Saturday, November 04, 2006
Now We Know--Officially
It was the quote of the off season, so far--In a press conference yesterday afternoon at RFK Stadium with Washington Nationals Beat Writers, Team President Stan Kasten stated (as per The Washington Post):
"I don't want to rule anything out, but [signing big-name free agents] is not my current game plan," Kasten said. "I have said that when you sign free agents I actually think you take yourself farther away from your goal, if you are not ready to take advantage of the money you spend."
Mr. Kasten went on the say that the Nats will be signing a "dozen of so" minor league free agents, mostly pitchers, and give them a chance to make the team. Then, according to The Washington Times--top prospects, Outfielder Kory Casto and Lefthander Matt Chico (picked up in the Livan Hernandez trade) will be given a shot at The Major Leagues this spring--but, if not ready, they will not be rushed.
On Alfonso Soriano--Mr. Kasten reinterated what we, as fans, have come to expect for sometime--Alfonso will only be resigned for REASONABLE DOLLARS--nothing more. If not, The Nats are taking the draft picks for his leaving and not looking back.
The first official sign of what so many had believed for some time. Our Washington Nationals will not be Players in the off season Free Agent Market--unless someone falls into their laps. The Nationals are OFFICIALLY rebuilding from within. Our Nationals are not going to be like The Washington Redskins--signing every mediocre former talent for Big Bucks.
And, that's GREAT with me.
Still, this doesn't rule out Washington picking up some of the free agent major league pitchers, I was interested in before. Jason Marquis, Gil Meche and Adam Eaton all still fall into the second tier category. Although, Ted Lilly is certaintly out now--as well as the never were to be considered seriously--Barry Zito and Jason Schmidt.
The Nationals need caretaker pitchers right now, as a transition to a competitive team. The more you rush young talent, the less chance that talents has to develop properly. I read the other day that both Tom Glavine and Randy Johnson had terrible first few seasons in the Majors--and were sent down to right themselves. I checked it out and it was true. Both sure Hall Of Famers, were sent back down after making their Major League Debuts to work out the kinks. The Atlanta Braves, and, the then, Montreal Expos, recognized their talents, let these two get their feet wet, sent them down to rebuild their confidence. Look at their careers now, both fabulous lefthanders.
On the everyday player side--Jose Guillen still fits into my roster for 2007. Number 6 is available cheap--If Jose wants to play here, sign him up.
On the Managerial Front, its very clear that The Nationals will have a NEW FACE, someone who has never managed before, but someone both Kasten and Bowden feel could grow with the young club. At the same time, Mr. Kasten said they are looking for someone to fit this team "now"--not necessarily when The Nats become contenders.
There was one very discouraging report from this Press Conference, when General Manager, Jim Bowden, noted that Nick Johnson is having a setback in his recovery from a broken leg. Scar Tissue is hampering his movement--so Nick will undergo arthroscopic surgery in Sacramento, California to alleviate the motion problem. Speaking from experience--I had a similar Scar Tissue Problem after major surgery--its not all cut and dry--the recovery period will be longer--no matter what Jimbo wants to believe. I have feared for some time, the Johnson might not be healthy come Spring Training. Unfortunately, those fears might be coming true. I hope not, but a 100% ready Number 24 come March, is unlikely. And, that's SAD.