Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Nats Get a DH

The Nationals traded two not-prospects for Jonny Gomes in a Bowden-esque junk-for-junk deal that fans usually like because they get a guy they've heard of for a couple guys they haven't.

Gomes probably becomes the short-side platoon partner for Laynce Nix, which I guess is fine. Neither guy can hit same-handed pitching, and presumably Davey Johnson will do a good job optimizing. But Gomes is a dreadful fielder and 30 years old. And he's earning $1.75 million, so as pointless moves go, it's not a cheap one, unless the Reds are picking up the contract for some reason.

Kilgore says Gomes is likely to be a type-B free agent, which I haven't checked but seems probably right. That means that this could be an example of the Nationals more or less buying a second or third round draft pick, which would be fine. Then again, they'd have to tender Gomes a contract if they want the pick, and if I was Gomes I'd accept arbitration in a heartbeat. I wouldn't expect him to get what he's getting now as a free agent, and players don't usually take pay cuts from arbitrators.

There's nothing much to fret about in what the Nationals gave up. Bill Rhinehart was a fringey prospect a few years ago, but then he regressed badly and more or less missed his window. He's had a nice season this year at AA, but he's 26 playing against much younger competition. The offensive standards for first basemen are so high that he's really not a guy with any kind of future in MLB anymore.

Christopher Manno is a 22-year-old lefty reliever drafted by the Nationals in the 26th round out of high school Duke in 2010. He's been striking out hitters by the bushel in A ball, but he's never been on John Sickels' top 20 or BA's top 31. That's all I know about him. Minor league relief pitcher, whatever.

Mostly this is the kind of deal that annoys me, because it suggests that Rizzo is focused on the wrong things. But probably it won't matter, and at least we don't have to hear Bowden talk about "light tower power" in the news conference.


traderkirk said...

Christopher Manno is a 22-year-old lefty reliever drafted by the Nationals in the 26th round out of high school in 2010. -- What, was he held back for three years or did he just get his junior year in High School right the 3rd time?

Section 222 said...

If this moves sets the stage for Stairs being released, I'm all for it. He was on deck to pinchhit for JZnn last night, and then was pulled back for Cora. So maybe even DJ has "lost confidence" in him. About time.