Nationals Baseball: Monday Quickie : Bum Phillips

Monday, December 21, 2015

Monday Quickie : Bum Phillips

So apparently Brandon Phillips won't be coming to the Nats. It's not entirely clear to me what the hold up was. Well I know it was money / years but apparently it fell on the Reds and not the Nats to figure that out? I would get it if he told the Nats "Hey, give me an extra year at 15 mill and I'll waive the no trade clause" but there was no indication that was the case. Instead it was the Reds talking to him. The only way I see that working out is if they Reds would redo his current contract in some phony baloney way to pay him more NOW, like say add a team option to the end and add a bonus for re-signing? Give him a piece of the team? Heyman suggested an extension was needed but why then didn't we get him talking to the Nats?

Honestly I don't get what was supposed to happen here. As it was being explained as "Nats and Reds have deal. Reds have to convince Phillips to waive no trade. He may want incentives from Reds to do so" That seems odd to me. Help explain this based on what we actually saw reported.

Other than that nothing of note. We're pretty close to Christmas now so I don't expect much of anything for a week or so. We're about half way through the offseason (Christmas is usually basically half-way) and fittingly the Nats are half-way done with a complete bullpen overhaul. They have the all the minor pieces in place. The easy stuff has been done. Now all they have to get rid of Papelbon and Storen and bring in a lock down closer in their place.

The secondary issue of an outfield bat has also not been addressed but the market is still flooded with talent. Upton, Gordon and Cespedes are still out there as top tier guys. As are solid 1-2 year player types the likes of Fowler, Byrd, Parra. Good 4th OF types like Austin Jackson, and de Aza remain, platoon guys like Wil Venable, risks like Denard Span. The Nats, like pretty much everyone else, have waited out this market and it hasn't gotten away from anyone yet. There was thought Heyward could start the dominoes falling but more likely it'll take 1 or 2 more guys going to set things in motion. Early January I bet, will be a busy time.

So the Nats aren't nearly done, (or more accurately they really shouldn't be nearly done) but aren't in a bad position either. Stay patient.


Chris Needham said...

I think I saw something that he had recently accepted some salary deferrals from the Reds.

I wonder if how they'd be paid out (and whether the Reds or the Nats would be on the hook) were the hold-up.

Harper said...

ah ok - I saw that but didn't understand it completely. So he kind of had a Max Scherzer type delayed payout planned and wanted it sooner. Ok I can see that. I wonder then how spread out those things actually were - gotta assume paying it all upfront for what was already owed would have squared things away.

Jay said...

I saw the same thing. Phillips had deferred payments and he wanted them paid before he would agree to trade. Pretty much everything I've read say it's a bad move by Phillips. I think the Nats need a LH or switch hitting 2b anyway. They probably need a LH or switch hitting OF as well. I'm very curious about how this offseason goes. Rizzo is a great GM, but he seems reluctant to go for it and trade some legitimate prospects. George McPhee for years with the Caps always made small moves, but he refused to make any big ones in case it hurt the farm system. New GM has made some move in free agency and trades. The Caps are now one of the best teams in the league. We'll see how the Nats do. Doing nothing would be ridiculous.

Froggy said...

At this point I feel the Nats should forget this overpriced 2b search madness and just dance with who they have: Turner at 2b and Espi at SS, bring up Difo for seasoning, etc.

Go find one more starter, Kazmir or Chen, get one more OF Blackmon or CarGo (with Mary Tyler Moore as part of the trade package), and be done with it. Don't forget den Decker could be the sleeper of next season.

...oh, I see that Papsmear does not have any Korean or Japanese teams on his no-trade list. Beat it roach!

sirc said...

You didn't mention Chris Davis, Harper. It isn't an obvious fit, but the Boras connection is hard to deny at this point. Plus he's a lefty bat who can play a corner outfield position, or switch Zim to a corner outfield spot and put Davis at first.

I'm just saying, it's possible.

JW said...

Phillips was very close to being an overpay at just his current salary level. We don't know what prospects the Nats would have been giving up to get him. But any more money would have certainly been an overpay for Phillips.

So like Zobrist, yeah it sucks to miss out on a player the team wanted, but you can't be overly critical for them trying to maximize value and prevent later burdens on competitiveness. The Werth and Zimm contracts are enough bad contracts for the Nats.

Robot said...


DezoPenguin said...


I think Davis is very unlikely (despite that his LH power bat would play very nicely in the lineup) because it means an outfield with Harper in CF and Werth and Davis/Zimm in the corners and all our fly-ball pitchers going on suicide watch. (Not to mention an increased chance of Harper hurting himself doing something crazy in the outfield because he's trying to cover three-fourths of it by himself.)

Zimmerman11 said...

Seems like the Nats and the Reds agreed on a set of prospects that was contingent on the Reds getting Phillips to consent to the trade. If the Reds ALSO wanted the Nats to sweeten the pot for Bp, serves to reason that the Nats would have wanted to pull a name or two out of the deal...

or what Needham said about the deferred money.

sirc said...

I didn't say it makes sense to sign Davis. I said that it's possible, and Rizzo signings are rarely covered by the media ahead of time.

The Max signing didn't make sense and wasn't covered. The he signed, and it turned out that it was because the team had moved on from Zimmermann and were thinking of life after 2016.

Rizzo doesn't think "I need a lefty bat and a second baseman, I should sign Daniel Murphy." We've been watching this guy operate for years now. It's almost always either a 1 year deal, meaning it's *only* about the upcoming season, or it's more than a one year deal and he's thinking about several moving partsparts Rizzo doesn't do simple.

It might be, as an example, something like this:

Sign Davis, trade Werth and truckload of cash to team X, bring back bullpen arm.

It's Rizzo.

This is the guy who turned Souza and Clippard into Zimmermann's replacement (Ross) and Desmond's replacement (Turner), plus a year of Escobar and then 5 years of Clippard's replacement (Trevor Gott).

And no reporter had these before they happened. No fans had them either.

Who saw any of that coming? My point is that Rizzo does things differently than the 29 other guys with his job.

JE34 said...

I know Reds fans who are relieved to see the Phillips deal fall through, hoping he stays put. It's a deal we would have hated later, but might have liked in 2016. Ah well.

@sirc: Agreed in part, but Rizzo did sign Rafael Soriano and Papeljerk in non-Rube-Goldberg, direct fashion. Maybe he needs to be more circuitous when developing the back of the pen?

BTW I think I inadvertently stumbled across Harper's movie source. Comcast On Demand - Free Movies - Holiday Movies. They're all there, and all terrible.

blovy8 said...

Definitely avoid "Prophet Akim Saves Christmas" at all costs.

sirc said...

I could not have been more wrong.

Mea culpa.