Friday, October 2, 2009

Let Me Run The Nationals Part II

The new Bash Brothers?

After knowing what I would do with Strasburg, the next thing to tweek is the lineup for the Nationals next year. Although, when you look at the team right now, there are not that many steps to take in order to make it a competitive lineup.

Because honestly, since Nyjer Morgan came over to be a legitimate leadoff man, the Nationals have suprisingly had some success in scoring runs. However that doesn't mean there isn't anything the Nationals should do this offseason. Here are the moves I'm making if I'm the GM.

1. Declining Austin Kearns' option for 2010. According to Cot's Contracts, Washington holds a $10M option on Kearns for next year with a $1M buyout. I think this may be one of the most obvious moves to make in baseball front office history.

2. Trading Christian Guzman. Yes, he has been the best player on the team for the past few years, but he is simply not a shortstop anymore. The Nationals recently asked him to move to second for next year, and Guzman seemed surprised. He doesn't seem willing to move, but he really has to because he's blocking Ian Desmond at this point. His $8M salary for next year is not terrible, and I think there should be a buyer. I think the Red Sox are probably the best fit, but I would also call the Cubs, Tigers, Royals, Twins, Astros, Reds, and Orioles to judge their interests. And honestly, I don't look for anything in return. All I would want is the $8M to spend on someone else. So as long as I find a time willing to take all of Guzman's salary, which I think would happen, I deal him.

So with those two quick moves, I'm left with this line-up:

C - Jesus Flores (if healthy)
1B - Adam Dunn
2B - ?
3B - Ryan Zimmerman
SS - Ian Desmond
LF - Josh Willingham
CF - Nyjer Morgan
RF - Elijah Dukes

OF - Justin Maxwell
UTIL - Willie Harris
C -Will Nieves

To fill in the gap at second base, I'm spending the $8M I have leftover from dealing Guzman to sign Orlando Hudson. After watching his year out in LA (while weeping over my shitty fantasy trade), I think Hudson has proven himself to be a formidable, if not elite, second baseman in this league. I like him better than Guzman because he won't be whining about playing second base all season long.

I'm not too hot about starting Dukes in right. I do like Maxwell a lot, so I think I use a page out of La Russa's managing book and do a rotation in the outfield to make sure that everyone stays fresh and gets playing time. The four outfielder rotation worked well for the Cards this year, and I think it allows my team to ride hot streaks.

Flores at catcher also worries me. Will he actually be healthy in time for the start of the season? If so, I let him start. If not, I'm putting in some low bids on Bengie Molina and Pudge to see if either wants to join my march to glory in D.C. Regardless, I would sign an old ass veteran backup to stash in AAAA because I love backup catchers. I hand a minor league deal to Jason LaRue, Henry Blanco, or, of course, Sal Fasno to see if I can get any sweet old catchers. The signing of either LaRue or Fasano would lead to some sweet Fu Man Chu shirt sales.

I also bring in Fernando Tatis for his versatility in the outfield and infield. I figure he would sign for one year at $1M or so.

So that leaves me with this as my lineup:

C - Jesus Flores, if healthy, otherwise Molina/Pudge
1B - Adam Dunn
2B - Orlando Hudson
3B - Ryan Zimmerman
SS - Ian Desmond
LF - Josh Willingham
CF - Nyjer Morgan
RF - Elijah Dukes (75% of the time)

OF - Justin Maxwell (25% of the time in right)
UTIL - Willie Harris
UTIL - Fernando Tatis
C - Wil Nieves
Another minor leaguer

AAAA - Catcher with sweet facial hair

I know the defense is a little suspect, but if Ryan Howard can develop defensively, I hope I can do the same with some of these players.

What do you think?


  1. What I think:

    I really wish you didn't bring up Sal Fasano, so I could bring him up and link to sweet facial hair pictures of him.

    But fo real, Hudson for $8 mil. I don't know about that. Take into account he is one of 3 good free agents this year and he would be signing with the Natinals (clearly not going to give them a discount), it seems unlikely they would get him for market value.

    However, Hudson is black. The Natinals love black players (see: Dmitri Young, Elijah Dukes, Willie Harris, Nyjer Morgan, Cristian Guzman: very hood, Ronnie Belliard: possibly the most hood). Seriously, look at those names, they are awesome.

  2. I think the Nationals can bring Hudson in. If you lay out the plan and show him that the offensive will be competitive next year, I think you can make him bite.

    I think there is a chance he comes for $8M, but going higher would not be a problem. Remember, I don't have Kearns's salary anymore.

    Plus, Washington is a big market, with a decent team and better marketing department, they should be bringing in more money to spend.

  3. So much love for Fernando Tatis