Thursday, January 24, 2008

Nick Johnson or Dmitri Young Decisions, Decisions For Jim Bowden

One is an oft injured first baseman, who is coming off multiple leg injuries. The other is a former all star, whose work ethic and dedication could never be questioned, but whose off the field issues, cannot be ignored. The former is 29 year old Nick Johnson. The latter is 43-year-old Dmitri Young. They have little in common, except, come opening day, they both could be listed as the Washington National's first baseman. This possible log jam gives National's General Manager, Jim Bowden the power to do what few others do better than him. Make a trade.

First, Bowden needs to decide which first baseman he wants to trade.

Dmitri Young is a hard nosed player, who leaves whatever he can out on the field. He could be a good veteran for the young players on Washington to look up to, and provide an important leadership role. Specifically for the outfield, which could potentially feature Elijah Dukes and Lastings Milledge, who have each had varying degrees of maturity and professionalism issues. Young's problem with alcohol and being dumped by the Detroit Tigers is well documented and could serve as a way for him to connect to the younger players and serve as a mentor.

Nick Johnson is a few years younger than Dmitri, and having a good ability to draw walks, might have more value, despite his injury history. He could make a fine DH for an American League team, but would lack the durability to play first on an everyday basis. Seattle might be a good fit, given Richie Sexson's inconsistency and the fact their DH right now is Jose Vidro.

Most of this right now, is still in its early stages, and both players will have to show up to spring training to compete for a job, before it is just handed to them. Stay tuned to for any updates we find along the way.


Anonymous said...

No way the Mariners could maneuver a trade for Johnson unless Washington is willing to take Vidro.

Vidro is untradeable and the Mariner mentality wouldn't allow such an expensive, experienced player to sit on the bench.

Unfortunatley, Vidro's vesting option will kick in and Seattle will have a just as tough time moving him next year. Hopefully not.

Phil said...

Hey- Informative stuff. Yeah, I knew about Vidro being there, but I figured the Mariners were a team that could do the move, but as you pointed out, their past shows they wouldn't make a move like this. That being said, they do have the money to spend if they wanted to make a move, and have a guy like Vidro come off the bench. The move does make sense for Seattle, it would be a matter of them committing to it. It is too bad Mariner's ownership won't fit the bill to try and bring in some better players.
That is not to say the Mariners are bad, they should have another fine season like they did last year. But you are right, they have a severe past of not bringing in the players they need to bring the team to the next level.
Thanks for the feedback.