Nationals Baseball: Offseason Position review so far : C, 1B, 2B

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Offseason Position review so far : C, 1B, 2B

Pulling stuff from the comments


Is resigning Ramos possible?   I suppose. In theory he could be ready in mid-April (6 month recovery) but from all I've read that seems quick and even June (8 month) would probably pushing it for a return as a full-time catcher. Early talk had the recovery taking as long as a year and Wilson is not the healthiest of specimens. It's just hard to see him impacting next season.

And there's a question if Ramos would even take the Nats bid. Apparently he wants a 4-5 year deal. Money hasn't been talked about so perhaps what he is seeking is security. Either way the Nats only wanted him for 3 years before the injury.  I don't see how they sign him for even longer than that.  There's also the money question - as was pointed out in the comments - spending 17 million on a catcher that doesn't play is going to eat up the bulk of what we expect the Nats have freed up. It was tough enough to work when you were paying less annually to a healthy Ramos. Now? Forget it.

Basically I think it's a bad idea for the Nats to put out the QO because it's quite likely they'll only get two months or less of play. It's a bad idea for the Nats to offer a long-term deal because Wilson is very likely going to have to move from catcher sooner rather than later. It's a bad idea for Ramos to take a short term deal (2 years) from the Nats because it probably leaves a money or years on the table he could get in FA. I don't see it.

A lot of people are fine with Severino because they assume Danny will be replaced by Trea and someone good will play in CF. That's an ok plan. One hole is workable. However in an NL line-up one-hole is only an injury/crash/Zimm away from creating an easy 7-8-9 situation, so set that up on purpose at your own risk. Personally too, I like Danny more than Severino as that 8th. However, I do understand that finding an ok CF/OF is probably easier than finding a catcher. As for other targets - buying low on Norris would be an interesting gutsy call, but a gamble. Drew Butera never hit before last year. I mean like never, not in minors either. No. I don't like signing Weiters. At this point you have to say he is who he is, right? And that isn't that good.

First Base

Zimm isn't going anywhere. I thought I made that clear. I don't think he can be traded. So don't go down that path. What they can do, and what some of you said, is that they can make a deal later in 2017 for a 1B or OF if Zimm keeps not hitting. I'm pretty much on board with that, or at least I'm accepting that that is probably the best likely option to happen. I do have Zimm starting at first.

Some people suggest Difo here, to take over for a shifting Murphy. I don't know. He's 25 to start next year and hasn't seem to solve AA pitching yet. I think he'll get eaten alive in the majors.  And the Descalso idea? He wasn't bad last year but that's in Colorado. Maybe if he were a couple years younger but not at 30. I'd buy him as a bench player though, why not?

Encarnacion is a fun thought. He's 34 next year and probably looking for that same 4-5 year deal, meaning he's likely a buy for a win-now team who will suck up the 37/38 years at the end where he might be useless. The Nats, by all rights, are a win-now team. However this isn't the type of move they make. Werth was an all-around great player and younger. Scherzer was a star. Edwin is a great masher but that's it.

Other names - Kendrys Morales - if you got him cheap maybe. Way up and down over past few seasons. You don't replace with a question mark unless it's a cheap one. Carlos Beltran - I'd love it for a year only. But given he's never played first I'm guessing that's not going to happen. He's worth more as a DH and can probably finagle a 2 year deal elsewhere. Justin Turner - I mean I guess? He's really come around at third so it would be kind of a waste to play him at first. I'd suspect because he is coming around at third he'll get more than the Nats would be willing to pay him to play first. Steve Pearce - can't stay healthy. If you are replacing Zimm health may actually matter more than production. Basically this goes for all FA 1B/OF/C etc. Look to see if someone is falling into Nats lap like Desmond last year did to the Rangers. Otherwise they are likely to get more money somewhere else. There isn't that guy that the Nats will go all-in for this FA season so I'd be shocked if they offered a ton to someone. It's not their way to overpay for second-tier stars. 

Yes technically SS is probably better labelled as "also third problem" behind 1B and C because when you "solve" the CF issue, which I said was the third, you also fix the SS issue. But since it's technically possible to solve CF without fixing SS, anyone up for a Trea Turner and Giolito trade for Mike Trout?, then I'll stick to my guns. CF 3rd, SS 4th.

Second Base

Murphy was a Plan C. Someone asked what other Rizzo plans failed but ended up working out for the Nats? Well last season they pursued Heyward and he went elsewhere - that looks like a lucky break. Further back he didn't want LaRoche. He seemingly wanted Derek Lee or Carlos Pena more. Dusty Baker wasn't the first choice and who besides me doesn't love Dusty*? That's about all I can think of. There are a couple internal offers declined that worked out better for the Nats but I can't really say they were Plan As when Plan A is "Hope they don't want more money that they can probably get elsewhere"

*I like Dusty. I don't love Dusty.


G Cracka X said...

Good analysis. What do you recommend they do with CF then?

Fries said...

I say shift Bryce to CF and go after Reddick

Natsochist said...

I mean, honestly, yes, I'd trade Trea and Giolito for Trout.

1. He's under contract through 2020.
2. He's Mike Effing Trout.

But I likely just missed some sarcasm there.

1natsfan said... would be a great trade if the Nats could get away with Turner and Giolito.
Having arguably the best player in baseball locked up for 4 more years would be amazing. Hopefully, the owner of the angels is looking to finance his production of No No Nanette.

Dr Trea (formerly #werthquake) said...

From the Buffalo's perspective, do you think he takes the qo even though he really wants this longer contract? It's a gamble to offer it, and it's not my money if he accepts.. but man I just love draft picks

SM said...

@ 1natsfan

No one needs financing for a revival of No No Nanette.

But--but!--if you can convince Arte Moreno to mount a lavish musical version of CLEMENTE!, he just might go for the deal.

Harper said...

Natsochist - Less sarcasm, more "I can't bother to look up a deal for a CF that would make sense for Turner, so I'll put one up I'll know you should take just to get through the point even if it'll never happen because who trades Mike Trout?"

SM said...

"Who besides me doesn't love Dusty*?"

You'd be surprised . . . as you will discover when you post your Offseason Manager Review.

mike k said...

Holy mother of technicalities to end all technicalities, Harper. So because Trea can technically be packaged in a deal for Trout, you can still count CF and SS as two separate problems, even though Turner isn't going anywhere, will most definitely stay on the team, and solve one of those two problems. Were you a 19th century contract lawyer in a past life?

I agree Ramos is gone. QO makes no sense unless the Nats know he won't take it. If I were Ramos I probably would take it, even though I'm looking for a long-term deal, because at this point he probably won't get more than 4/50 (that's being generous) and 17.5 is already almost halfway there and if he comes back healthy and hits, he might even be able to do better next year. Even if he doesn't, he probably won't lose more than 17.5M in total value.

Harper said...

mike k - In the 19th century I was the steam powered guardian of the Masons hidden alcoves in the catacombs beneath the old State House in Boston. Well it's not just Trout but admittedly the packages the Nats would like back are limited. There is also the "Murphy to 1st, Turner to 2B" idea that is not without merit though more in play for 2018.

Ole PBN said...

I second the Josh Reddick pick-up. Shift Bryce to CF and lets go hunting.

NotBobby said...

Go get Fowler. He plays CF this year and can shift to corner after Werth off the books.

See how CF prospects develop and reevaluate CF with McCutcheon, Brantley, Pollock on the market.

Flapjack said...

I say re-sign Revere, who's due for a rebound. That gives you flexibility replace Danny or Zimm. Or Werth, who is now basically replacement-level. Maybe you eat some salary and trade Werth to an AL team, where he can mature into DH. (Oops, are we talking about the OF?)

Instead of Trout, how about Yelich?

Anonymous said...


Revere's under contract next year (arb eligible) so he's not going anywhere unless the Nats trade him (for what value I have no idea). Revere is kind of the same issue as Zimmerman but easier to create a back up plan. You know they both CAN produce, but do you really want to wait around through spring to see if they will? First base doesn't have a lot of options for a fix, but CF has a TON of options. Therefore you make Revere your backup plan and go out and fix it in some other way

Jay said...

I worry that the plan is do nothing. The Nats like to spend big for what they deem are difference makers. Heyward is young and good defensively. Thought to be a top flight FA last year. Cespedes was thought to be a possible bargain since he sat on the market for a while. I could see them sticking Severino staying at C, Zim at first, Espinosa at SS (Rizzo seems to love that guy), and Turner/Revere in CF. Flexibility will be the buzz word all spring training. Of course, I've never seen most of Rizzo's moves coming. Gio, Lannan going to AAA, Span trade, Fister trade, Scherzer, and even the Strasburg signing. The only consistent thing about the Nats' offseason is that no one knows what Rizzo will do.

Personally, I'd sign an OF bat CF or other. Move Turner to SS. I'd still sign Weiters. I don't think the Nats need an experienced catcher.

Any chance of a post about Rizzo's moves through the years good and bad. I just remembered that he traded Nathan Karns for Lobaton, Felipe Rivero, and a minor leaguer. That ended up becoming 3 months of Melancon. Pretty nice. Which reminds me, I think closer is there biggest priority this offseason. It has worried me how overworked Kenley Jensen and Chapman have been this offseason. Dave Roberts brought Jensen in in the 7th inning of a game they were trailing 5-0 against the Cubs. I know it was an elimination game for them, but at 5-0 the cat is already out of the bag.

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NotBobby said...


I agree that many people are worried about this. But, let's take a second and think about this. We (Nats fans...) are worried that we may field the same starters at *every* starting position except catcher from a 95 win team. Every positional player (except Ramos) and every starting pitcher (Scherzer, Strasburg, Roark, Gio, Ross). Amazing.

I am really excited about this offseason because even IF Rizzo does nothing but get RPs and bench pieces, this is still basically the same team as the one that won 95 games last year. Rizzo should hopefully make some great trades/signings this offseason precisely because he does not need to do anything (except catcher, which has two fine options, and closer, which has some options in house). I repeat - Amazing.

Rizzo has done a fantastic job so far of moving the pieces around so that this team is set for the present year and the years in the future.

Harper - how often does a team find itself completely set coming into the offseason with viable pieces which still gives a very reasonable shot at winning a division? I would have to think this is pretty rare...

Robot said...

Outside the box idea - Move Zim to third base coach, present it as a promotion from labor to management, and explain that he'll be the highest paid 3B coach in baseball.

NotBobby said...

@Robot - I guess he would be less likely to send players home with that balky shoulder!

Jay said...

I love the Zim back to 3rd idea. (3b coach). I was thinking didn't we see the story of whether to sign or offer QO to the beloved National overcoming injury last year?? Denard Span. He couldn't stay healthy last year. Question of giving him QO to rebuild his value. Nats elected no, and he signed a multi-year contract with the Giants. Hope I'm wrong, bc I'd actually like to have Ramos back. Even for 3 years with an option.

They picked up Gio's option and not Petit's. Should be an interesting offseason. (We hope)