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Monday, July 23, 2007

AP: Belliard, Nationals agree to $3.5 million, 2-year extension

Infielder Ronnie Belliard and the Washington Nationals agreed Monday to a $3.5 million, two-year contract extension through the 2009 season, a veteran building block for a club trying to improve.
“We like Ronnie very much. He’s been a great contributor for us, whether as the starting second baseman or the best utility player in the game,” general manager Jim Bowden said. “Whether he’s a starter or not, we feel he’ll be a positive contributor to our future.”
“He has a good work ethic. He cares about winning,” Bowden said. “We all saw what he did with the Cardinals last year.”

“good work ethic”?  Ronnie Belliard?  How times have changed…

NTNgod Posted: July 23, 2007 at 11:57 PM | 11 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nationals

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   1. Sparkles Peterson Posted: July 24, 2007 at 12:10 AM (#2452072)
I don't care if he signed for $500k a year, this is stupid. Belliard is an over-30 second baseman who could not get a multi-year offer from any GM in baseball because of his lax conditioning and general laziness. Signing him cheaply was a smart move, and it was rewarded with what is to date a career-best year. What are the chances that Bowden proves himself smarter than Ronnie's last two GMs with this contract? I'm guessing awfully slim.
   2. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 24, 2007 at 12:15 AM (#2452081)
Somehow I'm surprised when anyone signs a multi-year contract for less than $4 million per year. I forget that there's a middle ground between the marquee free agents and the interchangeable journeymen.

But anyway...this isn't a lot of money, and it sends a signal to other players that if you shape up and play well after signing with the Natspos out of desperation, the Natspos will appreciate your efforts and reward you.
   3. 1k5v3L Posted: July 24, 2007 at 12:42 AM (#2452171)
Oh no. There goes generic Mets fan's backup plan at 2b...
   4. TerpNats Posted: July 24, 2007 at 01:32 AM (#2452290)
To Sparkles: Other than Dmitri Young, Belliard has been the Nationals' most pleasant surprise this year. He's hit consistently, was a good utility man and has so far filled in ably as the regular second baseman after Guzman went down and Lopez shifted to short.
   5. KJOK Posted: July 24, 2007 at 01:49 AM (#2452336)
What he did for the Cardinals? Mostly suck, especially at the plate, although his defense was surprisingly decent.
   6. Ozzie's gay friend Posted: July 24, 2007 at 02:02 AM (#2452390)
Last postseason you heard a lot about Ronnie's play earning him a big payday, I was a bit surprised it didn't come.
   7. Chris Needham Posted: July 24, 2007 at 02:06 AM (#2452405)
I can't say that I'm thrilled about it, but this is chump change, even for the Nats, for a guy who's played really well, been a good guy who's been willing to be jerked in and out of the lineup all over the infield.

It's not like the Nats are bursting with near-ready infield prospects. They dug up Manny Alexander's corpse to man SS in Columbus.
   8. zonk Posted: July 24, 2007 at 02:55 AM (#2452532)
I can't see how anyone can hate this deal too much... I mean, Neiferious got 2/6 fer chrissakes -- AND another team willing to take on that contract.

Lord knows I'd rather have Belliard under contract than Neifi.

This is a pretty easy contract to eat if Belliard starts eating again, so I don't see the downside. Belliard's walk rate seems to have deserted him, but we're still talking about a 2B with a career OPS+ near 100 (95, actually -- that putrid 2002 hurts).

There are far worse ways for an MLB GM to spend 3.5 mil.
   9. Phil Coorey. Posted: July 24, 2007 at 03:27 AM (#2452595)
There are far worse ways for an MLB GM to spend 3.5 mil.

Joel Pineiro
   10. JoeHova Posted: July 24, 2007 at 05:02 AM (#2452708)
Craig Counsell signed a 2year/$6 million deal in the offseason, so this seems like a very fair deal for the Nats. Counsell is better defensively, but Belliard does more with the bat.

I think this is a good move by Bowden. Anytime you can find an ok veteran who is ready and willing to be a utility man, you should probably hold onto them. That way you aren't stuck trotting AAA guys out there in case of injury. And willingness to be a backup is probably a trait that is worth some money (see Shea Hillenbrand).
   11. zack Posted: July 24, 2007 at 02:07 PM (#2452861)
I like this Bowden kid, he's got moxy.

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