Thursday, October 27, 2005

Hit the Ground Running

Well now, Jim Bowden doesn't waste much time does he. On the heels of his extension, he quickly signs middle infielders Damian Jackson and Bernie Castro. Damian Jackson elected free agency after being outrighted by the San Diego Padres on October 14. He's serviceable role player of the bench as he can play 2B/3B/SS/OF. Additionally, the 31-year old Jackson has something the Nationals lacked in 2005, speed. In 10 major league seasons, Jackson has stolen 132/168 bases. He could likely fill the Jamey Carroll role assuming Jackson makes the team out of spring training. UPDATE: Barry Svrluga has contract details in Friday's article. Jackson signed a $700K deal. Bernie Castro is a 26-year old 2B out of the Baltimore Orioles organization who was outrighted to the minor leagues on October 7. In 24 games with the Orioles, he batted 288/360/350 with 6SB in 8 attempts. His minor league career demonstrates he has good control of the strikezone 212BB/273K in 6 minor league seasons as well as blazing speed 238SB in 310 attempts. He will likely get the chance to compete for a back-up MI spot along with Jackson. He is most likely to begin the season in New Orleans. No details of his contract are available, though the article make it sound like it will be a one-year contract, thus he will be added to the 40-man roster along with Jackson. What this tells me is that Junior Spivey and Jamey Carroll may not be long for the Nationals. Both are arbitration eligible and mave prove too costly to bring back to Washington. It's a shame because honestly, baseball skills aside, Jamey Carroll is good person. He was always the first one out at games signing autographs and his charitable works have been previosuly documented. But unfortunately, baseball is a business. And given the financial restrictions that Bowden is bound to encounter, having to worry about arbitration negotiations with utility infielders is not what he needs. UPDATE: Svrluga had the following quote from Bowden regarding where the signings left Junior Spivey and Jamey Carroll:
"With important roles on the team," Bowden said. "They can all fit -- and that's assuming there are no other injuries or trades."
I still don't see how all four players will be on the 2006 roster. Jackson's signing makes Carroll expendable and Spivey will also likely be too pricy. A tip of the cap to Jim Bowden for immediately addressing two areas of need for the Nats, speed and middle infield help. Let the hot stove season begin.


Nate said...

J.B. must really hate Brendan Harris.

Brian said...

From everything I've read, the Nationals do not believe Harris is a major league player.

That being said, I wouldn't necessarily say Harris is done. If he continues to play at SS in the AFL, he would then have experience at 1B/2B/3B/SS. It could be a competition between Harris and Short for the PH/UT IF guy off the bench as spot #25.