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10/20/07 Quick Hits, Comings and Goings.

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   ...In an article at washington.nationals.mlb.com, Nationals writer Bill Ladsen reports that free agent center fielder Torii Hunter would consider signing with Washington after officially becoming a free agent following the conclusion of the World Series. Hunter cited his friendship with Nationals first baseman Dmitri Young and the chance to interract with the, "...large African-American population," in the DC community as two of the main reasons behind his interest according to Ladson, and Hunter said Atlanta was another city he'd consider for similar reasons...

Bill Ladson's article, "Hunter interested in joining Nationals."

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20071017&content_id=2270739&vkey=ne ws_was&fext=.jsp&c_id=was

     ...Hunter would certainly solve the center field controversy that still exists in DC. Torii Hunter's 162 game average of 25 HR's, 23 doubles and 93 RBI's with a .271 AVG per in his 11-year Major League career would be a big improvement over Nook Logan offensively, and Hunter is most certainly better defensively than Ryan Church.

      Are the Nationals finally ready to part with Church and Logan and go with an outfield of Wily Mo Pena, Hunter, Austin Kearns and Justin Maxwell as the fourth option?...

     One outfielder who will most likely now not fit into the Nationals outfield plans, is Alex Escobar, who chose to become a Minor League free agent rather than accept a move to the Nationals Triple-AAA affiliate in Columbus? (Mike Bacsik, Chris Booker, Winston Abreu, Brandon Watson, and Arnie Munoz were also outrighted to Columbus).

     Joining Escobar in the decision to become free agents were D'Angelo Jimenez, Jason Simontacchi and Micah Bowie, all of whom should, in my opinion be replaced by players already in the Nationals system. Escobar by Justin Maxwell. Jimenez by Brandon Watson, Kory Casto, or Ian Desmond. Simontacchi and Bowie? Ross Detwiler and John Lannan?

     I'd say continue the youth movement, supplement with a few trades or free agent signings, and aim to realistically compete in the next two or three seasons.

 Washington Post writer Barry Svrluga has all the info on the player moves and the return of the entire Nationals coaching staff here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/18/AR2007101802001.html?nav=rss_sports/ nationals