Nationals Baseball: Dull Tuesday

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Dull Tuesday

There is plenty of exciting baseball going on. Just not with the Nationals. A high-scoring back and forth game with the Phillies that is won in extras and the reaction is basically "Stupid Papelbon blowing another save". But that's what the reaction should be. The season is over. The Nats are playing out the string.
If you want exciting baseball, might I suggest rooting for the Yankees? Very exciting finish last night. Or maybe Texas or Houston? Having a crucial series right now. How about the Pirates who are trying to catch the Cardinals or their opponent this week, the Cubs who'd like to have a home game in the Wild Card if possible. As a stretch maybe the Indians who are fighting for their "sabrmetricians loved us" lives in a series versus the Royals.

If we must talk about the Nationals, Werth hit two homers last night. That's good news for next season. You're never sure when the power is going to go and not come back, but it looks like it's not this time either.  Rendon hit one, too. Glad to see these guys work out their kinks so we can focus solely on "will they get injured" and not "are they any good yet" in the offseason.  Once again no rookies are seeing time, no Turner, which is what we really care about. No Severino. Should start soon as the Mets refuse to lose.

A couple notes as we head into the offseason

Yes 50 million is coming off the books but with payouts, arbitration, and scheduled pay raises the Nats payroll is expected to be at least 132 million next year before anyone is signed. That does give the Nats room to spend... if they are going to keep the payroll up.

One goal could be bringing in a LHB because the typical Nats lineup is very RH heavy. Assuming Turner starts the season in AAA, Bryce will be joined by Espinosa as the only LHB in the lineup and he's a better RH hitter. Bringing in a guy is interesting because they have a player who probably deserves a shot to be that LHB in Clint Robinson, but to do that you have to sit Zimm (nope), Werth (nope), or MAT (probably not going to happen for Clint). They also have pretty much every position covered so if you bring someone in, someone else is going out. The affordable Yunel Escobar makes an interesting trade piece (Daniel Murphy in at 2B?) They may give up on Ramos (Matt Weiters?). They might be willing to sit MAT for the right guy (Alex Gordon? Jayson Heyward?). But first thing is figuring out where the payroll is.


notBobby said...

How about the Rosenthal piece saying that Nats had discussions with Rangers and several other teams involving Strasburg? Think it was the other teams asking or Nats dropping his name and seeing what happened?

Chas R said...

Go Astros. Since we moved to Texas last winter, we went in in Astros season tix with family. Who would have thought...

I know folks had higher expectations for Ramos, but if you look at the fancy stats, he actually is a top catcher, easily in MLB top 10.

I really like CRob as a bench bat. I dont know where another quality LHB would play. I suppose Nats could use some redundancy given the injury histories of Zim, Werth, and Rendon.

Anonymous said...

Management of 2B/SS/3B has been at least as bad as the bullpen decisions. Yunel at third, Rendon at second - terrible terrible terrible. And now the failure to put Trea in?

Maybe MW needs the team to be statistically eliminated before he'll try anything new? Since the apparently Mets don't ever lose anymore, that should be pretty soon now

Bryceroni said...

Deciding who to put at 2B or 3B probably didn't matter much. Rendon is better at both spots so you're just swapping weaknesses. I find it hard to believe escobar would have been much better at 2B than he is at 3B. The only real consideration is where rendon is most at risk of reinjury.

@harper how much do you think escobar has rebuilt his value? Enough to flip him for a back end reliever?

WiredHK said...

Robot - I have to imagine Rizzo is dictating the management of Turner and playing time (as well as the other call-ups). No? Look, I blame Williams for a lot, but I'm not inclined to think the middle infield PT decisions are on him.

Donald said...

While I don't think a healthy Werth or Zimmerman would sit for whatever leftie bat they could find, one of the lessons from this year (and ignored from past years) is that Werth and Zimm won't be healthy. They will both miss significant amounts of time.

vjwhitmore said...

Another of the things I am seeing in the past week is that even our closer is not so "rock solid".

Tues Sept 8th - Loss - tie game in the 8th serves up a hr
Weds Sept 9th - DF - down by 1 run 9th inn comes in and gives up another
Thur Sept 10th- NA
Fri Sept 11th- Did not even get in
Sat Sept 12th- did not even get in
Sun Sept 13th- did not even get in
Mon Sept 14th- Blown save

The 3 appearance in a weeks time are not very inspiring.

Jay said...

I agree that Palpebon is overrated. Kimbrel would have been nice. Oh well. I like any and all of the ideas Harper mentioned. Heyward and move Harper to CF would be nice. Even better - Gordon in LF, Werth in RF, and Harper in CF. Wieters would be nice, but can he stay healthy? I like Daniel Murphy at 2b. Needless to say they need to do something about a consistent bat.

Also, I vote get another SP as well. Move Gio for some BP relief?? Gio is great but only seems to go 5 innings now.

Above all - MW must go. We'll see. Hopefully it will be interesting. Rizzo usually makes at least one or two major moves each offseason.

ProphetNAT said...

They won't add a big bat that plays 1B or a corner outfield position unless they trade Werth or Zimmerman away. Rizzo doesn't want to have a guy making big money to ride the bench in favor of CarGo or Heyward or whomever - even if it makes sense to sign those guys and that Werth and Zimm get injured. Someone is going to sit and big money won't sit - therefore, no major signing without a trade.

Only major piece we're losing is Desmond - so unless they get Tulo, or shift Espi and Escobar and go after and 3B or 2B, nothing major is happening offensively via Free Agency this off-season. Now maybe they man-up and get someone big at the trade deadline next season if Zimm or Werth is out again - but the Nats have not showed that type of urgency....ever. Part of the reason why this franchise is so frustrating, even in its 10yr infancy.

Top things to look at this off-season:

1. What/if any of our pending FA's do we keep?
2. What relief pitching do we add/let go?
3. Trade any of our starting 9, bullpen, or rotation for a better/healthier players?

Welcome to the Washington Nationals. A "solid" core of players that even though are apparently breaking apart, will look nearly identical next season. If healthy (see 2012, 2014). If not healthy (see 2013, 2015). If they playoffs, anything can happen (but...actually just see 2012, 2014).

vjwhitmore said...

They will need another SP. Zimmermann is all but gone (although if he keeps pitching like he did last night he may just take a QO to rebuild his value). Gio is great for only 5 inns (which means taxing the BP).

Optimal would be to have Price - LHP to replace Gio - then have a great 1-2 punch of Price & Max (very doubtful the Lerners would pony up for that one)

BP - unfortunately most relief pitchers are a crap shoot, there are really only a small number of quality ones. Seems in this era teams try to go with quantity to throw against the wall and see what sticks by mid season.

Rob said...

@ProphetNAT - great, great points...and now I'm depressed because you're absolutely right.

Booyah Suckah! said...

Agree that finding a place to put a leftie power bat (or any power bat) is problematic. You can shuffle and platoon, or pay a guy enough that he doesn't mind playing from the bench instead of starting.

And of course, Zimm will probably spend at least 40 games on the DL. I tend to have the opposite opinion of Werth, though. His injuries (at least to my recollection) have mostly been bone-related and caused by a specific incident, like the diving outfield catch or getting hit by a pitch. Since joining the Nats, he's only missed significant time in 2012 (broken wrist) and 2015 (broken wrist). It's unfair to assume he'll continue to get injured on freak things like that, especially when he's covered head-to-toe in armor when he's standing at the plate. He may continue to decline due to age, but I think his playing time will still be fine. Zimm (and many of the other Nats injuries) have mostly been nebulous soft-tissue injuries that either started at unknown times or take longer to heal for unknown reasons. Or both. I'm far more concerned about those that about a broken wrist.

Not really concerned about Papelbon. Yes, recent small-sample-size track record hasn't been good, but the guy has a pretty good career (and even 2015 season) record of success. Maybe he's a dick. Maybe he's a clubhouse cancer. I don't really know. But I'm not worried about his pitching.

I think we need at least one more SP if we don't resign ZNN, although his less-than-stellar year gives me hope we MIGHT be able to do that. And I'm not convinced Fister is a lost cause. Other than that... bullpen, bullpen, bullpen. Flip Escobar. Get Stammen back and healthy. Keep Thornton, Papelbon, Rivero, Martin... scrap everyone else. Finally end the T-Mo Experiment and get a RHB to complement Robinson off the bench. Figure out what BABIP deal-with-the-devil Escobar made and get Danny to make the same one. That's it. Where's my ring?

Oh, and ferchrissakes fire Matt Williams.

Chas R said...

Ok, look, I know we are all frustrated and disappointed with this season- huge expectations; potentially MLB historic kind of team performance. It didn't happen, we know and have discussed all the factors involved in that. Let me just try to be a bit positive- our team has been in existence for 10 years. In that time, you could argue they have had decent to good teams about half the time- for 5 of the Nats' 10 years in existence they have been competitive. A couple of those years, they were one of the best teams in baseball (2012, 2014). The future, while unclear and with certainly a little bit different look, still looks bright- they will almost certainly be competitive again in 2016. I think there is good reason to be proud to be a Nats' fan supporting a successful organization with a bright future.

Chas R said...

Oh... and one other thing... Fire Matt Williams!!!!

Fries said...

I don't think we necessarily need a SP, it's pretty clear that the glaring hole is in our impotent offense (particularly when someone goes on the DL). If we add a SP, I want a solid innings eater, not an ace. Someone who will go 7 every time and give up 3-4 runs. If we're able to fix the offense, we can rely on a guy like that in the 4 or 5 slot in the rotation to at least keep us in the game even if it's not a victory every time out

Rob said...

@Fries - I agree. I think some bullpen help with a rotation of Max, Stras, Gio, Roark and Ross is solid. We need a bat...bad.

SM said...

Is the Pie-In-The-Sky season officially under way? I'll just assume it is.

I think it's Zimm's--not Werth's--that's the contractual choke-point restricting the Nats' manoeuverability.

It's clear the Nats need a left-handed power-hitter for obvious reasons. (Did you know the Mets have outhomered the Nats this season?) The biggest free-agent, left-handed mad bomber out there is Chris Davis, a first baseman who can also play left field.

Zimmerman is the roadblock, yet he will have played fewer than 162 games over the past 2 seasons. But if Zimm is such a team guy he's reputed to be--he said he'd play anywhere to help the team, remember?--move him to second base. Rendon to third, and say bye-bye to Escobar.

It's a start.

But as Woody Guthrie sang, you'll only get your pie in the sky when you die.

W. Patterson said...

I see a few consistencies in the comments - and I don't know if the Nats need a new skipper, or now. I do think that Knorr and McCatty need to whisper into Williams' ear - and Williams needs to listen.

Bottom line is that the Nats have problems that other teams wish they had. Lots of good players who, for one reason or another, didn't perform this season. It happened this year and it'll happen again. Let's let the folks who do this for a living try to fix it and, in the meantime, enjoy some baseball.

Oh, and let's get some freakin' relievers that can throw strikes.

ocw5000 said...

Rizzo's MO in the offseason is pretty clear and very effective. He'll acquire players that aren't in the news in low-key but smart moves. Gio for 4 minor leaguers. Span for Alex Meyer. Fister for Lombardozzi and whatever blackmail materials Rizzo had on Dombrowski. Escobar for Clippard. Ross and Turner for Souza. The exception to that was Scherzer, but Rizzo drafted Scherzer so he's a Rizzo Guy (unfortunately, so is MW, which is why he's not going anywhere).

For SP this means people like Scott Kazmir, Wei-Yin Chen, Jake Odorizzi, etc
For LHB, this means people like Zobrist (always!), Daniel Murphy, Didi Gergorius, etc.

I'm sure AJ Cole would like to be traded again. Does Billy Beane see something in Storen? What other GMs are silly/desperate (like AJ Preller last offseason) and have good players? I would sell high on Escobar.

The problem with bringing in good players to back up injured starters is that there's no guarantee of playing time. All things being equal, CarGo would rather take $100M from a team where he knows he'll start rather than waiting for Werth, Span or Harper to get injured again, even though it's basically guaranteed that one of them will go down next year. Rizzo can't guarantee playing time because MW isn't going to strategically rotate anyone because "These guys are our starters/closers/8th inning guys/7th inning guys/ballboys/bullpen catchers"

vjwhitmore said...

Isn't Span a FA?

Max David said...

Here's my offseason menu:

1) Resign ZNN, even though that's highly unlikely to happen.
2) Trade Werth for whatever we can get. If we get a bucket of balls back, then so be it. I'm sure some AL team like Tampa or Anaheim.....whoops LA Angels that don't really have a DH can fit him in. We'd have to eat the entire salary to send him to Tampa, but would probably at least get someone good back, while Anaheim.....oops LA Angels can probably take on the salary, and in that case I'll take the lotto ticket back from the Angels.
3) Sign Joaquin Benoit. I believe he's a FA, and he's been one of the more consistent relievers in the game last couple of seasons, and that's what we need....consistent bullpen arms.
4) Trade Storen. He's officially broken in DC, we'd be selling low, but it's time to cut bait with him.
5) Pull off a big trade: I'm looking at 1 of: Tulowitski, CarGo, Kimbrel or Chapman, with CarGo or Tulowitski being the 2 I'd go after most. To offset the KImbrel money, maybe trade someone like Yuni who's under contract for 1 more year.

Also, what I haven't seen yet in the comments (and maybe because he's an Oriole) but how about signing Chris Davis?? Not only is he a lefty-bat, but he can fill in at the corners (first & RF) for when the inevitable Zimmerman & Werth injuries happen. Actually, he maybe the first player I go after in free agency, and can platoon with Werth.

vjwhitmore said...

Max - agreed
1) Try to resign ZNN
2) Trade Werth to any AL team, (age and diminishing returns are catching up)
With that said go after CarGo
3) Benoit is a FA
4) Storen unfortunately will never be fixed in DC
5) Pull off the big trade for CarGo, Kimbrel or Chapman
I do not see Tulowitski since Nats already have a lot of potential injuries waiting to happen...

And yes Chris Davis is a FA & a lefty... would solve a lot of problems in 1 fell swoop...

John C. said...

Wait a minute - the Nats need a bat because their "impotent" offense is so terrible? The offense that is third in the NL in runs per game (just behind two teams, Colorado and Arizona, that play in more hitter-friendly ballparks)? Despite having pretty much everyone in the lineup other than Bryce Harper hurt, slumping or both? Yeah, the Nats looked terrible Friday and Saturday, scoring one run over two games. But even thought that feels like an indication of a problem, it's really not. Over the last 26 games the Nats have been exactly the kind of consistent scoring machine that any fan would want, putting up 3+ runs in 23 of those 26 games (and 4+ runs in 20 of those 26 games). To have more fun with arbitrary end points, you could run that back 28 games and the team has scored 4 or more runs in 22 of those 28 games. Yeah, the three games before that they only scored one run total. Yuck. But the eight games before those three, they scored four or more runs. They've been good against good pitching, too - in the three game series with the Mets' aces the Nats averaged five runs per game. In the three games in St. Louis against the top of their rotation the Nats put up four, five and five runs. Would another thunderous bat help? Sure - it never hurts to add a strength to a strength (depending on the cost).

All teams go through bad stretches. The Yankees have a very powerful offense; they are #2 in MLB behind Toronto in runs/game. Yet they had a stretch in August where they scored four runs in six games, and only scored more than two runs once in eight games. Don't mistake a couple of bad games now and then for a problem with the offense. It's just baseball - that happens to every team. There's no way to prevent that. We just don't care when it happens to other teams, so we don't notice.

Anonymous said...

@Max David I think the only way to get anyone to take Werth is either to eat the salary and sell him for nothing, or trade him for another underperforming player with similar money in a case where both teams are taking a shot on somebody new.

ProphetNAT said...

@ Max David - I like the Chris Davis idea. Thoughts Harper? But I would add another arm to go along with Benoit. Ryan Madsen. He looks like he's returned to form, lights out for KC, and going for nearly league minimum money.

JE34 said...

heh... I mentioned Dave Kingman in a frustrated post yesterday regarding Ian Desmond's unbelievably undisciplined hitting. I just compared Chris Davis and Dave Kingman's 162 game averages on baseball-reference. Chris Davis IS Dave Kingman.

(I was about to suggest that the Nats already strike out a lot, and that we don't need more of that. But then I looked at the correlation between strikeout totals and winning games, and there appears to be none whatsoever.)

Chris Davis leads the majors in HRs (and Ks). He'll be looking to play every day, and looking for a long-ish deal. I don't see the Nats making that commitment to him without unloading Zim or Werth.

Anonymous said...

Indeed it is over as Mets win again...will they ever cool off? means the Mets could go .500 the rest of the way and the Nats would have to go undefeated..unlikely

vjwhitmore said...

That I think is the problem. Team is at roughly $130M in commitments even with what is coming off the books. Sure they went $160M this year, but will the Lerners go for 2-3 $ players?

Harper said...

bryceroni - Yeah, I think you could get a decent back-end reliever for Yunel, provided they are a player that isn't going to be re-signed or isn't all that needed. It's hard to see them getting a true closer though because Yuney is solid but not special.

Jay - Right now Nats don't have SP depth (unless you think Giolito is ready - which minor league stats say another year at least) . I assume any SP brought in keeps Roark in pen, not trades Gio.

prophet - you seem to dismiss the idea of MAT sitting.

SM/others - Zimm can't throw or at least that's the story. so 2B would be out. A Davis-Werth CI situation would be ugly. So... no. I don't approve. Not unless it's an Edwin Jackson situation where he ends up here on a 1 yr deal or something. As JE34 notes that's not likely (I'll add he's repped by Boras so Nats have an in, but also he'll get the biggest deal he can - which won't be in DC)

John C - It's not that the offense has ups and downs, it's that three of their four most impt hitters are big injury risks. Another bat helps cover for that.

John C. said...

The problem with Chris Davis is that he's feast or famine. Over his five years in Baltimore he was: awesome (2015); bad (2014); awesome (2013); OK (2012) and bad (2011). He's all of one year younger than Ryan Zimmerman - which means that whoever signs him will be paying big bucks for an inconsistent player on the cusp of his declining years. There's a very good chance that this would be the contract that we love to hate even more than the Werth or Zimmerman deals very quickly.

Sammy Kent said...

@ John C

yes the Nationals need a bat. I don't want to re-hash all the stats to countermand yours, but the games where the offense can't score more than two runs or can't score them late against playoff caliber pitching are far too numerous for any team that would dare win championships.

My general take for now:

Rizzo is not going to deal Werth, no matter how much I or you may think he should. With Harper and Taylor set to be the rest of the outfield regulars, the only place to get a big bat is the infield, especially since RZim remains injury prone. If I were GM I would trade Escobar and one of the pitchers (A.J. Cole?) and another prospect if necessary to get Todd Frazier...unless I could swing a similar deal to get Matt Carpenter from the Cards. I don't care how impossible it looks, MAKE A DANG DEAL, RIZZO. You're the GM. Find some creative way to get a piece of lumber in the infield.

Of our free agents I would try everything in the world to sign Zimmermann, even though I think it's a lost cause. He wants to go to the midwest, and I think he's just not going to sign no matter what Rizzo offers. But, if we can sign him again, we should.

I would sign Fister. I would sign Span to a limited role with the understanding that he will be a coach whenever he's ready to take that on.

Desi has to go. We all love Desi, and I watched him play at Woodbridge (along with JZimm), but we have Turner, who should blossom into a solid player and leadoff hitter. Let some other team figure out how to balance his 20 HR with 180 Ks and 25 errors.

Trade Ramos and find a catcher that can catch the dang ball and make a tag at the plate and won't ground into double plays every time there's a man on first.

Aaron Barrett has to go. Blake Trienen has to go. Keep Rivero, Thornton, Solis. See if San Diego will do some kind of Papelbon for Kimbrell deal.

SM said...

@JE34 Davis strikes out about 3 times as often as he walks. Desmond's ratio this year is 4:1. But I'd take Davis's extra 25 HRs and 50 RBIs, an OBA about 70 points higher, and an OPS roughly 240 points better.

@John C.

If I recall correctly, Harper hasn't really been able to assess the full measure of the Nats' offense because of injuries to regulars, and/or premature return to the lineup of regulars who are either susceptible to further injury or sheathed in rust. You are absolutely correct about that 28-game span, the Cardinal series, etc. And teams do go into offensive dry spells. I suspect the cry for more offensive firepower has more to do with the 100 or so previous games without a full and healthy lineup.

Jay said...

I agree that the Nats are to right-handed and really struggle against above average or better pitching. Remember last year against the Giants. I'd be ok with Davis - Rizzo tried to trade for him before he went to Baltimore. I still think Harper in CF and a big bat in the other OF spot with Taylor on the bench is ok by me, but I think they go with Taylor. I have to admit that Taylor has been better this year than I expected, but we missed the LH Span more. I think Daniel Murphy may be perfect bc he plays second and is LH.

Again, it will be interesting. Rizzo has made big moves every off season for a while. Gio. EJackson (big move at the time). R Soriano. Fister. Sherzer. We'll see. I don't blame Rizzo for the lack of deadline deals, bc everything I have read states the Lerners won't add payroll. That really limits what you can do.

VI said...

So the Nats are league average for games which they score 3 runs or less. That means a .500 ball club?

Dave Kingman is Chris Davis? In his final season, at age 37, Kingmans hit 35 HR (drove in 94 on a bad Oakland team, slugged .431, and struck out 126 times in 561 AB. Today, he might get a bigger contract than Chris Davis, at least for one year.

Nats media people had to shut down Papelbon's mouth today. Yeah, that's the guy I want to spend $11M on next year as my closer.

Chas R said...

@Sammy- a lot of what you just laid is just plain wrong man. Todd Frazier for Yuni and AJ? He's not only a good hitter, he's a fan fav in Cinci- good luck with that. you have to overpay to get even a sniff there. Close to the same with Carpenter. You're going to need to pony up if you want a shot at those guys. Is it really worth it?

Sign Fister to do what? SP? We were lucky to have 2014 from him. I think everyone that saw his FIP and BABIP numbers compared to ERA expected a regression this year, but it was a big of a sharp drop. I would expect him to come back a bit next year, but really how much and can you bank on that? I love Fister, but I'm not taking that chance.

Desi will leave and that's too bad as he is a top 5 SS on offense. His approach at the plate is frustrating for fans, but he will make $$$$ in FA.

I know Ramos has seemingly been a disappointment. Take a look at the stats. He's pretty good compared to the rest of the catchers! Really good- both defense and offense. No no no... he is for sure a keeper.

Barrett was hurt almost all year. He will be out all next year after his surgery. He's not going anywhere. Blake is a rough talent. He's getting better and better. I'd take a chance on him. His stuff is nasty.

Papelbon for Kimbrel??? Really???

Sammy Kent said...

@Chaz R - My point is that Frazier and Carpenter are the kind of player this team desperately needs...if not them specifically, then someone else with genuine consistent pop and no more bargain basement .250/20/60 guys. We need another power hitting infielder that can (finally) make up for the 30 HR and 90+ RBI we lost with LaRoche, especially with Zimmerman STILL spending half his seasons on the DL. Plus we're losing Desi, and while I will not grieve over his errors and Ks leaving town, he hits 20 dingers a year and that too will need to be replaced. Do you honestly think if Rizzo could potentially swing a deal to bring Frazier or Carpenter to Washington he shouldn't pursue it? I would like to know how else you think that lost power is going to be compensated for. If Rizzo doesn't make a deal for some heavy infield lumber this winter, it's going to be a looooong summer in 2016.

Doug Fister is still a very intelligent and savvy pitcher, and a veteran competitor. He made the biggest difference in the attitude and results of our rotation last season. If he wants to stay in Washington and compete for a starting spot, I'm happy to let him do it. If he's willing to take a bullpen spot, he's a darn sight more reliable in that role than this crowd of rookies with deer-in-headlights-eyes have been.

Ramos has one stat that is superior to most catchers, and that's caught stealing. I won't minimize the value of a guy that can throw baserunners out at second. He still hits into too many DPs, and he's been absolutely horrible on plays at the plate this season. IMHO he's cost us many more runs with his defensive lapses and poor batting in pressure situations than he's saved by getting outs at second.

How can anyone think that Papelbon is a better closer than Kimbrell? Papelbon is a ninth inning version of Tyler Clippard, inventor of the eighth-inning dinger. Kimbrell is every opposing team's nightmare. Absolutely I'd try to get him.

Mike Rizzo is supposed to be some great GM. I've only learned about this blog recently, but I posted in other places last winter and spring my concerns about this team. I said then that this rotation better be as good as advertised because they were going to have to pitch a bunch of complete game shutouts for this team to win the division. I double down on that this season. This lineup is not made for either power ball or small ball. It's easier to muscle up with one or two power sluggers than try to raise the whole team's speed and average. I'm telling you now, Rizzo better land some lumber or next season will be worse than this one.

JC said...

I think some of you need to be more realistic about your wish list. No one is going to trade their ace closer for Escobar. Nor will we get Kimbrel for Papelbon. I think Rizzo's MO has always been to look for relative bargains and to try to avoid overpaying for free agents entering their decling years. If you look back at the past few years, it is clearly that most of these top free agent signings are a coin toss. It's just not worth saddling your team with years of inflexibility because of a long term expensive contract. Let's sell high on Strasburg now and rebuild some depth with prospects. If you could trade Escobar great again we would be selling high.

Bryceroni said...

I think that the issue here is we really don't know who is available on the trade market. Frazier or carpenter at a reasonable price would be amazing, but I dont think the price is there.

The real roster building crunch is that good players that are paid reasonably are leaving. There are a few young players stepping in, but they need another infusion of talent that might come at free agent prices.

ProphetNAT said...

@ Harper - oh I agree with you on Taylor. However what the Nats should do (sit Taylor for a star hitter) and will do (nothing without trading Zimm or Werth) are to entirely different things.

Max David said...

The Mets just finishes their 145th game after Tuesday's 9-3 loss to the Marlins. They now sit 8.5 up after the Nats won 4-0. After game 145 in 2007 they were 7 games up, and over the final 17 games they dropped 8 games in the standings as the Phillies finished 1 game up. Unlike in 07 those 07 Phillies were probably better then the 15 Nats, and even though deGrom got crushed by the Marlins, I still think the Mets pitching is good enough to avoid a 2-7/1-8 stretch to get the Nats new life. However if the Marlins beat them again Wednesday and the Yankees sweep....who knows?? I'll give the Nats a barometer of 4 games by the time Sunday's game ends. If they can make up another 3.5 games and get to 4 out by the end of day Sunday they'll make it a race, if they can't it's officially over. I've already resigned myself to the fact the last game is October 4, so anything they can do would be gravy for this year.

Max David said...

Also, let's throw a poll out here:

Player A) Carlos Gonzalez - Rockies
Player B) Jose Abreau - White Sox
Player C) Todd Frazier - Reds
Player D) Troy Tulowitski - Blue Jays
Player E) Giancarlo Stanton - Marlins.

The Nats can acquire any of these players over the offseason, but in return, we have to give up Stras in the trade?? Which (if any) of the 5 are you pulling the trigger on??
I actually think all 5 could be on the block in the winter: CarGo, Frazier & Tulowitski almost certainly will be. I know Stanton just signed that massive contract but you can never count out Loria blowing it up for what, the 22nd year in a row?? I doubt Abreu's going anywhere either, but if the Sox want to rebuild after this disappointment, him, & Sale would definitely net the biggest returns.

As for the poll:
I'd trade Stras for CarGo, Frazier & Stanton. I'd gladly put Taylor on the bench if it meant putting CarGo/Stanton in RF and Harper in CF. And look out Red Porch for when Stanton bats! Frazier will allow us to stay with Taylor in the OF, and put another power bat in the lineup. If Abreu was a lefty I'd pick him as well but unfortunately he doesn't do much batting right handed for us. In Tulo's case he costs too much, and is too injury prone when we'd have a replacement ready in less than a year. IF we could trade him again next offseason then I might think about it.

What's everyone else's thoughts?? Agree/disagree, different set of players you'd choose?? Maybe Harper can use a variation of this for a future post.

Rob said...

A or E only.

Booyah Suckah! said...

@ Sammy Kent... everything you said, my friend. Everything. Yes.

Especially the bit about Ramos being entirely incapable of making a tag at the plate. Sweet baby Jesus, he's terrible. If there's a play at the plate, I just automatically assume it's a run. I don't remember the last time I saw try to sweep a tag that I didn't then see the ball sitting on the ground three feet in front of the plate or rocketing past him to the backstop.

On another note, why do people keep bringing up Tulo? Are you insane? We sit here moaning about the injury prone offense, and the solution you rubes come up with is a guy who's averaged 97 games a season the last 4 years? Ruuuuuuuuuubes.

Anonymous said...

@Max David 4.5 games by Sunday? You're cute.

ocw5000 said...

So many of you are taking crazy pills. Let's trade Storen for Chris Sale straight up! The White Sox would totally go for that because they underachieved this year! By the same logic, the Nats should be looking to trade all their best players for spare parts because they underachieved this year. A couple years ago, before we had Span, a bunch of folks here said we should trade for McCutcheon to solve our CF issues. Can't believe the Pirates didn't go for that.

Any deal that nets a Frazier, Carpenter, CarGo, etc. is going to cost Giolito and more. Strasburg is on his last year, so you're not going to net as much in return. If the Nats contend next year, they'll ride it out with him. If they collapse, he could be trade bait at the deadline, the 2016 David Price.

The McCutcheon/Span thing is actually a great example of what probably will happen this offseason. Nats acquire some under-the radar players, probably with the usual trade suspects (e.g. Billy Beane)

Anonymous said...

When people propose trades for their team, they don't stop to think "Would I be okay if my team made this trade?" Like if the Nats had Craig Kimbrel, would you be okay if Mike Rizzo announced they'd traded him for Papelbon? I didn't think so.

Sammy Kent said...


you said: "I think Rizzo's MO has always been to look for relative bargains..."

I think you're right, as far as position players go. It might be a great strategy if your goal is to compete and finish above .500 every year. It's a horrible strategy if you intend to hang a banner of any sort beyond a division title and a quick post-season exit, because that's your ceiling. There's a reason these bargain basement types fly under the radar, and they're not going to suddenly turn into .300/30/90 guys just because they're wearing your uniform. Did Asdrubel Cabrera and Yunel Escobar contribute? Of course they did. Did they produce Adam LaRoche or healthy Ryan Zimmerman numbers? No. Except for one double and one home run in one game what did Dan Uggla do this year?

Yes, if we want someone like Todd Frazier or Matt Carpenter it's going to cost something. But does Rizzo honestly believe this team can win a championship with even LESS offensive power than it currently has? Tragically, I think he does. And I think he's badly mistaken. And I certainly think that if Matty is going to be held responsible for his management of the games, then Mike Rizzo needs to be held responsible for his management of the roster.

Anonymous said... you believe in Santa Claus?? If the Mets play even 1 game over .500 the Nats would have to go undefeated the rest of the way...wait, hold on..unbelievable...a pig just flew by my window...and...and...Matt Williams was on its back...hokey might be right

Anonymous said...

I like fantasy trade talk..I do not like fantasy trade talk when it is of the variety that you are going to totally bamboozle the people you're trading with as though the people who do this for a living have less information than us bloggers. It's ridiculous...hey, we'll give you Storen an we'll give you Sale and pretty much anything else you want!!! They wouldn't give us a bag of scuffed baseballs for Storen right now

Froggy said...

I love how whenever folks on the blog start opining about how this player (Werth, Span, Zim, etc) are statues and can no longer hit, the very next day they go on a tear. Ha!

Booyah Suckah! said...

In his defense, Sammy didn't say "Papelbon for Kimbrel straight up". He said "see if San Diego will do some kind of Papelbon for Kimbrel deal", implying other pieces would be involved. Just saying.

And yes, Anon 12:57, sometimes the people who do this for a living do get bamboozled. I need only point you to the Fister trade.

Froggy said...

I love how whenever folks on the blog start opining about how this player (Werth, Span, Zim, etc) are statues and can no longer hit, the very next day they go on a tear. Ha!