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[July 13th] -- So, the time is about here. Will Jim Bowden and Stan Kasten give the old girl a cosmetic makeover, or will they, in the words of Ronald Reagan, "tear down those walls?" Oh sure, RFK will still be around for a couple of more years. I'm talking about the team. Will just a few veterans get traded for minor leaguers who will probably never make it to the major leagues, or will the Nationals make the decision to make available pretty much anyone and everyone except Ryan Zimmerman? I used to say "Ryan Zimmerman and John Patterson," but I'm beginning to question Patterson's status as an anchor in the team's rotation. His health has become just too fragile.

Typically, "majors for minors" deals bring kids from the 'A' or 'AA' level, guys who could become solid major leaguers, but haven't yet. These are the best type of trades for the team trading away the young talent. At that level, the players have pretty much proven what they are capable of, but are not yet well known to that team's fan base. If the Nationals had traded Ryan Zimmerman last year for a veteran, for example, the beltway would have buckled under the anger of the fans. But Kory Casto? Last year, we knew the name, but we would have loved for him to be dealt for Aubrey Huff, or someone like him.

The problem with this type of trade is that the Nationals don't have the personnel to make it work. When they trade a Soriano, or a Johnson, or a Vidro, they really don't have anyone at the 'AAA' level who can take over the very next day (with the exception of Brendan Harris). So the team has to get young players who are ready to play in the big leagues today. To get those kind of kids, kids who are close, you either pay more for them or receive less

So the team has even less options that we'd feared. The four or five "premium" players that will likely be traded will now, for the most part, have to be dealt for their own replacements. The team really has no one to take Soriano's place with the possible exception of Kory Casto, so wouldn't it make sense to get someone to take his place? Hopefully, Bowden can work out several two-for-one deals, that player's replacement and a starting pitcher too.
Let's see how creative Jimbo can be.

Hey Farid, look at what the Marlins are doing. Basically, it's a AAA team with a few good pieces that they are building around (Miguel Cabrera and, to a lesser extent, Dontrelle Willis). Though we don't have anyone of a Cabrera status, Nick the Stick, Zimm, and Patterson are as good building blocks as we could hope for. Think of the next 2-3 years of rebuilding as exercising -- no pain, no gain.

BTW, Banks of the Anacostia is back up and running for your reading pleasure.
Just to let you know Kory Casto is 24 right now. He will be 25 in Dec. Which makes him 25 throughout next season. Not 26.
Just to let you know Kory Casto is 24 right now. He will be 25 in Dec. Which makes him 25 throughout next season. Not 26.
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