Monday, January 01, 2007

Fruits Of Their Labor

I've had a few projects kicking around in the back of my mind, most of which involve some sort of tedious legwork or maintenance, so they've been put in the "To Do" list only to never get to-done. Being the new year, what the hell, I'm rolling part of one of them out today: The Nationals Organizational Tree.

I'm freely admitting to having stolen the idea from ducksnorts (who in turn stole it from Will Young's blog). It's a handy snapshot of who the guys are, and where they came from. I want to expand it a bit more to include links like on the ducksnorts blog, but that's a project for the coming weeks. I'm envisioning links to their major and minors stats, news searches, contract info and roster status -- all those sorts of tedious bits of info I'm always scrambling for when one of my synapses misfires. I'm saying this now to 1) pressure myself to actually do it, and 2) prepare you for disappointment!

At any rate, here's where I am so far. Here's the Nationals Organizational Tree. I'll be linking it in the sidebar.

It should be relatively self-explanatory, but it's interesting to see that Matt Chico, if you trace it out far enough, was traded for Saul Rivera. And it reminds us of the stupidity of the Arizona regime when we see John Patterson's acquisition.

I did every player on the 40-man roster. Only 11 of those players were originally drafted by the Nats. I haven't checked any other team, but that seems woeful. Twelve of the players were acquired via trades. Bowden made all but four of those. If you count Chris Booker (who was returned via it), 5 of the players on the 40-man were obtained via the Rule 5 draft, which I'd bet is the highest number in MLB. The rest were signed as free agents. Unless Frank Diaz counts (I'm too lazy to dig further) none are international free agents.

That's likely to change!

  • Incidentally -- I read something, and I can't find the link for it, that one of the bills that was signed late in the year relaxes the visa status for minor league baseball players. If I'm remembering what I read correctly (and if I can dig up the link, I'll add it), minor leaguers will now be able to get visas as highly skilled workers on par with the types that MLB teams can get. Right now they're treated more like unskilled workers and teams can have difficulties getting as many visas as they need or would like.

    If the visa status is changing, then this would greatly benefit teams trying to expand their international operations, allowing them to try out more players, in effect, expanding the supply of players. Teams can take chances on more players -- and with a greater supply, prices are likely to be lower.

    The Nats repeatedly talk about expanding their international scouting and development programs, and, it seems, the timing couldn't be better.