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Walker signing official; Estrada DFA'd

[UPDATE, 5:30 p.m.] -- To clear room for Walker on the 40-man roster, the Nationals have designated RHP Marco Estrada for assignment. Estrada, 26, drafted by the Nats in 2005 (6th round), had late-season stints in the big leagues in both 2008 and 2009. For his career, he has a 7.20 ERA (20 innings) and an 0-1 record.

---

The Nats' signing of reliever Tyler Walker to a one-year, $650,000 deal became official on Thursday, as announced to a team release. There's no word yet on who will be removed from the 40-man roster.

By Chico Harlan  |  January 28, 2010; 3:15 PM ET
 
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Next: The Bacsik-Bonds at-bat, pitch-by-pitch

Comments

Well thank heavens for that.

Chris is back (again) and has this to say about the Phil Wood response to JayBeee:

http://dcbb.blogspot.com/2010/01/so-phil-wood-and-jim-bowden-walk-into.html#comments

Posted by: BobLHead | January 28, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

From the Storen chat:

Kip (DC)

Who was the toughest out in AA?

Drew Storen (1:30 PM)

Wow! I would say any of the number three or four hitters in lineup. After facing all those guys in the Arizona Fall league, it's kind of tough to remember who I faced in AA.

*******

There you have it. Drew's going to be a terrific closer. He has a short memory.

Posted by: BobLHead | January 28, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I used to post quite frequently but after getting married in the fall and applying to law school through the holidays, I’ve been fairly OOP with everybody. But now down to business…

Am I the only person who is still on the Bonifacio bandwagon? I would love for Rizzo to try and get him back. There are zero starting spots open for him in the Marlins infield. What do the Marlins need right now? Relievers? We’ve stockpiled those. If O-dog doesn’t pan out then we should go get him. Mike drafted him in Arizona and brought him to D.C. for a reason….it was Jimmy who shipped him away - a good move, but still. He doesn’t have the chops to play 3rd like Florida wanted or the arm for short, but sticking his butt at 2nd would work. His OPS is awful, but Rizzo isn’t looking for much power out of his middle infield anyway. If Mike were to write a How to Build a Baseball Team book, his philosophy on middle infielders would be speedy with good hands who could be adequate offensive contributors. Anything over a .250 average would be sufficient for speed and good defense, especially with the 3-4-5 we’ve built. Taking him out of the leadoff spot would help to relieve some of the pressure also. Imagine him getting on in the 8-hole, getting bunted over, and being the spark plug on the paths for a Plush-Guzzie-Zims-Dunn-Willingham-Dukes-Flores rally. We’d have two legitimate speedsters, solid power numbers at the corners, and good defense up the middle (knock on whatever piece of Christian Guzman wood you have). He’s cheap and only 24 y.o.

I’m not saying, I’m just saying.

Posted by: Corey42 | January 28, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

@Corey42: Congrats on your marriage. Good Luck in Law School and to your question:

Am I the only person who is still on the Bonifacio bandwagon?

I would say that is a huge YES...Bonifacio will be stocking shelves at a local Walmart within the next few years. We took a flyer on him, got something in trade and there is no way we should want him back.

Posted by: TimDz | January 28, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

ladson continues to stir up his "livo wants to return to the nats" pot. rizz please just say NO to livo and move this team forward. i'd rather have brad wilkerson back before livo.

Posted by: surly_w | January 28, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

From the Storen chat:

Kip (DC)

Who was the toughest out in AA?

Drew Storen (1:30 PM)

----------------------

The correct answer would have been,

"They're all easy outs for me, Kip. Have you not noticed?"

;-)

Posted by: Kev29 | January 28, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

yes, corey, that "bandwagon" is probably just one of those little red wagons you had as a kid and it's filled with you and bonafacio's mom.

the guy just can't hit. or draw a walk. and speed is useless if you're just using it to get from home plate to the dugout after you've made an out. you can't have a 303 OBP if your sole skill is speed. he has no place in the marlins infield because he's not very good.

Posted by: sec231 | January 28, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

BobLHead; Chris is dead right. The Nats had a credibility gap as it is with the chincy payrolls after opening a new park, awful won/loss record and not much talent on the farm. Rizzo should address the issues Chirs raised publicly, if he doesn't he's as bad as Bowden ever was.

Posted by: dfh21 | January 28, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

I concur but Stan needs to talk....He was President of Baseball team...it was his duty to hire and fire.....

Posted by: JayBeee | January 28, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

ladson continues to stir up his "livo wants to return to the nats" pot. rizz please just say NO to livo and move this team forward. i'd rather have brad wilkerson back before livo.

Posted by: surly_w | January 28, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Why wouldn't Livo be perfect for the Nats? A guy like Jon Garland would have wanted well over $6 million to pitch for the Nats. The guy is 30 years old and still in his prime, whereas Livo is much older, has far fewer tools left, and therefore is much more affordable. No competitive team would want Livo in their starting rotation any more. Livo could be had for well under $2 million. True, he won't win as many games, but the bottom line for the Nats is the bottom line, not wins.

However, you are right in saying Livo would not move the team forward.

Posted by: EdDC | January 28, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

JayBeeee -- you're right. Both of them sold us a bill of goods that they knew they were not delivering on the second they spoke. Stan's sins are worse han Rizzo's as Stan was and remains the boss. Wood's notions of this merely being salesmanship is very hard to agree with. They suckered the fans.

Posted by: dfh21 | January 28, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

I think that Rizzo is doing a hell of a job addressing concerns though his actions. He has rebuilt the front office, made some great trades and pickups, had a successful draft, and is positioning the Nats for long term success.

Also, just a question: If your boss told you that he really liked one of your subordinates, and intimated that should you feel the need to fire that individual, there just may not be a spot for you in the company, either, are you going to fire that person anyway? Probably not.

I understand the idea that what he did wasn't honest, but I just don't care. I don't feel like I have been personally wronged by the front office.

Posted by: Cavalier83 | January 28, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Cav, you must not have season tickets.

Posted by: dfh21 | January 28, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Here are my thoughts on Chris Needleman,

I lost respect for him when he quote "wanted to see history happen when Randy Johnson pitched at Nat Stadium"...what the f man!

The only thing I wanted to see happen was a Nats VICTORY!! F RANDY JOHNSON AND HISTORY!!!

That was my take on the matter...but of course the Nats lost anyway, and Randy Johnson got his win...

Posted by: Cartaldo | January 28, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

I was at that game and the Nats got jobbed by the ump. Johnson should have gotten 300 someplace else.

maybe the history Chris wanted to see was Randy's arm fall off on the mound while throwing a slider, or something like that which is more upbeat than you thought.

Posted by: dfh21 | January 28, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

I have season tickets and I agree with Cavalier83.

Posted by: nunof1 | January 28, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

It is good that some of you remember the recent past, and I think we nearly all agree that there is blame to be spread across the board on what has transpired over the last five years with the current franchise. To quote Steven Stills (from 'For What It's Worth', 1967)... "There's battle lines being drawn / Nobody's right if everybody's wrong"...

Posted by: BinM | January 28, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: leonahope29 | January 28, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Brad Wilkerson was a tough player,surly_w,but he retired last year.I agree with you,though,move the team forward.And that means don't sign John Smoltz.

Posted by: seanmg | January 28, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Hey, ABM/JennEric1 is now back to being nunof1.

Amazing how all them have the same arrogant writing style.

How 'bout that.

Posted by: Section505203 | January 28, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

When the discussion is about spending $6 million or less for a year of a bonafide major league free agent's service, why does anybody posting here care about how much the Lerners are willing to spend. We're fans, and they should spend what's needed, and gawd knows much is needed. We're not their bookkeepers. All we want -- demand, if you will -- is a competitive MLB team. It's not my money, beyond the price of a ticket (and parking, now that the RFK shuttle is no more)

Posted by: nats24 | January 28, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

If I've been reading some of the comments these past few weeks correctly, there are some who believe that Nats Ownership and Management needs to confess their sins and demonstrate their remorse by giving generously to the congregation.

I'm not sure why we need a public declaration that mistakes were made from Kasten, Rizzo, the Lerners or anyone else. No apologies, or recriminations, or wailing is going to change a single thing from the past. There would be no purpose served except to make a few fans feel vindicated that their protestations these past few years were rightous. There is no need for public flogging and there will be no cathartic moment when by the act of contrition the team is finally able to move forward.

The team is already moving forward. A completely new bullpen - with backups; a completely new front office - with depth; an improving starting rotation - with much progress left to be made; and an unrequieted search for middle infielders to strengthen the defense and the lineup.

Will all this change result in a better record in 2010? Most certainly. The damage done the last two years was brought on by rostering incomeptent pitchers and by spending money inefficiently. It's not cheap when you pay $10M/year for Austin Kearns, $5M/ year for Dimitri Young, and $$8M per year for Christian Guzman - its foolish; an inefficient use of operational funds.

The restraint the Nationals are now showing in not paying out big contracts to 30-something players is likely a recognition that contractual obligations can quickly turn into an albatros around the neck - neither stylish, nor functional.

I remain a fan of our lovable losers and like the uncle of a struggling adolescant I am rooting for both parent and child to prove successful over the next few years.

Posted by: natbiscuits | January 29, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Lets be serious here, if Smoltz had any gas left in the tank as a starter he'd be signed by now. Do you think he'll come here as a long reliever? Ha. Besides, we already signed James for that role, a starter who can only go four but might be an excellent long reliever. Say no on Smoltz, and ideally say no on Livo - been there, done that.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | January 29, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

nats24: The problem is that there is not big demand for a competitive club. The fan base, evidenced by some opinion in here, is seemingly tolerant of world class losing. It takes time, be patient, Rome not built in a day, baby steps, etc.

The Lerners would be OK with me if they were doing what they had claimed to be doing all along: building an elite organization to compete on an annual basis. But they have JUST STARTED to tackle that endeavor almost 4 years into their stewdardship over the franchise.

Phil Wood can spin Stan Kasten's flat out lies all he wants as merely being spin; whether Stan was just selling or not, either way it pisses me off that they've been holding back on hiring talent evaluation of even a comparable class to the rest of MLB. They have wasted our time and money.

Posted by: dfh21 | January 29, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

This wagon is comfy, especially without all you people taking up space....and his mom could be really hot.

He's not in Florida's infield because of 2 guys by the name of Hanley and Ugga. Nobody in the division would crack that (including Philly). I'm not saying he's the missing piece or without flaws, but last time I checked we're not exactly looking to make a run deep into October. He's a young, cheap piece that could be worth taking a flyer on and the worst case scenario is he makes all of the catchers in the International League look silly. Let's go after O-dog, but what's so bad about stocking inventory at a position that is barer than Tiger's joint checking account? His numbers are based on a season and a half of big league experience. He may be Nook Logan 2.0 or he could be the next Brian Roberts, who knows? I know that because of volume and injury potential, a middle infielder with a Usain Bolt type of gift is no less valuable than the mid-level arm(s) it would take to get him.

Posted by: Corey42 | January 29, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

"The restraint the Nationals are now showing in not paying out big contracts to 30-something players is likely a recognition that contractual obligations can quickly turn into an albatros around the neck - neither stylish, nor functional."

It could also mean that they are frugal and don't want to spend the money. This offseason and the previous 3 have shown that.

I don't need the Lerner's and StanK to come out and apologize and admit they were wrong. Actions speak louder than words. All they have to do is start showing that they are willing to spend some money on players. Climb the payroll into the middle of the pack, go agressively after some international talent and I will forgive and forget.

I like the additions to the FO this past offseason....I thought it was done in 2007 but hey, what the heck, I can move on from that, just open the checkbook a little wider and get some legit talent in here.

Posted by: Section505203 | January 29, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I like the additions to the FO this past offseason....I thought it was done in 2007 but hey, what the heck, I can move on from that, just open the checkbook a little wider and get some legit talent in here.

Posted by: Section505203 | January 29, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

You do realize they just paid the highest amount ever in the history of baseball for a draft pick, checkbooks been opened!

Posted by: Stu27 | January 29, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I was informed last night the PECOTA has the Nats winning 80 games in 2010. I'm surprised that it's not being discussed here. Maybe I was misinformed?

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 29, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

First of all, I loved the hot mom comment.

However, I'd take Utley over Uggla every day of the week, and twice on Sunday.

-----

This wagon is comfy, especially without all you people taking up space....and his mom could be really hot.

He's not in Florida's infield because of 2 guys by the name of Hanley and Ugga. Nobody in the division would crack that (including Philly).

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 29, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Actually, JiM, at the risk of raising hopes, it's predicting 82 wins in 2010. Yeah. Personally, that sounds crazy to me, but PECOTA is much, much, much smarter than I am.

Posted by: Section220 | January 29, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Please, inking Stras to the big contract is nothing. That is less than 1 year of an elite SP in today's market. Inking that kid is an attempt to save money.

PECOTA? They have the Nats giving up less runs than all but a couple of teams in the NL. Would love to see it, but not gonna happen with today's roster.

Posted by: dfh21 | January 29, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Stu,

You're joking right? They had to pay that kid, they had no option.

They would have been killed for it all over baseball for passing on him. I will give them credit for coming out of their comfort zone and spending some dollars but, you know what, they still almost screwed it up. Strasburg signed with only seconds to spare.

And if the "checkbooks been opened" where has the additional spending been? Why are we still in the bottom 5 of payroll? And where are all the international signings we were promised?

Posted by: Section505203 | January 29, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I think PECOTA's optimism on runs allowed stems from what appear (at least to me) to be optimistic projections about the teams's 3, 4, 5 pitchers. So, I don't necessarily disagree that projected runs allowed looks a little low.

Again, though, PECOTA is much smarter than me. Much.

Posted by: Section220 | January 29, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

baseball prospectus has us 3rd at 82-80, but cairo shows us at 73-89.

BP: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/fantasy/dc/

CAIRO: http://rlyw.blogspot.com/2010/01/extremely-early-2010-mlb-projected.html

my personal take on spending, particularly on the older guys. as long as we're talking 1-2 yr contracts, spend away. but with the way FA is working today and with the uncertainty of where this team will be in 2+ years developmentally, if it takes more than a two yr contract, no thanks. and i'd prefer more 1 yr contracts with options to two year. it makes no sense for this team to lock up long-term deals with anyone who isn't 25 or so where they are developmentally.

corey, the reason bonifacio could be had for a weak middle reliever is simply *because* he's just not that good. if the marlins moved uggla, they wouldn't be looking to plug in bonafacio, they'd be more likely be moving coghlan from the OF. he's a low-end backup at best. it was a shaky move when they brought him here to begin with and a lot of talent evaluators even then thought he was overrated. nothing he's done in FL has really changed that. he had a bit of a hot streak to begin last season, then crashed back down to his natural skill level.

Posted by: sec231 | January 29, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Section505203, I disagree. Had Stras asked for something absurd like 40M then no way would or should the Nats have signed him just because if they didn't they would be ridiculed. The teams in MLB would have been more then happy to let the Nats franchise take the fall for a draft system that isn't working and use that as an excuse to blow the system up. Thankfully Boras and Stras chose not to be the guys to make that happen, but if they wanted to no way Rizzo or any other GM in baseball could have stopped that from happening.

As for Crow, I applaud the Nats drawing a line in the sand and sticking to it. No one knows if that helped in the negotiations with Stras, our FO showing we can't be bullied all the time.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | January 29, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I will give them credit for coming out of their comfort zone and spending some dollars but, you know what, they still almost screwed it up. Strasburg signed with only seconds to spare.


Its called a negotiation for a reason...take off the glasses man. Your blind hatred is getting tiresome.

Posted by: Stu27 | January 29, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I disagree with DFH completely - the DC area has been far from tolerant of a bad team.

Season ticket sales in year 1 were well over 20,000 - closer to 23,000 (IIRC), and last year they were down to about 11,000.

I'd have to say that they have lost at least half and maybe more of their initial season ticket base. Although not all of the people leaving left because on the on field product, I'm sure plenty left because of the incapable ticket staff and the poor quality of the baseball experience at both RFK and Nats Park.

Posted by: comish4lif | January 29, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

And Stu your blind love is getting tiresome. Wake up dude, we have lost over 100 games for two straight seasons with a very low payroll. The Lerner's need to be held accountable.

Posted by: Section505203 | January 29, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

SCNatsfan,

Hey, 40 million is a lot and if that would have been the asking price, I would have been with you. However, that is like 3 times what he acutally signed for so, I will stick with my original thought that based on the actual amounts that were negotiated, they really had no choice but to get him signed.

Posted by: Section505203 | January 29, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

"Although not all of the people leaving left because on the on field product, I'm sure plenty left because of the incapable ticket staff and the poor quality of the baseball experience at both RFK and Nats Park."

Or, in my case, the dwindling economy.

I would LOVE to go to 81 games year in and year out, but I can't afford it. I can't afford to renew my 20-game package because of this stinking economy.

I could care less about the "poor quality of the baseball experiece" and I can live with the lower-than-expected on field product. But a bad day at the ballpark is still better than the best day at work. But not being able to afford to take my wife and daughter to any more games this year just flat out sucks!

Posted by: erocks33 | January 29, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I do not get it. The Lerners just effectively told us that they are now getting started on The Plan (the same one that they told us 3 years ago they were then geeting started on) and the reason for the delay is them waiting for revenues from the new park to come in first and the new park is going on year 3 and all the while they have taken in more money and have spent less than most clubs and the farm system which they lied to us about building the right way is ranked 23rd after they delviered us back to back 100 loss clubs. How is anyone in here defending these guys right now?

Posted by: dfh21 | January 29, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

dfh21, I don't think you'll find many here to defend what Bowden did to the team and I think the Lerner's placed too much faith in him, for that they are guilty. As far as 'the plan', I'm still on board with them and I think Rizzo is a guy who could get it done. If I'm blind fo believing that then I'd rather be optimistic then pessemistic.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | January 29, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I know that we're in DC and all, but seriously, what's the deal with trying to split the fanbase (or at least those sectors that post to this blog) into either the Kool-Aid Drinker or the Fed Up category?

I suppose it does have some utility as far as setting up a situation where one can throw out a rhetorical grenade in hopes of goading the "other side" into defending its point of view in the other side of a long, tired, drawn out argument in which neither participant has a snowball's chance of convincing the other to change their point of view. And for the rest of us, it keeps our scrolling muscles nice and limber. blahblahblah Kool-Aid drinker...scroll scroll...blahblahblah crybaby...scroll scroll...

You know what they say about opinions. Everybody has one. (and a right to it, I might add ;-))

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 29, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I just weant to be realistic.

Smiling gleefully at the announcement of yet another placeholder, has-been or innings eater when the club is begging for real change is something I find very hard to do.

They know they are not doing what needs to be done. Chirs Duncan, Miguel Batista, Pudge? Bowdenesque moves folks. Marquis in Livan excpet he can't hit like the big Cuban. Everyday Eddie? No comment. Capps was nontendered by the Bucs, he's coming off a healthy year with an ERA near 6, he's a flyer. Bruney may pan out, but he has warts too.

They are blowing it in the same way they have always blown it (short-sighted and cheap), yet people see real change, real progress. The Lerner emperors are not wearing clothes folks.

Posted by: dfh21 | January 29, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I don't think anyone is suggesting that you or anybody else should smile gleefully. It's futile to try to tell someone else how to think or feel, IMO, on either "side" of the equation. That was kinda my point.

(Then again, maybe somebody did suggest gleeful smiling, and I scrolled past it. ;-))

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 29, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

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