First, the good news. A hearty welcome back to lefty RP "Scary" Joey Eischen, who signed a 1 yr./$1.3 million deal to stay with then Nats. As far as I'm concerned just the off-chance that Joey will threaten to sexually abuse Peter Angelos again is worth $1.3 mil in today's market.
Next, the indifferent news. The Nats signed a boatload of catchers to minor league deals, hoping that one of them might be able to at least knock down pitches when Brian Schneider takes a day off. NFA has the rundown.
And finally, the bad news. Along with Eischen signed doughy lefty backup 1B/OF/C Robert Fick. As you might expect, I have a minor quibble with the signing that can be summed up thusly: Robert Fick is Marlon Anderson! Marlon Anderson is Robert Fick!! FINKEL IS EINHORN!!! EINHORN IS FINKEL!!!! For proof take a look at the numbers Banks of the Anacostia posts in support of the signing. From here on out, I will be refering to our conglomerate lefty backup 1B/OF as Marbert Fickerson. Distingushed Senators argues that this is an encouraging sign that Trader Jim has a learning curve.
But wait, there's more. The august D.C. City Council ripped Tony Bowtie and Nat Ghandi a new one yesterday. Exhibiting truly superwoman endurance Miss Chatter chronicled the whole hearing in more or less real time, which makes a depressing read considerably more entertaining. I've been optimistic that in the end, after everyone involved was done posturing, things would fall in line and the lease would be approved. Today I'm much less sanguine about the prospects for getting this deal done. If I had money to bet, I certainly wouldn't lay it on December 20th.
And the hits just keep on coming. Not only do the Nats have too many reserve lefty 1B/OFs and too few stadiums, but now it appears they only have enough left in the budget to pursue craptastic third-string starting pitchers. Here's the relevant info:
In other news, the Nationals are trying to get starting pitching, but Bowden said he is not entirely confident that he will land a frontline starting pitcher. The team has offers on the table to Kevin Millwood and Jarrod Washburn, and has shown interest in Shawn Estes, Pedro Astacio and Brett Tomko.Shawn Estes, Pedro Astacio and Brett Tomko. And that's for our #3 starter mind you. Just let that sink in for a minute. Then go check out Federal Baseball for the breakdown. Then commence to weep hot, bitter tears.