Bowden Strikes Again

Jim Bowden Strikes Again


But not in a bad way. Recently, the Nationals agreed to send Jose Vidro (with a portion of his 2007 salary paid) to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for Chris Snelling & Emiliano Fruto. Let’s take a closer look at the parties involved.


To Seattle

Jose Vidro (32) was once an all-star caliber second basemen, averaging an OPS of over .860 from 1998 – 2004. But since the move to Washington, Vidro’s production has declined, with OPS’ of .763 & .743 over the past two seasons. The Nationals have agreed to pay a portion of Vidro’s (which is $7 million.) What doesn’t make sense to me about this trade is that the Mariners already have a young, capable, and improving second baseman in Jose Lopez (.724 OPS, 79 RBI in 2006). On top of that, Lopez will make around $350,000 in 2007. There is talk of Vidro playing as DH, but with the recent decline in production, along with the dimensions of Safeco Field, & Ben Broussard coming off of a career year, this deal makes little sense from the Mariners perspective.

To Washington

Chris Snelling (25), once a top 10 prospect, has suffered with injuries throughout his career. But when he’s healthy, the kid can mash. After an 8 game stint in the majors at the age of 20, Snelling developed the injury bug and has missed time in each of the past four seasons. Primarily a doubles hitter, Snelling has a career .312/.396/.476 line in the minors. If Snelling can remain healthy (big if), I think he could project into a .300/.360/.440 type MLB hitter.


Scouts have reported Emiliano Fruto as a hard thrower that reaches the mid-ninties with his fastball. Fruto (22) had a K/9 IP ratio of 10.92, with 10 saves last season in the PCL and was later promoted to the majors, struggling with his command. This has been the story of Fruto’s career, and Bowden & the Nationals are counting on their staff to straighten this problem out.



Chris Snelling

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4 replies on “Bowden Strikes Again”
  1. says: Early

    Any idea of how much salary the Nats are picking up? I think that is the big draw for the M’s. Let’s say the Nats pay $3mil. The M’s get a veteran bat that can play 2B, probably move to first. He is a switch-hitter that could platoon with Broussard (a lefty) or even come off the bench. Broussard is already 30 and his ‘career year’ comprised of 63 RBI and a .830 OPS, it better than Vidro has had since moving to Wsh but I think they can complement each other nicely.
    I do not know too much about the prospects going the other way. But Washington was purged of the best minor league and scouting system in our lifetime that was developed by the Expos and then liquidated by the 29 owners of the ML. I beleive the Nats did not have AAA affiliate last year and they will be rebuilding the organisation from top to bottom in the next 5 years under ther Learners ownership. That is how I would justify and understand this deal.

  2. says: Kman

    An .830 OPS is pretty good. Vernon Wells career OPS is .828 and the Jays are throwing $100+ million at him.

    To put Vidro’s OPS in perspective, his .743 last season was slightly better than Aaron Hill’s .735. Jose Lopez, a player on the rise, has a .724 OPS and he should improve.

    Vidro is a switch hitter, but he can’t hit right handers. So he could platoon with Broussard. His bat doesn’t warrent a move to first, and a DH that faces lefties usually only registers 200 AB.

    New Orleans is the Nationals AAA team.

    Fruto & Snelling have a good shot at cracking the opening day roster, at low salaries.

    Bad move, you’re over-rating Vidro.

  3. says: Jeeves

    Mariners are taking on $12 mill of the $16 mill on his contract.

    I’m impressed by Bowden with this trade. I always thought he was one of the worst GM’s, but he made out pretty well here, dumping an aging Vidro without having to pick up much of his salary.

  4. says: Fake Teams

    Didn’t the M’s also pick-up Vidro’s 2009 option?

    This was a great deal for the Nationals as their is an opening in LF and CF and Snelling should see a full-season in the majors. Whether that includes significant time on the DL is a different story.

    I expect Fruto to make the team also and provide very nice power-innings.

    The Mariners made a dumb trade for a declining 2B/DH with little power. Considering they gave-up Shin Soo Choo to acquire Broussard last year and now Vidro gets DH ABs only worsens the deal.

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