Nationals Baseball: For Rizzo, the time is never now

Friday, July 25, 2014

For Rizzo, the time is never now

There is one quote in the story that Kilgore wrote about Rizzo that stands out to me, a dangerous quote for Nats fans who want the Nats to go all-in
"You can’t do things for short-term gains that are going to harm you long term.”
The rumor mill suggests this isn't just talk. Despite losing Zimm potentially for the remainder of the season, the Nats appear to be only looking at upgrading their LH relief pitching. It makes sense to do that, Jerry Blevins' complete LOOGYness this season limits his usefulness, but it would seem like the Nats should do more. One more bat or one more big arm could likely guarantee a NL East pennant and the advantages that come with that.

It makes sense to go all in now. The iron is hot and it seems very likely to grow colder by 2016. Ian Desmond, Jordan Zimmermann, and Doug Fister all could be gone after the 2015 season. Adam Laroche, Denard Span, Rafael Soriano, and Tyler Clippard are also up for FA after 2015 and not all of them will be back*. If LaRoche does come back he'll be 36 in 2016. Werth will be here and he'll be 37. Zimmerman and Ramos are both high-injury risks. It's clear that this particular window, with these particular players playing leading roles, has another 2 years tops.

That's not to say the future is grim. You can see where the Nats' plan is going. In 2016 Rendon and Bryce will anchor the offense while Gio and Strasburg anchor the rotation. Storen re-takes his closer role and a guy like Barrett moves into a set-up role. Filling in the gaps will be Taylor or Goodwin or Souza in the OF. Cole and Giolito will take their places in the rotation. I imagine a trade will be made for a MI and maybe a SP.  Who exactly I can't tell you . You're probably looking for a guy who is becoming a FA after the 2017 season at least (the Nats don't deal for 1 year players) and may not have gotten on the radar yet. (twist my arm and I'll say Starlin Casto)

But you can see that alot has to go right. Giolito and Cole (or whoever but these are the likely two) have to be as good as ZNN and Fister. Strasburg and Gio have to be as good as they are now. Along with Zimmerman and Ramos, Rendon and Bryce also have to remain healthy. Storen can't go head-case again. They have to be able to make a trade for positions other teams value highly. If the Nats want to keep position as NL East favorite a couple years from now, it'll take some good GM skill AND some good luck.

I understand the impulse to protect the future and I get that making deals for now are no guarantee of success, but here's the truth :
  • If you sacrifice the future to try to win now, you'll probably lose now and your future will be a question mark.
  • If you don't sacrifice the future to try to win now, you'll probably lose now and your future will be a question mark. 
These things only change by degree. There are no guarantees, not of current success AND not of future success.

Rizzo wants to focus on the future because that's what the owners most likely want. A stable, winning franchise. That builds the fanbase and makes the franchise more valuable. Trading for now could darken a future that is already cloudy. Focus on winning games, not championships, because winning games is an accomplishment that's far less up to the fickle hands of fate. One bounce, one bad start, won't take you from winning 90 games to 75, but it can take you from winning a playoff series to losing one.

Is that what you want though? A series of half-measures on whatever is going on in the current year? A tweak here and there every 2 out of 3 summers when the Nats are still in it? Or do you want the big move, knowing full well the team still could, and probably will, fail at obtaining the ultimate goal?

*My early guess. I think LaRoche will resign on another 2-year deal. So Zimm plays LF / platoons with LaRoche. I think Clippard and Soriano walk for greener pastures. I think the Nats let Span go because they just don't have room. I think they manage to sign Fister but not ZNN (who let's face it, doesn't want to be here) or Desmond (who will get more money elsewhere)


Vdub said...

How many more years do we still have Stras? Because he will definitely be going back to the west coast when his contract is up. I am sure Boras will want him to sign a huge contract, but Stras just strikes me as a guy who wants to go home to SD. Now maybe he compromises and signs big with one of the LA teams, but I have a feeling SD will be able to offer him enough money (less obviously, but enough) to come home.

Harper said...

just through 2016. But that's all I was looking at.

He'll have to pitch better to get a huge deal.

Vdub said...

Oh yeah, I was just reminded how am still bitter about Tex signing that contract with the Yankees. I am glad the Nats haven't had to deal with all his injuries (which sucks and you never like to see guys hurt, but them's the breaks), and that in hindsight the contract looks pretty bad. But I am still bitter about a kid not wanting to play for the local team, even if the Nats were terrible back then.

If you can't get a local kid to sign up for you, how do you get anyone else... oh yeah you pay Jayson Werth a stupid amount of money. That contract will never ever be as bad as people think, because that signing was absolutely necessary for this team. Personally, I have always liked Werth. And hated that he played for Philly. He was a totally Werth-while guy to overpay, and I am glad we did. Sorry, that was slightly off topic.

Jimmy said...

ZNN-Walks, Definite overpay
LaRoche-Walks,someone will overpay.
Desmond-I'm leaning towards resigning but only because I have a soft spot for him.

Froggy said...

Although I agree Zimmerman will be platooning at 1b next season, the future doesn't include LaRoche. His option is too large and signing him for two more years at $10-12mil is stupid. Werth is on the books till 2017(?) so, I see Rizzo bringing up talent from the system or going out and signing a couple of OF and even though I love Werth and believe signing him was the smartest thing Rizzo has done to date (the other acquisitions were no brainers) he is not getting any quicker out there in RF, platooning him with Zim is the future.

Jimmy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jimmy said...

IMHO My plan for next year would be Zimm to first, Werth to LF, Harper to CF, Give either Taylor or Souza a shot at right, find a platoon partner for Danny at 2nd and call it a day for next year.

Jimmy said...

Harper what would be the course of action you would take if you were gm?

JWLumley said...

Here's a crazy idea. Strasburg for David Price, who says no first? Because if the Nats only get to keep 2 out of 4 of their current starters Strasburg isn't on my list, if they get to keep 3 of 4 he might make the list, might not.

That being said, Rizzo should do a deal that doesn't involve Giolito or Souza. The rest of the Nats prospects aren't going to be everyday big leaguers (yes that includes Goodwin and Taylor) and I'm still skeptical on Cole, but think he's moveable now that they have Fedde.

Next year they can let LaRoche walk, exercise Span's option so they can deal him for prospects, move Harper to CF and put Souza in LF. My gut says that Desi re-signs eventually, partly because of his ties to the community and the ownership group.

I think they'll actually keep either Clippard or Soriano, but who knows, relievers are fickle.

Of course, if the MASN deal ever gets worked out or Ted Lerner decides he wants a WS more than he wants to take his money with him, they could bring everyone back and go all Dodgers on the league.

Harper said...

Vdub - Maybe Tex stays healthy with the Nats.

Vdub/Froggy - The signing can be good and the contract can be terrible. They aren't the same thing. I've poured over this several times and it's almost 100% certain the Nats hugely overpaid in years and dollars per, when theoretically only one is necessary. (and only in theory - in practice it's usually just the best contract that wins - no huge overpay than the next team needed). We're seeing some of the ramifications now with the Desmond and ZNN deals and "beyond topped out"

Of course fans LOVE him and there is something that can't exactly be quantified about that relationship that has to be taken into account. Still the rough years (3 more at 21 per) are to come. Fans turn quickly.

Jimmy -
I think the Nats would love NOT to re-sign Desmond (he'll cost more than they offered and he's trending down) but are stuck in a bad spot. Not signing him means a huge downgrade for the immediate future.

Jimmy/Froggy -
LaRoche is an interesting case. I disagree with you Froggy - I think the option is a given, the question only being if LaRoche wants it. His offensive value is too hard to replace and 15 mill just for next year doesn't have a negative effect on future planning. Coming off a good year though it might be LaRoche's last chance at big money. Thing is - he couldn't get anyone to bite on 3 years after his last big year so why would they now? Best he'll get is 2, so why not stay with the Nats for one more then see what's out there?

(My guess is he stays - underperforms. Signs for cheaper 2 year deal here but we're really just throwing stuff at the wall at this point)

Super Homer said...

I gotta say I disagree on Desmond. Unless the Nats successfully make a move for a young SS, I just don't see them letting Desi walk. The cupboard is bare there. I think Rizzo opens up the checkbook there. Plus, he's a fan favorite. Who else on that list gets more love from the fans?

I also can't see Rizzo choosing to pay LaRoche 10-12 million a year for the next two years but not willing to spend big money on Desi. If not Desi, that money needs to be free for someone else. 1B will be so much easier to fill if that spot isn't already Ryan Zimmerman's.

I feel like the team will make a move for Fister, but who knows if we can afford him and Desi. If it were up to me, I'd go Desi over Fister. I like them both, but what else will there be at SS? Losing out on Fister will hurt, but there will be other SPs. If we don't sign Desi though, I imagine we spend that money on Fister.

Agree on Znn, Soriano, and Span. Span may not even be here next year.

I feel like Clip wants to be a closer, so the Nats will have to give him the spot to make him stay. He will probably go be a closer on a small market team.

P.S. - Desmond is my favorite National, thus my position.

Bjd1207 said...

Kind of a chicken little post. I'm hesitant to deal anyone who would help us in 2015 (curiously overlooked for most of this post) so that rules out deals involving Walters, Souza, Goodwin who I hope will (finally) give us a legitimate bench in 2015. Specifics:

1. If Span walks we're set with Goodwin/Souza/Harper/Werth out there. Plus this board would be pumped :)

2. If ALR walks we've already said many times that Zim slides into full time 1b, maybe with a cheap lefty platooning (Garret Jones type). Plus this board would be pumped :)

3. Resigning Desi is first priority, he's going for his 3rd consecutive 5-win season at a prime position

4. On the pitching side of things agreed that we get one of either Fister/ZNN extended. Which leaves ROARK (overlooked), Giolito, Cole, and whichever lefty develops better between Purke/Solis to all vie for spots number 4&5

Now agreed I've assumed all prospects hit 100% which isn't the case. But I've also left out completely any multi-year FA's signed in the next couple offseasons

Harper said...

Jimmy - on the GM I pick up Span and LaRoche's options (little better on FA market - won't effect my long term plans) Of course I'd feel ok platooning or benching these guys if need be... not my $. I'd go hard after Zobrist and see if I couldn't use Taylor/Cole/whoever they want not named Giolito to pry Quintana from White Sox.

Booyah Suckah! said...

Froggy, I feel like you're a little hard on Rizzo. To say the other acquisitions were no-brainers implies that other GMs just called Rizzo up out of the blue and offered some of these ridiculous deals, or that there's some MLB Insiders-only spreadsheet of which teams would have to trade which guys to get Player X. These deals don't happen in a vacuum. Take the Fister deal, for example. Sure it's a no-brainer. Anyone in the world would take Fister for the Lombo-and-a-bag-of-baseballs we gave them. But I guarantee the Tigers didn't call Rizzo with that offer. He called them, and then somehow, against all rational thought, he sold them on it.

I'm not forgiving the man his sins. I think he's too slow to act and too focused on the distant future. But, I'm a fan, and he's a GM. Lerner wants this thing to be popular and profitable for the long term, with winning regular seasons, which is where teams make their money. If the owner wants that, then the GM had better want it too.

But to say everything else was a no-brainer doesn't seem fair.

blovy8 said...

I think the calculus changes if the belief is that the window can be extended with Cole, Giolito, Fedde, etc. The Nats started contending before it was expected in 2012, so maybe we shouldn't be so quick to panic into thinking it ends in 2016. The idea of stocking up on pitching and trading for position guys still seems to be in force. While it's really important to try to win your division, it doesn't mean one big deal gets you through, but it does sound like Rizzo feels pretty good about the depth, which means something will happen - just not a guy that costs $$.

Span's option is so cheap they can easily get a decent prospect if that creates a logjam. Not so with LaRoche's since they'll want to play Zim there most of the time - I don't really want to see the Damonesque arm Zim would feature in LF as a longterm plan, just as this stuff about already having their 3B in Zim is bunk as a future role. That has to be Rendon. Desmond is signed through next year, but of course, the rumors are that Rizzo is looking for minor league SS. That makes sense in any case, since you can turn those guys into 2B too. It gives them some leverage, but it doesn't mean a deal is off the table. If they end up going defense-first at SS and not keeping him, it would have to come with another offensive player developing, in my opinion, whether that's Souza, Taylor, Skole, or a new 2B who can hit.

But I also don't hand any minor leaguer a job until they actually hit against ML pitching and you see what you have. While the bar a guy like McLouth sets isn't very high, at least he's hit before. If somebody likes Goodwin enough to trade me a good LH reliever and a lesser minor leaguer right now, I take that deal and store Barrett in the minors without worrying about when Goodwin's tools turn into skills though.

Booyah Suckah! said...

I listened to a bit of Grant Paulsen when I went to pick up lunch today. I won't try to repeat word-for-word, but he made some interesting points about this same subject. He posited that, were he the GM, at most he'd make some minor bullpen or bench trades. His rationale was basically that you could make one or more of the most blockbuster trades of all time and it still doesn't move you appreciably closer, at this point in the season, to getting any further than the Nats have already proven they can get. As has been said, over a long season those types of guys can win you more games, but this team is probably going to the playoffs regardless. And once there, in that SSS, those types of guys matter less than plain old luck. He also mentioned, aptly I think, the long parade of trade-happy teams that continue to NOT win World Series title (Tigers, Rangers, Dodgers, etc).

JWLumley said...

@blovy8 The only issue with an extended window is a story that's being very under-reported. The Nats basically crapped the bed with their draft this year. They failed to sign two of their top 10 picks and really 2 of 4 high upside guys because the rest of them were pretty much org guys. Maybe one of them breaks through, but maybe not. Nationalsdiscourse had a good writeup on it. What it boils down to is that they took a relatively week system and just set it a year behind. For a team that doesn't spend much Internationally, you just can't do that.

Froggy said...

@Booyah, ok I'll agree that 'no-brainer' regarding the other acquisitions might be a bit lazy on my part. I just don't see how LaRoche fits in the future at his option price $15million (or even a deal say $12 per for 3) when ZIM clearly has something seriously wrong with his gun and has to go to 1st and Werth either platoons with him or moves to LF, etc.

The future money has to be spent on keeping Desmond and resigning Fister and going in the hole to free up some cash for a rental for the remainder of this season. The talent pool is too deep (Souza, Taylor, Goodwin, Giolito, et al that Harper mentions) to not get those guys up and swinging / pitching. Oh and please, please, please get rid of Sorryano!

Now if Rizzo wants to impress, he figures out a way to get Price for the remainder of this season and next year. No brainer.

And YES @BJD1207 I would be pumped!

nicoxen said...


I could not agree with you more. In 2012 we did things to protect 2013. In 2013 we stayed we failed to add a proven bat, a we paid for it.

Entering this year we thought we were upgrading the bench, but again failed to add a stable, healthy bat to the everyday lineup. Counting on Harper, Ramos, Rendon, and Zimmerman to either dramatically improve or stay healthy was a big risk that could doom the season.

Are we going to go through the same crap next year with an even older lineup? If now is not the time to go all in, then when will it ever be?

Make a deal!!!!!!!

John C. said...

Ah, Harper is a back to critique and gloom. The world is back on its axis. :)

The "all-in!" mentality really doesn't work all that well in baseball, because the playoffs are such a crap shoot. I can easily think of teams that went all in, crapped out, and hurt their franchise for years (2008 Brewers, lost the NLDS 3-1; 2011 Phillies, lost the NLDS 3-2). For an "all-in" team that made it, you have to go back to the 2003 Marlins. And the system is harder now, because they were a wild card before the wild card play in game existed.

Going "all in" is exciting - it increases the stakes and makes rooting more intense (it's now or never!"). That doesn't make it smart. It's quite possible that you don't even make your team better. The Nationals dumped Kurt Suzuki last year after he hit .222/.283/.310 while being a lousy pitch framer and not throwing out many baserunners. Since then? Well, he’s still at best a mediocre pitch framer, but he put up .303/.343/.545 (in only 33 at bats, so SSS) for Oakland last year and has followed up with .308/.367/.393 this year for Minnesota. Heck, with Lobaton struggling offensively I’ve even seen "bring back Suzuki" comments on threads – often by the same people that were overjoyed to see him (finally!) go last year. Hey, let's repeat that mistake with McLouth!

And picking up a person doesn't mean they play any better than the guy you're getting rid of because, hey, baseball. In 2010 the Rangers made a classic "strengthen for a playoff run" move, trading to pick up a middle infielder, a former All-Star who was hitting .282 for an also-ran (and had hit .284, .316 and .308 the previous three seasons). That player was Christian Guzman, who proceeded to stink so badly for the Rangers (.152/.204/.174) that they left him off their postseason roster. In exchange, the also ran team (the Nationals) picked up … Tanner Roark.

Yes, that’s right, the Rangers made a move to get a player … who proceeded to put up numbers that (considering the drop in offense since 2010) make McLouth’s 2014 numbers look good. They ended up hurting themselves in the long term and the short term. And now people want to go out and get Aaron Hill, who is owed $28M through 2016? Yeah, good luck with that. The Diamondbacks are just praying someone takes that bait (oooh, look, he's had a handful of good games since the all star break! Shiny!). Given the costs involved, I'd rather give a Walters/Espinosa platoon a shot.

So to sum up, our advice to Rizzo is: make a move, but make the right move, and don't make a wrong move. Because we're going to second guess the hell out of you unless you win at least one (and possibly more) World Series. I'm pretty sure that Rizzo knew that was an occupational hazard when he took the job, though.

DezoPenguin said...

I do worry about this year if Zimmerman is going to miss over a month. The Nats don't have any real uber-impact bats; we make up for it in quantity of good-to-very good guys like Harper, Werth, Rendon, Desmond, Ramos, ALR...and Zim. Losing Zim improves the defense but it leaves us one injury away from a train wreck, and Ramos or Werth or Harper could break down at any moment given their track records.

So I do think there's a need to replace Zim this year. The problem is, there's not a lot of viable options to do so. The replacement needs to be at 2B or 3B, because another outfielder just sits Span and leaves Espinosa in the lineup, and Espi is the problem we're trying to fix. And guys who are significantly better hitters than Espi and don't give back his defensive value don't just spring off the page. Zobrist, for example, is a good player, one I'd love to have on the team in a super-sub role (playing nearly every day but at a different position each day), but he probably doesn't provide enough actual benefit to justify the cost, particularly since I really doubt MW has the creativity to use him properly.

Meanwhile, we can fantasize about guys who really would be helpful--Cano, Pedroia, Utley at 2B, Donaldson, Seager, Beltre at 3B, maybe Matt Carpenter at both, but we aren't getting those guys, because they probably aren't available and not at a cost that's likely to be viable. (Though if I was Rizzo I'd at least call the Rangers and kick the tires on Beltre, 'cause, y'know, genuine star player at a position of need on a team that might be willing to sell.)

So really, while we certainly want Rizzo to make a move to fix us for this year, the moves he could make likely wouldn't do that anyway. Harper's right in that it's a crapshoot either way, but the real problem is that if you're not making the "win now" probability shift enough, it gets outweighed by the damage to the future.

DezoPenguin said...

...All of which John C. went and said while I was typing. ^_^

blovy8 said...

Lumley, while they apparently overreached on the 2nd pick this year, at least that's protected and they get two 2nd round picks next year. In a way, that can free up a bit more slot money next year if they go on a signable graduating college player for one of them. They're not spending much internationally, but they're certainly signing more capable guys than they ever have, the low-A team is full of them and doing well. If they're a bit old, at least that's probably an honest age.

Harper said...

John C - I was intrigued so I looked those teams up

2008 Brewers : All-in moves traded for Sabathia & Ray Durham.

The big chip in the Sabathia trade was Matt LaPorta... who is now in the Mexican league. The other two in the early deal were Rob Bryson (yet to make majors 6 years later) and Zach Jackson (struggling in minors... for the Nats!) Eventually the Brewers added another good prospect in Michael Brantley who is hitting very well this year. Could the Brewers have used him? You'd think yes but it's a lot less impt than at first glance because (1) Brantley took 3 years to develop and only became a great hitter this year (2) Brantley is below average in the field (3) The Brewers have actually been solid at the plate for years now, led mostly by very good (and homegrown/cheap) OF bats.

The Ray Durham trade cost them nothing of note.

The Brewers have been mediocre because of a failure to develop/sign good pitching. Not because of the actions of 2008.

The 2011 Phillies : All-in move was trading for Hunter Pence

It's a little hard to ID what the Phillies lost as its' only been 3 years. Josh Zeid, the worst of the prospects, is a big nothing. Jarred Cosart, starting now for the Astros is a question mark, like all throwers are. He has no control and can't strike out guys like he did in the minors. Early outlook isn't great. The other two, John Singleton and Domingo Santana haven't produced yet but are very young (22 and 21) so we can't say anyting.

Would NOT trading for Pence have kept the Phillies from being bad this year? Nope. In 2016 perhaps...

The Phillies issues right now have to do with Halladay's incredible disappeaing act, a terrible Howard contract, and the failure of the prospects they wouldn't trade (Dominic Brown, John Mayberry)

As for the Rangers deal - that's just dumb luck. No one - not even in the Nats org - thought much of what they got back. Rizzo all but called them organizational depth. Roarks climb has been a surprise. And the Rangers traded for Guzman - a guy who at 32 was best described as a career singles hitter. They arguably had two young playeres just a smidge worse. AND they were 7.5 up AND Kinsler was due to be out roughly a month. What I'm saying is the deal was bad but the decision to make the deal was the real issue. If you are going to jump on every team when a minor leaguer does surprisingly well you basically hate trades.

And while Texas could use Roark this year it wouldn't be keeping them in the playoff hunt, or give them particular hope for the future (Roark's age makes him suspect to bet on for success down the road)

IPLawguy said...

No expert has said this, but I still think Werth is the 1B of the future, not Zimmerman. Werth has lost a step in the outfield and he's older than Ryan Z.

LaRoche has had two good seasons out of the 4 he's been here. Let him go.


John C. said...

Harper those are fair points about those individual trades, although we don't know what other deals with long term impacts those teams passed up for the "all-in" moves. And I'll say this - the 2011 Phillies were as close to the "right" time for an all-in move as you'll find. They had the rapidly aging-but-still-effective core group but their window was almost closed. It's also why they went and got Oswalt for that absurd starting rotation. I don't see the Nats as being in that situation at all.

But the basic point is that while all-in moves are exciting, they rarely actually pay off. Probably because of when they occur in the season - with only two months to go, unexpected hot streaks by scrubs or slumps by stars don't have time to even out. A classic "all-in" move that the Cardinals tried in 1997, they went and got McGwire from Oakland for three prospects. McGwire hit 24 HRs and OPS'd over 1.000 for two months ... and the Cardinals went 22-33 down the stretch and finished 4th anyway.

For fairness, I can think of an "all-in" move that worked: David Justice to the Yankees in 2000 (although they gave up a guy who became a solid starter, Jake Westbrook, to get him). Justice's bat had a big impact on the Yankees that year, and they did win the WS, their 3rd in a row. The crazy thing about that team is that the 2000 Yankees lost 13 of their last 15 games, turning a 7.5 game lead into a 2.5 game lead in just over two weeks. They won anyway; so much for regular season momentum.

Zimmerman11 said...

totally unrelated... harper the last two years the yanks have markedly outperformed their run differential... whats up with that?

Jay said...

Didn't Houston trade the farm for Randy Johnson? Carlos Guillen, Freddy Garcia, and someone else. They went on a roll won like a 100+ games and lost in the playoffs. Didn't make the WS. It's tough. I think they should platoon Walters and Espinosa and see what happens.
And of corse MW starts Frandsen today???

John C. said...

I've studiously avoided mentioning the classic "all in" trade that backfired, because it involved this franchise. Yes, I'm talking about the Bartolo Colon trade. He did go 10-4 for the 2002 Expos (although Colon's peripherals with Montreal were very mediocre - 1.316 WHIP, 1.9 K/BB, much worse than his usual during that phase of his career). For those three months the Expos gave up Cliff Lee, Brandon Phillips, Grady Sizemore and Lee Stevens. And finished 83-79 and out of the playoffs. Well done there. On the bright side(?), it was the death knell of baseball in Montreal which got DC a franchise.

I've also been amazed by the Yankees' ability to outperform their pythagorean record the last two seasons. I don't know whether Girardi is simply a genius, or if in close games the Yankee veterans (mystique and aura?) take over.

Jay said...

Just saw on ESPN that Nats checked on Adrian Beltre's availability. Wow. Rizzo always runs silent on possible transactions. And sounds like zim won't be back for a while.

Froggy said...

Why would we want Beltre when we have Rendon at 3rd, unless Rizzlliams is thinking of Rendon going to 2nd, no? I'll bet a deal (if one is made) includes Espinosa. Depending on the cost, I'd do it in a redneck minute.

Clip&Store said...

Link please?

DezoPenguin said...

Unfortunately, it also said that the Rangers said "no way." Beltre (as I noted above), is definitely a guy I'd love to add--he's a great hitter and a great defensive player (flatly, he immediately becomes the best position player on the Nats until or unless Harper starts living up to his potential). Rendon would then go back to 2B and...y'know, at that point resigning LaRoche wouldn't be a bad idea, with Zim in LF and Harper in CF.

But yeah, as I said, the story also noted that the Rangers didn't even bother talking terms.

Here's the link:

jesterboo said...

"ZNN (who let's face it, doesn't want to be here)"

Harper - I've noticed that you've said this before. I'm just curious as to what your rational is for this?