Skip to content

News and discussion of the week

Nov 4, 2010, 11:00 AM EDT

Since I won’t be around the rest of the week, I won’t be able to pass along any Nats-related news or opinion. But I know there’s still plenty going on, and I wanted to make sure all of you have the opportunity to relay and discuss any developments that arise.

Please use the comments section of this thread for any and all Nats talk until I return…

  1. Traveler8 - Nov 4, 2010 at 12:04 PM

    Can someone tell me, what day does Adam Dunn go live?

  2. Sec3KeepingBusy - Nov 4, 2010 at 12:08 PM

    OK, I'll start. Did we mention this?Nationals Decline Kennedy's Optionhttp://tinyurl.com/2cwfb76Bill LadsonWASHINGTON — Second baseman Adam Kennedy is now a free agent, as the Nationals declined his $2 million option for 2011 on Wednesday. Kennedy received a buyout of $500,000.Kennedy, 34, had one of the worst seasons of his career, hitting .249 with three home runs and 34 RBIs in 2010."I'm all right with the decision," Kennedy said via phone. "It wasn't the right place for me to be playing. I didn't fit well into their plans. It's OK. I like [manager Jim] Riggleman. I like [general manager Mike] Rizzo. They are a good group of guys."

  3. natsfan1a - Nov 4, 2010 at 12:18 PM

    Thanks, Mark. Always the gracious host.Traveler, 5 days from the end of the Serious, which would make it Sunday, I believe.

  4. Section 3 - Nov 4, 2010 at 12:23 PM

    Also, a little late (ok, a lot late), but didn't see it til today. Wish I had.An old formula for a new World Serieshttp://blogs.dailyherald.com/node/4806Posted by Bruce [Miles] on Tue, 10/26/2010 – 15:20A year ago, or maybe it was two, I got to thinking about an old Bill James formula from the 1980s for predicting the outcome of postseason series. James put it in one of his Baseball Abstracts. I don’t have those books anymore, but through the magic of the Internet, I was able to track down the formula. So once again, let’s have a little fun with it as the World Series between the Giants and Rangers gets set to go. …Adding it up, we have a landslide. It’s the Giants with 85 points to 24 for the Rangers….

  5. Anonymous - Nov 4, 2010 at 1:18 PM

    Red Carpet RewardsI received my season ticket renewal package last night in the mail and thought it would include information on the red carpet rewards program. What gives? Anyone know what's up?

  6. Harper_ROY_2012 - Nov 4, 2010 at 1:55 PM

    Everyone keeps saying how Carlos Pena is a top candidate to replace Dunn at 1B, but several sources say arlos loves Tampa and does not plan to leave and he is the blubhouse leader so my guess is the feeling in mutual. With Pena off the board who are the other likely replacements and don't tell me we are trading for Adrian Gonzalez, that is not happening either, he is staying in San Diego! Derek Lee? Adam LaRoche? Michael Morse?

  7. N. Cognito - Nov 4, 2010 at 2:40 PM

    Derek Lee is a strong possibility.If the Nats have their eye on Adrian Gonzalez, they'll wait until the next offseason, when he will be a free agent. The could use Willingham or Morse as a one year stop-gap at first.

  8. Anonymous - Nov 4, 2010 at 3:04 PM

    I would say LaRoche, too, since he in the Dbax organization and may have connections with Rizzo. That said, I don't know how long he has been there. I read a post somewhere that alluded to the possibility of LaRoche coming here. He had good numbers last year. And moving from the Dbax to the Nats would actually be an upgrade for him. fpcsteve

  9. A DC Wonk - Nov 4, 2010 at 3:29 PM

    Dunn, Willie Harris, Miguel Batista, Kevin Mench, and Adam Kennedy are this year's free agents (so far). Dunn, as Type A, would give the Nats two draft picks if someone else signs him (a "sandwich pick" — between the 1st and 2d round) and the other team's 2d round draft pick — if I'm remembering the rules correctly.Flores is apparently playing well in the winter Venezuela league (a top notch league), going 2-3 with a double in his first game.(so, perhaps _3_ C prospects? Ramos/Norris/Flores . . . ?)

  10. Feel Wood - Nov 4, 2010 at 3:43 PM

    Red Carpet Rewards was an incentive program they used last year to try to get people to renew their season tickets. Perhaps they have decided that the hassle of administering the program (it was rather tricky maneuvering through the rules and regulations to actually claim one's "rewards") was not worth whatever gains they got from it in terms of increased renewals, so they're not offering it again this year. In the season ticket holder survey they sent out at the end of the season, I seem to recall a question or two about how highly you valued Red Carpet Rewards as a STH benefit. Maybe not enough people said they valued the program.They did continue the $100 Nats Bucks benefit for renewing early, though. But I think the deadline to take advantage of that has already passed.

  11. section3.my sofa - Nov 4, 2010 at 3:43 PM

    @dcwonk: not quite. First he has to decline their offered arbitration, and they get the signing team's first-round pick, UNLESS it's in the top 15 picks, in which case they get the next one,in the top half of round 2.

  12. Steve M. - Nov 4, 2010 at 3:53 PM

    Kennedy said…"I'm all right with the decision. It wasn't the right place for me to be playing. I didn't fit well into their plans."Dude, get real. You played like junk and most time didn't look like you were a MLB player. I can think of 2 games that became losses where you made errors that I thought you were channeling Brooks Conrad.Kennedy, you should be apologizing. You walk away with $500,000 for playing like junk. When I look at Kennedy, I would think I was in a time warp that this was a Bowden pick and not a Rizzo pick.Good news for Espinosa, he has small shoes to fill!

  13. DC Tom - Nov 4, 2010 at 3:58 PM

    The crop of free agent 1B's is fairly deep this year, and that likely motivated the reason to let Dunn explore free agency (Myself, I'm not convinced yet that he's gone.)Top Tier:Derek Lee: good defense, older (35), not likely to be much cheaper than Dunn. I view this as unlikely. Turned down a trade to the Angels this season, family (and his daughter, who has a rare disease) means a lot to him. I could see him returning to Chicago, but for the White Sox if Konerko leaves.Paul Konerko: the biggest prize available, not in our price range.Aubrey Huff: will try to cash in on World Series; Giants will try to bring back but who knows. I like him as a player; likely to be seeking 3-4 year deal somewhere.Carlos Pena: good defense, has signed option deals in the past and might have to after hitting .196 this year. Kinda see him staying in Tampa, though.Adam Dunn: perhaps you've heard of him.Adam LaRoche: intriguing because he's a cheaper version of Carlos Pena (a K a game), but a better batting average. Only one year in Arizona, so no overlap with Rizzo's tenure at all. For some reason teams always seem to be dumping him. Jason Giambi, Lance Berkman: great signs if you're trying to win the 2001 World Series.That's the Top Tier, here's the "Oh My Goodness No" Tier:Mark KotsayNick JohnsonTroy GlausScott HattebergDarin ErstadRich AuriliaHank BlalockTony ClarkFernando TatisTy WiggingtonGarrett Atkins

  14. Richard - Nov 4, 2010 at 4:27 PM

    On the subject of the Dunnkey, I guess we'll soon know more re the distance between what the Nats want to pay Dunn — if they want him at all — and what he wants in years and money. It's strange we know so little given all the ace bloggers out there. "Radio silence" all summber, it seemed. Rizzo has said he wouldn't negotiate through the media, and, boy, did he keep his word! … Anyway, the most I ever heard was in September when Dunn said they were making progress — finally — and Rizzo said that 1st base was a concern and they were hoping Dunn would be their 1st baseman in 2011 but if not, then they'd be looking. Has Rizzo been straight with us? You'd think the Nats would at least intimate something to the STs. … Does anyone know the timing of arbitration, e.g., Dunn is free to talk to other teams as of midnight Saturday; what if he gets an offer Sunday? When do the Nats offer him arbitration? And, when they do, I assume it doesn't have to be for only one year … or does it?

  15. Anonymous - Nov 4, 2010 at 4:44 PM

    Feel Wood…Red Carpet…The benefit chart still lists red carpet as a benefit and my rep told me the information would be included in the renewal packages. So I'm still hope they renew it. I like getting free tickets. I'll give them a call and see what I find.

  16. Quakrbackr - Nov 4, 2010 at 4:52 PM

    I was told by the ticket office that Red Carpet will be "the same or better" than 2010 benefits.

  17. Feel Wood - Nov 4, 2010 at 5:00 PM

    Re the Red Carpet Rewards: Along with everything else on nationals.com, the benefits list may not be entirely up to date. When they first started soliciting for season ticket renewals, via e-mail about six weeks ago, I recall reading/hearing somewhere that Red Carpet Rewards for 2011 were still "under study" or "under consideration" or somesuch. Is there a benefits list in the renewal package they mailed out, and if so are RCR listed on it? (I haven't even received a package in the mail – maybe because I've already renewed.)

  18. Anonymous - Nov 4, 2010 at 5:12 PM

    I haven't seen the details but was told that Red Carpet will be back and better – there might be others but the one thing I heard was that one of sections behind home plate (probably the highest end but I'm not sure) will include food/drink along with Red Carpet tickets – sounds like good incentive to fill it up every night.

  19. court - Nov 4, 2010 at 5:19 PM

    Derrick Lee is a type A free agent, so we'd have to give up a 2nd rounder for him (unless we sign another type A, then it would be a 3rd) so I think that pretty much eliminates him from the Nats. While Pena loves Tampa, Joe Maddon is acting like they're going to move on. However, I'd just assume go with Morse than most of the FA 1B's out there (other than Dunn) and sign a top OF like Werth or Crawford. Willingham has played 1B before too and maybe that position would be easier on his body.

  20. N. Cognito - Nov 4, 2010 at 5:59 PM

    We've never known all the details of season ticket benefits before purchasing or renewal.

  21. N. Cognito - Nov 4, 2010 at 6:02 PM

    Diamond Club and Lexus (not Home Plate Box or Home Plate Reserved) will include free beer, wine and soda.

  22. DC Tom - Nov 4, 2010 at 6:05 PM

    The focus always seems to be on, "Why haven't the Nats resigned Dunn?" when also we need to think about Dunn's motivation here. Personally, I don't blame the guy for not wanting to hear other offers and insisting that the Nats would need to offer him his dream contract (in terms of years) to take him off the table.There will be a lot of movement in first basement this offseason. A pretty large market for 1B, and many of these teams contending — the Braves, the Angels, the White Sox possibly, the Rangers. I do think he wants to stay here but I also completely understand his motivation for wanting to test the waters again. And if that's what's happened, Rizzo staying silent is completely the right, professional, and classy move. The type of move that you'd do if your position is, "Adam, we've given you our best offer, it'll still be on the table all winter, I know you owe it to yourself and your family to explore elsewhere, and you won't hear a peep from me about it. All I ask is that you come back to us and give us a shot at matching or beating whatever else you can get." I obviously don't know these guys but they both strike me as personable, professional guys and that's exactly how grown-ups would handle this situation.

  23. JD - Nov 4, 2010 at 6:11 PM

    court, Crawford would be about $18 mil a year that would be about 25% of our payroll; that's a bad approach for the Nats and this is why Tampa is letting him go.

  24. Nats fan in NJ - Nov 4, 2010 at 6:28 PM

    I've been hearing more about the Nats making a play for Crawford. Put him in left, move Hammer to first – don't think I'd be opposed to that. It doesn't solve all our problems, but is a strong move and one in the right direction, imho…

  25. Feel Wood - Nov 4, 2010 at 7:01 PM

    Hmmm. I see that one of the benefits for Suite Holders is "Take on-field batting practice." Is this like having a dunk tank with Mark Lerner in the hot seat? Seems like lots of vocal commenters here ought to be buying suites in order to snap up this benefit, doesn't it?

  26. Anonymous - Nov 4, 2010 at 7:01 PM

    On signing Werth: An article on espn.com said he had some ridiculously low sub .200 average with RISP. With all of the concern about and comments on Dunn's shortcomings in that area, Werth might end up being a lateral move (and that is before you consider his age–older than Dunn). Don't know about that…

  27. Knoxville Nats - Nov 4, 2010 at 7:55 PM

    Any thoughts on the possibility that the Nats might pursue Rick Ankiel for CF? I thought I read or heard somewhere that the Braves might have let him go.

  28. Pilchard - Nov 4, 2010 at 8:17 PM

    The reason why you haven't heard a thing about the Nats negotiating with Dunn is that they don't want him. Both Rizzo and Riggs think Dunn is a defensive liability, and improving defensively is a priority. The Nats also understand that losing Dunn will lead to more PR problems. So, the front office hopes that the Nats will sign a high profile free agent or even two to offset the hit that will occur by letting Dunn go.The Nats have not completely closed the book on Dunn if a situation arises like it did during the Winter of 2008-9 when the Nats struck out on Texiera, and the interest in Dunn was low. Don't see the Nats re-signing Dunn, but if it did happen, the Nats would have to miss on others first.

  29. N. Cognito - Nov 4, 2010 at 8:22 PM

    Nats making a play for anyone right now is pure media speculation.You shouldn't be too worried about Werth's average this year with runners in scoring position.Rick Ankiel: .248 .312 .441 career numbers – he's a great hitting pitcher – no thanks.

  30. JD - Nov 4, 2010 at 9:52 PM

    I understand everyone wants big flashy signings; the trick is to find the 'under the radar' secondary players the way San-Francisco found Aubrey Huff last year and to make excellent non glitzy trades to improve the pitching staff, defense and OBP. I also understand that Kennedy was a bust but his signing at the price they signed him made a lot of sense and his failure at the very least didn't cost the team a fortune nor did it leave us with an unmanageable long term contract like the Mets have with Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez. BTW I am very uneasy going into next year with Desmond, Espinosa and Gonzo in the middle infield; Orlando Cabrerra at a reasonable price sounds pretty good to me.

  31. Knoxville Nat - Nov 5, 2010 at 12:13 AM

    Cognito,I understand what you are saying about Ankiel but I don't understand why you say we should not be concerned with Werth's BA with RISP?Care to elaborate on this?

  32. N. Cognito - Nov 5, 2010 at 2:13 AM

    Look at his stats over the last several years. It's most likely a one year aberration.He was 26 for 140 with runners in scoring position. Just 9 more hits in those at bats and he's hitting .250 with runners in scoring position, and his OBP in those instances would have been .420.2009 .2792008 .2742007 .379 (part-time player)

  33. NatBiscuit - Nov 5, 2010 at 2:47 AM

    When I renewed my ticket plan they told me that the Rewards Plan will in fact be back, but the details have not been finalized. They did assure me that the plan will be at least as good as last year. Also the package received in the mail mentions the rewards program.

  34. SpashCity - Nov 5, 2010 at 2:07 PM

    I don't understand why some people are so sure Willingham will be any better at 1B defensively than Dunn is. In his career, Willingham has played a total of 4 innings spread out over 3 games at 1B. In the minors, Willingham only played in 68 games at 1B, the last time in 2004. Willingham has a history of back problems, meaning bending over and quick, reaction-type movements could be tough for him, and he's not as tall as Dunn. Can we really assume that Willingham can just step in and play 1B any better than Dunn did?

  35. N. Cognito - Nov 5, 2010 at 2:17 PM

    I don't think anyone is assuming Willingham will be better than Dunn defensively. He'd be a filler until the Nats developed/acquired someone else.

  36. JD - Nov 5, 2010 at 2:21 PM

    SpashcityNo we can't; I think that the whole discussion about Dunn's defense is nonsense; you have to evaluate a player overall. In 2010 Dunn was 4.1 ORP which means that his value overall was app. $16 million.The bigger question is whether it's smart to invest a large percentage of your payroll in 1 player when you have many holes to fill. I don't know if the trading deadline rumors were accurate but I certainly would have traded Dunn for a Dan Hudson if that was out there because that fills one of the starting pitcher's slots and still leaves the money you were going to spend on Dunn available to plug several other holes.

  37. N. Cognito - Nov 5, 2010 at 2:40 PM

    "The bigger question is whether it's smart to invest a large percentage of your payroll in 1 player when you have many holes to fill."The problem with this argument is you're assuming a fairly fixed payroll total. I don't accept that premise.The argument should be, "what is he worth."

  38. Feel Wood - Nov 5, 2010 at 2:40 PM

    "I don't understand why some people are so sure Willingham will be any better at 1B defensively than Dunn is."Well, Willingham is much, much better in left field than Dunn ever was. It only stands to reason that he'd also be better at first base.

  39. Jeff - Nov 5, 2010 at 3:19 PM

    I forget who mentioned it above, but it is possible for Dunn to sign with another club at any time, including BEFORE the deadline for the Nats to offer him arbitration. If he signs with another club before that deadline, then it's a no-brainer, the Nats will offer him arbitration, he'll be contractually bound to decline it, and the Nats will sit back and collect their draft picks. This happened a few years back when the Giants signed Edgar Renteria before that deadline. That said, don't look for Dunn to sign anywhere until the deadline to offer arbitration passes. The other teams will want to know if they're forfeiting picks if they make a run at him. Unless the other team is so enamored with the idea of getting him that they don't care. And, let's face it, he's just Adam Dunn. Very useful player, but not the kind of guy where you say "I don't care what it takes, we need him on our team."

  40. Feel Wood - Nov 5, 2010 at 3:26 PM

    When is the deadline to offer arbitration? Did it change this year like the time period for exclusive negotiations with the former team did?

  41. Anonymous - Nov 5, 2010 at 3:34 PM

    Nats Affordable Options for 2011LaRoche 1BChris Young SP

  42. JD - Nov 5, 2010 at 3:46 PM

    N.Cognito Lets assume for a minute that we raise our payroll to $100mil; $12Mil is still 12% of the payroll and I contend that even in that scenario you can do better than plug one hole with $12mil. That's why I think Crawford, Werth ec. make sense to a team that has 1 or 2 holes but not to a team with multiple holes.

  43. SpashCity - Nov 5, 2010 at 5:12 PM

    Feel Wood – So by your "reasoning," if Josh Willingham is a better outfielder than Ian Desmond, does that mean Willingham is also a better shortstop?

  44. Josh - Nov 5, 2010 at 5:25 PM

    SpashCity: the two situations aren't comparable. Shortstop is the second-most demanding defensive position, behind catcher, and thus is highly specialized. First base, on the other hand, is the least demanding defensive position (second-least if you count DH, which I don't because I follow real baseball) and is thus not really "specialized" at all. Consequently, it makes perfect sense to say that the better defender at LF will make a better defender at 1B, especially when neither of the players in question are "natural" first basemen, while the same is not true at all for LF and SS.

  45. Sweet! - Nov 5, 2010 at 5:36 PM

    Feel Wood said… Hmmm. I see that one of the benefits for Suite Holders is "Take on-field batting practice." Seems like lots of vocal commenters here ought to be buying suites in order to snap up this benefit, doesn't it? ____________________________I did the on field batting practice 2 years in a row and this past year actually prepared for it by getting in the batting cage and buying a pro wood bat off of eBay.It was a great experience the 1st time and much better the 2nd time as I was hitting them 300+.

  46. Feel Wood - Nov 5, 2010 at 6:03 PM

    "It was a great experience the 1st time and much better the 2nd time as I was hitting them 300+."Sure, anyone with enough practice can hit the ball 300 feet. But did any of your hits take out a Nats owner shagging flies in the outfield? That's the real trick.

  47. SpashCity - Nov 5, 2010 at 6:13 PM

    Josh – While I agree that first base is the least physically demanding position, I disagree with the premise that the better defensive left fielder will automatically be the better defensive first baseman. First base takes a lot of specialized skills and techniques such as holding runners on, fielding bunts, taking cutoffs, picking low throws from infielders, turning double plays, etc. These are not skills that a career outfielder (which Willingham basically is, or Dunn for that matter) would automatically have. A left fielder only has to follow basic fundamentals such as taking a "good angle" to the ball on flyballs, hitting the cutoff man, keeping the ball in front on grounders, and communicating with the other fielders on flyballs, in order to be considered an average defensive player. I realize that Willingham was better at all or most of these than Dunn, but I don't think that translates into being better at all the specialized skills that first base requires. Lots of players spend their whole careers trying to play first base and still can't master these skills to such a degree that they can be everyday first basemen and are forced to DH (see David Ortiz). Remember how bad and embarassing it was when the Nats started playing guys out of position because they were "good athletes" or "smart baseball people." Paul Lo Duca in left field. Christian Guzman and Ian Desmond in right field. Even though these guys are professional baseball players, they can not play every position on the field, especially without practice. If the Nats don't resign Dunn, I really hope Willingham is not the answer at 1B. I would rather have Morse, at least he has some experience there and at other infield positions.

  48. Anonymous - Nov 5, 2010 at 6:25 PM

    I respect the opinions that posters have regarding Adam Dunn. Some of you like him; some don't. But I am amazed at the arguments for not signing Dunn and replacing him with just about anybody. If you can't hold out the possibility that someone else will do a better job, how do the Nats get better by downgrading at 1B? Someone above said LaRoche is an option. I agree. Willingham? I don't agree, especially if he spends most of the year trying to get up to speed. Replace Dunn? OK. With anybody? Nope.fpcsteve

  49. N. Cognito - Nov 5, 2010 at 6:36 PM

    Perhaps you replace Dunn in 2012 and only have a fill-in for 2011. If the info on the Dunn negotiations implying disagreement over contract length is true, the Nats don't want to be stuck paying Dunn a lot of money should his numbers take a tailspin – it's a possibility and they might not want to take that risk. They might also have other directions they want to go in 2012 or 2013 and don't want Dunn "in the way." I don't know, but that could be the Nats thinking.

  50. N. Cognito - Nov 5, 2010 at 6:41 PM

    SpashCity said… "While I agree that first base is the least physically demanding position, I disagree with the premise that the better defensive left fielder will automatically be the better defensive first baseman."Automatically? I agree. However, the premise is basically true. Firstbase and leftfield are where you place your defensively challenged players.

  51. Anonymous - Nov 5, 2010 at 6:42 PM

    Yep, if Dunn doesn't re-up with the Nats the solution ought to be short term (espcially given what is available as FA's). Marrerro, in theory, is the long-term answer. His performance at Syracuse next year will likely decide that. If it isn't him, there is at least one (high end) FA available in 2012–A. Gonzalez. That said, I don't think Marrerro is the solution. OK bat, bad glove.fpcsteve

  52. N. Cognito - Nov 5, 2010 at 6:53 PM

    Pujols will also be available in 2012.Yeah, right.

  53. Anonymous - Nov 5, 2010 at 7:20 PM

    For the arbitration date question from a while back, this is from the MLB.com siteNov. 23, 2010Last day for teams to offer salary arbitration to free agents in order to preserve their right to draft-pick compensationNov. 30, 2010Last day for free agents to accept salary-arbitration offers

  54. Anonymous - Nov 5, 2010 at 7:31 PM

    The Nats can talk all they want to about signing a top-of-the-rotation free agent pitcher or a quality all-around 1B or one of the better free agent outfielders. The problem is that player has to be willing to sign and play for Washington. Currently, there is no incentive to do that aside from an overwhelming money offer. The Lerners do not seem inclined to do that.The Nats have little of trade value so trading for a player is pretty much out of the question unless they part with one of the few pieces they have for the future. The best you can hope for is that they sign a player like Webb [currently being suggested on several sites as a Nationals possible pickup] and give him an incentive laced deal. The problem is that Webb is more likely to be another Wang than a Pavano.I see next year's team losing Dunn and gaining very little. Sure hope I am wrong.

  55. JD - Nov 5, 2010 at 7:54 PM

    Teams sign good value free agents all the time; this is what separates the good GM's from the mediocre ones. I don't have a list in front of me but at the top of my head I can think of Aubrey Huff for $3 mil, Capps for 2.5 mil etc. Fans like to focus on the big names but players like Lee, Crawford and Werth will sign big mega deals which are likely to prove poor value in the long run; teams are always looking to correct mistakes they made in the past but they can't get rid of bad contracts without eating most of the salaries. Carlos Lee, Aaron Rowand, Alex Rios, Vernon Wells, Oliver Perez, Luis Castillo etc.

  56. Feel Wood - Nov 5, 2010 at 9:00 PM

    "I realize that Willingham was better at all or most of these than Dunn, but I don't think that translates into being better at all the specialized skills that first base requires."Willingham used to be a catcher. Those are the kind of skills that would translate pretty well to first base. As opposed to Dunn, who had none of those skills to bring with him to first.

  57. JaneB - Nov 6, 2010 at 1:37 AM

    Anon at 2:25 today, I'm with you. The idea that we should replace Dunn with any warm 1base player is just nuts. The salary we would have to pay for some one who is AS GOOD let alone better would be better spent on HIM, and keeping Zimm protected.

  58. NatBiscuit - Nov 6, 2010 at 2:15 AM

    I'm a sign Dunn fan, but I am among those who contend that there is a significant probability that Willingham would be a better 1B than Dunn. Dunn moves slowly – with the speed of a 6'7" 290 pound giant. Willingham is more agile at 6'2" 220. He came up as a 3B and was able to adjust to catcher before moving to the OF as a major leaguer. All that said, I don't expect them to move the Hammer to 1B even if Dunn is not signed. I think they will acquire another 1B and continue to play Willingham in the OF. I think there is a greater chance that Morse, Flores, or Marerro will lead the team in appearances at 1B than there is Willingham will do so.Just a theory, but it's mine….

  59. pahou - Nov 6, 2010 at 11:20 AM

    just say NO to Marerro!!!!!!!!!

  60. Sunderland - Nov 6, 2010 at 1:16 PM

    Curious about something.IF:The Nats do not sign a first baseman this offseason, and reasoning that Marrero is not ready, would you rather see Willingham or Morse at 1B?My thought has been Morse, in that he's got a lot of infield experience and Josh was a decent left fielder last year. I'm just presuming that Morse will be better at 1B than Willingham.

  61. Slidell - Nov 6, 2010 at 2:00 PM

    Sunderland; I agree that Morse would be a better idea at 1B, especially if Rizzo and Company remain intent on continuing with Nyjer.

  62. BinM - Nov 6, 2010 at 2:00 PM

    Sunderland: My 'gut' feeling is that Morse would probably be a better 1B than Willingham (taller, more range, no back or knee problems to date). Fangraphs shows Morse as a plus 1.9 career UZR, but that's only 39GP over four seasons. Willingham, with only 4 INNINGS at 1B is a huge unknown. Either one of them is a crapshoot, at best. If Rizzo thinks that they need better defense at 1B, they'd best sign a proven 1B.

  63. Anonymous - Nov 6, 2010 at 2:22 PM

    Marerro is likely a year away at best. That said, his power isn't what you would expect at 1B and, by all accounts, he is inadequate defensively. Morse buys you one year at 1B short of catching lightning in a bottle. If you don't sign Dunn, you spend that money on pitching and bats in other positions (OF in particular). What SP is out there as a FA who is both great and willing to come here? That might be problematic. If defense and pitching is ther lesson learned from the WS, then you might trade for SP. If Desmond is part of a package for Greinke, pitching and defense improve at the same time. Espinoza goes to short. FA money then goes for bats (per McPhail). Just a thought… It's Hot Stove season after all.

  64. Anonymous8 - Nov 6, 2010 at 2:51 PM

    MLB Network thinks Jayson Werth to Boston and Carl Crawford to the Angels and of course Cliff Lee to the Yankees.So if the 3 biggest Free Agents don't come to Washington, there is plenty of cash to retain Adam Dunn and it shouldn't even be a big raise from the $12 million Dunn made in 2010.

  65. Anonymous8 - Nov 6, 2010 at 2:56 PM

    ….and from Nats Journal "Nationals will pursue former Cy Young winner Brandon Webb".That is no surprise. That was one of Rizzo's boys and this becomes another reclamation project that could end up a waste of resources like Chien Ming-Wang.Anyone think getting Webb will be a great move?

  66. Anonymous - Nov 6, 2010 at 3:44 PM

    I think it's a solid move. But I'll be worried if he becomes talked of as the "#1 starter" Rizzo is looking for.

  67. Anonymous - Nov 6, 2010 at 3:59 PM

    As I said before Webb is the 2011 version of Wang. Rumors – both old and current – suggest a big push for Pena will be made. As a Boras client, I can't see Boras letting him sign for more than a year especially after his sub .200 batting average.It will be interesting to see what happens this off-season. Season ticket sales will be way down. Nothing in the off-season will help unless Dunn is retained. I'm not sure even Dunn will help. Now that he is a Type A free agent, I don't see him staying. ML

  68. Slidell - Nov 6, 2010 at 7:05 PM

    I see on Goessling's website that Scott Olsen has been waived and that he has selected free agency. Not a big surprise, finally bringing this soap opera to an end. One less on the deck.

  69. BinM - Nov 6, 2010 at 7:17 PM

    Swap Olsen's (now a FA) salary ($1M+) for Webb at the same salary level, and it's a good deal. If Webb wants a Ben Sheets-type deal ($6-10M salary, no bonus), fuggetaboutit. How about trades? If the Nationals take a serious run at Greinke [KC], it might take 4-5 players/prospects to get it done. They're lacking in a lot of spots, so maybe an OF-P-three/four prospect offer could persuade Dayton Moore to make the deal. How about Greinke & Ka'aihue from KC for Willingham, Martis, Marrero, Rosenbaum, Holder, & Souza from WSH. Tampa Bay is trying to shed salary without holding a 'fire sale', so maybe target Garza for an offer of 3-4 'controlled' players in return; Garza from TB for Bernadina, Lannan, Mock & Carr from WSH.

  70. Big Cat - Nov 6, 2010 at 7:34 PM

    It just kills me to read all these "GM's" talk bad about Marrero. All he did this year was hit .294 with 18 bombs and 85 ribbies in Harrisburg. And he only missed one game the whole year. I have seen him a lot in Potomac. He's a good kid with a good work ethic. Right now he is in Ponce of the Puerto Rican Winter League hitting .333 after 9 games. You wait, I think Rizzo is gonna stick him at first next year and he is gonna hit around .275 with 15-20 bombs and 70-80 ribbies. Fooyey on Dunn, he'll be in the beer league in 2 years anyhow

  71. N. Cognito - Nov 6, 2010 at 10:43 PM

    "It just kills me to read all these "GM's" talk bad about Marrero. "I think you need to learn to accept the fact that a good number of posters on blogs and boards make little to no effort to research things before they post comments.With a homerun swing and little else, once his bat speed slows, Dunn is a good candidate for a fast collapse.

  72. Big Cat - Nov 7, 2010 at 12:42 PM

    Yes….and judging from his body shape, little to no off season conditioning other than 12 ounce curls. I too see Dunn falling off the cliff rather quickly. This kid…..Moore….I believe won Minor League Player of the year playing in Potomac. He had amazing stats. Next year will tell a lot with him, playing in AA that is. Pitching gets a lot smarter.

  73. Anonymous - Nov 7, 2010 at 1:23 PM

    Marrero can not hit in pressure situations. he looks like a complete idiot both on the field at at the plate at times. If he is so good why is he not in the Arizona finishing school league?

  74. Anonymous - Nov 7, 2010 at 1:48 PM

    I found this interesting this morning from Bill Ladson at Nationals.com:According to a baseball source, the Nationals have had a three-year deal on the table for three months, but Dunn and his agent, Greg Genske, have not accepted the offerNow listen, if I were Dunn I would want to test the free agent waters too. I don't blame him one bit. But I get tired of reading posts from people saying to sign Dunn and blaming Rizzo for him not being signed. It takes two to tango people.

  75. N. Cognito - Nov 7, 2010 at 6:44 PM

    Anonymous said… I found this interesting this morning from Bill Ladson at Nationals.com:"According to a baseball source, the Nationals have had a three-year deal on the table for three months, but Dunn and his agent, Greg Genske, have not accepted the offer"Though I agree that putting all the blame on the Nats is rather perfunctory for some, this means nothing without context.Did Dunn's agent counter?Had Dunn's agent previously given the Nats any sort of minimum figures necessary for him to respond?

  76. Anonymous - Nov 7, 2010 at 6:51 PM

    I noted there was no speculation on the money for that 3-year contract. My guess it is $40M or less. Two years ago, the Nats made an offer and eventually Dunn took that offer when no others came forward. My guess is that either he will get a better offer earlier or the Nats will sign a 1B prior to Dunn's decision and therefore take that poffer off the table. If the Nats decide to play the waiting game, we will see either Willimaham or Morse at 1b next season. If that happens, I will be interested in the spin doctor's explanation how that have significantly upgraded their 1B defense.The other point in the article was the Nats management stating they had sufficient prospects to pull off a big deal. Aside from Harper, who cannot be dealt by rule, I don't see anyone in the minors who would make other teams move a top-line player as good as the Nats feel they could get. The Nats have no depth in the majors. If they dealt a Willingham, Espinosa or Desmond, they would just be trading one problem area for another. The catcher position is the only area they have depth enough for other teams to have interest. Their best trade bait is Ramos but he is the only catcher with solid defensive skills. ML

  77. JayB - Nov 7, 2010 at 7:20 PM

    Two things of interest to me.One in the AFL stars game last night…..only 1 Nat played and he looked bad…..Burgess tapped the first pitch on four hops back to the pitcher and then struck out on 4 pitches….stepping in the bucket against a soft tossing left handed pitcher….looked like a man with no plan.Two, in the AFL stars game last night…..tons of great talent that could have been drafted by the Nats instead of Ross D and Burgess and Chris M and Jack McGeary and Josh Smoker………man we missed on a lot of great players….That game was full a great looking players and we had none of them….not one.

  78. NatBiscuit - Nov 7, 2010 at 10:56 PM

    Thom Lovero, who is not my favorite columnist wrote an opinion in the Examiner today. He offers some odd logic that because they did not spend more before, the Lerners are advised not to spend more now. (See link below). I find the logic rather flawed but it's November and he's writing about the Nationals so I guess that is a good thing. Still, if I understand him correctly, he is arguing against the quick fix big contract. If so, I agree with that, but if he is arguing against taking on a larger budget then I disagree. If you spend all your money on Cliff Lee and then can't acquire other players that would be foolish. But I don't think any of us are thinking there is much chance of a star player signing without some indication that the Nationals will provide a supporting cast.http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/sports/Offseason-approach-is-slow-and-steady-1469563-106824433.html

  79. JayB - Nov 7, 2010 at 11:19 PM

    Thanks for the Link…..Thom L is saying the Lerner's Fed Up and nobody will come here now no matter what they spend. He is saying they lost the fan base and any good will and they have no options to get it back…..sadly that is true.

  80. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_for_Me - Nov 8, 2010 at 2:15 AM

    I think the last person Thom Loverro interviewed for a column was Lincoln. He gets the U.S. Postal Service Columnist Award. Nobody this side of Wilbon mails it in more often.

  81. Anonymous - Nov 8, 2010 at 2:59 AM

    No high profile free agent will stoop low enough to sign with the Nationals. V

  82. Steve M. - Nov 8, 2010 at 3:46 PM

    Thom Loverro brings up some valid points riddled in his sarcasm of "getting the band back together" and calling the team a door mat.Thom is probably looking in the mirror when talking about door mats as he is now writing for the Washington Examiner.Seriously though, the point is the Nats have almost no chance in signing Cliff Lee even if they offer over value to get him, but you have to try as maybe Cliff Lee will do it as a money grab with the hopes that he can help the Nats do what Texas put together. Crazier things have happened although I would say the Nats have less than a 1% chance unless Lerner wants to make an offer so ridiculous like $29 million a year.Better efforts with better results may be to look towards trading for a #1 pitcher although that becomes a shorter term deal as pitchers like Greinke would only be a 2 year deal.

  83. Anonymous - Nov 8, 2010 at 6:08 PM

    The only valid point Thom Loverro has ever brought up in his life was the time he said "I can't believe I ate the whole thing."

Archives

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Brent Harris every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com.

Follow us on Twitter