Nationals Baseball: Deal or The Opposite of Deal

Friday, June 18, 2010

Deal or The Opposite of Deal

These are your Nats. Not "they'll get swept all the time" but "they're no better than a few games under .500". There is no division title or Wild Card in their 2010 future. There are just too many teams to pass over to make that jump. Accepting that here's the question -

Do you deal? and Who?

Livan and Pudge are having starts that simply can't be held up over the course of the rest of the season. They are old. Between Flores, Norris and Bryce, the Nats have some depth at catcher and they have 192 guys waiting to get back into the rotation post-injury. BUT the Nats also don't have a catcher or innings-eater ready to play now, and maybe not next year given on how the Nats medical staff seems to get guys back from injury.

Willingham and Dunn are having career years. Their trade value is probably never going to be higher. They are on the wrong side of 30. BUT the Nats already have at least one, maybe 2 holes to fix in the OF, and they don't have a first baseman in the wings. The Nats already lack a good breadth of power in their lineup, losing these two would make a home run as rare as a decent Brian Bruney relief appearance.

Capps and especially Clippard are doing much better than expected. Relievers are fungible. Storen seems ready to take over the back of the bullpen. BUT the Nats want guys back there to make sure Strasburg gets his wins. We all remember while you can find guys under rocks to fill in a bullpen, it can take time to do the finding.

The team is clearly not playoff bound in 2010. With Zimmerman and Strasburg as the anchors this team can plan for the next 4-5, not just 2011. BUT dealing popular and good players now could hurt a fanbase that is tentatively coming back to the team. They will come back with the wins but the franchise is desperate for consistent growth in attendance over the next few years. It does not want any more step backs in that department, which is what could happen if the deals are made and the young players take a couple years to come around.

Do you deal? and Who?


Hoo said...

Dunn, Capps, Burnette, Livo (and any other starter), Guzman for song.

Pudge only for a really good deal. The Hammer for only a great deal.

In descending order of should be traded..

Rodger B.

In the pen, I'd keep Storen/Clippard and rest can go. While relievers are fungible, Clippard is above average and cheap. Cheap money for Clippard means more money for our new RF or 2b.

Problem is, there's not a lot of tradeable parts on this team. It's not like last year when Beimel and Nick had real value. Dunn has real trade value but maybe too much for some teams. Livo and Guz are very, very tradable. Capps is tradeable.

But the rest of the pieces are either a) too old or b) not very good.

Positively Half St. said...

I agree that the team seems unlikely to make the playoffs, but it is too early to make that move. Come the end of July, though, the team should move Capps and Burnette. I am not sure about Dunn, because I don't think we would get the proper value in return. I would be loathe to trade Willingham, but would for the right price.

bdrube said...

The Nats are clearly setting themselves up for a playoff run in 2011, so the thinking on any deals should keep that in mind. Dunn should only be traded if an extension cannot be worked out. Willingham will not be traded unless the team falters next year. Rodriguez will not be traded because the team still does not know if Flores will ever fully return AND they will need his veteran leadership for next year either way. Guzman's contract likely makes him untradeable unless the Nats eat his salary.

That leaves the pitchers. Capps and Livo are the most obvious because neither is necessary for next year. Clippard and Burnett are young guys not even arbitration eligible, so they stay. I could also see some combination of Stammen, Atilano, Martis or even Lannon going because we have way too many back-of-the-rotation, pitch-to-contact types. If Lannon corrects his issues sooner rather than later and puts together a decent string of starts before 7/31, he might bring the best return of anybody.

Whatever they do, I almost guarantee it will be with next year and the fantasy rotation headed by Strasburg, Zimmermann, Wang and a hopefully healthy Marquis in mind.

NeatoTorpedo said...

You gotta move the Hammer - this is the year he's been waiting to have, and we'll get some decent value. And with the negotiations with appearing to start to pick up (and he doesnt strike me as a sign-and-trade candidate), that's probably where they're going.

Guz - By the time we move him, we'll be halfway through the final year... maybe we make whoever takes Hammer take Guz, too. It would be nice to get SOMETHING for him, but I doubt anyone will bite.

And then, either Clippard or Capps, and I say the latter - the saves # is attractive, Clippard could set up Storen (esp if we can find a way to avoid bringing him in with runners aboard).

I doubt anyone will take a flyer on Livo.

Anonymous said...

It's hard, because this is mostly a very likable collection of guys.

I would not trade a reliever; having 3 dominant arms in the pen is one heck of an advantage worth keeping.

Pudge may come in handy in helping Stras, Detwiler and Zimmermann.

I don't think Guz or Kennedy would return much.

That leaves Livo. Do we give up on Nyjer and market him as a basetealing threat and pinch runner teams like for the playoffs?

Sec314 said...

I'd have to think Slaten and Burnett would have some trade value. Left handed relievers are a rare commodity.

Walker has pitched well of late too. They've got plenty of guys in Syracuse and H-burg who could come up and be place holders... or even develop.

They should unload Willie Harris and the AG for prospects or something. Not going to get much for either though.

Gotta hold on to Pudge. Norris is no where near ready and as much as I like Flores, he's not either.

Trade Willingham if the season is a lost cause and just bring up Maxwell for "one more chance."

Bryan said...

I trade Pudge for sure. We've gone this long with dreck for a catcher, so it shouldn't be that much of a shock when we have it again. I just don't trust Pudge to keep up his game. Same reasoning for Livo, and I think you already are seeing cracks in his game.

I don't trade Dunn. You need the power, frankly, and a first baseman. We just don't have anyone.

You have to keep one of Clippard and Capps. I'd keep Clippard, but its not a strong opinion on my part.

Wham... I'm mixed here. You don't want to open up another hole in the OF, as you say. Check that, I'm not mixed. You have to keep him.

I like this team. No, its not great, and yes, its a tad too old. But 2011 looks a lot nicer with Wham & Dunn plus some prospects than it does sans Wham & Dunn plus some more prospects. I'm tired of the years where we lose a proven talent like a Soriano and get our hopes up about a possible talent like Felipe Lopez or Austin Kearns, only to be disappointed.

We have guys we can pencil in for 2011 as quality players. And we have enough talent that we don't have to build.

Having come this far, I don't want to start 2011 with a bunch of question marks.

Kevin Trainor said...

I agree with the first two commenters - it's really too early to make any drastic moves. I think we could make some tweaks to the outfield for better defense and offense without giving away the candy store, and we definitely should. Willie Harris is very expendable with Maxwell waiting in the wings, and so is Guzman now that Gonzalez has shown us he has some bat to go with his glove.

Also, linked at Beltway Baseball.