The Washington Nationals have signed left hander Shawn Estes to a minor league contract which would be worth $600,000 plus another $400,000 in performance bonus’ should he be added to the clubs 40-man roster.
People projected Estes off the charts when he first entereted the league with San Fransico based largely on his first pro season in which he won 19 games had a 3.18 ERA and sturck out 181. Sadly for Estes he’s never again approached those numbers which were accumulated in 1997.
The last time Estes spent a considerable amount of time in the majors was in 2005 when he made 21 starts with Arizona going 7-8 with a 4.80 ERA. Since then he’s been riddled with injuries and has made just 10 appearances.
Estes made 13 starts for the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate in Albuquerque, this past season, going 3-4 with a 3.07 ERA, before semi-retiring in June because he said he didn’t want to pitch in Triple-A.
For his career the soon to be 37 year old has a 101-93 record and a 4.71 ERA.
Roughly a week ago I said everyone should be thankful that Livan Hernandez had not been signed by the Nationals yet. Estes isn’t much different. He’s hanging on by a thread, has been a huge injury risk and hasn’t been all that effective when he’s been healthy.
Sure it might make for a nice warming story early in the year if Estes made the Nationals but the numbers likely will be hideous. I suppose that Estes is the lesser of the two evils since no one expects him to even last 50 innings opposed
to Hernandez who has been one of the most durable pitchers of the last 10 years. That being said Estes likely will do less harm for the club.