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One Player Going to a Contender, Nine Players Who Are Not

The Washington Nationals traded reliever Luis Ayala to the New York Mets for a player to be named later, who is expected to be infielder Anderson Hernandez.

Ayala had requested a trade. He is a free agent at the end of the season and the Nationals are able to acquire something for the righty -- who is the longest tenured player with the organization -- before he could leave for free.

Ayala is struggling this season, with a 5.77 ERA in 62 appearances. When healthy, though, Ayala had been one of the Expos/Nationals most reliable arms since 2003.

The Nationals have endured injuries to the middle infield and Hernandez will provide depth at shortstop. Nationals Manager Manny Acta is familiar with Hernandez, who played for Acta with the Mets. Hernandez actually opened the 2006 season as the Mets' starting second baseman.

Hernandez will join the Nationals in Philadelphia on Wednesday.

Keep checking for more information on the Nationals Journal and in Monday's paper.

As for the players who are still on the Nationals, here are today's lineups:

Colorado

Barmes -- 2B
Taveras -- CF
Holliday -- LF
Atkins -- 1B
Hawpe -- RF
Iannetta -- C
Tulowitzki -- SS
Stewart -- 3B
Cook -- RHP


Washington

Bonifacio -- 2B
Harris -- LF
Milledge -- CF
Boone -- 1B
Belliard -- 3B
Langerhans -- RF
Orr -- SS
Nieves -- C
Perez -- LHP

-- Zach Berman

By Chico Harlan  |  August 17, 2008; 11:17 AM ET
 
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Next: A few notes...

Comments

Another infielder? YAWN.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

did "gasoline alley" ayala take his gas can with him?

Posted by: natsscribe | August 17, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

snide remarks from Anonymous. YAWN.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | August 17, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Good stuff from LAC:

As we are talking about draft signing "budgets" and how cheap the Lerners are, it might be helpful to look at some numbers on the big league payroll side of things. The point here for present purposes is not that big league payroll should be bigger, but to show that the Nats are spending tens of millions of dollars less than other teams on the big league payroll side of things--so where is the money going? Why are we hearing about a "budget" constraining deals that the Nats would like to make (like signing Ramirez), at a price the Nats believe is fair, when player development is the one area that they vowed to focus on, and when they aren't spending the money anywhere else?

Also, let's remember how much money is at issue here when we're talking about draft signings--per NFA, last year the Nats spent $7.9 million on the draft. While that was good relative to most other teams (fifth-highest), it is still a drop in the bucket. Also, keep in mind that other teams are signing guys too, so the marginal difference is much smaller.

So, to the numbers. The Nats rank 26th in big league payroll this year, at approximately $55 million. Here is a sampling of how far behind other teams the Nats are:

Royals: $3 million more than Nats (rank 25)
Twins: $7 million more than Nats (rank 24)
Orioles: $12 million more than Nats (rank 22)
Rangers: $13 million more than Nats (rank 21)
Padres: $18 million more than Nats (rank 19)
Reds: $19 million more than Nats (rank 18)
Indians: $24 million more than Nats (rank 16)
Brewers: $26 million more than Nats (rank 15)
Astros: $34 million more than Nats (rank 14)
Phillies: $43 million more than Nats (rank 13)
Blue Jays: $43 million more than Nats (rank 12)
Braves: $47 million more than Nats (rank 10)
Mariners: $63 million more than Nats (rank 9)
Cubs: $64 million more than Nats (rank 7)
Mets: $83 million more than Nats (rank 3)
Tigers: $84 million more than Nats (rank 2)
Yankees: $154 million more than Nats (rank 1)


Think about that list. So the Nats are paying tens of millions of dollars less than other teams on big league payroll. And they have stated clearly their intentions to build the team through drafting and developing young players. Yet they are constrained by a "budget" that limits them from signing guys they want to sign, at a price they agree is otherwise fair? When we're talking about a budget that is probably in the neighborhood of $10 million or so? That is pathetic. The Plan is a sham.

Posted by: Lerners ARE Cheap | August 17, 2008 10:50 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Did the DC Fire Marshal have anything to do with this trade?

Posted by: leetee1955 | August 17, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

btw, 3000 words from bowden on this?

it seems he doth protest too much!!!

Posted by: dk | August 17, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

wah wah wah . they werent fair. they wanted to much money.
funny how every other team was somehow able to sign their picks. every other team except the number 28th pick. every other team got it done.
well done nats.

Posted by: dk | August 17, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

bowden is beyond a joke. the ownership of this team is pitiful. the nats are now ridiculous and sad on and off the field. talk about setting a tone from the top down. this top is empty.
what did bowden actually say: "we'll just have to wait 10 months longer."
did he really say that? this coming from the worst team in sports. yea we don't mind waiting. we're so bad it doesnt really matter.
wow.

Posted by: dk | August 17, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Loved Ayala before the injury...he was lights out.

Even if Hernandez is a AAAA player, it's a pretty decent return for Ayala, who seems like he is finished. Maybe a change of scenery will be good for Ayala, though.

Posted by: Expos Fan | August 17, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Yup. Ayala used to be good. It's a shame that he fell apart so bad.

Funny that the post's title is "One player going to a contender"...they won't be a contender when they start pitching him!

Posted by: Hoagie | August 17, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

btw keep trading pitchers for middle infielders. pennants arent built with pitchers, theyre built with middle infielders ...jr spivey, bonificio...
it just keeps gettin better.

Posted by: dk | August 17, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Refering back to the previous post when LAC called me drunk after I (mentioning no names) called people who thought having a budget meant you are cheap: I am 100% sober and I still think it is silly to run a business without a budget. The assertion that the Lerners are cheap because they spent money on player B after they were unable to sign player A is simply grasping at straws to prove a position.

Once the money was clearly free, they signed the player. We don't know that the Nationals would not have signed Ramirez and Crow if Crow had come in at $3.5M. That has never been stated. In fact since both offers were on the table at the same time 11:59, you have to assume that they would have signed both.

But you have to have a budget, and you have to live within it. And if you do live within it, it does not make you cheap. It makes you smart. I see nothing in the history of the Lerners investments that indicates that they are miserly beyond reason. Clearly they know how to invest, how to develop, and how to make money. Ten years from now when this franchise has built a history we may look back and say that they were cheap and short sighted or we may look back and say they stuck to a plan and developed a franchise that is competitive year-in and year-out. One thing is for certain, to do the latter - build a team that is consistently good - you have to do what they are doing now: build a farm system, don't sign long-term big money contracts with fading stars, and stay on course.

Cheap? Hardly! In investing in a team, building a stadium, building a farm system, and buying short term veterans they have demonstrated a willingness to spend. Just because they won't buy you Teixeira, does not mean they are cheap. It means only that they don't see it as a good investment.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go have a beer. This thinking is making me thirsty.

Posted by: NatBisquit | August 17, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Okay, they just got rid of a player who a)didn't want to be here (Flop anyone?) and b)was absolutely AWFUL this year. But, they didn't have to jettison the player with no compensation. They actually got a guy who has some major league experience and may turn out to be okay. He may be awful, too, but let's be honest...JimBo deserves some credit for getting something for Ayala.

Posted by: Cavalier | August 17, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

jim bowden makes vinnie cerrato look like a genius.

Posted by: dk | August 17, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

@NatB: Well thought response to LaC. While I enjoy the give-n-take offered on this (and other) forums, I do wish the "one-note" players could find it in themselves to give it a rest from time to time. SoCH has learned how to work & play well with others (for the most part). I wish the same could be said for posters like, well, we know who they are.

Posted by: BIM | August 17, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

It hurts my feelings that HE requested the trade.

*pause*

Okay, I'm over it.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 17, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

My nominee for the Unintentionally Ironic Post of the Day ...

(excuse me, that's "nomanie")


***********************
btw, 3000 words from bowden on this?
it seems he doth protest too much!!!
Posted by: dk | August 17, 2008 12:14 PM

Posted by: S3mc | August 17, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

S3mc: Touche'!

Posted by: BIM | August 17, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

reposting from the 19th century
*************************
I see great things in base ball. It will take our people out of doors, fill them with oxygen, give them a large physical stoicism. Tends to relieve us from being a nervous, dyspeptic set. Repair these losses, and be a blessing to us.

Posted by: Walter Whitman | August 17, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Ummm... Don't quit your day job, Walt.

*****************
Tends to relieve us from being a nervous, dyspeptic set.

Posted by: s3MC | August 17, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

My nominee for the Unintentionally Ironic Post of the Day ...
(excuse me, that's "nomanie")
***********************
btw, 3000 words from bowden on this?
it seems he doth protest too much!!!
Posted by: dk | August 17, 2008 12:14 PM
Posted by: S3mc | August 17, 2008 12:48 PM

oh no i couldnt. well ok. i mean im so touched and there are so many people id like to thank....jim b, stan k, the learners, austin ks, flop, far to many to mention....but thank you , thank you, i mean you like me , you really like me!

Posted by: dk | August 17, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

here's a kudos for you, and here's one for me. Oh, you must wear your kudos with a difference...

Posted by: sec3,mc | August 17, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Part of me wonders if Ayala had a beef with Manny. You know, residue from the trouble Lopez was said to have been stirring up in the clubhouse.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 17, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Part of me wonders...
Posted by: NatsNut

which part of you is that? oh wait.. looking at your name, er neva mind.

Posted by: dk | August 17, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

That is actually a quote from Walt Whitman. What was his day job...?

Posted by: Cavalier | August 17, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Good timing on the Ayala trade, the Mets are really desperate for bullpen help and Ayala couldn't mop up, let alone hold a lead. Sorry to see him lose command after being successful. Maybe he listened too much to Felipe.

Posted by: NatMan | August 17, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

....but thank you , thank you, i mean you like me , you really like me!


Posted by: dk | August 17, 2008 12:58 PM
-------------------------------------------
Um, exactly how long have you been delusional?

Posted by: BIM | August 17, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Part of me wonders if Ayala had a beef with Manny. You know, residue from the trouble Lopez was said to have been stirring up in the clubhouse.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 17, 2008 1:02 PM

Ladson said that he'd been requesting a trade for weeks because he wanted a "change of scenery" and was going through a divorce and other off-field problems.
I just assumed he was injured.

Posted by: cat daddy | August 17, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Ladson's press release said that Ayala wanted to leave for "personal reasons" -- charlie and dave were on the radio with Ladson and he said that Ayala was peeved at not getting the closer job. Ladson pretty well trashed him on the air. What are the Mets thinking? Hasn't an unstable bullpen been part of their problem? Not against us of course.....

Posted by: masnstinks | August 17, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Do they have enough short stops now?

Posted by: Dan | August 17, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

@NatsNut: The original post from Ladson (on MLB.com) made mention of divorce proceedings (later changed to "personal problems"). I think the guy just wanted a fresh start.

Posted by: BIM | August 17, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Ladson said that he'd been requesting a trade for weeks because he wanted a "change of scenery"

yea somewhere where the streets arent paved with the stench from celler dweller debris.

Posted by: dk | August 17, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Do they have enough short stops now?
Posted by: Dan | August 17, 2008 1:25 PM

You never can have enough shortstops.

Posted by: Eddie Brinkman | August 17, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

The Masses: You couldn't get something for Lopez or LoDuca or Estrada? A bag of baseballs would have been enough. Come on Jim, stop being such an idiot. Get something for these guys, ANYTHING!

Nats: Today, we traded Luis Ayala, he of the 5.77 ERA, who can't record an out against my grandmother, for an actual baseball player. He plays shortstop and second base.

The Masses: A shortstop? What an idiot. You couldn't trade him for a power hitting first baseman, or a lights out closer? What's your problem?

To "The Masses": Give it a rest.

Posted by: Cavalier | August 17, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

To "The Masses": Give it a rest.

just remember fan is short for fantatic. now where are my scissors.

Posted by: dk | August 17, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

dk: They let you have sharp objects at the home? Shame on them.

Posted by: BIM | August 17, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Just read the artcile on ESPN by Keith Law, blasting Bowden for blowing the Crow pick. His point: everyone in the industry knew that Crow wanted way over slot, why didn't Bowden? They could have picked the guys picked 10,11,12,13,or 14 and signed them for the slot. why didn't they? why is Bowden such a dummy that he can't do the signability analysis before the draft? I guess the Lerner's keep him around because he is willing to work cheap and not challenge their penny-wise, pound-foolish methods.

Posted by: Jeb | August 17, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Ayala had to go. Kudos to Bowden and Kasten for getting something, ANYTHING, for him.

We will be a MUCH better team without him, no matter who we call up to take his place.

Posted by: Woody Smith | August 17, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

In a highly specialized market, why is what Crow wants (before the draft) even relevant? Crow has a skill set, and there is a marketplace that sets that price. One strategy would be to not draft Crow, knowing that what he wants is too much, so let him fall in the draft until he gets a more realistic view, and negotiate from there. The other is to draft the talent, and convince him that the marketplace is right, and he isn't... which is what Bowden did.

Crow didn't have realistic expectations coming into the draft (he didn't have realistic expectations for the first pick in the draft, much less the ninth), and he wants to blame the Nats for that.

You can't know in advance how it would come out... and had Bowden passed on Crow, at some point someone would say, "Hey, that Crow kid was good... and Bowden passed on him in the draft. Silly Bowden."

If I was Crow, I would be angry with my agents. They are supposed to get you the best possible deal, and they deal they got him was Fort Worth.

Posted by: Wigi | August 17, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

To add onto Wigi's comment... and the loss of the remainder of his scholarship at Missouri, and the possibility of an arm injury while earning what, a thousand for the season? I hope the Hendricks' brothers took out an insurance policy on their (former) #9 draft pick.

Posted by: BIM | August 17, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Further adding to the Crow comments. I really have no idea how fans can criticize the Nats on this.

How in the world can Crow rationalize demanding more than what the #1 overall pick and the #1 pitcher were paid (w/o even taking a physical; big red flag). His agent just lost him A LOT of money. Not only is next year's draft supposed to be better, he will now be labeled as a hard player to sign. May push him out of the 1st round.

For the Nats, they get to pick again in the top ten through the new compensation system.

Posted by: BT | August 17, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand anyone criticizing this deal. Ayala was a great set-up guy for years, but has been horrible since the injury. He pitched poorly, wanted to be traded, and is a free agent at year's end with no chance of re-signing with the Nats. It's not a criticism of Ayala to say getting a bag of balls for him at this point is a reasonable return.

Posted by: John O. | August 17, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

@JohnO: If no-one's said it before, welcome to planet NJ. Nobody has really criticized the trade of Ayala; It's a good thing that the Nationals got something for him since he is a 5-yr FA at the end of the season, and was most likely a non-tender for 2009 regardless.

Posted by: BIM | August 17, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

26 out of the top 27 picks got done. all those teams had to deal with agents who were asking for to much cash. you think bowden was the only one who ran into a stiff one. how bout the teams that had to deal with boras. somehow they got it done. somehow all 26 got it done but somehow the nats, who havent shown any1 they are special at anything, failed to get it done. thats it bottom line.
they fail on the field. they fail off.

Posted by: dk | August 17, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

(not from dk but from espn.com)

"The Nationals' failure to sign Aaron Crow is yet another strike against the regime of embattled general manager Jim Bowden, whose name has popped up in the investigation into embezzlement of signing bonuses in Latin America.

In full-on spin mode, Bowden now is claiming that Crow and his advisors didn't give the Nationals any indication before the draft what it might take for Crow to sign (even though this information was common knowledge in the industry) and didn't provide a dollar figure until Aug. 12.

If the Nationals genuinely didn't know what Crow wanted, it was either willful ignorance or the worst case of a signability analysis I've ever seen.

And if they weren't willing to go much over slot, they could have just taken Arizona State's Brett Wallace (taken by the Cardinals at No. 13) or Long Beach (Calif.) high school hitter Aaron Hicks (taken by the Twins at No. 14), signed either for slot at No. 9 and made the plausible argument that they took the best player available.

Posted by: common sense | August 17, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I finally made the correlation - dk on NJ = Skippy on RI. "Hi, my name is Skippy - i've got a metal plate in my head and i really, REALLY like lemon merangue pie." The only problem is that Skippy knows how to use the 'shift' function on the keyboard, so I might be wrong.

Posted by: BIM | August 17, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

why would anyone even debate the merits of this trade?

....how many AAA teams could today's line up beat? I know it's a travel day, but if I spent money on a ticket I'd be pretty ticked that I had to watch an AA team play.

Posted by: vaclipper | August 17, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

why would anyone even debate the merits of this trade?

bullseye.

Posted by: dk | August 17, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Good move if the guy can hit his way out of a paper bag. We have our 2 best hitters; Flores at .271 and Zimmerman at .268. On a major league team, those two would make a good pair in the 7 and 8 hole.

Posted by: 6th & D | August 17, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

We have our 2 best hitters; Flores at .271 and Zimmerman at .268. On a major league team, those two would make a good pair in the 7 and 8 hole.
Posted by: 6th & D | August 17, 2008 2:58 PM

true. but dont give up on flores. hes gonna be a fine major league player. dude can ball.

Posted by: dk | August 17, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

@common sense: I assume that was from the keyboard of either Keith Law or Jorge Arangure, Jr., based on the tome.

Posted by: BIM | August 17, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the Crow deal, I think the only blame that can be assessed to the Nats is whether or not they should have steered clear based on signability questions.

Once the pick was made I think the Nats made the right decision. They offered him well over slot. They offered him a ML contract if he would just take his MRI (and he wouldn't). The Hendricks appear to have been extremely difficult to deal with.

In the end, I think Crow and his agents misjudged the situation terribly. He will be drafted after the 9th pick next year and will make less money than what the Nats offered him. He may even have to sign at slot. They have no leverage in negotiations with the next team because is he really going to hold out and miss another season. And now he has to pitch for peanuts hoping he does not injure himself.

I am disappointed that the Nats didn't sign Crow, but he got the worse end of the deal. Instead of complaining that the Nats are the only team not to sign their first pick, shouldn't we consider the flip side that Hendricks was the only agent not to get his guy a contract? I can't help but think that Crow woke up Saturday morning thinking to himself "What have I done?"

Posted by: NatsVerse | August 17, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

NatBisquit, if you had posted what you thought initially rather than just castigating people who have a certain view as "idiots," then I wouldn't have reacted as I did. As to your point, the issue isn't whether a budget exists, but how big the budget is. Look at the numbers from my post. The Nats are so far behind the pack on payroll. They have committed to building through the draft. But what's their budget that they've committed to build through the draft? How much more is it than other teams? It's not--it's a joke. That is the issue and the problem.

BIM, if you think this isn't the most important issue right now, I don't know what to say to you. But it's hardly the only issue I ever talk about.

Posted by: Lerners ARE Cheap | August 17, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

@natsVerse: Your last line says it all.

Posted by: BIM | August 17, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that everyone complains that the Nats are the only team that didn't sign its 1st rounder instead of thinking about why the Hendricks are the only agents who have a player playing in the Independent League

Posted by: why oh why | August 17, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

@6th&D: What am I, chopped liver? (.294BA)

Posted by: Christian Guzman (not) | August 17, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

@BIM,

It was Keith Law who posted on espn.com. Can't say I disagree with him. I still find it incredulous that Crow's representatives allegedly waited until three days before the deadline to make their first offer. I still find it more incredulous that somebody from the Nats front office didn't just hop a plane to meet with the Hendricks brothers before then.

Posted by: leetee1955 | August 17, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that everyone complains that the Nats are the only team that didn't sign its 1st rounder instead of thinking about why the Hendricks are the only agents who have a player playing in the Independent League
Posted by: why oh why

hello??? i couldnt care less about the hendricks. i dont follow the hendricks. i follow the freakin nats. i dont care what happens to the hendricks or crow. i care bout what happens to the nats.

and the nats didnt sign their freakin draft pick. why. are the hendricks harder to deal with than boras? no the nats are just plain dumb. if they have to overpay, then freakin overpay. theyve got the money. just sign the freakin draft pick. every1 else did.

and if hes not gonna sign, draft someone who will. everyone else seemed to figure out the game beforehand. but not the nats.

is that 2 hard to understand.

Posted by: dk | August 17, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

@LAC: I didn't call you out in my missive, but I seem to have struck a nerve with you. I'm w/NatBisquit on this - the brothers Hendricks represented their "client" badly, and the Nationals took $$ they had reserved for Crow to sweeten the deal and sign Ramirez at the final bell. I'm OK with that, but still disappointed that we only signed 30 of our draft picks.

Posted by: BIM | August 17, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

This has to be the worst situational hitting team in baseball. Five runners left on in two innings. Oy!

Posted by: leetee1955 | August 17, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

@leetee: Can't speak to why the Nationals didn't physically reach out to Crow - maybe because they didn't want to place a huge emphasis on him as opposed to other draftees? They did invite him to DC & the park (which he refused). I just feel like the kid (or his agents) had an overstated value of him, and lost out as a result. I'm a bit sad over the loss of a #1, but life goes on.

Posted by: BIM | August 17, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

The Bullets made plenty of money for Abe Pollin in the 90's despite being a doormat for more than a decade. Why wouldn't the Lerners follow the same business model? Spending money on players is an unacceptable risk.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 17, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

"The Nationals took $$ they had reserved for Crow to sweeten the deal and sign Ramirez at the final bell."

Posted by: Baa Baa | August 17, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

@BIM,

I agree that life goes on. Sometimes, these impasses are more about an agent wanting to steer his client away from a destination than trying to treach a meeting of the the minds with the drafting team. I also wondered if the Hendricks brothers and Crow were hiding an injury which is why that side sought a major league contract and wasn't willing to submit to an MRI exam? Remember, once the draftee is signed it's caveat emptor for the team and the agent pockets a percentage regardless.

Posted by: leetee1955 | August 17, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

up

Posted by: NEW POST | August 17, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm here!

Posted by: new post | August 17, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

BIM, you did mention me in your "missive.". Anyway, as I've stated, I have no problen with how they handled Crow. But if they really consider Ramirez a "first-round talent" as Bowden said, the idea that signing him was contingent on not signing Crow is completely indefensible. The issue with him was not whether the deal was fair from the Nats' perspective. The issue was only whether the Nats had the money in their "budget."

How can you defend that? Make an argument. Remember, the Nats spent around $8 million in signing draftees last year. How much more are they spending relative to some other teams when the Nats have committed to building through the draft? $2 million? $4 million (doubtful)? And how many teams are spending $20, $ 30, $40, $50, $60 million or more than the Nats on big league payroll? The point isn't that they should sign guys whatever the cost. But when they aren't signing guys at a cost they are comfortable with because it's not in the budget, that's a serious problem and shows the "Plan" is bogus.

Posted by: Lerners ARE Cheap | August 17, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

walt whitman's day job was as a clerk in the interior department. oddly enough, monday aug. 18th is the 143rd anniversary of his being fired in 1865 by Interior Sec'y Jas. Harlan for the sin of keeping a book of poetry on his desk.

as for not signing a draftee, yeah, the nats are sooo bad they need to change ownership and the entire front office in order to do absolutely everything perfectly or else utter disaster will become the norm and nobody will want to watch them play baseball ever. right.

Posted by: natty bumppo | August 17, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Did we have a Manny Rameirez situation here and we couldn't even tell it was happening?

Posted by: Tom | August 17, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

To those who patiently remind us that you have to have a budget in the business world, and it is irresponsible not to have one:

Yes, true, but there are big budgets, medium budgets, and itty bitty budgets. They are all "budgets"!

The Plan calls for a small budget for a major league team, but a nice-sized budget for the future--for the draft. Instead, ALL of the Nats' budgets are small. So the Plan is a sham.

Posted by: EdDC | August 17, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

The Senators are the biggest joke in sports! Good Plan - field a AAAA team and sue the city who built you a stadium.

Posted by: Brooksy | August 17, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Adios to Ayala, one of the few remaining Expos (I think that leaves Nick Johnson and Shawn Hill?). Hope that he is able to pull it together somehow.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 17, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Whitman's day job: journalist and printer among others, I think.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 17, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Oh, natty bumpo hit the buzzer before me. Never mind.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 17, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender.

Posted by: Terry Malloy | August 17, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Gentleman, what we have here is a failure to communicate as the streak reaches ten. Is there any hope at all for this franchise? we are not even on the baseball radar as a professional franchise did the wrong group of owners buy this team or what? as a fan i am losing all hope that this situation will be resolved anytime soon.

Posted by: DARGREGMAG@AOL.COM | August 17, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Oops - I forgot Cordero...

Adios to Ayala, one of the few remaining Expos (I think that leaves Nick Johnson and Shawn Hill?). Hope that he is able to pull it together somehow.

Posted by: natsfan1a | August 18, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

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