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edabbs44
08-22-2007, 09:25 PM
Sports Weekly has an interesting article on the future plans of the Nationals' front office. I can't find the original article electronically, but the Washington Post had something similar last week (pasted below). This is the kind of direction some of us have been looking for from both past and current regimes. It will be interesting how this plays out.


Executing the Plan
For Nationals, Creative Signing of McGeary Caps a Stellar Draft and Shows Ownership's Commitment to Farm System

By Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, August 17, 2007; Page E01

When scouts and front-office personnel of the Washington Nationals gathered in June in a conference room at RFK Stadium, they sat in front of a board adorned with the names of high school and college prospects, hundreds of them, all ranked. At No. 10 sat a high school pitcher from Massachusetts named Jack McGeary. And next to McGeary's name was the word "Unsignable."

" 'Unsignable' to us meant 'signable' later in the draft -- we hope," General Manager Jim Bowden said. "But we didn't know."

Late Wednesday night, in a deal that both sides hailed as creative and which the Nationals believe provided a signature moment in the development of their franchise, the team signed the unsignable McGeary for a $1.8 million bonus. The deal was, in a sense, a surprise to all sides. McGeary had slipped to the sixth round because teams believed he would honor a commitment to Stanford.

But the deal that capped a draft that could well help rebuild the Nationals and allows McGeary to attend Stanford as a full-time student while spending his summers playing baseball for the Nationals. More importantly, it is an indication that the ownership of the Lerner family -- which has preached a rebuilding process based on scouting and player development -- is willing to pay talented players more than the industry standard.

"We found out a lot in the last two days about the commitment that the Washington Nationals, and in particular the Lerner family, have to winning," said Brodie Van Wagenen, McGeary's agent, whose firm, Creative Artists Agency, represents such high-profile stars as Derek Jeter and Ryan Howard. "They made a big statement that they were going to make a turnaround based on player development and scouting. This was an important moment. Until you do it, it's lip service."

By signing McGeary less than 30 minutes before the 11:59 p.m. deadline, the Nationals completed a draft in which they signed their first 20 draft choices. Only one other team, San Francisco, could make that claim.

The signing also began to answer questions about whether the Lerners would be frugal when it comes to player procurement. Though McGeary's signing bonus is a fraction of the annual salary for an established major league star, it is symbolic within the sport. For the player chosen in McGeary's spot -- 190th overall -- Major League Baseball recommends a bonus of $123,000. McGeary's bonus is believed to be a record for a sixth-round pick, and -- when coupled with the fact that the Nationals will pay for his Stanford education -- is a package worth roughly $2 million, or more than 16 times what his slot dictated.

For those who have toiled in the organization since it was taken over by MLB in 2002, such a development is staggering.

"We never gave a dime over our budgeted amount in scouting," scouting director Dana Brown said. "And it's tough to build like that. It's tough to build an organization with no money."

According to data compiled by the trade magazine Baseball America, McGeary's deal put the total amount the Nationals spent on draft bonuses at $7.62 million, the second most in baseball. They trailed only the Baltimore Orioles, who spent $7.67 million, with $6 million of that tied up in one player, catcher Matt Wieters.

The Nationals also signed two more of the top 15 on their draft board, both lefties -- Ross Detwiler of Missouri State (sixth overall, $2.15 million) and Josh Smoker of Calhoun, Ga. (31st overall, $1 million).

"It's unheard of," Brown said. "You may go 10 years as a scouting director and never get three first-round left-handers -- period -- because of where you're picking in the draft. . . . And we're sitting here with three."

No team needed such a windfall of talent more. In the five years the club was owned by MLB, its farm system was decimated by trades that sent prospects elsewhere as well as by a scouting staff run on a threadbare budget. When the Lerners were named the owners of the team in May 2006, new president Stan Kasten said the only way he saw fit to rebuild was through scouting and player development. Yesterday, Kasten said, "We need moves like this move more than anyone."

There was a perception, however, among some executives and other sources that the Lerners would be reluctant to pay such money to a player who slipped in the draft. Kasten tried to defuse that.

"My owners have been sensational," Kasten said, "involved every step of the way, wanting to understand better, wanting to be supportive."

McGeary, meanwhile, will report to the rookie-level Gulf Coast League and likely advance to short-season Class A Vermont to finish out the season. He will attend Stanford from September through May, but will be available to join the Nationals in Viera, Fla., during spring break and perhaps on some weekends.

"I couldn't be more excited to be here today," McGeary said.

Standing next to him, Bowden beamed.

"Does the industry see it?" Bowden said. "Sure they see it. The McGeary signing sent a message to the industry.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/16/AR2007081602399.html

RedLegSuperStar
08-22-2007, 09:40 PM
He'll trade them off for players like Danny Neagle, 5 tool outfielders, Deion Sanders, and a slew of others..

NDRed
08-22-2007, 09:53 PM
By the way, anyone know what was our record during the Bowden era and post Bowden? What is our ranking in payroll during the same time periods?

fearofpopvol1
08-22-2007, 11:20 PM
I really wish the Reds had a similar philosphy to this. Yeah that's a lot of money to blow on players that may or may not make it, but at least it's an attempt. The Reds need more pitching and should be attempting to cut financial corners this way now rather than FA.

Aronchis
08-22-2007, 11:49 PM
Sports Weekly has an interesting article on the future plans of the Nationals' front office. I can't find the original article electronically, but the Washington Post had something similar last week (pasted below). This is the kind of direction some of us have been looking for from both past and current regimes. It will be interesting how this plays out.



http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/16/AR2007081602399.html

Of course they forgot to mention the players must workout. Smoker and Detwiler are scary. Would fit the Bowden tradition of arm injuries.

It is up to Cast if he wants to spill for the draft. So far he hasn't shown the inclination. International the Reds have been spending, but not so far at home. Maybe they won't need to.

MrCinatit
08-23-2007, 07:19 AM
By the way, anyone know what was our record during the Bowden era and post Bowden? What is our ranking in payroll during the same time periods?

Their records:
942-937 from (.501) 1992 to 2003. If you split the 2003 season based on his firing, it becomes 919-901 (.505).
284-327 (.465) since. (This is assuming my math is correct).
I don't have the payroll information onhand.

edabbs44
08-23-2007, 08:13 AM
Of course they forgot to mention the players must workout. Smoker and Detwiler are scary. Would fit the Bowden tradition of arm injuries.

It is up to Cast if he wants to spill for the draft. So far he hasn't shown the inclination. International the Reds have been spending, but not so far at home. Maybe they won't need to.

Out of curiosity, what leads you to believe that the Reds have been "spending" in the intl markets?

edabbs44
08-23-2007, 08:16 AM
The funny thing about that article is that the Nationals entire draft expenditures about the same amount that Conine and Stanton will be paid by the Reds.

When you have limited resources you need to make best use of them. Bob, Wayne and the posse need to learn that.

Johnny Footstool
08-23-2007, 11:27 AM
When you have limited resources you need to make best use of them. Bob, Wayne and the posse need to learn that.

You mean $5.5 million for Mike Stanton isn't the best use of resources?

Shocking.

lollipopcurve
08-23-2007, 11:31 AM
The funny thing about that article is that the Nationals entire draft expenditures about the same amount that Conine and Stanton will be paid by the Reds.

When you have limited resources you need to make best use of them. Bob, Wayne and the posse need to learn that.

I believe BA recently showed a list of how much teams spent in the first 10 rounds of the draft. Reds were in the middle, if not a little above. I'd love to see them spend more, but I'm satisfied that they've increased their efforts on that front (and made some higher-profile international signings too).

letsgojunior
08-23-2007, 11:45 AM
I was at the Nationals/Mets game on Sunday, and, after not paying attention to their team for awhile, discovered that they have the following players on their roster:

Kearns, WMP, Lopez, Jimenez, Young

The more things change...

edabbs44
08-23-2007, 12:30 PM
I believe BA recently showed a list of how much teams spent in the first 10 rounds of the draft. Reds were in the middle, if not a little above. I'd love to see them spend more, but I'm satisfied that they've increased their efforts on that front (and made some higher-profile international signings too).

That might have a bit more to do with the fact that they had a few supplemental picks this year.

dougdirt
08-23-2007, 12:53 PM
I believe BA recently showed a list of how much teams spent in the first 10 rounds of the draft. Reds were in the middle, if not a little above. I'd love to see them spend more, but I'm satisfied that they've increased their efforts on that front (and made some higher-profile international signings too).

Did that number include just the signing bonus? Becuase if so, it does not account at all anyone that signed a major league deal and skews the data big time.

KronoRed
08-23-2007, 01:14 PM
I was at the Nationals/Mets game on Sunday, and, after not paying attention to their team for awhile, discovered that they have the following players on their roster:

Kearns, WMP, Lopez, Jimenez, Young

The more things change...

It's shocking the Nats owners just sit back and let Bowden try and recreate a team that was awful 4 years ago.

Mark my words :devil: the Reds will see the playoffs before Bowden does.

Strikes Out Looking
08-23-2007, 01:34 PM
Bowden's plan is to hope the owners are so busy with building their new stadium that they don't fire him and his leather pants.