Thursday, December 06, 2007

Nepotista!

The Nats have signed free agent corner infielder Aaron Boone. No word on dough yet...

In isolation, I think it's a good move. He's not a great player, but as the utility guy coming off the bench and spotting starts, he's not bad. He's certainly better than Tony Batista -- with the glove AND bat. He's got a little bit of speed, but he's definitely not fast anymore, especially after all the knee injuries he's had.

He hit an impressive .286/ .388/ .423 as a 34-year old with the Marlins, which is probably on the verrrrry optimistic side of what we could expect. More likely, the Nats will get something in the .260/ .330/ .420 range, which is still better than half the players on this team.

I wonder, though, how this all fits into the puzzle, especially with the Nats Rule 5 selection, who's also a corner infielder. I assume the Nats might try to work something out with the Indians to send him down to the minors. Or else, they'll let the new kid be Robert Fick to Boone's Tony Batista. That's a bit puzzling, but Bowden always seems to have a bunch of irons in the fire. So no use overreacting to that now.

Boone doesn't have the legs to play middle infield anymore, but he also has a pretty sizeable reverse platoon split for his career. He's hammered (well, comparatively) righties much more than lefties. (.763 OPS v RHP, .740 OPS v. LHP)

  • The one thing this does do is raise the ol' red flag a bit over Zimmerman. After initially poopooing the thought of his injury affecting him, the more I've read, the more I've seen that it's an injury that often requires a bit of time to adjust to. He should be ready to go, but he might not be himself, at least. Just throwin' crap against a wall tho...

  • Barry Sez that it's 1-year, $1 million, an excellent value. There are $50K bumps in there for certain levels of games played, but it looks like it tops out at $1.5 million, which would still be well worth it.

    Barry also reports that the Nats have agreed on a 2-year deal with Wily Mo Pena, avoiding arbitration with him. He gets $2 million this year, then has a mutual option for $5 million and a $2 million player option if that's declined.

    Interesting move, I suppose in that I don't really see the need to lock him up now, especially since we don't really know what kind of player we've got, a hot month be damned. It's certainly not a BAD deal, and it has the potential to be a VERY GOOD one. Just interesting on the timing, I s'pose, especially with the comments Barry relayed from Bowden about the lack of a need to lock up Zimmerman long-term. (which also sends up some of those injury red flags)

  • 13 Comments:

    • Without Batista, who will lead the on-field prayer rituals for the Nats this year? With the likes of Dukes and Milledge around, those rituals might be more necessary this year than they were last.

      By Blogger An Briosca Mor, at 12/06/2007 12:49 PM  

    • Red flag is right. This is a great move for the bench if Zim is healthy and adds a vet if he's not. Of course, if he's not we're in big trouble. Any info on the kid from Cleveland?

      By Anonymous JT, at 12/06/2007 1:30 PM  

    • Perhaps I'm on an island here, but I like Bowden's refusal to negotiate with a question mark. Arguably, we could lock Zimmerman up for the foreseeable future at a discounted rate...but what happens if he continues to plateau at last year's numbers or if he fails to return to the slightly above average offensive 3B bat that he had last season?

      There's still plenty of time to lock him up long term, with the only downside being that the Lernastinator may have to fork over a few extra dollar bills each year in such a deal.

      What's the downside for us, as the loyal fan? I certainly dont see one...

      By Anonymous oleshu, at 12/06/2007 1:32 PM  

    • Perhaps I too am on an island. What kid from Cleveland? Is this another rumour?

      By Blogger Ben, at 12/06/2007 2:09 PM  

    • Cleveland kid is Rule V pick-up Mark (Marc?) Whitney. See National Farm Authority.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/06/2007 4:18 PM  

    • And of course when I say Mark or Marc, I mean Matt.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/06/2007 4:19 PM  

    • Or you could see the post immediately below this one, too. ;)

      By Blogger Chris Needham, at 12/06/2007 5:07 PM  

    • Ouch. Skimmed over the Cleveland bit. I'll be in the corner for a bit...

      By Blogger Ben, at 12/06/2007 5:24 PM  

    • Any reason to think the Nats will not be battling the Marlins for last place in the NL East in Sept. '08 and '09? It'll be fun to watch in the new ball park, though.

      Also, Zimmerman is a potential Patterson if the Nats aren't careful. His rehab therapies are critical and should last longer than I'm hearing now. As far as I can tell, Acta and Bowden have tin ears as far as managing serious injuries, and my hunch is they will have Zim swinging a bat way too soon. (In fact, Zim was golfing a few days after the first operation. That's nuts.) Then more down time, surgeries, etc. I have even less confidence in the trainers and medical staff. Look out! His is not a minor injury.

      By Anonymous JohnR (VA), at 12/07/2007 7:07 AM  

    • "(In fact, Zim was golfing a few days after the first operation. That's nuts.)"

      Actually, from what I heard, he was hosting a benefit golf tournament for his foundation but didn't actually play in the tournament because of the surgery. Overall, I'm not too worried about this. It's probably a little more serious than the team is making it out to be (injuries always are), but he played two years with a broken hand; I don't think we have another NJ here.

      Still, you can't blame Bowden for getting insurance, even if everything is going perfectly in the Zimm's rehab. The injury history of this team over the past couple of years illustrates the need for redundancy.

      By Anonymous Dupont, at 12/07/2007 9:15 AM  

    • If I may ponder. We over analyse the amount of players we have at certain positions (outfield, corners) but...

      What Bowden is doing is stocking our teams. We have been badly derailed in the past because we have arrived in the 12th inning and had nothing at all on the bench. We have been stung because if a player gets hurt we are only Ronnie Belliard away from having nothing available to play. Most teams can rely on AAA for this but our farm system is still not what it should be and the Nationals have made sure that we are a little deeper across the board. If Dukes is Dukes we still have three good outfielders. If (and I don't think it will happen) Zimmerman takes a long time to recover we have Boone and back up for Boone. Ditto if Johnson doesn't recover (more likely) or Dimitri starts to creak and get hurt (even more likely). I like that we have insurance policies because I dread the day when one injury can hurt us like it has in the past.

      By Blogger Ben, at 12/07/2007 10:44 AM  

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