Tuesday, December 14, 2004


"The Bowden Time Machine" or "Rock Raines the Vote"

We all know that Castilla and Guzman have been declining for a while now, but Bowden continues to peer into his reverse-crystal ball and finding gems from long, long ago.

Wil Cordero (33 - First Base) : 1 yr 700K
To be fair - this is an ok signing. Everyone talks about how great a leader Cordero was in 2003 (maybe that's the reason the Expos were over .500, not Vlad and Javy) and he comes with the best possible stats for a "leader". A short contract at a minimal price. He has played more than 89 games only twice in the last 7 years, but if he's just occasionally coming off the bench that doesn't matter. Plus, though his power is not impressive, he's a fairly good contact hitter. All in all we could do worse. Speaking of....

Jeffrey Hammonds (34 - OF): minor league contract
I know it's a minor league contract. I know that's nothing, but this a nonsense signing. Hammonds is more injury prone than Cordero both recently, playing 86 games in the last 2 years, and historically, has only 4 seasons with more than 89 games in the last 12. Hammonds hasn't had a "good" year since 2000 (in Colorado mind you). He has slugged under .400 twice in the last 3 years, and has barely broke .333 in OBP. He's getting old fast. Add to this the fact that the Nats have plentiful outfield talent (well sort of "talent" - but definitely more talented and younger than Hammonds). There was no reason for this signing to take place. Probably a personal favor from an old friend (Hammonds was a Red in 1998 and 99)

Rule 5 Minor League moves (I'll just outline the "Major League" level ones)

Picked up Ty Godwin (26, OF): Former highly touted prospect, who chose college over baseball first. Now and injury prone aging prospect. Seems to get worse the longer he stays on a level.

Picked up Tony Blanco (23, 3B): Former hitting prospect who killed rookie league, then took four years to get up to A ball speed. Horrible, though improving plate discipline. Still recovering from a shoulder injury.

Victor Prieto (P, 22) sold to the Red Sox: Eh. He was severely struggling at AA Greensboro last year. (We signed him in Rule 5 then sold him) Young enough to get better but no reason to bet on it.

Today's the vote. I expect it to pass 8-5 or 8-4-1 (Cropp and Patterson, moving from abstentions to yeas). The talks with MLB are embarrassing. Look at the concessions asked for "...granting the District the use of the stadium for more than 12 days, allowing the council the ability to seek private funds to pay for ballpark construction and limiting the compensatory damages the city would have to pay if the stadium is not completed by March 2008."

That these were not in the original plan should right off the bat tell you how poorly it was negotiated.

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