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LOOKING FOR DEEP THROAT IN THE EMPTY GARAGE

[December 5th] -- There haven't been many rumors thus far at baseball's winter meetings, but those that are being reported all seem to involve the Nationals. Three way trades with the Red Sox and the Giants. Wily Mo Pena. Noah Lowry. Who knows at this point. Remember, the Terrmel Sledge for Dave Roberts trade was reported as a "done deal" the day before Sledge was included in the Alfonso Soriano block-buster.

This early in the week, the names aren't as important as the process. It seems obvious - at this point anyway - that Jim Bowden is looking to recreate the team one more time. He seems very willing to trade anyone not named Zimmerman to make the team better. However, unlike last year, when Bowden's attempts to make a deal seemed haphazard at best, this time around brings both a leash and a checklist; do the deal if it helps fill this need or that need." Otherwise, sit in the corner and be quiet.

So far, he hasn't screwed up, so I take that as a positive. It is, of course, still very early.

I'll update here should things change during the day.

UPDATE @ 3:11: I've been thinking more and more about the Nationals allowing Jose Guillen to sign with the Mariners in exchange for the sandwich draft pick. Though I had believed that the Nats were at least considering re-signing Guillen, Bill Ladsen explained in a recent article that there was "no way" that he was coming back. I have little doubt that Guillen will have a typically good year in Seattle. What will the Nationals get in return?

From 1997 - 2001, there were roughly 80 sandwich picks between the first and second rounds, with about half of them reaching the major leagues. Twelve of them - at least so far - have made at least a minimal impact at the major league level:

So, in return for a solid run producer, the Nationals will receive a draft pick whose recent history suggests that there is a 15% chance (12 of 80) that it will bring a productive player to the Nationals' major league roster.

Chancy? Sure. But the chance of Jose Guillen being on the team's roster in 2011 is ZERO.

15% beats 0% any day of the week.

Update @ 6:34: Rotoworld.com is reporting that the Kansas City Royals are showing interest in outfielder Ryan Church. Church is exactly the type of player a team like the Royals need. They can't afford a proven player yet need someone who could provide some power. Enter Ryan Church. He has another four years before free agency and can easily become a .285-25-95 type player. The problem is the Royals don't have any attractive young pitching, or at least attractive enough to land Church. They also have Emil Brown and Reggie Sanders in their outfield, players they want to trade but aren't finding much interest.

Hey wait, if Church is able to hit 25 homers a year, why don't we just keep him? Oh, that's right. Now I remember .... he just sits around and does nothing. Wait; I seem to remember this play in Pittsburgh ....


Comments:
I still think Church is a stud, with 30 homer ability. To do it, however, he needs to get away from D.C., and no way we get equal talent back for him.
 
The Church situation just naws at me more and more. Jimbo is shopping him, yet he wants to find a left fielder, with power that can field. WE ALREADY HAVE HIM! Its Ryan Church. I just don't get it!! If we are mailing in the season, we might as well see what he can really do with 500 AT Bats. Of course I already have railed about this about 1000 times, including today on Nats320.

And, I still want THE CHIEF to stay. Gotta have some favorite players to cheer for in 2007.
 
As you state, Mark Prior was a sandwich draft pick by the Yankees in 1998, but he did not sign and went to college instead. He was a #2 pick by the Cubs in the first round in 2001.
 
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