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Kasten dropped the ball big-time
Posted by Bret Cohen at 11/19/2006 9:37:00 PM
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We all saw it coming a few weeks ago, but Alfonso Soriano is officially not going to be a Washington National next season after signing an eight-year, $136 million contract with the Cubs. Which begs the question: why didn't Stan Kasten and the new Nationals ownership trade him when they had a billion teams lining up for him at the deadline last season? The Nats were clearly out of the race and have one of the worst farm systems in the majors. Soriano could have landed two or three prospects, including at least one blue-chipper, that would have breathed life into the rebuilding franchise. Or, in the alternative, they could have worked out a deal to re-sign Soriano. Instead, they let him go for a couple of measly draft picks (awarded under the CBA). In the end, they needed to put their machismo aside and back off trade demands in order to get something of value back for Soriano. The argument that the fan base would have revolted is hogwash -- certainly, the new ownership group would have some leeway to trade the star player in a rebuilding effort. If Kasten knew he wasn't going to re-sign Soriano, given his disdain for no-trade clauses, this is a gigantic blunder.


making things worse for the Nationals is that the Cubs finished in the bottom 15 of the league last year, meaning the Nationals won't even get a first round pick for Soriano. They'll get a sandwich pick between the first and second round and then the Cubs' second round pick.

The Brewers were in a similar situation with Carlos Lee and were generally lambasted for their mid-season trade. Critics hated it and the average Milwaukee fan hated it. Now that the season is over the Nationals are getting lambasted because they didn't trade Soriano. It appears that the only way not to get lambasted is to either A) resign the player to a bad long term contract or B) pull off a huge one sided deal at the deadline.

The Brewers traded Lee and Nelson Cruz for Kevin Mench, Laynce Nix and Francisco Cordero. If that truly was the best deal that anyone offered Brewers' GM Doug Melvin, what do you suppose the Nationals could have gotten for Soriano? Would you be happier with Mench, Nix and Cordero than the draft picks? That's really the question you need to ask yourself.

Of course, most Nationals fans will instead believe that there was some team out there willing to hand over all the top prospects in their system and the Nationals turned them down.
Posted by herbilk at 11/20/2006 6:22:00 AM
It was really Jim Bowden who dropped the ball. Kasten was foolish enough to keep Bowden on, therefore he deserves some of the blame as well.
Posted by holdenkushner at 11/20/2006 8:04:00 AM
What's wrong with Mench, Nix, and Cordero? The Brewers added a prospect to the deal in Cruz, so it's not like they valued Mench, Nix, and Cordero as chump change. And, given his performance after the deal, it looks like Cordero benefitted from the change of scenery, though his walk rate was a bit alarming.

Of course, there was no one willing to hand over all their top prospects. That's basically what the Bowden/Kasten duo was demanding. If they had lessened their demands and settled on at least one solid prospect, or even a quality bullpen arm like Cordero, it would have served them better than the picks they'll now receive.

I think that Kasten is too shrewd to merely hold onto Soriano for the PR reason of not pissing off the fan-base for the last two months of the season. Any fan who held onto the pipe dream that the Nats would have re-signed Soriano was crazy. And even if they could have re-signed him, they still could have traded him and then ponied up the bucks at the end of the season. Stupid.
Posted by bscwik at 11/20/2006 9:52:00 AM
"Stupid" as in not that the authors of previous comments were stupid, but rather referring to the management decision.
Posted by bscwik at 11/20/2006 9:54:00 AM
The Washington Times reports that Bowden and Kasten didn't think any of the offers they received for Soriano would be better than the two picks they'd receive in compensation. Unfortunately for them, the Cubs signed Soriano, so as mentioned before they got the Cubs' second-rounder instead of a first rounder. Still, I think, you have to go for a proven player over a draft pick. Then again, we won't ever know what teams were offering.
Posted by bscwik at 11/20/2006 10:31:00 AM
I think the Nats could have had Scott Baker and other prospects from the Twins. I think that was the best offer on the table before they decided not to trade Soriano. I think that's better than a top pick just because you are getting more quantity and a little more certainty in talent. They blew it big time. I mean, trading players before they leave is a cornerstone of how the Twins and As are able to stay winners with smaller payrolls.
Posted by schoenke at 11/20/2006 11:38:00 AM
Peter is right here. The Twins offered Baker and 2 other prospects from what I know. I'm not overly impressed with Baker, so to rent Soriano for a year or 2 would have been great as a Twins fan.

To the original point, completely agree the Nats really screwed up here. I think the Angels offered Ervin Santana in a deal also, although I'm not 100% on that.

Posted by schwang2u at 11/20/2006 2:35:00 PM
Top 100 Prospects: Special to

From John Sickels


With the exception of some first-round picks, there are very few 2006 players on this list. The next version of the list this winter may (or may not) have some additional 2006 draftees on it.

No player who has exceeded 150 major league at-bats or 50 innings pitched is on this list.

1) Alex Gordon, 3B, Kansas City Royals

2) Delmon Young, OF, Tampa Bay Devil Rays

3) Phil Hughes, RHP, New York Yankees

4) Matt Garza, RHP, Minnesota Twins

5) Brandon Wood, SS, Los Angeles Angels

6) Mike Pelfrey, RHP, New York Mets

7) Jay Bruce, OF, Cincinnati Reds

8) Homer Bailey, RHP, Cincinnati Reds

9) Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Colorado Rockies

10) Justin Upton, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks

11) Jose Tabata, OF, New York Yankees

12) Andy LaRoche, 3B, Los Angeles Dodgers

13) Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates

14) Adam Miller, RHP, Cleveland Indians

15) Luke Hochevar, RHP, Kansas City Royals

16) Yovanni Gallardo, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers

17) Adam Lind, OF, Toronto Blue Jays

18) Cameron Maybin, OF, Detroit Tigers

19) Billy Butler, OF, Kansas City Royals

20) Elvis Andrus, SS, Atlanta Braves

21) Fernando Martinez, OF, New York Mets

22) Evan Longoria, 3B, Tampa Bay Devil Rays

23) Andrew Miller, LHP, Detroit Tigers

24) Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers

25) Adam Jones, OF, Seattle Mariners

26) James Loney, 1B, Los Angeles Dodgers

27) Scott Elbert, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers

28) Tim Lincecum, RHP, San Francisco Giants

29) Carlos Gonzalez, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks

30) Kevin Slowey, RHP, Minnesota Twins

31) Eric Hurley, RHP, Texas Rangers

32) Hunter Pence, OF, Houston Astros

33) John Danks, LHP, Texas Rangers

34) Troy Patton, LHP, Houston Astros

35) Reid Brignac, SS, Tampa Bay Devil Rays

36) Josh Fields, 3B, Chicago White Sox

37) Elijah Dukes, OF, Tampa Bay Devil Rays

38) Travis Buck, OF, Oakland Athletics

39) Jason Hirsh, RHP, Houston Astros

40) Craig Hansen, RHP, Boston Red Sox

41) Ian Stewart, 3B, Colorado Rockies

42) Chris Iannetta, C, Colorado Rockies

43) Nick Adenhart, RHP, Los Angeles Angels

44) Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, Boston Red Sox

45) Matt Albers, RHP, Houston Astros

46) Chuck Lofgren, LHP, Cleveland Indians

47) Franklin Morales, LHP, Colorado Rockies

48) Chris Young, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks

49) Humberto Sanchez, RHP, Detroit Tigers

50) Brandon Erbe, RHP, Baltimore Orioles

51) Colby Rasmus, OF, St. Louis Cardinals

52) Ryan Braun, 3B, Milwaukee Brewers

53) George Kottaras, C, San Diego Padres

54) Clay Buchholz, RHP, Boston Red Sox
Posted by Itchalot at 11/24/2006 7:05:00 AM
Can someone at Rotowire please get their act together?
Posted by Itchalot at 11/24/2006 7:08:00 AM
Here is the rest of the list that Rotowire refuses to post from its own contributor:

55) Donald Veal, LHP, Chicago Cubs

56) Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati Reds

57) Miguel Montero, C, Arizona Diamondbacks

58) Ubaldo Jimenez, RHP, Colorado Rockies

59) Wade Davis, RHP, Tampa Bay Devil Rays

60) Lance Broadway, RHP, Chicago White Sox

61) Garrett Olson, LHP, Baltimore Orioles

62) Chris Volstad, RHP, Florida Marlins

63) Kory Casto, 3B-OF, Washington Nationals

64) Joel Guzman, OF, Tampa Bay Devil Rays

65) Michael Bowden, RHP, Boston Red Sox

66) Radhames Liz, RHP, Baltimore Orioles

67) Gio Gonzalez, LHP, Philadelphia Phillies

68) Aaron Thompson, LHP, Florida Marlins

69) Sean West, LHP, Florida Marlins

70) Eric Campbell, 3B, Atlanta Braves

71) Justin Huber, 1B-OF, Kansas City Royals

72) Erick Aybar, SS, Los Angeles Angels

73) Jeff Clement, C, Seattle Mariners

74) Travis Wood, LHP, Cincinnati Reds

75) Pat Neshek, RHP, Minnesota Twins

76) Scott Lewis, LHP, Cleveland Indians

77) Dustin Pedroia, 2B, Boston Red Sox

78) Brandon Morrow, RHP, Seattle Mariners

79) Brad Lincoln, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates

80) Jacob McGee, LHP, Tampa Bay Devil Rays

81) Carlos Carrasco, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies

82) Will Inman, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers

83) Jeremy Hellickson, RHP, Tampa Bay Devil Rays

84) Travis Snider, OF, Toronto Blue Jays

85) Bill Rowell, 3B, Baltimore Orioles

86) Trevor Crowe, OF, Cleveland Indians

87) Dexter Fowler, OF, Colorado Rockies

88) Gabe Hernandez, RHP, Florida Marlins

89) Matt Harrison, LHP, Atlanta Braves

90) Blake DeWitt, 2B, Los Angeles Dodgers

91) Hank Conger, C, Los Angeles Angels

92) Nolan Reimold, OF, Baltimore Orioles

93) Chris Parmalee, OF, Minnesota Twins

94) Scott Thorman, 1B, Atlanta Braves

95) Sean Gallagher, RHP, Chicago Cubs

96) Francisco Cruceta, RHP, Seattle Mariners

97) Tyler Clippard, RHP, New York Yankees

98) Joe Koshansky, 1B, Colorado Rockies

99) Stephen Marek, RHP, Los Angeles Angels

100) Juan Gutierrez, RHP, Houston Astros

Posted by Itchalot at 11/24/2006 8:29:00 AM

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