That’ll Help the Trade Value

Or at least it’ll make your GM not wanna trade you. Either way, 2 Grand Slams by Willingham go along with 1 by Dunn this weekend reminds everyone who are the most tradable players on the team. Other than the ones like Zimmerman who are not allowed to be traded. But with the power that they’ve displayed, going along with the third baseman, it’s almost a shame to get rid of either of them. The Nats have hit 8 HRs in the 4 games, 3 by Willingham, 3 by Zimmerman, and a grand slam by Dunn.

The thinking around these parts was that Dunn and Willingham aren’t complementary players – too similar. You’d love most of your players to hit like that, but stick each one at a corner outfield spot and you’re in trouble. If only there was a speedy, rangey center fielder to help them out… Oh, the Nats actually have that. I think Morgan does help it make it easier to play those 2 at the same time, as does their constant baseball mashing. There is, as usual, a problem with keeping both of them…

The farm system is still relatively empty. The team might be respectable as soon as next year if everything went right, but they won’t be GOOD. So if they stay and fulfill their contracts, they may still not be around for the team resurgance. I am more hopeful that 2011, even 2010, will see a change in direction and hope and even some wins. But being realistic, this may be a great opportunity to get some real talent. Suddenly, Willingham looks like a bargain starting OFer, not a 4th guy. Despite hitting with a practically negative batting average for the first month of the season, he’s now hitting .298/.410/.596 with 16 HRs.

As much as I’d like both he and Dunn in the lineup, it just makes sense to try to acquire some young talent for these players. Is Willingham a 35 HR kind of guy with .400+ OBP for real? I don’t know, I really don’t. He looks like it now, but if he’s not, his trade value will never be higher. And do the Nats care? Are they going to be able to take advantage, or will the 30 year old fade before they can really make use of him?

As for his feat, according to ESPN, he’s the 13th major leaguer to do this. Ever. This means that while it is something of a coincidence in timing and batting order, it is still to be admired for its sheer uniqueness. The perfect game that Mark Buehrle threw, you know, the 18th ever? Commonplace compared to Willingham’s double grand salami night. Of course, it won’t have the kind of coverage, and probably doesn’t deserve it. But maybe one of those contending teams will start thinking about which prospects are worth a guy on pace to hit about 37 HRs in a 600 AB season. I’m just saying, he may bring in something nice.

The Offense As a Whole

As of last night, the Nats now have three players with more than 14 HRs – Dunn, Zimmerman and Willingham. Why is the number 14 important? 2 guys on the team had 14 in 2008, and that lead the team. So it’s not yet August, and they have 3 guys with more than last year’s team leader. This is nice, but the power is really dependent on those three guys. In fact, the Nats have 91 HRs right now, on pace for about 149. That’s 32 more than last year. Better, but not insanely better. Other than the three, there aint much there.

And yeah, I may still be the only one, I don’t know. Or maybe others have joined the Ryan Zimmerman 30 HR bandwagon. But I’m driving, everyone is welcome, hop on!

But seriously, let’s check out some dingers!

Click on this picture for the link to Willingham’s double slam video:

Willingslam Vid

Adam Dunn watching his Grand Slam:

Padres Nationals Baseball

Josh Willingham hitting his 2nd:

Willingham GS 2

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One Response to That’ll Help the Trade Value

  1. gambler23 says:

    Hi. Jays fan here who’s gf lives in DC so I’m become a big Nats fan as well (and heck it’s still kind of like cheering for the Expos). Saw your post at Nat Journal. Must agree with it and the gist of your story here. Nats aren’t going to be contending anytime soon. Maximizing assets is the goal. Willingham’s value will never be higher (that was a crazy game last night) and that goes double for Johnson, who simply must be converted into something. You can’t just let assets go to waste.

    As big a Halladay fan as I am, it’s the same situation with him. http://tinyurl.com/ngl3sa
    Jays have to trade him, just like Nats should be trading Dunn. None of these guys, for either team will be around when the team reaches the zenith of their success cycle.

    One thing I do find odd though about Nats fans. They aren’t cheering for losses enough. We MUST get the #1 pick to get Bryce Harper. He could be even more once in a generation than Strasburgh. The series win over the Padres was terrible news for the Nationals future.

    Lose boys. Lose long, lose hard, but lose. As an aside, the fact that Rizzo may not have anything more than a 2 month outlook is very bad. Lerner’s ownership is as bad as the pension fund’s that owns the Leafs.

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