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Friday, July 21, 2006


Washington Nationals Jose Guillen effectively removes himself from trade discussions

Everyone on the team has been made available for trade discussions, except for Ryan Zimmerman (except sometimes the Washington Nationals forget to include that exception; recently the new (has the old one left yet?) team president mentioned that all players were tradable, without including that exception for Zimmerman)? Eh, maybe not. Guillen joins Jose Vidro (who has been rumored in several trade deals, including with the Mets, but indications are that he is too injured/injury-prone to be acceptable in a trade), on the list of unlikely to be traded Nationals players. Vidro's on that list because of injury problems (though he isn't on the DL), and Guillen is on the untradable list both because he has not hit this season, and because he is now on the DL. As of July 20, 2006 (retroactive to July 18), Jose Guillen has joined the long list of Nationals players on the DL.

With Guillen out, Alex Escobar will likely get his chance to start in center-field, and Austin Kearns will return to his more natural position in right-field. The once crowded outfield now consists of Escobar, Kearns, Alfonso Soriano, and struggling Luis Matos.

Another consideration to keep in mind is that with Guillen now off the tradable list, the likelihood of Soriano being traded has increased. There was a somewhat conceivable scenario that had the Nationals trading Guillen and getting the pitching prospects that they want, and in the meantime, signing Soriano to a long-term contract. Soriano wants to stop moving to various different teams, and he has expressed a mild interest in remaining in Washington DC. Even before the injury, though, this particular scenario was quite unlikely, due to the poor play of Guillen, and his still-in-mind-of the other GM's "attitude problem" in the clubhouse.

The tradable assets of the Nationals keeps decreasing (Guillen - DL, poor play; Vidro - injury prone; Nick Johnson - injury prone; Livan Hernandez - poor play (6-8, 5.87 this year, 116-112, 4.21 career; Tony Armas (28) - injury prone . . ..) Hey, maybe someone would be interested in Zimmerman, Kearns, Felipe Lopez, or Alfonzo Soriano. Wait, the Nationals want to keep the youngsters, right (in answer, see Bray, Majewski)?

Anyone want Daryle Ward? He is a great pinch hitter, he is hitting .316 away from RFK, .288 on Grass, .333 on turf, .321 during the day, and is currently hitting .188 in July (.000 after the all-star break). Oh, and he has only committed 19 errors in 451 games started at 1B, and in the OF. Oh course he also has a slightly better range than a scarecrow. He has been described as a great DH, and the reason for his signing by a National League team was for the games played in American League parks.

Pedro Astacio? Currently 1-1 with an ERA of 6.43 in three games started (on the DL most of the year). Career 125-120 starting pitcher with and ERA of 4.63. Any takers? He is only 36 years-old.

Anyone with a good bullpen that wants an innings eater? Ramon Ortiz (33) might not be the best pitcher around, but he does tend to get to the seventh inning (with some exceptions where he barely gets to the fifth inning). He has a career winning percentage (74-69), and has winning seasons with 13, 15, 16 wins.

The Nationals are a sellers team, but what exactly are they selling? Alfonso Soriano, bench players (Ward, Anderson, Fick, etc.), aged and or poorly playing pitchers, injury prone infielders (and outfielders, see Alex Escobar), youngsters in the majors, and prospects in the minors (and remember, we got Matos by signing him, not claiming him off of waivers - unless the transaction page is wrong, the O's outright released him, so how likely is it that someone would want Matos in a trade?).

(note: those few that see this write-up in more than one place: this also appears on ArmChairGM.com (written and posted there by me)).

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