Tuesday, February 26, 2008

'08 RAPs: Washington Nationals

Thanks in large part to first-year manager, Manny Acta, the Nationals, a team picked to be historically bad by many, were a splendid surprise. General manager, Jim Bowden, has proven to me with his aggressive offseason that he is indeed an above average GM. He, much like Florida GM Larry Beinfest, spent the offseason building for his club's future in their new ballpark, Nationals Park, while bringing in veterans to help out the kids (and a special aid for Elijiah Dukes).
Here's a list of Bowden's impressive offseason:
  • Acquired outfielder Lastings Milledge from the New York Mets in exchange for outfielder Ryan Church and catcher Brian Schneider.
  • Acquired outfielder Elijah Dukes from the Tampa Bay Rays for pitcher Glenn Gibson.
  • Acquired pitcher Tyler Clippard from the New York Yankees for pitcher Jonathan Albaladejo.
  • Signed infielder Aaron Boone to a one-year deal and his older brother, Brett (2B) to a minor league deal.
  • Signed catcher Paul LoDuca to a one-year deal.
  • Signed outfielders Rob Mackowiak and Willie Harris to one-year contracts.
  • Signed catcher Johnny Estrada to a one-year deal.
  • Signed pitcher Odalis Perez to a one-year deal.
SP1: Shawn Hill
SP2: John Patterson
SP3: Jason Bergmann
SP4/5: Matt Chico/Odalis Perez/Tyler Clippard/John Lannan
CL: Chad Cordero
SUM: Jon Rauch

Paul LoDuca/Johnny Estrada/Jesus Flores
1B: Nick Johnson/Dmitri Young
2B: Ronnie Belliard
SS: Christian Guzman/Felipe Lopez
3B: Ryan Zimmerman
LF: Wily Mo Pena/Elijiah Dukes/Dmitri Young
CF: Lastings Milledge/Austin Kearns/Elijiah Dukes/Willie Harris
RF: Austin Kearns/Elijiah Dukes/Dmitri Young

The Nats will finish in fourth place.
Boldest- Lastings Milledge will hit 20-30 HR's and drive in 75-85 RBIs.
Team MVP- Chad Cordero (25 saves/traded at deadline)
Best Season- Lastings Milledge (20-30HRs, 75-85 RBIs, 25-30 SBs)
Best Pitcher- Shawn Hill (8-10 wins, sub-4 ERA)
Breakout Player- Tyler Clippard (5-7 wins, sub 4.25 ERA)

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