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Wang, Antonelli & the GIBBYs

Dec 18, 2010, 3:39 PM EST

Good Saturday morning to you, NatsTown. Hope everyone is staying warm and dreaming wonderful thoughts of pitchers and catchers reporting to sunny Viera in less than two months' time.

Couple of quick-hit items to pass along as you enjoy your coffee and morning paper. (Does anyone out there still read the paper? Please assure me someone does. I may not be in the newspaper business anymore, but I still believe in the importance of the printed daily word.)

Anyways, here's what's going on…

Wang contract incentives
Details of Chien-Ming Wang's contract have emerged. According to the Taipai Times, Wang's $1 million base salary can be bolstered in a number of ways with various incentives that could bring the total value of the deal up to $5 million.

If Wang is on the Nationals' 25-man roster more than 30 days in 2011, he'll receive $250,000. If he's on the roster more than 60 days, he'll receive another $250,000. And if he's on the roster more than 90 days, he'll receive yet another $250,000 bonus.

Also, Wang will earn $100,000 upon making his 10th start of the season, with another $100,000 due for each subsequent start through No. 19. He would receive $150,000 apiece for his 20th and 21st starts, and $200,000 for his 22nd start. If he can make it to start No. 23, he'll earn another $300,000 bonus, with $300,000 more offered upRead more »

  1. N. Cognito - Dec 18, 2010 at 3:53 PM

    Signing Antonelli is the big break Nats fans have been waiting for.And the GIBBY…now there's an important award.

  2. sjm 308 - Dec 18, 2010 at 3:59 PM

    Mark:Yes, I read the paper first, and then come here for even more news. Something about holding the paper in my hands for the last 50 some years that still feels right. Tried reading the comics on-line but Doonesbury is just better in the paper. Same with the crossword puzzle. Great thing about your site is that you constantly update and the comments are also inciteful and usually positive. Go Nats, sign a firstbaseman Please!!

  3. Anonymous - Dec 18, 2010 at 3:59 PM

    Yes, I still read the morning paper… to catch up on whatever wasn't posted on the website the night before.

  4. Dad - Dec 18, 2010 at 4:09 PM

    Re: the newspaper – I have gone almost 100% electronic. I am glad to have your work in this medium, otherwise I would not have found it. My son brought by a copy of the Post from a few days ago to show me Wilbon's final column. Browsing that section I did think, wow – look at that, there is some other interesting stuff in here as well that I had not come across in my e-reader. Still not planning on subscribing, though….

  5. Big Cat - Dec 18, 2010 at 4:11 PM

    Yeah, I was watching the awards last night on the MLB channel. I also saw when they had the bonehead awards. And the first one they showed was our boy Morgan in centerfield, when he missed that flyball and threw his glove down in disgust as the batter circled the bases. Lord I hope he is gone when the season starts

  6. Souldrummer - Dec 18, 2010 at 4:45 PM

    I read the morning paper! Or at least browse the sports section when housemates get it.

  7. Stranded_in_Philly - Dec 18, 2010 at 5:17 PM

    Mark, according to MLBTraderumors, "The Nationals were informed that in order to land Greinke, they would have to part with Jordan Zimmermann, Drew Storen, and Danny Espinosa." Please tell me Rizzo would not consider that…

  8. Mark Zuckerman - Dec 18, 2010 at 5:24 PM

    No way Rizzo gives up all three of those guys for Greinke.

  9. Feel Wood - Dec 18, 2010 at 5:25 PM

    The GIBBY awards show was on MLB Network last night. Aside from Strasburg's debut's win for Game of the Year, other Nats nominees included Zimmerman for Defensive Player of the Year and Nyjer Morgan twice – for Oddity of the Year (spiking his glove on that play against the O's) and Play of the Year (the catch up in Baltimore). Also Matt Capps was one of the nominees for Closer of the Year. Unless I missed it, no Orioles were nominated for anything.

  10. Anonymous - Dec 18, 2010 at 5:28 PM

    Yes Mark, I do still read the morning paper – provided it is not published by the Moonies. Thus I never read any of your work until you started doing this site.

  11. joemktg - Dec 18, 2010 at 5:29 PM

    But one or two of those three, with the obvious candidates Storen and Espinosa, unless they know something about Zimm's recovery that is under wraps.I read the paper…on my Droid X. The written word is the written word, regardless of the medium.

  12. SpringfieldFan - Dec 18, 2010 at 5:39 PM

    I'm pretty excited about the Antonelli signing. Looks like he's had a tough year, with two surgeries, but hopefully he's coming out of it eager to play.

  13. TimDz - Dec 18, 2010 at 5:52 PM

    The Nats are on Greinke's no trade list anyway, so it makes no difference who they want or who we want to offer.

  14. Doc - Dec 18, 2010 at 5:53 PM

    MarkMeister, the best part of your "Nats Insider" is that it reads like the sports section of a newspaper.Your anlaysis of Ming's contract suggests that you might consider being a sports' agent on the side–the 10% of the action side.Unless the pitcher is Nolan Ryan in his prime, JZim, Storen, and Espi for any pitcher would be dumb, dumb, and dumber! Like the shelf life of any pitcher, Greinke's future success is only 50-50!

  15. SonnyG10 - Dec 18, 2010 at 6:04 PM

    Greinke is a potential head case. I would worry about giving up part of the core of our future for someone that may go south on us and leave us with nothing.

  16. Rich - Dec 18, 2010 at 6:04 PM

    Here's a question for the group… Does Wang have any options left? If we put him on the disabled list and then allow him rehab starts and if he's not ready can we put him in AAA (like we did to Lannan) so we can retain another year of control? I am also confused because I looked on Cot's ( and it says that Wang only has 4.159 yrs of ML service that has got to be wrong, right? I miss NFA these were the dumb questions I could ask Brian…

  17. Mark Zuckerman - Dec 18, 2010 at 6:15 PM

    Rich: Cot's hasn't updated service time yet. Wang is now at 5.159 after spending all of this season on the major-league DL. This will be his final season of arbitration-eligibility, so he'll be a free agent next winter no matter what he does this year.I'm honestly not sure if he has any options left, but I would imagine the Nats won't send him on a rehab assignment until they're absolutely sure he's close enough to MLB-ready.

  18. Anonymous - Dec 18, 2010 at 6:20 PM

    Regarding the trade rumor Stranded in Philly mentioned, if I was the GM, I would be reluctant to trade any of the 3 guys. I definitely wouldn't give up Zimmermann, and would have a tough time giving up either Espinosa or Storen–maybe one of them, but definitely not both. Even,if I was convinced to give up one in a package deal, I would want to get Greinke signed to an extension first. I don't believe in giving up on young guys who have shown so much potential, especially since they've shown it at the major league level.

  19. Anonymous - Dec 18, 2010 at 6:21 PM

    Re; no trade list. If KC has a deal worked out with the Nats they love they can negotiate with Greinke to waive the no-trade clause. Usually mo' money.

  20. BQ - Dec 18, 2010 at 6:43 PM

    Greinke wants to go somewhere he can receive some support. I am not sure Washington is the place he has in mind even if a deal works out with KC. Besides, it is not a good idea to part with any of these youngsters. All of them have shown tremendous potential in big leagues and they are young (23 or less I believe). I understand Zack is also younger and more proven than any of these but still 3 against 1. I wouldn't do it.

  21. Anonymous8 - Dec 18, 2010 at 7:20 PM

    Personally I read some of Greinke's comments and I am not a fan as this guy had one great year in his entire career and acts like he is the 2nd coming of Cliff Lee. He makes comments that probably won't make him a great fit for the Nats as he clearly is looking for a "winning team" now, not one in the future.Greinke was quoted saying, "I was just burned out a little bit. My only motivation now is winning. … When we're 20 games out, it's hard to get excited to come to the park." Well dude, guess what, the Nats will be 20 games out in August this year so who the heck needs you and your attitude.

  22. natsfan1a - Dec 18, 2010 at 7:25 PM

    Missed the awards program last night, but did watch much of the recent airing of the 1960 World Series game 7. Was great to watch the old footage, and to hear the reflections of former players as they watched along with a studio audience (and Bob Costas). I highly recommend the program if you get the network and it airs again (it's been on twice that I know of, so perhaps it will air again). I understand that the game was also released on DVD. I love MLB Network (as my grandpa-in-law often stated: I may have told you this before but it's worth telling again)!On another note, I'm another who still reads the newspaper, and in print at that (though I do read articles online as well). If I'm sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee but no paper, it just feels wrong. I also appreciate the journalistic standards that newspapers have traditionally applied, and which can be lacking on the Interwebz, imho (ahem). Those standards are most definitely *not* lacking on this site, however, where we have the best of both worlds, again imho.

  23. Anonymous - Dec 18, 2010 at 7:33 PM

    I listen to the Royals on the local AM station (Nebraska). The guys who do the Royals' broadcasts are not big Grienke fans. Work ethic and commitment are big out here. Grienke apparently comes up short in those areas. When he is traded, I doubt that there will be any over-the-top complaints from Royals fans. Buyer beware…fpcsteve

  24. Jack - Dec 18, 2010 at 7:55 PM

    Matt is very excited to be part of the Washington Nationals. He is ready to prove to everyone he is healthy and is looking foward to having a productive year

  25. sjm 308 - Dec 18, 2010 at 7:56 PM

    Natsfan1A: I also caught the 1960 game the other day. I had forgotten that Bobby Schantz pitched so well for the Yankee's and actually had a single in that game. Did you notice how quickly the game went? Batters went up to hit, no stepping out on each pitch because they had nothing to adjust, no pads or gloves. I am so glad we are a national league team because in these games the pitcher and pinch hitters played a big role. How cool to see Clemente, Mantle, Maris and even Whitey Ford warming in the late innings just in case. I remember coming home from school and watching the end of this game on our little black and white TV. Good memories.On Grienke, I really don't like what I read here and would never give up even two of the three they have listed. Go Nats!

  26. natsfan1a - Dec 18, 2010 at 8:14 PM

    I did notice that, sjm. No gloves to adjust, also no batting helmets. The pitchers didn't fidget or fuss on the mound either, and there were no strikeouts in the game. Was definitely fun to see all of the "greats" who were part of the game. Last but not least, I'm a big fan of the stirrup socks.I agree re. the impression given by the comments attributed to Greinke.

  27. Slidell - Dec 18, 2010 at 9:00 PM

    My recollection of the '60 Series is that there were 3 Yankee blow-out wins and 4 nail-biting victories for the Pirates. Showed that scrappiness sometimes trumps talent.

  28. Anonymous - Dec 18, 2010 at 9:35 PM

    I believe they were wearing batting helmets in that 1960 WS. Just without ear flaps – that was the style in the 1960s. Hard to tell on the grainy B&W footage though.

  29. JD - Dec 18, 2010 at 10:13 PM

    You guys are over valuing our players. Espinosa is far from a sure thing and I love Storen but you are talking about a CY Young winner in his prime; with the exception of Zimmermann (replace him with Detwiler) I make this trade every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

  30. Tim - Dec 18, 2010 at 10:29 PM

    What JD Said.

  31. Will - Dec 18, 2010 at 10:34 PM

    Seriously. Even if Storen becomes a great relief pitcher. At most, he'll throw 70 innings per season. A good starting pitcher, throws over 200 innings per year. Essentially, one good SP is worth 3 good relievers.With that said, it doesn't make sense for the Nats to trade Zimmermann for Greinke, because the point of acquiring an ace like Greinke is to shore up our rotation. We're back to square one if we trade one of the few quality pitchers already in our rotation.

  32. LoveDaNats - Dec 18, 2010 at 10:46 PM

    Mark, are you absolutely certain you want to stay in journalism? I told MASN during an opinion poll last week they should hire you as the new Debbie Taylor. My bad…..

  33. JayB - Dec 18, 2010 at 10:55 PM

    Agreed on the trade…make it for Zack K…..keep whoever you think is better Zimmnn or Norris Danny E is fun on a very bad team but a top pitcher makes this team 15 wins better right away.

  34. Phil dunn - Dec 18, 2010 at 11:03 PM

    I'll bet Wang doesn't win one game for the Nationals this season. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. The "me" in this is Rizzo & this is a dumb move.

  35. Anonymous - Dec 18, 2010 at 11:08 PM

    Greinke is a head case who has done time in the nervous hospital. The Nats should pass on this whacko.

  36. JayB - Dec 18, 2010 at 11:09 PM

    Phil,You got give long odds on that bet…..10 to 1?

  37. Anonymous - Dec 19, 2010 at 12:12 AM

    What will a 15-game improvement get us? Nothing in our division thanks to the Phils and the Braves. A division winner and likely a wild card. So there is one wild card left. Will we be better than San Diego, SF, Colorado? How about Cincinnati or St. Louis? I don't think so. What do we get? A pitcher who says he can't get motivated to pitch for a bad team and wants to play for a winner. And which Grienke do we get? The CY winner or the mediocre pitcher for every year save that one excceptional year? I'm going to pass and wait a year for the pitching we've got coming. Ask yourself, why is KC hellbent to trade him when they control him for 2 more years?

  38. natscan reduxit - Dec 19, 2010 at 12:20 AM

    Hi Mark,… I most certainly do read the newspapers, and not just because I'm a retired photojournalist and my wife is an active newspaper editor. The only difference for me is that while I read many many papers daily, I do so online.Go Nats!natscan redixit– 30 —

  39. sjm 308 - Dec 19, 2010 at 2:06 AM

    OMG: A debbie taylor reference a week before Christmas and I was having such a good hot stove month. This is going to take a great deal of meditation and hard rock music to get her out of my thoughts. Is there anyone you guys have seen who is worse at asking inane questions? (all the while cocking her head to one side or the other).

  40. Sarah - Dec 19, 2010 at 4:04 AM

    I can't name any papers that I read.

  41. dale - Dec 19, 2010 at 11:53 AM

    "JayB said… Agreed on the trade…make it for Zack K…..keep whoever you think is better Zimmnn or Norris Danny E is fun on a very bad team but a top pitcher makes this team 15 wins better right away."Let's say a number one pitcher makes 32 starts a season. Let's say an average Nats pitcher wins 8 games. That means that Greinke will need to win 23 games (or leave the game with a lead in 23 games) to make that statement true. Possible? Yes. Probable? No. Now add in the factor of trading away your best current Nats pitcher (Zimmerman) and at least one part of your starting infield to obtain Greinke. The trade for Greinke then becomes a net loss for the Nats. Whatever extra wins you pick up by adding Greinke is lost on the other end from losing the services of Zimmerman and a potential starting infielder for years.

  42. Jeeves - Dec 19, 2010 at 12:17 PM

    Why does no one address the fact that Greinke can be had for only two years, with only one of those being a competitive year when they could make the playoffs? To give up an Espinosa and a Storen for one year of Greinke is, well, plain stupid. The Nats would have to be able to extend the contract to even consider a deal and Greinke, apparently, doesn't want to be here.

  43. JayB - Dec 19, 2010 at 12:48 PM

    Zimmermann is not a top pitcher…not even a good pitcher at this point. Very hittable 92-93 MPH fastball. Being a top Nats pitcher at this point means nothing…what he is better than Chico, Martin, Jason M, Livo….it is at best a project that may or may not pay off. Look back two years ago at when he was "at his best"….not anything worth building a team around in my view. Danny E…nice player but not a sure thing…recall Maxwell's Sept stats a few years ago. Norris….can not catch period.Yes you would have to extend the Zack G contract as part of the deal. He would not waive his no trade to Nats without that…as with Jayson W….we are going to have to over pay real talent to come here….That is the true cost of Lerner's first 5 years of mismanagement of the team. They saved several 100 million dollars in 2006-2010 being cheap, now they are going to have to spend it.

  44. JayB - Dec 19, 2010 at 1:02 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  45. JayB - Dec 19, 2010 at 1:09 PM

    Average Nats pitcher wins 8 games….Dale do you watch the team? That is our top pitcher not the average Nats pitcher….Martin is the average Nats pitcher and he wins 3-5 tops.This team needs proven power pitchers who are top of the rotation types….those cost money or prospects. Nats should have wised up sooner and not dug such a deep whole for themselves, but they did so now it is going to cost big $ to get talent here. Nats should have put huge dollars in front of Vasquez and Del Rosa in October and then trades would not have been an issue but they lost those two before they learned the lesson of Jayson W….They have to over pay big right now. The more they spend and the faster they do it the sooner that will not be the case going forward. Jayson W and the next few FA are the lucky ones….Don't feel bad for Lerners, we paid the bill the past 5 years of Lerner Ownership….it is money in the bank now….we fans put it there…..dumb approach to building the team yes, but what is done is done and I for one say it is time to move on and build a winner even if it cost %50 more than it should have.

  46. Will - Dec 19, 2010 at 1:32 PM

    No need arguing anymore. Greinke was traded to the Brewers.So… how about Garza?

  47. Anonymous8 - Dec 19, 2010 at 1:55 PM, and the Royals got a great deal including Lorenzo Cain.How's about Pavano who doesn't require trading any players?

  48. JayB - Dec 19, 2010 at 2:03 PM

    Too slow yet again……they just can not seem to make decisions and move fast. Even Jason W was planned out months in advance….looks like more Adam Kennedy leftovers yet again….Could the Lerners be that stupid……yes they can!

  49. Anonymous8 - Dec 19, 2010 at 2:25 PM

    JayB – I still don't think Greinke for 2 years would be a difference maker when you are giving up 3 or 4 players that you are counting on for 5 to 6 more years.I still like that saying "Sometimes the best trades are the ones you don't make".

  50. Jim Webster - Dec 19, 2010 at 2:42 PM

    Perhaps JayB should tell us what he really thinks about the Lerners. Maybe he would prefer Dan Snyder as the Nationals owner.

  51. Anonymous - Dec 19, 2010 at 2:44 PM

    JayB you can't blame the Lerner's. The Nationals were on Greinke's no trade list. No way was he going to ok a trade here.I don't follow the Brewer's but it does seem like reading about the players the Royals got, they received much less than they were asking from Washington.

  52. Anonymous - Dec 19, 2010 at 2:54 PM

    Brewers Rotation1. Greinke 2. Gallardo 2. Marcum 4. Wolf 5. Narveson That rotation looks decent but how are they getting by the Cardinals and Reds in 2011 and 2012?If the trade was about beating out the Cubs for 3rd place then great, but the Brewers had 3rd place last year.Yes, teams have to always be about continual approval but trading away parts of your future in SS Alcides Escobar, CF Lorenzo Cain, and pitching prospects Jeremy Jeffress and Jake Odorizzi seems like a very high price to pay.

  53. JD - Dec 19, 2010 at 2:58 PM

    Anon @ 9:44, Not true; Lorenzo Cain is a top notch center field prospect and Escobar is a young SS with major league experience. I am not familiar with the pitchers involved but this was a great haul for the Royals. I don't think we had the pieces to get Greinke unless we included Zimmermann. I strongly disagree with JayB about Zimmermann; he clearly has 'swing and miss' stuff; coming off TJ surgery he is still struggling to regain consistency but you don't give up someone who might turn into Greinke up in addition to Storen and Espinosa. That's really counter productive. As for Vasquez and DeLarosa; they are not worth overpaying for; their upside is not that great. BTW; the trade for Greinke proves the value of developing MANY prospects and of extra draft picks which some want to minimize because they don't get the instant gratification.

  54. Wally - Dec 19, 2010 at 3:30 PM

    I am with JD on this one. That Brewers package is equal to the JZimm, Storen, Espy and probably plus something lower level, if not stronger. And also not something that I would have done because of JZimm.JZimm has demonstrated good peripherals and is learning to pitch/recover from TJ. Other than Stras, we don't have anyone like that in the system near the majors (I would like to see Solis over a full season). I don't think he'll ever be quite as good as greinke, but he can come close and we need multiple good pitchers. You don't trade the very thing that you are trying to build.I think that if they would put Espy, Storen and Ramos in a package, they could get Garza. That seems like a lot to me, but we would have to think about it.

  55. Janner33 - Dec 19, 2010 at 3:48 PM

    MLB Trade Rumours: (Heyman on Twitter) "the Royals were close to an agreement with Washington, but Greinke told the team he wouldn't accept a deal to the Nationals, who were on his no-trade list"@JayB, So I guess it wasn't a case of the Lerners being cheap, or the FO moving too slowly.

  56. JayB - Dec 19, 2010 at 4:06 PM

    Guess why he had the Nats on a no trade list……If Nats had not just turned in 300 loses in 3 years and if they had offered a long term deal that beat everyone else he would have likely changed that tune…..not the end of the world but it is a very troubling a continuation of the same old problem that Lerner's created by mismanaging the first 5 years of ownership here. Until the do 3 or 4 Jayson W type moves this team will always be the last place anyone wants to go.

  57. BinM - Dec 19, 2010 at 4:24 PM

    So, it looks like MIL sends the following to KC… – Lorenzo Cain (24,R/R): #4OF in MIL. – Alcides Escobar (24,R/R): Starting SS.- Jeremy Jeffress (23,R/R): SP with some substance-abuse history (100-game suspension in minors). – Jacob Odorizzi (20,R/R): Prospect arm (2010 in A-level ball). Milwaukee recieves…- Zack Greinke (27,R/R): Top of the rotation SP. – Yuniesky Betancourt (28,R/R): Starting SS. I could be wrong, but it seems that KC got less for Greinke than what their rumored 'asking price' was from WSH.

  58. JayB - Dec 19, 2010 at 4:31 PM

    Agreed….300 Loses and a losing tradition is hard to shake….you will recall I had warned that this would be a major problem back in 2007/8/9/10…..and it is the biggest issue facing the team….lack of spending created the problem….over spending is the only way to fix it.

  59. Anonymous - Dec 19, 2010 at 9:51 PM

    JayB comment outline (insert for all threads as necessary):-300 losses!-Losing tradition!-I am Cassandra, crying in the wilderness! {Oh, if only the Nats had hired me)-Lernerz r cheep!-this (move/non-move, insert as appropriate) is crazy and stupid!I think we've all figured out your viewpoint, JayB. I'm even OK with you saying all this once per thread. But four or five times per thread? Really?John C.





As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

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