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Nats get Gorzelanny for 3 prospects

Jan 17, 2011, 8:12 PM EST

Updated at 6:08 p.m.

Tom Gorzelanny may not qualify as the "No. 1 starter" the Nationals have been seeking all winter. But the 28-year-old left-hander is more of a sure thing than several of the candidates vying for spots in the Nats' rotation, and he comes at a much cheaper price than other front-line pitchers on the market.

So general manager Mike Rizzo pulled the trigger today on a trade that brings Gorzelanny to Washington and sends minor-leaguers Michael Burgess, A.J. Morris and Graham Hicks to the Cubs, sources with knowledge of the deal have confirmed.

The trade won't become official until Gorzelanny passes a physical, expected to take place tomorrow.

Gorzelanny went 7-9 with a 4.09 ERA in 29 games (23 starts) for the Cubs last season. He owns a career 36-37 record and 4.68 ERA in six big-league seasons with the Cubs and Pirates, with whom he postedRead more »

  1. Anonymous - Jan 17, 2011 at 8:17 PM

    and I shall call them Gorzelannan.

  2. Mike Harris - Jan 17, 2011 at 8:18 PM

    Seriously? 36-37 lifetime with an ERA near 5? This is an upgrade? This is Scott Olsen.

  3. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 17, 2011 at 8:30 PM

    Man if one of the pitchers is A.J. Morris, I'm going to be pissed!

  4. Cwj - Jan 17, 2011 at 8:30 PM

    With all the question marks in the rotation, I don't think this was a bad move at all. Worse case scenario he struggles. It's not like they gave up the whole farm system to acquire him.

  5. Anonymous - Jan 17, 2011 at 8:30 PM

    Hmmm, Gorzelanny always had the potential to project into the #2 slot as his velocity is good enough. His issues are control and the frequency of walks and fly balls. But he was pretty solid and did the job for the Cubs.Lannan will always project into the #5 slot. This gives the Nats three left handed starters going into ST in Detwiler, Lannan, and Gorzelanny.

  6. Traveler8 - Jan 17, 2011 at 8:32 PM

    I'm not unhappy with Gorzelanny. We knew we weren't going to get anyone spectacular, and the thing that I like about Gorzelanny's stats is that he does not seem to go on the DL. A pitcher who can eat innings and have a .500 win loss record is a good stopgap measure. Scott Olsen had flashes of brilliance but spent more time on the DL than off.

  7. Doc - Jan 17, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    Not sure who Gorzey is 'better than' in the current SP listings, which is getting real crowded with back of the rotation type of guys.

  8. Anonymous - Jan 17, 2011 at 8:36 PM

    Mike Harris said…Seriously? 36-37 lifetime with an ERA near 5? This is an upgrade? This is Scott Olsen.You're just joking right? This is guy who went to the bullpen (and pitched out of it some last year) when asked? And what did Olsen say? Last year this guy had 11 quality starts in 23. Who the bejeesus on the Nats did that beyond Livo and Lannan? And this guy is a power pitcher not a soft tosser like Lannan. He has the potential to be a #2 slot starter. WAR of 1.8. Lannan 0.0.

  9. Jimmy - Jan 17, 2011 at 8:38 PM

    I would rather have kept 22 year old prospect Michael Burgess and traded Nyger Morgan or Justin Maxwell straight up for Grozey! We all know Rizzo and Riggleman are not going to trade their boy Morgan!

  10. Ernie - Jan 17, 2011 at 8:41 PM

    Barring any more trades, I think this just made spring training a lot more interesting. There aren't too many safe spots in the rotation at the moment… Or maybe there is another surprise injury report pending, a la Detwiler's hip last year.

  11. HHover - Jan 17, 2011 at 8:46 PM

    Doc – That's not really so tough a question.Gorz is "better"–in the sense of having a more solid and established record over the past few years–than the other candidates for the back of the rotation. Wang, Detwiler, Maya all have big question marks, and even if they pan out in 2011 won't be pitching a full season. This isn't a trade to get excited about, but that doesn't mean it's a bad trade.

  12. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 17, 2011 at 8:49 PM

    I'm not upset we got Gorzelanny. I just want to see who we gave up.

  13. Anonymous - Jan 17, 2011 at 8:49 PM

    Good move, he had a 4.09 ERA last year, if he can get that to under 4, this is a steal. Im also happy to see Burgess traded as he was blocked with Werth and Harper. Good trade

  14. Doc - Jan 17, 2011 at 8:55 PM

    You maybe right HHover. Not a lot of great comparisons to be made–but that works both ways for the trade. Time will tell. Current ? marks with the SP compared to the Gorzelanny ? mark.

  15. Anonymous8 - Jan 17, 2011 at 8:57 PM

    Mark'd said… I hear Rizzo is working on a big deal trade. What are you hearing? January 17, 2011 11:34 AM When I first read this I thought you were talking about Cora. Good job on knowing something was brewing!I am blown away how the Nats would open up their wallets so wide for John Lannan. I mean almost $3 million for a guy who almost was jetisoned to the depths of the Minors last year to never return. I had hoped he would have been traded for prospects.

  16. TimDz - Jan 17, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    Ladson tweeted that AJ Morris was one of the pitchers…

  17. Anonymous - Jan 17, 2011 at 9:07 PM

    Looks like this trade is going to hurt a bit … AJ Morris … second to Strasburg for the Silver spikes.

  18. Souldrummer - Jan 17, 2011 at 9:16 PM

    @Anonymous 8Arbitration translates stats over the last couple of years into dollars. For a team with our low payroll (around 70M I think next year?), paying for a guy who should be worth a couple next wins next year seems to make sense. Lannan's been a 3.0WAR, 2.8WAR, .3WAR the last 3 years and has done everything he's been asked to do and handled his demotion well. No, I don't like that we are depending on him to be a valuable starter and I don't like that he's a guy you wouldn't be comfortable moving to the pen, but on our team he's a valuable starter who takes the ball and gives us innings. Rizzo's trying to find reliable 4th starters and build a solid bullpen, which given the poor reception he got from elite options Cliff Lee and Zack Greinke you can't blame him for.

  19. Jeeves - Jan 17, 2011 at 9:20 PM

    Nats Jack, as you put your post on this site, I put one, almost identical, on Nats journal. (I'm j.campbell there. They took away my moniker) As it turns out, it is Morris. And the rest of my discontent with this move is on the other site. I've supported Rizzo all this off season. Now I'm just pissed off.

  20. Anonymous8 - Jan 17, 2011 at 9:25 PM

    Jeeves, Rizzo was so desperate to make a trade for a pitcher that he was willing to give away a guy like Morris.

  21. Anonymous - Jan 17, 2011 at 9:34 PM

    Lannan's been a 3.0WAR, 2.8WAR, .3WAR the last 3 years and has done everything he's been asked to do and handled his demotion well. No, I don't like that we are depending on him to be a valuable starter and I don't like that he's a guy you wouldn't be comfortable moving to the pen, but on our team he's a valuable starter who takes the ball and gives us innings. @Souldrummer,Lannan should also be a trade option given that Tom Milone is close to ready at this point. If he performs well out the gate … or even before there will likely be some teams looking for a reliable #5 innings eater. Have to wonder if the higher salary might make that less likely?Unless Milone is the second pitcher?

  22. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 17, 2011 at 9:46 PM

    This is going to come back and haunt Nats Nation within 2 years. A.J. Morris was the second best pitching prospect I've seen in 3 years of watching Fall Instructional League. You don't have to be very baseball knowledgeable to know who was #1.

  23. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 17, 2011 at 9:53 PM

    This is the first thing Rizzo's done to really tick me off.

  24. souldrummer - Jan 17, 2011 at 9:53 PM

    @NatsJackThat he may be, but he's still a reliever and he's still streaky. Unless you think the Cubs are going to convert him to a starter and he's going to be pitching that well in the bigs in 2012, he's a loss, but it's worth trying to make our team respectable in 2012 to try to acquire Gorzellany. Yes, Gorzellany is Lannan II, but it would be nice to have another controlled John Lannan for the next couple of years, especially with guys like Marquis and Livo gone after this year.

  25. JayB - Jan 17, 2011 at 9:54 PM

    Like I have said all along…they have to get to .500 this year and they have to over pay to do it….both in trades and FA signings…..If they do not improve greatly this year Rizzo will not be able to get the players he needs to keep his job…he has a 5 year deal and if they lose 100 again this year then he will never recover in time to keep his job….this is a big year for Rizzo….it is not his fault Lerners build LOSERTOWN but he will pay the price if he does not act quickly and decisively this year.

  26. raymitten - Jan 17, 2011 at 9:57 PM

    I have no problem with this trade. Burgess is the only one I ever saw in person, and he seemed to me to be a Bowden 'toolsy' guy who was learning to play baseball (see Milledge, Lastings). I've never seen Morris pitch, but usually when one team deals prospects for a major league player, those who acquire the prospects lose.Mark where do you see Gorzelany fitting in the rotation? Number 3 (behind Livo and Marquis)?

  27. John C. - Jan 17, 2011 at 9:58 PM

    @Natsjack (among others): A guy like AJ Morris? I know we always tend to overvalue our own guys, but you're going to kill a deal for a MOR MLB starter so you can hang onto a 24 year old pitcher who has never gotten above single A baseball? John Sickels of rates Morris as the #17 prospect in the Nationals' system, but gives him a grade of C+. In doing so, Sickels admitted that he likes Morris more than the numbers say he should. And the numbers aren't so good. A K/BB ratio of 2.26 in single A ball is pretty underwhelming, and by the end of last season Morris was moved out of the Single A starting rotation and into the bullpen. It's not that Morris has no value – he has potential, yes, but let's not confuse him with A.J. Cole. If you can trade a relief pitcher for a starter, you do it. If you can trade a minor league (much less single A) relief pitcher for a MLB starter, you do it in a heartbeat. Of course the Nationals had to give up more, and in doing so they apparently gave up Michael Burgess, former outfielder-of-the-future. Burgess and Morris have upside, but so does Gorzelanny, and Gorzelanny is under team control for three more seasons. This is a small trade, but not a bad one for either team IMHO.

  28. Anonymous - Jan 17, 2011 at 9:59 PM

    LivoLannanZimmermannGorzalannyMarquisThis will be the first time in Nats history they are going to start a season with 5 mlb caliber starters in their rotation. They may not be great but at least they are major leaguers, and that is a first.If one of Maya, Detwiler, and Wang proves to be ready for the big leagues this season we may go .500 after all….maybe.

  29. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 17, 2011 at 10:01 PM

    Morris has a ++ Slider, a + fastball 93 – 94, and was working on a changeup in Fall League, plus his command had greatly improved. He is ready now and I wouldn't be suprised to see him with the Cubs this season.

  30. Souldrummer - Jan 17, 2011 at 10:03 PM

    @jayBI don't think that it's an overpay. I think that it's two teams trading blocked assets. We're probably going to end up giving up two C+ prospects for Gorzellany. If you're a Morris or Burgess fan, no worries. Be glad that there in an organization where they will likely have a greater chance to play. Rizzo wanted Morris to be a college quick to the bigs starter. As a power RHP bullpen arm, he duplicates something we have a lot of. Burgess has a whole in his swing and hasn't shown he can hit AA pitching let alone the bigs. He was really overmatched in the AFL. Given that poor AFL showing, it's good that we were able to get something of value for him.

  31. Anonymous - Jan 17, 2011 at 10:07 PM

    I am completely dissatisfied. Gorzelanny has an ASPV of 26 while Zimmermann still has an ASPV of 30. We need to be seeking out higher values, not pulling in lower ASPVARs! This trade only makes sense if you happen to be working with a Triple Word Score box!(NOTE: ASPV = Average Scrabble Point Value; ASPVAR = Average Scrabble Point Value Above Replacement)

  32. Anonymous - Jan 17, 2011 at 10:10 PM

    Agree with Anonymous@ 4:59. Wang and Detwiler are quickly becoming wild cards for the coming season. If they perform capably in ST and then DC, we may actually end up with some pieces for other trades. A .500 record next season would be quite the deal.fpcsteve

  33. Anonymous - Jan 17, 2011 at 10:15 PM

    It would be interesting to know if Marrero was offered as part of this trade and turned down. There is no way of knowing that, but if (in theory) it were true, that would be one verdict on Marrero. All in theory. Just thinking out loud…

  34. Anonymous - Jan 17, 2011 at 10:20 PM

    Anon @ 5:07:Morris (9) plus Burgess (13) combined are only 22. That is well below Gorzelanny's natural 30, before you even include the bonus for using MORE than all seven tiles. Unless Rizzo gave away Lombardozzi (37) this is a clear win for Rizzo.

  35. JayB - Jan 17, 2011 at 10:21 PM

    Gorzelanny is not much of a pick up and they did not trade much in real value….Burgess was a very high pick and got a big bonus and that pick should have brought more value than this…..Still RIZZO HAS NO CHOICE…he has to improve greatly NOW or Nationals Park is going to average under 7500 fans for non-Philly games and they are headed to 100 loses without more MLB Avg Starting pitching…Had to do something.

  36. JayB - Jan 17, 2011 at 10:27 PM

    Njack,please make sure you update us when Morris pitches for the Cubs……I plan to be here a long time.

  37. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 17, 2011 at 10:38 PM

    As I hang out at a watering hole in Winter Park called "Friendly Confines", I won't have any trouble keeping up with his Cubs career. I'll definitely keep you posted.

  38. JD - Jan 17, 2011 at 10:43 PM

    NatsJack, I have never seen A.J. Morris pitch so I have to yield to your observations but at 24 and still at A ball the numbers don't support his alleged potential. Gorzelany is definitely a back of the rotation starter whose stuff is described as 'just ok' and his command has been inconsistent at best; I don't see him as an upgrade over guys like Stammen and Detwiler but I think that Rizzo is just compiling arms to make sure we don't have to start guys like Atilano and Martis which in and of itself is not a terrible idea. JayB is correct in saying that Burgess being a 1st round sandwich pick (I think 49th overall) in 2007 should have yielded more but this is yet another indictment of Jim Bowden to go along with Smoker, McGeary, Willems etc.

  39. David - Jan 17, 2011 at 10:54 PM

    @NatsJackMorris does look like he could be a major leaguer but it will take him at least 2 years and a lot can happen in that time. This trade is in the Nats best interest at the time its made. Gorzelanny might still have some upside and could maybe be a #3 pitcher who is a lefty. Even if he does not meet that potential he should be able to eat some innings The more pitching depth the Nats have the greater the chance they don't have a disastrous season which could really hurt Rizzo long term. Really from looking at the trade I'm not sure why the Cubs make this trade unless its to lower payroll and even then it not by very much.

  40. Big Cat - Jan 17, 2011 at 11:09 PM

    NatsJack, lets not get your panties all wadded up over a 25 year old A-ball pitcher. The kid hasn't proven he can pitch in AA, much less the bigs. And I'll tell ya one thing…..winterball ain't summer ball. Half the time guys are down in winter ball working on stuff. The intensity isn't there. With Gorzy we get a lefthanded pitcher who won 14 games as recently as 2007 in the BIGS……not Hagerstown. Part of being a GM is taking chances and I like the move. Only time will tell though. Would of liked to of seen Burgess get a full year under his belt in AA. Have seen him in Potomac for 2 seasons and I know one thing…..the kid has big power. He is a hard worker…….Good luck Mike.And finally….Glad Marrero wasn't involved

  41. Chris - Jan 17, 2011 at 11:13 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  42. David - Jan 17, 2011 at 11:17 PM

    @Big CatI don't think Marrero is too long for Rizzo's world. Maybe you haven't noticed but Rizzo is slowly getting rid of all of Bowden's picks.Graham Hick is now listed as the 3rd player in the trade.

  43. Big Cat - Jan 17, 2011 at 11:51 PM

    Hicks is a 21 year old lefty who pitched in Vermont and Hagerstown last year. He is 6'5" 170 lbs. He was 2-6 with a 5.00 era last year. 87 hits in 71 innings…..not good.Hope they don't give up on Marrero. Gonna be interesting between him and Moore at first base

  44. NatBiscuit - Jan 17, 2011 at 11:54 PM

    I like the deal. I was rooting for Burgess to make it, but by all accounts he was going to be challenged to become more than a 25th man on a roster. Big arm, good eye, bad contact (yes it is possible to have a good eye but not be good at contact). Hicks is still a possibility some day, but the value he will bring is petty easy to come by. So the question of price probably comes down to Morris for Gorzelany. Future setup man for current starter. The ground is littered with top 5 round prospects who never make it. Now the question is what do the Nationals do with the rotation/relief pitchers who do not make the team. If all the current/near term youth – Detwiler, Maya, Lannan, Stammen, Martin etc… pitch well in the spring then someone has to be released or traded. So eventually there will be another shoe to drop… What – if anything – do you get when you make room for Gorzelany in the rotation?

  45. Big Cat - Jan 17, 2011 at 11:55 PM

    A lot of posters have Livo back as a starter. I like him, but come on man, how much gas do you think he has left in the tank?

  46. Anonymous - Jan 18, 2011 at 12:00 AM

    AJ Morris is the absolute only one of the three I will miss. Have to admit though, it was very disappointing to seem him sent to the bullpen. With the injuries and what not he was never able to get started here.Burgess time had come. A sideshow JimBow athlete incapable of fielding his position, hitting for average and he struck out a lot. He could have made the transition to first base … but his arm was too good for that. Graham Hicks? ~laughing~Okay, in the end a fair deal. The cubs got slightly more.

  47. Anonymous - Jan 18, 2011 at 12:15 AM

    NOW, TWO NEED TO BE REMOVED from the 40-man … Mark hear about an additional trade or two?

  48. Anonymous - Jan 18, 2011 at 12:28 AM

    Phil Wood is musing now that Gorz is in town, that Lannan or Marquis might be moved to the Yankees.

  49. Will - Jan 18, 2011 at 12:52 AM

    If we could get any value whatsoever for Marquis, I'd hope Rizzo would jump all over it.Marquis has never been a good pitcher (excluding April-June 2009), and, quite honestly, it is the most incomprehensible move Rizzo has made yet (including Werth's 7/126 deal). 2 years for $15m… really? For a guy who over 1500 innings walked nearly as many as he struck out, and only once in the previous 8 years posted an ERA below 4.00?If the Yankees are that desperate for a starter, god help them.

  50. NatBiscuit - Jan 18, 2011 at 12:52 AM

    LaRoche's transaction date is listed as 1/7 so ten days later, we should now know who got DFA'd. Who? Who? Who?

  51. Will - Jan 18, 2011 at 1:04 AM

    I can't help but think we could have signed a starting pitcher like Gorzelanny without having to give up any prospects. Perhaps Morris and Burgess will never amount to anything, but couldn't we have thrown a million or two more dollars at guys like Jeff Francis to entice them to come here? Francis would have offered essentially the same level of production as Gorzo.Yes, he wouldn't have been under team control for the next couple seasons, but then again, I'd hope Gorzelanny or Francis wouldn't be part of the future Nats rotation anyway.It sounds more like Rizzo was trying to make a deal just to make a deal. He couldn't get Greinke or Garza done, so another G-named SP would have to suffice.

  52. Another_Sam - Jan 18, 2011 at 1:19 AM

    I don't see how Lannan has any trade value. As for Livan – he was the only guy on the staff last year (except of course the brief shooting star SS) that had me following the rotation. Sure he's getting on in mileage but going into this year he's the ace of the staff.

  53. NatinBeantown - Jan 18, 2011 at 1:19 AM

    Will, Gorzelanny is no saviour, but he doesn't have any of the age, injury history or cost of the major guys. I vastly prefer this way, given that I don't think we gave up that much.There are other moves coming, if for no other reason than we've got a 42-man roster at the moment.

  54. Anonymous - Jan 18, 2011 at 1:52 AM

    I think if Rizzo could get Gorzo cheaper, he'd have done it. He isn't throwing away prospects to just make a trade. I think he wants to make more moves so giving away ammo doesn't help his own cause. If this somewhat lateral move doesn't convince people that Rizzo isn't happy with what he has as a staff well …There are way too many "IFs" when discussing our current staff. He wants some stability, that is abundantly clear. Greinke/Lee wanted to go elsewhere, can't blame them or Rizzo. Each did what they had to do. To me, Rizzo has a solid plan and is working it, let's be patient and see where it gets us.

  55. Ernie - Jan 18, 2011 at 2:11 AM

    How blindly optimistic am I to think that this is step 1 of a two-step move? We have too many batting-practice caliber starting pitchers, including 3 lefties. We have broadcast loudly our openness to trade one or two top prospects (Desmond/Espy/Storen). We have 2 too many players on the 40-man. Is there another shoe waiting to drop? I'm not disappointed in this trade, but Rizzo has set the expectations so high that I'm bracing for something bigger.

  56. Anonymous - Jan 18, 2011 at 2:22 AM

    I'm not disappointed in this trade, but Rizzo has set the expectations so high that I'm bracing for something bigger.Bigger or NOT, he must still open two slots in the 40 man roster. One for La Roche and one for Gorzelanny.It seems certain that more moves are pending.

  57. Anonymous - Jan 18, 2011 at 2:30 AM

    "He couldn't get Greinke or Garza done, so another G-named SP would have to suffice."fangraphs appears to value Gorzelanny higher than Garza. And Gorzelanny is left handed after all. Gorzelanny FIP 3.92 WAR 1.82 Salary: $800,000 age: 28Garza FIP 4.42 WAR 2.3 Salary: $3.35 million age: 27

  58. Slidell. - Jan 18, 2011 at 3:50 AM

    Have to remember that he accomplished what he has, playing for some very questionable teams. He might surprise.

  59. Anonymous - Jan 18, 2011 at 3:53 AM

    Eh, I was hoping for more than Gorze and Cora to make a media splash in what will likely be the last two moves before ST. Given the fact that he is used to pitching for losing teams, he will fit into the culture of losing here!!For the guys we gave up, I think Morris had a huge upside and am sad to see him go. Burgess I wish they gave him a change to move to LF or 1B, he will be a star

  60. Anonymous - Jan 18, 2011 at 4:24 AM

    A look from the other side, pretty similar assessment:

  61. Jeeves - Jan 18, 2011 at 11:38 AM

    'incapable of fielding his position'–Burgess is an excellent fielder. Where do some of these ideas come from?'getting rid of all Bowden picks'–Morris would be a Rizzo pick.

  62. Will - Jan 18, 2011 at 12:15 PM

    Anonymous, that Garza-Gorzelanny comparison is misleading. Over the past 3 years, it paints a completely different picture:Garza: 3.86 ERA, 4.24 FIP, 7.9 WARGorzelanny: 5.27 ERA, 4.81 FIP, 2.0 WARStammen: 5.12 ERA, 4.34 FIP, 2.1 WAR

  63. Rabbit - Jan 18, 2011 at 12:16 PM

    Well Jeeves, I think Rizzo can get passed your being pissed off!!

  64. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 18, 2011 at 12:36 PM

    OK… After a full nights rest I'm back from the ledge. Let me just say that my apparent "man crush" on A.J. Morris comes from the three years of watching Fall Instructional League and I've only seen 3 guys with Major League stuff that made scouts either drool or shake their head. One was obvious in Stephen but the other two were this past fall in A.J. Morris and Ryan Mattheus. Mattheus is 27 years old and coming off TJ but has a plus fastball and curve and a plus plus changeup with good command. Morris is 24 years old and was an "old" 4th round pick out of Kansas State taken as a senior and 22 yo.He's only had one full season in A ball and most of it was spent injured. He was targeted as a potential 2-3 starter but would advance quicker as a reliever. All scouts in Fall ball were all over him. He'll show up n the Cubs bull pen sometime this seasonThat said, I think Gorzelanny will prove to be a good pick up and force all other potential starters to step it up or move on.

  65. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 18, 2011 at 1:44 PM

    Just got the word, Chris Young is going to the Mets.

  66. Anonymous - Jan 18, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    I guess it's safe to assume that Rizzo preferred Gorzelanny to both Jeff Francis and Chris Young.

  67. Ballinonabudget - Jan 18, 2011 at 1:51 PM

    We have to give up something in order to get something in return. At the end of the day, we gave up 2 single-A pitchers and a position-blocked Bowden-era "toolsy" outfielder with questionable major league potential. If any of those guys end up being All-Stars, then we can criticize Rizzo on the deal.In return, we got an established major league starter, under team control through 2013. He is not the ace that Rizzo wanted, but it wasn't for lack of trying. Reports are Rizzo offered top dollar for De La Rosa and Vasquez, and offered the best package of prospects for Greinke, only to be turned down by all three. So Rizzo had to move down his wish list and go after Gorzelanny.If nothing else this solidifies the rotation for the start of the season. The rotation will be Livo, Zimmerman, Marquis, Lannan, and Gorzelanny. Wang, Maya, and Detwiler will have to prove their health/consistency at AAA. Later in the season, if we have more than 5 reliable major league starters, good for us and the trades will start to happen.Good move by Rizzo given the circumstances. As for the 40-man roster, I'd hope that Maxwell and Severino would be the first cuts, but I guess it could also be the Rule-5 guys and I would be ok with that. If Alex Cora makes the team, highly likely IMO, somebody else will have to go as well.

  68. Chris - Jan 18, 2011 at 1:55 PM

    This is going to come back and haunt Nats Nation within 2 years. A.J. Morris was the second best pitching prospect I've seen in 3 years of watching Fall Instructional League. You don't have to be very baseball knowledgeable to know who was #1. ……………………………………..This is one of the most insane things I've ever read. Morris is a 24 year-old who has never pitched above A ball and projects as a middle reliever. Yet you just put him in the same class as the greatest pitching prospect of all time.

  69. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 18, 2011 at 2:02 PM

    Chris, I was strictly speaking of Nats prospects.I've only seen 3 Nats prospects that had ML stuff in the Fall League. And if you've seen some of the arms masquerading as prospects, you'd know what I mean.At least this Fall we had two guys in camp with ML stuff and 2 others with potential ML stuff. Prior to this Fall, Strasburg was the only guy in that category.

  70. Anonymous - Jan 18, 2011 at 2:03 PM

    Chris, you are exactly correct. We got a solid pitcher that can help us now! We need someone, anyone who we can actually count on to pitch game after game.To hear some here, we just traded Jack Morris, not A.J.

  71. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 18, 2011 at 2:17 PM

    If you read my 7:36 AM post, you'd have a better understanding of all this.

  72. NatinBeantown - Jan 18, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    So now Crasnick has us linked to Aaron Heilman. It's looking more and more like a spring training casting call for the rotation, except this time (as opposed to JimBo's '07 circus*) with actual major leaguers, each trying for a good showing in '11.-Lannan trying to prove he's not the pitcher of the first half of 2010-Detwiler trying to prove he's ready-Wang trying to prove he's finally over his shoulder surgery and can get back to the top-Gorzelanny trying to prove he's really the high-K, low HR-rate guy he's occasionally shown-Livo proving he's still got gas in the tank-Heilman trying to prove he can be a reliable starterOne thing about quantity, I have much more confidence in one or two of these happening than in all of them.*whenever I think about that rotation audition in 2007, I always imagine the scene in Blazing Saddles where Taggert is recruiting bandits, and I chuckle. Then I weep.

  73. Sunderland - Jan 18, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    "If any of those guys end up being All-Stars, then we can criticize Rizzo on the deal."Completely unfair and illegitimate. You can only evaluate a trade based on what you know now. Gorzelanny blows his knee out and Rizzo blew it? The Cubs develop Hicks into a quality MLB pitcher and Rizzo made a lousy trade?That's juvenile.Based on what we know today, it's a reasonable deal for both sides. All personnel decisions have risk. All have a myriad of unknown potential outcomes. Regardless of how the careers work out of the 4 guys in this trade, this is an unspectacular, reasonable, ordinary baseball trade.

  74. David - Jan 18, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    @NatsJackI thought you would come around. I also have favorite players that I would like to see succeed. I've heard good things about A.J. that he has a good head on his shoulders he has the tools and that he is learning how to pitch. Gorzelanny if healthy will defiantly added depth to the rotation and if you look at his breakdown by games last year you can see that at times he could be very effective. He did fade a little at the end but starting in the end of June he made 11 straight starts of 5 or more innings winning 4 in a row. Not great but better than most Nats pitchers on the staff currently. If Gorzelanny cuts down his walks he does have the potential of being a #3 pitcher.

  75. Big Cat - Jan 18, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    NatsJack, how do you compare Cole Kimball to Morris?

  76. behenna - Jan 18, 2011 at 2:51 PM

    When the Cubs got Gorz I said some of the same things you guys are saying. "He's only a few years removed from winning 14 games" I had hopes he could be a solid 4th starter. But he's going to be 29 this year and people are still talking about what he "could" be. Lifetime 4.68 ERA, 1.49 WHIP. If he wasn't lefthanded he wouldn't be a major league starter. That said, looking at your rotation this year, he can fill some innings for you and help win a few games.

  77. Chris - Jan 18, 2011 at 5:38 PM

    Chris, I was strictly speaking of Nats prospects.I've only seen 3 Nats prospects that had ML stuff in the Fall League. And if you've seen some of the arms masquerading as prospects, you'd know what I mean……………………………..Phew, I feel better now :)

  78. Anonymous - Jan 18, 2011 at 6:13 PM

    I think Rizzo went with Gorzo to light a fire under Lannan and if John repeats 2010, he will be gone before 2012 ST!!!





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