Nationals Baseball: And in case you don't care about defense

Monday, November 14, 2011

And in case you don't care about defense

and thought the Nats might deal for Matt Kemp.  Ain't happenin' (but is misbehavin'... anyone? anyone?)

Matt Kemp was a consistently below average fielding CF, with the possibility of shifting to awful as he ages.  But oh that offense.  A .300+ hitter with very good power will (and should) make you forget about D every time. The Nats were never serious contenders for the guy, but if you are on the World Series in the next two-three years bandwagon, then Kemp in center would have worked. Of course if you can live with him in center because of the offense, you probably can do the same for Bryce.

Really, though I point this out to show you how much he costs. Twenty mill a year for 8 years.  That's almost Werth money!   Coupled with the Melky trade, you can see how (over)valued CFs are right now. Upton will be very expensive.  Fowler would cost more than you think.  We should all be able to understand if the Nats can't make a deal for one and end up with a fill-in, much like Ankiel last year.  (Except on purpose not because Rizzo got mad one day and decided to give up on Nyjer for pennies on the dollar.)  Signing a Corey Patterson or Endy Chavez is not a playoff move, because with one slumping player you'd have that dead end of the lineup 7-9 you don't want to have, but if the Nats are serious about Bryce in center and/or don't want to overpay in trades or contracts, it may just be the best move for 2012.

(personally I say overpay in trades for Upton.)

Oh and speaking about Bryce, he's hitting .263 with 0 HR, 0BBs, and 6 Ks in his last 5 games.  I'm not drawing any conclusions about Bryce and his talent - I'm just noting this because if he went .450 with 5 HRs during that time span I'm sure we'd be hearing all about it.  We need to look at his stats over extended periods for evaluation, not validation of what we think we already know. We'll get back to this when the AFL wraps up in a couple weeks.


Anonymous said...

I'd much rather have Kemp than Werth...and Upton. Why not Kemp in right, werth in center and harper in left? If the Lerners are going to spend money, I see Kemp as a good pick up.

also, Prince.

Anonymous said...

What about Adam Jones?

Harper said...

Anon #1 - Kemp is a true hitting star in his peak. Definitely better than Werth or Upton, though Upton fields much better.(Now Werth AND Upton... depends on a lot of things). Not to confuse anyone but Kemp isn't a FA, he'd be a trade deal and that was mostly predicated on McGuire needing to let high priced guys go because of the divorce. Non-issue now and the Dodgers are looking to wrap up their stars.

Still since we are just speculating, if they care about D, that could be an adequate OF or it could be a terrible one, especially later in the long Werth and Kemp deals. I think they though about Werth in center but don't want to shift him around as just a stop gap (which at this age he would be). Better to try to train Bryce to be ok, because he's likely to maintain that level for several years.

If the Nats eat LaRoche's contract I'd be suprised.

Anon #2 - It would be an interesting addition. Fancy stats say he's overrated in the field but he's young and good enough. Seems like they don't want to deal though and I can't see Angelos letting the Nats get a good player from him without massively overcharging them. He has to clearly win that deal.

michael K said...

I wouldn't say no to Kemp simply because he isn't an awesome CFer - having three above average corner outfielders isn't the worse OF in the world, especially if they hit the way Werth, Harper, and Kemp do. But considering it would cost TWO arms and a leg, and it's not gonna happen anyway, then whatever.

I agree Rizzo shouldn't be rushed into a bad deal. Marginal gains for next year are not worth blocking a better long-term option down the road. Nats are not winning the pennant next year.

Wally said...

I am not a Kemp fan. Not as a superstar. I see him as an above average player, but no way a $160m guy. He had a fantastic year, but also a real high BABIP and a spike in BB%. He was barely replacement level in 2010. I also think his body has the potential to go bad quickly and I am not sure about his discipline. Seems like a heck of a contract to give a guy based of 1 year of actual superstar production.

I'll make an even more controversial comment: I think when both contracts are played out, Werth's will look like better value (although both are ridiculous).

But I take the point on CF value. What isn't overvalued these days?

Sec 294 Row H Seat 7 said...

First, I do not know how the contend in '12 bandwagon got started. Oh yeah, that was no DJ. Not so sure Rizzo has got that memo yet. I believe any moves made this off season will be aimed at '13. Seems from the news that Rizzo is going after a pitcher.

Harper last night went 1-3 two runs, rbi double. His last ten games are over 400/.650/1000+. And his season to date is very Harper like with no extend slump foreseen (by me at least). The guy will contend at ST. Whether he makes it or not is up to Rizzo v. DJ outcome.

Supposedly final 40 man roster for Rule 5 purposes is due Friday. Any thoughts on make up?

Harper said...

mk - agree but then that leads to the next question - what will that long term option be? Other than signing BJ Upton - I don't see anything in the next few years... unless the Red Sox fail to be the top bidder for Ellsbury (he IS a Boras client...)

Wally - 2010 has to be seen as an aberration, but I get your point. We could be in for a 3 year run of MVP type numbers. He is 26 and obviously has that level of talent. Or 2011 could also be a fluke and we could be in for a nice long Werth-esque run. If it's the latter it will be an overpay. Now a Werthian overpay? I have to doubt that. Kemp's contract is 27-34, Werth is 32-38. Even if you like Werth to bounce back that back end is going to be TERRIBLE. I don't see any chance of avoiding that. Kemp shouldn't be any worse than a serviceable corner OF at that point (barring injury)

What isn't overvalued? I was going to say the middling average player but then I saw Jamey Carrol's deal.

Sec 294 - contend in '12 is barely on the rails now, alot will depend on how the team does early on. These people are small but they will be vocally disappointed if the Nats treat this like any other offseason and make no big moves.

I think Bryce could hang in the majors in 2012. Might not be ROY caliber without more polish time but he can hang. Don't expect it though. I think Rizzo is committed to seeing him master everyday AA first. Then it'll be a situational decision.

Hoo said...

Corey Brown has been outrighted to Syracuse. But at least the Hammer got us a mercurial reliever.

Nats lost Kimball today to the Jays. Good sign of progress for the organization overall but it stings.

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