A Washington Nationals Blog
61 minutes, very comprehensive!
Stephen, I usually listen to your podcast on long car trips. If there's any way you can increase the volume, especially of Brian because he is participating by phone, that would be much appreciated. Great stuff for Nats fanatics. Hope you guys will do them periodically in the off season!
I've tried to do a bunch with volume, and I hope it's pretty good for most folks now.I know Brian is fairly shouting into his phone most of the time, which helps. I have the volume up as far as I can get it without experimenting with new software, which I have some ideas on things I can do, but when I tried to do it I lost all volume totally.
Volume? Way too loud. Hurts my ears to listen over headphones. So I don't.OTOH, from the little bit I did listen to, I see I'm not missing much.
Your hatred for Bowden is irrational. You say that you like to judge trades by the standard of the time the trade happened which is why you hated the Soriano deal, but you didn't use that criteria for the Kearns/Lopez trade. How often do 26 year old All-star SS and good 26 year OF go on the market only to be traded for garbage? How could Bowden anticipate them sucking when everyone thought they would be future stars.
I think you are overstating how Kearns and Lopez were valued at the time as well as the value at the time of what we gave up.Still, I believe I said on the podcast that the deal was a good deal for the Nationals, but not the total fleecing people say, that I was focusing on the downsides of the deal in order to point out that it was a little more nuanced than just a total fleecing.I think that's completely fair, and I stand by it.And given how many pixels I've spent "giving Jim his due" on the moves I did like I don't think it's fair to say I'm just an irrational hater.
Felipe Lopez and Austin Kearns were 26 at the time. Lopez was coming off an all-star season. a 26 year old all-star SS was worth a lot and Kearns was supposed to be a future all-star. Even looking back at the time we didn't give up much. We gave a C level starter (Thompson), a declining reliever, a decent reliever (Bray), a garbage SS (Clayton), and a light hitting IF. Every team would take Kearns and Lopez for essentially a C level starter, decent reliever, and a light hitting IF. You are using hindsight which makes it seem like the team was far away from competing, but most people at the time thought the Nats could compete in 08 or 09 and in those seasons, Kearns and Lopez would have been in their primes. That is exactly the type of rebuilding move we needed.You didn't give credit to JimBo for the Willingham deal. Did you know that Willingham has the highest OPS among every single OF in all of baseball (both leagues). He also has the highest Road OPS in the big leagues of any player, better than Mauer better than Pujols. At the time you thought that Bonifacio was an improving player which everyone else at the time would realize was ridiculous because Bonifacio was always going to be Anderson Hernandez-lite. We got the best hitting OF in baseball, Willingham, for a utility player which is a steal.
Dude, chill. I said the deal was a win.I still think you're overstating the case. I don't think it's credible to think the Nationals were 2 years from contention in 2007. The guy you call a "light hitting SS," Brendan Harris, in fact is a better hitter than Lopez, and was known to be a good hitter at the time--fielding was/is the concern. Majewski wasn't in decline--he just got hurt. A c-level prospect SP isn't garbage. Bray was a #1 draft pick and was projected with a closer ceiling. You skip that Kearns at the time was as injury prone as Nick Johnson. The salary difference.Again, I've said it's a win, but it's not the total one-sided fleecing you're claiming.
Brendan Harris has been replacement level save for one season in his career. Felipe Lopez was an all-star the season before. Anybody would have taken him over Harris back then without hesitation. Harris is not a better hitter than Lopez. He might have been a better hitter when Lopez was on the Nats, but Lopez has been a lot better in the other years.It's easy to say that we were far from contention in hindsight in 2006. But I would bet at the time you would have guessed that the Nats could compete in 2008 or at the latest in 2009 and that is the time that Kearns and Lopez should have been in their primes. I don't think you mentioned the Willingham deal in the podcast. That was a steal even with Olsen being bad because Willingham is the best hitting OF in baseball this season. All of that for a sub-replacement level IF.
I wonder what part of "it was a win" you find so hard to understand?I just have a problem with your misstatement of fact.Harris was a 1-win player in 2007 and a 2-win player in 2008. So you're exaggerating there. Calling Felipe Lopez "an all-star" is really cherry-picking his one very good season from a career of under achievement. You're just exaggerating.Also on the Willingham deal, you're forgetting 2 of the 3 players we gave up in that deal. I think it's premature to put that in the top 3 trades because Smolinski is having a great season and could easily become a very solid MLB 2B. The jury's just out on that one.But yes Willingham is having a career year. It's good to see. And Olsen only wiped out about half of Hammer's value, so I guess that's not so bad.
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