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Jose Vidro to the Mariners

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Jose Vidro to the Mariners

Postby Another Blown Save » Wed Dec 13, 2006 9:20 pm

Nationals to Trade Vidro for Prospects

By Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 13, 2006; 7:24 PM

The Washington Nationals took a major step toward freeing room on their future payroll and breaking loose a logjam in the middle infield, agreeing to trade second baseman Jose Vidro -- who has spent his entire career with the Montreal-Washington organization -- to the Seattle Mariners for a pair of prospects that could contribute to the 2007 team, Vidro said in a telephone interview tonight.

The trade -- which is pending a physical for Vidro, expected to take place Thursday -- is a textbook example of what the Nationals say they are trying to do, eschewing success in 2007 but stockpiling players that might contribute in the future. According to sources familiar with the deal, the Nationals are due to receive Chris Snelling, a 25-year-old outfielder with a history of injuries, and Emiliano Fruto, a 22-year-old right-handed reliever with an exceptional changeup, in exchange for Vidro.

Nearly as important for Washington, however, is that Seattle has agreed to pay $12 million of the remaining $16 million left on Vidro's contract for 2007 and '08. Because of the amount of money exchanging hands, the commissioner's office had to approve the deal before it could go through, and officials there have been aware of it for several days.

The Nationals -- who already have infielders Felipe Lopez and Cristian Guzman under their control for those two seasons -- have been trying to free up money by unloading Vidro since at least the middle of last season.

"I'm very excited," Vidro said by phone. "I'm really looking forward to the opportunity to go to the American League and play for a team that has a pretty good shot. They have a legitimate lineup, and they're going to sign some pitchers. It's looking very good."

Nationals officials either had no knowledge of the deal or no comment on it late today. General Manager Jim Bowden did not immediately return phone calls and emails seeking comment on the trade. Team President Stan Kasten, reached by phone, had no comment.

All sources spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal hadn't yet been announced.

Vidro is a .301 career hitter who, as recently as 2002, was among the premier offensive second basemen in the game. But a series of injuries to his legs -- including chronic knee problems that hindered him in 2004 and an ankle injury that cost him nearly half of 2005 -- have slowed him in recent years. Since the franchise arrived in Washington for the 2005 season, Vidro hit .284 with a .407 slugging percentage in 213 games for the Nationals. His power, which in 2000 produced 51 doubles and 24 homers, was noticeably diminished as his leg problems prevented him from driving the ball.

"I was sorry that I didn't get to be as healthy as I would like to have been in Washington," Vidro said.

Snelling was a favorite prospect of former Mariners manager Lou Piniella, and he might have been a starting outfielder in Seattle if not for his battles with injuries. From 2000-05, he was injured at least once ever year with such disparate maladies as hand fractures, a broken ankle, wrist problems, elbow tendinitis. Twice, in 2002 and 2005, he tore his left anterior cruciate ligament.

Snelling split his time between Class AAA Tacoma and Seattle in 2006, hitting .250 with three homers in 96 at-bats for the Mariners. He has spent parts of three seasons in the majors.

Fruto went 2-2 with a 5.50 ERA in 23 appearances for the Mariners last season as a rookie, when he also made 28 appearances for Tacoma. He has a reputation for an outstanding changeup and should be added to a Nationals bullpen that is likely to be the strength of the 2007 club.


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Amazing...
Last edited by Another Blown Save on Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby greenandgold » Wed Dec 13, 2006 9:24 pm

lol?
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Postby atlbraves11 » Wed Dec 13, 2006 9:48 pm

This is pure insanity. I thought that the Horacio Ramirez/Rafael Soriano trade was bad for Seattle but this could be even worse. At least in the Ramirez deal there were plausible reasons for Seattle to do the deal(Soaring SP FA prices, Horacio is a lefty, they need starters etc) but in this deal i see no plausible reason for Seattle to do this deal. They give up prospects and they pay money for a guy who isnt much of an offensive threat nor a defensive threat. If Seattle wanted a 2b which im still not sure why they would, but there are a good number of 2b on the FA market they could have gotten for less and who could have actually contributed to the team (Giles, Loretta etc.) but that fact remains that they have a solid young 2b in jose lopez.

sorry for that rant (and im not even a Seattle fan)
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Postby mcqfesijiba » Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:02 pm

Is this official yet?
Assuming Washington trades Vidro, who becomes their second baseman? I heard rumors that they were hoping to trade Vidro and move Lopez (who isn't exactly a defensive stud at SS) to second base.
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Postby Callahan » Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:05 pm

Assuming this deal does in fact go down...wow. 8-o

What is Bavasi smoking this offseason. :-?
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Postby raiders_umpire » Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:06 pm

:-?

Are the Mariners going to put Vidro at DH? I would assume that Lopez has a handle on the 2nd base spot for a few years, so that just leaves Vidro to DH. I don't think I would want a .750 OPS DH that has not played 150 games in 5 years.
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Postby BravesGuy » Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:19 pm

The NL East is making Seattle look like morons.
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Postby mcqfesijiba » Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:27 pm

Vidro is actually a damn good offensive second baseman when healthy. Unfortunately, he's never 100% anymore and Seattle didn't really need a veteran, injury-prone second baseman.

Does this possibly mean the return of the great Christian Guzman to Washington's starting lineup!?
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Postby ensanimal » Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:32 pm

8-o

I used to love watching Vidro play in Montreal. Unfortunately, the turf at the Big Oww destroyed his knees.

Not sure what the M's are thinking again? :-?
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Postby RynMan » Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:47 pm

8-o :-b

How does Bavasi have a job still?
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