Nationals Baseball: Rumors and real stuff

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Rumors and real stuff

Bryce moves to RF, Werth to LF :

The "saving the legs" excuse doesn't make much sense given he's likely to have to run around more in LF but it's still the right move. A faster RF with a stronger arm is your best bet to limit 2B turning into 3B and guys going from 1st to 3rd. There's nothing wrong with Werth's arm, but Bryce's is better and Bryce's range, while not great, isn't being compared to inanimate objects.  It's a minor move now but since Werth is likely to patrol LF for the next 3 years it's best to get him used to it now.

Dodgers getting Rollins, Kendrick, McCarthy, Grandal, lose Kemp : 

A Nats rival for 2015 got better than they were at the moment and cleared up payroll for 2016 and beyond.

Kemp was really good at the plate. But the LA OF is crowded with decent players. LA's best prospect is an OF. Kemp is a liability in the field. Kemp is due a TON of money. That side of the teeter-totter is real heavy.  They could honestly stand to get rid of another one as you could argue with VanSlyke they are still five deep. Grandal, who the dodgers got back, hasn't stayed healthy enough to tap into that potential but he's patient and got pop and fills the Dodgers C hole. 

Kendrick improves on Dee Gordon who got shipped to MIA. Gordon had a "breakout" year which meant he managed to hit not terribly and field not terribly and stole a ton of bases. Kendrick is better and will be off the books in a year. Rollins probably doesn't improve on Ramirez, Hanley's offensive prowess being too much. But he's a good fielder and above average bat and improves the team drastically from where they were yesterday. And he also comes off the books after next year. 

McCarthy is probably the iffiest of the deals. He hasn't been very healthy. He's only a fair pitcher. The reason eyeballs were as on him as they were is because he did well in NY but that was shrewd dealing as much as anything. Four years is too rich for my blood. I think they'd be better off looking for another "Haren" type. Old veteran that should be better that might get a bump pitching in those big NL West parks.

Take away is - they could have gotten weaker this offseason. They haven't. You could argue they are stronger now AND they are set up to be bigger players in next year's offseason with Kemp off the books. 

Marlins get Haren, Gordon lose Heaney

Heaney was a legit prospect so you'd hope to get better return than Gordon and (maybe) a year of Haren (for free!). But you can't deny Gordon makes them better at 2B however marginally and they could afford to lose Heaney with the arms they have. If Haren can pitch a year and mentor the staff that adds more value. It's a deal that has the potential to blow up in the Marlins faces as Heaney could be a rotation stalwart (for the Angels - he went for Kendrick) but I think more likely it's a long-term minus that helps them a little for the next couple of years. So I guess they are slightly tougher next year? Just slightly? Really if they are going to contend it's about other things.

Desmond to Mariners for Brad Miller?

This was floated out there last night from Boz. I don't see why the Mariners would do it. Not because Desmond isn't better than Miller. He is. But Desmond is a one-year rental (possibly) and Brad Miller is a helpful player that's under control for a while. That's one issue. The other one is that Miller is available because Chris Taylor, another slick fielding SS a year younger than Miller, came up and did something Miller didn't. He hit. Why bring in Desmond to play a position you just cleared up? Some Mariners fans probably hate this deal because Miller projected so well in the minors. He hit well (well everyone hits well in the PCL) but more importantly he walked and he didn't strikeout. It hasn't materialized but hey - there's still time right? (A year or two, maybe)

The previously rumored Miller for Souza makes a ton more sense for both parties.

Christmas Movie Reviews 

Help for the Holidays
X(Mas)-Factor:  Santa drunk on peppermint hot chocolate passed out under a snow covered Christmas Tree
Kids acting:  Yep? Did I say Yep? I meant bleech.
Watchability:  Strangely so. 
"Hey it's"! : Summer Glau! (might I add NERRRRDS!) Some lady from CSI: Miami which should prompt Caruso based jokes but I'm probably too tired to do that. Let's see. 

Santa plays matchmaker again but in a round about way sending elf Christine (really? Christine? I mean she's an elf! Be more creative!) to help a family who's parents have lost the spirit of Christmas.  He sends her off with the North Pole Prime Directive (me calling other nerds!) not to get emotionally attached, which feels to me more against the spirit of Christmas than the parents issues (they work too hard at a very successful Christmas store because it's a Christmas movie, don't ask too many questions). Join this family, spend lots of time with the kids, but don't you dare care about them! Really you could say he's never going to enforce this rule in any meaningful way but that's still a lot of pressure to put on those elves.

The mom character is treated pretty badly in this. Yeah, she's a bit neglectful but the kids seem pretty well adjusted to me, just a little sad at Christmas time. Boo hoo. You are empty in late December. Try filling up in the fall next year with your heat and clothes and food and stuff. Meanwhile Glau in the mom's view is a stranger who seems way too into Christmas, is replacing her with the kids, and may be seducing the uncle. I'd be afraid she was planning to off us real parents and run off with the kids.  Really this is one good re-write from a thriller. 

Anyway the parents neglect the kids and send them off a lot with their uncle - who you know is a good person because he doesn't work in a store and care about business. You can fill in the blanks (she gets a nanny job and her and the uncle fall for eachother) and she ends up staying with the family in the end. The actors are strangely likable though maybe I was just in a good mood. 

I give it 4 boxes of tinsel you find in the attic and wonder if you can use or if it's the bad tinsel. Then you bring them down and your significant other says "No, not tinsel! That gets everywhere!" and you say "Oh yeah" and put it back in the attic because you figure you might use it later but you never will. 


JWLumley said...

Harper you obviously have zero nerd cred. Summer Glau....Firefly...River Tam. Come on, next thing you'll tell me you can't run regressions in spreadsheets.

As for the trades, mostly upset about Kendrick because I thought he was perfect for the Nats in a Span/Detwiler for Kendrick type deal. The Nats seem to be doing nothing this winter pretty much, except re-signing everyone's favorite interview and replacement level player Kevin Frandsen. It may work out because they were pretty good last year and won't lose anything. Plus Harper and Rendon could get better. Although Span will almost certainly be worse and Zim may get hurt. Standing pat, while boring, may be the way to go. Here's hoping for Jed Lowrie or Espi learning to hit right handed.

Harper said...

I can run regressions in spreadsheets but why would I do that? I program SAS for a living. I'm very iffy on SciFi/Fantasy stuff. Very limited and specific appeal.

Span/Detwiler? Blech. I'm rejecting that for the Angels on principle. Could have Cole gotten Kendrick if the Nats struck fast? Maybe but the Nats are in a tough position. Can't deal Cole without knowing what is happening with ZNN / Fister. Angels got better than any of that in end with Heaney.

JWLumley said...

@Harper Really SAS, in what tool? Also, are you looking for a new job?

I was think more Dewiler and Span, but you're right probably would've taken Cole and they did better than any of those deals. Still, I was hoping.

Bote Man said...

The schadenfreude in me can't wait for Dan Haren to retire right out from under the Marlins. The gift that keeps on giving.

cass said...

SAS? No wonder you blog about the Nationals. You'd fit right in in Washington. I used to program in SAS too.

As for Bryce and Jayson, how about platooning them between left and right based on the batter/pitcher matchup? Why not use spray charts for the outfield too? Since they both have strong arms, this would be eminently doable and should save the team a win or so over a season.

I mean, in Cricket, they don't even have a position called left field and right field. All their positions are based on the handedness of the batter. You'd expect your best fielder to be on the side of the field where the batter is likely to hit the ball, wouldn't you?

cass said...

Also, Lord of the Rings is the ultimate Christmas movie even if it isn't technically a Christmas movie. Just the way it is.

(They were all released around Christmas, for anyone who doesn't remember or is too young to remember - the latter possibility makes me feel old.)

Harper said...

JW - I program Base SAS. I'm not looking (I'm a stayer. I've been at my job 15+ yrs) although if the JW stands for "Mike Rizzo" and you pay much better than all other MLB clubs I'd listen.

I don't see why Angels would want Span, unless Mike Trout truly is awful and he's only an incremental upgrade over Calhoun or Cowgill.

BoteMan - I find it odd to look back and think Haren was the bad year, Jackson was the good one.

cass - Platoon would be good idea... if you can get player backing and I doubt you can.

Is Gandalf Santa? Last one released in 2003 so to not remember you'd have to be born pre... 1998 or so which would make you 16 or so now. Yeah I'd say there's a possibility there's readers out there too young to remember.

Harper said...

JW - reading that back I mean "Span is only incremental..." not Trout.

JWLumley said...

@Harper Well if you're ever looking the JW stands for IT Headhunter. If it stood for Rizzo, MW wouldn't have a job.

As for Span, they'd want him because they're stupid. Remember when the Angels moved Trout to LF, yeah me too. Trout's a way better CF than Span, or anyone not named Mays or Mantle probably, but sometimes reality isn't as important as perception.

JWLumley said...

So, Desmond to the M's. I kind of like it if they could get Walker. Miller and Walker for Desmond would be a pretty great deal. IMHO. I think Miller just took a little time to adjust, but he's a good young cost-controlled player which the Nats sorely need more of.

JWLumley said...

Wow, wonder what the Nats could've gotten for Detwiler this time last year. Timing is everything Rizzo.

John C. said...

They couldn't afford to deal Detwiler last year because they wanted injury insurance in case Roark's pixie dust ran out. They also may have thought that he'd be effective in the 'pen - which of course turned out to be optimistic.

Given Rizzo's excellent trading record, I think that he understands the concept of timing very well, TYVM

blovy8 said...

It ain't much, but at least it's something to talk about. A guy who's K rate is over 10 per 9, maybe a little old for the level and already just a reliever, and a reasonably good 2B prospect who took a slight step back last year on a club full of 2B's. I guess that's ok and what was Det going to do on the Nats in 2015 for over 3M a year without a lot of guys going down? Probably a better shot at starting there, so it's really doing him a bit of a favor, and you can't argue with the last trade Rizzo made with Texas when he had a guy clearly out of a job.

Andrew said...

Yes sir there are people reading who are to young to remember the lord of the rings. In baseball I thought haren said he would rather retire than play outside of LA .

blovy8 said...

Going back to the choice of extending Zimmermann or Strasburg, it's not really a choice since Boras is Strasburg's agent and is strongly against not going for top dollar in free agency. The Nats would need to put out something historic and give more years and close to the annual value Kershaw got to avoid it, I'd say. In other words, more than his market rate to kind of pay back the savings from the arbitration years. The guy has not shown the sort of consistent dominance to justify that, better to go market rate with the extra year for Zimmermann if that is the choice, which I don't necessarily think it is. For me, a market deal is just that, it's not really an extension then, is it? He can sign with the Nats after the 2014 season too, if he wants that, why pay him now?

blovy8 said...

Meant the 2015 season for the calcualtions.

Also, my GF calls the LOTH movies Christmas movies since they have snow featured prominently in them. Think of Gandalf as s skinny Santa with eagles instead of reindeer.