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Buehrle signs 4-year deal with Miami

Dec 7, 2011, 10:00 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Mark Buehrle has chosen the Marlins over the Nationals.

Updated at 5:23 p.m.

DALLAS — The Nationals made Mark Buehrle their No. 1 — and only — free-agent pitching target. They made their case to the veteran left-hander in person at his St. Louis home last month and then again this week to his agent at the Winter Meetings. Within the last hour, general manager Mike Rizzo felt good about his club's chances of landing the hurler.

It appears that was all for naught.

Buehrle has agreed to a four-year, $58 million contract with the Miami Marlins, a source familiar with the deal confirmed this afternoon, ending the Nationals' quest to add another front-line starter to a rotation that already features young aces Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann.

The exact terms of the Nationals' final offer to Buehrle aren't known, but sources said they offered at least three years at a comparable annual salary rate (roughly $14 million). It's unclear if they matchedRead more »

131 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Hopeless-2012 - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:03 PM

    Proof that Rizzo is a lying piece of S_ _ TAsked earlier if he had a Plan B if Buehrle signed elsewhere, Rizzo said they "Feel we have good depth in SP now w/what we have in-house."WTF, where is the #1 starter you promised for the second year in a row! Rizzo's grandstanding and pandering make StanK look like a choir boy instead of a snake oil salesman!!!F_Rizzo Let's get a real GM to guide this team tothe next level!

  2. Bowdenball - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:04 PM

    The Nats seem to be handling this one perfectly. Offer what he's worth for a contract length that makes sense, do all you can to get him to agree to it, and if someone goes over that, don't chase that player, and don't chase a questionable Plan B just because you feel like you have to.

  3. Sec314 - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:06 PM

    Detwiler and Lannan must be breathing a sigh of relief… that is if they wanted to stay Nats. I was hoping they'd become parts of a trade for a lead off hitter.Wonder if Ozzie Guillen's presence had anything to do with Buehrle choosing Miami

  4. Alan_A - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:07 PM

    @Hopeless -The #1 starter is probably named Strasburg. Or Zimmermann.One could do worse.If I recall correctly, the Mets in the mid-'60's didn't go hunting a veteran pitcher to mentor Seaver, Koosman, Gentry and Ryan.They did OK.

  5. Anonymous - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:08 PM

    Yeah, I saw this coming the minute the Nats posted commentary from Davy that he was "happy" with the current rotation.

  6. Alan_A - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:09 PM

    Sec314 said…Wonder if Ozzie Guillen's presence had anything to do with Buehrle choosing Miami._____________The MLB Network guys seem to think so.

  7. Sunderland - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:09 PM

    Yo Hopeless, there was never, ever a "promise", and anyone with a small little baseball IQ knew going in to this that it was way more likely we did not get an SP than we did get one. This happens all the time, to all kinds of teams. If Rizzo signed this dude for 4 years and $60M, people would be calling him an idiot for that too. Grow up.

  8. Anonymous - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:09 PM

    Hopeless-2012: his name is Stephen Strasburg.I would rather the Nats stand pat than make a bad deal, and I agree that they have the talent in house to be picky in this FA market.Stop whining.

  9. Sunderland - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:11 PM

    We went into last offseason looking for an SP and did not get one. I expect the same this year. Posted December 4, 2011 9:04 AM

  10. Anonymous - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:11 PM

    looks like 4th or 5th place again for 2012. This is getting old.

  11. Anonymous - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:13 PM

    Not sure why people are overreacting, AT BEST, Buerhle would be our #3 starter, which would mean our #3 would earn $13 million per year. It's asinine.

  12. John C. - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:13 PM

    I think the haters are confusing a "priority" with "damn the costs and consequences!" Four years and $58 million is awfully high for a guy who no one confuses with an ace. Buehrle is a solid #3 pitcher in your rotation. I'm glad that the Nationals have a GM that doesn't let testosterone interfere with common sense – I think the organization will be better in the long run for that. The same haterz now bitching about Buehrle signing elsewhere were also bitching when the Nationals didn't sign Adam Dunn, Aroldis Chapman and Alphonso Soriano. I wonder how many came back on and apologized for being wrong later. We'll be glad to make room for them to do so again after the Marlins implode and conduct their third team fire sale in two years.In the meantime, the Anon types who have been decrying Rizzo's targeting of Buehrle over the past few days may now debate the Anon types who will be castigating Rizzo for not signing Buehrle no matter what are now free to debate one another :D

  13. The Great Unwashed - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:14 PM

    So much for that "connection" Rizzo felt they had. This also means Pujols isn't going to Miami — but we all knew that. Anyway, I'm okay with Buehrle going elsewhere. The Nats need offense more than they need pitching. Hopefully Rizzo turns his attention to signing a hitter or two.

  14. Some perspective - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:15 PM

    At the end of the 2013 or 2014 season, we'll be able to evaluate this transaction. If Buehrle has given the Marlins two or three solid years, in which he keeps his ERA in the mid-3's, his WHIP down, and puts up decent W-L numbers, then we can all say that the Nats should have offered that fourth year or no-trade clause or whatever. On the other hand, if Buehrle has crashed and burned in one or two of those years, we will all be saying "boy, the Nats dodged that bullet" (and "wasn't Rizzo smart not to overpay!").

  15. NatStat - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:16 PM

    Good for Rizzo, and good for the Nats. 4 years, and $60 million for a #3 starter is BS plain and simple.Look forward to our RH hitters smacking Buehrle around a bit.Glad Buehrle is taking his 84 mph heater to a place where a clown like Loria can pay for his lack of performance!

  16. Hopeless-2012 - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:16 PM

    SunderlandDo you live under a rock!? Rizzo has stated for TWO years and the franchise has stated for FIVE years that the #1 offseason priority is a #1 starting pitcher AN ACE via free agency and they have FAILED every year!! Last year we got Marquis this year NOTHING so far.Here is another sign of Rizzo's cowardice:"Rizzo, through spokesman, refuses comment on Marlins' apparent Buehrle signing because no official announcement has been made."BTW he has failed on his promise of a CF AGAIN too!

  17. Rafael - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:17 PM

    I would have gone no higher than 3 years, and for the $38 mil that was reported. I'm not even sure what the salaries our for our projected rotation but it's probably close to $13 mil, combined for all 5 guys.Just b/c the Nats have $ to spend doesn't mean they should spend it.

  18. sm13 - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:18 PM

    Good for Rizzo — no reason to overpay for a four-year deal for an extra body in the rotation. I doubt that Marlins fans will be excited that their team has $15m tied up in Buehrle when he's 36 years old. Is any real Nats fan actually upset that the #5 spot will be filled by whoever emerges from a battle between Detweiller, Millone, or Peacock? They're our future and they won't tie our finanical hands for years to come.

  19. Bowdenball - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:18 PM

    Don't feed the trolls.This has been a Public Service Announcement

  20. Calm in Cali - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:19 PM

    Buehrle was the #1 target, not a #1 starter. Anyone who thinks otherwise is nuts.

  21. Will - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:20 PM

    It's probably for the best. I don't know how flattering that contract will look in 2015. $14.5mil for a 36 year old pitcher?I'd rather we see what we have with Peacock, Detwiler and Milone.

  22. Alan_A - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:21 PM

    Melodrama aside, so far, the Marlins have acquired an effective-but-fragile shortstop to displace a very effective shortstop, and a more-than-decent innings-eater to step in alongside Josh Johnson, who may or may not be healthy. They're spending a lot of money and moving – not necessarily sideways, but not forward, either. Diagonal move$?

  23. natscan reduxit - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:21 PM

    … tha Nats of 2010 were a good bunch; they were a team that could play and will. If no new faces arrive to augment Strazzzz and Harper, the Nats of 2011 will still a good team…. but the gushing over Buehrle by Rizzo and any number of media types led to the obvious conclusion: fans are now angry because he didn't come our way…. personally I like Davey's attitude. "My guys are just fine as they are now."Go Nats of 2010!!

  24. SCNatsFan - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:22 PM

    Marlins gearing up for a big year then the huge dumps. Nats building a year after year winner. It ain't sexy but I'm OK with it.Now lets sign Oswalt for 2 years.

  25. NatsToon - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:22 PM

    I'm sorry, but I have total confidence in Mike Rizzo.

  26. Anonymous - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:22 PM

    Other than Cliff Lee, what "ace" has been available via free agency over the past two years? I mean, my #1 offseason priority is marrying a supermodel, but making it a priority doesn't make it happen…

  27. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:23 PM

    Oh, thank goodness. I couldn't take another soft-tossing southpaw. I think you can now pencil Roy Oswalt into the No. 3 spot in our rotation. Could do a lot worse.GYFNG!!!

  28. Sec314 - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:23 PM

    Trade for Hanley!

  29. The Great Unwashed - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:24 PM

    I'll give the Marlins credit. At least they understand that opening a new ballpark means they should also up the payroll. What did we get? 28 journeymen pitchers during spring training and Nook Logan.Having said that, there's no need to panic. The Nats are in a good spot. They can still afford to add offense without breaking the bank. I was wondering why they were making such a push to add a #3 starter anyway. Good for Rizzo for not getting sucked into the madness.

  30. Will - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:25 PM

    I disagree with Davey's sentiment that the current team is fine as it is. We won 80 games. Yes, we'll improve a bit, but not enough to get us into the playoffs, especially with a black hole in center field (and shortstop) and no improvement to our poor offense.I still fully expect Rizzo to remain active.

  31. Stu Sloan - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:27 PM

    Hopeless-2012,You sir, or ma'am, are an idiot and I thank my lucky stars that you are not an employee of any team I care about. There are a lot of teams in our division with a lot of contracts they will regret for a long, long time. If you want flashy free agent signings, the price of the deals be damned, I recommend you focus your attention on the local football squad and their rich-beyond-his-smarts-plus-a-Napoleon-complex-is-not-a-recipe-for-success owner.

  32. DFL - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:27 PM

    I'd rather develop Peacock, Milone and Detwiler anyway.

  33. rogieshan - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:27 PM

    No big loss really. The guy has produced slightly better than .500 numbers in the W-L column over the last six seasons. He can eat up innings but I never saw him as a true, number one type in a National League rotation. While they lack the same track record and sexy press, both Detwiler and Lannan are on the cusp of coming into their own and equally capable of matching or bettering the numbers than that of Buehrle.

  34. Dave - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:27 PM

    The Marlins have committed an AWFUL LOT of money for a franchise that has pretty much been proven not to draw many fans.What does Loria do in a couple of years when he can't afford to pay all these top-ticket guys?

  35. Exposremains - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:27 PM

    Rizzo is a terrible GM. Can't get anyhting done. No signings unless grossly overpays. In love with his players, so no trades. If I hear in-house candidate again, I'm gonna break something. 4th place and 60M payroll in a major market. Kasten was the only sane guy and he's gone.

  36. Alan_A - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:32 PM

    Exposremains – Not doing is a form of doing.

  37. Dave - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:33 PM

    @natscan reduxit, I think you were one year behind. The 2011 team came really close to a .500 season, the 2010 team not so much.

  38. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:34 PM

    "No. 1 priority" is not the same as "I promise." It just isn't. Breathe into a paper bag for a while, willya? It's just baseball. And panic is seldom a good strategy.That said, when your one and only target goes to a division rival who just [AB] owns you, it's not good, even if he is a middle-rotation guy. It's no good calling sour grapes now.

  39. sm13 - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:35 PM

    80 wins without Strasburg and without Jordan in September — seems to me that Rizzo might understand that there are 10-15 more wins, at least, sitting in that rotation right now. And a few more from a healthy Wang. I can't blame him for being in love with his players!

  40. Anonymous - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:37 PM

    Marlins are just throwing money around like it's just paper… I can just see them declaring bankruptcy in two years. As most people have already said, Rizzo had the common sense to not give an aging pitcher a 4 year deal. Good on the nats. Looking at the free agent market this year, I'd rather see them just beef up the bench. Maybe resign Gomes, or sign guys like Burrell, UT W. Harris. I'd rather see Werth as our CF and have Harper join the major league in June as the RF. Keep things in-house….

  41. Alan_A - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:37 PM

    Rizzo on Intentional Talk still says he's looking for a veteran starter to "mentor" the staff.

  42. Alan_A - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:40 PM

    @Rizzo-haters…A question. By what stretch is trading for Ramos and Morse "doing nothing"?

  43. sm13 - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:41 PM

    Rizzo also seemed to hedge on whether Harper must play in AAA before joining the big club. Sounds like Davey is getting through to him!

  44. Wally - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:41 PM

    I am glad Rizzo stuck to his views on Buehrle's value. I think he became the flavor of the moment, and that caused his years and AAV dollars to go beyond his value. He basically is a 3 WAR pitcher; maybe a little higher. That equates to somewhere between $12-15m AAV, and he got priced at the top of that range. Then it is for 4 years, where most contracts assume a decline of .5 WAR per year. So I am glad he passed. Certainly not the act of a desperate GM.But I do think that he could use some work in how he manages the media, because the perception is that he really, really wanted the guy, and lost out. I think it should have been that we like him, but at the right price. Like the Rangers have positioned themselves with Wilson. At the end of the day, handling the media may not make much difference in how well your team performs, but it could help reduce a little fan angst.

  45. Feel Wood - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:41 PM

    Asked specifically whether right-hander Roy Oswalt could be a backup option if they failed to sign Buehrle, Rizzo replied: "No, Mark is our free agent target."The key thing here is that Rizzo was asked the question BEFORE Buerhle signed with the Marlins. Whether Oswalt is a back-up target or not, Rizzo's only correct answer at that point is no. I'm sure Rizzo also knows the correct answer when his wife asks him "Does this dress make my butt look big?"

  46. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:43 PM

    Buehrle would have strengthened the rotation, maybe enough to free up a few starter-prospects for trade fodder. As is, if they can't get a what-Nyjer-was-supposed-to-be center fielder, the bench is the next place to get major offensive help, and that is still open. But I'm getting the feeling, like with JHJ and Nix signing already, that may dry up sooner rather than later. If you're going to throw money at it, overpay the bench guys a little each, and put your eggs into five or six baskets that way. Captcha: "afting"Maybe that's a good name for the build-it-backwards strategy… Hmmm.

  47. dj in Fl - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:44 PM

    Kudos to Rizzo…..Outside of a couple of first basemen this free agent group hads no game changers. There is no need to overpay for a #3 starter, or any centerfielder with less than a sterling upside. You can bet your bottom dollar that if the Marlins do not draw, there will be a quick fire sale. Loria does know how to do that.

  48. Alan_A - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:47 PM

    Idle question, but I wonder how good Yu Darvish is at mentoring.OK, OK, don't everybody answer at once…Just thinking about some of the non-standard options still out there.

  49. Jaxpo Nat - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:48 PM

    This is a HUGE failure by the Rizzo and the front office. What did they think? That they would get Buehrle, their PRIMARY FREE AGENT TARGET, for peanuts. They weren't even willing to go to four years on a 32-year old. Seriously?! Looks like we are once again non-spenders. Where is this marquis free agent they've talked about. What a joke. This wasn't even a serious effort IMO. Fourth place here we come.

  50. Alan_A - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:50 PM

    I think some of Davey's comments about being OK with the current roster amount to smart personnel management. Davey's the guy who's got to live with his players on the bench – it does him more good to say, "I'm good with these guys" than to start speculating about who he needs to trade. That's Rizzo's job. Rizzo makes whatever moves, and Davey winds up with the results, obviously. But by defending the status quo, Davey makes sure he doesn't offend any of his people. A smart play.

  51. Jaxpo Nat - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:50 PM

    And keep in mind..it's great to say we shouldn't overpay, but teams have a small window to win with any given corp group of players. You don't always have the luxury to sit back and wait for the right player AND the right PRICE. Sometimes you have to overpay to win. Ask the Yankees.

  52. Sunderland - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:50 PM

    Feel Wood, 5:41, excellent post.

  53. Joel - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:52 PM

    All the emotional reactions and silly cries of unfulfilled "promises" distract from what should be the point… how is this team going to improve this offseason? Its been plainly stated by both the organization as well as experts and pundits that this team needs to add a veteran starter and a CF'er if it hopes to contend… sadly, through no fault of the GM, it looks like we might not be able to acquire either of those assets.If we bring back the same group of players we had last year there should be some improvement, but will it be enough to contend in a division where one of our biggest rivals just got significantly better? I'm not so sure… I've been very pleased with the Mike Rizzo era, but I hope he has some creative plan-B for this offseason.

  54. Alan_A - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:53 PM

    dj in FL said…You can bet your bottom dollar that if the Marlins do not draw, there will be a quick fire sale.________________Or if he has to fund a bunch of fines and Miami's tax bill on the parking…

  55. Nats1924 - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:55 PM

    I still think we should kick the tires with the Yanks pertaining to AJ Burnett now that they'll eat some of this contract. He still has a good arm and its a chance for him to reestablish himself in the big leagues. And, it only be a 2yr risk.

  56. sm13 - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:56 PM

    AJ Burnett — one word: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  57. SCNatsFan - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:58 PM

    Jaxpo, we did overpay… with Werth. He gave the front office credibility but it doesn't mean everyone we sign gets to take advantage of us. Buehrle is a good pitcher but not a franchise player, at best our #3 and possibly lower. No need to throw away money just to do it.

  58. lesatcsc - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:59 PM

    The Nats finished 3rd last year with a sub-500 record. Is anyone really arguing they wouldn't have been better next year with Beuhrle than without him? Especially since he is now pitching in the division for someone else?The real question is, do they want to win now, or not. Right now, it would appear not. The team as built simply doesn't look strong enough to do much better than 80-85 wins. Perhaps the plan is to wait until 2013 to really compete. If that's the case, fine. If it isn't, this wasn't a good day. It may not be a disaster, but it wasn't a good day.Rizzo should stop telling everyone what his number 1 priority is, especially when it is a big FA pitcher. He hasn't demonstrated any ability to land a big name pitcher. It makes him look ineffective to keep listing all the things he's going to do, and then not doing them. If you cannot sign what you're looking for, open a can of shut-up and tell everyone how happy you are with the prospects and how you're just going to wait for them to develop. We won't be upset if you pleasantly surprise us with a big signing.Too bad. I'm not holding my breath for a CF either. I suspect Bernadina is going to start looking better everyday until he steps back on the playing surface. Stand by for the comment, "I like what we have in the OF already" any day now.They could conceivably be weaker in the OF with Werth in CF and who knows who in RF. Ankiel is likely to sign elsewhere, Bernadina is what he is and Nix has fled.

  59. baseballswami - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:59 PM

    I am actually glad that we have a gm that is not insane. The slow route might not be "sexy" as someone said above, but it's better in the long run. The Marlins are definitely throwing money around like crazy – that doesn't mean they build a good franchise that will last for years to come. They are in really deep at this point.Would love to have had Buerhle, but Rizzo has to balance right now with down the road. Does this mean that Pujols definitely will not be going to Miami? The Marlins beat us when they were a bad team, we beat the Phillies when they were the top team – there is just no predicting what will happen.

  60. Nats1924 - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:59 PM

    why not? It be a bargin considering these contracts we see….Buehrle, $60M, seriously?it be only a 2yr risk

  61. Nats1924 - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:00 PM

    why not AJ Burnett btw

  62. Sunderland - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:03 PM

    Joel:It has never been said by the organization thatthis team needs to add a veteran starter and a CF'er if it hopes to contend. They have talked about the desire to improve in this way. But never that they are needed to contend. You are inferring that.The 2011 team played .500 ball roughly.The 2012 team will have 4 more months of Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann for 1 more month (he was shut down early), Adam LaRoche, lefty and healthy, CM Wang. Can this team play .475? Sure.Could this team play .550? Sure.Can this team contend? They could. They might not, but they could.

  63. Marky Markee - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:05 PM

    Where is this marquis free agent they've talked about.Arizona, injured again, like he was when the Nats got him.

  64. Jeeves - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:06 PM

    Good for you Rizzo. And Alan_A, I've thought all along that Darvish would be the best free agent acquisition. Whether the Nats feel the same way now that Buerhle is taken remains to be seen.

  65. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:07 PM

    Oh, and don't forget that other wild card. In a division that's likely to beat each other's brains out, it might not take much more than 86 or so.

  66. sm13 - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:07 PM

    Why not AJ Burnett — because he has proven that, at best, he is erratic. Yes, some days he has great stuff, but some other days he can't find the plate and gets lit up (and those days seem to happen more often than not). As my daughter says, shipping off AJ Burnett would be a wonderful Christmas gift to my sister the Yankees fan!

  67. Sunderland - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:09 PM

    lesatcsc said "(Rizzo) hasn't demonstrated any ability to land a big name pitcher."Hey, it ain't ability. All Rizzo needed to do was agree to a deal that he thought did not make sense. It's got nothing to do with ability."Nix has fled" – Interesting perspective. One could just as easily say the Nats cut Nix loose.

  68. Anonymous - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:09 PM

    Rizzo is either gun shy after the Jason Werth signing or maybe he is now on a very short leash.

  69. Get Some Players - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:11 PM

    Hey Rizzo and Nats ownership—Don't tell us you are after this guy or that and let him be snapped up by another team. This year it was put out there that the Nats were after just about every FA. The fans are not stupid.

  70. psdfx - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:13 PM

    I wish I had the time, energy or inclination to go back to see if (a) the complainers about us not overpaying for Buehrle would also be (b) the people who LOVED the Werth signing when it happened and then were also (c) the very same people who criticized the deal when Jason had a rough year.Fans are mad if you overspend and mad (in this case) if you don't overspend—that's why we call them "fans." Can't have it both ways.I don't pretend Mike Rizzo reads this, but if by chance you do—way to be disciplined. THIS is not the year to go crazy. Our "window" will be officially opened when and if:1. SS is not on an inning limit;2. JZ has another year under his belt;3. LaRoche is gone, Morse is at 1B where he belongs; 4. Harper is the power hitter we hoped he would become;5. Rendon is a fantastic #2 hitter (probably at 2b—with Espinosa at short and Desmond wearing another uniform).I'd love another great starter too, but why handcuff us with an old Buehrle by the time our legit window opens.Be patient people. If you want quick fixes, follow the Redskins and let us know how that turns out.

  71. jd - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:13 PM

    I am just glad that Miami did this and not us. Now let's focus on a player who can actually make a tangible difference rather than someone who would improve the team by 2 wins.

  72. Big Cat - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:14 PM

    Yes Swami, you are right. The worst thing we can do is panic and do something foolish. I think Rizzo has a plan and has a good head on his shoulders. I thought it seemed kinda funny he came out and announced his top choice was Buehrle. It certainly wouldn't break my heart if we didn't get any pitching at all. Put Peacock in the rotation, the kid is gonna be a stud. Move Werth to center, put the The Kid in right, sign Puhols and let the chips fall where they may.

  73. Steve M. - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:14 PM

    Well that sucked. After months of thinking this would happen the Nats came up short. I hope Rizzo is in on CJ Wilson as that market is very reasonable.Can't make it 2 years in a row not meeting basic goals.

  74. natscan reduxit - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:15 PM

    … you're right, Dave. As I get older, my grip on what year it is slips along with my mental accuity…. as for Loria, well let's just say I hope the FCC fries his …… and as for A.J. Burnett, I agree with whomever said … NO!!Go Nats!

  75. Anonymous - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:16 PM

    Does this mean the Marlins are out of the Pujols race? Presumably they weren't gonna spend that on the lefty and also big dollars on Albert. The Nats would rather see Buerhle 3 or 4 time a season for the next 4 yeatrs than Pujols 18 times a year for 10 years.

  76. Alan_A - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:17 PM

    Get Some Players said…The fans are not stupid.___________________Really?

  77. psdfx - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:17 PM

    One more thought… a formula, if you will:Nats Solid Offseason = SOME sort of CF (whether current or potential) + Re-sign RZ + Don't overpay and give away too many starting pitching prospects that could turn out to be very good (not this year, anyway). This is one of those rare years where we CAN AND SHOULD be patient.

  78. John C. - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:18 PM

    sm13, I don't think the Nationals should be making Christmas gifts to please Yankee fans. Just sayin' :DAnd as a (God help me) Redskins' season ticket holder of some years, I know (and the Eagles, bless them, are finding out) just how little it means to "win the offseason" when the games actually start. The 2011 Red Sox had an amazing offseason last year, and for all their millions didn't even make the playoffs. With their "Four Aces" the Phillies were expected to duke it out with the Red Sox in the World Series. Next to those guys, the "Mint the Money" Marlins are pikers.Like I said, I'm a Redskins' season ticket holder – I've seen the "win the offseason" movie a LOT. And I really don't like the ending. I'm perfectly OK rooting for the Nationals, a team that is clearly building from within for the long haul.

  79. Big Cat - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:18 PM

    All this stuff is gonna blow up in Miami's face. Reyes will go good for a month and then he's gonna come up with one of his mystery hamstrings. The guy is a super talent but he is a dog…period. There are rumblings already that Hanley isn't happy. This is gonna be fun to watch

  80. sm13 - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:19 PM

    I don't think the CJ market can be called "reasonable". 6 years for a pitcher is just bad business — examples include Kevin Brown, Matsuzaka, Zito, Mike Hampton. Those deals were just bad business and a 6-year deal for CJ Wilson would be just as bad.

  81. jd - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:19 PM

    Steve M. Wilson is looking for 5 years minimum. I think that's another bad contract waiting to happen.I think he's the next John Lackey. Let's consider something here: if these guys were game changers do you not think the Yankees and Red Sox would be all over them?

  82. Anonymous - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:20 PM

    The Nats aren't going anywhere until they learn how to beat the Marlins and that is looking like a remote possibility now.

  83. jd - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:22 PM

    It's also clear to me that Miami went into this with the intention of making a big splash and with little regard to actual baseball needs. Why else do you sign a short stop for 6 years when your best player is a short stop? why sign a closer and a mediocre one at that when your closer is basically of the same quality? why give a no. 3 starter $60 mil for 4 years?

  84. joel - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:22 PM

    sunderland- I think we pretty much agree on how the team, as is, projects for next year. Anywhere between .475 and .550 sounds reasonable… I do have to disagree with you when you say Rizzo hasn't said he feels the Nats need a SP and OF to contend because he said it in about a dozen interviews at the end of the season:“I think we’re an outfield bat away and a starting pitcher away from really being a contender in the division,” Rizzo said.http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/nationals-journal/post/nationals-mike-rizzo-want-to-acquire-outfielder-starting-pitching-this-offseason/2011/09/25/gIQAeCmWwK_blog.htmland just to be clear once more, I'm by no means blamming Rizzo. he clearly made great efforts to fill our needs and it just hasn't worked out.

  85. Anonymous - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:23 PM

    Ok, how can you guys be giving Rizzo credit for not signing the guy he wanted? Or others of you bashing Rizzo for not having the winning bid as if he controls what other clubs or players do? No one in here knows what the Nats offered; Hell, Buehrle may have taken less money to play in Miami for all anyone in here knows. Rizzo is neither a winner nor a loser right now because some player went to another club. Now, if it is true that he has no Plan B other than the 5 number 4 starters they have in the wings right now, well, then I think he deserves to be kicked aorund over that.dfh21

  86. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:24 PM

    "Nix has fled" – Interesting perspective. One could just as easily say the Nats cut Nix loose. Reportedly, they were interested in bringing him back, but apparently not enough to offer him 2 years. Considering, he was part of the worst bench in the NL last year, that's not unreasonable. Clean that room out.

  87. Sunderland - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:26 PM

    joel, thanks for info and the link. You're correct for sure.

  88. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:26 PM

    Where'd, that comma, come from?

  89. BinM - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:26 PM

    I'll admit to being dissapointed that the Nats didn't land Buerhle. I thought a 3-yr/$42M offer with a performance-based option might have done it, but no. Oh well, life goes on. Right now, Loria is throwing out contract offers like he can pay for them with Monopoly money – Chances are, he'll either get dragged down by this SEC investigation, or be forced into a massive fire sale of players if the new stadium doesn't draw fans consistently. Either way, he could be looking at a short future, imo.

  90. JamesFan - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:28 PM

    Rizzo's only mistake was raising the expectations too high. Getting Buehrle was a very long shot at best. Nats were in the game–look how many teams are on the sidelines right now for anything. I like Rizzo's focus on what we need. Let's move on, but not get disappointed over cj wilson. He wants way too much for way too long. Fielder is not what we need.

  91. rmoore446 - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:30 PM

    I am with those who are ready to move forward without Buehrle. The Marlins are spending drunk sailor money and will likely live to regret it. I don't see the new stadium and new name and revamped team enough to bring 35,000 fans out each night. Just don't believe it. Financial reality will set in over the next year.I've always felt we need another bat more than another starting pitcher. I think the team can progress this year and we will look back at the Marlins spending spree and laugh.

  92. Anonymous - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:32 PM

    Miami is still only looking at something like a $100M payroll right now; it's not as if they are in unchartered spending waters by any means. How the Nats defend not having a payroll in the top third with the well into the top third ticket prices they charge and with the steady stream of projectable income they have in DC is a whole other question. Why should our richest owners in the bigs, in a publicy financed new park and in this market be the cost-conscious club shooting for reasonably priced No. 3 starters, hoping that their prospects all gel at once on some magical day in the ever-coming future??dfh21

  93. Sunderland - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:39 PM

    dfh21, I love your persistence, for real.I don't disagree, and yet I'm OK with the status quo (who is a marked change from 24 months ago).

  94. Avar - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:45 PM

    Let the Marlins overpay. Buehrle is solid, he's a 3-3.5 WAR guy every year. That isn't much for $58m. I think in a year or two, he might have been down to the 4 starter or maybe lower. I'm not sure missing out on him will actually cost us any wins. With normal health and a normal Werth, I think we can easily add 7-10 wins next year, based on my analysis. Not really sure we needed 3 more wins at $14.5m. Fairly happy the way they are but would love a real CF.

  95. jd - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:46 PM

    dfh21, I advocate spending money on players whose performance will justify their salaries. The Nats payroll will evolve to the figure you want just by the fact that Zim, SS, JZIM etc. will become progressively more expensive and I am all for signing someone like Fielder who will make a difference. Spending $60 mil on a no. 3 starter at 32 is a stupid spend of money. Miami has $80 mil committed to 7 players. They are able to do this because Stanton, Sanchez and Morrison are playing for close to the league minimum. Let's see what happens when they get to arbitration and free agency.

  96. Anonymous - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:53 PM

    I just think that the fans should not be content to have a club or even that it has shown improvement (it is hard to lose 59 ball games, and inching out a 3rd place finsih once is not something to write home about, it just isn't). The Lerners screwed the fans going low Dollar with the park opening in 2008 and we literally paid them top Dollar to do so. We paid them to NOT build it the right way. The conventional method is to do exactly what Miami is doing right now: add big name players to your club, generate fan interest, sell those season tickets, create a great fan experience, WIN ball games and go from there. Philly, St. Louis, the Twins, the Brewers, St. Louis, etc. But not the Nats. Our owners waited 3 years before even hiring a real front office after they promised to have the best developement staff in the bigs. It's a disgrace. Ted Lerner should come to my house and mow my lawn every week for a couple of years to make up for his sins, and then mow all of your lawns too. (Mine first because it was my idea.) dfh21

  97. Big Cat - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:59 PM

    Looking at this guys stats, he is very similar to our John Lannan. Only difference is he has played on better teams….a lot better teams. I have always said if Lannan were on one of the top teams he could be a 15 game winner. 60 mil for 4 years? No

  98. Anonymous - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:59 PM

    Mike Stanton will have hit something like 300 HR's by the time he hits FA in 2000-freaking-17.

  99. SCNatsFan - Dec 8, 2011 at 12:03 AM

    dfh21, I agree. Your persistence on looking at all things negative is impressive. You are entitled to your opinion.Me, I see real progress with the team and see players we can trade in our minors that we haven't had in (literally) decades. To just sign someone or make a move to show the fan base you are trying isn't good for business.As for Rizzo, he's damned if he does, damned if he doesn't… he sees what the team needs and expresses that and is lambasted by some because he doesn't solve the problem. Like trading Storen for Span and trading someone like Zim for a #1 starter. In case no one has noticed its not like the other teams are giving away all star leadoff CFs or #1 starters. Look at thr progress the team has made and show a little patience; Lord knows we have all waited for a long time (I was an Expo fan) but lets not get upset that we didn't sign a guy who would have been an afterthought – Marquis like – if this was a strong FA class.

  100. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2011 at 12:07 AM

    now lets sign Willie Harris and we can call it a successful off season,

  101. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2011 at 12:22 AM

    Since when do I look at all things negative? Only most things. And only because the facts are what they are. The Nats do charge us higher prices than most clubs and they do spend less on payroll than most clubs and they lose as much or more than almost all of the other clubs. Am I wrong? I so wish I was wrong, believe me.dfh21

  102. Feel Wood - Dec 8, 2011 at 12:24 AM

    You know, there's another team besides the Nats that was all in for Buehrle at three years but not for four years. The Texas Rangers. And I do believe their top guy Mr. Ryan knows just a bit about pitching, wouldn't y'all say?

  103. natsfan1a - Dec 8, 2011 at 12:32 AM

    Haven't yet read through the comments (haven't seen that many on one post for a while). Can't win 'em all and ultimately the choice was Buehrle's to make. Maybe he felt comfortable going with his old skipper. Maybe he likes that snazzy – not – rainbow logo. Maybe he thinks the HR feature is really awesome (I think it may be seizure-inducing, but I digress). I can only hope that if he's pitching when the Nats visit his new park, he'll get to see it light up a whole bunch of times. :-)In other news, saw Rizzo on MLB Network shortly after the deal broke. He's lost a bunch of weight. Looks good.

  104. NatsNut - Dec 8, 2011 at 12:36 AM

    It's not that I'm so bummed about losing the actual guy, it's that I was so excited to think he'd choose the Nats over all the other teams. I really wanted him because Rizzo really wanted him. Man, I'm bummed. Stupid Marlins. hahaha. captcha was uncorke

  105. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 8, 2011 at 12:57 AM

    Anonymous said… I just think that the fans should not be content to have a club or even that it has shown improvement (it is hard to lose 59 ball games, and inching out a 3rd place finsih once is not something to write home about, it just isn't). The Lerners screwed the fans going low Dollar with the park opening in 2008 and we literally paid them top Dollar to do so. We paid them to NOT build it the right way. The conventional method is to do exactly what Miami is doing right now: add big name players to your club, generate fan interest, sell those season tickets, create a great fan experience, WIN ball games and go from there. Philly, St. Louis, the Twins, the Brewers, St. Louis, etc. But not the Nats. Our owners waited 3 years before even hiring a real front office after they promised to have the best developement staff in the bigs. It's a disgrace. Ted Lerner should come to my house and mow my lawn every week for a couple of years to make up for his sins, and then mow all of your lawns too. (Mine first because it was my idea.) dfh21I agree with all this–well, except the part about dfh21 being first–but it's also apples and oranges. My seat is where it is for a reason (OK, two reasons, but I'm willing to let bygones be bygones over that "keep off the grass" thing since they supplied us with hot drinks at the Ramos thing), but they ARE better now, and I believe they can be competitive if they just get a really good bench, and average luck. FWIW.

  106. Dave - Dec 8, 2011 at 1:00 AM

    The Marlins are also said to be in on C.J. Wilson.Man, are they going to crash and burn when the money runs out. Nobody goes to baseball down there.

  107. Get Some Players - Dec 8, 2011 at 1:01 AM

    According to Rosenthal they are about to lose Wilson to Miami. Nice job Mark and Mike. Identify players you really want and stand by while a division rival scoffs up every one. I think we got played again.

  108. Drew8 - Dec 8, 2011 at 1:06 AM

    Let's keep our perspective. There's always Sidney Ponson or Daniel Cabrera. But seriously folks, Oswalt would be a fine alternative. P.S. PSDFX 6:13 is right on about the Nats' window.

  109. Tegwar - Dec 8, 2011 at 1:07 AM

    I'd like to know what the Nats offered Buerhle? The 14 million is reasonable but I don't like the 4th year. I think Lori is hoping for hyperinflation and in 2 years maybe 60 million will be worth 60 dollars.On the positive side the Marlins probably can't beat us more often then they already do.

  110. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2011 at 1:08 AM

    If DH21 was running the team, Stras, RZim, JZim would prefer have been traded already!

  111. Ernie - Dec 8, 2011 at 1:10 AM

    Am I the only person left on earth who has not yet received an offer of a contract from the Marlins? I feel like it's the 1980s again…and the Marlins are Beatrice. Is there nothing they don't own?

  112. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2011 at 1:11 AM

    Dumb. There are 28 other teams that haven't done anything at these meetings either, is everyone a loser?Rizzo should be commended for not caving to Buehrle's agent and/or Loria's Qatari oil sheik-like spending. A better offer is a better offer, hard to see how it's anyone's fault except Bud Selig's for allowing Loria to remain in baseball in the first place after he managed to drive the final nail in coffin up in Montréal.

  113. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 8, 2011 at 1:12 AM

    "Scoffs up"? I think you mean "scarfs up."But remember this:"I turned me to another thing, and I saw that under the sun, the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the learned, nor favour to the skilful: but time and chance in all."captcha: lucledli. Luck be a Ledly tonight!

  114. SonnyG10 - Dec 8, 2011 at 1:14 AM

    A lot of interesting comments here. I can't believe how frustrated some of you are that we didn't sigh Buehrle. I only wanted him because Rizzo wanted him. If Rizzo thinks he became too expensive in dollars and/or years, I am fine with that. Personally I don't think we need to sign any starting pitchers. Our current pitchers are good enough if we have the offense to back them up. I would rather see a good bench put together and if we can get a center fielder, then so much the better. I think the team as presently constructed can compete for a wild card in the playoffs, although another bat and CF would make it easier.Another thing to keep in mind is that opening day is still a ways off. Rizzo and company are not folding their tents and going on winter vacation. They are still working to improve the team.I think we'll be able to play better against the Marlins now that they have these free agents. Its the weaker, no-name player teams we have trouble beating. :) GYFNG!!!!!

  115. Oldguy - Dec 8, 2011 at 1:35 AM

    Let's all remember that the Phillies had the best rotation in the NL last year and we were 10-8 against them. We have a young team. That means as they mature they usually get better. With all the young guys we have, the same team as last year will be a better team. Throw in a healthy Zim & Stras and we're definitely better. As to "new ballpark," etc., Rizzo said clearly on MLB this evening that the first priority for this team from day 1 was rebuilding a depleted farm & coaching/scout system. Can anybody not see that the Nationals have done exactly that.

  116. gonatsgo - Dec 8, 2011 at 1:40 AM

    I wonder how much Miami would pay me? They seem to be handing out money like it's candy. Reyes is injury prone, Buehrle ( I am so glad I don't have to remember how to spell it now), is a number 3 who is aging.Our closer is younger and had more saves than Bell. The sky is not falling. We were sure that we were toast when Dunn left – well…Rizzo just can't keep upping the ante for people just because someone else does it. It sure will be interesting to see how this all plays out, though. I am amazed at how little action there has been that is not Miami related. Dodgers have been pretty busy, but other than that, crickets.

  117. whatsanattau - Dec 8, 2011 at 1:42 AM

    take the hyper negative stuff back to wapo, this site reserved for fans … alas I know I'm not in charge …

  118. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2011 at 1:45 AM

    I hope Buehrle blows out his shoulder..screw him

  119. NatsLady - Dec 8, 2011 at 1:50 AM

    I'm thinking about what I've read concerning Buehrle, and some poster above hit it on the nose, IMHO.Buehrle was talking retirement. He's made plenty of money. He never played for any team but the ChiSox, and they weren't in the picture. So, why didn't he retire–I bet Ozzie talked him into Miami. I wouldn't be surprised if he plays a year or two and then buys out his own contract when things start to go bad down there (or when he feels he can't give that kind of effort any longer).He listened to the Rangers and Rizzo out of courtesy, but I think all along his choices were retirement or giving Ozzie some time.

  120. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2011 at 2:00 AM

    I hope Reyes blows out his Knee..screw him

  121. panatsfan - Dec 8, 2011 at 2:04 AM

    This will just give me great satisfaction every time we hammer Buehrle whenever we meet up the next few seasons.

  122. Farid - Dec 8, 2011 at 2:12 AM

    2011:Mark Buehrle (32): 13-9, 3.59 (9.7/2.0/4.8)John Lannan (26): 10-13, 3.70 (9.5/3.7/4.7)One guy is worth $2.75 million per year and the other is worth $15 million? Though I always want the Nats to sign the players they want, no way was Buehrle worth that kind of money over those many years. I think the Nats dodged a bullet.

  123. sjm308 - Dec 8, 2011 at 2:15 AM

    Couple of thoughts although I don't know who is going to wade through over 120 comments for this.Its amazing to me how many more haters there are suddenly. I mean, we knew dfh21 was going to go nuts but we can live with that. Its all these other completely off the wall people. Where did they come from? Is anon nation now getting names? Next, I see posts like "We" have lost so & so. Well, I have news for you "We" didn't lose anyone on our roster. These guys were free agents, they were not "ours". They decided to go to another team but we didn't lose them. We still have our key players and thanks to Rizzo,it does not appear like we will lose any of them, which I am happy about. Maybe its only going to be 85 wins but I can certainly live with that next year. I honestly can't remember being as excited about a group as what we have here starting the year. I am concerned about the bench but trust that Rizzo will fix that in the near future. To all you ladies & gentlemen that type in Capital Letters and scream about doom and gloom, go play on the Post web site unless you can talk intelligent baseball (kind of why I like dfh21 even though I don't agree with him).Go Nats

  124. natscan reduxit - Dec 8, 2011 at 2:21 AM

    … hey there natsfan1a, good to hear from you. … I took your Marlins logo reference, and believe it is really a knock-off of the old Care Bear logo [http://yourholidaywallpaper.com/images/wmwallpapers/Care-Bears-Rainbow-1.jpeg]… now if all of Loria's new art works will play like Care Bears, maybe we won't have anything to worry about.Go Lerners! Go Nats!!

  125. Grandstander - Dec 8, 2011 at 2:33 AM

    I think NatsLady has the right of it. During the season, the Buehrle rumors all circulated around either staying in Chicago or going to the Cards to be close to home. Now all of a sudden he's going to DC or Texas? The only thing that makes sense is he's going to FL for Ozzie and a really nice paycheck.4 years and $58 million is a HUGE overpay for a guy like Buehrle. It would have been great to have him in the rotation, but not at that cost. I think CF/Lead-off is a much bigger hole to be addressed than a SP and if we make a "splash" it should be to address that concern. A quiet winter isn't always a terrible thing, unless you're the Yankees.

  126. slidell - Dec 8, 2011 at 2:34 AM

    Mark should be pleased at the number of comments his posts receive compared to any of the other blogs. It's due I believe to both the timeliness and quality of the items as well as the general civilty of the posters. My only problem with the anonymi (is that the plural form?) is that I'm not sure which one is speaking at the moment. Syntax sometimes provides clues but it's harder to follow the thread, especially for Senators-era minds. Maybe you all could assign suffixes such as "1", "2" or something.

  127. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2011 at 2:45 AM

    Breaking: Marlins sign both Pujols and Fielder; plan to go into new season with an all-shortstop/first base lineup.

  128. sec 3 my sofa - Dec 8, 2011 at 2:53 AM

    That ambidexterous pitcher is available in the Rule 5, FWIW. dfh21 does trend hard-to-please, but that's ok by me. YMMVI too think NatsLady has it right on Buehrle and Ozzie. IMOI don't mind Buehrle making me learn to spell his name and then going to Miami. I do still hold a grudge on Teixeira, tho.

  129. Unkyd - Dec 8, 2011 at 3:02 AM

    Some perspective said…At the end of the 2013 or 2014 season, we'll be able to evaluate this transaction. If Buehrle has given the Marlins two or three solid years, in which he keeps his ERA in the mid-3's, his WHIP down, and puts up decent W-L numbers, then we can all say that the Nats should have offered that fourth year or no-trade clause or whatever. On the other hand, if Buehrle has crashed and burned in one or two of those years, we will all be saying "boy, the Nats dodged that bullet" (and "wasn't Rizzo smart not to overpay!").December 7, 2011 5:15 PM —————————-Nice. But the REAL perspective has nothing to do with Burly (my new official spelling). It's where WE are in a couple of years, and I'm excited about dat!!!Most of the hating, as usual seems to be from only a couple of posters. And given expectations, and the offseason jones… I forgive y'all!!!

  130. ehay2k - Dec 8, 2011 at 4:09 AM

    I have to agree with the posters who felt the price for Buehrle was too high, but what really matters is if RIZZO thought it was to high. I actually like the fact that seems to have a price in mind and tries to get what he wants at that price. The Nats have shown that thy will pay big money, and even overpay on occasion, but they will not always overpay. But no matter what we do in the next few weeks, I believe we will be a better team next year than last. The bench will improve because it cannot possibly get worse, the pitching will improve because our studs will finally be pitching together, plus a healthy CMW. Name any year we had a better 1, 2, 3? The kids in the infield will progress, RZ will play a full year, while trying to show his contract value to boot, the optimist's list goes on. ;-) Yes, we need a CF (for a year max), and a lead off hitter unless Davey can keep Desi at the clip he was on at the end of the year. But we can compete without those acquisitions. We are such a better team than we were a couple of years ago. (Does anyone else remember Paul lo Duca trying to play left field? ) I am still more irked by the departure of Five Guys than I am about Buehrle's decision to get all Peaches and Herb with Ozzie in Miami.

  131. natsfan1a - Dec 8, 2011 at 11:42 AM

    I lol'd at that one, sec3. Now I'm off to scoff some cereal and coffee. (Oh, and good call on the Care Bears, natscan.)I don't mind Buehrle making me learn to spell his name and then going to Miami. I do still hold a grudge on Teixeira, tho.

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