Nationals Baseball: Slamming the Stick...does that sound dirty?

Friday, January 14, 2005

Slamming the Stick...does that sound dirty?

Johnson avoids arbitration, becomes trade bait.

As for Sosa, I like signing for superstars, even declining ones. I'd even overpay them for their on the field services based on the interest they'd provide off the field. I was a big Pedro to DC advocate. But trading for a superstar can cost you way too much. As I said earlier, "I even have a nightmare where Bowden trades Johnson, Vidro, Brendan Harris, and Francis Beltran to the Cubs for Sammy Sosa." It would take a lot from the Nats to make up even half Sosa's salary.

Some of Bowden's best & worst moves for the Reds are listed at the bottom of this article. His best moves include acquiring Danny Graves and Dmitri Young? OK I like Dmitri Young personally, but signing one-good year Pete Schourek? Did he bring the monkey and the dartboard to DC with him?


traderkirk said...

If his worst move was trading Paul O'Neill for Roberto Kelly 13 years ago that's not too bad. Besides, look at some of his better moves . . . he made waiver wire fodder Jeff Shaw in a "closer' then flipped him to the Dodgers for Paul Konerko! And getting Dmitri Young for another "proven closer" like Jeff Brantley is one good deal. These two transactions show that Bowden understands how a smaller market franchise can leverage one of its assets (playing time) into player value. And would another GM have the stones to deal his Opening Day starter 24 hours before Opening Day. But how could he say No to that deal? Would you say that one worked out?

Can't say that his moves so far as the Nats GM have been stellar. But at least he isn't Randy Smith or Cam Bonifay bad.

Harper said...

Honestly, I'm not going to say Bowden is a bad GM. His deal are plentiful and cut about 50/50, maybe even slightly favorable. But they are generally low-level successes and failures.

It's like he understands how to run a small-market team, (looking for values, trading high) but isn't quite the talent evaluator he needs to be to bring that type of team success. For a small-market team, it's a wash. You aren't shooting for the moon. The busts are so small, you hardly notice. For a large market team, a lack of good talent evaluation could be killer. Look at the signings, Guzman and Castilla? Not a strong showing so far.

traderkirk said...

I cannot and will not defend the Guzman and Cashstealer signings. They are bad and I'd put the over/under on the albatross day (the day these deals officially become an albatross on the franchise) at about July 1st, 2005.

My only point is that Bowden, in his Reds tenure, had a pretty good track record. Now, I saw a year by year rundown of the rotations that he put together in Cincinnati and it was underwhelming to say the least. But, as we can see from the Wright signing, the pitching market is way overinflated this off season. And, of the guys available and in our price range, Odalis Perez was the right target. So I'll give him a good grade there.

As for Sosa, that's got to be just PR. Unless the Cubs are really desperate to get rid of him for clubhouse reasons, he won't be a Nat. However, as I understand it, Sosa could renegotiate his 2006 option as part of a trade, something he wouldn't do to stay in Chicago. So the Cubs have an interest in dealing him for essentially nothing and even kicking in salary to escape from the 2006 liability. As long as they don't give up anyone useful or sign him to an extension, then why not add Sammy? At the very least, calling and making such an offer (and then calling Gammons and every other MLB beat writer) got our name in every papaer in the country. Raising our profile and making us a choice for free agents is something we'll have to do. Look at the trouble the Tigers' have had attracting talent after the 2003 meltdown?

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