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Kasten to Syracuse

Hey, check out this column from Syracuse Post-Standard columnist Bud Poliquin on Stan Kasten. Okay, there's not a lot of THERE there, but it's Sunday.

I have been pondering this 2009 Chiefs team ... is 2009 the year for a road trip to Syracuse to see some future Nats and visit the Baseball Hall of Fame? Haven't been to Cooperstown since ... hmmmm, I can't remember, but I was living in Detroit so that's at least 16 years. It's possible I'm still paying off credit card debt from that vacation. I didn't see anything in Cooperstown I DIDN'T want to buy.

Anyway, there's been a lot of talk about the Nats and Yankees and Nady and Swisher. It's become one of those viral rumors that suddenly everyone is reporting based on everyone else's reporting. I will repeat what Dave wrote Tuesday after his day in the Bronx:

"Yes, the Nationals asked the Yankees about Nick Swisher. No, the Yankees had no interest in what the Nationals were offering."

Now, as for Nady ... Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says this:

"The most attractive trade bait the Yankees have. He could land them an end-of-the-rotation starter. The Angels and possibly the Giants and Mets could be suitors. A return to the Pirates has been shot down."

By Tracee Hamilton  |  January 11, 2009; 1:48 PM ET
 
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Next: Trimmer, Slimmer, Wiser

Comments

Particularly amusing was the comparison of Kasten to Theo Epstein, which like mistaking Dave Henderson for Rickey Henderson.

Posted by: Wooden_U_Lykteneau | January 11, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

@Tracee

I might have gone to SU had the recruiting trip not taken place in January. I was told "don't worry, we have tunnels connecting the buildings." Because I didn't want to live like a mole for half the year, I instead stayed home and went to AU.

Posted by: leetee1955 | January 11, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Tracee: So it's a soft news day, thanks for the fish anyway.

BTW, anything cooking on some "walking wounded" stories? Would love to hear updates on guys like NJohnson, Matt Chico, WMP, Kearns, etc without their Agents' "spin" (Working out regularly, should be ready for spring training, blah, blah).

Posted by: BinM | January 11, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Tracee, for the links. The optimism in the Poliquin piece was refreshing, IMO.

I've also toyed with the idea of a Chiefs/HOF road trip. I would also be inclined to a Cooperstown spending spree.

On another note, in addition to the "walking wounded" story possibility (which I like), maybe another Nats edition of "where are they now?" might be interesting.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 11, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

So, the NYY think Nady is worth a #5SP in return; let's just move on.

I'd like to know what the initial offer for Swisher looked like for the NYY to have "no interest" - must have been fairly crappy.
A teaser offer with something like Casto, Rivera, & two prospects (1CA, 1SP) might get them thinking.

Posted by: BinM | January 11, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

@1a1:

A regular "Where are they now" piece in the WaPo would be great! Not just to catch up on Nationals (2005-current) players, but some of the Expos' & Senators (v1.0 & 2.0) players as well.

Posted by: BinM | January 11, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

OMG - Tracee beat me to my obligatory "here's what Nick Cafardo said that maybe relevant to the Nats" Sunday post. Change must have come to DC.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | January 11, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Makes me nostalgic for back when Kasten first came to DC, we heard about how our team was further along than the Braves when he took over and we heard about all the money being spent on enhancing the ballpark was going to go toward increasing payroll, now his name is followed by "not available for comment" when referenced by the local media.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | January 11, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

PB69: Welcome back - it's been a while, yes?

Re: Kasten quotes - He still seems to trust the "old-school" writers & commenters (Ladson w/mlb.com, Boswell in particular); Harlan, Sheinen & the WaPo staff, the Times writers, not so much. I think he's afraid of "the new journalists" burning him in search of an immediate lead, rather than trusting him for a larger story down the line.

Posted by: BinM | January 11, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

I think the Nady to Nats rumor is BS. My guess is that the Nats called about Swisher for a package and the Yanks countered with Nady for the same deal and the Nats said no thanks.

I really like the Swisher idea if we can get him for a reasonable price (IMO Hanrahan/Rivera and VanAllen/Carr/Zincola). The bonus with Swisher is that he can play OF and 1B, the last thing we need is another 1B only player so being able to have NJ at 1B and Swisher in CF with Milledge or Willingham in LF and Dukes is RF is very nice. If/when NJ goes down then Swisher goes to 1B and Milledge slides to CF.

Posted by: estuartj | January 11, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Actually, in thinking about it, Blogfather Svrulaga may have burned some bridges for the WaPo with his book as well.

Posted by: BinM | January 11, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

@est:
The NYY want RP immediately - they need C, RP & OF in the minors. Why not Rivera, Maxwell or Bernadina, and a CA prospect for Swisher?

Posted by: BinM | January 11, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Kasten and Mark Lerner speak with the press when they have good news to report, when times are tough they send out Commissioner Bowden to take the heat. This offseason has been so bleak even Jimbo hasn't had much to say so most of the quotes are coming from unnamed sources.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | January 11, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Nick Swisher seems like a really good fit, he brings a competitive spirit and has some power. I like him as a Nat alot more than Dunn who doesn't seem to be a hard nosed competetor.

I would be really good if the Nats could bring him aboard.

Posted by: cabraman | January 11, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the Poliquin link, Tracee, but it seems to be to the jump. Here's the first half: http://tinyurl.com/9gf9pu

Posted by: CEvansJr | January 11, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

So, would Redding have qualified as a #5 SP the Yankees would take for Xavier Nady? Just wondering.

Posted by: CEvansJr | January 11, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Am I missing something? Nick Swisher? Is this the same Nick Swisher who hit .219 with a .330 OBA last year - the same guy who drove in 69 runs in 500 ABs. Those are Brian Schneider offensive stats without the important defensive position. Yea, he hit 24 HRs, but why the excitement? I suppose if the Yankees just gave him to the Nats, OK. But, really he's not very good. For the record, among the hitters that Baseball Reference lists as most comparable to Nick Swisher at the same age are... Preston Wilson and Austin Kearns. That's about right.

#4

Posted by: db423 | January 11, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

And while we're on the subject of Syracuse coverage, earlier on, Poliquin makes the twice-told case for a big-name left-handed power bat who'll play cheaper than Manny, and draw some fans. I'm less interested now that he's had a full year out of the game, but on the "what have we got to lose"? side, I can still sorta see it.
Never gonna happen, but hey, it's January here.

Posted by: CEvansJr | January 11, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

I didn't realize that Swisher is 28 years old, he only has 4 years in the major so I thought he was much younger. Might make a good backup to Nick, but I wouldn't pay premium prices to acquire him when he isn't a long term solution to our 1B problem.

He would make a nice bridge between NJ this year and Rhinehart and/or Marrero in '10/'11, but I don't think he would be worth anything more than the 1 current RP and one A/AA level RP prospect I proposed above, and I think there is about zero chance of that being a workable price for the Yanks.

Posted by: estuartj | January 11, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

I don't know, ESJ. The bullpen's thin. Why trade younger for older while they are trying to build? They just ought to stay away from this one unless they can unload a veteran like Kearns that they no longer want.

#4

Posted by: db423 | January 11, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

My guess is that some here like Swisher simply because of Moneyball. That draft actually is great evidence of how much tougher it is to build a winner solely through the draft than Lewis and Beane--similar to some of the "Plan" proponents--would have had people believe.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | January 11, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

It is nice of someone to point to that Swisher is not really worth much. You feel like that sort of patchwork solution. Given that we are hearing rumours recycled from so much earlier in the winter you get the feeling that there just isn't that much actually going on.

Posted by: soundbloke | January 11, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Well no plan is foolproof CiL.

Ask the guy who signed the Soriano contract.

Posted by: soundbloke | January 11, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

soundbloke you mean the guy who's brought two division championships to the North Side a year after they finished with the worst record in the league? Not sure what's wrong with that, I'll take it any day.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | January 11, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Being very close to certain Chicago fans, you couldn't pay me with a hundred division championships. The Spectacular October Fold is far too embarrassing.

Also, on Kasten: it was pretty much openly acknowledged by Svrluga that they hated each other.

Posted by: Section506 | January 12, 2009 7:27 AM | Report abuse

Hate might be too strong a word, 506 -- as I recall it was a case of excessive snark on Barry's part which led Stan to accuse him of lying. I don't remember the exact context or the substance though. But there was certainly no love lost at the end of the day, at least from Stan's side.

Posted by: BobLHead | January 12, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Stan and Sheinin are too fond of each other either, based on Stan going after him on WPL back at the end of '07. BinM, I'm not sure how Barry's book might play into things though, since it covers the '05 season, predating the Lerner/Stan regime.

Another thought--if you were Stan or Bowden and you wanted to get (or leak) hot-stove information out there, it seems to me that you would want to give it to a guy who you know, and who you know is going to disseminate the info. That's Ladson. Not sure why would they go out of their way to feed the info to The Post (and Chico), based on the minimal commitment that the paper has made to covering the team.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | January 12, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Here's the link to Barry's NJ entry on the dust-up with Stan:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/nationalsjournal/2007/09/stan_me_and_the_relationship_b.html

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | January 12, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for finding the post, CiL. I recalled that this incident happened rather late in the season.

I often wondered if it made Barry's job that much harder, thus making his decision to leave the baseball beat easier.

I also wonder if it bled over and is now making Chico's job harder.

Posted by: NatsNut | January 12, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

So assmuning no further acquisitions of starting pitchers, who should be in the 2009 Opening Day Rotation and who should be in the rotation at the end of the year?

My own faniciful picks at this time are:

Opening Day Rotation:

Olson (We open in Florida)
Balester (Put a righty between Olson/Lannan)
Lannan (It would be great if he got Home Opener)
Hill (If healthy a lock, but Martis is my backup)
Cabrera (Are we expecting too much of St. Claire)

September Rotation:

Lannan (Could he win 14 this year)
Zimmermann (I'm guessing up by May)
Detwiler (Wishful thinking by August?)
Hill (If healthy, a lock)
Balester (If he throws fewer pitches per batter, he could last all year)

Also I'm picking Mock as the closer by September.

Posted by: natbisquit | January 12, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

That seems quite orret, only I would assume Cabrera for Hill in th September rotation. I find it hard to imagine a healthy Hill in September. Unless he is recovering.

Posted by: soundbloke | January 12, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

BTW, my scenario above assumes Olson got traded and Cabrerra is moved to the bullpen or traded by year's end. (Hey it's my daydream, I can make up whatever I want)

Posted by: natbisquit | January 12, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

April Rotation:

Olsen/Hill/Lannan/Cabrera/Balester

September Rotation:

Olsen/Lannan/Cabrera/Strasburg/Crow

You heard it here first, folks!

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 12, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

JiMinn--Crow?? http://tinyurl.com/7tuvhm

Before we all go to the Gnu, how would that work?

Posted by: CEvansJr | January 12, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Just a little joke to see if anyone was paying attention.

Now on to the new post!

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 12, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

To the Gnu-mobile!

Posted by: CEvansJr | January 12, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Shiner saw this on Baseball Prospectus:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/unfiltered/?p=1149

Basically it's a chart that is designed to show a player's Hall-worthiness as measured by the average of his peak WARP an career WARP. Raines comes in 6th all-time among left fielders, behind Barry Bonds, Rickey Henderson, Stan Musial, Ted Williams and, ahem, Pete Rose. That puts him ahead of a number of Hall members including Carl Yastrzemski, Willie Stargell, Billy Williams, Ralph Kiner and Lou Brock.

Posted by: BobLHead | January 12, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Whoops, I meant to post that over on BI, which I have now done. On to the newer, slimmer post.

Posted by: BobLHead | January 12, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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