The Washington Nationals And The MLB Hot Stove...Week-Ending Edition...

No Love From Loverro...

Washington Times' writer Thom Loverro let loose on the Washington Nationals in a recent article entitled, "As spring nears, joke's on the Nats", where Mr. Loverro wrote that the Nationals should have signed "Everyday" Eddie Guardado, who was famously apoplectic when jokingly told by the Texas Rangers that he had been traded to DC last season, because the signing, Mr. Loverro writes:

"...would have been nice comic relief for the Nationals, who might as well roll with their reputation as the laughingstocks of baseball."

DC GM Jim Bowden, in Mr. Loverro's words, "...seems intent on running a welfare hotel for Cincinnati rejects and refugees", but the Times' writer has no problem with adding another player from Mr. Bowden's Red past, recommending that one way to, " change the image of the Nationals as baseball's whoopee cushion", would be to sign free agent outfielder (1B?) Adam Dunn, who remains available on the free agent market in spite of his having hit for 40 HR's and anywhere from 92-106 RBI's in each of the last five seasons. 

As the founding (and only?) member of the Fans For A Dunn-Free DC, I can't agree with Mr. Loverro's assessment of the remedy for the Nationals' woes, but if they had $160M or more to offer Mark Te - - - - ra, who is admittedly, a rare combination of size, power and skill that every team in baseball without an All-Star first baseman should have made a run at, the fact that Washington so publicly and aggressively pursued a big name free agent and came up empty, only to settle for one good solid trade and a series of high-upside and Minor-League-deal-w/-an-Invitation-to-Spring-Training signings is bound to disappoint the increasingly impatient DC fanbase. 

Speaking Of High-Upside Signings...

Baseball Prospectus' writer Eric Seidman* takes a look at just such a player, DC's own DC, Daniel Cabrera, in an article entitled, "Risking Daniel: The New Nat, Hot or Not", where Mr. Seidman suggests that the point of signing pitchers to "low-risk, high-reward deals", is to attempt to catch lighting in a bottle from a player with something to prove, "...who may have underperformed in recent seasons," thus lowering their value in the eyes of the baseball cognoscenti. Daniel Cabrera, however, Mr. Seidman ominously warns, "actually carries more risk than meets the eye," arguing that Cabrera's decreased velocity, inability to locate any pitch other than his fastball and reportedly injured elbow, (which, Mr. Seidman writes, "The Nationals are hoping will hold up all season"), combine to make it unlikely that Cabrera will experience the kind of "career renaissance" one hopes for with these signings.

(ed. note - " * = I'm doing this article no justice in this synopsis, because it really is a well-argued, stat-based, excellent article, that you'll unfortunately need a subscription to Baseball Prospectus to read in its entirety, but it's also the kind of article that makes a subscription worthwhile.")

Glavine? Even After Odalis?'s Ken Rosenthal wrote today, in an article entitled, "Will Glavine return to the Braves? Nothing's certain", that the, "Nationals would represent an obvious possibilty if Glavine were to leave the Braves," since, "...he is close with Nats president Stan Kasten, a former Braves executive," but I really have to wonder if Glavine makes any sense in DC after the Nationals brought back another veteran lefty, Odalis Perez, just yesterday? And I REALLY have to wonder what Mr. Rosenthal has against possessive apostrophes?

O-Dog in DC?'s Jayson Stark still thinks so, speculating that free agent second baseman, Orlando Hudson, will most likely end up signing, "...a one-year deal with either the Nationals or Dodgers," in spite of his public pleas for interest from either of the New York teams. While I kinda want to see what Anderson Hernandez is capable of, you won't hear one complaint out of me if the Nationals add Hudson, unless of course, he ends up performing like "F-Lop" aka Felipe Lopez, who, Mr. Stark also mentions, has signed on with the D-Backs for the '09 campaign. At The SBN Headquarters...

HERE's some photographic evidence from the recent SB Nation Meetup in the nation's capital, as well as a good luck at the SBN's base of operations in DC courtesy of mlovitt...and yes, I'm captured in a few for anyone who wants to know which direction to lob tomatoes or unleash invectives next time I'm in DC...

Caribbean Series Update...

The Tigres del Licey, the Dominican representatives in the Caribbean Series, dropped another game today, this one to the Puerto Rican team, the Leones de Ponce, who were able to claim their first win of the Series with a 3-0 shutout, as the Tigres dropped to 1-4 overall. Anderson Hernandez, did, however connect on his first hit of the Series, finishing the game 1 for 4. Ricardo Nanita was 1 for 3 with a walk, as was Ronnie Belliard. Tomorrow, the Tigres play the final game of the 1st Round against Mexico.

Shawn Hill Arbitration Poll

According to's Bill Ladson's article entitled, "Hill first player to arbitration in '09", DC righty Shawn Hill will be the first player in the Major Leagues to take part in an arbitration hearing this winter. The first Arbitration Poll we did here at looked at Ryan Zimmerman's case, and you, the readers, voted overwhelmingly in favor of giving the "Face of the Franchise" a long-term deal, and also sided with Zimmerman's evaluation of his own worth as opposed to the DC Front Office's view, though I was surprised that 28 of the 191 votes cast favored the Nationals' estimation...

NEW POLL... Shawn Hill, the Nationals' oft-injured right-hander. Hill wants $775,000, the Nationals countered with $500,000. You be the judge...

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