(Yesterday's Federalbaseball.com Headlines) -
"The Washington Nationals Called Biggest Losers By USA TODAY..." by e chigliak
"So, Are The Nats Better Off?" - by Nats News Network
Adam Dunn Does Not Want To Play In DC? But Zimmerman Said...
According to another in a seemingly endless supply of unnamed sources, this one quoted by ESPN.com's Jayson Stark for an article entitled, "Many ways for Series to become Super", and described as, "An official of one team that has had contact with Adam Dunn's agent", we're being led to believe that free agent left fielder (1B?) Adam Dunn would prefer to sign on to play left field with the Los Angeles Dodgers, (if they don't bring Manny Ramirez back), and when it comes to Washington's Nationals, again, according to Mr. Stark's "Source":
"If he (Dunn) wanted to be in Washington, he'd already be there..."
Mr. Stark continues by noting that, "The Nationals remain Dunn's most aggressive suitor," though if you believe his source, it's a fruitless effort on the Nationals' behalf... Of course, as recently as this past Tuesday, Washington Post writer Chico Harlan, in a Nationals Journal post entitled, "Friends Recruiting Friends", was quoting a named source, Ryan Zimmerman, who stated quite clearly, when asked:
"Q: Are you trying to convince him (Dunn) to come?
"A: I'm trying to convince everyone to come. I mean, he likes this place. He likes everything about it, and obviously he knows Jim [Bowden], he knows what he's about. There are a lot of ties that are kind of in there..."
Zimmerman goes on to confirm what everyone in baseball, including Mr. Stark, seems to be saying, that Dunn won't sign anywhere until other free agents, (read: Manny Ramirez, the #1 bat remaining on the market) finally decide on a home for 2009, but Zimmerman's statements stand in, uh, stark contrast to Mr. Stark's unnamed source's, but of course, Zimmerman's just having a conversation with the Post's Mr. Harlan, about his personal friendship Dunn, while Mr. Stark's unnamed "official" with a team that has admittedly talked to Dunn's agent possibly has another agenda...
For the second day in a row I'm reading Stephen Strasburg/Mark Prior comparisons while I search around for what little Washington Nationals-related news is available... Yesterday it was Kyle Boddy at Driveline Mechanics comparing Strasburg and Prior's deliveries, and today it's Baseball America's Jim Callis, who is responding to a question in the "Ask BA" column, about which franchise, the Nationals or Orioles currently has the best pitching prospects:
"Strasburg would give the Nationals the most impressive pitcher in that group, but the Orioles' arms would be better as a whole. While (O's Pitcher Brian) Matusz was the best pitcher in the 2007 draft, scouts consider Strasburg a cut above, a Mark Prior/David Price type who comes along only once every few years."
Now, while Mr. Boddy's assessment warned of potential danger in the similarities between Prior and Straburg's deliveries, Mr. Callis is simply remarking on the potential their type of "ace material" arms possess, but the Nationals can't be happy to hear Mr. Callis compare Strasburg to Price, since it took 6-years/$8.5M including a $5.6M signing bonus to get David Price to sign with Tampa, and Price was, of course, represented by Scott "Maximum" Boras, who also represents Mr. Strasburg...
Chris Marrero Invited To Spring Training...
Chances are Chris Marrero won't make the Opening Day roster, though, as both MLB.com's Bill Ladson and the Washington Post's Chico Harlan reported recently, the Nationals' 20-year-old "first baseman of the future", an '06 1st Round pick (1 of 2 1st rounders, selected 15th overall after pitcher Colton Willems), was invited to Spring Training. Marrero missed a good deal of time last season after suffering injuries to his right leg and ankle on a play at the plate, but he'll enter Spring Training as one of 5 players in line to play first base, and the other 4 are Dmitri Young, Nick Johnson, Ronnie Belliard and Kory Casto...who would you want backing up Johnson at first? (ed. note - "For the record, back in mid-December '08, as part of my "Argument Against DC Signing Adam Dunn", I wrote that Washington should just:
"...barring Mark Teixeira's signing...go with Nick Johnson and the top 1B prospect backing him up, (he should get plenty of time) so whoever's next-in-line at first in DC learns how to play the right way..."
It would be a big jump for Marrero, (originally drafted as a third baseman, moved to the outfield and then over to first), who has never played above Class-A, but no one knows what to expect from DY, and Belliard at first is far from ideal, with Casto capable but yet to light the Majors on fire, so on a team full of 25-and-unders, imagining Marrero making the team is far-fetched but not entirely out of the realm...or is it? NEW POLL!!!
Potomac Nationals Pre-Game Warmups (via Rhilton4u)
(ed. note - "Marrero's up second in the BP video, and Ross Detwiler's warming up at around 1:45...")