Nationals Baseball: No Vazquez, No surprise

Monday, November 29, 2010

No Vazquez, No surprise

It looks like teams don't want to be left out of pitching if the Lee sweepstakes goes the way everyone thinks it will go. Westbrook, Garland, and now Vazquez have all found homes before executives have even fluffed their first class pillows on the way down to the Winter Meetings. The Nats made a token swipe at Javy, trying to get him on the cheap (when sources won't confirm is was a fair offer, it likely means it wasn't) but surprise, surprise, you don't get a lot of deals when it comes to established starting pitching. Not a big deal in my book, I didn't think they really wanted Javy anyway, but now things are getting serious.

The best starting pitchers left outside of Lee are De La Rosa and Pavano, two guys the Nats have interest in. Webb remains the most intriguing possibility for teams willing to take a risk. All signs point to the Nats going after Webb first, but he seems content to wait until the Winter Meetings (Dec 6th) to get the talks moving. Waiting at this point is a dangerous game. If another pitcher signs, particularly De La Rosa or Pavano, the supply gets that much smaller. Waiting might rob the Nats of any leverage they have with Webb forcing them to sign him to a much more player friendly deal.

That's not the worst thing usually but this is a deal for a guy who basically hasn't pitched in 2 years. You aren't talking worst case he crashes and is a mediocre innings eater for you. The worst case is he doesn't pitch at all. Of course all this is exactly why Webb is content to wait. Everyone knows the caveats that comes with signing Webb but at the same time everyone always needs pitching. Some team is going to come out of the early signings with nothing to show for it and will be desperate to throw money at someone, even someone like Webb, to show that they are doing something. Webb wants to be the guy they throw money at. (who wouldn't - I wouldn't be surprised if the more veteran Pavano does the same thing. I expect De La Rosa to sign though before the meetings)

The Nats are already stuck in a holding pattern when it comes to their offensive moves until Adam Dunn makes a decision on arbitration (has to by Dec 7th Nov 30th). It's still very likely that he doesn't accept, but they can't move forward with their signing of Carlos Pe...I mean "whatever they may do" because they really can't have two starting first basemen on the team. For pitching, however, they shouldn't let any one player drive them right out of the market for everyone else.

Of course this is assuming that they really do have interest in these other guys. It's quite likely that they see Pavano and De La Rosa as "maaaaaybe we'll try to get one of these two if we can't sign Webb" players. If so, more power to Rizzo and everyone, but they better be able to sign Webb, and they better be right about him still being able to pitch effectively.


Wally said...

I thought that they moved up the arb dates so Dunn has to decide by tomorrow?

I like De La Rosa and even Pavano, but not with a pick included. I'd pass. Like I said last time, I would go lineup at this point. I don't disagree with their strategy, just the ability to execute. Save the money on these guys and go after Werth and maybe an offensive 2B bounceback guy like Hill or Kendrick, plus whichever old 1b is most cost effective. Then role out Stammen and the rest of the boys.

Harper said...

you're right the whole thing moved up a week.

Wally said...

"No De La Rosa Either, No Problem.". hopefully no pick for Pavano either.

Go for a bounceback guy at this point, Plus Lineup, Lineup , Lineup. Do you think Riz can avoid the panic move now?