The Nationals have signed Dmitri Young to a 2 year contract extension, and have been (justifiably) ripped for it by Keith Law and Joe Sheehan, as they are committing $10 million to an old, not that good first baseman at the same time that they already owe $11 million over the next 2 years to Nick Johnson, a young and very good first baseman who is out for the season with a broken leg.
The signing doesn't make much sense, and the reports that the Nationals are going to stick Young in left field next year make even less sense...if I'm Jon Daniels, and Teixeira goes to Atlanta, I'm talking to Jim Bowden this offseason about bringing Johnson, a high-OBP, work the count guy, to Texas. And given Bowden's love of the toolsy guys, if the Rangers did end up with Elvis Andrus, he could conceivably be the type of chip that Bowden would take to part with Johnson.
Remember Jim Reeves crowing in April about how stupid Tom Hicks was for letting Gary Matthews, Jr., walk, and how smart Anaheim was for giving him $50 million?
Well, coming into today's game, GMJ had a .261 EQA...as a point of reference, our much maligned Brad Wilkerson has a .258 EQA this season, and the awful Sammy Sosa has a .252 EQA. And defense? GMJ is last in the A.L. among centerfielders in Zone Rating.
Matthews has gone back to being what he was prior to 2006...a solid 4th outfielder, and your classic tweener, not good enough defensively to play centerfield full time and not a good enough hitter to play a corner OF slot. Kenny Lofton, of course, was a better hitter this year, and was turned into a pretty decent prospect...the Angels, on the other hand, couldn't give GMJ away right now.
Also on the ones who got away, Francisco Cordero has blown his past two saves and has a 3.38 ERA. And while Kevin Mench is putting up Sosa-esque numbers in a part-time role with Milwaukee, Laynce Nix is posting an OPS of 744 in AAA, and will be out of options after this season. Saint Melvin's Brew Crew are now just a half-game up on the Cubs, and the cries that the Rangers turned Milwaukee into a playoff team seem to have died down...
Jason Jennings is rocking a 5.99 ERA and a 2-7 record after giving up 11 runs in 2/3 IP today. The Astros gave up Jason Hirsh, Wily Tavares, and Taylor Buchholz to get him, and now seem unlikely to find any value for him via trade. At least he had been respectable before today, though...the Phillies traded Gio Gonzalez and Gavin Floyd for Freddy Garcia, and got a 5.90 ERA in 58 innings before he went down for the year. Oh, and Jennings and Garcia will be free agents after the season...
Astro g.m. Tim Purpura gets bonus negative points, though, for dealing Dan Wheeler for Ty Wigginton, in a market where decent middle relievers can bring back a pretty nice prospect haul. Wigginton apparently will take over for Morgan Ensberg in the "mediocre starting third baseman" role for the Astros. Wheeler, I'm betting, gets moved for a nice package by the Deviled Eggs in the next two days. Wigginton, I'm betting, is a non-factor on a non-factor Astro team the next year or two.
The Rangers are now a game under .500 since the All Star Break.