Wednesday, May 09, 2007
General Manager In My Dreams
In my dreams today, Team President Stan Kasten just named me The New General Manager of Our Washington Nationals. Like my predecessor Jim Bowden, I am under the same rules, building plan and stipulations handed down by Mr. Kasten and The Lerner Family. My 40 Man Roster sits on a sheet directly in front of me. My job is to begin remoulding Our Nationals in my image, along the set guidelines. What do I do? How do I reach that goal?
My first day on the job is May 10th, 2007--an off day for the team. I can only work with what's given to me. There is no "shoulda, coulda, woulda" from trades/roster moves already taken place or passed on. THIS IS WHAT I HAVE NOW!!! Not what was here before, as I had no control of previous history. I must first workover The 40 Man Roster, deciding: Who to keep? Who to Trade? & Who to release?
Team Building for the Future, these are my Definite Keepers:
Shawn Hill, Matt Chico, Emiliano Fruto, Saul Rivera & Ryan Wagner in the Pitching Department.
Brian Schneider and Jesus Flores catchers.
Ryan Zimmerman and Nick Johnson as infielders.
Not a single player a definite keeper in the outfield, although you still need someone to catch the ball. For that reason I will keep Ryan Langerhans, unless he is necessary to fill out a good trade.
Tradeable Commodities--although I must weigh when each of these players have reached their Highest Value, to return maximum investment (Remember, I can't be crying over what happened previously or current injuries).
Pitchers--Jon Rauch, Chad Cordero (although I love "The Chief",) John Patterson, Micah Bowie, Jason Bergmann
Infield--Felipe Lopez, Ronnie Belliard, Cristian Guzman (a big "if")
Outfielders--Ryan Church (Highly Marketable right now), Austin Kearns (Marketable right now)
Rauch, Cordero, FLop, Church and Kearns could return decent value to the right team. These 5 guys would be the brunt of all my work with all the GM's. Quality Prospects are available for these guys. Bergmann may never have a better value. Granted though, I need a trading partner. That's where the hard work comes in. That's where I must depend on my Scouting Department. There will be no harder assignment for me than to replenish my roster using these veterans, all still relatively young. Would I like to keep Kearns? Yes, but if someone offers something good, he's gone. Same with Cordero, FLop & Church. Rauch may well be coveted by MANY TEAMS. I would bet Our Current General Manager Jim Bowden feels the same way right now.
Tradeable for any Decent Return--realizing not much value is to be had for them, if anything:
Pitchers--Jason Simontacchi, Ray King, Chris Booker & Jerome Williams.
Infield--Dimitri Young (some American League Team will need him), Tony Batista (his presence is solely to be traded down the strech) & Robert Fick.
Outfield--Nook Logan (can't hit--sure can field). Will be hard to trade, most likely sold.
Players I have to see more of before making a final decision:
Luis Ayala (steady if healthy), Jesus Colome, Levale Speigner, Michael Hinckley & Mike O'Connor. The remainder of the pitchers on the 40 Man Roster are Hangers On, nothing more. Most likely filler to get me from Point A to Point B.
Outfielders I have to see more of before making a final decision:
Kory Casto, Frank Diaz & Alex Escobar.
I will always be fascinated by Escobar. Jim Bowden told me once that Reggie Sanders was consistently injury prone throughout the first ten years of his career. No team ever thought he would develop into a solid everyday player. Yet, once he turned 30 years old, Sanders became well, end result---Reggie Sanders has been a quality Major Leaguer still playing, decently, into his late 30's.
After today's 3-1 loss to The Milwaukee Brewers, Our Washington Nationals maintain a 9-25 record for the season. If we are going to be bad, I see no reason to play Dimitri Young, Robert Fick or any other aging veteran, if I can find a younger, even green, eager player to fill that spot. Many are down on the Farms, some not even close to ready. But, does it really matter right now? We can be bad or really bad, that's the only difference. I have no problem seeing what The Youngsters can do. Yeah, I realize Larry Broadway is injured right now. But, if healthy, I would be calling him up, the very second he's ready and I am able to move Fick or Young. Even in losing, I want to see ambitious players, hungry for the chance.
Is it going to be easy? NO. Could it be fun to watch? YES. Will we lose even more games? Most Likely, at first. It would definitely be interesting, though.
And, the June 2007 Entry Draft will be CRUCIAL. One of the most important days for Our Washington Nationals all year long. The majority of the remainder of my time will be spent on this draft.
That's My Take as Dream GM For Today. How about you?