- Costco status quo: Wholesaler lists Bible as fiction, Ron Burgundy memoir as gospel
- Sarah Palin responds to Martin Bashir’s resignation, praises media
- Obama to send 2 Gitmo terror suspects back to Algeria
- Paul Walker secretly bought $9K wedding ring for Iraq vet
- Mystery sign poster hits Washington state town: ‘It’s OK to say Merry Christmas’
- Pope Francis forms commission to advise on sex abuse
- Anthony Weiner on radio? Cumulus says, ‘Never, ever’
- Executive order: Obama ups green-energy mandate on feds to 20 percent
- GOP launches candidate training: How to talk to women
- N.Y.’s Rockefeller Center lights up, as Bloomberg flicks on 76-foot Christmas tree
Dealing now aids long-term prospects
With eight days remaining until major league baseball’s trade deadline, there has been a lot of talk from the Washington Nationals about trying to build a championship club as quickly as they can.
It’s a fancy way of talking around the subject without revealing their true intentions, but a couple of things can be inferred from the line:
c The Nationals are willing to field a really bad team the rest of the season if it means they have a chance to improve next year.
c Club officials still believe they are closer to contending than most outside observers believe.
Washington fans came to accept that first edict long ago. Wins and losses mean nothing this season, and fans will be willing to part with Dmitri Young and Ronnie Belliard if the two veterans can bring some legitimate prospects in return.
But what about the second point? Is this franchise actually close to contention?
Barring a Chicago Cubs-like free agent splurge this winter, the Nationals can’t move into their new ballpark and reasonably expect to compete with the Mets, Braves and Phillies for the National League East title in 2008.
Why are team officials so much more optimistic about the franchise’s future than they were a year ago? Look to the farm system, which has been completely restocked with pitching prospects. In the last 12 months alone, this organization has added Matt Chico, Garrett Mock, Joel Hanrahan, Emiliano Fruto, Colton Willems, Glenn Gibson, Jordan Zimmermann and Adrian Alaniz while seeing holdovers John Lannan and Collin Balester blossom into studs.
So clearly, the Nationals have reason to feel good about their long-term pitching prospects.
Trouble is, they have only a handful of elite hitting prospects in Chris Marrero, Justin Maxwell and Mike Daniel, and none plays above Class A. These guys won’t get a sniff of the District for at least a couple more years.
In other words, Washington shouldn’t be building for 2008. It should be building for 2009 and beyond, and the organization would be wise to take that tact with this summer’s trade deadline.
The Nationals can’t be looking for the quick fix. They need young hitters who might need a year or two to develop but ultimately can become impact players. They don’t need more players like Kearns and Lopez — major leaguers with some upside but not enough talent to carry a lineup.
How are they going to acquire guys like that? With a willingness to be bold, to take a chance parting ways with guys who could be part of the plan here but who could also bring in even more in a trade.
- CURL: 'Mission Accomplished' for Obamacare
- Hack attack: 2 million Facebook, Twitter passwords stolen
- NAPOLITANO: Pope Francis should be saving souls, not pocketbooks
- Democratic infighting erupts over 'we can have it all' fantasy on entitlements
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality
- American teacher shot and killed at Benghazi international school
- Obama returns to class warfare as poll numbers plunge
- HARPER: 'Knockout game' not a myth to liberal Sharpton
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- Pentagon may give recruits 'a shot to start over' after shameful social media posts
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Film Reviews and Articles by Kevin Williams
A collection of reader guest articles, thoughts and opinions by Communities writers and breaking news and information.
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
Politics, economics, and business from a real world perspective.
White House pets gone wild!