Nationals Baseball: Whoops - Travel Day

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Whoops - Travel Day

I didn't exactly think out my plan to answer Q's today. So tomorrow! An extra day for Q's to come in and frankly it may be needed because the Nats did something!

Trade :
OUT : Souza / Ott
IN : Turner / Ross

Why did the Nats do it?

We've gone over this before but Souza is at his peak, unlikely to find regular playing time this year, and plays a position also taken up by a few other top Nats prospects.  In other words, they could sell high on a player they didn't need. When you can do that - you do it.

Of course you don't deal just to deal, you deal to get better. The Nats couldn't (or more likely wouldn't) trade for a 2B / LHRP for next season so the other option was seeing if they could get something back they like - players with a lot of control.  They did that grabbing two good minor leaguers one a pitcher and one a 1st round SS, a position of need in the Nats minor leagues. Minor leagues, which was kind of middling, instantly improved.

Does this help the Nats in 2015?

Nope. It makes them likely every so slightly worse. He was going to be the 4th OF and if the past is any indication Rizzo will bring in some waste of space (but cheap) veteran to replace him. The nightmare scenario is seeing Souza succeed while Span, Bryce, or Werth miss significant time. While that won't likely happen, it's certainly likely he'd have some playing time 200+ ABs and I think we'd all rather see him than say... McLouth.

Isn't Souza ready to break out?

The jump from AAA to the majors is the hardest to project in my mind because there isn't a super major league where the best players get moved up to. This is it and thus it's a top heavy league. Certainly you like what Souza has done in the minors the last few years but that's no guarantee.  The most worrying thing is Souza's age. If he doesn't get it this year or next it's going to be difficult for any team to keep him playing as he'll be leaving his peak and entering his decline.

What do I think? I think he'll do fine. A .280 15-20 homer guy. Nice player to have, nothing special. That's my guess

What about the other guy?

Raw super young arm. That's all you can say.

How good are the guys the Nats got back?

Pretty good - Ross is more of a thrower than a pitcher and for a thrower he doesn't strike out people like you'd like. But he's young and has time to develop. Rotation guy, reliever arm, lots of potential here to get some major league use from the guy.

Turner is even more likely to get major league time. He has plus speed and does not strikeout. This means he projects to have a pretty high average. The rest is a question mark. He seems to have ok power - not going to hit 20 plus homers, but will he hit 15 or 5? He seems to be able to take a walk but will that continue to translate? Despite his speed he is not the best fielding SS out there.  The high end scenario is an all around talent fringe all-star, I think. The low end is a slappy Joe who doesn't play well enough D to keep a secure spot but starts for a few years and serves a useful bench role. Very excited about next year to see where he trends.


Kenny B. said...

I'm not that familiar with everyone involved, but early "insider" reactions seem to suggest that Nats won this trade. Personally, after marinating a little, I like it. It's nice longer-term thinking that doesn't really hurt much now. Like you said, sell high at a position where you're overloaded, rebuild the minors a bit, and bolster a position that was running low on flexibility (SS). I'm a big Desmond fan, but it's nice to not be so locked in to his services.

I have to say, I like the way Rizzo trades. I feel like this deal could have gone down without the Nationals' involvement, but he snuck in there and did well in a kind of Beane-like way. This, combined with the Fister pick up last year give me confidence that Rizzo is a pretty smart dealer.

JWLumley said...

I like the trade because it means they won't waste money on a Desmond deal. I like Desmond, but I think he's already peaked and won't age particularly well. All of this is lining up like a WWE match with Danny Espinosa coming in with a steel chair to enter the fray next year.

Anonymous said...

There's no certainty in prospects, but combine the apparent value here with the Fister and Morse trades and I think this proves that the biggest long term piece for the Nats isn't Znn, Desmond or Fister. It's Rizzo. Hopefully the Lerners realize that. He's the best GM in DC and it's not even close (despite the Wiz looking like a contender this year).

Zimmerman11 said...

Happy to have something Nats related to read about in late December. Looks like delayed gratification, and I'm OK with that. But our bench did take a hit and it seems unlikely the Nats will make any moves to address it before the season starts. Let's hope the non switch-hitting Espy has a big year!

Chinatown Express said...

This trade definitely looks like a win for the Nats. We chipped off the Padres' #4 and 7 prospects for a guy who still might be AAAA. We dealt from strength to fill weakness. I honestly don't know how Rizzo made this happen. It might eventually add more value to the club than the Fister trade did.

@Anon- The Wizards are looking good this year because Bradley Beal is a superstar, John Wall finally developed a jumper, and a few bench guys (particularly Butler and Miller) are playing out of their heads. I don't think you can give Grunfield much credit for that. If anything, his lousy drafting (hi Seraphin, Porter, Vesely) and questionable free agent deals have set the team way back.

Anonymous said...

Instead of finding some out-of-the organization, cheap, "waste of space," doesn't this just open a slot for T Mo on the 25-man? He's out of options, so we lose him for nothing otherwise. (If he had any real trade value, we would have shipped him off.) And, by virtue of Zim being able to play at least Frandsen-level LF, T Mo is effectively an OF backup by playing 1b and moving Zim to LF.

It seems to me that this deal solves the Souza in AAA vs. releasing T Mo problem. Of course, if T Mo is ineffective a month or so in, good bye T Mo and hello Taylor/new bench guy. But I bet T Mo gets the opportunity to start the year on the 25 man.

Dr Trea (formerly #werthquake) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr Trea (formerly #werthquake) said...

It may be a bit optimistic, but if Souza went, say, .280/.340/20-25/80/15-20sb i wouldn't be shocked.

That said, based on what we needed and the potential long term pieces received, we HAD to take this deal. Well done by Rizzo.

Dr Trea (formerly #werthquake) said...

Very outside the box...what if the nats tore up Desi's deal for next year, and gave a very large AAV for the next two years? Desmond hits the FA market a year later and gives another year for Turner. Of course, this will probably hurt Desi's FA contract so i'm not so sure if he'll do it anyways....or if this is even a remote possibility.

DezoPenguin said...

I'm basically in favor of this trade. Souza looks like he'll be a productive player and I wish him the best, but he wasn't going to score significant playing time barring a major injury to Harper or Werth, and the prospects have as much or more upside as Souza does, plus being at positions we needed help at. Here's hoping Turner, especially, develops; that would make losing Ian potentially hurt a lot less. The drop from Souza to Taylor as OF4 shouldn't hurt particularly much.

Still, it's dealing from the bench to obtain prospects. It does nothing to address the ML team's major issues. Right now we're looking at Espi starting at 2B and a bench of Lobaton, Taylor, McLouth, Frandsen, and Moore. We can get by with Espi's bat (especially if he gives up switch-hitting and shows even moderate ability to hit RH while batting RH), but as soon as one of the starters gets hurt (and you have to expect at least one of Ramos, Zimm, Werth, and Harper to miss significant time based on past history) that leaves the 7-8-9 slots as a sucking chest wound.

(My ideal would be to send pitching* to Texas for Beltre, move Rendon back to 2B, kicking Espi to the bench and Frandsen clean off the team, then sign Scherzer to replace whatever we traded.)

*How about Strasburg, straight-up? We'd have to re-sign Znn to make that viable, but hell, we should do that in a vacuum no matter what other moves we do, as Harper's pointed out already. Alternatively, we could try to move some prospects to Tampa for Zobrist, maybe Cole+others, though not Giolito. Getting Ross makes Cole more tradeable...

JWLumley said...

Yeah, Rizzo has done an excellent job at everything except hiring managers. I like the trade, although I hate losing Souza. Really like that kid. Call me crazy, but compared to what's left I think the Nats might be best off taking their chances with Espi at 2nd unless the Rays are in full fire sale mode, in which case suck it up and deal for Longoria.

Anonymous said...

I'd say lets still make a move for Miller or Odor. Perhaps Ian for Miller straight up?

John C. said...

Ian for Miller straight up? For a team that also wants to contend for a title in 2015? Yikes.

Strasburg for Beltre straight up? The Nats would have to be on crack to make that deal. Two cheap years of Strasburg in his prime for one $18M year (age 36) and one $16M option year (age 37) of Beltre? BWAH HAH HAH!

DezoPenguin said...

Ian for Miller doesn't solve the 2B problem for 2015 (or 2016, for that matter). I wouldn't mind picking up Miller to play 2B, just not at that cost.

(And give me Beltre over Odor any day, if the Rangers are trading people they shouldn't trade, though Odor would be a good 2B answer.)

DezoPenguin said...

@JohnC: The money doesn't match up, sure, but Beltre's shown no sign of decline whatsoever. He's been worth more by WAR than Stras has every year of Stras's career, and his Steamer projection for next year is 4.3. Unless you think age is going to eat him for breakfast all of a sudden, it's the Rangers who'd have to be on crack to make that trade (except that they have extra infielders and limited pitching).

Sure, I wouldn't hand Beltre a four-year contract or some such nonsense, but Strasburg's going to walk after his two years are up anyway. So it's just a question of cheap versus expensive (and Strasburg's arb years are hardly going to be THAT cheap).

JWLumley said...

These trades all sound like the belong in the MASN comments section. 5 years of Miller for one year of Desmond isn't going to happen. The Nats already offered Desmond AND NN for Miller and Taijuan Walker and the M's said no. Besides, now that they have Turner it's redundant. I think the Nats may have an easier time finding a 3B than a 2B at this point. 2B is a very thin position at the big league level these days, hence Danny Espinosa.

BxJaycobb said...

Apparently Rockies are making arenado available. I would LOVE to get that guy and move tony to 2B. One of the 2 or 3 third basemen in baseball better in the field at third than Rendon. We match up real well also because Rockies probably want young controllable pitxhing. It would take a lot given how much control arenado has (4 more full years I believe)....maybe Cole plus Treinen and Difo or something. They'd ask for giolito, but id be reluctant to do that. But what would be outstanding for us. That guys gonna be like a 5 WAR+ player starting next year or 2. So dominant defensively and even outside Colorado hell prob develop into a .280 doubles hitter with 15-20 hr pop. Target Nolan!!!

John C. said...

Nolan Arenado is unlikely to be traded because he's only 24, is still pre-arbitration and is under team control for years. His home/road splits are stark:

Colorado: .300/.339/.520/.859
Road: .252/.287/.375/.662

I'm not saying he's not of some interest. But it's hard to see Arenado being worth enough to the Nationals to pry him away from the Rockies.

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