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Sunday, January 16, 2005

Is it in the water?

There must be something in the water in and around DC that makes people spend money like drunken sailors. Not only is our Federal government a bit out of control when it comes to spending money, so too is the DC city government (spending lots of money on education and stadiums), and, evidently, so too are the Nationals.

From the Washington Post:
In the past two seasons, Tony Armas Jr. has won a total of four games. Yet it is a mark of the state of the Washington Nationals' starting rotation that the club must have Armas overcome his recent injuries and have a stellar 2005 if the team is to be competitive.

Armas and the Nationals took the first step yesterday by agreeing on a one-year, $2.26 million contract, avoiding arbitration. Armas got a slight raise from the $2.1 million he made last year. Fellow right-hander Tomo Ohka is now the Nationals' only arbitration-eligible player whose case has not been resolved.

From baseballreference.com:
Tony Armas 

Antonio Jose Armas

Bats Right, Throws Right
Height 6' 4", Weight 205 lb.
Debut August 16, 1999
Born April 29, 1978 in Puerto Piritu, Venezuela

Signed by the New York Yankees as an amateur free agent in 1994.

Year W L G GS CG IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA
+--------------+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+--+------+----+----+----
1999 0 1 1 1 0 6.0 8 4 1 0 2 2 1.50
2000 7 9 17 17 0 95.0 74 49 46 10 50 59 4.36
2001 9 14 34 34 0 196.7 180 101 88 18 91 176 4.03
2002 12 12 29 29 0 164.3 149 87 81 22 78 131 4.44
2003 2 1 5 5 0 31.0 25 9 9 4 8 23 2.61
2004 2 4 16 16 0 72.0 66 41 39 13 45 54 4.88
+--------------+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+--+------+----+----+----
6 Yr 32 41 102 102 0 565.0 502 291 264 67 274 445 4.21

So, Armas was able to stay in the big leagues long enough to become arbitration eligible and negotiate A RAISE over last year's salary? The Yankees aren't the best franchise in the game by keeping rag-arms like this around.

What can the Nationals expect from their re-acquisition? Given his career averages - 5 wins & 7 losses or $425,000 per win or $4000 per inning pitched, whichever measure makes you gag less. Granted that average "prices" are not necessarily good measures of player value, but these numbers really don't make any sense. I'm less amazed that the team and Armas came to an agreement than the fact that Armas is even pitching in the bigs after six years of doing basically nothing.

This story sends a loud and clear message to potential (and any actual?) Nationals fans - we value mediocrity! The Nationals figure a .438 lifetime winning percentage warrants $2.26 million per year and the number two starter position. It's gonna be great to be a Nationals fan for the next few years.

I know this will piss off the player's union, but I'll pitch for half the price.

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