Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Loaiza agrees to $2.9M deal

ESPN is reporting that Esteban Loaiza agrees to $2.9M, one-year deal with the Nats. Good old Steve made $4 million last year to serve batting practice up to the American League.

Quothe Jim Bowden:
This is a pitcher who has started an All-Star Game and performed at high levels in tight pennant races and the postseason, so he offers the veteran presence that we covet to help develop our young pitchers.
Well, I can't dispute the fact that Loaiza started the 2003 All-Star Game in U.S. Cellular Field for the American League.

Performing at high levels in tight pennant races...well, I don't know about that. [Aside - does Bowden expect the Nats to be in a pennant race during the length of Loaiza's contract? This year?]. I was there for the White Sox pennant run in 2003 (not literally, but I followed it closely as a lifelong Pale Hose fan), and I seem to remember that Loaiza choked in a critical September 16th game against the Twinkies and gave up 5 runs in a critical September 11th game against the Twinkies. Two starts in the stretch against division rivals. Two losses - allowing 9 ER in 9 1/3 innings.

If Loaiza can be half the pitcher he was in 2003 - say, a 3.90 ERA and 150Ks over 220 innings - this will be a very good signing. But if we get the Steve from prior years or from 2004, he's just taking up the roster spot of a young Nats starter.


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