severely reduce his payday in the offseason. Whereas a 3-4 year deal in the $50M range was expected, I think he's more likely to sign a 1 year deal to prove his health.

One more thing for the record, the Lerners didn't take over the team until July of the 2006 season. So, cut them some slack on 2005.

Oh yeah, cut Lopez now. He's a bum and a bum with a bad attitude.

Posted by: Sec 114, Row E | July 23, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

so which is it? he asks for too much, or he doesn't get enough in return? he trades too many pitchers, or no one will deal with him for relievers?
i lost track there.

Posted by: section 3 of my lowercase | July 23, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Tear him for his bad verses!!

Posted by: I'm Lopez the Poet! | July 23, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

"to make a good deal with people that you are going to have to deal with time and again, you want both parties to feel good about the trade."

Hold on, hold on!! This reminds me of a trade that JUST happened, where both sides said they were really happy with the results. Just give me a second, I'm sure I'll remember it...

Posted by: abc | July 23, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

We are assuming the report about the red sox is accurate. Would anyone think JimBow is a fool for asking for Bowden OR Lawrie?

Posted by: estuartj | July 23, 2008 2:07 PM
_________________________________

YES. If Jimbo made that request, then it's insulting the intelligence of Theo Epstein (who has 2 WS rings).

Posted by: 756* | July 23, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

so which is it? he asks for too much, or he doesn't get enough in return? he trades too many pitchers, or no one will deal with him for relievers?
Posted by: section 3 of my lowercase | July 23, 2008 2:12 PM

bowden is obviously not versed in the art of the deal. its not about what you first ask for, its about what you compromise for. and the end result with mr b is usually very bad.
theres got to be give and take and good faith when making a deal and people dont seem to have that with mr b.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

[quote=ray]They save $2 mil per year by unloading Rauch's contract[/quote]

that would sound really good if you didn't realize that the $2m/yr they were paying rauch is considered a very team-friendly contract for a quality reliever. finanicially, it would have made more sense to keep rauch.

[quote=theraph]there is no salary cap[/quote]

no *hard* salary cap, but there is an additional cost to go above the threshhold for the luxury tax. and at that point, every $1 you spend costs $2. and while it may mean nothing to you, as a fan, it does mean something to ownership. even stupid rich ownership. even steinbrenner occasionally balked at bigger dollar signs. you have to figure that, like every other team, the nationals have an actual budget for payroll. so every dollar not spent on one FA/resigned player potentially is another dollar spent on a different FA/resigned player. thus it's worth caring about not overpaying if your long-term desire is to see the team win.

Posted by: 231 | July 23, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: section 3 of my lowercase
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
I laughed at that. Thank you.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

BTW, Furcal's VORP of 28.2 is not dramatically higher than Guzman's (24.2). The only two major league ss with dramatically higher VORP than Guzzie: Hanley Ramirez (52.5) and Jose Reyes (40.0).

Posted by: Tom Servo | July 23, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

to make a good deal with people that you are going to have to deal with time and again, you want both parties to feel good about the trade. not like you got over on some1.

even in the os/seattle bedard for 5 trade. it was a good trade/even trade for both that unfortunately didnt work out for seattle. but had bedard pitched normally and seattle contended, every1 in the pnw woulda been pleased. the os mainly got prospects except for sherrill, who has overperformed so they didnt fleece any1.
but mr b doesnt really know how to deal with people. he tries to take advantage and i dont think many people want to deal with him.
even the reds dont want any part of him anymore and thats sayin alot.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: theraph | July 23, 2008 1:27 PM
does anyone care to tell me why the money makes decisions in baseball other than to help owners pocket more revenue?
__________________________________________

Even if there isn't a salary cap that doesn't mean baseball teams don't have a budget.

If the Nats overpay for a free agent (as has been mentioned previously they almost certainly would have to do) that takes away money the Nats can use to extend Zimmerman or try to sign one of their young pitching prospects to a long term deal.

I don't know the details of the Nats budget, but sometimes if you increase the money available for development (drafts, scouting, the farm, etc.) that means the MLB salaries will need to be reduced. And vice versa.

Sure owners want to pocket as much of the profit possible, but they also want to make more profit, which usually means spending more money on player development and salaries. If an owner is thinking long term it actually doesn't make sense to be "cheap" in the beginning. The solution isn't to overpay, the solution is to increase the budget until the profits increase.

Posted by: NOVA Giants Fan | July 23, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

756*, are you kidding? If the sox did in fact want Rauch, what were they going to offer if not somone like Bowden OR Lawrie? It seems like a high asking price to me, but certainly in the right zip code.

Posted by: estuartj | July 23, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

How do yall think these things usually go down?

-GM 1 calls GM 2 and says, I've got these guys...do you need anything and what are you willing to offer
-GM 1 calls and says, I really like your player...what will it take for me to get him
-GM 1 calls and says, looks like you need a [position]...I'll give you this guy for that one
-GM 1 calls and says, give me player a and b and you can have this guy

....there are numerous scenarios, I guess it boils down to how does the offer/counteroffer process get going - is it a straight offer or more of a here is a list of guys I'm offering or what?

Posted by: Corey | July 23, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

The sox asked about Rauch, we asked for the moon, Posted by: estuartj | July 23, 2008

perfect. thats bowdens mo.
just like with soriano. no one trusts bowden. no one wants to deal with him. everything is about fleecing people...
whoopie.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 2:06 PM

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

bowden is obviously not versed in the art of the deal. its not about what you first ask for, its about what you compromise for.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 2:19 PM

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

First of all, I love how you took that first quote from estuartj out of context. The point he's trying to make is that you're SUPPOSED to ask for the moon. No one's fleecing anyone! I ask for 100, you offer 50, we settle at 75. Of course, you obviously already understand this method (see the 2:19 post above), so I don't understand why you're vilifying it.

Oh, right, because it's only okay when Jim Bowden isn't the one doing it.

Posted by: aKrTf | July 23, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

756*, are you kidding? If the sox did in fact want Rauch, what were they going to offer if not somone like Bowden OR Lawrie? It seems like a high asking price to me, but certainly in the right zip code.

Posted by: estuartj | July 23, 2008 2:27 PM
_____________________

Lawrie AND Bowden

Posted by: 756* | July 23, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

756*, re-read my first post, I'm not convinced the red sox report is accurate, if the redsox asked about Rauch and JimBow asked for Bowden OR, emphasis on the O and R for OR, Lawrie, would anyone think Jim Bowden was being foolish?

Posted by: estuartj | July 23, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

"to make a good deal with people that you are going to have to deal with time and again, you want both parties to feel good about the trade. not like you got over on some1."

Point is, both sides DO feel good about the Rauch/Boni deal. They feel they've each gotten something valuable while giving up something not really needed at the moment in return. Perfect trade!

Complain if you want that you don't expect Bonifacio to succeed in the Bigs. But there's no reason to see this trade as an example of Jim Bowden pulling one over on the other GMs and rubbing it in their faces to breed ill will.

Posted by: abc | July 23, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I snipped most of your post, but, I gotta ask: Who is typing this? A freaking LOLCat? Do you have a full keyboard? Are you texting this post in? For the love of God, son, use ALL the keys available to you. Please.
***********************************
not like you got over on some1.
but had bedard pitched normally and seattle contended, every1 in the pnw woulda been pleased. the os mainly got prospects except for sherrill, who has overperformed so they didnt fleece any1.
but mr b doesnt really know how to deal with people.
Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 2:26 PM

Posted by: Section 138 | July 23, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Complain if you want that you don't expect Bonifacio to succeed in the Bigs. But there's no reason to see this trade as an example of Jim Bowden pulling one over on the other GMs and rubbing it in their faces to breed ill will.
Posted by: abc | July 23, 2008 2:38 PM

just the opposite. bowden has been cut off so much that now he must simply give people away because no one wants to deal with him. az doesnt feel bad about this trade. they took bowden to the woodshed. and no one feels sorry for bowden because hes been attempting to do that to others for so long.
its called karma. what goes around comes around.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Amen to that.

"I snipped most of your post, but, I gotta ask: Who is typing this? A freaking LOLCat? Do you have a full keyboard? Are you texting this post in? For the love of God, son, use ALL the keys available to you. Please."

Posted by: literate fans | July 23, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

"Estrada taking up further space"

Chico, You can say that again!

Posted by: 756* | July 23, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

506 wrote something earlier about arguing with a brick wall...

Naively, I ignored him. It didn't turn out well. But I've come to understand and regret that bad decision, and I'm ready to move on.

I'd just like to mention how excited I am at the prospect of nicknames for Emilio Bonifacio (as if Emilio Bonifacio isn't already one of the coolest names on the market). I really like the ring of "Boni," personally, along with the fact that it translates nicely. Thoughts, anyone?

Posted by: abc | July 23, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

At least we don't have Wade as GM.

Posted by: 756* | July 23, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Point is, both sides DO feel good about the Rauch/Boni deal. They feel they've each gotten something valuable while giving up something not really needed at the moment in return. Perfect trade!
Posted by: abc | July 23, 2008 2:38 PM

I think the point people are trying to make is that the Nats should have gotten something more than a no-power switch hitting speedster who can't bat from the right side and has been in the minors for six years. At least a low minors prospect with a high ceiling added to the deal.

BTW the reason the Reds felt the Kearns/Lopez was unfair had nothing to do with the players and everything to do with the injury to Majewski.

Posted by: NOVA Giants Fan | July 23, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

If willie harris were gm, we could trade for a player never to be named later

Posted by: good idea | July 23, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

"I think the point people are trying to make is that the Nats should have gotten something more..."

Yeah, I get that angle. I don't think I know enough about what's out there or what Jim was offered to understand his other options.

But I'm ready to give him the benefit of the doubt on this one, and I'll tell you why. Bowden has a history of asking for the moon, and then holding onto players when he doesn't get really great deals. (Examples include Soriano, Cordero.) This leads me to believe that, since he actually went through with this trade, there's some real value to be had in Boni.

Of course, this bickering will be altogether irrelevant two years from now, when we all know exactly how much Boni is worth...

Posted by: abc | July 23, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

i dont understand you people. your team is the worst in baseball. would you like to debate that?
who is the architect of that team?
would you like to debate that?
the team that every1 said would be better this year is worse this year than last.
would you like to debate that.
and if you want to blame it all on injuries--fine go hide your head in the sand.
what will you say next year when we're even worse than this year.
what are you defending exactly?

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

No worries. I can handle him.

"At least we don't have Wade as GM."

Posted by: NR Shawn Chacon | July 23, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I'd be glad to debate each of those things, dk. Just not with you.

(No offense... it's just that I'm busy trying to convince my Ryan Zimmerman bobblehead, who is a little more receptive to new ideas than I'm finding you.)

Posted by: abc | July 23, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

...crickets...

Posted by: straw man | July 23, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Bowden has a history of asking for the moon, and then holding onto players when he doesn't get really great deals. (Examples include Soriano, Cordero.)Posted by: abc | July 23, 2008 3:07 PM

my point exactly. thank you. however what did that strategy get him. he lost soriano for nuthin (2 mlb picks) and ended up with a worthless cordero. point is its all feast or famine. he asks for the moon and settles on zero. no middle ground.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

If willie harris were gm, we could trade for a player never to be named later

Posted by: good idea | July 23, 2008 3:01 PM
_______________________________

If Willis was the GM, he'd trade himself to a better team.

Posted by: 756* | July 23, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

thank god 2 compensation picks aren't worth anything, otherwise your argument wouldn't have a big hole in it.

Posted by: 231 | July 23, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

From Verducci's mailbag:

Do you have any information on the Nats that could provide me some hope for the future? Because the present is pretty bleak. Is there a worse starting line-up in baseball? What is the organization doing for the long-term? Anything? Or is Washington going to have to settle for watching mediocre baseball for a long time?
-- Jeff Miller, Washington, D.C.

A: Wish I could tell you the Nats are ready to turn the corner, but I can't. They don't have a single player who offensively is more than barely above average. They don't have players with significant trade value, especially since they held on to Chad Cordero too long. Yes, they are a terrible offensive team and boring to watch. They better be careful not to perpetuate mistakes. (A contract extension for Cristian Guzman? That can't be good.) I think you're looking at several non-competitive seasons. The good news, though, is that Baseball America ranked Washington's farm system ninth in baseball this year, up from dead last the year before, a year-over-year improvement that is almost unthinkable. Seven of their top 10 prospects are pitchers. That's a good start.

Posted by: 756* | July 23, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I must admit that I had my doubts about Milledge, only to watch him start to come along ( before the injury of course).Young players - like fine wine- take some time and seasoning. All we can do is look at potential and hope for the best. For my hard-earned ticket money - I would rather watch a green young kid, excited and trying to make it to the bigs than a sulky, pouty has-been like Flop who can't be bothered to make an effort. Since this is not our WS year YET - it would be nice to watch Big John the Wookie get a ring. As long as we don't have to play them again this year I wish him the best - he has definitely paid his dues with us.

Posted by: masnstinks | July 23, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Hey does anyone here speak Spanish?

www.nationalsenquirer.com

(video of the new guy)

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

and by the way - dk - are you really SOCH?

Posted by: masnstinks | July 23, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

"Wish I could tell you the Nats are ready to turn the corner, but I can't. They don't have a single player who offensively is more than barely above average. They don't have players with significant trade value, especially since they held on to Chad Cordero too long. Yes, they are a terrible offensive team and boring to watch."

gee and this isnt even from the mouth of dk. or was it....like a 1000 times. better go argue with your bobblehead and not listen to dk or si or any1 else.
yea right.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Earlier today I put forth the proposition of trading dk and FLoP for some fast food ketchup packets.

Now I'm going to drop the request of Ketchup packets in return and ask for a half eaten donut instead.

I wonder if the Theo Epstein would go for this? Any takers?


Posted by: Section 505/203 | July 23, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

like i said last night. the nats are so proud of their minor league team, maybe we should all just buy tix to see them. and when they ask where is every1, we can say hey we're at potomac watching our great nats team.
enjoy the worst product mlb has to offer.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

i understand the budget argument. how much of that budget is chosen - not because there is a shortage of money - but to create a floor on the profit side of the ledger?

lets say the nats have a operating budget of 80 million for 2009 (yeah right). the luxury tax is 155 million for 2008 - and probably higher for next year as last years was 7 million less. what is stopping the ownership from going to the 155 million mark, other than their individual profits? i will not buy the argument that they NEED to be fiscally "light" to the tune of some 50 million or whatever the payroll is (forgive me for not knowing or researching).

my point is that while the few answers to my question point out good business strategy, at the end of the day the only reason a team would not spend up to the luxury tax, is because they do not want to.

im not saying increase the major league payroll. pour it into the minors and scouting. but what i am saying is, that in evaluating contracts and signing free agents, how is it relevant to include the price of the contract as a reason the success of the deal?

obviously, if they paid guz 16 million per year, it is a dumb decision. but is there a real discernible difference between smaller amounts? i used the nfl as an example to show that the perception of the payroll in mlb does not calculate to a tangible total.

i have heard too many times, "lets get this guy off the books" when for all intensive purposes, it does not matter if he was on the books. the nats will not max out their payroll anyway.

it seems foolish to use money as an example of determining value for justifying roster moves. it would be like me saying that a dollar will make or break my years savings. the only reason it would make or break my savings is because i placed a value to a specific number - and then that dollar becomes an increasingly more important marginal cost while i approach that number.

i guess it comes down to me not believing that the ownership needs to have a budget.
and the luxury tax doesnt factor into the operations of the entire organization. just the aggregate salary of the ml club.

just curious, is all.

Posted by: theraph | July 23, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I do. He said, "My English is better than dk's."
**************************************
hey does anyone here speak Spanish?

www.nationalsenquirer.com

(video of the new guy)

Posted by: | July 23, 2008 3:19 PM

Posted by: Section 138 | July 23, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Nah, let them keep the donut. Just stop engaging him in ridiculous arguments and he'll go away.

Posted by: aKrTf | July 23, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

I agree with abc, Bonifacio needs a nickname. I like "Boney" it goes well with "Smiley". Or, perhaps, "Bone-face". The radio announcers are going to need something to work with, because "Gonzalez, to Bonifacio, over to XXXXXXX" is just too many syllables for calling a double play. "Smiley to Boney to XXXXXXX" sounds a lot better. Especially if "XXXXXXX" is "Tex". (A guy can dream, can't he?)

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | July 23, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

How about calling him Boner?

Posted by: Mike Seaver | July 23, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Smiley to Boney to Tex. I'd say it's about as realistic as Smiley to Boney to Slick. But yeah, we can dream :)

Posted by: 311 | July 23, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Theraph, your moniker should be therapy. I think I agree with you. $8 mil isn't going to push the Nats over the salary cap. My gut opposition to the Guzman signing seems from watching 3 unproductive years, but also knowing that money is tight at Nats Park. And maybe $8 mil to Guz is seen as the "big" signing. Maybe that's $8 mil that won't go to someone else, someone "bigger."

Posted by: 756* | July 23, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

On second thought, though, I prefer the spelling "Boni."

Posted by: 311 | July 23, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Good questions, theraph. Especially because the Lerners promised that they would not pocket a single penny of any profit for the first ten years. Who knows where it's being spent? It certainly isn't all being spent on player development and scouting.

Posted by: Lerners ARE Cheap | July 23, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the Edes source is a Red Sox FO guy engatged in CYA. The conversation could have been "Did you guys mess up in not getting Rauch when you have a bullpen problem?" "We actually talked, but JimBo asked for both Lowrie and Michael Bowden."

Maybe that is how it went down. having said that, either of those guys were worth more than Boni alone. Can anyone find anyone not connected to either the D-backs or the Nats who disputes that? Sickels? BA? BP? Granted it is mostly a site for rotisserie, but Rotoworld thinks this is a firing offense:

"Nationals acquired second baseman-outfielder Emilio Bonifacio from the Diamondbacks for RHP Jon Rauch.
If Jim Bowden wasn't already on the way out, this should do it. He just traded one of the best relievers in the market for a single prospect who isn't at all likely to become an adequate regular. Losing Rauch will hardly doom the franchise when it's ready to contend in 2010 at the earliest, but Bowden should have done a lot better or just kept his reliever, who wasn't going to be a free agent until after 2010. Bonifacio will go to Triple-A for now, but the Nats will probably give him a shot at second base in August. His speed might give him some fantasy value then, but he projects as a long-term reserve."

Posted by: PTBNL | July 23, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Or Bonie?

********************************

On second thought, though, I prefer the spelling "Boni."

Posted by: 311 | July 23, 2008 3:34 PM

Posted by: Section 138 | July 23, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

I think it was a great trade.

Posted by: Wes Unseld | July 23, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Instead of worrying that the $8mil to Guzman is too big, think about how the $5mil saved by non-tendering FLop could cover the cost of releasing NJ or DY and thus freeing up salary to give Texiera $15mil a year for 5 years or CC (or is is C.C.) Sabathia $25mil a year for 7 years.

Posted by: estuartj | July 23, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

more from si.com.
this from jon heymans column:

"The relief market looks a lot stronger than the starting market now. But a couple executives with relievers to sell expressed annoyance that the Nationals dealt Jon Rauch to the Diamondbacks for second-base prospect Emilio Bonifacio, claiming it wasn't enough for Rauch. "I was surprised that's all Washington got,'' one AL executive said."

hmmmm. who else said that? oh never mind.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

estuartj, it's CC with no periods.

And while I like the idea of a team with Sabathia or Tex, it would really be a step backwards at this point. Neither of those guys (not even BOTH of those guys) would push this team into contention the way it stands today. So until the team can compete, we really benefit the most by snagging high draft picks. So far so good...

Posted by: 311 | July 23, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Hey dk, who benefits from your griping? Does it benefit the team? Does it make you friends? Is it somehow therapeutic or cathartic for you personally? Because it's really starting to annoy some of us, and we'd appreciate you cooling down a bit.

Thanks.

Posted by: the constituency | July 23, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Hey dk, who benefits from your griping?

you can shoot the messenger all you want but it aint gonna change the truth. weather im loud or silent aint gonna make austin ks go out and acutally hit a ball.
maybe you wanna stifle si's jon heyman or si's tom verducci or the majority of baseball's execs or any1 with a brain who all basically said the same thing ive been sayin. maybe then jim bowden will magically turn into theo epstein.
yea thats it. its dks fault. not bowdens, not austin ks, not flop. its dk.
all together now, i kissed a girl and i liked it........

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I don't think you can read much into what an Exec of another team thinks of our trade. Everybody wants to sell high and buy low. So sure, if they feel that Bowden set the market for relievers, now they are going to have a harder time getting what they want for their relievers.

This trade is Rizzo's burden to bear I think. If this trade doesn't work out for us, then it's him that should get the blame. As far as value goes, we got a player we wanted for a price we were willing to pay. Only time will tell if was a good, bad, or great price.

Posted by: BofG | July 23, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

[quote]at the end of the day the only reason a team would not spend up to the luxury tax, is because they do not want to.[/quote]

i'm still not quite sure what your point is with this. why would we just ignore the dollars? it's not like the team is a charity. i'm perfectly fine with someone saying the team isn't spending commensurate with its income level, that makes sense to me. but it also makes sense that there should be a budget.

[quote]it seems foolish to use money as an example of determining value for justifying roster moves. the only reason it would make or break my savings is because i placed a value to a specific number - and then that dollar becomes an increasingly more important marginal cost while i approach that number.[/quote]

exactly. and that value is tied to the total budget allocated to payroll for the team. and it's foolish not to have a budget. even the yankees actually have a budget, so why wouldn't the nats? and with that budget comes some sort of breakdown by position and player on their value.

[quote]i have heard too many times, "lets get this guy off the books" when for all intensive purposes, it does not matter if he was on the books. the nats will not max out their payroll anyway.[/quote]

context. it's all about context. if the team has, say, a $50m budget for payroll, and say a slacker of a player makes $5m, if you remove him and his salary from the books, then you can allocate that $5m to another player.

[quote]i guess it comes down to me not believing that the ownership needs to have a budget. [/quote]

again, i'm not really getting your point. you haven't made the case to me that ownership doesn't need a budget. the team's income isn't infinite, so why would its output (financially) be infinite? there's a corrolation between the two. as i said, it's fair to argue that the current ownership doesn't have a balanced corrolation between the two right now. and that the budget should be higher than it is because the team's income is higher than its payroll + expenses (although i haven't seen anything other than speculation based on the forbes article about what their expenses really are). but i don't think it's fair to say there's no need for a budget. it *IS* still a business and it's not unreasonable for the owners to expect some sort of profit at some point. how much profit and when they take it (based on the 'no profit taking for 10 years' comment) is yet a different issue.

my point is there is some legitimate concern about lerners' spending, but that doesn't mean (in my eyes) that a budget has no value. only that there's legitimate gripes about *where* the budget for payroll at the ML level is.

Posted by: 231 | July 23, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Am I missing something here? I heard Bonifacio was the 6th best prospect in Arizona's farm system (15th ranked in the majors, so right in the middle of the pack).

...Doesn't that mean he's good?

Posted by: confused | July 23, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

"Like, dk sucks and stuff."

"Yeah, yeah, he sucks."

Posted by: Beavis and Butthead | July 23, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

311, since we won't have to give up our first round draft pick to sign a Class A Free Agent I think this would be the perfect year to make a "Reach" for a top guy, especially if he's young enough to still be at the top of his game when the rest of the line-up has progress (or been replaced) with players capable of competing for the WC, Division or even WS. I think Sabathia and Texiera fit that bill, but I'm not sure who else on the FA market would be...

Posted by: estuartj | July 23, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Right. Because we are much better off hoping that Flores, Bonifacio, Zimmerman, Dukes, Milledge, and Kearns all turn into better players than they are today, while also hoping that Guzman doesn't regress and that Johnson can be healthy on a consistent basis or that Dmitri can turn himself around for real. Are a couple of those guys really going to develop into legitimate stars? I hope so, but I'm not holding my breath.

I mean, this is all is so likely to happen--who could possibly want to have an established star or two on the team, about whom we don't have to cross our fingers that they play better than they have over their entire career to date? You're worried about losing 2009 draft picks who might come to DC *as rookies* in 2013 or later? Is "The Plan" a 10-year plan?


___________________________
And while I like the idea of a team with Sabathia or Tex, it would really be a step backwards at this point. Neither of those guys (not even BOTH of those guys) would push this team into contention the way it stands today. So until the team can compete, we really benefit the most by snagging high draft picks. So far so good...

Posted by: 311 | July 23, 2008 3:47 PM

Posted by: Lerners ARE Cheap | July 23, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

i find the idea of signing tex far more intriguing than signing CC. position players are safer long-term bets than pitchers. pitchers break down much more often and easily. let's sign the "ace" when we're actually competing for the division/pennant.

Posted by: 231 | July 23, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Is "The Plan" a 10-year plan?

Yeah. They just didn't mention it before because they knew it would alienate the fan base.

Posted by: just sayin' | July 23, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Here's what Baseball Prospectus (free this week) has to say about our great transactions (it's not pretty):

"Why? Because crushing the spirit of any aspiring fan base just isn't enough for some teams. There's little rational explanation for why you would dump a cheaply-signed Rauch for a dubious middle infield prospect. Bonifacio's aspiration in life will be to fight guys like the thumb-gifted Felipe Lopez or Ronnie Belliard's aging toad act; it is perhaps a goal beyond his grasp. Last I checked, steals were a counting-stat category that counted in make-believe, and not so much in real-world baseball, but hey, at least Bonifacio will steal bases. Sort of--he's been caught eight times in 25 attempts with Tucson. Swell. But speed equals leadoff skills, right? Not so much, not when you've got a guy who's hitting a weak .302/.348/.387 for the Sidewinders. That sounds pretty good... except it's in Tucson, and translating that kind of production from him into what you might get from him at his peak gets you to a guy who might chip in at .269/.318/.347, or a .237 Equivalent Average. Maybe a slower, better-fielding edition of Tony Womack is what this team needs. If it is, you might wind up asking about what the actual goals are, because this is the kind of "prospect" who grows up to kill you because he's the real-world definition of what a replacement-level regular at second looks like.

"So fans need something else to get excited about where the future's concerned, so why not repeat last winter's mistakes with Young and Belliard--not to mention the big mistake four years ago in spending top dollar in the first place--and shower the cooling Guzman with cash? How many low-OBP singles hitters will this team need? Is the new Deadball Era around the corner, and only Stan Kasten got the memo?"

Posted by: Lerners ARE Cheap | July 23, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

As far as value goes, we got a player we wanted for a price we were willing to pay. Only time will tell if was a good, bad, or great price.
Posted by: BofG | July 23, 2008 3:58 PM

wrong. weather or not 1 guy turns out good or another turns out good thats not how you measure a trade.
you could trade arod for flop and flop could bat 1000 for the rest of his life and arod could get injured and never play again and it was still a terrible trade.

theres such a thing as value vs value.
a major league closer is worth more than a minor league 2nd baseman. period.
to trade them straight up makes no sense no matter how this shakes out in the future.
you can close your eyes and cross the street. just because you make it alive doesnt make it a good idea.
all together now....i kissed a girl and i liked it....

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

"when for all intensive purposes"

That's the trouble with English, it's a dead language.

Posted by: for all INTENTS AND purposes | July 23, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

dk,

How is it Kearns fault? He was playing injured for the first part of the season.

He is hitting .315 since coming back from the DL in the 4 hole. With an OPS of .915 and 11 RBIs.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | July 23, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

dk,

Sometimes the desire for instant judgement produces less than thoughtful analysis.
The Nats had to have a new second baseman by the end of this season so they could let Flop go. Perhaps the judgement for this trade should be rendered after Bonaficio has a full year in the majors, possibly as soon as September 09. If he fails then of course it is a bad trade and Rizzo as well as Bowden take the heat. If on the other hand Bonaficio is a defensive, offensive and attitude upgrade over our current second baseman then I expect you to review your thinking, if possible.

Posted by: Dale | July 23, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Re: Bonifacio being "good"

He's certainly a sought after prospect, but his offensive struggles might suggest that he just won't be able to stick in the majors. Factors against him:
1. His SB% is rather low for someone with speed being his main upside
2. He can't seem to hit right handed
This may mean just that he needs to stop being a switch hitter
3. He's been in the minors for 6 years, which is a very long time for someone with his skillset. --

More specifically: you'd expect someone his age to stay that long who is trying to development power, but if he struggles at AAA being a contact/speedster after 6 years of development perhaps his ceiling is lower than people thought.

Factors for him:
1. He's still relatively young
2. Maybe a new org will do him some good
3. He has speed, maybe he can be taught to be a more productive base stealer.

Posted by: NOVA Giants Fan | July 23, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for having our backs, For All Intents and Purposes.

Posted by: proofreading gremlins | July 23, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

try "whether"

"weather or not"

Posted by: also... | July 23, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

hey, no problem, grems. it's a doggy-dog world out there. Someone has cross their eyes and dot the tease.

Posted by: we're surrounded on all three sides | July 23, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

"wrong. weather or not 1 guy turns out good or another turns out good thats not how you measure a trade.
you could trade arod for flop and flop could bat 1000 for the rest of his life and arod could get injured and never play again and it was still a terrible trade."

Is this true?? I thought the value of a trade is based on what it DOES for you...

Posted by: mediator needed | July 23, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Classic!

Posted by: proofreading gremlins | July 23, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

like some1 said yesterday. stick an "untouchable" tag on some stiff and then wait for the suckers to come callin.
6 years in the minors?
ouch.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

also, I'm a broken record

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Boni is stealing at a 68% rate this year (17sb/8cs) and was 41/13 last year (76%).

Posted by: estuartj | July 23, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I really only have two problems with this:
I find myself agreeing with obnoxious, ignorant people, so I have to rethink everything, all the time. It's very time-consuming, and frankly, it's bad for my self-image.

The future REALLY IS a moving target that never arrives. That's why it doesn't matter what Harry Verdercchi or the Baseball Prospecters or the Rotarians league thinks. Only what actually happens, matters. Sounds simple, but some folks just can't seem to get a handle on that point. Runs don't go on the board based on how big a swing you take. If I steal third with two outs, that's OK. If I GET CAUGHT at third with two outs, that's really bad. Do, or do not; there is no "potential."

But this team really is mostly unwatchable. OK: Willie Harris; sure, but then what?
Not even Livo, who is fun to watch even as he loses 7-3. But that's just me.

Posted by: CE | July 23, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Do or do not. There is no "try."

Posted by: Jedi Master Yoda | July 23, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

O's exec has been conspicuously absent and now there's this new troll dk on the board. Just sayin'

Posted by: Anyone notice? | July 23, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Man, I want to just pick this apart 198 ways, but I'll keep it at this, which shows your level of baseball knowledge. No one could ever bat 1000. The highest average possible is 1.
Let the adults argue baseball, sonny. Your English homework isn't doing itself, ya know.

you could trade arod for flop and flop could bat 1000 for the rest of his life and arod could get injured and never play again and it was still a terrible trade.

Posted by: Section 138 | July 23, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Boni is stealing at a 68% rate this year (17sb/8cs) and was 41/13 last year (76%).
Posted by: estuartj | July 23, 2008 4:30 PM

And 75% means the player doesn't HURT his team by stealing bases. To be a "successful" base stealer you really need to stay around 78% and to be a great one you need to be closer to 80-85%. As I said his main asset seems to be his speed, so he really needs to harness that speed into a higher success rate to be a legit major leaguer.

Posted by: NOVA Giants | July 23, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Actually, DK -- excuse me, dk -- is not new. And Hoser is illiterate in distinctly different ways.

Posted by: not the 0 that stands for Zero | July 23, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

How about E-Bo?

Anyway, welcome to second base.

Posted by: Section 223 | July 23, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

now there's this new troll dk on the board.

interesting that this new troll just seems to have the backing of every professional writer or group quoted on this board.
just sayin.

all together now...i kissed a girl and i liked it........

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Rauch was the only asset we had (and willing to part with) that anybody would actually want. So I have no problem that we dealt a guy who has been in the game for only 5.5% of the innings, for a guy who hopefully will be on the field for 100% of them. I for one can't wait to see Lopez leave. If this kid gives 100% effort and has only mediocre stats, then it's an upgrade at 2B. We'll find another closer by the time this team will need one, we've got tons of pitching in the minors, not much MI help.

Posted by: BofG | July 23, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

ehhhh. I didn't like it all that much.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

dk so eloquently says "i dont understand you people. your team is the worst in baseball"

see, he says "your" team, not OUR team.

its O's Exec in his next persona..

and stick a d**k!

Posted by: All 9000 Agree | July 23, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Actually, DK -- excuse me, dk -- is not new

thank you.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, and don't mention it to Zimm or he'll be outta here. Hey, at least we'll get draft picks for him!
_________________
Is "The Plan" a 10-year plan?

Yeah. They just didn't mention it before because they knew it would alienate the fan base.

Posted by: just sayin' | July 23, 2008 4:10 PM

Posted by: Lerners ARE Cheap | July 23, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

"How about E-Bo?"

Is that a nickname or is it how you score a Bowden transaction?

Posted by: joebleux | July 23, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Nova,

Regarding base stealing, this is from Wikipedia;

"Noted statistician Bill James has argued that unless a player can steal a high percentage of the time, then the stolen base is not useful, and can even be detrimental to a team. A success rate of 67 to 70% or better is necessary to make stealing bases worthwhile."

Posted by: estuartj | July 23, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Is that a nickname or is it how you score a Bowden transaction?

Chuckle on that one.

At least the Emilio will try to cover second. I have seen Boon, Belliar, and Guzman all try to go to second for an easy out when Flop was supposed to be covering and wound up going to first instead.

Posted by: Section 223 | July 23, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

sorry, meant Boone.

Posted by: Section 223 | July 23, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

If this kid gives 100% effort and has only mediocre stats, then it's an upgrade at 2B.Posted by: BofG | July 23, 2008 4:47 PM

seriously have you all been beaten down so bad by this squad and by the likes of flop that anything is ok--even a mediocre hitting kid who tries his best?
snap out of it people. this is a major league baseball team playing against the likes of the cubs, red sox, yankees, etc.
do you think theyd settle for some1 who simply tries hard and has a good heart.
whats the matter with you people?

forget effort. i want results. thats what pros get paid for. this aint amateur ball.
i want someone who can hit and field and not some .260 hitter. what kinda bull is that?
do you guys want a winner or the loveable bad news bears.
im payin major league prices for seats, beers and food. i want a major league product on the field.
is that 2 much to ask?

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

"the Nationals dealt Jon Rauch to the Diamondbacks for second-base prospect Emilio Bonifacio, claiming it wasn't enough for Rauch. "I was surprised that's all Washington got,'' one AL executive said."

hmmmm. who else said that? oh never mind.

dk- the difference is that he said it coherently. not in your text babble-gook.

crawl back to Baltimore.. O's exec wannabe!

Posted by: What a Jerk | July 23, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

I'd be glad to debate each of those things, dk. Just not with you.

(No offense... it's just that I'm busy trying to convince my Ryan Zimmerman bobblehead, who is a little more receptive to new ideas than I'm finding you.)

Posted by: abc | July 23, 2008 3:11 PM

-----

Don't be fooled by the head nodding, abc, he's not really listening.

Willie Harris is, though. He's always listening.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 23, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

The idea of ranking a prospect solely on speed is absurd. Speed is overrated. Manny Acta doesnt even like to steal. It's just a way to give a team more outs. Bonifacio may be fast, but he strikes out a lot and has no power. Last time I checked the Nationals played baseball, not track and field. Bowden is obcessed with athletes. Have you guys seen Lance Berkman? He's a non-athletic looking fatso. We need baseball players not athletes.

To me it seems like the Nats go after players they know and have a history with. How stupid and narrow minded is that? They said they went after this guy for two years. Seriously, you used our best trade piece on a player where you have already tipped your hand you were high on? They gave the d-backs all the power in the negociation. We turned into buyers.

D-Backs were clearly not high on Bonifacio. What team trades, according to the Nats, a second baseman of the future when their current second baseman is about to become a free agent? That should tell you right there the trade stinks.

Fire Bowden

Posted by: Billy Beane | July 23, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

LAC - thanks for the BP take.

Any time a team makes a trade, you can say "it can't be judged until you see how the players perform." That is simply saying "I'm waiting for hindsight so that my judgment is 20/20." You could say that about purchasing stocks - I'm kicking myslef for not buying Bank of America last week when it went down to less than 19 when it went up to over 32 this week.

OTOH - you can say, did we swap our asset for something that is most likely to improve our team? I will make my own judgments about that because I am a fan. I tend to lean more on the judgment of multiple respected sources when forming my judgment. When I see many rating systems rate a player as less than the value I gave up, I let that influence my opinion. I don't see stat-oriented sites praising this deal and I don't see reporters who talk to people around the industry saying we received good value. In fairness, Baseball America thinks it is a win for both sides.

What has me question the deal is the impression that we could have gotten more back. To go back to the ridiculous A-Rod vs. Boni example, if you tell me Boni becomes Luis Castillo (his maximum upside) but that we could have gotten A-Rod and the NYY would have eaten his cost, I'd say we undersold our asset.

Posted by: PTBNL | July 23, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

So, we're saying we got a slap-hitting middle infield with pretty good range and enough speed to make opposing pitchers worry and beat out ground balls fairly regularly. However, he doesn't walk a lot and has a tendency to be very aggressive at the plate.

And it only cost us $8 million this year and next.

Oh, you thought I was talking about his younger clone who we just acquired from Arizona for Rauch?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 23, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

How would this trade be viewed by the comments on this blog if we were to omit those made by dk.

I think I over 50% (perhaps even 60%) would be of a positive nature.

It's funny that dk criticizes the Nats for going after players for mere quantity rather than quality...when his intention in posting is to achieve also by quantity rather quality.

Also, I don't place too much into what people from major media outlets say...because we all know that ESPN has no idea what happens in baseball if it doesn't involve a team in New York, Boston, Chicago, or Los Angeles. I know they have their markets and ratings to appeal to, but I'm just saying. All of the talking heads are like pre-season predictions, they mean zilch once you lace 'em up and turn the lights on.

Posted by: Corey | July 23, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Some folks asked about Texiera. I think it would be a fabulous signing. It would add some serious power to the lineup. You could have a lineup that looks like this:
Bonifacio, 2B
Guzman, ss
Dukes, LF
Tex, 1B
Zimmerman, 3B
Milledge, CF
Flores, C
Kearns, RF

A serious upgrade that also takes some weight off of Zimmerman. Dukes works the count and has a higher OBP than Zim. The middle of the order would actually have some pop.

Plus, Tex is still only 28. You would only have 1 player over 30 in your lineup. Burgess would probably fill in the following year and you trade Marrero for some starting pitching.

If 2-3 of J. Zimermann, Smoker, Alanis, VanAllen, Clippard, Smoker Detwiler or Crow work out, you have a pretty good rotation as well.

We need to sign a FA that will be here for a while, is still young, and can play defense as well as offense with power. Tex is the guy! It will cost you, but he changes that entire feel of the lineup. Pay the man.

Posted by: NatsWin! | July 23, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Is "The Plan" a 10-year plan?
___________________

And the Nats propoganda machine is equally crippling. By now, you think FLOP would have "disappeared"

That BP text is quite scathing.

Posted by: 756* | July 23, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

So, we're saying we got a slap-hitting middle infield with pretty good range and enough speed to make opposing pitchers worry and beat out ground balls fairly regularly. However, he doesn't walk a lot and has a tendency to be very aggressive at the plate.

And it only cost us $8 million this year and next.

Oh, you thought I was talking about his younger clone who we just acquired from Arizona for Rauch?

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

Cute 506 (Before Moving), but Guzman seems to have reformed his slap hitting ways. He's now seeing the ball well enough to hit line drives. I also don't see too many pitchers quivering over his speed...

Posted by: VT Nats Fan | July 23, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Anyone notice?

Posted by: yes, actually | July 23, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

dk's langue de keyboard?

"Is that a nickname or is it how you score a Bowden transaction?"

Posted by: how about? | July 23, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

If I may continue with what I think is dk's theme.

If Bonif isn't as highly touted by others, then maybe we could have gotten him for a lesser player than Rauch.

Posted by: 756* | July 23, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Fair enough, VT. A young Guzman wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing, it's just not the thing we want. Even if Boni can make the transition to hit liners all over the field, he's not the impact guy we crave.

Could he be one of the every day guys we have to have? Would that be worth giving up Rauch for? If we sign Teix, does having him, Boni, Guzzie, Zimm in the infield feel better or worse than Young, ?, Guzman, Zimm?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 23, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

>forget effort. i want results. thats what pros get paid for. this aint amateur ball.
i want someone who can hit and field and not some .260 hitter. what kinda bull is that?
do you guys want a winner or the loveable bad news bears.
im payin major league prices for seats, beers and food. i want a major league product on the field.
is that 2 much to ask?
Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 4:55 PM

At the risk of being crucified, this makes perfect sense to me. We spent a lot of money on our season tickets and they weren't Triple A prices. OK flame away.

Posted by: Season-Ticket-Holder | July 23, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

...a program that, upon recognizing a given moniker, automatically scrolls down a set number of lines (default would be several paragraphs' worth).

Posted by: patent opportunity... | July 23, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

dk,

It is too much to ask. No matter how much losers like you complain, the Nats aren't going to go out and drop $150 million on a bunch of free agents trying to buy a championship. I hate seeing poor play too, but if the team is playing hard with few mistakes, it is at least tolerable. What I hate more than anyhting is laziness. And we have had way too much of that at 2B the past 2 years. The Nats will start winning whenever some of these kids on our team grow up into major league talent. It may not happen for 10 years, but we can hope. Stop worrying so much and enjoy it for what it is.

Posted by: BofG | July 23, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

[quote]As I said his main asset seems to be his speed, so he really needs to harness that speed into a higher success rate to be a legit major leaguer.[/quote]

remember, speed isn't just SBs. it's a valuable asset for SBs, and SBs have some value, but speed also affects things like legging out infield singles (esp hitting LH), going first to third, or first/second to home. i'll agree that SBs are overrated, but speed in and of itself is a good skill to have. defensively it means as an OF so you can cover ground, but not so much for an infielder, who needs quickness more than speed.

i'm not going to get too bent out of shape one way or another over this for another year or three. it doesn't seem egregious. i was hoping for more, but, like everyone else here, that's basing any analysis on what others say about what he's done in the minors. let's actually see what he can do before completely condemning it.

but then that's just me. i try not to knee-jerk reaction to everything.

Posted by: 231 | July 23, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

i love the way u guys have already penciled in this new guy as our new leadoff hitter. hello? he hasnt played a day in the majors. actually hes spent the last 6 years in the minors. yet you think hes good enough to just come up and be a productive leadoff hitter. wow. you really love bowdens koolaid dontcha.
amazing.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

...crickets...scroll...crickets...scroll

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

dk just likes to be negative. Let him have his fun. When Bowden asked the world for Soriano (and rightfully so) he was told that his price was too high. He was even told that Soriano would not be worth Clay Bucholtz or Phil Hughes in a 1 for 1 deal.

At that point Soriano was one of the most electrifying hitters in the league and brought with him two top 60 draft picks guaranteed.

Rauch, while coming at a cheaper price and for a long term deal, does not come with the promise of draft compensation after this year. He also is not viewed on the market as a true closer. I think it is always risky to trade a proven major league asset for only one minor league player because the minor leaguer has a high likelihood of never reaching his ceiling. In this case however the D-Backs traded their 4th best prospect (Gonzalez and Anderson are now Oakland Property), a position player who is close to the majors and therefor a much smaller risk, for a guy who has only had two and a half decent major league seasons.

This is the risk a franchise takes when dealing in prospects. Every club will occasionally hit or miss on a big player, but in the long run a team with superior scouting and player development will win this battle. Seeing as how this is the only area that the Nat's have invested in over the last 3 years I am putting my confidence there. If these guys screw up we're in for a long ride.

Posted by: VT Nats Fan | July 23, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

estuartj,

Worthwhile means it doesn't cost a run, not that it actually helps a team or creates more runs. I'm pretty sure James always put the figure above 70%, but more recently it's been pushed even higher. Wikipedia is either using old stats or is it's just made up.

Since speed is really all Bonifacio has that is a plus skill he needs to be at around 80% or higher.

"Statistical analyst Dan Fox has done extensive work at Baseball Prospectus evaluating baserunning, and using the run expectancy matrix he calculated that, between 2000 and 2007, the value of a stolen base averaged out to 0.17 runs, while getting caught took away half a run. Those figures lead to a zero threshold for stolen base success of just a little more than 74.6%."
link: http://tiny.cc/vE4nO

Posted by: NOVA Giants Fan | July 23, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

"hello? he hasnt played a day in the majors."

Sorry I was busy, boss, hope I'm not too late. Don't print this one, they'll eat you alive for it!

Posted by: Fact-Checker | July 23, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

dan fox is wrong and your stupid

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

uh oh, got me on that one. Let's see (drums fingers). I know! I can say that I meant he hasn't played a day - he's played more than one day. Yeah, that's the ticket...

Posted by: dk's conscience | July 23, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, it makes no sense for Boni to be the leadoff hitter, at least for a couple of years. Here's how i see it playing out next year:

Guz
Dukes
Milledge
Zim
NJ
Kearns
Flores
Boni
Pitcher

We know Nick won't stay healthy but I think its safe to assume that the club is happy with the 10m that it has invested in 1st for now.

Posted by: VT Nats Fan | July 23, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

231, how about basing analysis on 6 years of minor league stats? People talk about Luis Castillo as his upside, but here's a news-flash: Castillo had an OBP of over .400 *every year* he was in the minors, including AAA OBPs of .425 (age 21) and .403 (age 22). And that was AAA in the IL.

Boney, by contrast, has never cracked .375, and he hit that mark in A-ball. Last season (age 22), he was .333 at AA, and now this year (age 23) we have .348 at AAA, but in the PCL.

Tools are fine when you're talking about signing a 16-year old. But when a guy has played pro ball for 6 years, you've got to look at the numbers too. That's why there are not many people commenting on this trade who are impressed--the numbers aren't impressive.

Posted by: Lerners ARE Cheap | July 23, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Seeing as how this is the only area that the Nat's have invested in over the last 3 years I am putting my confidence there.Posted by: VT Nats Fan | July 23, 2008 5:23 PM

then whats their excuse for austin ks, flop, belliard, wmp, estrada, loduca......

you cant have it both ways.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

It's "you're."

Posted by: stupid is as stupid does | July 23, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

[quote=506]Even if Boni can make the transition to hit liners all over the field, he's not the impact guy we crave. [/quote]

couple of thoughts. i don't think you're saying we should have gotten an impact player for rauch, but you can correct me if i'm wrong. i don't know if i believe that anyone would necessarily have given us a true impact guy for him.

second, of course, we have to gauge 'impact player' by the intention of the person saying it and in context. and what would constitute "impact" on this roster is different from what would constitute "impact" on, say, the red sox.

just sayin... ;)

Posted by: 231 | July 23, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

dk - His stupid is what?

Nova, we can disagree on the specific percentage required to make it worthwhile, there is also a lot more to speed as a tool than just SBs, just having it as a threat can cause headaches for pitchers and MIer. Someone else already mentioned the other advantages.

I would have liked to get a PTBNL in addition to E-Boni, but I'm not crying over this. I liked Rauch a lot, and I wish him the best (and a Championship ring?), but this is a good move for a team that can't get leads anyway and has almost no MI depth above AA.

Posted by: estuartj | July 23, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

dk just likes to be negative.

no he doesnt. he likes to be positive and see his team do well. but he also likes to be honest and not sugarcoat the obvious. and since we are talkin the absolute worst team in all of baseball, you guys should really take off your rose-colored glasses and wake up. under the current regime, things aint gettin better. theyre gettin worse.
wake up.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

It's "you're."

Posted by: stupid is as stupid does | July 23, 2008 5:29 PM
___________________________________________

Priceless.

Posted by: Section 505/203 | July 23, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

"The idea of ranking a prospect solely on speed is absurd. Speed is overrated. Manny Acta doesnt even like to steal. It's just a way to give a team more outs."

Speed is but one reason he was sought after. However, speed can change an inning. Note the first inning last night where the SF second hitter made it to first simply because he made our ss go two steps to his right to field a grounder. Next he steals second, taking out the double play chance. He scored on a homer, delivered by a rattled Jason Bergmann. Sometimes just the threat of a stolen base causes the complete realignment of the infield defenses and ratchets up the decisions constantly being sifted by the defenders on every pitch. I can sum up my argument by just imagining whom you would rather see on base, Bonificio or Dimitri.

Posted by: Dale | July 23, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

btw if you wanna go back and look up what i said at the beginning of the season, youll see i said flop should be cut then, i said austin ks was a team killer, i also said dukes, flores and milledge had the potential to be really good and should be playin fulltime. i said loduca should be let go. i didnt need a whole nother season to figure that stuff out.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

dk,

He has played in the majors. He had like 30 ABs.

Anyway you're right. Penciling in a rookie at the lead off spot is absurd. OBP is more important than speed in the first spot. Also, why put the added pressure on him? To me, 8th spot is the place. He's going to get junk to hit in that spot but, if you're going to be pounding alot of balls into the dirt you might as well be fast enough to beat some throws. If he does well move him to the 2nd spot. He seems like a perfect 2nd spot hitter.

By the way, since when is it a good thing to be compared to Luis Castillo? He has about the same career OPS as Felipe Lopez.

Posted by: Billy Beane | July 23, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I think our money needs to go into a starting pitcher. Olver Perez may come at an un-Boras like price judging by his performance this year and how the Kyle Loshe situation played out last winter.

Other interesting names include:
-Ryan Dempster (will be 32 at the end of this season)
-AJ Burnett (assuming he opts out; will be 32)
-CC Sabathia (probably doesn't want a team that's not ready to win, we probably won't pay for him, still its fun to think about; he'll be 28)
-Ben Sheets (Also might look only at contenders, also will be expensive although less then CC; will be 30)
-Randy Wolf (will be 32)

Most likely we won't see any of these guys but i feel like the nats have to make a run at one of them. We have plenty of solid arms that could be in the rotation next year but a true ace is what we need more then anything. We don't have a single one in the minors so this would be the place to get one.

Posted by: VT Nats Fan | July 23, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

"when for all intensive purposes"

That's the trouble with English, it's a dead language.

Posted by: for all INTENTS AND purposes | July 23, 2008 4:14 PM

------------
hey, if you want to correct my grammar, go ahead. im afraid i didnt have time to send it to the editors before publishing, you know, because i contribute as fast as possible and then get back to work.

if you want me to come over to your establishment or residence i can be nitpicky and tell you exactly how you have screwed up in every facet of your life. but i wont do it unless you ask.

Posted by: theraph | July 23, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

You're right 231, I was saying we wanted the big fireworks and we got those little fountain spraying things.

What my further question was is, aren't they all part of the show? Is the big boom more valuable than the fountain, since you can't play without either?

I personally don't have any problem with Boni at second base, I even think it's good. Is it the best value for Rauch? I dunno.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 23, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Seeing as how this is the only area that the Nat's have invested in over the last 3 years I am putting my confidence there.Posted by: VT Nats Fan | July 23, 2008 5:23 PM

then whats their excuse for austin ks, flop, belliard, wmp, estrada, loduca......

you cant have it both ways.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 5:29 PM


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


I'm trying to figure out what this means. Please clarify and then I will retort.

Posted by: VT Nats Fan | July 23, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

dk, He has played in the majors. He had like 30 ABs.

30 abs? whats that like 1 week? like i said, he hasnt played in the majors.

Posted by: dk | July 23, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

i don't think mistaking "intensive purposes" for "intents and purposes" can really be blamed on "contributing as fast as possible." that wasn't a typo. you either know what the actual phrase is or you don't.

Posted by: grammarboy | July 23, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

[quote]I personally don't have any problem with Boni at second base, I even think it's good. Is it the best value for Rauch? I dunno.[/quote]

yeah, i can agree with both of those comments.

Posted by: 231 | July 23, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Look, we all love to show how smart we are and how dumb the other guy is.

With that said can we stop critiquing grammar and continue to discuss baseball...

Posted by: VT Nats Fan | July 23, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

How would everyone have felt if the trade deadline had passed and we'd gotten nothing for Rauch?

Just curious, personally I would have been upset but I probably would have been expecting a bigger score then Boni.

Posted by: VT Nats Fan | July 23, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Interesting Cordero Note
On my commute home, I was listening to Nats GM Jim Bowden's weekly appearance on 980's The Sports Reporters. During the weekly demonstration of their lack of baseball knowledge, hosts Steve Czaban and Andy Pollin uncovered an interesting bit of news about injured RHP Chad Cordero.

When asked about the contractual status of Cordero, Bowden commented that he was still under team control but it was unlikely the Nats would tender him for the 2009 season (paraphrased).

Before anyone gets too off track (like Czaban & Pollin), here is a thumbnail of how a player's contract is handled.

For this discussion, we are going to ignore the concept of options and focus strictly on service time and the contractual aspects. (We are also going to skip over Super 2 because it's not germane to the point)

Once a player assumes a spot on the active roster (25-man from April to August 31 and up to 40-man in September), he begins accruing service time towards free agency. Any time spent on the active roster (or on the DL ... important for Cordero [note: for those CBA nerds like me, correct me if I'm wrong about the 60-day & service time ... it's important]) counts towards this service time. From years 0 through the end of their 3rd season (ignoring Super 2), teams control the contract tendered to a player within the parameters of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (certain raises based on comparable service time, NOT necessarily performance).

Once a player reaches three years of service time and until they accrue at least six full years of service time, the contract is handled through the arbitration process. First, A club must offer contracts to players under its control by December 12. This in essence ties the player to the team for at least one more season. This must happen to prevent a player from becoming an immediate free agent (this is typically the non-tender stories you hear about).

Next, a player in this range of service time can accept the contract offer or if they are unhappy with the offer, request an arbitration hearing. Typically teams and players will continue negotiations during this period in hopes of avoiding arbitration. If no decision can be reached, the following steps happen (courtesy of Cot's):

In January, the player and the club each submit a salary figure for arbitration. The parties may continue to negotiate until the case goes before a three-person panel of professional arbitrators between Feb. 1-20.
At the hearing, each party has one hour to argue its case and 30 minutes for rebuttal. The player is required to attend and generally represented by an agent. A club executive or attorney usually represents the club.
Criteria the panel may consider include the player's contribution to the club in terms of performance and leadership, the club's record and attendance, "special accomplishments," the salaries of comparable players in his service-time class and, for players with less than 5 years of service, the class one year ahead of him. The parties may not refer to team finances, previous offers made during negotiations, comments from the press or salaries in other sports or occupations.
The panel, without opinion, awards the player a one-year, non-guaranteed contract at one salary or the other. If the player is cut before the 16th day before the season begins (March 14, 2007), he is entitled only to 30 days' termination pay. If the player is cut during spring training but after the 16th day before the season begins (between March 15 and March 31, 2007), he is entitled only to 45 days' termination pay.
Now that I've got all of that out of the way, here is the deal with Cordero. Chief will have five plus years of service time at the conclusion of the 2008 season. This means the Nationals could still "control" his contract for the 2009 season, assuming they were to tender him a contract.

This is where Bowden's comment comes into play. By suggesting that the Nationals would not tender him a contract, the Nats would in essence make him a free agent immediately.

Why would they do this?

Primarily it is because of Cordero's current salary of $6.2M, his uncertain health over the next season plus, and the arbitration process. By tendering him a contract, the Nationals put themselves in a position where Cordero could request arbitration. And by the rules of arbitration, the Nats could offer him no less than 80% of what they paid him in 2008 or $4.96M (for the sticklers, his 2008 contract was not part of the arbitration process). Compounding this is the fact that Cordero will have enough service time at the end of the 2009 season (6+) to become eligible for major league free agency.

That's an awful lot of money for a player rehabbing from labrum surgery. Surgery that has a recovery time of 12-18 months, meaning Chief's return to the field (not necessarily the majors) is somewhere between July 2009 and spring training 2010. A player who could go anywhere he wants after the 2009 season.

Given that, the Nats are rightly cautious in tendering him a contract.

What this does not mean is that Cordero's days as a National are over.

This is the point which Czaban and Pollin failed to grasp.

What I imagine is in the works is the Nationals working with Cordero to reach some sort of equitable arrangement where they do to have to pay him $5M for a 2009 season which may not be in the cards. The Nationals are likely looking for a discounted rate for the 2009 season with a team option for 2010. Basically a deal that will pay Cordero not to pitch in 2009 (or pitch very little) at a lower rate with the team able to recoup some performance in 2010 ... at the very least.

It's something that certainly deserves to be watched. But a point missed by the guys at WTEM.

Posted by: Brian | July 23, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

estuartj,
but you're taking wikipedia at face value while I have math and research to back up what I'm saying... j/k

I'm just shocked that Bowden thought this was the best he was going to get. A better option would have been to wait until Fuentes was dealt and then see what was being offered. Since Fuentes would never have been traded to the Dbacks, Bonifacio would probably have still been available as a back up option.

Compare the Rauch trade to either the Wolf or Durham trades and it looks like the Nats got screwed. Durham brought back a low minor CF (with a similar skill set, but a higher upside than Bonifacio) and a AAA pitcher you probably projects as a mid-relief or #4/5 starter. Wolf got a pretty highly respected pitching prospect. Rauch should have gotten back more than either Durham or Wolf.

Posted by: NOVA Giants Fan | July 23, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

According to everything i've read the Brewers paid next to nothing for Durham. I've also heard that not only did the Stros overpay for Wolf, but they also have arguably the worst farm system in all of baseball after the Tejada and Valverde deals so that haul could realistically not have been very good.

The difference between an A guy with great upside and a AAA guy with slightly less upside is about 3-5 years and an 80% chance to reach that upside. Boni will at the very least become a useful bench player on a major league team barring a serious injury in the next year. An equivalent A level prospect would have the same chance of injury over that 3-5 year period and would also most likely not reach that ceiling.

Posted by: VT Nats Fan | July 23, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Brian,

That's an interesting comment on Cordero. I didn't even take that into consideration, i basically just assumed that he'd be our closer for 2009. Looks now like Hanrahan will keep the closer's job for as long as he can hold onto it with current competition mainly from Ayala (if he can get back into form) and future competition coming from Zincola and Carr. Who still thinks that bullpen is a strength for the nats?

Posted by: VT Nats Fan | July 23, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Dale,

I watched the series of events you're talking about. If Guzman doesnt take his time or drops the throw to second they only get one run on the homerun. Obviously it helps to have speed on the basepaths, but would you rather have Emilio Bonifacio or Dan Uggla at the plate? Isn't that where everything really matters? Speed should never be the first thing you talk about when talking about a baseball player. No one wants a Juan Pierre on the team.

Posted by: Billy Beane | July 23, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Brian... Yes?


Seriously, I liked your post, thanks for the insight.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 23, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

I haven't thought the bullpen was a strength since April...

Posted by: MO Nats Fan | July 23, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Billy Beane,

I'd much rather have Uggla then Bonificio. I think everyone who knows a lick about baseball would. The problem is that teams would also rather have Uggla then Rauch. If we could have gotten Uggla straight up for Rauch then i'm sure that deal would have been done in a heartbeat but there just aren't any 2nd basemen of that caliber who can be had for the cost of a set up guy.

Posted by: VT Nats Fan | July 23, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

"Would you rather have Emilio Bonifacio or Dan Uggla at the plate?"

Is this not the central question in baseball today? I mean it's the primary tension between the two leagues, isn't it? The DH question, the steroids question, they all go back to this.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 23, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

shoot, wouldn't you rather have arod at the plate than zimmerman? granted, zim in the field, but at the plate?

Posted by: 231 | July 23, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

The Brewers paid about half of Durham's salary.

Re: A v. AAA: I'm not comparing Bonifacio to Darren Ford, I'm comparing what the Giants got total to what the Nationals got total. Hammond was the better part of the deal. Well if you don't include getting rid of Durham.

Posted by: NOVA Giants Fan | July 23, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

The primary problem here is that we do not fully understand the market for John Rauch. For that matter nobody fully understands the market for a reliever was a widely accepted value then Fuentes, Street, Sherill and others would have already found new homes. Bowden saw that Rauch would never have a higher value then he does right now. He would never be able to get a better deal. He saw the best deal that he could find and took it. This may have been a bad deal in the long run but only time will tell.

Posted by: VT Nats Fan | July 23, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Lots of troll feeding going on in here...

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

506 & VT - I think it is a stretch to think Guz ever was thought to have good range, other than by Boz when we signed him. Also, Guz had very good ISO power (SLG - BA) when he came up. No one is saying that about this guy. Other than the inadequate OBP at start of their careers, they aren't similar. But if you told he sees things fuzzy, I'd hold Boni down while you gave him Lasick surgery.

Posted by: PTBNL | July 23, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Brian - is there no longer a limitation on when you can resign a non-tendered player? IIRC, there used to be a rule that if you did not offer arbitration, you had a limited period to resign the guy. Otherwise, you had to wait until some time in May. Doesn't prevent you from singign him beofre that freeze period kicks in, which is what you say, but there used to be a timing issue.

Posted by: PTBNL | July 23, 2008 7:08 PM | Report abuse

The "Sports Reporters" are morons. It's amazing they can skate by as they have for so long when they actually know so little about sports.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | July 23, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

To all: dk has clearly gone off his meds & needs to be put on monitored ingestion for a week or so... He should be fine after that. "Calling Nurse Cratchet, Nurse Cratchet to the desk, please".

Posted by: BIM | July 23, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know why E-Boni isn't starting for Columbus tonight?

Posted by: estuartj | July 23, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Considering he's been on our 40-man for over 24 hours, I would bet because he's hurt. Labrum tear.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | July 23, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

"That's an awful lot of money for a player rehabbing from labrum surgery. Surgery that has a recovery time of 12-18 months, meaning Chief's return to the field (not necessarily the majors) is somewhere between July 2009 and spring training 2010. A player who could go anywhere he wants after the 2009 season."
________________

Where did you get that timetable? Labrum does not equal rotator cuff.

Labrum recovery takes 3 weeks rest + 3-4 months of rehab. Obv, for a pitcher, more time. But 12-18 months??? Sounds like you are thinking of the rotator cuff (which is more invasive) or Tommy John surgery.

Posted by: 756* | July 23, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

I know snark when I see it!

Posted by: Wigi | July 23, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I finally caught up on the Acela back from a business trip to NYC. I am not sure what took longer, reading dk's rants and the responses thereto, or reading War and Peace and Anna Karenina in college. Zoiks. Friends, dk has been around awhile and has his positions, most of which have at least some merit. I do not think he deserves troll status -- he is not here to bother anyone, he is here to state his opinions like the rest of us. I don't agree with most of them but ...

Posted by: Bob L. Head | July 23, 2008 7:35 PM | Report abuse

756*, I think the recovery time for a fully torn labrum is a lot longer than 3-4 months, if the pitcher is ever to recover at all. Ryan Wagner has been out for over a year with it. I don't have access to Chico's archives right now, but I recall a few weeks ago he told us that they are predicting 12-18 month recovery for Chief also. My sense is he's unlikely to pitch in 2009.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | July 23, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

... the constant arguing and personal attacks back and forth are not worth the paper they are not printed on.

Now, if you told me that the Nats had traded for a switch-hitting 23 year old middle infielder with plus defense that could develop into a leadoff hitter in exchange for a relief pitcher then, well, stay away from the windows. That said, I do have some concerns over whether we got enough in this specific deal. But let's face it, nobody knows...

Posted by: Bob L. Head (cont'd) | July 23, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

... and if E-Bone is our regular 2b for the next five years and can hit, say, .280/.360/.420 with 40 SBs then this will have been a steal. If you're the Nats this is the kind of trade you have to make. Now we just need to make it, like, 5 more times and sign out draft picks.

Also, Willie Harris can take a walk and chew gum at the same time.

Posted by: Bob L. Head III | July 23, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Is there any reason to think that we could get any team to take any of our position players that are on the block (Flop, Plod, Estrada), let alone give us something in return for them?
What about our starting pitchers? I recall Chico mentioning that a scout didn't think much of Odalis, but I don't remember anything about Redding.

Posted by: Willie Harris fan club president | July 23, 2008 8:00 PM | Report abuse

"it aint ez"

No truer words have ever been spoken (assuming "ez" = easy).

If "ez" = (f)ez or (p)ez, then I retract my statement.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | July 23, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Here's the current state of the Nationals' 40-man roster & salaries, running out toward 2009. Signed players = 6 (1B-D.Young & N.Johnson, IF-R.Belliard, OF-W.Pena & A.Kearns, SS-C.Guzman) for $30.4M in 2009.
Under full control = 23 (C- J.Flores & W.Nieves; MI- E.Bonifacio; OF- R.Bernarina, K.Casto, L.Milledge, E.Dukes & J.Maxwell; SP- C.Balester, J.Lannan, J.Bergmann, S.Hill, T.Clippard, M.Chico, G.Mock & R.Detwiler; RP- M.O'Conner, S.Shell, J.Hanrahan, C.Schroder, S.Rivera, C.Manning & B.Sanches), $9.1M in 2008.
Arbitration eligible = 7(?) (3B- R.Zimmerman; IF- P.Orr; OF- R.Langerhans; SP- T.Redding; RP- R.Wagner, J.Colome & C.Cordero), $10.3M in 2008.
Free-Agents/"walk year" = 7 (C- P.LoDuca & J.Estrada; CI- A.Boone; MI- F.Lopez; UTIL- W.Harris; SP- O.Perez; RP- L.Ayala), $19.7M in 2008.
"Dead Money" (Salaries on the books for other players) = $4M+ in 2008.

Take out the Free Agents+Dead Money players and you're left with a 33 to 36-man roster and a base salary structure of around $54.7M at the ML level (if resignings/renewals/non-tenders/etc. take place).
There seems to be salary room to make a FA signing (or two) in the off-season, but the "Big Fish" in the pond (i.e. Texiera, Sabathia, et al) would probably need to see an offer WAY out of scale to sign with us right now. Let's face it, we are what we are right now, and until we can look like a challenger for the playoffs, only a blank check from Management is going to lure a big name here.

Posted by: BIM | July 23, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

@BobL: Nice series of posts, but I still think dk has gone off his meds.

Posted by: BIM | July 23, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Also also, if your job, as a scout for a major league team, is to help your team improve at the expense of others, would you publicly say positive things about another team's prospects when that could prevent you from acquiring them for bargain basement prices later? If you had a reliever to trade and another team traded a similar reliever, would you publicly say that the other team got too much or too less? I think we have to take all of these anonymous quotes with a grain of salt.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | July 23, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

It's Nurse RATCHED. RATCHED!!

And she's not "wooly"--she's WEARY. And wearing a dress!

I hate it when people get the words wrong!

**************
"Calling Nurse Cratchet, Nurse Cratchet to the desk, please".

Posted by: BIM | July 23, 2008 7:16 PM

Posted by: Fear and Ignorance | July 23, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

I've had a torn labrum, surgery and it didn't take 12-18 months to recover.

Maybe his tear is worse.

Posted by: 756* | July 23, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Lineups.

Posted by: natsinthevalley | July 23, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps he meant my Aunt.

Posted by: Tiny Tim | July 23, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Ugh. "Too much or too little," not less.

BIM, my serial posts are due to blackberry field restrictions. And let's face it, you don't have to be off your meds to recognize that this team has underperformed and that management, in retrospect, has not delivered on earlier promises. I am still a Planista and see this as part of the process, but I understand other viewpoints, especially if they are well articulated (not always the case).

Posted by: Bob L. Head (personal gremlin) | July 23, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

756* i also assume that you did take a while to return to baseball activities...

how long until you were throwing off of a mound?

Posted by: VT Nats Fan | July 23, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

and not a moment too soon!

Posted by: nu pst | July 23, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

From the other paper on July 9, 2008 -- with the surgeon's comment cut and pasted at top.

>.


Cordero has surgery

Reliever Chad Cordero, who is out for the season with a torn labrum in his right shoulder, had successful surgery in Southern California on Tuesday.

Dr. Lewis Yocum found fraying partial tearing of the labrum and cartilage in the back of the shoulder, as well as a torn biceps, according to Nationals team doctor Ben Shaffer.

Shaffer said Yocum put a plastic anchor in the back top corner of Cordero's shoulder to reinforce the cartilage in his labrum. Cordero will start throwing in four months, and >.

"It really depends on how he progresses," Shaffer said. "Some people, over the course of three or four months, get up on their game. Whether he takes longer is an individual issue. I wouldn't tell you to lock in that date.... Dr. Yocum conveyed that [Cordero's] rotator cuff is pristine, and so prognostically you have to think it´s a pretty favorable outcome

Posted by: The other paper on Cordero | July 23, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

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