Okay, everybody! It’s time for the second installment of the 2013 ex-Nats jamboree!
In the first installment, we considered ex-Nats who spent 2013 in the National League (or at least ended up there), plus Jamey Carroll, who only played in the American League. This error might have made slightly more sense had he played for the Astros, or even the Brewers, but as you’ll see below, such was not the case. Anyway, for this installment, we reconsider Mr. Carroll and the other ex-Nats who spent the season in the American League (or, like Alfonso Soriano and Alberto Gonzalez, ended up there).
As I mentioned at the outset of the first installment, this survey is limited to players who played in a major league game for the Nationals (players who only played in the minors, or only played for the Expos, are not included). As I also mentioned, the information and statistics discussed herein have been gathered from such fine corners of the internet as Wikipedia, fangraphs, baseball-reference, espn.com, mlb.com, and mlbtraderumors. Regarding WAR, I’ve used the baseball-reference variant.
Okay, I think that gets all the preliminaries out of the way. Oh, yeah, as far as ex-Nats in the minor leagues go, I’m going to do two more installments covering them; I’ll get the first one up in a few days, after I’ve decided how best to divide the individuals involved (suffice it to say, there are quite a few ex-Nationals who spend 2013 in the affiliated, unaffiliated, and international minor leagues).
And now, without further ado, the 2013 ex-Nats in the American League!
73 G, 249 PA, .211/.267/.251, -0.8 WAR
At 39, Carroll is presumably near the end of his career. After an okay year with the Twins in 2012, he only appeared in 59 games before the Royals purchased him. In one of those games, however, he made his first and, to date, only pitching appearance, tossing a scoreless inning. In 14 games for the Royals, he managed a .111/.190/.194 line. He’s now a free agent; I haven’t seen a retirement announcement, so presumably he’s hoping somebody is interested in giving him a shot in 2014.
97 G, 279 PA, .267/.290/.327, -0.8 WAR
This was Chavez’s second go-round with the Mariners, having previously played for them in 2009. This was also his most prolific season, in terms of games played, since 2008.
44 G, 117 PA, .206/.252/.355, -0.4 WAR
It was a busy year for Harris. He signed with the Angels back in November 2012; after his 44 games (his first major league games since 2010), he was released on July 23, whereupon he signed with the Yankees on July 26, was released again on August 20, and signed with the Rangers the next day. For those teams, his role was limited to unremarkable stints with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Round Rock.
Alfonso Soriano, Cubs/Yankees (2006):
151 G, 626 PA, .255/.302/.489, 2.4 WAR, 34 HR, 101 RBI
Theo and company are no doubt happy to be semi-free of Soriano’s albatross of a contract. "Semi," however, is the key prefix in that sentence, because the Cubs will still pay him $13 million next year. Regardless, once again his on-field contributions weren’t half bad. For example, his 34 home runs were sixth-most in the majors (on the lifetime achievement front, he passed 400 career home runs this season, too). This is not to suggest that he’s in any way worth the $18 million he is due next year, but there we are. If he posts numbers consistent with his past several seasons, the Yankees will be getting a good deal as they’ll only be paying him $5 million.
7 G, 25.1 IP, 6.04 ERA, -0.2 WAR
At age 40, Ortiz successfully clawed his way back to the majors after spending all of 2012 in the minors. His last appearance for the Jays was on June 2.
Ryan Langerhans, Blue Jays (2007-2008):
4 G, 13 PA, .273/.385/.273, 0.0 WAR
In his limited action this year, Langerhans was THE replacement-level player, apparently. His year unfolded as follows: he was signed by the Jays last December; they released him on June 21; they signed him again on August 22; and his four big league games came at the end of September. Somewhere in there he managed 64 games with AAA Buffalo and 47 with the Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League (where he was 3rd overall in OBP), the latter games coming in between his Jays contracts.
Justin Maxwell, Astros/Royals (2007, 2009-2010):
75 G, 262 PA, .252/.328/.436, 0.6 WAR
I guess the Royals saw something in Maxwell—on July 31, they traded minor league starter Kyle Smith to get him. Or perhaps it was the Astros who saw something in Smith. Either way, the Royals now have Maxwell, who isn’t eligible for free agency until 2017, despite the fact he’ll be 30 next season.
9 G, 7.1 IP, 9.82 ERA, -0.5 WAR
Clearly this did not work out as the Red Sox envisioned, although they obviously weren’t any the worse for it when they lost Hanrahan to Tommy John surgery on May 16. Before then, he managed to pick up his 100th career save. There are quite a few free-agent closers on the market this year; I assume Hanrahan isn’t going to be ready to pitch before mid-2014, so we’ll see what sort of interest he draws.
Jerome Williams, Angels (2007):
37 G, 169.1 IP, 4.57 ERA, 0.5 WAR
As was the case last year, Williams was used both as a starter and reliever this season, although most of his relief appearances came towards the start of the season. It’s probably too early to say if he’s guaranteed a spot in the Angels’ rotation next year, but it seems like a decent possibility.
Emilio Bonifacio, Blue Jays/Royals (2008):
136 G, 461 PA, .243/.295/.331, 1.3 WAR
Another ex-Nat the Royals acquired midseason in pursuit of the playoffs, Bonifacio accumulated most of his season’s value (1.2 WAR) with the Royals.
Alberto Gonzalez, Cubs/Yankees (2008-2010):
24 G, 60 PA, .193/.217/.281, -0.1 WAR
Early in the season, Gonzalez split time between the Cubs and AAA Iowa, but then on May 9 the Cubs sent him to the Yankees for a player to be named, or cash. Although Gonzalez appeared in 13 games for the Yankees, he spent much more time at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
13 G, 30 PA, .179/.200/.393, -0.2 WAR
This was Montz’s first major league season since his brief appearance for the 2008 Nationals. He played another 33 games for AAA Sacramento, and the Athletics released him on September 3.
Shairon Martis, Twins (2008-2009):
6 G, 9.2 IP, 5.59 ERA, 0.0 WAR
Another example of an ex-Nat getting his first major league look since his time with the Nats. Most of his season, however, was spent with the Rochester Red Wings.
Josh Willingham, Twins (2009-2010):
111 G, 471 PA, .208/.342/.709, 0.3 WAR, 14 HR
Last year, Willingham was a Silver Slugger and one of the more successful ex-Nats. This year, he struggled with injuries and his offensive contributions were greatly reduced. The Twins are probably regretting not trading him at the 2012 deadline, but also hoping for a bounce-back year next year, which is the last of his contract. As a slugger in his mid-30s, it’s certainly possible but by no means probable.
149 G, 607 PA, .219/.320/.442, -0.2 WAR, 34 HR
This guy. He’s only 33 and he has hit 440 homers in his career, so I think the odds are very good that he’ll eclipse 500, and it’s a live possibility that that will happen in the next two seasons. Accordingly, I predict there will one day be a fascinating debate over whether he should be in the Hall of Fame. As for this past year: the batting average is a marginal improvement, the 34 home runs are a sliver below his typical range, and he’s still an atrocious fielder. Get ready for a similar report after next season.
Mike Morse, Mariners/Orioles (2009-2012):
88 G, 337 PA, .215/.270/.381, -0.5 WAR, 13 HR
You always hate to see a fan favorite leave town, but I figured the Nationals were probably making the right choice when they traded him last offseason. Um, yeah. Morse struggled mightily with Seattle, and he was traded to the Orioles on August 30 for Xavier Avery. In twelve games with the Orioles, Morse managed three singles. His season has netted him a "special two-team citation" in Jayson Stark’s AL Least Valuable Player discussion. I like Morse (who doesn't?), so I really hope 2014 treats him better.
Sean Burnett, Angels (2009-2012):
13 G, 9.2 IP, 0.93 ERA, 0.6 WAR
Burnett was obviously great when he pitched, but that wasn’t often. He had elbow surgery on August 7.
80 G, 71.1 ERA, 3.41 ERA, 0.4 WAR
Over the last three seasons, Peralta has emerged as the type of reliever who enters the game, gets a few outs, hits the showers, and does so frequently. This year, he led the AL in games played (after coming in second in 2011 and 2012). He also threw 3.1 scoreless postseason innings for the Rays.
Jonny Gomes, Red Sox (2011):
116 G, 366 PA, .247/.344/.426, 1.2 WAR
Gomes’s regular season numbers don’t really jump out, and his overall postseason stats are lackluster, but you may have heard something something World Series Game Four Home Run something something.
Chien-Ming Wang, Blue Jays (2011-2012):
6 G, 27.0 IP, 7.67 ERA, -0.8 ERA
Everyone’s favorite Taiwanese sinkerballer was back in 2013, although his limited run with the Blue Jays doesn’t tell the whole story of his season. He actually signed with his former team, the Yankees, in March, and had good results in 9 games with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He was released on June 7, and signed with the Blue Jays the same day. His appearances with the Jays did not go well; his 9 appearances for Buffalo went somewhat better. He’s on the free agent market again, trying to recapture that 2006-2007 form.
Tommy Milone, Athletics (2011):
28 G, 156.1 IP, 4.14 ERA, 0.6 WAR, 12-9
These numbers aren’t bad, but Milone’s 2013 was not as good as his 2012, and the A’s optioned him to AAA Sacramento on August 3. He’ll presumably attempt to regain his rotation spot come spring training.
Brad Peacock, Astros (2011):
18 G, 83.1 IP, 5.18 ERA, 0.0 WAR
Back in February, the Athletics sent Peacock and two others to the Astros for Jed Lowrie and Fernando Rodriguez. Although Peacock’s numbers were so-so, he sported a K/9 of 8.3, and in 14 games at Oklahoma City he carried a 2.73 ERA. One assumes he'll compete for a rotation spot in spring training.
Kurt Suzuki, Athletics (2012-2013):
15 G, 35 PA, .303/.343/.545, 0.4 WAR
There’s a sort of symmetry to Suzuki’s last two seasons: last year, the Athletics sent him to the Nationals for a minor leaguer; this year, the Nationals sent him to the Athletics for a minor leaguer. Suzuki saw only limited action with the Athletics, however, and he didn’t appear in the postseason.
Mark DeRosa, Blue Jays (2012):
88 G, 236 PA, .235/.326/.407, 0.0 WAR
Mr. The Red had a somewhat better season with the Blue Jays than he had with the Nationals last year. The Jays have exercised their option on him, so apparently he’ll be playing for them again next year.
David DeJesus, Rays (2013):
35 G, 117 PA, .260/.328/.413, 0.0 WAR
He was barely a Nat to begin with, but he nevertheless joins the illustrious ranks of ex-Nats. He was okay in his 35 regular-season games with the Rays, got hit by a pitch in the AL Wild Card game, and but up a .333/.455/.444 line in the ALDS. He’s already signed with the Rays for next year, too.
And there we are! Tune in next time for Installment III, wherein we head to the minors!