Yesterday I off-handedly mentioned Jonny Gomes might have lost his Free Agent B status. I checked it out, and the reverse engineerer at MLB trade rumors seems to think so, too. These aren't official by any means but he's shown a good track record of getting it right.
What does this mean? Rizzo traded away something of value on a good bet that he'd make his team worse. Gomes was hitting .211 / .336 / .399 when he was dealt. It couldn't have shocked the team when he followed up with 2 months of .204 / .299 / .366 baseball. Oh he did ok starting against lefties, but that wasn't the point of bringing in Gomes. It was to provide righty pop off the bench and hopefully get the Nats a draft pick. Gomes got all of 0 hits in 18 PH at bats (presumably mostly against lefties). He likely won't bring back any compensation if the Nats were to offer him arbitration. Manno and Rhinehart are not huge losses but when your buddy hands over $3 for a bag of magic beans, you still gotta call him out on being stupid.
This isn't the first time Rizzo has given up something for nothing. Whatever you think about dealing Nyjer Morgan, and the fanbase truly is split, it was a bad trade. Morgan had value. Cutter Dykstra was a waste of a minor league space in 2011.
These deals fly in 2011 if only because each individual win wasn't important. So what if he made smarter deals and got the Nats a win or 2 more? It doesn't change the fortunes of the squad. I've liked the job Rizzo has done so far. I don't see how anyone could argue otherwise. But it's time for Rizzo to reign in his less successful qualities. Don't obssess over getting one more draft pick. Don't throw guys away for nothing just because you don't like them. In 2012 each individual win may very well matter.