Thursday, December 15, 2011

The largest contracts in Nats history

US Presswire photo
Jayson Werth's $126 million contract is easily the largest in Nationals history.
As we all sit around waiting for word out of Hokkaido, Japan, where the Nippon Ham Fighters are deciding which of several posting bids from MLB clubs for pitcher Yu Darvish to accept, it seems an appropriate time to recall all the previous mammoth contracts handed out by the Nationals over the years.

Let's see, there's Jayson Werth's seven-year, $126 million deal. And there's Ryan Zimmerman's five-year, $45 million extension. And then there's ... well, there really haven't been any others that deserve to be uttered in the same sentence as those two.

Which is fairly remarkable in and of itself. The Nationals have been in D.C. for seven years now, and during that time they've handed out a whopping two contracts whose total value exceeded $20 million.

Oh, they've tried to give out more than that. Remember the failed bids for Mark Teixeira, A.J. Burnett, Cliff Lee, Zack Greinke and (most
recently) Mark Buehrle? None of those guys, however, wanted to take Ted Lerner's money.

So in looking back at the largest contracts in Nationals history, it's perhaps most notable that to date the club has handed out only 13 deals that reached at least eight figures. And plenty of those deals didn't exactly pay off in the end.

Let's take a trip down memory lane, shall we?...

LARGEST CONTRACTS IN NATIONALS HISTORY

1. JAYSON WERTH
7 years, $126 million
Signed Dec. 5, 2010

The announcement of this deal didn't just send shockwaves through Washington. They reverberated around the entire baseball world, with observers in awe the previously low-spending Nationals had given out what was at the time the 14th-largest contract in major-league history to a 31-year-old outfielder who had never driven in 100 runs in a season and had been to one All-Star Game. Werth's inaugural season in D.C. didn't do much to stop the detractors from saying "I told you so," but the Nats are confident he'll revert to form in 2012 and beyond.

2. RYAN ZIMMERMAN
5 years, $45 million
Signed April 20, 2009

The young Face of the Franchise had said he wouldn't negotiate a contract extension once the regular season began. He held true to that, sort of. As legend has it, Zimmerman and the Nats agreed to this deal less than an hour before their Opening Day game in Miami, though it wasn't formally announced and signed for a couple more weeks. This deal expires at the end of the 2013 season, and pressure is already beginning to mount for the two sides to strike a new deal that will keep Zimmerman in D.C. for the rest of his career.

3. ADAM DUNN
2 years, $20 million
Signed Feb. 12, 2009

Jim Bowden had been an Adam Dunn fan for years, dating back to the day the then-Reds GM drafted the Big Donkey out of the University of Texas. So no one was surprised when Bowden lured Dunn to Washington, just two days before the start of spring training. Dunn proved to be exactly what the Nationals needed him to be: a hulking slugger who hit some towering shots in his two years here. But Mike Rizzo, who replaced Bowden less than three weeks after this signing was completed, didn't think it was worth matching the White Sox's four-year, $56 million offer for Dunn last winter. So far, Rizzo has been proven brilliant in this matter.

4. AUSTIN KEARNS
3 years, $17.5 million
Signed Feb. 1, 2007

Speaking of Bowden favorites ... the GM just couldn't resist acquiring another of his former first-round picks from Cincinnati during the 2006 All-Star break. And then he couldn't resist inking Kearns to a three-year extension the next winter (this after the outfielder hit .250 with eight homers in his first 63 games with the Nationals). He never came close to earning that new deal, producing a TOTAL of 26 homers, 123 RBI and a .240 average over the next three seasons.

5. CRISTIAN GUZMAN
4 years, $16.8 million
Signed Nov. 16, 2004

Bowden's very first moves upon being named GM of what was still at that time being called the Expos (even though the franchise had already moved to D.C.) were to sign Guzman and third baseman Vinny Castilla (two years, $6 million) as free agents. Rival executives couldn't believe anyone would give Guzman (at that point a career .266 hitter with the Twins) a four-year deal. And when he needed a September charge to finish the 2005 season with a .219 average, the contract certainly didn't look good. After missing 2006 with a shoulder injury, though, Guzman did start hitting in 2007 and 2008 ... which led Bowden to give him another questionable contract.

6. NICK JOHNSON
3 years, $16.5 million
Signed March 11, 2006

When healthy, Johnson was truly a gifted ballplayer. He ranked among the league leaders in on-base percentage and doubles and played a smooth first base. Problem was, he was incapable of staying healthy. The closest he ever came to making it through an entire season unscathed came after signing this deal in 2006 ... until he broke his leg in a nasty collision with Kearns in late-September. He missed all of 2007 and was never the same player again.

7t. ADAM LaROCHE
2 years, $16 million
Signed Jan. 4, 2011

Desperately in need of a first baseman to replace Dunn, the Nationals focused on three possible veteran choices: Carlos Pena, Derrek Lee and LaRoche. Ultimately, Mike Rizzo wanted LaRoche for his reliable track record at the plate and smooth glove in the field. But LaRoche started complaining of a bum shoulder in spring training, later found out he had a torn labrum and after hitting .172 in 43 games had season-ending surgery.

7t. CRISTIAN GUZMAN
2 years, $16 million
Signed July 22, 2008

Few could have ever imagined the Nationals would re-sign Guzman after his terrible 2005 and injury-marred 2006 and 2007. But after the shortstop hit .313 during the first half of the 2008 season and earned a spot on the All-Star team, Bowden locked him up for two more years at nearly twice the salary he made on his first deal with the club. By year two of the deal, Guzman had lost his starting job to rookie Ian Desmond, and by July he had been traded to the Rangers.

7t. BRIAN SCHNEIDER
4 years, $16 million
Signed Jan. 17, 2006

After a strong 2005 season behind the plate, Schneider looked very much like the Nationals' long-term catcher. So Bowden locked him up for what appeared to be a modest contract at the time. Schneider, though, regressed as a hitter and after the 2007 season was traded along with Ryan Church to the Mets for Lastings Milledge. Bowden then signed veteran Paul LoDuca to a $5 million deal to replace Schneider behind the plate. Two days after the signing, LoDuca was outed as a steroids user in the Mitchell Report.

10. STEPHEN STRASBURG
4 years, $15.4 million
Signed Aug. 17, 2009

Remember all that talk coming from Scott Boras' office about Strasburg being worth $50 million out of San Diego State? Yeah, the pitching phenom didn't quite command that much. He did, however, still receive the biggest contract ever given to a draft pick. At the time, it sounded like a whole lot of money. Now that we've seen the way Strasburg can electrify an entire ballpark just by taking the mound, that $15.4 million seems like peanuts.

11. JASON MARQUIS
2 years, $15 million
Signed Dec. 22, 2009

In serious need of a veteran starter who could eat up innings, Rizzo signed Marquis to a deal that would pay him $7.5 million per season for two seasons. Marquis, though, looked terrible in the early going, then complained of elbow pain. He wound up missing nearly four months following surgery, then put up solid numbers this year before getting traded to the Diamondbacks on July 31.

12. ALFONSO SORIANO
1 year, $10 million
Signed Feb. 10, 2006

The Nationals didn't actually negotiate this contract with Soriano. It's what he was awarded in arbitration after the two sides couldn't agree to a deal on their own. (Little-remembered fact: Soriano actually lost his arbitration case; he was seeking $12 million.) When the dynamic player at first refused to move from second base to left field, this looked like a total disaster. But once Soriano relented, he proceeded to put together an electric, 40-40 season that had fans loving him. Bowden let him walk to the Cubs the next winter for a staggering eight-year, $134 million contract, and happily accepted two draft picks as compensation. Those picks turned into Jordan Zimmermann and Josh Smoker.

13. DMITRI YOUNG
2 years, $10 million
Signed July 28, 2007

Picked up off the scrap heap during spring training 2007, Young wound up making for an inspirational story in his first year in D.C. He hit .320 (still the highest mark for any Nationals regular since the franchise got to town), went to the All-Star Game and won NL Comeback Player of the Year honors. Common sense suggested it was unlikely Young would duplicate those feats, but Bowden couldn't say no to his heart and thus locked up the big first baseman to a two-year extension in late-July. Young wound up playing in only 50 games in 2008 and didn't appear in a single major-league game in 2009.

139 comments:

JayB said...

Mark that list just to more proof to the statement that the Nats and Rizzo have have not been able to judge market value at the high end or the low end players.

We are headed right back to Feb signings of what is left over and hope that they strike gold in the middle of VA. Just like the plan for Jamestown settlement.

Brian Bixler and Willie Harris here we come. More Stairs and Lo Duca. Is it time for Mark to put together the whole universe of FA signings in Feb......it is a very ugly list.

Teams that have a plan and execute the plan successfully in Nov and December pay more yes, but get more too. Mark is it true the team payroll is shrinking not growing right now?

Jeeves said...

I would love to see the Nats put out their second biggest payout and sign Darvish. Wasn't that excited about either Buherle or Oswalt. But Darvish would give the Nats a pretty exciting rotation. Mind you, I wouldn't turn my nose up at Gio Gonzalez either. (if we didn't have to give up the farm).

Another_Sam said...

I feel for Cardinals fans, but I'm happy for Albert. Albert and all these guys above work fro the man, just like I do. We working stiffs are entitled to do what we think is in our interest.

g_burg said...

JayB ... Hard to blame this on Rizzo when 9 of 13 were Bowden, but it is a pretty sorry story. While this has to be much worse than average, it does seem to say that it is safer to build from within given the risks of high profile FA signings.

MicheleS said...

Since it's not my money...(although since I shop at Tyson's, a very small portion of it is), I say they go all in on Darvish. Why not? Bring him in as a #3 behind Stras and JZ! We had to pay the bad team tax to Werth last year and yes, I think he will redeem himself this year (crossing fingers). Let's throw another contract out there and sign RZimm as well!

Tim said...

The trend I notice is how many had (hidden) injuries when they arrived/signed. Either the players are deceptive, are in denial, or we're not very good at our due diligence.

Anonymous said...

I think it's a matter of lack of due diligence, especially in tha cases of Laroche and Marquis.

Richard said...

Great list. It's evidence that huge contracts in general and especially for the Nats rarely pay off -- although maybe some of the Nats' contracts wouldn't qualify as "huge", but, still, the Nats have gotten very little return on millions investment. In any case and maybe somewhat off subject, with the talk of large contracts and therefor the need for $$$ and with the Angels and Rangers (coming in 2 years) new TV deals that will pay them so well that they can sign top players, have you, Mark, or has anyone heard how the negotiations are going between the Nats and MASN? As I understand it, this is the year the Nats have the right to re-negotiate the TV deal and finally get market value for their TV rights. As we know, thanks to Selig/MLB, Angelos has had the Nats captive for lo this many years.

Ray said...

Just an observation. If you're negative about everything all of the time, your comments tend not to hold water. Boy crying wolf. You could hand someone a million dollars cash and they would complain that the money is too heavy for them to carry.

I see no reason to panic at this point -- is there any free agent, other than Buehrle, that is off the board that was realistically a good idea? I would be panicking more if a stupid trade was made like Storen for a concussed Span. Pennants aren't won in December. I like the idea of Darvish but I don't think the franchise is going to crumble to bits if nothing is done. Plenty of good bench players remain on the open market, and at this point I think that the team has a good young core and I'm fine with going into spring training with the starting team and pitching staff as is, and with bench players added. I think the big contract they need to add, and ASAP, is a long term extension with Ryan Zimmerman.

Anonymous said...

And it adds up to owners who have been "bitten" too many times by veteran players who weren't worth their contracts before the ink even dried. I'm surprised Mark? You didn't mention that the Nats just missed on the lefty from Cuba Aroldis Chapman and then instead signed Yunesky Maya?

Werth makes sense to reverse a long standing trend by the Nats as third tier dumpster divers.

Certainly Rizzo's and Clark's strength is in the draft and scouting young players. Those signings appear destined to bear an enormous amount of fruit. Its in free agency and Internationally that the Nats falter. Hopefully, Davey Johnson can bring some needed advice in those areas.

The Dude Abides said...

Ray.... you're not making reference to the broken record that is JayB, are you?

Feel Wood said...

Instead of this, let's look at a less depressing list. MLB Network did a show last night on the Top 40 Breakout Players of 2011. Three Nats made the list. Pardon me for not taking notes to get their exact positions, but Danny Espinosa was around #34, Drew Storen was in the 20s, and Michael Morse was #5 or 6. On the down side, three players who were absolutely abominable as Nats made the list based on their performances with new teams. Nyjer Morgan, Emilio Bonifacio and Joel Hanrahan. Boooooo!

But what puzzles me is how this program avoided the most impressive breakout of 2011 - Wilson Ramos. I guess Venezuelan Winter League stats weren't counted.

MicheleS said...

They just said on 980 that the Nats did not put a bid in for Darvish? Did I hear that correctly. I can see that if the Cubs/Yanks put one in.

NatsJack in Florida said...

I'm not that suprised that they didn't go all in on Darvish. His agent made it pretty clear that Darvish preferred a West Coast team and expected to get Daisuke money.

I know I proposed that they put a bid on him and go as high as they felt comfortable, but they would be better served with Oswalt, if a pitcher is what they are after.

jd said...

NatsJack,

I agree completely. In fact if they can get Oswalt for 2 years then that's exactly what they should do while we figure out what we have in Meyer, Cole and Purke.

greg said...

natsjack, are you privy to info i haven't seen? do you actually *know* they didn't go all in? i haven't seen any report of whether or what they bid.

jd said...

JayB,

November and December free agent signings are all about splash and press and are designed to sell season tickets and luxury boxes more than to improve the teams. There is no evidence that mega signings align with success on the field. Intelligent GM's like Theo Epstein and Brian Cashman stayed on the sideline while Miami and Anaheim over payed for free agents.

At the end of the year if Miami and/or Anaheim win their respective pennants you can come back here and say I told you so but you should also be man enough to say you were wrong when other teams win.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Back injuries can be persistent, but Oswalt will most likely get the best offer from someone willing to overlook that. OTOH, he isn't necessarily looking for multiple years, so the risk is relatively low. Even at the $16MM the Phillies wouldn't give him, seems like a good chance, from here, for one or two years, IMO.

Just don't say that, and then come crying to us here when his back goes out and he spends the contract on the 60-day DL.

NatsJack in Florida said...

greg... no... no inside info but even though Rizzo is good at not showing his hand (aside from Mark Buehrle), info on the Nats posting would probably be floating around by now as it wouldn't have any affect on what's already happened.

And it's not.

blovy8 said...

As surprised as I am to be agreeing with Boswell, Oswalt should have been plan A all along. He's had to pitch in a hitters' parks, and is really not far removed from the ace he was for Houston. I do understand Rizzo's stated need for a 200 innings horse, but when there are so many competent, young options to fill in, there's no reason to go after a guy who probably doesn't want to sign here any more than Lee did.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Sec 3, My Sofa.... I'm not one to complain about injury issues as I firmly believe they are part of the game. Others OTOH love playing both sides as long as it gives them something to complain about.

And everyone knows about Oswalt so it truly is, buyer beware.

Sunderland said...

So what is it about Oswalt that the Phillies passed on him for 1 yer at $14M?
They had a $16M club option, and when they declined it, they paid Oswalt $2M. So for a net cost of $14M, they could have had Oswalt for 1 year with no further obligation.
What do the Phillies know that they would rather not have Oswalt at a price that seems reasonable to us?

greg said...

*shrug

it's possible they didn't bid, who knows. but lack of information about it doesn't mean it didn't happen.

Anonymous said...

Wow - the comments in here are really surprising on this topic. The point to me isn't "how rarely big money signings work out" i.e. they shouldn't sign any more. The point is that there ARE NO BIG MONEY SIGNINGS. The #3 all-time biggest contract ever paid out by the Nats is a $20m dollar deal.

In other words, EVERY deal that's made any kind of major news this year - every single one of them - Pujols, Reyes, Papelbon, CJ Wilson, Buehrle, Darvish - would be the single biggest contract the Nats have EVER signed, except for Werth. Think about that - the management says "We'll spend when we're ready to win." The team went 80-81 and yet they haven't spent and outside of Buehrle haven't been close. Do they think they're not ready to win? Do they simply not like the choices on the market?

To me, the point is that in the never ending holy war over the unwillingness of the management to spend money, this list is a pretty stark reminder that there's not been a lot spent so far. And that most of the dumpster diving contracts (Guzman, Kearns, DY, Loduca, Schneider) have a mixed record at best.

greg said...

i agree with you that is the big takeaway, anon 9:58.

i have to hope that it's just that they don't like what they see right now. or that their plans are more darvish/cespedes (sp?), which can't have happened yet.

it probably doesn't help that the two big FA fish were 1B or that the SP market was so thin that the top guys were going to get even more overpaid than usual.

blovy8 said...

If there's any team in a good position to have pitchers available for when Oswalt needs to skip a start with a tight back, it's the Nats.

The Phillies still have a pretty loaded rotation, maybe they were looking to free up money for offense and a closer? They just paid a lot for Papelbon, they're not that smart. By that logic, the Phillies got to sign him, so why did the Red Sox let him go?

Anonymous said...

Big money signings? This list? Meh.

I am not a fan of lists like these. Context is important. The market at the time, the club's needs, trying to fill seats at RFK versus having the big revenue at the new park, etc. And I don't think that some of Zuck's critique is on the mark either (e.g. Rizzo's handling of Dunn cannot be simplified to him not being will to match the Chi Sox big offer. Dunn wanted an extension long before that point and Rizzo wanted no part of negotiating when he could have gotten a discount.)

dfh21

Steve M. said...

A few of you are being short-sighted and many again are negative. Zimmerman's new contract extension and when the time arrives some of the other in-house contracts will be large. Rizzo has shown the willingness to spend on the right player. If Tampa Bay didn't prove its not what you spend but how you spend it you are thinking like the biggest market teams that seem to spend to their large budgets. The Angels have a $150,000,000 per year average TV contract reportedly for the next 20 years ($3 billion deal total). The Nats are probably looking at $20 to $30 million depending on TV revenues. That's why the Angels spent like they had an endless supply, as with Pujols the TV contract should now get ratified.

Too much negativity in some of these posts. Have a great day.

Anonymous said...

Why would Roy Oswalt want to pitch for the Nats? He's looking to win the World Series before the earlier of his back snapping in half or his retirement. Odds are very long that he'd go with the Nats when he could go to Texas, Detroit, Boston, etc.

dfh21

Unkyd said...

I just feel like we got Darvish...... I hope we get Aoki tomorrow, as well... Just think about that, for a minnit.....

Feel Wood said...

NatsJack in Florida said...
greg... no... no inside info but even though Rizzo is good at not showing his hand (aside from Mark Buehrle), info on the Nats posting would probably be floating around by now as it wouldn't have any affect on what's already happened.


Until the winner is announced, info (aka rumors) floating around can definitely have an effect on what happens. The Nippon Ham Fighters (and why has no one told us how long these guys have been fighting ham, and more importantly WHY?) are only told by MLB what the dollar amount of the high bid is, not the identity of the team that made the bid. It is possible that knowing the identity of the team behind the bid might affect the decision made by the Nippon Ham Fighters (and do you think perhaps Darvish is posting because he really needs to play somewhere where he can expand his sandwich repertoire?) Information or misinformation fed into the rumor mill can only contribute to that. Rizzo is notable for keeping all his dealings close to the vest, so why should this situation be any different?

And BTW, do you know who MLB Trade Rumors cites as the source for confirming that the Rangers and Blue Jays have placed bids on Darvish? Jim Bowden. Chew on that for a while.

DL in VA said...

Nippon Ham is a company that sponsors the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. The team's name is "Fighters," the area they represent is the Island of Hokkaido, and the sponsor is Nippon Ham (like Yomiuri Shimbun, the large Japanese newspaper, sponsors the Yomiuri Giants).

Nobody is fighting ham. Ham is delicious.

Section 222 said...

Mark, just a few days ago you were arguing that a team can only afford so many 9 figure contracts. This list shows just how little they've been willing to spend to bring a winner to DC.

Stan Kasten on MLB Network the other night made two intersting points. First, that the big splashes made by the Marlins and the Angels at the Winter Meetings were driven and made possible by new revenue streams-- the Marlins' new stadium and the Angels' big new TV contract. Second, that the Nationals were a team that might be getting a new TV contract soon. Of course, he didn't explain why the Nationals didn't take advantage of the new revenue from the opening of their new stadium in 2008.

It's pretty clear that the Lerners can afford to offer some more lucrative contracts to free agents. After all, they are the RICHEST owners in the MLB. Hopefully they will reach an agreement with Zim for a long term contract, but that's not going to be enough to win championships. If you don't spend with the big boys, you have a much harder time playing with them.

Prince is still on the market....

blovy8 said...

Hey Anonymous, everyone wants to win the World Series. And after they do it, they want to win ANOTHER one. So what's your point, that no one will sign with the Nats ever unless they're paid way too much?

Whoa_now said...

Unless the total cost of signing Darvish is under 75-80 million (Contract + Posting) I am heavly against it. Like it or not, This is not the year for the Nats. The window is 2013-2016. Sign Hamels or Greinke or Weaver or Cain to a 100 million contract next year. I'd rather overpay for one of them than Darvish.

Don't get me wrong, I think there is a number where I'd like Darvish as a Nat. But if the number is higher than 75 million for 5 years, I'm out.

Also if Rizzo goes after Darvish, then I want to know that he also has plans ($,trade) for a centerfielder. I think spending 50 million on Cespedes or 25 million on Aoki is better money spent than on Darvish-it feels a need. Darvish only supports a strong staff.

Now if the list above is any indication that Rizzo and the Learners are saving for a spending spree...and they go after Darvish and Cespedes..then I'm happy. but I'm totally against a one player deal. So either take Aoki and Soler for cheap. Aoki and Darvish and capture the Japanese Mkt, or Cespedes and sign a SP next year when you figure out what you have with Det/pea/Mil

somebody tell me where I'm wrong

NatsJack in Florida said...

I can see how the listing of posting teams would affect the process, especially if the number of teams is limited.

To that end, Rizzo is doing what he is charged to do and that is remain silent.

I still kinda feel that the Nats passed on posting. But we shall see.

Diz said...

If we really didn't put in a bid for Darvish, that would be really disappointing. It would make me believe they wouldn't put one in for Aoki as well, as nobody I've read has mentioned the Nats scouting him at all (although, his signing would make a lot of sense).

If we don't go in on either one of them, it makes me think this is going to be one heck of a "meh" Hot Stove for the Nats this winter.

Diz

Feel Wood said...

To that end, Rizzo is doing what he is charged to do and that is remain silent.

I still kinda feel that the Nats passed on posting. But we shall see.


Rizzo has never said yes or no whether he is in on Prince Fielder.

Rizzo has never said yes or no whether he is in on Darvish.

Yet the media, Kilgore in particular, has looked deep into Rizzo's soul, just as GW Bush looked into Putin's, and definitively declared that Rizzo is in on Darvish but not in on Prince. What do they know that we don't?

NatsLady said...

What is the word on Greinke? After hearing that he cut his agent (presumably wanting a trade), I've seen nothing. Send Davey and McCatty out there and see how his head is, that's what I'd do. Or if Davey is playing golf, Rizzo and the Cat.

IMO, the Nats are the EXACT opposite of the Brewers--the only big ego is Davey's, and a fun team without the beer and fried chicken, cf., the lotto billboard and the smurfs. So, I'd say, make another run at Greinke and see what the Brewers want for him.

P.S., don't jump to conclusions on YD. We'll know when we know.

PAY TO PLAY said...

Section 222, did you bother to read that post about the richest owners in baseball yesterday that an Anon posted about Pujols/Cardinals?

Ted Lerner may be the richest owner as a singular member of an ownership group however there are ownership groups like the Cardinals that have several rich owners that collectively are richer than Ted Lerner. I would suspect the Red Sox are the richest ownership group followed by the Yankees. The Dodgers ownership group may top all of them.

It isn't how much you are worth, its how you spend it that counts.

jd said...

Steve M.

Your post here is dead on. Your 1st point on how the payroll will rise naturally is exactly right and additionally I am not sure why spending money in a vacuum makes fans happy. To me; if management builds a solid playoff level team; I'm happy regardless of payroll.

The point that the Lerners are rich and should therefore overpay is idiotic. You assign a value to a player based on how many games you feel he can add to your win column; you can obviously have some wiggle room within these parameters but if you overpay by a lot you limit your options in other areas.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Darvish is going to be crazy expensive, and he might or might not be worth it, to a team that can afford a crazy expensive payroll (short list, there).

Whoa_now, where you're wrong: "Like it or not, This is not the year for the Nats." You can't possibly know that. Certainly not the favorites, sure, but "that's why they play the games."

If they had the revenue stream to support a big payroll (You know how to become a millionaire? Start out as a billionaire, and spend money like it's somebody else's.), Darvish makes sense for the Nationals precisely because they already have other good starters--one ace won't put you over the top, but two or three can. But Darvish has always been a "go big or go home" deal.

Feel Wood said...

I would suspect the Red Sox are the richest ownership group followed by the Yankees. The Dodgers ownership group may top all of them.

Which Dodgers ownership group are you talking about? McCourt? Because until someone actually buys the team, there are no other ownership groups that can commit to a contract now.

Sunderland said...

Not sure why some are so high on Cespedes. He's a really good hitter - in a league where Yunesky Maya was Cy Young.
Cespedes is a much bigger risk than Darvish.

I bet Cespedes can't hit MLB pitching an better than Lastings Milledge. Send Milledge to Cuba and he'd be an All-Star.

Jamie McCourt said...

It ain't the Dodgers. I made sure of that!

greg said...

i think one thing to keep in mind with darvish is there is some potential (depending on his success) to have an additional revenue stream with selling to japan as well. not completely unlike what happened with ichiro. of course, that's predicated on him being successful, but there's some leverage there to offset some of the cost in a way that you won't get from most other players.

Whoa_now said...

Sec 2, My Sofa-You're right I dont know that..But I also can say a team that wasn't .500 last year probably won't win the world series this year. I can also use my brain to see they are a few players away from going deep in the playoffs...and that those players aren't really available this year. If they make the playoffs this year, I'll be super super happy. But I'll bet you they don't win the WS. Thats what it's all about. I hope Rizzo is setting them up to be a deep playoff team for mutliple years-not next year.

Sunderland-People are high on Cespedes because he will be a lot cheaper than Darvish (still expensive) and it fills a position of need...and we can use the excess to get someone else. I get that we could use another front line SP-Everyone can. But if its a question of spending 110 million this year on Darvish or 110 million next year on Hamels..I want Hamels.

Simple poll, pick one:
1)Darvish
2)Cespedes + Saunders
3)Aoki + FA Top line Pitcher next season (Greinke/Hamels/Weaver)
4)Aoki + Soler + Saunders
5)none of the above

Doug said...

The first Guzman signing was even worse than it sounds, for one big reason: If not for that, Ryan Zimmerman would probably be a shortstop. As valuable as he is at 3B, imagine how much more valuable he would be as a Gold Glove / Silver Slugger shortstop.

Sunderland said...

Poll Response:
Darvish

I'm in no way convinced that Cespedes will be MLB quality. Whoever he signs with will send him to the minors, AA most likely, and then take it from there, fingers crossed.

whoa_now said...

I go 3. If they sign Darvish great...but they better have plans to sign or trade for a good centerfielder. And have enough money in reserve to sign our young core.

natsfan1a said...

What? When did he move? Oh well, at least he left a forwarding address.

Whoa_now said...

Sec 2, My Sofa-

PAY TO PLAY said...

Feel Wood, definitely the new Dodgers if they get the Mark Cuban group could top them all in combined wealth. The whole thing really doesn't matter. They said the same thing about Paul Allen (Microsoft Billionaire) and his ownership of the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL.

Section 222 said...

@PaytoPlay -- Unfortunately, I missed that particular Anon posting. Can you repost the link. I'd be delighted to be educated. (And I'll ignore the snark in your "did you bother to read" comment.

My point is not that the Lerners should spend money foolishly (like giving Dmitri Young a 2 year extension), but it's not idiotic to say that very rich owners (even if they aren't the richest ownership group) should spend and spend lavishly. Standing pat is not going to do it in our division. We've had a team for seven years and have made it from last to third. Time to make the next step. And this year is a good year to start.

Curt Flood said...

As an alternative to the cost of Darvish, even if the Nats were the high bidder, would it make sense to again consider Greinke? The Brewers are in need of a first baseman and might need a left fielder, while Greinke is due to be a free agent at end of 2012. What are opinions on trading Morse and Peacock, assuming Greinke would sign an extension with Nats? (This also presumes the ascent of Harper into the outfield by some point in 2012.)

PAY TO PLAY said...

For the poll, I say get Soler and put him in the Minors and get Saunders and get the versatile Cuddyer on a 2 year deal. The place the Nats should spend as an insurance policy is Coco Crisp as he is a leadoff guy with big speed. If Ian Desmond doesn't work out at leadoff the Nats fanbase may be head hunting for Rizzo. Some has said Lombo could be a leadoff guy and I'm not sure he will make the 25 man roster and trusting leadoff to a Rookie when you are pushing for playoffs is not a good experiment as we saw with the revolving door last season at leadoff.

DFL said...

5, Whoa. And a few notes.

When has a Japanese pitcher over-performed or performed to expectations? Not often. No to Darvish.

I'd trade Ian Desmond for whatever pitching prospect we could get. Switch Danny Espinosa to shortstop. Place Stephen Lombardozzi at second base and lead him off.

I'd sign Cody Ross, play him in center, and bat him seventh. I'd sign Jeff Keppinger as the infield and possible replacement for Lombardozzi if he proves unequal to the job.

PAY TO PLAY said...

Section 222:

Anonymous said...
SCNatsFans, there are many other ownership groups wealthier than the Lerners. The Lerners could be the wealthiest individuals, but not the wealthiest ownership group.

In St. Louis many are blaming Albert Pujols instead of ownership for his departure. With all the press on the subject came scrutiny of the Cardinals ownership. The combined net worth of the Dewitt St. Louis Carndinals ownership group according the St. Louis Dispatch is over $5 to 7 Billion estimated. They detailed how they made their money too in a quick bank flip that would boggle your mind. They did something similar when they bought the Cardinals in 1995. They paid $150 million which included the Cardinals portfolio of land around the stadium district. Dewitt & Partners sold the land around the stadium for $101 million and kept the stadium which they owned. Essentially their basis in Busch Stadium + the franchise was theirs for $49 million.

The Dewitt's and partners accumulated much of their wealth in a bank flip. In a Sept. 3, 2004 St. Louis Post-Dispatch interview with Andrew Baur, it was said that Baur and Dewitt's family and other team owners were stockholders in Mississippi Valley Bancshares, which owned Southwest Bank in St. Louis. The bank was bought for $9.4 million in 1984 and was sold a few years ago for $502 million. In addition to Baur, Cardinal owners Fred Hanser and Donna DeWitt Lambert (sister of William DeWitt) were large stockholders in the company.

The Lerner's own a franchise that they paid in excess of $450 million w/ limited TV rights.

Oh, and the Cardinals TV deal is reportedly valued at $50 million per year and they sell out about every game. They also used private money to build the new Busch Stadium and public funds to build the infrastructure and roads and other improvements. After the 2013 season, the Cardinals will owe the City of St. Louis and the State of Missouri nothing for all the dollars they put in.

The Nats have been dealing with a raw deal from the start. A depleted farm system and that concocted price tag they paid for the team of $450 million. Even Forbes says the franchise is worth less than what they paid for it at $417 million currently.

December 14, 2011 11:33 AM

Nattydread said...

How much did we pay for Maya?

Unkyd said...

I'm having visions of VERY funny, subtitled commercials, featuring Darvish and Aoki, cutting up and having fun all over town, with a tag line having to do with the Funnest Place In Town in on Half Street.....(fingers crossed, touching wood...)

Sunderland said...

Maya, $2M a year for 4 years.

Anonymous said...

Let's face the sad truth. To improve, the Nats needed to plug holes early in the winter season and Rizzo came up dry because he was trying to acquire players on the cheap while it takes premium pay to get free agents to come here. He just doesn't get it. As a result, the Nats are looking at another 4th place finish, or, with a huge amount of luck, a 3rd place finish. The Braves and the Phillies rule and the Marlins have definitely improved. We couldn't beat them before their free agent bonanza so we certainly can't beat them now and that's 18 games next season. Rizzo has some skill in developing a franchise's minor league system and some scouting skills but it takes more then that to be a good general manager. As a GM, he sucks. A good GM knows when to press the execute button and the only thing Rizzo knows how to do is scratch his head.

Friend of all the World said...

Can someone please explain to me the love of Lombardozzi? I mean, I would love it if he was good enough to become a regular, but isn't it premature to be ensconcing him at 2b?

Bowdenball said...

Anonymous said...

As a result, the Nats are looking at another 4th place finish, or, with a huge amount of luck, a 3rd place finish.

Care to come out from behind your anonymity and place a bet on that? I'll take third or better in 2012, you give me 3 to 2. Should be a good bet for you, since you think it would take a "huge amount of luck" for them to finish third.

Sunderland said...

Anon 12:27, that may be your truth, but that don't make it true.

NatsLady said...

Anon @12:27 WRONG WRONG WRONG. This is not the year to open up the $$ spigot. Maybe one big signing (like Darvis), IF it fits our needs, not just to make sports headlines. We did that last year with Werth, and once is enough.

The Nats will improve this year by improving their young players and perhaps adding in a few spots BUT

(1) Too far away from a playoff-WS team;
(2) FA market is "thin" this year, and will be MUCH better next year.

That may be frustrating to fans, but Rizzo needs to work on making sure this is a +.500 year, and make a serious run at the WC. That means doing low-profile stuff like making sure you have a backup plan for injuries, you don't overwork your bullpen, etc.

If the Nats show winning ways, and don't implode with egos and scandals, FA's will consider us NEXT year. For an FA to come here you have to have both $$ and a good chance at contention (plus good schools for the kids).

For trades, you have to have prospects, prospects, prospects. That's why it was a good sign that two of ours were pulled in the Rule 5 draft, our farm system is developing and attracting attention.

I wouldn't be so sure we can't beat the other teams in our division.

(1) Phillies are older, and they will have injuries.
(2) Marlins have yet to show they can mesh all those big-name players into a TEAM.
(3) Braves don't have a good manager, and we've been pretty good at whipping their butts.
(4) Mets--well, the Mets are the Mets.

MicheleS said...

Why does everyone think that the Marlins have definitly improved? The closers (Bell for the Guy who doesn't know his name) and the SP (Buerhle for Vasquez) are a wash. Sure they got Reyes but Hanley is ticked off, so I think that will be a wash as well.

MicheleS said...

NatsLady...

AMEN!

NatsLady said...

I will say this on the Fish: If anyone can make them into a team, it's Ozzie. Also, our track record against them ain't great, we all know that. But we beat 'em in the end, and, folks, let's play the games before we declare defeat, ok?

Sunderland said...

MicheleS - I'm with you.
Add keep in mind the Marlins starting staff was 12th of 16 in the NL last year. They stunk.
And as bad as we think our offense is, they scored the same number of runs as the Nats did in 2011.
They added Reyes. Good for them.
They lost Vazquez and add Buehrle. A wash.
They lost Nunez and added Heath Bell. A wash.
And this is going to vault them into a battle with the Phillies and Braves? No chance.

Will said...

Steven Lombardozzi batted .298/.369/.411 in his career in the minors, including .310/.354/.408 at AAA last season.

Ian Desmond batted .259/.326/.388 in his minor league career.

Lombardozzi is exactly 3 years younger.

Which looks more appealing to you?

Basically, we know what to expect from Desmond. Worst case scenario, Lombardozzi will be just as bad.

PAY TO PLAY said...

The Marlins may do well against the Nats but not so great against the Phillies or Braves. I think the Marlins have improved but when you look at Wins Above Replacement, they probably picked up 6 to 8 more wins for Buehrle/Reyes combo (no more Vasquez) and maybe 2 more if Josh Johnson gives them an entire season. That gets them 4th place and 3rd place if the Nats falter. They didn't do enough I believe to improve past 75 wins.

Their song & dance seemed more to sell tickets and ad space and don't be surprised if one of the new pick-ups is quickly traded on July 31st. Loria I don't think has changed his stripes.

Sec 2 My Loveseat said...

If they make the playoffs this year, I'll be super super happy. But I'll bet you they don't win the WS. Thats what it's all about.

Respectfully concur with the first part and dissent with the second. "Super super happy" is a good year; World Series is a baseball goal, not an entertainment goal. We pay to see them, and follow them, we don't play for them. They win (or not), we get to watch them do it. If they needed the Series for that, we wouldn't be here.

Friend of all the World said...

Will,

I agree that Lombardozzi shows promise, but his bat dropped off considerably on the promotion to AAA and he really looked over-matched in his Sept. call-up. He is still young and I hope he continues to improve.

Your minor league line for Desmond hides the fact that his numbers improved considerably his last 2 years in the minors, better than Lombardozzi's.

I would take a poor hitting Desmond and his glove over a poor hitting Lombardozzi any day.

Having said that, I would give Desmond until the All-Star break to prove whether he is long-term part of this team or not.

pls hurry spring! said...

Hi

can someone tell me where you go to watch Beltway Baseball? I am assuming it is a video. is it on CSN, cant find it.

thnx

DFL said...

Lombardozzi hit .310 at AAA and .309 at AA. His On Base Percentage, however, was .366 at AA and .354 in AAA.

Will said...

Friend of all the world,
His OPS dropped by .018. That's not considerable in any sense of the word. His AAA stats were basically identical to his career minor league numbers.

Also, the option isn't merely between a poor hitting, good glove Desmond vs a poor hitting Lombardozzi. By all accounts, Lombardozzi has a great glove too. He won the minor league Gold Glove award last season (of all the minor leagues not just the International League).

The option is really, poor hitting, decent glove Desmond (don't forget his 23 errors this season) vs worst case scenario: poor hitting, decent glove Lombardozzi. The best case scenario is that Lombardozzi replicates his minor league stats and has a good bat (great average but not too much power) and a great glove.

I'd rather see what we have in Lombo instead of sticking with the pretty crappy status quo in Desmond.

natsfan1a said...

pls hurry spring! You'll find it right here.

Bowdenball said...

Sunderland said...


They lost Vazquez and add Buehrle. A wash.
They lost Nunez and added Heath Bell. A wash.

I agree that the Marlins won't be that much improved, especially if Ramirez is a malcontent and a defensive liability at 3B, but this is pushing it a bit. 32 year old Buehrle is must better than 36 year old Vazquez, and Bell and Nunez aren't even close.

They also could get an effective Josh Johnson back. Big if, but he certainly won't contribute much less than he did in 2010, and he could contribute a lot more. Plus if we're assuming that our young talent will continue to improve you also have to assume that Mike Stanton is going to turn into a superstar, because he's well on his way.

Anonymous said...

Enjoying the discussions folks - it's helping me get through the dark times before spring training. Question -- has anyone watched"Baseball Wives" on VH1? Wow - it's like watching a train wreck. Nyger's ex is on it and, let's just say it verifies our low opinion of him. I feel that I must post anonymously out of total embarrassment for having watched it - more than once. Thank goodness there is no on on this show associated with the Nats.

Steve M. said...

Lombardozzi barely got a chance in September (32 plate appearances) and was the recipient of bad luck as I saw it. 9 for 31 compared to his actual 6 for 31 is a .100 point difference on your BA. Over the year those bad luck/good luck peaks and valleys even out. I saw a good player just don't see annointing him as anything more than a player with potential.

Still, too early to tell if he is a future utility-man or a legit 2nd baseman.

In an interesting comparison, Steve's father with the Twins, his dad started off red hot in his September call-up in 1985 and in 28 games batted .370 and got the starting job at 2nd for the Twins the following season. In 1986, he batted .227 then went to .238 the following season and then .209 and was released and basically washed up in baseball.

Its not how you start but how you finish.

Friend of all the World said...

Lombo's AAA OPS was only slightly below he minor league career average, but was substantially below what he had been putting up at AA.

pls hurry spring! said...

Natsfan1

thnx, that took me to the Natsinsider entry from yesterday. maybe i am wrong, i thought it was a video since he mentioned having a guest. they just answer the questions as comments?

pls hurry spring!

Mark'd said...

Anon at 1:35, closet fan of the train wreck called Baseball Wives. That Anna Benson and Kendall's ex-wife unfortunately made the show trashy which is probably what the producers wanted.

Knoblachs wife says in just about every sentence that her husband has 4 World Series rings.

Nyjers girlfriend of 2 years needs a psychiatrist. Find it hard to bwlieve they were together for 2 years. Maybe 2 weeks. Ha

natsfan1a said...

pls hurry spring! there's an embedded video in that post, but evidently it's not showing up for you. Maybe it's your browser?

Anon@1:35, I've not watched that one, as I'm not much for reality tv. I do watch a fair amount of MLB Network, though. We do whatever it takes to get us through the dark days of winter. ;-)

PAY TO PLAY said...

I won't tell you which owner said this today about his team....he wants to win more but is "More concerned with process right now than output".

What does that even mean? Is that something a PR Firm says when your team is horrible so the fanbase doesn't revolt? That seems to be a precursor to get ready for a terrible season with bad losses.

Would you be ticked if Lerner said that to NatsTown?

Mark'd said...

P2P, was it the Peter Angelos? That seems to be the speech that McFAIL made last April after they collapsed.

When you read it, the die-hard fan takes it as ok, there's a plan in place and expect a bumpy road. The smart fan goes, that means nothing and is a pig with lipstick.

NatsNut said...

P2P, the owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates?

Anonymous said...

PAY TO PLAY said...
I won't tell you which owner said this today about his team....he wants to win more but is "More concerned with process right now than output".

Would you be ticked if Lerner said that to NatsTown?

December 15, 2011 2:06 PM

Yes, I would pissed if Lerner said that. It sounds like a quote from an auto factory plant just going on-line where quality of the process to build a quality car is more important than the number of cars produced per day.

Witty one-liners that mean nothing in sports. Those are excuses put out ahead of time.

Unkyd said...

Jonathan Mayo:


With the deadline for bids for Yu Darvish now in the past, I thought it was time to see what all the fuss is about. The headline possibilities are almost endless:

What I like about Yu (variation used above)

I only had Yu

Yu had me at hello

Anyway, you get the point.

 

We’ll know soon who has won the rights to negotiate with the right-hander. To get fans of teams who might be in the running ready, I spoke with a scout in Japan who has seen Darvish throw on many occasions. Here’s what he had to say:

 

If you ask him, he throws more than ten pitches. I’ve seen him throw four-seamers, two-seamers, cutters, splitters, forkballs, curve balls, sliders, and changeups with variation on most of the breaking stuff.  What he uses depends on how he’s feeling that day.  Basically, he’ll sit 93-95 mph and touch as high as 98 mph. His two seamers are 91-93 mph, his cutter is 89-91 mph. I’ve seen the curve as low as 64 and as high as 82 with pretty good arm speed. The slider can be 86-87, 82-84, 77-78 (Japanese slurve), all over the place, really. It’s his go-to pitch.  Splitter 87-88, but he doesn’t throw it much.  His hands are small for a guy his size, and it looks like he has trouble getting his fingers around the ball for the splitter. He’s very good with a very high ceiling. He has the right amount of cockiness to get through the new challenges that await him.  I think he’s a #3 starter at worst, obviously with a chance to be an ace.

There’s a lot of information about Darvish out there, with more assuredly to come. Hopefully this adds a little something to that file.

Dice K said...

If you ask him, he throws more than ten pitches. I’ve seen him throw four-seamers, two-seamers, cutters, splitters, forkballs, curve balls, sliders, and changeups with variation on most of the breaking stuff.

No gyro ball? This guy is useless!

Steve M. said...

P2P, to be fair I cheated and Google'd it and to be fair, here was TED LEONSIS (Full of s***) complete quote:

“I want to see upside. I want to see improvement. I want to see chemistry being developed, and I want to see how the young kids play. The only way we’re going to know if we drafted and we developed well is if they get the minutes, and so I’m more concerned with process right now than output, although we’re here to win, so I want to see us winning more games.”

Yes, he didn't spend any money. Add any All Star players or create solutions. Get ready for Shelvin Mack and other players you probably don't know and lots of losses.

PAY TO PLAY said...

In basketball if you stay bad for long enough, you can draft a difference maker. Like StanK used to say, you draft a Shaquille O'Neal playing with 4 decent players, you can make the playoffs.

My point is Leonsis can get away with saying anything and tempering expectations. His speech was about Ferrari cars with no rear view mirrors as the drivers never look behind them.

His speeches are always clever and they seem to placate the fans after devestating losses. If Lerner took the same approach, he would be laughed at. The Caps are in 12th place right now and expect the Wizards to be in the bottom of the East.

Anonymous said...

Mark,d -- thanks for admitting you watched - now I don't feel alone. I seriously doubt that there is that much profanity on the field.

UNTERP said...

Unkyd said...

Who are Yu?

natsfan1a said...

I only have eyes for Yu didn't make the cut?

What I like about Yu (variation used above)

I only had Yu

Yu had me at hello

Anyway, you get the point.

UNTERP said...

Yu and who's army...

UNTERP said...

Yoo Yu...

Unkyd said...

Yu lookin' at me...?

UNTERP said...

Yu must be lookin at me...

UNTERP said...

Yu and a dog named boo...

UNTERP said...

Yu hoo...

Unkyd said...

Got to get Yu into my life!

natsfan1a said...

Yu talkin' to me?

Well, I'm the only one here.

UNTERP said...

Unkyd said...

Yu gone Motown on us, Unkyd?

UNTERP said...

Yu are the sunshine of my life...

Everyone who fails to sign him said...

He's Just Not That Into Yu.

The back up signing said...

It's not Yu, it's me.

Unkyd said...

Yu da man!

natsfan1a said...

LOL! Back up signing wins the interwebz.

In other news, I stumbled on this awesome random song title/rock band name generator while searching for song titles. The first one I got was the best: Kentucky-Fried Sock Puppets.

Unkyd said...

Yu Shook Me All Night Long.....

(c'mon HamBones..... Make the announcement, already!!)

David said...

Still bored! Waiting for something exciting to happen in Nats land...

natsfan1a said...

Well, if we're going Motown: Yu Keep Me Hangin' On

Unkyd said...

Here's looking at Yu, kid...

GM whose offer is scoffed at said...

But I'm funny how? I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse Yu? I make Yu laugh?

Mark Zuckerman said...

Yu guys kill me.

BinM said...

Wow, lots of stuff to read through while waiting for the Darvish proclamation. Personally, I'd love seeing him in the rotation, but doubt Rizzo & the Nationals will land him. I still hold out hope for the Nats posting the winning bid for the CF Aoki, however.

On the Lombardozzi debate - The FO shows an amazing amount of faith in Desmond at SS, who has yet to put it all together (hitting + speed + fielding) at any level in over seven years with the Orginization. Espinosa was a solid college-level SS & high-round draft pick (3rd round, 2008), who was shifted to 2B because of Desmond. Lombardozzi (19th round, 2008) has produced better numbers at each minor-league level than either Desmond or Espinosa, and is a solid glove at 2B as well (albeit with a step less range than Espinosa).

I believe that given an honest chance, Lombardozzi can become a solid MLB 2B, with leadoff-hitting skills to boot. Pair him with Espinosa at SS, and the Nationals could have one of the best keystone combinations in the majors.

Unkyd said...

Yu take the blonde, and I'll take the one with the turban....rrrrUFF...

natsfan1a said...

Unk, that one's from The Road to Japan, right?

natsfan1a said...

My bad, Yung Frankenstein.

Section 222 said...

To all the Polyannas on this blog who question whether the Marlins are going to be better next year ("Let's wait and play the games first," "We have to see if they will gel as a team)), my response is "What have Yu been smoking?". Josh Johnson is a true ace and he started only 9 games last year (btw, he had a 1.64 ERA in those 9 games and gave up only 2 HRs). Hanley Ramirez who had an average OPS+ of 140 in his previous four seasons had a terrible year. (If I were Mitt Romney, I'd bet you $10,000 that he'll improve on his '10 performance more than Werth will improve on his.) They've added a dynamic leadoff hitter and a solid No. 3 starter, who was Rizzo's No. 1 target for the off season. Their rotation of Johnson, Sanchez, Buehrle, and Nolasco is imposing. And their owner is still looking to improve the team. Plus, they aleady own us, notwithstanding the last series of the season. Next year could be pretty ugly in the NL East.

Unkyd said...

I wouldn't be surprised.... But I was paraphrasing the great Marty Feldman, from Young Frankenstein.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

His soon-to-be-ex-wife: Since I Fell For Yu ... ("Yu made me leave my happy home ...")
Why she is: Yu Ain't Nothin But A Hound Dog, or else: Yu Don't Know What Love Is

Unkyd said...

Pollyanna is my drag queen alias......

Unkyd said...

What?

sjm308 said...

Thanks for playing Mark!

Just got on at 4 and it took 18 min. to read everything. I am not going back to the poll but give me Aoki and a great SP next year please. I think that was an answer. I realize most of you are correct in thinking we need another starter but I still think offense needs more help.

I also want to give Desmond one more shot but its great that we have Lombo sitting there if it goes south.

For our bench I would like one Keppinger, One Ankiel, and if we don't get our CF from Japan I would look strong at Cuddyer with Werth moving to CF.

Hope Yu all have a wonderful evening.

sjm308 said...

I realize we have only been in third place once in our brief time back here in DC but I am getting sick of hearing how the Marlins owned us last year. If they owned us, how did we finish so far ahead of them? Last time I checked, Baseball doesn't concern itself with head to head meetings, its 162 games folks and we OWNED the Marlins last year since we finished ahead of them.

I have used it way too many times but how did that super bowl run for the Eagles turn out? We will play 162 games or more this year and then we can figure out who had the better season and not until then. It is fun to speculate about who has the best team on paper but the game is played on the field not on blogs, and last year for the first time in quite some time we had a nice season. Not great but not bad and I can't see us going anywhere but up.

Go Nats!!

gonatsgo said...

Yeah --- what he said! GYFNG!

Anonymous said...

The Turtles, "It's Yu, Baby"

Anonymous said...

BinM,

Davey Johnson decided that Desmond was a major league shortstop, I suspect it will be up to Espinosa, Lombardozzi and yes Rendon to convince him that he may have erred in making Desmond the shorstop. But, you'll have to let the drama unfold ...

Anonymous said...

My Counsin Vinnie sez; "the Yu-ths".

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

"Baby, It's Yu" was by the Shirelles.

Anonymous said...

Lombardozzi is exactly 3 years younger.

Lombo is a switch-hitter and as we should all know from watching Espinosa it could upwards of 1000 bats or more in the majors to make it work at that level. He hasn't done that yet.

So, there is a fair amount of risk there. Personally, if anyone is playing 2nd I bet its Rendon not Lombardozzi.

Maybe he could learn to play CF?

BinM said...

Anon@4:54: Maybe he could learn to play CF?

Who, Rendon? Yes, maybe he could. Just because he hit in college doesn't mean anything at the MLB level. It could take awhile for him to get the metal out of his swing as well.

BinM said...

Anon@4:47: It wasn't fully DJ that decided Desmond was the SS for the Nationals. Rizzo & Riggleman had their hand in it as well. I tend to think it's based more on time invested in Desmond, with a lingering odor of Bowden comparing him to Jeter than anything he's ever proven on the field.

BinM said...

Captcha on the 5:13 comment was "unrefei" - Unrefined, that about covers Desmond as a MLB SS, imo.

Feel Wood said...

The FO shows an amazing amount of faith in Desmond at SS, who has yet to put it all together (hitting + speed + fielding) at any level in over seven years with the Orginization. Espinosa was a solid college-level SS & high-round draft pick (3rd round, 2008), who was shifted to 2B because of Desmond.

Desmond HAS put it all together for periods of time (such as the last couple months of the 2011 season, his September callup in 2009, etc), just not for an entire season yet. But then again, neither has Espinosa put it together for a full season yet either. His hitting post-ASB last season was abysmal. Both Desmond and Espinosa deserve a further shot at showing they can do on a more consistent basis what they've shown themselves to be capable of before either one is shuttled aside in favor of a rookie who hasn't shown nothin' yet.

Will said...

Putting it together for a month here and there does not constitute "putting it together". Otherwise, so did Elijah Dukes (2008 season), Nyjer Morgan (2009) and Wily Mo Pena (2007). In fact, their seasons were substantially better than anything Ian Desmond has managed.

The problem with Desmond is that for every time he succeeds with one element of his game it is at the direct detriment of another element.

For example, he was 20 for 23 in SB attempts in the first half of the season, but batted .220 in that span. Then in the second half, he batted .290, but was 5 for 12 in SB attempts. All the while, he was one of the worst defensive SS in the league- using whatever defensive metric you prefer (UZR, Range, Fielding Percentage).

This good glove perception is a fallacy. At best, Desmond is an average defensive SS. Nothing he's ever done in the majors suggests otherwise.

At least Lombardozzi has the potential to be a good player. Even if he ends up being a pretty rotten player, he'd be no worse off than Desmond.

Anonymous said...

Sec 3, My Sofa said...
"Baby, It's Yu" was by the Shirelles.

Yes, but the Turtles did "Yu,Baby" 1966.

Binx Bolling said...

I like Desmond's leadership. However, his BB-to-K ratio is terrible for a hitter of such little power. Lombardozzi has been very consistent during his rise in the minors and very well might be an upgrade over Desmond. Trade Desmond, start Lombardozzi and sign Jeff Keppinger and/or Jack Wilson as a reserve in case Lombardozzi flops.

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