The following Nats are eligible for salary arbitration this winter:
- Luis Ayala, RHP
- Jamey Carroll, IF
- Marlon Byrd, OF
- Alex Escobar, OF
- Nick Johnson, 1B
- John Patterson, RHP
- Brian Schneider, C
- Junior Spivey, 2B
- T.J. Tucker, RHP
- Brad Wilkerson, OF
The important thing to remember about arbitration is that nobody's salary ever decreases. Putting the decision before an arbitrator always results in a raise, sometimes a substantial one. With that in mind, most of these decisions are no-brainers. Yes to Ayala, Carroll, Byrd, Johnson, Patterson, and Schneider. No to Alex Escobar. Then comes decision time.
Junior Spivey: Junior made $2.1 million this year, and as noted above, that number won't go down in arbitration. But he is a starter-quality 2B, and with Jose Vidro's health questionable, he'd be a good guy to have around. Plus, he's probably tradeable. Yes to arbitration.
T.J. Tucker: T.J. made $657,000 this year, and probably won't merit much of an increase between being injured and posting a 6.39 ERA in 13 games. Basically it comes down to T.J. vs. Travis Hughes. It would be nice to keep both, but probably a no for arbitration.
Brad Wilkerson: The big question. A raise from his $3 million this year is a certainty. His power numbers slumped hard this year, but his .248 average is disturbingly close to his career average of .256. If you're going to bat .250 from a corner outfield position you need to swat homers like Adam Dunn, and Wilkie don't. It pains me to say it, but with Ryan Church and Marlon Byrd in the fold, Wilkerson might be most valuable as trade bait to bring in a starting pitcher.
Boz Hates Bud
Okay, that's a little harsh. But he does contrast the behavior of the Nats players and fans with that of our "owners". Can't we just call them overlords? The bottom line, once again: No Smulyan!
Season in Review
Today the Post allows us to relive the season game-by-game, albeit in highly encapsulated form. This is probably one of those things that's better in the print edition. I'll have to check on that.