Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Told Ya He Was Lyin'

After losing out on Odalis Perez, Jim Bowden says that he's not going to blow any money on another pitcher. But what does he do? He offers Shawn "5.84 ERA" Estes a 2-year $6-7 million contract. Yes, it's Coors-inflated, but he put up similar numbers the year before in Chicago as well.

Ugh. It just itches and burns when you don't do anything, doesn't it, Jim?

And now, as if that wasn't bad enough, today's Post carries horrid news for any Nats fan, Esteban Loaiza:
Bowden's talks with Loaiza's agent, John Boggs, were all but dormant as the Nationals pursued Perez, who proved too expensive, signing with the Dodgers for three years and $24 million. Boggs said yesterday that Washington is one of four teams -- two in the American League -- still interested in Loaiza, who began 2004 with the Chicago White Sox but was traded to the New York Yankees in midseason. Loaiza, 33, went 10-7 with a 5.70 ERA in 183 innings between the teams.

Loaiza, despite being a two-time All-Star, can be charitably described as mediocre. He had one excellent season two years ago, where a new cutter propelled him to a second-place finish in Cy Young voting. Other than that, there's been nothing in his career to distinguish him from any other fourth starter.

What bothers me is a lack of recognition about what this team's needs are. They don't need pitching depth. We've got third and fourth starters coming out our wazoo. The Nats need front-line pitching, not innings.

But, the continued interest in Loaiza makes me wonder if something is up with Ohka or Armas, our arbitration-eligibles. With grumblings over the Mets apparent interest in Nick Johnson, I wonder if there is something to Distinguished Senators' Mike Cameron proposal.

Cameron would definitely fill a need and the Nats could bring up Larry Broadway to platoon with Wil Cordero at first. That'd be a defensive improvement--although Cameron isn't quite what he once was--and probably pretty close to a wash offensively.

The only catch is Cameron's salary. I'm pretty sure he's making around $8 million this year and next. While that's probably about what he's worth, that's also probably a little above our budget--especially as our arbitration-eligibles continue to get expensive.

Uh-oh. Two straigh Gleeman-length entries. I gotta get under control.

5 Comments:

  • Cameron's actually set to make $6 million in '05 and '06. Note too that the only person Svrluga quotes in his article is Loaiza's agent. No confirmation from Bowden or anyone else in the Nats organization, not even the ubiquitous "unnamed source close to the Nationals."

    Were we to get Cameron for Johnson, I think I'd rather see a Sledge/Church platoon in LF with Wilkerson being moved to 1B instead of a Cordero/Broadway 1B platoon.

    The Estes offer is dubious, btw., though $3-4M per for any serviceable leftie is about the going rate in MLB anymore.

    By Blogger JammingEcono, at 1/11/2005 9:46 AM  

  • Yeah... brain cramp on the Wilkerson thing. That's exactly what they'd do.

    I'm not particularly sold on Larry Broadway anyway.

    By Blogger Chris Needham, at 1/11/2005 9:53 AM  

  • Actually, Cameron is owed $6M in '05, $8M in '06 and his contract carries a team option for '07 -- $6.5M vs. a $500k buyout.

    By Blogger Yuda, at 1/11/2005 11:27 AM  

  • Hmmmmm, something's not right here. Here's what the NY Daily News wrote about the Cameron contract:

    Cameron, who will wear No. 44, accepted a backloaded three-year deal worth $19.5 million, with a club option for 2007. He will receive a $3 million signing bonus, $4 million next season and $6 million in 2005 and '06. The Mets can exercise a $7 million option for '07 or pay a $500,000 buyout. Cameron received four-year offers from the A's and Padres, but wanted to play on the East Coast to be closer to his family, which will remain in Georgia.

    By Blogger JammingEcono, at 1/11/2005 11:52 AM  

  • Actually, we're working with the same numbers, just interpreting them differently.

    The "signing bonus" is actually paid in the form of $1m in '04 (for a total salary, in effect, of $5M). He is due $6M next season. The other $2M from his "signing bonus" is to be paid in '06, so he's due $8M for that season.

    The option year, then, would cause his salary to be $7M, but since the team is on the hook for $500k to begin with, I consider the marginal cost of picking up the option (in this case, $6.5M) to be the "true" number.

    By Blogger Yuda, at 1/11/2005 2:01 PM  

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