Marlon Anderson Signs With Nationals
Meet Marlon Anderson.
Nationals general manager Jim Bowden announced Friday that the team has signed Marlon Anderson to a two year, $1.85 million dollar contract. Anderson comes to Washington from New York, where he was signed to a one year, $650,000 contract by Mets GM Omar Minaya. In 2005, Anderson batted .264 with 7 homers and 19 rbi's. He stole six bases in seven attempts.
Anderson is a versatile fielder, able to play first, second, third as well as the outfield. He is considered one of the very best pinch-hitters in the major leagues; Anderson tied for the league lead in pinch-hits in 2004, and his 35 pinch hits the last two years is best in the majors. Like most "average" major leaguers, Anderson can drive the fastball but can be fooled on a good breaking ball. He hits lefthanders as well as righties. His numbers are equal both at home and on the road. His .179 average with runners in scoring position concerns me, however. His defensive skills are best described as "adequate." He has the talent to turn ground balls into outs, but he often has trouble with his mechanics, which leads to more than his share of errors. Don't look for him to play a reserve role in the field; that will likely be Damian Jackson's job.
Anderson will come off the bench and drive the ball. He'll do it often and he'll do it well. He was 18-56 (.321) as a pinch-hitter last season, with a homer and six rbi's. He has a career .308 average pinch hitting. The signing of Marlon Anderson effectively ends the career of Carlos Baerga and leaves Jamie Carroll's status in limbo. Carroll, a class act all the way, said that the signing of Anderson "helped the team," and didn't sound like a man worried about his job [though he of course is.]
Anderson says he chose the Nationals because they were the first team to show real interest in him. "They were there from the beginning, and showed a desire to have me on their team. I'm excited to be a part of the Nationals" said Anderson.
It looks more and more like Junior Spivey will be moved sometime before the start of spring training. With Brendan Harris showing at every level that he has nothing left to prove [offensively anway], I just don't see Carlos or Jamie coming back. The Nationals now have a logjam of bit players scattered across the diamond; perhaps Bowden is trying to bundle a bunch of them together and trade them for a power hitter or starting pitching.
The Nationals continue to bring it excellent "spare parts" but have not as of yet been able to address any significant free agent issue, either keeping their own or adding others to the team. Hopefully, that will come soon.
Man, you can't get away with ANYTHING these days :)
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