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So the news broke today that the Washington Nationals have just signed lefty relief ace Joe Beimel, which begs the question, why in the heck did the Washington Nationals just sign lefty relief ace Joe Beimel???

beimelThe contract is for one year, $2 million, and with the Nationals having no chance in hell of contending this year, it is clear that interim GM Mike Rizzo is just as intent on flushing money down the toilet as Jim Bowden was, because this $2 million is a total waste.

Not that Joe Beimel is not a decent pitcher.  More than just a situational lefty, Beimel actually held right-handed batters to an even lower OPS than lefthanders last year, and could easily be slotted in as a setup man on a contending team.

Which means that another good question is why the heck Joe Beimel had to sign with the Nationals.  Nobody else would give him even $2 million?  Something odd is going on here, or there is something we don’t know about.  Everyone kept saying that Beimel was asking for too much, but heck, even Dennys Reyes got $3 million.

Maybe Beimel overplayed his hand and waited too deep into the offseason, after all the jobs were filled?

10 Responses to “Nats sign Beimel, spirit of Jim Bowden lives on”

  1. Positively Half St says:

    I don’t understand posts like this one, and honestly, they sort of piss me off. Why the hell do we Nationals fans have to suffer the worst possible season because you have determined they can’t compete? In case you have forgotten, $2M is still not that big a contract, and it doesn’t cost the Nationals any part of their future (draft picks).

    The Nationals were not keeping a worthy minor leaguer from making the team- the bullpen was a mess, and Julian Tavarez and Joe Beimel just might save our young starting pitchers from losing wins they deserve? Do you get it? The team is _protecting_ their young pitchers, by giving them a better chance to winning.

    All of you out there that think that good players only belong to your beloved Yankees, Red Sox or Cubs, and that teams like the Nationals are responsible for groveling in the dirt and staying out of the way can shove it. You don’t respect our team, and somehow believe that the team does not have the right to make the seasons more enjoyable while the front office slowly tries to build from within.

  2. Nick Kapur says:

    Hey, thanks for your comment, but really, I don’t understand these kinds of arguments, and honestly, they sort of piss me off. How is signing Joe Beimel anything other than a waste of money? Even you yourself accept that the Nationals won’t contend this year. And I don’t buy the argument that better relievers somehow “protect” young starters. They are all on pitch counts so it’s not like it matters. I also can’t accept that there is absolutely nobody out there other than Beimel who could fill that spot and and actually contribute to the rebuilding. The Nats should be using that spot to audition cost-controlled talent for the future.

    Also, I have to say, your jibe about Yanks, Sox, and Cubs fans is misplaced. I’m not a fan of any of those teams, and I am actually *rooting* for the Nats to do well, which is why I am so disappointed when they make moves like this.

    Look, as small as it may seem, $2 million is not nothing, even for a major league ballclub. That kind of money can be spent on all sorts of things – they could hire a few more scouts with that money, or sign a few Dominican prospects, or any number of things.

    All I can say is, the Nats better not do any whining about how much it is going to cost to sign Stephen Strasburg, come June.

  3. I don’t know why the Nats signed Beimel, but I’m guessing he signed with D.C. for two reasons: 1. They offered the most money and 2. There’s a good chance he could end up closing, which would mean more money next offseason and probably more years.

  4. As a fan, I would rather sit through a terrible team for 3 years while they spend all their resources on scouting and the draft, than to have them waste money on players that will not help them win, but will help put a mediocre product out there.

    This is a team that couldn’t/didn’t sign their first rounder, and they have an easy #1 selection coming up soon. They need to pay him. God forbid it goes into another negotiation war and they lose out…again. All because they wanted to sign Beimel and Dunn? Great.

  5. I don’t really understand posts like this either. It’s true, the Nats are probably not going to be close to competing this year, but they pick up a decent piece that really strengthens their pen. For example, Beimel can be a LH specialist and a setup man at the same time…their previous favorite to be the LOOGY was Mike Hinckley, who should not face RH batters…this could leave an extra spot for someone like Rule V pick Terrell Young.

    And the most glaring omission in this post is the fact that they can (and probably will) flip him at the trade deadline. Beimel would fit into a playoff-caliber bullpen. Injuries and inconsistency are so common amongst relief pitchers that it’s valuable to pick up guys Beimel, even for a last-place team.

    And from Beimel’s point of view, he’s signing with a team that gives him a chance at a high leverage role as well as a team that will likely deal him to a contender at the deadline. It’s harder to identify contenders in March than in June…ask the 2008 Detroit Tigers.

  6. Hoagie, it is hard to identify contenders in March, but it’s often easy to identify noncontenders. The Nationals are a noncontender.

  7. I think you misunderstood me. I meant to say he’ll end up getting traded to a contender by the end of the year.

  8. Sarah Green says:

    Spending 2 million on a guy because you plan to trade him at the deadline feels like an expensive trade, to me.

    What Kensai and Nick point out about the Nats failing to sign their draft picks really underlines why this signing is so strange. No one here is arguing that Beimel isn’t good – but if this were my team, and they’d lost out on draft picks because of bonus demands, and they were throwing money at a short term contract for a reliever (any reliever) I’d be anywhere from pissed off to highly skeptical, depending on what I’d had for breakfast that morning.

  9. Positively Half St says:

    This signing has nothing to do with Aaron Crow. That happened last year, there are differing stories on what happened in the negotiations, and in any case, it was Jim Bowden.

    The team can choose to spend money on scouting, and the Dominican, and still spend money on Joe Beimel. They were willing to spend $184 M on Mark Teixera, so they clearly have the money to spend on whatever they think is important enough.

    I am tired of the team only going for Julian Tavarez and Kip Wells, or only giving a chance to Brad Eldred. I am happy to see Joe Beimel and Adam Dunn added to the team, because I want to see some better baseball. I also want them to spend on scouting and the draft. They don’t need to be connected in any way.

  10. Spending on the roster does impact spending on other areas of the ball club, they have a budget. If you are a Nats fan why would you not look at the fact that they didn’t sign their top draft pick but they threw money at Dunn and Beimel? These events didn’t occur in a vacuum.

    Dunn and Beimel do not make this team any more likely to win their division now or any time in the future. Wasted money and wasted roster spots.

    It’s no defense of the front office to say they decided to spend money on these guys so that makes it right. If they clearly have money to spend on whatever they think is important then they had better start figuring out what is important. These moves tend to indicate they have no idea what is important in rebuilding a franchise from the ground up.

    Rizzo so far hasn’t shown that he knows any more than Bowden. These moves are inexplicable and down right stupid. I am literally shocked that anyone would defend them. Oh, and if you want to see better baseball as a Nats fan then cover your eyes when Dunn is in the field.

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