Nationals Baseball: Wieters! (maybe) then Robertson (possibly)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Wieters! (maybe) then Robertson (possibly)

News just broke! Nats closing in on Wieters deal says Jon Heyman. There's further thought that a Robertson deal could go down soon after that. Quick thoughts


UPDATE! 
The contract is supposedly for 10 million this year, 11 million next (player option). But 5 million is deferred money.  Norris makes 4.5 million this year. So if you trade Norris (who you need far less now) you end up adding only 500K to the payroll for this year.  Next year? Worry about next year, next year.


Wieters is better than what the Nats have, still not very good. 

It's been nearly a decade since Wieters was hailed as the second coming at the plate after crushing the ball in college. However in eight years and nearly 900 games Wieters has shown himself to be... ok. He has moderate power but he doesn't hit for high average and he is not patient. You can't blame recent injury issues because he was merely ok when healthy. He is not particularly adept defensively either meaning there is no secret value here.  However blah Wieters sounds - catcher is a hard position to fill and what the Nats have now is Lobaton, who is no good, and Norris, who has a chance to hit good and a better chance not to do that. Wieters is a competent major leaguer and would be a strong bet to improve the Nats situation.


Roberston is an effective but troublesome arm with a big contract attached. 

Robertson was cruising along as a very effective Yankee middle reliever fighting a slight tendency to get wild that was keeping him from elite status. Then right before FA he got a chance to close and then - poof! - he was a CLOSER. He closed for the White Sox in 2015 and pitched some of the best baseball of his career. He also hit an ERA of 3.41.  He closed for the White Soc in 2016 and pitched some of his worst baseball in years. He also hit an ERA of 3.47.  Karmic justice? Perhaps but everything trended the wrong way last year. Strike outs? Down. Hits? Up. Walks? WAY UP.  That's still a lot of strikeouts and not a lot of hits so he would still be effective piece to add but you couldn't say the Nats got a lights-out closer. Of course that assumes it's a new normal. If it's an aberration then the Nats... well still don't have a lights-out closer but have someone just as effective as Kelley, maybe more so, and a strong back end of the pen however it shakes out.  If it's instead a trend, well then Roberston is a 12 million 4th/5th arm out of the pen.


I don't see the Nats adding Wieters and Robertson without jettisoning Gio, and maybe more.

Maybe I'm wrong. But if I'm not the Nats are adding say 6 million with Wieters and some chunk with Roberston. Where can they get that money back? Well maybe the White Sox won't make the Nats pay everything for Roberston. If they can get it so the White Sox cover 6 or so of this years' money then that matches up nicely with Gio's 12 million. If they make the Nats pay pretty much all, well then Norris (4.2) goes too. Which honestly makes sense. The Yankees, who the Gio deal was in place for, haven't solved their rotation issues and would still probably bite on the deal. Would it leave the Nats short in the rotation? Yep. But that's the gamble you take. There isn't another tradeable commodity the Nats can afford to lose.


Could the Nats add just Wieters, trade Norris, and keep everyone else? 

Yes. I suppose they could. Depends on, as always, money spent and money deferred. In my head that leaves them spending a couple million. They can save some of that throwing Robinson into any Norris deal but I don't see a perfect match. But come on Nats, you can spend a couple million right? I think they can. I think that's why they had a firm price on Wieters. That's what they could spend (jettisoning Norris). Take it or leave it.

15 comments:

Wally said...

Whoa, $21m guaranteed with an opt out. Ok Harper, go make payroll sense of that one.

KO said...

Could the Nats put together any kind of package with Gio for Betances? Seems like they want to get rid of them and have wanted Gio in the past based on the 'deal in place'

Zimmerman11 said...

Betances would cost (I assume) Gio plus Robles (the only prospect left in system w/ any real value). Please don't make that deal!

Ole PBN said...

I personally think closers are overvalued in today's market, in terms of $$. How is it that so many fans think that you need either Chapman, Miller, Kimbrel, Jansen, Melancon, or Britton to compete? So many teams develop their own version of the aforementioned. Why do the Nats need to be any different? I like the arms we have, and would rather hope one of them shines than pay the going rate for a top-tier closer. Or, even worse, trade what little we have left in the farm for Robertson, whom is far less than what we were originally hoping for (Jansen, Melancon, etc.)

Top tier talent reaps top tier return.

Jay said...

What about trading for Dolittle? He's a lefty and a closer. You then have 3 lefties in the pen with Solis, Perez, and Dolittle. He has had some injury issues, so you would have to check on that. The reason I think the Nats need a closer is more that I think they need another good arm. Right now they are pretty much Kelley (injury risk), Treinen (head injury risk), Solis (injury risk), and maybe Glover (injury risk). Everyone else in the pen is iffy at best. Another solid arm, aka closer, solidifies the pen as a whole. That is as much of the reason why Melancon made a huge difference.

blovy8 said...

We don't actually know how much the Nats are willing to spend. I bet the Lerners don't know until Boras tells them.

It's no wonder Rizzo has no hair if he goes to the trouble of shaving off his two best pitching prospects in making deals for a cost-controlled starting OF, getting a reasonable facsimile of a starting catcher for nada, and jettisoning Espy's 5+ million, only to be told, oh yeah, we can pay 10 for a guy like Wieters, but not that much more for the lock-down closer you want...

DezoPenguin said...

@blovy8:

I feel your pain. Wieters can't field, can't frame, and hasn't been above meh at the plate since 2012. He's better than Lobaton. If 2016's performance was an expected outcome for Norris then he's better than that. But $21M/2? That is a lot of money for a guy whose primary value is that he's a mostly-busted superprospect, a Boras client, and maybe some revenge on Angelos for taking a guy casual Orioles fans might have an interest in.

Meanwhile, that same money could have brought in about 3WAR worth of competent relief help. Unless this means that Norris is about to be a main piece of a trade, this move falls between inexplicable and mind-numbing. The only good thing I can say is "It's only money," except that the deferred portion makes me sure that the Lerners aren't thinking about money as "only money."

Zimmerman11 said...

Yeah this deferred money all kinda sucks... when/if the MASN thing gets settled, we still won't be able to add any payroll, we'll have that much in deferred pmts due every year at that point and so will only be allowed to maintain current spending... sigh...

Harper said...

Wally - so see update. maybe a million added if they deal Norris, another 500K saved if they somehow jettison Clint.

KO/Z11 - Z11 is right, not without a real prospect which I doubt Nats would give up. Yankees aren't "one pitcher away" so core can't be Betances for "veteran pitcher"

Ole PBN / Jay - I think it's seeing games blown late by "bad" closers. It sticks in your head. I don't disagree with the "make your own" idea but like Jay says the Nats are an arm short in the pen at least - adding a great arm (which a fair number of closers are) would help. The best goal would be trading for a very good middle reliever but the numbers of those that aren't in division or on a contender and have some consistency of success are slim.

blovy8 - well consider it only 5. Does that make you feel better?

PotomacFan said...

I'm quite sure that Norris is on the trading block, and that the plan all along was to try to get Wieters. Norris was Plan B.

Still, for whatever the Nats are paying Wieters, I would have much preferred to see the money spent on a solid relief pitcher. I agree with blovy8 that Rizzo is working his butt off to make deals that don't involve big $$, and then the Lerners make a deal with Boras to bring in Wieters for (somewhat) big bucks.

Maybe Rizzo can now work his magic and turn Norris and someone (maybe MAT) into a solid relief pitcher.

BTW: no way the Nats trade Gio for a relief pitcher. Nats need Gio, even though he's now pretty mediocre. And Gio won't bring a quality relief pitcher anyhow.

blovy8 said...

Five instead of ten makes me feel worse in a way, since they are now deferring money into 2021 for guys gone at least two years. I was hoping to watch a major league team then too. Even 5 makes it even less likely they can afford any help at the trade deadline now, and the cost willnow be giving up a legitimate prospect for Robertson or whoever, as they will need even more salary relief. Since Norris was only worth a non-prospect to the GM who probably likes him most, it would seem to be a stretch to get more than that for him now.

sirc said...

The MLBTR report from 2/12 that the White Sox were willing to trade Robertson + some of his salary straight up for Severino seems like it can't be right to me. They even updated it tonight though. So, what am I missing?

If that's actually on the table, why hasn't it happened? I, like others here, don't get the super warm fuzzies from David Robertson. But he's WAY MORE USEFUL to the Nats over the next 2 years than Severino, right?

blovy8 said...

Yeah, I would have thought they could get more than Severino at the trade deadline even if Robertson's only used as a setup guy down the stretch. But I have nothing but questions. Last year, Melancon was better, a cheap rental with no future obligations - maybe the deadline limit is less than a Felipe Rivero - level talent? Wasn't the story that another club was trying to deal for Robertson, and the White Sox were waiting for this signing to start things up again? Clearly they are not getting what they want yet. How have things changed since the deal in place went sour? There's five million less the Nats want to pay. I doubt Chicago wants Norris, unless the Nats will kick in a different prospect back, right? That's the guy that needs to come for organizational depth. Norris in the deal might knock 4.2 million off of what has to come back though. It doesn't make much sense though as by the time they're good though, Norris would be gone.

blovy8 said...

I wish I had an edit feature...

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