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Nationals Sign Five Dominican Prospects

Posting for Chico, who is en route to Atlanta:

The Nationals have signed five prospects from the Domincan Republic: infielder Jean Valdez (16 years old), outfielder Jose Norberto (18) and right-handed pitchers Cleto Brazoban (17), Vidal Paredes (18) and George Rosa (19).

"We are excited to add these five promising players to our player development system," Nationals Director of Scouting Dana Brown said in a statement released by the team. "Valdez is the prized signing of the group. He is an exceptional hitter who projects as a potential middle-of-the-order bat with power and plate discipline. We are grateful to have the support of ownership, giving us the resources to sign international players of this caliber."

By Matthew Rennie  |  August 10, 2009; 1:32 PM ET
 
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Next: Zimmermann to Have Tommy John Surgery

Comments

any word on how much was spent? did the Nats beat out any other teams on these guys? I was under the impression there would be little to no Dominican activity this summer.

Posted by: sect104 | August 10, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Here's some info on Valdez. Looks like it was about $400K. Probably projects as a corner OF/IF with some pop.

http://natsfarm.com/2009/07/09/nationals-sign-valdez/

#4

Posted by: db423 | August 10, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

mlbtraderumors has an article up on how much should the Nats pay to sign strasburg. Most numbers figure at 20-30 mil. It also states that only 28 mil is allocated for the 2010 payroll. Its time to spend money on young position players/pitchers.

Posted by: wrw0601 | August 10, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

here's hoping these guys are the age they say there are.
Speaking of which, what's Smiley doing/playing these days (despite his age)?

Posted by: 1stBaseCoach | August 10, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

mlbtraderumors has an article up on how much should the Nats pay to sign strasburg. Most numbers figure at 20-30 mil. It also states that only 28 mil is allocated for the 2010 payroll. Its time to spend money on young position players/pitchers.

Posted by: wrw0601 | August 10, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

______________________________________

Dunn will make 12 million next year and I believe that R. Zimm will make 8 million? So are you saying that the rest of the team will collectively make 8 million? Or am I reading something wrong?

Posted by: TimDz | August 10, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

No middle infielders in there?

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | August 10, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Well, those "numbers" are just from people posting replys, and the $28 doesn't take into account arb-eligible players, so read it if you like, but consider the context.

************
mlbtraderumors has an article up on how much should the Nats pay to sign strasburg. Most numbers figure at 20-30 mil. It also states that only 28 mil is allocated for the 2010 payroll. Its time to spend money on young position players/pitchers.

Posted by: wrw0601 | August 10, 2009 1:45 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 10, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

The aforementioned:

"The Nationals have one week to sign top pick Stephen Strasburg. Widely considered one of the best college pitching prospects ever, Strasburg is in line for a record-setting bonus. Nats acting GM Mike Rizzo will negotiate with crafty agent Scott Boras, Strasburg's representative. The Nats don't have any long-term commitments other than Ryan Zimmerman's deal and they've only committed about $28MM to their 2010 payroll so far (though that figure will rise considerably because of the team's arbitration-eligible players).
So how much should the Nats be willing to offer? $10MM? $50MM? They would receive the second overall pick in next year's draft if they fail to sign Strasburg, but a first overall pick now is worth more than a second overall pick later, at least in theory. If you're making the call for the Nats, how much would you offer Strasburg?"

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 10, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Brian Oliver would pick the third choice on last post's Guzman poll. Waive Guzman, try to make a trade and if you can't just let whoever take him.

Feels that Guzman isn't part of the future and next year he will be in his contract year and hard to get rid of. Thinks they should give Ian Desmond a 50 game tryout.

Still wondering if they aren't looking at hot shortstop prospects that are close to ready? Someone like Carlos Triunfel?

Posted by: periculum | August 10, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Dana Brown Noser?

Posted by: dclifer97 | August 10, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

ok, that was apropos of what?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 10, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Of course none of these five guys made the Baseball America Top 25 list of International Prospects eligible to be signed this year, which was published last month.

Posted by: pennquaker | August 10, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Does signing Jean Valdez mean we get his coffee-pickin' donkey, too?

Posted by: ihatewalks | August 10, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Couple of things:
- "We are grateful to have the support of ownership, giving us the resources to sign international players of this caliber" - What is that about??? Sounds like some feudal landowner sucking up to the King. Or is it some backwards PR campaign?? Ted, you're worth a couple of billion - think about the environment you've created that feels the need to make that sort of statement. Be smart and win games and no one will complain anymore.
- I think about Zimmermann's MRI and I'm done with Strasburg. Go back to Boz's 10% rule. There's got to be a better way to spend $20-$30M. (what's going on with the Cuban defector??).
- Please don't bring up the 16 year old at least for another couple of years.

Posted by: natslifer | August 10, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

From the guys I follow who are much closer to the international market ... Valdez is the only recognizable name. That deosn't mean the other guys don't have potential. More that they don't have that one thing that makes them stand out from the crowd.

Also, keep in mind that the age of guys from Latin America considered "prospects" are signed at ages 16-17. Once again, doesn't mean they haven't uncovered something, just something to consider

Posted by: Brian_ | August 10, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Didn't we already sign a guy that was a top 25 Latin prospect about a month ago?

Posted by: goexpos2 | August 10, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Peri:

With all due respect, how is Triunfel "close to ready"? He's 19. He hit .287 in High A last year which for an 18 year old is pretty good I'll grant you. He broke his wrist in game 3 this year in AA and hasn't played. I'd say he's 2011 at best and even then he hasn't shown he can hit above class A pitching.

#4

Posted by: db423 | August 10, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Holy Smokes! Rizzo's really gunnin' for this job, aint he?

I still remember Chico's post about the dominican fraud whose name was really Wally Bryan:

"I love that. Wally Bryan. Wally sounds like your neighborhood plumber. Next thing you know, Miguel Sano will turn out to be named Herb Cohen."

I'm still laughing. And nowevery time I think of dominican players all I can think of is "Herb Cohen."

Posted by: NatsNut | August 10, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

so today i've learned that Lerner's are cheap, and also they pay their players above market salaries.

Posted by: longterm | August 10, 2009 1:37 PM
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

...which is why I get all my news from Rationals Journal.

Posted by: ihatewalks | August 10, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Question (for serious this time): At what point can we trade these guys to other teams as "prospects"? Immediately?

Posted by: ihatewalks | August 10, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

On Triunfel: Mariners have him, might not be willing to give him up ... mebbe they consider it because of the injury? Prospects for a prospect?

_____________________________________________

Statistically speaking: It can be forgiven that it took Triunfel, who's just 18 years old, time to figure things out in the California League. He hit .233 with a .594 OPS in the first half of the season. Then things clicked, with some renewed focus, and Triunfel hit .335 in the second half with an .873 OPS.

Scouting report: A young, exciting, high-ceiling player, he's very instinctual on field with the ability to hit for average and power in the future. He has one of the best arms in baseball, Minors or Majors, with the ability to fill three positions -- shortstop, third, second -- in the infield. He'll have to watch his conditioning and may end up being too big to stay at short, though some think he'll be just fine there.

Upside potential: Depending on who you talk to, an everyday shortstop with a cannon arm or a third baseman or perhaps a second baseman. If everything clicks, he should hit for average and power.

They said it: "It's obvious when you see him the talent he has. You have to remind yourself that he's just 18. He's the youngest player in the AFL, the first player born in the '90s playing in the Fall League. I have really been impressed with him. If you watched him play, you wouldn't think he is 18. ." -- Darren Brown, Triunfel's manager in the Arizona Fall League

He said it: "It was a great accomplishment and you have to give yourself a pat on the back. I must have done something right to be chosen, but I have always been confident." -- Triunfel on being named to the Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Showcase

Posted by: periculum | August 10, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I have been ignoring all Strasburg stuff since we took him. If the Nats offer 20M or more and he walks away, it is on Strasburg and the Agent 100%. If they offer him less then 20M, then it is on them, period.

That is my barometer. I hope they offered him 20M, with a major league deal and a chance to earn more if he sticks quickly in the bigs. If he says no to that, then he never intended to sign here in the first place.

Posted by: RedBee | August 10, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Apparently he is available? Wouldn't he make a good addition to Espinosa since he can play other positions as well.

"When that deal didn't work out, the Padres got involved and the deal would have sent Hernandez to Boston, Adrian Gonzalez, Buchholz and a few other Red Sox prospects and the Padres would have received Brandon Morrow, Phillippe Aumont and Carlos Triunfel along with more Sox prospects."

Posted by: periculum | August 10, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

From si.com:

Major League sources indicated early Sunday that the Red Sox had put in a claim on Washington Nationals switch-hitting shortstop Christian Guzman, who is hitting .315 after hitting .316 last season. But a Red Sox source indicated last night that after much deliberation they elected not to place the claim. If Guzman goes unclaimed and clears trade waivers, the Sox and Nationals could still work out a deal.
Boston Globe

My guess here is that Boston is preserving leverage. This is a signal that they won't unload a top prospect. It could also mean that Boston wants some of the 2010 salary to be paid by the Nats. Boston perhaps looked at the Nick johnson deal, and decided that the do not need to pick up the whole salary. Now the Red Sox can discuss players and salary in a potential deal, and walk away anytime they like.

Posted by: EdDC | August 10, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

RedBee, me too. I'll be angry if Lerners go over $25M, but if they offer $20-25 and Boras walks, I know it's not their fault.

But I'm also thinking if Boras walks with that kind of offer, he could be positioning the kid to go with the Padres. To which I'd say good riddance.

I've only really understood and followed the draft process since 2007 and I'm already getting that drafting drama is wasted energy, including on "phenoms" like Strasburg.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 10, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I was looking at the Nats schedule, and the last game of the year is marked as "fan appreciation day." It says there is a give away item, but that item is "yet to be determined." I wonder if they have Strasburg bobble-head dolls in mind? Or t-shirts that look like Strasburg jerseys? They obviously cannot announce any of this unless they sign him. Would Anybody else go for the first Strasburg get-away? I would!

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | August 10, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

"But I'm also thinking if Boras walks with that kind of offer, he could be positioning the kid to go with the Padres. To which I'd say good riddance."

Doesn't look like Aaron Crow is doing so well right now with KC. Strasburg may end up going lower in the next draft just like Crow. I think he has to sign or risking losing a lot of leverage.

Posted by: periculum | August 10, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

so nobody claimed Guzman, any chance they can still move his contract? Couldn't make a deal at the deadline, couldn't get anyone to claim him. seems like poison to me.

Posted by: sect104 | August 10, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

BlogMother has a new column up on the magic, the mystery, the majesty of Tony Plush.

Posted by: Bethesdangit | August 10, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't look like Aaron Crow is doing so well right now with KC. Strasburg may end up going lower in the next draft just like Crow. I think he has to sign or risking losing a lot of leverage.

Posted by: periculum

**************

He won't go lower than where the Padres are if that's what they're trying to do.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 10, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

NatsNut says: "I've only really understood and followed the draft process since 2007 and I'm already getting that drafting drama is wasted energy, including on "phenoms" like Strasburg."

Sometimes you do see baseball folks going overboard on the kids drafted #1 overall, like Ken Griffey, Jr., A-Rod, Chipper Jones, Daryl Strawberry and Joe Mauer. I remember clearly their praises being sung to the skies, particularly Griffey and A-Rod. Probably not a good idea to write them all off as big wastes.

Naturally, if you don't sign them, then you know for sure that they will not do you any good. So if certainty is more important than taking a risk with the Lerners' money, then just walk away.

Posted by: EdDC | August 10, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Boston needs shortstop. If NATS eat a portion of the contract Boston needs to give a higher rated prospect. If Boston walks, the NATS win more games this year and can worry about 2010-11 off/next season and Boston does not make the playoffs.

Sec 204 Row H Seat 11

Posted by: adhardwick | August 10, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

lol...

strasburg =\= crowe. they, and their situations, are not reasonably comparable.

crow was the 9th pick in the draft and i'm sure there were teams that had him ranked lower.

strasburg is considered one of, if not the, best college pitchers of all time and by far the consensus best player in the draft this year.

sitting out will not get him drafted 10th next year. he would likely still be the top choice, maybe worst case 2nd choice. of course, barring catastrophic injury.

Posted by: sec231 | August 10, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I think the FO has to sign Strasburg. They knew the risks before they drafted him, but once they did, they must now sign him. Otherwise, they should have drafted the kid from UNC. Wasting another year by failing to sign your top pick is not the way to rebuild an organization.

Failure to sign SS is not an option.

Posted by: sec307 | August 10, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Ed
Did you read Boz's column? The guys you listed - like Ken Griffey, Jr., A-Rod, Chipper Jones, Daryl Strawberry and Joe Mauer - are all hitters. Boz's point was that #1-drafted hitters project much more reliably than #1-drafted pitchers.

Posted by: TomServo | August 10, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

EdDC,
I don't doubt for a second that Strasburg is, i don't know how else to say it, worth the big fat hype. Or that we'd be really blue if we lost him and he kicked our asks whenever we faced him.

I just don't think the drama and the worrying and the threatening to cancel season tickets and the fuss and angst are all necessary NOW.

It will be great to sign the guy, but the world won't end if we don't.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 10, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I was looking at the Nats schedule, and the last game of the year is marked as "fan appreciation day." It says there is a give away item, but that item is "yet to be determined." I wonder if they have Strasburg bobble-head dolls in mind? Or t-shirts that look like Strasburg jerseys? They obviously cannot announce any of this unless they sign him. Would Anybody else go for the first Strasburg get-away? I would!

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | August 10, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse
*****************************************

And what better way to show appreciation to your loyal fans by scheduling the game on a Wednesday at 4:35, when most of them are at work or in school? I haven't had a lot of gripes lately, but this is a big one. And on "Fan Appreciation Day," all fans in attendance should be rewarded, not just the 15,000 or 20,000 who are lucky enough to get there first.

Posted by: BGinVA | August 10, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Using the figures from the COTS website, that $28.85M is committed contracts. It doesn't make an account for Willingham's arbitration since, technically, the Nats can choose to not offer him arbitration and let him walk away.

That said, the Nats 2010 commitments are:
Dunn: $12.0M
Guzman: $8.0M
Zimmerman: $6.35M
Willie Harris: $1.5M and
Kearn's buyout: $1.0M.
TOTAL COMMITTED is $28.85M on 4 players.

Posted by: comish4lif | August 10, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

"so nobody claimed Guzman, any chance they can still move his contract? Couldn't make a deal at the deadline, couldn't get anyone to claim him. seems like poison to me.

Posted by: sect104 | August 10, 2009"

If Brian's right ... Rizzo let's him go if they can't make a deal with Boston and bring up Desmond. I think Brian has a good take on Rizzo.

But then there's Riggleman who puts him in the lineup batting #2 and says he is the most improved since the all-star break. And they do have the longest winning streak in baseball right now.

Be interesting to see.

Posted by: periculum | August 10, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

If they can get Boston to take on some of Guzman's salary ... more money for the Strasburg signing?

Posted by: periculum | August 10, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Rotoworld:

Diamondbacks signed RHP Daniel Cabrera to a minor league contract.

Cabrera will report to Triple-A Reno. The hard-throwing right-hander was dumped by the Nationals in late May after going 0-5 with a 16/35 K/BB ratio and a 5.85 ERA in 40 innings (eight starts). In six major league seasons with the Orioles and Nationals, he is 48-64 with a 5.09 ERA. Even if he moonlights in the D'Back rotation upon roster expansion in September, you'd be wise to stay away from Cabrera in fantasy.

Posted by: dclifer97 | August 10, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry, dclifer, Cabrera is nowhere near my fantasies.

Posted by: Section506 | August 10, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I love all these comments about making moves to get more money to sign Strasburg.

The Nats made nearly 50 million last year and have a low budget payroll this year and not much rolling over to next year.

The billionaire Lerner's have plenty of money to sign Strasburg and several FA's in the offseason. They don't need to get any money off the books to sign him.

Posted by: Section505203 | August 10, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Yes, but if Inspector Javert from the FBI comes asking about him, everybody blame it on Bowden and say you know nothing.
***********
Does signing Jean Valdez mean we get his coffee-pickin' donkey, too?
Posted by: ihatewalks | August 10, 2009 2:06 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 10, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

"Boz's point was that #1-drafted hitters project much more reliably than #1-drafted pitchers."

In the past most franchises have been a great deal more patient with the hitters than the pitchers. Noting that Marerro is still in Advanced A and doing well, while Detwiler has already seen time in the pros. Its likely Storen will as well.

They more careful with the young arms now but it does seem as if they are "pushed" harder than then hitters. And hitting is just about the hardest thing to do well in baseball. So, it may be comparing apples and oranges ... I'm not sure.

Posted by: periculum | August 10, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the giveaways for fan appreciation day will be whatever items are left over from 2009 promotional items at the end of the year. heh.

In other news, do you have a link for the Blogmom piece, bethesdangit? I couldn't find it by noodling around on the site a bit.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 10, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Valdez, schmaldez. Call me when they sign Jean Valjean.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 10, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I don't disagree, but if 20,000 fans are "lucky enough to get there first," then it can't have been all that inconvenient, des'ne?

**********************
And what better way to show appreciation to your loyal fans by scheduling the game on a Wednesday at 4:35, when most of them are at work or in school? I haven't had a lot of gripes lately, but this is a big one. And on "Fan Appreciation Day," all fans in attendance should be rewarded, not just the 15,000 or 20,000 who are lucky enough to get there first.

Posted by: BGinVA | August 10, 2009 3:11 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 10, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

No doubt the RHCFF will be pleased to hear that. :-D

---

Don't worry, dclifer, Cabrera is nowhere near my fantasies.

Posted by: Section506 | A

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 10, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

1a, maybe a little harsh, but certainly they have those in a warehouse somewhere, or at least contracted for, by now. How long do you think it takes a boat to get here from China?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 10, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

No doubt. But John Lannan did show up on the draft wedding invitee list she gave me.

Posted by: Section506 | August 10, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Ah, found it via the search box. Who'd a thunk it?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/10/AR2009081001341.html

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 10, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Tony Plush:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/10/AR2009081001341.html

Posted by: Section506 | August 10, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

I don't know, sec3. I do know that on several occasions when I brought a contribution for the baseball equipment, back to school, or other drives I was offered my choice of (one of) leftover promotional items in return.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 10, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

That's funny about the invite list, 506! Thanks for the link, too.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 10, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Not that there's anything wrong with that. They have to do something with the leftovers.

---

I don't know, sec3. I do know that on several occasions when I brought a contribution for the baseball equipment, back to school, or other drives I was offered my choice of (one of) leftover promotional items in return.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 10, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Recent developments may have affected thinking on this in SS's favor. As long as the Nats had a lock on the first pick, he was looking at 3rd overall, at best, next year. BUT -- if Riggleman does his thing again, and they wind up with the 2nd or 3rd or lower, now he can be a #1 in 2010, with the attendant leverage and gravitas in negotiations with SD or KC or whomever.
BUT #2 -- KC might very well consider him too expensive, so it's still a bit of a crapshoot both ways.

***************
strasburg is considered one of, if not the, best college pitchers of all time and by far the consensus best player in the draft this year.

sitting out will not get him drafted 10th next year. he would likely still be the top choice, maybe worst case 2nd choice. of course, barring catastrophic injury.

Posted by: sec231 | August 10, 2009 2:59 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 10, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Also, next year there's a high school shortstop who's six years away from his own wing in the Hall of Fame, or so I keep hearing, which makes for an alternative the Nats didn't seem to have this past draft.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 10, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

They could do what I do: leave them in the back of the refrigerator until they evolve enough to migrate on their own.
**************************
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
They have to do something with the leftovers.
---
I don't know, sec3. I do know that on several occasions when I brought a contribution for the baseball equipment, back to school, or other drives I was offered my choice of (one of) leftover promotional items in return.
Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 10, 2009 3:31 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 10, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Okay, now I have this creepy vision of a small army of bobbleheads motating around my house. Can't go to sleep. Teddy is lurking...

---

They could do what I do: leave them in the back of the refrigerator until they evolve enough to migrate on their own.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 10, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Is the defector Iglesias? The Red Sox have incested $10 mil in him? Please correct if I have the wrong defector.

About SS, the $20 mil, Boz, et al, this passage is a bit melodramatic, but stll ... NN's 'no problem, just mild discomfort is sobering. Any cut at all can change everyhting. Just ask Dibble, who could not locate his fastball after surgery.

“PITCHING A BASEBALL is, to put it mildly, a torturous and self-destructive act. Pitching is the fastest known motion in human biomechanics, the shoulder rotating at the rate of 7,200 degrees per second at its maximum, or the equivalent of 20 full revolutions per second. At the time of the ball’s release, the forces acting on the shoulder are basically equivalent to the pitcher’s body weight; they are akin to someone of similar size trying to yank his arm out of his shoulder socket. Right before release, the pitcher’s elbow straightens at a rate of 2,000 degrees per second, or the equivalent of 5.5 full revolutions per second.” BUZZ BISSINGER

Let SS go. BTW, make an offer for Jamie Moyer, or a waiver claim. He has a lot to teach.

***************************************

I think about Zimmermann's MRI and I'm done with Strasburg. Go back to Boz's 10% rule. There's got to be a better way to spend $20-$30M. (what's going on with the Cuban defector??).

Posted by: natslifer | August 10, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: nova_g_man | August 10, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

From Tracy's column:
"Morgan is big on nicknames; Tony Plush is his own creation, to signify his on-field self. He's also begun bestowing monikers upon his teammates. For instance, Ryan Zimmerman is Peter Franchise."

Wait, I thought it was the FACE of the franchise? That's his locker room nickname? I'm more impressed now.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 10, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

"Frank" would have been alliterative, to boot. But evidently "Peter" it is.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 10, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Not-so-great promotions: Chucky Bobblehead Nightlights.

***************
Okay, now I have this creepy vision of a small army of bobbleheads motating around my house. Can't go to sleep. Teddy is lurking...
---
They could do what I do: leave them in the back of the refrigerator until they evolve enough to migrate on their own.
Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 10, 2009 3:41 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 10, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

"Let SS go. BTW, make an offer for Jamie Moyer, or a waiver claim. He has a lot to teach."

You need someone who can also still pitch. Moyer may make a good pitching coach ... one could make an argument for Smoltz? He **HAS** done it all. Starter, Closer, Starter again ... probably good for some middle relief before he his done.

Posted by: periculum | August 10, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

lol sec3.

Posted by: ihatewalks | August 10, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Good one, sec3. Wouldn't that be an NFL (Gruden) version?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 10, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I hear there was a Plaxico nightlight, but it kept shorting itself out.
**********
Good one, sec3. Wouldn't that be an NFL (Gruden) version?
Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 10, 2009 3:47 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 10, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Given San Diego's ownership issues and small market status, I wonder if they would be able to sign SS.

I really don't see SS leaving what will most likely be a ridiculous offer on the table (I would guess a minimum of 15 million) and risk hurting himself before next year.

Posted by: TimDz | August 10, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Boras usually gets his guys signed. He's cocky enough to go to the last minute, and beyond (ask the Pirates), but I don't think he'll let SS walk to play for the Schaumburg Flyers.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 10, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Tom Servo says: "Ed, Did you read Boz's column? The guys you listed - like Ken Griffey, Jr., A-Rod, Chipper Jones, Daryl Strawberry and Joe Mauer - are all hitters. Boz's point was that #1-drafted hitters project much more reliably than #1-drafted pitchers."

Yes, I read it. Since 1965, there have been 13 pitchers selected #1 overall. How many pitchers do you think it takes to make a reliable sample? You and Boswell say 13. I lean more toward 50. In another several dozen years, let's reach firm conclusions about who or what is predictable. Any of them can blow out their arms, get hooked on drugs, wreck a knee, get psyched out, etc., but you have to go on the best info you have.

Sign the kid.

Posted by: EdDC | August 10, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Morgan needs to find someone to nickname "butt burglar".

Posted by: periculum | August 10, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Interesting take on Crow:

"Crow, who left Missouri to enter the 2008 draft after a dominate collegiate season that saw him finish 13-0, has been tooling around in the Independent League ever since the Nationals failed to meet his demands before the deadline a year ago. In fact, several scouts reported in June that Crow had actually lost some sharpness in his slider while often never demonstrating the velocity his fastball possessed in college."

http://www.examiner.com/x-9631-Kansas-City-Royals-Examiner~y2009m8d6-Calling-Aaron-Crow

Posted by: BT23 | August 10, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

OTOH, he *did* say he had something "unusual" planned. I don't think he'd try such a transparent bluff as that would be. He may have a deal in his pocket in Japan, but that brings its own problems. It'll be interesting to see what he's got in mind.

Strasburg may win 512 games, but I doubt it. If they weren't prepared to pay for him, I don't think they would have drafted him, but we'll see.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 10, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

"after a dominate collegiate season"

Did they really write that?? Well, the Post isn't the only paper that laid off its copy editors.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 10, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

As I recall (an iffy proposition at the best of times), Boswell's column was about pitchers drafted in the top ten overall, which *would* get you to fifty, I think.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 10, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps you could help him out there. Maybe place an ad.
*******
Morgan needs to find someone to nickname "butt burglar".
Posted by: periculum | August 10, 2009 3:55 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 10, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

NatsNut says: "It will be great to sign the guy, but the world won't end if we don't."

Finally, we agree. The world won't end if the Nats don't sign their top draft pick two years in a row. The world doesn't end when the Nats have among the very smallest payrolls in all of MLB. The world keeps on going when the Nats acquire only the smallest contract guys when they make trades. It doesn't end when the Nats sit out (except for ONE relatively big money guy) the free agent markets under the Lerners.

The world just keeps on a'spinnin'. I'm thankful for that, and it sure puts baseball into perspective!

Posted by: EdDC | August 10, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

oh, and in case you missed it:

3:01pm: MLB.com's Bill Ladson hears that the Nationals have no intention of trading Guzman to the Red Sox or any other team. In fact, Nick Cafardo's Boston Globe report upset the Nats and confused Guzman because it said the Red Sox claimed the shortstop on waivers.

1:08pm: Cristian Guzman cleared waivers and can now be traded to any club, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney. The 31-year-old shortstop is hitting .317/.337/.437 , but the $8MM salary he makes this year and next seems to have prevented teams from claiming Guzman.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 10, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad Nyjer's taking over the nicknaming. It needed to be done. Zim? Kearnsy? LAAAAAAAAAME.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 10, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Here is the Boswell column. His column mostly focuses on overall #1 picks (the 13 since 1965), and he is right to preach caution.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/08/AR2009060803625_pf.html

Maybe it all comes down to how much financial risk you are willing to take to build a winner. Seriously, if avoiding risk is of overriding importance, then don't take the risk. That's sound investment advice regardless of the asset considered. The Lerners have been superb risk-avoiders so far. We have to give them credit for that.

Posted by: EdDC | August 10, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

speaking of nicknames, this cracked me up. Listen to Willingham's "name." I think his short arms might be why he's not playing first.

http://www.masnsports.com/ml/video.php?show_id=119235

Posted by: NatsNut | August 10, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Looks like they are going to try their best to trade Guzman now, while he is hot.

Posted by: periculum | August 10, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link, NatsNut. I enjoyed Joe B. (on MASN) making fun of the MASN promo. (7 STRIKEOUTS!!!")

Posted by: Bethesdangit | August 10, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I would have been tempted to offer SS a record setting bonus like $15 million or so right off the bat and let the world know it. We've offered him more money than anyone else in the history of the baseball draft. Now, it's up to him. It's his call.

No negotiating, no games. This is the deal.

Posted by: derwink | August 10, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

To follow up a little more on sample sizes - regarding taking pitchers at #1. By the time that you get to a valid sample size of say even 30 pitchers, you'll have spanned some 50-60 years and the pitchers/players drafted in the 1960s bear little resemblance to the pitchers recently.

College is now a much more serious and legitimate place to develop as a baseball player.

And if you are constructing samples, do you want a High School pitcher like Dave Clyde grouped with an established college pitcher like Strasburg or even Ben McDonald. They are very different situations.

Posted by: comish4lif | August 10, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Can we please stop the references to the "no power," "slap hitting" Guzman? His slugging % of .437 is 6th in the NL for shortstops, I believe. For comparison please see JRoll's slugging % of .405. Stephen Drew of Arizona, their #3 hitter, checks in at .452. Say what else you want about him, but compared to other shortstops, Guzzie is not a slap hitter.

Now, you want to talk about slap hitters? Let's talk about a certain Juan Nieves...

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | August 10, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I would be comfortable referencing "super slap hitting" Guzman, since the vast majority of that power comes from him slapping doubles down the line.

Posted by: Section506 | August 10, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Can we assume that Yogi Berra wrote that piece on Crow: "while often never demonstrating the velocity his fastball possessed in college." Sorry, got to think about that awhile. Maybe that is what is unique about this board. Our grammar is generally proper and we let those who don't use proper English know about it.

Just another bit to toss in about the Strasburg / Pitcher v. Hitter thing. One of the differences is that a successful pitcher generally goes through two phases. First, he is a thrower with overpowering stuff. That can usually get him a year or two. Then he absolutely needs to learn how to pitch (assuming no arm trouble.) On the other hand, a hitter needs about 1,500 P.A. at the Major League level before you can really see what he will be. Often this doesn't happen 'til he is 26 or 27, which makes teams more patient.

BTW, Saturday evening the guy sitting next to me commented that one of the pitchers (don't remember which) was really fast, as he was hitting 90 on the gun. I'm thinking that I was watching the showcase game on TV that PM and saw a HS rising senior who had hit triple numbers. Sometimes listening to non baseball types is frustrating. He was bigger than me so I didn't want to say: "listen fool, 90 with no break will leave at 105."

Posted by: Catcher50 | August 10, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Catcher50, I prefer to give your fellow fan a generous interpretation: he only started watching baseball in 2006 and exclusively the Washington Nationals.

Posted by: Section506 | August 10, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

i hear ya catcher.

speed is the "kicker" in pitching. movement, location, and the ability to change speeds are what makes a career. if you can do two of those three in the mid-high 80s, you'll carve out a career as a decent ML pitcher. if you can do two of those three in the mid-90s, you'll be a borderline allstar. if you can do all three in the mid-90s or up (and stay healthy), you'll be a hall of famer. if you can only throw hard, you probably won't make it out of AA for more than a cup of coffee or three.

Posted by: sec231 | August 10, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Hey 506, no problem. A double is a double, right? Whether hit 400 feet to CF or "slapped" down the line.

And to those who say Guzzie has no "speed," let's get more specific. Range at SS? Or measured by SBs? No speed there. But legging out infield hits (meaning that he's quick out of the batter's box)? Speed. And stretching doubles into triples, rather than, like most of our guys, decelerating into 2B? Speed there also.

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | August 10, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I have no problem with slap hitters, so slapping a double means nothing negative to me. I think the power-centered arrogance of the juiced era imbued slap-hitting with the connotative scorn. Slap-hitting has its times and places and every team should have the ability.

Posted by: Section506 | August 10, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure if Guzman is a "slap-hitter" he does get his share of doubles and triples. What appears to be wrong is the dearth of walks batting lead-off or #2. When your sluggers walk more than your lead off guys do ... that can mean that the pitcher is getting the lead off guys out allowing them to be extra cautious with the heart of the batting order. Plus, walks do tend to wear down pitchers ... long at bats just before the heart of the order can lead to big innings. So, IMHO a walk is better than a single. A double is only better because now you have a man in scoring position, ditto for the triple, while driving in any runner that happened to be aboard.


Posted by: periculum | August 10, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Meant to say, and didn't very well ... that there is a difference between when the bases are empty versus when men are on. Clearly singles, doubles, etc are better in that situation.

Posted by: periculum | August 10, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Beimel's remark still irritates me: "Maybe they just don't care enough.”

Posted by: nova_g_man | August 10, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

All God's chillun got streaks:

May 4, 1997. Atlanta and Florida have put some managers on the brink -- just ask Chicago's Jim Riggleman and Cincinnati's Ray Knight, whose teams are 0-18 against the two N.L. East pitching machines.

Posted by: nova_g_man | August 10, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

While it's true that Guzman has a higher slugging percentage than many NL shortstops, slugging doesn't really show power. If a player has a high batting average, say .375, then their slugging would be over .450 with virtually no power. ISO power, slugging minus batting average, really shows what kind of power a player has. There, Guzman ranks 9th in the NL. Still, with an ISO of .120, he's not totally devoid of power.

http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/batting/_/position/ss/league/nl/sort/isolatedPower/type/sabermetric

Posted by: CharlieF | August 10, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

One for all, all for won and more wins to extend the win streak:

"Butt burglar" : Ronnie Belliard.

Posted by: periculum | August 10, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

All this talk about power is kinda funny. Just yesterday, at the game, my dad and I were talking about how very *hard* Guzman hits the ball -- grounders and line drives, but hard. My dad actually thought Guz ranks right behind some of the hardest ground-ball hitters he'd ever seen. (For those curious, Dick Allen was the clear winner.)

Posted by: Scooter_ | August 10, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Guzman really isn't bad ... he clearly just isn't in the plan. Seems like they need to start collecting some middle infield prospects? Lost one when Kobernus went down with an injury, mebbe lost another in the "Domenican" scandal.

Posted by: periculum | August 10, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

So, let's see on a slow Nats Monday news day we've found that:

Guzzie cleared waivers and can be traded to any team.

The Nats signed FIVE, count 'em, FIVE Dominicans.

And no word with less than a week left on the Strasburg negotiations.

Posted by: periculum | August 10, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

New post up...two words: uh oh!

Posted by: BangZoom | August 10, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

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