December 12, 2007

Logan Cleared for Takeoff

As the deadline to offer contracts approaches Mark Zuckerman of the Washington Times has word that the Nationals will not resign OF Nook Logan and SP Mike O'Connor. Nook was destined to be the odd man out in the game of musical outfielders following the spree of acquisitions at the Winter Meetings. Nook will most likely try to latch on as a 4th or 5th outfielder on another National League club.

O'Connor, a GW alum, struggled to recover from offseason elbow surgery before the 2007 season and never really got his groove back in the minors, managing an abysmal 7.07 ERA in Double A ball. Cutting ties with O'Connor is just more evidence of the Nats improved pitching depth, as Matt Chico, John Lannan and Ross Detwiler all have more upside as lefty starters than Irish Mike, who will be fondly remembered
for posting a 4.80 ERA over 105 innings as part of the patchwork 2006 rotation.

Three pitchers agreed to one-year deals, thereby avoiding arbitration: setup man Luis "El Guapo" Ayala, rehabbing righty reliever Ryan Wagner and perennial injury risk SP John Patterson. All the other arb-eligible Nats, including INF Felipe Lopez, will apparently be offered contracts. No real surprise there. Lopez, Tim Redding, Jon Rauch, Jesus Colome and Chad Cordero aren't going to strain the budget. Only FLop and The Chief figure to make more than a couple million in arbitration.

Cutting loose Nook and Irish Mike frees up two more spots on the 40-man roster, spots that might be used to sign players non-tendered by other clubs. Here's the official press release.

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