So...What did we learn today? We learned that DC GM Mike Rizzo's "lost" Livan Hernandez's number...and that Livan still wants to pitch in Washington. We learned that two former Nationals' pitchers got beef...We learned that Orlando Hudson is still asking for too much money....and for an hour or two today, after MLB.com's Bill Ladson sent out two incendiary tweets which reported first that Hudson's demands had the Nationals, "...considering other options," including, according to the second message, "...Adam Kennedy and Orlando Cabrera to play second base," XM's MLB Home Plate updates were saying that the Nationals were done negotiating with Hudson, but MASNSports.com writer Ben Goessling came back from Ben's (no relation) Chili Bowl with a quote from the DC GM who, "...made it clear that former Dodgers second baseman Orlando Hudson is still the top choice, in spite of reports of wavering progess between the two sides." In the DC GM's own words:
"'There's been no secret I like Orlando Hudson. He fits what we're trying to do, get stronger defensively up the middle. We like him. We've got several other options beyond him, but obviously, he's a guy we'd like to acquire. If it's a fit for him and for us, I think we'll get something done. If not, we have other options to go a different direction."
The public affirmation of Rizzo's affection for the veteran second baseman comes just a day after the 32-year-old defending Gold Glove winner told MLB.com's Bill Ladson, in an article entitlted, "Nationals remain in mix for Hudson", that something was in the works:
"I will sign soon enough. You can put it on the Internet and on TV. I'm going to sign. I can't say exactly when. It will not be long. I can't say if it's with the Nationals, San Diego or Cleveland. I can't say with whom. Something is getting done."
Just get it done already...really. Cause you probably don't know, Orlando, how happy some in DC would be to see Ian Desmond start the season at short!!! Not so thrilled about the Guzman at second thing...but...
• Livan Here, Hello?
• Keith Law vs Keith Law.
• Livan Here, Hello?
Livan Hernandez let it be known last night, in an article by MLB.com's Bill Ladson entitled, "Livan interested in returning to Nats", that he's been waiting for DC GM Mike Rizzo to return his calls, but so far this winter, since Livan's agent submitted a contract proposal during the Winter Meetings...which were in early December, he's had no response:
"['My agent and I] sent a proposal,' Hernandez said. 'I'm waiting for Rizzo to call me back, so I don't know what's going on. I called him a couple of times, and he never called me back. I want to go back to the Washington Nationals.'"
Now I know it would be easy to kind of laugh at Hernandez a bit, but he seems genuinely offended, and I'm not sure I disagree...after all Livan's done for this organization, how about a call to say, we're exploring other options, or we'll keep you in mind. I've been a fan of Livan's since long before he ended up in Montreal as the Expos' ace, and he was Mr. National Himself, plastered on the advertisements all around RFK when the Nationals first came to the nation's capital. Give him a ring, Rizzo. Even if just to say, "No thanks, that 5th spot's for Strasburg," or you know, uh, one of the young pitchers...No Pressure, Stephen!! No pressure...
• Keith Law vs Keith Law.
We learned today that the Washington Nationals, who placed just one player in ESPN.com's Keith Law's 2009 list of the Top 100 Prospects in baseball, (RHP Jordan Zimmerman at no. 42), had managed to get three players into the Top 100 in this year's edition of Keith Law's list entitled simply, "Ranking the top prospects", with '09 1st Round pick, right-handed pitcher and future closer Drew Storen ranked 92nd out of 100 and future catcher Derek Norris, an '07 4th Round pick, ranked 31st overall, behind only Stephen Strasburg who once again finds himself 2nd on a list of Top Prospects behind the Braves' outfielder Jason Heyward, with ESPN.com's Mr. Law writing:
"(Strasburg) has good life on the fastball to his glove side, and his curveball is as hard as a typical slider, with sharp late tilt that he uses to bury the pitch down and in to left-handed batters. He has a hard changeup with a screwball-ish fading action, but he rarely had to use it as an amateur because -- let's face it -- not many college hitters were going to square up a 98 mph fastball with life."
(ed. note - "I know I say this all the time, but Mr. Law's work alone is reason enough to be an ESPN Insider. And no they are not a sponsor.")
As for the entire organization, ESPN.com's Keith Law had the Nationals next-to-last in 2009, ranked 29th ahead of only the Houston Astros, with Mr. Law noting that their top prospects had regressed and the team's failure to sign Aaron Crow had set them back even further:
"The consistent failure to convert veteran big leaguers into any sort of prospects and questions about their practices in Latin America will leave them stuck down here even if they have a successful draft in 2009."
According, to Mr. Law, the 2009 Draft must be considered a success, as he moves the organization up six spots to 23rd overall in baseball in ESPN.com's Keith Law's 2010 Organization Rankings writing that Washington is, Getting there, slowly," but, "...a number of top draft picks from 2006 to 2008 haven't developed as expected, and two of their top three guys -- including Stephen Strasburg -- came in the 2009 draft."
In Rizzo We Trust.