Saturday, July 30, 2005

MLB: Nationals GM tells his players they aren't going anywhere

With the non-waiver trade deadline looming, Nationals General Manager Jim Bowden went into the locker room before Friday's game and told the players that none of them are going anywhere, The Washington Post reports.

Players told The Post that Bowden came in and said, "Look around this locker room. These are the guys we are going to war with," and added that their "big trade" had already happened when they got Preston Wilson from the Rockies for pitcher Zach Day and minor leaguer J.J. Davis.

The Nationals spent almost two months in first place before their recent losing skid dropped them to even with the Braves going into a three game set against the perennial National League East champs. The Braves then swept that series, and the Nationals dropped another game last night and are now four games back.

After being involved in a lot of rumors over the last couple of days, the Nationals have apparently decided to stand pat. While I don't think it's the best idea to make no moves, I think doing nothing is better than some of the deals that the Nats were linked to. It seems like Bowden has been looking for help in all the wrong places.

Sure, they got Preston Wilson, but they have no room for him in their outfield now that Nick Johnson is back because Brad Wilkerson moved from first base back to his normal position in the outfield, and Ryan Church and Jose Guillen aren't leaving the lineup any time soon. So the Nationals "big trade" was for a fourth outfielder that will only play against left-handed pitching.

The problem is, the deals they were looking at made no sense. They were named in all sorts of rumors that linked them to pitchers, especially Jeff Weaver. But the pitching has been excellent, with the exception of fifth starter Ryan Drese who has been inconsistent, but mostly bad.

The problem is that the team ranks dead last in run scoring. So what position player were they rumored to be going after? Tony Womak. That's right. Tony Womak! The guy is batting .242 with no homers, 12 RBIs, and a why-are-you-in-the-big-leagues OPS of .541. Womack isn't helping anyone's offense, especially not the Nationals.

Compared to those deals, doing nothing seems like a genius move. But that's not saying much.

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