Sportsblurb.com has an overview of the Nationals' top 10 prospects.
Not to place all the blame on former Expos GM Omar Minaya, but the drafts during his years with the team were not exactly great. Chad Cordero was a solid first round pick, and there are some other players thrown in, but overall this is a farm system that severely lacks depth and talent. New GM Jim Bowden has not helped the cause by trading Maicer Izturis and letting Seung Song go through waivers. A strong draft like Bowden had when the Reds drafted Austin Kearns and Adam Dunn in consecutive rounds during 1998 would really help.It's never pretty to hear about our farm system, but I'm hoping our new owners aren't afraid to throw piles of money at the problem.
There's a rumor going around that we're about to pick up Odalis Perez for 3 years and $18 million. I dearly hope this turns out to be true. Jaret Wright and Kris Benson each got $7 mil a year, and I'd rather have Perez than either one of those guys. In fact, I can't think of why Odalis would be available at that price. Did his postseason chokejob against the Cards cost him that badly? The market is exploding - Steve Finley just got $10 million a year, and he's, like, 72 years old. How does a pitcher this good and this young only get $6 million? If Bowden lands him at that salary, I'll be very impressed.
Other rumors, which can be found in this Post article.
- Bowden's after reliever Steve Kline. Kline is murder on lefties and doesn't like Tony LaRussa any more than I do, but he's going to cost several million dollars. Waste of resources. You want to see something weird and rad? Kline-Time, the Steve Kline fansite! Pay special attention to the part when he wipes out all the dinosaurs with high, inside fastballs.
- Barry Larkin is still on the wish-list, as well. I'm all for this. Larkin even in his senscence would be a handy guy to have on the bench, and he is by all accounts a great guy and a real leader. There's also talk he might come on as a coach, given that the Nats have some holes in that department.
- Rockies pitcher Shawn Chacon is drawing trade interest from several teams, our own beloved Nats among them. I'm not entirely against this. Yeah, he flopped as a closer last year. On the other hand, he'll be 27 next year and has managed an above-average ERA in two of his four years, all while pitching at Coors Field. I'd need to hear what Bowden is offering before I can give it a full endorsement.