Update, 11/29: you can read my answers to JammingEcono's questions at this link.
Alright, party people. It's the week after Thanksgiving which means there just isn't much Nats news to speak of. Of course, next week that could all change as Jim Bowden communes with his fellow GMs in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Who knows what Cristian Guzman doppelganger we'll be greeting after that's all over. If you're an MLB.TV subscriber with too much time on your hands, you can actually watch the meetings live online.
But we digress. As part of our undying commitment to bring you high-quality filler material until Spring Training, we bring you another edition of 5 Questions. This time I interviewed the much-loved but little-heard-from JammingEcono from Banks of the Anacostia.
Here we go:
JammingEcono: What Soriano deal? Just kidding, of course. I had no doubt that Soriano would end up signing with a team that could afford to pay him the big bucks and satisfy his need for a long term contract. Nothing that has happened with the Nats in the past two years suggested seriously that BowKast were going to be able to make a deal with him. What really upsets me is the fact that the Nats won't be getting a first-round pick since the Cubs were not a top 15 team. This only serves to exacerbate the monumental error in judgement by the Nats front office in not simply taking the best offer on the table at the July 31 trading deadline. While there has been much debate in the Natosphere over what may or may not have been offered prospect-wise by different teams, these is no doubt that whatever prospects were on the table were better than a second round pick and a sandwich pick. Without a doubt, the failure to trade Soriano on July 31 was the single biggest blunder by the organization in the two-plus years that the Nats have been in Washington.
Curly W: Assuming the Nats take the field in April with their current roster, who would you start in left field and center?
JammingEcono: Casto deserves the starting gig in left and Nook Logan and Church should platoon in center. Logan has hit LHPs well (.322/.356/.461) in limited duty (152 ABs career), but has struggled vs. RHPs (.608 OPS). Church has been more "consistent" overall, (.808 OPS) but his defense is not suited to CF, in my opinion.
Curly W: There were rumors last week that Jim Bowden was thinking of trading Chad Cordero for Wily Mo Pena. Do you think the Nats should look to trade Cordero or any of their other regulars for more prospects from other teams?
Curly W: How would you clear the logjam in the middle infield with Guzman, Lopez and Vidro?
JammingEcono: Easy. Trade Vidro for a ham sandwich. Unfortunately, no other team is likely to want to touch that contract until the 2007-08 offseason at the earliest (with the '08 trading deadline being more likely). Lopez is probably the easiest decision of the three as far as who to start goes. It's hard to send a guy in to spring training without a defined position in mind, but I wonder if he couldn't just take over the position of whomever does worse in Viera between Guzman and Vidro? Since I doubt that that happy scenario would be palatable to Manny Acta or Lopez, I'd probably bench Guzman and eat Lopez's pretty terrible SS defense.
Curly W: Two questions in one: who are the most expendable and least expendable members of the Nationals?
Most Expendable: Vidro. The money saved by getting out from under that horrible contract alone would be worth seeing him go.
Least Expendable: Zimmerman. Cornerstone of the franchise right there. If his 2007 season even comes close to replicating his 2006 campaign, I'll be driving the bandwagon to lock him up with a 7-8 year deal.
Trade Vidro for a ham sandwich? We could then subsequently trade that ham sandwich to a bigger, tougher GM for a package of Craisins, a Fruit Roll-Up, or some other hideous lunchbox standby.
Thanks to JammingEcono for jamming with us...see you next time!
We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen promotional poster unceremoniously pilfered from The Minutemen web site.