- The Washington Times - Monday, June 4, 2007

Q: Dmitri Young is absolutely on fire right now. Since we know Nick Johnson will be back eventually and Dmitri will be traded to a contender in need of another bat, shouldn’t the Nationals just deal him right now while his value is sky-high? Don Ramsey, Washington

A: Yes, Young’s value has got to be as high at this point as it’s ever going to be. So it would seem to behoove the Nationals to listen to every offer they can get right now rather than wait until the trade market heats up next month. Sure, they would have to find a fill-in at first base until Johnson is ready — anyone for a Robert Fick/Ronnie Belliard platoon? — but that’s a small price to pay for whatever return the club could get for a red-hot Young.

Q: It seems as if Levale Speigner has been overexposed and has yet to adjust as either a starter or long reliever. Why do the Nationals think he can be a valuable-enough pitcher in the future, given the state of the pitching staff, to continue to carry Speigner per Rule 5 conditions? Alan, Alexandria

A: It’s a fair question, and one it appears the Nationals are beginning to consider. Speigner clearly doesn’t look like he ever will make it as a major league starter, not without developing another pitch.

And what’s his future role in the bullpen? I can’t find anyone with the club who thinks he will amount to more than a middle reliever. So if that’s the case, perhaps it’s time for the Nationals to cut bait with Speigner. Be grateful for striking gold with Jesus Flores in the Rule 5 draft and offer Speigner back to the Twins for $25,000.

• The Nationals Mailbag runs every Monday in The Washington Times and online at https://video1.washingtontimes.com/nats. Send your questions to [email protected]

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