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Monday, November 10, 2008

Let the trading begin - new faces coming to town!

Some early word on a trade: Bonifacio and two alleged prospects to the Marlins for Scott Olsen, a lefty pitcher of some repute (good and bad), and outfielder Josh Willingham.

I've been out of the newspaper business for almost a year now but I still know some folks in D.C. and in Florida.

The prospects are P.J. Dean, a right-handed pitcher, and teen-age shortstop Jake Smolinski. Dean is 20 and was 4-1 in 10 starts in the Gulf Coast League. Smolinski hit .306, playing in the New York-Penn League.

Seems a fair price. Losing Bonifacio kind of clears up that middle infield glut, eh?

Have not checked Post, or anywhere else to see if it is up. Not terribly familiar with the principals leaving the Nats save for Bonifacio and it doesn't break my heart to see him go.

ANOTHER update: Just looked up some numbers. Can Willingham play first? If so, I like this. Olsen's numbers don't dazzle me. Didn't he have some legal issue at some point?

I'm full of updates - ESPN has it up now and YES, Willingham can also play first. So even if Olsen is a washout, I like this.

I guess this means no Teixeira?? Color me shocked.

And again with the updates: has it, too, now.


Steven said...

Dude. If you got this right, we got problems.

MikeHarris said...

Well, I got it right. A man still has his sources!

What are the problems? That's not a challenge, it's a real question. I don't know much about any of the principals except Bonifacio and I don't much mind seeing him go.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm. I like both of those pitchers the Marlins gave up. I'd be lying if I said I knew much about those going the other way. Hope this doesn't suck too much for my first post on this great site.

Steven said...

Olsen has been tasered, gotten in fist fights with multiple teammates, and has all around anger management issues.

You can check out the rest in my preview of the Nationals' match-up with Olsen on 9/12.

MikeHarris said...

I thought I remembered his name for something.
With Dukes, at least you could see some serious potential. Does this guy have any sort of promise?

Steve Shoup said...

Honestly I like the deal....makes me again lament not getting more for Rauch but overall I like it. I've heard some issues with Olsen but I will reserve judgement. I think he's a middle of the rotation lefty who has some upside. I would have rather had Hermida (even though he doesn't play first) then Willingham but I think he is a nice bat. Also I can't argue the price a number 3 starter and a decent corner outfielder/1B for Bonifacio and two guys not out of rookie ball.

Anonymous said...

Olsen is a quality pitcher who is a little cuckoo. He almost be close to arbitration so the Marlins couldn't afford him. Willingham's a decent hitter (though not a great defensive player) and I think he's on the same arbitration clock that Olsen is. Pencil in Olsen as the Nats number one starter that's for sure.

Anonymous said...

You beat the AP on this one, by the way.

Steven said...

I guarantee you're all overrating Olsen. If he was the guy he was in '06, yes, he'd be our best starter. But since then is FB has dropped from 91 to 88 and his K rate has fallen off a cliff from 8.27 per 9 to 5.04 per 9.

Forget the hotheaded craziness for a moment. Just on pitching ability, the Nationals SPs should rank like this:
1. Lannan
2. Redding
3. Balester
4. Mock
5. Bergmann
6. Olsen

Hell, if Hill's in the mix you can drop him to 7, and I'd frankly rather let Martis or Zimmermann pitch--at least they have some upside.

Steve Shoup said...

Steven I understand you think the guy is a Schmuck but comeon. Sure Olsen has struggled some these past two seasons but that doesn't mean he can't return to form. Its not natural for him to lose velocity at this age unless there was an injury, mechanics change or what i would guess is most likely a mental issue. I mean how many years did it take for Tim Redding to pitch like he has of late? And he ranks as the #2 on your list. I think Olsen's value is also in the fact that he can pitch 200 innings something no Nationals pitcher did last season.

MikeHarris said...

Shawn - thanks for noticing. I got lucky, which was the key to much newsgathering when I was in that business. I was in my office late, teaching my online class. As soon as class ended, I checked my e-mail and cell phone voice messages. And there it was - I heard from somebody in each "base camp" if you will. The Florida note had a "ha ha" tone to it, by the way. Like, "Enjoy this guy."

Cathy said...

He is a schmuck. This should be interesting. That said, from here out I'll try to keep my opinions to myself :-)

Anonymous said...

Mike...Congrats on breaking this story!

MikeHarris said...

Thanks, Kristen! Now I'm blushing. Appreciate the "props" very much. Luck and timing - and still knowing some folks. I hope they don't forget me as my days in the news biz fade further into the past.
Misschatter, no reason to hold back. You are among friends.

Dreaming of Tex, I remain,