Nationals Baseball: The midnight trade for Ben Revere

Monday, January 11, 2016

The midnight trade for Ben Revere

The Nats traded Drew Storen for Ben Revere late on Friday night. Let's skip the formalities of a punchy little opening paragraph and get down to the analysis. 

Part 1 : The Nats lose Drew Storen.

Many, many fans are happy to see Drew Storen leave because the memories they have of Drew are among the worst in their Nats fandom. Game 5 in 2012. Game 2 in 2014. Pick a Mets game from this year. However let's put on our soulless automaton titanium outer shell for a moment and look at Drew Storen in his time with the Nats.

2010 : Good
2011 : Very Good
2012 : Great with an asterick
2013 : Bad
2014 : Phenomenal until...
2015 : Phenonenal until... (Part 2)

If we could separate it out you would see that the Nats got probably 250+ innings of great relief pitching from Storen. Like 270 innings of under 3.00 ERA pitching with a WHIP around 1.000. That is hard to replace as we all should have learned from last year's trade of Tyler Clippard. True, the Nats plan this year, bring in some intriguing veteran arms, is better than their plan last year, "it'll all work out somehow!", but it's still trading some level of stability for instability.

What level of stability? We don't know.  The only bad season Storen had is the season when he was unceremoniously replaced as closer, when it took him a good four months to get his head screwed back on straight about the demotion. This season would have a similar feel to that one. Given that he already started tanking to end last year it was fair to think that level of stability was not that high up there. I think you could expect Storen to be back to normal at some point next year, which is better than hoping you find a replacement arm as good as he has been, but it's not so much better that you can't deal him away and feel ok about it.

Really what should have happened is Drew should have been dealt and someone that was more much stable should have been brought in, but stability is expensive and hard to get. The Nats made a play for O'Day and fell short. They poked around at Chapman but didn't make a deal. They tried as much as they wanted to, but again the Nats fall to cheaper value question marks in the pen. I wish them luck.

As for Storen I wish him luck too. I've said a couple times that Drew really did get a raw deal from the Nats. He was a great closer in 2012 and Davey, in a rare misstep, set him up to fail.  You can try to argue that point but you'd be wrong. There was no reason to bring in someone else after that season but Boras needed a landing spot for a client and the Nats are always willing to help Boras out. That was a total screw job. Then after working his way back to the pen Drew found himself in the midst of a season where he had 29 saves in 31 chances with a 1.73 ERA and he got replaced again. I don't see how you can't think that's another screw job. He manned up and didn't let the 2014 mistakes mess with his head or the dealing away of one of his better friends and had an All-Star season. He deserved his shot at redemption.

This is not to say Drew is blameless. The 2013 and 2015 meltdowns were both inexcusable and while I cast nearly zero blame on him for 2012, he gets the full brunt of it for 2014. He was part of the problem. But it's clear to me that the organization did as much to make Drew's time here a mess, as he did. I hope he does great in Toronto and has a decent post-season performance. Perhaps saving a Wild Card game because of course the Yankees will have won the East in my hope.

Part 2 : The Nats get Ben Revere.

The Nats, in Michael Taylor, had a question mark in CF.  In his first full season MAT played a great CF, ran the bases well, but only had flashes of belonging in the majors at the plate. Not quite young enough to be a true prospect anymore, the 158 Ks stood out as a big warning sign that perhaps he'd never be quite ready. So while the Nats were set basically everywhere else offensively* the Nats could do something in the OF. They could add a bat that they felt secure about and move MAT to a 4th OF slot. Maybe he forces his way back in, maybe he doesn't but the Nats in that scenario ensure themselves of starting 2016 with 3 major league outfielders.

Instead they got Ben Revere.

Ben Revere is just slightly more of a starter than Michael Taylor. His value is all in his offensive speed as he makes contact, smacks the ball into the ground, and creates base hits for himself. Singles, really. A lot of singles. 312 in the past two years, more than anyone in baseball. He then uses his speed on the basepaths to steal and score and otherwise create havoc. But he doesn't do much else.

His speed doesn't translate to great defense as you think it would making him merely a serviceable outfielder. He has no power (4th lowest isoSLG in the majors last year) and he doesn't take walks (in bottom 30 for BB%). If he's not singling to get on base he is giving you absolutely nothing.

The good news is that there isn't any reason to think he won't single to get on base.  He's not particularly old (28 in May). His various speed stats don't indicate any sharp declines. And his contact rate is still high. It is dropping so maybe he doesn't give you an empty .305 but an empty .295 instead but it will be enough to still be equal or better to the average expected season from MAT. Of course MAT has a greater spread of possibilities and is more likely to have a very good season than Revere who almost assuredly won't. Really all the Nats have done is replace one type of 3/4 OF (Power hitting, great fielding, strike-out machine) with another (super speedy singly Joe)

Of course that is what we thought with Span coming into DC at about the same age and he picked it up a notch. Maybe Revere will. Then again Denard had good offensive years, in other forms, before coming to the Nats.  Revere really hasn't.  Or maybe the Nats will platoon the two, although platoons can be risky as taking days off can have different effects on players.

In the end the problem the Nats solved here was not the one of making sure they have 3 like-to-have-them-starting major league OFs on the squad in 2016. It was the one of making sure they have proper OF depth. Matt denDekker is no longer a possible long term replacement option. Instead it's whichever of Ben Revere or Michael Taylor (or Clint Robinson if Zimm is healthy). That's a better space to be in. So even if the starting team isn't appreciably better the team as a whole is.

I think the Nats are done. I don't think they can deal for a C. I don't think they bother signing an OF. I think Papelbon is here unless someone makes what is essentially a fair deal for an All-Star talent closer. I think this puts the payroll at a middle ground between trying to be the best 160 and we are 2nd tier 130. Which is fine. But we'll see. There's still over a month till pitchers and catchers and nearly two until Spring Training. Plenty of time and a lot of assets out there. Let's see if 2016 can be the all-in season 2015 never got to be.

*Ramos, while set, is probably the only other place you could replace. SS is not set with an individual but it's clearly a set Danny to Trea plan


Rob Evans said...

I like the speed and BA he brings and not much else. Maybe he kicks it up a notch with Rendon hitting behind him though. Basically a meh deal.

Froggy said...

"Singles, really. A lot of singles. 312 in the past two years, more than anyone in baseball. He then uses his speed on the basepaths to steal and score and otherwise create havoc. But he doesn't do much else."

...uh, 'doesn't do much else'...I'll take meaningless singles in front of Tony Two-Bags and BRYCE all season long.

Anonymous said...

"So even if the starting team isn't appreciably better the team as a whole is."

This is exactly correct. Revere is good insurance against MAT not playing well. And Revere/MAT are both reasonably capable fill ins when the inevitable Werth injury occurs. I also think that Revere and MAT have complementary skills: one is righty, the other lefty; one is all power and no contact, the other is all contact and no power; one is actually a good defensive outfielder, the other just seems like he should be.

The big question for me is whether MAT has a legit chance to be the starter or whether the powers that be have already penciled Revere in as the opening day CFer. Given MAT's larger spread in outcomes - he at least has a chance at a 3 WAR season whereas Revere's best season is probably 2 WAR - I'd like to see him fail before handing the keys over to Revere.

Harper said...

Rob Evans - It's better than meh, it's Nats!

Froggy - You take your meaningless singles. I'll take the guy who gets on base the most. The thing would be - if you think MAT can improve to ~.240 with a few more walks the OBP for him or Revere would be a wash.

Harper said...

Anon - that's my opinion. Let MAT start, give him a month/40 games and if that fails platoon. But I think we'll start with a platoon at best. Sorry MAT

Donald said...

One minor advantage Revere brings over MAT is somewhat easier line-up construction. With Revere in CF, he bats lead-off and hopefully gets enough of those singles in front of Rendon, Zim and Harper to make a difference. With MAT in the line-up, who leads off? Werth? MAT? My hope, though, is that Turner ultimately takes over the lead-off spot so this may only be a temporary issue.

Harper said...

Donald - well that's only because of our pre-supposed notions of what a line-up is, but they aren't going away soon so might as well make it easy on everyone.

Anonymous said...

What about signing Tyler Clippard? He's still available, probably won't be too expensive due to the lack of interest in him, and he could easily be a serviceable replacement for Storen

Chaz R said...

It's not perfect, but not bad either. Revere and AMT should be fine in CF and 4th OF. MAT can also be a late innings defensive replacement if not starting. I would still think they would keep MdD as a 4th-5th OF given his LH bat, speed, and potential upside given his age (also showed some good potential pop).

I can't see how they can possibly justify keeping TMo if they have CRob and MdD on the bench.

Chaz R said...

Oh... and yeah, Storen really did get hosed. I have always felt terrible for him. We met him at the Dream Foundation event last year. He came across as a smart, personable, laid back (in a California kinda way)young man. Yeah, he stumbled at some really bad times, but overall he was REALLY good and deserved more support (IMO).

bryceroni said...

As dump trades go this feels like a good one. Revere makes the team as a whole better, and in terms of getting value for storen, this is about as good as it was going to get.

However, this feels like a mistake in terms of manager/roster situation.

Rizzo deserves some blame for giving ole PBN an unsettled pen that was going to require (nonexistence) creativity to manage. In this case he is giving dusty baker a speedy high average guy (who belongs at the bottom of the order) that will almost certainly lead off and be at best sub optimal.

Werth for leadoff!

bryceroni said...

and I second what Chaz R said about Storen getting hosed. Never deserved the vitriol he got (athletes almost never do, look at blair walsh, jesus).

notBobby said...

Chaz R - the reason for keeping TMo is bc he is right-handed, but I don't recall him ever being a good bench bat. The couple times where he was good at the plate were bc he was playing everyday and got himself going...

Chaz R said...

@notBobby- that's exact right. If you look at his splits, his actually not bad at the plate when he's starting at 1B. Otherwise, he's awful. They did go to being RH heavy on the bench, especially if MAT starts.

John C. said...

This trade isn't a big deal, but even with Revere's limitations it's hard not to like it. As Harper suggested, it's Tyler Clippard II, this time with a bullpen plan behind it. And the Clippard trade worked out great for the Nationals. One expensive, meh season from Clippard was turned into a cheaper, better season of Escobar plus (now) several years of team control over a younger, cheaper relief pitcher. Here it's one expensive season (results TBD) of Storen for two seasons of Revere (who, while perhaps not quite as good coming in as Cabrera, is much younger than he was coming in). It moves the needle slightly to make the Nats a better team (I note that the trade increased their projected fWAR advantage over the Mets from 2.1 to 2.4). It gives them a solid, unspectacular MLB player at a need position with two years of control in exchange for one expensive season from a relief pitcher. And of course there is a PTBNL involved in the trade for the Nationals - previous PTBNLs have worked out well for the team. And in one final note, it's a bit of a poke at the notion that the Nationals are penurious, since they did agree to send money to the Blue Jays, presumably in order to get the PTBNL.

I don't, for reasons we've dug out so deeply that the trench is now practically a canyon, think that Storen was hosed by the Papelbon acquisition. Putting that mercifully aside, I have always like Drew and wish him well in his new gig. He is now a member in good standing of the "former Nats for whom I will always root unless they are playing against the Nats" club.

sirc said...

I don't understand the "he only hits singles" argument.

The past two seasons, Revere had 312 singles, yes. But also 80 stolen bases. So, fully one quarter of his singles were actually doubles and not singles at all.

Harper said...

sirc - two things - (1) Some of those singles were sorta-doubles because of what you say, some were also sorta-triple I bet. Of course some of them were sorta-outs then too. Plus not every SB come from a single. Some come from walks, some from FCs, some from errors. It's just easier to separate these things. He hits a lot of singles. (eh) He runs the bases real well. (great!) and go from there (2) It also does matter if they are "true singles" because that drives in fewer runs, moves runners over less.

SM said...

Wait, what? Ben Revere in CF, either as a starter or to platoon? Has no one ever watched him play left field, never mind center field?

When Revere played LF in Toronto, CF Kevin Pillar probably got to more balls in LF than Revere did. Only the presence of one of the best defensive CFs in baseball permitted the Jays the luxury of sending Revere out in the field.

I suspect the acquisition may be a concession to Dusty's unwavering, speed-on-the-base-paths fundamentalism. And when Dusty raves--and he will, beginning with "speed never slumps"--about how many extra runs Revere's speed has generated, who will be counting how many runs Revere's defense will cost?

(Incidentally, the growing consensus here in Toronto is that the Blue Jays were the decisive, if not overwhelming, winners of the deal. Some hometown, jock-sniffing chauvinism, to be sure, but that's the way it's viewed.)

JW said...

You have to get guys on base and into scoring position. Particularly if you are hoping to maximize the value that Bryce, Rendon and (healthy) Zimm offer. I don't necessarily care if its MAT, Revere, Turner, whoever. The Nats offense (other than Bryce) was way too streaky last year. You have to have guys who consistently get on base. Singles, walks, whatever. I hope MAT can become better at the plate, but he wasn't anywhere near good enough last year.

Sad to see Storen go. Yes he was hosed. But there really wasn't any way back. I have to assume Rizzo did the best he could given Storen is only a one year player for the receiving team. He didn't have to give up any prospects, just eat some cash.

sirc said...

I agree with you, Harper.

I would also argue that our increased interest in calculating the value of a player has failed to adequately include stolen bases into the equations. We tend to state their OPS,OBP, SLG, OPS+, etc, and then add "with speed" at the end of our argument.

Let's say we did (I will concede totally erroneously) calculate 80 of his singles as double, to conclude my (again, somewhat erroneous) argument that he isn't simply a singles hitter because he steals a lot of bases. Then his combined slugging % for 2014 and 2015 becomes .439, and his OPS becomes .769 for the same period.

Those are NOT accurate numbers. But, again I would argue, neither are his actual values in those two categories because he did steal those 80 bases. For some players, Ben Revere included, a single isn't always just a single.

Donald said...

It's hard to measure, but it seems when a disruptive base runner is on, the pitcher gets distracted with multiple throw-overs and attempts at changing timing, infielders cheat to certain positions, catchers are more reluctant to call for pitches in the dirt, outfields play shallower, etc. that it has a positive effect on the subsequent batters. I guess there's a flip-side of batters taking a good pitch if the runner gets a good jump, but overall, I like the idea of having Revere on with the heart of the order coming up, even if he doesn't actually steal a base. It would be nice if he'd learn to walk a bit more, though, to up that OBP.

ocw5000 said...

It's worth noting the last two acquisitions were #1 (Murphy) and #7 (Revere) in lowest K-rate last year. That's also two positions now where you're replacing high-K guys (Espinosa, MAT) with low-K guys. Given how much of the Royals' success was attributed to their ability to stay alive and put the ball in play, I don't think this is an accident.

Froggy said...

First off, kudos to John C. for the word of the day: pernurious!

Second, seems a tad odd that some (cough, Harper) are griping about a guy who gets on base better, hits for average better, steals more bases, and strikes out less than MAT. Don't get me wrong, I love the potential power of MAT and his range and glove (other than that bases loaded inside the park error he allowed last year) are all plus. But, right now, today he isn't ready.

That said...I think Donald's last comment is pretty right on. I think speed and the legitimate threat of a stolen base and possible subsequent throwing error can have more of a 'get in everyone's head' effect than if the guy at bate might hit a dinger.

Froggy said...

Minor correction...penurious


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

adj. Unwilling to spend money; stingy.
adj. Yielding little; barren: a penurious land.
adj. Poverty-stricken; destitute.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

adj. Miserly; excessively cheap.
adj. Not bountiful; thin; scant.
adj. Impoverished; wanting for money.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

adj. Excessively sparing in the use of money; sordid; stingy; miserly.
adj. Not bountiful or liberal; scanty.
adj. Destitute of money; suffering extreme want.


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DezoPenguin said...

The irony of SM's comment about Revere playing next to Pillar is that 2015 Pillar is basically MAT's upside: low BA, respectable-to-good power, speed on the basepaths when he does get on base, and effing stellar defense, adding up to a solid four wins. Repeat: upside. (I'm actually surprised that Toronto fans would take a negative note of Revere's defense as well, given that he replaced Chris-I would be at first base if management didn't adore Justin Smoak-Colabello and Danny Valencia out there (plus Slide-and-Miss Carrera).)

On a side note--I wonder sometimes if measures like UZR actually penalize outfielders who play next to great ones because when Pillar makes a play that is estimated to be Revere's ball it goes down as a failure for Revere. McCutchen next to Marte would be another question like that though in that case Marte's the better defender... Though the Royals don't seem to get penalized like that when they have Gordon-Cain-Dyson simultaneously...

A quick and dirty glance at the 2015 Nats shows that only Bryce, Yuney, Span, Robinson, and Rendon got on base more than Revere. Two of those guys are now gone. A third is a backup. And in an ideal world, Rendon will hit second and Harper hit fourth (though Baker may hit Harper third). Say what you want about predictable roles, but I'd rather have Revere's .330-.340 OBP hitting in front of those guys than any of the alternatives we had before we got him. (Werth and Murphy were the only reasonable alternatives, and Werth's suitability there is predicated on his bat getting back to 2014-ish levels...and if Werth can hit like he did in 2014, the vast majority of the Nats' predictable lineup problems are over anyway.)

Of course, I would prefer a healthy Span to Revere, but then, if we thought Span was going to be healthy Rizzo would at least have extended him a QO.

Lastly, I'm going to put it bluntly: I don't at all see how the Nationals "screwed over" Drew Storen. Compare, for example, the Yankees. They traded for Aroldis Chapman. The assumption, when you trade for a top-grade reliever, is that you're going to use him to close. Miller just had one of the greatest closing seasons of all time, and yet no one in the NY press is saying how the Yankees screwed over Andrew Miller. No one in the Boston press is saying how the Red Sox screwed over Uehara by bringing in Kimbrel. No one was talking about KC screwing over Wade Davis by giving Holland the 9th inning slot back when he came back from injury (they did talk about it being potentially dumb when Holland was hurt and ineffective, but that's performance-based). Heck, we didn't say that we "screwed over" Tyler Clippard in 2012 by giving Storen the closer job when Drew came back from injury! Rizzo tried to improve a disastrous 'pen in 2015 by trading for a top-flight closer. Yeah, we didn't *need* a new closer because "closer" wasn't broken, but seriously, either (a) we live in an analytics world and recognize that having two great pitchers at the end of the game is a good thing to have, and the 8th inning may end up being the highest leverage of the game anyway depending on circumstances, or (b) we live in a traditional narrative world and Storen needs to "man up" and not be a whiny baby so that the team as a whole can improve.

(In other words, Papelbon acts like an asshat and he gets called an asshat. Storen acts like Papelbon* and we're told it's the team's fault.)

*Other than physically assaulting a teammate, but on the other hand, it was Storen, not Papelbon, who put a Washington National on the DL with a punch thrown in a fit of petulant emotion.

DezoPenguin said...

That said, I do think that Toronto "won the deal" in this sense--they already have two guys (Saunders and Pompey) ready to step into LF in Revere's place and provide an expectation of similar production, while Storen improves their bullpen. The Nationals get improvement in the lineup from Revere, but do not have a guy ready in the pen to replace Storen's talent level (headcase/bad-blood narratives aside). So Toronto dealt from strength to shore up weakness, while Washington just shifted the location of a question mark from one part of the team to another (though Rizzo is to be commended for getting a useful player out of a situation where the personal dynamics made it almost imperative that he get either Drew or Papelbon, if not both, out of town).

Flapjack said...

The Nats were never going to simply hand MAT the keys to CF. The step-down from Span last year was too great and a constituted big risk going into the offseason. That said, the clubs that do best over time develop their own stars. If you believe in MAT, then Revere looks like the right deal. Revere provides reasonable insurance against the possibility MAT doesn't fix his strikeout problem in 2016. But his relatively modest cost also suggests the club can afford to let MAT displace him in the starting lineup -- possibly on day one -- which would not be the case with a Cespedes or Upton. An even better deal would have been to re-sign Span for two years (as the timing of the Revere trade may indicate).

Harper said...

Dezo - UZR doesn't work like that. If a player next to you makes a play on a ball it is not your failure, only his success. I suppose if a player next to you "stole" enough plays that you would make it could have a detrimental effect on the UZR but it would still be hard to rack up negative UZR that way. It would only limit your positive score. Plus if you were really good you should make it up on the other side.

DezoPenguin said...

Harper -- Thanks! (Due to your remark, I took the time to look up both UZR and DRS and educate myself a little more on how they work, so you've imparted more than just a single answer there.)

ProphetNAT said...

@ Harper - "You take your meaningless singles. I'll take the guy who gets on base the most. The thing would be - if you think MAT can improve to ~.240 with a few more walks the OBP for him or Revere would be a wash."

I disagree - unless you think that MAT hitting .240 could somehow up his OBP to .330-.350 (60 points!) - because that's where Revere is. So you would take Revere? Glad we agree :)

John C. said...

Some of the fans in Toronto may think they won the deal "hands down" (although the comment threads that I've seen on various baseball sites like MLBTR and MLB sure don't reflect that as the prevailing view). Some Nats fans don't like the deal. I'm OK with that. FWIW, when I was listening to MLB Radio yesterday two of their talking heads (I'm not sure which ones, alas) thought the Nats clearly won the deal.

I think it was a good trade for both teams, but I don't really care how well the Blue Jays did on the deal. As I said up thread, any time you can deal in one expensive year for a relief pitcher for multiple years for a decent position player, that's a prima facie win even before one gets to the PTBNL. With Rivero, Gott, Kelley, and even Treinen, the Nats have enough power arms to put together a solid back end of the bullpen in front of Papelbon.

SM said...


Saunders or Pompey--Toronto needs to draft a Caesar and a Crassus, too--comprise the obvious reason the Jays could dispense with Revere. And indirectly, so too was Colabello's bat. (Very funny reference, by the way; as I'm sure you know, Colabello hit righties far better than the left-handed Smoak.)

My principal concern with Revere is the almost universal presumption that he'll play center field. And if, miracle of miracles, Werth's health permits him to play 130 or so games? The prospect of Revere and Werth being responsible, technically, for two-thirds of the outfield is enough give any attentive fan the willies.

True, Taylor might be the designated late-inning defensive replacement. But by then, it may already be too late.

Pescado said...

For years this blog has crushed Rizzo for failing to acquire adequate bench depth. Seems like he is finally trying to address this issue, no? Robinson, Revere, Drew... you gotta give Rizzo some credit for trying. These moves aren't game changers. They aren't even about upside. They're about downside mitigation. Seems pretty sensible to me.

JE34 said...

This thread is a great example of why this is the only place on Al Gore's Amazing Internet where I read the comments section. Another good post made even better by insightful readers, complete with William F Buckley-esque 50 cent words.

Happy to see more lefties, and more speed and contact in the lineup, after (what seemed like) too many ill timed strikeouts (ahemDesmond, low and away 3x) and double plays (ahemEscobar and Ramos). These are steps in the right direction. Defensively scary, yes... but no scarier than Desmond in April and May, and Escobar in April, May, June...on through to October. Besides, when Turner is ready at short, he can cover shallow centerfield from the dirt.

One would think MAT will play in later innings, frequently. We saw how easy it is to run on Revere when he was in Philly.

Dmitri Young said...

Am I the last person to realize the title of this post is a play on the ride of Paul Revere?

Kenny B. said...

Maybe the Nats could invent a new defensive tactic wherein Revere throws to Harper, who guns down the runner. It may actually be faster to do it this way than to have Revere throw the ball directly.

Kenny B. said...

@DezoPenguin: True, but Storen didn't choke the NL MVP last year; he just plain choked.

Jay said...

I think it is a set up for a trade. Word on the street Colorado is going to sign Gerrardo Parra. Why? They already have three lefty outfielders. I am hoping this means that Rizzo is going to keep Revere as a 4th OF and go get another OF from Colorado. MAT may now be trade bait. Also, why not chase John Lucroy? Then Ramos could go. Finally, why not trade for Andrew Miller. He's a dominant lefty closer and a good clubhouse guy. A closer that is a good teammate - who knew...

Anyway, if none of those trades go though then it looks like Rizzo is copying the Royals model to a degree. Lots of lefties and high contact rate - low strikeout rate. With the Mets current rotation - 3 dominant strikeout righties, that's not a bad roster construction.

JC said...

Given that FA outfielders are still not being signed I don't see why we wouldn't try and get a deal this year on Uptown on Cespedes. We still do not have the "big bat" that Harper is asking for so he won't be walked a million times this year.

Mythra said...

I'm probably in the minority, but I look at the signings thus far as addressing a need the Nats showed to be in need of improvement: Hitting for contact.

Murphy adds about 40-50 points in BA over Danny's best efforts. Revere adds 50-60 BA points over MAT.

How many times did we howl at the TV or radio when Desi/Danny/MAT left runners on by generating hurricane force winds in the batter's box? Just hitting for contact with Revere and Murphy will be worth 1-2 hits more per week. If that amounts to wins, so much the better.

JW said...

If Werth, Rendon and Zimm can stay healthy and hit, that should alleviate some of the pressure on Bryce. Not a ton of power, but all three have shown that they can drive in runs. A big outfield bat would have been great, but it's not like you can really criticize Rizzo that harshly for assuming/hoping that these guys should have better years -- even if all three are huge health risks.

If the Nats thought the Revere trade would make the team significantly better, then the negativity and criticism is probably warranted. But there's every possibility that this was the best deal they could get using Storen and without having to give up much else. I don't have much faith that AJ Cole or Difo or some others are going to be good major league players, but the Nats might. And if you weren't willing to move Storen and prospects, were you really going to get much more than Revere?

Storen had to be traded given his cost and the situation on the ground. Paps really should be traded, but that might be more difficult -- both finding a trade partner and finding a replacement closer (internally or externally).

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