Nationals Baseball: That was quick wasn't it?

Friday, December 03, 2010

That was quick wasn't it?

Dunn signs with the White Sox 4 years - 56 million. A few stray Friday thoughts

That is more than I thought he'd get (I figured closer to 4 /50) but it's not a terrible overpay. Dunn was a 15 million dollar player last year, he's remarkably consistent, and extremely healthy. While he should decline during these next years as most players do, I don't see a harsh decline. Factor in the increases in payroll we seem to be shifting back toward, and I think 4/56 is pretty spot on.

Raise a glass to Kenny Williams who once again builds a winning team by paying top dollar for B/B+ talent. Most MLB teams are obsessed with a "Pay for the A talent, bargain everything else" line of thinking (some not even "pay for the A talent") leaving an exploitable gap for good to very good players if you are willing to throw away draft picks. Kenny is just the man to exploit that gap. Losing draft picks may seem like a bad idea but if you are going to be able to spend money consistently, draft picks aren't something you need to hoard.

Contracts do seem to be higher this year than in the recent past. Commenter Wally yesterday had Pena at maybe 2 /18. I think that's possible. I also think it won't deter Rizzo. As long as he can get 2 years, I think he'd bite.

You have to think that the White Sox offer was at least floated during the arbitration period, right? I mean there is no reason for it not to be and if you wanted Dunn and were afraid he would go back to the Nationals, you'd want him to know about it. But if that's the case then why did Dunn wait till the last minute to decline arbitration? One thing I can think of is that he was really hoping the Nats would come back with a 4 year offer.

Before you get all worried about the Hot Stove so far remember outside of an interest in De La Rosa (and perhaps a passing one in Vazquez) no one is off the table who the Nats actually wanted back. If you trust Rizzo, nothing's happened yet that should change that opinion.

It wouldn't surprise me at all if ZNN, Norris and Desmond aren't Nationals by the end of the year and they might all be going to the same place. The Nats don't want to (and shouldn't) deal Strasburg or Bryce so they are going to have to dole out multiple next level prospects to get anything of value back.


Hoo said...

I don't think it's too early to get worried. We've slashed payroll and I think we have enough evidence to be worried that the Nats will actually spend big $$$ and actually land their big fish. Maybe we'll get Greinke for 2 years, Pena for 1, Werth and then throw cash at a FA 1b for our 2012 playoff appearance. But we traded a certainty for a new risk factor.

There's a lot of pressure for Rizzo to get a huge deal done in the next 2 months. One that shows both the fans and the players that the team is moving forward.

I think by going for the bird in the bush, the window for playoffs in the Zimmerman era got lowered a bit. And I think you're right that the odds on a big trade jumped a lot.

John O'Connor said...

Your last point is the one that makes sense to me. The plan can't be to just sign someone whose offensive/defensive total value is close to Dunn but comes cheaper and then to pick up two draft picks. The fan base won't stand for that.

But the plan could be to trade some prospects, and acquiring the draft picks is part of the overall package so that the draft picks can replenish the system. My only real hope is that we're soon going to see a package of, say, Desmond, Norris, and somebody (hopefully not Zimmermann) for a front-line starting pitcher.

Wally said...

John O - I think Rizzo's plan was either that or sign a FA and replace the picks by letting Dunn leave (lee would have been nirvana, but he was probably realistically hoping for De La Rosa), but my take is he misjudged the FA market (I never thought that Dunn would get 4 years, so I did too, but I am not, you know, the general manager ...).

Who knows what happens on the trade front, but now he has to draw up some plays in the dirt. Which is fine, part of the job. But my biggest hope is that he doesn't panic. Norris, Desmond + for grienke is worth doing; that package for Bronson Arroyo is not (obviously just made up Arroyo, but you know what I mean)

Wally said...

Ok, here are some suggestions for the rest of the offseason.

-Desmond to O's for Tillman or Britton/Arrietta (I forget which one is the better prospect)
-NoMO plus something to Marlins for Sanchez
-Hammer to Cincy for Heisey plus something
- Sign Werth for big bucks
- trade for a 2b with a little pop, like Hill
-sign whatever pitching retread they want
-get a good D back up for CF and go with Bernie

What do you think? I acknowledge the NoMO trade is a weak point

Anonymous said...

why would the orioles trade tillman for desmond?
or any of those deals.

Wally said...

They are rumored to be talking Tillman for Reynolds. I think Desmond has more value, given position and contract. It is also a position of need for the O's. Machado is at least 3-4 years away. And Tillman hasn't exactly set the league on fire.

Anonymous said...

The Nationals would be stupid to trade Zimmermann, Norris, or Desmond at this point. Would trading for a "front line" pitcher really put us over the top? Greinke for 2 years would be great, but the trade is only worth it if we can get an extension. And considering Greinke wants to play for a winner, why would he come to the Nationals in the first place? Greinke is just one example, but trading away Norris (who by all accounts is a terrific prospect and going to be a great offensive catcher) we are depleting our farm system which isn't stellar outside a few guys. And it's not like the Nats are going to be contenders if they add a "front-line" starter, because our offense this year (even with pena/laroche) looks Mariners-esque terrible. Zimmerman and Willinghamm and who else. Desmond is good for a young SS, but not a top of the order hitter. Espinosa is still young, and our outfield outside Hammer is a joke. All I ask is that we hang onto those three guys and sign Crawford, but of course none of those things would happen.

Wally said...

Dude - gotta comment on Werth! 7/$126m!!!!

Anonymous said...

I do not understand the Werth deal at all. 7 yrs/$126mil for a non-elite, 32 yr old left fielder? Am I missing something?

John O'Connor said...

Jayson Werth: Nats = Magglio Ordonez: Tigers

You have to overpay for the first one, to prime the pump (i.e., to get close enough to respectable that you can then get guys to come for market rate).