Jan 18, 2011, 2:32 PM EST
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Jordan Zimmermann will be the least-experienced member of a deep 2011 rotation.
Mike Rizzo spent nearly three months trying to acquire a starting pitcher. The Nationals general manager's preference all along was to land a legitimate front-line hurler, one who could anchor Washington's 2011 rotation and bump everyone else down a notch into a slot befitting their abilities.
Rizzo wasn't able to get his man. Cliff Lee signed with the Phillies. Jorge de la Rosa stayed with the Rockies. Zack Greinke exercised his no-trade clause until he had an opportunity to move to a Brewers club better-positioned to win now. Matt Garza's price was too steep, though not too steep for the Cubs to acquire his services.
There were no longer any front-line starters to be had. Rizzo, though, was adamant about improving his rotation, even if only by a tick or two. The last thing he wanted to do was enter 2011 with the same quintet of starters that closed out 2010: Livan Hernandez, Jason Marquis, John Lannan, Jordan Zimmermann and Yunesky Maya.
So when Tom Gorzelanny became available — thanks in large part to the Cubs' acquisition of Garza — Rizzo jumped at the opportunity to pick up the 28-year-old left-hander. It cost three minor-leaguers (outfielder Michael Burgess and pitchers A.J. Morris and Graham Hicks) but that wasn't nearly as steep a price as it would have takenRead more »
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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)...
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