Nationals Baseball: Q&A needs Qs, probably As too but that's later

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Q&A needs Qs, probably As too but that's later

The Nats are in a holding pattern right now. They are dealing with first world baseball team problems like signing their multiple free agents to be, rather than trying to shore up a little bit here or there, which they still need to do. (2nd baseman, maybe lefty in pen) Personally I think Rizzo's "I can never lose" trade philosophy is slowing things down, but it's hard to argue with it. The alternative is gambling that good prospects don't pan out for them or that bad ones do for you. Of course if there was a time to make such deals it's now, when a window is possibly closing and you want wins this year damn the next. We'll see.

So what do we do in the meantime? Talk about Bryce not showing up at fanfest? HA! Try another blog sucker. Talk about the Lerner's unnecessarily trying to wring a few more bucks from Bryce's contract? Warmer but I think everyone understands these guys are BUSINESSMEN, this is what they are going to do.

Instead it's time to go to the well.  Give me questions to answer and I'll try to answer them. We'll say Thursday. Sneak preview of the magic to come:

Is Lombo or Morse coming back?

No. Morse looks like he's signing with Marlins. Lombo passed waivers so if the Nats want him they'd have to deal for him. From the Orioles. Good luck with that.

Is it possible to win a World Series with no big contracts?

Didn't KC just almost do that?  But seriously - sure you can but it's a matter of timing. These players all have to be young and under team control keeping the costs down. But I think you're more asking something like : can you build a team of FAs with no big contracts and really contend.  The biggest spenders can - the rest probably not. The cost is going to be prohibitively high for the return for those average/slightly above average players.  I suppose if you had a year when you hit it out of the park with each signing (think Nelson Cruz esque) then it could work but I'm not betting on it.

Should we have "caved" to Bryce without a longer deal?

I think they "caved" because the Nats thought they'd probably lose. So it wasn't a cave as more an acceptance.

How bout Clint Robinson! Looks good! .300 hitter with moderate power.  Why hasn't he gotten a real chance?

Those are PCL numbers. Don't think that matters?
IL 2014 : .261 / .331 / .393
PCL 2014 : .276 / .344 / .427

Hitting is just a step easier in the PCL.  Often times it'll give teams greater pause on bringing guys up with good numbers. You could argue that he deserved a shot in 2011, but they paused, then he flopped a bit in his IL try out, and here we are. Still mashing PCL but now 30.  I don't think it's a bad grab but I do think if he were to play extended time in the majors that power would go away.


Anonymous said...

Damn, I was really hoping on Lowrie as our 2nd base answer. 2 year deal, obviously that didn't happen because he got a three. So other solutions in no order are
- Try Kang. Don't like this option because it looks like it will take 8-10 post fee, then a 3 yr 21 mil contract. That is more than Lowrie. We know Lowrie can hit, we don't know Kang can.
-Trade for Miller. This is my favorite option. Not sure what he would cost. I think Souza could bring him over, but obviously we don't really want to do that.
-Utley. Will the the Phillies send us Utley if we send Difo/money? Because I would be willing to do that.
-Odor - same situation as Miller. Could Taylor and Clippard bring back Odor?

Anonymous said...

Same Anon:
-Betts/Boegarts probably too expensive.
-Zobrist - Eh, everyone says this is the natural answer - but I keep feeling that the floor has to drop on this dude at some point.
-Cabrera is the easy answer, but I bet even he gets a deal we don't want to match. In all honesty I bet we would rather trade than sign a replacement.
-Drew - eh
- Alcantra - Don't know enough about him and therefore don't know what it would cost.
-Ideally I sign Zimm and trade Stras/Difo for Betts/Owens. I trade Difo now -at his highest point. Let Desmond/Fister/Span walk next year and then try and trade for a replacement SS/2B and bring up Cole/lilGio if all is good. Otherwise Sign a FA SP.

This gives us a roster of


It's probably a little weak on the SP side. Probably would have to go out and get a FA Pitcher.

I feel like with the trade rumor - Des/Zim offered - we aren't going to sign both and maybe not either. I think Rizzo is trying to figure out the best way forward -tough balancing act. Honestly I offer 6/150 to Zimm (buying out his last year) and 6/116(buying out his last year)..and that is my final offer. If they turn it down. Then I shop with both of them. Which is probably what Rizzo is doing now. I actually try and sign Zimm first. If he signs..then I don't feel so bad if Ian walks. This is counter the logic we have pitching/we don't have middle infielders - but I'd rather have Zimm long term than Desmond.

So in closing..we're all screwed.

Positively Half St. said...

I guess my question would best be posed as, "Aren't some of us getting just a little too excited about Souza?" He was great in AAA, and yes, he made the Play of the Year, but he is still blocked at the major league level, and he will be 26 in April. It sounds like the best possible time to sell high, making him part of a package with Clippard and someone else to make a significant trade.

Positively Half St. said...

As for Clint Robertson, I'd say you don't want to come to our crowd with the name "Clint."

The question about him, though, is whether his upside could be as the replacement for Tyler Moore if he yet again shows he isn't a viable option as a backup at first base. He is getting up there in age, and PCL offense is definitely inflated, but he truly has not been given more than 10 games to show what he can do in the Bigs. Do any of us know why?

Chinatown Express said...

I want the Nats to sign Kang just because of the inevitable Simpsons quotes. Like this one: "My fellow Americans. As a young boy, I dreamed of being a baseball; but tonight I say, we must move forward, not backward; upward, not forward; and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!"

Chas R said...

I guess I'm just glad the White Sox aren't in the NL East. I wonder how we stack up against the new and improved Marlins. From what I recall, the Marlins did pretty well against the Nats up until the last 2 series. In 2012, they gave the MLB leading Nats fits.

blovy8 said...

The Marlins are going to be scary if they stay above .500 and are patient enough to use Fernandez's innings late in the year.

It can't hurt the Nats to have LH 1B for depth purposes at AAA. Moore isn't much use on the bench as a righty and Skole hasn't shown he can hit well enough to merit attention. Robinson's contact numbers are pretty encouraging actually. He probably wouldn't embarrass himself, and maybe this is his last shot before Japan or something.

Kang would definitely be a cool name to put on the lineup card. Why not? All he has to do is be better than Espy, how high a bar is that? They'd still have replacements lying around in Frandsen, Burriss, Kobernus, etc. if he has an adjustment period.

Anonymous said...

Orig Anon -
I agree with + half street. I would def trade Souza for Miller. We have Taylor as a replacement for Span or we resign Span or we trade for replacement.

The talk of Souza being better than Span are crazy loony bins - not this year not next - and Miller will almost certainly out produce Souza over the next five years. I would rather find a replacement for CF than SS - hell we already have two/three replacements for Souza at CF - Span/Taylor/Goodwin

Hell I would even throw in Difo.

d28 said...

Why haven't we dealt our extra outfielders?
Shouldn't we deal Tyler Moore as well if we can't give him regular at bats?

Just read on Natrasdamus that Kang will probably be as good as Betts, why not sign him and not give up any players? Worst case we still have Espi and Frandsen, best case he could replace Desi if necessary.

Do you think McLouth will be on team this year?

Bjd1207 said...

The guys who think we'll get Miller for a deal with Souza at the centerpiece are off their rocker. They're not parting with Miller for anything except a major leaguer and probably multiple shoo-ins. His hitting stats trhough the minors are better than Souza, his defense is comparable to Difo (except that Difo is A, although defense doesnt change too much), and he's got 30x the major league experience as those 2 combined. No combination of Souza/Difo/Reliever is getting Miller here. If we want him we're giving up Desmond, and that's about where it stands

Bjd1207 said...

And what's this infatuation with Difo? Guy's 22 and just seems to have solved high-A ball. He's got a lonnnnggggg way to go.

No way they go Utley for Difo...

Anonymous said...

Morse has signed with the Marlins. Looks like they're going to use him at 1st Base. I wish they'd use him in the OF though- that would be great for the Nats.

Sirc said...

I have a Q:

Shouldn't the Nats let Ian leave after 2015, or take whatever they can get for him in trade right now?

I do not understand the argument that his offensive numbers at his position (even with the clear regression) support the idea of signing him to a long term deal.

Can't those numbers be replaced on the corners, where they are easier to find and significantly cheaper? Signing a power hitting shortstop costs a lot more than signing a power hitting left fielder, right?

Why do the Nats need those numbers at SS, if the dollar for dollar cost isn't even? Why not plug a cheaper yet better defensive option into the SS position and spend that 120-170 million that Ian's going to cost on 2 or 3 other guys?

I'm serious. I don't understand why this is even being discussed. Ian's offensive numbers are only special in the context of his position, which he doesn't field at an elite level. I mean, a 7 year deal for Ian will probably presume that he spends 3 or 4 of those years at 2b, right? He isn't 25. He's going into his age 29 season, so any contract will begin with age 30.

I see one point for signing him. It's that he is valuable as a name for the Nationals (only). People have Desmond #20 Jerseys, and a lot of fans really like him. I get that there is value there.

That can't be enough of a reason to pay him so much. Is anyone in the entire rest of the country buying a ticket to see Ian Desmond when the Nats come to town?

I know that this sounds rhetorical. It honestly is not. I don't understand why signing him is being considered.

blovy8 said...

My question is now that the Nats have blocked Refsnyder from playing for them in the near future, what would it take from the Nats to get him from the Yankees?

I think Souza and a negligible prospect ought should have been enough for Miller. Desmond makes no sense as a target for them since they've got their infield set with Seager, Taylor, Cano, and a lousy 1B in Morrison as the weak spot. Souza already projects to be an above-average player by Steamer. Miller is probably best used as an OF going forward for the Mariners since they have James Jones as their RF on the depth chart. I've seen ideas of turning him into a Zobrist-type, but how has that worked out with Ackley for them?

blovy8 said...

I meant the Yankees blocked the guy, not the Nats. I really need an edit function. Of course, I'd never end up posting and just delete everything. Which could be better, I suppose...

Froggy said...

@Sirc, totally agree with your comments. After last year's strike out fest it made more convinced that Ian doesn't want to be a hitter. I say make him a five year offer and or deal him.

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