You seem sold on John Lannan as a big part of the Nats' future. I feel that he is another Jamie Moyer. What is special about Lannan?
-- Steve L., New York
Lannan is special because, like Moyer, he does a lot with not a lot of stuff. He's remarkably consistent, with ERA's under 4.37 per every month in his career and had 21 QS in 2008. Unless he proves otherwise, he is a huge part of the future.
General manager Jim Bowden has relied heavily on former Reds players. Do you think he will acquire more Cincinnati talent this offseason?
-- Steve I., Bethesda, Md.
Signing 1 former Red: Adam Dunn, Sean Casey, Corey Patterson (goodness I hope not), Paul Bako, Ben Broussard, Juan Encarnacion, Brett Tomko (99.9% chance of happening).
I can definitely see a Sean Casey, Ben Broussard, Juan Encarnacion or Brett Tomko signing. Not that I support them, I can see them.
EDIT: Wanted to point out 2 things:
1: Steve I. (who asks the question) calls the Cincy-turned-Nats players "talent." FAIL
2: Hendo pointed out in the comments that I didn't comment on the following statement by Ladson: "There aren't that many former Reds who played regularly on the field. As far as the position players go, you have Jose Guillen, Austin Kearns, Felipe Lopez and Dmitri Young. Pitching-wise, you have Hector Carrasco and Ryan Wagner. That's not the entire Reds roster during Bowden's time in Cincinnati." I was going to save that for later (in class right now), but I guess someone didn't put on their patient pants today!
For every former Reds player Ladson names, there are a million more that were tried at some measure in the organizaiton. You've got Brandon Larson, Brandon Claussen, Tony Blanco, Jeffrey Hammonds, Phil Hiatt, Luis Pineda, Ed Yarnall, Michael Tucker, Felix Rodriguez, Jim Crowell, Chris Booker, Josh Hall, Chris Michalak, Ray King, C.J. Nitkowski, Michael Coleman, Carlos Barega...do I need to go on? That's 23 guys in just a little bit of research time. I'm pretty sure I could come up with two more to complete the roster.
What is the possibility of Mark Teixeira ending up with the Nationals? What kind of options do you think they have?
-- Kristen L., Rockville, Md.
I'll refer back to the same post:
Signing 1 of the following: C.C. Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, Francisco Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Ryan Dempster, Brian Fuentes (.00000000000001% chance of happening)
If any of those 6 are signed, it will be Texiera, if that is enough of a silver lining.
To be honest, when Nicky J is healthy, he is almost as productive (134 OPS+ to Johnson's 125...at probably 25% of the price). Stick with Nick and a free agent (Sean Casey and his OBP might actually be a decent pick here) and you'll get a fine 1B combo.
What are the plans for Wily Mo Pena? Is he going to play every day in 2009, or will he be traded?
-- David M., Woodbridge, Conn.
Unless he is (miraculously) traded or breaks out in Spring Training, let's hope Wily Mo gets the 2005 Tony Blanco treatment. Except for the "keep Blanco and lose a SP" part.
Everyone is talking about Anderson Hernandez and Emilio Bonifacio at second, but neither of them has the experience that Ronnie Belliard has.
-- Dustin C., Halifax, Nova Scotia
I'll stick with my prediction from last week: Bonifacio does not start the 2009 season in the majors. I bet Belliard and Hernandez start in a platoon, with Hernandez facing most lefties and Belliard facing most righties. It would be nice to get a LH bat here (although Bonifacio is seemingly decent against righties).
With the Nationals needing some power from the left side, what about signing Jason Giambi?
-- Chris H., Fountain Hill, Pa.
Not a bad idea. He couldn't be worse defensively than Dmitri. He's a bum, but we could use the offense. Big question-would he accept a PH/backup role for a non-contender?
What are Nationals going to do at catcher? I'm sure Jesus Flores will be healthy for next season, but we saw some talent in Luke Montz. With a shot at more playing time, could Montz be the No. 1 catcher?
-- Justin R., Lafayette, La.
No offense, Justin, but didn't we learn in 2008 that not starting Jesus Flores is a mistake? Montz may be a #1 catcher eventually, but he didn't prove anything in AAA or the majors. This is Montz's make-or-break year in AAA.