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Thursday, December 16, 2010

See Ya Hammer

Props to Mark Zuckerman on the scoop on this one - Josh Willingham to the As for two as-yet-unidentified "young" players.

If one of them is Gio Gonzalez, I'm really jacked. I would have thought Willingham would have been part of a package to bring in a major-league player. Preferably a pitcher.

I wonder if the Nats know something we don't?

Moving Willingham doesn't bother me as much as it might have before. At least last year he had an excuse for not doing anything in the second half of the season. I seem to remember a significant dropoff in 2009.

That said, he served the Nats well. I still can't believe it took the Nats so long to finally start playing him.

I wish him well.

Now, who are these two "young" players?

UPDATE: More on the players coming the Nats way. At first glance, I'm not overwhelmed. Anybody who actually knows something about these guys, please share your thoughts in the comments.

UPDATE 2: The Nats' release on the trade --


The Washington Nationals today acquired right-handed pitcher Henry Rodriguez and outfielder Corey Brown from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for left fielder Josh Willingham. Nationals Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.

Rodriguez went 1-0 with a 4.55 ERA in 29 appearances last season with Oakland in just his second season as a full-time reliever. He posted 10.7 strikeouts per 9.0 innings (33 K/27.2 IP) and a .240 batting average against, including a stingy .207 mark against right-handed batters. Rodriguez recorded 11 saves and a 1.69 ERA in 20 appearances with Sacramento of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League in 2010, posting 13.1 strikeouts per 9.0 innings (31 K/21.1 IP) and a 3.44 strikeout-to-walk ratio (31 K/9 BB) with the River Cats.

The hard-throwing right-hander ranked fourth in the big leagues last season with an average fastball velocity of 98.45 miles per hour, after his 98.96 mph average in 2009 trailed only Detroit’s Joel Zumaya (99.19 mph). Rodriguez touched 103.2 mph on the gun in 2010, a high that was topped only by Cincinnati’s Aroldis Chapman (105.1 mph) and Texas’ Neftali Feliz (103.4 mph).

Rodriguez, 23, is 1-0 with a 4.26 ERA in 32 career relief appearances in the major leagues. A member of the World Team in the 2008 All-Star Futures Game at Yankee Stadium, he is currently pitching for Leones in the Venezuelan Winter League, where he has five saves and a 1.77 ERA (27 K/20.1 IP) in 17 appearances.

Brown batted .283 with 18 doubles, 11 triples, 15 home runs, 69 RBI and 22 stolen bases in 131 games last season with Midland of the Double-A Texas League and Sacramento. He earned citations as a Texas League All-Star and Topps Double-A All-Star for his 90 games with Midland. Brown batted .320 with 14 doubles, eight triples, 10 homers, 49 RBI, 19 stolen bases and a .415 on-base percentage with the RockHounds, ranking among Double-A leaders for on-base percentage (third), batting average (fifth) and triples (tied for eighth).

Brown dominated the prospect-laden Arizona Fall League in 2009, hitting .333 and finishing among AFL leaders with 28 RBI (first), six home runs (tied for second), 65 total bases (second), 15 extra-base hits (tied for third) and 35 hits (fourth).

Selected by Oakland in the compensation round (59th overall) of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, the 25-year-old has batted .272 with 83 doubles, 21 triples, 65 home runs, 243 RBI and 48 stolen bases in 390 games over four minor-league seasons.

Willingham, 31, batted .268 with 16 home runs and 56 RBI in 114 games last season with the Nationals.


CrazyIvan said...

It'll be interesting to put these two players, once the Nats pick them, through the ol' Sabermetrics stat machine of wonder and see how they stack up, both on their own and versus peers, etc. I'm always interested to discover why Billy Beane trades minor leaguers. Sometimes it's more obvious than others, of course.

MikeHarris said...

Anyone have any clue who these two mystery dates are?? The suspense is killing me.

Anonymous said...

Not that it makes any difference who scoops who, but you can't really give props to Zuckerman for reporting information on his website at 2:00 that was all over MLB Trade Rumors (which is basically an aggregator site) almost two hours before that. That's no scoop.

MikeHarris said...

I saw lots of "in talks with" and "discussing." Mark is the first place I saw "done."

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. And MAD props to the first to tell me the IDs of the mystery dates.

To quote Butch and Sundance: Who ARE these guys??

Anonymous said...

Wait -- I thought you said they'd get Greinke for Willingham? What happened there genius?

Anonymous said...

"I saw lots of "in talks with" and "discussing." Mark is the first place I saw "done."

Ah, I see. A scoop is where you see it first. Silly me for thinking otherwise.

Go to MLBTR and look at the time stamps on their report and on the sources they cite, then compare with the time stamp on Zuckerman's report. That's how you know who got the scoop. That and four bucks will buy you a cup of coffee at FourBucks.

MikeHarris said...

You sound very bitter. Sorry you got beat on the story!

But you are right. It doesn't really matter - my bad.

What matters? WHO are these players? Maybe you'll get that scoop.

Russell said...

I'm sure you've seen this already Mike but just saw the two prospects are Henry Rodriguez and Corey Brown. Keep up the good work!

MikeHarris said...

Russell, thanks. Had not seen that - props to you for posting (and whatever outlet got that scoop, at the risk of incurring the wrath of Mr. Nameless)

Will look those guys up in a bit. Does anyone know anything about them? Good deal for the Nats?

MikeHarris said...

Based on what I read here:

I'm not floored by this unless there's more to these guys than meets the very basic eye.

Shouldn't Willingham bring a little more?

Anonymous said...

I would have thought that Willingham would have brought more during the year when teams got desperate for some offense. Henry Rodriguez has some decent upside, but is far from a sure thing. Corey Brown looks like he will be lucky to make it past AAA. I know there is a tenancy to put more stock in teams you follow, but all in all I don't this trade.