- The Washington Times - Monday, May 14, 2007

Q: Steve Trachsel is (unfortunately) playing pretty well for the Orioles. He won 15 games last year. Did the Orioles have to give up a draft pick to the Mets when they signed him? It would be one reason the Nationals didn’t sign him. Kevin Costello, Fairfax

A: Nope, Baltimore was not required to give up a compensatory draft pick for Trachsel, because he didn’t qualify as either a “Type A” or “Type B” free agent. So why didn’t the Nationals sign the right-hander to help out their rotation? He cost too much. (Or at least too much for the Nationals’ tastes.) Trachsel signed for $3.1 million, and that’s far more than Washington was willing to spend on any free agents this winter. That also explains why Ramon Ortiz wasn’t brought back (he got $3.1 million from the Twins).

Q: So Shawn Hill admits his forearm and elbow had been bothering him for a while, but he didn’t come out of a game until the sixth inning Friday night. Gutsy on his part or hard-headed and foolish? Craig Stewart, Arlington

A: Maybe a little of both. Certainly, Hill gets some credit for pitching (and, more specifically, pitching well) through some pain. But at what point was he actually hurting both himself and his team by trying to stay out there too long? I tend to give Shawn the benefit of the doubt here only because he has been through the ultimate elbow injury (torn ligament that required Tommy John surgery) and knows his arm better than anyone else. He insists he didn’t pull himself out of a game until his pain reached a new level (and a new location). More will be known after he has his MRI today, but hopefully he knew when to say when and avoided a lengthy DL stint because of it.

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