Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Our Washington Nationals continued their off season overhaul of the entire organization today, announcing the addition of 10 new Scouts--all major positions in an effort compete on a more level playing field with its MLB competition.
Chuck LaMar was at the top of that list--The Original and long time (11 seasons) General Manager of The Tampa Bay Devil Rays, was named Special Assistant to The General Manager and National Crosschecker. Although Tampa Bay floundered badly over their first decade of Major League Baseball-- and,LaMar certaintly would get some of that blame, you can't deny the fact that the Devil Rays have chosen some fine draft picks during those seasons under LaMar. Carl Crawford, Rocco Baldelli, Delmon Young are all budding stars, worked a steal of a trade to the New York Mets for Lefthander Scott Kazmir.
All 10 hires bring a serious amount of Major League Talent Searching Experience to The Nationals. You can read all the bios at www.Nationals.com.
Most important to me, and deservedly so, Dana Brown was retained as Scouting Director. For the past 4 seasons, under extremely limited financial means, Brown was able to draft and sign quality young players. 2 of which are now the cornerstones of this Young Franchise.
Chad Cordero and Ryan Zimmerman were both picked by Brown. Dana also chose William & Mary product, Bill Bray--who made his MLB Debut with Washington this season, before being traded in the Big Cincinnati transaction over the summer. The Nationals receiving Austin Kearns, Felipe Lopez and Ryan Wagner in return.
On the surface, is it groundbreaking, thrilling news? Too most--No. But, today's hiring of 10 new experienced scouts and the retaining of a quality man in Dana Brown--to me, is a great sign that Stan Kasten is moving forward on his plans. A few months ago, Mr. Kasten stated, during the signing of 16 year old phenom, Esmailyn Gonzalez, out of the Dominican Republic, that The Washington Nationals will not bend, against other teams, in the Worldwide Search for talent.
On July 2, MLB.com reported Mr. Kasten stating: "This is an important signing,"...."We can now compete for the best talent in Latin America. We will have a presence there." Kasten went on to say that Latin America isn't the only place the Nationals will be looking for baseball talent. They will also be eyeing talent in Japan and Korea.
Yesterday, the signing of 21--shot in the dark--minor league players, to see if anyone might help The Nationals Franchise in the near future. Today, a complete overhaul of the Scouting Department--most likely bringing the search for talent more on par with the rest of baseball.
Its a good day for The National Pastime in Washington. The Nats Building Blocks are, slowly, beginning to make sense--and coming together.