Yesterday, in fact, he signed first baseman-catcher Matt LeCroy, previously with the Minnesota Twins, to a one-year deal worth $850,000. LeCroy, 29, could back up both Nick Johnson at first base and Schneider at catcher.This a very nice signing, and LeCroy is a really useful guy in addition to being, as far as I can tell, a fat, loveable hayseed.
His stats don't look all that impressive at first glance, but that's why he's not a starter. What LeCroy does is obliterate left-handed pitchers. His anti-lefty OPS last year was 1025. Just for the sake of comparison, the best OPS on the Nats last year was Nick Johnson's 887. 1025 is huge. He doesn't bring much defensively. Dude's a natural DH, and all this talk about him catching seems rather fanciful. He caught a grand total of one (1) inning last year, and though he did quite a bit more squatting before that, he's only gotten older and (I presume) huskier since then. Talk of an avant-garde LeCroy/Robert Fick backup catcher platoon is fanciful. I think it's a neat idea, but I'm pretty sure Frank wouldn't agree.
And that brings us to the dartboard. LeCroy is useful and the price is right, but there's no room for him. Bowden's minor signings have gotten better and better even as he's run out of space to stash these guys. The Marlon Anderson contract was silly; too many years, too much money, not a very good player. Robert Fick was better: one year, better player. Daryle Ward was even better than that, but by then we had already filled his job twice. Daryle Ward and Matt LeCroy would make a great platoon first baseman for when Nick Johnson gets hurt, but we don't need two other guys for the lefty half. Even leaving those four out, there's still Brandon Watson, Ryan Church, Damian Jackson, Marlon Byrd, Jamey Carroll, Bernie Castro, Royce Clayton, Michael Tucker, Sammy Sosa (probably), and whoever gets the backup catcher gig. I didn't mention the martyred Brendan Harris on purpose -- he's doomed to AAA until Bowden is fired, gets his head out of his fundament, or sends him elsewhere. There's so much poo on the dartboard that it takes the thrill out of this bullseye.
Also buried in Tavares' whining:
The Nationals have also sweetened their offer to former Chicago Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa, who spent last season with the Baltimore Orioles, changing it from a minor-league deal to a major-league deal -- although it would still not be guaranteed unless he makes the team in spring training -- in order to make it more palatable to Sosa, who needs 12 more homers to become the fifth member of baseball's 600-home-run club.I want no part of Sammy Sosa. None. At all. I don't care how little he makes or how unguaranteed his contract is. I don't care if he pays us. We already have too many players, and another one will just push someone else off the end of the bench. And considering the state of Sosa these days, it'll almost certainly be someone who can help us more than Sosa can. You want right-handed power and incompetent defense? Matt LeCroy isn't there to mow the damn grass.
"Oh, but if it doesn't work out, they'll just cut him loose." The hell they will. This is Sammy Sosa, the guy who hit all those dingers and saved baseball or whatever. They're not going to sit him when he's at 590. So don't let him get to 590. Let him go begging in Japan -- that's something we can all enjoy.