Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Trade Reaction

When Sohna called me this afternoon at work to let me know Our Washington Nationals had made a trade, anxiously I waited to hear the details. After she told me Washington traded Lastings Milledge and Joel Hanrahan to The Pittsburgh Pirates for Centerfielder Nyjer Morgan and southpaw reliever Sean Burnett--I had virtually no reaction.


Either way, this four player swap didn't excite me. The reasons behind the transaction are clear. Interim GM Mike Rizzo is sending out all those players he feels don't fit in the near or long term future in The Nation's Capital. And when it comes to the present day, the current product displayed on the field needs to be addressed right now--not next year--or with players declared as having so-called potential. Even the very fact that both Milledge and Hanrahan were touted as fixtures in the future of DC Baseball didn't matter anymore.

For 2009, both Milledge and Hanrahan were not helping Our Washington Nationals. And whether Lastings would ever become a quality everyday Major League Player in DC--we will never know now. But of all the players involved in this deal today--I actually found myself feeling sorry for Milledge. I don't why. He's far from our favorite player. Maybe it's because he does have talent. Skill neglected by his, at times, wavering attitude and a seeming unwillingness to improve himself. His I do it my way comment a few months back--was really bothering.

We've wanted to give Lastings Milledge every chance to succeed. But he wasn't a leadoff hitter. He also wasn't a good centerfielder. And Our Former Number 44 & 85 never grasped any given opportunity here. Only wanting to do it his way, Milledge now finds himself hitting the highway. Frustrating to watch, Lastings failed here, when he really shouldn't have. And no matter what happens in Milledge's future over this swap, I don't want to read any quote from him over the next couple of days that Our Washington Nationals didn't give Lastings a fair chance. If Milledge does state just that, those comments would be more disappointing then his 18 months in a Nats Uniform came to be known.

As for Nyjer Morgan, the soon to be 29-Year Old will be inserted into the leadoff spot in the batting order while manning centerfield. Morgan providing speed and agility to track down deep flies. Defensive capability that can only help our young starters on the mound.

Burnett, a one time top draft pick for The Bucs--will compose another part in an ever revamping bullpen. When you consider that Mike Rizzo was probably pretty close to designating Joel Hanrahan for assignment--getting a decent lefthanded arm to help at this very moment--was pretty shrewd.

But overall--I really don't have much of a reaction to this four-player trade. It's one of those trades where you really have to wait to see the outcome down the line. Each player has their upside, as well as their downsides. Washington is probably a faster team offensively today. A new element at the top of the order has been added. And a better team defensively with Morgan in centerfield. In the bullpen, a more reliable arm for Manny to choose.

But more questions now arise.

Who is next on the trading block? Nick Johnson? Cristian Guzman? Or, Adam Dunn? Or, all three?

Who get's DFA'd when the one roster moves takes place before Wednesday's Game against The Florida Marlins? Ronnie Belliard? Jesus Colome?

There are a tremendous amount of personnel decisions to be made over the next month before the July 31st Trading Deadline. Why do I have a feeling this is just the beginning of many moves to come? As stated before, Interim GM doesn't look back--only forward. Today proves just that fact.

PS--Sohna's response. "So you are telling me we traded Brian Schneider, Ryan Church, Lastings Milledge & Joel Hanrahan for Nyjer Morgan and Sean Burnett?" Yeah, in a roundabout way.


Steve Walker said...


The Milledge trade by JimBo can now be considered a poor one. Nats dealt two solid, left-hand hitting vets in Church and Schneider for someone, who, if he reaches his potential, will be for the Pirates.

I think the deal has a greater potential upside for Pittsburgh as both Milledge and Hanrahan could be better players, much better, than Burnett and Morgan.

However, the two players Washington received are proven. Neither are stars, but both are solid, dependable professionals. Milledge and Hanrahan may never reach that level.

Rizzo traded potential for predictability. It's ok by me.

What is NOT ok is blowing YET ANOTHER 4-run lead, especially to the Marlins, who are, at best a .500 team that the Nats make look super-human.

Indeed, a frustrating season!

VCUAlum Kyle said...

The only thing about this trade that upsets me is again WE DONT GIVE WILLIE HARRIS HIS CHANCE.

He has earned to be are starting CF. And now we are going to give a good solid defensive 4th OF the starting job. There is a good chance (75%) that this Morgan guy will fail. Harris DESERVES TO BE OUR STARTING CF.

Did you guys read the rest of the convo on nats.com about how they want to trade Dukes? When we first made this trade last year I hated it. But Dukes has been a quality player for us this season with good numbers. I think we should keep him.

SBF, I say KEARNS gets let go tomorrow before Ronnie B (a Top 5 favorite Nat of mine). KEARNS has been nothing but a DUD for us. He is not good and has been a total waste. Looking back on that '06 trade now, the Reds made out with two quality pitchers (Bray and Majewski) and two decent middle infielders (B. Harris, well maybe minus R. Clayton).

I also think Ronnie B deserves more AB before we say farewell to him. He is a guy that would be a good for the AL. He has a great bat when he gets some decent plate time. I will miss him, he has been one of my favorites.

NatsGuy said...


I agree with you that there is much more to come. I think July and August off the field might be more interesting than on the field.

The Strasburg negotiations are going to get real crazy if Boras goes to Japan or Korea to negotiate in order to make Strasburg a free agent next year.

The minors are the place to watch for the next few months. There are some good things going on and this season is pretty much over at the MLB level. You have to find the positives where you can.

Screech's Best Friend said...

Dukes has been sulking about his reduced playing time. And making any decision to trade him probably easier. What Mike Rizzo has shown so far is expect the unexpected. Having no idea who will be DFA's tonight to make way for Burnett or Morgan--I am sure it will be an inspiring choice--looking long term to The Nationals. Belliard has a cheaper contract, compared to Kearns. Believe it or not, Kearns has more value than Ronnie--despite his enormouse troubles at the plate. NO, Belliard hasn't had many at-bats, but he's done little in the chances he has received.

Age Matters here, whether anyone likes it or not.