Nats Begin Preparing for Soriano Trade
According to the Washington Post, the Nats are scouting the Mariner's system with the purpose of dealing Alphonso Soriano.
Adam Jones appears to be the toolsy outfielder that Jim bowden cannot stop himself from acquiring.
Given Soriano's pending free agency, getting Jones would be a coup along the lines of the one Bowden got from the Reds.
What I found disturbing was this quote:
"Part of the reason the Nationals don't have complete reports on each opposing minor league system is because the franchise has been understaffed with scouts over the past 4 1/2 seasons."
Um, guys, Baseball America costs $59 per year for an internet-only subscription and $83.95 for a print one.
They publish a prospect book every season. I'm sure Amazon must have used copies of previously years for less than a yearly print subscription.
Heck, all the Nats need is a list of the Mariner's minor league affiliates and an internet connection to get a list of players.
Throw-in an unpaid intern to scour those lists using simple statistical metrics like K:BB and OBP ratio in combination with the traditional ones - IP, ERA, HR, K along with age, height and weight, and you have a scouting department for no money down.
For minimal money, they can get people via the internet to attend minor league games and report back to them via a blog.
There are many more people who want to be in baseball than there are jobs for them.
No scouting department just demonstrates a lack of effort.