Loaiza and Larkin are flirting with the Nats. Could they end up taking someone else to the Sadie Hawkins dance? The Nats sure hope not, though if they do the team might learn a valuable lesson about love, and a little...about life.
Loaiza, has many suitors, though most are teams already looking to 2006. Loaiza lives in TX, so the Rangers are rumored. The only other competitive team supposedly in pursuit is the Padres, which happens to be near Loaiza's home town of Tijuana.
I'm not digging the robe-wearing swingers (no, not Hugh Hefner). GM Kevin Towers says they're pretty much done. Normally I wouldn't believe a GM but they have their bullpen set, so Loaiza would have to break into the rotation. He'd have to surpass Darrell May, usually not a very hard task except May is the only lefty in the rotation. They made a pass at Estes, also lefty, to replace May but unless Loaiza is ambidextrous and we haven't heard about it, he won't be moving to San Diego.
The Rangers seem like more of a threat (or blessing depending on how you see it). Their pitching is much more in flux, Loaiza could easily break into the rotation. But Esteban is old and more expensive than anyone he'd replace. Also, I can't find anything from the Texas side that confirms what the Post says. Maybe they are being played to help in Loaiza's negotiations?
I think where Esteban winds up will be based on the money. So we overpay or he'll say good bye to DC. Let him walk I say.
As for Larkin, his agent gives him 50/50 odds on retiring since there appears to be no teams that want Larkin to start. I found this shocking but after looking team by team - we're in a renaissance at the 6 slot. Teams have a lot of good players or prospects just breaking in. Lookin at the veteran starters I'd rather have Larkin than Counsell, Eckstein, or, let's admit it, Guzman but they are all signed this year. They're going to play. If the Reds don't take him back (which I don't see why they wouldn't - a productive SS for cheap that's your teams current fan fav and icon? What is the problem here? Did he bite the head off a baby marmoset?) I can't see him starting anywhere except the Twins (wouldn't that be a nice fit). I've heard zero buzz on that front. It's a backup role or go home.
I think Larkin will retire first, unless Bowden tells him he can compete for the starters job, which he won't. This is silly. You either want the best player or the prospect (who you expect will one day soon be the best player) playing.