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Nats agree to terms with Miguel Batista

The Nationals have announced that they've agreed to terms with right-hander Miguel Batista on a minor league contract that includes an invitation to spring training.

In 530 appearances (237 starts) over 15 seasons with Seattle, Arizona, Toronto, Kansas City, Montreal, Chicago (NL), Florida and Pittsburgh, Batista is 95-108 with 39 saves an an ERA of 4.54.

Batista, 38, went 7-4 with one save and a 4.04 ERA in 56 relief appearances last season with the Mariners.

Chico Harlan will have more on Batista later on.

By Matt Bonesteel  |  January 29, 2010; 11:58 AM ET
 
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Next: Adam Dunn contract extension talk at Nationals hot stove lunch

Comments

A lot of sidebar stuff going on right now while we are waiting for the BIG announcements - like Hudson or a pitcher!

Posted by: 1of9000 | January 29, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Sorry but this has all the stink of a Bowden signing. No more Sirius/XM interviews Riz; whatever affliction Bowden has is apparently contagious.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | January 29, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Don't worry Ricket. He's a minor league signing. He earns nothing and effects nothing unless he is good. And had a reputation as being a really smart and thoughtful pitcher back in his Expo days.

Posted by: soundbloke | January 29, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo is clearly better than Bowden in building a club on small budgets. But how many relatively expensive free agents has Rizzo signed? (I think the answer is one, and his contract is not large by MLB standards.) How many players of average MLB salary or greater has Rizzo traded for? Answer is zero--the same number that Bowden had under the Lerners. How many relatively expensive international signings? Again, zero. And what about the below-slot draft picks under Rizzo?

Yes, Rizzo will get us a better club than Bowden. Yes, he is a successful GM so far. However, Rizzo's success will also be severely limited by the budgets he has to work with. Right now, they are MLB-bottom.

If you get talent on your club (and some of the talent will have MLB-average salaries or higher), you can trade that talent for prospects. Or they will yield draft picks when their contracts expire and they sign elsewhere. This is a key area of team-building, but it requires resources, unfortunately.

Posted by: EdDC | January 29, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Every day I am more positive this is the current scenario:

Having seen the number of teams actively pursuing rotation depth (Garland, Piniero, etc) and the price of that market, decided it wasn't in the best interest of the Nats to sign those guys... if he's going to pay that kind of money or commit to multiyear deals, he might reason, he'd rather go one further and find someone who can contribute in the long term. We all heard the noise around a deal or two that fell through for a young, Zimmermann-like pitcher. I think he's still out there working the field for a deal that will net a young, contributing SP. (Probably one that fits his favored big-body, hard-throwing, Brandon Webb mold). I think he's confident that between unsigned FA's and spring training DFA's, there's likely to be a reasonable #5 starter to keep a seat warm for Detwiler or Strasburg by midseason. I might be rationalizing, but I'd be ok with that approach in lieu of signing a Davis or Livo-type pitcher just for depth.

As for the middle infield, I'm less certain of what's going on. I'd like to think he has Hudson right where he wants him and we'll see an announcement inside a week at $10m/2 years or something. I'm really not comfortable with not making an important signing or trade there.

Posted by: natinbeantown | January 29, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Guardado is 39. Batista is 38.

Are we building a baseball team or a retirement home?

Posted by: leopard09 | January 29, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I should clarify, in light of the last few comment threads, that the approach I mention above (see the FA market and decide that it is overpriced relative to other signing/trade options that are better for the team) is NOT a cheap approach, it's the smart one that I hope they are employing. The proof, of course, is to not sign one of those guys and then not do a different deal that compensates.

In other words, the failure to bring aboard another starting pitcher and then blame it on being out-bid for FAs would be cheap, in light of our needs and our stated goals. But I don't think that's where we're headed.

Posted by: natinbeantown | January 29, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if he'll be much help, but "Mike the Baptist" would be a great signon moniker.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | January 29, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

"Aside from being a baseball player, Batista is known for his love of poetry and philosophy, and he has written a book of poetry in Spanish titled Sentimientos en Blanco y Negro ("Feelings in Black and White"). Batista also recently published The Avenger of Blood, a thriller about a serial killer. The novel was released on January 25 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and on February 10 in San Juan Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico, where it has had great success in very few months."

Posted by: Cartaldo | January 29, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

oh ya btw, who the hell is matt bonesteel?

I must say that the name "Bonesteel" is definitely one of the coolest last names I have ever seen, like I know someone whos last name is Steele and I thought that was pretty cool, but bonesteel is even better.....keep up the good work Mr. Bonesteel.

Posted by: Cartaldo | January 29, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

and stop freaking out people, these are just minor league contracts..there taking flyers on a bunch of people to ad competion in camp..and hope for a diamond in the rough....plus if some of these guys dont go anywhere and stay in triple a it will give some more depth...

Posted by: Cartaldo | January 29, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

and stop freaking out people, these are just minor league contracts..there taking flyers on a bunch of people to ad competion in camp..and hope for a diamond in the rough....plus if some of these guys dont go anywhere and stay in triple a it will give some more depth...

Posted by: Cartaldo | January 29, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Totally agree. These are no-risk signings, and some of them will work. You don't need all of them to work--just a few. The point remains that the Nats have a large and wealthy region, and they should not limit themselves too much to low cost options as a primary mode of doing business.

Posted by: EdDC | January 29, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, it's not a Bowden signing. Bowden would have touted him as our closer. As it stands, he's just inventory.

Posted by: BobLHead | January 29, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

"In other words, the failure to bring aboard another starting pitcher and then blame it on being out-bid for FAs would be cheap"

So are they being cheap when they offer Jon Garland 2 years $15M and he turns it down to accept a one year $5M deal from the Padres? The Lerners are Cheap crowd claims it's all so easy to figure out. I wonder if they know what to do to fix a broken record?

Posted by: JennEric1 | January 29, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Agree totally they are non -isk signings unless they are the only signings remaining in the off-season. Then they're risky as hell.

As a Nats fan, these bottomfeeder signings are just all too familiar. Sign some names to add bodies and rosy-up the glasses a bit.

I'll quit whining when they sign Hudson.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | January 29, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

ill take bedard too and his risk...

Posted by: Cartaldo | January 29, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

The following is a reasonable guestimate of whow will not make the opening day pitching staff: Strassburg, Martis, James, Detwiler, Mock, Balester, Spier, Slatten, Chico, English, Peralta, and Storen. Heck, that's probably a better staff than the Nats opened with last year. Maybe Stammen, Olsen, Batista, and Guardado will be on that list too. And that's not even counting Atliano, Jamie, Thompson, Estrada, Garate, Mattheus, Zimmermann, and Wilkie.

We're probably still not going home with Jennifer Lopez but in pitching strength alone, this is a much better team than last year.

Posted by: natbiscuits | January 29, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Cricket

You would be letting Rizzo off easily. With great power of negotiation comes great responsibility.

I shall quit whining when they sign Hudson, a free agent pitcher or sign one of the above and trade for the other.

Posted by: soundbloke | January 29, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, there's something wrong with those PECOTA values, Lannan's VORP is way too high for his projected stats. Their team-wide Runs allowed is off.

Posted by: MiketheBaptist | January 29, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Batista, Pudge, Marquis, Capps, Bruney, Walker, Duncan, Eddie G.

Rizzo's wearing leather pants and he's riding a Segway around his office right this very second.

Posted by: dfh21 | January 29, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

JenEric1, ABM or nunof1, or any other moniker. Why are you a troll? What joy do you get out of it? Was your mommy mean to you? I think a lot of us would like to know so that we can help you stop from being such a miserable troll. Stop. Please. Stop.

Posted by: ABHFGTY | January 29, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Batista sounds like a very high character guy, I have feeling this moves as well as most of Rizzo's moves are also about building a healthy locker room for all of our younger players to develop in and to learn the right way to be a professional.

No risk, maybe some reward it works for me.

With Bowden's moves there was always a chance they could backfire and blow up in our face, but with Rizzo's moves if they do not work out there will be no damage to the team, the Lerner's will just be out a couple million.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | January 29, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Ladson is tweeting that Nats and Dunn are talking extension. Any thoughts on the $$$ and the length?

I also wonder what this says about Marerro...

Posted by: TimDz | January 29, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Marerro's name is like an echo. Shouted at first but fading in volume and clarity as time passes.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | January 29, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

JennEric - First of all, I'm not in the "Cheap" camp, at all. Never said anything like it.

What I am saying is that there is a predictable and steady FA market for middle-tier starting pitchers this year (approx $7-8m/year). Rizzo (and everyone else) knows what it takes to get these guys, and they paid that price for Marquis. Having done that, they said they were not finished, and wanted another starter, and could have one if they choose. (Garland is a special exception, and would have commanded a significant premium to leave the West Coast).

All I was saying in my post was that there are a few possibilities:
(1) they decided to pursue a younger pitcher with more upside via trade
(2) a deal with one of the remaining middle tier guys (Smoltz or similar) is in the works at similar pricing
(3) they decided not to pay market or slightly above market to get a guy they need, and will settle for open competition among the youngsters and AAAA guys

The third option is the kind of thing that arises when you have unreasonable fiscal constraints or if the FO just couldn't get it done. A lot of folks tend to believe it's #3 unless proven otherwise given the experiences of the last 5 years. But most of us (including me) have confidence that Rizzo's up to #1 or #2.

And natsbiscuits, that may be POTD.

Posted by: natinbeantown | January 29, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I tend to think of it like that Ricolaaaaaaaaaa commercial.

__________________________________

Marerro's name is like an echo. Shouted at first but fading in volume and clarity as time passes.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | January 29, 2010 3:34 PM

Posted by: TimDz | January 29, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Mike bacsik is on baseball tonight screaming on the phone(from the hospital where his wife is giving birth) about how tim redding is a bad teammate and how he didnt give anything up and he always tries hard. he threw redding under the bus, he threw bonds under the bus...that was amazing television

Posted by: formerlylove1 | January 29, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Unbelievable!!!! At his age, and with that record....can you believe it????? He could be the ace on our team!!! GO NATS!!!!

Posted by: Pete433 | January 29, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Really enjoyed reading the opinions today, not nearly the negativity and some good insight. Thanks to natsbisquit for breaking down the pitching staff and I had not realized just how much stronger we are going into this year. I also like natsbeantown analysis and would like to think we will add something more during spring training. Heard that Dunn was already in FLA and that is a good sign. Would love to see him extended. When do you guys figure they give Hudson a take it or leave it offer and then move on?

Posted by: sjm3091 | January 29, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I like his interest in bleak poetry and serial killer literature. he should have been around for the last 2 seasons - he'd have a lot more material to work with in those genres.

Posted by: malcolmyoung1 | January 29, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Dunn and Nats NOT talking extension...Ladson's a doofus.

Posted by: TimDz | January 29, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Dunn extension talks? I am sure that the Nats will be in it to the end.

They can talk all they want, but unless they overwhelm the guy, which there is no reason for them to do right now (and no history of them ever having done so for anyone really), he's not going to sign now. IF, and it is a big one, he can play something close to an adequate 1B for a few months, then he makes himself a LOT of money on the FA market. He owes the club nothing in terms of home town discount either.

My guess is that it would take a Bay type deal to get it done, maybe more.

Posted by: dfh21 | January 29, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

LOL! I was wondering that, too. Quite the nom de plume.

The name is Bonesteel. Matt Bonesteel.

(cue the music)

---

oh ya btw, who the hell is matt bonesteel?

I must say that the name "Bonesteel" is definitely one of the coolest last names I have ever seen, like I know someone whos last name is Steele and I thought that was pretty cool, but bonesteel is even better.....keep up the good work Mr. Bonesteel.

Posted by: Cartaldo | January 29, 2010 1:20 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 29, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Why would we consider this guy as a starter? I'd just rather throw a young guy in at #5 before that...cool with him competing for the last pen spot though....

Talk Nats:
http://www.realgm.com/boards/viewforum.php?f=124

Posted by: CJArlington | January 29, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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