Sunday, December 14, 2008

Thoughts on a couple of things

Now that I've got a minute (quite literally A minute...I SHOULD be studying for finals), I'll go over a few transactions the Nats have made lately:

Can't say I'm heartbroken over this move. Yea, his ERA+ was 102, indicating he was an average pitcher. I don't disagree with that. Over the span of the year, he was average...but he was also one of the most inconsistent pitchers I've ever seen. Generally speaking, a starting pitcher's inconsistancies tend to balance themselves out over the span of 200 innings in a year. I'm not so sure that the same case can be made for relief pitchers. Colome gave up 2 or more earned runs in 15% of his appearances (9 out of 61). There are a lot better ways to spend $1 mil than on Jesus Colome. I would, however, bring him back with a minor league deal.

Signed UTIL Wee Willie Harris to a 2 year, $3 mil extension
Great move. If this works out like it should, just hope this doesn't convince Bowden that he should get back to doing this on a regular basis. Resigning Da Meat Hook, Belliard, etc. after reclamation projects was bad enough. But, back to Wee Willie-$1.5 mil for the 6th best LF in baseball (and fan favorite) is a darn good deal. I have a feeling he'll go from being the 6th best LF to being a top 10 2B, though. Great move nonetheless.

I have mixed emotions on this one.
Pros of getting rid of him: Clearing space for young guys, saving $, not much upside.
Cons of getting rid of him: OMG NO STARTING PITCHING DEPTH!!!!!!

I'm leaning toward liking this move, or at least agreeing with it. You know what you're getting with Redding: roughly 180 innings of 5-ish ERA ball. I think we can get something similar out of guys from our system, though, and not just the obvious names...I'm talking minor league FA's. This move really opens a door for J.D. Martin (and to a lesser extent, Preston Larrison) to challenge for a spot in Spring Training and I have a sneaking suspicion he'll end up on the Opening Day roster. There's my fearless prediction.

Signing a million guys to minor league deals
Here's the list:
*=With the Nats organization last year
^=moves we already knew about

Beyond the Box Score gave "one line descriptions" of all of these guys: 
"Bynum is a speed burner capable of playing decent defense in the corners. Eldred spent 2008 in the Chicago White Sox organization. Guzman went from top prospect to AAA filler within three years. Orr, Langerhans, Vento, Jones and Padilla are re-signings. Langerhans will almost certainly have zero shot at breaking into the Nationals outfield. Whitney is a former Rule 5 pick of the  Nats from Cleveland's system and martin as well as Larrison are former Indians as well."

NFA classified the Guzman signing as "A nice gamble for a team that can afford to give it a shot."

FJB hates the Guzman signing, and I can't help but disagree. The guy is being signed to play in AAA for the shot to back up Ryan Zimmerman. His OBP numbers used to be a lot better. Maybe there's something in his swing Eckstein will point out that will allow him to make better adjustments, or maybe someone in our organization can help him learn better bat control and pitch selection. While this is unlikely, he's not blocking anyone and his contract is just a minor league deal. I seriously don't see downside in this signing.

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