January 13, 2010

DC Doesn't Need A(nother) Kennedy

As it stands Cristian Guzman is the 2010 Opening Day second baseman for your Washington Nationals. If they can't reel in Orlando Hudson (one year too late) to play second, Plan B appears to be infielder Adam Kennedy. I'm sure Adam's a swell fella, loves puppies and rainbows and all that, but no matter how you feel about Cristian Guzman, Adam Kennedy's got no business playing in D.C. in 2010.

Over at his cleverly moniker-ed Nationals Baseball blog Harper makes the case that Kennedy probably won't be so bad. A (slightly) better bat than Guzman, and a glove that appears to fluctuate wildly between above average and terrible. But is that really a combination you need to shell out free agent money for?

Cristian Guzman will occupy one middle infield postion, that's a given. With that in mind, there are two good reasons for the Nats to sign an infielder: to upgrade the offense or to upgrade the defense (or ideally both, but that doesn't look to be a realistic option.) Hudson would be an offensive plus, but a Hudson/Guzman defensive infield wouldn't do the pitching staff any favors. Kennedy might be a defensive improvement but carrying both his bat and Guzman's would be a real offensive hindrance.

On the excellent Fangraphs site Dave Cameron has a thoughtful article from a few months back about the relative merits of moving Guzman from shortstop to second. For the moment the Nats seem fixated on adding a second baseman, which would keep Guzman at short and Ian Desmond on the bench. There's nothing wrong with this plan, so long as it adds real value to the team rather than just shuffling deck chairs on the S.S. Natanic.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Willie! Willie! Willie! The glove, the legs, the OBP.