Posts Tagged ‘Washington Nationals’

Former Nats Pitcher John Patterson Retires

John Patterson, RFK Stadium, 7/4/06 by Flickr user Scott Ableman via Creative Commons

John Patterson has been hammered with arm injuries over the past couple of years. He has finally reached a point of such frustration that he chose to announce his retirement at the too-young age of 30. MLB.com commenter flannys sums up my feelings on the matter well:

Hilarious Yankees/Teixeira Post @ L.A. Metblog

Seeing as the holiday spirit is beginning to wear off, I don’t feel ashamed directing you to the Los Angeles Metblog, where Jason Burns, one of my favorite Metrobloggers, has written a hilarious entry about the Yankees’ massive offseason. Many in DC, especially Tom Bridge, are still upset that the Nats missed out on Teixeira thanks to the Yankees, so this is appropriate fuel to add to the fire. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Teixeira Rejects Nats, Signs With Yankees

Teixeira from Flickr user Texas Photo Wrangler, Creative Commons

"A Memory: Teixeira" from Flickr user Texas Photo Wrangler, Creative Commons

Stud free agent first baseman Mark Teixeira has rejected an 8 year, $180MM offer from the Nationals for an 8 year, $180MM offer from the Yankees. I don’t blame him, frankly. Former Metblogger and DC City Captain Tom Bridge (We Love DC) = >wicked pissed. And I quote:

[expletive deleted] you, New York, and [expletive deleted] your precious [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted] panda-raping [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted] grandmother-shoving [expletive deleted] Blagojevich-fondling [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted]-gargling [expletive deleted]-punching Yankees. Oh, and Steinbrenner? Cancer. CANCER, I say!

Tom and I had an interesting exchange on the Twitters re: whether or not this is a good thing for the Nationals. Tom says bad; he wanted Teixeira. I think the answer for the Nats is Manny, so I’m happy with this development. You make the call.

If you ask me, the Nats need the attention that Manny would garner for them in the next three years. They need an established big market guy in order to grow into their big market. Then they can worry about signing long-term guys like Teixeira. In the meantime, there are Teixeiras scattered throughout the Nats line-up who are only a couple of years from blooming, some sooner. In the meantime, let’s get the Nats on the leaderboard. For the love of God.

Tom Bridge can be found on Twitter here and I can be found here.

Nationals Acquire Willingham and Olsen – Manny More To Come?

Courtesy of zjbell51

Courtesy of zjbell51

The Nationals made the first big splash of the offseason yesterday by trading second baseman Emilio Bonifacio and two minor leaguers to the Florida Marlins for outfielder Josh Willingham and pitcher Scott Olsen.

My first thought was that Willingham had been acquired as a catcher (he came up to the majors in that position and I had earlier mentioned that Jose Flores could be upgraded during the offseason). Jim Bowden was quick to point out that the Nats had “acquired him as an outfielder.” This means two things in my view. Austin Kearns and Wily Mo Pena need to either be demoted to the minor leagues or traded before spring training. Both guys want and need a full time job, and it will do a lot to help team chamistry if they are out of the way. By the way, why do the Nats have six outfielders?

Tim Dierkes ventured a guess that “maybe the Nats consider Josh Willingham their cleanup hitter acquisition and will back out of the Teixeira derby.” Newsflash: Josh Willingham is not a cleanup hitter, Jim Bowden. A good year will probably yield 30 homeruns and 100 RBI’s, but that is not showstopper material. As for Mark Teixeira, I have a really hard time imagining that the Nationals will be able to compete for his services, especially with the Yankees and Angels (among others) preparing to make offers that will likely make Teixeira a franchise player somewhere. While I would agree that with the bounty of outfielders in Washington this probably puts a damper on Adam Dunn rumors (darn), I would say that the Nationals need a headliner if they want to fill the seats and make a serious run in the NL East.

All in all this is a great trade for the Nationals. Olsen will fill the rotation hole that I had previously reserved for Mets free agent Oliver Perez and I am confident that both players have the similar upside. Willingham is a major upgrade to Kearns, Pena, and Willie Harris as well. At this point, I still want to see the Nationals sign an ace: looking at guys like Freddy Garcia, who are comebackers that can actually be wooed to DC, would be a great idea. Consensus says that the second base hole will be filled by Anderson Hernandez, who finished strong last season.

Where does the power bat fit then? First base is always a possibility, but aside from Teixeira, the only cleanup hitter in the market is Jason Giambi, who would bring nothing new or exciting to the table and is 38 years old. Not a great option for the Nats if you ask me, but if they can sign him for a very cheap two year contract he may be happy and the Nats would get 30 homeruns in return. Assuming that first base is out, that leaves the outfield. I want to see a guy like Adam Dunn or Manny Ramirez in DC. Badly. The Nats need to put themselves on the map with a big name, because let’s face it, the Nats are not the Rays yet and need the kind of boost only a superstar can offer.

More to come on the Nats.

UPDATE [9:04am]: Tim Brown over at Yahoo comments on the Nationals and Manny Ramirez- “After witnessing Manny Ramirez’s impact on the Dodgers and their fans, the Washington Nationals and GM Jim Bowden are promising everyone they’re going to be players in the Manny bidding. So either they will be or they want everyone to think they are.”

Washington Nationals Rumors: Give Me Some Mo

Wily Mo Pena Sticks With The Nats

Wily Mo Pena Sticks With The Nats

The World Series is over, free agents are filing by the dozens, and the rumor mill is HEATING UP. The Nationals have already taken part in two major transactions:

  • Nationals Deny Wily Mo Pena’s $5MM club option. Wily Mo Exercises $2MM Player Option: In an earlier post, I classified Wily Mo Pena as a has-been. Or is it a never-was. There are some out there who see Wily Mo as a young Adam Dunn. I see the similarities. Under ideal circumstances both will hit between .200 and .250 with 40+ HR and over 100 strikeouts. Things have not been ideal for Wily Mo in the past four years, especially since the Red Sox arguably ruined his career by benching him for two years, and partially because he’s been splitting his playing time with Willie Harris and Austin Kearns on the Nats. There are really two options for dealing with this guy. Either show some faith and tell him left field is his for one year, go prove yourself kid, or send him down to the minors where he can be an everyday guy, and at least work his way to some kind of respect for his next free agent period. Do not bench him because it would ruin what hope their is that he will turn his career around in any city.
  • Chad Cordero Becomes Free Agent: Dierkes summarizes this move well. “Nationals reliever Chad Cordero was outrighted to Triple A today.  He refused the assignment and is now a free agent.  This comes as no surprise, as GM Jim Bowden admitted in July that he would non-tender Cordero.” Cordero will be healthy in time for spring training. Unless the Nats are thinking about spending huge money on a guy like Francisco Rodriguez, Brian Fuentes, or Trevor Hoffman, which I don’t think they should, Cordero has to be re-signed. The Nats still have Joel Hanrahan, but CBS Sports Fantasy Analysis is right on when they say that “Hanrahan doesn’t get many save opportunities and doesn’t have the best stuff anyway. Think of him as a last-resort Fantasy option.” Cordero has proven that he can save a game, has a lower average ERA by about a point over Hanrahan, and is still only 26 years old. I stand by my analysis that Hanrahan/Cordero as an 8th/9th inning combo is potent enough for the Nats. They need to spend their money elsewhere anyway.

There have been two recent rumors that suggest that the Nationals may be ready to part with some big money and some big talent this offseason to become contenders sooner rather than later.

  • A Trade For Matt Holliday? Says Troy Renck of the Denver Post: “Holliday, who will be a free agent after next season, is monitoring the trade speculation. He turned down a multiyear contract offer last spring, and there has been no progress on a new deal since. The usual suspects will be involved for Holliday, namely Boston, the Phillies, Yankees, Angels, Mets and possibly even teams like the Royals and Nationals.” Well, it would take a huge amount of young talent and a huge contract extension. It would be a long shot for the Nats to pull the deal off and it would cost them a boatload. It would also mean a Wily Mo Pena decision. He would probably get the bench. Eh.
  • A.J. Burnett In DC? If A.J. Burnett opts-out of his contract and becomes a free agent, there will be several teams courting him. Jerry Crasnick over at ESPN believes “among the… teams that could be in the mix for Burnett: the [Blue Jays,] Yankees, Mets, Rangers, Red Sox, Orioles and Nationals.” This one makes more sense and seems more possible if the Nationals are willing to spend some cash. The Nationals would be smart to consider guys like Burnett and Freddy Garcia who have had some injuries in the recent past. Other teams will be a bit more hesitant, yet both are young enough to overcome physical hardship to win 15-20 games. The Nationals really need that and can afford to take a risk more than other teams can given their recent abismal performances. Again, Odalis Perez is no ace.

More on the Nats when it happens.

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