No firesale here. In fact, the Nats seem content if people don’t even come in the store, it seems. There is not that much on the roster to trade at this point, I admit. There are guys like Kearns, who may be near the bottom of his value, and he’s still pretty young, so they figure he’s either a piece of the future, or part of a bigger trade. Guzman just got re-upped, at a deal, so signing him right now may be problematic. The relief core had a tough beginning to the season, but they’re not this bad, so maybe it’s not time to dump them. But there are guys that can go. People who read this regularly know I had a great deal of respect for the opinion of ESPN’s Keith Law. I don’t always agree with him, but I like to hear what he has to say. On the Bonifacio for Rauch deal, he said (link is for ESPN Insiders only):

For Washington, getting just Emilio Bonifacio for Rauch has to be seen as a letdown, although it’s better than their trade-deadline results from 2007…Flipping Rauch for Bonifacio, even if the return seems disappointing, is absolutely better than committing to Rauch for another two years, especially given his health history and the unpredictable year-to-year performance of relievers.

Yes yes and yes on that. There really is no need to hold on to guys who aren’t part of the solution. Fill up the minor league roster. Law also criticizes re-signing Guzman. While I don’t hate the deal, I really think they could have shopped him around to a contendor for something else. Now, I am not hating Guzman playing SS for this team right now, and he isn’t as terrible as he was early in the contract. So trading him for little… maybe that isn’t worth it, but again, they need to ask themselves if Guzman is going to eventually be part of a playoff run. I suspect not. As Law again says wisely “Bad teams should not be locking up their mediocrities to long-term deals, but rather should be looking to convert them all into any kind of young players.” THAT, I couldn’t have put more perfectly.

So ask yourself “Do you want more trades like Bonifacio for Rauch?” If you mean young prospects that may not turn out to be stars, but are likely future major leaguers in exchange for someone who likely will never be part of a contending Nationals team, the answer should be obvious.


The Nationals keep losing. I mostly blame it on being outscored. It seems they give up more runs than they score. That just gives them fits when it comes to tallying wins. Go figure. As they say, runs scored and runs allowed are a better predictor of wins and losses in the future than actual wins and losses are. If this confuses you…

…there is a book called Bridging the Statistical Gap out there that a fellow blogger Eric J. Seidman has written that goes over this, and other, baseball stats. Here’s what he says about it:

it is designed to be a sabermetrics 101 type of book for more casual fans intimidated by statistical analysis but still looking to get their feet wet. Nobody reading will be overwhelmed but will walk away with a greater understand of not only numbers in general, but also the history of certain stats, what they do and do not tell us, and which stats/metrics DO tell us what we seek. Oh, and the foreword was written by Jayson Stark, so it’s a legit book.

Plus, the book’s cover looks pretty cool.

By Charlie