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Selig Sinks Nats Free Agents Hopes

[November 10th] -- Up until now, Major League Baseball's refusal to finalize and complete the sale of the Nationals has been little more than an irritant, something to gripe about during baseball's long off season.

Time to belly-up. It's no longer a "what-if" senario.

Selig's foot dragging and Jim Bowden's "dream job" shopping has not only scared away the available free agents, but has jeopardized the team's chances of re-signing Hector Carrasco and Esteban Loaiza as well.

Players agents are staying far far away from Jim Bowden and the Nationals this week at Indian Wells, California. Said one, "We're going out into a marketplace with clubs that have ownership in place ... the agent said. "You can't sit there and say the same about Washington. Who wants to go to an organization that doesn't know who's going to be running the team?" Translation: we can forget about any "outside" help for the team this year. And it's not looking like we're going to keep Loaiza or Carrasco either.

Carrasco's 2005 season has earned him a multi-year deal from somewhere, and the Nationals are likely not going to have the money to make that work here.

It get's even worse on the Loaiza front. His agent is looking for a three year, $20 million dollar contract, a sum nowhere near what the Nats will be offering. "Esteban would have liked to return to Washington," John Boggs said. "They just haven't developed an offer that's anywhere near competitive to what we think we're going to find in the free agent market. ... Come Friday, all bets are off."

I don't know about you, but that sounds awfully "past tense" to me.

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