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[June 20th] -- For the second straight night, the Boston Red Sox through a sub-standard pitcher against the Washington Nationals, and for the second straight night, Boston's so-so throwers outclassed their Nats' counterparts.

Look, forget the loss; it'll end up being only one out of 90 or more that the Nationals will amass before the season is over. It's the timing of the loss that is causing me angst. Had Jim Bowden been willing to pull the trigger on some big trades two weeks ago, he would have received in return buckets full of prospects. Livan Hernandez, Tony Armas Jr. and Ramon Ortiz were all pitching at the top of their game. Jose Vidro was blistering the ball. Jose Guillen wasn't playing, but neither was he upsetting anyone. Alfonso Soriano was hitting a home run pretty much every evening. And Bowden could have told a prospective trade partner, "Look, Nick Johnson has been healthy all season -- that injury "bugaboo" is long gone!"

Now, two weeks later, Hernandez and Armas and Ortiz are getting the stuffing beat out of them each time they take the mound. Jose Vidro's line drives are a lot softer these days. Jose Guillen is hitting, but he's getting grumpy again. Alfonso Soriano is striking out a couple of times a game and Nick Johnson is hurt. How many prospects have the Nationals lost in potential trades by waiting to make deals until we get closer to the July 31st trading deadline? Many. Too many.

I think it's safe to say that those three weeks where the Nationals had the best record in baseball was a fluke, a once-in-a-season "give 'em all you've got" streak. Now, the team is looking suspiciously like that those Nats who started the season 13-27. That's not bad, and I'm not complaining. But the Nats are going to have a tough year with or without the aforementioned veterans. Why not get some deals done now before they play worse, or worse, they get injured and have no trade value at all.

The Nationals could finish the season with Schneider, Larry Broadway at first, Bernie Castro at second, Brendan Harris at short, Zimmerman, and a combination of Robert Fick, Ryan Church, Daryle Ward and Marlon Byrd in the outfield. A starting rotation of John Patterson, Mike O'Connor, Shawn Hill, Jon Rauch and (if healthy) Pedro Astacio (or another yet unamed rookie) could provide the team at least the opportunity to win a respectable number of games the rest of the way.

I'm not suggesting we field a minor league team for the remainder of the year, but if we're going to continue to get spanked this badly with the veterans, we might as well lose with the kids. It won't hurt as much.

What do you think?
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Well, I think the only player who's value has dropped alot is Vidro. I mean you know what your getting with most of these guys; Alfonso is still hitting homers, and he has never been a good average hitter. Ortiz is a guy who is going to give up 5 runs a game. And so on. It shouldn't impact that much, but we should hold on to some a little long to see if they can get out of their slump and rise their vaule a little.

But Vidro....his batting average has dropped 50 freakin pionts... I mean Vidro is a contact man who is got to have a good BA if they want more than one good prospect.
Great...now both Johnson and Armas are coming back to DC to see the doctor.............

And it seems after his father's day blast that Zimm is in a slump of his own. It really gets me mad when the whole team seems to slump at the same time.
Don't forget Johnson being talented but injury prone. Like mario said not much is changing.

I've been saying trade Vidro since the end of April, but Bowden's nature will make him play the field as much as possible. That's not always a bad thing in fact it's usually good, but if you are dealing with commodities you are sure will only get worse (like Vidro isn't going to hit .330 for the year) you have to strike while the iron is hot.

Anyway - everyone stays until post All-Star brek. Then Soriano and Guillen go. Beyond that we'll just have to see.
Livan is washed up, finished. Farid, back in April we both agreed this was one guy who should have been dumped at the beginning of the season. He has a fat contract thru next season and now he has no trade value.
Yes, it is probably time to bring up Larry Broadway. Every minor injury to Nick ends up being lethal. When he returns, he won't be hitting like he was before the injury either.
Does Guillen have any trade value? I doubt it. He can't seem to hit anymore and his body continues to break down. His depressed and pouting appearance isn't helping matters either. My opinion is that Bowden has sat on these "has beens" too long and their trade value is diminishing day by day. El Gran is right, you need to strike while the iron is hot. That is what makes the A's GM so successful
Granted, the Nationals are going to be sellers come the trading deadline, but you fail you realize that many clubs are not offering anything right now. The trading deadline is still over 5 weeks away, what teams are offering the Nationals for their veterans is a pittance right now, the same mediocre talent they would be offered if a player is having a bad or injured season. Many teams do not know, yet, whether they are a PLAYER in obtaining talent for a playoff run. Timing is what's to the Nats advantage. Despite your beliefs, the Nats are in prime position on Soriano, Guillen, Ortiz. Vidro and probably, still Livan. Scouts and Management look at the entire picture, not 2 weeks of baseball. This isn't a fantasy league that you blow up on a daily basis. And, Nick Johnson is not going anywhere, he is signed, cheaply, for 3 years, no management would trade such a quality player, just to get rid of him. You need to understand that. You will see a completely revamped 2007 Nationals team--not in the way you anticipate.
Screech, Can you, in your wildest imagination, believe that any team would pony up anything of value for Livan, based upon the shape he is in, his onerous contract and the creampuff pitches he is serving up all season long? It is obvious to anyone willing to look, he has nothing left. Further, I would have dumped Vidro when he was batting .340 and said so on this blog. By the time the trade deadling rolls around, he won't be hitting .270.
You would have had to push Vidro on someone at that point (Screech is right that they tend to wait - see what they have got first), but I still think that a pushed Vidro hitting .340 was going to get more than a "fought over" Vidro hitting .270.

As for Livan, be grateful we have 5 weeks left. If he can do anything worthwhile we will find a buyer for him. For what, I don't know, but someone looking for that last piece will take him.
Vidro might have been a nice fit for the Mets when he was hitting .340. Minaya knows him and likes him and the Mets have a huge hole at 2nd base. But now the Mets are so far ahead they don't need Vidro. Just proves that every team doesn't need players at the trade dead line, some teams need them earlier.
The problem is that as of right now, at least, most of the Nationals' veterans look old. Vidro has lost a great deal of range, and may be best suited for the DH spot at this point in his career. Livan, though it is a possibility that he's can come back, probably is finished like Phil says. Jose is only of value when he's creaming the ball, making his personality "liveable."

Sure, all of the vets can come back and play "top-notch" ball for the rest of the summer, but the more likely scenario is that they hot summer sun is going to continue to wear down Livan's arm, Vidro's knees, Nick's back and Jose's temper.

Trades now will bring little; trades later will bring nothing. Payroll relief will be about the only benefit.

I wish I was wrong, but I'm thinking I'm right on this one.

Another thing to consider is that a lot of these Latino players are probably at least four or five years older than they claim to be. That's why they seem to be in a decline at a fairly youthful age. I suspect Livan is at least 35 and the same goes for Vidro.
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