Posts Tagged ‘Matt Holliday’

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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