This is what I feared when I heard the Nats were going to offer a contract to Wil Nieves - something is wrong with Jesus Flores.
My buddy Wil Yow was at the VCU-Richmond basketball game on Saturday. He's a Nats fan and a Rams fan, two points in his favor. We were talking about this. The only way you offer Nieves is if you know something's wrong with Flores. No offense to Nieves, I love the guy. Met him at the original Starbucks in Seattle. Saw his first home run, the one that beat the Cubs. I think he's a solid defensive catcher and I'd take him as backup for life, though I prefer a Rodriguez-Flores combination.
If Flores is indeed going to be ready, as we were told during the Pudge PC, does it make sense to sign Nieves to a contract that figures to be well above the $455,000 he earned last year? Aren't there cheaper alternatives available? Or can you go the Scott Olsen route and non-tender him, then bring him back for less?
Did something happen to Flores between the PC and now that caused this shutdown until February? I kind of doubt it. I don't want to accuse anyone of being less than truthful with us but we have quite the history of injury B.S. to support those fears (most notably Z-one-n being day to day for about two months and Z-two-n needing to shut down now instead of September but he's fine. Or needs Tommy John).
The actual story now up on Nationals.com makes it sound a lot less worrisome - almost makes it sound like a "shut down" is part of the plan.
I still don't like it. Something doesn't sit right. Maybe "shut down" is just a poor choice of words? Let's hope so.
Flo is a poor man's Pudge in Waiting if he can ever get healthy. I love his presence out there, I'm as comfortable with him at the plate in clutch situations as I am with Z-one-n, Willingham or Dunn., If his career is getting short-circuited as it seems to be, I will be very much bothered.
As for Olsen, I love that move. Clearly worked out in advance, the contract allows Olsen to earn what he'd probably get through arbitration if he can stay healthy and effective and pitch a full season. If not, the Nats are on the hook for a lot less money.
Great move, applause to the front office for working that one out.
But my mind is consumed by this latest Flo news. Worrying. It's what I do. It's in my blood. It doesn't make me a bad person. It just gives me ulcers.