Sunday, December 13, 2009

Five Non-Tenders the Nats Need to Sign

No need for an introduction-it's 5 am and I have been working on a paper for 7 hours.

RHRP Jose Arredondo-Yeah, he's having Tommy John surgery. But at the end of the day, he's still a young flamethrower with closer potential. Those guys don't exactly grow on trees, you know. Whenever you get a chance to sign a great (and controllable!) talent like Arredondo on the cheap, you do it. He'll probably even out to somewhere in between his lights out 2008 season and terrible 2009 season, but he still has a ton of potential after his return from TJ surgery in 2011.

RHSP Chien-Ming Wang-Another high risk, high reward guy, but with different implications. Wang proved in 2006-07 that he can be a huge innings eater in a hostile environment. But also, Wang could be a huge marketing piece. The DC area has a fairly sizable Taiwanese-American demographic, and I know from first-hand experience how much Taiwanese people love Chien-Ming Wang (a friend of mine's family essentially has a miniature shrine to him in their house. No joke.). Opening up the Nats to the Asian market could be a great idea at a fairly small investment (much smaller than, say, signing the next Daisuke Matsuzaka out of Japan); with only a few teams really reaping the benefits of a huge market, there is plenty to gain.

2B/OF Kelly Johnson-Johnson offers the right kind of flexibility for the Nats. If Desmond bombs, they can shift Guzman back to SS and start Johnson at 2B. If Guzman tanks, they can keep starting Desmond at SS and start Johnson at 2B. If they move Dunn or Willingham, Johnson can start in LF. Johnson is a solid hitter who had an unlucky 2009 but should rebound in 2010 and beyond.

RHRP Matt Capps-I don't care so much about the closer experience as I do about the awesome control. 1.66 K/9 for his career! I WANT! There is really a lot to like about the guy-3.61 career ERA and 67 saves for traditionalists, 4.16 career K/BB for people who love K and BB rates and 3.84 career FIP. Capps could have a huge 2010 impact as well as a huge future impact in general-he's only 26!

OF Ryan Church-Why not bring our old friend back? He's surely not spectacular in any facet of the game, but he's at least average in every facet of the game, which can't be said about a lot of players. I'd be a lot more comfortable having Church around given Nyjer's durability question marks, potential trades for Willingham/Dunn and Dukes' inconsistencies.

Rizzo, give these guys a call!


  1. I hope the Nats compete hard for the best of the non-tenders, like they need to compete for the best (or near-best) free agent pitchers. If we are to really see a new direction this year, the Nats have to stop concentrating on mere "scrap heap" players.

  2. Of the five you name, I like Capps the best and Wang the least.

    The Capps non-tender confounds me. Yes, he'd have been due ~$2MM but he wasn't going to get a huge raise. If he improves his slider, that'll be a bargain. He'd be a smart pickup for the Nats if they didn't have Bruney, but I see him more likely in a Mets uniform.

    Wang's repertoire consists of a 91 MPH fastball with which he cannot strike out major-league hitters. It's that simple. In fact, the 30 MLB organizations should pool his salary so he can test players in some AAA venue: if a triple-A hitter can hit Wang, that hitter should be promoted, otherwise not.


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