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The Promised Smoker Update

Here's the promised Smoker update from Marc Carig:

Just got off the phone with Nationals pitching prospect Josh Smoker, who feels fine after undergoing shoulder surgery on Tuesday afternoon. The quick procedure removed a bone spur that developed in his left (throwing) shoulder, which he said affected his range of motion, which in turn led to a brutal second year in the pros.
Smoker, the Nationals' sandwich round pick in 2007, went 2-5 with a 5.48 ERA in just 44 1/3 innings. He says now that the shoulder hampered him throughout the year.
Meanwhile, assistant GM Mike Rizzo says the Nationals are relieved. They should be. Smoker has no structural damage in his shoulder and he turns 20 in a few weeks, plenty of time to move past his awful season.
As always, we'll have more details in tomorrow's paper.
-- Marc Carig, aka Chico's pinch hitter

By Tracee Hamilton  |  November 13, 2008; 2:46 PM ET
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Next: A Little Taste on Teixeira (Updated Again)


This is awesome advice:

"To spell his name, think of Old McDonald. EI-EI-A.

"Posted by: Uncle_Teddy | November 13, 2008 2:37 PM "

And to Bob's comment about holes, I courteously point out that part of the strategy of the plan is not to go pay for a "known" 2B talent, but to raise one, which would mean that by definition he is unknown now.

Let's leave it at that and not talk about whether there are any known unknowns out there in the farm...

Posted by: Section506 | November 13, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Carry over... new posted...

My conspiracy theory doesn't go as deep as believing the Lerner's are trying to drum up season ticket sales by making an offer... I truly can't imagine that anyone would buy/renew season tickets because they made a play for a FA. However, an unsuccessful run at a big name FA will do some good. It will make other FA's stand up and take note, perhaps make an agent call you back when they may not have before, and could silence some of the LAC crowd. For me, it's really all about the numbers mentioned in the previous post (100/150 million). They're not the 200 we heard earlier. I found them a little disheartening. To me, they're enough to keep you in the conversation but in the end they're not going to get a deal done.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | November 13, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

To carry over from the last thread, I agree with everything you said, Wigi. The difference between Crow and Teixeira is so much more than money. I didn't intend to hint that there was a similarity at all.

It's only interesting to note because of the difference in perpsectives in the fan base if the Nats pull of a coup and sign Tex.

To go from not being able to sign a draft pick to being able to land one of the biggest free agents of the offseason would be an incredible shift in the span of just a few short months.

Neither deal is just about money. It's about signability, attitudes, agents, and how this franchise is perceived by players, agents, analysts, and fans. And many of these factors still come into play in dealings with Teixeira.

Posted by: JohninMpls | November 13, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Rickety, I felt like Capitals GM McPhee did the same thing a few years ago by putting in an offer to free agent D Zdeno Chara.

Fans loved that the team was willing to spend so much money to make the team better. But the offer was little more than half of what Chara signed for. So, in a way, the ploy worked to restore some of the confidence that was lost in the painful rebuild.

Posted by: JohninMpls | November 13, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Carrying on the Tex discussion started in the previous thread, I agree with all the rational people who noted that the effort to sign Teixeira is likely sincere and advisable. I do doubt that the Nats will be able to sign him, but I would be thrilled. Tex would be a transformational hitter in the lineup between Zimmerman and Willingham. By all accounts he is also an excellent teammate and leader. There are other options as well. But an opportunity like Tex comes along rarely.

As for Smoker, if you got him you've got to protect him. I hope they treat him with care next spring.

Posted by: natbisquit | November 13, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

My last post got hijacked... apparently it's not OK to call refer to someone (Crow) as "a jet or current of liquid (as a cleansing solution) directed against or into a bodily part or cavity"

The gist was I agreed that Crow never intended on signing here. . Then I asked if it was wrong to wish that he required Tommy John surgery this season.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | November 13, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Of course, Crick, it also makes sense with a Boras client to start offering $100 - 150M knowing full well that $200M is going to be the final price.

Isn't Teixeira a local kid?

Posted by: Section506 | November 13, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Let's have a Tex signing pool!

Pick the team with whom Teixeira will sign. For tiebreakers, also include the total amount of the contract (base salary) and the number of hours from the opening of FA to the official announcement of his signing.

Winner shall be declared President of Nationals Journal for one day, and will have the ability on that day to create one ridiculous trade rumor that, regardless of its outlandishness, will be considered credible, if not downright probable, by the Constituency.

Posted by: JohninMpls | November 13, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

To me, "north of 100 million if not 150 million" sounds like 150 is close to the ceiling. If you knew it was going to take close to if not over 200, I would expect the bidding to begin in the neighborhood of 160/8 180/9 and add years as needed. Remember, Boras is looking for max dollars and max years. Granted... we didn't get any idea on what they were talking about in length of contract. For all we know it was 100/2 or 150/3 :-)

I think the only "home town discount" we're getting is that he wouldn't say no simply because the Nats aren't a contender. I think his consideration is his discount.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | November 13, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Nice pinch-hitting by Carig. Thanks for posting it, Tracee.

(and "well, duh" to Rickety that civil discourse would not include using the term in question to characterize a person - if I'm correct in surmising what said term is)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 13, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Cricket: To be fair to him that is actually a massive discount.

Posted by: soundbloke | November 13, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Homer: Look at me! I'm making people happy! I'm the magical man, from Happy Land! In a gumdrop house on lollipop lane!

Door slams shut. Door opens.

Homer: In case you didn't know I was being sarcastic!

Door slams shut.

Marge: Well D'uh!

Thank you 1a1 for making me laugh!

Posted by: RicketyCricket | November 13, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Precisely why I think they need to take advantage of this situation. I think it's unique and like others here have said he can be a franchise changer. They need to blow away the field to get this guy!


Cricket: To be fair to him that is actually a massive discount.

Posted by: soundbloke | November 13, 2008 3:48 PM

Posted by: RicketyCricket | November 13, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

The numbers crunchers claim that Tex is about a 5-win player. Here's a link to someone who's studied free agent markets to figure out how much a win "costs" in the free agent market: ie: what's the market rate?

That's from the previous offseason, so add about 10% to get an estimate.

Posted by: Uncle_Teddy | November 13, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

So the Yanks traded for Swisher... Does this mean no Tex for them?

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | November 13, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Does the "5 win player" label refer to extra wins for a pennant driving team? If that be the case then Teixeira would be a multiple of that in regards to the relative void we had at first base last season.

What Teixeira would give to the Nats is credence to a team that at times was unbelievable last year. After that the stats can be debated.

Posted by: driley | November 13, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Five wins refers to how much more valuable he is than someone Jim would pick off the scrapheap. Think Mike Lamb, Josh Phelps or Aaron Boone.

Posted by: Uncle_Teddy | November 13, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

You're welcome, Rickety, and thanks for the Simpsons flashback.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 13, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

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