If you believe espn.com's Jeremy Crasnick, and really I have no real reason to lean one way of the other when it comes to Mr. Crasnick, but if YOU believe what he writes in his article entitled, "Tigers' lineup tops the charts, Giants' order picks up the rear" which ranks the Top and Bottom five offenses in the Majors, the Washington Nationals are the 28th ranked offense overall, above only the young Kansas City Royals and the Bonds-less San Francisco Giants.
(ed. note- "Though the addition to the Giants roster, after the article was published, of free agent CF Aaron Rowand, who got the 5-years he and his agent wanted, might rearrange the last few teams on Mr. Crasnick's list...") and (Det,NYY,Bos were ranked 1,2,3 by Mr. Crasnick.)
In Mr. Crasnick's opinion, Felipe Lopez will be leading off and playing second, and Lastings Milledge will bat second while starting in center. Elijah Dukes and Wily Mo Pena are left to decide amongst themselves who plays left, with Austin Kearns in right and batting fifth. Cristian Guzman batting eigth and starting at short leaves Ronnie Belliard on the bench...
...And in mlb.com's Bill Ladson's opinion, as he writes in his washington.nationals.mlb.com article entitled, "Notes: Johnson preparing for return," Nick Johnson's successful return, from a year off rehabbing his broken right leg, could mean that Dmitri Young will be joining Ronnie Belliard and Aaron Boone as the first options off the bench. DY hit .320 last season, Belliard, .290, and Boone, .286 with the Florida Marlins...
...That's a much better bench than D'Angelo Jimenez, Tony Batista and Robert Fick, and with outfielders Justin Maxwell and Roger Bernandina threatening to make the team in '08, and Rule 5 pick Garrett Guzman obligated by rule to remain on the roster, the Nationals have the makings of a much deeper bench than they've had the last few seasons.
...Nook Logan, who came to DC via trade from Detroit in September of '06 after five seasons in the Tigers' organization, and Mike O'Connor, a 7th Round Draft pick in 2002 by Montreal, both became free agents today when the Nationals non-tendered the two...
In Nook Logan's time in DC, he caught more than a few balls he had no business catching, but Logan failed to distinguish himself as a leadoff hitter or starting center fielder, batting .265 with 18 doubles and 21 RBI's in '07. Mike O'Connor was (32-32) with a 4.15 ERA over 6 seasons in the Nationals' system, but only (3-8) in 20 starts with the Nationals, and an elbow injury resulted in a poor showing in a shortened '07 season.
The Nationals did, however, come to terms with pitchers "Big Nasty" John Patterson, Luis "Set-Up" Ayala, and "The Sinker-Machine" Ryan Wagner. Each of the three pitcher's have battled well-documented injuries recently, but their time on the hill was impressive enough to earn each of them another contract...
...and finally, I decided to trace back the rumor on...
...from 12/11, which reads:
"According to Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post, the
Padres and Nationals had discussions about Padres'
shortstop Khalil Greene. The deal would have sent Chad
Cordero, Felip Lopez and Nook Logan to San Diego in
return for Khalil Greene.
Eager to (SAVE CHAD CORDERO!!) I rushed to the source, washingtonpost.com writer Barry Svrluga's blog entitled, "Nationals Journal" where Mr. Svrluga writes:
"...I heard from two people last week that the Nationals
had spoken to the Padres about the possibility of trading
for shortstop Khalil Greene. One person told me Chad
Cordero would have been the centerpiece headed to San
Diego, but another said it would have been Jon Rauch.
With conflicting information, I never put it in the paper,
and both people said the talks had fizzled."
...It does sound a lot more exciting without the last two sentences. You have to admit...
*LINKS AND LINKS AND...*
Jerry Crasnick's espn.com article, "Tigers' lineup tops the charts, Giants' order picks up the rear":
mlb.com's Bill Ladson's washington.nationals.mlb.com article entitled, "Nats Notes: Johnson preparing for return.":
Baseball-rumor.blogspot.com's "Padres, Nats discussed deal for Khalil Greene?":
Barry Svrluga's washingtonpost.com blog entitled, "Nationals Journal" with the original Khalil Greene rumor: