Thursday, January 13, 2011

Nats Still Trying

A report came out yesterday on about former Padres pitcher Chris Young and his potential destinations this offseason. In his report, Buster Olney of ESPN states that the right hander is down to two options; the Mets and the Nats. This is the first time this Hot Stove League that the Nats have been connected in any way to Young, though it doesn't come as much of a surprise seeing as though every pitcher the team has targeted has signed elsewhere, sometimes for less money. Lets break this down via old-school pros and cons list.

- Has been a positive WAR player every year of his career minus an injury-plagued 2009.
- Would be a cheap, but incentive-laden, contract (around $2 million guaranteed).
- Spent 3 years in the Expos-system (not really a pro, just a cool thing).
- Bill James projects him as having a winning record with a 3.46 ERA.
- Former All-Star with a chip on his shoulder after being denied a club option for 2011.
- In his four 2011 appearances he went 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP.
- Our rotation is less than set and, if healthy, he can be a top 3 starter for us.
- Baseball Reference comparable players include Ubaldo Jimenez and Matt Garza.
- He is 6' 10".

- Has been on the DL four times in the past four years.
- Two of those injuries have been season ending injuries.
- Both of those season ending injuries have been pitching shoulder related.
- Has only played 18 games in the past two seasons.
- We already have Chien-Ming Wang as a pitching reclamation project.
- Low velocity 85-90.
- Baseball Reference comparable players also include Erik Bedard and Mark Prior.

In case you didn't notice, Chris Young has been injured more than Jesus Flores, and that is the only reason that the Nats should be hesitant in this endeavor. But this is a year that is shaping up to be a repeat of the ill-fated 2007 starting pitcher cattle-call edition of Spring Training. If the Nats sign Young, he would join Lannan, Marquis, Zimmermann, Mock, Martis, Atilano, Maya, Detwiler, Livan, Martin, Stammen, Chico, Wang, Broderick, Tatusko and whoever else the Nats invite to Spring Training (maybe Jason Simontacchi). Many people fighting for one spot will bring the level of competition in Spring Training up a few notches, especially if one (or two) of those pitchers is trying to complete a long and arduous comeback from injury to prove his worth.

If you were crazy enough to ask for my opinion I would tell you that the Nats should go for it. Its a win-win situation. In the grand scheme of things this would be around a $2 million dolllar investment. Downside being wasted money and the upside being a repeat performance of his 2007 season where he posted a 3.12 ERA. And if I'm in charge, I spend $2 million for that proven starter's potential every day of the week.

Thoughts? Let's see them in the comments.


  1. If they can sign him to a minor league deal, sure. But every reclamation project they sign they have to move someone off of the 40 man roster. They already have to cut one guy to make room for Adam Laroche. Some of the new players they acquired either have no minor league options (Henry Rodriquez) or have to be on the team or lost (Elvin Ramirez). Who goes, for the option of spending $2-3 million on a player who may never see the field?

  2. agreed john this point the roster is full and young should only be brought on with a minor league deal and spring training invite...if and only if he really impresses in viera (the town not the former president of paraguay) should he make the team and get a roster spot. i would guess the mets are offering better than that