Nationals Baseball: Nats News Round-Up

Friday, January 17, 2014

Nats News Round-Up

Just some odds and ends as we head into a long... hey what do you mean I have to work on Monday? But when am I going to sing my McDonald's Martin Luther King Day commercial song? You say I could take the day off with a floating holiday if I want to? So it's really my fault? Dammit! Oh right, baseball.

Detwiler signed for $3 mill, Strasburg for almost $4 mill.  

I find the Detwiler signing completely sensible and am a teensy bothered by the Strasburg one.  Detwiler pitches well when healthy, well enough to warrant another go round before sending him to the pen (or another team). Three million is a tad more than what was expected out of arbitration for him, but that's the bonus you get for not trying to get more. Save the team the time and trouble of doing arbitration and we'll throw in a few hundred thousand dollars (must be nice).

The Nats did the same thing for Strasburg but there in lies my tiny bit of consternation. Strasburg isn't Detwiler. Strasburg is a potential ace, clear top of the rotation guy. That's the kind of guy you want to keep feeling positive about your franchise. You don't do that by treating him like the guy who's struggling to hold onto a rotation spot. You don't throw him a couple hundred thousand more. You give him a million-plus more. There's a couple more arbitration years to do that I guess, but still I feel it's needlessly starting out on the wrong foot.

Nats re-ups with Syracuse, Harrisburg through 2018.

This surprised me a bit. Why? San Fran's agreement with Richmond ends in 2014.  Tampa's agreement with Durham ends in 2014. Not that Harriburg and Syracuse are bad locations but Richmond is closer than Harrisburg, and Durham is closer than Syracuse. They are both also in the Nationals "sphere of influence". Of course that works both ways. Those areas are forced by major league baseball to be the Nats area. They have to air Nats games.* Central PA and NY don't have to so you have to get the populace to want to see these games and demand them from their carrier. Another reason for sticking with the easy path is that the Nats AAA franchise isn't all that appealing (three years under .500) and doesn't necessarily look like it's going to be in comparison to being the Rays AAA franchise (6 years over .500 and in 1st in their division in the last 7 years). Of course there's always the possibility that Harrisburg and Syracuse are just awesome places?

Still I thought the Nats might make play to raise Richmond up to AAA at least.

Nats lost out on Mark Reynolds. 

Good.  You know how much I dislike Tyler Moore. I went over in the comments yesterday how his unique combination of exceedingly limited offense, terrible defense, (and don't forget poor running ability) made him one of the worst players in the majors last year despite limited playing time. So when I say I'd rather have Tyler Moore you know I must really dislike the other guy. But Moore is still youngish. Miracles can happen with youngish players. Mark Reynolds is over 30 and has always had an offensive skill set that when it went south you would expect it to go south fast. Right now that set is on a plane to see the Australian Open. He's a one-trick pony and he doesn't do that one trick often enough to wade through all his other shtick. A "loss" only if you define the term to mean "absence".

*Well sort of - TWC in NC still doesn't have MASN, short reason because MASN is stupid and greedy.


blovy8 said...

MLB trade rumors has Zmmermann signing for 2014 at 7.5 mil and 2015 at 16.5. He's gone on record as not giving out a discount, but their arbitration estimate was 10.5, so it seems like a pretty good deal for the Nats.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
blovy8 said...

Also, Strasburg could have gone to arbitration if he didn't like the deal. It seems to me like his willingness to settle could just as easily indicate things might be smoother that expected between he and the F.O.

Unknown said...

Do you think the Strasburg dollar value shows the Nationals attitude towards retaining Harper over him long term? I believe there were posts throughout the year pointing out with Zimm, Werth, and potential Desi and ZNN contracts it's most likely not possible to keep both Harper and Strasburg. I'd think if the Nats really wanted Stras to stay happy and in DC for his career they'd throw him more than $4mil.

blovy8 said...

I kind of agree, nobody seems to like playing in Syracuse, but it's to the point where AAA doesn't matter as much as AA for prospects. Maybe it's indirectly a good barrier to test the mental side of the game for some of these guys.

I don't think anyone in central NY really cares about watching AAA baseball games on TV. I would imagine they'd rather have the NYC teams on their cable regardless of who's in their town as the affiliate. Before 2005, it didn't really matter to me who the parent team was for the closest team which was in VA. In fact, I'm more pissed that I don't remember seeing Barry Bonds playing there in 1985.

Donald said...

I don't know what sort of message these arbitration signings have. If Rizzo offered Strasburg $5m now, does that send the message that Rizzo really wants to keep Strasburg long term? If yes, is Strasburg supposed to reciprocate and offer a home team discount in a few years?

What does the Zimmermann salary agreement mean? Not sure how to read the tea leaves on that move either.

Harper said...

blovy8 - my guess is that they figured 10.5 -> 13.5 and back loaded to save money in a potential trade.

I'm not saying Stras could have gotten more in arb. He likely couldn't have (which remove the settling quickly = good terms idea... well I mean they could have good terms but this isn't necessarily a clue). I'm saying I'd have liked the Nats to noticeably overpay him (especially when his salary is at a level that that mean 1 million more for a year)

Also I'm trying to say putting Nats AAA in Syracuse might get them to say they want Nats MLB on TV. Not likely I don't think, (I agree with you - never think about it for minor league teams I've been near) but it's a line of thinking.

Miles Tracy - two thoughts in favor - no ZNN would mean more $ for Stras. opposed - research shows Nats VERY reluctant to guarantee FA years for pitchers.

Donald - it could and he might. The Stras thing 95% doesn't matter, I just worry that for a million they could have made it 100% not matter. And wasting say... 5-10 or so million on overpays for the life of his arb time is worth the gamble on any sort of hometown discount he could give. Make it up easy.

ZNN - see new post! Think it means he's gone, they know it, want to save money in potential dea.

DezoPenguin said...

Given the identity of Strasburg's agent, trying to buy goodwill with a few extra million isn't going to work; the only way he isn't going to be a FA is if the Nats deliver a Kershaw-like contract to him and I doubt he'll offer any kind of hometown discount. (And, if he was inclined to offer that discount, I think there's a lot more important things involved in that than "my avoid-arb raise wasn't big enough.")

Anonymous said...

Strasburg is going to end up in SoCal, likely with the Dodgers, but don't rule out the Angels. The only question is whether the Nats let him play out the string and sign there, or if they trade him and get something in return. That talk will really ramp up next offseason. Frankly, I would rather see him traded to the AL so we don’t have to face him.

This isn't hating; I'm a Nats fan and would love to see him have his whole career on South Capitol. But it isn't likely, and Rizzo is quite the realist when it comes to these things. It’s not going to make a lot of sense to pay $20-25 mil per year (or more, based on Kershaw numbers) for seven years for a guy with an injury history. Giolito will cost exponentially less.

I don’t think they’ll sign JZmnn long-term, either, but that’s more of a possibility than a Strasburg deal.

Unknown said...

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Unknown said...

With all the weak teams in the D.C. area,its great to read about and follow the Nat`s. I can`t wait for the season to begin.
But, I do have one issue that takes away from the enjoyment I get and we all get,from watching the games on TV.I cannot stand Bob Carpenter and F.P.Santangelo. Carp.has his strong points,but he is so nerdy and has no sense of humor. "SEE YOU...LATER"! There is no chemistry between them. F.P. always reminds us he was a major league player.He calls every pitch,tells us just what the hitter is thinking and why. And he sounds like he is 13. Not to forget he was suspended for PED.
Why can`t the Nat`s find a quality announcer? The Oriole`s have outstanding radio and TV coverage. The Nat`s are minor league. Charlie Slowes is fine. At least get Carpenter out and bring in someone with a personality and clicks with F.P.He is much better with Jim its just a matter of getting it done.

Unknown said...

Please...Replace Bob Carpenter and or F.P.Santangelo.The Nat`s only weakness. They are awful together. Just compare them to the Orioles TV guys. The Nat`s are settling so they don`t have to spend time searching for a better duo,and its killing the enjoyment most teams have.

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