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Front Office Promotions

A few more front office reconfigurations for the Nationals today.

Foremost, the Nats have promoted Erick Dalton to serve as their new coordinator of advanced scouting and video. Dalton, who joined the organization in 2007, worked last year as a baseball operations assistant. He replaces former video coordinator Tom Yost, who was fired at the end of the season along with five of Manny Acta's assistant coaches.

The Nats also promoted Ryan Thomas as their coordinator of minor league operations. Thomas had spent the last two years as an assistant in the player development department.

By Chico Harlan  |  October 31, 2008; 2:39 PM ET
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Next: A Few International Signings


Not a good year for guys named Yost in baseball, eh?

Posted by: JohninMpls | October 31, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I'd still love to know what it was that former video coordinator Tom Yost actually DID to merit his contract not being renewed, because the "We're cleaning house" excuse just doesn't wash with me (pun intended).

Posted by: Juan-John | October 31, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Is this how the Lerners' are going to spend the larger portion of this years' income - on FO promotions? Are there enough cubes to seat all these people, or will they again file suit that the facilities are "substantially incomplete"? Grrr-r-r.

Posted by: BinM | October 31, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse reports that Odalis Perez has filed for free agency.

Posted by: leetee1955 | October 31, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

leetee: That was a foregone conclusion - he only had a 1-yr contract for 2008. As a LHSP, he has value as a #3-5 starter for just about any team in MLB. The Nationals have 15 days to negotiate with him / his agent (Pat Rooney) for 2009; If no agreement is reached in that time, he becomes an unrestricted FA.

Posted by: BinM | October 31, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

For what it's worth: Current starting staff (as of 10/31/08):
1)Lannan(LH), 2)Redding(RH)[arbitration], 3)Bergmann(RH), 4)Balester(RH), 5)Hill(RH)[injured]. Others: on-roster - Martis(RH), Clippard(RH), Detwiler(RH); non-roster - J.Zimmerman(RH), Stammen(RH), VanAllen(RH).
The staff (and prospects) are currently very right-hand heavy (10 of 11), so could use another LHSP: Odalis Perez(LH) would plug back into the #3-#4 slot, if re-signed. Caveat - There are at least 15 Free-agent eligible SP's (including six LHSP) for 2009 that rated higher than Odalis based on 2008 totals.
Bottom-line: I don't think the Nationals make more than an obligatory offer ($1.75M) to him for 2009.

Posted by: BinM | October 31, 2008 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else find it interesting that......

1. Emilio B is playing CF not 2nd in winter ball?

2. SBF can get Chad C on the phone but Chico can not?

3. KC can afford trade for and pay arbitration rate for a 28 year old 1B with 30 HRs and 90 RBI and Nats are not even interested in this guy?

Posted by: JayBeee | November 1, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

New front office. . .new coaches. . .new uniforms. Wow. Now, we're rolling. Who of that crowd can hit; who can turn the double play? I'm not complaining about the guys on the field. They are trying as hard as they can. It is just not enough. Do you hear that sobbing? That is everyone from the Lerners down to Bowden, squeezing a nickel until Thomas Jefferson starts crying.

Posted by: willgiery | November 1, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

for the tigers down there in the dominican, andersen hernandez is hitting over .150 points higher than ebone against the same pitching. case closed

Posted by: formerlylove | November 2, 2008 1:30 AM | Report abuse

for the tigers down there in the dominican, andersen hernandez is hitting over .150 points higher than ebone against the same pitching. case closed

Posted by: formerlylove | November 2, 2008 1:30 AM | Report abuse

I agree about A Hernandez hitting better over 75 ABs or so and I think that will hold up all year......The question then becomes, was it a bad trade? Rauch should have brought in a solid Major Leaguer like Jacobs at 1B......Same old would have had to pay him Arb. Levels to keep him for next year and that seems to be the issue once again.

If Nats do not start changing their mind set soon, like next 60 days…….Park is going to be a less than a 1/3 full for none MET, PHIL Games and I will be picking up Club seats for $20 bucks again. Now that was nice…..same price as my upper deck season tickets for the most part which I was selling for $5 when I could pick up club seats……..Now if I was only not a Nats fan this would all be good.

Posted by: JayBeee | November 2, 2008 7:40 AM | Report abuse

"New front office. . .new coaches. . .new uniforms. Wow. Now, we're rolling. Who of that crowd can hit; who can turn the double play? I'm not complaining about the guys on the field. They are trying as hard as they can. It is just not enough. Do you hear that sobbing? That is everyone from the Lerners down to Bowden, squeezing a nickel until Thomas Jefferson starts crying."

Give it a rest. The offseason has barely begun. Give the Lerners a chance to not spend money before you start criticizing them for not spending any money.

Posted by: nunof1 | November 2, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

"That is why it became very important to get in touch with Chad Cordero this evening to see if he would talk to us about his, in essence, newly found Free Agency.

"As always, it takes a little creativity for that to happen on our part. Fortunately, it did. A few phone calls later this evening, Chad Cordero spoke to me from his home in Southern California. For 20 Minutes we chatted about today's announced decision, his recovery from shoulder surgery (torn labrum) and what is in store for his future as a Major League Player."

* * *

"Cordero did not return a cellphone message yesterday, and his agent, Larry Reynolds, declined to comment."

Quickie quiz: which one of the above quotations is from an amateur blogger who also has a (pretty busy) day job, and which one is from the Washington Post's beat writer whose day job is to cover the Washington Nationals? Which one did the legwork to give us details in advance about the Nats' uniform changes?

This is pathetic. Thanks to the Post for making clear where we should be turning to get our Nats coverage.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | November 2, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Do you think the Nats passed on Jacobs because of arbitration or because he isnt very good? 30 homers is solid. But his OBP last season was < .300. His Marlins career OPS+ is just over 100. Average for all players...but below average for a corner infielder. Plus, his defensive indicators show he is a bottom three defensive 1st baseman in all MLB.

Miami newspapers are reporting the Marlins are going to pretty much hang on to all their arbitration eligible guys...except Olson and Jacobs. Why would they do that if they were performing or didnt have issues?

The Nats need to acquire better talent through any possible means to fill the seats. Not Jacobs.

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | November 2, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

but ... but ... he bought us a beer.
This is pathetic. Thanks to the Post for making clear where we should be turning to get our Nats coverage.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | November 2, 2008 11:14 AM

Posted by: CEvansJr | November 2, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Nats have never had a LH hitter hit 30 let alone 32 home runs. His Slugging % was over .500 and his you people recall how many errors DYoung, Lo Duca, Belliard, and Casto play first base.......Jacobs is a huge improvement over all that mess. Hitting .247 as a 28 year old......with over 90 RBI's/32 HRs.......and LHed to we have anyone at all that approaches these numbers who has not been on the DL each of his 10 years in the League.....Jacobs does may not be Mark T but people he is a HUGE improvement over 2008 options and Nick still could get his 100 ABs before going on the DL.

Posted by: JayBeee | November 2, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

@JayB/JayBee: Chill out dude! Trades aren't made via party-line/conference calls with all the other teams; they're one-on-one with a targeted client/customer, just like business deals. Florida wanted to market Jacobs, just not to NL teams; they found a buyer in the AL & made the deal. End of story, let's move along.

Posted by: BinM | November 2, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

@nunof1: I'm hearing you. We're only three days into the 'Hot-Stove' league period of the season. Let's see what the next sections of the off-season (FA statement/Winter mtgs./Rule-5 draft) bring before we proclaim woe and doom over the home team. BTW- A LH-hitting 1B or OF, & a true #1SP would be most welcome in the X-mas stocking this year. I'm just saying...

Posted by: BinM | November 2, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse


OK we both agree a LH Power Bat at 1b is needed.....I bet they do not end up with one as productive at Jacobs.....and yes Jimbo would have to get on the phone and offer more than KC did....not too tough....Marlins do not care if Jacobs is in the NL or AL as long as they do not have to pay $4million in Arb....Jimbo dropped the let's see if you are correct or not that he gets something better over the next 60 days.

Posted by: JayBeee | November 2, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

@JayBeee: Agree with the need for a LH power hitter (not necessaraly 1B). Agree to disagree w/Jacobs as the answer - Marlins FO didn't like Jacobs' salary & DID NOT want him in the NL East, in particular. Nobody 'dropped the ball' here; There just wasn't a deal available here.

Posted by: BinM | November 2, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

LH bat is nice, but would any of us be too upset if the Nats picked up Juan Rivera or Raul Ibanez and converted them to 1st basemen (in the event that Kearns is not traded)? Also, I have enough of a sense of humor to wonder if Milton Bradley would be a good fit for JimBo's home for misunderstood, good at heart, one more chance dice rolls? He's been hurt a lot, and at times goes bonkers. Sounds like Elijah would be a steadying influence on him, and he is a switch hitter. He'd have to play OF, so it means eating / dumping Mr. Kearns's salary. Off the wall idea on that might be my beloved Red Sox who could use him as a backup OF if they move Coco in a Peavy deal.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | November 2, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

The team salary for the start of 2008 was $55 mil. Looks like the team is around $40 mil now with arbitration coming up and five spots open on the 40 man.

Any word on the projected team payroll for 2009?

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | November 2, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Jacobs can't field, doesn't walk, can't get on base and has no patience. The reason N. Johnson is so valuable to the Nats is because he does do all those things. I agree, Nats need a reliable left handed hitter who can hit a HR every time he swings the bat. I hate to say it, I don't really want anymore Reds, but Adam Dunn sounds better and better. Plus he takes walks and works counts. I hope Eckstein preaches patience and working counts instead of swing at the first good pitch you see like Lenny. The Nats need to get past peoples starters if they want to get anywhere. All in all, I still hope like heck that the Lerners open up the wallet and sign Tex. That would work on all fronts.

Below is what Keith LAw of ESPN said about the Jacobs trade for KC. I think for the Nats, he would have thought it was even worse.

"Jacobs should not get regular playing time from a major league club, period. The fact that the Royals looked at him and thought, "Wow, everyday first baseman!" is terrifying, because it's so wrong. Jacobs:

• Is a horrendous on-base guy. He posted a .299 OBP in 2008, and even that was inflated by 10 intentional walks. Take those out and his OBP drops to .285. In the National League, no less. Players who make outs in over 70 percent of their plate appearances can't play every day in a corner spot unless the team's goal is to score as few runs as possible.

• Has a massive platoon split. In 338 career plate appearances against left-handed pitching in the majors, Jacobs is hitting .235/.275/.414. He's not any great shakes against right-handers -- his OBP against righties, removing intentional walks, was just .297 in 2008 -- but he is useless against lefties.

• Is a terrible defensive first baseman, possibly the worst in baseball. He has bad hands and no range and is bad enough that he probably needs to DH."

Posted by: NatsWin | November 2, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Wonder what Law would say about Casto, Lo Duca, Belliard and D Young as your 1st Basemen?

Jacobs is a better fielder at 1st them all of them; a better BA then most of them and 30 HRs more them all but Belliard.

D Young and Nick are not an option to start a season with so what is better, Jacobs or another season like last year?

Posted by: JayBeee | November 2, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I just remembered something. I think I know why the Nats were doomed to so many injuries and why the Phillies won the World Series.

I haven't been able to find it in the archives, but do you guys remember when they installed the final steal beam to the ballpark's structure? It was a big deal, with media and cameras, etc., and a bunch of the construction people signed the beam before it went up. Here it is: one of the guys wrote "Go Phillies" or something on it.

ACK, this could be our CURSE!!

I wonder what we have to do to reverse it?

Posted by: NatsNut | November 2, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

The other problem with Jacobs is that I don't want a player who is just better than LoDuca, Casto and D. Young, I want someone who can actually get us to the playoffs. Settling for someone who is marginally better will not get us anywhere. We need a serious improvement. That is what Tex or Prince Fielder would bring. Adam Dunn could probably play first as well as Jacobs and is a much better hitter.

Truthfully, if the Lerners can't or won't get Tex, I'd like to see them go after Micah Hoffpauir who is stuck behind Derrick Lee in Chicago.

Here are his 2008 AAA numbers: 290 ABs, he hit .362 with 34 2Bs, 25 HRs, 100 RBI, a .393 OBP, .752 SLG and a 1.145 OPS.

All this before being put on the 40 man roster. He is 28 and a left handed bat.

Posted by: NatsWin | November 3, 2008 3:15 AM | Report abuse

Now that we have a former KC man with the Nats, I was wondering about Kila Ka'aihue as an option at first base. Great on base man, 37 HR in 400 AB's at AA and AAA ball, left handed hitter. Not sure about his defense. And how did you guys manage to keep your blog names when you signed up.

Posted by: jcampbell1 | November 3, 2008 5:55 AM | Report abuse


Problem is not with your logic, it makes perfect sense, but the problem is this is the Nats we are talking about here.

I have a strong feeling Jimbo and (Lerners mostly really) have already decided they have their first basemen....Nick and D Young are making over $10 Million this year combined. Read Jimbo's comments on the Radio a from a few weeks ago on Nats320 and you will see some very troubling comments.......things like "DY is on a mission to comeback in shape and ready to play and master his Diabetes, and Nick is already doing baseball related activities"........Jacobs was a big improvement over these too....not great but much more reliable, and a Type B or A FA in two years for sure, which means Draft picks.....Nope Lerners have shown several times already that if they have someone under a big contract they are willing to ignore baseball sense and go with them......Lopez is the prime example of this and also the likely the case of 1B we are likely going to see DY at 340 Lbs get hurt in the first month and Nick play well into late May and then hurt and on the DL for the rest of the year....History does repeat itself when you do not learn from the past.

Posted by: JayBeee | November 3, 2008 6:55 AM | Report abuse

Interesting theory on the beam, NatsNut, but do we want to buy into the business of curses (cough, Cubs, cough)?

jc1, we had some tips on blog name retention from MC (a Post employee, I presume) back in the original comment changes thread:

Comments will be integrated with the main registration (you can test it on other blogs already like Redskins Insider and politics blogs). If you don't like your username, my suggestion would be if you have another email address, you can just logout and register with your other email and the username you'd like to use on blogs.
Posted by: MC | October 22, 2008 1:37 PM

Ah figured it out. After registering the first time, it uses your email name as your name on the header. Then the first time you click the "Sign in" link on a blog to comment, it will ask you to pick your "MyPost ID" and confirm your email address. That's where/when you can set it.
Posted by: MC | October 23, 2008 8:00 AM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 3, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I definitely hope that the Nats can continue to improve the talent at every position over the next few seasons, but I really do not understand all the fans who think that spending big money on free agent contracts is the way to the post-season. How many players in Philly or Tampa were big FA signings? How about the Yankees, Mets and Tigers casts of Allstars? I guess their golf game is probably a little better since they have had an extra month to work on it.

NatsWin and jcampbell1, I like the names you are throwing out. Keep looking for trades that make sense and put youth on the field. I'm not a big fan of Jimbo, but at least he is always trying to make some sort of deal.

Any thoughts on who the Nats would have to give up for Fielder? Do the Nats really want him?

Posted by: NeedANatsFix | November 3, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

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