"We're trying to build, not tear down."
(Jim Bowden, via Washington Post, 7/24/2007)
NAAAts reportedly "close" to signing Tony Batista to a five-year, $40 million deal
Third baseman Tony Batista is close to signing a five-year extension with Washington, according to multiple sources with no direct or indirect knowledge of the situation. The move would come despite the fact that the non-waiver trade deadline isn't until July 31, meaning Batista is effectively off the trading block. Batista declined to comment. General manager Jim Bowden did not return our calls. The sources said that Batista will receive $8 million per season plus an option year.
The Nationals Enquirer staff continues to be baffled by the reported 2 year, $10 million extension for Da Meat Hook. Not baffled by the money -- that's a minor detail at this point, but about the timing. The question that needs to be asked is: Why do this deal before the July 31 trading deadline? Does the timing of this deal (and the extension of Ronnie Belliard), taking two of your best assets off the market before July 31, signal something about the quality of the prospects available, or does it say something about Jim Bowden's ability to do his job? Over the last few weeks, nearly every published report we've seen of another team's interest in a Washington player has included something about Bowden's asking prices being too high, unrealistic, ridiculous, etc. etc. Did Jim just completely mishandle the opportunity?