February 13, 2010

The Unthinkable

Felipe Lopez is still out there. The best free agent second baseman available is still looking for work. The guy who put up a .310/.383!/.427 line in Arizona and Milwaukee last year, with better defense than Orlando Hudson, isn't going to Spring Training without buying a ticket. He's just axed Scott Boras too, probably in reaction to being unemployed longer than Adam Everett, Kelly Johnson, Alex Gonzalez, Melvin Mora and Adam Kennedy.

I don't like Felipe Lopez. There's no doubt in my mind that he quit on the Nationals in 2007-08. He dogged it, phoned it in, went through the motions, whatever you want to call it. I doubt you'll find a single Nats fan willing to come to FLop's defense. He was playing out of position, on a terrible team, and all evidence suggests that he was a bad seed, on the field and off. But that was then, and baseball makes strange bedfellows.

Mike Rizzo's stated goal for the offseason was to improve the infield defense. Maybe he did that with the Adam Kennedy signing. Personally, I'm not convinced that a 34 year-old 2B coming off his first good offensive season since 2005, (and his worst defensive season ever) is the answer to the Nats infield woes. If Kennedy were bumped to the bench, he'd be an upgrade over Alberto Gonzalez or Eric Bruntlett, and at $1.25M he'd still be making less than Ronnie Belliard was paid to do the same job last season.

Of course, all this is idle blogger chatter. The Nats have expressed no interest in Lopez, and he's certainly given no sign that he's inclined to come back. However, this is a very different team since Felipe left in 2008. New GM, new manager and a boatload of new players. And Spring Training is just around the corner.

Maybe the reason he's still looking for work is that he really is a clubhouse cancer even when he's playing well for a contender. If that's the case then the Nats are justified in staying well away. But if Rizzo is serious about constantly looking for was to improve the club, this is one stone he really shouldn't leave unturned.


Positively Half St. said...

No, I just can't. It is too fresh an insult, and the fans would have a really hard time taking him back. He truly failed us, and then turned around and had a great rebound after being released. Let us just enjoy his predicament, and root against him like we might treat a cheat.

Nate said...

You're not wrong, but I can hold my nose and root for the uniform if it makes the team better.

Would it make the team better? That's the $64,000 question.

cass said...


Let's just try Desmond, please!

Mark said...

Sabermetrics only takes you so far. FLop is a good example of the problems of relying on math with a**holes who defy charts.

What comes around goes around.

Lopez and Boras deserved each other. Maybe Manny Acta will convince Cleveland to pick him up?!!

Harper said...

It should have been checked to see if Felipe really wanted to come back. Maybe he had issues with Manny or, I know this is crazy, Jim Bowden. But if he didn't seem 100% committed and excited I wouldn't go near him.

(I feel like this post could have included an altered version of the movie poster for Tank Girl. Get on that. I need more half-man half-kangeroos in my life)