Thursday, September 29, 2005

Bowden on Bowden

EWWWW! The headline in the print version doesn't paint a very good visual. Thankfully it's just Mr. Self-Indulgent slurping himself in this week's Examiner article. Bowden will spend the next two days reviewing the moves he made. Today he focuses on his trades and the draft. Juan Rivera and Macier Izturis for Jose Guillen. Bowden gives the trade a thumbs up. I'd agree with him but would have liked him to address an aspect of the deal that is often ignored. How much better are the Nationals with Guillen than they would have been with Rivera and Izturis? Offensively, the Nats had the clear advantage in the deal: Guillen 282/337/476 260TB 24HR 76RBI in 546AB Rivera 272/318/447 148TB 13HR 54RBI in 331AB Izturis 253/307/355 66TB 1HR 15RBI in 186AB However, how valubable would the MI Izturis have been with Vidro's injury and Guzman's season long struggles? Would it have been worth accepting the downgrade from Guillen to Rivera? I realize hindsight is 20/20 but given the machinations Bowden had to go through to acquire any MI (it ended up Junior Spivey), having someone like Izturis around would have been nice. But in the grand scheme of things, the deal was a success. Marlon Byrd for Endy Chavez deal was a clear steal for the Nationals. Byrd has proven himself a solid RH half of an OF platoon. No worse than a #4 OF. Tomo Ohka for Junior Spivey. This is one of those deals that, given Ohka's performance in Milwaukee, looks terrible. But given the position the Nats were in MI-wise and add onto that the fact that Ohka had worn out his welcome with Frank Robinson and Randy St. Claire, I think it was a deal that made sense at the time. Zach Day and JJ Davis for Preston Wilson. I'd agree the deal was a success for the Nats. But I'd argue that it was not necessarily the deal that Bowden needed to make. Bowden locked his sights on Wilson early in the season and refused to alter his course. Yes, the Nats needed some punch offensively. Yes, Day had conflict with Frank Robinson (noticing a trend?). Yes, JJ Davis is nothing more than a Triple-A OF. But, the Nationals had an abundance of OF at the time of the trade and the more glaring problem was offense from MIs. I doubt Day/Davis would have brought a MI of note, but there were other pieces he could have moved. We will never know if there was a MI out there that could have helped, but it's a question for Bowden to answer. Bowden wraps up with his perception of the 2005 draft. There, shockingly, I think he's selling himself a bit short.
The evaluation of our entire draft however, might be determined if we are able to sign our fourth pick, Justin Maxwell.
I wouldn't go that far. I think he did a good job given just the selection of Ryan Zimmerman. If anything, he should have said the evaluation of the entire draft might be determined by how the other 19 signings perform. The MLB First-Year player draft is honestly a crapshoot. First round picks flame out (Matt Anderson, 1997 1st pick of the draft) and later round picks excel (Mike Piazza, 62nd round pick of the 1988 draft). Zimmerman has had a meteoric rise to the majors and has put himelf in a position to compete for a starting spot in 3B. All in all, Bowden is not as self-indulgent as I expected given the headline. We'll see if the modicum of modesty remains tomorrow when he reviews the Rule 5 draftees (Ty Godwin and Tony Blanco) and waiver moves (Claudio Vargas, Sunny Kim, and Ryan Drese to name a few).

1 comment:

El Gran Color Naranja said...

I would say the Guillen deal was a winner, but because of our MI issues, and Guillen's...ummm...colorful nature, it's not a slam-dunk or anything.

Byrd for Endy was another good deal. I wouldn't say a clear steal, because I'm still not sure Marlon will make it as even a bench player. He seems to go through long funks where he can't hit anyone, lefty or righty. If he doesn't stick next year, really we got a slightly better player for a half a year. But because Endy will probably never learn to take a pitch you can't be against this deal.

Ohka for Spivey, I mostly agree. The deal (MI for SP) made sense at the time, but Spivey wasn't very good choice to be that MI. Bowden conveniently doesn't mention he wasn't hitting before he got to DC, and didn't hit after. If Junior was the only way to go, then fine, but I've got to believe there were better MI available.

Day and Davis for Wilson was a poor deal, in light of the Ohka trade. It was a deal from a position that no longer had great depth (SP) to a position that did (OF). Also he wanted a CF and got a player who could not play the position. And he wanted a power hitter and Preston will end up with 10HR and 14 2B for us. Just poor, poor talent recognition for what we were getting.