Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Our Youth Is Our Future


If Our Washington Nationals are going to build from the bottom up, they need to sign their Number 1 Draft Pick of 2008. No question about it. For Our Team's Future and for Our Fans sake, inking Aaron Crow to a contract is important to baseball in Washington, DC. A positive movement in an otherwise down year.

From Day One, Management has stated that Our Washington Nationals need to rebuild their Farm System. I believe Ownership is still committed to that direction and I have faith in their negotiating efforts. Despite what some have stated, Washington has consistently ponied up the money. Look how some complained last month that NOT ONE TOP Draft Pick was going to be signed for 2008. Destin Hood wrote his name on his contract last month.

So, I am not too worried about the comments made by Team President Stan Kasten at Nationals.com concerning Washington not signing all their picks in this past June's Draft. Rarely, does anyone sign all their top choices. As it happened last year, Washington landed all their top 20 choices.

Clearly, Mr. Kasten is letting everyone know that Our Washington Nationals are not an Open Checkbook to unproven youngsters. I am OK with that. And just because Washington paid above slot for Jack McGeary last season , at the last possible moment, before inking him to a unique deal involving his college education at Stanford--they are not going to be doing the same each and every year. (And remember--few thought Washington would get McGeary under team control also).

Overpaying each and every year can only lead to further signing problems down the road. Remember, how so many agents for NFL Players used to throw out Washington Redskins Owner Daniel Snyder's name in Free Agency just to ramp up contract negotiations with other teams for their clients? They knew Mr.Snyder was Mr. MoneyBags.

Our Washington Nationals should not put themselves in a similar position.

You get what you pay for.

Nothing is guaranteed.

But, there is a time for spending your money wisely.

This coming off-season, Our Washington Nationals will remove nearly $20 Million dollars off their Major League Payroll, more than enough money to sign Aaron Crow, shortstop Daniel Espinosa (3rd Round Pick), left-hander Graham Hicks (4th Round) and catcher Adrian Nieto (5th Round Pick)--that is--if these youngsters and their agents want to play ball with Our Washington Nationals.

Negotiations are a two way street, none of which I am privy to, but here's wishing that Our Washington Nationals can get Crow and at least one additional pick signed by The August 15th Deadline.

We still need an influx of young talent in Our System. Our Washington Nationals have a long way to go. And if Our Youth Is Our Future--no better time than the present to get some of these talented players under team control--for years to come. Being a patient man, I am going to let these negotiations play out. There are still nine full days to go to strike a deal and welcome these new players home.

29 comments:

Bob L. Head said...

Agreed, SBF. Why would Kasten come out and say anything close to the opposite when he's in the middle of negotiating? They know they have to get most if not all of the top picks signed. Unfortunately, so do the agents. Hence, this is likely to go down to the wire. Espinosa, though, would be a fool not to sign -- he could be up here next year.

Bob L. Head said...

Keith Law says that Andruw Jones would clear waivers and could be dealt, with the Dodgers paying half his salary. One year of Jones, in a contract year, at $9 mil? Does that sound like a Bowden move? Would it be a good idea?

Bob L. Head said...

OK, yes, I am indeed trying to earn my blogging merit badge today before lunch. But I had to share this gem on FLop from a leading Cardinals blog (they're going to use him as a utility guy not the starter BTW):

"Hey, at least Lopez offers versatility, right? He can play three middle infield positions, and the outfield too! Can I tell you how sick I am of hearing this line too? I have had pretty much my fill of hearing about how many options a player offers you, when all the options he offers are bad ones. If I offer to punch you in the face, kick you in the crotch, or stab you in the side with a sharpened screwdriver, is that better than just offering one of those three services? True, you do have options this way, but they still all kind of suck."

The full story is here:

http://www.vivaelbirdos.com/

Offense/offensive said...

I agree with Brian Oliver over at Nationals Farm Authority about Kasten's statements: "Sometimes the best course of action is to let these things play out without making comments like Mark Lerner, Jim Bowden and Kasten have. It really does little if anything towards reaching a deal. All it does is provide fodder for the people looking for something to get spun up about."
The only thing that Kasten's comments accomplished was to disturb an already restless fan base. It certainly upset me upon reading them. If you aren't going to spend money on the major league team, you have to spend it on signing draft picks and international prospects.

An Briosca Mor said...

Andruw Jones would have been a bad idea for the Nationals last winter, and he'd be an even worse idea now. He's washed up. Move on. Have we learned nothing from the LoDuca experience? Let Lastings Milledge learn to play CF (or not) this year, so we'll know whether or not he's the guy for the long term. Ditto with Austin Kearns in RF. Now is the time for him to either show us he has it, or show us he doesn't. All Jones's presence here would do is keep those two things that need to happen from doing so.

Scooter said...

Not to damn you with faint praise or anything, SBF (may I call you that?), but color me impressed. I'm delighted to see something from a person who wants the Nats to sign their draft picks, but who's willing to grant that a) there's still time and b) maybe they won't ALL be signed -- and hey, that happens.

(My own position is pretty boring: I know next to nothing about these kids, because I don't follow high-school or college ball, so I honestly don't know how important it is to sign these particular players. There's a presumption, of course, that more young players is better than fewer young players, and that signing these guys now is better than waiting a year for a consolation pick, where applicable.)

greg said...

yeah, i'm selling on jones, too.

even if he stopped sucking, he just crowds an already crowded OF. and some of that crowd is guys in similar spots: trying to prove themselves.

no thanks.

An Briosca Mor said...

"Sometimes the best course of action is to let these things play out without making comments like Mark Lerner, Jim Bowden and Kasten have. It really does little if anything towards reaching a deal. All it does is provide fodder for the people looking for something to get spun up about."

I don't get the impression that Lerner, Kasten or Bowden are calling press conferences and making grand pronouncements about the draft signing process. They're simply being asked questions about it by journalists, and they're answering those questions frankly and honestly. So the fan base gets spun up about it. So what? No matter what answer they give to these questions, be it the truth, a lie, or a "no comment", the fan base is going to get spun up about it if even one of the draft picks remains unsigned. Would those of you who are getting irrationally spun up about all this over a week before the signing deadline prefer that they wait until August 15th to tell you that there's a possibility that all the draft picks won't be signed? Because that's all anyone has said at this point. Negotiations haven't been stopped or anything of the sort. August 15th will be time enough for you all to get spun up if there is indeed a need for that.

And aren't y'all glad that they didn't cheap out and not sign that #1 pick from last year who's been sucking up the joint in Potomac ever since they signed him?

joebleux said...

"he can play three middle infield positions,"

Wow, all -three- middle infield positions? That is versatile (I guess it includes the rover position in the Ryan Howard shift). How could Nat's management let this guy go? What were they doing? What were they thinking?

Bob L. Head said...

Most Cards fans seem to know what they're getting in FLop, here's another take:

"Brewers get Sabbathia, Cubs get Harden, Cards get LOPEZ. Wooooooooweeeee, you better watch out NL Central."

— Amazedbythelunacy

An Briosca Mor said...

"he can play three middle infield positions,"

I'm thinking that means he can pitch and bat eighth for the Cards. (One of the players FLop will be displacing on the Cards, Aaron Miles, has actually been used three times as a relief pitcher by LaRussa - including in a 12-1 loss to the Nats last year at RFK.)

Anonymous said...

I have a question- I'm buying tickets for friends for an upcoming Nationals game but have no clue about what are "good" seats. Any suggestions? They'll have kids with them and I don't know where they'd like to be.

Screech's Best Friend said...

offensive/defensive: Speaking from experience talking to Mr Kasten, he always seems to be a person that wants to tell the truth, but many times can't. So, he gives out as much as he can, without letting go of his position or opinion that might hinder an ongoing negotiation or situation.

I have come to appreciate that fact. He really wants to be informative, but he simply can't. And when he doesn't want to say anything--he is not shy to say "I can't comment on that right now." This is where Barry from The Post and him use to get into their little bouts over Q & A.

I am not trying to stick up for him here, but when it comes to A Team President of a Major League Baseball Team he is pretty proactive in speaking with media and fans alike concerning just about anything concerning the team.

His forward approach is refreshing and shouldn't be used against him. You don't see that in many professional sports teams these days.

Sohna and I have always like that about his attitude. I thanks he truly wants to inform folks, as much as possible, without giving up the store.

CE said...

Anon. at 1:42, there are several rows of complementary seats behind home plate for first-time visitors to the park.

Kasten and signings--
I read the MLB.com article, and Kasten isn't saying "Most of the picks won't sign," he's saying, "Unlike last year, we won't sign all, or even most, of the draftees."
For example, if they sign about half of all the picks, that's not "most were signed," but it's also not "most didn't sign."
I don't think they need to sign them all, just all the good ones. If only we could know for sure which those were...

--------
Pudge to NYY --
I don't think he'd sign here on a (multi-million dollar) bet, but someday, he's probably going to want to move to first base. And who better to mentor Flores? And he can hit better than A. Jones.
Never gonna happen, I know, but still ... it's a nice dream.

NJ denizen said...

Don't forget that there is a Chico chat scheduled for 2 p.m.

Section 506 said...

So, is Felipe going to get his Nats salary in addition to whatever the Cards signed him for?

Screech's Best Friend said...

506--Yes, Felipe gets his entire nearly $5 Million salary for 2008 paid for by The Nationals. The Cardinals only only obligated to pay a prorated portion of THE MINIMUM Major League Salary for the lowest paid player. For St.Louis its a chance to check someone out for free.

Bob L. Head said...

Right, FLop is owned $4.9M. My understanding is that the Cards pay a pro-rated portion of the minimum, which amounts to something like $115k, and that the Nats pay the rest.

Anonymous ticket buyer -- try something in the right field terrace, preferably closer to the infield than to the scoreboard. The seats are cheap, the view is decent, you don't have to walk up any ramps, and you can stop by the kiddie areas on the way up there.

Positively Half St. said...

sThanks for hosting, SBF. I will come visit more often on this site, and hope others will too.

natsfan1a said...

Yes, thanks for hosting us, SBF!

Screech's Best Friend said...

You NJ Folks come back anytime!! You made the past two days fun talking about Our Washington Nationals. I really enjoyed the back and forth.

Scooter said...

You were a very gracious host; thank you. I hope I folded the towels in the guest bathroom the way you like them.

It was refreshing to come over here and engage in some solid baseball talk. (Not really a slam of Nationals Journal, but ... well, there it is.)

Bob L. Head said...

Yep, fewer trolls and pitchfork wielders over here! We'll be back.

Chris Needham said...

Who are you calling a troll? :(

Tom said...

SBF - What a guy!

Andrew said...

ABM - I like what you had to say today!!! I agree.



An Briosca Mor said...
Andruw Jones would have been a bad idea for the Nationals last winter, and he'd be an even worse idea now. He's washed up. Move on. Have we learned nothing from the LoDuca experience? .... All Jones's presence here would do is keep those two things that need to happen from doing so.

Andrew said...

FLop has the physical talent and we got to see a decent player a few times while he was here in DC. (lol) The Cardinals have good team cohesion and good coaching so maybe they can turn him around.

I loved the Post:

"Brewers get Sabbathia, Cubs get Harden, Cards get LOPEZ. Wooooooooweeeee, you better watch out NL Central."

— Amazedbythelunacy

Section 506 said...

Actually, I'd wager that Lopez will do well on the Cardinals. I've always thought he's the kind of player who can be good on a good team.

But he is not a self-motivator or a leader, which is why he was really bad here in the absence of leaders and good players. For instance, remember how much better he played when Soriano was going for his record and Vidro was around in the clubhouse? It was like a different player.

In case you forgot... .281/.362/.365 over 71 games.

Edward J. Cunningham said...

It's a moot point because the Rockies signed him, but were the Nats wise to pass on Livo---again?