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Rizzo "comfortable" with Nats at 1B

Oct 20, 2011, 8:17 PM EST

Despite speculation from national media outlets that the Nationals will be among the clubs making serious overtures to free agent first basemen Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder this winter, general manager Mike Rizzo insists he’s “comfortable” with his team’s current crop of first basemen.

The Nationals already have veteran Adam LaRoche (who missed most of this season with a left shoulder tear) signed for 2012 at $8 million. They also have Michael Morse coming off a breakthrough season in which he led the team with 31 homers, 95 RBI and a .303 average, with the majority of his playing time coming at first base while LaRoche was on the disabled list.

That hasn’t stopped national media outlets from spreading rumors about the Nationals’ possible interest in one of the two premier free agents about to hit the open market, particularly Fielder (whose agent, Scott Boras, already represents a number of Washington players including Jayson Werth, Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper).

During an interview with CSN Washington, though, Rizzo gave a strong endorsement to the first basemen already on his roster.

“We’d never put down any type of definitive statements at this time of the offseason, but suffice it to say, we feel comfortable with the first base situation as it is,” Rizzo said. “That’s not to say something
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  1. Anonymous - Oct 20, 2011 at 8:29 PM

    I'm comfortable with my Toyota Camry, but that says nothing about whether I'd upgrade if I had the money to do so.

  2. N. Cognito - Oct 20, 2011 at 8:49 PM

    Put a tarp over LaRoche and park him in the driveway.

  3. markfd - Oct 20, 2011 at 9:10 PM

    I am comfortable with what we have at 1B too, spend on pitching and a CF not a 1B, Mr. Rizzo!

  4. Section 222 - Oct 20, 2011 at 9:17 PM

    Anon @4:29. Plus, your Camry didn't just undergo an engine overhaul with an uncertain outcome. LaRoche is coming back from significant surgery on his throwing shoulder. That's not going to be easy. So I'm getting a little tired of Rizzo and others acting like it's likely that LaRoche will return to his career norm next year. I'll bet anyone on this board $5 that LaRoche will not hit 25 homers and drive in 85 runs for the Nats next yaer. Of course, he's likely to be traded at the trade deadline anyway, and he's a historically slow starter. So why rule out going for one of the two best hitting 1Bs out there? Oh wait, Rizzo didn't really rule it out, did he? I hope he's just pulling the wool over our eyes as he usually does.

  5. Section 222 - Oct 20, 2011 at 9:24 PM

    @markfd — Spend on all of the above! The Lerners are BILLIONAIRES.

  6. FS - Oct 20, 2011 at 9:40 PM

    Thanks MarkZ.He obviously said all the right things most of us would like to hear. I am just looking forward to the off-season, see how he surprises us this time.

  7. Anonymous - Oct 20, 2011 at 10:52 PM

    He had better be comfortable with LaRoche, b/c his $9M salary is not going to be easily moved in any event. Zim may be the 1B of the future for this club. Even before his abdominal surgery he was having trouble with the throws, and they have Anthony Rendon who will likely be ready sooner than later to play 3B, if they go in that direction. We'll see.I'd like to see them go for Juan Pierre to play LF and bat lead-off, move Werth to CF and Morse to RF. And make some kind of move to unlaod Desmond while his value is relatively high. Either get an all glove guy on the cheap to play SS and bat 8th or, if finding a lead-off guy for an OF slot is not doable, then chase Furcal, Reyes or Rollins even, if available. Desi is not likely the answer at SS for this club.- dfh21

  8. Andrew L. - Oct 20, 2011 at 11:04 PM

    markfd said… I am comfortable with what we have at 1B too, spend on pitching and a CF not a 1B, Mr. Rizzo! October 20, 2011 5:10 PM Hi Mark D., I agree and have no problem if Werth had to play 2012 in CF and Rizzo went after a corner outfielder to get Matt Kemp in Free Agency in Fall 2012.You have Werth, Zim, Morse, LaRoche, Espi, Desi, Ramos. That's 7 starting position players. The 8th one would presumably be an outfielder. Morse in LF, so Werth in either RF or CF.A top of the rotation veteran who throws 220 innings a year would be great. I like the more achievable Buehrle or a trade for Wandy Rodriguez. Possibly a Roy Oswalt as a Free Agent if it makes sense.

  9. Gonat - Oct 20, 2011 at 11:07 PM

    dfh21, sorry, I have seen Juan Pierre's numbers and Coco Crisp is a bigger upgrade. Pierre's steal percentage are looking Nyjer-like. I can only think he has lost a step or 2.

  10. Gonat - Oct 20, 2011 at 11:22 PM

    dfh21, I think Crisp gives you more power, defense, and speed. I wouldn't want to give up a corner outfielder spot to Pierre. On OPS Pierre is .657 vs .693 for Crisp.Pierre is a bunting machine which I like although I don't think Davey likes.On steals, Pierre was 27 of 44 for a 61% rate which is not good at all. Crisp led the AL with 49 steals in 58 attempts for a 85% rate.Pierre is now a corner outfielder in a centerfielders body. I believe if Crisp goes back to platoon his OBP will go back up. Last year Crisp was a .342 OBP.

  11. Gonat - Oct 20, 2011 at 11:45 PM

    Lets say the Nats were fortunate enough to get Alex Gordon and Coco Crisp and retain Ankiel, to go with Werth and Morse, the Nats would have 5 outfielders with the ability to play Morse at 1st against lefty pitching and Werth, Crisp (switch-hitter) and Gordon who hits lefties well.Against RH pitching, the Nats could rest Werth and Morse more than they have done in the past and play Gordon, Crisp and Ankiel.It gives the Nats a dimension they haven't had in a long time and try to keep Morse and Werth fresh where they would get actual rest days vs. sick days.Gordon could also be Zim's backup at 3rd. This would give the Nats something they have never had in the outfield and something most teams don't have which is 5 bona fide outfielders and 3 that can play centerfield. If the Nats got Kemp next offseason, Morse moves to 1st and Ankiel isn't brought back. You start Gordon in LF, Kemp in CF and Werth in RF and at some point you have to figure Bryce Harper joins the team around June 2013.

  12. Tcostant - Oct 21, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    Get Yu Darvish!!! Lots of the national price keep stating that the Nats brass like him. He official asked to be posted.

  13. Steve - Oct 21, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    Coco Crisp's arm makes Nyger's look like Ankiel's

  14. Steve M. - Oct 21, 2011 at 4:18 PM

    Cute, Anon @ 11:27

  15. natsfan1a - Oct 21, 2011 at 11:54 PM

    On the first go-round, I read that as ankles, not Ankiel's.

  16. Anonymous - Oct 22, 2011 at 8:21 PM

    You really think Cocoa Crisp can do better than this? Don't you think this guy could ostensibly lead-off at the beginning of his career?They really DON'T NEED a CF. Werth appears more than competent there and he is signed for years to come. Blocking Harper with someone like Crisp (Morgan) seems a bit silly at this juncture.Natsprospects.com:Harper wowed the scouts by pushing a bunt to second baseman and getting down the line in 3.83 seconds, according to Keith Law (times on bunts are always lower than a full swing, but consider that 4.1 seconds is considered “above average”).

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