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Torn hamstring shelves Marrero

Nov 29, 2011, 2:03 PM EST

US Presswire photo
Chris Marrero hit .248 in his first 31 big-league games.

The chances of Chris Marrero starting at first base for the Nationals come Opening Day were already minuscule at best, what with Adam LaRoche signed for $8 million and Michael Morse available to move in from left field if needed.

But manager Davey Johnson did see Marrero as a potential right-handed bat off his bench to open 2012 after watching the 23-year-old enjoy some modest success during his September call-up.

So the revelation that Marrero tore his left hamstring two weeks ago while playing in the Dominican Republic and had surgery to repair the major injury does throw a wrench into the Nationals' plans.

There's no official timetable for Marrero's recovery, but it's not uncommon for tears like this to sideline a player up to one year. EvenRead more »

  1. Hopeful 2012 - Nov 29, 2011 at 2:23 PM

    WOW! This is a game changer for the Opening Day roster, at least. Do you think that is why we are hearing reports that the Nats are "all in" for Prince!? This opens a BIG door for Tyler Moore, I hope he gets a shot.

  2. SCNatsFan - Nov 29, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    I agree it does nothing to change the starting lineup but he might have been a productive bat off the bench that won't kill you in the field (although he'd never be a defensive replacement for LaRoche). Just another player Rizzo will have to sign to bolster the bench, and as Marrero might have been slotted for AAA anyway this might not change a thing.Except, of course, to Marrero. Hate it for him.

  3. Feel Wood - Nov 29, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    Marrero needs to get that "Nick Johnson is My Copilot" bumper sticker off his car. Stat.

  4. markfd - Nov 29, 2011 at 2:48 PM

    Looks like Mark DeRosa might be a minor league contract option for the Nats per MLBTR

  5. lesatcsc - Nov 29, 2011 at 2:51 PM

    Is he on the 40-man roster? If so, can they remove him?I feel for him, he was on the verge of making it into the show, this has to be a major setback for him personally.

  6. Hotdiggitydog - Nov 29, 2011 at 2:57 PM

    Hopeful 2012, where did you hear the Nats are "all in" for Prince?Rosenthal tweeted this: Sources: #Nationals pursuing Fielder. Talks hit roadblock today. Cespedes possible alternative. Story coming on FOXSports.com. #MLBSounds like they kicked the tires at least. Perhaps they're very interested. But, "all-in"?

  7. Anonymous - Nov 29, 2011 at 3:07 PM

    Sounds like they kicked the tires at least. Perhaps they're very interested. But, "all-in"?As reported last night … Ladson verified and said it could happen.DeRosa is 37 coming off an injury filled year. I don't understand that move with Moore, and Morse and then Fielder? And DeRosa is a righty?Captcha: Worsted.Where do you put Morse much less Moore? Neither has any chance at the starting lineup if Harper comes up to the majors with Werth in right and the as yet TBD CF? Unless its all a smokescreen and Werth ends up in CF Morse is a part-time starter again?

  8. Anonymous - Nov 29, 2011 at 3:23 PM

    And dfh21 according to Ladson, Rizzo is closer to smoking this:ss Desmondcf Werth3b Zimmerman1b FielderLf/1b MorseRf Harper2b/ss EspinosaC RamosP Rendon 2b/1bLombardozzi 2b/3b/ssAnd yes a likely will motivation will be to sell some tix since as Mark astutely pointed out: the Nats lost their revenue sharing attached to having a bottom of the league payroll. Everything else may just have been a smokescreen to allow the man behind the curtain to work deals.

  9. natsfan1a - Nov 29, 2011 at 3:30 PM

    Bummer for Marrero. Wishing the best to him in his recovery.

  10. Big Cat - Nov 29, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    I have always felt Marrero would play in the bigs……still do. I don't feel it will be with the Nats though. He is gonna be a .275 15-20 homer down the road. He got a bad rap from some of these posters about his defense. I think he showed his defense is above average

  11. Mark'd - Nov 29, 2011 at 3:46 PM

    I just feel bad for Marrero. I saw him as the RH platoon with LaRoche as well as pinch hitter.

  12. NatStat - Nov 29, 2011 at 3:58 PM

    We're jinxed in the VWL this year!Ramo is kidnapped, Marrero screws up his leg. Next thing we hear is that HRod throws his arm out.JFlo, though, is having a great season down there. .388 with 7 HRs and 30 RBIs so far in 35 games.

  13. NatsLady - Nov 29, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    That is too bad for Marrero, who seems like a good guy and a hard worker. Looking to the blogs at the left, what a wild set of rumors.

  14. Natslifer - Nov 29, 2011 at 4:08 PM

    "Nick Johnson is my CoPilot"… that's funny.

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

    So why did it take so long for this to get out?

  16. Steve M. - Nov 29, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    NatStat, not to be critical but Marrero was playing his Winter League ball in the DWL (Dominicana) not the VWL. Still, it is what it is and luckily it is an injury you can make a full recovery. As Mark'd pointed out above Marrero could have been the RH bat to platoon with LaRoche.Now to the bench, against LH pitching, I think Morse has to play 1st base now instead of Marrero. That only leaves Werth as the only other RH outfielder on the current roster. It would really help if Lombardozzi could play some LF and really fill in that Jerry Hairston role as Lombo is a switch-hitter and a natural rightie.It also in my mind from yesterday to today just made getting BJ Upton a little more of a smarter move as up to now I was more neutral to negative on Upton. For the right deal, Upton may be the best 1 year stop-gap. The Nats were very lefty dominant on the bench in 2011 with Bernadina, Ankiel, Stairs and Nix. The redundancy of Nix and Stairs made little sense and the Nats had no RH bats to turn to.Having Lombardozzi as a switch-hitter helps on the bench and Tyler Moore is a RH 1st baseman that needs a good looking at in Spring Training to see if he is MLB serviceable at all.

  17. NatsLady - Nov 29, 2011 at 5:07 PM

    I said this a while back, but since the BJ Upton discussion is around again: watching him play, that young man is BUNDLE of talent. Between RZimm and Davey, and playing near home–I say, if that doesn't motivate him, I don't know what will. My dime goes for BJ.

  18. Binx Bolling - Nov 29, 2011 at 5:10 PM

    No to Prince Fielder. The Nats are stacked at first and Fielder may be best suited as a Designated Hitter. Morse to first in 2013 looks likely.On another note, perhaps Aaron Rowand or Cody Ross could be signed to a minor league contract to compete in center and back-up the other two slots. He hits right-handed. Mark DeRosa as a utilityman isn't bad in concept. Other utilitymen prospects- Nick Punto, Clint Barmes, Jamey Carroll, Jack Wilson and Marco Scutaro.

  19. NatStat - Nov 29, 2011 at 5:14 PM

    @ Steve M.Correctomundo my man, it was the DWL.No kidnappings there—yet!Thanks!Davey seems on track to have a bench with some of our developing talent. Not sure if Rizzo is on-side with this???? I hope Lombardozzi and Tyler Moore get a good look in ST.

  20. Steve M. - Nov 29, 2011 at 5:15 PM

    Anonymous said… And dfh21 according to Ladson, Rizzo is closer to smoking this:ss Desmondcf Werth3b Zimmerman1b FielderLf/1b MorseRf Harper2b/ss EspinosaC RamosP Rendon 2b/1bLombardozzi 2b/3b/ssNovember 29, 2011 10:23 AM Would the Nats consider a platoon of Bernadina and Upton? Going by stats both Bernadina and Upton excelled batting in the 2 hole. Bernadina was another player who failed miserably in the leadoff. Bernadina in the 2 hole slashed .313 /.333 /.563/.896 and was even higher when he was facing only RH pitching.Upton hits most RH pitching well so maybe Upton plays 4 to 5 days per week and Davey uses Bernadina in some RH pitching matchups. Werth in the 5 hole slashed .256/.346/.419/.765 and his career numbers are best in the 5 hole. Here are his 6 hole humbers for his career .276 /.367 /.459 /.826 Here is something startling on Werth overall does horrible against LH pitching .184/ .307 /.368 /.675 Its a big problem when you face LH pitching twice a week and I'm not sure this has been discussed before.Against RH pitching:ss Desmondcf Bernadina3b ZimmermanLf Morse1b LaRocheRf Werth2b EspinosaC RamosP Lombardozzi 2b/3b/ss/RFAgainst LH pitching:ss Desmondcf BJ Upton3b ZimmermanLF Morse1B Tyler Moore2b EspinosaRF LombardozziC RamosP The key is still Desmond at the leadoff and his success there.I have Lombardozzi playing RF. Not sure if he can do it. I also have Tyler Moore as the backup 1st baseman with Marrero presumably out of action.

  21. Mark'd - Nov 29, 2011 at 5:28 PM

    Steve M. said…Here is something startling on Werth overall does horrible against LH pitching .184/ .307 /.368 / .675 Its a big problem when you face LH pitching twice a week and I'm not sure this has been discussed before.————————————I just fell off of my chair. Werth is below Mendoza against LH hitting. Didn't know that. That's a big turnaround in the wrong direction from his career norm and what you would expect as Werth has a career .908 OPS against LH pitching.

  22. PAY TO PLAY - Nov 29, 2011 at 5:33 PM

    NatStat, agreed. Lombardozzi has to fill into that Jerry Hairston role and get some outfield reps in. Tyler Moore has an opportunity here which I don't think will happen. More likely they will now have to find a bench RH 1st baseman/Pinch hitter. What's the market these days with Kevin Youkilis?

  23. Anonymous - Nov 29, 2011 at 5:42 PM

    Would the Nats consider a platoon of Bernadina and Upton? Both Johnson and Rizzo commiserating over the dearth of left-handed hitting in the lineup after Nix couldn't go with the achillles? I kind of figured they would go after starting left-handed hitting to go with Harper.I don't think you rely on La Roche … and you really can't assume Morse will have another break out year … or that Werth will bounce back? Or even Zim coming off an injury year … and SteveM you are going to rely on Bernadina? Who clearly lost the battle for a job over Morse … and Ankiel? You are joking right?I knew Rizzo would go out and left-handed power but I didn't think he would go after Fielder; but Fielder does bats left plus he's younger than Pujols. If Harper gets to the majors as expected … even if Johnson decides to keep him to finish his training in the bigs you still have two left-handed bats … and Fielder has been pretty consistent.

  24. Steve M. - Nov 29, 2011 at 5:44 PM

    P2P, Youkilis is still under Red Sox control for another season.

  25. Mark'd - Nov 29, 2011 at 5:50 PM

    If Bernadina has such strong numbers batting 2nd, why is he such an after-thought? He is a league minimum guy.

  26. Steve M. - Nov 29, 2011 at 5:58 PM

    Mark'd said… If Bernadina has such strong numbers batting 2nd, why is he such an after-thought? He is a league minimum guy. November 29, 2011 12:50 PM Bernadina did so poorly in the leadoff that his overall numbers were bad and that's unfortunately what most people focus on and not what he did in other places in the batting order. His 2 hole numbers make Bernadina look like an All Star and same for BJ Upton.I don't have access to neutralizing multiple stats, but I wonder what BJ Upton did batting in the 2 hole vs. LH pitching in road games for his career? My guess is his numbers are All Star quality in those situations. BJ Upton never hit well in Tampa and did better on the road. His 2 hole numbers in 114 games played are .278/ .375 /.432/ .807 Those are some very good numbers.

  27. gonatsgo - Nov 29, 2011 at 6:03 PM

    Binx Bolling — Ross or Rowand would be fantastic pick-ups for us. Veteran leadership, versatility and nice bats, good clubhouse guys for a young team. Has Nix been picked up yet? I think if he was healthy he would be nice to re-sign. Bummer for Chris Marrero – he had a nice September.Wishing him a speedy recovery.

  28. Mark'd - Nov 29, 2011 at 6:03 PM

    SteveM, if BJ Upton is so good in the 2 hole, why didn't they bat him there the whole season?

  29. Steve M. - Nov 29, 2011 at 6:08 PM

    gonatsgo, Cody Ross had a bad year last year compared to this great 2010. His home numbers were actually better than his road numbers. There's better pickups out there.

  30. Steve M. - Nov 29, 2011 at 6:12 PM

    Mark'd said… SteveM, if BJ Upton is so good in the 2 hole, why didn't they bat him there the whole season? November 29, 2011 1:03 PM The answer is Tampa had Ben Zobrist who hit mostly out of the 2 hole and put up even better numbers in the 2 hole. Johnny Damon also hit out of the 2 hole for Tampa.Tampa mixed up their batting orders a lot from what I can see.

  31. NatStat - Nov 29, 2011 at 6:12 PM

    @ Mark'dYeah, last season Davey made a mildly sarcastic comment about Werth not hitting lefties (after he had just hit one). Werth responded by suggesting that he didn't appreciate Davey's comments.Unlike The Sad Man, Davey has a good grip on his players' stats.

  32. Mark'd - Nov 29, 2011 at 6:26 PM

    NatStat, I'm blown away and can't understand the negative twist on Werth hitting Lefties. Good point on Davey as a stat man.

  33. Eugene in Oregon - Nov 29, 2011 at 6:27 PM

    Before everyone concludes that Werth can't hit left-handed pitching, it's worth taking a deep breath and really looking at the numbers.The .184/.307/.368 slash line cited above is for a single season (2011) and represents only 114 ABs.Werth's career numbers against LHs are much more reasonable: .278/.382/.526 in 863 ABs.In fact, and as you would expect from a right-handed hitter, during Werth's career he's done better against lefties than against righties (his career numbers vs. RHs are .259/.351/.440).I think we can all agree that Werth had a miserable season in 2011, but I don't think we can conclude that "Werth overall does horrible against LH pitching" if — by 'overall' — you mean that he has a track record of not hitting left handers. He doesn't.Since he's been a regular, I found only one other season in which he hit RHs better than LHs (and, in that season, he still hit LHs at a .287/.402/.479 pace, so it wasn't exactly 'horrible').The bigger question — which none of us will be able to answer for another half-season or more — is whether 2011 represented an aberration or whether it will be seen as the beginning of Werth's inevitable decline from both sides of the plate.I don't pretend to have the answer to that, although I certainly know the history of hitters as they march through their 30s.

  34. natsfan1a - Nov 29, 2011 at 6:28 PM

    MicheleS, re. the info not getting out sooner, my own thought (AKA SWAG) was so as not to affect any 1B negotiations.Binx, I believe that Carroll signed on with the Twins.

  35. natsfan1a - Nov 29, 2011 at 6:32 PM

    Also, I think Barmes signed on with the Pirates.

  36. Steve M. - Nov 29, 2011 at 6:42 PM

    Eugene, 114 ABs is a lot of ABs when considering it is against LH pitching. Werth's overall numbers will be one of the big questions going into 2012 as to whether Werth can bring those numbers back up against LH pitching to career norms. If he does, he trends close to career numbers overall.As NatStat pointed out, Davey Johnson is well aware of that stat. I had never focused on it and was glad Mark'd pointed out that career wise he had very strong numbers against LH pitching with a .908 OPS.It doesn't make sense but then again, if it all made sense it would be a boring game.

  37. Binx Bolling - Nov 29, 2011 at 6:47 PM

    Thanks for the updates on Barmes and Carroll.Ross may have had a mediocre year for San Francisco but, then again, so did about every other hitter on the Giants.As for Werth, his resurgence is vital to any sort of Nats playoff run.

  38. Steve M. - Nov 29, 2011 at 6:49 PM

    Michael Morse last night on MLB-XM,"He signed this big contract. I guess with a big contract comes big responsibility. He felt that he had to go out there and hit 40 HR's and hit .320. That's not necessarily his game. When he was with Philly, he was a guy that, you couldn't pitch around Howard. You had to challenge him. And, I think when he came here, he thought that he had to carry the whole team on his back. It sucked. I felt bad for him, but you know, he's such a professional that you would never know he was struggling or anything. He helped the team, and especially in the clubhouse."All good points by Beast Morse. Now one of the other problems was Werth played to much and then was saddled with injuries. Davey has to pick for these players more opportune times to rest both Zim and Werth.

  39. Mark'd - Nov 29, 2011 at 6:53 PM

    A good point on Werth by Morse "He helped the team, and especially in the clubhouse."

  40. Anonymous - Nov 29, 2011 at 7:51 PM

    It's out there that the Cubs are going for Fielder. If Theo Epstein wants him, he'll get him. Talk of the Nats going after the Prince because a backup-rookie (nothing against Marrero, but he is what he is) gets hurt is silly.

  41. gonatsgo - Nov 29, 2011 at 7:53 PM

    Steve M – I know Cody Ross had a tough year last year – but so did all the Giants. He was fantastic for them the year before and was clutch in the world series. As for Werth hitting lefties – this past season he couldn't hit anyone, left or right. I hope Santa brings him a new bat for Christmas that has magic in it. Morse's comments have very little to do with the kind of player Werth is — more to do with what kind of teammate Morse is.

  42. gonatsgo - Nov 29, 2011 at 7:54 PM

    Just talking about Morse and the "captcha" was HUMBL — wow…

  43. Harper_ROY_2012 - Nov 29, 2011 at 8:19 PM

    If the solution is signing a utility guy who can play 1B and other positions, how about Carlos Guillen?

  44. jeff550 - Nov 29, 2011 at 8:22 PM

    The guy we should sign incase something happens to LaRoche is.. Greg Dobbs, and here is why we should sign him. The first and biggest reason is he will be cheap to sign. The next reason is that while idealy he is a bench player for you, and thats where I had him sloted in, you could do worse that Dobbs filling in every day while LaRoche rehabs, or another OF is avalible. He could also play the OF, and 3B so if something happens to Zimm, he could also step up. He also has value once LaRoche comes back, providing decent power of the bench, and a decent average to go with the power.

  45. D'Gourds - Nov 29, 2011 at 8:24 PM

    Surgery for a hamstring tear–even a serious one, is very rare. The recovery from it is very extended. He'll have to wear a brace that keeps his hip extended and his knee flexed for many months to avoid disruption of the surgical repair. His muscles will atrophy quite a bit. It will be a LONG time before he'll be competitive on a baseball field. And the surgery itself is quite controversial–it is unclear whether it really offers a better result than rehab alone. I feel really bad for him. I have a feeling he'll be out for as long as Nick was with his broken leg.

  46. Unkyd - Nov 29, 2011 at 8:54 PM

    " The first and biggest reason is he will be cheap to sign."Um… just kinda hoping that we're past the point where that's the "first and biggest reason" to sign ANYBODY….jes' sayin'

  47. jeff550 - Nov 29, 2011 at 8:57 PM

    @unkyd he would be a bench player, so I guess a better way to put it would beHe would be the best option that we can get for bench player money

  48. Unkyd - Nov 29, 2011 at 9:18 PM

    hehe… Much better!

  49. Anonymous - Nov 29, 2011 at 9:25 PM

    It's out there that the Cubs are going for Fielder. If Theo Epstein wants him, he'll get him. Talk of the Nats going after the Prince because a backup-rookie (nothing against Marrero, but he is what he is) gets hurt is silly. From what I understand of Ladson's phone conversation with Marerro it was Marerro himself who held back the info … not intentionally. He injured himself in winter ball and naturally assumed some sort of strain? When it didn't heal he came back to the states and checked-in with the team doctor who told him it was torn and he needed surgery. Marerro thinks he can still play a major part of next year. He was a slow runner and less than athletic first baseman who did this stretching at first for the ball. That tells me he is out for the year and this may in fact permanently damage his career.The Fielder negotiations have apparently been ongoing for a while now and are completely separate from Marerro. The Nats ARE the team Boras wants to place his client with. Rizzo, the FO and ownership were exploring the possibilities under the smokescreen of seeking a CF and Buehrle. Clearly, a big gun like Fielder was their top priority going into the offseason. They wanted another left-handed bat to go with Harper. It makes sense the lineup is too right handed bat heavy. What happens to La Roche? Morse, etc? Clearly Fielder given his body type makes more sense in Seattle with an AL team given the DH factor. But, the Nats FO want that stabilizing bat in the middle of their lineup. They really do not have any right now. But for five years not 7 as they did with Werth or eight. I'm sure the snag has to do with the length of the contract not the $$$.In fact they hurt the team because it seems likely Marerro would have been flipped for a prospect or two or added into a package deal for Upton … now he is completely worthless on the trade market.

  50. Just sayin' - Nov 29, 2011 at 9:29 PM

    With Chris Marrero injured — and D'Gourds is almost certainly right that this will be a much longer recovery process than Marrero wants to admit — the back-up first-baseman is Michael Morse. That means that the replacement for Marrero isn't a 1B but rather our fourth or fifth outfielder — a position we would have been filling anyway. It also means that you're looking to sign a utility infielder who can also play 1B on occasion (akin to what Cora and Kennedy have done in the recent past). I don't mean any disrespect to Marrero, but given that he could only really play first base, this doesn't change the Nats' offseason wish-list much at all. You would only really need to focus on finding a true back-up first baseman if LaRoche reported that he wasn't going to ready to play.

  51. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Nov 29, 2011 at 9:32 PM

    I realize I'm in the minority here, but I never liked Marerro. I thought he was soft for a corner infielder, below-average defensively and slow. I really wished we had packaged him with a LannEn or even Clipp to get a first-rate CF or leadoff man. Too late now. The analogy to Nick the Stick is apropos. He's a cut above Larry Broadway, but not by much. Not a total stiff, but not a first-line player on a good team. I'd like to think we're beyond that stage. Thank god for first base insurance in LaRoche, Mickey Morse et al.

  52. Anonymous - Nov 29, 2011 at 9:33 PM

    There is no way the Nats would ever platoon Bernadina with Upton. Its a nutty idea. Upton's numbers in AWAY games were ALL Star level no matter where you put the guy in the lineup or whether against lefties or righties; and fielding wise he is far superior to Bernadina in CF. Far superior. Upton just needs a new home he does not need to be platooned. Bernadina specs out as a backup bench guy … NOT a platoon candidate. That much is clear. He had a number of chances to prove that he was a starter and he didn't make the grade. PLUS Upton is younger than Bernadina. PLUS Upton would make at least 7-8 million a year just through arbitration. Do you actually believe Bernadina is that kind of player? Would ever make that kind of money? That's starter money not a platoon player.

  53. Anonymous - Nov 29, 2011 at 9:36 PM

    If Michael Morse starts in left field he probably won't be the backup at first base. If he ends up as a starting utility guy again (Nats manage to sign Prince Fielder) … perhaps!

  54. jd - Nov 29, 2011 at 9:56 PM

    Sunshine; you are 100% right. No one wishes the kid anything but good health but his upside is a fringe regular to a medium bench player. I don't know where people see 20 – 25 HR power but his bat is too slow for that and coupled with so – so defense at best and playing a position which normally requires a top notch hitter does not translate into someone very useful.

  55. jd - Nov 29, 2011 at 10:01 PM

    Playing Greg Dobbs at any regular position is the same as playing Ankiel or Nix. It means that your lineup is one man short most of the time. Cody Ross was NOT fantastic in 2010; he was OK with his 2.3 WAR but he got hot in the world series which is nice but is statisticaly meaningless.

  56. jd - Nov 29, 2011 at 10:06 PM

    Signing Prince Fielder would be a great coup because his is a trans formative player who instantly makes our lineup potent. Signing him for 7 years makes a lot more sense than signing Werth for 7 years because he is 5 years younger so you can reasonably expect 5 – 6 very productive years from him as opposed to Werth who very well may have started his decline already.

  57. jd - Nov 29, 2011 at 10:11 PM

    The only issue I see with signing Fielder to a contract paying him $20 mil a year is that in about 3 – 4 years you may have: Werth, Zimmerman, Strasburg, Jzim all in that salary neighborhood and I don't know if we are able to sustain a payroll where 5 players are earning $100 mil.

  58. Anonymous - Nov 29, 2011 at 10:12 PM

    I think we can all agree that Werth had a miserable season in 2011, but I don't think we can conclude that "Werth overall does horrible against LH pitching" if — by 'overall' — you mean that he has a track record of not hitting left handers. He doesn't.Werth hit a lot more ground balls last year than in the past. And they went to people. Its the sign of decline in over 30 hitters. In other words: Ivan Rodriguez double play threat. Its a real problem for the Nats FO if it continues they may end up eating a good chunk of Werth's contract.

  59. Anonymous - Nov 29, 2011 at 10:20 PM

    The only issue I see with signing Fielder to a contract paying him $20 mil a year is that in about 3 – 4 years you may have: Werth, Zimmerman, Strasburg, Jzim all in that salary neighborhood and I don't know if we are able to sustain a payroll where 5 players are earning $100 mil.Keep Mark's article on CSN in mind: with the new rules the Nats can no longer get revenue sharing by keeping the payroll close to the bottom when compared to the 31 teams. They need to replace that revenue. How is that done?Season tickets, more revenue from MASN (they need to get rid of MASN), and more sell outs.How do you do that? You sign Fielder, Zimmerman, Morse, and bring up Harper. You acquire one or two top starting pitches … in other words you win. Getting that CF (given that they do have Jayson Werth who can play the position well for 20 mill a year, plus Corey Brown and Roger Bernadina as backups … Eury Perez/Brian Goodwin/Michael Taylor in the near future) doesn't seem to help with a problem that must be pretty important to ownership. In other words: Fielder really pretty much is their highest offensive priority … $$$ more important than replacing Desmond at leadoff. Something Goose Bumps Goesling fails to see for some odd reason?The CF deal, Buehrle likely all a big smoke screen for the Fielder negotiations.

  60. DFL - Nov 29, 2011 at 10:21 PM

    Morse plays first when LaRoche sits, barring injuries. Ideally for next year, with the caveat that LaRoche is not moved in the summer, LaRoche starts 130-135 or so games at first and Morse starts the rest. A right-handed bat plays left when Morse plays first. Marrero, who can only play first, is not a factor for the PaPa Nats in 2012.If LaRoche is traded at the 2012 trading deadline it may be assumed that the Nats are either out of playoff contention or they have greater needs at another position to make a playoff run. If LaRoche is traded, Morse will be the first-baseman.

  61. MurrayTheRed - Nov 29, 2011 at 11:09 PM

    There is NO WAY we will sign Fielder. A long term contract would be required and he will be a DH in a couple of years. No way, more importantly WHY? We have LaRoche at first this year, and Morse for many years after that. We don't need a first baseman, we need a center fielder. I believe the reports of the Nats going after Fielder are bs, and whispered to the press to get him more money and years from those teams that are looking at him.I agree with those that say Upton may blossom with a change of scenery. But I wonder what Werth would do with him, if he thinks he's dogging it.What about that Cuban guy for CF, of course he's a power guy, not a lead off guy.Go Nats in 2012 – my early prediction, assuming we get nobody significant is 85 wins.

  62. baseballswami - Nov 29, 2011 at 11:12 PM

    I love how mlb is convinced that we are going after Fielder and they never, ever mention Adam LaRoche. Off the radar. The poor guy must feel invisible. Is this really a problem? Could we find something to do with LaRoche? If we got Fielder and a CF then what happens to morse when Harper comes up? We really need to have Morse playing every day and not be a utility player. Will anything happen next week or will it be a while longer? Waiting……

  63. Eugene in Oregon - Nov 29, 2011 at 11:37 PM

    I have real doubts about whether the Nats are actually in the contest for Fielder and — like many others — I wonder about the advisability of giving him a long-term contract. But what I don't doubt is that he would be a net plus for the team. What do the Nats need more than anything else? Not a CF, not a lead-off hitter, not another starting pitcher. Sure those are nice to have, But the Nats need runs. Lots of them. And Fielder produces runs by the dozens. There's a whole bunch of ways you can look at run production these days — old stats, new stats, counting stats, relative stats — and Fielder ranks high in all of them. If the Nats can get Fielder (and I'd make the same argument for Pujols or some other high-run-producing 1Bs who aren't currently free agents), they should sign him. Then you worry about what to do with LaRoche, who bats lead-off, and who plays center field. But those are problems Rizzo and Lerners could live with, even if — for example — they have to eat a few million dollars of LaRoche's contract. If you're heading up toward the $200m range, what's another $5m anyway?

  64. John C. - Nov 29, 2011 at 11:44 PM

    FWIW (admittedly not much) I'm agnostic on Fielder. It would take a lot of money that could be spent on other things, yes, but there is an obvious need there. LaRoche isn't the answer at first for a few very important reasons:(1) He's recovering from shoulder surgery (aka, with Flores and Wang, kryptonite for the Nats)(2) Even when healthy, he's barely OK. His career OPS+ is 112, which is above league average – but that league average includes a bunch of pitchers, middle infielders and catchers. For an offense-first position that's not getting it done. A better measure is fWAR, because that scales by position. LaRoche has accumulated 9.4 fWAR over an 8 year career. As a rule of thumb you'd like your starters to be 2 WAR or better, a level LaRoche has managed in only 2 of 8 seasons. In 7 years Fielder has a career OPS+ of 143 (LaRoche's best single season was 130 in 2006); Fielder has put up 23.4 fWAR in those 7 years. (3) If the plan is to flip LaRoche when Harper is ready sometime after mid June, you will get nothing for him because LaRoche sucks in April and May. Even when he was young and healthy he couldn't hit in the cold – his career OPS+ for March/April (70), May (86) and June (92) are below league average production, not just first base average. (4) LaRoche is 32, so even if his shoulder recovers fully he's at an age where his numbers are likely to decline from already pedestrian levels. Fielder is 27; even if he follows the career path of his Dad (out of baseball at 34) he's got five very good years ahead of him.The reason that I'm not all in on Fielder is because he's expensive and there is a chance that Michael Morse could be the long term answer at first base for the Nationals. But you have to admit, having both a RH Morse and a LH Fielder in the lineup would be pretty sweet. And to have a lineup from 2-6 that goes Werth, Zimmerman, Fielder, Morse, Harper may make the pitchers feel better about having Fielder at 1b with an OF of Morse-Werth-Harper.

  65. Sec 3, My Sofa - Nov 30, 2011 at 12:45 AM

    Flores and CMW both seem to be recovering, so far. Must be red kryptonite.

  66. Gonat - Nov 30, 2011 at 1:13 AM

    2 interesting stats I read here was just how bad Werth was vs. LH pitching in 2011. Shocking and also had no clue.The other interesting fact was that Bernadina was good batting 2nd.Going off of Eugene's thoughts on Werth, what if Werth reverts back to his dominating LH pitching and Werth/Bernadina are the CFs for 2012 and Rizzo gets a RF placeholder until Bryce Harper is ready.It seems at this point that 2 of the 3 outfielders of the long-term Nats future are Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth.If Rendon can transition like Ryan Braun and Alex Gordon to LF, that could make the 2013 outfield of Rendon, Werth, Harper as Morse moves to 1st base.I am also in the camp that sees very little chance the Nats sign Prince Fielder.

  67. Anonymous - Nov 30, 2011 at 1:44 AM

    that could make the 2013 outfield of Rendon, Werth, Harper as Morse moves to 1st base.I am also in the camp that sees very little chance the Nats sign Prince Fielder.That's probably because you don't see things the way FO and Johnson do. Too many right handed hitters … and just Harper on the left side. From their perspective that just won't work in the NL East. AND that is why the Nats making Fielder their #1 offensive priority makes sense.

  68. Anonymous - Nov 30, 2011 at 1:49 AM

    And to have a lineup from 2-6 that goes Werth, Zimmerman, Fielder, Morse, Harper may make the pitchers feel better about having Fielder at 1b with an OF of Morse-Werth-Harper.From a strategic standpoint Werth made sense to prove the Nationals were players … well to the players … it appears to have had a modicum of success. But from the standpoint of the roster he appears to block too much potential given his age. Roster-wise Werth was probably a mistake. Perhaps the Nats will be content to make him an expensive starting utility guy if he continues to decline hitting mostly grounders.In any case the above lineup makes an inordinate amount of sense and so it must be what Johnson wants and has planned and everything else just a smokescreen to hide the Nats true intent in their offseason maneuvering.

  69. baseballswami - Nov 30, 2011 at 1:59 AM

    What do you think of Fielder chemistry and clubhouse-wise? My sense is that he would hate the big market, media frenzy, obnoxious fan cities. He seems pretty shy. I actually think personality wise he would fit in nicely with the team and in this market. I am still kind of surprised that he is willing to leave his home and maybe move his kids – and leave Ryan Braun. How much money can one person spend in a lifetime anyway?

  70. Anonymous - Nov 30, 2011 at 2:05 AM

    I wonder about the advisability of giving him a long-term contract.Probably exactly the stumbling block.But now the Lerners are about to lose money if they don't improve their multimedia (television) revenue and put fannies into seats. They won't be able to collect lucrative revenue sharing because their payroll was kept artificially low. So … guess what? DC is a major market capable of making a lot of money especially with Dan Snyder owning the Redskins. But the Lerner's are probably looking askance at these FA deals at this point given what happened with Kearns, La Roche, Marquis, and Werth and his ground ball epidemic last year. So, they are likely the ones balking at the time frame not the capital if I had to guess.

  71. Anonymous - Nov 30, 2011 at 2:09 AM

    If LaRoche is traded at the 2012 trading deadline it may be assumed that the Nats are either out of playoff contention or they have greater needs at another position to make a playoff run.La Roche could get packaged in a deal this week. There are teams willing ot take that chance if the Nats cover some of the salary AND its a package where other prospects/players are included. That seems a very likely scenario given the injury to Marerro. And La Roche does bat left which will be of interest to some teams … perhaps like the Orioles … ;)

  72. Poopy___McPoop - Nov 30, 2011 at 4:24 AM

    Fielder? Hahaha. That'll be another fun contract for DC's baseball team in a few years. Not only are they now already overpaying for average production from Jayson Werth, but in a few years they'd be severely overpaying for a bloated player (and contract) that they couldn't even move to a DH position if they wanted too. Sounds like just the quality signing DC's baseball team has been making in recent seasons. Hahahaha

  73. Antidote - Nov 30, 2011 at 4:38 AM

    Ah, PMcP, fleeing from the blighted wasteland that Angelos has created at Camden Yards to try to distract yourself by laughing at fans of other, better teams. Interesting.If you're going to troll about the Nationals signing Fielder, PMcP, don't you think you should wait until a contract is actually signed? How can you say it's severely overpaying if there isn't a $$ figure to criticize yet? Oh, wait, I remember now – it doesn't seem to bother you that you are wrong a truly astonishing amount of the time. It's all about the trolling. Very well, then: carry on.

  74. John C. - Nov 30, 2011 at 4:48 AM

    Sec3: Red Kryptonite (IIRC) made Superman an ordinary vulnerable person, so you may well be right. It's not that the shoulder injuries kill the players or their careers – but they do tend to heal much more slowly than they are supposed to. So I don't know why we should just assume that LaRoche is going to heal in a relatively speedy fashion.

  75. this is what it's come to - Nov 30, 2011 at 1:07 PM

    PMP is reduced to trolling about potential trades, 'cause if we start talking about W-L records and standings….crickets…I almost feel sorry for him/her. Almost.

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