Distinguished Senators, the Washington Nationals Blog That Is Great

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Operation: Hot Rumor

I know you come here for the gratuitous personal insults and special guest appearances by international superstar Professor Bacon, but I guess I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't comment on all the Hot Stove action. Yes, the stove is heatening -- literally -- in Dallas, and the increased calorific intensity of the scalding cooking device is fueled by rumors. Hot rumors. On the stove.

Here's what the Post has to say after lamenting the lost opportunity to pay $11 million smackers a year to A.J. Burnett. His wife's from Bowie and he turns us down!
"I feel it's been made very clear by the commissioner's office and by [team president] Tony Tavares that we have the dollars to go get one of these premium pitchers," [tracksuit-clad bumbler] Bowden said.
There aren't any more premium pitchers, but that's nit-picking. I, at least, am comforted by management's apparent determination to make a big signing for the sake of making a big signing. There is no flaw in that plan of attack.
The Nationals should know by Wednesday whether they are in the running for [marijuana enthusiast Matt] Morris. St. Louis must either sign Morris or offer him arbitration by Wednesday or it loses the right to negotiate with him until May 1.
Morris has long been one of my favorite players, and while my emotional attachment makes his presence on the Nats a little less nauseating than that of, say, Brett Tomko, he's going to get too much money from someone [UPDATE: more than $8 million per from SF?]. It's only a matter of time before that poor bastard's arm falls off for good.
Millwood, who had the best ERA in the American League for Cleveland last season, will almost certainly get four years and well over $40 million, and one Nationals source said the club's offer is more than that.
Eesh. Remember when Millwood was mediocre and settling for one-year deals? Dude has a fluke season and suddenly he's getting Burnett money. No thanks.
A cheaper option, but one fraught with peril, would be Rogers, the 41-year-old former Texas Ranger who was suspended for shoving a TV cameraman last summer. "It's an issue," Bowden said. Any deal would likely be for one year with incentives.
I can understand Barry Svrluga saying Rogers' arrival would be "fraught with peril" -- Kenny hates the media -- but Bodes should know better. I mean, this is the guy who brought over proven jackass Jose Guillen because his (Bowden's) kids liked him (Guillen). And there's a big difference here: Rogers slapped around a camera man. That is a bad thing to do and criminal. Guillen, on the other hand, has pissed off teammates everywhere he's been. The Angels, if you'll recall, were overjoyed to get rid of him, and he's already had it out with Brad Wilkerson. Rogers is worse from a legal and probably moral standpoint, but from a baseball standpoint, Guillen's sins are far greater. I consider there to be almost no behavioral risk in signing Rogers, though the physical ones are very real. The fact that Rogers could be had for "one year with incentives" immediately makes him a better candidate than Morris or Millwood; he's no less of a pitcher.

"Fraught with peril, huh? I'll show you fraught with peril! KENNY SMASH!!!!"

Moving on:
On other fronts, the Nationals continue to pursue Florida center fielder Juan Pierre via a trade, but Bowden said it would almost certainly have to involve another team because the Nationals don't have a good match for prospects.
Don't put yourself out, Bodes. Pierre isn't worth losing sleep over.
They continue to talk to Arizona about right-hander Javier Vazquez.
This is interesting, even beyond Frank's mutterings. Vazquez was a complete badass while in Montreal and protected by the sheltering presence of Randy St. Claire. In the two years since, he's been slightly below average, though still good for some inning-eating. We have ample evidence of St. Claire turning around the careers of Livan "¡Livan!" Hernandez and Hector "Tamer of Horses" Carrasco; could he work another miracle with Vazquez? That'd be three, which is a pretty important number when it comes to miracles.
Bowden dismissed rumors that Washington is about to swap outfielder Terrmel Sledge for San Diego leadoff man Dave Roberts, indicating that Pierre would have to be traded to another team before the Nationals went after Roberts.
I don't mind this one. I had an infatuation with Roberts that lasted about an hour and a half last winter. I'm not bully on Sledge having much of a career, and my biggest objection would be playing time: Roberts would, barring any other deals, be taking at-bats away from Ryan Church. Then again, Roberts, despite being 33 and playing in Petco Park, had easily the best year of his career in 2005 and doesn't cost much. Defensively . . . well, he's an upgrade on Preston Wilson, at least. If we're going to trade Sledge, I'd rather seem him go for something that really fills a need (i.e., pitching), but Roberts would be a good fit for RFK.

And now, what you all came for. Put your hands together and get those apples ready, here comes the Professor!


JammingEcono said...

Agreed re: Rogers being worth a 1 year w/incentives gamble. The guy needs to right his ship and show that he deserved one more fat payday ... kind of like Loaiza last year.

Not sure if I'm with you on Roberts. I suppose that losing Sledge would not be a huge blow, but Sledge is cheaper, younger, and has more potential IMO. In this offseason though, he may be the best we can get.

Nate said...

Less pointless blather, more Bacon! If I wanted to hear from Jim Bowden I'd remove my foot from his... but I digress.

How can you shill for Dave Roberts and not even mention Rickey?!

Chris Needham said...

Sledge is cheaper and younger, but he's not especially young. Just because he's inexperienced doesn't mean he's a youngin'.

Sledge has a little bit of potential, but the chances of him breaking out and being an All-Star are slim. Plus, as the roster's constructed now, he's a fifth (maybe fourth) outfielder.

With the injury he's coming off and its propensity to linger and reinjure, trading him might not be a bad thing. Roberts/Byrd in center would at least allow us to keep Wilkerson, and would end Bowden's infatuation with Godwin at leadoff.

Harper said...

Yeah, Sledge is one of the Nats many nearing 30 OF "prospects". If we run with the one we saw play awesome for a stretch last year (Church) for a year or two, the others will be too old at the end of that to give a look to. Get what you can for Sledge now. It's better for him and us.

Rogers would be a good choice, (again a lefty would be nice), but I still think we're getting FRP Tomko.

Harper said...

What is he a professor of?

JammingEcono said...

How about this? Forget Roberts, go to arbitration with Wilkerson, sign Jacque Jones or Kenny Lofton, and have a decent outfield for a change...

Ryan said...

What is he a professor of?


Harper said...

I almost got my masters in apples

Olivier said...

I've been away for some time; what's that pig named "Professor Bacon"? Some tamagoshi thing?

Anyway, it's creepy; keep it up!