Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Dmitri Young: Grade AAA Meat

Young's assignment to AAA is overdue, but welcome. It reminds us once again how truly unspeakably, incredibly, absurdly foolish it was to give a 34-year-old, 300-pound diabetic a two-year contract in the first place. But we're one step closer to putting the Meathook debacle behind us.

The fact that Young accepted the assignment at AAA is mostly meaningless. I don't expect to see him back in the majors again, certainly not as a full-time player. But it's possible that Young can catch on as a pinch hitter for some team down the road, but he just turned 35, and even healthy, fit baseball players often fade badly at that age.

The one positive thing I take from this is that it seems that Bowden and the Nationals may finally be learning the Ron Wolf lesson, that the only thing worse than making a mistake is not correcting it right away. Bowden's tendency has been to not only refuse to correct mistakes, but to double-down on them to prove that he was right in the first place, even if that means re-acquiring players for another team in a new city in his pursuit of vindication.

If, after 15 years as a GM, he's finally learning the importance of giving up on sunk costs rather than throwing good money after bad, then that's a step in the right direction.


Will said...

I think this all but assures the Nats of going after a firstbaseman this winter.
A NJ/Meat Hook platoon might have worked, but giving NJ the starting job outright without any proper plan B won't (Kory Casto does not count).

So the question is, are we making a run at Teixeira? Or perhaps, Dunn or Hinske?
Or are we going to trade for someone? Prince Fielder?
Or is Bill Rhinehart really impressing in the AFL?

Either way, I'm excited. The theme of the day appears to be out with the old and in with the new!

Steve Shoup said...

I know this is off topic but since apparently the Post refues to have any real coverage of rumors and hot stove news I thought i'd throw this idea out there for the Nats. To help with are pitching woes as well as are name recongition issues how about we bring someone back to the Expos/Nats organization. Javier Vasquez, he's 31 won't be 32 till end of July and he's signed for the next 2 years at $11.5 a year.

The news out of Chicago is that he could be on the move and they are talking crazy deals like for Luis Castillo and a moderate prospect. I think an offer of Belliard or Hernandez (they need a 2B) and maybe a useable arm like a Bergmann or Clippard. Maybe you'd have to give a prospect as well but it wouldn't be any of our top guys.

Vasquez isn't an ace but he isn't a slouch either he's been pretty consistent of late as a solid #2-3 pitcher and he had a great year in 07. I think he's a pretty solid option better than giving 5-6 years to a FA at probably a higher cost. While he has a no trade clause it only blocks the teams in the AL and NL West.

Steven said...

Belly and Bergy for Vazquez would be a steal. I'd be surprised to see the ChiSox go for it, and Kenny Williams has one hell of a track record on trades, but certainly I like what you're thinking.

Also, the D'Backs and Mets--aka the only two teams that take Jim's calls?--are talking about trading for a 2B. Seems more likely that he'd end up there.

bottom line, if Belly's not playing for one of the many contenders who could use him as a 2B and back-up IF, I'll be wicked disappointed.

Wil Nieves said...

How much do you think the Nats could comfortably spend to bring in free agents without making a train wreck of "the plan"? All these numbers flying around (Dmitri's certainly making a LOT more than I was in AAA, but that's beside the point) for free agents are very large, but I'm not quite sure how they compare to the Nat's bank accounts.

Steve Shoup said...

I don't have time to crunch the numbers but given their market size, new stadium potential, MASN (which is obligated to pay them a high rate even if the numbers are low, i believe last year was $25 million). I would say long term the Nats could be in the $100 million range year in year out. Now some of that is based on the projection that the stadium drawing 30,000 a night. As for this year i'd say a max of something in the $70 million range. This year though with 2 top 10 picks the nats draft budget will likely be the highest ever (maybe $20 million) so i could see the nats keeping payroll around $60-65 to help balance that out.

Steve Shoup said...

Steven: I hope Bowden has the sense to at least inquire about Vasquez it sounds like his value to the Sox is down and I wouldn't mind adding a prospect (just not a top one) or Colome to the deal. I do like you Arizona/Mets idea, I think the Dodgers could be in play as well maybe even the Twins. Regardless I think the nats are in a unique posistion where they could actually take on a bigger contract (though not Castillo).

ps. Thanks for whatever you did to fix the IE problem it works fine now.