With Spring Training just around the corner, and winter nowhere in sight here in DC, it's time to light up another edition of the Nationals.com Mail Bag, like a flaming bag of poop on your doorstep. For the uninitiated, here's how it works: Fans email their question to Nationals beat writer Bill Ladson at MLB.com. We copy and paste the questions over here. We answer the questions, then carefully place the bag on your doorstep, light it up, ring the doorbell, and run.
As always, keep those e-mails coming to Nationals.com, and we'll keep copying and pasting them over here and giving our half-assed answers. Thanks a bunch.
Do you think the signing of Robert Fick was a good move? He said he feels he can get at least 300 at-bats this year.
-- Jason D., Tustin, Calif.
Not only was it a good move, it was the ONLY move this offseason.
I am happy to hear the Nationals selected Flores from the Mets in the Rule 5 Draft. He has a lot of tools and could become a solid everyday catcher. Yet, he still needs time to develop, and if he doesn't stay on the roster, the Nationals have to send him back. Do you think general manager Jim Bowden and manager Manny Acta will find a way to keep him? What does this mean for guys like Brandon Harper and Brian Schneider?
-- Brian C., Potomac, Md.
We're happy about it too. And yes, it seems they'd want to keep Flores around no matter what -- maybe even turn to him for long relief.
Ryan Church does need work on hitting the curveball. But don't all players have a weakness? The reason he did not play was Frank Robinson just did not like him. Let the new manager judge him. Church has the tools.
-- David, Lompoc, Calif.
Oh, shut up you big crybaby. Church may have the tools, but you are a tool. Get over it.
Everybody wants to talk about Church. What about Cristian Guzman? He has been a waste of money for the Nats. Should we get Ian Desmond ready for a call-up?
-- Kyle W., Richmond, Va.
Not everybody wants to talk about Church -- I don't. In fact, I'm tired of talking about Church. All I wanted for Christmas was for Bowden to trade Church so we could stop talking about Church. But no. Church is still here, and we're still talking about Church. As to your question about Guzman? You know, compared to 2005, last season was fairly productive for Guzman. If he stumbles out of the gate in '07, then sure, "we" can get Desmond ready for a call-up. Why not.
In spite of your reporting that Acta will give Church a shot at starting in the outfield, you continue to exclude him from your projected starting lineup. It seems clear that you have a low opinion of Church, regardless of what others think, including the new manager. Do you have some clairvoyant capabilities that the rest of us don't have? Just curious.
-- Jerry S., Los Olivos, Calif.
Oh boy, another Church crybaby. Here's an idea, Jerry: Go f*#k yourself.
Is Tomo Ohka the answer for the Nationals? I thought they would pursue a starter more like Joel Pineiro or Chris Reitsma.
-- Josh, Columbia, Md.
Sad, isn't it? This season is going to be really awful.
Would the Nats have any interest in trading for Rockies center fielder Willy Taveras?
-- Tim P., Springfield, Va.
How about Church for Taveras straight up??!
With Sammy Sosa poised for a comeback and the Nats lacking power hitters, are they likely to make him another offer, like last year?
-- Steve H., Odenton. Md.
I hope so. It would be perfect.
With the need for backup middle infielders, any chance we could see the return of Jamey Carroll, who was recently tendered an offer by the Rockies?
-- Dani H., Washington, D.C.
It wouldn't be a Mailbag without the token "Bring Back Jamey Carroll" letter. Stay tuned for the next installment of the Mailbag, which will be sure to include a few "Bring Back Brad Wilkerson" letters, too.
Now that Jose Vidro has been traded, is there anyone remaining on the roster with a no-trade clause? And do you think the Vidro trade drives team president Stan Kasten's message home even further about not giving players no-trade clauses?
-- John L., Arlington, Va.
In no particular order: No and no.
A comment about a possible Chad Cordero trade:
While I could not have imagined saying this a year ago, I think if the Nationals can get two top pitching prospects or a big-league starter for Cordero, they should do it. You need starters to get you leads before a closer comes into play. Cordero regressed last year, and there is no promise he will maintain dominance as hitters figure him out.
-- Rob B., Gaithersburg, Md.
A little birdie told us that Bowden will pull off some kind of a deal with the Red Sox for Wily Mo Pena + a young arm for Cordero before the start of Spring Training.