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Chat Excerpt: Boswell on the Nationals

From yesterday's live Q&A with Thomas Boswell:

Germantown, Md.: How legit are the rumors regarding the Nats signing Orlando Hudson? Also, any movement on another starting arm? Have heard Pinero and Doug Davis rumors of late.

Tom Boswell: The Nats would like to sign Hudson, but only at about half the price ($4-5M) he now seems to be asking (a ridiculous $9M after losing his job in September to Ronnie Belliard!)

The Nats, who have leaked very little this winter, have put it out there that they have interest in Oakland's Adam Kennedy who was a Series hero when the Angels won it all. Kennedy has hit .280 and .289 the last two years. He's a solid, slightly better than average MLB second baseman who makes far fewer errors than last year's dismal crew.

However, Kennedy (.721 career OPS)-vs.-Hudson (career .778 OPS) is a good example of how hard it is to use current defensive stats to get any sane view on an infielder. Hudson has won four Gold Gloves, Kennedy none. Yet Hudson's "UZR" rating was negative in two of those four GG seasons and, for his whole career is only +2.6 per 150 games. Kennedy has a career UZR at 2nd base of +8.2 per 150 games.

What this means is, probably, [is] that 1) Kennedy is at least an average fielder and maybe better than more people think and 2) UZR isn't to be trusted very much.

Because of the bad economy, the Nats have the unusual opportunity this winter to pick up a Type A free agent like Hudson without losing a draft pick. Often, a Hudson-quality player would be offered arbitration, which would have cost the team that signed him a draft pick -- in the Nats case their second-round draft pick. But few teams now offer arbitration. They just cut the "asset" free. So, relative to most off-seasons, the Nats can "steal" as asset with[out] giving up anything (except money). Also, Hudson, 32, could be your second baseman for two or three years if he panned out in '10. He could be "extended" as Dunn will probably be.

I've heard that, within the last week, the Nats thought they were close [to a] trade for a major-league ready pitcher of Jordan Zimmermann quality but it fell through when the other team backed out. My guess, and that's all it is, is that it was one of those Willingham-plus-somebody-for-a-young-pitcher deals that everybody knows the Nats are looking at.

All that this means is that Rizzo is breathing. If he's awake he's working on something. The Nats are far from done this winter, imo. Quite a few weeks ago ownership and the front office signed off on a general plan for the off-season that was brought forward, I assume, by Rizzo, Kasten and the Brain Trust of Thousands -- okay, call it Plan 3.0 or Plan 4.0 -- but everybody over there is enthusiastic. They got the go ahead. The moves we've seen so far, including the semi-near miss on Chapman, are all part of it.

I'm learning a new lesson about the Nats. Don't underestimate them anymore. Aim one knotch higher instead of, as in the past, at least one knotch [lower]. Pudge was a level up from what I expected. Marquis was one jump better. Capps and Bruney, same thing. And the bid -- close to $25M for Chapman -- was way better than I thought. In fact, last week in the chat I said the Nats were not in it for Chapman. Wrong. (Sound the "gong.") Shows how much more serious they are now and much better at running [silent].

Now, free agents are trying to talk themselves into getting an offer from the Nats. Doug Davis, a real solid (boring) lefty who's averaged 196 IP the last six years and has a career ERA of 4.31 -- about the MLB average -- has been saying that he'd like to pitch in Washington, but, gosh, he's hearing that the Nats spent a lot on Marquis, so he'll have to wait until they get some other stuff done -- like 2nd base -- before he hears back from them.

This guy pitched 203 innings with a 4.12 ERA last year -- very similar to (a 34-year-old) Lannan and he's saying, "Please make me an offer to be a Nat."

In addition to Davis, Joel Pineiro (15-12, 3.49 ERA), Jarrod Washburn (11th in A.L. ERA at 3.78) and Jon Garland (11-13, 4.01 ERA in his first year in the N.L.) would all be excellent additions. Washburn, career ERA 4.10, has never pitched in the N.L. He might be a steal since N.L. Eras tend to be 25-to-50 points lower.

As February approaches, it's a glutted starting pitching market -- perfect for the Nats. Still available are Vincente Padilla (12-6), Braden Looper (14-7), Ben Sheets, Erik Bedard, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and a half-dozen others. If the Nats don't add solid 200-inning, 4.00 ERA starting pitcher, I'd be amazed.

The Nats are just aiming higher these days. Livan Hernandez or Davis isn't good enough for them, unless that's all they can get. They want a Chapman or another Zimmermann-quality prospect in trade. If they made that kind of deal involving Willingham then they'd probably go after a free agent outfielder, like Xavier Nady.

I'm still waiting to see if the Nats produce this off-season or go dormant. But I'm no longer thinking of them as a team that aims low but rather as one that -- for the right opportunities (Strasburg, Teixeira, Chapman, Marquis) -- will pay the freight.

Hot Stove, Maine: So why wouldn't you give Ian Desmond a shot at SS, rather than fly in a mid-level "name" veteran? The kid showed late last summer that he can hit, and he's an above-average fielder. But he is, most importantly, a Nat. A hired gun is a hired gun. If Desmond works out, it's an inspiration, in the dugout and among the fans.

Tom Boswell: This is a tough call. Desmond hit poorly in winter ball. In the minors, he made a ton of errors. But no worse than Jeter, Tejada and several others in the minors. But still, when he throws it away, we duck in the press box. And that's six levels up.

Rizzo really likes Ian's range and his ability to make the spectacular play. "He'll make 20 errors, but he'll also make a lot of range plays (that Guzman probably wouldn't)." But would he make 40 errors? He made 34 errors in 118 games at all levels last year. That's 47 in 162 games.

Is the Nats improved pitching staff ready for 30-35-40 errors in 150 games at SS? I think he's better than that. But, once again, a tough call. Maybe the deciding factor is: Don't you have to find out what you're holding?

Tom Boswell: The free pass that's been given -- for far too long -- in this town is to the Wizards.

While doing a column earlier this week on bad Washington pro teams, I figured out a stat that startled me. Everybody uses the Nats as the standard of "bad" in town. And they have been really bad. Their won-lost percentage in the five years in D.C. is .424.
So, what do you think the Wiz percentage is for the last 31 seasons? That's t-h-i-r-t-y o-n-e seasons going back to the '70's. The Wizards have a percentage over the last 31 seasons of .423!

They're 1,043-1423. That's 381 games under .500. The Wizards have only won one (1) playoff series since 1982.

What's just as bad is that, while the Wiz are frequently awful they have never given the town even one really good team in those 31 years. Not one team with even a .550 record. The best was one year of 45-37 (.549). The baseball equivalent of .549 would be an 89-win team that might make the playoffs as a wild card. So the Wiz haven't had a team as good as a 90-win MLB franchise.

In the last 10 years every team in the NBA, even the Clippers, has had a season with at least 47 wins! Except the Wiz, of course. They haven't had more than 45 wins in 31 years. Incredible. (The Bobcats are only in their sixth season, so they don't count.)
Why do the Wiz escape being more of a national and local joke than they are? The answer, I suspect: The Clippers. Except for their one 47-win season, they've been even worse than the Wiz and by quite a bit. They are supernaturally bad.

The Nats need to get better. But it's important for impatient baseball fans to realize that their problems __four losing seasons for a team that was essentially an expansion team when it came to D.C.__ are well within the normal range. It's Wiz fans that have a right to ask where their money has gone for the last 31 years.

By Alexa Steele  |  January 15, 2010; 2:57 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: A chat with Rick Eckstein
Next: Nats avoid arbitration with four players


Hey the office, hence the "2" in my still, my heart! Are we really only a few weeks away from "Play Ball"? With all that's transpired with our other sports franchises here in the District, and with all the positive changes for the Nats-plus HotStove on MLB.TV, the internet(finally figured out what THAT'S for!) and all of you keeping the topic lively...well, I can't remember a season I was so ready to get started!( for about every other season.Lets face it, WHATEVER my love for ALL sports-I'm a "baseball" I'm sure most of you are as well-with appologies to the baseball "gals", of course!)
And pieces like this one just make me.....ah, life is sweet...ESPECIALLY with the sound of bats cracking and leather slapping, new grass, old friends - and ALL in the almost here!

p.s.-my annual lunacy- I'm saying we go 85-77...and I reserve the right to adjust that total upwards(depending on our next signings).
I just have a really good feeling about this season....
Any other predictions out there?

Posted by: zendo2 | January 15, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

I predict Zendo will endure severe disappointment in the near future.

And it will break my heart.

Posted by: soundbloke | January 15, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm still trying to figure out what a "knotch" is ...

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | January 15, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

hmmm. apparently, it's a common misspelling. Kwho knew?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | January 15, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Love the 85 win prediction. Hope you are right! This could maybe show that if you add a 4.48 ERA career starting pitcher, a hall of fame catcher who hopefully can regain some of his youthful productivity, and a closer who has had some terrific years (except for last season), you can go from last place to a contender in just one year. Looking forward to pitchers and catchers.

Posted by: EdDC | January 15, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Keep the faith, Zendo. I will not make a prediction again- I simply have no honest idea, it seems. However, my mood each morning will continue to be affected by the way the Nats played the night before. I learned to cope late in the last two seasons by becoming detached and fatalistic, but deep inside it still burned.

I so wish that the Nats had won just one more game in 2005, so that folks would at least have to say that the team "has had only one winning season since coming to DC". I look forward to that first winning season, and hope against hope that it could be this year.


Posted by: kevincostello | January 15, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Trust us. We were right there on Chapman. Just outbid by the massive fiscal might of the Cincinnati Reds.

We allllllmmmmooost had a deal for a J Zimm level pitching prospect but the other team backed out.

Look -- future HoFer Pudge Rodriguez!!! We're serious contenders. That $6m shows you how much it costs to get your team name on the very bottom of a Hall of Fame Plaque.

So they added $7.5m in Marquis and $3m each in Pudge and Capps. That's $13.5m. Oh, did anyone notice that Kearns' $8m and Meat Hooks $5m came off the books? Strange isn't it. Not really new spending, just different. And I know Dunn gets $4m more and R Zimm's extension kicks in but this team is still $30-$40m below what the market can support in payroll.

Now, kudos for not wasting your cash on aging free agents with major flaws (thank you Omar!). But there are ways to leverage your financial advantage for the long term th Nats don't seem to use.

It's another sport but the principle is the same. The OKC Thunder just got Eric Maynor for basically nothing because the Jazz needed to cut payroll. What would Detroit give up for payroll relief? How about Kansas City? Go find out.

Posted by: traderkirk | January 15, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

"I'm still trying to figure out what a "knotch" is .."

I think it's a potato filled pastry.

Posted by: bargle50 | January 15, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 15, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

And I know Dunn gets $4m more and R Zimm's extension kicks in but this team is still $30-$40m below what the market can support in payroll.

Posted by: traderkirk | January 15, 2010 4:30 PM

Good points - but hopefully the front office is not done spending just yet. I think they'll end up compromising with Hudson (maybe 5 mil more to that payroll). And another pitcher? I've been a 'Lerner's are cheap' guy in the past, but I'll save that for Spring if the facts are lining up against them.

Posted by: Kev29 | January 15, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Also Nick's $5 million comes off.

Posted by: EdDC | January 15, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Why sign Hudson or Davis now if there is no market for them? Why not wait and save the 5 million or so? Does that make the Nats cheap or does it make them prudent? See who is on the roster come opening day before you say this is the same 'ol team with Rizzo running the show.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | January 15, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Isn't today the day that Arbitration $$$ have to be submitted by players? With six players eligible, that will chew up a little more in terms of the Lerners' outlay for 2010, but should still leave room to tighten the MI defense & add another arm or two via trade or FA pickups.

Posted by: BinM | January 15, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

I think Monday is the deadline for exchanging figures, BinM:

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 15, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Oh, but the filing period does end today. So, never mind. :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 15, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

So, how weird is it that I have a printout in my desk calendar of the important dates page that I linked to above? Never mind.

Hope that MLB Network will air the (Feb. 2-8) Caribbean Series again. I enjoyed watching it last year.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 15, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

So, with six players eligible for Arbitration, where do you think the numbers will fall? Here's the list of players eligible, age, and (2009 salary in $M):

CA- Flores, Jesus; 25 ($0.412M)
CA- Nieves, Wil; 32 ($0.445M)
LF- Willingham, Josh; 30 ($2.95M)
RP- Bergmann, Jason; 28 ($0.439M)
RP- Burnett, Sean; 27 ($0.409M)
RP- Bruney, Brian; 28 ($1.25M)

Taking a "shot in the dark", I'll guess that Flores comes in at about $600k; Nieves at about $550k; Willingham at around $4.2M; Bergmann somewhere near $550k; Burnett at around $500k; and Bruney at about $1.65M, if they all sign 1-year deals.

That would only be a $2.2M increase, and should leave more than enough in the piggy-bank for additional upgrades.

Posted by: BinM | January 15, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

I tried to get a potato knotch at the Parkway Deli but they just looked at me funny... %^(

Posted by: Hendo1 | January 15, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

@hendo: Knotch vs. notch, knish, nosh. Sounds like you're suffering from "Svrulga syndrome" - Too many consonants.

Posted by: BinM | January 15, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

And I'm suffering from repetitive text.

Posted by: BinM | January 15, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Phil Wood is reporting that the White Sox signed Daniel Cabrera to a minor-league deal. Good luck with that one, guys!

Posted by: thepostischeap | January 15, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for this, Alexa. This kind of review is most welcome in January.

Also, everyone should expect an 85-win season (or better) in January. That's the best time for such a prediction!

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 15, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Wow. I don't know if this is high NJ IQ, clever wordplay, or both, but this might just be POTD.

Honorable mention to Sec3 for "Kwho knew?"


I think it's a potato filled pastry.

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 15, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Wow, congrats bargle! a knew guy? we have a prospect!

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | January 15, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Just to kill some time, if you're on Facebook, there's a (now OBE) fan page for Matt Capps, the Matt Capps 55 Army. Perhaps the right field section holders would be interested in welcoming the new guy with something familiar? Just a thought.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | January 15, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

When they sign more FA's and make trades for better players I will believe it. Until then, I will continue to believe that the Lerner's and StanK will sit on their hands and go the cheap route, because that is their history. Bottom 5 in payroll the last 3 full seasons proves it.

Posted by: Section505203 | January 16, 2010 12:42 AM | Report abuse

" if you're on Facebook, there's a (now OBE) fan page for Matt Capps"

Wow- I didn't know he was British . Sir Matthew Capps, OBE. That's gotta look good on a resume. Maybe if Storen is ready to close this summer we can trade Sir Capps to the Pakistani National cricket team at the trade deadline for a batsman.

Posted by: bargle50 | January 16, 2010 5:22 AM | Report abuse

What a relief to read about off-season baseball stuff rather than what's going on with Arenas & Co.

The Caps are coming on strong. The Nats seem to be improving as well. That leaves three teams that stink (I'm including soccer). It could be worse. We could live in New York.

Question: Will the Caps get past Pittsburgh this year?

Posted by: JohnRDC | January 16, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

They probably realized that trading Willingham would put a big hole in the middle of the lineup that would cost at least twice as much to fill. Oh that's right it's the other team that backed out. Wonder who put that leak out. Well, at least they tried. Of course, the only way we would know that they tried is if they tell us. Otherwise, who would know if ANYTHING is happening. Think they know that?
Capps (5.80 ERA-oh dear god), Bruney (bad elbow, never made it through a season), Guardado (40 years old and on fumes), Rodriguez (almost 40 and declining before our eyes). But at least they got Marquis to go 12-12 for them. Nats are a pissah

Posted by: Brue | January 16, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

@JohnRDC: A bigger question is can they get past the NJ Devils?

We now return you to your regularly schedule NJ Chat...

Posted by: TimDz | January 16, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like Zendo2 is ready to rewrite the I have a dream speech for the Nats 85 win season. Should that happen, it truly would be a dream coming true. While improvement seems likely, I won't be making any bets on that number in the W column this season. I'd settle for 75, and that seems pretty dreamy coming off that 59# last season. Right now, I have Viera in my dreams (and plans).

Posted by: cokedispatch | January 16, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Have to think Hudson is a "smokescreen" for another deal? Rizzo got a pitcher he sent to AA for Belliard. Belliard is now the starting 2b for the Dodgers ...

Yet is he hedging on whether Desmond is ready? And Espinosa? Is his fielding up to snuff enough to work through learning to hit MLB ball as RZim did? Not much out there ... other than Lombardozzi and Kobernus? Who aren't ready.

But I guess this is a transition period where there will be compromises made during the rebuilding process?

Posted by: periculum | January 16, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Anyone care to speculate about the skeetish trade partner? NYY for Hughes or Joba? Atlanta for Teheran?

Who else needs a OF bat?

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | January 16, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Totally off topic but it appears Lou Piniella is pissed already, and we're not even in spring training. According to the AP, he got "irked" during the Cubs Convention caravan:

¶ Piniella became irked with a woman who questioned him on his decision to play 32-year-old Bobby Scales over 24-year-old Tyler Colvin.
¶ "We didn't bring Tyler up until September, sweetheart," Piniella said to a roar of laughs from the crowd.

What a jerk. Lou Piniella and Lefty Driesell are the two most overrated guys in the history of sports in my humble opinion. David Stern runs a strong third.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | January 16, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

OK, I know I'm inviting abuse with this (as I have always been among the worst FLop abuser) but darn, if FLop doesn't look like the best available 2B out there, if (and it's a big one) he'll play hard. He's 30 and coming off two pretty good stretches after he left here in disgrace. He looks better (most recently) statistically, hitting and fielding, than O. Hudson.

Posted by: nats24 | January 17, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

"He looks better (most recently) statistically, hitting and fielding, than O. Hudson."

As in, "Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics."

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | January 17, 2010 12:54 AM | Report abuse

Anyone know where I can purchase Nats 8x10's?

Posted by: Cavalier83 | January 17, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

San Francisco, maybe - They've got an OF full of popguns right now, but just signed Huff.
Anyone care to speculate about the skeetish trade partner? NYY for Hughes or Joba? Atlanta for Teheran?

Who else needs a OF bat?
Posted by: LosDoceOcho | January 16, 2010 4:54 PM

Posted by: BinM | January 17, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Hey everyone, here's a link to a brand new Baseball Prospectus Q&A with Ross Detwiler:

BTW, what's with the WaPo dragging their feet regarding the hiring of a new Nats beat writer?? Mark Zuckerman, late of the Times, is still available and IMO they're not gonna get anyone better qualified. Maybe then we could get more than 1 or 2 posts per week!!!

Posted by: OldSkoolDiehard | January 17, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the Post Beat writer, when Chico confirmed taking the Asia beat he said he would be on the Nat's job through the first few weeks of Spring Training. I don't believe they will bring on the new guy before then. Zuckerman did say he was looking for something local and hoped he would be covering the Nationals in 2010, but did not know whether that would work out.

Posted by: natbiscuits | January 17, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

@OldSkool: Thanks for the link. Wow, Laurila had been sitting on that one for a while, hadn't he (interview in early Sept.)?

Posted by: BinM | January 17, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Given the current economic situation of most "dead tree" publications, I'd think that the WaPo would look for a new Nationals beat writer internally first (Cameron Smith, anyone?). Zuckerman would be a great addition, but I have doubts that the WaPo would reach out without some further re-structuring of their sports desks, like dropping a columnist & an editor.

Posted by: BinM | January 17, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

@Nats24: No FLop. Not now. Not tomorrow. Not ever. I am sure there is a 12-step program for you: "I am Nats24, and I am powerless over FLop. Please don't let me use again..."

We're here. We can help you. No FLop. Please.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | January 17, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

@Nats24: Gotta agree with both sofa & Sunshine on this one - FLop is 1) Good just about anywhere else but here, 2) persona non-grata with the Nationals FO, due to his overall performance while wearing the curly W, and 3) because of #1 & 2, would require a serious set of 'beer-goggles' to be considered as a possible return, and Rizzo doesn't strike me as a heavy drinker.

Remember the words... Just. Say. NO.

Posted by: BinM | January 17, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I was a Flop defender for a long time in here but both he and Belliard burned bridges. O-dog is the best option, just like last year.

Posted by: longterm | January 18, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

According to a tweet from Ladson the Nats will be sending someone to watch Ben Sheets throw at his open workout tomorrow.

Posted by: slopitchtom | January 18, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Apparently Ben Sheets is auditioning to be this years Shawn Hill and/or John Patterson.

Posted by: soundbloke | January 18, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Saying that today is the date that Arbitration figures are exchanged, I would have hoped that CHarlan would have had something on the Nationals up here. So much for that; Goessling had something up on MASN on Saturday, if anybody's interested.

Posted by: BinM | January 18, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

It's 4 a.m. and we're in the club.

FLOP still ain't J-Lo.

Posted by: Drew8 | January 18, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

I, for one, would love to sign Ben Sheets. He can anchor a rotation... sure he always gets hurt, but if he gives us 20 starts, that 20 more quality starts than we would've gotten elsewhere. And who knows, maybe a change of scenery changes his luck with injuries.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | January 18, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Glad I could provide fodder for a slow day. No, I don't really want Flop back. As I said, he left here in disgrace. But the Nats do have to get a second baseman, as it seems getting an MLB shortstop doesn't seem likely. (unless... NJers far more adept than me could probably name the AA and AAA prospects at SS that might be available via trade.

Posted by: nats24 | January 19, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

FWIW, I hear the White Sox system has a surplus of shortstops.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | January 19, 2010 2:21 AM | Report abuse

from Yahoo, on Sheets:
Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:21 am EST
Ben Sheets inspires much interest

By Mark J. Miller

“BenBen Sheets(notes) spent last season recovering from surgery to fix up a torn flexor tendon and now he seems to be feeling pretty good. A slew of clubs are showing up to see Sheets pitch tomorrow. And then the bidding will begin for the 31-year-old.

Sheets has a 3.72 lifetime ERA and1,206 strikeouts over eight seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers to only 313 walks.

According to, the Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers, St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, and New York Mets will be on hand to see Sheets pitch. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim apparently will not be there and the site claims that the New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles, and Seattle Mariners could get involved in any bidding that occurs.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | January 19, 2010 2:24 AM | Report abuse

So that sounds like multiple years at eight figures each, if he looks good (and I have to think he wouldn't be showcasing if he didn't), in a bidding war with the big money just waiting for the dust to settle.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | January 19, 2010 2:27 AM | Report abuse

Sheets probably will be another Hill or Patterson except with a much larger price tag, I say unless he looks amazing at this workout to pass, we already have one of those In Scott Olsen anyway remember?

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | January 19, 2010 7:53 AM | Report abuse

New post!

No, not here. What, are youse kiddin me? Fugeddaboutit. No, I meant Goessling, on the MASN blog, interviewing Riggleman.
Highlight: Middle infield help seems to have dropped off the Must Have list, onto the It Would Be Nice, Unless It Doesn't Fit In The Budget list.
THAT's not encouraging.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | January 19, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Looks like Elijah Dukes did well not to go back to Licey. Not a good influence on the man, there, from the looks of this.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Offerman banned by Dominican league

Jose Offerman was banned for life by the Dominican winter league for throwing a punch at an umpire during an argument on the baseball field.

The manager of the Licey Tigers appeared to hit first base umpire Daniel Reyburn in the face or neck with a fist during Saturday's playoff game against the Cibao Giants. Rayburn fell to the ground.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | January 19, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

What does Chico do all day? There are 100's of unresolved issues with the Nats....Rizzo's DR point man is the GM of Licey who hired Offerman. That has to be worth a phone call and a post on the DR state of things right?

Posted by: JayBeee | January 19, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse


Take heart. I think this is more a case of 'we don't want to sign someone as a stop gap, if Hudson is still out there, and no good trades have materialized.'

Not that he could say that in an interview.

Posted by: soundbloke | January 19, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

What's the over/under on whether the WP will close the comments on this post before there is a new one??

Posted by: Section222 | January 19, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Among the cognoscenti, Dukes is referred to as the Manny Act of the Dominican, a rock of emotional stability, perhaps a bit under excitable for a professional athlete.

Posted by: markfromark | January 19, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

at least one writer puts the nats in his top ten of the offseason so far...

10. Nationals. They're not going to contend right away, but kudos them for bringing in veteran catcher Ivan Rodriguez, starter Jason Marquis and relievers Matt Capps and Brian Bruney. Reportedly, they are still working on things, so there could be yet another signing.

not that i'm a big heyman fan, but it's just nice to see the team mentioned in a positive light for a change.

Posted by: sec231 | January 19, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

@markfromark -- Please refrain from using 95cent words like "cognoscenti" when a 25cent word would suffice. I don't know about the rest of you, but I hate to have to go to to figure out what the hell you're talking about!!

Posted by: OldSkoolDiehard | January 19, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

"What's the over/under on whether the WP will close the comments on this post before there is a new one??"

I'll take the under.

Posted by: Scooter_ | January 19, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

PS 222, I think the phrase you wanted was "What are the odds."

Posted by: Scooter_ | January 19, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

A little, ahem, inside baseball concerning our favorite paper can be found here:,0

Posted by: BobLHead | January 19, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

From mlbtraderumors: The Nationals have agreed to terms with Jason Bergmann, Jesus Flores, Wil Nieves, and Josh Willingham according to a team press release. All four players avoided arbitration.

Posted by: BinM | January 19, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Scooter -- You're right, of course. Touche'! I hope the underlying snark was nonetheless clear.

Posted by: Section222 | January 19, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

So, I've been busy working. Is everybody at the new (Post) post?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 19, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

BTW, I *thought* I remembered that Offerman had a prior on-field incident. After some Googling, he did have a MiLB incident in 2007.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 19, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

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