(AP Photo. Josh Willingham: tradebait?)
"I guess I didn't feel one way or the other about it. I understand it's part of the business. When you talk about a trade, you realize both parties are trying to upgrade their team. If they are going to upgrade their teams, then that will happen."
(Josh Willingham, via Nationals.com, 1/21/2010)
Ham unfazed by trade talk...
Now, if Boz's "guess" in a recent chat on Washington Post dot com the other day is even close to being truth: that a "major-league ready pitcher of Jordan Zimmermann quality" was available in a deal for "Willingham-plus-somebody",there aren't too many "somebodies" in the organization that you wouldn't package up and deal with Mr. Ham in an instant for a Jordan Zimmerman quality arm. Here's what Boz said:
I've heard that, within the last week, the Nats thought they were close [to a] trade for a major-league ready pitcher of Jordan Zimmermann quality but it fell through when the other team backed out. My guess, and that's all it is, is that it was one of those Willingham-plus-somebody-for-a-young-pitcher deals that everybody knows the Nats are looking at.
Which "somebodies" would be untouchable in that sort of deal?
"I think we need another pitcher in our rotation," Rizzo said. "I'd certainly like to add one. I'd rather not start the season with three very, very young pitchers in the rotation. Two young pitchers is much more palatable, I think. But if the right pitcher comes around that fits what I'm trying to do, we'll certainly make a run at him."
We're pleased that the Nats avoided a potentially nasty arbitration hearing with Wil Nieves. That could've gotten ugly. And it remains to be seen if the Nats can avoid arbitration with Brian Bruney and Sean Burnett, just like Jason Bergmann, Jesus Flores, Wil Nieves and Josh Willingham.
Charlie Slowes is on the mend. Bill Ladson Tweeted yesterday:
#Nats broadcaster Charlie Slowes had successful elbow surgery Wednesday. The surgery was performed by Koco Eaton.
Best wishes for a speedy recovery, Charlie.