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Nats cornering the market for middle-of-the-road starters

Dec 19, 2009, 2:23 PM EDT

Jon Garland headshot.jpgKen Rosenthal of writes that the Nationals are making a “strong push” for free agent right-hander Jon Garland. According to the report, Garland wants a three-year deal while the Nationals would prefer two years.

Garland, 30, was 11-13 with a 4.01
ERA and 1.40 WHIP in 33 starts this past season, earning $6.25 million.
The Dodgers declined his $10 million option last month, with the
Diamondbacks picking up the $2.5 million buyout as part of the August
trade for infielder Tony Abreu.

With a 4.42 career ERA over 10 major
league seasons, Garland is hardly worth three years, but the Nationals
could do worse in their search for a veteran pitcher. Rosenthal names
fellow free agents Jason Marquis and Doug Davis as other possibilities
for Washington.

  1. Paul - Dec 19, 2009 at 11:01 PM

    I don’t get it, why quote Rosenthal on something that the Nats beat writers/columnists have been writing about for weeks? Read any Washington Post coverage of the Nats’ offseason, and you’ll see Garland and Davis’ names, as well as many other “middle of the road” starters. The front office has been pretty open about their desire to grab two pitchers from a group of about 10… Garland, Davis, Pinero, Washburn, Livan Hernandez, Smoltz, Marquis, Padillia, etc.
    And why is 3 years too long for a veteran, under-30 pitcher on a team like the Nats? Do you really think Garland would have trouble justifying a role in the rotation 3 years from now? I doubt it.

  2. Old Gator - Dec 19, 2009 at 11:22 PM

    That Gnats rotation is starting to look like the baseball equivalent of the health insurance reform bill, with one mediocre compromise after another. Nice stadium, though, and there’s some great Ethiopian food in town – and plenty of lawyers if you are unfortunate enough to need one.

  3. Paul - Dec 20, 2009 at 7:14 AM

    If you haven’t noticed, a “mediocre” rotation is exactly what the Nats need right now. They aren’t deluded enough to think they have a potential contender, but an upgrade to mediocre in the pitching department could bring them close to .500. They realize that contending is still at least 2-3 years away, so any improvement from horrible to mediocre is a good thing.
    And by the way, why are they compromising? It’s not like they were going to land Lackey or Halladay; who exactly are they supposed to build a rotation with?

  4. Todd Boss - Dec 20, 2009 at 9:56 AM

    The Nats are where they are; years of criminal mismanagement by MLB and then by Jim Bowden have left us with an awful MLB team and no farm system. So we have to overpay to get guys to come here. We’ll never get a top of the line pitcher or hitter (see last off season when we offered more $$ for Teixeira than anyone else) until we are more spectable.
    So we’re doing what we can; slightly overpaying for middle-of-the-road starters to get us to a point where we can compete, maybe be .500. By then, we’ll have some production from the farm system and can augment with better FAs.
    Until then, you have to consider the situation before writing snarkey immature headlines designed to provoke the fan base. Its not our fault MLB allowed Loria to basically gut the entirety of the team’s staff with no recourse.

  5. Jim Fitzgerald - Dec 20, 2009 at 2:37 PM

    I think the Nats will come along although it may be slow in coming. At least I hope they will. Garland could be a great addition.

  6. Old Gator - Dec 20, 2009 at 3:35 PM

    Tell us all about Loria, Todd. Then tell us all about what happens when perpetually second-division teams are permitted to pocket their luxury tax windfalls instead of being obligated to reinvest it in payroll as in a certain unnamed other professional sport which, not coincidentally, supplanted baseball as the most popular sport in the country in my own sordid lifetime. Yes, Loria is a niggardly bloodsucker who has done to his teams what Frank Lorenzo did to Eastern Airlines. But as you note, he acts with the empowerment of his pimps up at MLB headquarters.
    Paul: I do understand where you’re coming from, but I think we’re gonna have to agree to disagree here. What the Gnats need (aside from a respite from the kind of deliberate exploitation that Loria represented as mere incompetence while in Montreal, and now represents as – get this – fiscal responsibility down here) is an injection of heart, competitiveness and the delusions that enable playing over your head. Mediocrity is like water: it never changes into something that’ll flow uphill. Look west a few hundred miles. See that slagheap that used to be a pround baseball franchise? It’s called Pittsburgh.

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