Wednesday, November 16, 2011

C.J. to N.Y. would be OK for D.C.

US Presswire photo
The Yankees are putting the full-court press on free agent C.J. Wilson.
The general managers meetings are taking place this week in Milwaukee, and while few (if any) actual deals are struck during this annual event, it does offer a first glimpse into where the Hot Stove League may be headed over the course of the winter.

And yesterday, we got a strong glimpse into where the top free agent pitcher on the market, C.J. Wilson, may be headed: the Bronx.

According to multiple reports from New York beat writers, the Yankees have invited Wilson to come visit them in the near future, possibly before the Dec. 5-8 winter meetings.

The insinuation here: After missing out on prized left-hander Cliff Lee last winter, the Yankees are trying to jump the gun and put a full-court press on Wilson right now, before any other clubs can swoop in and claim Wilson for themselves.

What's the effect on the Nationals? Actually, this could prove worthwhile, because Wilson signing with the Yankees would appear to give the Nats a better shot at landing one of the two pitchers they appear to covet the most: Roy Oswalt or Mark Buehrle.

Sure, the Nationals have some interest themselves in Wilson, but he's not as perfect a fit for this team's needs right now as Oswalt or Buehrle. Remember, GM Mike Rizzo said he's looking for a veteran starter with a strong track record, a "good leader that throws a lot of innings, that has shown that he can win in the big leagues" and can show younger guys "how to pitch 200 innings in a season, many, many times in your career."

That's not Wilson. That's Oswalt or Buehrle. (Though it does need to be pointed out here that Oswalt threw only 139 innings this season due to a back injury.)

The Nationals would probably be happy to let a Yankees team desperate to add a big-name pitcher overpay for Wilson, and in the process take itself out of the equation for Oswalt and Buehrle.

Now, that doesn't mean the Nats would be a shoo-in to acquire either guy. There are still plenty of clubs interested in both veteran hurlers, and the Nats may still be in a position where they need to overpay to land either one.

But if the Nationals' biggest hurdle is convincing big-name free agents to come to D.C. over baseball's highest-profile clubs, it certainly wouldn't hurt their chances to have the highest-profile club of them all take themselves out of the running by signing a pitcher who doesn't really fit Rizzo's profile in the first place.

52 comments:

Paul said...

CJ Wilson is good, but not great. With the amount of pitching that the Nats have coming up through the pipeline the Nats are rightfully focusing on guys that can help stabilize the rotation and 2012 and 2013, then get out of the way when our young studs are ready to do the job all on their own.

Steve M. said...

Mark, I'm in agreement with you. That could be potentially good news for the Nats on the CJ Wilson deal.

I was hoping the Nats would do the same and get in early to snag Buehrle as well as Crisp instead of waiting until early December when the market heats up around the Winter Meetings.

I can understand why they would want to wait to see how the market evolves, but this is such a thin FA market that I believe you can't wait on it.

Binx Bolling said...

Sign Oswalt and trade Lannan and Lombardozzi for Adam Jones.

Anonymous said...

does NYY only need one pitcher? can they not use Buehrle too?

Jonathan D. said...

It's Wilson and his agent that called the Yankees and requested a meeting. So no, the Yanks aren't desperate enough to make stupid deals or signings.

PAY TO PLAY said...

Binx, I wouldn't give away a mid-3.50s ERA pitcher + Lombardozzi for Adam Jones. You are way under-valuing John Lannan's value.

Left-handed pitchers are at a premium.

Steve M. said...

Anonymous said...
does NYY only need one pitcher? can they not use Buehrle too?

November 16, 2011 10:56 AM


They got Mike O'Connor who will be their left-handed Ace. (before anyone takes that seriously, I am joking of course)

JD said...

Steve M.

Why do you assume that Buehrle and his agent are in any rush to sign without allowing the market to maximize their value?

How many more games a year do you think the Nats will win with Buehrle vs. say Peacock? What do you think a reasonable dollar amount per win should be?

I am not trying to be coy here. I am just suggesting that if the answer to the 1st question is about 2 then spending $15 mil a year for 4 years (it'l be that I'm sure) is not necessarily the best way to spend money. I am not saying don't spend; I'm saying spend smart.

jd said...

Anon @ 10:56 makes a very fair point. Signing a pitcher doesn't take them out of the bidding for other pitchers (Sabathia and Burnett?)

Drew8 said...

The Yankees could be in on Darvish, too. Who doesn't like a whirling, hurling Darvish?

On the CF front, MLBTR had an interesting note yesterday from ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. He listed eight teams that are in on Sizemore and he did not name the Nats. I wonder whether that means the Nats aren't interested, or if the Nats are prioritizing pitching first.

Norichika Aoki, a three-time Central League batting champ in Japan, remains an interesting option, though he's already 29 years old.

Binx Bolling said...

I like John Lannan as well. He was about the only bright spot in the dismal 2008 season. But he's hard on the bullpen. Any time Lannan struggled in the sixth inning in 2011, he was pulled. I also see the value of a proven veteran starter to match with Strasburg and Zimmerman especially with Strasburg likely to spend September at the beach. And I want to see what Peacock, Detwiler and Milone can do at the major league level. Lannan and Wang block them.

Anonymous said...

Binx, I wouldn't give away a mid-3.50s ERA pitcher + Lombardozzi for Adam Jones. You are way under-valuing John Lannan's value.

With the absolute worst FIP and xFIP of all the starters (and yes including
Gorzelanny ... in fact quite a bit worse ... )? Hell yes. But the Orioles would never do it. Because they know Lannan is a marginal #5 starter at best. He is NOT good in relief like Gorzelanny or Detwiler.

So, Mr. PAY TO PLAY please explain where you put Lannan if they do sign Buehrle? Who is also left-handed? Where exactly with Detwiler, Gorzelanny, and Tommy Milone. PLUS Solis is getting closer. Where?

YOU TRADE LANNAN NOW while he has some value. Otherwise in the end you lose. Send him to the Yankees to join Wilson.

Steve M. said...

Binx Bolling, there is almost deja vu back in 1967 mid-season Baltimore and Washington made a trade.

The Orioles sent Mike Epstein who was a young 1st baseman along with a lefty pitcher Frank Bertaina for lefty pitcher Pete Richert.

Richert was a 2 time All Star starter for the Senators and 5th in ERA in 1965 with a 2.60. He immediately flopped for the Orioles and was put in the bullpen.

The interesting part of the trade was it was a end of May 1967 trade and Richert was struggling with a 4.64 ERA.

Still based on what Baltimore thought he would be again, they made the trade. Bertaina had a decent 1967 season but never pitched well after that.

Epstein was a nice pickup and in 1969 was 3rd in OBP at .414 with 30 HRs.

Lannan may not be Pete Richert, but Lannan has better value than many think he has. P2P, I would call him a 3.70 ERA guy and not rehash his FIP and xFIP, WHIP and all that.

Suffice it to say, if the Nats get Buehrle, they will have an excellent rotation with Lannan.

Evan said...

What about trading Lannan to the Yankees?

Unkyd said...

I'm just not feeling the need to sign ANY 30+ year old pitcher, for more than 2 years, given the # of (apparent) quality homegrown gentlemen we'll be choosing from, to start 2013. Let's keep our powder dry. If we're leading the division at the break, next year, we'll still have plenty of chips to parley into a late year fill in for Stras, no? I'd hate to head into '14 with 2 years left on the contract of a tired, or ineffective, or naggingly injured 34 year old pitcher we don't need anymore... and doesn't that describe at least 1/2 of big $$ FA pitchers, in that age group?

PAY TO PLAY said...

Anon @11:27, to quote Steve M. @ 11:28,

"Lannan may not be Pete Richert, but Lannan has better value than many think he has. P2P, I would call him a 3.70 ERA guy and not rehash his FIP and xFIP, WHIP and all that.

Suffice it to say, if the Nats get Buehrle, they will have an excellent rotation with Lannan"

I would see:

1) Strasburg
2) JZim
3) Buehrle
4) Lannan
5) Wang

3 RH, 2 LH and Peacock and Milone can continue to work in AAA and Detwiler goes to the bullpen.

Of course all of that changes if there is a trade. My thoughts were, don't look at Lannan as a giveaway where you have to add to the deal by throwing in Lombardozzi. I don't see it that way.

Anonymous said...

Steve M.

Mike O'Conner was on the Mets roster last season, not the Yankees.

Steve M. said...

Unkyd, I agree with you. I don't see Rizzo going more than 2 years on Oswalt and at most 3 years on Buehrle.

Unkyd said...

Unkyd said.....

. and doesn't that describe at least 1/2 of big $$ FA pitchers, in that age group?

------------
Not referring to this years crop, but in general, historically I'll bet it's more or less a coin flip?

Steve M. said...

Anonymous said...
Steve M.

Mike O'Conner was on the Mets roster last season, not the Yankees.

November 16, 2011 11:35 AM


Yes, that is true for last year and today he signed with the NY Yankees. Where did I say anything about last year?

JaneB said...

I'm curious to understand what we get for the hefty price tag of an Oswalt or a Buerhle that is worth more than we'd get with Livan (AND BEFORE YOU SAY I'M BEATING A DEAD HORSE) or with just a roster with LannEn as the senior man. I don't get it. But I'd like to. WHo can 'splain me?

PAY TO PLAY said...

Jane B., I think it is consistency, innings, mentoring and the fact they don't have legal problems that we know of.

Anonymous said...

Not beyond the realm of possibility for the Yankees to over-bid on more than one free agent this off-season. So, while CJ Wilson/Yankees signing might help others a little, it does not mean that the Yankees are finished blowing cash. That's what they do.

Pilchard

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

It depends on which Oswalt they get. If they get the 2010 model, they have a top starter who makes other teams think "We get HIM? Oh, sh**!" If they get the 2009 or 2011 versions, well, they shoulda saved their money.
Unless they get the Brian Lawrence version of Oswalt, but let's not go there.

Anonymous said...

not rehash his FIP and xFIP, WHIP and all that.

Suffice it to say this is what Fangraph's and many astute observers use
to measure a pitcher's ***real*** performance.

What is says is the guy has problems getting through five innings unscathed. Both Riggleman and Johnson went out of their way to protect him. That's NOT who you want in your starting rotation.

Anonymous said...

Suffice it to say, if the Nats get Buehrle, they will have an excellent rotation with Lannan"

Suffice to say that Rizzo inadvertently left Lannan off his list of starters when discussing next year's rotation with Rizzo. Johnson made it a point to bring up Detwiler and use him both in relief and starting him as he preferred stating that "Detwiler was the best pitcher in ST 2011 of all".

I didn't hear anything like that when Lannan was brought up.

Trade him while there's still value.

Rabbit said...

I love Milone and Peacock. Personally, I would like to see Lannan traded anywhere.

Mark'd said...

Anon aka Lannen FIP guy, you are a broken record. Find a new tune to sing. Do you have anything else statistically relevant on any other players?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Suffice it to say, if the Nats get Buehrle, they will have an excellent rotation with Lannan"

Suffice to say that Rizzo inadvertently left Lannan off his list of starters when discussing next year's rotation with Rizzo. Johnson made it a point to bring up Detwiler and use him both in relief and starting him as he preferred stating that "Detwiler was the best pitcher in ST 2011 of all".


Anon, aka Periculum, one has to wonder how you know what Rizzo says when he's talking to himself. Except that you yourself obviously spend a lot of time talking to yourself.

Funny thing is, though, when Rizzo is not talking to himself like last night on MLB Network, he got asked about starting pitching and named a whole list of pitchers he has now that he's very happy with. Lannan was mentioned. Detwiler conspicuously was not.

Mark'd said...

SteveM, thanks for the stroll down memory lane on the Richert trade. For those with a good memory, any other memorable trades between I295 with the teams?

Hotdiggitydog said...

P2P, I like your potential rotation.

FWIW, I think the Nats should be planning for a 6 or 7 man rotation. Inevitably, someone gets hurt. Peacock and Milone seem perfect for the 6th and 7th rotation pieces, because they can be kept in the minors.

But, if you trade Lannan, you've got to find another starter for next year. Seems that the Nats will have many more options in 2013, but not sure any of those starters (beyond Milone and Peacock) would be ready next year.

Am I missing a starter that could be ready early next year?

P2P said:

"Suffice it to say, if the Nats get Buehrle, they will have an excellent rotation with Lannan"

I would see:

1) Strasburg
2) JZim
3) Buehrle
4) Lannan
5) Wang

3 RH, 2 LH and Peacock and Milone can continue to work in AAA and Detwiler goes to the bullpen.

Of course all of that changes if there is a trade. My thoughts were, don't look at Lannan as a giveaway where you have to add to the deal by throwing in Lombardozzi. I don't see it that way."

Anonymous said...

Get er done Rizzo! Sign Buehrle NOW!

Steve M. said...

Anonymous said...
Johnson made it a point to bring up Detwiler and use him both in relief and starting him as he preferred stating that "Detwiler was the best pitcher in ST 2011 of all".
November 16, 2011 12:11 PM


Maybe Johnson said this and that is a crock of garbage in context. Detwiler was ususally the 2nd or 3rd pitcher in the Spring Training games and was facing fringe players and Minor Leaguers mostly.

He also was pitching 3 innings max. That is a relief appearance. Detwiler even in the Minors hasn't shown any ability to be a consistent starter on normal 4 days rest. I don't see it translating well to the Majors and his September performance was always on extra rest.

Let's clear up another misconception about innings eaters, Livan averaged 6 complete innings per start and Jordan Zimmermann was actually the workhorse of the staff averaging at just about 1 out consistently in the 7th inning.

My biggest criticism of Lannan is he averaged 5 1/2 innings per start in 2011 meaning 5 full innings and didn't make it through the 6th inning. Do you think Detwiler will do better or worse? Same goes for Wang, Milone and Peacock. Strasburg will be limited in innings.

If Rizzo doesn't find someone who can get this team consistently to the 8th inning like Buehrle, the pitching staff overall will suffer.

Mark'd said...

Steve M. said... Let's clear up another misconception about innings eaters, Livan averaged 6 complete innings per start and Jordan Zimmermann was actually the workhorse of the staff averaging at just about 1 out consistently in the 7th inning.
------------------------

Thanks for clearing that up. That gives another reason why Livan isn't coming back.

Steve M. said...

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20111116&content_id=25983818&vkey=news_was&c_id=was&partnerId=rss_was

Ladson says Wilson Ramos will play tonight which seems consistent with Rizzo's statement yesterday at the GM meetings.

Other reports I read today (WTimes/Amanda Comak) were not consistent with that "He was planning to debut on Wednesday but those plans have been pushed back until next week."

OK, then. I guess we will wait -n- see.

PAY TO PLAY said...

Speaking of catchers, I'm a little concerned on Derek Norris and his defense. He commited his 7th error in just 20 games with a bunch of passed balls too.

Walters and Bryce Harper by the way have 6 errors each. Most of Bryce's errors have been in the category of over-aggresive throws. Yesterday he didn't make a catch.

In yesterday's AFL game, the Scorpions had 3 errors, all 3 by the Nats players in the lineup.

Anonymous said...

If Lannan has value, it seems reasonable to keep him. He has proven himself in ways Detwiler hasn't yet.

Steve M. said...

Anonymous said...
If Lannan has value, it seems reasonable to keep him. He has proven himself in ways Detwiler hasn't yet.

November 16, 2011 1:59 PM


Not exactly sure what "If Lannan has value" but I agree with your "He has proven himself in ways Detwiler hasn't yet."

We get caught up sometimes in small sample sizes and nuances of performances instead of consistent performance over a full season or more.

Detwiler one day may prove to be a CJ Wilson type and if you have followed CJ's career you will know what I am talking about.

In the meantime, Detwiler still hasn't been defined because nobody knows what he is really capable of doing. The Nats I believe screwed up when they didn't pitch him in September on 4 days rest so his MLB stats in 2011 are very suspect.

I don't think you can take a chance with a coveted starting spot in 2012 for a guy who pitched 16 games in Syracuse AAA in 2011 with a 4.53 ERA.

Scooter said...

Mark Zuckerman said...
the Yankees are trying to jump the gun and put a full-court press on Wilson right now


Sounds like the gloves are off and they're playing hardball.

natsfan1a said...

Were y'all perchance using this keyboard? (We kid because we love.)

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

They're taking it to the mat, where it could be a photo finish at the buzzer. But when the chips are down, they'll cover all their bases.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

(We kid because we love.)

Who are we kidding? We kid because we're smart-alecks.

Scooter said...

Okay, so I notice Detwiler is being brought up. I thought I'd share something I looked up a couple months back, just out of curiosity. I know why we all think Detwiler does better on long rest: first, he's such a skinny little sip of water; second, he did very well in Sept 2011 on very long rest. Okay? I agree with what we would expect. But here's what he's done:

Detwiler, career
4 days' rest: 3.52 ERA, 4.27 RA
5+ days' rest: 5.29 ERA, 5.95 RA

Detwiler, 2011
4 days' rest: 2.28 ERA, 3.42 RA
5+ days' rest: 3.90 ERA, 3.90 RA

RA is run average -- all runs, rather than just earned ones. With so few innings, ERA is particularly problematic. I suppose I could figure his FIP, but that seems like work.

Anyway, I just wanted to add another bit of evidence for the proposition that eyeball evidence is good and useful, but there's also a reason why somebody sits and counts up all the things that actually happened. When we aggregate the information, we can start to see the real patterns. Again, though, it's too few innings to draw conclusions.

TimDz said...

MLBTraderumors says that Cole Kimball was claimed off waivers by the BlueJays...

Also, Corey Brown was outrighted to Syracuse...

natsfan1a said...

Well, yeah, that, too. :-)

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

(We kid because we love.)

Who are we kidding? We kid because we're smart-alecks.
November 16, 2011 3:00 PM

NatsJack in Florida said...

The Trade Rumors article tells me that Kimball is still damaged goods and Corey Brown is who most of us thought he was (not yet ready for prime time).

Wally said...

Scooter - that is pretty interesting information, thanks for posting it. Do you have the respective innings totals for the different categories handy? if not, np. Just curious about the sample sizes.

So here is another interesting trade speculation. Goldstein looked at what it would take for a team to acquire Hamels from the Phils. For us, its Brad Peacock, Derek Norris, Michael Taylor, & Stephen Lombardozzi. I think that I would probably do that deal for two years of Hamels, although I suspect I am in the minority here. But even more interesting to me is what he suggested from other teams, since by analogy, they should be a comparable package to ours:

New York Yankees: Manny Banuelos, LHP; Hector Noesi, RHP; Austin Romine, C; Mason Williams, OF.
Boston Red Sox: Will Middlebrooks, 3B; Jed Lowrie, INF; Brandon Jacobs, OF; Felix Doubront, LHP
Texas Rangers: Martin Perez, LHP; Mike Olt, 3B; Jorge Alfaro, C; Roman Mendez, RHP
Colorado Rockies: Drew Pomeranz, LHP; Chad Bettis, RHP; Charlie Blackmon, OF


It seems like our prospects are being well valued, by Goldstein at least. That is encouraging.

Scooter said...

Wally: click the links.

gonatsgo said...

Yesterday on Hot Stove, Rizzo said several times - a rotation of Zimmerman, Strasburg, Lannan, Wang -- he added that the young pitchers waiting in the wings were Detweiler, Peacock, Milone. So for those of you who have been reading a lot into a previous rizzo statement - there it is. I, for one, think Lannan is perfectly capable of going more than 5 innings. He is a ground ball pitcher and gets innings where things get through. I think he can get out of his own messes as well if not better than the bullpen if the manager doesn't panic and pull him at the speed of light, if the offense scores a few runs when he pitches and if the defense avoids multiple -error innings. Lannan has been snake-bit by some pretty weird innings. I think he has got it in him to be an average mlb left-handed pitcher. Not everyone is a superstar. I also think he will be a different look after the power arms of JZim and Stras. Don't know how he has gotten to be the goat around here - his stats are fine - not stellar, but fine. I have also heard it said a lot that lefties take a while longer to really settle in.He's been pretty durable and he is a true Nat, who has paid his dues. I will always love him for that first game where he broke Utley's hand and got kicked out - hilarious.

David said...

the proven commodity is easier to trade. Lannan > Detwiler in trade value right now. Between Detwiler, Milone, and Peacock we should be able to replace Lannan statistically. But on the other hand... we need proven commodities going into next year. Im on the bandwagon to keep Lannan, and add Oswalt. Let Detwiler, Milone and Peacock kill AAA again until we need 1 in the majors for injury replacement or after a midseason trade of Lannan.

Wally said...

Scooter - ah ... thanks, I should have noticed the links.

Still interesting. Career numbers spread out over 150 innings; still small but not that bad a sample. Odd though: 6+ days are the best numbers of all, just not big enough to change the conclusion. He really doesn't like pitching on 5 days rest, I guess.

What did jump out at me was the improvement this year in K:BB ratio when he got extra rest. Consistent trend with his career, just much more dramatic. That makes me guess that the difference in FIP wouldn't look as dramatic, but it is still an interesting set of data.

Anonymous said...

Zuck may have his info wrong as Heyman reprts that Wilson's agents are looking for the meeting. Anything to make the world think that the deepst povckets in the game are in the mix.
And inking Wilson would not keep the Yanks from going after Oswalt. They have the money and Roy wants to win.

dfh21

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