Distinguished Senators, the Washington Nationals Blog That Is Great

Monday, December 20, 2004

The Man from Okinawa

I'm sitting around waiting for some arbitration deadline news, or a Williams/Cropp statement at least, and it's getting boring. So I shall digress.

All the Odalis Perez talk, welcome as it is, ignores this team's biggest on-field problem: we don't have a major league quality center fielder. Endy Chavez may be a very nice fellow, but he has no business in my outfield. The issue is exacerbated by the fact that the market for CFs is remarkably thin this year. Carlos Beltran is beyond the means of most teams, and after that you're signing a bench-warmer or trying to convert a corner outfielder. But check this out from the Boston Herald:
Dave Roberts was a star performer off the Red Sox bench in 2004 but he's hoping for a starting role in next year's campaign. . . .Roberts said [19-year-old Red Sox GM Theo] Epstein is trying to make a deal that will benefit the player and the Sox.
"Theo and I have talked and he's looking out for my best interest,'' Roberts said. "Getting me over here was a great move and it was a perfect fit to the puzzle. We talked and he's going to do what's best for the organization and myself.''
I think Dave Roberts would be perfect for us, and, unlike my J.D. Drew pipe dream, this is feasible, depending on what the Sox would ask for. Roberts plays fine defense at all the outfield positions, puts up an OBP in the .330-.350 range, and is an actual base-stealing threat (135 SB, 32 CS career). I don't know his contract situation, but he made under a million in 2004. Roberts isn't an all-star (he wouldn't even be starting on a good team), and he won't fix this teams significant run-scoring deficiencies, but he's a perfect stopgap and an easy guy to root for. Anyone but Endy.

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