Dan Haren is off to LA. Good for him. The Nats really couldn't re-sign him even if his 2nd half was decent. Bad contracts are like bad relationships. You get a pass on it once, but if you go back to him/her and it's bad again your friends start thinking "well you brought it on yourself". With a contract you get a pass on an injury riddled under-expectation season as part of the game. Bring him back and he fails again, fans start thinking "this GM doesn't know what he's doing, does he"?
Its been a quiet month for the Nats. Promotions and Minor league signings have been pretty much it. And that's ok. Rizzo doesn't usually move a light speed. I can't think of any big pre-Thanksgiving moves. The Span trade (Nov 29th) was the earliest that I see. Haren and Werth were both signed in the first week in December. Gio deal was near Christmas. LaRoche - Jan 7th then the 8th. Soriano was signed mid January, about when Morse was traded in his time frame. Edwin Jackson - February. Honestly signing Chein-Ming Wang might be his biggest move before the holiday season starts.
While no news isn't good news, it's expected news. Just the way Rizzo seems to operate and honestly what has it cost him? Not much.
Anything else we should remember about Rizzo?
He's loathe to give out extra years for the sake of signing someone (Werth excluded). FA pitching signings (Jackson, Haren) were both one year dealies. Didn't want to give LaRoche a third year when that would have cleared up 1st base super early in the FA process. Didn't give in to Prince's demands. What it could mean: Moves might be late in the contract period where he can get a deal. (Burnett for a year + option?) Expect him to stick to his evaluation on any FA signings. Which in my mind makes the Cano dream unlikely, also makes guys looking to be overpaid like Choo & Ellsbury very unlikely for whatever crazy "he moves here" domino game you had in mind. Hasn't yet given a long term pitching deal out so guys like Jimenez, Santana, Garza are extremely unlikely unless they fall into that deal zone mentioned above.
He has been willing to deal. Dealt for Gio and Span giving up decent prospects to begin with. That's a good sign now that the minors have a few decent arms that could bring something back. The Gio deal wasn't with his guys, though, nor top-notch propects either. The Span deal wasn't a slam dunk win. And while the minors have a few decent arms, that's pretty much all it has so to deal means to empty out the minors again. Will it make him gun-shy on another deal? Might not know for a couple years because one deal-less off season isn't exactly telling. What it could mean: SP trade could be coming. Don't give up on the Price dream just yet. However don't bet on it because that is really a minor league system dumping for the Nats. Scherzer, if still on the market might be more possible. Are there any dark horse candidates? Yovani Gallardo. If the Brewers realize they aren't winning now he sort of fits what the Nats like. Jhoulys Chacin is also an interesting case. Gio like contract left, but not as good a pitcher so potentially not as costly a deal.
He can surprise you. Signed Soriano to "strengthen a strength". You can say it didn't work out or you can imagine if Storen pitched the same way and Soriano wasn't here. So what kind of similar move could he make? What it could mean : I don't see a big splash deal, just because I don't see any of the BIGGEST position player names falling into 2-3 year contract territory like Soriano did as a closer. But if people shy away from a Nelson Cruz? Or if Granderson finds himself with no home and it's closing in on February? With a deep middle in the class, I could see him making a deal for an OF and letting Matt Williams figure out how to use that talent.