Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Just a random Ian Desmond thought

Rany J of Rany on the Royals is breaking down the Greinke trade and he wrote this about recently traded Alcidbes Escobar:

"I think he’ll hit around .270 or so. If he hits .270/.320/.360, with good speed and above-average defense, he has a chance to be the best shortstop the Royals have had in a generation. That’s not damning with faint praise – that’s damning with no praise, given what a scar that position has been for pretty much the history of the franchise. But I think he can be the starting shortstop for a playoff-caliber team."

That description looked familiar . . . and lo and behold Ian Desmond's Age 24 season in 2010: 269/308/392 17 steals. -12 OBA +32 SLG. You can argue about the defense but we know he isn't a stiff out there.

I know I suffer from the I know better what I see syndrome and just assumed Desmond as a trade chip was as a throw in variety. Not so. Not so at all. Escobar was a key component of trade and his top side is close to what Desmond IS. Escobar is entering his age 24 season in 2011 BTW so its not like he has a big age advantage.

So I guess what I'm saying is: Don't short sell Desmond.

One unrelated Nats item: Picking up Matt Stairs and Rick Ankiel is to me a step in the right direction. Not in terms of THE PLAN but in terms of roster construction. Rizzo learned from last year that it is an absolute necessity in the National League to have bench players with power. They will get at-bats and in meaningful late-inning situations. Oh how many times did we see Willie Harris or Alberto Gonzalez trudge to the plate in key situations and the best they could do was prolong the game rather than strike a knockout blow. Not going to affect the win total too much I know but still a good sign.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Two steps forward, one step back

Why I didn't cast a Hall of Fame vote for Bert Blyleven, again - Jon Heyman - SI.com

This pile of crap floated by me today the same day as an interview with Ken Tremendous late of Firejoemorga.com did.

The interview was more of a victory lap for those fans of baseball who realize there may be new and different ways of examining and understanding the game. Which was the point of FJM.

All seemed well then this.

Some of Blyleven's supporters will say that wins don't define a pitcher and aren't always a fair measure of a pitcher's worth, as they are dependent in large part on a pitcher's run support or lack thereof. I did promote Felix Hernandez for the Cy Young, but I still see winning as the ultimate goal in each game, and Blyleven didn't win all that many more games than he lost.

I was certain that Greinke's 2009 win and King Felix's this year would have finally driven a stake through this canard. He even admits wins don't tell anything too useful then goes on to say the exact opposite. Wins don't matter unless a trained eye like mine discern their importance.

He goes on to compare Blyleven with Jack Morris who in his eyes IS a Hall of Famer. Those item which separate the two: Morris was the "dominant" pitcher for several years and he pitched 10 innings in a Game 7. OK. So Blyleven's claim over Morris is just that he struck out way more, pitched way more innings, has a far lower career ERA, had more shutouts and had as good a post season record as Morris did. So Blyleven is demonstrably better at such a mundane thing as getting batters out but his grittiness and dominance just weren't there.

I'm tempted to conclude that Heyman is simply trying to stir up an internet storm. He must know his absurd arguments are laughable on their face and just wants to tweak the "basement dwellars." Kudos to you Mr. Heyman -- you've succeeded. I just wish you could be more honest about it rather than drop this nonsensical drivel onto the internet.

Hey, I'm grew up in Michigan. I loved watching Morris pitch. I'll bet I've seen more Jack Morris starts than Heyman has and Morris isn't an HoFer. At least he isn't if the benchmark is Blyleven.

What excised me about the article was the rampant use of subjective criteria to support his case. MVP voting? All-star game appearances? Cy Young votes? These are criteria? I guess they are for writers who oh I don't know VOTE for such things. So you can be really really good at baseball things like getting batters out but if you aren't adjudged well enough by writers, it really doesn't matter.

He only received MVP votes twice, finishing 26th in 1973 and 13th in 1989.

You do realize these seasons are SIXTEEN YEARS APART!!!!!!! Give me the list of players who got MVP votes in any 16 year span you care to name.

You have to go down to 18 (from Blyleven's perch at #5) to find a pitcher on the career strikeout list who isn't in or going in to the Hall. Mickey Lolich is close to 900 K's behind. (An aside, why not Lolich? His game 7 performance in '68 is just as good if not better than Morris' and he bakes a hell of a donut)

Did you forget to mention Jon that Blyleven is 9th all-time in shutouts? Ninth.

I grant there are borderline cases who are very good but not Hallworthy. Don Mattingly is one of those . . . . whoops. Heyman says he gets in. Really? You do realize you can put Donnie Baseball's entire career into that span of MVP votes for Blyleven don't you and have years left over?

I'd really like to know what the hell Bert Blyleven did to the writers during or after his career to engender such resentment? There is literally no other explanation. It was said Jim Rice had to wait till the end because he had a bad relationship with the media. But he got in eventually even though his case is far weaker. Moral of the story: don't screw with the ink stained wretches.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Joe Blanton

Another Case Where ERA Deceives | FanGraphs Baseball

I am too late. Oh well. Dave Cameron throws the numbers out there that make sense.

Call the Phillies and tell them you'll take on ALL of Blanton's salary. Do it quickly.

Even before I read this, the first thought that crossed my mind when the Lee signing was announced was: the Phillies need to move some bad contracts.

This is EXACTLY the situation the Nationals should be exploiting. They have the financial wherewithal to take on salary at the major league level. If you take on all of his salary, the prospect cost would be minimal. Maybe the Phils don't want to trade him in the division. OK. But at least ask and don't even bother asking without offering to pay all of his salary upfront. No need or sense in being stingy.

Oh and if they fail on Blanton. Rumblings yesterday about the Yanks going after Carlos Zambrano. If the Yanks are going after him, it can only mean one thing: salary dump. And the Nats should be there when it comes to a salary dump situation.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Jayson Werth Signing Reactions

Jayson Werth Signing Reactions: MLB Rumors - MLBTradeRumors.com

Well its official. We have another Snyder on our hands.

Champs of the offseason.

Your Washington Nationals: The holy grail for every slightly above average aging ballplayer for the next decade.

I just have one question: Has ANY contract ever given to any player in any sport because you HAD to overpay ever worked out? At least worked out for the team not the player.

As for the "At least everyone knows we're serious players now" argument to defend this "deal" (or more accurately this surrender): yes, they know you are serious . . . seriously dumb. If they had given this contract to Albert Pujols, OK. Joey Votto I would get it. But the 13th largest contract ever, the 3rd largest deal to an OF in history?

To me, this puts all the Plan talk exactly where the more cynical critics had already placed it: in the garbage can.

Clearly, they have no confidence in their ability to build from within, no confidence in their ability to spot undervalued assets, no confidence in their ability to make marginal players better. Instead, they are going to flash the checkbook and hope no once notices.

Its hard to feel bad for someone who just got eight figures deposited in their bank account, but there is a twinge of sadness in me for Jayson. He seems like a decent guy not a prima donna type. Now, he'll forever be judged by the fact he totally failed to live up to this massive deal. That will be his legacy. In one fell swoop, he's gone from underappreciated to overhyped.

He'll be grinding out his typical season, the kind of seasons for which he's recieved lavish praise and all of a sudden, it won't be enough. He'll wonder why he's getting all this flak, he's just doing what he's always done. Then, he'll start pressing, trying to do too much and he'll go into a slump. Pressure mounts and the slump grows worse. Soon, he becomes the symbol for all that has gone wrong with another Nats season. If he's lucky, the team will at least have his back, if not they'll throw him under the bus as the reason they stink and the reason they can't spend to fix the problem.

So I guess I'm saying, Welcome to Hell Jayson. You're down here with us now but at least you can afford a bitchin a/c unit.

Friday, December 3, 2010

I want to believe

The Inexplicable Non-Tender | FanGraphs Baseball

I really do. It seems so logical, burdened with the worst GM in baseball (Omar) and then Captain Leatherpants, the Nats finally had a GM who knew baseball and knew what he was doing.

Today, I'm shaken a little and it isn't because of:

Adam Dunn --- I can understand why they wouldn't give him the fourth year. Look at Todd Helton's 30s or the current FA and possible replacement Lance Berkman. There's a pretty good chance years three or four of that deal could look real bad.

So, you've saved the cash. Now, let me see what you are going to do with it.

A one or two year deal for Carlos Pena or Adam LaRoche would tell me they expect Marrero or Norris to be the 1B of the future. Let's hope that pans out. It's a risk but a reasonable one.

Remember folks, without SS, 2011 was going to be another lean year in Natstown anyway. So the first year of a Dunn deal would have been a waste. And years three and four wold potentially be blocking younger players from developing at the MLB level.

So i can accept this decision.

I can't accept Joel Peralta.

This is stupid on a hundred levels. Dave Cameron gives you the numbers, both saber and dollars.

Look at what the going rate for relievers is. A cost controlled Peralta would at least have been a valuable trade chip, perhaps a throw in to a bigger deal to sweeten the pot or save a prize prospect.

Stick him the closer role out of ST and if he performs, another Matt Capps deal becomes possible.

Now, not at all. You use the one commodity you have in abundance (major league appearances) and create value from nothing. Then instead of cashing in, you fold. Why?

Saw somewhere else in Natmosphere the w/l record for the team the last six years. The point was: look at how they have regressed from 81 wins the first year to back to back 59 win seasons and a mere 69 last season.

Allow me to retort: The disastrous drafts of 2000-2003 left this franchise with no cheap controllable talent. A high schooler taken in 2000 is 28 this year. IOW, in his baseball prime.

Ian Desmond was a high school pick way back in 2004 I think. And he just made an impact at the ML level last year. It takes time to grow and nurture a farm system. The farm was left unattended by MLB when they ran the franchise and we're paying the price.

Now, you could argue they could have overcome this by opening the checkbook and filling the gaps with overpaid mediocrities. I'll just say they would have had to make a lot of moves come out exactly right to build a contender here over any of the last six years. And the Nats weren't exactly being run by Branch Rickey.

Whether they have fixed the drafting problem will be told quite a few years down the road.

Second: those twin 59 win seasons? They equal Strasburg and Harper.

The baseball world is salivating over Justin Upton and rightfully so. How did the D-backs get him? A 53 win season. The Nats picked two pretty good years to suck worse than other teams in baseball and now there is the promise of cheap controllable talent way outperforming their salaries in the 2013-2015 window.

Throwing away Peralta means one less asset to use to collect talent for that window. And if this team won't spend internationally, they need all the assets they can get.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

No need to roll loaded dice

Nationals Inquisition » Nats Whiffing On FA Market Like An Adam Dunn At-Bat

You know what they call the football franchise in this area: Champs of the offseason.

And why are they called that? Because they spend every offseason blowing cash. Not spending it, but blowing it.

Can we even recall how many bad signings Dan Snyder has forced? And what has it got him? Nada.

Are we really lamenting the loss of Jorge DeLaRosa? Could 1 in 100 Nats fans pick Jorge DeLaRosa out of a police lineup? Would they know who he was if he walked into their livingroom with an "I'm Jorge DeLaRosa" t-shirt on?

No. They wouldn't. And he got three years and $33 million. For the Hispanic Jason Marquis no less.

Sorry to say this folks, but 2011 died the moment SS's elbow did. No amount of cash thrown around this winter is going to change that. So the objective for this offseason and next year is exactly the same as it was last year: develop assets for future use.

That means using playing time to either give young players a chance to establish major league value or use it to rebuild value in retreads and spin that into controllable young talent.

Overpaying mediocre at best veterans is just a stupid way to placate a fan base and a waste of the precious resources of major league playing time and a financial sinkhole in years when you are hopefully better.

Getting that #1 starter was always going to be tough. There aren't that many of them and they are constantly changing. On the open market, they command ludicrous amounts of money. On the trade market, they demand ridiculous amounts of prospect value. The farm system is better but it's not yet at the level to absorb a major three or four for one deal.

Now, I'm not totally going to let them off the hook for the lack of offseason spending. I am still wondering why I read about teams like the Minnesota Twins signing top Dominican prospects for couch change in the Lerner household.

And why could the Toronto Blue Jays buy a sandwich pick in a deep 2011 draft for $500,000 and the Nats couldn't?

I agree on Webb. It better not be money keeping him from signing here. That's all I'll say about that, unless he wants a guaranteed two or three years. Then, pound sand 9 innings in two years boy.

Aside from the big splashy moves, I would hope they are focusing on putting together a better bench for 2011 at the very least. It won't cost much and it would go a long way toward making the team more respectable. Give us at least one guy who can sit on his ass for eight innings and enjoy the game and then go up there and poke on out in the ninth.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

This is how its done

MLB: Detroit made a baffling decision in giving Joaquin Benoit a deal - ESPN Keith Law's ESPN blog --

The Blue Jays just bought a supplemental pick for $500,000 from Colorado by trading for Miguel Olivo and paying his buyout. The Rays paid $700,000 and got a draft pick plus 60 great innings of relief work. That's a relative bargain, and another pick to help them refill the pipeline of prospects they need to survive in a low-revenue market.

I just want one good reason the Nationals aren't leading the league in moves like these? $500,000 for a Top 50 draft pick? That's tip money to the Lerner's.

Credit where its due: Matt Capps was our Benoit last year. The finest example of what the organization should have been doing since 2005.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Playing around with the Nationals' payroll

The Goessling Game: Playing around with the Nationals' payroll

About the same as my own back of the envelope calculations. (No way Wil Nieves gets an arbitration offer none)

The great danger with these numbers is: spending for spending's sake. Please don't bid against yourself for Carlos Pena. Please. I beg you. He isn't going to draw much interest.

As for Cliff Lee? there is some serious albatross potential there.

I hope they don't just think free agents. There are opportunities to use this excess 2011 payroll in other ways. Taking a big contract or two for example. Maybe the Cubs just can't take Carlos Zambrano in the clubhouse anymore. Or at least they can't justify his massive salary and being a clubhouse cancer. They have a first time MLB manager, maybe they'd like to just be rid of him. I know he was awful in the first half of 2010 and he IS in fact a clubhouse cancer but in the 2nd half he was close to his old self and sort of well behaved.

And hey, there are still international guys being signed. Wouldn't mind a little scratch going in that direction.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Legendary Tigers manager Sparky Anderson dies at 76 | freep.com | Detroit Free Press

It's strange to have feelings of loss come over you when a person you don't know, never met wouldn't know you if you walked up to him with an I'm "my name here" T-shirt dies.

It was that way with Ernie and George Kell. And it's that way again today.

I do actually remember who managed the Tigers before Sparky. Ralph Houk had a run in the late 70s and Sparky replaced Les Moss halfway through a season.

For my younger years, the Tigers had been bad. I missed, in blissful toddler ignorance, the '68 WS champions and the Billy-ball early 70s teams.

The Tigers were mostly non-descript with a tinge of if you squint real hard and ignore their all too often failures, they look like actual baseball players. I'm thinking Steve Kemp and Jason Thompson as the great symbols of that era. It wasn't until the statistical revolution that I came to realize exactly how god awful Auerlio Rodriguez really was.

Sparky ended the era of non-descriptness immediately. Now, he had Trammell and Whitaker and Parrish and Morris and Petry and Gibson et al but Sparky was the brand. The FoF if you will.

He just gave you a sense that the Tigers meant something, they were no longer doormats, they would scrap and claw and be in games. Never had a sense in the decade of the 80s, that the team was ever going in the wrong direction. And our guy wasn't going to be outmanaged nor would he back down from a fight.

Maybe that was his greatest quality -- he looked and sounded like an avuncular great uncle who would tell stories and display his knowledge and love of baseball at will but you always knew under the exterior there was an iron will and a perfectly formed set of principles which were unbending.

He'd play around with you but you knew there were limits and they would not be crossed. Not that you really ever wanted to. It seemed like a world of wisdom had been won at a great price based on the lines on his face. He came upon his knowledge and principles the hard way under a thousand summer suns on dirt infields all over the country and you could say what you wanted but he knew best (and you knew it too.)

Mostly, as a fan, Sparky made baseball fun. He was having fun, he was enjoying it and wanted everyone else to share it. You can't ask much more out of a baseball manager but to say he made being a fan a much more rewarding and entertaining experience.

Godspeed #11

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Dunn With Dunn - The Countdown

NationalsFanboyLooser: Dunn With Dunn - The Countdown

Cheer up. This is the season of optimism. There will be plenty of time to be negative once July comes around again.

It's easy to be on a winner when you have teammates like Longoria and Price but Dunn has never been part of a winner so he stinks?

Bottom line on Adam Dunn -- he's been an above league average player every year he's been a regular. He'd be a difference maker as a DH.

Pena? Underrated because the two things he does well walk and play defense are hard to quantify. Net I'll bet the swap would be close to even except in the Lerner's wallet and that's what is really important.

I'll be unhappy to see Dunn leave. I understand why and if he can get what he deserves from an American League team, God Bless him. He's earned it.

The real lesson from the Giants triumph should be: all it takes to win a World Championship is two dominant starters a couple of upside guys and a strong bullpen. Period. Hell the Nats had a much better offense than the Giants. Edgar Renteria? Cody Ross? Andres Torres as key pieces? How bad was Pablo Sandoval this year and they still won the division.

Think 2012:
J Zimm=Cain
Bumgarner=??????? (Don't have an answer here)

This is of course best case scenario. But it takes a little luck to win. Where would the Giants be if that violent delivery shredded Timmy L's elbow? Nowhere.

Oh and as a note to the Lerners? The Giants won the WS even with Barry Zito cluttering up the payroll. Please don't take this as an invitation to grossly overspend on pitching but look at it as spending what you need to in order to be competitive.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Nationals Baseball: The Greinke Options

Nationals Baseball: The Greinke Options

First, you really overvalue the baseball trade market. Look at what recent pitchers better than Grienke went for:

Roy Oswalt for J.A. Happ outfielder Anthony Gose and shortstop Jonathan Villar.

Seriously, J.A. Happ and two unknown prospects. A finesse lefty and two not even close to ML ready prospects. And that was during the season when teams are supposed to be bidding wildly for starters.

Cliff Lee for Justin Smoak Blake Beavan and Josh Lueke, and second baseman/outfielder Matt Lawson. Smoak is a ML ready guy but his rookie year didn't set the world on fire now did it. And Leuke's some kind of criminal! Throw in two other unknowns and you have the modern day Sandy Koufax!

Point being, the trade market isn't what you think it is. Remember this: the team that gets Grienke also gets his financial obligation . . .two years $27m which the Royals would now not have to pay. That's an additional asset to the Royals which drives down the prospect cost.

So your Options A & B are ludicrous. Never happen. Nor should they.

Would the Royals look askance at a Norris, Espinosa, Milone package? I think not. It doesn't contain a certifiable breakout star but it does contain three pieces almost certain to help you on the major league level for the next five to six years at minimal cost too.

It would come down to what the Royals wanted. Do they want one prime near ML ready prospect and couple of lottery tickets or do they want a solid return on investment across several prospects? Might be surprised what Dayton Moore would do.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Nationals Aren't Really Going After Cliff Lee, Are They? - Half Smokes - SB Nation DC

The Nationals Aren't Really Going After Cliff Lee, Are They? - Half Smokes - SB Nation DC

Why not?

Why are the commentariat all damn sure this Cliff Lee thing is a head fake, a fraud?

Aside from the fact that it would be a insanely stupid thing to do to give a 30+ year old pitcher a long term big money contract in the first place, why couldn't the Nats sign Lee?

Do these people not know that the team is owned by a billionaire? With a B. Not an M a B.

The gap between the Nats payroll currently and the payroll the Nats can and should support is at least $20m and closer to $40m. You can fit a Cliff Lee in there.

Quite frankly, the Nats SHOULD be considered as a destination for big money FAs. They have a huge media market and a fan base with loads of disposable income.

We can argue about spots on the success curve and stuff like that. I don't really see why they'd want to sign Lee. But to say they can't is ridiculous.

Now trading for a Grienke or a Matt Garza . . .

Monday, October 4, 2010

The 2010 Season

Just saw ESPN's retrospective of the 2010 season on Baseball Tonight.

All the perfect games, retirements and big moments.

The sum total of National's appearances: I counted 4.

Strasburg of course.

And not one, not two but three separate Nyjer Morgan meltdowns! Yeah Nats fans the enduring legacy of a 69 win season: a mediocre CF with anger management issues!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Report: Nationals unlikely to re-sign Adam Dunn because of defense (and one scout is insane) | HardballTalk

Report: Nationals unlikely to re-sign Adam Dunn because of defense (and one scout is insane) | HardballTalk

Goessling quotes an opposing team's scout as saying that "the only person in the front office who wants to re-sign him is the owner."

You can make a convincing case for not resigning Dunn -- in fact with where the Nats are in terms of the success cycle (maybe on the very bottom of an upslope?) having Dunn for 4 years at first may not be an optimal use of resources.

But to say you are concerned about defense . . . so how'd that Nyjer Morgan defense thing work out? Go ask the Red Sox about their focus on defense.

Now, since you are collecting groundball pitchers, it makes sense to have a strong infield defense. Zim check Desmond check (hoping more experience lowers the error total) Espinosa check and ???????

You've already got three of four. And I might point out the fourth is the least valuable.

Personally, I love to watch Dunn hit. If the Nats resigned him I could talk myself into that. Dunn represents a certainty -- he may not be worth what he'll be paid over those four years but he'll come damn close. Most likely scenario -- he's the 2 win player he was as an awful left fielder/incredibly valuable bat.

I could also construct a case for letting him go. But there are two caveats -- 1. Arbitration must be offered. Two picks minimum signed and delivered. 2) The resultant savings MUST BE SPENT. And not on Jon Garland or anyone like him. Either Cliff Lee or Carl Crawford or international FAs (rumors floating that Yu Darvish may be posted this winter. That's an excellent use of any Dunn savings)

I'm pretty confident in #1. That had to be the plan without the July 31 deal. I am less confident in #2.

If you think I'm off base, with Soriano the Nats did #1 but failed at #2.

The owner in this case looks at the situation and says: Dunn is more of a sure thing. I opt for security. Again, it's not my money on the line. I couldn't kill the Lerner family for making that choice.

Rizzo and the scouting staff say: we opt for risk. We're going to get other players with the Dunn salary who hopefully work out and make us better in the long term. Not sure there is anyone who could be brought in who would be as sure a contributor as Dunn.

Of course, it could be as simple as -- we've got an extra $12 million to stuff in out couch cushions. Hurrah!!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I wouldn't say Stan Failed at all

Stan Kasten failed?

I beg to differ.

What exactly were these "decisions" Kasten made that failed? Was it to let Alphonso Soriano become an overpaid albatross on the payroll of another national league team while adding a young #2 starter?

Yes, I know 205 losses the last two years. I understand that. And we all know who you blame for the dearth of talent at the major league level.

But what exactly were Stan's options? Would the Nationals be better off as a franchise if he had gotten his way (allegedly) and opened the pocketbooks?

Who would the Nats have signed? Mark Texeria? C.C. Sabathia? Sure, the Nats would be a better team assuming they had chosen to spend wildly on premium FA's who alos happened not to decline precipitously (A.J. Burnett anyone?)

Don't give me any BS about the Nats making a trade for an established starting pitcher like Roy Halladay or Johan Santana? Why?

Because of the root cause of the current state of the franchise: the ownership tenure by MLB.

Take a good look at the Nats/Expos drafts this century. There were 4 exceptional picks prior to the Kasten regime: Brandon Phillips, Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore and Jason Bay. What do they all have in common?


Go ahead amateur GMs. Try and build a winning team without one single useful young player on it. I'll give you $100m. Try it this offseason. See where you get in three years. Nowhere is where you get.

Cheap, young controllable talent is the key to success for any franchise with salary limitations. You don't need one at every position but you need enough so you can overpay on the FA market to fill the holes. YOU CANT OVERPAY FOR EVERY POSITION! Not only would it be a terrible investment but it's very likely to not work anyway. I for one am damn glad Stan couldn't talk the Lerner's into my dumb ass idea about John Lackey. How'd you like to have four more years of that overpaid crapbag stealing paychecks.

The strategic decision, who ever was responsible, was the most correct one given the circumstances. Imagine where this team would be had the last two years resulted in 81-81 finishes? Oh, there would be no Strasburg, no Harper. Just a couple of Detweiler clones most likely.

Should they have spent more to get better faster? Yes. They should have signed Chapman. They shouldn't have cheaped out on the rest of the '09 draft. But the only inference from saying Stan failed is to say they should have spent on mediocre free agents to fight for .500. And that was exactly the wrong strategy (See KC and Pittsburgh)

Finally, you want people to show up at the ballpark? Simple: Win. Follow through with a long term strategy and build a perennial winner and the stands will fill. Just look at the Caps for gods sake.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A least someone cares

Reaction from Nats clubhouse - NATS INSIDER

"We decide when we run. The Florida Marlins will not decide when we run. We will decide when we run. Nobody will decide when we run."

Well said Riggs. Well f*&^%$ said.

At least Nyjer cares. He's still playing baseball. When this team should be doing nothing more than running out the string, at least Nyjer puts the Nats at the top of Sportscenter.

Now as to keeping Nyjer into 2011 -- well unless his OBP rises or his defense improves, he's not worth a roster spot even if he was A.C. Green. That more than anything should lead to the end of the Nyjer Morgan era in Washington.

Which means Job 1 in the offseason is to find a high OBP, defensively gifted CF. Good luck with that Mike. Not like we're asking for much. I don't even have a ridiculous suggestion.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Nationals Journal - Rob Dibble no longer broadcasting Nationals games

Nationals Journal - Rob Dibble no longer broadcasting Nationals games

"Rob asked for some time off," Kasten said at the time. "Perhaps he's not feeling well. But I'm not a doctor, nor have I seen his records. So I shouldn't say anything more about it."

Kasten's comment referenced the comments Dibble made about Strasburg on his Sirius XM radio show when, in the days between Strasburg's elbow injury and the revelation he would need Tommy John surgery, Dibble questioned Strasburg leaving the game.


Dibble was cashiered for the shopping comments not the Strasburg ones.

What exactly was so wrong with what he said about Strasburg? Maybe he didn't tow the company line about how SS was handled but if you are telling me MASN announcers are on that short a leash then we really shouldn't believe a damn word.

Now, personally, I'm happy Dibble is gone. Didn't bring much to the broadcast at all. Ray Knight is far better for a baseball fan. He may not generate much on the excitement meter but you can't have everything.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

ESPN Fantasy Stephen Strasburg likely to miss rest of '10

ESPN Fantasy Stephen Strasburg likely to miss rest of '10

It's the right thing to do. And screw Rob Dibble and his pitch through pain . . . arms that can get MLB hitters out are precious and should be protected. If that means err on the side of caution, then OK.

The list of guys who could have been is WAY longer than the list of guys who were. No telling how many of the never weres could have been had they taken precautions.

We know what a healthy Strasburg can do. That's all we need to know for now.

I shouldn't rise and take the Dibble bait. Taking an unpopular opinion and then attacking enemies is standard self-promotion behavior and to ignore it is the most effective action. So, a supurb display of inertia by Bang Zoom

Friday, August 20, 2010

Jim Bowden for the last time

D.C. Sports Bog - Jim Bowden on the Lerners, Dmitri Young and D.C.

The next time I hear a former GM of any team in any sport be so forthright about the failures of his tenure will be the 2nd time.

And his analysis of the PR situation was spot on. His resignation (or firing we really don't know for sure) closed the door on the Natinals era. And truth be told, not all the mistakes that plagued the team through his tenure were his fault. Yet his leaving the scene absolved the current crew of all past sins (including those of the marketing and player development side) and for that the current management owes JB a debt.

I do have to say that while I admire his ability to correctly judge and admit his failure as a GM, I do have to take issue with his basic philosophy. Sure, Dombrowski in Detroit overpaid for Pudge and Ordonez but he also had Verlander Granderson and other cheap above average players that made his team a contender with the overpaid FA's. The Nats are still building that base and having Texeria wouldn't have changed that.

And if the interviewer really wanted to grill him on a bad FA signing, Meat Hook's isn't the one I'd go after. Try Guzman's first deal. 4 years????? And losing a draft pick by not waiting till the Twins declined arbitration? Double plus stupid.

Finally, Kevin Mench. Really. That's the best you could do. Kevin Mench. While having a power threat on the bench is something the team has needed all season, with a plethora of AAAA hitters available, why take one who obviously isn't going to do the job? Maybe he's just a placeholder, a timeserver but I fail to see what the point is of having him taking up space on the 25 and 40 man rosters. Although I won't get to exercised about it since in 10 days or so it won't matter (unless he keeps getting valuable major league ABs).

Monday, August 16, 2010

It's a bad day to be a hater

Nationals Spending Big On Draft Picks: MLB Rumors - MLBTradeRumors.com

Fan F*%^#%$ Tastic!

Could not be more pleased. Simply could not. Did EXACTLY what they need to be doing.

My only other wish would be for them to answer the call from Used Car Guy tsk tsking them for their smashing the slot recommendations and them telling Selig if he hadn't F*&$%^ up the franchise so badly when he ran it, they might not have to. But give the s*$% sandwich they bought, they had to.

Absolutely no question 2010 draft is a success. Even without Harper. Worst case now: 2 top 10 picks in a loaded draft in 2011. Not optimal but not earth-shattering either.

For some reason, I just haven't seen Jason Marquis pitch yet this year. Or if I did during the first go round, the experience was so short and traumatic I just blocked it out.

Can't really say what's wrong. Don't know why he's regressed from his normal mediocre to historically bad. But no matter. It simply serves as a cautionary tale.

I didn't like the signing because I didn't see any long term value in it. $15 million for two years of league average pitching? Why? Rather, I wanted to take a chance on high risk high reward guys like Ben Sheets and Rich Harden. Well, they failed just as miserably as Marquis. The moral of the story being: pitching is a crap shoot even in the proven veteran category.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Must be consistent

Nats release half-price coupon code for Stephen Strasburg’s return � Let Teddy Win!

I was critical back in June when the team was coy about letting fans know when Strasburg would make his first start. So I suppose I should count it as a success they are actively marketing his return from the dead shoulder era with discounted tickets.

It may be a little on the huckerstish side but that's the essence of marketing. They have some sizzle and they need to sell it. Reflects a new attention to detail and organizational competence that is encouraging.

From John Sickels review of the KC Royals Top 20 prospects:

3) Aaron Crow, RHP, Grade B: 5.66 ERA, 90/59 K/BB in 119 innings in Double-A, 130 hits. Was just demoted to High-A and gave up 10 hits and eight runs in his first start. No way to spin this season as anything positive.

Can we FINALLY move on from the "Crow debacle?" Would any of you trade Storen for Crow right now? Would any GM with half a brain? Oh and Storen was a few million cheaper too. Double Plus Win!!!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Show us the money

MLB: For the Washington Nationals to rebuild, August 2010 is crucial - ESPN
If they nab all three guys, which would be expensive in the short term, they'd have a legitimate claim to having one of the best draft classes overall, potentially accelerating the rebuilding process GM Mike Rizzo has been putting into place since he got the job last spring.

No further commentary necessary. Write the checks or you aren't serious about winning period.

Friday, July 30, 2010

I'll tell you how it feels. It feels freaking great!

How will Wilson Ramos fit into the Nats Future?

to be on the winning side of a trade. And that's exactly where the Nats find themselves this morning.

I don't even care if Wilson Ramos is the second coming of Wil Nieves. I don't care if he would end up 4th on the Molina family depth chart, it's still a win simply because ITS EXACTLY WHAT THIS TEAM SHOULD BE DOING!

They even sent CASH to the Twins. Meaning they are paying Capps salary this year. And I'm sure that's why they were able to pry Ramos away, Capps came free and he'll be under team control for net year too. Ohhhh how tough it must have been to pry those pennies from the Lerner's hands but at least they did it. Credit where it's due.

As for Ramos, no need to start his clock. Should wait till September to bring him up just to be sure since he spent a few days in Minnesota earlier this year. Next year he should at least be given half the job pointing toward ownership in 2012.

Oh and an unconventional suggestion to replace Capps in the bullpen . . . Chuck James.

Right now, there is no one in the Nats pen who matches up with left handed batters. Burnett is death against lefties. The three lefty's in the Chiefs pen all have warts of one sort or another (I am not ready to ride the Ron Villone express again). James has major league experience and has a Cliff Leesque 31/2 K/BB ratio at Harrisburg.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

If only they were this caution with ALL their pitchers

Another Strasburg milestone: The first scratch of his career - Big League Stew - MLB� - Yahoo! Sports

One theme (among the few I beat to death) has been the seeming inadequacy of the team in dealing with pitching injuries.

The same refrain has happened time and time again . . . pitcher is OK maybe even showing signs of competence. All of a sudden they begin to get rocked. Ascribed to any number of reasons, the pitcher continues to pitch. Then, a "missed start" or "we're holding him back a day or two"

Finally, we get the "Paging Dr. Andrews" call. And the inevitable quote "My arm/shoulder/elbow has been sore for a while. I just tried pitching through it."

See Mock, Garrett, Lannan, John, Stammen, Craig (2009), Zimmermann, Jordan (2009) and on and on and on.

So, when the Meal Ticket complains about being unable to loosen up, go right ahead and get the MRI.

And if you are pissed you paid full price because of Strasburg, remember what was said about that Reds home date in early June . . .

The Plan must include Chris Marrero as the starting 1B on Opening Day 2013. That would explain the two year offer to Dunn and the unwillingness to go to three or four.

Dunn plays everyday in 2011, Marrero apprentices at AAA. 2012 Dunn starts, Marrero still at AAA but gets called up around June 1. Either Dunn becomes moderately useful deadline trade bait or he powers your drive for the NL East crown. Two successful seasons by Dunn should allow him to keep Type A status and make an arb offer easily declinable for him. Two picks come back and poof new starting 1B in 2013.

Prudent strategy I have to admit. And well worth sticking to your guns. Now Dunn @33 > Marrero @25 means a downgrade at 1B in 2013. But you hope the downgrade could be covered by the extra $14million freed up in payroll (yes I am silently laughing to myself at such a thought)

All I ask is: if you must trade Dunn get quality back in return. Don't sell short like AZ did in the Haren deal. The smart teams know Dunn is a difference maker, make 'em pay the price.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Oh jeez. Must we

Nationals' Dunn visits Brewers broadcaster Uecker in 2nd inning - Big League Stew - MLB� - Yahoo! Sports

get our fruit of the looms in a twist over this.

Ohhhhh. It's a GAME. A sacred and holy GAME.

Think about that for a minute. It's not surgery or nuclear power plant operations. It was a GAME. Played for sport and entertainment value.

And people go ans ascribe all kinds of meaning to it. Oh, the guy is disrespecting the GAME. He's being insubordinate and is clearly showing his disdain for the progress of his contact talks.

Dave Cameron over at USS Mariner wrote a piece today about the flare up in the Mariners dugout over the weekend. His main point: beat reporters and obsessive bloggers are terrible
amateur psychologists. They don't know what's going on iin the heads of people they cover on a regular basis. And you know what: neither does anyone who is freaking out over this situation.

How many times does a hall of fame broadcaster return from serious heart surgery? A broadcaster beloved (I assume) inside baseball. And one who clearly had a rapport with a visiting player who just happened to not be playing that day. A confluence of events almost impossible to imagine. And I continue, not likely to manifest itself again.

So, to show a true mark of respect, the players, who is NOT playing and could have been asleep in the clubhouse for all you knew, went to pay public homage to a beloved broadcaster and friend on the air. Three words: BFD!

I'm sure Uecker loved it and I'll bet the fans listening got a kick out of it too. The sum total of enjoyment for baseball is increased. I find it impossible to care for the critics and their narrow view of baseball purity. Make the GAME as accessable and fun as possible and maybe you can save yourself from falling further and further behind football.

I also see where the Nats as "listening" to offers for Matt Capps. They aren't making calls but a listening. My advise: listen harder. Capps has been a far cry from last year's bullpen by gasoline can disaster but what really is his long term value and how much will it help next year when he's twice the price? The Yanks offered Jesus Montero for Joakim Soria!!! Got to be someone halfway decent in the Yanks system for a "proven closer tm"

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Going to be positive today

Across the Affiliates | Nationals Farm Authority

Just for once. Just to see what it's like.

Interesting day yesterday as the Nats potential #1, #2 & #3 starters were all pitching.

And all three were effective.

I don't think it takes much imagination to envision the opening series of 2011 as a Strasburg/Zimmermann/Detweiler trifecta.

To me, that would give the Nats a chance to win all of those games. Or at least, it would mean the starting pitching wouldn't be the reason for another terrible start.

What it means for now is: trading for a prospect whose ceiling is a mid-level starter is really less important. Fixing the holes at 2B and CF are far more important (and to a lesser extent RF). In many ways, that is a much more difficult challenge. TINSTAAPP means teams might be more willingto deal a pitching prospect especially one with a limited ceiling since it's very likely that the prospect never develops.

But a major league caliber CF or 2B? Lot less likely to give away. Catcher too for that matter.

How much in free advertising do you think the nationally televised ESPN game last night was worth? Even led Sportscenter -- meaning even more free publicity. Adding this to the financial impact Strasburg is having on the team really makes the $15m he got seem like a steal.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wrong wrong wrong

Bullpen trade market 'a flip of the coin' - ESPN

"They're so focused on building that team back to respectability," an AL executive said. "To them, finishing seven or eight games under .500 is a lot better than finishing 15 games under .500. It means a lot to their business moving forward. In the end, I think they should consider trading him. But they don't seem that motivated to do it right now."

Not this s*^% again.

If this represents the thinking of the FO, then we're all screwed. Or at least condemned to a Pittsburgh/Kansas City/Baltimore like descent into perpetual mediocrity.

Yes, winning breeds attendance and revenue. But unless you go 35-5 in your next 40 games, wins in 2010 mean jack s*&^.

Holding out on Dunn, as I've gone on and on about elsewhere, is fine. He's a difference maker and should command a premium.

Matt Capps was FREELY AVAILABLE last offseason. He's replaceable. And you have the one card that could make Capps (and Guzman) worth a prospect with a shot at helping you down the road . . . you can pay their salaries!!!!

2010 was never about 2010. It should have always been about 2011 and beyond. Keep your focus there and skip this short term thinking. Two or three more wins this year isn't going to fill the place up. Two or three more wins next year or the year after when you have a better team, then your investment pays off.

And kudos to the FO for finally making a big international FA signing. About damn time. Now let's get this Cuban Craig Stammen into the rotation before we find out he actually outdueled Jamie Moyer at the Little League World Series.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tired old memes

Nationals Inquisition � A Problem Like A Donkey Named Dunn

The case for dealing Dunn isn't so cut and dried:

  1. Dunn wants 4-years/$60 million: If true, it is absolutely insane for a 30-year old masher who strikes out just as much as he puts the ball in play. His defense is below average to average at best and the National League doesn’t DH so why the Nats would pay for one, I have no idea. Thinking about it, he might actually be able to get that sort of deal– but not in D.C. He shouldn’t.
  2. Dunn Is Going To Be 10-and-5: MASN’s Ben Goessling pointed out something yesterday that is very important: if Dunn stays with the team and gets a four year deal, in the final year of that deal Dunn would be eligible for 10-and-5 rights and would be able to block any sort of trade. That isn’t territory you want to enter with a slugger who is going to break down more than build up at his age. Good find, Ben.
  3. Does Dunn Even Want To Be A Nat?: We know he says he wants to stay, but come on. An aging vet who never has tasted the playoffs doesn’t want the opportunity before he has to hang it up? Isn’t that what these guys play for? Dunn signing with the Nats to begin with seemed like desperation to just get on the field rather than an actual desire to play for a last place team.
  4. They Could Always Re-sign Him: The Nats could always trade Dunn at the Deadline and with it being his Free Agent year, they could always re-sign him during the off season if he truly likes it in D.C. Hell, it might be the best “take one for the team ever.” The Nats are all but finished this season, Dunn goes to a contender after getting traded and gets his chance at the playoffs while the Nats get valuable prospects. Then, in the off season they re-sign Dunn. So by next season the Nats could rake in both prospects and Dunn and lose nothing. It is a fantasy situation, but it is one to stroke yourself over if you think about it.

1. "tired old masher who strikes out as much as he puts the ball in play" -- please stop. Even at his worst, Dunn's bat has been a huge plus every season he's played. All the K's do is limit BA upside. I will note the K's also lower the DP chances . . . think the Nats would be better off if Pudge could K a few extra times! At 4/$60 he'd be a bargain next to Ryan Howard who he resembles in many ways. Of course, Dunn's a BETTER defender at 1B than Howard so there's that. Let's say Dunn's a 4 win player for the next four years. That's worth about $12-$14m per. The Lerner's can afford to overpay slightly, they have the money.

2. 10-5 rights. Who cares? First, it's in the last year of his deal. Second, you'd only want to move him if your "rebuilding" effort has failed completely so what's Dunn's incentive to block a trade? Yes, he'll have extra leverage four years from now, is that a reason to accept a substandard return NOW?

3. So what you are saying is Dunn should take less money to play for a contender? Really. Because that happens all the time. Bottom line is: high bid wins. No one knows who will be good or terrible two years from now. And Dunn seems to be a decent clubhouse guy -- he's no Yunel Escobar at least so there aren't chemistry issues which might drive down the price.

4. I guarantee at least one team will look at Dunn and say as a 1B/DH we can get a highly productive hitter for much less than what Prince Fielder or Adrian Gonzalez would cost. Also, Dunn is going to be a Type A free agent and he will get an Arb offer. So to trade and resign will cost your 2nd round pick -- even more reason to hold out for a much higher prospect price.

One has to look at Cincinnati. They certainly don’t seem to be missing Adam Dunn in their line-up.

Teams NOT better off with Dunn @ 1B this year: San Diego, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Detroit, Boston . . . umm ahhhh anyone else? Texeria's been terrible, Dunn's been better than Howard & Fielder and Morneau's been hurt. For everyone else, Dunn represents a massive upgrade. Yes, the teams he's played on have sucked and his play in LF was a part of the suck. But he's not responsible for 90% of the suck and even at his glovetastic worst, he was still a net plus.

Again, I don't disagree with the trade Dunn route. I only disagree that it's a must trade situation. Guzman, that's a must trade situation. Capps should be a higher trade priority since his value will never be higher between his relative success and the thin reliever market and his cost certainty next year.

Trade Dunn but only if you get a premium. Hudson, Tyler Flowers and Christian Marrero take it or leave it Kenny.

Monday, July 19, 2010

He doesn't know them very well

Not�many quality position�players available�at MLB trade deadline - Jon Heyman - SI.com

5. Adam Dunn, Nationals 1B. One GM called the asking price "prohibitive.'' However, GMs can still see the Nationals dealing Dunn, whose big power should make him an attractive rental even with what's left of his $12 million 2010 salary, then perhaps signing him back as a free agent. The Yankees could envision him in Yankee Stadium, aren't focused on starting pitching anymore and would like to make up for missing out on Lee. The Angels make sense, too, with the loss of Kendry Morales to injury, and so do the White Sox. "They should probably move him, but the Nationals do some curious things at the deadline,'' one GM said, referring to their decision to keep Alfonso Soriano a few years back and various trades. They also are a rare potential seller that might be able to take some well-salaried players in return, putting them in a unique situation. "They could do unusual deadline deals,'' one GM said, meaning they could seek proven players back, not just prospects.

6. Josh Willingham, Nationals OF. The productive hitter has 15 homers and 49 RBIs and would be popular as a trade chip. But one competing GM, noting Willingham is under the Nats' control through arbitration another year, said, "I think they should keep him.'' Yet another hitter who could help the weak-hitting Giants.

"Could take well salaried players in return" "could do unusual deadline deals" HA HA HA it is to laugh.

They have had this ability since 2007 and it hasn't happened. Why is 2010 any different?

If they decide to trade Dunn, "prohibitive" is the starting point for what they should get. Remember, Dunn WILL get an arb offer and he will command "A" compensation so that really kills the trade him and resign in the off season strategy.

At 4/$60 -- that's not terrible. Barring injury, Dunn's likely to return close to $15m a year or at least he'll give you a solid $10m. I mean he's unlikely to veer into total albatross mode even throughout the length of the contract. Now 5 years or a few million more . . . then you'd think a little too much. Dunn's 30-34 year old seasons should look at lot like 2009-2010.

Wouldn't Jim Thome be a reasonable comp? Lots of power, patience mediocre-fielding 1B and he was pretty productive through those years in Philly.

Of course that the safe play and if there is one theme I've established it that this team isn't in a position to take the safe route. The only chance to really improve substantially in the medium term would be to get a haul for Dunn. At least one real impact player, preferably a bat and some other pieces. Now for this course to work, it would require 1) actually getting the impact prospect and 2) a willingness to spend the resulting savings. I'll grant you 1 is a crap shoot even for the best of GMs. 2 is totally within their control and as of 2010, they have not shown that willingness.

Didn't see the games this weekend but I sense a little panic button pressing throughout the Natsmophere.

Hey, that Josh Johnson guy, he's pretty good. Can't use that excuse yesterday though. Sometimes it goes that way in short stretches. It does highlight an ongoing problem and it isn't the 3-4-5 hitters. 1 & 2 haven't been doing their jobs (not that we had any reasonable expectation they would) all season.

Offseason assignment Mike: find a 2B with a high OBP. Or a centerfielder. Not asking much only the least plentiful commodity other than true #1 starters.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

ESPN: Nats have several conversations regarding Dunn � DC Pro Sports Report

ESPN: Nats have several conversations regarding Dunn � DC Pro Sports Report

The ramification of dealing Dunn away will filter through the Washington Nationals lineup. The fact that Dunn is already starting to sour on a desire to ink a long term deal with Washington deflates the notion of trading away Dunn, and then resigning him in the off-season. So we do what? Trade him for prospects? When do the Nationals decide they don’t want to be a prospects team, a build for the future team, and instead be a winning team? When?

When? I'll tell you when. WHEN THE TEAM DOESN"T SUCK!

This was a 70 win team when the season started and is still a 70 win team. The window for contention is years away (and thanks to the cheapskate owners may never appear.)

Paying Dunn the open market rate for the next 3-4 years wouldn't be the worst thing they could do. Giving him Ryan Howard money well that's another story. If he's demanding a Howard-like deal, put a stamp on him and send him packing.

Oh, and make someone pay a premium. Since he's proven to be an average fielder at first, his bat would be worth 2-3 wins to anyone. Ask the 2009 Tigers if they could have used 2-3 more wins. The Cliff Lee to the Rangers package is a good place to start one ML-ready guy with significant upside one B prospect and one C prospect. If you don't get it, offer him arbitration. If he takes it GREAT! One year at $13-$14m. If not, two picks (your B and C prospect at least)

Some might argue Dunn deserves a Howard-like contract. My main fear, aside from the eventual performance decline is such a huge outlay would give the cheapskate owners an excuse to continue their pattern of not spending.

Let's review . . .

Tell me how many high profile international free agents the Nationals have signed this year. It rhymes with NERO. In five years in DC, the total rhymes with PUN. And he was really 22. So it's not like Miguel Cabrera or Ubaldo Jiminez is sitting in the system preparing to join the core.

I'll give them the 2008 draft. They spent there.

But now according to Ladson, they haven't even discussed a contract with Harper. And again I am baffled. It exactly the same as the Strasburg negotiations and I didn't under stand that either. I know Scott Boras makes deals at the last minute and that's his style but come on, you have an excellent chance of hitting 300 losses for the last three years, shake things up.

Boras is a businessman. Stan, you are going to have to pay. He knows you have the money and he knows you have to sign Harper. So, why the charade? Give him Strasburg's contract and say if you sign now, we can get Harper to the bigs a year earlier. That's worth millions more than the dollars you are scrapping over right now AND it only hurts financially IF Harper is successful at the major league level.

And please, don't cry poverty. You have plenty of cash -- the $30-$40 million you aren't spending in major league payroll and the Strasburg bonus $750,000-$1 million per home date. Show the fans that you are interested in building a winner by getting the Harper deal done NOW. Oh, and A.J. Cole too. Without Cole, your 2010 draft is just as bad as 2009 (1st round excepted in both cases).

I also find it hard to believe that a cash strapped but contending franchise like the Rangers wouldn't be interested in some payroll relief. Take a bad contract off their hands and take one of their multitude of top tier prospects. Jon Daniels wouldn't like it but I'll bet the bankruptcy court would.

The plain fact of the matter is: with Dunn they are a 70 win team. Without him, 67-68. Is that what you want to be? Keeping him would be fine, if ownership was committed to putting the pieces around the core necessary to contend sooner. But clearly, they have not been and are not now. So, every day this is the case, the window for contention gets pushed farther and farther away.

As a fan, Iike watching Dunn hit. I'd like to watch him hit for the next 3-4 years too. But I don't like it so much as to ensure 90-100 losses for the next four years.

BTW -- check what KC and Pittsburgh are doing internationally.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Dunn deal coming for club? | MLB.com: News

Inbox: Dunn deal coming for club? | MLB.com: News

It was teased as "Ladson says Nats will be buyers" and I was ready to rain on that parade.

Really, what it says is the Nats won't do much at the deadline. Not likely to trade a lot of pieces but to make trades to make the team better. Folks, you can't pay enough for that kind of insight.

It was a 70 win team when they left Florida and they are still a 70 win team. They are sellers or they should be, sellers of anything and everything. If someone is actually thinking of trading for Willie Bloomquist, then you have to get Willie Harris out there fast. Capps, Kennedy, Guzman GONE.

Repeat after me: winning in 2010 is worthless. Anything that can convert a present asset into potential future value MUST be done. Worst thing a team can do is try both at the same time. Doesn't work. Never works. Unless unending mediocrity is your goal then two thumbs up!