clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Say hello to the Nationals.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Washington baseball franchise officially named the Nationals; logo unveiled I thought Senators woulda been a much better nickname (for the retro value, if nothing else), but this isn't bad. The good news is that the team's use of traditional colors--red, white, and blue--should make it difficult for them to screw up the uniforms. The cap leaves a bit to be desired, though.

Nationals GM Jim Bowden has been pretty busy so far, with his most recent move being the acquisition of Jose Guillen. Bowden gave up Juan Rivera (.307/.364/.465 in 2004) and prospect Maicer Izturis (younger brother of Cesar) in the deal. Guillen, who hit .292/.352/.497 this season, probably gives the Nats a bit more punch in the middle of the lineup (sample size is small for Rivera, but his SLG wasn't much worse than Guillen's in 2004). Guillen is coming off of two pretty solid seasons in a row, and 2004 saw his walk rate increase. He's not going to be the most patient of hitters (we aren't talking about a significant increase in walk rate, and he's not going to make any dramatic sort of improvement here), but there's no question that Washington's offense can use his bat.

If they can keep Nick Johnson healthy (who has an impressive .255/.372/.418 career mark in four injury-marred seasons), they'll be on their way to a pretty solid middle of the lineup.

Bowden has also added shortstop Cristian Guzman and old man Vinny Castilla. He's committed $23 million between the two (4yr/$16.8 mil for Guzman; 2yr/$6.2 mil for Vinny), and neither of these guys are particularly patient, either. Guzman's career .266/.303/.382 line is pretty ugly. Guzman's highest career OBP mark is .337, and that came in a year in which he hit .302.

Bowden has given his team a shortstop who will servicably fill the gap left by Orlando Cabrera, but not much else. Guzman was 10th among AL shortstops in VORP (but he was at least above the replacement level, and that's good news...), though he did have a career year defensively, setting career highs in range factor (RFg), runs above replacement (RAR) and runs above average (RAA). While 2004 was a defensive peak for him, it's safe to assume that the Nationals got themselves a reliable defensive SS.

Castilla put up some nice numbers at Coors Field in 2004, and it certainly wasn't for the first time. Unfortunately for Washington, Castilla hasn't proven that he can put up impressive numbers in a different uniform. And he's 37. It'll be interesting to see how RFK Stadium plays ... my baseless assumption (since I haven't seen any dimensions) leads me to think it'll be a cavernous pitcher's park, but who knows.