No Crow, Ayala Out

In the end, the Nats couldn’t sign this year’s first round pick, Aaron Crow. It is interesting because if you had told me this a month ago, I would have been incensed. And I’m sure there are lots of Nats fans who are very upset by this. After all, they are supposed to be using their money as a big market team to create the best farm system ever. But I am not completely angered by this. While I like Crow, I also think that this year’s draft was not the strongest one ever, so perhaps Crow would have gone a little lower in later years.

The numbers are different depending on who you ask, but the Nats offered him at least $3.3 million, and he was asking for at least $4 million. To put it in perspective, Crow was the #9 pick, and the only picks who got more than $3.5 million were numbers 1, 2, 3, and 5. It was also over a million over slot value, so perhaps they thought the Nats were so desparate that they would pay anything. And hey, maybe the Nats should have, but it’s too late now.

The Nats get 2 top picks next year, wherever their regular first round pick is, plus a #9 pick for having Crow. At the very least, that will make next season’s draft much more exciting for us Nats fans. So the big question for me is: Next season, when the Nats have the #1 or #2 pick, what’s going to happen? After all, it appears that the top 4 players in the draft (at this point, it all can change) are Scott Boras clients. He’s not known for being particularly receptive to lower signing bonuses. And if this year was an indication, it’s gonna cost over $6 million for the #1 or #2 pick. On the other hand, if someone like David Price comes along (if you don’t know him yet, you will) as the Nats pick, they may be willing to sign him for whatever it takes, and they should. I just hope money doesn’t scare them away from picking the best player in the draft.

An Actual Trade

This weekend, the Nats traded bullpen mainstay Luis Ayala to the Mets, for a player to be named later. Rumor has it that it may be Anderson Hernandez. This is just the kind of moves this team should be making – trading a 30 year old guy for a young(ish) player. Hernandez has a great glove, is a middle infielder, and helps bolster the team in a position it’s lacking. He has had a terrible season hitting in AAA, with splits of .203/.262/.307 this year. But last year he hit .301/.339/.397, and while that’s not great either, it’s not horrible. Baseball America has ranked him as the best middle infielder in the Mets system and the best infield arm for several seasons in a row. So if the hitting isn’t there, the defense definitely is.

Either way, it seems like a worthwhile trade even if they just get some depth in the position here, Ayala has been awful this season and he’s not part of the future. Psychologically, it’s another Expos player gone, leaving only Nick Johnson, Shawn Hill, and Chad Cordero. The Chief may be gone after this season, Johnson will likely be gone after the next.

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