Milledge, Hanrahan Dealt Away to Pirates – The Post
Nationals trade Hanrahan, Milledge – The Wash. Times
The Nationals experiment with Lastings Milledge has ended. After acquiring him for Ryan Church and Brian Schneider in a trade with the Mets, the team could not get the young outfielder to reach his potential or take the game seriously enough to further that end. Some have said he liked being a major leaguer more than a baseball player. Now, he has to decide if he is willing make the commitment in one of the smallest cities in the majors, once he gets promoted from AAA. Is this going to be his wakeup call or will he just continue his path of underachievement? His attitude will not be missed by the organization. He certainly will not miss them either, especially after they proclaimed him the starting centerfielder and then demoted him after about a week.
Joel Hanrahan has been in a very deep rut in D.C. and moving elsewhere is probably the best thing for him. He can probably be a solid member of a bullpen somewhere but he needs to find the right mentality. I would not be surprised if both the Hanrahan and the Nationals feel that things just didn’t work out.
In return for Milledge, we now understand what team officials meant when they said they wanted a player with a “hockey mentality.” OF Nyjer Morgan played hockey growing up, so look for ten paragraphs from On Frozen Blog soon :p. His speed and defense are his strongest points–that and apparently not carrying a sense of entitlement with him. His OBP is .351. He is at least diplomatic — “My thoughts, I’m pretty pumped up, because I’m flattered when you have a team like the Nationals and they really want you,” he said. “I’m almost out of words.” So at the very least, Morgan knows how to “play the game” outside the lines.
Lefty Sean Burnett comes to the bullpen and should be a major improvement over the player he replaces, though that is not saying much. He has a Tommy John surgery in his past as well.
It could be argued that the Nats essentially traded Schneider and Church for Morgan and that is not a trade you’d make any day of the week. Sure, but Milledge had a high upside and Schneider appeared to be on the downslope of his career and not as likely to be a contributor to a winning club as the man behind him, the younger Jesus Flores. Church simply had too much baggage with the team for a variety of reasons, some of which were probably deserved and others undeserved. As for the actual trade that happened today, Pittsburgh got higher upside and Washington got guys who can play right now. I am curious what my friends who follow the Pirates think of the trade. I have a feeling that this will ultimately be a trade that does little to change the fortunes of two struggling franchises and the final conclusion will be something like “meh.”