Of course, this normally wouldn't be much of a story if not for some of the quotes and facts surrounding the signing. Batista is on a minor-league deal with the Nationals along with Dmitri Young, the troubled former Detroit DH.
The article contains the following gem:
(Nationals GM Jim) Bowden referred to the players as "assets," saying they could wind up providing depth for Washington at first base (Young) or third base (Batista) -- and also could be dealt to another team for prospects. "It's important to have pieces to trade," Bowden said.Apparently, Bowden is under the impression that, for one, anyone other than the Nationals, possibly the worst team in the majors, wants Young or Batista. He also apparently believes that some crazy GM--maybe Wayne Krivsky--will actually give up some prospects for a guy like Batista. I certainly hope that's not the case, but the story offers us some interesting fodder just before spring training kicks off.
Over a year ago, when the Twins signed Batista, I was somewhat optimistic about the signing. I wrote in February that Terry Ryan must have signed him to help clubhouse chemistry. I was admittedly desperate to find some reasons to be okay with the signing and not join the negativity of the Twins blogosphere. Batista was at least a decent clubhouse presence, but he did nothing for the Twins. It was apparent last year that Batista has nothing left (regardless of his Carribean World Series heroics).
What this signing tells us, beyond giving us something to chuckle about, is that GMs may be getting desperate. At least some are. That may open up the market for the Twins to make some moves in the future. Let's just hope that doesn't include trading for Tony Batista.