The Farm Team
I have to admit that I'm really confused about this. For years, all I've been hearing about is how the Expos were forced to trade away their most expensive talent and just receive prospects in return. As part of a multi-team deal, the Red Sox traded for Orlando Cabrera last year because the Expos wouldn't be able to resign him, and Montreal got Francis Beltran, Brendan Harris, and Alex Gonzales in return. Gonzales is now a Devil Ray, but the other two remain with the Nationals. Really, I don't know a thing about Beltran and Harris, but after years of doing deals like this, shouldn't Washington be full of young talent? (In fairness, Cabrera was batting .246 at the time of the trade with an on base percentage of .298, so he wasn't exactly a hot commodity.)
But we aren't full of young talent.
Baseball America reminded me that in 2002, Omar Minaya -- in a no-win position -- nevertheless traded away Jason Bay, Cliff Lee, Donald Levinski, Brandon Phillips, Grady Sizemore, Matt Watson and Justin Wayne to try to win the Wild Card that year. Part of my bias in this comes from never being a believer in Bartolo Colon; Montreal sent Sizemore, Phillips, and Stevens to the Indians for Colon and Tim Drew. It didn't work out.
Hell, I don't know who half of those guys are, but Bay just won the National League Rookie of the Year and Cliff Lee now an Indian, and is the best young pitcher on that staff. The Giants wound up winning the Wild Card in 2002, and the Indians made themselves a contender in 2004. It was a perfect trade for Cleveland, who had no hope of contending that year or the next.
Somehow, Washington is presently left with very little in its farm system. I really can't add much here, because the Post article neglected to mention the AGES of any of the top prospects. I don't believe anything I read about a pitcher under 22, so forgive me if I'm not excited about Clint Everts.
It's going to be very, very hard to say, "Wait 'til next year" with a straight face.