Thursday, December 22, 2011

The net effect of "Nat Gio"

US Presswire photo
Ross Detwiler could get squeezed out of the rotation with Gio Gonzalez now a National.
Thursday's acquisition of Gio Gonzalez -- and, more specifically, the dealing away of Brad Peacock, A.J. Cole, Derrek Norris and Tommy Milone -- sparked all kinds of reaction across NatsTown.

There was excitement from those thrilled to be getting a 26-year-old All-Star who can't become a free agent for another four years. There was disgust from minor-league aficionados who can't believe the Nationals gave up as much as they did.

Even Bryce Harper felt the need to chime in, first posting on his Twitter account: "SHOCKED!!!!!" and later adding "Now all we need to do is get Prince!hah"

(Oh, dear.)

Now that the dust has settled and we've had a chance to analyze the situation, the ramifications of this blockbuster start to come into focus. Make no mistake, the trade has far-reaching implications across the entire organization.

Start with the obvious: What this means for the Nationals' rotation, both in 2012 and beyond. Gonzalez joins Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann to form one of the legitimately better young starting trios in baseball right now. All have averaged more than 7.7 strikeouts per nine innings in the big leagues. Few clubs can boast three starters with those numbers.

But who fills the final two spots in the rotation? That's where it starts getting a bit tricky. The Nationals (or, more specifically, Davey Johnson) seemed to be perfectly content to enter 2012 with a rotation of Strasburg, Zimmermann, Chien-Ming Wang, John Lannan and Ross Detwiler. Now, there are only two available slots for three remaining starters. Who's the odd man out? There's no easy answer.

Wang is probably the biggest question mark of the bunch because of his injury history, but the Nationals have already signed the veteran right-hander for $4 million plus incentives, and you wouldn't think they'd dump the guy now after spending all that time and money getting him healthy again.

Lannan probably has the lowest ceiling of the three, but he's also the surest bet of the group. You know what you're going to get out of the left-hander: 30 starts and a sub-4.00 ERA. He'll wind up making about $5 million in arbitration.

Detwiler, as we've been saying for years, has loads of potential and at long last flashed some glimmer of it late this season, certainly enough to warrant the final spot in the Opening Day rotation. Even if the Nationals wanted to give the young lefty some more seasoning at Class AAA Syracuse, they would be hamstrung by the fact Detwiler is now out of options and thus can't be sent to the minors without first passing through waivers.

So what does Mike Rizzo do? Does he try to shop Lannan or Detwiler, perhaps hoping one of the lefties (packaged with someone else) could land him the center fielder he so covets? That's all well and good, but Rizzo is smart enough to know he's going to need more than five starting pitchers in 2012. Someone will get hurt along the way, and we already know Strasburg is going to be on an innings limit.

There will be a need for both Lannan and Detwiler in the rotation at some point, especially now that the two guys who most likely would have been waiting in the wings at Syracuse in case of emergency -- Peacock and Milone -- are on their way to Oakland. Who else is ready and available within the organization? Tom Gorzelanny? Yunesky Maya? Craig Stammen? Danny Rosenbaum?

Which also raises the question of what the Nationals' rotation will look like beyond 2012. Obviously, the new "Big Three" will be around for awhile -- Gonzalez and Zimmermann can't become free agents until 2016, Strasburg can't leave until 2017 -- but the future of the back of the rotation is less clear. Wang is on a one-year contract. Lannan could easily cost $7 million to $8 million in 2013, then is eligible for free agency after that. Detwiler has plenty of years left, but he's yet to establish himself as a big-league regular.

Prior to Thursday, you had to figure either Peacock or Milone (or perhaps both) would figure prominently into the Nationals' long-term plans. Now, they'll have to wait for the next wave of starters -- Alex Meyer, Matt Purke, Sammy Solis -- to reach the big leagues. At this moment, only Solis has taken the mound for a regular-season game as a professional, and he finished this year at Class A Potomac (and now may be dealing with an elbow injury).

In other words, the Nationals really have to pray this current core group of starters avoids serious injury, or else be willing to dive into the open market again in future offseasons.

There's plenty of time, of course, before anyone has to worry about that. Above all else, Thursday's trade confirmed what many around here have hoped: The Nationals are serious about trying to win right now. They see a window of opportunity, beginning in 2012 and extending through 2015, in which they can challenge (and perhaps overtake) the big boys in the NL East.

They've now got three bona fide front-line starters, not to mention depth at the back of the rotation. They already had one of the better bullpens in the majors. They've got a lineup full of players who aren't going anywhere anytime soon -- Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Morse each are locked up for two more years, Ian Desmond is locked up for four more years, Wilson Ramos and Danny Espinosa are locked up for five more years, Jayson Werth is locked up for six more years and Bryce Harper is probably locked up for seven more years (as long as he doesn't make the Opening Day roster).

Are there still question marks scattered up and down the roster? Sure. There's still no legitimate leadoff hitter. Ramos, Espinosa and Desmond all need to progress. The bench still needs a major makeover, even with the addition of Mark DeRosa. The club needs to decide if it's going to try to lock up Zimmerman and Morse before either even catches a whiff of free agency.

But these questions pale in comparison to those that had been asked around these parts in all previous offseasons. Seriously, think about how many times the Nationals reported for spring training without even three legitimate starting pitchers. Now they have six.

Was the Gonzalez trade a stroke of genius by Rizzo or a panic move that stripped the organization of multiple long-term pieces? It'll be years before we can answer that question.

Either way, we'll probably look back at this day as a defining moment for a franchise that for seven years has been waiting to make its move and now has stated in no uncertain terms it believes it's ready to contend.

140 comments:

Constant Reader said...

Here, here! Well put.

josh f said...

Great piece as usual. I'm totally on board with the trade - but we need to fix the offense, and it starts at the top. I don't know if Cespedes or Fielder are in our future, but I can't wait to see what Rizzo has cooking.

JayMad4 said...

Next step: Oswalt and Fielder.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Mark. I'm on board with the deal because Cole is the only one who might come back and bite us. The issue remains the offense, it'd be a pity to shore up an already strong staff only to leave the biggest weakness on the team, the offense, vulnerable.

Doug said...

How will Gio's missing 2013 after Tommy John surgery affect his arbitration salary in 2014? (He hasn't had it yet, has he?)

Whatsanattau said...

We can answer part of that question right now. It was not a panic move it was a reasonable strategy. And it did strip the team of multiple long term pieces. And it will take time to know if it was fair but we should know by September if was worthwhile. I still think Detwiler coul end up in the bullpen despite Johnson's preference for him as a starter. But it woul not be that difficult to move Lannan or Detwiler for fair valu if appropriate. And I still see a chance that Ivan, Ankiel, and/or Coffey get invited back. Could Detwiler, Flores, and a prospect deliver a decent cent fielder? Could Cespades be a target? What about Livo. You could bring him in as insurance against a future trade. Sign Dobbs, or another pinch hitter. It's fun to speculate, now let's see what really happens....

Anonymous said...

Proven major league starters are the most precious and expensive commodity in the sport. After years of rolling out a minor league starting staff, the Nats are stepping it up. Way to go!

Anonymous said...

Even Harper knows it Mark. First the pitcher and then the big bat Rizzo mentioned in the Q&A video and let's face it that is Fielder not La Roche.

One thing though ... its likely the Nats will get Bradley Meyers, the right handed version of Tommy Milone, back from the Yankees. Now he will in fact have a decent shot at pitching in the rotation for the Nats.

So, now depth in AAA Syracuse ooks like Meyers, Maya, Stammen (if he doesn't make the team as the right handed long-man), and John Lannan. Not sure if he has any options left but if he does and given that Johnson wants to finally see what Detwiler can do?

Because Lannan will cost $5 million perhaps they will trade Detwiler with Flores ... not for a CF that would ostensibly block Harper but for prospects to somewhat refill the emptied minor league cupboards. With the possibilities of Harper and Prince ... and the contract with LaRoche there is no way a CF fits onto the Nats roster as long as Werth and Morse are already in the outfield. At this point its completely ludicrous other than a late innings defensive replacement which they already have in 3 players.

They now have five slots on the 40-man open. You have to wonder if they might not re-up Livan Hernandez as additional veteran depth?

So, you're Syracuse rotation is likely going to be :

Lannan.
Meyers.
Maya.
Buschmann.
Arneson.

and perhaps Rosenbaum at some point.

Jim Kurtzke said...

Seems like a panic move. Starting pitching just went from very deep to precariously thin. And without solving bigger problems...run scoring, CF, etc.

Anonymous said...

Seems like a panic move. Starting pitching just went from very deep to precariously thin. And without solving bigger problems...run scoring, CF, etc.

Starters.

Zimmermann
Gonzalez
Strasburg
Wang
Detwiler (because Davey is in charge Mark)

Depth.

Lannan.
Gorzelanny.
Stammen.
Livan Herandez. a phone call away.

Hmmm still looks better than when they started out of ST 2011 with
Livo at the top of the rotation, Marquis and Lannan? Doesn't it?
If there was panic it should have happened last year and the year before?

Sec314 said...

Sign Oswalt. Deal Detwiler and Lannan (and be ready to call Livo out of retirement when someone goes down.

Anonymous said...

Repeat after me for the ten zillionth time:

They are not going to trade for a CF because it would block Harper.
They are not going to trade for a CF because it would block Harper.
They are not going to trade for a CF because it would block Harper.
They are not going to trade for a CF because it would block Harper.
.
,
.

Anonymous said...

Oswalt is still a very viable solution in a very young rotation. Better choice than Wang. If they did then Lannan would definitely be optioned to Syracuse over option-less Detwiler. Stammen might end up there as well and then you might go ahead and sign Livo.

Anonymous said...

OK, they are not going to trade for a CF because it would block Harper....but not for lack of trying!

Anonymous said...

OK, they are not going to trade for a CF because it would block Harper....but not for lack of trying!

Look at the prospects they just traded? You don't think they could have had a decent young CF like Bourjos et al for that haul? Really? Sheesh!

Anonymous said...

When the smoke clears it does appear as if they have plenty of $$$ saved from not signings Buehrle for Cespedes (not covered by the new draft cap), Fielder and Oswalt. That would still put the payroll at only about 85-100 mil. Still reasonable.

if they sign Fielder the chances of getting Oswalt go way up.

Cespedes is all about money. Bringing Livo back might help a bit.

lesatcsc said...

Huge risk!

Might as well go all the way. Sign either Fielder or Beltran. No point in selling the future for pitching without improving the offence.

And let's stop fussing about when Harper will arrive. When he does, that's a happy problem: then the Nats work out a trade to solve another problem. In the meantime, they need to sort out who is providing the offence next year.

Drew8 said...

I'm still concerned about dealing away both Cole and Peacock, but, upon reflection, here's a comforting thought.

Under Rizzo the Nats are builing an admirable record of spotting and developing pitchers.

Brad Peacock was a 41st round pick in 2006. Tommy Milone was a 10th round pick in 2008. Under the tutelage of seers like Randy Tomlin and Spin Williams, those guys transformed into bonafide major league prospects.

I suspect that's not a fluke. This year Danny Rosenbaum (a 22nd rounder in 2009) gets his first year with Randy Tomlin at AA. Maybe we'll soon have our next Tommy Milone.

P.S. Taylor Jordan (9th round in 2009) got off to a great start at Hagerstown (9-4, 2.48) but went on the DL with some kind of injury. Does anyone know his status?

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

It doesn't block Harper if you trade Michael Morse for a center fielder. Just sayin.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

They don't need Oswalt now, unless they trade Lannan and/or Detwiler/Gorzelanny. They cannot use Fielder unless they trade MORSE, because that *would* block Harper (what, you think Werth is going to play center for the next six years??), which ain't happening on Davey's watch. They probably need a CF/leadoff guy, but not necessarily this year. They need three or four more big hairy home-run-hitting guys for the bench next to Davey.

At that point, we can start rubbing cheese on the windows of the Philly busses.

Nattydread said...

Hey, if Harper wants Fielder, I'm all in! 2012 is only 58 days away.

Gotta think Boras has spoken to both Rizzo and Fielder about the Gio deal by now, and that DC is looking like an interesting destination for Fielder...

DL in VA said...

Here's how we get Fielder and keep Morse, Werth, and Harper.

In 2013 and beyond, there will be LOTS of interleague games. (I forget how many, but isn't it something like 3 times as many as now?)

During NL games, Fielder is at first, Morse, Werth, and Harper make up left, center, and right fields. During the interleague games, Fielder moves from 1B to DH. Morse moves from LF to 1B. Werth moves from CF to RF, Harper moves from RF to LF. Bernadina (or someone else) to CF. Werth gets many days off from the grind of CF, and we keep all four of those bats in the lineup.

Pipe dream?

Anonymous said...

I suspect that's not a fluke. This year Danny Rosenbaum (a 22nd rounder in 2009) gets his first year with Randy Tomlin at AA. Maybe we'll soon have our next Tommy Milone.

Tomlin is currently on hiatus from the Nats. He is coaching HS level baseball and working toward teacher certification. He's at home in Virginia with his family. There is a new pitching coach in Harrisburg, used to be the pitching coach in Potomac.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

DL, that depends on what's in the pipe.

Do the math. Nevermind how it would [RF] with three of your top four players to essentially platoon them, the ABs are not there.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't block Harper if you trade Michael Morse for a center fielder. Just sayin.

Morse was almost single handedly responsible for the offense last year. Even without Zim and no reasonable bats to back him his stats were better than Dunn's, Williingham's and Zim's the previous year. You don't trade Morse at least not yet. Not for a slap hitter who gets on base. That would be the very height of stupidity ... now maybe for a CF like Pittsburgh's of course ... otherwise no.

They cannot use Fielder unless they trade MORSE, because that *would* block Harper (what, you think Werth is going to play center for the next six years??), which ain't happening on Davey's watch.

Nope, La Roche makes a nice left-handed bat off the bench until the trading deadline in July. Morse in left, Werth in center, Harper in right. Fielder at first base. IF La Roche gets traded before the deadline they've lost on that deal no matter how you look at it ... might as well get a prospect out of it so that its not a complete wash.

DL in VA said...

Sec 3, why not? The AB's should be the same since they're still going to be playing, regardless of NL or interleague game. The position shift just gives Werth a day off from the centerfield grind while keeping him in the game.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Oh, and Beltran signed with St. Louis this afternoon, late. Off the board.


captcha: nonists.

baseball junkies?

Anonymous said...

If you don't get Fielder you have to KNOW from listening and reading that Davey Johnson is going to want another left-handed power bat in his lineup other than Harper. That's La Roche at first base ... unless there's a Fielder.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

DL, because there will be, max, maybe 30 interleague games.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

It doesn't block Harper if you trade Michael Morse for a center fielder. Just sayin.

Morse was almost single handedly responsible for the offense last year.


I didn't say it was a good idea.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

LaRoche makes a nice left-handed bat off the bench until the trading deadline in July.

at $8M/a, on the bench?? Not in this universe. And why is everybody so sure he's all that tradeable, assuming you don't suggest just giving him away?

Steveospeak said...

With making this deal the Nationals better look at acquiring Fielder, b/c otherwise why trade away the future if you are just going to nibble at the corners. We can hope and pray that better health and development gets us over the top, but my guess is it will be an impact bat like Fielder. I like Morse a lot, but he's far from a sure thing, not nearly as good as Fielder (especially when you factor in defense), and two years older. His price tag won't be as high as the Prince, but then again he won't be as productive or for as long.

Trade for a stopgap CF (Charlie Blackmon would be my pick), and sign Fielder. Hope Morse starts off the season hot in LF, then trade him for prospects in June, while bringing Harper up.

Anonymous said...

at $8M/a, on the bench?? Not in this universe. And why is everybody so sure he's all that tradeable, assuming you don't suggest just giving him away?

And last year? When their only offensive threat off the bench was Jerry Hairston Jr? Where did that get them? The absolute worst dismal bench in all of baseball. No offense to be found in Riggleman's smart/small ball bench. And what happened when Zim went down? When La Roche went down? When Werth was struggling? When Morgan had to be sent away and Ankiel was a hitless wonder for almost the entire first half of the season?

Besides, again, if they trade LaRoche at the deadline they have still essentially lost the 8 million. There is no guarantee he will be 100% after the surgery and before that he was an average offensive player over the whole season at best. BUT, his WAR could be significantly higher as a fresh left-handed bat and/or glove coming off the bench in the late innings.

LaRoche himself stated that they told him there was no guarantee he would be starting in 2012.

Anonymous said...

And why is everybody so sure he's all that tradeable, assuming you don't suggest just giving him away?

They could get a C or below prospect for a guy that can come in and play first ... injuries occur ... and that could happen with the Nats as well. Its better than a bag of balls.

sjm308 said...

LaRoche could absolutely be on the bench. Are you thinking that other teams have not made a player with that kind of salary a sub? Just look around. Besides, the idea of platooning Morse/LaRoche when you do bring up Harper is not totally out of place either.

I think if we have a chance to get the "right" CF and not just a body that we go ahead with that. I realize there are lots of people in FA next year but I just don't see Werth/Bernadina (even Ankiel if we resign him) being the answer. I loved watching Werth in his few games last year but that was after watching both Ankiel and Bernadina take poor routes toward balls and have to make spectacular catches (or misses). I just don't think he can do the job for the entire year.

My wish list still includes Oswalt and Fielder and if that happens I can live with one unfilled position. This is of course assuming that Desmond continues to improve and that dfh cannot find any eggs at his grocery store.

Will said...

I think the Gio-trade is a terrible deal that will come back to haunt us, but it's happened and there's nothing I can do about it now except face-palm.

With that said, we still absolutely need a CF. If Rizzo is going to make a big push this year and next, we're MUST have a CF. It's arguably the most important defensive position, and currently it's a gaping hole in our lineup. Ankiel/Bernadina/Cameron just don't cut it. Unfortunately, we just sold half the farm to acquire a pitcher (that I don't think we needed in the first place).

Someone previously made the point that we could have easily gotten Bourjos or another young, good CF for at most what we gave away for Gonzalez. However, now we can't sell the other half of the farm to get that piece. So it seems now we have no choice but be stuck with Cameron/Bernadina/Ankiel...

jeeves said...

I do not like the deal. Does Beane ever lose? What bothers me the most about Gonzalez is his era away from home--4.24, i believe.
But really, it's not Gonzalez, who at face value makes the top of our rotation quite exciting. It's just that the Nats gave up too much. As an old Expo fan from a way back, I'm still stinging from the Colon trade. Ah, me! Where are Phillips, Lee, and Sizemore now? Oh, right.
Okay, i realize the two trades are not the same, but still...

Drew8 said...

Anon 1:46:

I hadn't heard about Tomlin. Thanks. Anyone can understand the desire to get off of the road and see more of your family, but I think that's a loss for the franchise. Didn't Peacock say it was Tomlin who taught him to better disguise his delivery, leading to his breakout season?

Joe Seamhead said...

OK, I slept on it after my initial rant. I think Gio could be a good addition for us. I think giving up all three of the pitchers for him was bad subtraction.
That said, I think that Rizzo has decided that 2012 is the year to go for the brass ring. Gio is not going to be enough to put us over the top. I expect another blockbuster development in the near future.

MFG said...

Gonzalez's road numbers don't look great. But his inter-league stats tell a different story: 10 starts, 3-3 record, 2.54 ERA, 61/24 (K/BB), 8.6 K/9. He is still just 26, going into his 3rd full season in the majors. It is reasonable to assume that he has not reached his ceiling and will improve beyond his current level.

As for the guys the Nats gave up, Peacock is the only one that I think is a real loss.

Milone was never going to be more than a 3rd starter in DC with Strasburg and Zimmerman at the top of the rotation. Even if he sticks in the majors with Oakland, it is very unlikely he will be as good as Gio (sub 3.50 ERA with about 200 Ks)

Likewise, Norris was blocked by Ramos, and while his defense is improving, Ramos is considered one of the best defensive catchers in the majors right now. This is how we ended up with Ramos in the first place - he was blocked by Mauer in Minnesota.

Cole is a complete question mark at this point. He is only 19 years old. Yes he was ranked as a high prospect, but there have been hundreds of guys ranked as top prospects at A-ball that never make it to the majors. Remember Esmaylin (sp?)

Oakland is hoping one out of these four turns into a player as good as Gio, while the Nats get Gio entering his prime. Sounds like a win for the Nats to me.

As for Billy Beane always winning, the A's haven't finished above .500 since 2006, and the next few years aren't looking very promising for him with the moves that Texas and Anaheim made.

Go Nats! Go Gio!

Tim said...

The only additional pitching help would be to re-sign Coffey. Detwiler will be the long man until someone goes down or until Stras reaches his limit.

If we get Prince, which would be awesome but unlikely, I could see us trading Morse for Bourne, possibly straight-up, to the Braves. They need righthanded pop. I don't think they have anyone in the wings ready to take over CF.

More likely, we stand pat. LaRoche is our lefthanded power bat, and we can only hope he's ready for a comeback year (.270/25/100) and that Morse improves in the outfield. I am NOT wild about him flailing away out there in LF.

On paper, we can contend for a wildcard spot right now, even if there's only one wildcard this year. With Stras and Gio, we are at least 8 wins better. Add in LaRoche, Werth bounceback, Zim healthy (ha!), improved Espi and Desi, and I think you have a playoff team.

Need another bullpen piece.

Anonymous said...

The last two seasons Gio's road ERA has been 3.62 and 3.92.
Maybe not stellar, but also not 4.24.

MicheleS said...

I am not sure where I stand on this yet.. Will have to wait and see where the Prospects end up. But I do like the fact that they got someone who is under control for the next 4 years. Our first window of contention for this franchise. Not sure what to do about CF. Stop gap with Werth? Or do a trade. Not sure there is much left in the farm for a trade.

Roberto said...

"Does Beane ever lose?"

Judging by Oakland's recent lack of success, the answer is "sure." Beane is smart but the rest of MLB caught up with him a long time ago. He traded Trevor Cahill, an effective, cost-controlled, proven MLB starter for a prospect,Jarrod Parker, who might or might not live up to his potential. As Rany Jazayerli at Grantland put it, even granting Parker's potential, "the notion that he's as valuable as Trevor Cahill is nuts."

Similarly, it's premature to say that the Nats got "fleeced" or even that they gave up too much. Milone and Norris had no future in DC and it's not clear what trading just the two of them would have yielded in return. Cole is an exciting prospect but he's several years at the earliest from the Majors and saying that he's as valuable as Gonzalez is "nuts."

That leaves Peacock. If he becomes the #2/3 starter some -- by no means all -- people think he can be *and* Cole develops then Beane would have won the deal. Right now? I'm not sure that the two of them together are as valuable as Gonzalez.

One other thing: all the talk about Gonzalez benefiting from his home field fails to take two things into account: one, the park factors for the Oakland Coliseum and Nationals Park are almost identical. The former's is 0.947 (20th in MLB) and the latter's is 0.955 (18th in MLB). Two, Gonzalez won't be facing a DH, which is worth .5 runs in ERA.

Okay, a third thing: all the talk about Gonzalez benefiting from Oakland's superior defense ignores the fat that, statistically, the Nats defense was better than Oakland's in 2011.

I think a lot of the reaction to the trade is a product of what Jazayerli has called the "prospect bubble." People read scouting reports and prospect rankings and assume that the player will live up to his potential. IOW, they over-value them.

I call it the "Brandon Wood Syndrome." The Angels held on to Brandon Wood, passing on offers for people who could have helped them advance in the playoffs. Then it became clear that Wood was overrated. They were left with nothing.

It's better to do what Boston did with Anthony Rizzo: sell high while everyone is in love with your guy's potential, provided you get something valuable in return.

NatsNut said...

@NatsNut,
Pardon me, sir or m'am, but I've had that moniker since 2007. I wonder if you might find another?
=)

Joe said...

At first, my reaction was negative. I thought we gave up WAY to much for Gio. After I thought about it more, I think we made a good deal.

Gio not only has great numbers but great numbers in the American League AND for a HORRIBLE defensive team. Plus, Gio has already proven that he has great talent in the big leagues unlike the pitchers we gave up.

This gives us an excellent rotation that will last for many years. Great job Rizzo!!!

Anonymous said...

I think that Zuck is missing the more serious effect of Nat Gio. It is not about how it bumps other potential starters or rotation depth in a couple of years, all interesting stuff, but it's background noise. The big, glaring effect is that the Nats truly are a lead off man away from having a legit shot at contention and they have money laying around to get one.

dfh21

NatsJack in Florida said...

Joe Seamhead..... Glad to see you've resoned this out some more.

Please remember that the cupboard is far from bare after this trade.

Only recently has Peacock shown developement and Cole still has mechanical issues. Norris and Milhone had no future with the Nats.

If Gio can reduce his walks by 1 per game, his numbers overall will improve to top top of the rotation status. And just think how Rizzo would have been pounded had the Marlins made the deal.

Anonymous said...

Roberto beat me to it, and he said it better than I would have. That question cracked me up.

Dare I bring up a ridiculous off-season hypothetical? What if Stras hits his pitch limit in September and they make they playoffs? No chance he sits, is there?

MicheleS said...

So can someone explain the Love on the Board for Beltran?

I don't get it.. limited to corner OF, injuries the past 2 years and wanted a multi year deal for $$$$. Am I missing something?

Theophilus said...

Too bad Lannan wasn't part of the deal. Except for the Ks, As could have given him Gio's # and had the same pitcher.

I think this moves Detweiler to the bullpen. Not ideal but better than giving him away. Can't see Nats moving Lannan unless there's a replacement part in the pipeline. Pity, though the same is true of Detweiler. What's Scott Olsen doing these days?

One of Cole or Peacock won't make it as a big league starter. Milone won't ever make it past end-of-the rotation break-glass-in-emergency status. Norris probably wasn't in line for much playing time here as the Nats seem to be looking forward to a logjam of catchers, 1B and outfielders. With all these pieces gone, however, there's no one left to trade for a CF. Enter, stage left: Ankiel.

Gonat said...

To Anon above at 12:03----Lannan isn't pitching in AAA. Just a waste of time writing it. He won't pass through waivers.

Reflecting on yesterday, I just don't understand why Rizzo wouldn't have done a 1 year deal with Oswalt or a 3 year deal with Saunders to allow the youngsters to mature and then see what we have.

This morning we wake up to see a depleted farm system. I have very little confidence in Rizzo as a GM who can handle trades. Prior to last year it was Kasten over-seeing the trades like Capps for Ramos. Every trade since then including proposed trades have not been good trades. Even the Hairston for Komatsu which was one of Rizzo's better trades was flawed as Komatsu was on a short fuse with pending Rule 5 and Rizzo should have sent him to AFL to see if he was worth protecting and now gone in Rule 5. Nyjer was given away. Marquis for Walters. Willingham for a reliever w/ no options. The rumored Greinke trade. Now this, essentially a 4 top prospect package for a #3 pitcher who will frustrate us almost as much as Henry Rodriguez.

Anonymous said...

Too much for Gonzalez. Way too much. What does it say about Detweiler that the A's didn't want or ask for him?

Constant Reader said...

Putting on my label as an overly optimistic homer.

We have an 80 win team that SHOULD have:

Starts from Gio replacing Livo & Marquis.
20 additional starts from Strasburg.
20 additional starts from CMW.
7 additional starts from JZimm.

LaRoche returning to his .265/25/80 norm.
RZimm healthy and closer to his '10 numbers.
Werth closer to his '08-'10 numbers.

I feel more optimistic this morning.

Canada's #1 Nats Fan said...

Love the fact the organization has decided to go for broke this year. The trade may bite us in the butt down the road but definitely gives us a better chance to win now. Have to believe there is another move coming to help the offense or you don't make this deal. Strasburg, Zimmermann, Gonzalez - maybe this decade's Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz?

Gonat said...

Anonymous said...
Too much for Gonzalez. Way too much. What does it say about Detweiler that the A's didn't want or ask for him?

December 23, 2011 8:42 AM
_______________________________

The smart ones know what it says. A smart GM was buying that charade of having him pitch on extra rest to try to prove he was a legit starter.

Hopefully another GM won't be as smart as Rizzo now has to restock the Minors and not with jokes like Cutter Dykstra, Gilliam, and other filler like that.

Sunderland said...

SeƱor Roberto - Very well said.

baseballswami said...

How old is Gio? Doesn't seem like a guy with 2 years ( even if he did pitch a lot of innings) checks off that "mentor the young staff" box that Rizzo talked about. I don't see Wang in that role either. Is that truly necessary with a good pitching coach? Hard for me to believe that we added a pitcher and still have too many viable starters. I think Detweiler truly showed what he can do last season and I hope he gets a shot or gets traded for something we can use. I vote we use a platoon of Bernie/Cameron in CF until Harper comes up, then see how Werth does in center. Then next year, trade Laroche, put Morse back at 1b and add a center fielder then. Since we have to lock up good people with multi-year deals it doesn't make sense to get someone unless they are the right piece for a long time. But then, I don't really get a vote - I actually do know that....

Joe Seamhead said...

Nats Jack, I still think we gave at least one player too much, and the one player was Peacock. It's water under the proverbial bridge now, but if Peacock had to be part of the deal then any one of the other three should not have been. Norris could have been a part in another package deal for at least a bench player.
I was truly angry with the deal when I got home from working outside all day.I've mellowed a little, and am back to being happy that it's less then two months before ST starts.

The Dude Abides said...

Anybody who thinks the Nats minor league system needs "restocking" doesn't know a thing about the Nats system.

Drew8 said...

I just wish they could have dealt Desmond and kept one of the righties.

If you're not going to go get a leadoff cf guy now, why not deal Desmond, move Espinosa to his inevitable position at ss and let Lombo play 2b and lead off until Rendon is ready?

Once again, with feeling. If -- as we all presume -- the team locks up R Zim, then Rendon will play second base and at some point Desmond will seek other career opportunities.

I just hate going into another season with a leadoff hitter whose on base percentage was .298 this year and is .304 for his career.

Tell me again why they didn't bid $2.75 million on Nori Aoki?

RaleighNat said...

Time for the Lerners to pony up and bring a real winner to DC. I'm an old Expos fan and was excited when they relocated so they were closer to my home in North Carolina. Its time I had a team that takes a shot at being great.

Added: Gio...price hurt but it should have to get a guy of that quality. Power lefty with 4 years of control.

Sign: Fielder. LaRoche off the bench and is OK by me.

Extend: Zimmerman. Face of the franchise entering his prime. Don't sign Fielder if you're going to let Zimmerman walk...but lock up both!

Sign: Livo for the pen as starting depth.

Move: Detwiler to the pen as starting depth. Can't lose him.

Keep: Morse. Ok, an outfield of Morse, Werth, and Harper mid-season may struggle defensively but will more than make up for it with the bats.

Weakness: No real lead off hitter but no team is perfect.

- Strasburg, Zimmerman, Gio, Wang, and Lannan
- Desmond, Werth, Zimmerman, Fielder, Morse, Harper, Espinosa, Ramos
- Storen, Clip, HRod, Livo, Burney, Gorzo, Detwiler
- DeRosa, LaRoche, Bernadina, Lombo, Flores

Who can't get excited about that! Playoffs baby.

NatsLady said...

Has Pudge signed yet? I haven't heard.

Is there any possibility of giving him a minor league player-coaching contract so we can deal Flores in July? I feel that Flores should show his value in the spring and be dealt for whatever need we have (and we WILL have a need).

In other words, can we get Pudge on the 40-man? I know he will not get the 3,000 hits, but is there any other incentive we can offer for his future?

Mark'd said...

The Nats starting rotation today is better, no doubt. It still doesnt give Rizzo a slap on the back of "great trade". He gave up too much and Rizzo must not have seen the movie Moneyball because Billy Beane just bent Rizzo over!

A's fans are upset in the short-term and will watch all 4 of these young men grow and prosper. They all have bright futures.

NatsLady said...

Just pulled this note from the MLB comments:

A's fan here -- Nationals fans, you will love Gio. He's such a great guy and will quickly become a fan favorite. He's the kind of guy who always signs autographs before each game, is a genuinely nice guy, and really appreciates the fans. Oh, and he's an All-Star and has won more than 15 games in each of the past two seasons.

Anonymous said...

This has not been the commentariat's finest work.

Lannan to AAA?
Morse/LaRoche platoon?
Livan and Pudge coming back?
Trade Morse?
Beltran?
Does Beane ever lose?
The Minors are bare????

Seriously. People, you can do better than inane and uninformed comments like these.

jindc

natsfan1a said...

There's also this, from a piece on Nationals Watch:

- He's known to be a very good teammate, a sentiment that comes through in this graph from the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser: "Gonzalez will be missed in Oakland’s clubhouse. He’s among the most likable players in the game – numerous Major League Baseball officials have told me that Gonzalez was their favorite All-Star this past summer because he was so friendly and treated everyone from the parking attendants to the fans to the sponsors beautifully."

natsfan1a said...

She also speaks to the park effect and other concerns raised by some.

Nationals Anthems said...

What this deal shows me is that Rizzo et al can draft tradable players. The farm system on any club is there in part to provide valuable, coveted trade pieces so that you can get other team's starters. It is working as designed. There is reason to believe the FO will continue to draft tradable players. Then we will keep the stars and trade the maybes for other teams' stars. That way we get all the stars in DC!

Feel Wood said...

To Anon above at 12:03----Lannan isn't pitching in AAA. Just a waste of time writing it. He won't pass through waivers.

Lannan should have one or two options left. He was brought up in 2007 and optioned down once, in 2010. So they could send him to AAA. Not that they would, but they could if they had to.

Anonymous said...

I like this guy:

This has not been the commentariat's finest work.

Lannan to AAA?
Morse/LaRoche platoon?
Livan and Pudge coming back?
Trade Morse?
Beltran?
Does Beane ever lose?
The Minors are bare????

Seriously. People, you can do better than inane and uninformed comments like these.

jindc

Just sayin' said...

Okay, so now the Nats turn to the FA market to get an additional bat?

From MLBTR's 'top 50' list, here's who's left -- excluding pitchers -- that might fit the Nats' needs:

#2 - Prince Fielder
#21 - Coco Crisp
#43 - Juan Pierre

Although I included first baseman Fielder, I left out David Ortiz, Carlos Pena, and Johnny Damon as not really fitting the Nats' needs and not worth readjusting the roster to accommodate.

No need to revisit the Fielder discussion: we all know he'd add a huge bat, wants an equally huge contract, but would add a huge bat, doesn't really fit on the roster the way it's currently constructed, but he'd add a huge bat, can't play CF or hit lead-off, but -- you guessed it -- he'd add a huge bat.

Crisp remains available. He was said to have been the Cardinals' back-up choice if they didn't get Beltran -- but they got Beltran. He was said to have wanted to stay on the West Coast, but was reportedly willing to go to the Cards to play on a winning team. He is said to want some stability in his life, i.e., a multi-year contract. Unclear whether Nats' management has even been in touch with him as a CF (future 4th OF) option.

Pierre also remains available. A quick search suggests very few rumors about him since he was non-tendered by the White Sox. Unclear whether Nats management has even been in with him as a CF (future 4th OF) option.

jd said...

After 1 day's reflection I have concluded that I'm not sure if this is a good trade or not for the following reasons:

1)I don't really know how good Gonzalez is. If he's truly a no. 2 pitcher then it's probably at least a wash because he is under team control for 4 years and that's huge.

2) Milone is over estimated by Nats fans; he is a soft tossing lefty without an out pitch; his absolute top upside is a fringe bottom of the rotation starter.

3) I think Norris is better than he's perceived here. He will thrive in Oakland where they value OBP. I predict that he will be their starting catcher no later than 2013.

4) If Peacock continues to improve and land as a no. 3 starter this deal starts to look good for Oakland.

5) The biggest piece - If Cole develops into a true ace this will look very good for Oakland.

If we win a championship or 2 and if Gio is a big part of that then it doesn't matter how good this deal is for Oakland but if we flounder and Oakland's haul thrives then this is a kind of deal which gets GM's fired.

You have to at least admit that Rizzo does not play it safe; he was all in on Gio and he got his man. Let's all hope this works.

Wally said...

Rumors that CHC moving towards a total rebuild. Marlon Byrd is on the last year of his contract and still plays a good CF. I could see him hitting 1 or 2 (not ideal there, but. Better than ID). He seems like a possible acquisition target.

Not sure what we have left that we would be willing to trade, but he shouldn't cost too much

Just sayin' said...

Jd,

You've hit the proverbial nail on its proverbial head. And the bottom line is that we won't be able to fully evaluate the trade until at least the end of the 2014 season (i.e., after about three years).

Ztown17 said...

Someone needs to get Bryce to deactivate his twitter....or at least his mouth

NatsNut Sec. 3D said...

Just sayin' said...
Jd, You've hit the proverbial nail on its proverbial head. And the bottom line is that we won't be able to fully evaluate the trade until at least the end of the 2014 season (i.e., after about three years).


You gotta go and bring logic and tempered judgement into things.


captcha: "conster"
(cue Miss Janet: "We are a part of the Conster Nation!")

Buzzkiller.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Someone needs to get Bryce to deactivate his twitter....or at least his mouth

What did he do now?

Dave said...

So I missed the genesis of the nickname "Nat Gio." Is it a reference to National Geographic or something else I should be getting?

Dave-the-Dumb

baseballswami said...

Ztown17 -- good luck with that. I think Bryce's tendency to be very "social" is going to be an ongoing thing. Just part of the package that is BHarp. I also think part of Cameron's role is going to be Bryce's clubhouse daddy ( mentor?) in the outfield and in other ways, too. The kid just oozes charisma and personality and trying to stifle him may be interesting. Will we have "Bryce being Bryce"?

Tim said...

I love this trade. You NEED 3 top shelf starters in the play offs and now they have that 3rd top starter. This is now a rotation that could win a NLCS in 2013.

On what we gave up, I think it was quality for quality but none of them are sure fire prospects and even then sure things can end up not being sure things.

I expect a bump in offense for progression of Ramos, Desi, and Espi. Werth (hopefulyl he can return to his career norms, and Laroche will help alot as well. I am not sure they need to add a high OBP bat. But a true lead off guy would make them pretty scary.

Sunderland said...

Dave, yeah, the cable channel knows as NatGeo.

captcha - swedn, what Rizzo was doing when we has waiting to see if he had a deal for NatGio.

Anonymous said...

So Morse is obviously going to be owed more than he is actually worth when his free agency hits after this season.

We sign Fielder, run Morse in LF, Werth in Center and Harper in RF (once he gets called up).

Then don't re-sign Morse next year, move Werth back to RF, Harper stays in LF and we go get a CF.

Anonymous said...

The Twitter helps us remember that Prince Oppo Boppo is just 19.

It is good to be reminded because some who comment here forget he is still developing. They assume he is CF or RF, when last year @ "low-class" A he was thought, by some, to be a little awkward in LF.

Can the team representing the Capital of history's greatest democracy roster two Princes?

natscan reduxit said...

... just getting to this news a bit late. here's my take: Mike R didn't just take a sip of Boswell's Kool-Aid; he took a big gulp. Peacock or Milone? Okay. Peacock and Milone? No way.

Go Nats!

Mike Hall said...

My biggest concern is what happens now if someone gets hurt. Can we move Detweiler to the bullpen? Then he can be first up if someone goes down. That wouldn't be so bad. Before we had young potential stars who would get valuable experience if there was an extended injury or implosion (which is likely), and possibly prove they are ready. That's the ideal situation. Now we just have stop gaps if something happens until Purke, Solis, and Meyer are ready, which won't be this year. Is Detweiler out of the pen realistic?

Steve M. said...

Just sayin', thanks for compiling that information, Beltran went right at estimated value to the Cardinals and a shame the Nats weren't in on him. Pierre at this point in his career is a step above Mike Cameron and probably no better than Bernadina. Coco Crisp would be a 4th outfielder on this team at this point and would be an upgrade although I don't see Rizzo having any interest.

The Rizzo/Lerner relationship with Boras can possibly snag Prince Fielder to make this a playoff team if Boras will agree to a 3 to 5 year deal plus options. When you add Prince you can see that the Nats offense is transformed to a team that will score well over 700 runs which is key and the Nats pitching will improve from 7th best in the MLB to probably 5th or 6th best in the MLB. The Nats would be a lock for the post-season and possibly take the Division crown.

If the Nats stand pat and do nothing, the fate of the team will rely on unknowns on offense. The season opener may include Bryce Harper or may not and Bryce has to prove in Spring Training he is ready and can make an impact on this team otherwise he shouldn't be rushed. Much success if they don't get Prince will depend on LaRoche being healthy and returning to 2010 form. Zim needs to stay healthy. Werth needs to improve measurably over last year and Morse needs to stay the same. I expect better years from Ramos, Espi and Desmond.

So if the Nats do nothing but stay healthy, they should still improve on offense. The question is whether they can jump above that 700 run plateau. If they can't, the Nats will not make the post-season. By improving the starting rotation to top tier now where the Nats are looking like a great pitching team with an average defense and below average offense will need everything to go right to improve much above .500

So the new hope is to put Prince Oppo Boppo in the same lineup with Prince F'Bomb!

BinM said...

The trade scraped away some depth at SP, but gave Rizzo what he was looking for - A solid 1-3SP option with a LH in the mix for the next three years. Does the team still have issues to resolve? Absolutely.
CF is still a question mark, the bench still needs some pieces, and the "what to do with Detwiler" question is still out there. There's roughly 9 weeks until catchers & pitchers report... plenty of time to work out the remaining roster kinks, imo.

E-Natorial comment said...

I've read all the comments and I think the best one is from Constant Reader (whom I don't know BTW).


Constant Reader said...

Putting on my label as an overly optimistic homer.

We have an 80 win team that SHOULD have:

Starts from Gio replacing Livo & Marquis.
20 additional starts from Strasburg.
20 additional starts from CMW.
7 additional starts from JZimm.

LaRoche returning to his .265/25/80 norm.
RZimm healthy and closer to his '10 numbers.
Werth closer to his '08-'10 numbers.

I feel more optimistic this morning.

I would add to Constant Reader's comment, these of my own, reasonable reasons for optimism in wake of this trade:

- Werth cuts down his strikeouts
- Desi and Espi cut down strikeouts and make a natural progression as hitters
- Ramos continues progression toward fulfilling his unbelievably high potential.

They say good pitching beats good hitting. If you look at the moves the Marlins, Braves, and Phillies have made, I think you'll see that all the NL East GM's recognize the truth of this Axiom. Rizzo does too.

As for me, watching everything Rizzo has done, I'll back him over Billy Beane any day.

Tim said...

I am surprised by all the love for Millone. This guy is hoping that one day he might be good enough to be Lannan. That is who he is...

The key piece of this trade was Peacock. He is the closest to being a good MLB starter (probably a #3 once he really settles in) but even he needs to develops some more pitches and polish in AAA. Maybe ready to start his rookie effort mid-season. And then you have to see how he does once hitters adjust to his stuff.

Cole is an interesting prospect but nothing more at this point. He might develop into a lefty Ace oen day. But he won't be ready for 4 or 5 years off -- under ideal circumstances.

Norris, its all been said.

Steve M. said...

jd, very good analysis of the trade. If Gio proves to be a true 3.10 ERA or better guy, then no complaints. Also, if Gio does his job and is a 3.10 ERA guy and the team doesn't score runs, that is firmly on Rizzo.

This team feels a lot like the San Francisco Giants to me right now. Top of the rotation Aces with a below average offense.

Prince F'Bomb solves all the offensive problems as everyone around him is better. Ryan Zimmerman will have the best year of his career batting in front of Prince.

1) Desmond SS
2) Werth CF
3) Zim 3B
4) Prince 1B or LaRoche
5) Morse LF
6) Espi 2B
7) Harper RF
8) Ramos C

9) Strasburg RH
Gio LH
JZim RH
Lannan LH
Wang RH

R) Gorzo LH
Detwiler LH
HenRod RH
Vacant
Burnett LH
Clip RH
Storen RH

B) Flores C RH
DeRosa U RH
Bernadina OF LH
Vacant
Vacant

erocks33 said...

First off, I'd like to say that I like this trade (especially in the short-term). However, some have pointed out Gio's numbers away from OAK Coliseum (pitcher-friendly ballpark). While good, they were far from great.

One thing that popped into my head, though, was what are his stats the past two years pitching in all of the top hitter-friendly ballparks. So I looked up which ballparks favored the hitters over the past two seasons and which ones Gio pitched in and came up with some scary stats.
(the ballparks in question include: TEX; BOS; TOR; NYY; CUBS; CHISOX; BALT; and KC).

In 2010 and 2011 he went 5-9 in 17 starts, with a 5.42 ERA. He gave up 106 Hits and 57 ER in just 94.2 IP. He walked 46 and struckout 80, giving him a WHIP of 1.61.

Egads! But I still like this trade (and why is it that one side has to *win* a trade?? Why can't both teams profit/benefit??)

jd said...

Steve M.

I am mostly on the same page as you here. If we decided we are all in with this trade then we have to get the prince. I don't see Harper in the everyday lineup this year; I think a year away still. I would fill your vacant bullpen slot with Stammen and one of the bench slots with Cameron.

I think we still need a center fielder, a new home for LaRoche and more than anything else an extension for Ryan Zim.

Golfersal said...

Mark, in your second to last paragraph you said:

Was the Gonzalez trade a stroke of genius by Rizzo or a panic move that stripped the organization of multiple long-term pieces? It'll be years before we can answer that question.

That is what will answer if this trade is worth it. Let's say Gio is below his 2011 stats, like Jason Werth was and Peacock, Milone start and do well at the A's. Then the trade is a bust because we know that between Peacock, Milone and Coles they will have at least one player that is as good as Gio. So what Rizzo is betting on is getting to the playoffs in 2012, not '13 or '14 if he keeps Coles, Peacock and Milone.

So the answer will be easy and we will see it not only in the way Gio plays, but what happens to the four guys that were traded away. Honestly I see the upside in getting Gio, but as a fan that saw Peacock and Milone regularly in September I worry that we gave up too much

Anonymous said...

As we have seen--it's easier to add to the bottom of the rotation than it is to the top. I don't think it should be a problem if the Nats had to add a 4th or 5th starter through free agency or a trade next season. Also, I still hope the Nats are still highly interested in signing Jorge Soler.

Dj PostL said...

"Jayson Werth is locked up for six more years" you say that as if that is a good thing lol.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Tim.... if Cole becomes a lefty "Ace", that would be quite the feat since he's right handed.

Anonymous said...

look everyones freaking out over they gave too much but really they got a yung pitcher who you can control and can improve and grow with this rising team. Mat Purke is coming and will fit in their rotation in the future. norris was blocked by ramos. milone isnt great. brad needs 2 develop and cole was too far away to wait. They have a top 5 rotation now

Roberto said...

"I am surprised by all the love for Millone. This guy is hoping that one day he might be good enough to be Lannan. That is who he is..."

Exactly. It's even worse at MLBTR where people are actually using the words "Tom Milone" and "Cliff Lee" in the same sentence.

I like Milone and I think that he has a chance to have a nice career as a back-of-the-rotation starter/long relief kind of guy. But he is clearly expendable.

When Keith Law said that Oakland acquired a "future ace," i.e., Cole in the deal I thought "that's only true if 'potential' is synonymous with 'future.'" English is technically my second language but I'm pretty sure that the two words aren't synonyms.

It's possible that we will look back one day and rue this deal. It's also possible that Gio will win the deciding game in the 2013 or 2014 World Series, Lannan will shower him with champagne and we won't give a tinker's damn about Cole and Peacock.

Neither possibility is significantly more likely than the other. That's why it's called "risk."

Steve M. said...

jd said...
Steve M.

I am mostly on the same page as you here. If we decided we are all in with this trade then we have to get the prince. I don't see Harper in the everyday lineup this year; I think a year away still. I would fill your vacant bullpen slot with Stammen and one of the bench slots with Cameron.

I think we still need a center fielder, a new home for LaRoche and more than anything else an extension for Ryan Zim.

December 23, 2011 11:42 AM


I don't think Bryce Harper will be here Opening Day unless he absolutely stands out in Spring Training against true MLB starting pitching. If not, still hoping for an upgrade in CF or I guess we will see a platoon of Bernadina/Cameron in CF and they will bat in the 2 hole and move Werth to the 6th. Bernadina's numbers in the 2 hole are actually very good.

Yes, yes, yes, and yes to all of your suggestions. Zim needs to be wrapped up long-term and from his side stay healthy and get back to All Star form.

Braves Fan said...

Are the Nationals really setting up Harper to be their CF?

Anonymous said...

All I have to say is Peacock and Milone will have more total wins than Gio this season. And, Peacock, Milone and Cole will have more life time total wins in the Majors than Gio.

Diz said...

What I love is looking at the Nats Opening Day starters the past 3 years (you can even go farther back if you want and it's still painful):

2011 - Livan
2010 - Lannan
2009 - Lannan

Last year's ODS is no longer with the team and could be out of baseball and our '09 and '10 is now our 4th or 5th starter.

All I can say is that is one hell of an inprovement and I am the happiest I have ever been as a Nats STH since they moved back to DC.

Diz

Sunderland said...

Golfersol "...because we know that between Peacock, Milone and Coles they will have at least one player that is as good as Gio."

I most certainly do not know that.

Feel Wood said...

So the new hope is to put Prince Oppo Boppo in the same lineup with Prince F'Bomb!

I believe Nyjer Morgan already has the Prince F-Bomb name sewn up.

Feel Wood said...

(the ballparks in question include: TEX; BOS; TOR; NYY; CUBS; CHISOX; BALT; and KC).

In 2010 and 2011 he went 5-9 in 17 starts, with a 5.42 ERA. He gave up 106 Hits and 57 ER in just 94.2 IP. He walked 46 and struckout 80, giving him a WHIP of 1.61.

Egads!


As an NL pitcher he'll only be pitching in one of those ballparks on a regular basis.

Mick said...

At least Milone and Peacock are in the AL, I would hate for them to come back and haunt us I am not sure about this trade because why do it if you believe Peacock and Milone are your future??

Also, I agree with Boswell on the Lerners, I think they suck!

Mick said...

I have a bad feeling that in the end the late a-hole Bob Short wont hold a candle stick to the Lerners when it comes to being DC's worst owners.

D'Gourds said...

I may be alone on this but...I really believe Morse is our 1B of the future--His 2011 bat was no fluke and he was actually quite good defensively. We don't need/want Prince. Laroche can stay at first until Harper comes up, takes RF, Werth moves to CF and Cameron temporarily takes over in LF and Morse moves to 1B. I don't care if we spent 8 mil on Laroche this year--if he produces, great, but if he doesn't, right to the bench. Our focus should be to trade for a legitimate cf, and pray Espinosa becomes more consistent at the plate, moves to ss, and Rendon heals and takes over at 2b. Desmond will be our bench guy.

Anonymous said...

For those crybabies bringing up the "cavernous Oakland Coliseum", here is something you should consider:

Cavernous Oakland Coliseum dimensions:
Left Field - 330 feet (101 m)
Left-Center - 367 feet (112 m)
Center Field - 400 feet (122 m)
Right-Center - 367 feet (112 m)
Right Field - 330 feet (101 m)
Backstop - 60 feet (18 m)

Cavernous National Park dimensions:
Left Field - 337 feet (103 m)
Left-Center - 377 feet (115 m)
Center Field - 402 feet (123 m)
Right-Center - 370 feet (113 m)
Right Field - 335 feet (102 m)[8]

Nationals Park is even more ”cavernous” than the Oakland Coliseum, which tell me you don’t have a clue of what you are saying.  You really believe Rizzo and D. Johnson and the rest of the Nats brain trust did not read the stats?  I just wonder, have any of you ever seen a baseball game at Nationals park?  Just saying.

BinM said...

Steve M: The lineup & roster make sense. Maybe Mattheus plugs into the vacancy in the bullpen; He struck me as pretty fearless when he was healthy. The two remaining holes on the bench will remain of interest; Ideally, an MI with a LH bat (or a switch-hitter- Lombardozzi?), then a LH CI-OF with some pop, I suppose.

Constant Reader said...

Seconding Sunderland. I have been hesitant to say it out loud because it just makes me uncomfortable, but our history with pitchers on the verge of breaking through isn't so stellar. Patterson, Hill, Chico, JZimm, Strasburg. The idea that in '14 Peacock, Milone, and Cole will all pitch 160 big league innings requires some serious optimism, even for me.

mjames said...

Here is a scenario that could address some of the issues raised above.

It is reported that the Yankees are hot for Y. Cepeades. Assuming they sign him they then trade Brett Meyers to us for Lannan and Bernadina.

Anonymous said...

erocks33,

Of the ballparks you list that Gio's had problems in, Wrigley is the only one that he'll pitch in regularly now. I know much has been made about his home/road splits, and the pitcher-friendly Coliseum, but, as some others have pointed out:

1. Nats Park doesn't grade far below Oakland as a pitcher's park. It plays a little more neutral, but Gio isn't losing much in terms of home field advantage.

2. What Gio is losing in favorable home park, he's more than making up in moving to the National League. Take a look at his interleague stats.

3. He's going to be 26 this year, so even though he's had some major league success, he's still just entering his prime, so there's every reason to believe that he'll continue to improve.

All to say, I know that his numbers away from the Coliseum haven't been as great, but there are just as many factors that would lead you to believe that this move could actually make him a better pitcher.

Mick said...

Going into the off season our focus was a leadoff batter and a CF period, we failed at both an instead make a Denny McClain type of deal over one pitcher.

I bet Peacock and/or Milone wins 20 games a while Gio loses 20, just McClain lost 20 in 1971 and Joe Coleman who we traded won 20 for the Tigers The past is prolouge in DC baseball

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 12:44:

I agree that there's not a huge difference in the Coliseum and Nats Park, but the Coliseum definitely plays bigger. For one, because of the huge foul territory down the lines, and for another, because of the Pacific marine layer off the Bay. The ball dies in the Coliseum, especially at night. Easy home runs turn into outs.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it's not uncommon for LH power starters to gain control later in their 20s, rather than sooner. Not saying he's Sandy Koufax, but there's a reasonable chance for considerable improvement to what looks like the weakest part of his game.

from Mark's 12/4 post period said...

Rizzo hasn't disguised his desire to land a veteran starting pitcher, someone who can be penciled in for 200 quality innings while also offering guidance to young aces Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann. But there are plenty of other suitors for the three free agent starters who fit that description -- Mark Buehrle, C.J. Wilson and Roy Oswalt -- so it may still take some time for the pitching market to play itself out.

Rizzo also has made it clear he's seeking a center fielder, someone who ideally could lead off and reach base at a high clip but above all else hold down a position that has been in flux since the day the Nationals arrived in town. An astounding 28 different men have played center field for the Nats over the last seven seasons. Knowing that, Rizzo would like the 29th man at that position to actually stick around for a while.

Unfortunately, there aren't any real viable center field options in free agency. So Rizzo may have to get creative, whether in the form of an international signing such as Cuba's Yoenis Cespedes or a trade for an existing big leaguer such as Tampa Bay's B.J. Upton.

Going into the off season our focus was a leadoff batter and a CF period, we failed at both an instead make a Denny McClain type of deal over one pitcher.

Drew8 said...

For anyone who thinks John Lannan will be pouring champagne on Gio's head when the Nats win a title, I wouldn't be so sure.

Matt Purke has a major league deal. Before long Lannan will be shoveling his...um.... shaving cream pies somewhere else.

Maybe someday Rizzo's to do list will read like this:

1. Ship Lannan and Desmond in a deal for a CF.

2. Do Snoopy dance.

Mick said...

I hope your right Mark

ehay2k said...

I count myself as one in the crowd of "they gave up WHAT?" when I saw the news. However, I have thought a lot about this, and am now happy with the trade. That means I will renew my ST shares this year. (Oh, and we are looking for one more to make it 9 shares - behind home dugout, Sec 129 lower level - if anyone wants to chat about it.)

Basically, Gio is a known quantity - after facing MLB hitters and scouts for 2 years, he arguably has gotten better, not worse, meaning he has no glaring weaknesses that other teams have figured out. We really can't say that about Peacock or Milone. I remember people were pretty high on Shairon Martis after his first few starts. He still hasn't made the show - last pitching in the bigs in 2009 with the Nats.

There's a reason they are called "prospects" - because they are not READY yet. For all the promise they showed, Milone and Peacock had not convinced anyone they could break into our rotation, except for September call-up time. Think about that for a minute.

They might make it, they might not. Gio HAS made it, and was the ace of the A's staff. There is a lot of value in that.

We now have a good 1-2-3 and our 4-5 are very steady. The top of the rotation is locked up for 4 years. Sweet!

And please remember, we may be able to trade Purke and Solis (or some other combo) to the A's for Peacock and Milone if those guys ever get good enough to demand a big payday. In effect, we can become Beane's second farm system. I'm OK with that. ;-)

And really, I come up with "Gio's Gone Wild video" and no one say boo? Sigh. I thought that was pretty good.

Mark'd said...

Anon at 12:44, its not the dimensions, its how a park plays over the course of a year and all sports writers consider Oakland a pitcher friendly park.

Anonymous said...

This morning we wake up to see a depleted farm system. I have very little confidence in Rizzo as a GM who can handle trades.

Sigh, as Natsjack said the cupboard isn't exactly empty. What is now missing is depth particularly and acutely in AA/AAA. That's where you go when you have injuries.

So, instead of having a farm system in the top 5, it probably drops to around 15. It could rise again depending on the performance of the most recent 2011 draftees and players they've moved to the states from the Dominican.

You are still very, very deep in the left-handed starting pitching prospect department. Perhaps Alex Meyer and his 100mph fast ball replaces AJ Cole. Solis, Purke, and Rosenbaum all still there. Possibly the ***TOP TWO*** prospects (or at least positional) in all of baseball : Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon STILL THERE. Both will likely be ranked better than Trout who isn't as good a CF fielding-wise as Borjous. Especially, if Trout isn't ready yet.

Prior to last year it was Kasten over-seeing the trades like Capps for Ramos. Every trade since then including proposed trades have not been good trades. Even the Hairston for Komatsu which was one of Rizzo's better trades was flawed as Komatsu was on a short fuse with pending Rule 5 and Rizzo should have sent him to AFL to see if he was worth protecting and now gone in Rule 5. Nyjer was given away. Marquis for Walters. Willingham for a reliever w/ no options. The rumored Greinke trade. Now this, essentially a 4 top prospect package for a #3 pitcher who will frustrate us almost as much as Henry Rodriguez.

Clearly you're not watching or listening? To Johnson.

Rizzo has done fine. Clearly his strength is the draft and most especially pitching. IF Rizzo values Gonzalez that highly there must be a good reason. He is still young at 26. That's Detwiler and Jordan Zimmermann. He can still be coached by former A's ace Steve McCatty on how to throw strikes and not nibble. He is just coming into his prime.

This gives Johnson almost all that he wanted and needed, (NO. HE DID NOT AND DOES NOT WANT A CF!!! Johnson put Werth in CF for a reason last year! , he wanted, opined on, and now has a left-handed heavy rotation if he so desires. He has 3 power pitchers in Gonazlez, Detwiler, and Gorzelanny that can start. Plus the ubiquitous back of the rotation Lannan plus Rosenbaum in AA/AAA depth.

Ancillary to that. NO, they are not going to trade the entire 2011 offense for prospects? Morse for prospects? What planet are you on? They are going to keep him in left field, Harper in right field, and Werth in CF for now.

If Morse gets replaced its going to be for Anthony Rendon when he is ready. Rendon likely goes to 2nd though and then the whole nice problem of what to do with Desmond, Espinosa, Lombardozzi, Morse, Tyler Moore, etc. gets opened up. That's what's going to happen either next year or the year following. Did the Nats have these sorts of problems when Kasten and Bowden were running the show? Instead we got Lastings Milledge and Elijah Dukes? And Dunnkey ... and Guzman re-upped every time Bowden looked at him?

Fools!

Anonymous said...

Anon at 12:44, its not the dimensions, its how a park plays over the course of a year and all sports writers consider Oakland a pitcher friendly park.

Hard stats not sportswriter fluff clearly indicate that Nats park fairly strongly favors left-handed hitters. Not home run wise but when it comes to doubles which is how most RBI are driven in. How do you offset a park that favors left-handed hitters? With left-handed pitchers.

Mark'd said...

SteveM, disappointed in you. Today you seem okay with Gio. In the previous days you laid out your trends on the different pitchers. Keith Law wrote today very similar thoughts to what you had earlier in the week on Gio. This trade doesn't sit well with me.

Joe Seamhead said...

I'm trying to stay positive about this whole development, but somehow I feel like the Grinch stole Christmas.

Anonymous said...

new post

Anonymous said...

Don't see how the Nats can deal Detwiler right now.

Wang has yet to confirm that he is all the way back from injury, and only has a one year deal.

Lannan is a fringe #4/5 that is closing in on free agency.

While the Nats have some good pitching prospects left in the organization, none of them even have ETAs yet, and the top ones (Solis and Purke) also have unresolved in jury concerns.

Given those circumstances, Detwiller has to stay as either the #5 or a long reliever because when/if a starting pitcher or two goes down, the Nats options are really limited over the next couple of years. Also, given that it looks the focus of the rest of the off-season moves will be upgrading offense right now - it does not appear likely that more arms are on the way.

Also, Detwiler has an elite arm. Not beyond the realm of possiblity for Detwiler to develop into a top of the line starter himself, which would make the next 4 years in DC really interesting for Nats fans and scary for everyone else in the NL East.

So, when considering future roster tweaking in light of the Gio for the Nats most ready prospect arms, Detwiler is close to an untouchable right now IMO.

Pilchard

Big Cat said...

There was some interesting blogs about my favorite hitting instructor a couple days ago. I guess he has survived for another year. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

I choose to look on the bright side of this trade. The Nats play the Marlins 18 times. When it is Gonzalez's turn to pitch he will have no trouble issuing a walk to Pujols every AB. Rizzo is a genius.

natsfan1a said...

Uh, Pujols will be with the Angels, not the Marlins.

erocks33 said...

"As an NL pitcher he'll only be pitching in one of those ballparks on a regular basis."

The point I was trying to make was that when Gio pitches in *any* hitter-friendly ballpark, he tends to be a pretty bad pitcher. Once he gets to the NL and has to pitch in Philly, Cincy, Colorado, amongst others, then he may continue that trend. Just something to think about.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

Uh, Pujols will be with the Angels, not the Marlins.

"Over? Did you say 'over'? NOTHING is over until WE say it's over! Was it over when the Marlins signed Albert Pujols??"

Roberto said...

"For anyone who thinks John Lannan will be pouring champagne on Gio's head when the Nats win a title, I wouldn't be so sure."

My point wasn't so much a prediction about Lannan's future with the Nats as an observation about the nature of the unstated assumptions behind the whole "the Nats got fleeced" meme.

People who say that assume a certainty about what will happen that is completely unwarranted. We don't know if Peacock and Cole will live up to their projections. Recall that some of the same people saying that Rizzo gave up too much told us that the Nats 2007 draft was stellar. They sang the praises of Detweiler, Smoker and McGeary. Oops!

I'm not a Rizzo shill. (Really.) But when I read crap like "the trade for Gio shows that the Nats are desperate" I want to laugh and punch my monitor at the same time. Let's be clear: if peple saying things like that had a way of knowing which prospect will pan out and which won't that justified the certainty with which they made these kind of declarations they wouldn't be writing on the Internet -- they would be making big money consulting for MLB teams.

It's like those people who hawk "get rich by buying real estate" or "how to beat the market" BS -- if they could do they wouldn't be selling their secrets on late-night television.

End of rant.

Dave said...

Somebody without a handle said, at 2:29:

"The Nats play the Marlins 18 times. When it is Gonzalez's turn to pitch he will have no trouble issuing a walk to Pujols every AB."

Wow. Really? Have you not been paying any better attention the past two weeks than THAT?

natsfan1a said...

Germans? I mean, Marlins?

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

"Over? Did you say 'over'? NOTHING is over until WE say it's over! Was it over when the Marlins signed Albert Pujols??"
December 23, 2011 4:41 PM

Anonymous said...

I think this is a great trade. You always want to get the best player in any deal and Gio is the best player in this deal. The other pitchers MAY turn out but Gonzalez HAS turned out and proven it over the last two years. I've seen him pitch, he is not a fluke. He has what is considered one (if not the) best 12-6 curveball for a lefty in the majors.

The game is about the playoffs. The Nats now have a big three that can match up in the playoffs.

I would like them to get a good CF. A short-term fix could be Coco who has gotten better and less injury prone but he is not a long term answer.

The Nats dealt from stregnth. They gave up a lot, but more often than not these trades work better for the team getting the established player. The final evaluation of this trade is in the future; in the meantime it was an agressive and defensible trade to get the NAts through the playoffs, not just to the playoffs.

Seraphlaim said...

I think Cole and Peacock will both become #2 starters. I was excited
to watch both develop. But I'm cool with this trade because of the
window here. Neither of those guys are going to realize their
potential in the next two years and Gio already has. More, If the
Nationals teach him what the A's couldn't and he cuts down on the
walks, he will be even better.

The other reason I'm down, as Zuck mentioned, is this window is wide.
We don't have to win the world series this year. Riz knows that even
if his wildest dreams come true, there is a ladder of success once you
are a post-season team. Besides Werth and LaRoche, none of these guys
have experience in the post-season, and that's a whole new ballgame.
We will have several years to climb that ladder.


*On an unrelated note, I am claiming the coining of the nickname Nat
Gio. I posted it in Mocospace Sports forum at 6:05pm the day of the
trade. If its shown to be posted by another beforehand, I'll gladly
give them their due. Maybe it sounds petty to claim such things, but
with this guy it might end up a worthwhile contribution within
NatsTown fan-dom.

Anonymous said...

Every one commenting on Bryce Harper could be for not if he's not on the opening day roster.Harper earned a spot last year. Nats reason for holding him down to young.You need to listen to his interviews the Nats would loose him.then only fix trade Harper.

Dave said...

Not only do I have no idea who you are, I have no idea what you're saying.

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