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To tender or not to tender?

Dec 12, 2011, 12:00 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Tom Gorzelanny would probably make at least $2.5 million in 2012 if tendered.

One of baseball's complicated, oft-misunderstood deadlines comes tonight at midnight when all teams must tender contracts to all players who don't have 2012 contracts yet but are under team control.

What in the world does that mean? Let's try to explain in simple terms…

Only a handful of players on every team's 40-man roster right now have actually signed 2012 contracts. Pretty much the only ones who have are veterans with long-term deals (like Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman) or younger players who were given multi-year contracts right out of the draft (like Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper).

Everyone else on the roster is under the team's control — they aren't eligible for free agency — but don't yet have 2012 contracts with agreed-upon salaries. Before midnight tonight, teams must declare whether they intend to sign (ie. tender) those players or cut them loose (ie. non-tender).

The majority of players who fall into this category (those with less than three years' big-league service time) are tendered contracts,Read more ยป

  1. MicheleS - Dec 12, 2011 at 12:20 PM

    The other question is.. who doesn't get tendered by the other teams.. Like BJ Upton…Will Rizzo get his wish to finally snag BJ?

  2. Joe Seamhead - Dec 12, 2011 at 12:24 PM

    Wow, that certainly cleared up a few things for me! Thanks, Mark, and oh, yeah, we're now in the 60's as far as counting days until ST starts. GYFNG!

  3. Sunderland - Dec 12, 2011 at 12:32 PM

    The Tampa Bay Rays took one of their most promising young pitchers, with 3 weeks of MLB service time, and made him an offer. Guaranteed him $14 million. Tied him to the Rays for 5 years, and if things go well, with team options for years 6 – 8. It's a risk for both, but one with mutual advantages as well. Matt Moore gets life changing guaranteed money, but gives up some potential earnings if he really meets his potential. And the Rays get cost control for up to 8 years, but if Moore flops, they are out $14M. A really interesting contract on both sides. I'd love to see Rizzo and Jordan Zimmermann work out something similar.

  4. Gonat - Dec 12, 2011 at 12:41 PM

    Sunderland, I saw that also. Its certainly a bigger gamble for the team.

  5. Wally - Dec 12, 2011 at 12:47 PM

    Gorzy is an effective LH reliever, and $2.75m is easily the going rate for that. With Burnett's inconsistency and Slaten's non existency, I really hope that they tender him. I think it would be penny wise, pound foolish to expose him to the market.Agree with Sunderland on the JZimm extension, and hope that they are working on it. Morse too, and maybe Espy and Ramos. Could get some really attractive team options in return for some guaranteed money.

  6. gonatsgo - Dec 12, 2011 at 1:17 PM

    I am also in the camp that agrees with signing ZNN and MM to longer -term deals. Pay them – and smile while you do it. Also – reward Clip handsomely for his performance – I don't think he is done yet by any means. Gorzy – depends on who else is out there in the wings.

  7. Anonymous - Dec 12, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    I am going out on a limb to guess that they will tender Gorzy. Rizzo traded 3 prospects for this guy for a reason; he's starting lefty with swing and miss stuff. Many hard throwing lefties take a long time to figure it out and the guy could be ready to be a high quality LH SP in MLB. And if he's not ready, then he's still a solid lefty out of the pen who can go long if the club needs it and the Nats would have over-paid for that bull pen arm by maybe $500-700K. It's not a long-term, big money decision. I'd hate to see the Nats punt on this guy over what at the end of the day is not huge coins when you consider what an effective LH SP is worth in the NL East. And if they do not tender him, I think that he walks for whatever club will give him the best chance to make a rotation, and that will not be the Nats.dfh21

  8. JamesFan - Dec 12, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    I would rather see the Nats spend money early to tie up great young players to long-term deals than to go after high priced free agents. Extend JZimm, Morse, Clip, and RZimm asap.

  9. Jeeves - Dec 12, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    MicheleS, I can't see the Rays non-tendering Upton. He's too valuable as either a player or a trade piece. They won't just let him go–not a chance.

  10. Grandstander - Dec 12, 2011 at 1:55 PM

    The problem is Gorzo is not currently a starting pitcher. He's been effective out of the 'pen and I'd love to have him there again but he just doesn't fit into our rotation. $2.5 mil (or whatever he figures to grab in arbitration) is just too much for a long reliever. It would be insanity to tender Gorzo. But I like the idea of a non-tender and resign for maybe a million less. I doubt there are many clubs out there that will sign him for more than that.Anyone know why Pete Kerzel seems to think Flores is a non-tender candidate? I know Flores isn't thrilled to be backing up Ramos, but hey, he's under team control, so tough cookies, he'll play where we want him to. Plus he's a valuable trade chip, it makes no sense to just let him walk away where he'll be snatched up in 5 seconds.

  11. Mark'd - Dec 12, 2011 at 2:21 PM

    Grandstander, Kerzel really showed how little he knows.

  12. Sunderland - Dec 12, 2011 at 2:26 PM

    dfh21, agree completely about Gorzalanny. Your comment about if he becomes a free agent, he'll be looking for the best spot to crack the roation, is dead on. That's why both Duchscherer and Chris Young both did not come to the Nats last year as free agents. One picked Baltimore, the other the Mets, both spots where they felt they had the best chance to get 20+ starts.

  13. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 12, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    I remember A.J. Morris (with a torn labrum) and Michael Burgess as part of the Gorzo deal, but I don't remember a third guy. Doesn't seem like a high price for me.And Kerzel doesn't know anything about the Nats if he actually think we'd let Flores go.

  14. Anonymous - Dec 12, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    Grandstand — I agree that the money gets steep when you consider paying a relever. But the rotation is Stras on an innings limit, Zimmermann coming off of one, Wang also still climbing back from injury, Lannan, and then a bunch of guys looking for the last spot. The Nats may not get 200 innings out of any SP in 2012. And Stras is the only real strike-out SP among the favorites. Gorzy is insurance and he's not that expensive all things considered and he brings upside. The problem with non-tendering and re-signing the guy at less money is that he'll take that same less money and go someplace where he'll have a more clear shot to start, like SD or Minn, or where the club is sexier, like Boston.dfh21

  15. Harper_ROY_2012 - Dec 12, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    I cannot wait to see the official word that Slaten is non-tendered…oh happy day!

  16. Anonymous - Dec 12, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    Graham Hicks was the third guy. If Rizzo let's Gorzy walk the price seems kinda high (burgess was a 1st round guy) for 1 year of Gorz, no?dfh21

  17. PAY TO PLAY - Dec 12, 2011 at 2:46 PM

    I saw Kerzel's comment on possible non-tender candidates naming Gorzo, Slaten, Flores on a re-post by MLBTradeRumors. That's how bad rumors are started. Someone doesn't do their homework and spouts off then it is picked up as a good lead.I don't blame MLBTR, I blame Kerzel for writing it. MLBTradeRumors should think twice on quoting Kerzel again.

  18. Todd Boss - Dec 12, 2011 at 2:48 PM

    Agree with above sentiments about Kerzel's article.http://www.nationalsarmrace.com/?p=3346 Even at $2.5-$2.8 I think Johnson covets a guy like Gorzelanny. Looking at comparables, that's still within the ballpark for his salary. If we non-tender him he very well may go looking for a starter gig at a team that needs starters (Pittsburg, KC, Seattle, even the Yankees) and we'd lose him. For that reason I think the team tenders him.

  19. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 12, 2011 at 2:49 PM

    Thanks dfh21… I remember now… Don't get me wrong because I agree that you have to tender Gorzo….I never saw alot in Burgess but I loved Morris until I learned about his labrum. I actually thought the trade price was pretty cheap.

  20. PAY TO PLAY - Dec 12, 2011 at 2:53 PM

    Here's a good article from September on Gorzo with a lot of quotes from Gorzo and Davey, and his future as a reliever:http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/nationals-watch/2011/sep/15/success-reliever-leaves-tom-gorzelanny-crossroads/

  21. Feel Wood - Dec 12, 2011 at 2:56 PM

    Harper_ROY_2012 said… I cannot wait to see the official word that Slaten is non-tendered…oh happy day!Don't count on it. There have been multiple opportunities recently for them to give Slaten his outright release (which I think they should have done) and they failed to do it. This leads me to think they may tender him a contract, because even with a raise in arbitration he'll still not be making all that much above the MLB minimum. Remember that these arbitration contracts are not guaranteed. The player can still be cut during spring training and paid only about 25% of the contract value. (Ask John Patterson how that one goes.) So if they hold on to Slaten by tendering him a contract, there's always the chance he could turn it around in the spring, or be traded for some other marginal player with possible upside. Or, if it turns out he's still worthless in March, they can cut him loose then and only be out a couple hundred thou. Slaten could become this season's Garrett Mock, although I for one shudder at the thought of it.

  22. phil dunn - Dec 12, 2011 at 3:01 PM

    I agree with Jeeves. If Rizzo is waiting for the Rays to non-tender BJ Upton to solve the CF void, then he is totally clueless.

  23. phil dunn - Dec 12, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    On January 17, 2011, the Washington Nationals acquired Gorzelanny from the Cubs for prospects Michael Burgess, A. J. Morris, and Graham Hicks.

  24. David - Dec 12, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    and i thought this article was about bbq :-) ok ok. i think bring Gorzo back is a good idea. he's a veteran, and he pitched pretty well out of the bullpen. his overall peripherals were better than several of our starters last year. he just didn't rack up many wins. i think he's valuable and worth it.

  25. David - Dec 12, 2011 at 4:03 PM

    his era was 2.41 out of the pen, 6 er in 22 1/3 innings. not bad at all.

  26. NatStat - Dec 12, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    I agree with those negative posts about Kerzel's suggestion about the Nats non-tendering JFlo.Maybe he knows something about footballs and pucks.Somebody should non-tender Kerzel. Better yet, pour some coffee on his keyboard.

  27. FS - Dec 12, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    Gorzo will most likely be non-tendered. There is a risk of him signing with another team I guess but I think we can take that risk at this point.Yeah and let's keep our eyes peeled for who gets non-tendered by others. We might be able to find something useful.On the topic of locking young guys, Rays made a good gamble. Moore is considered one of the top prospects and he has shown flashes of brilliance as a reliever/starter at ML level, just like David Price did. However relatively speaking, he is at a lower level than Morse, Zimmermann, etc. I don't think we can lock our players for deals like Rays did. We can get JZ for an extension but it is not going to be cheap. Morse is going to demand even more than that. We all know RZ is drawing comparisons with Braun and Tulo. Rays' tactics won't work here.

  28. Steve M. - Dec 12, 2011 at 4:08 PM

    MASN just responded to Gonat on Twitter regarding Kerzel's mention of Jesus Flores as a non-tender:"I think he [Flores] stays, but injury history could be a factor. And even if they non-tender, nothing says Nats can't re-sign him."

  29. Theophilus - Dec 12, 2011 at 4:10 PM

    If you tender Slaten, you're effectively cutting off the decision whether to keep him on not just the 40-man but also the Opening Day-roster. Because then you've just guaranteed him major league money, even if it's only a bit above the minimum. He just isn't worth it. If you're hoping to sign Gorzelany for less than what he might cost in arbitration, just get rid of Slaten now; consider what you would have committed to him as found money and give it to Gorzelany. Gorzelany might not be an ideal reliever, might not like being a reliever; however, he's a long sight better than Slaten and could serve as an emergency rain-delay rescheduled double-header starter. Or trade him:If KC is giving Bruce Chen a multi-year contract, Gorzelany's worth something to someone.

  30. Steve M. - Dec 12, 2011 at 4:12 PM

    On Gorzo, I heard they have offered him a 1 year deal. I think if he doesn't sign it they will non-tender him. With Burnett sewn up, the Nats could also move Detwiler to the 'pen as another lefty and let Gorzo walk. They also have Stammen in the wings as the long-man.I think they prefer to keep Gorzo but at numbers commensurate with his role in the bullpen and not at a 'starters' salary.

  31. Theophilus - Dec 12, 2011 at 4:15 PM

    Flores needs to be kept. Everybody except the Yankees — including the Angels — needs a backup catcher. Chances of getting him back if not tendered are 1-in-29.

  32. Feel Wood - Dec 12, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    "I think he [Flores] stays, but injury history could be a factor. And even if they non-tender, nothing says Nats can't re-sign him." Nothing except that line of other teams that would be ready to sign him up in a New York minute.

  33. J. Elvis Flores - Dec 12, 2011 at 4:25 PM

    Love me? Tender.

  34. Anonymous - Dec 12, 2011 at 4:27 PM

    Flores needs to be tendered and traded. He's not a back-up catcher. dfh21

  35. natsfan1a - Dec 12, 2011 at 4:31 PM

    Actually, I was thinking Tender is the Night.J. Elvis Flores said… Love me? Tender. December 12, 2011 11:25 AM

  36. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 12, 2011 at 4:32 PM

    Mark, just for clarification: If the team tenders a contract, and the player doesn't sign it, they go to arbitration automatically, or is it a take-it-or-leave-it offer?

  37. FS - Dec 12, 2011 at 4:32 PM

    dfh21, I think we trade Flores only if we are getting a good piece in return that plays important role in next season. Even then I am hesitant to trade him given what Ramos has gone through this off-season. I don't think Flores' value diminishes if he is a backup to Ramos next season.

  38. Sunderland - Dec 12, 2011 at 4:57 PM

    Sofa, these decisions are for arbitration eligible players. So I guess if we tender, they have three choices. Accept, request arbitration or retire.I'm guessing J. Elvis Flores is Feel Wood.Post of the day.

  39. Harper_ROY_2012 - Dec 12, 2011 at 5:06 PM

    Interesting thought on Flores' potential non-tender, could his open statements about his frustration with his situation on Twitter come back to bite him!?

  40. Drew8 - Dec 12, 2011 at 5:06 PM

    "Slaten isn't terribly expensive." No, he's just terrible.Mark: Speaking of moves, will the Nats be in on cf lead off type Norichika Aoki, or are they worried that a cf deal blocks Harper until LaRoche is gone and Morse moves back to 1b?

  41. Anonymous - Dec 12, 2011 at 5:09 PM

    Any thoughts on players the Nats might pick up if they are non-tendered?I like the Nats taking a chance on Tony Gwynn Jr or Emanuel Burriss.

  42. Mark'd - Dec 12, 2011 at 5:20 PM

    Sec3, The team is in the driver's seat on all the tender situations as that is within the 6 years of team control of the player. Once they tender, if a new contract isn't reached they would go to arbitration. Usually after numbers are exchanged, most take a contract. Arbitration is not a pleasant situation.Of course Flores gets a tender. Whether they trade him is another issue.On Gorzo, his agent would probably love a non-tender to shop him around as an unrestricted Free Agent. A lefty #5 starter like Gorzo is still a high demand player.

  43. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 12, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    Thank you, Sunderland. Thankyouverymuch.

  44. Steve M. - Dec 12, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    Anon @12:09, you will take a flyer on a Burriss or TG2 if they accept a Minor League deal. Expect the Nats to make a few moves.

  45. Sunderland - Dec 12, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    ***Thankyouverymuch. It was you then, huh?To whomever, kudos.

  46. Feel Wood - Dec 12, 2011 at 5:29 PM

    I'm guessing J. Elvis Flores is Feel Wood.Nope.

  47. Anonymous - Dec 12, 2011 at 5:32 PM

    And Kerzel doesn't know anything about the Nats if he actually think we'd let Flores go.Kerzel knows very little about the Nats as he is an Orioles fan and thinks like one. To him a solid long reliever like Gorzelanny is too expensive. But he's one of those guys who thinks he knows it all so …

  48. Anonymous - Dec 12, 2011 at 5:36 PM

    As a starter Gorzelanny was technically and statistically more effective than Livo, Lannan and Detwiler. So, I'm not sure why they would non-tender the guy.

  49. Steve M. - Dec 12, 2011 at 5:37 PM

    Mark'd said… On Gorzo, his agent would probably love a non-tender to shop him around as an unrestricted Free Agent. A lefty #5 starter like Gorzo is still a high demand player. December 12, 2011 12:20 PM This is the last year of team control on Gorzo. If he hasn't accepted a 1 year deal tells me that if he is non-tendered like you said he is going somewhere else as a back of the rotation starter. There are plenty of teams looking for lower priced left-handed starters for the back of their rotation. The Nats don't have room for Gorzo in the rotation but like him in the bullpen.Personally I tender Gorzo as it is a low risk move. Once the Nats tender him, they still have the option to trade him. I am thinking Houston, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Miami, Kansas City, Cleveland could all be a trade partner.

  50. Anonymous - Dec 12, 2011 at 5:40 PM

    Finally you can never have enough starters or so Rizzo says … especially the rarest of breeds: a non-Lannan-like-soft-tossing left-hander like Gorzelanny.

  51. PAY TO PLAY - Dec 12, 2011 at 5:42 PM

    Anonymous said… And Kerzel doesn't know anything about the Nats if he actually think we'd let Flores go.Kerzel knows very little about the Nats as he is an Orioles fan and thinks like one. To him a solid long reliever like Gorzelanny is too expensive. But he's one of those guys who thinks he knows it all so … December 12, 2011 12:32 PM Didn't know that and if true, that really stinks. Kerzel was the same guy who claimed to have a source within the Nats who said Rizzo was 'fixated' on a centerfielder. You always have to love the "un-named" source cloak & dagger stuff. Thanks again to MASN ANGELOS Network known as MAN for giving the Nats Kerzel. Can we get Goessling back? haha

  52. greg - Dec 12, 2011 at 5:43 PM

    flores does not have enough trade value right now for it to make sense to trade him yet. now, if we get to june/july and he's been playing effectively 1-2 days a week and showing that he can hit major league pitching again (and not just arizona league) and that his arm strength is fully back, that's when you look to see if norris is ready to come up and be the backup here and see about trading flores. but if we non-tender/trade him, who will be the backup in april? neither of those scenarios make much sense to me right now, unless there's a backup plan behind ramos. why release him and then go out and sign someone else for the same (more?) money who's no better (and/or has less upside)? and to trade him, you'd have to get someone back who's better than the person you'd have to sign to replace him as your backup.

  53. Whoa_now - Dec 12, 2011 at 5:52 PM

    Dude, the Nats should go after Darvish and Aoki and totally dominate the Japanese merchandise mkt. That would pay for some of the posting fees right there.Aoki I think they said 10 million posting fee. Darvish 30-50 million. So say 52 Million posting fee for both. Aoki 14 million for 4 yrs…and Darvish at 5 years 35 million. How many jersey's do the Learners need to sell to make that back? We would be Japan's MLB team. Screw Seattle.

  54. Sunderland - Dec 12, 2011 at 6:02 PM

    Anonymous said… As a starter Gorzelanny was technically and statistically more effective than Livo, Lannan and Detwiler. So, I'm not sure why they would non-tender the guy. December 12, 2011 12:36 PM As a starter in 2011Lannan 3.70 ERAGorzelanny 4.46 ERAPlease help me understand how Gorzelanny was technically and statistically more effective.Thanks.

  55. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 12, 2011 at 6:03 PM

    Whoa, not a bad idea if you like the players for baseball reasons anyway. That said, 50+10=60, and it may have to be the high numbers–there's no prize for second place.

  56. Sunderland - Dec 12, 2011 at 6:06 PM

    And let's add Detwiler to the discussion if you don't mind.As a starter in 2011Detwiler 3.21 ERALannan 3.70 ERAGorzelanny 4.46 ERAPlease help me understand how Gorzelanny was technically and statistically more effective.Thanks.

  57. waddu eye no - Dec 12, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    my favorite line about slaten:Remarkably ineffective when healthysays enough for me.

  58. Steve M. - Dec 12, 2011 at 6:18 PM

    Gorzo had a 4.46 ERA overall as a starter in 2011. His final numbers looked much better overall as his relief numbers helped bring down his ERA. If you remember, Gorzo pitched very well at Nats Park. His problem was his road starts where he struggled. His 1st home start on 4/15 was a 5 hit 2 run game over 6 full then to a 5 hit 1 run game and then a gem against SFG going 8 innings of 3 hit no run ball.Gorzo was 1-5 on the road as a starter and 1-1 at home as a starter. His ERA on May 7th was actually down to 2.87 Here's what I saw in Gorzo. When he decided he wanted to be a strikeout pitcher, he got killed by the HR ball. The HR balls are what ultimately did him in. He seemed to do fine when he was staying on the edges. As soon as he came over the plate, he was flirting with danger. He had 7 starts with 1 strikeout or more per inning over 5 innings or more of work and in those starts he didn't have any wins (0-4) and gave up 11 HRs in those 7 starts.

  59. Steve M. - Dec 12, 2011 at 6:26 PM

    Sunderland said… And let's add Detwiler to the discussion if you don't mind.As a starter in 2011Detwiler 3.21 ERALannan 3.70 ERAGorzelanny 4.46 ERAPlease help me understand how Gorzelanny was technically and statistically more effective.Thanks. December 12, 2011 1:06 PM If I can jump into your discussion, Detwiler's numbers as we know lacks some statistical relevance as he pitched in August and September with varying amounts of rest and was not working in a typical 5 man rotation. Of his 9 starts, only 3 were on normal rest. His best outing on Sept 20th was with 7 days rest.You also know what they say about relying on September stats?

  60. Big Cat - Dec 12, 2011 at 6:36 PM

    You keep Gorzo as a long reliever and spot starter.

  61. PAY TO PLAY - Dec 12, 2011 at 6:39 PM

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/12/non-tender-candidates.htmlInteresting, Flores remains on their list and BJ Upton is not on their list.

  62. Sunderland - Dec 12, 2011 at 6:50 PM

    P2P, I see both Flores and Upton.SteveM, thanks for the input, and I certainly remember that Detwiler had mostly September starts and >5 days rest.I'm still curious how it is that Gorzelanny was technically and statistically more effective as a starter than Detwiler (and Lannan).

  63. Mark Zuckerman - Dec 12, 2011 at 6:50 PM

    Sec 3, My Sofa said…Mark, just for clarification: If the team tenders a contract, and the player doesn't sign it, they go to arbitration automatically, or is it a take-it-or-leave-it offer?Sorry I'm late getting to this, but one thing I should clear up in case you're still confused: By tendering a player a contract, the Nats aren't determining that player's salary yet. "Tendering" really just means informing a player that he will have a contract next season.The actual salary level is determined later, either by the two sides coming to terms on their own, or through arbitration (in which each side submits a salary figure and an independent panel determines which salary will apply). Arbitration figures are exchanged in January, and hearings take place in early February.So there's nothing for the player to accept or decline tonight. They're simply being informed if the team will give them a 2012 contract or not.

  64. Anonymous - Dec 12, 2011 at 7:00 PM

    Well, Gorz was better than both by a lot in K's/inn and better than both in bb/inn. Gorz gave up way too many long balls last year (15 in 102 innings). I think that his stuff is better than both Lannan or Detwiler. Both of them are nibblers hoping to get guys to hit it at someone. dfh21

  65. Sunderland - Dec 12, 2011 at 7:12 PM

    Isn't runs per inning more important than K's and Walks?And surely Lannan is better at DP's per inning.I'm just wondering how someone can claim Gorzelanny actually pitched better as a starter (4.46) than Lannan (3.70) and Detwiler (3.21).

  66. Mark'd - Dec 12, 2011 at 7:19 PM

    SteveM, interesting on Gorzo and K/HR rate. Sounds like you are on to something. Again you bring up an observation tgat nobody else has brought up. I just knew he gave up to many Home Runs.

  67. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 12, 2011 at 7:23 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  68. Mark Zuckerman - Dec 12, 2011 at 7:25 PM

    Sec 3, My Sofa said…Mark, thanks for that clarification. So it's basically like a team option to keep the guy or not, and this is the deadline for letting them go if they're going to.Actually, that's a great way to look at it. I may have to steal that line from you! :)

  69. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 12, 2011 at 7:26 PM

    Mark, thanks for that clarification.

  70. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 12, 2011 at 7:29 PM

    You're welcome, although on second thought (why I deleted the comment), it's not quite right, because teams can still cut the players before the season for only a pro-rated portion of the salary, they aren't guaranteed contracts.

  71. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 12, 2011 at 7:38 PM

    Although options often have a buyout amount, so maybe it's not so different. OK, I'll stop thinking out loud now.

  72. sjm308 - Dec 12, 2011 at 7:56 PM

    The article and conversation cleared up alot for me. I agree with dfh & others that we tender Gorzo and I think Flores is a no-brainer. How do rumors get started like that? I actually would tender all of our players, yes, even Slaten. I mean, if he continues his underwhelming performance in the spring you have not lost that much by letting him go in April. I can't wait to see what moves begin to take place in the next few days. Has anyone signed Cuddyer from the Twins? I think he would be perfect for us. Plays multiple positions and does a decent job both in the field and at bat. I also am interested in the CF from Japan but that is a crapshoot with the posting fee.

  73. Just sayin' - Dec 12, 2011 at 8:07 PM

    PAY TO PLAY said…http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/12/non-tender-candidates.htmlInteresting, Flores remains on their list and BJ Upton is not on their list.*************************************Because Tampa would be foolish not to tender BJ Upton a contract. For all the back-and-forth on this blog (and, I suspect, the Rays' equivalent) regarding Upton's 'make up' and 'character' issues, he remains a solid ballplayer worth his projected $7.6m contract (if he goes to arbitration).

  74. Theophilus - Dec 12, 2011 at 8:12 PM

    Given who the Nats are touting in their farm system, almost any CF currently available would be a 2-year fix. Whoa_Now posited Aoki at 4 years/$14MM. If he'd sign for that — and I believe he's expecting more — the fans would accept him for two years even if he underperformed. Then he would be superfluous but affordable in a lavish sort of way as a fourth outfielder.Since Matsusake, Japanese teams and players have overestimated the spendthrift tendencies of American teams. Thinking of the mediocre pitcher for whom the As agreed to pay $19MM and then couldn't sign. Aoki thinks, based on his career nos., not last year, he's gonna clean up. (Not in the batting order, but at the bank.)The risk w/ him is making the overpriced winning bid — thankfully, conditioned upon signing him — and then spending thirty days trying to negotiate a contract while other opportunities are passing the Nats by.If the Nats think he's the answer, then they are truly "fixated."

  75. sigmund freud - Dec 12, 2011 at 8:18 PM

    sec 3 my sofa saidOK, I'll stop thinking out loud now.people do that on my sofa all the time

  76. ehay2k - Dec 12, 2011 at 8:28 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  77. Mark'd - Dec 12, 2011 at 8:31 PM

    Jose Rijo in legal trouble again. Who would have thunk it?

  78. David - Dec 12, 2011 at 8:59 PM

    there are other stats besides e.r.a….

  79. Gonat - Dec 12, 2011 at 9:21 PM

    David, there may be other pitcher stats than ERA but that is a good barometer of how your pitcher is doing.

  80. Section 222 - Dec 12, 2011 at 11:40 PM

    I think there's one additional step in this process worth mentioning, and I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong. As I understand it, when a team "tenders a contract" it doesn't actually make an offer of a specific dollar amount. Instead, it is basically saying, we want to keep you and we're willing to go to arbitration if we can't agree on a contract. (Or, in Sec3mysofa's clever formulation, it is exercising the option to keep the player under a contract for an additional year.) But lots of guys who are tendered contracts don't actually go to arbitration. Between now and the arbitration date, the team negotiates with the player and tries to come to an agreement. That's what happened with Burnett last year, if I'm not mistaken. He signed a two year deal, which is why he isn't on this year's list of arbitration eligible players. The team tries to reach these agreements because arbitration is a crap shoot, and because it wants to avoid an adversarial process where it might create some bad blood by downplaying the player's accomplishments in order to argue for a lower salary lower. I would think the Nats would try very hard to avoid arbitration with, and therefore will offer substantial raises and perhaps multiyear deals to, Morse and Clippard. If they do tender a contract to Gorzo, maybe they roll the dice in arbitration because he didn't have that great a year, and he may not be able to make a good argument that he still deserves a starter's salary, although the lowest position the Nats can take, of course, would be $2 million. I assume that Gorzo tests the market if the Nats non-tender him and ask him to sign for less than that.As for Slaten, if they didn't DFA him to clear roster space before the Rule 5 draft, I'm not sure why they wouldn't tender a contract and see what happens between now and opening day.

  81. Anonymous - Dec 12, 2011 at 11:43 PM

    Please help me understand how Gorzelanny was technically and statistically more effective.Again, for the umpteenth time please consider the defense and park neutral stats that ARE available and that Nats management DO avail themselves of. For example they clearly show that John Lannan was the least effective starting pitcher and that Colin Balester was the least effective reliever. You can make excuses for Lannan (and so many here love to do that "he's steady". Really? That ain't what Davey Johnson said when he described observing him pitch … now is it pundits and fans?) yet you know that Balester was pretty bad and that's why he is now in Detroit. There really isn't any difference if you read the stats and look at objectively. We'll compare pitching objectively:1. Jordan Zimmermann xIP 16l.5, tRA 3.48, pRAA +14.62. Stephen Strasburg xIP 23.7, tRA 1.04, pRAA +8.63. Tom Gorzelanny xIP 85.3, tRA 4.39, pRAA -0.94 Jason Marquis xIP 121.0, tRA 4.51, pRAA -2.95. Livan Hernandex xIP 172.9, tRA 4.94, pRAA -12.46. John Lannan xIP 182.3, tRA 5.04, pRAA -15.1September call-ups1. Brad Peacock xIP 10.1, tRA 1.05, pRAA 2.62. Tom Milone xIP 26.9, tRA 3.43, pRAA 2.63. Yunesky Maya xIP 24.2, tRA 6.17, pRAA -5.04. Ross Detwiler xIP 53.3, tRA 5.34, pRAA -6.2These stats, again, are Park, defense, etc. neutral and are intended to measure just the effectiveness of a players pitching.As you can see Lannan is FAIL.

  82. Feel Wood - Dec 13, 2011 at 1:01 AM

    As you can see Lannan is FAIL.Boy are you gonna be pissed when Lannan gets 30+ starts for the Nats in 2012.

  83. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 13, 2011 at 1:19 AM

    Kilgore says you won't have Slaten to kick around anymore.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 91 64 --
ATLANTA 76 79 15.0
NEW YORK 76 80 15.5
MIAMI 74 81 17.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 85 20.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Sunday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (4) 91 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 89 67 2.5
y-ST. LOUIS 87 69 4.5
-------------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 71 7.0 --
PITTSBURGH 84 71 7.0 --
MILWAUKEE 80 76 11.5 4.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Sunday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
Full season schedule

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ON THE RADIO

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WED: 4:30 p.m.
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