Nothing's really going on is it?So I'm going to ramble a bit
Fister signs with the Astros.
When the Fister had his great 2014 a lot of us were thinking that he was incredibly lucky. His strikeouts dwindled down to nothing and while his walks followed that down it still took a big drop in BABIP and increase in LOB% to get him to where he was. While a few optimists thought "Maybe Fister suddenly started learning how to get guys to hit it where he wanted to AND started bearing down with men on base!" most understood that as a 30 year old if he could control that, he would have done it already. Perhaps he wasn't a ~4.00 ERA pitcher as xFIP suggested (Taking out the fielding of his team) but he certainly wasn't a sub 2.50 ERA pitcher either. So we braced for a mediocre bad year and prayed it would take place after his time with the Nats was done. No such luck.
Injuries probably played a part but the main problem still exists with Fister. He doesn't strike anyone out. Given that he can't work out of trouble by himself. Even if he induces a GB when he needs one he has to get lucky in a sense that it's weak enough and doesn't find a hole. In short Fister has to keep his BB% down, GB% up, and HR/FB rate down to have any sort of quality season. His BB% rate was the highest it had been since his rookie season of 2009, but it's low in general so that's good. His GB% is going down since peaking in 2013 and he's spent more of his career as an middle of the road creator of grounders, so that doesn't bode well. His HR/FB rate is also up and that has varied, so that's a question mark.
So is Fister a bounce back candidate? Not in my mind. He should be very average and with a FB speed that was down to 86.4, I think there is a good chance he could be terrible. Other stats (like how many times he was hit hard) are trending the wrong way, the expected way for a guy at his age. Those that think Fister can bounceback look at 2014, but 2014 was an aberration. Unless he gets lucky again the best Fister should be is a 4.00 ERA type guy. Now is that worth what the Astros paid? Probably. And I guess that's the important part. Assuming you don't REALLY care about winning, just about plugging a hole.
Dickerson was dealt for McGee
Those are two guys some Nats fans wanted. Now of course getting them would mean trading or moving around some guys already here but both would be good pieces to have and maybe are available still. For Dickerson, who I think is least likely to be available given his control and the fact the Rays have wanted an OF for some time (say hi to Souza for me!), the "he plays in Colorado" thing is mostly overblown. As many noted yesterday for the 80 games where a player gets a Rockies bonus, there are like 40 where they get a San Diego, LA, SF problem. So you can't look at road splits and go "Oh that's how he'll play". Really I think what you'll get is roughly the same player but scaled back for what that means in a normal environment. That means the power and average will take a hit but he'll still work out to be roughly the same OPS+ type player. So instead of .305 and 25 homers, expect him to hit .290 and 20 homers in Tampa. But that's not a drop, really. Relative to the team he retains the value he did in Colorado. That's my guess anyway.
That would have been nice to have but the Nats were in no position to trade a good reliever to get him and that's what Jake McGee is. Other than a 2013 that looks like an aberration Jake has been damn well dominant; ERAs around 2.00, good against both sides of the plate, not old, cheapish. He's the player now the Nats hope Kelley or Rivero becomes. Unfortunately the Nats didn't have a young OF to tra... wait. Yes they did. That is a question - would you have given Taylor up for McGee. The Nats do need Taylor. I've said this before but I don't see him being traded because right now he's the only + outfielder on the roster and he's cheap and in control for a long while still (until after 2020). But this is more about belief. As nice a 4th OF he may be, if he's never more than that than an impact reliever for two years could be worth more. I lean toward, no though. I wouldn't deal Taylor for McGee. It's not really about Taylor, who I'm pretty suspect about. Two injuries for McGee last year to me means I can't count on him next year for sure and with only two years of control I think I'd have to feel that way to pull the trigger on a deal like this.
Last year a lot was made of the Nats pipeline with 6 prospects in the Top 100. I tried to tell you though "6 in 100" wasn't really fair. More like "one of the best, one good one and a bunch of ones that have promise" Now that Ross - who surprised - and Taylor - who was a needed graduate but shows you really how most ~50th best prospects may pan out - are officially out things are bleaker. Giolito is still the best. Turner though is not - should be a useful everyday player, could be better than that (I think he will be) and everyone else... is gone from the lists.Victor Robles, impressive but not even out of low A yet, has generally passed the Difo, Lopez, Cole crowd who all had various levels of disappointing 2015s.
This isn't so much a big deal for the Nats OD rosters in 2016/7. The Nats have things pretty well in place for that time frame. It's more for the in-season acquisition. If no one steps up to become that mid-100 level prospect then you have to offer bulk. If the Nats offer bulk though it'll pretty much empty out the organization. It's not a problem today, but it could be a problem tomorrow. Just keep an eye on these guys and let's hope a few guys really start to impress.