Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Random Thoughts Of A Person Trying To Catch Up

I go away for a week, and all hell breaks loose. Well, not quite. But considering the dearth of Nats news over the last few weeks, the last few days have been quite the flurry.

  • Esteban Loaiza has signed for three years and $21 million with the Oakland A's. Boswell's column leads with (and the radio squacked consistently) that the loss of Loaiza is the worst thing to happen to Washington since Hoover turned the bayonettes on a few thousand American citizens.

    Rhetorical crassness aside, it's a good thing, and a sign that the Nationals front office is functioning pretty well. The team evaluated Loaiza, made an offer that was reasonable, even if it wasn't truly competive. When the bidding escalated beyond a point that they were willing to pay, they stopped bidding, and walked away. With a new owner in place, it would have been far too tempting to overpay to retain Loaiza.

    3/$21 is far too much for the Nationals to pay for Loaiza. $7 million (assuming that we could even get him for that amount) would be about 14% of the team's payroll -- on a guy who's a third starter. But the signing makes a lot of sense for the A's. Considering how close they are to contention, and that they need a sure thing in their rotation, it's a pretty good signing. They'll get 180 innings of league average pitching. And as Kris Benson showed last year, that's worth quite a bit of money on the open market.

  • Now what? Right now, the rotation is Livan, JPat, ?, ?, Lawrence. Drese and Rauch are competing for that 5th spot, but the Nationals are still in need of a solid innings-eating kind of pitcher -- the kind of guy who'll do what Loaiza did: 170+ innings, and 12-14 wins.

    Last month I had looked at the most attractive starter options. Paul Byrd, Matt Morris, et al are still hanging out there -- even as the Nationals claim to still be in contention for AJ Burnett. Byrd, incidentally, has been offered a two-year deal by our friends enemies to the north.

    The underappreciated Todd Jacobson says the team has been in contact with Burnett, Millwood, Morris, Washburn, and Weaver. That'd be a pretty nice rotation!

  • The stadium debate has been heating up. Just one thought... Is a stadium in SE necessary for development? It seems to me like plenty of buildings are already being constructed there, and many of them were in the works even before the city committed to that area.

    If the stadium isn't necessary for development there, wouldn't it make sense to put it someplace that makes more economical sense, and one that would cost taxpayers less?

    Just throwin' that one out there....

  • How is it that Northwest Airlines knows when you have a 180-minute window to make your Thanksgiving dinner reservations, and accordingly delays your flight by 185 minutes after you've paid $500 to fly to Minnefarkingsota? Bud's not the only national disgrace.


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