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Washington Pulls Off Trade With Florida

We have some breaking news on a significant trade that the Nationals pulled off in the recent hours.

The Nationals have scheduled a press conference tomorrow afternoon to announce a deal that will bring pitcher Scott Olsen and outfielder Josh Willingham from the Florida Marlins in exchange for second baseman Emilio Bonifacio and at least two minor leaguers, P.J. Dean and Jake Smolinski. The Washington Post has confirmed the deal, which is being reported by The AP and by

Washington GM Jim Bowden did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

I will have more on this as soon as possible.

By Chico Harlan  |  November 10, 2008; 8:41 PM ET
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Next: Willingham, Olsen Acquired From Florida


This is a good trade for the Nats. They add a starting pitcher who is: a) an innings eater; and b) young (24).

Posted by: AshburnVA | November 10, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

perhaps there is more to this?

Posted by: MrMadison | November 10, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Good trade? Don't really know a whole lot about Dean or Smolinkski, but letting Bonafacio go answers one off-season question about who starts at 2nd. I do like getting Olsen, but not totally sold on Willingham. I would have to say that Olsen automatically becomes our No.1

Posted by: Keenan1 | November 10, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Excellent Trade. Olsen is not a #1 starter, but a lefty starter and a middle of the order hitter for Rauch (aka Bonifacio) and two b-level prospects is a good trade. Interesting trade from the Marlins perspective. They've got Uggla so perhaps they will need to move either Bonnifacio or Uggla to another position. Even if Olsen is no better than a #3 starter, he makes the rest of the rotation better.

Posted by: natbisquit | November 10, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Mark Teixeira (10.8): The switch-hitting first baseman turned down an eight-year, $140 million offer from the Rangers in 2007, so they traded him to the Braves, who in turn dealt him to the Angels this past season. Teixeira would be the most logical fit for the Angels and the Red Sox, and the Yankees also have at least some degree of interest. The one team that seems ready to blow Teixeira out of the water is the Nationals, who could go as high as 10 years and $200 million after a season in which they lost 102 games and had poor attendance in their new Nationals Park. Teixeira grew up in Maryland, and the gut feeling is that he won’t say no to a big-money offer from DC

Posted by: theredskin | November 10, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse

On paper, I like it. Good to see them flip Bonifacio while he still had some value. Willingham may not be a long-term piece, but he should at least end the misery that is Austin Kearns. And Scott Olsen is a solid young arm.

Unfortunately, Scott Olsen is also well known a world-class jerk. He won't be a lot of fun to root for.

Posted by: Tank2 | November 10, 2008 9:28 PM | Report abuse

originally posted on

Posted by: theredskin | November 10, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Boy, if that report on Tex is true and comes to fruition then it will be time to call off the dogs on the Lerners. $200 mil. for 10 years!? Gotta be the kind of deal Tex and his agent are looking for. Please,Please,Please!!!!!!???? Come on home Tex!

Posted by: Keenan1 | November 10, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Natsbisquit - you have the deal nailed. We had a 3 headed monster at 2d in Bonihernalez plus Belliard under contract and Harris a likely resign. There were literally more 2d basemen than we could play. One or two had to be moved. Olsen is a potential upgrade over Perez, whose slot in the rotation he'll take. Willingham gives us a legit power threat. This is a deal I like. Boni perhaps fills Amezaga's role.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | November 10, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Don't buy into the Tiexeira thing. Even at $200M, the Nats would have just set the bar. The key phrase (there I go parsing again) is "the Yankees have some degree of interest." Let's see! The Yankees didn't offer a contract to their first baseman and are more than willing to go overboard. Sorry, Stan, you are probably just the negotiating ploy.

As far as the FL trade, unless it has another part (obviously a possibility)the obvious move is to make Willingham a first baseman.

Posted by: Catcher50 | November 10, 2008 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Please please don't trade Lannan.....Sign Tex, $200 Million over 10 years, $20 million a year (well last year there was $5 million on Paul L., $2 on Estrada, $3 or 4 million for Lopez)....forget Fielder, he is another D. Young. Ok....for starting pitchers you have gotten better.
#1. Redding
#2. Lannan
#3. Detwiler
#4. Olsen
#5. Martis
with Clippard, Bergmann, Hill, Balester in the wings.

Fielding Positions
LF-Harris or Dukes
RF-Kearns or Dukes or Maxwell

Time to drop Wily Moe and Nick....(I always liked Nick but enough is enough....)

Posted by: sazzwho | November 10, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Wake up to reality you clowns, if we don't land Tex or another 1B, we don't put Willingham there, we put NICK JOHNSON there. If he gets hurt, we either hope Dmitri Young is back in the big leagues, or we try to move Belliard over there, but you have to put Willingham in over Kearns. Kearns is a bum and should not be in the lineup.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | November 10, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

I agree - Willingham gives us the flexibility to give Nick Johnson yet another shot. And that's a good thing.

Posted by: Tank2 | November 10, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

The "Glass Half Full Department" thinks this is an awesome trade.

The "Glass Half Empty Department" thinks that Emilio Bonifacio will probably hit .270 and steal 40 bases next year.

Posted by: wigi | November 10, 2008 10:29 PM | Report abuse

The only way Boni will ever hit .270 is if MLB bans the breaking ball

Posted by: SwiftIT | November 10, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

I like the trade but I do have a concern. We're getting a rather crowded outfield and they're all right hand hitters. You have to believe there's another move (or two) to be made. I'd like to think this is the end of the Adam Dunn talks but I suppose Bowden might yet sign him to play 1st. I agree Olsen is a jerk and that's another slight reason to worry. The clubhouse might turn into a bit of a problem for Manny, if he's not careful.

Posted by: grforbes | November 10, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Clowns? Please. Take off the funny nose and the big shoes before you say that.

I hope Nick Johnson does come back and earn fulltime status, but its hardly a sure thing. They did not bring in Willingham to play centerfield or right. He's a leftfielder/firstbaseman (and emergency catcher btw). There are still 2-3 moves that need to be made on this team to fit all the pieces together.

Just note that this deal is not risk free -both players have had some health problems. Willingham has ongoing back problems and Olsen has had some arm (and head) problems. That is why the Nats were able to get them so cheap. Even with the risk its an excellent trade. Olsen should do well in Nationals Park. Willingham has legitimate power and a decent walk rate.

I'm skeptical of the Texiera deal too, but making the early trade helps and offers some proof to prospective free agents that the Nats are serious about improving. If not Texiera then perhaps another player will come along.

BTW, I like Hernandez but he's no lock for opening day second baseman. Orlando Hudson would be a nice addition too.

Posted by: natbisquit | November 10, 2008 11:07 PM | Report abuse

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