Nationals Baseball: Offseason Position Discussion : Third Base

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.


G Cracka X said...

If the Nats don't sign Rendon, why don't they just sign Donaldson or Moose? Neither is as good as Rendon, but would both be cheaper and allow them to allocate money elsewhere.

coolsny said...

Moustakas is already off the board, brosef, probably raising Donaldson's price. If they let Rendon walk would rather sign Cole and put a strangehold on pitching

mike k said...

I don't get the Lerners. I assumed the deferments were based on MASN and not Ted Lerner's age or some other factor, such as the Lerners thinking they can grow the money better than the player can (which I'm sure they can). Well, they just got $100M cash from MASN, and still they go with deferments.

If Werth was willing to take deferments, as was Strasburg (for a time), as was Scherzer, but Rendon isn't....just don't give them to him. Right? Are the Lerners afraid that if Rendon doesn't take deferments then no one will? Other teams already don't do this (at least not to the same extent), so it shouldn't be a precedent thing.

My guess is the Nats aren't willing to give him 7/210 straight, and value him something more like 7/190. So 7/190 is on the table and 7/210 with deferments is on the table, and when he says no you leak the bigger of the two numbers without the breakdown. To me this makes more sense than the Nats only offering what they see as fair value, with deferments. It's also consistent with the Nats "overpaying" in AAV to get free agents to sign with deferments (see: Werth, Scherzer).

The problem with this strategy, as I've said before, is if you want to stay under the soft cap and these deferment-heavy deals have higher AAV than their non-deferment counterparts, then your "cap hit" is higher and you have less flexibility if you care about avoiding cap penalties.

Anyway, back to 3B.....relying on both Kieboom and Garcia is crazy, *AND* you're taking a big hit to the offense for the two years it takes Garcia to make the majors, which is your window with Scherzer and Turner, not to mention many other positions that will decline due to age. Waiting two years for a plan to come to fruition is crazy the way the Nats are constructed right now. Resign Rendon, or sign a big bat to replace him, and then in two years you re-evaluate what you have.

Cautiously Pessimistic said...

If Rendon walks, we can all but guarantee that Stras walks. I think the Lerners have soured their relationship with Boras after the Bryce fiasco, and I don't see any other Boras clients coming our way anytime soon. Get rid of the f*cking deferred payments BS and offer a real contract like every other team in the league. If Rendon balks at that, then so be it. But if you're going to play games, that's on you, not Boras and Co.

JE34 said...

I hope the Lerners have a meaningful interest in long term success.

BTW Harper... isn't it about time for your annual Christmas Movie posting?

Sammy Kent said...

The silver lining behind Bryce's exit was that it freed up money to sign Rendon and Stras. Now we're going to be told that letting those guys walk will free up money to sign Turner and Soto. How many times do we have to watch this movie to figure out the ending?

coolsny said...

I think we are going to re-sign both Stras and Rendon, who will both regress next year (Rendon in form of defense and Stras in form of missing a quarter of the year or more with injury + fatigue from postseason run).

These re-signings will be heralded by the team and many fans as "See? We're getting the band back together! Time for another run!"

The momentary high from this will quickly fade away and we will be left with "Oh shit. We have the same team as last year, but a year older, and we didn't even come close to winning the division with this group last go-round."

The year older part benefits Soto and Robles, but detracts from anyone not named Soto and Robles.

Nats are probably screwed. Don't even play the 2020 season!

G Cracka X said...

Interestingly, Steamer and DP have Robles regressing slightly next year, and Steamer thinks Soto will only maintain his 2019 overall production, while DP predicts a slight boost. Both prediction systems do think Turner will be about a .5 WAR better next year, mainly due to a positive regression (progression?) to the mean on D.

Mike Condray said...

I'm always a bit annoyed at statements like "RE-SIGN RENDON YOU FOOLS!"--on multiple levels, it shows an intellectual arrogance on the part of the blog writer. I get it, part of Harper's fun is assuming the "unemotional truth teller" schtick. But OY.

- What, you think it's just occurred to the Nationals that re-signing Rendon is a primary goal? Or that they have not been trying to extend Rendon during the past year?

- Do you think the Nationals are the only factor in this? Simply put, the Nationals do not control Rendon. he can direct Boras to sign with whomever he chooses (or just let Boras do the highest bidder gig, though from some reports Rendon has been directing a "less years, more AAV" approach rather than "maximum years/dollars" approach--which at least seems consistent with Rendon's baseball-is-a-j0b-not-a-passion attitude.

- Rendon could even be prioritizing being with a team from Texas. If that's the case, other than move the team to San Antonio (note: I do not recommend this) the Lerners and Rizzo really can't solve that problem.

So stop assuming the Nationals are idiots who haven't figured out the obvious. Especially right after the team, you know, *won a World Series title.* One might think that having done that would at least deflect the "You Guys are FOOLS" sort of blog post. But apparently not.

The ideas Harper presents are of interest. Just quit with the "I'm superior, the guys running the Nats are idiots" attitude.

Cautiously Pessimistic said...


I don't fully agree with your argument. It's not "RE-SIGN RENDON YOU FOOLS" that people on this blog are discussing, it's "STOP GIVING CRAPPY DEFERRED CONTRACT OFFERS". If Rendon chooses to go elsewhere for an above market value contract or because he wants to be in Texas, so be it. But the issue at hand is that the Lerners have a tendency to lowball, and masking that lowball with deferred payments that make the AAV look higher so as to save face

blovy8 said...

We also could take Rendon at his word that he doesn't want to be playing baseball when he's 36, so this seven-year offer makes no sense to me. Give him 5/170. That's something the Dodgers might offer.

Kubla said...


The plan worked out in the end, but that doesn't mean it was necessarily a good plan. They could have just as easily missed the playoffs as won the WS. It definitely doesn't mean a worse version of the same plan is going to work. Subtract Rendon's WAR from this season and they are in a tie with the Mets for the second wildcard. Subtract Strasburg's and their 7-win lead over the Mets becomes a 1.3-win lead (round it up or down depending on how generous you feel about mojo). Subtract half of each guy's WAR to model a 50-50 shot of getting either, and you're looking at 6.4 fewer wins (6 or 7 wins fewer depending on good/bad shark vibes in the 7th game, and with Parra gone we know the good shark vibes are gone).

The Braves are improving their roster. That doesn't just mean the overall wins needed to take the division increased in expectation; some of those extra wins ATL gets are likely to come at the expense of the Nats unless they make similar improvements. If the Mets or Phillies get either Strasburg or Rendon, that problem is compounded. Even the Marlins are picking up some useful pieces and may be less of a punching bag next season.

Readers here have given me the impression that they are generally pretty favorable towards Rizzo, who does a good job of optimizing under the constraints imposed on him. I sense more frustration with those constraints the Lerners impose. These constraints are irritating because the Lerners

1) are rich even by major US sports league ownership standards yet are averse to paying to win, while fans should want owners to pay to win
2) overpaid for players almost anyone could have guessed were rapidly declining and not worth the price to send some sort of message about being willing to contend or something
3) lowballing players that were certainly worth the price
3.5) pretending they don't lowball those players instead of just admitting they don't want to pay them

I would rather see a full tear-down where everyone except Soto and the minor leaguers get moved (maybe keep Robles and Turner) than either a half-assed attempt to stay competitive or a half-assed rebuild. Really, I want the next few years to be marked by at least a couple sincere attempts to repeat followed by Max, Stras, and Rendon all going into Cooperstown with curly W hats. If that's not going to happen, then it's SOTO plus some new guys (and maybe Robles and Turner) to win it all again in 2025.

billyhacker said...

Facts: 1)Rendon is both sentimentally and performance wise a potential franchise asset. 2) The arenado deal is garbage. 3) deferrals matter if you can't do math. 4) boras can do math, and likes a big top line number which is easier with deferals (see Harper 13 year deal). 5) Nats just won world series; flags fly forever, Nats not stupid. 6) other than Werth, Nats don't pay market. 7) market is often wrong (see Corbin). Market for Rendon is 7/210 without deferrals. 8) eight ball says Texas wins tie.

billyhacker said...

Who are the new guys?

BxJaycobb said...

This projection systems have become less and less effective due to the way players can now change their swings or make adjustments due to analytical info and totally change their hitting profile. I don’t think we have any idea what somebody like Robles will do next year.

BxJaycobb said...

Okay so how about this “Out-bid everybody on Rendon, fools!” If he leaves he leaves. But if Rendon doesn’t come back to the Nats it will be because the Nats didn’t offer him as high AAV like dodgers in shorter term deal etc. (dodgers are my pick BTW.)

BxJaycobb said...

5/170 isn’t gonna go it. It will need to be something closer to 5/200 or 4/160.

BxJaycobb said...

Turner, Robles, Denaburg (prospect pitcher), and some prospects they would presumably get by trading their older stars. But yeah, unlikely in my book. Which is why it seems incredibly obvious to me to just freakin pay the money to keep strasburg and Rendon.

blovy8 said...

5/170 is fair, if he walks away from that, you sign Donaldson or trade for someone.

G Cracka X said...

Good FG article on the current state of team payrolls:

Nats have the most room! (Based on 2019 Payroll and 2020 Estimates). Look for them to spend.

Jay said...

I don't understand why the Nats will spend big money on Scherzer and Corbin but not on Rendon and Strasburg. I'm still holding out hope they bring both back.

Anonymous said...

I just don't understand why fans (and some athletes) have a problem with deferrals. As billyhacker eloquently put it, they matter only if you can't do math. Not to mention that, EVERY LONG-TERM CONTRACT HAS DEFERRALS. Bryce's 13-year contract has deferrals: he gets a portion of his $330 million in 12 years, 11 years, etc. To compare apples to apples, everything needs to be put into net present value terms. Sure, $15 million paid in 2023 is worth more than $15 million paid in 2033, but we can *use math* to figure out *how much more,* which is what we need to know if we're going to compare offers.

And there's a pretty strong economic argument for deferring salary payments: the Lerners are, on average, likely to grow the deferred money by more than the player would during the time when the payment is deferred. This means there are "gains from trade," which means that owners and players can *both* be better off by deferring salary. I suspect a lot of athletes featured in this doc which they had some deferred salary payments in their contracts:

To be clear, this does not mean that a contract with deferred money is always better than one without. And an individual athlete could reasonably prefer no deferred money for various reasons. But, frankly, it's a puzzle why we don't see *more* contracts with deferred money. For me, if deferring money resulted in even a small increase in the net present value of my deal, I'd be happy to do it. (I recognize that the NPV of some of the Nats' offers with deferrals might be lower than the offers that don't include deferrals. That means that the Nats didn't make the highest bid, not that deferrals are bad; the only machine I am raging against is the idea that there's something inherently wrong about deferred payments, when there absolutely is not, and there's good reason to think they make both sides - owners and players - better off).

Mr. T said...

@Anon, athletes don't like deferrals because they want the money now. And they don't want to play the guessing game of wondering whether they themselves, or the Lerners, or the planet, will still be here however many years down the road. They're doing the work now; they want to get paid now. That's a pretty strong argument too: pay me what you owe me. Not tomorrow, today.

"The Lerners are, on average, likely to grow the deferred money by more than the player would during the time when the payment is deferred."

Maybe I'm missing something, but when the Lerners defer money, they're not saying, "we'll give you thirty million now, OR we'll give you whatever that account accrues over the next x years"--it just means they're gonna pay the thirty million in x years. Right? That's the whole point of the deferral, from the owner's perspective: 30 million today is worth more than 30 million in 10 years.

If deferrals were somehow a net benefit for the players, then why would the players be against them, and why would (at least some) owners want them? Surely there's somebody nearby (their agent, their union rep) who could explain to the players the supposed economic advantage from the player's POV?

Anonymous said...

Mr T., I just don't get why this is so hard. Everybody wants the money now. But no long-term contract between a baseball player and a MLB franchise involves getting all the money now. Every single contract involves getting some money many years in the future. The Lerners are different in that their proposals involve creative ways to pay more of the money more years into the future. The only way to figure out whether one deal is more lucrative (from purely a monetary perspective) is to use some sort of net present value calculation. The fact that the Nats are more extreme in their use of deferrals doesn't fundamentally alter how to compare offers.

It is possible for a contract with extreme deferred money to be better OR worse than a contract without it. We need to do math to figure it out. The "deferrals are bad" argument is nonsense as a general matter - the details matter enormously. And yes, if the Lerners aren't willing to share *any* of the marginal gains (the difference between what the Lerners can earn on the deferred money during the deferral time), then the deferrals probably don't make sense from the athlete's perspective. A similar "deferrals are good" argument is equally nonsensical. But, the fact that the average owner is better at earning a higher rate of return on capital than the average player suggests that there are gains that can be split between owners and players.

Different anon said...

Mr. T -

Deferrals make sense when the math makes sense. No one would argue that $210M without deferrals is somehow worse than $210M with deferrals. When it's the same number, get it sooner rather than later. But when the numbers vary, that's where you do math. Perhaps a simple example could be used.

Would you rather be paid $1M this year for 1 year of work or $1.1M for 1 year of work, but paid out evenly over 2 years?

If you believe that you can take that $1M and turn it into $1.1M or more before the end of year 2, you take the first deal. But know that you have to do the work to make it grow by 10% over 2 years or pay someone to do that work for you. Too, you have to account for the fact that your principal won't be that full $1M because as Bryce once pointed have a family to take care of (even if it is just yourself). Oh...and taxes play a role too.

If you take the second deal, you don't have to do any additional work or pay someone to do it. You simply get more money over more time. If that delta is higher than the discount due to inflation, you should take this deal.

Are the offers of deferrals this simple? Of course not. But I think here is a simple example of where a deferral could be a good idea. You just need math to figure it out.

To me, the people that hate deferrals are agents. They want to be paid now.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 8:49 - I don't think anyone's making the blanket argument "deferrals are bad."

Closer to the true argument is "deferrals were placed in Rendon's and Harper's offers to inflate the total value of the contract (in the minds of the fans) and project the air of the team having tried everything they could."

Also, is dividend sharing ever a part of contract deferrals? Like "we'll invest this 30M for you and you can have whatever it generates after X years." AFAIK it's always just "you can have this 30M parsed out over the next 40 years." The players themselves can invest money and see a return on it if they want, the owner is an unnecessary middleman in that scenario.

Nattydread said...

Its hard to fault either side here.

On the one hand, you have Boras helping his clients get the best deal that they can. Sure, Stras and Rendon both like DC, got to play on a World Series team and would like to come back. But they've also demonstrated that they have roots elsewhere and might want to play closer to home. Boras works for them, he's gonna evaluate, string this out and help them get what they want.

On the other hand, you have a master dealer in Rizzo. He did not panic about losing Harper, waited out Boras. He got ace pitching, a pair of catchers and the position players he needed. The team he put together won it all.

Big difference compared to the Harper situation. Bryce wanted a record deal and there weren't a lot of teams ready to pony up. He had to go to Philly, no choice, because they were the only ones offering what he wanted. The Nats had replacements in hand and Rizzo wasn't looking back.

Until the last moment, Rendon and Strasberg can wait on offers from their preferred destinations. And if they don't get the offers, they can revert to the Nats who can't replace them. Or the Nats can put up the big $$$ now. Neither of them will go to Philly, that's for sure.

I give Rizzo the benefit of the doubt. It would have been great to sign the guys quickly with a truckload of money, announce it during the parade. Not how Boras works, not how Rizzo works.

Anonymous said...

Wheeler deal is interesting. Not a fan of the headline saying we're chasing Donaldson hard, but it is what it is with this team.

Truthfully, I expected now that the cap had reset and we had a huge payout (WS + MASN), that the Nats would simply frontload for the first time to avoid long term dead-money hits growing exponentially. Seems like as good of time as any to have a one time major payout in 2020 to then be well in control for 2021+. Maybe I'm missing something in the full discounted value modeling here, or the CBA negotiations assuming a strike with contracts caps forcing restructuring down the road?

BxJaycobb said...

There’s no problem with deferrals themselves. It’s just that u need to increase the amount of the contract if you’re going to use deferrals. And the Nats often don’t. Which makes them offers that aren’t as good.

BxJaycobb said...

Hamels 1 year, 18m to Braves.
Wheeler 118m 5 yrs to Phils.
Good for Braves. Too much IMO to Wheeler for Phillies.

I don’t think the stuff with deferrals is complex at all. There are two problems with deferrals.
(1) the more money that is deferred, obviously the present value is lesser. Some people want money frontloaded so they can invest it in property or etc. Rendon for example supposedly wants a high AAV not long term deal bc he doesn’t want to play in late 30s. So deferrals is the opposite of what Rendon wants.
(2) the second problem is simply that the Nats don’t off set their deferrals by raising the top line number when competing for players. So if the dodgers offer 150m and the Nats offer 155m but the Nats are deferring half of that, that’s not actually a competitive offer. IOW the Nats don’t often defer money AND raise the offer a ton to the equivalent of say 200m compared to market level of 150.

Anonymous said...

BxJ, re (1): Rendon's desire to play for a short (or long) period of time is independent of whether a contract with deferrals is better or worse for him. We can easily construct a short-term deal that defers a lot of money that's better from a NPV perspective than another short-term deal that doesn't defer any money. So a contract with deferrals is not remotely "the opposite of what Rendon wants" (even if you believe we have accurate information about what Rendon wants). Note: deferrals don't help with the luxury tax, though, so the desire for a shorter deal at a higher AAV is going to be a problem for teams close to the tax line apart from whether the deal has deferrals.

Re (2): your point makes some sense, but it assumes a lot of things to be true that we don't know are in fact true. First of all, the only numbers related to contracts for baseball players that I believe are the ones in the deals that actually get made. I don't fault journalists for reporting about offers that were not accepted, but we have to take those details with a grain of salt. And the details matter enormously in NPV calculations. A small error (or miscommunication between source and reporter) can make all the difference. We can't really know whether Heyward or Cespedes rejected the Nats' offers because the deferrals that were included made the NPV of the Nats' offer worse than the offers that were accepted (thank god those offers were rejected though). It's possible that they rejected better NPV offers from the Nats because they just don't like deferrals. Similarly, the Nats have signed many free agents to contracts that include deferrals. Do we assume that the Nats' offer had the highest NPV just because the offer was accepted? I don't think that's right. But if we do assume that, then your statement "the Nats don’t often defer money AND raise the offer a ton" is just incorrect.

PotomacFan said...

The Lerners earned $10s of millions of dollars (ticket sales, concessions, merchandise) by winning the World Series. Rendon and Strasburg, both in their prime, were INDISPENSABLE in winning the World Series. PAY THEM! Pay the luxury tax, if you must. Use the World Series earnings (and the MASN payout) to do so. Look, Rendon and Strasburg are "our guys." We want to see them come back, and we need them to come back. The Capitals have had huge success by signing and re-signing their top players to long term contracts (Ovechkin, Backstrom, Holtby, Carlson). Sure, in 4 or 5 years it might not look so great. But it will look damn good until then.

Anonymous said...

Quick question about how AAV work under the salary cap - if you frontload contracts rather than backload, what's the net effect on salary cap? E.g., if you gave Rendon a $195M contract but made $55M of it due next season, would that all accrue to next season's cap hit?

I assume a one year spike and pay in luxury tax would be palatable after last season plus MASN, but imagine a consistent hamstringing of the roster going forward is problematic.

Harper said...

Luxury tax takes AAV into account - distribution doesn’t matter. Where 55M would matter is how much Lerners want to actually spend in 2020

SuburbanSteve said...

Let's not forget the Lerner's also own parking garages, restaurants and real estate around Nats park....they make a ton of $$$ that isn't 'baseball operations/ticket sales/Nats Park Concession" related. Give up some money ka-billionaires

Anonymous said...

Got it, so $195 with $55M today over 6 vs something like $215 over 6 would only carry something like a $4M annual benefit. Still not nothing down the road if you bank the two marque guys this year from our roster, but I get that cash being put to work elsewhere might have more value then.

Anonymous said...

This Lerner hate I do not understand. All of a sudden everybody is an expert about financial decisions running a multi-billion dollar enterprise. PAY THEM WHATEVER THEY WANT? Really. I'm sure most of the fans realize most big money contracts don't pay back their value. Just in Nats recent history the big contracts not signed turned out to be the right move. Zimmermann, Desmond, Soriano never achieved the same levels after the big contracts came rolling in. The Lerner's bought this town a World Series with their approach, something I never thought possible and I've been here 3 score and ten plus. I think they know what they are doing. Remember the howling about Bryce Harper.

Anonymous said...

@7:57 Anon,

I don't think anyone specifically hates the Lerners any more than past offseason complaints. To be fair, the big money contracts are about 50/50. Max, Stras, Corbin, Werth, etc. I also still think both Rendon and Stras are coming back more likely than not, but negotiations take time (unless you're desperate or can pull off the 1 year deals like ATL).

It does suck getting the reputation of being the deferred money team. If I was a player I'd be immediately skeptical now of any offer the Nationals make. but they're professionals setting up their family for generations, I think they'll get over it.