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The Caravan Takes Off

Deeply indebted to Sheinin for all of his work, I now take the handoff from here 'til liftoff in Viera, Fla. (Pitchers and catchers report in 59 days.) Of course, position players, include the $160 million man, can't report until Feb. 17, and presumably Mark Teixeira will have a destination by then. The latest buzz indicates that Baltimore is an unlikely destination for the first baseman.

Nats officials have been quiet this week since returning from the Winter Meetings, but now the job of pestering them daily comes back to me. We'll see what else develops today.

In the meantime, here's some info about an entirely different offseason amusement. The Nats have set the dates for their "winter caravan," a series of publicity appearances by players/coaches/front office members. Here's what we've got:

Jan. 22, Martinsburg, W.Va.

Jan. 23, Washington, DC (Players will compete in a celebrity cook-off at the ESPN Zone)

Jan. 24, Richmond, Va.

Jan. 25, Washington, DC (NatsFest)

Jan. 26, Washington, DC (Amidon-Bowden Elementary School and Children's National Medical Center)

The details of locations and available players will be released during the week of January 12th.

By Chico Harlan  |  December 17, 2008; 12:35 PM ET
 
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Comments

From previous thread

Here are a few hundred words from JiM's favorite espn.com columnist

Sources: Teixeira to Orioles unlikely
By Buster Olney
ESPN The Magazine

Unless free agent Mark Teixeira is willing to give the Orioles a major hometown discount, it does not appear he will be playing in Baltimore.

The Orioles have stood by their initial offer and have not upgraded it, and sources say that the other teams involved in the bidding -- the Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels and Washington Nationals -- have gone beyond Baltimore's proposal for the slugging first baseman.

Teixeira, 28, is considered one of the top unsigned free agents. He batted .308 with 33 home runs, 121 RBIs and a .552 slugging percentage for the Angels and Atlanta Braves last season.

The only way the Orioles can be considered a serious player for Teixeira now, sources say, would be if the Maryland native were to take their offer, which is believed to be for seven years and about $150 million.

"The Orioles are out of it, unless Teixeira really, really wants to play there," said one source.

According to MLB.com, the Nationals' offer stands at $160 million for eight years. During last week's winter meetings in Las Vegas, the Angels made an eight-year pitch to Teixeira's camp.

The New York Yankees, meanwhile, came into the offseason focused on upgrading their pitching, and have spent $243 million on CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett. But they are not seriously engaged in the Teixeira talks at this point. According to a source close to the negotiations, the Yankees have not taken the step that the Red Sox, Angels, Nationals and Orioles have taken -- the Yankees have not even made an offer on the first baseman.

Although the Red Sox are considered among the front-runners for Teixeira, they won't offer him a 10-year deal, principal owner John Henry said, according to the Boston Herald.

Asked if the Red Sox would rule out offering a free agent a guaranteed contract longer than any other in franchise history, Henry, without naming names, made it clear that won't happen, according to the Herald.

"Yes," Henry responded in an e-mail, according to the Herald. "The Red Sox effectively had a 10-year deal with a player determined not to live up to his contract. A lot can change over 10 years, for both sides."

Manny Ramirez, who had an eight-year contract with the Red Sox with two one-year team options, effectively forced a trade out of Boston last summer. He wound up having two highly productive months with the Dodgers and helped Los Angeles reach the playoffs.

Buster Olney is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.

Posted by: leetee1955 | December 17, 2008 12:39 PM

Posted by: leetee1955 | December 17, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Martinsburg, WVA?

Not a stop in Maryland or NoVA, but they'll hit up Martinsburg?

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 17, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

JiM,

Nothing in the Twin Cities area, either. LOL!

Posted by: leetee1955 | December 17, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Makes you wish they'd make a stop in Annapolis MD, you know to hand out candy, and show the people there what a wonderful caring organization we are. Just a thought...

Posted by: soundbloke | December 17, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Holy crap, a Chico sighting!

welcome back....

Posted by: MrMadison | December 17, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Or maybe they should schedule a stop in Severna Park.

Posted by: Aterio | December 17, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

also from the previous thread:

leetee and TimDz, the Olney (whatever) piece is the one that I linked to above.

JiM, I did take your home meaning on the Rocco comment and thought that your writing on it was just fine, FWIW.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 17, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

A stop in South Carolina would be nice, theres at least a couple of us fan down here, and we're on the way to Viera, well, we do have airports down here. I'm only 25 minutes from 95 and 45 min Savannah Hilton Head Airport...what say ye?

Posted by: cokedispatch | December 17, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Welcome back, Chico. Please to commence pestering the Nats officials if you've not already done so...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 17, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

They could also stop in SFO to visit our Nats fans there...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 17, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

...and let us not forget our friends up north, who have followed the Nats since they left Montreal. :-D

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 17, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, welcome back, Chico! I was so incredulous about Martinsburg I neglected to acknowledge your return.

Martinsburg!

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 17, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

@soundbloke

I think there is a ":gentleman's agreement" that Annapolis is AngelO's territory. Hard to believe since Peter the Grate is no gentleman.

Posted by: leetee1955 | December 17, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Welcome back Chico!

Posted by: NatsandSkinsareclassclassclass | December 17, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

re: the ongoing Tex-a-thon:

I'm not sure if this was mentioned in the last post, but for the sake of discussion:

http://wnst.net/wordpress/drewforrester/2008/12/17/tex-update-washington-hot-osnot/

----------------------
Another source tells me that Washington has made Tex the best offer “by a lot”. I’m not sure if “by a lot” means money, years, incentives or some combination of all three. But I was told, point blank: “Washington has made the best offer, by a lot.”
-----------------------

Posted by: MrMadison | December 17, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Last thread there was a lot of talk about who could play where in various OFs were traded (or, spontaneously combusted). I'm guessing the CF candidates are:

1) Elijah - athletically could do it, played there in TB's system, was slated to play there some until injuries made him RF, would be one of the better offensive CF in the NL if he could field the position;
2) Lastings - incumbent, but like some incumbents, his departure is wished for by many (or, here, perhaps Manny); lot's of suggestion he cannot play there defensively (Sheinin in chats, Chico's end of the season interview with Bowden); arm is probably the big question mark (1 assist in 354 total chances (348 putouts)last year;
3) SuperWillie - not sure his arm is any better; probably less offense; better instincts?
4) Ryan Langerhans - glove not an issue, but bat is; to his credit, pretty good at taking pitches and drawing walks - .380 OBP, 4.2 p/PA; not on 40 man;
5) AK - has played some in his career; waste of his arm if he is not in right; and
6) Justin Maxwell - healthy and having a good winter-ball season.

I think Dukes will get the most playing time in CF, unless Kearns is traded. Milledge, as Dave and Chico suggest, was slated for LF until Willinghan was picked up. Perhaps they wheel Willingham to the AL, where he can DH. Otherwise, doesn't he play? I'm not ruling out some sort of weird 5 player shuffle in the OF and 1st among Kearns, Dukes, Milledge, Willingham, and Nick.

Bottom line is, there are options beside Milledge. I'm a Milledge fan, and wearing my red Milledge jersey under a red sweater today, but I think he could be our best trade bait among our position players (even more than Nick).

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | December 17, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

I'd love to hear everyones opinions on what position each of our outfielders are capable of playing. My thoughts;

Milledge, LF & CF (minus defender at CF)
Willingham, LF (RF as a minus defender?)
Dukes, LF, CF, RF
Kearns, LF & RF
Pena, LF (minus defender even there)
*Dunn, LF & 1B (minus at LF, ??? at 1B)

Playing an outfield of Dunn or Willingham/Milledge/Dukes is great offensively, but a disaster for defense. Our best defensive outfield would be Milledge/Dukes/Kearns, but that is an offensive dud.

Can Milledge play RF or is his arm too weak? Swapping Dukes and Milledge next to Dunn or Willingham would help make up for the limited range in LF, but is Millege in RF even worse? If we do that are we better off shipping Milledge for a 2B or SP and hoping Kearns can glove makes up for his bat.

Posted by: estuartj | December 17, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Didn't stop the Rushmore Four from invading the Inner Harbor last year, if I recall correctly.

Besides, advertising for the Nats can only put money in Angelos's pockets. The O's get the lion's share of MASN profits.

-----

I think there is a "gentleman's agreement" that Annapolis is AngelO's territory. Hard to believe since Peter the Grate is no gentleman.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 17, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Not quite why I was suggesting we ingratiate ourselves to the families of Annapolis guys. Anyway...

This is why I think we need a proper centre fielder. Milledge/Gonzalez-type-prospect/Dukes, is an exciting athletic outfield that can cover ground, steal, hit and should be good for a few years. Right now we are basically cramming a series of square pegs into round holes and misusing guys simply because they are not good enough to play their natural positions.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 17, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

'not forget our friends up North' Thanks natsfan1a1-appreciate the comment.
I would love to see an outfield of Dukes in right, Maxwell in center, and Milledge in left. Would be good offensively and defensively, in my opinion. I would trade Willingham for relief help. And is there a chance that KC who needs help at shortstop might accept something like Guzman, Ballester and a pitching prospect for Greinke. Can't imagine KC would do this but for some reason his name keeps coming up in trade discussions. (well, a couple of times) Hey, and they have a good young left-handed first baseman in KaiK.
So how about Guzman, Ballester, Martiz, and Marreno for Greike and KaiK.
Jeeves

Posted by: jcampbell1 | December 17, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

So obviously I'm not interested in getting any more Panera gift cards from my boss, 'cause I'm just not motivated to work today.

Anyway, if I'm Kasten, here's what I would do immediately.

Tell Bowden to call Boras and go to nine years. Not a vested ninth year or an option ninth year, but a stright-up nine-year contract for $180-198, depending on where the competing offers currently stand.

No NTC, no opt-outs. Nine years for the cash, with a bunch of player incentives. Add that he's likely to get a fairer share of All-Star bonuses - as he's almost a shoe-in for the Nats perennial respresentative - as well as be more likely to get local endorsement deals than in LA or Boston.

Yankees got Burnett because they were willing to go to five years. Nats can win the bidding if they're willing to go a year higher than the competition. Right now, that looks like nine years. And in six years, $22 million a year may well seem like a bargain.

Then again, it ain't my money!

-----

Another source tells me that Washington has made Tex the best offer “by a lot”. I’m not sure if “by a lot” means money, years, incentives or some combination of all three. But I was told, point blank: “Washington has made the best offer, by a lot.”

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 17, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

jcampbell

I like your outfield the best. But then I suspect you and I both grew up following the super fast outfields of Olympic Stadium.

I also agree that Guzman is ripe for a trade. Not that I dislike him, but the shortstop market is so shallow this year and his is cheap. Why not try hernandez out there, if we do get a second baseman, or the is Alberto Gonzalez. He's worth a try.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 17, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

"I also agree that Guzman is ripe for a trade."

See if you ever get a hometown discount again.

Posted by: Section506 | December 17, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Alright 506, you make a good point.

Would it therefore be overly cynical to suggest we make sure we sign Teix, then trade him?

Posted by: soundbloke | December 17, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Chicooooooooo! Welcome back.

Posted by: Good2bOK | December 17, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Welcome back Chico.

Love the log jam in OF.

LF - I say Willingham is a lock here.

CF - My opinion is that this should be Dukes' to lose. He's a + OF at all 3 spots and was the best hitter of any OF on the roster last year, including JW - e.g. OPS was .864.

RF - Kearns needs to play RF until someone proves they can hit better from there.

Tough call is what to do w/ Milledge. His bat was good for a back-up but weak for a starting OF, even CF. Then again Kearns was awful for a starting OF but he's in a contract year and they need to give him one more chance to see if he will come around.

If Kearns goes down (from injury or poor performance), you move Dukes to RF and put Milledge in CF even though he is a minus defender there. His arm is too weak to play RF especially when Dukes' is so strong.

That's how I see it.

Posted by: Avar | December 17, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Whatever resolution of the Mark Teixeira sweepstakes occurs, it seems to me that the Nationals have been ill-served by the national media’s coverage of the process. It seems they couldn’t even bring themselves to even mention the Nationals as a serious bidder until recently. First the Angels, despite the player’s announced desire to play on the east coast, were designated the favorite to sign him. Second, the Yankees, despite their commitment of over $240 million to two pitchers and, most inconveniently, no offer ever having been made. Third, the Red Sox, despite the fact Boston is 400 miles from the player’s family in DC, another announced desire of Teixeira—playing somewhere close to his folks. Fourth, even Baltimore got the nod over the Nationals. Now I understand somewhat the first three—they’re all bona fide contenders and big money spenders. But Baltimore, other than Tejada, has been a joke in free agency for a decade and had almost as bad a record last year as the Nationals. Moreover, while Teixeira played his high school ball, as I understand it, in or near Baltimore, the national media seems to have missed the fact that Severna Park is actually a suburb of DC. And, of course, Baltimore has refused to up its offer from 7/150 to that of the Nationals, Angels, and Red Sox.

This kind of coverage just can’t help this franchise. All I want for Xmas is Teixeira and now not just for his bat, glove, and character, but the possible credibility his signing would give this franchise, not to mention visibility.

Posted by: Jamesmaher | December 17, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I think the assumption is that Milledge is going to get better.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 17, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

"RF - Kearns needs to play RF until someone proves they can hit better from there.

Tough call is what to do w/ Milledge. His bat was good for a back-up but weak for a starting OF, even CF."

You must have been watching a different Nationals team than I was last year. Milledge had the best bat of any of the outfielders, except maybe for Dukes. Kearns probably had the worst, except for Pena. Unless Kearns does a total 180 at the plate in spring training, an inanimate carbon rod would hit better from RF than Kearns will.

The tough call in the OF is Kearns, not Milledge. It would be an easy call, except for Kearns's big contract.

Posted by: raykingsgutfeeling2 | December 17, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Avar,

I agree except that I'm tired of waiting on Kearns. He was overrated in Cincy, and he's been terrible here. Like you say, I see Willingham as a lock and I don't understand why people here want to move him. We need run producers and there is no question that Dukes and Willingham are the best we have so far. I think Milledge's second half was encouraging so I'd rather give him a chance than Kearns. I saw way too many tappers back to the mound out of AK and I hope I never see him play another game in this city (at least from the home dugout).

I also think big arms in RF is a bit overrated, in that, if the overall defense is better with Dukes in CF, then so be it. How many times is a guy thrown out going from first to third anyway? That's the only play that having the big arm in RF is better. I don't have the stats, but I dare say the CF has more plays than the RF, so why not put our only + defender there? Milledge can learn in RF and Dukes and star in CF. Unless Willingham has a better arm than Milledge - then flip flop them.

Posted by: sec307 | December 17, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

What about Super Willie for Kearns. IDK about Willie's arm, but his speed, amazing defense were a joy to watch and his performance at the plate was >>> Kearns.

With the pieces we have, Willie ought to compete for a starting job in the OF and not just as a uber-utility man.

Posted by: DesertNat | December 17, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Hi!

I’m Kristin, a University of Pennsylvania psychology student and a huge baseball fan. I am currently conducting an honors thesis study on clutch ability and psychological characteristics of Major league baseball players. I made a survey asking fans to rate players from various teams on certain characteristics. One of these teams is the Nationals and it would be great to have some Nationals fans fill out my survey and rate their favorite players. Here is some background info:

What is "clutch"? What players are considered "clutch" performers? What players are "gritty" or have natural talent? Are these players also "clutch"? These frequently cited terms in the game of baseball have rarely been objectively studied. I have created a survey asking about some Major League players’ characteristics and it would be great if some of you, being huge baseball fans, could fill it out! It should only take a maximum of 10 minutes. Also, I would love to hear any comments that you have about my survey! Thanks so much for all your help!

Here is the website for my survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=VUWValhJzb65tk1lZoMMEQ_3d_3d

Kristin

Posted by: baseballKristin | December 17, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Latest rumour de-jour:

MASN has been put on alert for a major Nationals announcement.

Source: BPG's Coach K, who ever that is.

Chico please check your sources and make sure it ain't your editors, they wouldn't know what to do if something like this actually goes down.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | December 17, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Aw man, Tippy, did you have to say that?

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 17, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I think I just peed my pants a little.

Posted by: sec307 | December 17, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Kristin, just took your survey. Kory's last name is Casto, not Castro.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 17, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

You think the big Nationals announcement on MASN is that the Caravan will be coming to Martinsburg?

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 17, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

MARTINSBURG?!?!

Posted by: Section506 | December 17, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

As in West by G*D?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 17, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

the national media seems to have missed the fact that Severna Park is actually a suburb of DC.

Posted by: Jamesmaher | December 17, 2008 3:44 PM

Distance (in miles) from Severna Park to Washington D.C. = 39.0

Distance (in miles) from Severna Park to Baltimore = 18.6

Statistics brought to you by Googlemaps.

Posted by: hollywoodhogan420 | December 17, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Kristin, I'm sorry, the good folks here at Nationals Journal don't have the time to screw around on some website during the work day... just kidding. Fun survey.

Wil Nieves = true grit.

Posted by: sec307 | December 17, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Kristin

"Service unavailable"

Posted by: mjames0 | December 17, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse


Latest rumour de-jour:

MASN has been put on alert for a major Nationals announcement.

Source: BPG's Coach K, who ever that is.


-----------------------

this rumor was originally posted on Orioles Hangout.

and yeah...I'm not buying it for a minute.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 17, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Are there ribs in Martinsburg? Cuz if Langerhans is on the tour...


PS Welcome back Chico! What were you doing?

Posted by: NattyDelite | December 17, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I think 9/10 years and 180-200 mil (maybe 189/210) gets it done. I would give him the no trade clause (20 mil a year is it's own no trade clause!) and I'd allow an option year after year 5. If Teixeira is considered "cheap" at $20mil by that point he'll be unhappy and want to renegotiate anyway, so it gives him more leverage, but all in all if your going to pay someone 20-22 mil a year you want to do whatever it takes to keep the happy.

Anyone else think BOS or LAA would match 9/189 with full no-trade and an opt out after year 5?

Posted by: estuartj | December 17, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

this rumor was originally posted on Orioles Hangout.

and yeah...I'm not buying it for a minute.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 17, 2008 4:49 PM

Are you actually able to still read over there? seems like if your not a "member" you cant read the boards.

If you can enlighten us as to what the mood over there is. I can only imagine.

Posted by: hollywoodhogan420 | December 17, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

estuartj, I'd offer the years/money first and see what happens. I'd work up to a limited NTC, then move perhaps to a full NTC if needed.

But I think an opt-out runs counter to the FO's intentions in getting the guy.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 17, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Given that the MASN site seems to ignore that fact that the Nats are even involved in the Teix Two-Step (Five-Step?), I'd wonder about that rumor as well.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 17, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

my lineup would be as such
1. guzman ss
2. milledge lf
3. zim 3rd
4. Dukes CF
5. nick johnson/dmitri 1b, barring DL/IR
6. Willingham RF
7. Jesus C
8. Hernandez/gonzalez 2b

Kearns needs to get moved if anyone wants him, i tried for too long to be a fan, he simply has the longest swing ever and has warning track power since he can't turn on anything and pull it out of the park, he will never hit for a good average, willingham has shown some real power, glad willie is back, he can spot start for anyone who needs a rest basically and play in almost every game in some capacity,i.e. pinch run/hit, he was a bright spot last year with the way he played,fun to watch his speed at work. I expect big things from milledge, dukes, jesus and zim this year. Now pitching may be another story, i'd love to see o'connor get another look, and you've got to be somewhat encouraged by the talented young guys, lannan, balester, olsen

Posted by: bford1kb | December 17, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse


Are you actually able to still read over there? seems like if your not a "member" you cant read the boards.

If you can enlighten us as to what the mood over there is. I can only imagine.

Posted by: hollywoodhogan420 | December 17, 2008 4:50 PM

I actually have an account over there for some reason. I can read, but I am not mod-authorized to actually post.

the mood over there is still a heavy amount of confidence. they seem to believe that Boras and Tex are in Baltimore right now(based on the reports of their "Insiders"), and something is imminent.

examples of confidence: they are placing bets on how many HRs Tex will hit for the Orioles, and they are talking about how Tex's signing(as if it is a foregone conclusion) affects other players like Roberts and Markakis, and the oriole future.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 17, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I like the optimism of having NJ and DY available, I dont' think you can count on that, plus I don't think they're ready to make Dukes the clean-up hitter, even if we don't get Teixeira or Dunn. Here is what I would expect with the current roster of players;

1. Guzman (SS)
2. Dukes (RF)
3. Zimmerman (3B)
4. Johnson (1B)
5. Willingham (LF)
6. Millege (CF)
7. Flores (CA)
8. Hernandez (2B)

If/when Nick is hurt it goes to;

1. Guzman (SS)
2. Dukes (CF)
3. Zimmerman (3B)
4. Willingham (1B)
5. Milledge (LF)
6. Flores (CA)
7. Kearns (RF)
8. Hernandez (2B)

That 2nd line-up just doesn't get it done offensively (although that is a damn good defensive outfield) so I do think we'll see Dunn signed if we don't get Teixeira (which I think we will!).

Posted by: estuartj | December 17, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Hi JohninMpls-- thanks for catching my error with Kasto's name! I changed it!

And someone from this website asked if I could post the results once I have them--I definitely will! I will have the results by the latest April of 09 (it's a year long thesis project)

Thanks for all your help! And I am in desperate need of more Nationals fan responses so if you can pass this along to any family and friends that would be great!

Here's the link again: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=VUWValhJzb65tk1lZoMMEQ_3d_3d

Have a great holiday season!

Kristin

Posted by: baseballKristin | December 17, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I actually have an account over there for some reason. I can read, but I am not mod-authorized to actually post.

the mood over there is still a heavy amount of confidence. they seem to believe that Boras and Tex are in Baltimore right now(based on the reports of their "Insiders"), and something is imminent.

examples of confidence: they are placing bets on how many HRs Tex will hit for the Orioles, and they are talking about how Tex's signing(as if it is a foregone conclusion) affects other players like Roberts and Markakis, and the oriole future.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 17, 2008 5:09 PM

Yeah, I was banned from there for questioning the information from said "insiders" and also for questioning Roy Firestone and his proclomation of Tex and Angelos going to the Ravens game together. Guess the guys over there don't like those who aren't fully drinking the kool-aid. So to combat it I guess for now they're only opening it up to registered members. Oh well.

Has the insider "bigbird" changed his tone at all or is he standing by his "source" that says Tex isn't coming to B'more? Part of me really wants to see Tex sign elsewhere JUST to see the wrath that pops up on that board, especially towards "belkast" and "sonny."

Posted by: hollywoodhogan420 | December 17, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

The Nationals are in desperate need of fans!

-----

And I am in desperate need of more Nationals fan responses so if you can pass this along to any family and friends that would be great!

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 17, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Chico who?

Posted by: tomfoc31 | December 17, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

I filled it out as well.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 17, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

I filled it out as well.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 17, 2008 5:32 PM

-------------------------------------------
Ditto - I'm somewhat curious about the rationale behind the teams selected for the survey. WS champ (PHI), best & worst records in '08 (LAA & WSH), but BOS & NYY (maybe most well-known)? Why not TB (AL champion) instead of one of the last two?

Posted by: BinM | December 17, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Yes - a caravan stop over here on the west coast would be nice. :) I'll settle for the away series with the Giants in the summer, though.

By the way, at the last two Sharks games I have gone to I've seen two different people with curly 'W' hats! Any of you NJ-ers moonlighting as hockey fans (er, besides me)??

Posted by: PattyinSJ | December 17, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

BinM, at first I thought it might be Teix suitors, but Phoolies and no TTMNBN put in wrench in that theory.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 17, 2008 6:36 PM | Report abuse

She may be selecting teams with very active web followings so she can get more participants? I heard of a similar research project on a Boston message board.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | December 17, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

James,

"..while Teixeira played his high school ball, as I understand it, in or near Baltimore, the national media seems to have missed the fact that Severna Park is actually a suburb of DC."

No, the national media is correct, it's actually it's a suburb of B-More and probably twice as close to it as SP is to DC. If it were a DC suburb he probably would have gone to DeMatha or another DC area school, but he went to that school "in or near Baltimore" (Mt. St. Joe's).

Don't forget that he spent his summers going to games at Memorial and Camden rooting on the O's. That probably carries more weight than the actual distance of SP to the two cities.

Does that mean he'll sign w/ the O's? Probably not (and I kind of hope not) but don't discount their chances on misinformation.

Posted by: dugly2ugly | December 17, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

@natsfan1a1: TTMNBN is already an "of-record" suitor to the Teixeira saga, so that can't be the answer. jca may be onto something - (best & worst record, WC winner + top two blog clusters)? Don't know about the NYY, but the SoSH in BOS put up some huge ###'s, from everything I've heard.

Posted by: BinM | December 17, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Ah, soundbloke, the good old days-Walker, Grissom, Alou or Valentine, Dawson, and Raines or Le Grande Orange. Then the summer of '94 and the beginning of the end, until now.
I wouldn't mind Gonzalez at short and Hernandez at second. Imagine the terrific defense. Remember Hernandez was very good offensively for the Nats in his limited time with them last year-excellent BA, excellent OBA. I have a good feeling about him.
sec 307-I was one who suggested Willingham be traded for a decent reliever. Don't get me wrong. I'd be quite content with him in left field and Milledge in center although I'd be a little concerned about the defense. As well, I believe Maxwell is the real thing if he can stay healthy.
Jeeves

Posted by: jcampbell1 | December 17, 2008 8:22 PM | Report abuse

BinM and jca, that must be it.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 17, 2008 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Jeeves: Wow, thanks; I just had a flashback! Andre, Raines, LWalk, Marquis, Rusty, even Ellis (for a year or two); what a great era of OF play on one team.

Jumping back to the present, Gonzalez looks like a SYR candidate, barring trades or injury. Unless something drastic happens over the next 110 days, the Nats' should be looking at Hernandez/Belliard w/Harris as a sub at 2B, and Guzman at SS, Hernandez as a backup, w/Diamond in HAR.

Posted by: BinM | December 17, 2008 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Of course he grew up following the Orioles. There was no baseball in DC when he was growing up!

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 17, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

jeeves, 307: Current OF candidates for the Nats' (8 players, from 40-man roster)...
LF (6) - Willingham, Milledge, Davis, Harris, Casto, Pena.
CF (6) - Milledge, Dukes, Bernadina, Harris, Maxwell, Kearns.
RF (3) - Dukes, Kearns, Maxwell.

What the Nats' do with them in ST is TBD; My current best guess is that they keep 5, with a rotation of:
LF (4) - Willingham, Milledge, Harris, Casto.
CF (4) - Milledge, Dukes, Harris, Kearns.
RF (2) - Kearns, Dukes.
Casto becomes a PH/3B/LF option off the bench for the Nats' - Maxwell, Bernadina & Davis become the top-three at SYR - Pena goes to the 60-day DL & stays in Viera to get healthy & learn how to play 1B.

Posted by: BinM | December 17, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse

In for a dime, in for a dollar - since I've already posted my MI & OF predictions, here's the rest of MY roster, off the current 40-man:
C (2) - Flores, Nieves - Montz goes to SYR.
1B (3) - N. Johnson, Casto, Belliard. (Forgot to note Casto as 1B option in prior post).
2B/SS (4) - see 8:58 post.
OF (5) - see 9:27 post.
SP (5) - Olsen, Hill, Lannan, Balestar, Bergmann. Clippard starts the year in SYR, with Atilano & Detwiler in HAR.
RP (6) - LR = O'Conner or Mock, MR = Shell & Mock or T. Young, SU = Rivera & Hinckley, CL = Hanrahan. Either O'Conner or T. Young (or both) will be gone by the end of ST; Estrada starts the year in SYR; Martis will start the year at either SYR as a reliever, or HAR as a starter; M. Chico should start the year on the 60-day DL.

Posted by: BinM | December 17, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Kristin,
Just so happens I'm reading The Psychology of Baseball right now. I haven't gotten to the "clutchiness" part yet, but it looks like at least a whole chapter is devoted to it.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 17, 2008 10:46 PM | Report abuse

BTW, I think it's a very good sign that there isn't much talk right now about Nats' offer for Teixeira. In the case of Boras I think the quieter things are, the more serious the talks are.

Then again, I could absolutely be grasping for any sliver of hope I can muster.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 17, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Caps off to "Slingin'" Sammy Baugh. May you go to a land where it's always 60 degrees and no one ever gets sacked.

Posted by: Section506 | December 17, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

been said before, but not lately, so:

Jaromir Jagr.

I'm Just Sayin.

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 18, 2008 12:32 AM | Report abuse

I'm with you NatsNut...no news is good news from a Nats fan perspective. The rumors of a big, Nats related press conference on MASN have me giddy thinking of either a Tex signing or a Clint firing.


Even though he is left handed, I don't think Jagr fits the Nats stated need for a LH power bat. I'd prefer Teixeira.

Wouldn't have to trade prospects to pick him up or worry about the Russian mafia, which is a plus.

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | December 18, 2008 12:57 AM | Report abuse

Hi BinM,

I just wanted to respond about why I selected the teams that I did. You are exactly right that the Angels and Nationals were selected because they had the best/worst records in baseball respectively. The Phillies were selected because they won the World Series and also because my school is located in Philadelphia!

I chose the Yankees and the Red Sox for more personal reasons. I am a huge Yankees fan so, of course, I would like to find out about perceptions of these players. And since I'm a Yankees fan, it is only right to look at my biggest rivals' perceptions as well!

It also does help that these teams have a lot of web followers because I've already gotten a lot of responses from them.

Thanks for all your support! I'm looking forward to getting some interesting results! Keep passing along the survey!

Kristin

Posted by: baseballKristin | December 18, 2008 1:10 AM | Report abuse

Looks like Furcal is staying in LA, and the Braves are calling shenanigans.

Thank god. I've been bored out of my mind this offseason!

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 18, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Kristin, thanks for the insight (but, a Yankees fan? yuck. ;-))

Speaking of clutch, in case you might not be aware of this, the recent volume of the SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) Baseball Research Journal (Vol. 37, 2008) features a number of articles on clutch hitting. I'm not aware that the articles are available online but I do know that one can order individual publications via the SABR national site: www.sabr.org

p.s. That's a good book, NatsNut.

p.p.s. Clint firing. Good one, LDO.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 18, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

jcampbell

I do remember the good old days and, I think they provide an excellent frame work for the rebuilding in DC. If you have a team, that is fast, athletic and strong on defence it makes it easier to drop your one marquee player in to give you lift to compete when the time comes. If we don't land Teix, and have to sign Dunn (if we can get him at that point) it is easier to justify his poor defence if he is in an infield with Zimm, Gonzalez, Hernandez than in an infield with Zimm, Guzman and Belliard. The offensive difference is not that great and it should guard against some of the defensive clowning around we've seen so far in DC.

I too like Hernandez. Let's not forget that not too long ago he was considered a top prospect, and heir apparent to the Met's second base. There is potential there.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 18, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Kristin - I filled out the survey and I'll be curious about the results. I wonder how fan perceptions correlate to reality.

For example, what sort of biases show up in the result. Do fans of a losing team (like us) tend to overrate or underrate their team's "clutchness?" Objectively, I'm not sure any of the Nats repeatedly delivered in pressure situations, but when I filled out the survey, I found myself scoring several players above average in terms of grit and clutchness. It kills me to say I scored AB high, not so much for his Nats play, but for a certain playoff homer that I remember (in fairness, I also had a sense he hit well in the 1st half of the year in important situations). Even our perception of SuperWillie probably doesn't match his stats (SuperWillie is so fast, he outruns his stats).

Grit? Is it trying to play through an injury, regardless of how horrible you looked? does it correlate with "old school"? is it a pugnacious response to out of town fans of a super team? Or is quiet consistency in the face of adversity?

This is a neat psychology project, so good luck in your work.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | December 18, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

In looking at the SABR research journal again, I was reminded of how much I enjoyed the editor's note about their newly established correspondence column. He compares the column's anticipated give-and-take to sports talk radio, and notes that there is also a "call screener." Among the guidelines are the following: "Forceful is good. Belligerent isn't. Tone of voice counts."

The prevalence of civil discourse for the most part (something of a rarity in anonymous sectors of the Internet, in my experience) is one of the reasons that I've found myself visiting Nationals Journal frequently since it started up. For that, and for the literacy and humor of various contributors, I echo Sect. 506's earlier statement of appreciation for this venue and for those who post here (including the Post employees, of course ;-)).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 18, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

jeeves,

I like Willingham because he adds some power to our lineup, but I do agree he'll hurt the defense (especially compared to having Willie out there). If we do move Dukes to center, I think it will help, but I am also for giving Lastings another spring training to show us improvement. I would much rather carry Maxwell than Kearns or Pena (unless Wily Mo is a 1B - good idea). Justin can be a late inning defensive replacement, while learning to hit at the major league level. The Kearns ship has sailed for me and I'm ready to move on to someone with potential.

Posted by: sec307 | December 18, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

I too would like to see what Milledge can become in center. I will gladly admit that he doesn't have a great arm, but that never stopped fellows named Damon, Lofton, Pierre, or Bumbry from contributing to winning ball clubs. As to his range, his range factor per 9 innings was league-average, his fielding percentage just a hair under. The other defensive stat I like is +/-, but all I can say on that is that he wasn't in the top 10 or the bottom 6 (they seem to have their full data hidden away). Give the kid a chance.

I never commented on the idea of trying to teach Pena first base, but I've always quite liked it. I'm not ready to give up on that gent just yet. (If the front office decides to cut him, I won't complain; they have more than enough reason to give up. But I'm not ready to.)

Posted by: Scooter_ | December 18, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Okay, I think we need to take a deep breath and figure out how on earth we got into this denigrating Lastings Milledge situation. Are we really all agreed on moving him because of supposed poor fielding?

Here's his month-by-month offensive stats for all months over 100 PAs (not July). The usual AVG/OBP/SLG:

April/March .265 .336 .373
May .228 .295 .347
June .242 .303 .384
August .336 .410 .570
Sept/Oct .297 .340 .385

That seems to tell the story of a player affected by the team-wide slump (please tell me you remember it). Note that when the team wasn't slumping, Milledge was exactly the sort of player we would now be clamoring for.

Posted by: Section506 | December 18, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

*That's "moving" as in getting him off the team, not sticking him in left field.

My outfield would be Willingham, Milledge, Dukes, from left to right.

My prediction will be Willingham, Milledge, Kearns on opening day, with Dukes and Pena coming off the bench. Then one of them will get hurt and Dukes will be back.

Best case scenario is that Kearns starts tearing it up again (get your damn hands away from your body, idiot!) and can be traded at his salary. I still like Kearns a lot and want him to do well, but he no longer fits the profile needed for this team.

Posted by: Section506 | December 18, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

506, as usual, you're absolutely on point here.

The Nats have a glut of outfielders. Obviously, something has to give. Milledge may be moved, but if he is, it's because he was the easiest to move and has the most value.

Getting rid of Pena will cost the Nats $2 million. They've paid to get rid of players before (Lo Duca, Mackowiak, Estrada, King), but I think they may determine that's more cost effective to give him another shot.

Kearns would have to be traded. He's just too expensive to buy out. I think the Nats really want Willingham in the lineup, so unless a good trade offer comes along, he stays. And I don't think many teams are willing to take on the potential trouble that Dukes could bring. He still hasn't shaken off that reputation.

But really, as a hitter, Milledge is talented full of potential. I'd like to see him with the new hitting coach. As a fielder, he made great strides after the All Star break. I'd like to see him get another full season out in center.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 18, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Your best line-up imo:

Guzman (6)
Milledge (9)
Dukes (8)
Texiera/Dunn (3)
Zimmerman (5)
Willingham (7)
Flores (2)
Hernandez (4)

Assumes a new firstbaseman obviously. Additional resources should be spent on the starters (1 more) and bullpen. Harris would be my utility man. I would pick between Pena, Kearns, and possibly Maxwell for the extra outfielders. (Pena, based on how quickly he has recovered from surgery, and if his power stroke has returned) This line-up would give you a nice blend of average, power, and RBI potential.

Posted by: 1of9000 | December 18, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

1of9000, Milledge really doesn't have the arm for right field. He's center or left. I also don't believe in Maxwell yet, but I know a lot of others around here do.

Posted by: Section506 | December 18, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Not to beat a dead horse, but I was watching Sports Center this morning and, in regards to Tex, Buster talked about the Oriole's being out of the running. He then spoke about the LAA offer. Next was Boston's contention that nobody will get more than an 8 year offer. Finally, the fact that the Yankees HAVEN'T EVEN MADE AN OFFER was noted. Not one word about the Nationals.

Posted by: TimDz | December 18, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

No morning post?

Is Chico back?

Posted by: natbisquit | December 18, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Milledge should not be traded. A 23 year old with his stats is not something to let go of quickly. We need to see another 500-700 ABs to figure out if he'll be a star - ie .300, 30, 100. For my money, he and Dukes are the only two on the roster that have that potential. For the same reason, Dukes needs to be in the line up every day, period. If they do somehow manage to dig up an OF that will produce as a lead off man in a way MUCH better than Guzman, which I doubt, bench Willingham, Kearns, etc. Dukes and Milledge need to play.

As far as the argument goes about arm strength, the best arm should go in CF, not RF. There are more important throws by the CF - relays holding guys at 2B on a ball in the alley, throwing guys out at home. Putting the strongest arm in RF is an old baseball chestnut that does hold water IMO.

#4

Posted by: db423 | December 18, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

506

I am one that would like to give Maxwell a chance. More out of blind idealism than belief though I fear. I think it's just time to try him in the majors either way. Willigham is a terrible mistake because you can't have him and Milledge next to each other in the outfield. It creates a hole. Milledge and Maxwell in CF/LF (whichever way around) is fine. Milledge and Dukes (whichever way around) is fine. But two guys who don't have great range in a decently sized outfield doesn't work.

I just think that if we are buidling for the future, and despite Bowdens idiocy I still think we are, Maxwell will have to be tried out. Milledge/Dukes/Maxwell might be the outfield of the future. It might not. But the outfield of the future certainly doesn't have Willigham in it.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 18, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

db 423

You are dead right. Especially when we have mediocre veterans like Willigham/Belliard/Guzman/Kearns who with a little cash incentive could still fetch something.

Thing is that we have this philosophy, and no one who knows how to go about implementing it. The idea that a kid with his bat speed, power and speed is on the block shows the organisation up as the hypocrites that they are.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 18, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Anyone else see Sports Center this morning? They were reporting on the Tex-watch. They said:

The Orioles are effectively out of it.
The Angels have not moved from their position.
Boston will not offer any more than 8 years.
The Yankees haven't even made an offer.
NO MENTION AT ALL regarding the Nationals.

No biased reporting here...

Posted by: TimDz | December 18, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

OOPS...I basically re-posted.

Thought the first one got lost in cyber space...

Posted by: TimDz | December 18, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Well soundbloke... let's see what they do before we bury them.

With all these machinations, the only things that will really frustrate me is if 1) they trade Milledge, Dukes, Zimmerman, or any of the young pitchers including Olsen and 2) if they don't end up with a significant LH bat to stick in the middle of the line up. The three amigos above need a veteran LH power hitter to take the pressure off. All this stuff around the edges with Maxwell, Harris, and which light hitting 2B there are going to choose is relatively insignificant.

As far as the pitching goes, including the bullpen, I think they have enough young arms coming along that they do not need to do a lot more there. Keep things fairly open so as not to block the progression of the guys they have coming. Remember that where their system is weak is in hitting.

#4

Posted by: db423 | December 18, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Just to remind, the major offensive deficiencies of the Nats this past year was 1) poor on base average (22nd of 30), 2) very poor runs scored (27 of 30), 3) poor slugging percentage (29 of 30), and poor RBU (29 of 30; missed last by 2 RBI). They were also 29th in total hits. So, to date the Nats have added Willingham and subtracted Bonnifacio. We are now about half way through the offseason and still have not added the healthy firstbaseman, the left handed power hitter, the high OBP lead off hitter, or the backup catcher that we need.

Posted by: natbisquit | December 18, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, Milledge is a tweener. He'll never supply the power numbers for a corner outfielder, and Jimbo himself said that he wasn't the answer in CF. He's tradebait. This thing about Maxwell - he's got massive holes in his swing, and the further along he goes, the more exposed he becomes. Plus he doesn't have a lot of experience because he's been hurt for years, so he's way behind for his age.

Posted by: Brue | December 18, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

1. Red Sox think they're leading Teixeira race
2. Angels-interested-in-signing-Manny

http://www.fannation.com/truth_and_rumors/view/81710-

Apparently Bore-Ass is doing the old circle jerk at 35,000 feet and all of the usual suspects (ESPN, CNNSI, FOX, MLB-Homeplate XM175 etc) are trying to figure out who is in the lead. However, there is speculation that the price tag has jumped considerably which sent the Ori-holes crashing into a light pole and essentially bowing out of the running.

But....., in another CNNSI article John Henry (wasn't that a name from a John Wayne movie) says the Sox have limits and maybe thats the crack in the Bore-Ass armour that sends Tex hurdling our way.

If for no other reason I would just love to see Texie sign with the lowly Washington Nationals, just to watch all of the MLB Media Braintrust have a sh*t hemorrhage.

Hey Chico, how many Tex articles do you have in the can? Maybe the WAPO powers that be will give you 1/4 page of space when the "big guy" makes the announcement!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | December 18, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

This thing about not getting more pitching because it would stunt someone's development doesn't wash. You never deal from a negative when you can add talent. When your only real imminent prospect is a guy (Zimmerman) that's gone up three levels in one year - you're in trouble as a system, because no matter how talented a guy is, he shouldn't be learning the basics of how to pitch while at the big league level - see Ballester and Mock. Sure they learned things, but sometimes it can damage their development if they try to overthrow, which both of them did, which can lead to injuries and/or high pitch counts (Ballester). There's no depth in the pitching staff, and they need that desperately, and they'll probably trade a couple of outfielders to get some.

Posted by: Brue | December 18, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Tippy Canoe, John Henry was a steel driven' man.

Posted by: Section506 | December 18, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

506;

I just wiki that one-up and my hunch was correct. John Wayne played Col John Henry Thomas USA in a 1969 movie called The Undefeated w/non other then Rock Hudson, an two aging old LA RAM QB Roman Gabriel and Merlin Olsen and a new comers to the screen; Jan-Michael Vincent.

The movie ain't worth watching but everytime I hear that name "John Henry" I think of the Duke.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | December 18, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

What if the outfield isn't really that crowded?

Check out these numbers:

.264/.386/.478
.266/.361/.472
.260/.354/.435
.268/.329/.407

Those belong to our four starting outfield candidates.

The first line is interesting, more so when you learn that it belongs to a 24-year old with just two partial seasons in the majors, and who has the physical skills to play plus defense at any outfield position. So he's clearly a starter, right? Sure, as long as he can keep his personal demons in check and stay off the DL. Dukes was on the 15-day list twice last year, played in exactly 81 games and was limited to 276 at-bats. So, here we have one-half of a potentially very good outfielder. Do we have the other half? Jury's still out.

The fourth line looks like it might belong to the odd man out. But that line happens to belong to another 24-year old with less than two seasons in the majors, a potential five-tool guy with speed and a live bat. And as 506 alluded to above, our man Lastings hit .299/.355/.448 after the All-Star Break. He might have a ways to go in the field, but he doesn’t belong on the bench, or in someone else's clubhouse, for that matter.

That brings us to our two 30-year old veterans, whose lines appear in the middle. One of them is regarded as an offensive disappointment, particularly in the power department, but as a defensive ace. The other is an average defender at best, but one with enough pop in his bat that he’s an acceptable starter. These guys are two sides of the same solid, unspectacular coin. And both of them lost significant time last season to injuries (Willingham had 350 at-bats, Kearns 313). That’s right – two players that together add up to one solid major league outfielder.

So who sits? The answer may be nobody. And everybody. Need some pop in the lineup today? Go with Willingham-Milledge-Dukes (or possibly Milledge-Dukes-Willingham). Time for a late inning defensive switch? How about Milledge-Dukes-Kearns? Better yet, Harris-Dukes-Kearns. Facing a tough lefty? Sit Milledge, who struggles a bit, and play Kearns, who excels (.278/.386/.473), as in Willingham-Dukes-Kearns.. Milledge as an occasional sparkplug pinch-hitter off the bench is not a terrible idea, as long as he gets 450 at-bats.

And that’s if everyone is healthy. Including our first baseman, if it’s not Teixeira or Dunn. If we’re left with Johnson and Meat, well then, perhaps Willingham is at first and the other three play every day. Bottom line: Our five outfielders give us a lot of depth, and a lot of options. We don’t necessarily have to get rid of anybody, even if we do sign a free agent first baseman.

Posted by: BobLHead | December 18, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

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