Nationals Baseball: December 2019

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Offseason Position Discussion : Outfield

Last year discussion revisited

The assumption was, at the time, Bryce would walk and Eaton, Soto, and Robles/MAT would fill out the outfield. Bryce walking we've discussed plenty at the time. Why the rest? Eaton tried to force himself back from injury in 2018 but after surgery and needed rest came back to have a very Eaton year cementing his spot. Soto busted out, nearly winning the Rookie of the Year earning the second spot. The third spot was Robles' to lose given his prospect status, strong audition, and MAT's failure at a larger role.

What happened? Eaton was Eaton, Soto kept being Soto, and Robles did well enough to hold onto CF the entire year. They played 151, 150, and 155 games respectively meaning the Nats didn't have to worry about throwing a Kendrick out there, or seeing if MAT would bounce back.  If you want to be critical Eaton definitely took a step back, going from an above average player to a more average one, and Robles really hit JUST well enough at times to hold on (his fielding was as advertised).  Soto? No complaints.

Presumed Plan : Same.

Reasoning on Presumed Plan : Eaton is cheap. The other two guys are ridiculously so. They all performed well enough or better last year. They had the third best OF in the NL combined and you may be able to argue second (the drop to 4th is big) There's not really a question here unless you were going to try to shake things up to get a large improvement over Eaton or Robles (like a Betts trade) to cover for the loss of Rendon

Problems with Presumed Plan : Eaton is old and trending the wrong direction and Robles didn't break out as you hoped. A lot of the production you expect from the OF rests with Soto and he's not quite to the team carrying level. A Soto and Robles repeat and a Eaton drop would still be a fine outfield, but when you need to cover for the loss of Rendon you need to be getting better, not worse.

My take :You do what the Nats are doing and hope for the best.  It might be worthwhile to grab whatever decent OF doesn't end up getting a starting role for cheap (Cluberson, Dyson, Pillar, Maybin or everyone's hope : Puig) given the Nats needed depth and a guy who may potentially have a good year if needed. 

I'm not particularly worried about any single position though I do think the group as a whole may disappoint.  Eaton has the type of all-around skills that may slow a fall much like it did for Werth. But he still could easily fall below average over all.  Robles' defense is great and takes over MATs role as the CF protecting questionable corners, all he has to do it hit ok really. He may bust out but he may also suffer with the league now having a large book on him. He still strikes out a ton and that's always the most worrying sign for a young player, especially one that doesn't rely on moonshot power.  Soto of course is pretty much set. He's proven he can hit and his fielding, while suspect, is not anything that demands he get pulled into a less demanding position immediately. In fact he probably got a little better last year? Maybe? Though chances of him every being good are slim.  Hitting wise the one "worry" is that well.. Soto did hit worse last year. Just a smidge but adjust for the offensive environment and it did happen. So what? Well the Nats NEED Soto to become SOTO now. To hit like Rendon did last year, like Bryce did in 2015 (well 90% of that) and it's possible it's just not there?

We compare Soto with the greats because that's the kind of start he had. But when did these comparison have their first MVP-type year? Mantle? Age 20. Aaron? 22. Mays? 23( but did go fight in a war at age 22).  Trout? 20.  Bryce (who's not with these guys but is compared to Soto for obvious reasons)? 22.  Soto is going into his 21 season so there is a couple years for it to happen, but for a couple guys here it already did.

Oh just for fun remember mid year the Trout vs Soto comparisons were floating around and I was making sure you didn't think Soto was Trout because Trout is maybe the best player we'll see?  Well here's the first 266 games for each

Soto : .287 / .403 / .535   56 homers 
Trout : .309  / .383 / .540  50 homers

Seems pretty even. You may say Soto has an edge but first Soto at this point has about 120 more PAs so figure Trout for 5-6 more homers given equal PAs. Second, Soto has hit in a far more favorable offensive environment. Adjust for that and Trout takes the slight lead. It's still arguable but then you look at the speed (17 SBs for Soto vs 73 for Trout) and the very good CF defense vs maybe passable LF defense and it isn't close.

Ok But Trout IS slightly older at the time. Eventually we stop thinking about that but just for kicks let's give Soto another year to kick into high gear. About what would Soto have to hit in his next 150 games to hang with or pass Trout? Well by my calculations it would be something like :

.322 / .440 / .580 

Oh wait... that's 2013/2014 vs now... adjust up a little .325 / .450 / .595?

He needs to arguably the best hitter in baseball next year to keep the batting argument going.

Longwinded aside to say : Soto is no Trout but he's still great but maybe the Nats need him to be Trout, at least at the plate.

Out of the box suggestion :

There's a bunch of eh OFs available that can replace Eaton for cheaper and let's face it, it's very unlikely you are going to bring him back for 2021 for 10.5 million. So trade him now. OF depth is a concern for a lot of teams, even contenders. Work something out with the A's or the D-backs or back to the White Sox! Anyway trade Eaton, sign a Maybin or something and grab something that might turn into something.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Rendon's an Angel now

RIP*, Sweet Prince.

So Rendon is gone and as losing Rendon can go he went to probably the best place he could for the Nats. Out of the NL East, Out of the NL, Not on an AL team that seems to be an immediate playoff threat. Can't ask for more there.

Of course that is an ancillary benefit that tries to cover for the HUGE loss that losing Rendon is. Rendon has been a Top 5ish player in baseball over the past 3 years. There are precious few players that can replace that production. Donaldson and Bryant, two names being bandied about, are All-Star level talents and you'd still not expect them to do it. No, accept facts - the Nats AREN'T going to replace Rendon. They are only going to patch the hole as best they can.

What does that mean? We're not sure yet. Could mean laying out money or making a trade for the guys I just noted to cover 80% of what Rendon can do. Could mean putting that money elsewhere like in the pen. Let's see what the options are today

Sign Donaldson : Donaldson is a nice fielding  consistent hitter who had some great years with the Blue Jays a few seasons ago, but seems to have aged out of it.  He'll be 34 next year and likely will give you good production for a year or two, after that it becomes dicier. The problem is, as everyone's Rendon back-up plan, he has no incentive to take a deal that's 2 years with options. He is going to get 3 years guaranteed, maybe 4, and he's going to get paid.  3/75? 4/80?  We'll see how this shakes out but he is not going to be a cheap fix for anyone and it's tough to see the Nats matching what will likely end up being an overpay by some one.

Sign Todd Frazier - ok fine I'll skip this.

Sign Asdrubal Cabrera - He's fine! He'll get the job done hitting about average fielding about average and letting you worry about spending your money elsewhere, and he'll likely be had with something under 2/10 even in a market that will overheat for thirdbasemen. But he's a big step down. Big. If you make a move like this there better be a corresponding big move somewhere else.

Sign Maikel Franco or Starlin Casto - At 27 someone will take a chance on Franco who put together one half season a few years ago and since then has bounced between average, bad, and good. Not a great fielder he needs to hit to be productive, but he should be cheap. Casto is AsCab but younger and a little less talented. He's giving at 29 what AsCab is giving at 33. The benefit of signing him is he's less likely to feel the ravages of age. The downside is he's more likely to feel the ravages of not being as good. But he's ok in the field so that should stick. When the skills go, they go and no one can say if that's 28, 31, or 34.  He'll likely get a better deal than AsCab because of the age so this is more a "let's not worry about this position for a while" move if the Nats make it.  Both could end up with surprising performance from a young guy who then could slot in for a few years. But both could also end up with duds.

Trade for Kris Bryant - the word is out that the Cubs (and Red Sox for that matter) are eyeing their next rebuilds. Trying to shed some talent/salary now with guys they don't expect to keep going forward to set up for a quicker return to glory. For the Cubs that means Bryant is on the block. Once thought to be a star in the making (won a deserved MVP in 2016) he's lost a bit at the plate and on the field making him merely very good. He's got two more seasons before free agency and the Cubs see a guy they don't want to spend superstar money to keep around at ages 30-36 or so. The Nats could surely use him but do they have the pieces to get him? Normally you'd say no, but in this day and age Kieboom plus might actually do it.

Trade for Arenado - I mean possible but as of today the Rockies probably want a lot and want a team to take the whole salary so I don't see it happening. Note to Colorado management. If you are going to do something like sign theis Arneado deal it means going all in with money commitments for several years. Not a 2/3rds try for a couple of years. Maybe next time! 

Trade for Andujar - depsite spending last year injured the Yankees 3rd baseman is only 25 and looked real good when healthy. But with Urshela deserving a starting gig and DJ LeMahieu (WHO THE NATS SHOULD HAVE SIGNED) being awesome in the field and a .300 hitter at heart there isn't a good place for him right now.  But this is a non-starter for the Nats as the Yankees were talking about dealing him for talent NOW. For the Yankees now it's hard to see what that would be other than a big time pitchers (it would likely be a Happ/Andujar package) or a young cheap great reliever (you'd like not to pay everyone in the pen and have someone to turn to in a few years).  The Nats aren't in the market to give up that.

What's do I see the Nats doing? I told you a few days ago. I see AsCab being back. Sorry.  What's the best move now that Rendon is gone. It's hard to say give Donaldson four years but that fits in with the "now"ness of the Strasburg deal.  In terms of pure value it would probably go - trade for Bryant if you can, sign Castro, then Donaldson. But these are all Plan Bs.

Anyway you slice is Rendon is gone and he took a piece of production with him that the Nats aren't getting back.

*Reside In Placentia

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The town that Strasmas didn't forget

You might not have heard but Strasburg signed back with the Nats.  The deal is HUGE 7/245 (or 35 per).  Let's understand now he almost certainly not be worth it. Yes I know, Scherzer was and I suppose the Nats could luck into what I consider the second best pitching FA contract of all-time* But let's look at the facts. He's one year older now than when Scherzer signed. He has far less history of pitching the amount of innings that Max had, and a far greater injury history.  He pitched an amount of innings last year well off his usual pace

So Max : Going into his 30/31 season, just had 6 basically injury free years, where 195 was his personal low for a season (when you include post-season) and pitching as he always had

Stras : Going into his 31/32 season, just had his first injury free year since 2014, threw 245 innings 25% more than he has thrown in any season since 2014.

Oh yeah - and Strasburg is pitching off a Tommy John repaired arm.

So it's not going to be worth it in the straight sense, but who cares!  Really baseball contracts are being worth it in a different way.  Stras needs to give the Nats ace level pitching for 3-4 years and then can fade away slowly.  Can he do that? It's not impossible. Max just did it for those ages. It IS unlikely but the only other option for the Nats was going after Cole and hoping to win a bidding war.

This deal keeps Stras on the team for his career. It keeps the Nats full of aces in 2020 to defend their title. It also puts a big ol $35 million toward the cap.  If you are a "Nats are going to try to stay under the cap" type - this makes signing Rendon VERY unlikley.  It would be nearly impossible to sign him and then anyone else good and fill out this roster. I suppose they could fill it with garbage back-ups and relievers and skip out on the 5th starter and hope Ross finally has gotten it. But more likely they let Rendon go and smartly fill out all those other spots.

Is there anything in the fancy stats to suggest Stras isn't going to be able to help next year, if healthy? Nope. In fact Stras has been remarkably consistent over the years.  Maybe a little more homer prone while getting a few more ground balls, as contradictory as that may sound. But the trends are not huge. Strasburg started out as a K machine and then the Nats had an ill-fated attempt to make him an ultimate control pitcher (remember the "strikeouts are too many pitches" era?") but since then has been the same pitcher for years, which has produced consistent 2nd tier Cy Young performance, if not results. Last year kind of broke in a way to highlight that but it only got him the results he deserved not some fluke measure.

The worst thing that can happen to the Nats is an end to the starting pitching injury luck.  It's now 2 TJ guys, one well into that second elbow and Max going on 36.  But they need them all for pretty much 75-80 starts. There's not much you can do though. The Nats days of relying on young arms are over and relying on older ones is risky, but in this case necessary.

My take is this - if you were going to let Rendon walk or were afraid he was going, you had to bring back Strasburg (or sign a Cole).  It wasn't going to get you a team friendly deal but this is about staying where the Nats are at his moment, with Max still presumably Max and Soto a burgeoning superstar.  Ideally something else will work out - it has in the past. A pitcher will develop (like.... uhhhh) or a hitter ( Kieboom or Garcia seem like the most likely ones) to give the Nats another cheap option to keep costs down when they do go out and sign what they need.  If that doesn't happen in 2020 or 2021... well then we start looking at the Nats likely rebuilding post-under control Soto (maybe with him, don't worry) but for the next couple of years they should remain in the mix and could be favorites depending on how they spend.

*Behind Randy Johnson's 4yr, 4 Cy Young, WS contract

Friday, December 06, 2019

Fast (Strasburg), Easy (Rendon) or Cheap (Neither) I can get you any two... but not Fast and Easy

Hey, Howie's probably back. That's good! 

Lerner opened his big trap yesterday and said things.

He's almost certainly spinning this. They almost certainly can afford this. They have billions, just made a ton more money with the deep playoff run and championship (which will continue to pay off in merchandise and ticket sales in 2020), and stand to have another windfall from the MASN deal at some point now sooner than later.

But let's be honest, this is just how owners talk.  It's like telling your kids in the store you can't afford to buy each their own ice cream. You totally can - but you have a budget in your mind for desserts and that doesn't include a tub of Haagen-Dazs for Tommy, a box of Magnum ice cream bars for sister Sue, and few artisan pastries for your Mommy.  They have a budget in mind for the team and that doesn't include spending a ton on both Rendon and Strasburg. That's what he's really saying.

How is that possible you might ask? We do (supposedly) know that the Nats put a 7/210 offer on the table for Rendon when Strasburg still hadn't agreed to an opt out. If they could have afforded it then, why not now? Well I have three theories which I'll give you from least likely to most.

Theory 1 : The long term plan.

In this theory the Nats had a plan on what they wanted to do 5 years down the road. Maybe it was a plan where they built another Top 5-10 payroll team around a ridiculous Juan Soto contract. Maybe it was an eventual slow tear down to rebuild.  We don't know but we can assume whatever they offered Rendon, they saw how this fit into that plan and five years would be post Strasburg's initial contract so that wasn't factored in. But now they are looking to re-up Strasburg for a bunch of years AND Rendon for a bunch of years, and doing both  would disrupt whatever that fiscal plan was.

Why do I consider this least likely? Well it's pretty dumb in baseball to count on anything five years down the road. Too much variability. You can certainly tear down and say "we hope to be better by then" but neither of these plans were than. A slow teardown also doesn't really fit with re-signing Rendon.

Theory 2 : Got the title, now let's tighten ranks

The Lerners are by nature not big spenders. You can read any article about the organization, including some early Nats ones, and see that. However they maintained, once the Nats became competitive, a healthy payroll.  Sure they could have splurged a little more, but they have been Top 5ish and the yells from the cheap seats (which I was sitting in) of "CHEEEEEEEEEEEP" have gone by the wayside.  However, what if those payrolls were driven by one single desire? What if ultimately money kept flowing out because Uncle Ted desperately wanted to have a winner before he passed?  If that's the case than when the Nats got that final out of the series that also marked the final out of top tier payrolls. The Nats could now pare down to a number they were more comfortable with which is... well we don't know really? We know what it is when they are bad (pay nothing), but not when they are still able to compete

I consider this possible, but I like my other theory better

Theory 1 : The contract puzzle pieces fit

We know that contract was 7/210. What we don't know is how it was structured.  We have seen in the past the Nats do funny things with contract to make the money flow be how they want it to be.  So it's easy to imagine that the Nats planned for a 2020 where they had planned to pay out Strasburg 25 million a 2021 where he would make 15 and a 2022 where he would make 15 and worked Rendon's contract around that. Maybe it started with 20 million, then 35 million a piece in the next two years.  Whatever it was, it worked for the Nats. But Rendon rejected that, preferring the more lucrative money in hand. And Strasburg opting out might mean the same payroll numbers won't be seen in those year. It certainly means the luxury tax number will go up as his average AAV jumps.

So for the Nats they are faced with a very real possibility of 60+ million to the luxury tax with only about 70 million currently free and several rosters spots after that to fill. Signing both would mean pushing the deferred money on smaller deals, which is harder to do, or accepting going over the tax.  Also hitting some number in payroll likely higher than the pictured.

It matters which theory because that will effect how the Nats move in the next couple of years.  If it's #2 we should see a sharp reduction in salary. If it's #1 we should see maintenance but that has been done through some financial movement they may not be able to do with every free agent. If it's #1 who knows?  Regardless the point is something fans pretty much understood would be true - the Nats weren't bringing back both stars - is now closer to reality and for a reason Nats fans didn't want to hear.  It's not because of crazy outbidding by more desperate teams, but at least in part because the team itself reached whatever self-imposed limit it set.  The contracts they end up with may be perfectly reasonable high-end market deals, maybe not even high-end, but the Nats would still be out because they set their overall number.  A few weeks after the incredible high of winning it all, this marks a bad start to the post-Championship era.

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Offseason Position Discussion : Catcher

Last year discussion revisited

I assumed last year that the Nats would bring in someone to start (via trade or FA) and the rest of the schlubs would fight for a back-up role.  Ideally that meant Grandal or Realmuto but there were a couple riskier options for a full-time role (like Ramos) out there as well. Given that I thought they'd punt on catcher until late, I suggested getting two vets to man the position and platoon. Which is what the Nats did! Not the two I suggested (McCann and Lucroy) but instead Suzuki and Gomes came in.

How'd they do? ehhh. Suzuki was supposed to be the hit no-field guy and while he didn't field (don't ask him to throw anyone out) as "planned" he didn't hit as well as they hoped.  It was still good enough given the low bar catcher is set at but they were certainly hoping for more. Gomes was worse. Brought in with an eye toward being a long-term solution, Gomes reverted from a maybe average bat (for a catcher) to a terrible one. As the field first guy he didn't come through there - at least not as the Nats would have liked. He didn't frame as well and had a career high in passed balls (but objectively was still pretty good).

All in all catching was a small problem for the Nats but in the scheme of things it's a problem for most teams right now and with no cheap and easy solutions mid-season the Nats just let things go and hoped it wouldn't end up mattering.  And it didn't!

Presumed Plan : Suzuki and Gomes redux

Reasoning on Presumed Plan : Suzuki is signed, is well liked in the clubhouse and for a catcher still hits well. There could be a wall coming he's going to hit but there's no reason not to try it again.  Gomes was released and then resigned for slightly less money.  The pieces are there. They are going to use them.

Problems with Presumed Plan : This plan is nothing but problems. Suzuki hits well for a catcher but is almost to the point he shouldn't be playing catcher anymore. They can probably fudge it for another year but any further drop in hitting and it gets real questionable what you are even doing with Kurt.  Gomes was nearly unplayably bad at the plate last year and showed some drop behind the plate. If that drop continues it gets even more questionable what... well you get the point.

My take : Oooh I don't like this. Gomes has pretty much solidified himself as a terrible hitter, though some may cling to one hot month to finish the year. I go with the deep history of not hitting and think it'll happen again. I think he'll field well again (I think the PB high was in part dealing with a whole new set of pitchers, and mainly one in Corbin, who depends on throwing sweeping sliders) so I can see bringing him back but 5 million is too rich for my blood, 2 years is a year too long, and as a quasi-platoon instead of a back-up I'm not thrilled with.

I'm low on Suzuki for next year mainly because of his age and the lack of improvements seen the last few year despite the fairly light workload.  This is a guy aging into a back-up role and will probably suffer next year even in a platoon. The question is whether it's mild - in which he'll still be better than the average catcher and the Nats will luck out with one more useful year in that role, or if it's major and the Nats have a huge problem.

But the Nats have done what they have done. This is settled and there isn't any reason to discuss alternatives.

Out of the box suggestion :

There isn't a good one right now given the Nats situation. They'd have to package one of these guys out the door and they aren't going to get back much if anything. But if I gotta come up with something.

You trade Suzuki and Gomes out to whoever wants them for catching prospects. The key here is you aren't looking for good ones necessarily.  Trade Suzuki to the Rangers for Randy Florentino (their #25 guy). Gomes to the Angels for whoever qualifies as their best (not even in Top 30). The goal is to get quantity here and try to strike gold.  Catching is a spot where bad play is accepted. Grab a Josh Phlegly for a million and Kevin Plawecki for a million and hope you get lucky at the majors while you hope your "flood the minors with crap" plan reveals a gem accidentally flushed down the toilet. You won a series with bad catching. You aren't going to get good catching. Why not try to maybe get lucky for the future. 

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Offseason Position Discussion : Third Base

Last year's discussion revisited. 

We assumed Rendon would start and play again. I didn't even really consider injuries a concern - pegging Rendon at 130-140 games played at least, making his back-up only matter if the Nats didn't fix other issues. They did so it didn't matter that they just had a piecemeal plan for him.  More importantly he missed less time than expected and played 146 games.  When Rendon is healthy he is an MVP candidate and he put up a .319 / .412 / .598 line with excellent defense that got him 3rd in the voting.

The big issue of the season at third was the lack of extension / new contract for Rendon. Last year at this time we made the assumption that while the Nats could bring back Rendon AND Bryce it was more likely they would sign a pitcher and bring back one of the two. They signed that pitcher (Corbin) and let Bryce walk, which should have made Rendon re-signing a formality. But instead here we are, heading into the Winter Meetings with stories like this hanging over the team.  Adding to the troubles is Strasburg opting out after an excellent year, meaning the Nats have to work two big contracts in the same off-season. Affording it shouldn't be an issue but signing both to big time deals would likely hamstring all other improvements (assuming you buy into the budget constraints of teams)  

Presumed Plan :You are making me guess here so I'd say - Rendon walks. Asdrubal Cabrera is brought back as 2B/3B coverage and him and Kieboom spend at least the first few months splitting time and positions.

Reasoning on Presumed Plan : If the Nats wanted Rendon to come back he'd be back. The numbers are pretty clear on what he wants which is "at least Arenado money" which is 8/260 or 32.5 per.  The Nats seemingly offered him 7/210 or 30 per with some heavy deferments, which Rendon also seems uninterested in. There seems to be some thought he would accept a shorter deal for more money (say 5/200) but I don't know how much of that is speculation. 

Anyway the way I see it is that the Nats offer wouldn't be out there unless it was basically their best and final, much like the Bryce deal was last year.  Here's a public accounting of what we offered (without too many specifics that may make it look worse) - if he doesn't want it, we tried.  He doesn't want it, so he's gone.

So why AsCab instead of a real FA like Donaldson? I think the Nats would like to see if Kieboom has flexibility to take 3B so if Garcia develops he can take 2B.  I also think the Nats would be more likely to spend money elsewhere (hey Cole!) or not at all (maybe wrap up Soto for a few more years?) then to put a ton of money into a one year guy. They haven't really done that.

Problems with Presumed Plan :  I mean if you want to win, this makes winning a lot harder. Rendon was one of the best players in baseball last year and you don't just replace him.  And if you don't even try to replace him - well the drop off will be harsh.  The Nats line-up isn't particularly deep and instead relied on a couple of table setters, two stars, and Howie backing them up to work. It currently sits without Howie and a star meaning real trouble on the horizon.  Also let's not dismiss the loss of Rendon's D.  He's been a great 3B and none of the guys I've mentioned as replacements would replace that either.

If the Nats go full pitching as I've suggested here that they might for a while now. That might be enough to get them back to the playoffs like a Giants team in the early 2010s, but it won't win the division, and given the Nats don't seem likely to fix the pen that plan has even more risk. One injury from one of these pitchers - and we're assuming Max, Stras, Corbin, Cole here  all worked VERY hard over the past year - and it falls apart.

My take : RE-SIGN RENDON YOU FOOLS!  The Nats have drafted 3 HoF level talents in Stras, Bryce, and Rendon. They are in danger of losing all three in the matter of 2 off-seasons.  That's crazy.

Bryce is gone so there's no fixing that, but there's still time to bring back the other two.  Hitting seems more reliable that pitching. Rendon is a full 2 years younger than Strasburg. Rendon has produced more for the Nationals. These facts would making Rendon the option if you had to choose one (but you don't). What's working in Stras' favor is the complete lack of development of new starting pitching prospects. But still I give the edge to signing Rendon. But really sign both.

It's not difficult. You have an MVP-type who you know, who you trust, who the fans love, who is here now. Sign him.

Out of the box suggestion :

The Nats are out of boxing this themselves aren't they? Can Lindor play 3B? 

Kyle Seager is a great defensive third baseman who the ever rebuilding Mariners don't need. They probably want more than the Nats can offer, but what you want and what you can get are two different things. The ownership wants to be cheap if they aren't being good. Seager is 32 and coming off a major injury that makes him a risk even with 2/3rds a season behind him. The return is probably going to be lower now than it will be if he starts the season well. So strike now and start playing the "how long can we keep this going game" that's predicated on Max's age and the older pitching staff's health. Plan in two year bursts. Seager would fit those plans and might not cost you all that much.

Monday, December 02, 2019

Monday Quickie - nothing happened

I guess Difo signed but if you can't read between the lines it's not an assurance he's coming back.  It's an assurance IF he comes back he will get paid a million (and if he doesn't he'll get a nice couple hundred grand as a going away present).  Why keep him around? He fits a spot - which is closest in the system to major leagues without being an actual prospect who's playing time you are concerned about that you can slot somewhere then jettison if necessary with little thought. If he's the main middle infield back-up that's an issue but if he's man 26 so be it.

Drew Pomeranz went off to San Diego to pitch crossing another reliever off the Nats' fans wish list.  It looks very much like the Nats are fine passing relievers again, despite the spotty history with that working out. 

What's going on in the waiting game?  Rosenthal hinted that Rendon's offer had some heavy deferments and that Rendon wasn't interested.  As for Strrasburg its been quiet but the Winter Meetings are in his back yard of San Diego this year so expect him to meet with teams if a contract isn't signed by then. And if a contract isn't signed by then, I'd be a bit worried.

It's a quickie! For reals this time