• Another 1B Moves: FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal had the Washington Nationals listed as one of seven teams with interest in San Diego Padres' first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, but overnight it seems the Boston Red Sox and Padres have worked out a deal that will have the 28-year-old career .284/.368/.507 slugger who's missed just eleven games since he became a full-time major leaguer in 2006 playing first in Fenway for the foreseeable future. The Nats, of course, also lost out on Adam Dunn who signed a 4-year/$56 million dollar deal to become the Chicago White Sox'
1B, LF (really DH) after years of the big NL-loving middle-of-the-order bat voicing disdain for the American League. The two moves also narrow the field of available-in-one-way-or-another first baseman, with the White Sox' natural rival in Wrigley also in the market for first baseman including Dunn at one time, but now faced with the same decision as the Nationals...Carlos Pena or Adam LaRoche? FWIW: Though nothing is official yet, the chatter has the Red Sox dealing their top first base Anthony Rizzo, top pitching prospect Casey Kelley and top outfielder Reymond Fuentes to San Diego. (ed. note - "The top prospects in Baseball America's last list at least.")...My first reaction is that the Nats simply don't have that sort of comparable talent in the system - Jordan Zimmermann, Ian Desmond and Michael Burgess (cause that's a no on Harper)...My second thought is that this is the sort of haul that should have been there for Adam Dunn...though of course most will argue that A-Gon has more dimensions...
• Maya vs Big Bart?:
In case you're not following along on the Twitter (@federalbaseball), there was a short discussion yesterday about what to make of Yunesky Maya's success so far in the Liga de Beisbol Dominicano where the 29-year-old right-hander is now (3-1) with a 0.69 ERA in 5 starts and 26.0 innings pitched over which he's allowed 14 hits, 6 walks and just 2 ER while recording 26 K's. Thursday night, Maya suffered his first DWL loss in spite of a solid effort which saw the Nats' first major international signing (as the Nationals described it) give up just 4 hits, 2 walks and 1 ER in 7.0 innings of work during which he'd struck out 8 and induced 11 ground ball and 4 fly ball outs, only to be outdone by 37-year-old former Major League and one-time Expo Bartolo Colon (who was out of the Majors last year) who threw 7.0 scoreless and gave up just 3 hits while striking out 8. So how impressed should you be by Maya's efforts if Colon can dominate down in the Dominican? Hard to tell without seeing Maya work (as some around here have pointed out repeatedly) and just going on stats.
For every Starlin Castro, who plays on Maya's Leones de Escogido, there's a Willy Taveras, who was 0 for 4 Thursday night for Colon's Aguilas Cibaenas, in the DWL. The competition in the Winter League isn't on par with what Maya will face in the Majors, but I wouldn't be surprised if the Maya Nats fans saw in Spring Training and hopefully in D.C. next season isn't considerably more consistent with his location and featuring better stuff than he showed during his whirlwind tour through the system last season and for the Nats in September...but let's hope that he has a little more on his fastball by then as well.
• Predictions?: Anyone care to predict what the Washington Nationals will accomplish at the Winter Meetings which start on Monday? Nothing? A starter or two? A new first baseman? Have you lost faith in Mike Rizzo?
• Rule 5: The Rule 5 Draft closes out next week's Winter Meetings. I can't swear to the accuracy of the following list, but if anyone else has another list or spots anyone not included, I'd be interested...
Otherwise, Spandemonium (denardspanfan.mlbblogs.com) has compiled the following list of Rule 5 Eligible Players which I've seen linked and referenced around the internets. Here are the Washington Nationals' prospects who are eligible and therefore available for the taking in this year's Draft:
Nationals: Erik Arnesen, Jeff Mandel, Brad Meyers, Josh Wilkie, Michael Martinez, Seth Bynum, Brian Bixler, Boomer Whiting, Jesus Valdez, Tim Pahuta, Josh Johnson, Adam Fox, Jhonatan Solano, Zech Zinicola, Cory Van Allen, Ryan Tatusko, Jack Spradlin, Hassan Pena, Adrian Alaniz, Josh Philabaum, Daniel Lyons, Nick Arata, Jose Lozada, Robert Jacobson, Bill Rhineheart, Nicolas Moresi