Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Shallow End of the Pool

I know I'm late to the party. The usual suspects have the breakdown of the deal sending Brad Wilkerson, Terrmel Sledge, and Armando Galarraga to the Rangers for Alfonso Soriano. My take? I don't like it, but I don't hate it as much as many do. I agree with Chris that Brad Wilkerson was done in DC. For whatever reason, he had lost the faith of the man making the decisions (Bowden). Sledge is coming off of a severe hamstring injury so his inclusion is not the end of the world. If the deal were Wilkerson, Sledge, and organizational pitcher, someone like Jason Stevenson or Chris Schroder, I would have been marginally in favor of the deal. Soriano, even at the near $10M he may command in arbitration is not the end of the world, provided that either (a) he doesn't mind shifting to the OF (preferably LF); or (b) there is a deal in the works where either Soriano or Jose Vidro is moved for pitching. The problem I have with it is the inclusion of Armando Galarraga. I highlighted Galarraga's recovery from Tommy John surgery back in July. The Nationals ran into a huge problem late last year when they ran out of starting pitchers at the major league level. As of today, the Nationals starting rotation is:
  1. Livan Hernandez
  2. John Patterson
  3. Brian Lawrence
  4. Ryan Drese (assuming he's recovered from surgery)
  5. ???

I thought that Galarraga would have had a really solid opportunity to give Darrell Rasner and whatever reclamation project Bowden went after in a battle for the #5 spot in the rotation. One of the few things I got from my reading of Scout's Honor that I could not agree with more ... a team needs to have replacement value players available to them in the minor leagues for both themselves and trades. Well, the Nats didn't (and still don't have either). Trading a prospect ranked #5 by Baseball America (#4 in my opinion) from a farm system as troubled as the Nationals is not the wisest move for the long term health of the organization. Listen, I'm a fan but I realize that the Nationals are not going to compete for a World Series any time soon. And trading away what limited depth exists in the minor leagues does nothing for the Nationals' rebuilding process in their player development system.

Let's hope there is another mover (or two) in the pipeline turning the Nationals' overabundance of middle infielders (specifically 2B) into pieces needed to re-establish a viable farm system.

2 comments:

Graham said...

Brian,

Are you forgetting Armas for the starting rotation? The Nats offered him arbitration this week, which means Tony, Jr. should warrant at least a #5 with a bunch of question marks...doesn't he? Or does his shoulder keep him out into next season?

Also, I would pencil in Jon Rauch at the #6/swingman/carrasco + injuries position.

Brian said...

Yes Armas is part of the ????, assuming he's signed (he was just offered arbitration). It would be nice to see him produce anything but I'm not holding my greath.