Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Rizzo unlikely to trade away big leaguers

DALLAS -- When approaching other clubs about the possibility of acquiring a center fielder or starting pitcher, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo usually learns the asking price includes young, big-league talent.

To this point, Rizzo has been unwilling to meet those demands. And he appears to be staying true to that belief at this week's Winter Meetings.

Despite interest from several teams in players off the Nationals' roster, Rizzo isn't interested in parting ways with those key pieces who have already established themselves in the major leagues.

"We like the interest level of our organization," he said. "With that said, we try and stay away from our good, young, core group of guys that we're not going to move."

That philosophy may help explain the Nationals' lack of significant trades over the last six months, dating back to the July 31 trade deadline. Though Rizzo has sought players who might immediately help his club -- like center fielders B.J. Upton and Denard Span -- he hasn't been willing to give up major-league players in return -- like Drew Storen and Ian Desmond.

Which isn't to say Rizzo is opposed to trading away young talent in exchange for a center fielder or starting pitcher. He just prefers to deal from his growing stable of minor-league talent at this point.

"We think we have depth in our system," he said. "We have depth in our prospects. When we discuss improvement of our ballclub and when we discuss trades, we're going to discuss from our inventory of prospects and try and stay away if at all possible from the core group of guys we have in the major leagues at this time."

Which may also help explain the stagnant state of talks between the Nationals and Rays over center fielder B.J. Upton. Rizzo has had his eye on the 27-year-old for quite some time, but Tampa Bay GM Andrew Friedman has all along asked for at least some major-league players in return.

"I don't think much has changed when we've talked [about] that specific player," Rizzo said today when asked about Upton. "I don't like to talk about specifics or hypotheticals, but I don't think anything has changed on that front. We have a comfort level of the player, and we know what value we'd give up for him."


Nats1924 said...

Sign Coco Crisp or put Werth in CF for a year. Do not give in to Freidman and the Rays.

Nats1924 said...

Or, what about Juan Pierre for a 1yr deal?

- Juan Pierre LF
- Werth CF
- Morse RF

This looks pretty solid, and then sign BJ as a free agent next year.

Anonymous said...

In a nutshell we had above average pitching and poor hitting last year. I'd be OK with above average pitching and average hitting next year. If nothing really good materializes, I hope Rizzo doesn't feel the need to justify his comments about starting pitching/center fielder and overpays in money or talent. Patch up the lineup if possible and hold the fort on pitching and I'll still come out to the games.

Anonymous said...

Read it and weep, Desmond haters.

You too, Lannan haters.

UnkyD said...

Attaboy, Riz!!! :)

Gonat said...

Nats1924, glad you said that. 1 year isn't worth losing studs in the system.

HardBallTalk tweeted the O's will be willing to listen on Adam Jones. Expect that price to be high also.

Rizzo said he has talked to "several teams" about center fielders. Coco Crisp could go from starter to 4th outfielder back to starter next year. The Bryce Harper factor has to be considered in planning out 2012.

If you have Morse, Werth, and Harper as your OF starters, there will be limited time mid-June for the new CF acquisition anyway which is why Coco Crisp truly makes the most sense.

jd said...

Everyone is awe struck by the Marlins but their moves so far have all been glitz and splash. They signed a decent closer but they already had one; they signed a great shortstop but they already had one and they still owe him big bucks and now he's pissed off and not interested in playing 3rd base ( they will have to pay him more to make him happier).

They are working on Pujols but they have a good young 1st baseman in Sanchez. Yes their moves have made them better but in my opinion not significantly better and now they have $65 mil tied up in 6 players or $90 mil tied up in 7 players. Let's see how this all shakes out before we declare them the champs.

NatsNut said...

"...stay away if at all possible from the core group of guys we have in the major leagues at this time."

Woo Hoo! Music to my ears (er..eyes?)!!!

Anonymous said...

Thats right, dont give up anyone of our core. Strasburg, Harper, Zimmerman, Werth, Ramos, Morse, Espinosa, Rendon, Storen, Zimmermann, Clippard, Peacock, Detwiller, H - Rod should all be untouchable.

Anonymous said...

1924 I guess you haven't been reading? Harper is the other corner outfielder there is NO ROOM for a marginal player like Coco Crisp.

Anonymous said...

You too, Lannan haters.

Guess you didn't bother to listen to the interview did you anon? He did say that some players are available while others are not. Kind of different from the way Mark portrays it in text.

Buerhle replaces Lannan. Get used to it people! He's a goner once Buerhle is on board.

Gonat said...

Love it, dueling Anon's! Tough to keep score on which anon is which and have to wonder if it is the same Anon arguing with him/her self.

Anonymous said...

So are the Nats the mystery bidders on Pujols?

Sorry, Mark - just had to put it out there for you to knock down..

Drew8 said...

I certainly don't hate Desmond or Lannan. Both seem like good guys. Will I weep when they're inevitably supplanted by the likes of Rendon and (take your pick) Solis, Ray, Cole, Peacock? Uh no.

Anonymous said...

The guys on MLB sound a lot like this group. They report that the Marlins have offered AP a ten-year contract. So the host asks Bowa and Millar, "Will Pujols be a Marlin by Friday?" One says yes, the other says no. The Nationals were mentioned several times in the conversation. Millar said forcefully that pitching wins in he majors, and Bowa points out that the Nationals rotation is better than the Marlins. Gammons raved about Strasburg's talent and maturity. The National are often talked about with respect.

Sometimes the best thing to do is do nothing. We have all the parts. It sends a powerful message to our young guys if Mike and Davey make it clear they are pretty happy with what we have. No single player ever changed the overall character of a team. Sending the message that we could have a real good team "if" tells our guys they're chopped liver.

Let's also keep in mind that Ben Cherington, Theo Epstein and Brian Cashman are also out there filling in blanks. Mike Rizzo is not the only competent manager in BB. But he's damn good and he has put us where we can look ahead with confidence.All we need is patience--we're not going to win it all next year.

Anonymous said...

PS MLB guys think Buerhle winds up in St. Louis.

Anonymous said...

Buerhle replaces Lannan. Get used to it people! He's a goner once Buerhle is on board.

Wrong. Buerhle mentors Lannan. Detwiler is in the bullpen as long guy/spot starter/injury replacement/fill-in after Strasburg hits his innings limit. Get used to it people!

Anonymous8 said...

I think Gorzo is the long guy in the pen and Detwiler is the 7th inning set-up guy.

Oldguy, agree with you on the MLB Network, much respect for the Nats and the quote about Zimmermann/Strasburg (in that order) being better than the Marlins top 2 pitchers as Bowa put it which led to an interesting debate point about Josh Johnson.

The addition of Buehrle would make this a successful off-season even if they don't get the CF. You don't want to force what isn't there. Trading with the Rays is a frustrating event. Just say no.......

SonnyG10 said...

I really like the position Rizzo has taken. Keep our good core young major leaguers (unless something totally blows you away)and only deal from our depth. I believe we will be a better team in 2012 even if we get no one else except bench players. The youngsters will have one more year of experience and Werth and LaRoach can't be as bad as they started out last season. GYFNG!!!!!

Anonymous said...

This is a GM who wants a dynasty and not a win... I LOVE that as a fan... The Marlins have won 2 world series and are a CRAP franchise... As a DC native who waited oh so long for a team... give me something I can be proud of for my entire life... we are on our way!!

Rabbit said...

We are going to have a great season in the NL East. Reading these comments, no one has any idea what transactions are going to take place. That makes for more of a mystery.

Steve M. said...

Rabbit, I don't think Mike Rizzo knows what transactions are going to take place as he isn't necessarily in the driver's seat.

Getting Buehrle is his 1st priority and after that you have to wonder if Mike Rizzo is going to wait to the non-tender deadline in 5 days to see what Upton does or Cespedes is his target.

If Buehrle doesn't happen, the market has certainly softened on CJ Wilson and he can jump into that.

NatsJack thinks Mike Rizzo is still going to surprise us. Yes, surprise us in a positive way!

Anonymous said...

So much for the theory that the Mets were planning on sticking with Pagan in CF.


sjm308 said...

SonnyG - don't forget to add a healthy Ryan Z for the whole season plus the addition of SS and JZ without an innings limit. We are on our way!!

natsfan1a said...

Gee, it doesn't sound like he's desperate to me. Maybe another team's exec was talking out of his, uh, hat.

Previously seen in Nats Insider comments:

Near the trade deadline, Rizzo was said to be desperate for a Centerfielder as another team's exec described the situation

natsfan1a said...

Wait, does anybody else hear banjo music?

Gonat said...

Love it, dueling Anon's! Tough to keep score on which anon is which and have to wonder if it is the same Anon arguing with him/her self.
December 6, 2011 9:31 PM

Anonymous said...

Ok, the Mets just added an entire new pen of quality guys in 1 day. Someplace their fans are saying healthy David Wright and Jason Bay and Johan Santana to go with nice up and coming Dillon Gee innings machine Dempster and young core of guys like Duda, Davis and Tejada. We are on our way!
Nats Insider posters had better be ready to ask for Rizzo's head if they finish last!!!

Anonymous said...

Ok, the Mets just added an entire new pen of quality guys in 1 day.

Yeah huh Mets fan? Guess who they've been watching and learning? Eh? Nats bullpen: younger and by far superior and Hassan Pena also throws close to 100. He's still to come.

Dillon Gee innings machine Dempster and young core of guys like Duda, Davis and Tejada. We are on our way!
Nats Insider posters had better be ready to ask for Rizzo's head if they finish last!!!

Keep dreaming Madoff scandal dumpster divers. Strasburg, Zimmermann, Solis, Purke ... and then there's Harper, Rendon, Zimmerman, Norris .... Nats still ahead but dream away oh NYC.

natsfan1a said...

I don't know, I think I'd rather have an Anon head. Actually, an Anon bobblehead would be pretty awesome. ;-)

In Nats Alumni News of the Day, Robert [RF] Fick is an agent now. Hence his presence at the GM meetings with Da Meat Hook


NatsJack in Florida said...

I certainly would expect most Mets fans to be anonymous after their latest acquisitions.

Anonymous said...

Its still hard not to like Fielder (over Pujols). Left-handed elite impact bat. And still young. For the Nats that's almost a critical component something they've never had. Harper might be that someday but he's still just one left-handed bat.

Anonymous said...

Not to try to step into some poster's head, but as several posts above were getting all rainbows and puppy dogs about the 2012 Nats, my guess is that the anon "Mets are on their way!!" person was saying that it is easy to feel confident in the off-season and even the lousy Mets have some reason to have hope. Just sayin.

Anyway, lead-off man. Gotta get one! Front-end SP. Wilson, Buerhle, Oswalt . . . maybe Gio Gonzalez, amoney LH guy under control for a long time, package something up and get him! Whatever. Get us what we need to compete Mikey!


Anonymous said...

I think Gorzo is the long guy in the pen and Detwiler is the 7th inning set-up guy.

To start but I wouldn't be surprised to see him starting again. Stammen almost has to make it as the right handed corollary. No more Batista's and Livo's.

Rotation looks like: Strasburg, Zimmermann, Buehrle, Detwiler, Wang.

AAA on standby: Milone, Peacock, Maya, Meyers (if he survives rule 5), and perhaps Solis gets bumped up? Two more lefty starters: Purke and Rosenbaum will likely start out in AA.

As you can see there is no room for Lannan. Lannan plus some of the above will likely be traded for prospects. The handwriting is on the wall.

Anonymous said...

Anyway, lead-off man. Gotta get one!

You already have 2: Desmond and the hot spare in Syracuse this year: Stephen Lombardozzi (switch hitter).

Kobernus will be in AA Harrisburg with Eury Perez. That's 2 more.

Brian Goodwin could start in Potomac but its likely its going to be Hagerstown: CF plus leadoff left-handed hitter
that's 1 more. Rendon who is an OBP machine like Norris might be a very fast riser.

What's not to like?

Anonymous said...

Desmond cannot be the lead-off man (if you resist cherry-picking a handful of stats from half of a season in which Ian performed decently in the role, and look at his entire body of work at all levels, it is pretty clear -- Ian is not a lead-off guy.) and the only way Lombo leads off is if they cut bait with Desmond and move Espi to SS, which is not likely to happen.

They gotta get a lead-off guy.


The Dude Abides said...

Desmond may not be "A lead off guy" but, for now, he's OUR lead off guy.

Until something else happens, that's the way it is. Get used to it.

Soul Possession, PFB Sofa said...

Just saw the video interview, and all I can say is, uh-oh.

RPrecupjr said...

Gorzy and Stammen are definitely the long pen guys, no question. To quote Nancy Reagan, "Just Say No" to Maya. Admit it was a mistake and didn't work and cut him loose to let others work their way up through the system.

If they sign Buehrle, Lannan is gone, and the rotation is this (with projected wins):

Stras (12) (due to innings limit)
JZim (15)
Buehrle (13)
Wang (13)
Detwiler (10)
Peacock (to replace Stras after 9/1) (3)

That's 66 wins. The ML average number of wins from the bullpen last year was 19-20, which puts us at 86.....enough for the WC? Probably.

Obviously, all the usual caveats go with these projections, i.e. injuries (either to the pitchers or to impact position players)

But that's going to be the rotation. As others have posted "Get used to it"

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