Money for Nothing?

Posted by Dave Nichols | Tuesday, July 29, 2008 | , , , , , , , , | 1 comments »

With the Major League non-waiver trade deadline approaching Thursday, there's lots of talk about who could be switching teams int he next couple of days. The Nats have already made one trade: the highly discussed Jon Rauch/Emilio Bonifacio deal. Will there be more? Only Trader Jim knows for sure, but it sure seems like he's trying.

There have been media reports (all taken with liberal amounts of grains of salt) that say the Nats have made just about anyone on the roster over 25 available. But what's really there? And what could Nats fans expect as a return? Let's run down the current, shall we?

Paul LoDuca: Every Nats' fans favorite to be moved. The Yankees and Marlins both have injuries at catcher, making them possible trade partners. LoDuca has made it known that he'd be willing to play in NY or Miami, really anywhere closer to horse race tracks. The returns would be minimal though for a 36-year old catcher who was forced out of playing catcher on the worst team in the National League.

Felipe Lopez: He certainly has position flexibility that contending teams may find useful. Hard to believe the ghost of FLop that Nats fans have watched for the last couple of seasons used to be a pretty decent option at shortstop. Currently hitting .235/.307/.313. If the Orioles weren't desperate enough to trade for him, I can't believe anyone else will be either. First candidate to be DFA'd after the deadline. Bonifacio can't get here soon enough.

Ronnie Belliard: Belly is a streaky hitter, but some team might find his decent pop and position flexibility something to take a chance on for the rest of the season. He'd probably only return a "C" level prospect, but it's players like that the Nats have to bring into the system to take a look-see. Won't cost 'em nothin'.

Wee Willie Harris: He's never been hotter in his career, so maybe JimBow can strike while the iron's hot. Willie is a decent defensive player both in the OF and at 2B, and his speed is something that many teams covet. Again, he wouldn't bring a minor league all-star back, but could fetch a low-level thrower that the organization could try to teach to be a pitcher.

Tim Redding: Ace of the Staff. Except for that blow-up in Atlanta, Redding's been pitching very well the last four weeks, and could be a real useful pick-up to a team that is looking to fill a 4 or 5 spot down the stretch. Could the Tigers, Mets or Phillies find him attractive? You bet. His contract is real easy to swallow too. But knowing the way Bowden overvalues his players, it would probably take quite a bit to pry Redding away. All he's done is take the ball every five days for the Nats since he got here and more often than not kept them in the game. He may be more valuable here than the return.

Odalis Perez: Here's a situation where a couple weeks make all the difference. At the all-star break Perez' ERA was around 3.50, now it's at 4.38, and rising every time up. He's lost three of his last four starts, getting hammered in two of them. He's only pitched into the seventh inning once in his last six starts. His window of attractiveness might have already closed. Still, he's a lefty who gets lefties out with a decent K rate.

Austin Kearns: The wildcard. The Mets could use a corner outfielder. Bowden LOVES trading with Omar Minaya. This could be a match in heaven. It would be like Bowden trading one of his own sons, but something tells me he'd even do that if the price were right. Kearns is hitting over .300 since his return from elbow troubles, maybe he could fetch a "B-" prospect out of Omar. C'mon, the Mets have Fernando Tatis and Endy Chavez playing left and right fields. You're telling me Kearns wouldn't be an upgrade there?

Bottom(feeder) Line: At this point, I don't think we're going to see anything of any significant value exchange hands for the Nats this trading deadline. I think the fans can expect more of the same as we've had for a while, with the eventual return of Dukes to the line-up, Bonifacio's call-up and maybe a pitcher or two making appearances after September 1. But never count out Trader Jim Bowden. He knows he's on the hot seat, and he has a propensity for being splashy anyway.


  1. Kristen // July 29, 2008 at 5:21 PM  

    Nice breakdown Dave. This was helpful.