It seems like even before the debacle of the weekend (in which the Nats lost 2 1-run games, even though Rigglemans is the bestestest at bullpens managements - regards Nats Fans circa late May) the commenters realized that the Nats were sellers of some sort. I'm heartened there didn't see to be any readers that felt this team was perfect and shouldn't be changed. Of course that didn't mean there weren't disagreements. First though, I think there was virtually no disagreement on the below and I agree with all the sentiments
- Trade our "garbage" for whatever we can get. They want Willie Harris, Alberto Gonzalez, Tyler Walker, Sean Burnett for a low A-ball "prospect"? Fine. Do it.
- Trade Guzman... if we can. There is a strong sense that the contract (I think there is 1.29 billion left on it for this season) will be a hinderance and this will be another test of the Lerner's commitment to spending. Guzman can be useful for another team as a bat off the bench that will make contact. Of course that isn't worth 4 million, but what if the Nats eat 3 million of it?
- Trade Livan. There didn't seem to be anyone out there thinking that he was going to keep this up. You are all very smart. Gold stars for you. I think it helps that Nats' fans have seen Livan pitch before.
- Trade Capps. I was suprised by the agreement over this but most commenters didn't think much of the guy, realized that we didn't need to keep Clippard AND Capps and opted to keep Clippard. A fan base realizing that it's closer can easily be replaced only one year after having a historically bad bullpen? That's a commitment to common sense. Patrick Henry would be pround.
Trade Dunn? The contract, while high, I think works in favor of dealing Adam since it does expire after the season and everyone can agree that Dunn is a better DH than a firstbaseman. But he does seem to be improving and he is a legit All-Star. Do you give up the bird in the hand? For me, I think a lot depends on some early contract negotiations. It's not so much the cost that bothers me so much wondering if Adam going to be a stickler for a longer term deal. It's hard to argue with another 2-year deal. Adam at 32 and 33 should still be a viable first baseman and by then Bryce Harper or some other minor league player could be ready. First base is where any slugger can be shifted eventually which makes it one of the easier positions to fill if need be. But a 3 or 4 (or more) year deal? I couldn't get behind that and if he seems to be a stickler in wanting that I say cut him loose now if you can.
Trade Willingham? A lot of people said no. Cheap and Good and 30? What's wrong with keeping that? Well nothing except that he might be doing much better than he ever will and those three things you mentioned would make him the most tradeable commodity the Nats have. I tend to fall on the trading side. I know he's done really well and is likely to carry it longer than Dunn but still I can't help but see his outburst this year as Nats good fortune not to be wasted. Remember his collapse last season? He was near useless past August. I know it's hard to think of how bad the OF could be without him but still I think what you can get back if better for this team in the next 4-5 years than keeping him around.
Trade Pudge? Most people who wanted to keep Pudge were of the "who else is going to play". Nieves did look horrible and catchers are hard to find, but remember this is a guy who has no power and no patience and hit .249 last season and .276 the year before and is 38 years old playing the most physically demanding position on the field. His numbers will go down. So the difference between Nieves and Pudge going foward.... ok even I can't convince myself that it won't be big. Nieves is that bad and even the spectre of Pudge helps on defense. So I wouldn't dump Pudge for anything, but anything halfway decent? Yeah I probably do pull the trigger. That second year is hanging over Pudge and he's certainly not going to be part of the next true playoff run roster. There's no reason to give him away just to do it (he'd still make a valuable, if overpaid, back-up next year if Flores is back) but a good fair deal should be accepted.