Friday, November 30, 2012

Dissecting the deal for Denard



The Nationals have been searching for a leadoff hitter and center fielder since ... well, since before they were the Nationals.

This is a franchise that has tried in vain for eight seasons to develop or acquire someone who possessed both the ability to play center field and hit at the top of a big-league lineup.

First there was Endy Chavez. Then there was Brandon Watson. Then Nook Logan. Then Lastings Milledge. Then Nyjer Morgan. The list also included, at various times, Justin Maxwell, Marlon Byrd, Willie Harris, Preston Wilson, Ryan Langerhans, Ryan Church, Elijah Dukes, Roger Bernadina, Rick Ankiel and even a guy named Jorge Padilla who even the most knowledgeable Nationals fan would never remember existed.

All told, 32 different men have played center field for the Nationals since 2005 (tied with the Red Sox and Athletics for most in the majors).

So there was some real purpose behind yesterday's trade with the Twins for Denard Span. This wasn't simply an attempt by Mike Rizzo to shore up a small leak. This was an attempt by Rizzo to plug a hole that had existed for eight years.

Will Span be the guy who at long last produces in that vital role? There are no guarantees in life, but he certainly comes to Washington with a far better track record and body of work than any of those 32 previous center fielders.

This is a career .284 hitter with a .357 on-base percentage, spectacular range in center field -- only Michael Bourn rated better defensively last season -- and the ability to put bat on ball. Span struck out in a meager 10.7 percent of his plate appearances last season, well below the league average of 17.2 percent.

He even hits left-handers (.293) better than right-handers (.280) over his career, a rare skill for players of his ilk.

"I think he's going to bring a dimension to the club that we haven't had before," Rizzo said. "A fast-moving, exciting guy that makes contact and moves the ball around and can fly around the field. It gives us added speed, stolen base potential and a guy that can really run down balls, which will further help our pitching staff."

Was the price to acquire Span steep? Yes, it was. Alex Meyer is no slouch, a 6-foot-9 beast of a right-hander whose fastball approaches triple digits and who should be on a fast track to the big leagues after dominating both low- and high-Class A last season.

But the price to acquire Gio Gonzalez one year ago (four top prospects) was far steeper, and you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone complaining about that trade today.

What makes this particular deal all the more fascinating, though, is the domino effect it will have on so many other aspects of the Nationals, in 2013 and beyond.

Span's arrival will push Bryce Harper to one of the corner outfield positions; the hunch here is that he'll go to left field, with Jayson Werth wanting to remain in right field, though those two could wind up swapping spots somewhere down the road.

It also pushes Werth out of the leadoff spot and perhaps Harper out of the No. 2 spot in Davey Johnson's lineup.

All of that, of course, will depend on the name of the Nationals' first baseman in 2013. Will it be Adam LaRoche or Michael Morse? Only one can return.

The easy (and perhaps likeliest) scenario will have LaRoche signing with another club (perhaps the Red Sox, Orioles or Rangers) and Morse shifting to first base. And that may well happen.

But make no mistake, the Nationals still want to re-sign LaRoche, and would prefer to bring him back on a reasonable deal (two, though probably not three, guaranteed years) and then trade Morse (who will be a free agent next winter and most likely won't be re-signed regardless.

Think about this potential lineup should the Nats and LaRoche somehow find common terms:

CF Denard Span
RF Jayson Werth
LF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
C Wilson Ramos/Kurt Suzuki

Even if LaRoche walks and Morse stays, the Nationals still will boast a potent lineup, top-to-bottom. If LaRoche returns, there won't be a better defensive team in baseball.

Above all else, Rizzo has ensured he'll still have plenty of money left over to spend on his remaining offseason needs. If the Nationals don't re-sign LaRoche and don't tender John Lannan a contract before tonight's deadline, they'll have roughly $90 million committed to next year's payroll. (That figure includes the raises all their arbitration-eligible players are likely to receive.)

The Nationals opened 2012 with a payroll of $92 million, and they're perfectly capable and willing to increase that number in 2013. Whether it's LaRoche, a front-line starting pitcher, a veteran reliever or some combination of all that, the funds are there for Rizzo to continue improving a roster that already won 98 games a year ago (without getting a full season of contribution from either Harper or Stephen Strasburg).

Yes, the Nationals are making a real run at winning the 2013 World Series, without sacrificing their chances of winning it in 2014 or 2015. They've got players at seven of the eight everyday positions, four starting pitchers and five relievers under their control for at least the next three seasons.

As always, there are no guarantees in baseball. The Nationals might not win a World Series in the next three years, let alone even reach the playoffs.

But no franchise in the sport is better assembled to win now and down the road than the Nationals. And yesterday's acquisition of Span only made that statement more true.

160 comments:

Joe Seamhead said...

Mark, all in all I like the move, though like every other Nats fan I am wondering what else Mike Rizzo has up his sleeve.
I have one question regarding Span. Everybody is aware of the time that he missed from concussions and migraines, but he missed a bunch of games at the end of 2012 from a collarbone injury. Is this shoulder injury any thing to be concerned about?

Joe Seamhead said...

Not that it really matters now, but Rizzo said that this deal had been in the works for weeks. I wonder what Mike offered before he and the Twins agreed on Meyers? The Twins are seriously devoid of pitchers. At one point early last season I thought the Nats could have acquired Denard for Lannan and a throw in.

Unknown said...

If Morse is gone via F.A. in a year no matter what, then why use him as a one-year stopgap 1B? Either sign LaRoche for 3 years or start the T.Moore 1B era now....

Positively Half St. said...

I saw some Twins fans calling Span an "average center fielder" in responses to another blog. My response made me feel even better about this trade:

I can't agree with Twins fans below saying that Span is an average center fielder. If Fangraphs is a measure, then realize they say Span has averaged 3.6 WAR per 600 at-bats. That is a big improvement over Michael Morse in the outfield, and we Nats fans all love The Beast. Or, how about Span's 3.9 WAR last year compared to BJ Upton's 3.3, Dexter Fowler's 2.9, CarGo's 2.7 or Yoenis Cespedes's 3.1? This is not an average CF.

Faraz Shaikh said...

Harper in 3rd spot? I don't know about that. too much burden on young shoulders unless we are counting on our 1-3 to get on base mainly.

Positively Half St. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sjm308 said...

The more I think about it, the more sense it makes to sign LaRoche even to a 3 year deal. I just don't trust Morse or Moore to handle first base the way LaRoche does. I understand our offense would not be hurt by either but Mark's one sentence "there won't be a better defense team in baseball" really hits home. Not only will that make a pitching staff this is already great just a little better, it puts other teams in a hole knowing that scoring runs on this team will be difficult.

Like Seamhead, I am now sitting back waiting for the pitching deals to get done. I guess there are still those who either don't like or still question Rizzo but how many really good moves can the man make without missing?? Seriously, there are a couple of FA signings that were not great, the Maya signing did not work, maybe the gamble on and staying with Wang too long, but the good far outweighs the bad. I mean even keeping LannEn around worked out well for Rizzo and this team. I bet lots of GM's would have either been forced to dump a 5 million dollar minor league pitcher or they would have traded him. Right now it is easy to see why he is one of the top GM's in the league and it should only get better as this team gains more money from attendance and hopefully MASN.

Not to jump on our brethren from the North but wouldn't they love to see deals like this for their club?

Go Nats!!

sjm308 said...

Faraz, I think I read somewhere that Davey was actually thinking about Bryce hitting cleanup. The kid sees himself as that kind of player and it would surprise me to see Ryan stay in the 3rd spot with Harper 4th.

Faraz Shaikh said...

I agree that Harper is capable of taking over 3rd or 4th spot in the lineup but don't you think it is a bit early? anyways, I trust rizzo and davey to make the right decision.

sjm308 said...

Another though about this line-up with Span,Werth,Harper in the top 3 spots. Do you guys realize the speed and baserunning ability in that order. I can see Span going from 1st to 3rd on a Werth single and Jason scoring from first on a Harper double as Bryce takes 3rd on the throw home. This is then followed by a Zimmerman homerun and we can all sit back and watch our pitchers dominate for the remainder of the game. Hell, the season is pretty much over right now!!

RickH said...

Is it spring yet? I can't wait.

sjm308 said...

that would be thought! not though

hiramhover said...

It would be nice to sign ALR--on the the Nats terms--but it never was essential, and it's less so now.

That's one of the reasons this is such a smart deal--it's proactive and gives the Nats options and leverage. Its easy enough to imagine a GM saying, all other position player moves are on the backburner til I resolve the situation with ALR. That's not what Rizzo did. Kudos.

Faraz Shaikh said...

sjm, I am buying into it.

sm13 said...

SJM - i have those same dreams of baserunning sugarplums dancing in my head. This lineup instantly becomes more balanced and more challenging for opposing pitchers.

baseballswami said...

sjm - nobody at all can handle 1B the way Adam does.He is in a class by himself and we have been spoiled. Morse was quite good when he played there and it's been Tyler's position coming up. No reason to believe he can't end up being an all-star there. He is too new in the majors for us to know either way, but we won't know if they don't continue to let him develop. The player development people probably have a path planned for him, either at 1B or in the outfield. The Nats wanted him for several years in a row before they got him and they are not going to waste him or screw him up.Everyone had to start somewhere. I am sure that ALR was not born a Gold Glover. Good teams combine home-grown talent with key free agents. If you don't continue to infuse your team with up and coming players, then you end up being the Phillies - old and worn out, with endless contracts and taking drugs to stay on the field.

Don said...

I love our club, but the Dodgers, Reds, Blue Jays and Angels might have an argument for being just as ready to win now and down the road as the Nats. Now if they added Grienke next week, then I think that they'd be hands-down the winner in the ready to win and long term set up category. (A guy can hope.) We'll see.

howl31 said...

A lot of folks thought it was too early to bring Harper up last May at age 19... and he thrived under the pressure, never being stronger then when the Nats were coming down the playoff stretch in September...

Can Harper bat 3rd right now? At this point, I have no doubts he can handle that pressure of that role... in fact, I think the pressure will make him perform better...

Jimmy said...

Watching this team develop over the years has been such a great experience. After having suffered and cringed at the O's poor decision making skills most of my life, watching deals unfold that even as a child I knew weren't going to help the team long- or short-term, it is a real pleasure to watch Rizzo work. The man knows what he's doing. I get that same feeling watching Ozzie Newsome run the Raven's front office. Maybe it has something to do with having double-Z's in your name? (Note to self: hire manager with double Z's in his name next time I run a business).

Seriously though, I love Rizzo. No one was talking about the Gio trade before it happened. Few still linked Span to the Nationals as our CF solution in 2013. I'll even toss in the Suzuki trade after the deadline last year. Not on a single radar. And yet here we are.

Never in my wildest dreams did I see us getting to a point where Morse or LaRoche would "need" to be moved because we just had too many good players in place to fit them all. And now people are talking about adding a front-line starter with the money saved? How many front-line starters can one team have?

Go Nats.

Don said...

I don't doubt Harper's ability to bat third so much as I think that Zim has more ability to do so. Zim's a better hitter right now and it's not really even close. I think that if ALR is not re-inked (ALR is a long shot at this point, I would guess), that Harper bats 4th against RH and 5th against LH, but they might look to trade for or add another LH power bat so who knows. I think that the club is far from being done this off-season. We'll see.

Candide said...

I like Harper at #3 for now, until he shows he's not just learned, but totally absorbed plate discipline. He made big strides last year after his ugly midseason slump; I'm just afraid that batting cleanup might tempt him to revert back to his old ways of trying to crush those big fat lazy curves six inches off the plate. He's young yet.

Anyone know when Mantle and Griffey Junior started batting cleanup?

Faraz Shaikh said...

Candide: very limited action for both as 19 year olds, their first season.

Muddy said...

Speaking of how much money the Nats have or will have for 2013, where does the negotiation with MASN stand? Nobody seems to know anything. If the parties can't agree, why don' the Nats resort to the courts? I want my "journalists" to findout stuff!

Gonat said...

Rizzo is smart enough to know that the Nats offense clicked in the 2nd half of the year to great success because of that stacked middle of the order Zim, LaRoche, Morse, Desmond that could hit HRs at any time then Harper got on his own power streak when Jayson Werth got going at leadoff.

While you essentially are replacing Morse in the OF with Span, you are giving up huge power and OPS in the process. If Morse replaces LaRoche you can call that even.

Net/net, the Nats upgrade in outfield defense is tremendous, there is a loss in offensive power, a gain in team speed, and we will have to see how close the Nats can come to scoring 5 runs per game in 2013.

Balance is a key but overall I like it. If LaRoche signs a new contract with the Nats, it will be real interesting to see what they do with Michael Morse.

Faraz Shaikh said...

For good, Mantle in his 4th year and Griffey saw most of his PA from 3rd spot in his second season. Mays in 1955 as a 24 year old but he missed '53 season completely.

blovy8 said...

Well, you can't say Rizzo overrates his prospects anymore, can you? The last two offseasons he's dumped a lot of pitching depth. This is a great "going for it" sign. But I hope it's followed up by a similarly smart idea in the rotation, because no one is coming to help anytime soon.

NatsJack in Florida said...

When Mike Rizzo determines what he wants for this team he goes out and gets it. He targeted Span 1 1/2 years ago but wouldn't pay the price.

He targeted Grienke 2 seasons ago but couldn't get Greinke to buy in.

Don't think he won't go hard after Greinke again.

JamesFan said...

I would not trade our team straight up for any team in the majors, including the Yankees and Giants. The contending Nats are young, athletic, and have great pitching and none of the young players have reached their full potential, including Morse. The Span trade just follows that trend.

I am so glad that Rizzo is not going after a high dollar, long-term deal for a centerfielder.

The LaRoche negotiations remind me of the Dunn talks. The Nats have a number and a time period which is probably less than ALR can get elsewhere, and therefore, he will move on.

A healthy Morse will be a more consistent hitter than a healthy ALR and a good fielder as well. I don't think Moore is the answer at first.

Great move Rizzo. No get an experienced starter for a year or two (stay out of the Greinke sweepstakes) and get a really great lefty for the pen. With that, let's play ball.

MicheleS said...

Muddy, the post had some stuff on the MASN deal recently, but there has been no progress. This is going to land in Selig's lap or in the courts.

hiramhover said...

Don't think he won't go hard after Greinke again.

Actually, I don't think he will, and he shouldn't. Think about what the Nats rotation looked like 2 years ago when he last made a run at Greinke, and think what it looks like now. Totally different situations.

Maybe Rizzo keeps a hand in, just so he's ready to swoop in if the market for Greinke collapses. But that's unlikely to happen.

hiramhover said...

MicheleS

If it lands in Selig's lap, God help us. Bryce Harper will be a grandfather before Selig resolves anything.

We are the Nationals said...

I'm thinking that Rizzo's trades are not always what the general thinking is with the media and fans. With that said, if ALR re-signs, then I think someone else is going to be traded, not Morse, possibly Moore, Skole, or Lombo to fill in that final roster spot on the rotation.

MicheleS said...

HH,

I am hoping it ends up in the Courts and the Nats can break free from Angelos.

Candide said...

I've given up trying to predict anything Mike Rizzo is going to do as regards the Nats, beyond 1) it will apparently come out of nowhere, and 2) it will delight the hell out of me.

At this point, if he manages to get King Felix for a bag of Five Guys hamburgers, I wouldn't be surprised.

Maybe an order of fries.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsJack, Rizzo has come a long way in a short time. He will not chase Greinke if it goes beyond making sense.

JD said...


NatsJack,

I just don't think the Dodgers will lose out on Greinke no matter what the price tag is.

I trust that Rizzo won't overpay in years for pitchers he perceives to be just so so.

I won't even begin to speculate on how the 5th slot gets filled because I know that Rizzo is working on things none of us are even considering.

Candide said...

Ending up in the courts or ending up in Selig's lap will likely have similar results.

Dickens. Bleak House. Jarndyce v Jarndyce.

Jarndyce v Jarndyce drones on. This scarecrow of a suit has, in course of time, become so complicated that no man alive knows what it means. The parties to it understand it least, but it has been observed that no two Chancery lawyers can talk about it for five minutes without coming to a total disagreement as to all the premises. Innumerable children have been born into the cause; innumerable old people have died out of it. Scores of persons have deliriously found themselves made parties in Jarndyce v Jarndyce without knowing how or why; whole families have inherited legendary hatreds with the suit. The little plaintiff or defendant who was promised a new rocking-horse when Jarndyce v Jarndyce should be settled has grown up, possessed himself of a real horse, and trotted away into the other world. Fair wards of court have faded into mothers and grandmothers; a long procession of Chancellors has come in and gone out; the legion of bills in the suit have been transformed into mere bills of mortality; there are not three Jarndyces left upon the earth perhaps since old Tom Jarndyce in despair blew his brains out at a coffee-house in Chancery Lane; but Jarndyce v Jarndyce still drags its dreary length before the court, perennially hopeless.

pdowdy83 said...

Joe Seamhead, in reference to Span's collarbone injury he played the last 15 games of the regular season so I don't think it is anything to be concerned about at this point. If he was truly hurt he would have sat those games out being on a 90+ loss team.

Water23 said...

We are,

I was thinking that as well. How about moving Werth? I just cannot see it happening as Werth is a good character guy with decent stats and 3 dead years on his contract. The only deal even close is Vernon Wells but his deal is only for two more dead years and there is little chance Moreno will take on more dead years with Pujols contract.

JD said...


I think that guys like king Felix or David Price are pipe dreams. Teams are built on pitchers like that and they don't give them away. The Rays found money for Langoria and they will find money for Price. I think Helickson and Shields are more practical options for the Nats.

Tcostant said...

Time to get Jordon Zimmermann's name on a contract extention, now that some of the minor league starting pitching dept is gone - we need to lock him up.

I love this teade, even if it means Morse at 1B who I think is an above average 1B (but not in ALR class, who is the second best 1B I've ever seen).

Can't wait for the Spring!

JD said...


Tcostant,

Sorry,

Michael Morse is NOT an above average defensive 1st baseman by any measurable standard; he just does not do as much damage to your defense at 1st as he does in the outfield. If truth be told Morse is really a proto typical DH.

If he puts together the offensive year he did in 2011 then you can absorb his below average defense but if his year at the plate is like 2012 then he becomes a replacement level player.

IMO the best solution for the Nats is ALR for 2 years. I would overpay him handsomely for these 2 years but I would balk at giving him more than 2 guaranteed years.

JD said...


TCostant,

I agree with you re JZim. I also think we should get Desi on a multi year deal.

Faraz Shaikh said...

What about Clip?

JD said...


For those of us who are lamenting the loss of Alex Meyer here's my thinking: We should reasonably hope that Gio,SS, JZim and Det will comprise the bulk of our rotation for the next 5 - 6 years. Given that fact it is not critical that we have a pipeline of pitchers ready to graduate in the next 2 years. If the next group of pitchers needs 3 - 4 years to develop (Giolito,Purke) then that's ok.

blovy8 said...

As much as the Dodgers would like Greinke, once the money's enough, he may rather be here where he steps into a winning situation on a club that cares about pitcher's health. Mind you, I don't see the Nats as a 5/100 level bidders for him, but still. We'll never know until it happens, right Candide?

blovy8 said...

If LaRoche goes, we get a supplementary pick that could be about as good as Meyer. Also, to sign Bourn or Upton, we'd have lost a 1st round pick probably as good as Meyer. So there's that.

natsfan1a said...

Already said that I liked the deal but didn't welcome Denard so here you go: Welcome - will look forward to watching you next year and beyond!

blovy8 said...

I mean, Meyer's a great prospect who throws really hard, but he's going to be 23 probably repeating high A to start the year, with inconsistent mechanics that are going to be a struggle at his height to master.

pdowdy83 said...

Water23, Werth isn't going anywhere in a trade. He has a no trade clause.

blovy8 said...

I agree JD, but they certainly need some reasonable SP depth, because it would be really lucky if they all stayed healthy every year. A GM who pays 11 mil for Jackson last year, can be expected to want a guy as good as that this year, I imagine. The payroll is really reasonable, with only Werth's deal looking expensive. They can afford to spend some, and that won't cost them positional depth - I mean, there ISN'T any pitching depth left to deal from, really. They actually have pretty solid cost control at this point even if they'll go higher locking up Zimmermann and Desmond.

Section 222 said...

I'm now on the bandwagon for re-signing ALR and shopping Morse for pitching. But I don't understand Mark's assumption that Morse won't be re-signed in any event after this year. Think of it this way -- ALR walks (we can't force him to sign), and Morse moves to 1st and has an excellent year at the plate (maybe comparable to ALR -- 30 HR, 100 RBIs, .850 OPS). Is it really a foregone conclusion we would let him walk? Why? So the unproven Tyler Moore or Matt Skoke could take over? I don't think so. Of course we can't force Morse to re-sign either, but I expect that either ALR or the Beast will be our 1B for the next two or three years -- the first two or three years of the Washington Nationals Strasburg/Harper Dynasty. That's a very good choice to be faced with, and it really comes down to ALR deciding whether he wants that ring, or the longer term contract he can probably get somewhere else.

All hail Rizzo. I tip my cap, and look forward to your next move. And I agree with NatsJack -- Rizzo doesn't seem to change his view of players. Look for a Greinke signing. Can you imagine -- the MLB Network guys heads will explode!

Don said...

Grienke is going to get well more than $100M over 5 years. Cole Hamels got $144M/6yrs and he had not reached FA yet. If the Nats can land Grienke for $140-150M for 6 years, then they should do it. 220 innings of Ace stuff (from a No 3 starter) makes the Nats more than formidible for years to come. Clubs that can dominate from the mound tend to win.

blovy8 said...

That looks like a win/win deal for Wright and the Mets to me too. 8/138. They'll overpay at the end, but who doesn't - it's cheap right now.

Water23 said...

pdowdy83,

I know and he is good for this team now but in 2 years this may be a Vernon Wells deal. Albeit, Jayson is not a problem in the clubhouse but would be a really expensive 4th outfielder.

Rabbit34 said...

Hope LaRoche stays.

Water23 said...

What is the Nats payroll allowance likely to be in 2015? I think that determines a lot of things. It seems that the Lerners with give Rizzo a Payroll allowance of $130-$140 million around then which is the norm for a large market team. If so, Rizzo has the wherewithal now to acquire a another top SP or sign ALR for 3 years plus extend JZim and Ian.

NatsJack in Florida said...

As far as the Span deal goes, I guess we should all tone down our expectations as peric labeled him as Nyjer Morgan with better character over on Nationals Prospects last night.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

blovy8 said...
If LaRoche goes, we get a supplementary pick that could be about as good as Meyer. Also, to sign Bourn or Upton, we'd have lost a 1st round pick probably as good as Meyer. So there's that.

November 30, 2012 10:04 AM


That's a good point. Like I said yesterday, by Rizzo hanging on to Adam Dunn now equals Denard Span + Brian Goodwin.

At this point, Rizzo doesn't have to chase Adam LaRoche. Maybe you go 2 years with an option and that's it.

If ALR doesn't take it, Morse becomes the 1st baseman and it gives Rizzo options with a key on the progress of TyMo, Rendon, Skole and even the progress of Morse as they could extend him.

blovy8 said...

Just round numbers Don, the Dodgers may well pay what you describe.

blovy8 said...

I actually think the Rangers would pay that for Greinke too.

Candide said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
blovy8 said...

If we have a better third OF than Werth in a few years, you eat some money and move him along to a team that doesn't.

Candide said...

Don't know if D-Span reads Mark's blog yet (all the Nats do, right?), so if you really want to welcome him to DC, here's the place.

Joe Seamhead said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
staring out the window waiting for spring said...

Water, the budget in 2015 will depend a lot on how the MASN thing shakes out, if it is done by then. It might be 2115 before they decide, at the rate they're going.

NatsLady said...

My impressions (not statistical) of Denard Span.

Denard Span and Adam Dunn

http://ladyandthenats.blogspot.com/

staring out the window waiting for spring said...

I would play them respectfully, regardless of position. They seem like the type to hold a grudge if they feel dissed.

sjm308 said...

While I continue to hope we re-sign LaRoche, a point I keep forgetting is that Morse is in his last year of a contract and the usual results of that are a really really good year for the player as he tries to get that one last big deal. I suppose this becomes one of those win/win situations.

I can't see them both here. There is honestly no place to play them both. Does anyone have a solution or scenario for both being here? (can Morse move to 2nd base??) Someone talked about signing another lefthanded hitter and that is also silly. Just no place in the lineup.

Can't wait to see what is next for Rizzo and I guess that starts with tender decisions for LannEn and Flores.

Joe Seamhead said...

For those that say that we should move Jayson Werth I have a question for you: What part of "no trade" contract don't you understand?

NatsJack in Florida said...

Joe....For next year, I see Werth in right and Bryce in left meaning the best left field arm in baseball.

But after that, a reverse.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsJack in Florida said...
As far as the Span deal goes, I guess we should all tone down our expectations as peric labeled him as Nyjer Morgan with better character over on Nationals Prospects last night.

November 30, 2012 10:31 AM


Like I said, that's the problem, Peric is jumping around the Nats Blogosphere tarnishing his reputation as a knowledgeable baseball mind.

This is a low risk maneuver by Rizzo and Brian Goodwin's progress will determine much of the CF future here. Span is under team control for 2 years + the option. Goodwin is at least 1 year away. Span's numbers look good even though he lacks power, but certainly a huge upgrade over Nyjer on offense and defense.

sjm308 said...

Seamhead - you asked Natsjack but I already speculated that I would move Harper to right next year and leave him there the rest of his career. I read that Davey will be relying on what Werth wants next year and this is why guys love playing for him. As for Werth in a couple years, he has a no-trade contract so all that talk about moving him is silly. He is one of the few Nationals to actually move his family here and I am pretty sure when it comes time for him to take a step back and become that 4th outfielder there will not be a big outrage. He knows baseball and I can actually see him in the dugout after his career. Werth's signing continues to be a positive one for this old fan. He changed the climate on the field and in the clubhouse and it continues to improve.

Go Nats!!

staring out the window waiting for spring said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
staring out the window waiting for spring said...

Jayson Werth after 2013, player-manager.

Steve J. M. said it first.

NatsLady said...

Here is some Nats Koolaid. Nats ranked No. 1 with no discernible weaknesses. Hope that's not a jinx, like the Fillies winning 102 games.

mlb-power-rankings-winter-meetings-edition

http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2012/11/29/mlb-power-rankings-winter-meetings-edition/

MicheleS said...

Candide! HA! that was funny! There were tons of Nats fans on twitter last night welcoming him to DC.

blovy8 said...

Seamhead, if Werth isn't playing at all do you think he would want to stick around? He would have the choice of where to go and a deal would probably be tough, but I doubt he'd like riding the pine. It's all speculative anyway, because I don't think we should assume he'll be a liability.

Tcostant said...

JD - I watched Morse that whole year he played 1B, he is above average. Your problem is that you are likely comparing him to ALR, who is the second best 1B I ever seen. Be is better than half the starting first baseman defensily, no doubt about it.

Section 222 said...

How much more fun is this discussion than the ones we've had in the past few days about Lannan and Juan Pierre? Thank you Rizzo!

Joe Seamhead said...

sjm308, good post.As many of you know, I think the world of what Jayson brings to this club. That said, I also think of him as being a steady, but average outfielder. I think the team is better with him in LF and Harp in RF.
And,Jack,I agree if Bryce plays LF he will have the best arm in LF in all of baseball.

Tcostant said...

And JD I agree if you can get ALR for two years - do it. I just think that is highly unlikely...

Feel Wood said...

Section 222 said...
I'm now on the bandwagon for re-signing ALR and shopping Morse for pitching. But I don't understand Mark's assumption that Morse won't be re-signed in any event after this year. Think of it this way -- ALR walks (we can't force him to sign), and Morse moves to 1st and has an excellent year at the plate (maybe comparable to ALR -- 30 HR, 100 RBIs, .850 OPS). Is it really a foregone conclusion we would let him walk? Why?


If Morse comes up big in his walk year it will be a repeat of the Adam Dunn scenario. He'll be able to command a longer term contract from an AL team than the Nats would be willing to give him. If he comes up short in his walk year, the Nats won't want him back other than as a last resort. So pretty much whatever happens in his walk year, he's as good as gone.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsLady said...
My impressions (not statistical) of Denard Span.

Denard Span and Adam Dunn

http://ladyandthenats.blogspot.com/

November 30, 2012 10:42 AM


Good read. Thanks for that July 31st recap. It was touching when the tradeline passed that Druuuu was saved.

Your story of the White Sox with Dunn on the same field as Denard Span is crazy to think they are now intertwined in Nats history as those 2 comp picks from the White Sox would now roll forward to Dunn = Denard Span + Brian Goodwin and it doesn't neccesarily end there as Span one day may get traded or bring in a Comp Pick himself.

flynnie said...

Vernon Wells is a specific example of the benefits of veteran leadership. He is responsible for Jose Bautista. From SI Vault: "Before the game in which Bautista would face Baker, teammate Vernon Wells sat next to him in the clubhouse.

"You know what you should do," Wells said. "Think about starting as early as you can possibly imagine, so early that it seems ridiculous. And then start even earlier than that. What do you have to lose? If you look like a fool, you look like a fool. It's just one game."

It was just one game. Bautista stepped in against Scott Baker in the bottom of the second inning. O.K., he would remember thinking, I'm going to start so early it will be ridiculous. Baker pitched, and Bautista felt as if he started his swing before Baker even let go of the ball—"I thought, You want early, I'll show you early." He expected to miss everything, but he felt his bat hit ball. It was more than that, though, because the feeling of hitting a baseball hard, really hard, doesn't feel like anything else in the world.

The ball smashed against the leftfield wall so hard, Bautista thought he could hear the impact over the sounds of the cheers.

Holy s---, Bautista remembered thinking as he stood at second base. What was that?"

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1187578/3/index.htm

SCNatsFan said...

I consider myself quite the Nats fan but I do not remember Padilla

Feel Wood said...

NatsJack in Florida said...
As far as the Span deal goes, I guess we should all tone down our expectations as peric labeled him as Nyjer Morgan with better character over on Nationals Prospects last night.


Peric is JayB with better command of the English language.

Joe Seamhead said...

What does this mean for Corey Brown and Yuri Perez?
blovey8, Jayson will finish his career here, barring the bizarre.. Like it was stated, he got the first no trade contract the Nats had ever given, at that point, and he moved his family here.

flynnie said...

I will never think of Jayson Werth without thinking of Chalie and Dave, game 4 against Cards, bottom of the 9th - "Dave, remember that at bat after the rain delay?" "Yes, yes I do." "Wouldn't it be something if this could culminate in the same way?" Dave: "May you be 'The Summoner." "May we all have some "Summoner" in us . . . And this ball is well hit! etc. That was my #1 moment of the season. I could listen to Charlie's call of that homer every day.

Section 222 said...

So pretty much whatever happens in his walk year, he's as good as gone.

I think that's overstating it Feel. If the Nats win the WS or come close, and have the chance to dominate for years to come, I'm not sure Morse walks away to the AL. Adam Dunn didn't really want to DH, but that's all he was good for. Say what you want about Morse's fielding at 1B, he's no Adam Dunn.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Joe, hows about Roger Bernadina, Corey Brown, Eury Perez, and Brian Goodwin.

Eury Perez is Right-handed which differentiates him as a possible compliment to a LH centerfielder.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Sect222, I agree with you. Morse did better than expected at 1st base when ALR went down with his injury in 2011.

Morse's future first hinges on what ALR does than I think it hinges on Moore and what Rendon does and what the FA market will look like next year but the main domino right now is ALR.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Tcostant.... re: watching Morse all year... the other side of that, you were probably comparing him to Adam Dunn.

flynnie said...

A holiday gift for all, guaranteed to cheer you up: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dc-sports-bog/wp/2012/10/11/audio-jayson-werths-walk-off-home-run/

Feel Wood said...

I'm not sure Morse walks away to the AL. Adam Dunn didn't really want to DH, but that's all he was good for. Say what you want about Morse's fielding at 1B, he's no Adam Dunn.

Whether Morse's fielding is better than Dunn's or not has nothing to do with it. An AL team is always going to be willing to go longer on a player in his 30s who can hit, because the possibility of DHing him on the back end lowers their risk. If Morse is going to stay with the Nats he would need to give them a substantial hometown discount. Since he didn't begin to cash in until he was almost 30, it's extremely unlikely he's going to leave a huge chunk of change on the table just because he likes playing in DC.

Joe Seamhead said...

Even though I made the comment about Jayson being an average OFer, I do seem to remember him making a sensational, game saving catch near the end of the season. I didn't think that he had that much vertical leap left in his legs!

blovy8 said...

Can we predict what Trader Mike can accomplish? I think it would be more a deal that helped both sides with Werth, given the mutual respect. Again, I don't he'll sink to a Vernon Wells-quality anyway.

Perez and Brown probably don't project as quality starting players except to Peric. Perez is going to be high on the lists because of Meyer leaving and lots of pitchers being injured, but he's still plenty raw by all accounts, although being that fast always helps and even if he strikes out too much, he's using that speed well. Seems a little too much like Nook Logan or guys we are all familiar with from the past in center.

You might get Bernadina-level production out of him at some point but Brown's already 27. I wonder how much longer they can keep both, Brown might be a trade chip to get that AAA starting depth, because he's kind of buried right now. If someone goes down he's the first one up like last year, but clearly Goodwin is seen as the top OF prospect who is being groomed as such.

NatsLady said...

Here is a detailed post on what we gave up. I remember the Futures Game.

Meet Alex Meyer

http://www.twinsdaily.com/content.php?1210-Meet-Alex-Meyer&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Section 222 said...

Whether Morse's fielding is better than Dunn's or not has nothing to do with it.

Actually it has a lot to do with it because it affects how much the Nats would be willing to offer. Morse is not a slugger on the order of Pujols or Fielder who will command hundreds of millions. Yes, he'll want to cash in, but will he really walk away from a World Series contender to go play for a run of the mill AL team that expects to DH him after a few years? Maybe so, maybe not. Depends on how much they offer. All I'm saying is his departure is not as certain as you, and Mark, seem to think.

Of course, if ALR re-signs, which seems to clearly be Rizzo and Davey's preference, we'll never find out. Morse is definitely gone if that happens. And with only a year remaining on his contract, we probably don't get a whole heck of a lot for him.

blovy8 said...

I think the idea that guys can be shifted to the DH in AL as they age is suited more toward long-term deals for star-level guys like Fielder, and Pujols. I don't think it's a big negotiating advantage, because there are still a few NL teams that would live with his D at 1st. It's close enough to average not to matter.

NatsLady said...

Twitter rumors.

Nathan Fenno ‏@nathanfenno
RT @DCameronFG: Won't be shocked if M's re-acquire him. RT @jaysonst: #Nationals "definitely shopping Mike Morse a little bit," says AL exec

Joe Seamhead said...

Yuri Perez got on Davey's bad side right away when they called him up for a cup of coffee in September by stealing a base without being given a steal sign. As to Brown, I have often wondered whose Wheaties he peed in. He played great last spring, had a good year in Syracuse, is a terrific defender, and has seemingly done everything that's been asked of him. Well, except when the coaches changed his approach at the plate 2 seasons ago. It didn't work out so good and Corey went back to his natural swing. Then he started hitting, and never looked back. Maybe that got him labeled.I'd love to hear Randy Knorr's honest assessment of Brown.

NatsLady said...

Poor Mikey Mo is on Twitter listening to his fate being argued! Well, as has pointed out, he wasn't traded last year or the year before...

Adam Kilgore ‏@AdamKilgoreWP
Random thought: The Nats have the luxury of shopping Morse with the goal of re-signing LaRoche and Plan B of going with Tyler Moore at 1B.

Michael Morse ‏@Dc_BEAST38
@AdamKilgoreWP jeez !

Eva Blake ‏@grateful_e
@Dc_BEAST38 @AdamKilgoreWP All of this trade talk makes us fans highly uneasy, Mikey :(

Michael Morse ‏@Dc_BEAST38
@grateful_e me too everyyyyy yearrr

Feel Wood said...

Section 222 said...
Whether Morse's fielding is better than Dunn's or not has nothing to do with it.

Actually it has a lot to do with it because it affects how much the Nats would be willing to offer.


The difference in offers between other teams and the Nats would be number of years, not dollars. The same situation we see playing out right now with LaRoche. Even with ALR's superb defense there is a limit to how long the Nats will be willing to go with him. With Morse, the better he hits the more willing other teams will be to give him a longer-term deal. And if his hitting slacks off, his defense isn't good enough for the Nats to want to keep him as an everyday player, although there will always be a bad team out there that would want him. There really isn't any scenario that says Michael Morse will be a long-term Nat.

Faraz Shaikh said...

i hear m's have good pitching prospects.

natsfan1a said...

Thanks, but I don't have a Tweeter, nor do I delude myself that players read my comments. That said, I do always like to say "welcome." :-)

Candide said...

Don't know if D-Span reads Mark's blog yet (all the Nats do, right?), so if you really want to welcome him to DC, here's the place.
November 30, 2012 10:39 AM

Feel Wood said...

Adam Kilgore ‏@AdamKilgoreWP
Random thought: The Nats have the luxury of shopping Morse with the goal of re-signing LaRoche and Plan B of going with Tyler Moore at 1B.


Random thought: The Post has the luxury of dumping Kilgore for a better Nats beat writer as soon as the Times lays off Comak.

Theophilus T. S. said...

Someone made the keen observation that one player whose prospects are seriously affected is Bernadina. Assuming everybody stayed healthy, he was already looking at 100+ fewer PAs than in 2012. While there may be some spot substitutions for Werth, there won't be many for Span, and fewer for Harper. Plus, Tracy gets the key LH pinch-hitting opportunities. This is the crest of Bernadina's wave. As a Nat, he will never have higher value than he had yesterday. I think his ticket out of town is as clearly marked as Morse's or LaRoche's.

Brown has little trade value but would be a serviceable substitute for Bernadina. Perez is 2013's Lannan in Syracuse, waiting for an outfielder on the big club to get hurt. Beyond 2013, his value depends on whether Goodwin lives up to his hype. If Goodwin cuts down on his Ks and gets control over his base-running demons, Perez becomes superfluous.

I see that Dempster is turning up his nose at two years, $26MM. That takes him out of the Nats' range of interest. I don't see Rizzo settling for any of the second-tier FA starting pitchers, whether for three years or six. Nor do I see him getting Greinke (which in my opinion is a good thing). Dodgers have the money to buy him a house in Beverly Hills and a getaway in Malibu, plus enough money to fill his swimming pool. Without Greinke, the Angels are toast and will have to offer to match whatever he's offered by the Dodgers.

Bottom line: Morse and Bernadina and some other spare parts (H. Rodriguez?) to some American League team w/ a controllable starting pitcher and a minor league pitcher or two.

Which is why Johnson wants LaRoche to sign his contract.

blovy8 said...

Bernadina couldn't expect much last year either until Morse and Werth went down. They were playing ANKIEL over the guy, that's a tough spot to be in...

natsfan1a said...

After reading through the comments, how nice to have several Flynnie sightings this morning. Thanks much for the Werth link. That is officially one of my top in-person baseball moments. :-)

blovy8 said...

Dempster had kind of a lucky 2012, I hope he's not on the radar.

Theophilus T. S. said...

There aren't many NL teams who need a 1B -- Miami, Pittsburgh, Colorado are pretty much it. (Again, assuming Nats sign LaRoche). So the market for Morse is mostly in the American League -- Boston, Baltimore, Tampa, Cleveland, Seattle and maybe Texas.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

NatsLady, I'm sure Michael Morse has known for a while this is a possibility. He has written some interested tweets earlier in the month.

With the trade of Span, those rumors are getting louder on Morse. I just hope Rizzo doesn't get an itchy trigger finger and do a Willingham type deal. Sometimes hanging onto the player and getting the season's production plus the draft compensation (see Adam Dunn) is worth more.

Since this is known as the "contract" year for Morse in the last year of his contract, history is on the side of thinking he could have an exceptional year going into Free Agency.

Section 222 said...

Theo, I can see Bernadina being a part of a multi-player trade. But last year he showed what he is, and thrived in the role -- a fine 4th outfielder who performs reasonably well when needed in the starting lineup. I don't think this trade really changes that. Morse is either gone or at 1B, so it's not like we have more MLB ready outfielders than last year at this time. Corey Brown is only a year and a half younger but has only 27 MLB plate appearances. Bernadina has over 1,100. Injuries can happen to anyone, so I expect that the Nats will keep Bernadina in that spot unless they get a good offer for him, or that includes him.

flynnie said...

Bless you, 1A! All alive and well at Flynnie Park. Hope the same for you, as you bring civility and cheer, brightening the corner where you are!

flynnie said...

Speaking of Rogerevan, das Haike, what a catch in that tricked up park in Houston! If I were Bo Porter, I'd want him in my outfield. Just tell him, "If you hit the column, just bounce off with the ball secured in your glove."

Water23 said...

Faraz Shaikh, Only we get Langerhans back!!!!!

Boy, that was a great trade!
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/208795-ms-trade-morse-acquire-langerhans

Even better- One of the reason mentioned for acquiring Langehans was that Seattle had to put Endy Chavez on the DL. Those old Nats just keep on paying dividends.

mick said...

Meyer could be a super star one day, but the bottom line is the Nats pitching statff makes whatever Meyer becomes irrelevant. What i like about Span is his low SO ratio, this young man puts the ball in play, which is the bottom line for a solid lead off guy. The Braves needed to get Upton to fill a hole, I believe the Braves have some serious hole to fill such as Uggla's fielding. The Nats now have the best defense in baseball.... pitching and fielding.

I hope we sign ALR, if we don't so be it and its ALR loss of a WS ring, not the Nats loss

Don said...

Wow Tommy Hanson to the Angels. This is going to be an interesting off-season in the NL East.

mick said...

more thoughts... if ALR is back, clearly Morse is sitting due to the Span deal or does this mean the Nats are thinking of a blockbuster deal with an AL team sending Morse to them.... or, does Span's signing mean, they know ALR is not coming back and Morse would play 1st in 2013?

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Water23, the formation of this team is surprisingly Drafted players and players via the Trade. Outside of Jayson Werth, very few players are via Free Agency.

Trade: Gio, Ramos, Suzuki, Span, Morse, Clip, Gorzo

Draft: Strasburg, JZim, Det, Lannan, Bryce, RZim, Desi, Espi, Bernadina, Moore, Storen

Free Agency: Werth

mick said...

The Loshe idea is interesting... I like him over Dempster and I think Grienke has too many issues and should be either the Angels or Dodgers problem, not ours

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

mick said...
The Loshe idea is interesting... I like him over Dempster and I think Grienke has too many issues and should be either the Angels or Dodgers problem, not ours

November 30, 2012 12:56 PM


Lohse provides maturity and leadership and if his claims that his career turned around on Dave Duncan changing his approach then maybe he has found himself as a top pitcher. There's risk there given his age.

Anibal Sanchez will be 29 and is a good #4 on the staff with #2 type of potential. He has been amazing in his 6 starts in Nats Park and if you believe its the stadium over "ownage" of the team then it makes him an interesting pitcher to look at.

NatsLady said...

OK, explain the Hanson for Walden trade to me. Is there $$ involved or a difference in team control? Otherwise, why would you trade 200 innings to get 70?

Water23 said...

Ghost,

Agreed, it is a testament to Rizzo/Lerners et al that they succeeded in their construction plans. Alas, the development system has changed b/c Bud changed it. Now, it may have to be more balanced between Drafts, Trades and FA.

Also, Hanson gone and I here Jurrjens may be non-tendered.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Don said...
Wow Tommy Hanson to the Angels. This is going to be an interesting off-season in the NL East.

November 30, 2012 12:52 PM


With Hanson gone, Jurjjens possibly non-tendered, I'm wondering who they are looking at to acquire via trade or Free Agency.

They go Medlen, Hudson, and Maholm as their 1-2-3 and now they have their youngsters competing for their remaining 2 slots which has me thinking they are eyeing a trade of FA. Dempster?

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

To finish my thought on the Braves, Brandon Beachy will be ready for the Braves rotation at some point early in the 2013 season so I could see him slipping into the 5th spot.

Water23 said...

Ghost,

And Medlen had one heck of a first season as a SP. I would be surprised if he can repeat it. Whereas, it does look like Stas should be able to repeat if not improve on last year.

Feel Wood said...

Rizzo is very good at setting up situations where other teams and players can make a decision for him and he comes out a winner no matter how it plays out. Last year it was Fielder or LaRoche. This year it's LaRoche or Morse. Unless LaRoche makes the choice that Fielder didn't, next year it could very well be Morse or a PTBNL.

Water23 said...

Daniel Schlereth has been non-tendered due to should issues. Rizzo could slide him into CMW's spot as the high risk/high upside DL pitcher.

One benefit is that his Dad might hype the Nats when he is on M&M in the Morning.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Water23 said...
Ghost,

Agreed, it is a testament to Rizzo/Lerners et al that they succeeded in their construction plans. Alas, the development system has changed b/c Bud changed it. Now, it may have to be more balanced between Drafts, Trades and FA.
November 30, 2012 1:08 PM


Its truly incredible to imagine a team built on the strength of the Draft and trade as much as the Nats.

Rizzo has been clever in not chasing Free Agents so far. Besides Werth, the other 2 big Free Agents were both 2 year deals with Dunn and LaRoche so it makes sense that Rizzo is sticking firm to 2 years for LaRoche.

I think its the same reason that the Nats will not pursue Greinke and probably not Anibal because of the commitment of years. I hope this is all in the philosophy of keeping your own like Desi and JZim and after him Stras and Bryce----that will take a few Brinks trucks of cash.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

It is so nice reading well thought out posts today. We are very fortunate for an ownership group and GM like this.



Joe Seamhead said...

NatsLady, my opinion on the Hanson/walden trade? Second really dumb move by the Braves this week. Walden was a very good reliever two years ago, but how is it that the Braves need a reliever that seems to be in a downward spiral? I would have thought Hanson would have brought a better return. Weird move.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

For those that are major boosters for UZR, the Nats will probably have the best or close to the best outfield UZR in the Majors.

The extreme leftfield gap and balls bouncing in the leftfield corner have been the 2 spots that I am hoping the new outfield alignment will shutdown. If they do that, where they are cutting down on XBH, the effect on pitcher's ERA should improve.

I am curious to see the difference with the new outfield.

hiramhover said...

NatsLady

Doesn't really seem that strange. Hanson is coming off a bad year but arb eligible, so likely to cost ~$4M. Walden isn't arb eligible for another year, has an extra year of team control and has the potential to be a Tyler Clippard type.

Joe Seamhead said...

BTW, I'd like to see Anibal Sanchez with a Curly W pitching here.

Exposremains said...

If you combine Laroche, Morse and Jackson salary for 2012, that's plenty of money for Greinke. Thats assuming Moore can do the job at 1st.

Joe Seamhead said...

And if Sanchez doesn't end up here I sure hope that he is in some other division where we don't see him very often.

Joe Seamhead said...

Funny thing about Greinke. I get the impression that the only thing he ever done was yesterday.

NatsLady said...

hh, so basically ATL is saving money (since they just spent a bunch on BJ) plus presumably shoring up their BP (Chad Durbin, anyone)? I guess it makes some sense, and Hanson really did not look good in 2012. But it seems like the opposite direction with the Reds and Chapman.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Exposremains said...
If you combine Laroche, Morse and Jackson salary for 2012, that's plenty of money for Greinke. Thats assuming Moore can do the job at 1st.

November 30, 2012 1:27 PM


It has nothing to do with 2013 or 2014 money. It has to do with the years beyond that. You can't have everything and every player even though the Dodgers are bucking that trend.

Cole Hamels got 7 yrs/$153M and you can expect Greinke will get at least 5 to 6 years at close to $22 million per year if not more.

I'd rather save that money for Desi, JZim, Det, Stras and Bryce, etc.

blovy8 said...

I don't get the Walden move either, even if someone in their bullpen is hurt. That seems like an excellent buy low deal by the Angels.

The Fox said...

Span is also good at seeing pitches effectively, averaging 3.89 pitches per at-bat which really helps the player batting behind him especially at the beginning of the game. We all saw the learning curve of Harper if he knows what coming. Few things are better in baseball than an early lead.

Don said...

"I'd rather save that money for Desi, JZim, Det, Stras and Bryce, etc."

I understand the desire to keep those guys, but they are all tied up in low level Arb or not yet eligible for Arb for some time anyway. It's not a one or the other decision. The Nats have a window of oppotunity to win and win big right now. I hope they go for it. I say spend what it takes on the best FA guy -- Grienke. Pay market money for a Cy Young quality performer that can go a long way to having you in the playoff hunt for years to come and while you have other studs at under market rates.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

HH/NatsLady, I think the Braves are looking at how their pitchers were faring against the Nats and Phillies who are their real competition and Hanson had become a weak link. Although I'm surprised they traded him, I'm not surprised they traded him for Walden who had a great 2011 as a Rookie and was an All Star and fell out of favor in 2012 after a so-so year and they like his upside and the many years of team control.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

blovy8, when the Angels signed Ryan Madson they were dangling Walden. The Braves were getting poor results from Hanson nearing a 4.50 ERA. They were probably shocked they got that much for him.

Walden had a biceps injury last year and had closed before that. I think the Braves got the better of that deal as it looks right now.

Hanson was clearly the weak link in their rotation.

Exposremains said...

Ghost

I see your point and it's valid but I don't want the Nats to be playing for 2015-2016. They can win now and they should do everything they can to do it. Harper and Stras will never sign an extension, there's no guarantee that Detwiler stays good or JZim doesn't get hurt again and I would wait another year before you sign Desmond to a big extension. You cant always think of the future because you don't know how things evolve. Besides only small market team should be worried about not being able to pay their players

hiramhover said...

Don

The point is about future, not current spending. If the Nats are paying Greinke $25M a year for 5-6 years, it's going to limit their ability to re-sign Stras, JZimm, etc. If those guys walk (and some of them surely will), I'd much rather see the Nats have the payroll flexibility to go out and bid on the next best FA on the market in 2016-17, rather than be stuck with the final years of the best FA of 2012.

I'm also not sure why proponents of the win NOW strategy think that big FA signings is the way to do it. The evidence of past signings doesn't really seem to sustain it.

JD said...


NatsLady,

The problem with Hanson is that his right shoulder is not sound. He has already dropped off from where he was 2 years ago. I think the Braves go with: Medlen,Maholm,Hudson and Minor with Tehran and Delgado battling for the 5th spot and Beechy in the mix when he returns.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

The Fox said...
Span is also good at seeing pitches effectively, averaging 3.89 pitches per at-bat which really helps the player batting behind him especially at the beginning of the game. We all saw the learning curve of Harper if he knows what coming. Few things are better in baseball than an early lead.

November 30, 2012 1:47 PM


I'm liking your thoughts there and Span is a contact hitter who struck out only 62 times in 561 at-bats last year.

Span is streaky and must cut down on prolonged slumps. Scouts say he has a good approach at the plate and makes contact in 2 strike counts.

flynnie said...

For those in need of a laugh, the comments and link to shirtless shortstops of the past will serve. http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/newsstand/discussion/yankees_derek_jeter_packing_on_the_pounds_during_recovery

flynnie said...

The Nats had the most home-grown players on their 25 man roster in MLB this year - 21 of 25 - a great tribute to Rizzo, his dad and his scouts.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Exposremains, sounds like you want to talk to Mike Rizzo. He was crystal clear he is not in a "win now" at all costs type of GM.

This may be the year he makes a move on July 31st to shore up a weak spot but signing off on a 7 year mega deal for a mid-3.00 ERA pitcher at this point?

With the Dodgers and Angels duking it out for Greinke, I think this works against Rizzo's philosophy as the price and years looks beyond good common sense. Teams that keep making those deals may look great in the short-term and suffer in the long-term. The Nats still have Werth for 5 more years.

Most long-term deals with mid-30's aged players are failures. While Greinke isn't 30 now, he will be mid-30's at one point in a 7 year deal.

baseballswami said...

The Barves with another move. Will the Nats answer?

Don said...

Hiram -- Is the idea that we build the club for 2016? When Werth and Zim are much older? When Gio's deal is expiring and Span is gone? I don;t understand.

The club is ready to win now. The bulk of the club is under control for several years. I don't care so much what the final 2 years of a Grienke deal would look like if the guy has 4 years of what we can reasonably expect from him up front. His addition would be huge. This club (not this club as it might look 3 years from now) with Grienke could run away with the Division for a few year. And the pay roll would still remain 15-20% lower than the Phils.

NatsLady said...

Denard Span ‏@thisisdspan
Can somebody explain to me what natitude is?!

THIS is fun.

hiramhover said...

Swami

You're thinking like it's 2009 or 2010. Let them worry about matching and catching up to us, not vice versa.

Don

A GM plans for next year and for 3-5 years out. A really good GM--and Rizzo is one--doesn't let his plans for next year tie the club's hands 3-5 years down the road. The Nats didn't need Greinke this year, and they don't need him next year. Yes, he'd be a nice addition, but for the Nats he's a luxury they can afford to forgo. Signing him isn't a guarantee of doing better next year, but it is a guarantee that they'll have another past his prime vet with a big money contract on the books in 3-5 years.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

New POST

blovy8 said...

Even if it takes awhile to get Hanson right, that's an excellent gamble by the Angels. It's as easy to believe he'll be average again as it is that Walden won't walk a bunch of guys when it counts. By that I mean, yay, the Braves get a guy like H-Rod who throws 5 mph less.

NatsLady said...

Yeah, just reading a lot of stats on Hanson's decline. For example:

David O'Brien ‏@ajcbraves
Hanson was 10-4 w/2.44 ERA and .190 opp avg in 17 starts before the 2011 All-Star break, is 14-13 w/ 4.96 ERA and .277 OA in 36 starts since

and his declining velocity. Which makes you wonder if Wren sold the Halos damaged goods.

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