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Should the Nats chase after Giambi? Smoltz?

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Jason Giambi was released by the Oakland Athletics today. The 38-year-old first baseman was batting just .193 with 11 home runs and 40 RBI this season.

While it isn’t clear whether Giambi has any offers, it wouldn’t be too outrageous for the Nationals to make a push to sign him for a minimum deal for the rest of the season.

While Giambi has certainly had an abysmal 2009, the former MVP has played on a club with no protection, in a park that hates hitters.

Just one year ago Giambi batted .274/.373/.502 for the Yankees, not a bad mark for a 37 year old.

The likleyhood is that Giambi will never put up numbers like the ones he had in New York again, however it is equally likely that his terrible numbers this season for the A’s were more a result of circumstance.

 

The Nationals currently have a hole at first base. Why not bring in a former MVP who still gets on base and can fill the slot? At worst it’s a waste of a minimum contract and the Nationals still finish in last place. At best he proves that he’s worthy of a one-year extension and the Nationals have a place holder until Chris Marrero is ready for the big leagues.

While his future isn’t certain, it is clear that any veteran slugger can hit behind Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn. 

JOHN SMOLTZ

John Smoltz was released by the Red Sox today after a poor start of the season.

 The Hall of Fame bound starter was only given eight starts before getting the axe from Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein. Smoltz was 2-5 with an 8.32 ERA in 40 innings pitched.

While the righty’s performance may not have been acceptable for the Red Sox, who are in the midst of a pennant race, his services may still be appreciated by a variety of other teams.

Smoltz started the season late as he was recovering from surgery. While eight starts is a solid sample size, it could very well be that Smoltz just hasn’t found his rhythm yet after his time off.

The Nationals would do well to take a chance on him, if just for the rest of the 2009 season. A veteran starter in the club house with those young pitchers may be more valuable than even his pitching potential. That pitching potential shouldn’t be knocked itself however. While Smoltz’s record and ERA were not appealing, the 42-year-old was still throwing hard, and still had a great strikeout to walk ratio 33/9.

Whether he be inserted in the bullpen or the rotation, Smoltz would be a great addition to help the Nationals finish their year up. 

 

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