Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Nationals Trade for Willingham, Olsen

This is pretty much your typical Marlins salary dump, as both players were about to go to arbitration for the first time. Willingham will either play left field or first base for the Nationals, and he's a pretty good hitter (264/360/471 projection), but a bad outfielder. Olsen is not that good a pitcher (4.59 projected ERA in the easy league) but at least he's been able to make 30+ starts each of the last 3 years. These are the kind of middle of the pack players who get 7-10 million when they are free agents, you'd think they would command more in a trade when a first year arbitration guy is only going to make 3 million or so.

Marlins get Emilio Bonifacio, who can't hit (252/301/325) but is fast, and the scouts say he has the 'good face'. They also get two guys in the low minors.

Seems like the Angels could have gotten in on this one, the Washington offer looks easy to beat, and the Angels could consider Willingham for multiple roles - left field, DH, 1st base. He wouldn't block Kendry Morales, or be blocked if Teixiera comes back, and provides a middle of the order bat for a fraction of the price that guys like Pat Burrell will get. Olsen could have filled out the rotation as a younger, lefthandier Jon Garland.

If Bonifacio starts in the Marlin's infield, with Cantu going to first and Uggla to third, that's bad news for our old buddy D-Mac, who might just have to stay in Albuquerque and chase Crash Davis's minor league homerun record. Or maybe it's Hector Espino's.

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