Tag Archives: Cristian Guzman

Post-July 31 Comments

Now that that baseball is breathing a collective, if temporary, sigh during this post-trade deadline week, let’s pause to take a look at what the Nats did (and didn’t do). As I had recommended earlier, we made the right move and traded Capps. In the the process we may have picked up our catcher of the future. We moved Guzman, who was a very capable hitter, for 2 pitching prospects that are having solid seasons (but not exactly kids at 25 and 26).

We held onto Adam Dunn instead of trading him for a pitcher who has an ERA over 5 this season and whose career average is not much below that. This made a lot of fans happy (including this one) and hopefully the Nats’ next move will be to try and repair some of the feelings between the 2 sides and get Dunn inked to that 4 year, 60 million dollar deal. Exposing him to waivers was not a great start. His price may have just gone up. We must have him in the lineup for his production and also as protection for Zim and the pitches Zim sees. Let’s get this done asap.

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Mid-Season Review

I’m not going to go into a player by player review of what the Nats have accomplished or failed to accomplish this season. However, I’m going to share a few key thoughts about how the Nats should approach the second half of the season.

Put on the trading block any pitcher on the active roster not named Strasburg, Storen or Clippard. You’ll notice I did not protect Capps there. While Capps is having a great year, holding onto a solid closer is not as critical when you are not headed to the post-season. And he could probably bring more in return right now than any other non-protected pitcher on the staff. Plus, he’s not making a ton of money this season, so a lot of teams would jump at the chance to have him. More on this later.

Play Nyjer every day in center until July 31st, hope for a surge, and try and trade him too. If he is not traded by the 31st and he has not gotten more consistent in every aspect of his game, then beginning in August make Bernie the starting CF and start Morse in right the rest of the season. We need to see if these guys are going to be able to be everyday players next season.

Trade Guz if we can get anything decent in return. Sign Dunn now to an extension.

Finally, we have got to be active in the free agent market this offseason. We need 2 quality starting pitchers, a closer if Capps is traded, another solid setup man, a big name second baseman who can hit for power and average, and a big bat in RF if Bernie or Morse don’t look like the solution by the end of the season. SPEND THE MONEY Lerners! We can’t wait any longer for the guys in the farm system to mature and hopefully become stars at the major league level. If you wait 3 more years, Zim’s contract will be up and who know if he’ll really re-sign here if we haven’t shown a commitment to winning by then. We don’t need to be buyers at the trade deadline. But please, be buyers in the offseason. If only takes cash to do that; you don’t have to part with top prospects. Take a chance on spending some money. We could contend next year if we do this. Thanks for reading.

I Am Not Making This Up

I just have to stay on this bit for another day.  Either the Nationals’ front office thinks their fan base is stupid enough to completely forget what they wrote about Guzman just last week, or they are shamelessly plugging him for the All-Star game to pump up his trade value.  Either situation is just silly.  A quick comparison of 2 recent items on their website are copied below.  I can’t take credit for my call-out of this article because I don’t have enough readers on here, but Incredibly, the Nats have since pulled this commentary from July 1 from their website.  I mean, come on guys, this is ridiculous!  One day you hate the guy, then the next you think he’s an All-Star!  And to go so low as to pull it off your website (see my July 2 blog post for complete details), that’s just pretty underhanded.

From July 1:

“[Rizzo] is looking for a starting shortstop. The Nationals feel that Cristian Guzman, who is on the trading block, has lost a few steps with his glove.”

From July 7:

Nationals believe Guzman is an All-Star

When the Nationals face the Rockies on Tuesday in the middle game of their three-game series, it will be Day 2 of the Cristian Guzman 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Final Vote watch.  Guzman is a two-time All-Star who was selected last season with the Nationals and in 2001 with the Twins.  Zimmerman and manager Manny Acta said Sunday that Guzman deserved to go to St. Louis.  Acta reiterated that stance Monday.

“He’s been very consistent from Day 1,” Acta said. “He’s hit over .300 this whole season, he plays every day, he has been healthy and he’s been good to our club.”

Guzman is having one of his better seasons, as he’s 12th in the NL in hitting at .314 with three home runs and 21 RBIs. He has 31 multihit games, which is tied for second in the NL.

Like A Record On Repeat

What I’m talking about is yesterday’s article on the Nats’ website that I read that covers Tuesday’s trade, and basically comments on the rest of the Nats’ roster.  Let’s dissect a few things that were said on there:

“The Nationals have been unhappy with their outfielders for quite some time. They have come to the conclusion that Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham belong in the American League as designated hitters, and Elijah Dukes makes too many fundamental mistakes.”

Wait, the Nationals have long acknowledged Dunn’s defensive shortcomings, and they signed him for his power and RBI potential, which they have raved about all season until now.  And he has played his entire career in the National league, and now the Nationals are going to be the ones saying he belongs as a DH in the AL?  Absurd.  They were also recently raving about Willingham’s bat and now they hate him?  And Dukes, who earlier this year was being referred to as the Nats’ best all-around player?

“The Nationals see Morgan as a center fielder/leadoff hitter. Washington also likes his hockey attitude. He once played with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League during the 1999-2000 season. “

They like his hockey attitude?  Not sure what to make of that.

“We have a great character guy in Morgan. We have our center fielder.”

I’m all for a good character guy, but haven’t they said that about Kearns for a long time, and we’ve seen how that has worked out.  In terms of “we have our center fielder”, see Milledge, Lastings, Maxwell, Justin, and Bernadina, Roger.  We’ve heard this all before.  How long until they give up on Morgan?

“Hanrahan and Milledge did not fit in the team’s long-term plans.“

Correct me if I’m wrong, but coming out of spring training, the team talked at length about how both of these guys has locks on their positions, and that they would be future building blocks of the team.  I have no problem with getting rid of guys that don’t produce.  But let’s stop making ridiculous pronouncements only to back off them and look silly.  (See a few days ago where Willie Harris was proclaimed to be the new sparkplug at the top of the lineup, then quickly benched again).

“[Rizzo] is looking for a starting shortstop. The Nationals feel that Cristian Guzman, who is on the trading block, has lost a few steps with his glove.”

The absurdity continues.  This guy was basically leading the league in hitting a few weeks ago and now they are giving up on him because of his glove?  Work with him on this, don’t use that as a cover story to trade away a solid veteran for even more unproven prospects.  This is starting to feel like the movie Major League.  The team is looking for a starting shortstop?  Are you kidding?

“Washington wants young starting pitching in return for Guzman, who has one year left on his contract. “

How many more young starters do you want?  I can’t believe I am reading this.  The team needs to sign a true #1 starter, have Lannan at #2, sign a solid #3, and let the best of the rest of their young pitching corps battle it out for final 2 spots.  More young starting pitching is what we don’t need, unless we are talking about someone like Tim Lincecum

“The team is also looking to trade Dukes, and that may be hard to do because he comes with a lot of off-the-field baggage. Whom the club wants for Dukes is not known.”

I’ll make this my last comment before I vomit.  The Nats knew full well about Dukes before they signed him, and other than his child-support troubles, he has been much better in his off-the-field behavior for the Nats than he was before.  Please don’t whine about how hard it would be to trade him because of this.

Right now it looks like the team admitting that the last 5 years of rebuilding the franchise hasn’t worked, and they’re going to basically start over again?  If you thought the dropoff in ticket sales this season was bad, wait until next year if they keep this up.  The people that do still go to most of the games, myself included, appreciate the players trying hard every game even if they are losing.  What we are tired of is the front office spinning its wheels, not making much progress, changing its story, giving up on players it recently called building blocks, and refusing to spend money on free agents.  Maybe they need more sleep or a vacation to clear their heads.  Because what’s happening right now isn’t working.