Upon learning of the extent of the injuries suffered by Giants' catcher Buster Posey in a collision at the plate last night with the Marlins' Scott Cousins, anyone following the Nationals' backstop situation this season had to wonder if San Francisco would come calling on Washington to see if either Pudge Rodriguez (or Jesus Flores who's in Triple-A) was available to fill the void Posey's unfortunate fate created. Sirius/XM talk show host and former Nationals' GM Jim Bowden suggested that the Giants should check out veteran free agent catcher Bengie Molina and suggested that Washington should call San Francisco to offer them Pudge.
FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) later confirmed that it was the Giants who called, as he wrote on the Twitter, "No surprise: #SFGiants already have asked #Nationals about Pudge Rodriguez."
That's not the only Nats' chatter out there either...
MLB.com's Bill Ladson wrote tonight too, in a blog post entitled, "Rangers have inquired about Nats’ Coffey", that a "baseball source" told him that the, "Rangers have inquired about Nationals right-hander Todd Coffey," in their search for, "...a setup man, but the two clubs are not in serious talks at the moment." Neither rumor is all that surprising. After finally using occassionally erratic right-handed flamethrower Henry Rodriguez in a tight situation during the series in Milwaukee, Nats' Skipper Jim Riggleman explained to reporters, as recorded in Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore's article entitled, "Henry Rodriguez will have an increased role", that the former A's prospect would be taking on an increasingly important role:
"'To cut to the chase, I’ve got a guy throwing 100 miles an hour down there,' Riggleman said. 'If I can pitch him in the eighth inning, he’s going to pitch.'"
The plan going forward, as it was laid out, had Rodriguez and Tyler Clippard setting up, Sean Burnett vs lefties and Drew Storen in the ninth when the Nats have the lead. Coffey? No mention of the veteran reliever actually. The 30-year-old right-hander has given up five runs, four earned in 18 games and 19.0 IP over which he's K'd 9.00 K/9 and posted a 1.89 ERA, 2.53 FIP. The Nationals may be able to cash in on yet another non-tender signing as they did last year with Matt Capps, sending the former Pirates' pitcher to Minnesota for Wilson Ramos...not sure they'll get the same return on Coffey, but it's worth exploring.
Add Jason Marquis' name to the list of potential veterans that could be traded before this year's Non-Waiver Deadline. Laynce Nix? He's done nothing (aside from some questionable throws from the OF) to harm his reputation as a strong fourth outfielder. But is it time to start breaking this team up already? The Pudge talk makes sense only because the Giants are probably desperate. Would the Nationals trade Coffey now? Should they if the Rangers are serious? Can the Nats part with Pudge with Jesus Flores continuing to build arm strength following shoulder surgery and not exactly lighting it up at Triple-A? Pudge, while still strong behind the plate, has a .205/.256/.342 slash line at the plate with a .236 BABIP. How much are the Giants going to be willing to part with for Pudge? Enough to make it worth it? San Francisco's probably desperate, the Rangers less so, but Coffey would probably bring a more significant return...
Are the Nationals ready to start dealing?