Nationals Baseball: A whole lot of nothing

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A whole lot of nothing

When the off-season started it was pretty well decided that the free agent class was a particularly weak one. So the excitement that would come, if it did, would probably be through the trade market. And the offseason delivered with a bunch of stuff between Thankgiving and The 13th of December.  Cespedes, Melancon, Sale trade, Eaton trade, Fowler, Chapman, Jansen. Even things only interesting to the Nats took place during this brief fortnightish period. Desmond signs, Ramos signs, Espinosa was traded.

Since then there's been a couple somethings but given the players involved and the general lack of activity it's been a big yawn. We're closing in to Spring and it's time to turn the page on the off-season. I suppose if Bautista and Napoli and Trumbo and Weiters and Hammel all went in a hurry that'd be interesting, but that's not very exciting to begin with and less so for Nats fans when you realize that Trumbo and Napoli are very unlikely to end up in the NL. 

I guess I'm saying I'm bored.

The Nats aren't likely to get a big-name closer at this point. So we're waiting to see what kind of secondary pitcher, if any, they manage to wrangle to DC.  They may or may not be waiting for a bench player - Drew, or perhaps a better 1B/OF alternative (Moss? Lind?). The longer it goes the more I expect a late off-season clearance sale pick up.  Hochevar for 2 million. Ackley on a minor league deal. And that be that.

Eaton was a good deal, probably very good, but all that given away really killed the offseason for a team with a set budget like the Nats.

16 comments:

KO said...

Harper- reported today that Holland wants a 2 year deal with an opt out after the first. You think the Nats would bite on that or not enough upside for essentially one year of a good reliever or a sunk two years?

Chas R said...

Well, we have Kelley, Treinen, Solis, Perez, and maybe Koda Glover for the pen; and Lobaton, CRob, and Heisey for the bench. with maybe Taylor, BGoody, and Difo as potential in-house options. That at least gives us 2 spots in the pen to fill and likely at least 1 or 2 bench spots open. Likely Rizzo signs some off the radar veteran as SP depth as well. There are still some moves to be made.

Fries said...

@KO

I'd do it. I like Holland best of the FA options out there. If he's not closer worthy, you move him to the bullpen and go with Treinen/Kelley as the plan is now. If he's good and is gone next year, then we deal with that bridge when we cross it. Wade Davis is an FA next year, as is Cishek, Storen (though i don't see a reunion) and Clippard (same as storen), Bastardo. All solid options next offseason. Then there's of course always the option of a trade.

Long story short, the Nats need someone and Holland is the best option right now

mike k said...

Of course Holland is looking for a two year deal with a one year opt out: it's perfect for his situation. If he's good, he opts out and scores big for 2018. If he sucks, he has an extra year of job security. No way a team offers him something like that. It creates the same scenario for the team, but the opposite - a lose-lose. Teams will probably want to give him a two year deal with the 2nd year being a team option, or a two year deal with heavy incentives so if he's not good he's not making a lot in year two. I don't see that happening either, for the same reason. Most likely you see something in the middle: a one year deal, or a two year deal with some incentives.

Jay said...

I'd sign Holland and another lefty as well. They also need some starting pitching depth.

It has been a very strange offseason to me. The trade for Eaton looks like a reach to me. However, they didn't follow it up with anything else yet. If they had signed Jansen from the Dodgers with the money they saved trading for Eaton, then that makes the Eaton deal look better. I can't tell if the Nats just aren't doing much and are sort of waiting out the market or if they are working on something and we just haven't heard about it yet. The beat reporters that cover the team aren't that really in the know, so they are usually the last to know any move is brewing. I remember in the last year or so one of the Nats players was hurt and going on the DL. The visiting team's reporter broke the story before the Nats reporters.

They definitely need a closer of some sort in my opinion.

G Cracka X said...

Harper, should the Nats sign Holland?

DezoPenguin said...

Bullpen-wise, I'm not so much worried about the closer position (in that Treinen and Kelley are as good as most guys being run out there; I mean, we started last year with Papelbon as the Designated Veteran Closer and I think most of us think Blake and Shawn are more likely to be good in 2017 than we thought the Beltway Strangler was going to be good in 2016) as I am about the overall quality of bullpen depth. Perez is basically a LOOGY, and not always reliable as one. Solis overperformed his peripherals. Glover's a kid. The remaining parts are uncertain at best. Shoring up the middle of the 'pen with basically competent professionals gives us a better chance to sort out who's going to perform and who isn't. Guys like Belisle, Wood, Torres, that sort of thing.

As for Holland, he's going to cost Established Closer money, despite having spent a year and a half wrecked by injury. I would sign the guy who pitched 2012-2014 in an instant. The guy who pitched in 2015, broke down, and didn't pitch at all in 2016? I'm not so eager to commit to him. He's the kind of guy I'd give an incentive-laded "prove it to me" contract whereby if he made it back to who he was he'd get paid like he deserves...and if he didn't, he wouldn't. But he's not going to take that contract because he won't have to.

Ryan said...

Neal Cotts on a minor league deal exciting enough? No? Yeah, didn't think so. Such a boring offseason.

NotBobby said...

Harper - should we read anything into the massive arb deal that Nats made with Bryce? It is so far above the arb projection that it makes one wonder why they agreed to it unless there is something else going on. Could it in any way signify that Nats are trying to lock him up long term??? It just makes no sense to me...the agreement so far abive the projection, i mean...

Fries said...

@NotBobby

I have to think they're buttering him up. But with a Boras client I don't really see that mattering...just seems like a waste of payroll that could go to the bullpen, or a reliable 1B/OF bench piece...

Josh Higham said...

@NotBobby,
Britton, Machado, and Hosmer all got north of 11 million in arbitration, which were pretty close to their projected salaries. Bryce and Boras probably come into the negotiations saying something like "the worst you should expect is 3 WAR like last year, and you'll probably get something more like an MVP year. You trying to tell me Hosmer is worth more than Bryce?" And then ownership does their "HEY YOU GUYS HERE'S A LOT OF MONEY FOR A BORAS CLIENT STAR THAT WE LIKE" thing. Funny than Rendon agreed to more than half a million less than projected though.

Anonymous said...

The WaPo was saying that the huge increas was in part due to the fact that Bryce signed the 2 year pact before so he missed the arbitration after his MVP year. The huge salary bump this arb year was a reward for that year.

NotBobby said...

Thats what i was thinking Fries. This team needs every dollar to spend on the bench and bullpen.

Fries said...

In other news, apparently Joe is a terrible salesman with Tyson ending up on the Rangers

sirc said...

I bet that a path to the big league rotation was at the top of Tyson Ross's wish list, which is a challenge with the Nats. Along with joining a contending team (check) with a good reputation for rehabbing pitchers (check). Add in relative proximity to Oakland, their home town, and the Rangers make more sense than the Nats, so I can forgive him.

It would have been nice though.

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