Scratch A.J. Burnett off the list of possible DC starters in 2009, that is unless he has some aversion to becoming filthy rich and decides to turn down what is reported to be a 5-year/$80 M dollar offer on behalf of the New York Yankees according to MLB.com writer Bryan Hoch, who writes, in an article entitled, "Burnett set to receive offer from Yanks", (ed. note - "A title I love because it has a nostalgic waiting to see if you get invited to the prom sort of feel to it.")...that the Yankees are preparing to offer the soon-to-be 32-year old free agent starter a $2.8 million dollar raise over what he earned last season...
...and even if Burnett doesn't sign with NY, MLB.com's Bill Ladson reports today, in an article entitled, "Perez keeping eye on free agent market", that the Nationals aren't interested in A.J. Burnett anyway...Why aren't the Nationals interested?...In Mr. Ladson's words, quoting the ubiquitous "baseball source":
"A baseball source said the Nationals do not have interest in right-hander A.J. Burnett because he has a history of getting hurt."
Now it's true, Burnett has established a direct contract year to effort/perseverance correlation if you look at his stats, but he's a strikeout pitcher, and for a team that has played suspect D at times and failed to produce much runnage, that would seem like a perfect fit...What exactly are the Nationals saving money for?...If you say, "Strasburg?", I say, "Yeah," "Strasburg?" "Yeah" "Strasburg?" "Yeah"...
(ed. note: "I tried to blame it all on the Yankees, "The Yankees are pricing everyone out of the arms race...Sound the alarms, the Yankees didn't make the playoffs, now they have to sign every pitcher out there..." My Brother Scout, Braves' Fan and Source For All Things Baseball snapped me out of my self-pitying tirade though, with a kind-of -true statement, "I wish my team would, uh...the Braves need at least two, if not three starters...every fan should wish their team spent like the Yankees..." "You're right, I wish the Nationals added $80 million dollars to their payroll every time they didn't make the playoffs." "Where'd you get that number?" Scout asks. "Uh...rough estimate.")
...Oh, and Odalis Perez, back in MLB.com's Bill Ladson's article entitled, "Perez keeping eye on free agent market", the Nationals' Opening Night starter, who pitched for $850,000 last season, now Odalis Perez is saying that he'd like to return to DC, but he thinks he'll wait a while and see how the market shakes out, which is probably a good idea if the Yankees are going to take two or three of the top pitchers off the market, but what I don't appreciate is the sentiment expressed by Perez's agent, Martin Arburua, who tells Mr. Ladson:
"'I have spoke briefly with [general manager] Jim [Bowden] and there is interest from the team, and we are basically taking a look at the market and [will] see from there. The Nationals lost a lot of games last year, so they have a lot of holes to fill.'"
Thanks for that, Mr. Arburua.
The Nationals' Interest In Teixeira Today...
As for the Nationals' interest in free agent, Mark Teixeira, the switch and power hitting, 6'2'', 215 lb, first baseman...with the .290 AVG in 6 seasons...over which he's put up, according to baseball-reference.com's 162-game AVG, 40 doubles, 36 HR's and 121 RBI's per season since joining the league back in 2003 with Texas...
...Well, the Nationals' Team President Stan Kasten tells Washington Post writer Dave Sheinin, in a recent Nationals Journal post entitled, "Kasten on Teixeira reports: Not So Fast", that he, in Mr. Sheinin's words:
"...felt compelled to quell the speculation that the Nationals...(as the Post reported)...are preparing a 'competitive' offer for Teixeira."
In Mr. Kasten's own words, as quoted by Mr. Sheinin:
"'I don't want people to have unrealistic expectations...'"
(ed. note - "I'm not gonna criticize Mr. Kasten at all here, because this is essentially what I've been trying to say in recent posts, it's nice that the Nationals recognize that Teixeira is exactly the type of player they desperately need to acquire, but unless he REALLY wants to move back near his home town of Severna Park, Maryland, and is willing to give DC a near-hometown discount, it probably won't happen with the offers that are bound to be coming his way...Cause, you know, the Yankees do need a first baseman...")
(ed. note - "Mr. Sheinin also writes, in his Nationals Journal post, that Mr. Kasten,
"...seemed particulary perturbed that media and fans might interpret an offer to Teixeira as a ploy to gain credibility with the team's fan base."
-- I don't know who would say something like that...")
End On The Positive Note Of The Day...
MLB.com's Bill Ladson reports, in an article entitled, "Nationals a factor in pursuit of Teixeira", that the interest Washington has expressed in free agent second baseman Orlando "O-Dog" Hudson might just be reciprocated...That's right. Mr. Ladson quotes Mr. Hudson saying:
"'I have interest in any Major League team that has interest in me," Hudson said. "The Nationals are a good young club. They have a lot of energy. ... I would definitely be comfortable if I was over there. We'll see how things go. I don't know."
"I don't know," is good enough for me. A free agent considers DC as a destination. That's a first step...Bonifacio's gone, Anderson Hernandez unproven, and Washington doesn't seem to see Ronnie Belliard as a starter, so why not sign Orlando Hudson? A Zimmerman, Guzman, Hudson and Johnson infield sounds alright to me...with Jesus Flores behind the plate and Willingham, Dukes and Milledge left to right in the outfield? (ed. note - Or will it be, Willingham, Milledge and Dukes? Those two outfield options are tied after 79 votes in the current featured Poll...Let's see what the federalbaseball.com readers say after 100 votes???