Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Big League Roster Moves
During his chat today, Nats beat writer Barry Svrluga announced the Nationals had finally cut bait with the dead wood that was Wil Cordero. Cordero had done absolutely nothing since his return from the DL and veteran presence can only carry you so far. As this isn't prospect news, I'll move on to the parts that I find much more interesting from a minor league perspective. First, the Nationals claimed Kenny Kelly off of waivers from the Cincinnati Reds. Kelly is a former University of Miami QB which tells you everything you need to know about his baseball acumen. Actually, Kenny Kelly is probably can be best described as a RH Tyrell Godwin. He had been playing well in Triple-A Louisville (326/382/438 in 61G with 18SB/22 attempts) prior to his bench warming in Cinicinnati. It is no shock to me that Jim Bowden (a) claimed a toolsy OF and (b) that he be from Cincinnati. Additionally, the Nationals outrighted Joe Horgan to Triple-A New Orleans and Jacobo Sequea to Double-A Harrisburg. Both guys were already pitching in the minors, and neither Horgan nor Sequea are anything more than roster fodder so the Nationals aren't really losing much. More interesting is the fact that the outrighting removes them from the Nationals 40-man roster. At present the Nationals have 38 men on the 40-man roster. What I find interesting is that not only did the Nationals pick up another utility OF which on the surface does not make sense, but they also have two open 40-man roster spots. What this screams out to me is that the Nationals may be on the brink of announcing a deal to trade prospects (not on the 40-man roster) for major league ready talent. Specifically, one of the OF troika of Wilkerson-Church-Byrd. I severely doubt it's Wilkerson as he is filling in at 1B until Nick Johnson's return. Byrd is an average OF but would have to be packaged with alot to return anything of substance (remember he was traded straight up for Endy Chavez). This leads me to believe it may be Ryan Church who is on the move. Church is a solid contributor but remember he's old for a rookie (26) and in my opinion he's not a building block but more of a supplemental piece of the team. As much as I would hate to see Church leave DC, if he brings a middle infielder and bullpen help, I'm behind the trade. The most frequently discussed names are Julio Lugo and Danys Baez from Tampa. There have been additional rumblings about Jason Schmidt and Deivi Cruz (fat chance). It will certainly be interesting to see what develops over the next 11 days.