Wednesday, February 13, 2013

More major acquisitions unlikely

US Presswire file photo
Mike Rizzo and Davey Johnson appear content with the roster they have.
VIERA, Fla. -- Though a handful of prominent free agents remain on the open market even after camps across baseball have opened, the Nationals appear content to stick with what they have ... barring injury or other calamity.

"If you're talking about a big-time trade or a big-time free agent acquisition, I would think that would have to be something that was set off by something that happens here in camp," general manager Mike Rizzo said in his first media session of the spring. "But we're always looking to get ourselves better and deeper, and if there's something to be done that makes sense for us, we'll certainly do it."

At this point, any potential moves likely would be to add depth at Class AAA Syracuse, particularly pitching depth. The Nationals' big-league staff is all but finalized already, with five starters in place and perhaps only one bullpen job up for grabs among several contenders.

The Nationals do remain thin in backup rotation candidates, though they did fortify the position a bit this winter with the re-signing of Zach Duke, the conversion of Christian Garcia to a starter and the signing of veteran Ross Ohlendorf. Rizzo admitted it's been a challenge convincing free agents to join the organization with little guarantee of a big-league roster spot becoming available.

"I will say that it was very, very difficult to get guys in that scenario, to come in on minor-league contracts, just because of the roster that we have intact," Rizzo said. "The front office did a great job of acquiring guys that have a chance to help us, if not at the beginning of the season, sometime during the season, and always with the forethought of having depth at multiple positions."

Rizzo said the uncertainty surrounding Gio Gonzalez, who has been connected to the Miami clinic under investigation by MLB for distributing performance enhancing drugs, hasn't altered his approach to roster construction. Though there are several veteran pitchers still on the market, headlined by right-hander Kyle Lohse, Rizzo indicated he's not looking for a potential Gonzalez replacement.

"It did not intensify anything for us," he said. "We're always looking. We always like depth. But it did not intensify with that."


Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Still want to see Vázquez signing if he will accept a bullpen role. Could fit in Henry spot.

Boras needs Rizzo in the mix so those statements don't help the Lohse market.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Also, Rizzo was looking at Vázquez and Lohse well before the Gio issue.

This becomes more about finding a spot which really doesn't exist.

Theophilus T. S. said...


Theophilus T. S. said...

This is not a comment about a major acquisition. It's a comment about Gonzalez. "If something [name your something] comes up in camp, we'll deal with it." Unspoken: "Stop asking me about Lohse."

Brian Steyer said...

Sign lohse and but detweiller in the bullpen.. Dint have to forfit any pick to sign lohse any more

Gonat said...

Brian, why would you think no pick gets forfeited? If the Nats sign him they give up their 2nd round pick from what I have read.

peric said...

Still want to see Vázquez signing if he will accept a bullpen role. Could fit in Henry spot.

Sigh Vasquez gets the Stammen spot Ghost! You need to stop letting your bias against Henry cloud your vision dude! Stammen has options. Henry doesn't. Henry throws 100mph and follows with a killer slider. Stammen doesn't. Stammen would make tremendous young, major league experience depth as a starter in AAA Syracuse. Henry has not options.

And then? Its a contest between Haren and Vasquez and Vasquez might just win that pushing Haren into the long role. Believe it. Rizzo has no problem at all with 15 million dollar insurance policies ... given the inexperienced talent that currently represents the depth in AAA and AA. There's definitely some talent there ... its just not necessarily what you want to rely on if you are vying for a playoff spot.

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