Monday, November 08, 2004

Gammons' Favorite Source

Ol' Petey always seemed enamored with Jim Bowden and it was always speculated that he was one of Peter's favorite sources of information. Now that he's back in the league, the pipeline is back open. That's why it was interesting to read this in PG's latest column.
Jim Bowden had nothing to lose in taking the Washington GM job. He has assurances that he will have some money to build interest, and other GMs know he will be creative and active in seeing what's out there for Vidro, Nick Johnson and others. Don't be surprised if Bowden takes Jose Guillen off Anaheim's hands.

Ahhh... so many juicy morsels in those three little sentences.

Jose Vidro is an excellent player--a very good defensive secondbaseman (Although the knee injuries and age will probably hasten his decline), and a very good offensive player, hitting .304/ .367/ .470 for his career. A typical season features 15-20 HRs and 35-40 Doubles. On the downside, he'll be 31 next season and is in the middle of a 4-year $30MM contract that paid him $9MM last year. I would probably rather have him on the team, but it can never hurt to keep your ears open. This teams has plenty of holes to fill, but it doesn't make sense to patch one hole by creating another.

I absolutely love Nick Johnson. Unfortunately, so do his doctors. Whether the back problems he suffered last year, the broken cheekbone, or his chronic hand/wrist injuries, he just cannot stay healthy. When healthy, he's an OBP machine. In the minors, he posted an OBP of over .500 in a season. When healthy, and when he develops, he should be comparable to Will Clark or Mark Grace. (Given the injury history, Will Clark might not be a bad comparison). NJ is someone you should build around, not try and trade. He's young--relatively cheap for now, and has a huge upside. Stick him at first and let him grow and impress you. I have a feeling National fans are going to learn to love him.

As far as Jose Guillen goes, I'm torn. He's evolved into an excellent outfielder--the kind of player the Pirates thought they were getting when they brought up the 20-year old. The last two years especially have shown that he has 25-30 HR power and a rifle for an arm. But the problems of last season have me a little worried. Maybe it's just my Yankee-colored glasses, but I think I'd rather see what Juan Rivera can do. In limited playing time, he's slugged .465 over the last two years. You're not going to win many pennants with that, but he's only 26 and he's definitely cheap and baggageless. Sometimes you gotta go with the devil you know.