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Nationals sign reliever Tim Wood

By Adam Kilgore

The Nationals have signed Tim Wood, a right-handed reliever who appeared in 44 games for the Florida Marlins over the past two seasons. Wood, 28, signed a minor-league contract and will be invited to major league camp in spring training.

Wood had a 5.53 ERA in 27 2/3 innings last season with some ugly secondary numbers. Wood walked 15 batters and struck out only 10 while inducing more fly ball outs than ground outs. He inherited nine runners, and four of them scored.

By Adam Kilgore  | November 13, 2010; 4:15 PM ET
 
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Comments

should i write.... great pickup--puts us over the top......or........]

exactly.

Posted by: dovelevine | November 13, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

A minor league contract with an invitation ... it should be hard to find fault with that, but stay tuned....

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 13, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Typical Nats nothing transaction--accumulating more dead wood at no cost.

Posted by: bupbups | November 13, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

This is a desire to keep the AAA team competitive even though we don't have real prospects to put there. Wood will start and end his Nationals career with Syracuse.

A 44th round pick in the 2002 draft, he's been toiling in the minors with some time in the big show in 2009 (22 innings, 2.82 ERA) and 2010. As of 2008, he had progressed only to high A ball, but spent 2009 in AAA and FLA and 2010 in AAA and FLA.

Posted by: Sunderland | November 13, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

They will do small signings that will mean nothing for the big-league team. Don't let these make us impatient for the bigger moves that haven't happened yet. We need the huge signing or big trade to change our minds on the direction of the team. Wood doesn't qualify.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | November 13, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

If you have a Wang then you need some Wood

Posted by: SCNatsFan | November 13, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Yes! The Potomac Nats are slowly becoming locked and loaded to defend their Carolina League title!

@ SCNatsFan, hilarious stuff!

Posted by: ImWithStupid | November 13, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

SCNats fan...and if the Wood is good you'll never be Dunn.

Posted by: howjensen | November 14, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Championship!

Posted by: tgerbracht | November 14, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

One place where I trust Rizzo is minor-league deals for the bullpen...did a great job last year with Slaten, Peralta, etc.

Of course those guys had actually had some success previously...

Posted by: CJArlington | November 14, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Got Milk?

Got Wang? Got Wood?

Was reading a message board where the Cubs fans don't think they'll get Dunn because the Cubs have to reduce payroll.

I'd really like to know if Rizzo really doesn't want Dunn or thought that there wouldn't be that much competition for him and that Dunn would come back for 3 years.

Posted by: derwink | November 14, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Meanwhile Trade Rumors is reporting National's interest in Marlins 2B Uggla. Interesting.

Posted by: NatsFly | November 14, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Wood is good. Just ask Jerry.

Posted by: boyn4884 | November 14, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Tim Wood = SYR bullpen arm; Nothing to see here, keep moving along.

@NatsFly: The Uggla-to-Nationals report - Just more 'crap against the wall', imo. He'd simply be a 1-yr rented mule in DC, supplanting some of the HR-power lost from Dunn at about the same cost ($12M), and adding nothing to team defense.

Posted by: BinM | November 14, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

As Phil Wood suggests in his MASN column, if the Nationals were to acquire Uggla they would move him to first base. That would be a good move IMHO. Sign Uggla to the four year extension that Dunn isn't worth, and you get superior defense to Dunn with the same level of consistent offensive production.

Posted by: nunof1 | November 14, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

@CJA: Rizzo has had a couple of stinkers in the bullpen as well - Logan Kensing & Joe Bisenius come to mind immediately for me.

@derwink: Rizzo might really have been counting on the possible # of FA-1B available this year to work in the teams' favor, ultimately driving down Dunn's asking price. The thing is, that's just one more hole to consider this off-season that could have been eliminated as early as Spring Training 2010. Dunn was looking for security, not necessarily a big payday early on; The FO blew the chance.

Now, he's got nine Arbitration cases, a roster at SYR to re-fill, as well as holes at SP/1B/OF and bench in DC to consider. Good Luck with getting half of that punch list resolved without some serious compromises.

Posted by: BinM | November 14, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

@nunof1: Uggla, while an IF by trade, has NEVER played 1B at the ML-level. Additionally, he's 5'11", which is rather short in stature for a 1B.

I'd much rather see Morse (6'5") at 1B, with Bernadina (or a trade/FA signing) in RF, than see the team trying to convert Uggla to 1B in Viera 2011.

Posted by: BinM | November 14, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Not to disparage Uggla, but I just don't see that he is an upgrade over Dunn. Can't be age--Uggla is 5 months younger than Dunn. Neither is known for defensive prowess and if the Nats switched him to first, Uggla would be learning a new position (didn't we just do that already?). RBIs comparable but Dunn HRs a lot more. If Nat lead off men can't get on base it is pretty hard to score them regardless of which slugger hits cleanup. Don't get why one would think Uggla is "worth" a 4 year contract but Dunn is not. Regardless, BinM probably has the right of it.

Posted by: NatsFly | November 14, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Strictly an opinion, but of the 1B available via FA/Trade, here's my top-five: Player-(status,B,age); Notes/projection, approx. total Cost.

Given = Mike Morse -(Arbitration,R,29); Average defensive rating (per UZR), Projected 18HR/75RBI. Cost=Arbitration(1st), $800k. Replacing...
Adam Dunn -(FA,L,31); Slightly below average defensive rating (per UZR), 35+HR/100RBI per year. Cost=4yr/60M.

1) Adam LaRoche - (FA,L,31); Good defense (per UZR), 20HR/85+RBI. Cost=2yr+/$20M.
2) Derrek Lee - (FA,L,36); Very good defense (per UZR), 20-HR/80+RBI, but becoming injury-prone. Cost=2yr/22M.
3) James Loney - (Trade[LAD],R,27); Average fielder (per UZR), 12HR/80+RBI. Cost=One+ prospects, plus $6M+ in Arbitration.
4) Carlos Pena - (FA,L,33); Average fielder (per UZR), declining offensive numbers, 20HR/80RBI. Cost=1-2yr/$18-20M.
5) Prince Fielder - (Trade[MIL],L,27); Horrible defensive numbers (per UZR), 35+HR/100+RBI. Cost=Two prospects+ $12M-$14M+ in Arbitration.

Posted by: BinM | November 14, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Can we please eliminate Prince Fielder as one of the possibilities. I saw him get upset, when a pitcher hit him and my immediate reaction was that it was certainly easier to hit him than to miss him.

Only good for the AL, unless he chooses to lose 75 - 100 lb.

OTOH, looking at what is out there and what clubs are looking for 1Bs, it may be that Dunn, only is attractive to a very limited number of teams and (assuming that the Cubbies are on a stricter $ diet than people assumed) most of them are in the AL. Don't be surprised if 44 is in a new curly W uni.

Posted by: mikecatcher50 | November 14, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo thinks he signed Kerry Wood, not Tim Wood.

Posted by: 1stBaseCoach | November 14, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Remember that no one REALLY wanted Dunn two years ago, so why should now be any different? Let the market play out a little and see what happens. If he goes, we get picks. The club is in a win-win situation.

Posted by: dand187 | November 14, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Be nice to see Riz set his sights a little higher, for once.

Posted by: samantha7 | November 14, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

BinM, Ron Fairly was just 5-11 and he was real good fielding first-baseman, and when Zim air-mails a throw, 8-footers wouldn't catch them.

Ladson quotes Hammer as saying he'd play 1B, and would work on it in spring. Hey, he better start working on it now (start by reading Money Ball)

Posted by: nats24 | November 15, 2010 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Let me also add another phenomenal glove at 1B: Tommy Hutton, who played for the Phils, B. Jays & Expos. He was 5' 11" (just- if at all) and saved many games with his glove. Don't remembering him hitting a ton, but the point is that I don't believe that being a giant at 1st is necessary if you can flash the leather and have good instincts. And no, I don't think Ediie Gaedel would have been a good 1B even if he was a human vacuum cleaner.

Posted by: Natstoyou | November 15, 2010 7:21 AM | Report abuse

We're over the top now...wow.

Posted by: cokedispatch | November 15, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

The list of great glove no bat 1B's, of any height, in baseball history is short one.

The idea that Josh Willingham, who has really not played 1B in MLB (maybe 5 games total), is seen by some as a viable candidate to play there in 2011 shows you that defense is certainly not what people generally consider to be the most important function of the position.

If the club is really serious about improving infield D, they'd do less to get a sterling glove at 1B and more to get one at SS.

Posted by: dfh21 | November 15, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

dfh, I'm amazed you give up on Desmond after one year. I guess if you don't break in as an allstar then you need to be replaced. After all, young shortstops who hit for the silver slugger and win the gold glove are a dime a dozen, lets jettison Desmond (heck, and Espinosa too) and sign a better one who is a free agent this year.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | November 15, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

dfh, I'm amazed you give up on Desmond after one year. I guess if you don't break in as an allstar then you need to be replaced. After all, young shortstops who hit for the silver slugger and win the gold glove are a dime a dozen, lets jettison Desmond (heck, and Espinosa too) and sign a better one who is a free agent this year.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | November 15, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

SCNats - Maybe Desmond has a sterling glove to showcase in 2011 and beyond and his woes in 2010 were rookie-itis, who knows. I never said they should give up on anyone. IF defense is the priority, then they should focus on improving the defense of the guys playing the premimum glove positions, no? Strong up the middle is a cliche for a reason.

So, whomever plays SS -- let's say it is Desmond -- HAS to be able to field very well. How can Rizzo tell us Dunn's glove is some considerable problem, when at least he hits enough to arguably out-weigh the bad glove at 1B, and at the same time have Rizzo be OK with Desmond, playing the most important glove spot on the diamond, not making the plays? If defense is what they want/need, then they should get it where it is most important to have.

Posted by: dfh21 | November 15, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I believe the point in getting Marlins players is so they have less on their roster to kill us with, as they have owned us the past few seasons.

Posted by: poncedeleroy | November 15, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

dfh, I agree, but if you demote Desmond or move him what does that say about his long term value to the team. I have to believe that Nats management has made the decision to have him stay at SS and move Espi to 2B because it provides for the best defense and these guys have seen the two of them play for years. You can't argue about his range and athleticism, he needs to mature and I believe he'll be a solid option, not a gold glover, for many years.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | November 15, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I hope Desmond comes around, his upside could be huge. But the Majors is not where SS's should be trained. The games count. If he cannot play SS, he can't play SS. It is that simple. They cannot come out of the Spring with Ian as the every day SS unless he looks sterling with the glove. And even if he does look great in the Spring, the leash in the season has to be short. They have Espinoza and they have relatively cheap FA options who can make the plays at SS that need to be made.

Posted by: dfh21 | November 15, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

The thing that bothers me most about Ian Desmond is his attitude. He's a AAA SS who is extremely erratic in the majors, yet he prances around post-game as if he's the team's leader and chief spokesman. Apparently no one in the FO or coaches has told him that he's a dicey commodity with a lot to learn about playing SS. And Riggleman seems to love him. Not a good environment for improvement when the guy already thinks he walks on water and no one corrects him.

Posted by: JohnRDC | November 15, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

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