Nationals Baseball: Last minute gift guide

Friday, December 15, 2017

Last minute gift guide

For the Nats this is easy

A trade for JT Realmuto - The Marlins are having a fire sale but that doesn't mean you can walk into their house and demand they sell you their TV for $5. The Ozuna deal wasn't the best - but it was a haul of prospects that immediately gives depth to the Marlins system, if not a legit PROSPECT type. Like Ozuna, Realmuto is the ideal player for a team rebuilding - young and cheap. But he'll also start costing a bunch more this year as he heads into arbitration and he's marked for FA in 3 more years. The Marlins, if there is any truth to the rebuilding talk, are not planning to be good in that period of time.

So Realmuto should be available but he's going to cost you. However, based on the Ozuna deal I think he can be had with a bunch of younger prospects from the 5-15 of a good system rather than a top prospect. For the Nats that could mean something like Drew Ward, Joan Baez, and Yasel Antuna. Or Daniel Johnson, Luis Garcia & something. Like that. Names you might have heard of, or might not have. Not top guys but a bunch of mid-level guys with youth on their side.

A steal of Jaime Garcia - There's been talk about the Nats going in on Arrieta and trying to tie that to how they got Max when they didn't necessarily need him but that was a different time. The Nats were looking at a future where ZNN and Strasburg were coming up on FA and signing Max gave them the freedom to not feel the need that they had to sign both of them. Today the Nats are still locked into long term deals with Max and Stras, so another high-priced FA pitcher, while it would be great, wouldn't fit the same way.  Instead they need a guy to fill in for Gio as the lefty change of pace after the Nats let him walk. Jaime is not a great pitcher but he can be that.

It takes a little faith to see it, but when you are looking for bargains that's going to be the way. The things you can count on are Jaime Garcia being a GB pitcher (which the Nats prefer) and to not have a HR problem. The things you worry about may be a rising walk rate and the fact he may have settled into a low 4.00s rather than high 3.00s for his base level. But if you believe last year's issues were as much about being moved around 3 times than his pitching, then you might be able to grab him for 2 + a favorable team option and set him in the back of the rotation to eat innings. The injury he recovered from (thoracic outlet) is a worrying one but he does seem to amazingly be back for it (almost to the point where you wonder if it was a misdiagnosis) and again it's by taking these chances that you get your bargains (and your money to sign Rendon long-term).  MLB Trade rumors has him at 2 years 16 million, throw in a team option for a third at say 9 million and you could find yourself set at 1,2,4/5 for three years. Any where in the rotation you are set is a good thing.

What about for us? What about for REAL Christmas? It's 10 days to Christmas so you still have a chance to get some last minute shopping done

Here's some idea of things I like
Anker's Soundcore Bluetooth Speaker - You know what I want out of a Bluetooth speaker? Long time between needed charging and a low price. This succeeds at both. How's it sound? Fine to me, but you know what I don't care about from a speaker? Audio fidelity. Ok is good enough for me since it's generally playing podcasts or baseball games.  (I also like Anker's batteries for car trips and grabbing if going to be away from charging for a while. I have this and something like this the former is probably enough for most unless you need tablet charging mid travel.

Are you a fancy laptop carrying professional that feels your college backpack days should be over (and also don't have enough to carry to justify a backpack).  Well then this might be for you. Timbuk2's Hudson briefcase. I've had it for over a year now and I'm very happy with it as a traveling companion. For a guy who likes to be cheap it's pricey but I needed something that was not only sturdy but looked nice as I occasionally go to places for meetings with people outside my company.  Impressions and all.  I also figured this will probably be my breifcase for a decade or so and other than some wear and tear on the handles it's holding up beautifully. (my last attempt at something like this basically fell apart in a year - I'm not rough, but I'm not gentle either)

I've found this cord keeper useful to keep charging cords from falling to the floor or behind things.  I guess you know if you have that problem or not.

This is my lunch bag. Black. I've had it for... jeez like 5 years? More? Before that one Christmas where it popped up on all the lists and then everyone bought it. Any way 5 years and I don't think about it which is good bc why should I think about a lunch bag? It's pretty spacious, still seems in good condition, and you can throw it in the wash. I wouldn't call it insulating though. It's not like a cold lunch would stay cold for hours. More like better than no insulation. But I haven't tested it or anything.

I like my Bodum tea presses and mugs, but I'm a loose leaf tea drinker. (It's actually cheaper than fancy tea bags per cup, but not cheaper than garbage tea so adjust accordingly) I guess I could tell you I also use it for coffee, but admittedly that's only because I had them for tea first. Most people don't like french presses for coffee since it is a messy cleanup and makes a limited amount.

Oh the iGrill! The iGrill is great! Now I won't say you have to get this but getting a wireless thermometer has helped me immensely. I used to nail my meats about 50% of the time (40% of the time pretty close, 10% of the time not good). Now I nail it all the time. For me part of the issue is my wife likes her stuff cooked well so the margin for error there is smaller but I'm still happy I've gotten it. And at this point I realize I'm basically telling you I like all the fancy things I've gotten for myself over the past decade, probably waiting out for sales, and telling you to buy it now. Eh - your problem not mine.

Waiting for a sale reminds me of something less specific I got on sale - I've found having a packable windbreaker very convenient because oddly enough temperatures don't remain constant during the day. You leave around 6:30 and it's cool and you want a jacket. You come back around 5:00 and it's warm and you no longer want a jacket. It's nice to be able to smush that jacket easily in your bag. The one I got is actually a running jacket and not all that attractive but that's why it was on sale.

Ok that's enough stuff. Feel free to add your own suggestions below - for the Nats or other blog readers.


KW said...

I'm on board with going after Realmuto if he doesn't cost one of the big three prospects or Fedde. I think they've got to get Realmuto, sign Avila, or something.

I also like Garcia, particularly since the Nats would have inside info on him from Lilliquist. I don't know that he would be that great, but if you want a stable fifth starter for a reasonable amount, he's probably your man. Not sure what you do if Fedde is clearly better than him in the spring, though, as the bullpen is already overly full. Anyway, unless they're going to go big for a trade for someone like Archer or Cole, shopping at the Garcia level makes more sense to me than overspending for Darvish or Arrieta.

Anonymous said...

I think Realmuto is a great idea; better defensively AND offensively than Wieters and you have him for two more years after this season, which is plenty, given the way catchers can age in their 30s. It makes sense to avoid having a giant hole in the bottom of the lineup, which is what Wieters was with the exception of his moderately hot April. Here's hoping Rizzo can pull it off; if not Realmuto, then I'd be okay with Avila or Castillo. We definitely need an upgrade at catcher--if you have injuries like last year that weaken the lineup, then having someone struggling like Wieters becomes even more of a problem.

I'd still like one more good bench player like Lind or Kendrick, one more consistent reliever, and that elusive 5th starter.

Meanwhile, the Phillies are making me nervous.

Josh Higham said...

Castillo, unfortunately, is off the market. ChiSox picked him up. Avila would be a fine addition. Loby, luckily for him, the Nats, and us, signed a minor league deal with the Mets.

sirc said...

I would like for the Nats to bring back Stammen. The team hasn't had a reliable middle guy since he left, and now he's healthy and effective again.

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