Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Gary Bennett and Rumors

A bad backup C signed to a 1 year, $750,000 deal.

Nationals Acquire Fourth New Player

The article mentions other players Bowden is looking at:

"Though Bowden wouldn't comment on which players he is pursuing, the Nats are believed to have held conversations with the representatives for at least four free agent starters -- Jaret Wright and Russ Ortiz of the Atlanta Braves, Odalis Perez of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Paul Wilson of the Cincinnati Reds -- within the last several days."

I've been a fan of Odalis Perez, but BP has expressed some concerns about his likely career path. Will Carroll gives him a "red" health warning and had this to say:

"Young doesn't seem to be the same across cultures. The route that Latin pitchers take to the minor leagues is often much harder than their American counterparts and some, like Perez, seem to age faster. This isn't an "agegate" thing at all, just a workload consideration. He'll be a back of the rotation guy for a few more years before fading."

Still, I'd rather see him than Wilson, Wright, or Ortiz playing for the Nationals. Given his postseason meltdown, I think he could be signed on a relatively cheap 2 year deal. Assuming his health is enough to pass the physical, he might be worth the risk.

Ortiz could be a decent signing but for the fact that Bowden will surely overpay the pitcher who "knows how to win." Wright just seems like too big a risk based on one year and Wilson is just an innings eater.

If I had to wager, I'll bet Bowden signs Wilson since he signed him with the Reds and he is the type of reclamation pitching project that Bowden seems to love. At first glance, Wilson seems better than he actually is (and that will surely appeal to Bowden).

2004 - 4.36 ERA, 183.2 IP, 11-6 W/L record

Unfortunately, his 117/63 K/BB ratio and 26 HR's allowed mean that Wilson was more lucky than good. BP's expected win-loss record for Wilson last year was 10.9-10.4. In other words, he is a pretty much an average pitcher. He would be an acceptable 4th or 5th starter, but only if he is paid for that value. I predict Bowden signs him to a multi-year (probably 3-year) deal at $4-$5 million a year. I hope I'm wrong.

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