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Young Outrighted to Class AAA Syracuse

The Washington Nationals today removed Dmitri Young from their 40-man roster, making a clear statement to their veteran first baseman about just how much work stands in the way of a comeback. Young, who missed the second half of the 2008 season as he battled complications of diabetes, has been outrighted to Class AAA Syracuse.

Young could have opted instead for free agency, but the 35-year-old is due to make $5 million next year. He accepted the assignment, a team spokesperson said, and remains with the organization.

More than ever, it appears Young has no place in the team's long-term plans -- a precipitous fall for a player who represented the Nats in the 2007 all-star game. In July 2007, in the midst of a year in which he'd bat .320 with 13 home runs, Young was inked a two-year, $10 million extension. But in 2008, much of his progress fell apart. He hit for little power (4 HR and 10 RBI in 150 AB) and was a liability at first base.

After the all-star break, Young reported back to the team and complained of light-headedness and blurred vision. He spent the next months under medical supervision, trying to regain control of his diabetes, and the team was never able to get him back into playing shape. When Young began a rehab assignment in September, he injured his left quad -- later re-diagnosed as a left hip injury. On September 25, Washington transferred Young to the 60-day DL.

With this move, the Nats now have 35 players on their 40-man roster.

By Chico Harlan  |  November 4, 2008; 1:28 PM ET
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Next: New Uniforms Unveiled


There was no way Da Meat Loaf would have gone FA, because he would have had to kiss that $5 million contract goodbye. The Lerners can't be too happy to have that much money possibly sitting in Syracuse all of next year and this may bring increased scrutiny from the top about other possible longterm signings.

Posted by: leetee1955 | November 4, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I think that Dmitri is in charge of his own destiny here - yes, he gets paid regardless, but he is the one who can make himself a desirable commodity again. I think he liked batting 320 and being the team hero - hope he decides he wants that again. If he can get himself back in shape I expect we will see him in the majors again, probably with the Nats.

Posted by: Traveler8 | November 4, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

The $5 million contract is guaranteed in 2009. Unless there was some unreleased stipulation in the contract that allowed for a buyout, the Nationals made the move simply to remove him from the 40-man.

Posted by: Brian_ | November 4, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Does the "35 on the 40-man roster" not include the two declared free agents in Boone and OPerez? Because (unless i'm mistaken) they still count on our 40-man until the negotiation period ends and/or the Nats official remove them from the roster.

a minor nit.

Posted by: tboss | November 4, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

The 35 does not include Perez or Boone, both of whom have filed for free agency and therefore not on the 40-man roster.

Posted by: Brian_ | November 4, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Pitchers (17): Balester, Bergmann, Chico, Clippard, Colome, Detwiler, Estrada, Hanrahan, Hill, Hinckley, Lannan, Martis, Mock, O'Connor, Redding, Rivera, & Shell

Catchers (3): Flores, Montz & Nieves

Infielders (8): Belliard, Bonifacio, Casto, Gonzalez, Guzman, Hernandez, Johnson, & Zimmerman

Outfielders (7): Bernadina, Dukes, Harris, Kearns, Maxwell, Milledge, & Pena

That's the 35.

There are still six arbitration decisions to be made (Redding, Colome, Harris, Hill, Rivera, & Zimmerman).

Posted by: Brian_ | November 4, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

What's the latest on Nick Johnson? Or are we soon going to hear the Nats have signed another potential weight/shape issue in Prince Fielder?

Posted by: misschatter | November 4, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Maybe this will give Young come incentive to lose the 40 pounds. Nats were morons for not having some kind of incentive in his contract for his weight.

Posted by: dfh2 | November 4, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Nice to see the organization learning when to cut bait. John Patterson, Felipe Lopez, Paul LoDuca, et al and now sending DY back to AAA.

If he can’t get healthy I wouldn’t be surprised to see them offer him an organization job in the FO or coaching in exchange for renegotiating his contract. Either way it clears up a roster spot for the infield, no NL team can afford to have 2 players that can only play 1 position (except catcher).

Posted by: estuartj | November 4, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Maybe this will give Young come incentive to lose the 40 pounds. Nats were morons for not having some kind of incentive in his contract for his weight.

Posted by: dfh2 | November 4, 2008 3:15 PM


The Nats were morons not to trade this guy at the 2007 trade deadline for a marginal prospect. They were also morons for signing him to a two-year, $10M contract. That was way more than he is worth, even if he continued to hit .320/14/75 (or whatever he had going in 2007) in 2008.

Posted by: combedge | November 4, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, everyone on this site was talking about "Save da Meat" back when they extended him, being the only good thing the team had in '07.

It pointless to look back and assume they should have know he was going to fall apart (ditto that on Cordero). HOWEVER, I do NOT think the team should have extended him (and I said so at the time, ditto that with Belliard), this team needed (and still does need) to get younger, so I would have liked to see DY turned for prospects (and he could have gotten a decent return IMO, no proof of course) and we bring up either Larry Broadway or the AA guy we eventually lost to Arizona to see what they could do. It's not like the team was going anywhere WITH DY and Belli, but we might have a few more Martis, Mocks and Chicos around now if we'd pulled the bandaid off earlier...

Posted by: estuartj | November 4, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe I'm doing this, but I'm going to quote Bill Ladson from;

"The Rockies are looking for starting pitching and a second baseman. Washington is overloaded with middle infielders such as Emilio Bonifacio, Alex Gonzalez and Anderson Hernandez. The Rockies had interest in acquiring Nationals hurler Tim Redding before the deadline, but it will take more than Redding to pry Holliday loose.

If they acquire Holliday, the Nationals could find themselves in the same situation they were in with outfielder Alfonso Soriano, who stayed with the team in 2006 but signed with the Cubs following his lone season in Washington. The Nationals were awarded two extra Draft picks as compensation for Soriano's departure."

Assuming there is anything to this I have two questions;

1. what besides Redding and Bonifacio would it take to get Holliday?

2. Would the return of 2 draft picks plus 1 year of Holliday be worth that price?

Posted by: estuartj | November 4, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

"If he can’t get healthy I wouldn’t be surprised to see them offer him an organization job in the FO or coaching in exchange for renegotiating his contract."

That'll never happen. Look at it from Dmitri's point of view. Best case, he works his way back into shape, plays well for Syracuse and gets called up to play in the bigs again. Worst case, he either ends up on the DL or riding the bench for Syracuse. Either way, though, he collects his $5M. He's gonna voluntarily give that up in exchange for the opportunity to sit behind a desk in the FO or coach in the minors? No way. If he's collecting his $5M while he's riding the pine in Syracuse, he can do all the coaching he wants right from there. No one will stop him.

Posted by: nunof1 | November 4, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I can see DY taking a coaching job in exchange for renegotiating the contract to say 5 yrs at $1mil/yr. Positive for DY is that it gets him firmly on to the next step of his baseball career, positive for the Nats is they get to defer part of his salary for a few years. Everyone wins and everyone is happy. There is some precedent with this in other organizations.

It all depends on if DY thinks he can play again or not.

Posted by: estuartj | November 4, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Where exactly is his value as a coach or front office member? At the risk of sounding incredibly insensitive about his disease, it IS manageable and he really has no excuse for being as far out of shape as he has gotten.

He's a professional athlete, for crying out loud. He has at his disposal FREE dieticians and nutritionists, personal trainers, professional workout facilities, spring training facilities and entire staffs of medical personnel paid for by the Nationals who would do nothing but get him healthy.

What does he do instead? About 20 minutes after getting paid, he starts eating and stops caring. Gotta love those guaranteed contracts.

So what exactly about that kind of work ethic would anyone want to instill into a new generation of players?

Posted by: tboss | November 4, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

As out of shape as he was whenever he came to the plate last season, Dmitri could still hit. He could be on his deathbed and still hit. He'd have great value as a hitting coach somewhere, I'm sure. Baserunning coach, not so much.

Posted by: nunof1 | November 4, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Redding and Boni may be enough. I still haven't figured out what it really takes in that thin atmosphere.

My guess is that the Lerners are still in a learning curve, or were when they signed da Meat. If they go for Holliday, my guess is that they would only do so if they could tie to a longer term contract.

Posted by: Catcher50 | November 4, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Just like Dmitri said near the end of the year when they asked him if he'd be able to come back, and he said, 'If I don't, I'm not gonna lose any sleep over it'. If he doesn't care, why should anybody else?

Posted by: Brue | November 5, 2008 8:18 AM | Report abuse

The question might not be if Boni and Redding and possibly other(s) are enough (they are not, IMO), it's what can the Rockies get from other teams. I imagine they can get a lot more elsewhere.

Hypothetical: let's say the Yankees sign 2 FA pitchers. Their young previously "untouchable" prospects (like Kennedy) become available. (Though, I personally feel that he's overrated).

In any case, Holliday is a Boras guy and WILL NOT sign an extension before he hits free agency nor will he give a hometown discount. Watch what happens with Texiera.

Going back to the Rauch - Boni trade. Let me ask you guys this: What do you feel is a more enticing package? Redding and Rauch or Redding and Boni?

Posted by: jctichen | November 5, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

From Ladson's mailbag:

I know it's hard to translate Minor League stats to the Major League level, but do you feel the Nats have any potential superstars in the Minors? I've seen Michael Burgess, Chris Marrero, Justin Maxwell and Roger Bernadina play, and I'm not really sold on any of them. All have talents but none seem to be franchise type players. May I have your thoughts?
-- Brandon P., Bethesda, Md.

I honestly can't answer your questions on Burgess and Marrero, because I haven't seen them enough. However, I don't see Maxwell or Bernadina as potential superstars. To reach that level, Maxwell has to hit for average and not get hurt every year. Bernadina has made tremendous progress as a hitter and is a good outfielder. Thus far, however, I can't sit here and say that he blew me away.

HA! That gave me a good laugh just now!

Posted by: jctichen | November 5, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Just wondering if any of you had seen this...

The Nationals' attempts to acquire a slew of superstars apparently is serious. A Nationals person said they have interest in Rockies star outfielder Matt Holliday plus free agents Mark Teixeira, Adam Dunn and A.J. Burnett. "They're trying to become the new Detroit,'' one baseball person said, referring to the Tigers' quick turnaround that was ignited by the signings of catcher Ivan Rodriguez before the 2004 season and Kenny Rogers before 2005 and Magglio Ordonez one year later. Still, there is legitimate skepticism here as to whether big-time free agents would join a 100-loss team, especially Teixeira or Burnett, who will have several other monster offers awaiting them. One person said the team-owning Lerners are about to become more involved to try to remake the team with the puniest broadcast numbers in baseball history.

From SI's Jon Heyman

Posted by: psubman | November 5, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

BTW, Cameron SMith at the Post's Baseball Insider Blog is posting regularly about the GM meetings and includes a note about the Nats and Orioles today. If you are not checking it daily, you're just a pretend baseball fan.... :)

Posted by: natbisquit | November 5, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

The Nats have earned some criticism over the past few years -- you earn that criticsm anytime you have the worst record in baseball -- but Heyman has been a decidedly harsh and unfair critic of the Nats front office given that the owners came on board just 2.5 years ago, declared a 5 year plan, and have not deviated from their course to date. I'm not predicting a worst to first scenario for the Nats anytime soon, but every year we read about how this team or that has gone 10, 20, 50, or 100 years without a world series title. There is a reason for long term malaise -- too many teams reach for the middle each year. You have to be willing to suffer a little on the front end to show dramatic success on the backend. Heyman makes his living passing judgement on the here and now. Sometimes his columns are good and sometimes not. I'd say he's right in the middle most of the time -- certainly he's not a contender. Think Toronto or Baltimore. If you want really insightful baseball analysis you have to look Gammons or Rosenthal. Or maybe Sheinin.

Posted by: natbisquit | November 5, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

From: The Beltway Boy (I don't know how to get that to display yet)

Regarding Young, I too was surprised that we didn't trade him for prospects, but I don't think they would have been "marginal" as others here believe. Remember, Jim Bowden traded Daryle Ward to the Braves for Luis Atilano, who had a very good year in 2008 since returning from injury. Ward was a part-timer, so I'd assume that Young would have brought a real prospect, perhaps one real and one marginal.

I wouldn't be surprised if Bowden makes some big moves over the winter. The Nationals got the #1 pick in the draft, playing that badly due to injuries and not talent, and could be a good team with 1)health, 2)one or two career years plus several career-average ones and 3)trading for either a slugger or a good pitcher.

Holliday could be had because he's going to be a free agent after 2009. To get Soriano under those same conditions, we traded a so-so outfielder and a minor league pitcher (who turned out pretty well). Away from Denver, his career numbers, based on a 550 at-bat season, looks like this: .280-16-65 vs at Coors Field: .357-31-113.

Does that concern you? I wrote an article about Soriano after he was traded to the Nationals. I looked at his home/away splits for 2005. This is what he did while playing for the Rangers (half of his games were at that launching pad in Arlington)

Home: .315-25-73
Away: .224-11-31

From those numbers I predicted a poor season for Soriano while playing half his games at RFK. This is what he did in 2006

Home: .260-24-44
Away: .293-22-51

Though Holliday hasn't done well away from Coors Field, he has the talent to be a star anywhere. Players simply play better at home -- what else would explain Soriano's numbers in 2006? What could an outfield of Holliday - Dukes - Milledge produce in 2009?
LF: Holliday - .280-27-100
CF: Dukes - .270-28-90 (30 sb)
RF: Milledge - .275-22-80 (30 sb)

Even if the are able to trade for Holliday and they lose him after a season, they get the extra draft picks and make the team good quickly, making the signing of impact free agents next winter much easier.

Posted by: rushfari | November 5, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Do you guys think they can get dunn and holiday.

Posted by: Baseball95der26 | November 5, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Hey, love it. We're talking baseball again. Good point 95. Two excellent trades by Bowden using good utility type players-Martis and Atilano. Also Nunez, now that I think about it(Gonzalez). And how about Redding, Boni, and Bernadina for Holliday? Would that do it?

Posted by: jcampbell1 | November 5, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I think Colorado would want at least 1 blue chip for Holladay (Marrero, Zimmermann or Burgess - maybe Detwiler) since those are about the only 3 I can think of I doubt they would go for it. The other option is a MLB ready young pitcher, either Martis or Balester - I doubt they'd be willing to let go of either one so unless Colorado finds the market wanting I think it's out of our envelope.

Dunn is a different question, depending on how many years and dollars he want and how comfortable the organization is with him as a 1Bman if Nick goes down, he would certainly be worth losing our second round pick.

I see a Dunn signing and a trade for a youngish pitcher as likely, what would be the '09 pitcher version of the Lastings Millege trade from last year?

Posted by: estuartj | November 5, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

estuarti, I have to agree with your analysis, including the Dunn (friend of Kearns) and youngish picher concept.
09 version of Milledge trade might be Delmon Young.
Now should we give up a Marrero or a Burgess. That is the question. But definitely not one of our young pitchers, in my opinion.

Posted by: jcampbell1 | November 5, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

The suggestion that Dmitri become a coach was really funny, thanks for the laugh. On a more serious note, though, maybe this will inspire him to stop drinking.

Posted by: mike8 | November 5, 2008 11:09 PM | Report abuse

there are the new Jerseys.

Posted by: MrMadison | November 6, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

The Washington script and the DC sleeve still don't mix, but oh well...

Posted by: jctichen | November 6, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I just saw the new jerseys online and love them. I also like how the secondary "DC" logo isn't being shunted aside. and the overbearing gold trim is gone from at least three of the four jerseys the team will be wearing. I know what I want for Christmas.

Posted by: leetee1955 | November 6, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

(Chad) Cordero and the Mets

Posted by: jctichen | November 6, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

while the new road jersey looks good, have they mentioned what color hat will accompany that design?

the red alternate jersey is a carbon copy of NatsWest, or our beloved Cincinnati Reds. The transformation is complete. Where is Adam Dunn?

Posted by: theraph | November 6, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations Nationals. Not only are you one of the worst teams in baseball, you will also be the worst dressed teams in baseball. I commend you for your lack of efforts.

Posted by: thisismydcsportsopinion | November 6, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse


Does this mean the Nats are RedsEast? LOL! While I like the new alternates, I wish they hadn't put the piping down the chest and around the collar. Does this also mean that the red alternate "DC" logo hats are now collectors' items?

Posted by: leetee1955 | November 6, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I like the red and the gray shirts. I'm not so crazy about the American flag DC. Does anyone know what occasions call for wearing different colors?

Posted by: Traveler8 | November 6, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I like the alt jerseys. I suspect that the piping is a product of trying to set off both dark blue and red. I still haven't seen the Home Whites...Any idea? Generally, as I understand it, the red jerseys are used on Friday nights and Sunday day games. With an American Flag logo, I would suspect that the blue will be used for any games played on holidays (Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Labor Day).

Now the question...Since Kennedy was elected, we (or at least those of my age) subjected to the plague of Saux Nation. Does Obama's election mean that we will now have more Cub fans to put up with? I know that Hyde Park is south side, but we don't normally play the Chisox every year and they are not as fervent and prolific as Cub fans.

Posted by: Catcher50 | November 6, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

"while the new road jersey looks good, have they mentioned what color hat will accompany that design?Э

check - Nats fitted hats at bargain basement prices. Check the clearance rack.

Posted by: jctichen | November 6, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

i like the idea of the nats trading for Delmon young we would have a very good if not great outfield. plus on mlb trade rumors there is reports the Nats will make a run for Tex plus if they sign him they will lose there second round pick so they should just sign one more really good free agents like Oliver Perez and make him the opening day starter trade Burgess and Martis to get young that team is 75-85 wins IMO. Here is the lineup. Opinions?

1.Guzman SS
2.Milledge CF/LF what ever they decide
3.Zimmerman 3B
4.TEX 1B
5.Dukes RF/CF what ever they choose
6.Young LF or RF if dukes play center
7.Flores C
8.Hernedez/Boni 2B
9.Perez P

Posted by: j-dog1 | November 6, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Home Jerseys: Lettering didn't change but I'm sure the DC patch would change to follow the other jersey patterns;

Roads: Well this ones obvious;

Red Alt: Would be used for Sundays (like the last 2 seasons) - maybe Friday? but rarely - if ever - saw them wearing the Red jerseys on Fridays;

Blue Alt: Think Patriotic Holidays: Memorial Day/July 4th/etc.

Obama is a die-hard Chisox fan; not a Cub fan.

Posted by: thisismydcsportsopinion | November 6, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Miss, miss, and miss on the new shirts. Honestly, did anyone even try?

Posted by: 6thandD | November 6, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

A few odds and ends from the ESPNZone:

1. Blue hats will be worn with the road uni's. This was expressly stated by Charlie. (Wonder how long this will last though -- they didn't model one with a blue hat...)

2. Road jackets from last year will be changed to mirror the road uni's. (The block lettering Washington is gone from the uni entirely).

3. Elijah Dukes didn't show up. Anyone (like, say Chico) find out why? I'd think the new uni's would have merited at least a new posting on the blog...

Posted by: raymitten | November 6, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I *really* like the look of the road jersey. The red one is okay, though I'm not sure about the juxtaposition of the curly W and DC logos (the fonts clash to my eye). They tended to win with the old alternate red jerseys, so what the hey. I'm not sure about the flag DC jersey, either. Just seems a little busy.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 6, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

And new post up - it's like he read your mind, rm...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | November 6, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

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