The Nats love rewarding overweight 30-somethings in the midst of late-career years with new deals (see: Dmitri Young, Ronnie Belliard), and, by giving Christian Guzman a two-year, $16 million contract, it’s evident they’ll continue buying high and keeping expectations low.
The other big news of the day is they shipped Jon Rauch to Arizona for switch-hitting speedster Emilio Bonifacio, and that stinks too. Rauch had been the team’s most effective reliever this season and a bullpen stalwart for years. He’s also cheaply under contract through 2009 with an option for ’10.
In his place, they now have Bonifacio, a 23 year-old who posted a .685 OPS (.333 OBP) in a full season of Double-A ball last year. Jim Bowden paints a rosy picture — “Bonifacio is slated to be the everyday second baseman and leadoff hitter for the Nationals” — but a .685 OPS in the minors doesn’t translate to Major League success. It translates to Major League suckage.
He should fit in just fine.