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July 31, 2014 / Nat Anacostia

Welcome, Asdrubal Cabrera

I like the Zach Walters for Asdrubal Cabrera trade deadline deal. I agree with Eno Sarris of FanGraphs—the Nats got a small but clear improvement for the rest of this season in exchange for a player who, because of his poor strikeout-to-walk ratio, has only a small chance of having significant major league value. Walters’ skill set was similar to that of Danny Espinosa, and we only need one Espinosa.

I was disappointed that the Nats didn’t find a much needed bullpen upgrade. In the three games since I wrote my plea for a good bullpen arm, the Nats have amply demonstrated that their pen is overrated and may not be adequate for post-season competition.  I hope that during August someone good can clear waivers and they can still work out a deal.

Maybe the worst news, however, was that the Indians picked up Cabrera’s salary, suggesting that Mark Lerner may have been dead serious with his comment that the Nats’ $135 million payroll is “beyond topped out.” If the Nats really have reached the Lerners’ payroll ceiling, I think it may prove to be tough to compete in a division that is rapidly getting better.



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