I knew something was up.
I could feel it, like an arthritic feels the cold weather, only it felt good. It's just instinctive, a feeling like this. It's a recognition of what's unapparent yet somehow apparent, when swirling eddies form a message, when a sunshine becomes tactile. It was just . . . there.
Okay, okay. I lie. I've got a mole inside the Nats. He---oh dear, I've given too much away already---he keeps me in the loop. He's sort of like that guy in the movie Heat, who keeps Al Pacino in the know, except he doesn't live in a sketchy-looking farmhouse with dozens of barking dogs caged up. At least I don't think he does. And his cousin probably isn't Tone Loc, although that would be cool.
At any rate, this guy is gold. And what he told me definitely communicated something was afoot:
To me, it looked like Jim Bowden had resolved to: a) trade Jose Vidro, b) send a little bit of money, and c) get in return someone or someones who could walk on two feet. It had to be. It had the telltale check marks. When Bodes checks something off, consider it done.
* * * *
I'm beginning to consider the possibility Capitol Punishment is the mole, because he had the full write-up of this evening's Vidro trade posted right quick. And I do mean quick. Like Mr. X in JFK passing-through-New-Zealand-but-already-seeing-articles-about-JFK's-assassination-before-it-actually -happened quick. It's pretty eery, dude. It's also a really good gut reaction post. I commend you to read it.
* * * *
Just for my edification, I'll review the deal, in which the Nats:
- dealt Vidro, an injury-prone offense-first second baseman who has become really injury-prone and is still an offense-first second baseman even though his offense has progressively declined; and
- somehow also dealt 75% percent of Vidro's remaining contract, from which Vidro is due $16 million in remuneration over the 2007-08 seasons; while
- acquiring outfielder Chris Snelling and pitcher Emiliano Fruto, both of whom could be on next year's team and are young enough and have little enough service time to be possibilities to be on the Nats when the Nats actually become good sometime in the future.
* * * *
As mesmerized as I am by this deal, something else might amaze me even more: Chris Snelling turned 25 nine days ago. How is this even possible? I've been reading about this guy for years---literally years. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Mariners fans have been touting him since before the franchise was even formed ex nihilo. If not, it seems like that long. Yet, he's only 25 years old. I suppose it's because Snelling was only 20 when the Mariners first called him up, and he's been injured fairly perpetually since then. So it seems like he's old. But he's not. Not at all. (Here's an interview Snelling did with Lookout Landing prior to the 2005 season.)
As for Fruto, I don't know much about him; hell, I'd barely heard of him before. He's only 22 and spent some time in Seattle this summer. From statistical appearances, he's got good stuff but hasn't mastered control (to put it fairly mildly).
I'll post more on these two later. While we're here, check out Va. Clipper's diary on the deal. He likes!
* * * *
I don't get this from Seattle's end. I'm not really supposed to worry about that, but I feel for Jeff at Lookout Landing, because I too have experienced disbelief bleeding into anger, and it ain't fun. Vidro's an injury risk, a range risk, and a low slugging risk if forced to first base or designated hitter. He's the second Jose to go to Seattle in a matter of a week, and the Mariners are welcome to more if we have 'em. I'll say this: Los Dose Joses are quite a combo. One will be so injured he won't be able to play; the other will insist on playing, no matter how injured he is.