Wednesday, December 5, 2012

"World Series or bust"



NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- If there was any question about the Nationals' primary objective in 2013, Davey Johnson erased all doubts Tuesday at the Gaylord Opryland Resort.

"World Series or bust," the veteran manager said. "That's probably the slogan this year. But I'm comfortable with that."

The Nationals better be comfortable with it, because the entire baseball world is thinking the same thing after watching this franchise win 98 games last season and then bolster the best young roster in the sport with a bonafide center fielder and an All-Star right-hander before the Winter Meetings even reached the halfway mark.

Last week's Denard Span trade was lauded throughout the industry, and Tuesday's signing of Dan Haren -- which won't be official until he passes a physical on Thursday -- received positive reviews as well.

If Mike Rizzo can convince Adam LaRoche to accept a two-year offer to return at first base, the fifth-year general manager might just lock up his second straight Executive of the Year award before pitchers and catchers ever report for spring training.

Seriously, how many clubs can claim to have nearly their entire roster set three weeks before Christmas? At this point, the Nationals' only remaining needs are a first baseman (which isn't really a need since Michael Morse is already signed in case LaRoche doesn't return) and a left-handed reliever (either a returning Michael Gonzalez or perhaps a signing of free agent J.P. Howell).

Otherwise, they're set.

The lineup? In place. The rotation? Five-deep thanks to the addition of Haren. The bullpen? Six-deep already. The bench? Already finalized with Chad Tracy, Tyler Moore, Steve Lombardozzi, Roger Bernadina and whichever catcher isn't starting on a given day.

"Holy moly, I've got a lot of good players," Johnson said after rattling off those bench players.

No disputing that. The Nationals not only have as good of a starting lineup and rotation as there is in baseball, they've also got as many viable backup options as anyone in the sport.

With that kind of talent and depth, though, comes a level of expectation this franchise has never experienced before. There was mild excitement entering 2012. There will be a giant bull's-eye on everyone's back entering 2013.

"If we're not the favorite this year, I'm going to be embarrassed with all you guys that didn't pick me," Johnson said. "My guys were totally confident last year. We knew going into the year, if we just did the things we were capable of doing, we'd be hard to beat. ... But this is one of the best ballclubs I've ever had to manage."

Not every ballclub would respond well to that kind of pressure. We'll have to wait and see how the Nationals deal with it. But if nothing else, Johnson believes their October experience -- culminating with a heartbreaking loss to the Cardinals in Game 5 of the NLDS -- will pay dividends once the roster reconvenes in Viera.

"I thought the one drawback we had was the experience of being in the big games," the manager said. "Some of our young guys didn't really handle that big-game situation. But they did so much and went so far, I think now we're prepared to handle any kind of situation it throws at us."

Not that the Nationals need any extra motivation, but the fact Johnson has already announced this will be his final season in uniform certainly will push them to try and win it all for their retiring skipper.

Rizzo has done his part, assembling a roster without glaring holes and with the flexibility needed to overcome injuries and other unforeseen events.

And he's managed to do it all before everyone closes up shop at a Winter Meetings where seemingly every other franchise is scrambling to fix itself.

"This is what you strive for," Rizzo said. "This is why we constructed the roster the way we did. It's always advantageous to have young, controllable players that are good. It was part of our strategy, and we're kind of reaping the benefits of it today by not being forced to do any kind of major overhaul."

Nope, the pieces are all in place. There will be a few tweaks between now and mid-February, but once this team takes the field for the first time, the roster will be set and the goal will be clear.

World Series or bust.

93 comments:

Faraz Shaikh said...

bold words only Davey has the right to say those.

NatsJack in Florida said...

And somebody tell Joe Maddon that Dan Haren AND Joe's former reliever J.P. Howell are blasting right through his "free agents won't want to go to Washington" claim.

Gonat said...

NatsJack, that's Free Agents that put pine tar in their gloves. Maddon is a good guy who spoke out of anger unlike the unnamed GM at the end of last season who trashed Rizzo out of jealousy. By the way, how is Wren doing?

MicheleS said...

NJ.. Was thinking the SAME thing about the Weird Wuss! I loved Haren's comments about wanting to come here to win and Howell's comments to Ladson about the organization.

I love Davey. There I said if for the Day.

Rizzo only needs a 2nd LOOGY and to resolve 1B. that's pretty good. Would love it if everything is completed before the holidays.

Faraz Shaikh said...

Did anyone hear Jeff K is asking for $13 million for 3 years? Is that absurd or what? that is a ridiculous amount of money for someone who had a career year at age 32. I think I am almost ready to give up on ALR, looking at the contracts these one year wonders are getting.

Rabbit34 said...

I'm back to the same old strikout thing. It is hard for me to believe this team, in spite of doing so well last year, is a WS contender being a team that strikes out so much. If only Espinosa and Zimmerman would put the ball in play more often. Zimmerman would be off the charts.

MicheleS said...

Tampa Bay traded for Escobar? Wow, they really do scrape the bottome of the barrel.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Faraz.... again, the market for shortstops is entirely different than they are for aging first basemen that will not only cost you a third year and an extra 13 - 14 million but also a draft pick.

So who is going there that appeals to ALR? Texas...Seattle...? maybe.. Baltimore ..ha ha ha ha!

Somebody might but it's highly doubtful.

Don said...

Didn't Billy Beane win the Exec of the Year in 2012?

blovy8 said...

Tampa didn't seem to give up much though. Dietrich has 20HR potential, but everything else Escobar seems to do a lot better. The guy's issue is attitude, maybe Maddon is a good fit to motivate him.

Dave said...

How many options does ALR still have open? It's one thing to look at contracts that players in other positions are getting with other teams; it's another to assume all of those translate into the Nats/LaRoche first-base situation. Adam's going to have to take what's left, and if he wants to play on a winning team, he may well be back here on a 2-year contract.

Rizzo's in the catbird seat. I'm already starting to think I shouldn't add non-baseball things to my calendar next October.

Dave said...

Where did Davey say that "World Series or bust" thing? Not in this clip. A couple days ago, or?

Feel Wood said...

Scott Margenau said...
Laddie Blah Blah said...

Agree with everything you said. Great post.

Feel Wood:
You are wrong. Davey certainly indicated there will be a competition but being a smart dude, he didn’t want to demoralize Espi....Managers say that kind of stuff all the time...but LBB is right...Danny strikes out way too much and can’t hit for average.


Looks like James Wagner agrees with my assessment of Davey's comments about Espinosa. But what does he know? He's just some beat writer who follows the team every day.

Faraz Shaikh said...

NatsJack, you are right that the markets are different. But I still can't get around the fact that ALR deserves more money and years than scutaro and keppinger.

anyways, I am surprised Texas has not considered ALR as an option (at least I have not heard the rumors). I just hope Nats sign ALR on good terms for both sides.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

It looks like that Morse/Espi rumor to Tampa is over. They still have a need for a CF or LF in Tampa though which leaves the small possibility that Morse could go there as a LF.

Hopefully today is the day ALR decides to take that 2 year deal. I can still see the scenario 2 years from now that ALR stays on as a bench role player.

Laddie Blah Blah said...

These Nats have everything: power, hitting, defense, pitching, and plenty of speed. Great bench, too. They have no weaknesses save for their youth and relative inexperience. That's it.

They have savvy, fast base runners up and down the lineup - Werth, Span, Harper, Desi, Danny, Lombo, Bernie. Even the relative slow pokes, like Ryan, Suzuki and Moore, are faster than most others who play their respective positions. The only lead foots left are ALR and Ramos.

Davey can play a power game or a running game. He can platoon or rest his starters with that bench, without losing a step. He has the tools to play it any way he wants. This coming year should be fun for everyone in Nats nation, especially the field manager.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Faraz, it seems Texas goal #1 is Greinke and if they don't get him they will look at Josh Hamilton. LaRoche is a domino for them and doesn't seem to be a high priority because their fallback is Justin Upton.

Faraz Shaikh said...

well that is good. and I hope ALR does not consider Orioles. that only leaves us I believe.

SCNatsFan said...

Feel Wood, I don't believe anyone doesn't see the potential in Espi or is giving up on him; I'm starting to think for all his hard work and skills he isn't teachable to get to the next level. Sure he's young but how long do you get a pass for that. If he arrives this spring with the huge donut hole in his swing as he repeatedly tries to hit 5 run homers when he just needs to move runners over then how long do you wait until you run out of patience; I don't know the answer to that anyone then you do. I hope Espi proves me wrong and shows up this spring with a new understanding of hitting and ends the talk of Lombo taking his job just like Desi quieted all the critics last year.

Faraz Shaikh said...

btw i misunderstood Kepp's demands. I thought he was asking for 13 million per season.

Feel Wood said...

So who is going there that appeals to ALR? Texas...Seattle...? maybe.. Baltimore ..ha ha ha ha!

Somebody might but it's highly doubtful.


You know, if Rizzo had his preference it would probably be to sign ALR for just one year. So offering him two is already a concession to LaRoche's camp. If he's continuing to turn that down, despite all the pressure he's getting from Davey et al, to hold out for three years from someone else, then his agent must be pretty sure he's going to get it. Everyone knows Rizzo is not going up from his offer of two years. No options, no incentive clauses, none of that. Rizzo has come out and said so multiple times. There is no more negotiating room. If ALR's agent is still holding firm at three years, he is either going to have to get that for him somewhere or risk having to come back to Rizzo with his tail between his legs in a couple of months to sign the same two year deal he's turning down now. If there is no market for ALR as you and others keep saying, then why is his agent taking that risk?

Joe Seamhead said...

We went into this off-season not need ng to make major changes, only a few tweaks instead. Virtually nobody saw the Denard Span for Meyers coming, but many of us figured correctly that Rizzo would surprise us. Whether ALR re-signs,or not, the makeup of this team changes more significantly then I saw coming. Span's leading off, and the moving of the OF pieces are the makings of a dramatically different team. Add in that either Morse, or LaRoche, more then likely will be gone, and the personality changes. Not saying for the worse by any means, just different. Now add a fifth starter to the rotation that is a crafty veteran that relies on his wits rather then a power fastball, and we now arguably have the best overall defense, the best starting five, a dangerous line-up top to bottom, and the best manager in the league. Now if we fortify the bullpen and we spend a good bit of spring training teaching our pitchers and catchers how to hold runners, we should be pretty darn good! Only problemo? Waiting almost four months until the regular season starts!

Theophilus T. S. said...

Faraz --

Although LaRoche has been linked only to B'more and Mariners , there are other teams that are out there who could afford him, and give him three years. Although I doubt LaRoche has much love for either Terry Francona or Cleveland they did offer Victorino $44MM over four years. The Marlins and maybe the Rays may be required to spend money under the CBA -- and James Loney ($2MM) is no obstacle to putting LaRoche in the regular lineup. FL w/ no state income tax adds $300-600K to a $12MM salary, more when compared to DC rates. (Not sure what transient income may be taxed by other states.)

Rizzo may be known for his stealth but there are others -- GMs and agents -- who are equally stone-faced.

SCNatsFan said...

I don't know how it works in MLB but I know in the NFL if you live in NJ, play for Philly and play a game in Atlanta you have to pay taxes in all three states for that weeks game check. How screwy is that?

3on2out said...

Adam's suitors seem to be fewer than initially anticipated and most are encouraged that the most likely candidate to offer him 3 years now is Seattle. It is said that Adam wants to play for a contender...he wants a ring. I hope that is true but I have been around long enough to know that dollars seem to trump everything else. I don't think the Nats will get a $13-15M discount.

Faraz Shaikh said...

so that is detwiler on twitter @nationaldet, right?

blovy8 said...

What's up with everyone getting 13 million a year?

blovy8 said...

If he's patient, LaRoche will get his three years, but as has been said, it probably won't be a great situation, unless Texas gets outspent on their big targets. It'll be for 13 million a year if it happens soon!

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

NatsJack in Florida said...

And somebody tell Joe Maddon that Dan Haren AND Joe's former reliever J.P. Howell are blasting right through his "free agents won't want to go to Washington" claim.

Yeah, NJ, I had forgotten Eyeglasses Joe's cheap shot at the Nats after they caught one of his pitchers cheating cold-handed. They're signing the likes of Escobar and we sign Haren and trade for Span.

Rich get richer.

World Series or Bust.

Best 25 (and Kristina!) come north!

Doc said...

Thinking that Davey is thinking that Christian Garcia will compete for #4/5 SP, a may just win it!

Watch out Dan Haren! Davey always goes for the talent-ready player----just check out Lombo, TyMo, and Harps from last season.

SCNatsFan said...

Doc - best I see out of Garcia, if we are trying to make him a starter, is he starts at AAA and fills in when we inevitably need another arm. No way he wins the job in ST.

UnkyD said...


Gulp, BANG!!!

Faraz Shaikh said...

What's the 'Gulp, BANG!!!' for? Did something happen? ALR signed?

NatsJack in Florida said...

HEY!....Let's leave that " best 25 go north" line for the teams still trying to figure out how to get a winning lineup together......just like we were.

This Nats organization is well past that.

The "Gulp, BANG" part can stay.

NatsJack in Florida said...

I say "World Series or Bust. Gulp, BANG".

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

SCNatsFan said...
I don't know how it works in MLB but I know in the NFL if you live in NJ, play for Philly and play a game in Atlanta you have to pay taxes in all three states for that weeks game check. How screwy is that?


That is correct. The players have to file state tax returns in all the states that they play.
The good news is the teams withhold the state taxes for them. I think there are a few states that have some waivers for residents of other states. An accounting nightmare as this year with expanded inter-league will expand the number of tax returns filed.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Faraz Shaikh said...
so that is detwiler on twitter @nationaldet, right?

December 05, 2012 8:48 AM


That's great if he is on the Tweeter! Love the name! Didn't we give him that name here?

MicheleS said...

It's Det's twitter. the @Nationals account confirmed.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Good point, NJ.

But Kristina still stays!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

MicheleS, thanks as always! Now you need to get JZim and Haren on the Tweeter!

MicheleS said...

Ghost, we finally got Jordan to smile and actually talk last year. Baby steps.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Doc said...
Thinking that Davey is thinking that Christian Garcia will compete for #4/5 SP, a may just win it!

Watch out Dan Haren! Davey always goes for the talent-ready player----just check out Lombo, TyMo, and Harps from last season.


That may be Plan B for an injury or a preview of 2014 but they didn't spend $13 mill for him to sit.

Lombo was the only one to start the season on the Opening Day roster of the 3 you mentioned and none of them replaced a high-priced new acquisition.

JD said...


There is actually a very good reason Rizzo is not giving in to ALR. He is one of the most likely players to decline in the next couple of years. Previous to 2012 (3.8 WAR) his best years were 2006 with the Braves (2.5 WAR) and 2009 (3 teams 2.4 WAR).

Players don't normally have their best years in their mid 30's and if they do they are not likely to repeat or improve on them.

It's a reasonable risk for 1 year and Rizzo is offering 2 based on the fact that ALR is great team mate, part of the leadership plays great defense and was part of a magical run. Rizzo also knows that 3 years is very likely to turn out poorly and he already has 1 player very likely to be in serious decline and you can understand where he is coming from.

Water23 said...

SCNats,

I think that is not quite how it works. I believe players get paid for games played. As such, they have to pay taxes where they work for that game. If in ATL for three games then they have to pay for those taxes then they get credit for those taxes paid against what they would have had to pay in the state of residence. Otherwise they would be double taxed.

This has been true for a long time but what has happened in the recent decades is that salaries have skyrocketed. As a result, each state with a small group from their bureau of taxation can collect a substantial amount of tax revenue just by checking the daily sports pages. If you are on the active roster then you owe that state some taxes.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

MicheleS said...
Ghost, we finally got Jordan to smile and actually talk last year. Baby steps.

December 05, 2012 10:04 AM


Good point. If you got him to smile and talk, did he talk in full sentences or one word answers?

Q: Hey Jordan, how are you?
A: Good

Q: How was your off-season. What did you do?
A: Stuff

Me: Nice
Him: Yah

Me: See ya
Him: Bye

MicheleS said...

Ghost.. that FP interview with Gio/Stras/JZ was the epic coming out of JZ's personality.

Feel Wood said...

An accounting nightmare as this year with expanded inter-league will expand the number of tax returns filed.

Interleague play is not expanding. The Nats have 19 interleague games in 2013, they had 18 in 2012. One more game, that's all. Not expanding, just spread out throughout the season instead of three weeks in June.

SCNatsFan said...

water23, don't know how it works but I'm friends with a NFL QB who laughs when we ask about taxes. Don't know if you get a credit in your home state or reduce your income there but know every state tries to take its piece of the pie.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

JD, not sure what LaRoche's training routine is and I would think Rizzo believes like you said he will decline below what Rizzo can replace him with in 3 years. 2 years is the number and still doesn't mean ALR's career is over. 2 years from now he could become the Chad Tracy off the bench.

I would say players that rely on speed decline quicker in their 30's. Players who rely on strength can sustain it longer if they continue to maintain proper nutrition and strength building exercise unless they are injured. Bat speed is more a function of training and strength.

All you have to do is look at the demise of players like Matt Stairs and Jim Thome. Age will catch up with you eventually no matter how hard you train.

Water23 said...

So, to look into the crystal ball of next off-season, who would be a FA SP? If he does not sign an extentsion then Dickey would fit nicely as a total change of pace SP next year.

UnkyD said...

NatsJack in Florida said...
HEY!....Let's leave that " best 25 go north" line for the teams still trying to figure out how to get a winning lineup together......just like we were.

This Nats organization is well past that.

The "Gulp, BANG" part can stay.
December 05, 2012 9:41 AM
-----------
Right. So, if we were drinking (gulp, BANG!) over Best 25, last year, then what (besides WS or Bust), might be the most repeated mantra, organizationally, between now and opening day? Agree, on the Best 25 being in the past, hopefully for a log time.....

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Feel Wood said...
An accounting nightmare as this year with expanded inter-league will expand the number of tax returns filed.

Interleague play is not expanding. The Nats have 19 interleague games in 2013, they had 18 in 2012. One more game, that's all. Not expanding, just spread out throughout the season instead of three weeks in June.

December 05, 2012 10:16 AM


You are incorrect with regards to interleague. They shrunk the # of games with the regional rival from 6 to 4 games and the Nats added 1 more interleague team and 2 more interleague series.

The Nats had 6 interleague matchups in 2012 which included 2 series with the Orioles and will go to 8 interleague matchups in 2013 including a home & away series against the Detroit Tigers and the 2 & 2 series with the Orioles.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Feel Wood, also keep in mind what I said about states with waivers. Texas is one of those states that doesn't tax visiting baseball players. When Houston was a NL team, the Nats always played them 1 series a year there and no longer playing them on the NL schedule.

natscan reduxit said...

... when does/did Adam LaRoche's free agency begin? Anyone? If he is already an FA, does that mean he is now no longer considered a roster member of the Nats? And if so, and if nothing changes in the next 74 days, does he arrive in Florida as a team member, or does he have to be asked to show up as a non-roster invitee?

C'mon Adam, take the deal. C'mon Rizzo, get it done.

Go nats!!

Candide said...

Is there some special tax regulation for pro athletes?

I live in Virginia, worked in Maryland. First year I worked in Maryland, they took Maryland tax out of my paycheck. It was erroneous, corrected with the following paycheck.

We filed a Maryland state return that year and got our entire Maryland tax refunded.

Why are pro athletes treated differently?

peric said...

Haren and Werth are still 32 going to be 33 in September. Werth is in the same age range. That's two guys with recent injury histories and age.

Detwiler had a good year finally proving that a left-handed power pitcher starter could be developed in the Nats system. So, far lots of failures in that category few successes. Couple of control-artist lefties like Lannan and MIlone other than that. But, it was JUST ONE year. Detwiler needs to prove he can perform, hopefully, at a #2,#3 rotation starter level.

So, the Nats have to carefully consider who they keep on the 40-man roster for depth. I agree that the 25 going north seems pretty close to fixed. But, they will need some depth they can rely on. Its a long season and the Nats definitely had more than their share of injuries last season ... fortunately not to anyone in the starting rotation however ... that could change.

Feel Wood said...

The Nats had 6 interleague matchups in 2012 which included 2 series with the Orioles and will go to 8 interleague matchups in 2013 including a home & away series against the Detroit Tigers and the 2 & 2 series with the Orioles.

Tax implications occur because of games played out of state, or in this case out of DC. Let's look at that.

2012: 3 games @BAL, 3 games @BOS, 3 games @TOR
2013: 2 games @BAL, 2 games @DET, 3 games @KC, 3 games @CLE

So yeah, one more out-of-DC opponent in 2013 than in 2012. But because KC is in the same state as STL who they already play, and CLE is in the same state as CIN who they also already play, there is one fewer non-DC jurisdiction where Nats players will have to pay taxes. In other words, the non-expansion of interleague play actually LESSENS their tax burden.

peric said...

If he does not sign an extentsion then Dickey would fit nicely as a total change of pace SP next year.

Probably not. A lot depends on where the young starters Rizzo drafted are in their rehab/development process. Its why he is going for 1 year with his fifth starter. Rizzo still may try to acquire a young top-of-the-rotation starter through trade if they feel they can do better than what they are developing internally.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Candide, many bordering states like DC/MD/VA/PA have agreements in place for commuting workers. I'm not sure if Pennsylvania waives taxes for Nats players or if it goes back to the state they claim as their state of residency.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Feel Wood, it doesn't lessen their tax burden. They are working in Missouri 3 more days and 3 more days in Ohio. They just don't need to file additional tax returns for those states since they already are.

Toronto being in Canada qualifies as a visiting worker and the Nats don't pay Canadian tax unless they are Canadian citizens. No Matt Stairs on this team.

Feel Wood said...

Candide said...
Is there some special tax regulation for pro athletes?

I live in Virginia, worked in Maryland. First year I worked in Maryland, they took Maryland tax out of my paycheck. It was erroneous, corrected with the following paycheck.

We filed a Maryland state return that year and got our entire Maryland tax refunded.

Why are pro athletes treated differently?


Pro athletes aren't treated differently. If someone lives in one state and works full time in another state, the states typically have reciprocity agreements that allow them to pay income taxes to the state where they live instead of where they work. But if someone has a job that requires them to travel and perform work in multiple states, each of those states requires them to pay taxes on the portion of their income that was earned in that state. I worked for an IT company in the 1990s that had employees who were basically on the road full time working in various states, and they had to deal with this. Technically if I or someone else who was based in VA went somewhere else on travel for a couple days here and there we would have been subject to this taxation too, but we were able to keep it under the radar and avoid it. But an audit would have caught us. Since pro athletes perform work in multiple states and make a lot of money when they do, they can't slide under the radar on this taxation.

natsfan1a said...

Well, a similar slogan worked out rather well for this guy a few years ago. I'm just saying. :-)

World Series or bust.

Drew said...

Debbie Downer alert: I'm glad the Nats are stacked, but I'm wary of the "or bust" side of the equation.

Davey was a bit cavalier about giving up Alex Meyer because Davey won't be around if and when Alex excels.

I like Span a lot, I'm just glad Rizzo is thinking of the multi-year window, not just the presen, which is Davey's focus.

peric said...

If he does not sign an extentsion then Dickey would fit nicely as a total change of pace SP next year.

And today Luke Erickson makes an interesting observation and point: the Nats eschew worrying about injury and go directly for the pitching potential or ceiling in selecting their prospects no matter the age. As he says it'll be interesting to see if it pays off. And if it does in a big way you'll find more than half of baseball emulating them immediately after.

Feel Wood said...

Ghost Of Steve M. said...
Feel Wood, it doesn't lessen their tax burden. They are working in Missouri 3 more days and 3 more days in Ohio. They just don't need to file additional tax returns for those states since they already are.


It lessens their administrative tax burden, bozo. They file in fewer states, therefore less hassle and less commission paid to their tax preparer.

Since you know everything and are always right, please analyze the individual tax rates of the various states and countries involved and show your work to prove that a Nats player will actually pay more income tax overall in 2013 than they did in 2012, if that's what you mean by "not lessening their tax burden".

natsfan1a said...

In Rizzo we trust? (Gulp. Bang!)

If memory serves, it was used for cliches as well.

UnkyD said...

Right. So, if we were drinking (gulp, BANG!) over Best 25, last year, then what (besides WS or Bust), might be the most repeated mantra, organizationally, between now and opening day? Agree, on the Best 25 being in the past, hopefully for a log time.....

peric said...

There's still a lot of offseason left to go ... and tax season for that matter.

So, things could still change ... if Rizzo feels a deal improves the team both now and in the future he'll go for it. The Span deal was more about the present and Rizzo's bias toward slap hitting lead-off CF's : see Morgan, Nyger and Perez, Eury. Kind of like his bias toward players he drafted or worked with in Arizona such as Garret Mock, Matt Chico, and now Dan Haren.

Hopefully, Rizzo gets back to the old mantra again. It really worked.

livernonions said...

Why on earth has this turned into a debate on tax issues?

Feel Wood said...

natscan reduxit said...
... when does/did Adam LaRoche's free agency begin? Anyone? If he is already an FA, does that mean he is now no longer considered a roster member of the Nats? And if so, and if nothing changes in the next 74 days, does he arrive in Florida as a team member, or does he have to be asked to show up as a non-roster invitee?


LaRoche became a free agent five days after the World Series ended. That means he belongs to no one and is on no team's 40-man roster. He can't go to spring training or play for any team until he signs a contract with one.

peric said...

Why on earth has this turned into a debate on tax issues?

1. Its very close to tax time ... unfortunately normally you'd wait until
after Christmas but ...
2. With the Fiscal Cliff, the Elephants, and Donkeys with different tax plans that vary based on income level and ...
3. Given that many folks are STH's and may indeed make more than the requisite $250,000?
4. And Christmas is coming? And do they need to worry about the tax bill when Christmas shopping?

Seems pretty obvious to me.

Feel Wood said...

Kind of like his bias toward players he drafted or worked with in Arizona such as Garret Mock, Matt Chico, and now Dan Haren.

Rizzo left Arizona to become Nats asst GM in 2006. Haren played for the Dbacks 2008-2010. No connection there.

staring out the window waiting for spring said...

I nominate "bozo," "moron," and synonymous terms for Gulp!Bang! status. (Is "bang!" redundant? Nevermind.)

I thought the tax thing was a reasonable point, Woody, no call to get touchy. You two are just not defining "burden" the same way.

And Reduxit, the contract ended when the season ended, so as of the end of the WS, he and other free agents are not employed, so he doesn't work for them, now, and will not be in camp unless that changes. Which I still hope will happen. What he gets paid has nothing to do with what he "deserves." He's worth what two people are willing to pay him. It's just business.

staring out the window waiting for spring said...

To clarify (and save myself from owing FWood a coke), he was a free agent at the end of the Series, but the Nats had exclusive negotiating rights for those first few days.

staring out the window waiting for spring said...

But if Adam does report to Viera, I'm sure he'll be in the best shape of his life.
And Zim's surgery will have been a success.

EmDash said...

Hi, new-ish Nats fan, big fan of the blog - hope I can keep up with all the knowledgeable discussion!

For LaRoche, I'm thinking the big x-factor in the possibility of Texas signing him is if they get Greinke - they apparently want him and Josh Hamilton, but won't be able to afford both. If they get Greinke and lose Hamilton, they seem like they may want a left-handed potential power threat and may sign LaRoche after all.

Of course, it seems unlikely they get Greinke, if only because the Dodgers want him and they've got way too much money (and are talking about trading some of their other starters, so they seem fairly sure about it). So from my (admittedly newbie) perspective, I wouldn't be surprised if LaRoche is waiting on Greinke's signing before agreeing to a deal with the Nats

peric said...

Rizzo left Arizona to become Nats asst GM in 2006. Haren played for the Dbacks 2008-2010. No connection there.

Good point but rumors indicated that he seemed to have a fixation with EJax and Haren for some time.

I like it when he goes after the younger players. Prefer a dynasty not a one-and-done. Too many years of losing will do that.

SCNatsFan said...

Why on earth has this turned into a debate on tax issues?

Because its the offseason and we are bored searching the Nats forums for any information to avoid working and we'll dicuss anything

peric said...

I nominate "bozo," "moron," and synonymous terms for Gulp!Bang! status. (Is "bang!" redundant? Nevermind.)

You can nominate yourself as a bandwagon fan ... that continues to aggravate.

natsfan1a said...

From a punctuation standpoint, yes. From a drinking standpoint, no. (Well, they said we could discuss anything. :-))

(Is "bang!" redundant? Nevermind.)

peric said...

Because its the offseason and we are bored searching the Nats forums for any information to avoid working and we'll dicuss anything

Yes, there's that too. Albeit Davey Johnson is trying awfully hard to keep things interesting ... as are the beat writers and Luke Erickson.

peric said...

The LaRoche deal reminds me very much of that period where Rizzo had an offer on the table for Dunn and he chose the ChisSox and more years even with Zim, Willingham (soon to follow the Dunkey) clamoring to keep him. Not to mention Lannan :)

I think EmDash may turn out to be right. Once teams are settled with the big ticket folks like Grienke then they'll turn to LaRoche and he'll likely be gone and Morse and Moore will start out at first base.

Candide said...

Feel Wood said...But if someone has a job that requires them to travel and perform work in multiple states, each of those states requires them to pay taxes on the portion of their income that was earned in that state.

Nats players should push to have the schedule jiggered so they play as many games as possible in Florida and Texas - no state income taxes.

Think about that from a player's perspective for a second. You're offered $10 million a year to play for the Padres. The Marlins make the same offer. If you sign up with San Diego, the California tax man is going to get about $1 million of it (rate = 10.55% on income over $1 million). In Florida, you get to keep it all.

That means all other things being equal, the Padres would have to offer a million bucks more a year just to make the offer competitive.

BTW, the DC tax rate is also pretty high - 8.5% on income over $40,000.

staring out the window waiting for spring said...

Bandwagon?? I sneer dismissively at your unconnectedness from veracity.

But let's add "bandwagon!" to the Bang!ing.

staring out the window waiting for spring said...

That means all other things being equal, the Padres would have to offer a million bucks more a year just to make the offer competitive.

Actually, more like $1.11mm. You'd pay on the extra mil, too.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Feel Wood said...

It lessens their administrative tax burden, bozo. They file in fewer states, therefore less hassle and less commission paid to their tax preparer.

Since you know everything and are always right, please analyze the individual tax rates of the various states and countries involved and show your work to prove that a Nats player will actually pay more income tax overall in 2013 than they did in 2012, if that's what you mean by "not lessening their tax burden".
December 05, 2012 11:22 AM


Bozo? Sure, lets get to name calling. Since I often consult with High School/College athletes as part of what I do, we often hand them paperwork on the tax implications of traveling to work in other states and especially the higher impact of taxation of the main state you work in such as players who get drafted by the Yankees or Mets.

The fact that Houston moved to the AL means the Nats don't play Houston regularly which is in Texas and which is a tax free income state and depending on who the Nats play in the mix now most likely raises their overall tax burden.

I'm sure they aren't losing sleep over it nor should you. It was a fun discussion until you had to interject incorrectly the impact of the interleague. I'll put back on my size 14 shoes albeit they are large but aren't Bozo shoes.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Candide, when you consider owning a condo in NYC vs a home in LA, New York players pay more all in with the real estate tax burden and their state income taxes. California is extremely high too. The Marlins use their state income tax of 0% as a big lure although it didn't work out for Reyes or Buehrle.

I guess the good news is if you can afford to purchase in NYC or LA, things are good. Most MLB players are renters in their "home" cities.

sm13 said...

I know I'm late to this post, but that quote from Davey warms my heart. 3 short years ago, it would have been "4th place or bust" and 2 years ago, ".500 or bust" . This is fun!

Theophilus T. S. said...

CA top income tax rate in 2013 is 13.3 percent.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

New Post

Feel Wood said...

I'm sure they aren't losing sleep over it nor should you. It was a fun discussion until you had to interject incorrectly the impact of the interleague.

For you, a fun discussion is anytime no one else says anything that contradicts something you said. Because there are two rules when you are around. (1) SteveM is always right. (2) If SteveM is ever wrong, see Rule #1.

As Warner Wolf used to say, let's go to the videotape. You characterized interleague play as "expanded" and I merely pointed out that it is not, in fact, expanded, just spread out. I made no comment about the tax implications of anything. But because I had the temerity to challenge something you had expounded, you went off on a rant about how I was wrong because of tax stuff. I then added some clarifying information about the tax stuff that didn't even contradict your previous pronouncement. Yet you felt challenged again and went off on me again. Whereupon I called you a bozo.

I must apologize now for calling you that. You're not a bozo, you're a megalomaniac.

Squiffy said...

Staring out the Window reminded me of the classic cliche that always deserves a Gulp. Bang!

"in the best shape of his life"

flynnie said...

Welcome Emdash. Thanks for your thought-provoking post. I look upon Texas as the U.S. Saudi Arabia, and assume the Rangers can afford anything, what with W in the boxes and the contracts they have offered. I fear that you are right and that we will lose ALR to them.

Water23 said...

Peric,

Agreed on Ross. Here's hoping he has come of age and continues to perform like last year.

As to RA Dickey, if Ross/JZimm regress and/or they do not resign Haren next year then Dickey could be a nice 2 yr SP. Not best but nice.

there are usually only a few places a slap hitter fits on a roster (CF & 2B come to mind). The best formula is in fact to have a few player on the bases when the bashers come up. It then becomes a game changing HR instead of a stat padding HR. Why are you so against slap hitters? Usually, their build is slighter which usually equates to faster baserunners and speed in the outfield. All go things for a CF.

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