Nationals Baseball: 2B & SS Revisited

Friday, October 24, 2014

2B & SS Revisited

So if you haven't noticed we're doing our usual scale back to 3 columns a week in the offseason (roughly).  On with the show :

HEY! At 2nd base what about...

Gordon Beckham
Wrong partner for Danny. Bats RH, has a little pop and decent field. He's basically Bad Espinosa (and Espinosa isn't good)

The guy hit .341 last year. .341! He'll turn 25 next year and they don't have to pay him any real money until 2020. He's not going anywhere unless you're prepared to go Giolito, Cole, Taylor, maybe more. You're buying high.

Not a bad idea but he's kind of the Indians' Desmond. Him being good makes competing a hell of a lot easier.  Young, decent contract, even with last year being off he was worth playing... I suspect the Indians value him at a level higher than inquiring teams.

A more likely move in that SD does not appear close to being good, Gyorko was AWFUL last year, and he's got years of money coming. Unlike Kipnis who was still worth playing and had a couple years of being good, Gyorko was replaceable last year and had 125 games of being able to hit enough homers to be ok before that. If the Padres don't trade him they take the chance 2015 is no better and they are stuck with an albatross of a deal. Of course the same goes for anyone who trades for him.  Something to note - the guy is really a 3B who was at 2B because Headley was at 3B.

The Mariners have offensive problems, but Ackley finally wasn't one last year. Not that he was good, but he was playable and trading away Dustin would only create another hole to fill. A guy like Souza is a nice idea but as the Mariners are trying to make the next step they'd want more certainty that a minor leaguer.

Angels are about as win-now as you can be and traded away the closest thing to a Kendrick replacement. Not going to happen unless it's Kendrick for Desmond and what's the point of that?

If he's healthy he might hit enough to be ok because he still plays good D. If not healthy, he's worthless at the plate. Low reward player and if the Nats gamble I'd rather they do it on a high reward one.

I like Prado, alot. I think he's legitimitely versatile, at least right now, and likes to play when it matters and he's worth his contract. But the Yanks need him and they won't trade him unless the deal is good because they are always win-now.

I like the idea actually... if the Nats decide to be a Yankee/Dodger/Sox like team, who could bury him on the bench at 12 million per for the next 2 if it doesn't work out.  This guy is the ultimate lottery ticket completely and utterly unpredictable. Could just as easily hit .300 for 20+ homers as hit .240 and hit 10.

Zimmermann (+ cash) for Zobrist
Rays need hitting not pitching.

Roark and Cole for Mookie Betts?
That's not enough.  He's 22 next year and already has hit in the majors. Could be a star getting better over the next 4-5 years. Roark is at his peak and Cole is a question mark. Sox aren't desperate for pitching.

Kinsler for Span?
You know...  It's probably too much of a gamble considering the OF defense but if you like Taylor/Souza better than Espinosa it would make the line-up better. It's not a crazy idea. I can see it. I'd have to look more into it to see if I like it though. And I'm not sure if the Tigers are getting enough back for their win-now needs. 

HEY! At SS base what about...

Taylor/Miller from Seattle?
The Mariners have a two-headed beast right now at SS. They seem to prefer Miller but he hasn't been able to come through in the majors yet like Taylor has. Both guys are not due to get paid for a while so it makes the most sense for them to let it play out in 2015 and then deal. But now is the time to get one because if both are ok next year the price on the trade will go up. They need OF help so I think there's something here. Could be one of those things where Nats offer Souza and the Ms want Taylor.

Gregorious/Ahmed/Owings from Arizona?
D-backs are likely to go Gregorious/Owings up the middle leaving Ahmed to be dealt.  Ahmed is a utility type guy, not a starter.

Profar/Odor/Sardinas/Andrus from Texas?
A glut of talent here. Odor/Profar/Sardinas are all young and all are good. That means the Rangers would LOVE to deal Andrus. Great! We'll take Andrus, right? Obviously you haven't looked at his contract.  ~15 mill a year for the next 8 seasons. Hasn't hit for the last 2 years so unless you think he's going to be Ozzie Smith in the field you don't want this guy.

What about one of the three? Well they are still a very young so the value is going to be higher and having all 3 basically gives them "when Beltre leaves" insurance. It'll take a good deal with pitching to make something happen, but it's possible. 

Odds are he will be dealt but it's not necessary that he goes this offseason. Baez needs a little time to figure things out so the Cubs are going to get the best deal for Casto, likely pricing the Nats out.

No. Tulo is awesome when healthy but he's been healthy one season in last 5 and is due 20 mill a year for next 6. If the Nats do this they better sign ZNN and Fister too because they have become that sort of team - which is good but I don't see it happening so no.

Other stuff

Do you think Desmond will re-sign? What kind of "Market" will the Nats be?
I do. But prior to last year's negotiations I would have given it better odds. The Nats tried to underbid for his services, something like 7/90 when if he were a FA he could have gotten 6/90 easy. (Peralta 3 years older and coming off a bad year then an injury year got 13.25 a year for 4 years) If they offer 6/90 this year though based on last year's performance, I think that's fair and he goes for it. If they try to get him for say 5/60 or 6/78 or something I think he walks.

This is a telling off-season in terms of what type of team the Nats will be. They've proven that they are not cheap but fair questions remain. Are they willing to join the big boys closing in on 200 million to keep all this young talent? Or is this a temporary situation where the Nats Top 10 level payroll was ok'd for this window but not longer? Or, the most likely scenario in my mind, is this the level they remain; competitive but not win at all costs?  There are 3 different tracks the Nats can go from here.

Don't forget about the compensatory pick!
Yes if the Nats let Desmond walk (or Zimm or Fister) that's a lot of picks for an organization who's drafting philosophy (take big risks on big talent) lends itself better to having a bunch of picks. Of course birds in hand and all. Let three guys walk that will likely keep you in contention through 2018? Or try to rebuild this kind of 4 year, multiple division winning, window starting around 2018? 

Don't undervalue durability.
It's true. One of the Nats biggest issues is durability on offense. Ramos can't play a full year. Zimm is an injury risk. Werth is getting older. Bryce has had his issues, as has Rendon in the past. Desmond though is a rock.

We'll save the Rendon to 2nd someone else at 3rd for next week.


Jimmy said...

I was looking forward to a Rendon gushfest and than you serve up this? Disappointing Harper, disappointing.

Harper said...

This is standard procedure. I do a couple and then I recap. Did the same thing last week. Did the same thing last year. Rendon will get his due on Monday.

KW said...

Drew's #1 comp on BB Ref is . . . A. Cabrera. Except Drew hasn't been good since 2010 and better than good since 2008. It scares me that the Nats will consider him, though, because of the D-Back and Boras connections.

Anonymous said...

Is there no chance the Nats try to sign Cabrera to play 2nd?

Anonymous said...

What are the odds the Nats make a run at Maddon? Probably zero, but it would be awesome to replace the Big PBN with Maddon.

Anonymous said...

Ok, what would it take to get Mookie? Zimmermann, Cole, Skole?

Mookie also played could be insurance. I just feel like we're going to sign 2 out of 3..and one walks. So who will give us the greatest return?

Harper said...

KW - I know. I don't know what Stephen Drew would bring to the table other than he had an oddly good year and help the Sox win it.

Anon #1 - not no chance but I bet Cab gets a 2/12 3/15 deal from someone. Nats won't match that.

Besides he totally "TylerMoore"d the Nats fans. Having a hot stretch early to make them think he was better than he is.

Anon #2 - 0%. Matt wasn't bad enough, Rizzo isn't humble enough. Is he better..

Anon #3 - Giolito should get Mookie.

In the "Cole +" grouping... Cole + Taylor, maybe. You gotta understand Betts is 1 1/2 younger than Taylor and Betts hit .291 in 213 PA, while Taylor hit .203 in 43. Bogarts struggles makes Betts more valuable to Sox as well. Cole is legit but wasn't dominating and doesn't project right now to be a star (could happen - just doesn't project) and still hasn't face major league pitching. Plus while pitching is more valuable it's also more variable. Betts isn't proven but he's far more a sure thing than either of these two.

blovy8 said...

I think the Red Sox might already figure Betts is their starting CF - if Boston were trying to trade him at this point, with their needs, to me that'd be a sign he's not worth the asking price.

Gyorko is an interesting idea, his power history would seem to play better away from the west coast, but yeah, he's probably more of a 3b. I would imagine SD will hold onto him during the cheap years. There's still a lot of value to that gamble for them.

You can make a case against everything Texas has too - Profar has shoulder issues, Andrus is too expensive for his mediocre bat, Sardinas looks more like a utility-level infielder, and Odor was rushed along a bit fast because of injuries, and probably isn't really ready.