Thursday, June 26, 2008

Guzman, after a few minutes to think--not a good idea

The more I think about it, the more I think we're making a big mistake even talking to Guzman now. Given the first half he's had, whatever the terms are, they're going to be too high, either in money, years, or both.

There's a real pattern with Bowden overpaying by resigning guys at their peak value--think 2 years and $10m for DY in a market, well, really no market for him much at all. Let Guzzy come back to Earth in the second half, and then in the off-season we can talk. The market is really pretty full with SS, which means that we not only have a lot of options, but so does everyone else. Here's the list. What's the rush?

Also, while we don't have any major-league ready fill-ins right now, Opening Day, 2009 is a ways away. We should be big time sellers at the deadline, and it seems at least somewhat plausible that we could get a SS with some upside long-term for DY, Belliard, FLop, PLod, Kearns, Perez, Redding, etc.

In fact, come to think of it, Guzman himself should be one of the guys we're shopping to try to get back some youth. Maybe a team in the playoff mix with a lousy SS like wants to make a deal. There are actually several potential suitors:
  • The Rays, at 47-31 would be the WC in the AL if the season ended today, and they're playing Jason Bartlett every day. He's solid on defense, but not good enough to overcome his bat. And in case his .246-.291.-.274 line doesn't depress you, consider that he's cratered in September for 3 years in a row, and scouts worry that his small frame can't hold up to a full MLB season.
  • The Cards, at 45-35 are in line for the WC in the NL, and they've been doing it with the terrible Cesar Izturis (.241-.315-.241), who is now hurt and being replaced by Brendan Ryan.
  • Maybe even the O's delude themselves into thinking they really have a chance. How sweet would it be to fleece the O's on Guzzy?
Now, Guzman's contract means he's a pure short-term rental, which probably hurts his trade value. And we can't do what every other team does when they want a team to overpay for a short-term rental--call Jim Bowden.

But nonetheless, while Guzman has some value, we should be looking to flip him for youth, not sign him for more than he's worth.


Anonymous said...

Problem is that even though Guzzy it hitting the ball, his OBP isn't great at all. And that will severely limit his trade potential.

With regards to "DY, Belliard, FLop, PLod, Kearns, Perez, Redding" one in that list, except Redding, is worth a damn to any team. Young has been a bust after his AS year, FLop is worthless (everyone knows it), Kearns was worthless when he played (everyone knows it), Perez has been mediocre (everyone knows it), and PLod has been a complete waste (everyone knows it). Now if everyone knows these things, who the hell can the Nats fleece?

There are no all stars ready to be traded on this team. They will receive, and should receive, nothing for the collection of stiffs you mention.

Brian said...

You can't do both?

See what his value is around the majors and negotiate an extension in the case the Nationals are not offered an acceptable deal in exchange for Guzman.

Just a question, but what teams in a playoff race would be interested in Guzman? I'm not saying there aren't any but I'm not sure many are knocking down doors to acquire him. To me that would imply the younger players offered might not be of the quality the Nats would accept.

Nationals Fan said...

@Brian--the reporting was that they made an offer. You can't do both if you've made an offer.

The problem with even negotiating now, even if you don't sign, is that anything you concede at this point in the negotiation, when his hand is strongest, is hard to take back. I don't literally mean, "don't talk to him," but don't engage in any serious negotiations now.

In my post I listed 3 teams that could be good potential suitors. Of course injuries could create a need on any of the playoff contenders.

@anon--I agree Guzzy's overrated right now. I posted Harper's analysis on this, which I think is exactly right. As for whether any of these guys have value, I agree we don't have any Erik Bedards or Johan Santanas to flip. But at the deadline at team with needs might give up a prospect. We're not going to get blue-chip sure-things, but the strategy needs to be to stockpile a bunch of guys who have a chance. Cuz it's hard to know who's going to be Galarraga and who's going to be Hinckley.

Brian said...

Yes, the made an offer. It's called negotiating. Guzman and his agent did not accept it so everything is still OK. You can make an offer while at the same time shop a player. It's not mutually exclusive until Guzman accepts an offer.

As for your suggestions of teams, how much of an improvement is Guzman over those guys? Not that much at all in my opinion.

I think you might be overestimating Guzman's value on the trade market.

This dovetails into my comments about the fact that the Nationals actually need to sign more veteran free agents as part of their rebuilding efforts. It creates a supply of potential trade candidates or if they are lucky, free agents worth draft pick compensation.

Nationals Fan said...

Like I said, I wouldn't negotiate now at all. Guzzy's negotiating position is likely to get weaker as his performance reverts to the mean in the 2nd half. I don't want to overpay for him now and see him hit .190 for the second half. Cuz there's no CHANCE that would ever happen, right? Riiiiiiight.

I don't think I'm overestimating his trade value. I'm not expecting to get a horde of blue-chip prospects, but if we can get 2 young players who have a chance to be a part of the first great Nats team, I'd do it. If you stockpile Armando Galarraga types, eventually one pans out. (And if you give away enough, eventually one bites you in the ass.)

I think Guzman at this point is measurably better than C. Izturis, A. Cintron, and J. Bartlett. If you don't, I can't imagine why you'd want any part of re-signing him. That's quite a damning assessment.

I don't disagree that buying low an an undervalued free agent can be a smart step in the rebuilding process. That's why in retrospect the Loaiza signing was smart both for the long-term and the short-term. Totally agree there. But this isn't buying low. This is buying high. Twice. With the same guy.

Mike said...

I tend to agree about not re-signing Guzman. It does depend a little bit on what the terms would be, but he's not particularly good on defense and his offensive deficiencies have already been well laid out. I think not having a shortstop ready to replace him is not a good reason to bring him back.

Dave Nichols said...

rumors floating around the Nats and O's ARE talking about a shortstop, but it's Lopez they are talking about.