Yesterday, The Nationals acquired Jonny Gomes from the Cincinnati Reds for minor leaguers Bill Rhinehart, Christopher Manno and cash (i.e., the Reds are paying part of Gomes’ salary the rest of this year).
The teams needs, as far as I can tell:
- reliable leadoff hitter
- better centerfielder
- a more offensively productive shortstop
- An ace starting pitcher
- 2-3 better starting pitchers.
- incrementally better relievers, or relievers who don’t hit the backstop with fastballs.
No where in that list is there a need for “yet another backup outfielder” to go with the slew of them we already have. Don’t get me wrong’ there is definitely some value in having Gomes on the bench as a right-handed pinch hitting option (since both Ankiel and Stairs are lefties). And there’s some value in having Gomes platoon with his left-handed hitting doppleganger Laynce Nix. But last place teams don’t generally spend time on such a small matter. To make matters worse, quotes from Gomes clearly show he’s disappointed to be traded from the Reds to the Nats, and it may be interesting to see how his attitude plays out the rest of the year.
To me, this trade was solely about getting the supplemental first rounder that Gomes would net if he maintains his type-B FA status. Rizzo said as much himself when asked about the trade. And I’m ok with that. The two prospects we gave up were marginal prospects in this team’s grand scheme; Rhinehart was a good-hitting first baseman, but is a 26yr old in AA and is blocked by the younger, more promising Chris Marrero. Manno, while certainly a blogosphere favorite, was a 22-yr toiling and putting up dominant numbers in low-A, and his ceiling seemed to be as a matchup-left hander (loogy) at some point in the future. I guess Rizzo thought a 2012 mid 30-s draft pick was worth those two prospects in the long run.
Last question; who makes way on the 25-man? You have to think this is the end of the road for one Matt Stairs.