Is Bowden Playing "Let's Make a Deal"?

Nationals General Manager Jim Bowden didn't get to be known as "Trader Jim" for nothing and indications are that he's itching to pull the trigger on a trade.



As the time approaches for the Nationals for finalize their roster before heading north, the Nats see themselves with an excess of pitchers and of outfielders. A look at who might be leaving, and who might be coming:

On the way out?
  • Terrmel Sledge--His name comes up so often as part of a deal he should keep a picture of Monte Hall in his locker. He should be playing every day, but there's no spot for him in the Nats outfield. Sledge has played just enough to show that he's a genuine big-leaguer and not enough to show whatever flaws he may have. That makes him ideal trade bait.
  • Tony Blanco--The Nationals can't send him to the minors since, as a Rule 5 draftee, they would have to offer him back to Cincinnati if they don't keep him on the 25-man roster the whole year--or trade him to another team that will. He's versatile, able to play both the outfield and third base and that and his .316 batting average and .474 slugging average this spring have enhances his trade value greatly.
  • J. J. Davis--Like Blanco, he's having a productive spring and seems to have a sense of urgency to make his mark in the big leagues that he's lacked before.
  • Zach Day--It would take a pretty big offer to pry away a starting pitcher who, when healthy, can be very effective.
Coming to DC?
  • Wily Mo Pena--The Cincinnati Reds outfielder, who cracked 26 homers last year at the tender age of 22, could be on the block if he can't win a starting job. Bowden, of course, is well familiar with Pena from his days in Cincy.
  • Austin Kearns--If Pena can win the job, Bowden may set his sights on the man he is likely to beat out in Cincinnati. Kearns doesn't have Pena's power, but he has an OBP of .372 in 253 major-league games.
  • Pokey Reese--The team is looking for a shortstop to back up shortstop Cristian Guzman and Reese, and this 31-year-old ex-Red (of course), now playing in Seattle, would fill the bill.
  • Chris Woodward--This Mets reserve would be a younger (28) and less expensive alternative to Reese as a backup shortstop.

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