Oct 26, 2010, 2:53 PM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Was Cristian Guzman's original, four-year contract the worst move the Nats have ever made?
With the Texas Rangers in the World Series for the first time, there have been plenty of mentions of Cliff Lee and Vladimir Guerrero and the fact each once played for the Expos but departed before the franchise ever relocated to Washington. We can only imagine how the Nationals' fortunes might have been altered had Lee not been traded (along with Grady Sizemore and Brandon Phillips) to the Indians for Bartolo Colon in 2002 or had Guerrero not been allowed to walk as a free agent following the 2003 season.
Those decisions, of course, were made before baseball ever returned to D.C. We certainly didn't realize at the time how they would impact the Nats, because the Nats didn't yet exist.
Which got me thinking: In the six seasons now since we have had baseball in the District, what one decision has hurt the franchise the most? What one move do you wish the Nats could take back?
I came up with the following list of candidates…
– Trading Juan Rivera and Maicer Izturis to the Angels for Jose Guillen (Nov. 2004): Guillen was the best player on the inaugural 2005 team, but he was a divisive clubhouse figure and after a strong first half to the '05 season, he was either terrible or injured through the remainder of his contract. Rivera and Izturis, meanwhile, became regulars for an Angels club that made the playoffs four times in five years.
– Signing Cristian Guzman to a four-year, $16 million contract (Nov. 2004): Jim Bowden felt his team desperately needed a veteran shortstop, and Guzman was really the only one available. So the new Nats GM overpaid the former Twin and gave him more years thanRead more »
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