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Thursday Morning Reading Lite

This is a quickie; the morning has been very distracting. Sorry about that. I'll add to this if I find anything else of interest...

With Xavier Nady looking at Tommy John surgery, Joel Sherman says the Yankees are in need of a right fielder and apparently they've have grown any down on the farm. Could this be the trade opportunity the Nats have been waiting for?

The Chiefs lost to Lehigh Valley, 11-4. Collin Balester (0-2, 10.24) gave up 10 hits and 6 earned runs in 5 2/3 innings and had a balk. The P-Nats got drubbed by the Salem Red Sox, 12-4. Trenton nipped Harrisburg, 3-2. Hagerstown-Delmara was ppd., rain.

By Tracee Hamilton  |  April 16, 2009; 8:28 AM ET
 
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Next: Thursday's Nats-Phillies Lineups

Comments

Trade Kearns NOW!!!

Posted by: FloresFan | April 16, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

No one must have told Bally-Star that he's no longer in Spring training.

Posted by: leetee1955 | April 16, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Don't forget this about half street development:

http://tinyurl.com/d4s35x

Posted by: NatsNut | April 16, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

That seems like a great opportunity for the Nats. And the teams will be on rather equal footing, since the Yanks need a fielder, and the Nats need to get rid of one.

Posted by: Cavalier83 | April 16, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Yanks had Swisher & Melky on the bench -- They don't need an OF. Still might be worth a phone call to see if wecan unload Milledge now before it's too late.

Posted by: raymitten | April 16, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Wow, Garrett Mock is having troubles in Syracuse. He had 3 HBP, 2 BB and 1 WP in one inning of last night's game. In 3 appearances (2.0 IP), his ERA is 31.50! Maybe it's the cold weather up there?

Posted by: erocks33 | April 16, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

NatsNut,

That's the greatest thing I've read in two years. Thank you, thank you!

Now, if you excuse me, I need some tissues for these tears of joy.

...sniff...

Posted by: Section138 | April 16, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Swisher plays full time for Nady. Also, Austin Jackson is a high minors, high grade prospect OF. There's only an opening in NY if Tex goes down. Then Nick is the obvious trade target for them. If catcher were not our best position for depth in the minors (I/M/O), then one of their A ball catchers would be the obvious target.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | April 16, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

> Anyone have any idea how to post to the blog from a blackberry? I couldn't figure it out.

Chuck the Blackberry, get an iPhone and post to NJ using Safari.

Posted by: DCCapsFan | April 16, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

If we trade Willingham, I bet he'll tear it up for whatever team he goes to.

Posted by: usmc53 | April 16, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

> Wow, Garrett Mock is having troubles in Syracuse. He had 3 HBP, 2 BB and 1 WP in one inning of last night's game. In 3 appearances (2.0 IP), his ERA is 31.50! Maybe it's the cold weather up there?

Looks like he's trying to keep up with Saul Rivera. Or maybe the bastard love child of Saul Rivera and Joel Hanrahan.

Posted by: DCCapsFan | April 16, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I think we need to look at this from the Yankees perspective. Winning now leaves nothing to chance. Swisher will need his fair share of rest over the course of the season, and a polished player is a preferred stop-gap over a prospect. Hence Willingham or Kearns.

I mean, if you had a ridiculous payroll, would you risk your season on the bench they currently have? This is a very dramatic line of thinking, but the way they do things in NYY land.

Posted by: dclifer | April 16, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Swisher is doing well for the Yankees. They certainly lose depth and they will probably wait for July 31st to pick up a STAR for their playoff push (if they get that far).

No surprise on Garrett Mock given what I have seen in the past (sorry). Ballestar has the tools and needs to get serious about lifting some weights, adding some muscle, and picking up his velocity as he isn't overpowering anyone.

Posted by: dmacman88 | April 16, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Willingham had a great track record (when healthy) last year. Perhaps he'd accept being the 4th OF in NY versus being our 4th outfielder.

Posted by: tboss | April 16, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Willingham will get 400 ABs this year. He'll play 1/2 time, between rests for the corner outfielders and Nick. Once either Kearns or Nick is traded, he becomes full time. No need to panic.

Bernardina at a minimum is a good defensive replacement. Having him sit as a 5th outfielder is not a great crime to the future of the organization.

Let's lighten up on blasting Guzzie at the top of the order. He's not ideal. I would wish he'd grind a bit more and walk more often, but as long as he hits .315+, his walking 4% of the time will put his OBP in a good range. He has done nothing since the eye surgery to say he can't hold down a #1 or #2 slot in the order.

My preference all along was to see if Milledge could repeat his 2d half of last season for a full season at leadoff, have Nick follow him, and drop Guz down to 6th where his hits could drive in Dunn and Dukes. But reality did not turn out the way I thought it would. Absent a successful Milledge, the alternatives would be AH, Dukes, and Guz. AH lacks a track record, but it looks like we will see in the near term if he's a new hitter. Dukes has a lot going for him, but his power would be wasted as a leadoff hitter.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | April 16, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I'm more than a little late with this observation, and maybe someone has made it already, but how funny is it that Lastings inexplicably decided to put an Ocho Cinco on his back this year and then found himself demoted in part because his outfield routes looked like pass patterns?

Posted by: BobLHead | April 16, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Even the Yankees are not dumb enough to pay Kearns $8 million a year only the NATS!! They will never pick up his inflated contract.

Posted by: KGG769 | April 16, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

"Willingham had a great track record (when healthy) last year. Perhaps he'd accept being the 4th OF in NY versus being our 4th outfielder."

Being a 4th OF for the Yankees would be preferable to here. With the DL spot, there are more options to get him in the lineup. He'd basically be battling Brett Gardner for PT. Oh yeah, and there is that little advantage of playing on a winning team.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/teams/depth?team=nyy

Posted by: dclifer | April 16, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Chances are that if the Nats do trade Kearns they will take back some chunk of his contract, possibly even a large chunk. They know that, which is probably why they will be especially careful to get the right pitcher or prospect in trade for him. Just anyone will not do.

Posted by: nunof1 | April 16, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

We would have to eat some of Kearns salary. No big deal as we have plenty of room in the budjet!

Posted by: soundbloke | April 16, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

"Even the Yankees are not dumb enough to pay Kearns $8 million a year only the NATS!! They will never pick up his inflated contract.

Posted by: KGG769"

I don't think anyone was suggesting that the Yankees would pay all of Kearns' contract. The Nats would probably have to pay at least half of that contract, and if it means getting more in a trade, I would be all for paying for the whole thing (granted, it's not my $8 million, but still you have to take what you can get).

The problem with trading Kearns (besides the contract, naturally) is that it leaves the Nats without a major league center fielder (assuming Dukes moves over to right). We'd basically have a bunch of left fielders (Dunn, Willingham, Milledge) plus Dukes. Can Bernadina hit enough to be a major league CFer? Or Maxwell? Or would we bring Milledge back to play center (and hopefully bat sixth or seventh) and hope he figures it out up here?

I'd love to see them package one of our outfielders and a catcher for some kind of pitching prospect.

Posted by: WMPete | April 16, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Today is denim day at the ballpark -- wear jeans to support the Nats! :-)

Ha, ha, just a little joke because George Will is an idiot.

Posted by: tailwagger | April 16, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

????

The Yankees are trying to win pennants and a World Series. Does anyone think that Brian Cashman is saying: "Who can we get to secure a championship? Austin Kearns? Josh Willingham?"

Get real.

Posted by: fischy | April 16, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I can see the Yankees going for Willingham, not Kearns (even with the money out of the equation), and that would be a huge mistake for the Nats IMHO.

@NatsNut: Thanks for the headsup about the "Bullpen" project for Half Street. It is a great idea and shame that the team, which should have been in the forefront of creating such a venue, seems not to be involved at all.

That may be because a rival real estate developer controls the site, which was acquired from WMATA in an auction (you may recall Monument Realty, which is developing the land on the east side of Half Street claimed its right of first refusal was violated and sued over the sale to Akridge). But the team should still be taking a high profile role in efforts to make something of its environment.

Instead, at least as far as I can tell, we get silence. They have no PR sense at all. I really don't understand it.

Posted by: Meridian1 | April 16, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Strangely, the Nats are not the only team with surplus outfielders so I'm guessing the Yankees might just as easily make a trade with St. Louis, Colorado, Minnesota, or Texas. And what do the Yankees have to offer that should be of interest to us? Hughes is the obvious prize, but I can't see them giving him up to anyone for an outfielder.

Posted by: natbiscuits | April 16, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Trade Willingham lol>

Posted by: Brue | April 16, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

"Thanks for the headsup about the "Bullpen" project for Half Street. It is a great idea and shame that the team, which should have been in the forefront of creating such a venue, seems not to be involved at all."

(A) Why would you expect the team to be developing food/drink/entertainment options outside the ballpark when they clearly are still working on perfecting food/drink/entertainment operations INSIDE the ballpark? That would be like me expecting you to keep your neighbor's house spotless when your own house is a mess.

(B) How do you know the team had no involvement in creating this venue? Just because they didn't announce it?

I'm constantly amazed at the kinds of things people expect the team to be doing as part of its own PR efforts. Perhaps they should pass the DC Statehood Amendment while they're at it.

Posted by: nunof1 | April 16, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

"Strangely, the Nats are not the only team with surplus outfielders so I'm guessing the Yankees might just as easily make a trade with St. Louis, Colorado, Minnesota, or Texas."

And with all these surplus outfielders floating around MLB these days, why is anyone surprised that Milledge got sent down?

Posted by: nunof1 | April 16, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

A Yanks fan posted this on the MLBTR site:

"I'd look very hard at Willingham, Hinske, and maybe even Austin Kearns if the Nats were willing to eat some money. People forget this because he's so overpaid, but Kearns is actually a decent player (very good defensively, solid enough bat)."

Also, the same site reports that the Giants want to unload Aaron Rowand, who is still owed $44 million through 2012, and that SF might have to eat half of his salary to get a deal done in the current environment. A Sun Times reporter suggests that the ChiSox might be better off acquring Willie Harris (for AAA pitching prospect Lance Broadway).

Some of us argued for signing Rowand when he was a free agent before last season, but not at the price ultimately paid by the Giants (5 years, $60m). Evidently we made the right call there.

Posted by: BobLHead | April 16, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

"And with all these surplus outfielders floating around MLB these days, why is anyone surprised that Milledge got sent down"

Maybe you should answer that question, nunof1, since you're the one who was yapping at Boz for predicting the Milledge demotion.

Are you going to have a similar "why should anyone be surprised" question after Zim signs long term (since you were also dismissive of that Boz prediction)?

Posted by: joebleux | April 16, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

"Maybe you should answer that question, nunof1, since you're the one who was yapping at Boz for predicting the Milledge demotion.

Are you going to have a similar "why should anyone be surprised" question after Zim signs long term (since you were also dismissive of that Boz prediction)?"

Well, on the Milledge thing Boswell obviously has sources within the team by virtue of his position, which I don't. My prediction was made solely based on the signals the FO and Acta were sending out up to that point. Can you or anyone honestly say that you saw any signs that they were unhappy enough with Milledge to send him down? Why, they even gave him the honor on Monday of being one of the five first-pitch catchers.

As for my Zimmerman prediction, though, I base that entirely on what I read in the Washington Post. They reported not once but several times that Zimmerman was cutting off all discussions on a long-term contract until after the season. So either Boswell is wrong, or he knows the truth and is not sharing it with his own newspaper in order that it could correct its reporting of the story. Which would be the greater sin?

Posted by: nunof1 | April 16, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

There is no chance in hell the Yankees would ever trade for Kearns. Ever. They want above average major league talent. They probably have at least 10 OFs in their org better than Kearns right now.

Posted by: RickFelt | April 16, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

We might trade Willingham, but we'd misevaluate the talent we got in return AND we'd be stuck with Kearns in right all year, which is unbelievably depressing.

Posted by: RickFelt | April 16, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

"Can you or anyone honestly say that you saw any signs that they were unhappy enough with Milledge to send him down?"

Posted by: nunof1 | April 16, 2009 1:19 PM
_____________________________________________________________

JayB saw it.

Got to give the man his props.

Posted by: Section505203 | April 16, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Willingham went to arbitration just this year. Was that his last time, or is he still under team control next year? If he is, I can guarantee that they'd never trade him and keep Kearns instead. Technically Kearns is also the team's property next year, but if they decide to keep him the price is $10M. Willingham provides the same or more benefit at a much lower cost.

Posted by: nunof1 | April 16, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

This just updated by Buster Olney:

"The Nationals can at least find some solace during their 0-7 disaster. After months of negotiations, Ryan Zimmerman has been signed to a 7 year contract extension worth 72 million. Shocking? Perhaps, but the management felt the need to firmly state their commitment to the cornerstone of the struggling franchise. One source is saying this signals alarms about the National's desire to pay top dollar for likely first pick, Steven Strasburg. As bizarre as this seems, what else can be expected of a franchise led by Jim Bowden for so many years?"

Posted by: jackal_ | April 16, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

"Boswell obviously has sources within the team by virtue of his position, which I don't."

So, you were basically criticizing Boz for knowing more than you do.

As far as Zim's contract status goes, what he says for public consumption at one point in time isn't necessary written in stone. And Boz didn't say the Nats were going sign Zim long term, he said they -should- sign him long term. You're the one who jumped to the conclusion that that was impossible.

Posted by: joebleux | April 16, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Dump Kearns.

Posted by: ridgely1 | April 16, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Hah! Typical Buster. Hasn't he been listening to Zim? Doesn't he know that Zim's not talking contract until the end of the season. Silly reporter with his so-called "sources".

Posted by: joebleux | April 16, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Willingham is in his first year of arbitration, just like Zimmerman.

Posted by: BobLHead | April 16, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

"JayB saw it.

Got to give the man his props.

Posted by: Section505203"

JayB saw deficiencies in Milledge, sure, and harped about them here and elsewhere, ad nauseum. But what he DIDN'T see (or didn't mention if he did see) were any signs in the FO's or Acta's treatment of Milledge or statements about Milledge that would have indicated that they were going to send him down when they did. If anyone here saw those signs, no one bothered to mention them. Many people wanted Milledge sent down (or traded) but no one PREDICTED it, other than Boswell. And he has inside sources.

So no props to JayB, sorry.

Posted by: nunof1 | April 16, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

"And Boz didn't say the Nats were going sign Zim long term, he said they -should- sign him long term. You're the one who jumped to the conclusion that that was impossible."

If Boswell's own newspaper is reporting that Zimmerman and his agent have ruled out discussions on a contract until after the season, I don't think I'm jumping to a conclusion when I say that it won't happen. Unless you're saying that the Post is lying and cannot be trusted. Is that what you're saying?

Posted by: nunof1 | April 16, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

You're right Nunof, no one is as smart as you.

Everyone go home now because, no one here knows as much as Nunof1. Last one out please turn off the lights.

Posted by: Section505203 | April 16, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index/zimmermansigningdone/olney_buster

Posted by: jackal_ | April 16, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I can't find this Buster Olney report on Zimmerman's contract anywhere. We need a link or an update of the Journal.

Posted by: jcj5y | April 16, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

The espn insider link didn't work for me . . .

Posted by: jcj5y | April 16, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

OK, last try: nunof1, the Post reported what Zim and his agent said at some point in time. Because Zim changes his mind later, does not make the Post wrong and/or lying. Got it? I knew that you could (well, not really, but one can hope).

Posted by: joebleux | April 16, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

"You're right Nunof, no one is as smart as you."

Odd, I've never said that. One thing I do know, though, is that no one other than me seems to merit word-by-word scrutiny and challenge to everything they write here. Why is that?

Posted by: nunof1 | April 16, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Nunof,

Cry me a river. Most of your posts are based on scrutinizing or challenging someone. Give me a break with this victim crappolla. Someone get this guy a binky.

Posted by: Section505203 | April 16, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

I have the ESPN Insider account, an there's nothing in that article/column about a Zimmerman signing.

Posted by: comish4lif | April 16, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Wow . . . we really need a win around here.

Posted by: lowcountry | April 16, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

This too from Ken Rosenthal at Foxsports:

"The Nationals were hoping to see something positive happen soon with Jordan Zimmermann, but it looks like they'll happily settle for another Zimmerman. Soon-to-be-star Ryan Zimmerman and the Nationals came to terms on a 7 year extension worth at least 68 million. Details are still emerging, but this should satisfy the disenchanted fan base for now."

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/9457462/Zimm-extended

Posted by: Bobl_Head | April 16, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Buster's blog is here and says nothing about a Zimmerman signing:

http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=4072961&name=olney_buster

Posted by: BobLHead | April 16, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I am still trying to figure out how Saul Rivera managed to sneak into Jose Theodore's goalie uniform at the Caps game last night.

Posted by: HistoryBoy | April 16, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

And another bogus link by a not-so-subtle imposter.

What RosenRosen actually says in his blog is interesting though:

"Hate to be a spoilsport about a player as exciting as Marlins third baseman Emilio Bonifacio, but ...

While Bonifacio is 16-for-33 after seven games, at least one scout is far from convinced that he is a keeper.


"He can fly, but once teams figure him out, he's going to hit .240," the scout says. "And his glove is terrible. He's a 40-error guy at third base.

"I think he's afraid of the ball, personally. If he gets buzzed and pitchers start throwing a lot of breaking balls to him, he's in big trouble.

"He's just a guy."

Posted by: BobLHead | April 16, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the supposed vs. alleged signing of Zim:
It is possible that the FO made a phone call with some parameters that were acceptable to Zim's agent. I would also think that Zim and his agent were on the same page as to what it would take for a long-term deal. If these two things occurred, then a signing could take place with minimal "discussion."

Posted by: TimDz | April 16, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

"OK, last try: nunof1, the Post reported what Zim and his agent said at some point in time. Because Zim changes his mind later, does not make the Post wrong and/or lying. Got it? I knew that you could (well, not really, but one can hope)."

"*Ryan Zimmerman says his deadline of Monday for a contract extension is "pretty firm," though he jokingly told me he might give the sides until 4:11 p.m. -- one minute past first pitch -- if it looked as if they were close to a deal. But according to Rizzo, the sides are having "daily" conversations." [Dave Sheinin, Saturday April 4th]

"Explaining why he wouldn't want talks to continue into the regular season, [Zimmerman] said, "I don't think it's fair to any of the guys in here if I'm worrying about contract situation when the season starts and our goal is to win. I should be concentrating on winning and helping them instead of worrying about me and making headlines in the paper every day about my contract. I think that's a selfish way to go about the business." [Chico Harlan, Sunday April 5th]

The season began on Monday April 6th. Boswell's column where he urged a long term contract for Zimm be done now appeared over a week later, on Tuesday April 14th.

Look, my point all along on this has been that Boswell ought to know what his own paper is reporting before he spouts off his opinions. Clearly he doesn't.

Posted by: nunof1 | April 16, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

"Nunof,

Cry me a river. Most of your posts are based on scrutinizing or challenging someone."

Unlike, say...you?

Posted by: nunof1 | April 16, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I've actually seen the Zimmerman extension story on dcsportsfan, but who knows if that's any good...

Posted by: jc5jy | April 16, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

The only Nat's outfielder the Yanks would be remotely interested in is Adam Dunn.

Posted by: 6thandD | April 16, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Nunof,

How is the weather in the Land of Oz?

Posted by: Section505203 | April 16, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Have any of the Nats minor league affiliates won a game? man i've got to renew my subscription to usa today's sports weekly.You think the Yanks would split Kearns salary, man what was Jimbo thinking?

Posted by: dargregmag | April 16, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Here's the link for the signing:

http://dcsportsfan.com/Forums/posts.aspx?zimmerman=7649

Again, it's not confirmed by the FO yet.

Posted by: jc5jy | April 16, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Have any of the Nats minor league affiliates won a game? man i've got to renew my subscription to usa today's sports weekly.You think the Yanks would split Kearns salary, man what was Jimbo thinking?

Posted by: dargregmag | April 16, 2009 2:40 PM

Syracuse is 1-5
Harrisburg is 1-4
Potomac is 2-4

I believe Hagerstown has at least a 500 record.

I don't think money would be the sticking point in moving Kearns to the Yankees. I am guessing the Nats would be willing. I think the difficulty would come with regard to the players being offered on both sides. I am guessing that NYY would want someone additional from our farm. I then wonder what the Nats will want in return (Hughes ain't happening)

Posted by: TimDz | April 16, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

what a joke. stop posting this fictitious garbage you morons.

RZ isn't even negotiating until after this season.

Posted by: fs228 | April 16, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

There's been a thread about the Zimmerman signing on the Ballpark Guys forum since last night. Started off with someone claiming to have a source, but the thread started degenerating when someone posted a JPG of a fat woman in a thong, and last time I looked the discussion had turned to whether or not Zimmerman is gay. If Boswell really has had a hot tip since Tuesday on Zim signing, I'm surprised the Post hasn't taken that lead and run with it. Doesn't it bother them that they're getting scooped on such a huge story by random bloggers?

Posted by: nunof1 | April 16, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

They're not getting scooped if it hasn't happened, and so far there is zero evidence that it has.

Posted by: BobLHead | April 16, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Lots of evidence of a lineups post, though.

Posted by: Scooter_ | April 16, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Yawn. It must be early season; my troll ignoring reflexes are off a little.

Posted by: joebleux | April 16, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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