Saturday, March 13, 2010

So Who Are the Five Free Agents Boz Has Heard Of?

In a really kind of bizarre column yesterday by Tom Boswell about how the Nationals are winless in spring training but oh so improved, he credits the team with "signing five recognizable free agents."

Now, setting aside that recognizable-ness is a really standard for evaluating free agent signings, I got to wondering, who are the five Boz is thinking of? He throws that out there as if it's clear and obvious, but I'm not sure.

It seems like it has to be five of this seven: Jason Marquis, Matt Capps, Ivan Rodriguez, Brian Bruney, Adam Kennedy, Chien-Ming Wang, and Livan Hernandez.

Here are the free agents from other teams that the Nationals have signed this off season:
Miguel Batista*
Matt Capps
Eddie Guardado*
Adam Kennedy
Jason Marquis
Ivan Rodriguez
Tyler Walker
Chien-Ming Wang
Josh Whitesell*
Then they also resigned these 2009 Nationals who had become free agents:
Livan Hernandez*
Scott Olsen
Ron Villone*

*minor league deals
Help me here. Who are the five guys who were recognizable to Boz, and which had he not heard of? It's not Guardado, since he'd already been cut. Commenters are saying that he probably wasn't referring to a re-signing, though in the cases of Livo and Villone I'm not sure how they were really all that different from any other signing.

But even if you only look at the players who didn't play for the team at all in 2009, it's still not really clear to me. In terms of fame, Wang and Rodriguez are the only ones really in their own league, and Wang is damaged goods and Rodriguez is way over the hill. Is Adam Kennedy really a big name? Tyler Walker? Miguel Batista? Capps and Marquis have been in all-star games recently, so I assume he included them, but especially in Capps' case, he's not very well known and it's been a year since he was any good.

I guess the thing that puzzles me is that Boz is trying to make a case that the Nationals have been somehow much more active in free agency, and he's pointing to a list that includes the likes of Adam Kennedy, Matt Capps, Tyler Walker, and/or Miguel Batista as evidence. Is this really an advancement from signing Mike McDougal or Paul LoDuca or Johnny Estrada or Ronnie Belliard?

By all means, praise the team for ponying up for Ryan Zimmerman and Stephen Strasburg. Jason Marquis was a very good value signing. But it seems to me Boz is trying way too hard to drive a certain narrative.


Deez Nats said...

Bruney was a trade and Livo was a re-sign, so I'm guessing he's referring to the other 5.

Anonymous said...

Bruney doesn't count because the Nats traded for him. I would assume he meant Pudge, Marquis, Capps, Kennedy, and Wang. The Nats already had Livo last year, so he's not exactly a new face.

peric said...

You could almost make that 4. As Boz himself proclaims it doesn't pay to grasp at straws. It is unlikely that Wang will be the same pitcher. Look at Olsen. He looks to be a year away if he makes it all the way back.

Let the Taiwanese follow Wang but they will be following him around the minors. I hate to say it but I believe that Olsen should be down there working on his arm strength this April as well. Along with JZimm and Mattheus.

Steven said...

OK good point that Bruney was a trade. Forgot about that goofy situation.

Lemme update the post.

bdrube said...

Boz is yet another old, out of touch writer coasting on his reputation just like Bob Woodward and, to be honest, the entire Washington Post itself.

Thank goodness for the blogs. At least there is one place where you can get the straight scoop from people who actually know what they are talking about. And that goes for politics as well as sports.

estuartj said...

I love picking on Boz, especially when he says something THIS stupid, but isn't Boz Bashing more of a winter sport?