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Who needs to be protected?

Nov 15, 2011, 1:43 PM EDT

US Presswire file photo
Derek Norris needs to be added to the 40-man roster or risk being lost.

It's that time of year again when major-league clubs must do some roster maintenance. By Friday, all teams must add any players who are eligible for the Rule 5 draft to their 40-man roster, or risk losing them during the draft at next month's winter meetings.

Who's eligible for the Rule 5 draft? It's a bit complicated, but as a general rule of thumb, it's anyone not on the 40-man roster who was signed at age 18 or older in 2007 or signed at age 19 or older in 2008. The idea is to prevent organizations from stashing away prospects in the minors for four or five years without so much as giving them a shot at reaching the big leagues.

So, by Friday the Nationals must decide if there are any players who fit that description in their farm system that they want to protect. Just because someone's left unprotected, it doesn't mean they're guaranteed to be lost. It only means they're eligible to be swooped up by another organization in the Rule 5 draft (with that new team thenRead more ยป

  1. Grandstander - Nov 15, 2011 at 1:55 PM

    It's more like 33 40-man spots because Slaten is still on the roster.

  2. Tcostant - Nov 15, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    Mark – What are the rules when a player is added. Can Rizzo use all 6 spaces and then remove them as he signs a free agent? When is the actual Rule 5 draft (not just the protection date)?

  3. Harper_ROY_2012 - Nov 15, 2011 at 2:06 PM

    I think Rizzo rolls the dice and only adds Norris and Moore to the 40-man.

  4. Gonat - Nov 15, 2011 at 2:08 PM

    Norris, Moore and Komatsu would be the only 3 to add. I don't see anyone doing a Brian Broderick type of move on Josh Smoker.

  5. Brian - Nov 15, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    In order to take someone off of the 40-man, they need to pass through waivers (meaning any other team can claim them and put them on their 40-man). Rizzo could do that but would risk losing the player. The actual draft is going to be held December 8

  6. Anonymous8 - Nov 15, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    Rizzo met with Bob Garber last night. Yah, that Bob Garber.

  7. Gonat - Nov 15, 2011 at 2:18 PM

    Brian said… In order to take someone off of the 40-man, they need to pass through waivers (meaning any other team can claim them and put them on their 40-man). Rizzo could do that but would risk losing the player. The actual draft is going to be held December 8 November 15, 2011 9:09 AM ________________________________With a pitcher, another team will be doing you a favor if they take a lower level pitcher A or AA and put them on the roster at the MLB level, use them for a while and return them.The Brian Broderick mistake was huge. At times it was like Riggleman had a 6 man bullpen. The experience given to Broderick was on the Nationals dime.

  8. Brian - Nov 15, 2011 at 2:21 PM

    while I doubt he'll get added, Sandy Leon is an interesting name … he is arguably the best defensive catcher in the organization

  9. Anonymous8 - Nov 15, 2011 at 2:24 PM

    The Nats are still very high on Josh Smoker since his move to the bullpen. He's not close to MLB ready. The Nats can take their chance on leaving him unprotected.

  10. Mark'd - Nov 15, 2011 at 3:13 PM

    I see on MLB that Angelos is unveiling new caps and jersey designs today. Seems teams are changing jerseys every few years now.

  11. SCNatsFan - Nov 15, 2011 at 3:14 PM

    Just remember how much Broderick hamstrung our bullpen… if you aren't a pitcher that can contribute some right away then that's a difficult spot to give up on a flier.

  12. Joe Seamhead - Nov 15, 2011 at 3:23 PM

    Mark'd said…I see on MLB that Angelos is unveiling new caps and jersey designs today. Seems teams are changing jerseys every few years now.________________________________________________________________________I wish that we'd get rid of the Reds/Phillies uniforms. I like the navy blue. When the Phiilie phans invade it's hard to separate the wheat from the chaff.

  13. Slidell - Nov 15, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    Norris, Moore, and possibly Smoker in my mind. Sandy Leon has been around quite awhile and is still in High A; good D, no O. A young Wil. Some team desperate for a back-up catcher might be interested in him.

  14. Binx Bolling - Nov 15, 2011 at 3:48 PM

    Perhaps the Nats might send Slaton to Baltimore to try on the new Orioles' uniforms.

  15. DFL - Nov 15, 2011 at 3:57 PM

    If he is truly only 22, Leon might be worth keeping if the Nats have that luxury. Leon might be an adequate second-string catcher for a team that has a first-string who can catch 130 games a year. The Nats have that man in Ramos. Presently, Rodriguez and Flores stand ahead of Leon with Norris and Frietas in the wings. Thus Leon as a luxury.

  16. Wally - Nov 15, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    Unless I misunderstand the rules (certainly possible), I see no reason not to fill up the 40 man now, and run the waiver risk later if they need the space. It seems like essentially the same risk now v. later (you are exposing a player to the entire league to put on their 40 man), and maybe you don't sign or trade for as many guys as we think we will right now. I also don't see us wanting someone else's Rule 5 pick, so no need to keep a space open.As for who to protect, I think that it is easiest for a team to stash a pitcher in the bullpen (even though Gonat's points were true), followed by back up catcher (especially if #1 C is durable), then maybe a back up MI.So I would consider adding Norris, Meyers, Leon and maybe Moore. I doubt any of the other guys make it out of ST for another team.

  17. Mark'd - Nov 15, 2011 at 4:15 PM

    Komatsu is a curious one. I was surprised he didn't go to the AFL over Walters.

  18. Sec 3, My Sofa - Nov 15, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    DFL, Pudge is no longer on the Nationals, so he's not ahead of anybody.Wally, maybe, but teams claiming a player off waivers don't have to keep him on the 25-man roster all season, as they do with the Rule 5 guys, so there's less disincentive to make a claim there.

  19. Sec 3, My Sofa - Nov 15, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    @Mark, or someone else who knows for sure: What are the rules regarding Rule 5 and injured players? If someone is, say, recovering from TJ surgery and expected to miss all or much of 2012, does that make them essentially safe, or can the drafting team keep them on the 60-day DL?

  20. Mark'd - Nov 15, 2011 at 4:26 PM

    Wally, if you waive them and someone grabs them they can put them in the Minors if they have options. On Rule 5 have to be on MLB active roster for the season essentially.

  21. Wally - Nov 15, 2011 at 4:26 PM

    Sec 3, My Sofa said…. Wally, maybe, but teams claiming a player off waivers don't have to keep him on the 25-man roster all season, as they do with the Rule 5 guys, so there's less disincentive to make a claim there.Sec 3 – good point. Doesn't look like the same risk, after all.

  22. DFL - Nov 15, 2011 at 4:29 PM

    Don't you think, Mr. Sofa, that the Nats are the only team who would wish to sign Rodriguez at this point in his career?

  23. NatinBeantown - Nov 15, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    Mark, thanks for these types of posts. Very helpful to have someone do the "homework" so we know the context for a lot of decisions to be made this winter.In a related subject, if it's at all possible at the Winter Meetings (or before), can you get Rizzo's reaction to the current CBA proposal to revise the draft process? It sounds like these changes are likely to be agreed upon, and it would change the Nats drafting philosophy pretty dramatically.(For those unfamiliar, the proposed revisions limit or eliminate draft compensation for FA signings and penalize teams that go significantly over slot in the first 10 rounds)

  24. Brian - Nov 15, 2011 at 5:24 PM

    The cap on the top 10 rounds is what I focused on. Won't this just push the over-slot picks to the 11th round or later? If the penalty is for the first 10 rdounds, why not grab the signability slides in the 11th through 20th rounds?

  25. Drew8 - Nov 15, 2011 at 5:24 PM

    Norris, Moore, Meyers, Komatsu. Moore may not be viewed as a prospect, but he could be decent trade bait — as when Bill Rhinehart and Chris Manno fetched Jonny Gomes.With centerfield unresolved and Kemp off the board as a long-term solution, I'd hedge my bets and add Komatsu to the 40-man.Span is a question mark because of the concussions. Crisp says he wants to stay on the West Coast. We don't know what will happen with B.J. Upton.The Sox are likely to re-up Ellsbury at some point. Next offseason the competition for Bourn is likely to be fierce.Given the uncertainty, I like having both Goodwin and Komatsu progressing in the minors and waiting in the wings.

  26. jcj5y - Nov 15, 2011 at 5:33 PM

    I would guess that Norris and Moore are certain to be added, for the reasons explained in the post. It isn't hard to imagine a team like the Pirates that's not likely to win next year grabbing one of those guys as a bench bat on the big-league club. Komatsu is a little harder to see as a full-time big leaguer, but I assume they traded for him knowing that this moment would come, and that they're prepared to protect him. It's hard to imagine anyone else on the list ever seeing playing time as a Nat, so I would assume they'll be left unprotected.

  27. Steve M. - Nov 15, 2011 at 5:35 PM

    The Marlins offered $90MM over six years to Jose Reyes, a source told Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.Certainly not a blockbuster offer as I would figure 5 years for $90 + an option year. I wonder if the Phillies smell blood in the water and will go after Reyes. After all, they haven't re-upped Jimmy Rollins. I hope it doesn't happen as that would be scarey for him to end up in Philly. Can only hope the Red Sox snag Reyes and get him out of the National League.

  28. Anonymous - Nov 15, 2011 at 5:37 PM

    Agree that the Nats dump Slaten and perhaps Corey Brown to bring the roster down to 32. Guess that the Nats will add the following to 40 man:NorrisMooreSmokerMeyersPossible:McGearyKomatsu Leon

  29. sjm308 - Nov 15, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    Not Mr. Sofa but I think dfl, that we are a team that absolutely does not need to sign Pudge. I loved what he did here and also his attitude when it became obvious he was not in our plans the last month of the season. We have 3 strong options right now NOT including Pudge and I see no reason to use a spot on the 25 man roster for a 3rd catcher. You have to play Ramos, and you have to showcase Flores if he is going to be a key trade piece and then you have Norris & Ramos going foward not to mention Leon if no one claims him. Pitching and catching are our two spots where we have done a very good job of building depth and Rizzo should be commended. Again, no knock on Pudge, we just don't have room for a 40+ catcher who can't hit anymore.Go Nats!!

  30. sjm308 - Nov 15, 2011 at 5:48 PM

    Anon 12:37I think we hold onto Brown even though he has not proven much, because of the uncertainty in CF right now. If Crisp stays out west, and we don't make a trade or sign Sizemore, it really will have to be an in-house sort of thing. Again, I am not sold on Brown but he is a legit CF and if he can improve his offense we have a spot for him.Ain't the hot stove league great?? Can't wait for our next moves and thanks to Mark for this article.

  31. David - Nov 15, 2011 at 5:56 PM

    Ramos, that's who. Oh, has someone else said that already? :-)

  32. PAY TO PLAY - Nov 15, 2011 at 6:01 PM

    The only definite I see getting added to the 40 man is Derek Norris. Tyler Moore is a future AL DH and needs to be traded to an AL team which I would say gives him a 40 man spot to protect him.For reasons mentioned above and the strict 40 man rules, I don't see adding any pitchers and let it ride.I don't know enough on Komatsu and Leon however I know that position players run the biggest risk of getting snagged in a Rule 5. Rizzo has to build back a bench which makes a 40 man spot at a premium. There will also be more non-tenders coming further making a 40 man spot tough to come by. When the Nats gave up 40 man spots to Purke and Rendon, it really ties Rizzo's hands. I don't see where Rizzo can do more than 3 spots tops, maybe 2 unless there are some trades or Nats non-tenders coming. Guys like Stammen, Balester, Severino, Maya, and Slaten are all on the 40 man.

  33. David - Nov 15, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    Maybe we'll put Brown out there and he'll have a Morse type year. You never know… Interesting to see how he does during Spring Break.

  34. Steve M. - Nov 15, 2011 at 6:13 PM

    sjm, when Willingham was traded for a reliever and Corey Brown, I thought Rizzo and his scouting found a diamond in the rough in Brown. Corey struggled in AAA until August where he got back over the Mendoza hump. His stint as a September call-up was cut short by his staph infection. He is injury prone and turns 26 in 2 weeks and is getting to the point of no return. Chances of him being any more than a 5th outfielder is slim & none.It has made that Willingham trade who is a Type A Free Agent a bad trade in hindsight. HenRod got a roster spot and learned while on the job and while he had some shades of brilliance, he was most an inconsistent thrower. The A's will get 2 Draft picks if Willingham doesn't accept their FA arbitration. Those picks as we know are valuable to build a successful farm system and team.

  35. PAY TO PLAY - Nov 15, 2011 at 6:17 PM

    David said… Maybe we'll put Brown out there and he'll have a Morse type year. You never know… Interesting to see how he does during Spring Break. November 15, 2011 1:11 PM I don't care how he does with the ladies on Spring Break.

  36. DFL - Nov 15, 2011 at 6:21 PM

    I am agreed that the Nats need not sign Rodriguez. And it could be that Rizzo would be wise to turn his back on Rodriguez and keep Flores as the back-up. Rodriguez would be kept for his rapport with the pitchers and catchers and certainly not because of his bat. The Nats should not keep Rodriguez as a third catcher.Two quick notes. Rodriguez is 156 hits short of 3000. He won't get them even if he plays two years in Washington. And he doesn't need them to make the Hall of Fame. So Rodriguez's march to 3000 should be irrelevant to the Nats. And as for someone who can catch in a pinch, perhaps the Nats can sign Jake Fox as a utilityman. I believe he's no longer part of the Orioles 40 man roster. True third-string catchers belong in Syracuse, a very short flight to Washington.

  37. tayo - Nov 15, 2011 at 6:29 PM

    We are definately keeping Norris. We also Keep Tyler more because of his power potential and to see if he can improve his defense, walk rate and reduce his strikeouts. We have to keep him even if he is a trade piece because I guarantee that someone will pick him up. I think he is good enough to be bench player for us right now based solely on his power. We probably keep Komatsu because we just traded for him. Dont know if we keep Leon, but someone might take a chance on him. We have to keep Meyers because he has nothing to prove in AAA. All he needs is a chance to prove that he can be successful in the major league. Someone might pick him up and give him that chance and we get nothing in return.

  38. David - Nov 15, 2011 at 6:32 PM

    lol i meant spring training.

  39. natsfan1a - Nov 15, 2011 at 7:05 PM

    In other Nats news, I read that Ramos will start playing in the Venezuelan League next week rather than today.In non-Nats news, congrats to Tigers/Nats fan Dawn on Verlander's new piece of hardware (and congrats to him as well :-)).

  40. Tim - Nov 15, 2011 at 7:06 PM

    Although it would be very tough for Rizzo to do, because he made the decisions, DFA Slaten and Maya. You're gonna need at least 4 spots for free agents: pitcher, CF, bench x 2. That would allow you to add 4 of the above players: Norris, Moore, Komatsu, and Smoker.

  41. Steve M. - Nov 15, 2011 at 8:16 PM

    Tim, Slaten is an easy choice. I don't think you need a spot for Smoker. A pitcher who hasn't gone beyond beyond High A isn't a high risk of being snagged as a Rule 5 and put on the 25 man roster for the season.

  42. sjm308 - Nov 15, 2011 at 8:17 PM

    Steve M:agree completely with you on Brown & his future – I don't for a minute think he is the answer BUT this is the one position at this time that we really don't have anyone ready. Even though he has done very very little and is 26, he at least can play CF and I have not heard any issues with his defense. Again, I am not saying he is the answer but I sure would not cut him from the 40 man before spring training (or spring break for that matter). If he has that break through moment (doubtful) its a bonus, if not we take him off the 40 man, put him through waivers and see what happens. I was responding to an Anon wanting to dump him now and I think its worth the risk of keeping him since I don't see a lot of CF potential out there.

  43. Joe Seamhead - Nov 15, 2011 at 8:20 PM

    Steve M ,, most of the time I'm not too far off from your thinking, but I think that HRod has the potential to be exceptional. Due to visa hassles he got here late last spring and had a stiff neck issue right from the get go. Yes he was inconsistent, but towards the end of the season I noticed a huge change in his confidence level. I think that Davey Johnson had everything to do with it. As to Brown, you may be right, but here was a case where he was having a good spring, but hurt his leg/ankle. Then we he came back, in the minors, the coaches tried to totally rework his swing and approach at the plate with very little success. Mid-summer he said "Screw it," and went back to his natural stance and swing and knocked the cover off of the ball the rest of the year. He's an above average defensive CF with a good arm.As to Josh Willingham, he had big stats playing as much DH as he did OF. Also, I'll never understand why anybody pitches Josh anything inside, or in the middle,as he can't hit an outside pitch, or take a ball to the opposite field to save his life.He's a lousy outfielder, and even with Morse in RF the Nats are better off defensively. One of the main reasons that the Nat's record improved as much as it did is because the defense overall was improved by shedding themselves of the likes of Willingham and Dunn. Rizzo did not make a poor move in that trade. At it's worst, it's a push, in my opinion.

  44. Joe Seamhead - Nov 15, 2011 at 8:29 PM

    I meant to say Morse in LF. oops!

  45. Anonymous - Nov 15, 2011 at 9:11 PM

    Sandy Leon is major league ready today. Defensively. He is a switch hitter. Lots of teams would be interested in that guy as a backup catcher. In point of fact far more than Norris who is still learning the position. His errors and passed balls in the AZ league are a pretty good indicator that he is not going to help a club catching yet. He might make a DH or backup outfielder. Not yet ready at catcher however. So, Leon may be more at risk than Norris given the sudden dearth of catchers …And I violently agree with Joe Seamhead on Corey Brown. The guy is a top prospect that has had his share of bad luck and adversity. Bottom line on Brown? There's your backup CF to Werth if you let Ankiel go. He has the better arm over Bernadina and is the better fielding CF. He bats left and has power.One can be deadly certain that Davey Johnson wants a good look at him to see what he can do. Does Brown need another year in AAA? I think not. He's not going anywhere as far as the 40-man unless a trade where he is involved occurs. But it seems more likely that Bernadina would fit that role at this point. Keep in mind that fangraphs stated that Brian Goodwin projects as another left fielder. Like Destin Hood and even Eury Perez.THE ONLY top fielding CF in AAA/AA that probably will hit major league hitting is Corey Brown. There are Curran, Michael Taylor and the above mentioned Erik Komatsu but NONE are as slick in the field as Brown. It's highly likely he is the better fielder over Ankiel, Ankiel's strength is his arm. Brown is has five tool potential and his arm isn't bad. You could do a lot worst as far as a backup CF on the Nat's bench.

  46. Anonymous - Nov 15, 2011 at 9:20 PM

    Why anybody pitches Josh anything inside, or in the middle,as he can't hit an outside pitch, or take a ball to the opposite field to save his life.He's a lousy outfielder, and even with Morse in RF the Nats are better off defensively.Joe Seamhead I think you made a valid point even placing Morse back in RF as you mentioned. Consider who is now slated to play in right in 2012: Bryce Harper. Would the Nats be better or worst training Harper and going through his learning phase as they did with Desmond at short. Or with ex-catcher Willingham and his bad knees? Push comes to shove Rizzo does not have room in his outfield for that CF he wants to trade for. If we take him at his word it will be someone that won't be a 1 year rental and instead it will be someone who can hold down the position in 2012 and well beyond. If by some miracle he get a CF like Peter Borjous someone has to move.

  47. Sec 3, My Sofa - Nov 15, 2011 at 9:37 PM

    When the Nats took Jesus Flores from the Mets in the Rule 5 draft, as I recall the Mets GM, Omar Minaya, laughed at Bowden–"Who takes a Rule 5 catcher??" Worked out pretty well for Flores and the Nats, as it turns out, but I wonder if that thinking is still the norm, or if that pick's outcome changed anybody's mind. Just wondering. We'll see.

  48. Sec 3, My Sofa - Nov 15, 2011 at 9:39 PM

    Harper is "slated" to play right field for the Nats next year? According to who?OK, whom?captcha: "fandl" — let's hope we all stay off it.

  49. Sec 3, My Sofa - Nov 15, 2011 at 9:43 PM

    and to get back tardily to the question, I agree with Mr. SJM, it doesn't seem to work for either party to sign Pudge here, but somebody will, I believe.

  50. Sec 3, My Sofa - Nov 15, 2011 at 9:52 PM

    The other thing about the Willingham trade (which I still don't like unless Corey Brown also sticks at the ML level), Willingham seemed to be awfully glad to be out of here, based on his remarks after the deal. So there's that, on the side of the ledger for "he wouldn't have been a Type A for the Nats" along with "he can't DH here" and "he might have effectively blocked Morse."

  51. Anonymous - Nov 15, 2011 at 10:01 PM

    OK, whomDavey, Davey Johnson King of the 24-man!Born in a dugout in Tennessee, the prettiest swing that you'll ever see!Hit him a homer when he was only three! Now he manages the Nats into two-O-one three!To whit (attribution to Patrick Reddington):"Maybe utilizing them on the major league level may be a little bit of a rush, but [at] this day and time, I always like to see guys come from within the system, they've earned the right to compete at the major league level and they have the talent."

  52. Anonymous - Nov 15, 2011 at 10:08 PM

    The other thing about the Willingham trade (which I still don't like unless Corey Brown also sticks at the ML level),Five tool Backup CF plus a shutdown setup/closer that throws 100 mph. For a catcher with bad knees who must now play the outfield in the NL and should be at first base? If he hits; with those knees? He did have 29 homers and almost 100 RBI with a .246 average and 150 K's … he never came close to that sort of production with the Nats. He is better in the AL where he can DH with those knees.

  53. Sec 3, My Sofa - Nov 15, 2011 at 10:16 PM

    To whit (attribution to Patrick Reddington):"Maybe utilizing them on the major league level may be a little bit of a rush, but [at] this day and time, I always like to see guys come from within the system, they've earned the right to compete at the major league level and they have the talent."OK, I don't see the words "Bryce Harper" or "slated" anywhere in there. You're reading a lot into that.Five-tool backup CF plus a shutdown setup/closer that throws 100 mph. For a catcher with bad knees who must now play the outfield in the NL and should be at first base?Sez you, and maybe someday, in that order; and Willingham isn't a catcher. He caught 5 games in 2004, and 2 in 2006. That's all since he came up.

  54. Binx Bolling - Nov 15, 2011 at 10:17 PM

    2012 is almost a make or break season for Brown. At 26, he's getting old to languish in AAA and batting eighth.

  55. Anonymous - Nov 15, 2011 at 10:23 PM

    Sez you, and maybe someday, in that order; and Willingham isn't a catcher. He caught 5 games in 2004, and 2 in 2006. That's all since he came upAnd he barely played any outfield before he finally got to the majors. He was always a catcher. Why would Harper be any different at this point? 36 games at DH versus 94 starting in the outfield. One should expect the DH appearances to go up and the OF to go down. Expect Willingham to remain in the AL as a result. In other words: it was a good trade period.That's his knees talking (Why he didn't end up at the far more valuable position of catcher right?) not me dude.

  56. Anonymous - Nov 15, 2011 at 10:25 PM

    2012 is almost a make or break season for Brown. At 26, he's getting old to languish in AAA and batting eighth.Different manager now. He might just make it. As a backup CF they could do a whole heck of a lot worse for a whole heck of a lot more money.

  57. Joe Seamhead - Nov 15, 2011 at 11:01 PM

    My last post on Josh Willingham. He is a lousy outfielder. Not Willie Mo Pena lousy, but pretty awful. He had a good year with Oakland, in spite of an injury, at the plate. He was in tha AL West, with the benefit of the D H. Add to that that he didn't go against Halliday, Lee, Worley, and Hamills for about 80 at bats to pad his inflated average. Plus, he's near to "stick a fork in him" status. I hear that the Phillies are interested in him. I hope that they sign him.As to him wanting out of D.C. I think Riggleman may have been part of that, but regardless, I say calling it a "fail" on Rizzo's part is, if nothing else, premature.GYFNG!

  58. Davey J. - Nov 15, 2011 at 11:08 PM

    Um, wouldn't the attribution be to me, seeing as how I'm the one who is supposed to have said it?

  59. troll food intake monitor - Nov 15, 2011 at 11:10 PM

    Also, I think they may have had enough for today.

  60. John C. - Nov 15, 2011 at 11:33 PM

    Norris and Moore are no-brainers. I think Komatsu makes it because he plays a need position (CF) and his OBP was always good until he got to Harrisburg (.389 career OBP in the minors). Meyers is a RHP with OK but not great stats. I would easily see him being risked.I like Corey Brown, but he has to start in Syracuse unless he tears up Viera. He isn't going to be in DC until he proves that his very good last month at Syracuse is more indicative of his talent than his very lousy first four months.Something to think about in the Willingham trade: compensatory picks may be diminished in the new CBA. The MLBPA hates the loss of a first round pick because it diminishes a player's desireability to a team, and has been working to get rid of it. If they are successful then the loss of Willingham would only net the A's one supplemental pick after the first round. I'd rather have MPHRod than a supplemental round pick even if Brown doesn't make it.

  61. Anonymous - Nov 16, 2011 at 1:18 AM

    I like Corey Brown, but he has to start in Syracuse unless he tears up Viera.Let's hope he doesn't get injured as happened last spring. He looks like he could give Bernadina a run for his money for his slot on the roster. He's not a left-fielder, he's a pure CF. That makes a difference given the use of Ankiel and Hairston in that slot … and before that Willy Harris???? He may be a vast improvement coming off the bench, in the late innings and perhaps he'd make a good pinch hitter. He, like Harris, Harper, Ankiel, and Nix has the left-handed bat. Unlike the aforementioned he has the superior glove. They will give him a long look if he's healthy this time.

  62. BinM - Nov 16, 2011 at 1:31 AM

    Brown could be on the verge of losing his 40-man status, but will probably keep it through ST-2012. Willngham is a FA, and will likely stay in the AL (SEA, MIN or CLE) as a LF/DH, where he's best suited. H-Rod has a killer FB & 8th-9th inning potential, supporting Clippard & Storen. I miss the Hammer's ribbies, but don't regret the depth – Call the trade a wash (at best) & move on.

  63. BinM - Nov 16, 2011 at 1:50 AM

    If it were based purely on defense, I'd take Ankiel over Brown every time, no question; Range, arm strength, field command, any way you cut it. However, in sports, age plays into the deal. Ankiel is a 32yo FA, and Brown is a 26yo 40-man player. That's the current reality. BTW, glad Mark's webmasters got the conflicts cleared; It's nice to be able to post here again.

  64. Sec 3, My Sofa - Nov 16, 2011 at 2:21 AM

    Yes, welcome back, BinM.

  65. Anonymous - Nov 16, 2011 at 2:32 AM

    If it were based purely on defense, I'd take Ankiel over Brown every time, no question;We'll see. Ankiel's arm may be the best ever in baseball and this year he appears to have gotten better at using it to his advantage. I think it tends to make it seem as if he has more range and field command than he actually does. I believe Brown is faster for starters and is better going back on fly balls. But, no, he doesn't have the arm that Ankiel has although it is a plus arm and superior to Bernadina's. In other words I thought Werth played a more savvy CF to Ankiel and Bernadina. Made it look easy at times.

  66. Anonymous - Nov 16, 2011 at 2:41 AM

    I miss the Hammer's ribbies, but don't regret the depth – Call the trade a wash (at best) & move on.Due to the alarming increase in injuries both Willingham's average and OBP went down. The most RBI's he had with the Nats was 61. Most homers: 24 in 2009. But, last year, after a miserable start he had 99 RBI with 29 homers and 26 doubles. But no triples this time. The DH position appears to agree with him don't you think? 36 games DH'ing appears to have made the difference in his production at the plate. This is something you would not get with the Nats in the NL. IMO Rizzo did the Hammer a huge favor by trading him to Oakland. Riggleman was likely unhappy because he was kind of crippled with no range in left. Not the best fielder. Any way you look at. EVERYONE WON IN THE DEAL including the player.If he's smart the Hammer will stay in the AL. He might even fit in Tampa Bay beyond SEA, CLE, and MIN?

  67. sjm308 - Nov 16, 2011 at 3:51 AM

    Just a random thought after reading through everything – IF we do not sign Ankiel, and we have already lost Pudge & Livan, are we not one of the youngest teams in the majors?? How many players over 30 do we have? Starting lineup shows just LaRoche, Werth & I think Morse is 29I realize the bench isn't settled but Cora is also gone so we really could be much younger. Not sure that is good or bad, just spacing out on a Tuesday night. Also thinking this is why Rizzo wants to add that solid innings eating pitcher with experience.

  68. Anonymous - Nov 16, 2011 at 4:29 AM

    Starting lineup shows just LaRoche, Werth & I think Morse is 29I realize the bench isn't settled but Cora is also gone so we really could be much younger. Not sure that is good or bad, You have now left sad man Giggleman's island of small ball utility veterans and boarded Davey Johnson's Pirate ship … arrrrrrh hoist anchor, plunder the booty and ravage the wenches … arrrrhhhhh. All pirates are young except the captain … arrrrrrhhhhhh …

  69. Binx Bolling - Nov 16, 2011 at 3:26 PM

    One last Willingham note. There's no room for him in DC even if we wanted him. And his year at the plate in pitcher-friendly Oakland was impressive. He makes sense for the Orioles however. He could play first base, a little outfield, and some left field in a pinch.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 88 64 --
ATLANTA 76 76 12.0
MIAMI 74 78 14.0
NEW YORK 73 80 15.5
PHILADELPHIA 70 83 18.5
x-Clinched NL East title

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON 88 64 --
LOS ANGELES 87 66 1.5
ST. LOUIS 85 68 3.5
-----------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 68 4.0 +2.0
PITTSBURGH 82 70 6.0 --
MILWAUKEE 79 74 9.5 3.5
x-Clinched division title

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

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)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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