News from Nats Town: Nationals “making a strong run” at Jon Garland

According to a tweet from Ken Rosenthal:

“Nats making a strong run at Garland. Wants 3 yrs. Nats would prefer two. Other possibilities for the Nats: Marquis, D. Davis”

Earlier this month, now former Nats beat-writer Chico Harlan wrote in Nationals Journal that Nationals GM Mike Rizzo had interest in Garland:

“Regarding Garland, the free-agent pitcher. GM Mike Rizzo this afternoon admitted that his team was in the running. “Yeah, we have interest in Jon Garland,” he said. “We’ve had it the whole time. He’s one of the 10 names we’ve been talking about throughout the whole winter.”

Analysis: Garland, 30, will be entering his 11th year as a starting pitcher in the league in 2010. Breaking into the league at only 20, many considered Garland a good prospect for the White Sox, but it seems that he hasn’t made much progress over the years. In his last 8 MLB seasons, Garland has won between at least 10 games each year. He has had an ERA above four all but one year, and an ERA below five every year.

His K/9 has ranged between 4.12 and 5.23, his K/BB between 1.35 and 2.73, and his BAA between .257 and .299. He has pitched no less than 192.2 and no more than 221.0.

Quite simply, Garland has been the epitome of consistency, however mediocre that consistent level may be. Thats a trait that is attractive to the Nationals in their current state of the franchise. Last year they had trouble depending on anyone on their pitching staff outside of John Lannan. Their young pitchers were erratic and often injured, and the Nationals would like to strive for some sort of consistency to help anchor the youthful staff.

Bill James 2010 Projections for Garland:

4.33 ERA, 33 GS, 216 IP, 4.56 FIIP….SHOCKING

The crux of this deal seems to come down to how many years will be put on it. Garland wants a three year deal, but the best he could muster last season was a one year $7.25 million contract with Arizona. Considering Randy Wolf just signed a three year deal worth $9.5 million a year, Garland probably wont be able to get more than $7 million a year in a multi-year deal. The Nationals could probably clinch this deal by offering him two years, and as long as they don’t throw too much money at him, it wouldn’t be a terrible idea for them to secure their rotation.