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.