Our favorite time of the week-Mailbag time!
Don't you think it's time to move on at first base? Dating back to his days with the Yankees, Nick Johnson gets hurt every year. He's good when he does play, but you can't keep a player just for that reason.
-- Ed K., Harrisonburg, Va.
Johnson is an excellent hitter. Until he proves he can be healthy again, however, I'm not counting on him. Go get Adam Dunn and bring back Nicky J as a pinch-hitter.
Any chance of the Nationals acquiring Adam Dunn?
-- Pam R., Cincinnati
Power hitter? Check
High OBP? Check
First Baseman? Check
Former Red? Check
It can (and probably will) happen.
If you were the general manager of the Nationals, what moves would you make?
-- Brian W., Washington, D.C.
I would stop throwing $1-5 mil at crappy FA's (Lo Duca, Mackowiak, Estrada, etc.) and spend it all on Adam Dunn. I would sign a reliever (Juan Cruz) and a starter (Oliver Perez). The team would still be young, as all 3 of these guys are 30 or younger. Let the kids play, but give them a few bigger kids to help them out.
I know it's hard to translate Minor League stats to the Major League level, but do you feel the Nats have any potential superstars in the Minors? I've seen Michael Burgess, Chris Marrero, Justin Maxwell and Roger Bernadina play, and I'm not really sold on any of them. All have talents but none seem to be franchise type players. May I have your thoughts?
-- Brandon P., Bethesda, Md.
There are probably 10 true franchise hitters in the minors, none of which are in the Nats organization. That's not to say these guys aren't necessarily future stars-only time will tell if Burgess can fix the hole in his swing, Maxwell can stay healthy, Bernadina can hit ML pitching and Marrero can continue to improve.
You've been covering the Nats/Expos for quite some time, so I figured I would show you my all-time Montreal lineup, since Washington hasn't been around long enough to have an all-franchise lineup. The Expos' all-time franchise lineup, to me, is: LF Tim Raines, 2B Jose Vidro, RF Vladimir Guerrero, CF Andre Dawson, C Gary Carter, SS Orlando Cabrera, 3B Tim Wallach and 1B Bob Bailey. What do you think?
-- Joseph M., Westwood, N.J.
Without research, I agree with Ladson-add the Big Cat and we're fine.
What will the starting rotation look like next year?
-- Haley P., Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Shawn Hill/Jason Bergmann/Shairon Martis/minor league FA
I read all of your mailbag questions, and none of your answers convince me that the Nationals will be any better next year. I like the coaching changes, however, the team is either full of young guys with potential or players who would be lucky to sit on the bench on any other club.
-- Alex L., New York
Is the offseason over? Has the offseason even started? Geez, there's still 5 months between now and Opening Day...the chances of the roster not changing between now and then are smaller than 0.
Have the Nats lost interest in left-hander Matt Chico? Where does he fit for 2009?
-- Bill N. Silver Spring, Md.
Unrelated note-in his predictions for where the top 50 FA end up this year, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes predicts the Nats land Adam Dunn and resign Odalis Perez. I can see both happening. Here's the whole list. They're more based on best fit/who is most likely to shell out money (will the Nats really do so for Dunn?) but are pretty solid predictions at first glance.
Another random update-in the article "Nationals targeting slugger to clean up" Ladson refers to Alberto Gonzalez as "Alex Gonzalez." I hadn't heard that one before...I guess he'd rather be confused with other crappy middle infielders by the same name than the former Attorney General who shares his "old" name.