Nationals Baseball: This mission just got a whole bunch more impossibler

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

This mission just got a whole bunch more impossibler

I'm back from all my Druish celebrations and what do I find? Major news... For another NL East team.

Not that the Nats did nothing, they brought in useful... let's call them "high-level depth" players. Everyday Eddie, Everyweek Eric, & Just a couple a days a month Josh. Guys that can be plugged in a major league roster at times and not embarrass themselves in one aspect of the game or other. OK Eddie is better than that - but that's not really the point.

The point is, while the Nats continue to mostly work around the edges in the 09 offseason (as well they probably should - more on that in a second) the Mets went ahead and made a move to get better in bunches by signing Jason Bay. Now this is not a great signing by any means, but it's not the worst thing I've ever seen, and for the Mets, who are looking to win in the next two years or so (Beltran's contract ends in 2011, Reyes in 2011 too if they pick up the option), it's necessary. The reality is that it does make the Mets a better team next year and that's before any other moves they make and they are able to answer the big question - are they healthy or not.? If the Braves do anything with that outfield/1B situation the Nats are going to be staring down three teams much improved from last year before the first pitch is thrown.

Don't get confused. I'm not advocating the Nats going out there and forcing splashy signings onto this club that aren't smart. They've done well so far, maybe a second baseman or another starter (if they like the contract they can get) would be in order in the next few months. Anything more than that would require long term commitments to players looking to get overpaid by teams on the cusp of something. The Nats aren't in that list of teams and shouldn't be looking to make those types of moves.

There are two things I see as facts based on the past few months of baseball action on and off the field
  • The Nats will be a better team in 2010 than in 2009
  • So will arguably every other team in the NL East.
Don't expect next season to show that big improvement that we may usually expect based on the movement we've seen from the Nats. They could be a 73 theoretical win team next year that only wins 67 games.


Will said...

I think this is a blessing in disguise. While its hard to determine how bad the Mets ownership was hurt by Madoff, they certainly lost a lot of money. As a result, the Mets won't be spending the same amounts on payroll as in the past. By deciding to spend $66 mil on Bay, it will limit their ability to sign other players in the future, and boy will that contract look bad in four years. They're seriously overpaying him right now- consider how debilitating it will be in 2014, which is coincidentally around the same time the Nationals should start becoming a real threat in the NL East.

Harper said...

The Mets are stupid. But they have money. So you never know.

As long as Minaya is in this weird "win-now, but don't spend too much" situation it's good for everyone else. All the pressure of being forced to make signings with none of the giant cushion of signing a bunch of people they need in a single year.

Bryan said...

Nothing the Mets ever do works out. Color me not worried.

67 wins!

Anonymous said...

Jason Bay: anytime you can lock up a DH on a national league team for nearly $70m, you have to do it.

All the Bay signing means for the Nats is: it will be easier to pass the Mets in the NL East pecking order two or three years from now!

Thanks oh WGMIBB!