On Monday the Texas Rangers made a few cuts, including former Nat Joe Beimel. Beimel was unable to land a job in what may be the most talent-stacked bullpen in baseball (Uehara, Feldman, Ogando, Adams, Nathan, etc.). But, just because he can’t make it in Texas, that doesn’t mean he can’t still help a major league club, and last I checked, the Nats are a major league club, so perhaps we’ve found a match.
I’ll start off by acknowledging that Beimel’s 2011 numbers were less than stellar. In 25.1 innings with the Pirates the veteran left-hander posted a 5.33 ERA and recording 17 strikeouts. However, Beimel saw solid numbers on his baseball card as recently as two seasons ago when he logged 45 innings for the Rockies, posting a 3.40 ERA while recording 21 strikeouts. This man still has good baseball in him!
Look, I’m not saying Beimel can just come back all of a sudden and be the Number One left-handed relief option. What I am proposing is to add Beimel as depth to give him a chance to re-establish himself and to potentially get a high reward from a low-risk signing. Due to his getting cut and his scary 2011 numbers, I’m sure that he could be had on a minor league deal if a contending team offered one. The deal could help both sides.
For Beimel, signing a minor league contract with the Nationals would help him to re-establish himself with no long-term commitments and would also give him a shot of making a contending team should an injury occur. If no injuries occur and Beimel performs, there’s no reason that he couldn’t land a spot on extended rosters and help the club make a playoff push. You can hear why District On Deck thinks the Nats will make the playoffs this year here.
For the Nationals, Beimel brings a low-risk (minor league deal), high reward signing that could prove to be quite an asset should Sean Burnett, Ross Detwiler or Tom Gorzelanny suffer an injury. Beimel has played for DC already in his career, and would be more familiar with the team than other potential depth options. Like I argued in my Dontrelle Willis piece, most of Washington’s top pitching prospects are still in the low minors, so sticking Beimel in AAA Syracuse for a while wouldn’t be stealing innings from the next fleet of top Nationals arms.
This guy is not a huge free agent, but, as we’ve seen with the Nationals hanging on to Lannan, Detwiler and Wang so far, teams covet pitching depth. You never know when you’ll need someone to step in and take over due to injury, and Beimel can be that guy.