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Orr Signs Minor League Deal

Sorry, went to lunch and THIS happened. From MLB.com:

The Nationals and infielder Pete Orr have agreed to terms on a Minor League contract with a chance to make the Major League roster, according to Orr's agent, Blake Corosky. If Orr makes the big league club, Orr could earn $600,000.

There were other clubs, including the Phillies, who were interested in Orr's services, but Corosky said the Nationals were aggressive in re-signing the infielder.

"They gave us everything we asked for and assured him he would have an opportunity to compete for a roster spot in Spring Training. That was important to Peter, obviously," Corosky said.

Orr played with Washington last season and hit .253 with seven RBI in 53 games. Two weeks ago, Orr was outrighted to Class AAA Syracuse, but elected free agency instead. But he didn't rule out returning to the Nationals.

"They have interest in me coming back and I have interest in coming back," Orr said at the time. "I would not say it's the end in Washington. I would say it's more of a numbers move, I guess."

By Tracee Hamilton  |  November 14, 2008; 1:53 PM ET
 
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Comments

Gem courtesy of MLB Trade Rumors:

'Pirates GM: "we'd love to upgrade the offense, upgrade our pitching, and rebuild the bench."'

Posted by: Section506 | November 14, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Who needs Texeira when you have Pete Orr!

Posted by: FloresFan | November 14, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

The surest sign that we're an improved team will be when we stop giving terrible players like this a chance. Nice guys finish last!

Posted by: Uncle_Teddy | November 14, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Nats related MLB Trade Rumors update:

According to Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals have already made an offer to free agent infielder Felipe Lopez. Lopez, a Scott Boras client, is said to desire a multiyear contract on the strength of this year's resurgent 169 plate appearances with the Cards.

Keith Law's thoughts on Lopez: "He's not a .385 hitter and probably isn't even a .300 hitter, but as a guy who could easily hit .280/.350/.400 and play a capable second base, he's one of the best infield options on this market." However, Law notes that Lopez's effort level has been questioned often.

Posted by: Section506 | November 14, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

That last sentence is an early contender for understatement of the year.

Well, good luck to them.

Posted by: soundbloke | November 14, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

No need to apologize for taking a lunch break. I, for one, am quite content with the increased volume of posts here lately. Thanks, Tracee.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 14, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

am I the only one here who is beginning to think that Tracee >>>> Chico?

Posted by: MrMadison | November 14, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

If you recall the old Simpsons episode, Inanimate Carbon Rod>>>>>Chico.

Posted by: nunof1 | November 14, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Phew, I am glad Orr is back in the fold. So are the two guys in my section who always scream to use Orr as a defensive replacement and then cheer like its going out of style when Orr makes an appearance. ORR!

Mainly, I'm glad Orr is still a Nat because this ensures Syracuse will have a capable AAA quality utilityman.

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | November 14, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the many updates, Tracee!

Like others, I am skeptical of the Tex/Manny rumors, but at least this hot stove talk is reviving my hopes for the 2009 Nats, which had been on life support since late September. ("Which" can refer to either hopes or Nats).

And what about the Boz-Kasten interview? Was Boz able to get a sense of whether Kasten was staying or leaving?

Posted by: CapPeterson | November 14, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

MLB.com is reporting that the Braves have shut down negotiations with the Padres for Peavy. Would the Nationals' be interested?

Posted by: BinM | November 14, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

It's not disinterest on the Nats part, but rather on Peavy's part. He's got a no-trade and the Nats aren't on his list. He's only now agreed to let the Padres talk to NYY and LAA. He previously said he didn't want to go to any AL team.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | November 14, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Just glad that Tracee & Sheinin have stepped up to "feed the Beast".
From the last string, I'm kinda suprised by Olney's report: He's usually pretty good about vetting his stuff before he jumps into the fray. From the Nats' side of it, I can only ask WTF? Given, Manny's one of the best pure hitters in the last 50 years, and might put "bums in the seats" but 1) he's 36, 2) he's a Boras client & is looking for a 5 to 6-yr contract, 3) he's indifferent defensively (on his best days) & forces his CF to cover the gap - that ruined Damron & it didn't help Crisp either, and 4) it flies in the face of the Plan™. I just don't get this one.

Posted by: BinM | November 14, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Ah, thanks RC.

Posted by: BinM | November 14, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

LDO, maybe no one else did, but I appreciated your world-class snark. A+

Posted by: Section506 | November 15, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

506 / LDO- That's what we miss - 1st class snark instead of embittered whining.

As one of the random rumor generators here, I'm glad BinM beat me to the Peavy thought. Suppose the Nats actually signed Teixeira. We have the OF pack. I've thought Milledge still has trade value (Brue, on this one we disagree), and Dukes is ticketed for CF. Sounds like Milledge might be a valuable spare part.

Could Milledge + (Lannan or Balester) + Nick (and $ to pay his contract) get SD to send Peavy our way? They then be able to replace Adrian Gonzalez when they deal him without having to rely on their top prospect too soon.

Would Peavy look around and say "With Teixeira, Zimmerman, Flores, Dukes, nice spare parts in Guzman, Kearns, and Willingham, and the start of a staff, I might like playing in a decent East Coast pitchers park?"

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | November 15, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Peavy, although a premier pitcher, would come at too heavy a price for the Nats. I do not see Milledge as a spare part in the outfield. He will improve this season over what we saw last season (going by the improvement I witnessed as the season progressed). Do we really want to give up Balestar or Lannan now? Both of these pitchers have just emerged as well. Since I doubt the Padres would relish any of our 28 year old or older players like Kearns, Johnson, Belliard or Guzman I don't see this trade in the realm of possibility. The Peavy trade is the kind you make when 1) you have a logjam of minor league talent to replace your starters on the field and 2) you already have an 80 win season under your belt and need the extra boost that a Peavy would give you to go deep into the post season. The last reason is that I want for sentimental reasons to see how Dukes, Flores, Milledge, Zimmerman, Balestar and Lannan grow as Nats. Last year was like watching the first baby steps of this group.

Posted by: driley | November 15, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Manny to the Nats. Because having Ernie Banks all those years is what put the Cubs over the top for all those pennants.

And Manny -- you're no Ernie Banks.

Posted by: CEvansJr | November 15, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Nats signed former rule 5 pick matt whitney to minor league deal.

Posted by: Baseball95der26 | November 15, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Three months till pitchers and catchers report!

Posted by: Section109 | November 15, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

The Yanks sold the contract of former Nat Darrell Rasner to a Japanese team.

Posted by: natbisquit | November 15, 2008 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone else see that the Nats may be trying to trade for the Padres Gonzalez. He's young, has good numbers despite playing at Petco, and may come for cheap as the Padre's are looking to dump payroll. I like the idea of moving for this guy now as his price will sky rocket when the big boys come looking for alternatives once the Texeria sweepstakes are over.

Posted by: soundbloke | November 16, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Soundbloke - perhaps a Milledge + Johnson (and cash to pay off his contract) for Gonzalez deal might be easier to pull off than a deal for Peavy, and we will not have to be in a position to buy off a no trade.

Also, in my weekly summary of "what's Nick Cafardo saying on boston.com," he has 2 interesting lists. One is a summary of 10 teams unlikely to spend more money this offseason (nats not on the list!),a nd the other is a list of 15 FAs in the second tier that may be decent values.

On that list are 4 LH or switch hitting bats that we do not talk much about but that might cheaper and more likely than Teixeira and Dunn. The list includes Raul Ibanez (36, Type A, has played 135 games at 1st in his career), Milton Bradley (30, type B, Dukes could be a steadying mentor to him), Orlando Hudson (turns 31 in December and has 3 straight years with an OBP of .350+), and Bobby Abreu.

To complete the thought on Bradley - he's coming off a .999 OPS year with no reported attitude issues and has never been paid more than $5.25 million / yr. He's played most of his career in CF, although there is a huge question mark in terms of injury history. He's more than a year removed from the umpire / Bud Black confrontation that hurt his leg. While we have a crowded OF, he'd be a middle of the order guy with Dukes in one of the other spots, and would make it even easier to move Milledge.

By the way, while I post about Milledge as trade bait, I've got his jersey and he's one of my favorites on this team. I just think he has a ton of value (2 more years before arbitration) and seems to be being squeezed out of the line up.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | November 16, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

OK, I'm a little confused.

By what standard is Milledge not worth it? He can hit and is barely 1/2 way to the 1,500 P/A benchmark. He is truly learning to play CF (if anyone actually watched MLB last year, they would have seen a whole raft of Major League CFs who looked at least as much in a learning mode as Milledge and they are considered top end CFs). Given another year in CF at Nats' Park his athleticism will carry him a long way towards learning the position.

Why in heaven's name would the Nats sign Manny? Not only is it not in "Plan", but it is not in the least logical, given the current state of progress. If this was the AL, it might make more sense because you can rest a pure hitter at DH and an overweight type in his late thirties needs to be rested in a 162 game season. This may prove that folks like Olney are little better than glorified bloggers, with no real insight or special knowledge.

Frankly, Manny would be much less attractive, in the long run, than Teixeira. He might put a few more fannies in the seats this year, but certainly would not be as attractive to a STH as someone like Tex. After all, it is really more important to maintain place in line if the club signs someone capable of helping to line up a multi-year set of playoff appearances rather than a one shot run (check out Miami's attendance, despite 2 W/S wins).

Again I'd not pay going rate for Manny and would overpay for Tex.

Posted by: Catcher50 | November 16, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

The Nats have consistently submerged themselves in the market for bottom rung starting pitchers. Sometimes it works (Loaiza, Redding, Perez). Sometimes it doesn't (Ortiz, Astacio, Drese).

Which pitchers are next? I'd hope for Prior. Maybe even Pavano if he doesnt force a multiyear deal. Afterall, if the Nats are going to be FLA north, they need Pavano.

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | November 16, 2008 11:37 PM | Report abuse

LDO - what about Freddy Garcia?

Posted by: erocks33 | November 17, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Ugh... I think even the crickets have gotten bored and moved on.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | November 17, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Feel free to go to lunch again, Tracee. Maybe it'll make something happen.

Is it just me, or is this lull at least somewhat attributable to the lack of a salary cap in baseball? The other major sports, under the financial constraints of a cap, seem to get deals done earlier in free agency.

Perhaps there is a more pressing need to sort out the budget in a cap system. You also don't need to sit around and wait for the bottomless pockets of Boston and New York to set the market when there's a cap.

Then again, it could just be me. I'm itchin' for some news!

Posted by: JohninMpls | November 17, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I was thinking the exact thing last week when the FA Season opened with all the sound and fury of a gnat breaking wind.

No Snyder/Gibbs midnight missions here. Everyone's holding out for the most $$$ they can. I'm guessing nothing of major significance happens until the Winter Meetings in December - unless the MLBPA is able to strong arm Sabathia into signing the Yankees offer before then. Poor guy.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | November 17, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Zzzzzzzzzzz.

Posted by: BobLHead | November 17, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

bob, Senator Spector is speaking on CSPAN2 about his opinions on the scheduling of the Senate in case you are looking for something really thrilling.

Posted by: Section506 | November 17, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Has this been covered already?

Felipe Lopez:
"I really liked it there," he said on Thursday. "I was able to be myself. I was really comfortable there. Coming from Washington to the atmosphere in St. Louis was night and day."

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20081114&content_id=3680098&vkey=news_stl&fext=.jsp&c_id=stl&partnerId=rss_stl

Posted by: jctichen | November 17, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I've always suspected that when it came to Felipe. It's sad to confirm my fears that Washington is a place where the Lerners, JimBo, and even Manny create a laughingstock-like atmosphere by expecting players to act as leaders and step up and play with intestinal fortitude, no matter how bleak the prospect of victory.

Posted by: Section506 | November 17, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Pujols is the NL MVP. Well deserved, if you ask me.

But two first-place votes to Brad Lidge? Huh? I'm as impressed by his flawless season as the next guy, but the guy pitched 69 1/3 innings this year. That's less than 5% of the total innings played by the team (and that's before you even factor in extra innings).

Posted by: JohninMpls | November 17, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I don't know, John, I don't think it's so absurd. He appeared in 72 games, but had 0 losses, and 41 saves. His VORP is 26.7, third on the team, behind only Hamels and Moyer among pitchers.

Okay, I just talked myself out of it, it's a bad choice.

Posted by: Section506 | November 17, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

First free agent to go adfelt to giants!

Posted by: Baseball95der26 | November 17, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

"First free agent to go adfelt to giants!"

Excuse me sir, but one Mr. Peterson T. Orr would beg to differ.

ORR!

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | November 17, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

ORR! Still the Nats biggest FA signing of the 08 off-season!

Posted by: RicketyCricket | November 17, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

506

I agree that after the Dimitri resurrection Bowden got it in his head that he and Manny could reform anyone. This lead to a disproportionate number of bad attitudes in the clubhouse. Not that everyone in there is a bad person but, when heads get down, there didn't seem to be the clubhouse leader to pick them up. There was the small spark when Bonafacio and Gonzalez arrived but other than a small blip the whole clubhouse had the demeanour of guys who expected to lose.

Posted by: soundbloke | November 17, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry i forgot are all star non roster invite HA HA HA HA. Mr.Orr

Posted by: Baseball95der26 | November 17, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Exactly, Catcher 50. Milledge is a good player already with a high upside. He's a keeper. Ramirez-no way. Tex-sure overpay if that gets it done.
I mentioned, a couple of months ago, that Adrian Gonzalez would be a great fit. Maybe we could get him for a couple of our top prospects, such as Marrero and Burgess. Hey, throw in Bernadina or Weilems,(sp?)but not Zimmermann or Deitweiler. Jeeves

Posted by: jcampbell1 | November 17, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

506, you're probably right. My righteous indignation was flaring up again, that's all. 72 games is over 44% of the season, which means he had a much larger say than innings would indicate.

I think the MVP voting typically cheeses me off a bit because very good performances are often overlooked.

Like Berkman, for example, who by all accounts had a tremendous year. I haven't seen the final vote tally, but I don't think he got any consideration.

Then there's Justin Morneau, whose stats are nearly identical to Josh Hamilton's. He probably won't sniff a single vote, while Hamilton will finish in the top five, if not three.

I didn't really think Morneau deserved the 2006 MVP, but I think he should get some consideration this season, when he pushed a much less talented team within one game of a division title.

Posted by: JohninMpls | November 17, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

MVP, AS, ROY, CYA, they're all a load, I agree. But I think the absolute worst one of all is the Gold Glove, which is almost always given to players with stellar non-defensive statistics and mediocre defense.

Does anyone know does SABR give out its own awards with an effort to be objective?

Posted by: Section506 | November 17, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Based on the grammar in my previous posts, I iz cleerly reeding 2 much LOLcatz!!!!!!

Posted by: Section506 | November 17, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I love the idea of trading for Gonzalez but, at the end of the day, it just highlights the biggest problem we have with trading. We honestly don't have that many pieces to move. There is no point getting rid of Marrero, Burgess, Detweiler et al. until we need to move them in order to compete. You don't trade 'top' prospects in order to be 'Not Aweful' which is all we are looking to be next year. Which means we are trying to scrape together a decent trade by getting rid of Kearns/Belliard/Redding/Young/Johnson/Willingham. Which by my estimates buys you a maybe prospect at best.

I don't really have an opinion on what we should do given this limitation, other than dump those guys (and Willingham why not) for prospects.

Posted by: soundbloke | November 17, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, most of my righteous indignation is reserved for the Gold Glove announcements. What a pile.

Posted by: JohninMpls | November 17, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

So there are a handful of elite free agents, and a slightly larger handful of teams ready to bid on their services. It looks like the rest of the league is simply waiting for the bidding to conclude so they can proceed with the next round of negotiations with second- and third-tier FAs.

In no small way, Manny, Tex, and CC will set the market for the rest of the FA (and arbitration-eligible, for that matter) players this offseason. Sabbathia's contract will give everyone an idea of how much A.J. will be worth. And that will help determine how much Lowe should be paid.

And all this will trickle all the way down to guys like Odaliz Perez, eventually.

But my question is simply, why wait? If the Nats are so keen on Lowe, like Baseball Insider suggests, why not pounce now? You either wind up overpaying or underpaying, and both situations could be positive.

In either situation, you get your guy. If you underpay, then you succeed in stealing a deal out from under the rest of the league. If you overpay, then you can actually impact the market by driving up the price of upper-tier.

Obviously, this scenario is muddled if you are one of the teams going after a top-tier FA. If the reports are right, then the Nats consider themselves one of these teams.

Posted by: JohninMpls | November 17, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure that it's up to us. Lowe and the rest would rather wait and see who loses the CC sweepstakes as it gives him a better chance of signing with a winner.

Then once CC signs with one of the Yankee's, Sox, Angles or Mets the rest will be looking for a top pitcher. And he has said that he wants to go to a contender. All seems to point in one direction.

Posted by: soundbloke | November 17, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Of course, I was using Lowe to make a broader point, but I think that point is indeed flawed, as it only looks at one side of the negotiations.

I knew impatience was affecting my understanding of economics. You're right - waiting for the Yankees to sign CC means a) Lowe's agent has a better understanding of his market value, b) the demand for Lowe's services increases, and c) his agent can play upon the desparation of the teams that miss out on CC and A.J.

Posted by: JohninMpls | November 17, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

but why would a FO want to do that? For everyone but the players and downstream, that's bad.

***********
If you overpay, then you can actually impact the market by driving up the price of upper-tier.
Posted by: JohninMpls | November 17, 2008 4:37 PM

Posted by: CEvansJr | November 17, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

The yankees are trying to get 3 pitchers out of the FAs. not only Sabathia, but also Burnett and Lowe. The bidding on Lowe starts at 3 years and $45 million. In light of that, is he worth it? The weird thing about Lowe is that he did not start until he was 29, so there are few comparables. My guess on Lowe is that the Red Sox, his first choice, do not get as high as $45 million. I also think that the wear on Lowe's arm is comparable to a 31 year old (see baseball insider for a comparison to Sheets, Burnett, and Sabathia), so I don't think a 4 year contract is outrageous. He's not really a #1, but he is very capable. I think the Nats are a long shot, buti'd love tose them go 4 years, $50 million.

Oh - C50 - I'm a Milledge fan, not a basher. I'm just saying that with all of the corner outfielders, I'd think he'd get quite a bit back. I like him as a CF, and I think he may be wasted as an LF, especially part time. And I'm enough of a realist to say that Gonzalez is quite an upgrade over Lastings, especially when we have Willingham.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | November 17, 2008 9:32 PM | Report abuse

It's a good point and a smart point. But it had been said that the Yankees might stay in the bidding war for Teixeira as long as possible - even if they don't plan to sign him - just to drive the price up for Boston.

This, in theory, leaves them with less to sign other talent. Then again, there is no cap, so that theory may be flawed.

-----

but why would a FO want to do that? For everyone but the players and downstream, that's bad.

Posted by: JohninMpls | November 17, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

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