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Redding Out Six Weeks

Is this a sign that we can start keeping track of Dr. Wiemi Douoguih's medical batting average?

The Nats today announced that the surgery performed this morning on P Tim Redding's left foot was "successful." Both Douoguih, the new team doctor, and foot/ankle specialist Dr. Lew Schon (Union Memorial Hospital, in Baltimore) performed the surgery, which repaired the bone in the joint at the base of Redding's second toe.

Redding will be out six weeks, the Nats said, but will be ready for the start of spring training.

Meantime, enjoy your Thanksgiving weekend.

By Chico Harlan  |  November 28, 2008; 1:39 PM ET
 
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Next: Why Adam Dunn Just Became Much More Appealing

Comments

If Douoguih predicts this one correctly, he will have already surpassed his predecessors and will forever be the Nat's best doctor EVER!

Posted by: natbisquit | November 28, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Chico - Would you or Dave put together an article on Japanese FAs and postings. Add in maybe some discussion with JimBo or (don't call me ratso) Rizzo about the teams presence in and view of Australia, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan as sources of prospective players. Would the team take a stab at a 30+ year old NPB free agent like Kawakami, Hitoki Hawase, or Kenji Uehara? Uehara sounds like he'd be a righty swingman. Supposed to have 8 teams interested in him. Hawase is a lefty reliever who has dominated for Chunichi but is older.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | November 28, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

"NPB"?

Posted by: Scooter_ | November 28, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

The google tells me it might be Nippon Professional Baseball. Glad we could clear that up.

Posted by: Scooter_ | November 28, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Scooter - great googly-moogly!

Sorry for the new acronym. Was a quickee post as I was heading out. So what do you think about the idea? Personally, I'd like to see the Nats play in the Japanese market, in part because we are an international city (non baseball reason), but mostly because I think the cream of NPB could be better than the AAAA complements that fill our roster. Some may even be multi-year help, and might help down the line with a Darvish-type premier player.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | November 28, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

The way you've phrased your proposal, it's difficult to find any reason to object. You probably won't be surprised to learn that I know little about the NPB and its players, so I can't comment in any specificity. But as has been raised on this here weblog in the past, it doesn't make sense to ignore any potential stream of players. Indeed, the Nats should try to build a strong international infrastructure -- seems that's one place where an initial injection of cash can have a good long-term payoff.

Of course, Japanese players are hardly a novelty anymore. What would be really fun would be to seriously open up some other market for the first time. What's left? Uganda? India? Iceland? If there is an untapped group of players out there, being the first mover in that region could be a real bonanza.

Posted by: Scooter_ | November 29, 2008 6:54 AM | Report abuse

Pirates signed two Indian "pitchers" this week. They won a game show try out, but neither topped 85 MPH nor have either played organized ball, thus "pitchers" rather than pitchers! People have theorized that cricket batting skills might be transferable (spoiling pitches until you get one to crush), but I don't know enough about cricket to guess how true that is. I'm not sure what other sports would have skills that can be used in baseball. I'm sure Usain Bolt could pinch run, eventually, even if he never took a lead.

I think a few European-raised Dutch players have played MLB (I'm excluding Aruba and Curacao, which pretty regularly send guys into professional baseball now). Israel also had one year of a professional league but that just folded. Perhaps Saudi Arabia will eventually send players over - I think they play little league.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | November 29, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

On a different point - I just noticed Paul Lo Duca is a Type B free agent. So, not only did we have to eat his salary, we did not even get the tasty sandwich (pick) that goes with it.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | November 29, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

jca

I still think it was worth every penny. They knew they had to take Flores's training wheels off sooner or later, and Nieves has more to teach him about defence and game calling anyway.

Posted by: soundbloke | November 29, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I still think it was worth every penny. They knew they had to take Flores's training wheels off sooner or later, and Nieves has more to teach him about defence and game calling anyway.

Posted by: soundbloke | November 29, 2008 12:26 PM
-----------------------------------
Agreed - A draft choice for keeping LoDuca might have helped five years down the road, but the opportunity given Flores with his release is of immediate benefit.

Posted by: BinM | November 29, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

And now, for something completely different - The Nationals' farm system seems to be at least partially replenished. The system shows a wealth of pitchers (24 SP under the age of 26, and another 33 RP of the same age).
My question is, should the FO use some of these "assets" to shore up some of the soft-spots (1B, LH Power-hitter, bona-fide #1SP), in the current ML lineup, or wait for another year?

Posted by: BinM | November 29, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Here's the problem with using the assets to pick up one of the needs:

The F/A market is so strange, big, and deep, it may be mid-January before everything works its way through and by that time, the logical pick-ups may not be available.

Maybe better that we stick to "The Plan".

Posted by: Catcher50 | November 29, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Scooter, I think you're talking China, there. The sports culture is deep and competitive, they've started learning baseball already, and out of a billion people, there has to be half a dozen who can throw strikes, lay off the "B-12," and not punch out their own catcher. The problem is finding them.
*************
Of course, Japanese players are hardly a novelty anymore. What would be really fun would be to seriously open up some other market for the first time. What's left? Uganda? India? Iceland? If there is an untapped group of players out there, being the first mover in that region could be a real bonanza.

Posted by: Scooter_ | November 29, 2008 6:54 AM

Posted by: CEvansJr | November 30, 2008 12:00 AM | Report abuse

And then, there's the whole other half of the sky, but that's a different argument entirely.
But don't tell me Venus Williams doesn't have the range, quickness, or the arm for short. She's used to a 27-foot wide strike zone, though, so that might take some adjustment.

Posted by: CEvansJr | November 30, 2008 12:09 AM | Report abuse

What about S. America. Brazil and Argentina sure have some great basketball players. Doesn't anyone play baseball down there? Maybe we can find a power hitter in Uruguay

Posted by: SwiftIT | November 30, 2008 1:58 AM | Report abuse

Catcher: I wasn't thinking pure FA's - more along the lines of a trade or two if the FA market doesn't work in the Nats' favour. That just requires a partner with something both sides deem valuable.
OAK is reportedly sniffing at N.Johnson, and SD is having a firesale to shed salary. That's two, and there are probably more out there that may become apparent at the Winter Meetings next week.

Posted by: BinM | November 30, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Back to the original thread - how is this surgery going to affect Redding in arbitration? Does it lower his value, make him more willing to sign a deal early, or make him a possible non-tender? Thoughts?

Posted by: BinM | November 30, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

This little piggy went to see Dr. Wiemi...sorry, couldnt help myself.

Redding gets offered arbitration. He made $1.125 mil last year with bonuses. After looking at what sort of comparable 2008 arbitration eligibles (Bush, Gaudin, Belisle, D Cabrera) signed for last year, it looks like Redding will get $2-2.5 mil. I would expect the Nats to gladly pay $2.5 mil for another 30+ starts. I'd guess Redding & the Nats will do what they did last year and sign a deal prior to the arbitration hearing.

I wouldn't be surprised to even see a two or three year deal to buy out the last year of arbitration and maybe the first year of free agency. It can backfire though - look at DET's deals with Robertson and Willis...or the Nats deals with Johnson and Kearns.

For LoDuca to have generated draft pick compensation, the Nats would have had to offer arbitration. The team would not have done so for fear LoDuca would have accepted.

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | November 30, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

LDO - Had Redding pegged for $2.5-$2.7M in '09 before the surgery; looks like you & I are in-synch on this one. The Nats' might offer a one-&-one (1-yr w/option), but I don't see them going further for someone who projects as a #3SP at best.
On the LoDuca issue, I forgot that the Nats' would have to offer a contract first; my bad there.

Posted by: BinM | November 30, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

On Lo Duca, I guess I'm surprised by what passes as a good catcher. Clearly, he, like Varitek (Type A), earned most of his positives in his ratings in 2007. As much as I would like sandwich pick, I guess there's no way the Nats would have offered arbitration to him, so they did the classy thing and let him find a team of his choice down the stretch.

Don't forget there may be a bunch of Free Agents who become available when options aren't picked up and arbitration is not offered. Are there any good lists of "likely to be non-tendered" that we can start to scrutinize?

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | November 30, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Here is a list of all arbitration eligible players (less than six years total service time):

http://mlbcontracts.blogspot.com/2000/05/2009-arbitration-eligibles.html

Deadline is tomorrow to offer free agents arbitration. Also, I cant think of any players with contract options remaining for the 2009 season.


Posted by: LosDoceOcho | November 30, 2008 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Too bad we're not still playing at RFK or I could have recommended Michael Phelps for right field.

Posted by: Section506 | December 1, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

While watching cricket with the in-laws last Christmas, I wondered the same thing. The philosophical approach is a little different (there's no strike zone, only the wicket to protect, so there's no such thing as a strike or a ball if you don't swing), and the bat is a little wider, but there certainly seems to be a similar skill set. I'm not sure, but I think if you can hit a googly, you can hit a breaking pitch.

-----

People have theorized that cricket batting skills might be transferable (spoiling pitches until you get one to crush), but I don't know enough about cricket to guess how true that is.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 1, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Below are links to 2 USA Today stories about the Indian kids signed by the Bucs, pretty interesting stuff. They started learning to pitch as competitors in a "Million Dollar Arm" contest in India, and were brought to the US as a result of the contest and recently held an open tryout in Arizona. They've been coached by Tom House for the last 6 months, and one of them has supposedly hit 93 on the gun. I wonder if the Nats attended their workouts? Anyway, here are the stories:

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/2008-11-04-india-pitchers_N.htm

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/nl/pirates/2008-11-24-indian-pitchers-sign_N.htm

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | December 1, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Those articles made a great lunch read. Thanks, CiL.

I like the move by the Pirates. The terms of the deals weren't disclosed, but I'm sure they didn't pay much for Singh and Patel. Even if they never end up cracking a AAA roster, it probably won't cost them much.

But what they do get - and likely on the cheap - is the inside track on the Indian market. You may scoff now, but who knows what that will turn up? It wasn't long ago that the NBA was an America-only endeavor.

Consider the Red Sox, who are close to signing 22 year-old RHP Junichi Tazawa. From what it looks like, they're essentially getting a kind of hometown discount for him. From Baseball Insider:

"Tazawa graduated from high school in Yokohama, and said that pitching for the same team as national icon Daisuke Matsuzaka, another Yokohama native, was a significant motive for the young pitcher. Interestingly, money may not have been, as the Boston offer is reportedly less lucrative than the one extended to Tazawa from the Rangers and, possibly, from the Braves as well."

I know, it's kind of a stretch to compare Patel and Pittsburgh to Tazawa and Boston, but it's worth noting that an upfront international investment may pay dividends down the road.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 1, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Newsday baseball columnist Ken Davidoff had this item this past Sunday.

"The Yankees have informed the ultra-popular Frank "Hondo" Howard that his services won't be retained. Howard worked this past season as a professional scout."

Maybe the Lerners could bring Hondo back to Washington if nothing else as a goodwill ambassador for the team. Goodness knows, they could use one.

Posted by: leetee1955 | December 1, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Yeesh, slow day. Tryptophan? Can we get some Teixeira non-news or something?

While we're waiting, I have a question about contract incentives. I've been told that the CBA does not allow contracts that are structured in a way that would reward a player for statistical output.

That is to say, contracts can't offer a $50k bonus for hitting 40 HR in a season. The players union thought such incentives may lead to managers (influenced by owners or GMs) to bench players nearing statistical milestones to avoid paying out. At least, that's what I've been lead to believe.

And I certainly understand that concern. However, does the CBA allow for other bonuses, say, for winning the World Series, being named MVP, or earning a Gold Glove?

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 1, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Interesting question, JiM, to which I have no answer. Someone write it down.

My own question: does anyone rate the quality of the rumors to specific writers reported on MLB Trade Rumors?

Posted by: Section506 | December 1, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Yes, JiM, players can get bonuses for winning MVP, Silver Slugger, Gold Glove, being selected to the All-Star team, etc., just not for reaching specific statistical milestones. As an example, A-Rod in 2007 got a $1.5 million bonus for winning the MVP award.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | December 1, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Players can be offered bonuses for "participation stats" - things like Games Started or Appearances for pitchers and Plate Appearance for hitters.

And players can earn "performance bonuses" for things like CY Young and MVP award voting (you don't even have to win the award), making the All-Star tea, Gold Gloves, Silver Sluggers, etc.

Looking at the Giants roster from www.mlb4u.com gives you an idea of potential awards.

Posted by: comish4lif | December 1, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, CiL and Comish. Good point about the A-Rod MVP bonus. I remember that. I also now recall Barry citing a hypthetical Zimmerman Gold Glove bonus scenario when explaining why he - and Post writers in general - don't participate in voting.

Weird about the participation stat bonus. If the justification for prohibiting bonuses based on statistical milestones is a union fear that stingy owners will try to prevent such milestones from being reached, isn't that undermined by having bonuses for, say, plate appearances? There has to be another rationale.

Anyway, the reason I asked is I'm trying to sort out how any of this could figure in a Teixeira contract offer. Would he be more likely to be an All-Star in DC, since every team gets one? He'd obviously be less likely to win a World Series in the short term, but with a long-term contract, you could dangle an obscene bonus out there and see if Boras nibbles.

-----

Players can be offered bonuses for "participation stats" - things like Games Started or Appearances for pitchers and Plate Appearance for hitters.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 1, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

"Would he be more likely to be an All-Star in DC, since every team gets one?"

Oooooooooooooooooooooh!

This is a very good idea.

Posted by: Section506 | December 1, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Guys, there is a possibility we may be reaching at this point...

Posted by: soundbloke | December 1, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

More like grasping, soundbloke.

And the point is rendered moot if only by the fact that we're talking about Boras. He wants the impact contract, which means big numbers, base salary. The Nats likely won't win in the Teixeira sweepstakes by offering less in total contract but more in incentives.

But it's worth talking about because it's December 1st and the Winter Meetings don't start for another week.

Me, I'm trying to sort out just how much of an MVP bonus a team like the Nationals could make back with proper marketing, which could result in greater exposure (including nationally-televised games), and increased ticket sales.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 1, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Any time you have a hypo using "Nationals" and "proper marketing" in the same sentence, then you know you're *really* grasping.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | December 1, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

OK, you want grasping, I got grasping:

start by spelling his name wrong
www.marktexeira.com

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 1, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, yeah, I know: wrong guy.

How about this?
http://resumes.actorsaccess.com/cheryltexiera

Don't knock it, it worked for Evan Longoria.

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 1, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Maybe he'd agree to sign here if they offered him a cool nickname like "Ghostrider."

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 1, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

There is little or no question that, despite what the fear is within the CBA about players not being allowed to reach certain milestones as part of a contract, some owners/GMs have prevented some marks from being hit within the the permitted incentives. If you look at pieces on almost any non-contending team from the end of August on, there is talk of "shutting down" X or Y for the season, to allow him to recover from a nagging injury. Oddly enough, this is often at a point just before a benchmark number of P/As or mound appearances is reached.

One of the problems with the MVP award, as it now stands, is that it has evolved from Best Player in the League to who has helped his team the most to win the division.

As far as Golden Glove award...If you can figure out how that is assigned, you are a better person than I am. I might site one C. Ripken, Jr. He won a total of two Gold Glove awards. In 1990, he played in 161 games as a shortstop. He made three (3) errors. That's THREE!!! His FP was .996. No Gold Glove! The Gold Glove award was won by Ozzie Guillen. 17 Errors. .977 FP. Oh, wait, his first name was Ozzie. Somebody must have confused him with Ozzie Smith.

By the way, with the transition in the Yankees, it does not surprise me that Frank Howard was not offered a contract. His relationship seems to have been with the old man. I would certainly hope that the Lerners offer him a significant position within the organization. I'd also like to see the same for Chuck Hinton, but those pants hooked up just under the armpits scare me.

Posted by: Catcher50 | December 1, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Coverage is lacking = DONKEY OF THE WEEK

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | December 1, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

The D-Backs have declined to offer arbitration to Adam Dunn. That's not good news for those who don't want to see Dunn in a Nats uniform (myself included) as he's now a more attractive pick-up this offseason since we wouldn't lose draft picks in return. Please don't do it JimBo!

Posted by: BGinVA | December 1, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Catcher50, we've talked about how ridiculous the Gold Glove voting before, but I think that's probably the best example I've ever read.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 1, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

I don't know, BG, I think Dunn-Milledge-Dukes would be an improvement, and if he doesn't get badly hurt or really tank, he should at least be worth a prospect or two by August.

***********
The D-Backs have declined to offer arbitration to Adam Dunn. That's not good news for those who don't want to see Dunn in a Nats uniform (myself included) as he's now a more attractive pick-up this offseason since we wouldn't lose draft picks in return. Please don't do it JimBo!

Posted by: BGinVA | December 1, 2008 10:42 PM

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 1, 2008 11:30 PM | Report abuse

I guess Harlan is on vacation again? Must be nice.
And what did CiL do to deserve the harsh words?

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 1, 2008 11:32 PM | Report abuse

I don't know, I just figured he was a fellow listener of the Junkies by his use of the word "grasping", so I threw out the first thing that came to mind.

Anyhow, as for Adam Dunn, I really can't understand the venom there is for this guy coming from Nats fans. My thing with Dunn is that he is not nearly as bad as certain people paint him out to be, but also not as good as the sabermetric, stat geeks hype him up to be. The strikeout rate is alarming, although I will concede that the strikeout in modern MLB is not nearly as bad as it was in the past. Also, he is consistently among the league leaders in walks, has five straight seasons of 40+ HRs, and always puts up above average OBP numbers. To say he wouldn't be a perfect addition to a team in desperate need of power would be a miscalculation, IMHO.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | December 2, 2008 1:58 AM | Report abuse

My problem with signing Adam Dunn now is that we need one more outfielder like we needed four catchers last year. Willingham, Dukes, Milledge and Kearns are all going to play, with Pena and Harris waiting in the wings. If you add Dunn for first base and NJ returns healthy then you will be sitting a lot of money on the bench. The money paid to Dunn would be better spent on a starting pitcher, or second base, or heck, even signing all of our draft picks.

Posted by: driley | December 2, 2008 7:11 AM | Report abuse

Right - the Nats don't need one more outfielder... but they still need more Major League bats - and Adam Dunn's power and On-Base skills are the type of talent and skillset that the Nats are short on....

I'd love another pitcher or two - but there's little help in the FA market, unless you are interested in taking a risk on Sheets (because someone will) or think we can afford CC.

Posted by: comish4lif | December 2, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Dunn is not a good outfielder -- poor range, poor reactions, poor fundamentals. However, he has played nearly 150 games at 1B in his MLB career including 20 games at 1B last year. He is adequate if not superior there. Offensively his low average is offset by his consistent power, high on-base percentage, and approach at the plate that would drive up pitch counts against opposign starters and get the Nats into opposing bullpens more often. Whether you believe in protecting your #3 hitter or not, you cannot deny that making the opposing pitcher work harder is of value. And, the ability to score runs with one swing of the bat is sorely needed. Our home run leaders last year were Milledge and Zimmerman with 14 each!!! That is not acceptable. Dunn has flaws, but if he'll sign with Washington, they should go get him and play him at first.

Posted by: natbisquit | December 2, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

First reaction: No! Dunn is at the Smallpark, his numbers are inflated!

Which is why we have statistics....

Adam Dunn 2008
Home: .228 AVG, .373 OBP, .493 SLG (83 G)
Away: .245 AVG, .399 OBP, .535 SLG (75 G)

He had 21 home runs at home and 19 on the road. Doubles, though, are lopsidedly towards away, 9-14.

Other relevant stats (home, then away)
H: 62 - 60
BB: 62 - 60 (yes, same as hits, oh stats you prankster!)
RBI: 53 - 47
K: 79 - 85

His VORP is 27.2, which is higher than every National position player except Guz (Teixeira is 34.9, and Lannan is also 27.2).

As for the strikeouts, we need Hendo here to properly explain this, but I'll do my best here by telling a story. In a baseball game, Lastings Milledge and Adam Dunn both come to the plate five times. Milledge gets a hit two of those times (both of which times he makes it home) and strikes out once. Good game, Lastings. 2 for 5 (.400) with 2 R and only 1 K.

Dunn comes to the plate five times as well, but he strikes out the first four times. Oh Dunn, you dog! 1 for 5 is only .200. And 4 Ks?! But the fifth time he hits a three-run homer. He's just contributed more to the team's win than Milledge.

Posted by: Section506 | December 2, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who needs a reminder on how Type A and Type B comp picks work, MLB Trade Rumors has one up that happens to use an example of Dunn and the Nationals:

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2008/07/free-agent-comp.html

Posted by: Section506 | December 2, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

506 has the right of it here. If nothing else, he is another threat in our line-up. He is a more realistic target that Tex (not that we shouldn't still try) as well. He also walks more than any Nat not named Nick Johnson.

In an ideal world if we have Dunn, and Tex we need to move Willigham, as we are suddenly very heavy on poor fielding left fielders.

In an ideal world.

Also 506, are you Chris Needham in disguise?

Posted by: soundbloke | December 2, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Make no mistake - having too many promising outfielders is exactly the kind of problem Jim Bowden likes having.

If he is capable of signing Dunn to an acceptable contract, he will, regardless of how the pieces fit. He has until April to sort out the roster, after all.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 2, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Or not. I stand corrected. New post.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 2, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

If I were Chris Needham I wouldn't wear a disguise! Man, then the chicks would be swarming me while I rolled down the boulevard. Man, I'd be livin a dream with triple beams and my pockets bulgin. It's hard to imagine my amazing life if I were Chris Needham -- picture me rollin!

Posted by: Section506 | December 2, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

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