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Arbitration, AFL and Upton

Nov 22, 2010, 4:05 PM EST

Photo courtesy Bill Scheuerman
Bryce Harper more than held his own in the Arizona Fall League.

This being Thanksgiving week and all, here's a smorgasbord of quick-hit Nats stuff to ponder over while you make your grocery list and prepare your strategy to walk into Best Buy at 4:30 a.m. Friday and snag a new HDTV…

There are several important dates over the course of the baseball offseason. One of them came Friday when teams had to add players to their 40-man roster to ensure they couldn't be lost in the Rule 5 draft. Another comes tomorrow, when teams must offer arbitration to Type A and Type B free agents to ensure draft-pick compensation if the player signs elsewhere.

The Nationals have only one free agent who fits either category, Adam Dunn, and it's a no-brainer they'll offer the big guy arbitration. That will ensure they get two draft picks as compensation should the Type A player leave. They'll definitely get a "sandwich" pick between the first two rounds. And they'll get either a first-round or a second-round pick depending on which team ends up signing Dunn. If the signing team owns pick 19-33, the Nats will get that club'sRead more »

  1. Anonymous - Nov 22, 2010 at 4:28 PM

    "Wow, where have those six years gone?" The toilet?

  2. PAY TO PLAY - Nov 22, 2010 at 5:10 PM

    Great recap piece Mark. I understand that the White Sox who hope to keep Konerko met with Dunn as did the Tigers who hope to get Victor Martinez. Seems Dunn is 2nd choice for most of the teams. In the back of Dunn's mind has to be a replay of this same point in time in 2008 where he was a 2nd or 3rd option for teams and nobody's 1st choice, and while the teams were calling nobody was making decent offers.With the improvement of the 2010 squad given the injuries and the poor bench and CF problems, I had hoped to see the same core of players which included Dunn.The fans of DC deserve better and this is a pivotal year for fan loyalty. Sure, Bryce Harper can be here in June of 2012 and Stephen Strasburg can be back in time for Opening Day 2012 so we can have much optimism about 2012 but what about 2011?This team cannot afford to take a step backwards in 2011 and while I agree with you Mark that the price is too much in terms of prospects to do the Justin Upton deal, the price is right to sign some Free Agents as the Nats have it to spend right now.

  3. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Nov 22, 2010 at 5:12 PM

    November 22: A date that will live in infamy.

  4. Doc - Nov 22, 2010 at 5:16 PM

    Apparently, Towers would also want the Lerners to give up a 1st born grandson as part of the trade for Upton!

  5. dj in Fl. - Nov 22, 2010 at 5:19 PM

    MarkWhat do you make of the Jason Bartlett to the Nats rumors going arond over the weekend ? I could not understand the reasoning behind trading away a solid bullpen piece for another shortstop.

  6. Anonymous - Nov 22, 2010 at 5:38 PM

    It is probably just me, but I have a feeling that Norris will never play for the Nats. I believe he's going to be a great player in the big leagues, but he has so much trade value and with the Nats "depth" at catcher I think he's going to be shipped out. FWIW, I think one of the Desmond/Espinoza combo will be gone too. They're both big league shortstops and to play one at 2B is somewhat of a waste of their talents.

  7. Steve M. - Nov 22, 2010 at 5:55 PM

    I believe Espinosa can be an immediate impact Gold Glove calibre 2nd baseman.The trades the Nats should be looking at is seeing what they can get for Willingham or packaging up some of the extra arms like Mock, Martin and Martis and spare parts like Maxwell and a bucket of balls.This team has been building for the future and to get off that path for the sake of making a trade is not smart. Stick to the plan and add a key piece through free agency and strenghten the bench. Speaking of the bench, Lombardozzi did a good job to make a case for himself as a bench role player.It will be interesting to see how Baseball America rates the Nats farm system after the great showing at the AFL.

  8. Anonymous - Nov 22, 2010 at 6:41 PM

    Mark:The Dunn draft pick has another possibility, I believe. If Dunn is signed by team owning pick 19-33 AND that team signs another, higher rated free agent (and Dunn was about the lowest rated), then the Nats would get a sandwich pick AND the other team's second round pick. The team losing the higher rated FA would get their first round pick instead of the Nats.If the signing team signed TWO FAs, we'd get the sandwich and their third round pick, etc.I was at Union Station 6 years ago. Didn't realize how big a deal it was at the time. Like the first responder, I read baseball blogs 365 days a year now. Can't wait to see what the next 6 years bring!

  9. Steve M. - Nov 22, 2010 at 7:22 PM

    In other news, Ryan Zimmerman got 16th place in the NL MVP voting today with Joey Votto taking home the big prize! think a Top 20 finish in the MVP from a last place team is another nice accomplishment for Zim.

  10. Steve M. - Nov 22, 2010 at 7:27 PM

    Sorry, I forgot to mention Adam Dunn was Top 25 in the MVP voting in 22nd place. Amazing, 2 players in the Top 25 and still a last place finish.

  11. JayB - Nov 22, 2010 at 7:52 PM

    There are only 15 teams so that means several other players from the same teams split votes before Zim got any respect….I do not see any light at the end of the tunnel from that data.

  12. Paul - Nov 22, 2010 at 7:55 PM

    In response to two of the comments:1. I think down the road Ramos will be the catcher and Norris will be moved to first. I bet they sign a 1 year free agent to bridge the gap.2. I agree with Espinosa as the long term 2B gold glove caliber type guy. Dustin Pedrioa came up as a short stop and that transition worked out pretty well.

  13. Anonymous - Nov 22, 2010 at 8:08 PM

    JayB, you did notice that by your criteria, Dunn and Zimmerman "split" the Nats vote? Geez. There's a difference between being "realistic" and being "negative." Anon @1:41pm is right, there are other contingencies if on what the Nationals would get for Dunn if he signs elsewhere. There was a pretty good writeup of the best- and worst-case scenarios on Federal Baseball: C.

  14. PAY TO PLAY - Nov 22, 2010 at 8:09 PM

    JayB, there are actually 16 teams in the NL and 32 voters and Zim got the right amount of respect being from a last place team.I want to know who was smoking crack that would give Ryan Howard a 2nd place vote?

  15. JD - Nov 22, 2010 at 8:59 PM

    1)I think Espinosa is the long term answer at short; I think Desmond should be considered as trade bait (don't give him away but do not consider him untouchable). 2) I would pick up a good veteran 2nd baseman from the FA market (yes Orlando Hudson is available again; 2 years at 8 mil sounds just about right; Bartlet is a good option too). 3) I would not give up on Norris as a catcher just yet he is just 21; by all accounts he is a better prospect than Ramos overall. 4) FA starting pitcher is vital; Delarosa would be my first choice but competition may over price him; I would not sign any pitcher for longer than 3 years. Pavano sounds pretty good too. 5) I don't think that Greinke is an option because they would want a package which contains Zimmermann + and Zimmermann may become Greinke in a couple of years. 6) There is zero justification for not penciling Morse in the lineup for 2011; either at first or in RF. 7) We should upgrade the outfield via trades focusing on high OBP players. 8) Forget about big time FA's like Lee, Crawford and Werth; they are not coming to DC and it would be a stupid spend of resources to overpay them. 9) Willingham's trade value may never be higher but I would absolutely consider keeping him for 2 – 3 years; he is our best OBP guy.10) .500 should be an absolute minimum goal for 2011.

  16. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Nov 22, 2010 at 10:02 PM

    Ladson (Idiot) has the Nats making an offer to J. Vazquez, which was probably a good idea, oh, 10-12 years ago.Diving into the Dumpster once again for those half-off cut-off items…Happy Thanksgiving, Lerners. The half-price turkeys are around the back, rotting in the alley. Enjoy.

  17. Anonymous - Nov 22, 2010 at 10:31 PM

    Sunshine, Vazquez got a votes for the NL Cy Young award in '09. So he had a bad year in New York. Tons of pitchers have that problem. Its hard to consider him dumpster diving when we used to have the likes of Mike Bascik, Tim Redding and Odalis Perez. Those 3 are dumpster diving.Now don't get my wrong, I don't think Vazquez is a number one or anything like that but saying things without actually thinking about some of the pitchers that have been here over the past 5 years seems to me to just be negativity.Oh why don't the lerners spend money? Oh why are they signing that bum? Make up your mind people.

  18. Anonymous8 - Nov 23, 2010 at 1:20 AM

    If I were the GM I wouldn't waste my money on Vazquez as I would spend it on Carl Crawford which gives you the ability to trade Josh Willingham and some of those AAAA pitchers on Adrian Gonzalez.Ok, yah, I am dreaming.

  19. Anonymous - Nov 23, 2010 at 4:42 AM

    NEVER UNDERESTIMATE MIKE RIZZO Mark, That may soon become your new mantra … hah!

  20. Sec 204 Row H Seat 7 - Nov 23, 2010 at 1:45 PM

    Mark,Could not Dunn finally accept the NATS offcer belatedly made and still on the table–3 years uppers 30's?

  21. Jimmy - Nov 23, 2010 at 2:08 PM

    Think outside the box if Dunn doesn't sign. Move Desmond to 1st, play Espinosa at SS and consider Lombardozzi at 2B. Go with the youth!

  22. Michel - Nov 25, 2010 at 4:21 PM

    I might be in the minority but I would like to see the Nats sign Javier Vazquez. He is actually the most underrated pitcher of the past decade. He is in the top 50 all time in strike outs. Look at his career stats and you will notice that his two worst years were both in new york (something about the city doesn't sit well). The rest of his career has been excellent/good (2001, 2003, 2007, 2009) to above average. If anything, with the young arms the Nats are trying to develop it would be great to have a veteran mentor them. Starting pitching was horrific for the Nats and I think they should sign Vazquez (esp. since it probably won't cost much) AND another free agent like Webb (a small risk) or Pavano (but shouldnt overpay for him. I am not a big fan of De la Rosa but he would probably still be an upgrade.





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