March 26, 2009

P.T. Bowden's Parting Gift

Gone, but not forgotten, Trader Jim manages to roger the Nats one last time on his way out the door. From Nationals Journal:

The Nationals intend to add Dmitri Young to the 40-man roster before Opening Day because of a handshake agreement that was made this winter between Young and then-General Manager Jim Bowden. Though Bowden resigned in February and Young, because of back problems, has not participated in an exhibition game since March 1, the Nationals will honor the deal, two sources said.
D'oh! You can call JimBo lots of things (and folks haven't been shy about doing so), but he's clearly loyal to a fault. What exactly DaMeat Hook has done to warrant such devotion is an open question. Nevertheless, I'm not as ticked off by this as I probably should be for two reasons:

1. Organizations need to honor their commitments, ill-conceived though they may be. One of the main knocks on Bowden was that he could be duplicitous with players, agents and fellow GMs. If the Nats want to shake that label, this probably had to happen.

2. Young's contract virtually guarantees that he could be dropped from the 40-man and pass through waivers at any time should the need arise. ::coughZimmermanncough::

That said, WTF was Jim Bowden thinking?! This is the first time in 5 years when the Nats (arguably) won't be carrying worthless dreck on the 40-man. Giving Dmitri a spot won't cost us Zimmerman, Dukes, Johnson, Lannan, Martis or Hanrahan, but it could well mean the axe for Kory Casto, Steven Shell or Irish Mike O'Connor. Not a fatal blow, certainly, but you don't want to cast off younger guys with even a little bit of promise to provide a spot for a 35 year old DH with a spotty health record.

Maybe Dmitri is just keeping a 40-man spot warm for Jordan Zimmermann's June debut. In that case I suppose it's a wash, allowing the team to keep its "promise" to Young without causing long-term damage to the club. In any other scenario, this can only be viewed as P.T. Bowden's revenge. Any chance they can make JimBo's resignation retroactive to last November?


Simon Oliver Lockwood said...

So, what does this mean? Meathook can't be optioned to the minors I assume. Can he play well enough to be on the 25-man? Or does it mean he gets to be on the major league disabled list rather than the minor league disabled list?

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