Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Free Agents I'd Like to See the Nationals Look at

Now that I've identified our needs, I'd like to turn to decent players to fill those positions.

I'll start with CF. Now, everyone wants to have Beltran and if the Nationals had an ownership group, they may be interested in signing him. As it stands now, however, I don't think Beltran is reasonable. And I expect no matter how good he is, he will still end up overpaid.

Unfortunately, the options for CF in the free agent pool (beyond Beltran) are ugly. If J.D. Drew could play CF, that would be an option. Finley is too old for a team going nowhere in 2005, so I think the Nationals will have to go the trade route if they want to upgrade at CF. These are probably the best values available:

Richard Hildago - if he can play CF, it may be worth taking a risk on a very inconsistent player who has had some good seasons in his career.

Ricky Ledee - I'm not really a fan of his, but his 2004 numbers with PHI were great. Of course, his 2004 numbers with SF were horrible. I think he could be worth a cheap signing. He would also be a potential 4th OF option.

On second thought, maybe Bowden should talk to the Phillies about Marlon Byrd.

Here are some affordable SP options that should be explored:

Wilson Alvarez - playing in LA surely helped his ERA and helped him with his nasty HR habit, but I still think he is a good value. He is not a 200 IP starter, but has shown a willingness and ability to play a swingman role for the Dodgers. He should be available pretty cheap (assuming loyalty alone doesn't bring him back to LA) and would be a nice addition for the Nationals.

Matt Clement - I think he could be the steal of this free agent class. Unfortunately, it appears as though some of the SABR-inclined teams are already talking with him. Still, he is one of the best pitchers available and his price tag shouldn't be as high as the other highly regarded pitchers.

Kevin Millwood - I can't explain his inconsistency and apparent decline, but if he is available for less than $5-$6 million, then I think a short team deal for a 29 year old pitcher with potential may be worth it. I think the league has soured on him more than the numbers justify, so he could be a good value signing.

Odalis Perez - As I said before, if his health is ok, you should take a chance on a 27 year old quality starter.


At 11:01 AM, Blogger Peter said...

I don't think that Millwood comes for less than $5-6 million or is any good. However, I would support the Clement aquisition, but would be much happier to see him in a Mariners uniform next year (not likely either).

Wilson Alvarez?!?! Better off persuing Ron Villone if you want a swing man.

At 4:09 PM, Blogger Washington Baseball said...

You are right that Millwood probably won't come cheap, but if the market is dry for him, I think he would be a great signing for the Nationals.

As for Villone, compare Alvarez's K/BB ratios and tell me how Villone is a better signing. You are just a Mariner homer. :)

At 5:54 PM, Blogger Colin said...

Alvarez is a decent swing man. Provided you don't ask to much of him he can give you 100-120 decent innings. Plus, he should come cheap. I like the way you think.

Not about Ledee, though... surely there's a veteran minor-league OF who can put up numbers comparable to his.

At 8:58 AM, Blogger Washington Baseball said...

I admit Ledee probably won't amount to much. I think the free agent CF options are really thin (after Beltran and Finley). I was just trying to come with anyone but Endy Chavez. Ledee is not a bad fielder and has played fairly well at times. I'm not going to say he would be a great signing and hope the Nationals are able to find a trade for a CF instead.


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