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Which non-tenders could Nats go after?

Dec 13, 2011, 2:00 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Virginia native Joe Saunders is suddenly available after the D'backs non-tendered him.

As you already know by now, the Nationals tendered contracts to six of their seven arbitration-eligible players before last night's deadline, cutting ties only with reliever Doug Slaten.

You may not, however, have stayed up late enough to read a complete list of all the players non-tendered before midnight. Those players are now suddenly free agents and there for any other club to gobble up, including the Nationals.

Before we take a look at a few intriguing names who might pique Mike Rizzo's interest, we should note that the Rays did tender B.J. Upton a contract last night. So forget about the center fielder becoming available and signing with the Nationals this winter. (Upton, of course, still is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2012 season, so the Nats could try to sign him then. Or they could continue to try to work out a trade for him, though those talks have gone nowhere for two years now.)

Anyways, here are four players non-tendered by their clubs last night who could draw some interest from the Nationals…

LHP JOE SAUNDERS
The 30-year-old lefty didn't have a bad season by any stretch of theRead more ยป

124 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Wally - Dec 13, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    I'd add Luke Scott. I like Keppinger or Theriot in a utility role, if they'll bite. I'd pass on Saunders

  2. Mark'd - Dec 13, 2011 at 2:12 PM

    What were the DBacks thinking? Bring home Joe!

  3. MicheleS - Dec 13, 2011 at 2:20 PM

    All I can say.. is Good Riddance to Slaten..

  4. Anonymous - Dec 13, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    Saunders is practically a poor man's Buerhle… gotta believe the Nats will seriously consider him if they miss out on Darvish.

  5. Ray - Dec 13, 2011 at 2:29 PM

    You nailed it Mark. I think Saunders would be as good as Buerhle. Luke Scott has some pop and would be a good bench option to fill in for LaRoche, the Beast or Werth. Keppinger is a useful bench player as well, like him much better than The Riot.

  6. Mark'd - Dec 13, 2011 at 2:29 PM

    Luke Scott 2010 sure. Luke Scott 2011 no way!

  7. sjb - Dec 13, 2011 at 2:30 PM

    In considering Saunders or other non-tendered pitchers, remember that except for Buerhle, the pitchers who were free agents before tendering are still out there. Would you rather have Saunders than Oswalt? Even taking health into account, probably not. Would you rather have Saundera than Edwin Jackson? Probably so.

  8. Mark'd - Dec 13, 2011 at 2:32 PM

    Ray, Luke Scott bats left so not a good sub for Laroche.

  9. McKinley2 - Dec 13, 2011 at 2:39 PM

    Luke Scott's extreme political views should make him persona non grata as an acquisition for the Nats. His 2011 performance should seal the deal for everyone else not bothered by that.

  10. greg - Dec 13, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    and let's not forget that luke scott is a terrible defensive player. i'm not all that interested in seeing him in DC. saunders is interesting, as is keppinger.

  11. Anonymous - Dec 13, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    Any thoughts on Jeremy Hermida to fill Laynce Nix' bench role for 2012?

  12. SacTown - Dec 13, 2011 at 2:51 PM

    "McKinley2 said… Luke Scott's extreme political views should make him persona non grata as an acquisition for the Nats. His 2011 performance should seal the deal for everyone else not bothered by that."It's not his politics that worry me. It's that he's so willing to voice them publicly. I love the first amendment as much as anyone, but you have to wonder about someone who says these things without considering how it will negatively impact his short term potential for high earnings. Also, what will he say about Davey or Rizzo if/when Davey nails his butt to the bench for playing like 2011 Luke Scott?

  13. Paul - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:01 PM

    Luke Scott is a total tool and it is a shame that he has been given the platform to spew whatever drivel comes to his mind. If he is a representative of the Washington Nationals I would think twice before going to a game.

  14. Jeeves - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:03 PM

    I like the idea of Mijares–young, lefty, good stats. (except for last year, of course. Keppinger sounds good and, the Nats, at one time tried to trade for Saunders. (I believe they were trying to trade Soriano at the time.) Glad that trade didn't go through and we picked up Zimmermann in the draft. However, Saunders might be a nice pickup now.

  15. Steve M. - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:03 PM

    Yes, the DBacks made a huge mistake with Saunders. They should have traded him instead of non-tendering him. Rumor is they want him back at a better contract.Saunders away from Arizona is one of the better left-handers in the Majors with a 3.14 ERA and he kept lefties to a .212 BA in 2011.He is now 30 years old and some people like the fact he is a true Washingtonian. Since he is now a Free Agent, he may be a good pick-up on a 3 year deal and he might turn out better than Buehrle. This could be some real luck if Rizzo can make this work.

  16. Steve M. - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    Keppinger is an interesting guy. It may keep Lombo from making the 2012 team though.

  17. Dan! - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    I don't care about Luke Scott's political views. I do care that he's a butcher in the field, had a WaR of 0, and an on base of .301. He's terrible, plus he plays first base (LaRoche, Morse) and OF (Morse, Werth, Harper, Bernadina), positions where the Nationals actually have some strength and logjam issues. If they're going to get a wasted space PH, get somebody who can play 3B or middle infield positions.

  18. Anonymous - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:07 PM

    Agree to agree, Paul. Nats should stay far away from Scott.

  19. Hotdiggitydog - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:10 PM

    Gee….feels like a Christmas shopping list. I'll take a Joe Saunders and a Keppinger please.

  20. Anonymous - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:10 PM

    Zuck, stop with the need for players to be mentoring younger players nonsense. It is blather. A veteran middle infielder might be great for the Nats to add some capable performance and flexibility in an area where the club has been less than strong. But, Ryan Theriot has had 5 years in the bigs as a regular, he's not Joe Morgan. He's had his own problems figuring out the game, which is one of the reasons he's non-tendered right now. The Nats need to get players who can play and coaches who can coach and stop pretending that mentoring is more valuable than ability. I'd love to see Mark DeRosa, Nick Punto or the like as a 2012 Nat, if the guy can play. Not so he can tell stories on the bench about what life was like in the Astrodome or how tough it was to face Mariano Rivera when he was a set-up man. dfh21

  21. PAY TO PLAY - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:13 PM

    Keep in mind that Saunders didn't pitch well in Arizona's Chase Field which was why they may have let him go. I agree, big mistake not to tender him and then trade him.

  22. Steve M. - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:15 PM

    dfh21, for pitchers, veteran mentors that truly aspire to that role are very much needed just like how Pudge worked with Wilson Ramos. I don't know about other positions but I have heard that Werth works constantly behind the scenes with the batters.

  23. PAY TO PLAY - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:24 PM

    Good job by Mark detailing the top 4 non-tenders and not including Luke Scott while also discussing the non-future of BJ Upton.Hopefully back to Cespedes and Coco Crisp.

  24. MicheleS - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    Steve.. using werth as an example for mentoring, might not be the best one to use…invites to many werth bashers to the party.My example… Trevor Hoffman mentored (not hashing old stories, but actually talking situaitional pitching) with Axeford for the Brewers Closer's job. Axeford credits Hoffman for his development as a closer.

  25. blovy8 - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    I'd pass on Saunders. He's not better than giving those innings to Detwiler, Milone or Peacock. I'd rather use the year to find out about those guys, if they aren't going to pay for a #2 level talent. Theriot can get more at bats someplace else.Keppinger has no speed or power, at least Lombardozzi can steal bases if you give him that job. Perhaps if you feel like he can't hit .270 in that role, you make an offer, but really, it doesn't matter too much. They had Cora and Hairston mentoring them last year, do they really someone like that every year? Who says Keppinger is a good coach?Mijares' numbers are definitely going the wrong way, I'd want to see a bullpen or two, because he lost 2 mph off his fastball. I'd rather try to get Severino to control his stuff better. Burnett and Gorzelanny are fine for now, and you don't need to yank them or walk a guy every time if it's a L/R/L situation.

  26. MicheleS - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:33 PM

    Mark Z..Call Dave Shenin and tell him to STOP spreading the Fielder rumors. He was just on 980 talking about him coming here STILL.

  27. Bowdenball - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:34 PM

    Mark, you and I have very different definitions of the phrase "solid offensive player."A career OPS of .720 despite help from GABP and whatever they're calling the Houston park these days seems way less than solid to me. Gaseous, maybe.

  28. Mark'd - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    SteveM, great stat and info on Joe Saunders. Mark mentions his 1.307 WHIP, what was his road WHIP and of the 33 starts Mark mentioned, how many were road starts. Thanks.

  29. Wally - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:39 PM

    I am not sure that I get the Joe Saunders love. To me, he is John Lannan with a better BB/9, and worse GB %. I don't see a fit for him here, especially at the salary that he is likely to cost, and would rather go with a young guy like Milone or Peacock. If we didn't have Lannan, I could see it, but they are very similar and I wouldn't want two in the rotation (and if we had to, I would take a flier on the minimum salary Milone). I would like to see a clear improvement (and yes, I think Oswalt and Jackson are clear improvements) or go with the young guys.As for Scott, if the team doesn't think 2011 was injury related, then sure, stay away. But his SLG % was almost .100 lower than any other season, and he is young enough where the drop shouldn't be age-decline, so I think that he is a bounce back candidate. His fielding is bad, agreed, but I was thinking bench bat. Kind of a Laynce Nix type, with a worse glove.

  30. Steve M. - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    Mark'd, Saunders road WHIP is 1.17. He made 33 starts of which 18 were on the road. To blovy8, Detwiler and Milone are the leftys and don't expect either to go 200+ innings.Saunders has much more upside than either of them at this point in their careers. Peacock will be pitching at some point this season in DC and I don't see Saunders getting in his way. Peacock can use the time in AAA to work on his mechanics.

  31. Theophilus - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    Not sure what happened to Hermida the last couple of years. He seemed headed for a good career w/ the Marlins and is only 27. Worth a look-see.Kuo is the only pitcher on the list worth looking at. I'm not sure he'd pitch as many innings as Coffey but could be a fallback if Matheus doesn't mature. (Don't ask if I wan't Coffey back; I don't.)Theriot and Keppinger are older, more expensive versions of Lombardozzi. Not saying Lombardozzi is better, just cheaper. So many people on this list insist Lombardozzi is the next coming of Bill Mazeroski, I'm amazed that anyone is in favor of picking a older model off someone else's scrap heap.

  32. Theophilus - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    "want" not "wan't"

  33. Steve M. - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    Wally, what don't you get that Saunders didn't pitch well at his home park Chase Field and pitched like a #2 on the road? He isn't neccesarily a doubleplay pitcher either. Sure, there's risk there but I think he projects out better than Buehrle. My one negative with Buehrle was that he faded in Aug/Sept. Saunders actually puts up better 2nd half numbers.Oswalt has back problems. Do you take a chance on him given his age? He will be 35 in August.

  34. Theophilus - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:48 PM

    Relieved to see that AZ wants to re-sign Saunders. Diminishes the possibility Nats will be suckered into paying another Lannan Lannan+ money.

  35. Theophilus - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:53 PM

    Steve –Saunders and Lannan are essentially the same guy. Writers like Ladson and Boswell use terms like gutty, dogged, determined, crafty, sly, wily, etc., to describe them, none of which is a synonym for "good" or "killer slider." Signing Saunders is just getting side-tracked from the main objective.

  36. Whoa_now - Dec 13, 2011 at 3:58 PM

    If we do go after Saunders and get him. We will not be going after any other pitchers. So be sure we want him and say goodbye to anyof the Darvish, Oswalt, Jackson talk. IMO, I think he would be similar to Buerhle, which I was never high on to begin with. However if Rizzo is looking for that player(vertern innings eater, avg all around numbers)-Saunders makes a interested cheap pickup. Not sure if they could sign him to a 2 year-11.5-12 mm deal. But that would be my guess is what Rizzo would offer. A much much better value that Buerhle. At this point, I hope they are seriously going after Darvish. I know its a huge huge risk-but if you remove his posting fee, he'll be signed for less than Buerhle PY…and if he's a legit #3-then I think its worth it. The problem then becomes righthanded pitcher heavy.My other complaint is that they really shouldn't be worry about pitching as much as centerfield and their bench. I think both Theriot and Keppingers should be discussed as both would be huge improvements. My guess is that Theriot has other options. Could you offer Keppinger a one year deal and cut him at spring training if Lombardozzi is actually out performing him(and pro rate his contract)? Can Lombardozzi play 3rd as well-something Keppinger can do.Centerfield is a wasteland…Cespedes, Aoki, Coco, Upton, Span. None of them sound attractive to me. I honestly would go with Cespedes or Aoki.

  37. Steve M. - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:01 PM

    MicheleS said… Steve.. using werth as an example for mentoring, might not be the best one to use…invites to many werth bashers to the party.My example… Trevor Hoffman mentored (not hashing old stories, but actually talking situaitional pitching) with Axeford for the Brewers Closer's job. Axeford credits Hoffman for his development as a closer. December 13, 2011 10:28 AM Michael Morse gives much credit to Jayson Werth especially for conditioning. He and Espinosa and a few others follow Werth's regimen.Werth has plenty of issues but let's give him credit for helping a few of the guys. I think Werth will also take young Bryce under his wings and wouldn't be surprised if Bryce took residence for a while at Werth Mansion.

  38. Steve M. - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    Theo, Saunders is a more aggressive pitcher than Lannan so not sure where you are coming up with comparisions as their styles are very different. Joe was one of the most sought after leftys coming out of VA Tech in the draft and also when the Angels were shopping him for a trade.Arizona non-tendered him thinking they would save some money and I hope it backfires on them. I think Saunders is better than Buehrle and will fit in perfectly as a #3.My only trepidation on him is that he hasn't been a good post-season pitcher in that CJ Wilson kind of way however this year they pitched him at Chase Field instead of in Milwaukee. Some players don't do well in certain stadiumsThere isn't any perfect situations unless Roy Halladay was available. I think Saunders would be a great #3 addition to give the Nats the 2 lefties they need.Everyone else getting mentioned like Darvish, Oswalt, Jackson all have their own issues and risk.

  39. Steve M. - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    The Phillies have signed Dontrelle Willis and think they can fix him.

  40. Wally - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:18 PM

    SteveM – I like to look beyond just the last year for veterans, unless you feel like someone has a new pitch or style (like McCarthy). When I look at Saunders' last 5 years (3.5 with LAA so the home park bias with AD is minimized), he has had FIPs and xFIPs in the mid to high 4's, and sometimes crossing into 5, which is pretty bad. His ERA has usually outperformed his advanced stats and peripherals, which I accept is possible and somewhat repeatable like Lannan has done, but even then, he has only has an ERA below mid 4's twice (including last season). He has only been above 2 WAR in a season once in his entire career. So he just comes across to me as back end starter, and I don't think that we need to pay someone $5+m/yr for that when we have internal options that should be at least that at the minimum (and candidly, when we have a similar guy already on the staff at $5mish – but I am not trying to get into a Lannan debate).As for Oswalt, ok he had back problems and I agree that the medical staff needs to weigh in here, but when he came off the DL in August after those back problems, he made all ten starts without a miss, pitching less than 6 innings only once, with 6 of those starts where he completed at least 7 innings. He also saw his velocity return during that stretch. In his career, even including last year, he has never had a FIP, xFIP above 4.00 (and ERA above 4 only once). And even last year in an injury shortened season, he still put up 2.5 WAR. I don't know if he is the right guy to get, because the age + injury concern is somewhat of a gamble, as you note, but I think that he is clearly a better pitcher than Saunders, or than what our young guys will be over the next two years. So if I could get him for two years with a vesting option for a third based on innings or starts over the first two years, I would do it.

  41. HHover - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:24 PM

    Saunders is not an ace everywhere but Chase field. Yes, last year–his first full year in AZ–he had a big home/away split: 4.42 vs. 3.14. But you'd be foolish to count on him to consistently be the pitcher he was in the those 16 or so away games in 2011. His career ERA (4.16) and his ERA in parts of six seasons with the Angels (4.29) are respectable but not better than Lannan (career ERA, 4.00).

  42. Wally - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:29 PM

    Comparing Lannan and Saunders:Lannan: 751IP 4.00ERA 4.61FIP 4.45xFIP 4.71K/9 3.38BB/9 52.8GB%Saunders: 986IP 4.16ERA 4.65FIP 4.52xFIP 5.02K/9 2.87BB/9 45.5GB%

  43. Hopeful2012 - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:33 PM

    Saunders – Red Sox are making a play so expect the price to be HIGHTheriot – Agree with Mark Z, he will be offered a starting job somewhereKeppinger- He would make sense and is sort of a Jerry Hairston because he can play everywhereMijares – Eh!? A lefty who lost his mojo, usually that trends continues and does not reverse itself, PASS!

  44. Anonymous - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:35 PM

    Seriously, you, Comak and MASN basically all wrote the same article, how about digging for the story others don write or don't want to write!?

  45. MicheleS - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    SteveM…I agree that Werth had a big impact on the team. I am happy the guy is here… I actually own his jersey. But as you know.. Others on the blog loathe and detest him.. so just trying to put out another comparison so we don't end up with the NegAnons going on a bash fest.. Kind of like the Lannan debates…

  46. Ray - Dec 13, 2011 at 4:55 PM

    My perception — not statistical analysis — is that Saunders was not happy in Arizona and would pitch better if he had a change of scenery. It seems to me that his performance went down in Arizona almost immediately upon being traded there. I would think playing for his hometown team might improve those stats. Brian Kenny of MLB Network would mock me for such analysis, I know, but I think this is an issue with Saunders.

  47. SCNatsFan - Dec 13, 2011 at 5:01 PM

    RE: Anon at 11:35 instead of digging for stories how he helps develop a way to stop anon trolls from posting about what more they want out of a free blog.You have to picture Rizzo one of two ways; happy about the makeup of the team (his public statement) or waiting for the first domino to fall. You figure if a Saunders or Oswalt is signed then someone like Lannan is on his way out for one of the other pieces we need, like a CF. I'd hate to think he is happy with us the way we are, save a couple of bench players.

  48. Will - Dec 13, 2011 at 5:17 PM

    Ray,Saunders' stats were actually considerably better in Arizona than they were in Los Angeles (3.85 ERA vs 4.29 ERA, respectively). So I don't think it has anything to do with his commitment and motivation (especially considering he was in the midst of a playoff run this past year). Nor do I think that him being in Washington would magically motivate him to pitch well.I think it has more to do with him just not being a very good at what he does, regardless of location.

  49. TimDz - Dec 13, 2011 at 5:24 PM

    From mlbtraderumors…Diamondbacks signed Jonathan Albaladejo to a minor league deal.Wasn't he the one we we traded for Clippard?

  50. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 13, 2011 at 5:31 PM

    Right you are, TimDz–four years ago.

  51. Wally - Dec 13, 2011 at 5:32 PM

    I was just thinking about something – definitely a not going to happen, diversionary thought – but interesting, to me anyway.Would you trade Harper for Trout? Each have been named the top prospect in baseball (depending on which analyst you like), at roughly the same age and level of MLB readiness (Trout is slightly further along) and positionally, they probably match up better with the other team (Trout for our CF need, Harper to replace the aging corner OFs on LAA, plus they have Bourjos for CF).

  52. A. Kearns - Dec 13, 2011 at 5:32 PM

    It seems to me that his performance went down in Arizona almost immediately upon being traded there. I would think playing for his hometown team might improve those stats. It seems to me that his performance went down in Arizona almost immediately upon being traded there. I would think playing for his hometown team might improve those stats. Tell me about it!

  53. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 13, 2011 at 5:33 PM

    You can say that again. Oh wait, you did…

  54. greg - Dec 13, 2011 at 5:35 PM

    yes he was.BTW, Bowden is spewing nonsense on his ESPN blog.==If by some miracle they [Seattle] are able to sign Fielder, Zduriencik will have to move first baseman Justin Smoak, perhaps to upgrade their starting pitching, third base or the outfield. Interested teams would be Oakland, Tampa Bay, Toronto and Washington, all of whom are in need of a first baseman. ===yeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh… washington is looking to trade for a 1B prospect who's ready to play now. right. whatever. idiot.

  55. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 13, 2011 at 5:37 PM

    Wally, I recall a similar question a couple of (months??) back. One consideration might be the likelihood of Trout to stay beyond free agency, since it looks pretty likely at this point that Bryce really, really wants to play for the Yankees. Of course, the Yankees might have their own opinion by that time.

  56. slidell - Dec 13, 2011 at 5:52 PM

    Does anyone know the timetable regarding when we will know who won the right to negotiate with Darvish?

  57. Wally - Dec 13, 2011 at 5:54 PM

    Sec 3 – I agree that Harper is bound for the bright lights when he is free. Trout is from Jersey, so maybe there is something there. But I can't see something like this ever happening. Too much risk for a GM: you could be the guy that goes down in history as the one who trades the next HR king or Triple Crown winner for a guy that never turns into anything.Hope that I didn't raise this a few months ago. Maybe the nursing home is beckoning early?

  58. Wally - Dec 13, 2011 at 5:54 PM

    Slidell – I heard it comes out tomorrow

  59. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 13, 2011 at 6:05 PM

    Teams can submit bids until 5 pm tomorrow. The Fighters then have (I think) up to four days to think about it and pick the one they like best. (I'm not sure that means bids are announced publicly before the winner is.) The team then has 30 days to try to sign him. If they don't sign him, they get their money back.

  60. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 13, 2011 at 6:08 PM

    FWIW, I'm thinking that if he is all that, I'm not much bothered by Zimmermann, Strasburg, and Darvish all being right-handed. I don't think hitters will be saying "Good! Three righties."

  61. Anonymous - Dec 13, 2011 at 6:13 PM

    Jim Bowden is a lot of things, but he's not an idiot. The guy knows baseball as well as anyone. Not to say he's not capable of being wrong or of saying dumb stuff, but the guy has certainly understands more about the game and its workings than most anyone out there in his talking head world.

  62. markfd - Dec 13, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    How about Aaron Laffey as a lefty out of the pen? Local kid: Cumberland, MD product

  63. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 13, 2011 at 6:30 PM

    KC non-tendered him Laffey after claiming him on waivers in Oct. from the Yankees.In case anybody was wondering (I was).

  64. Steve M. - Dec 13, 2011 at 6:46 PM

    The DBacks were maybe saving their money to sign Takashi Saito (TIC)

  65. jd - Dec 13, 2011 at 6:53 PM

    Wally, Yours is not a crazy idea although generally when one suggests trading away a future superstar one gets hammered in one's home blog. I am sure that if this was suggested on the Angels site they would react similarly but in reverse. When it was suggested that Zimmerman for Ramirez makes some baseball sense the idea was treated with as much open thought as one would treat a tax increase. BTW; I am not wild about Saunders either. I am not sure why we need a mediocre pitcher at a high price when we have a bunch of young pitchers who are likely to perform just as well not to mention the next wave of high drafted, high ceiling group of pitchers who are just a year or 2 away.

  66. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 13, 2011 at 7:03 PM

    Jeremy Hermida is available as a LH bat/corner OF, tho he hasn't done much in the past 2 seasons–got injured in 2010 (broke a bunch of ribs running into Adrian Beltre). Maybe he just needs to be in the NL? Oh, and his middle name? Yup. Ryan.

  67. Anonymous - Dec 13, 2011 at 7:08 PM

    Saunders looks like a good possibility but Rizzo will try to lowball him and another team will sign him.

  68. PAY TO PLAY - Dec 13, 2011 at 7:11 PM

    JD, based on the numbers Mark put up Saunders does look mediocre until you dig into his road record. The numbers away from the Arizona Diamondbacks stadium are very good. I think Mark Zuckerman makes an excellent case for Saunders based on his overall numbers and if you get anything close to a 3.14 ERA that he had on the road, then a huge bonus. Bazooka Joe Saunders based on being a good innings eater is an added bonus.The cautionary tale is what HHover has pointed out in his career. At age 30, will Saunders be anywhere near a #2 pitcher. I see more potential with him than some of the other names tossed around.

  69. gonatsgo - Dec 13, 2011 at 7:13 PM

    I beg to differ – Bowden is a total idiot. But, in keeping with the civilized tone of this blog – you, sir( or maam) are entitled to your opinion and are not ( an idiot). He does have some baseball experience but was a terrible gm and seems to be more interested in creating a stir than anything else.

  70. Anonymous - Dec 13, 2011 at 7:19 PM

    Saunders is going to command a 2 year deal and maybe $8M per. Not money well spent for this club, especially when they have a bunch of guys to be back end starters already.dfh21

  71. Steve M. - Dec 13, 2011 at 7:34 PM

    dfh21, nobody knows what the future holds for any player. You have more risk taking on a new player than a player who has a history with your own team.These bunch of guys you refer to as back end starters don't have any real history other than September work. It is risky to take a chance thinking Detwiler, Milone or Peacock can pitch 34 starts in 2012 and be effective. The Nats are already taking a big gamble on Wang.I think Saunders who can give you those 34 starts is a worthwhile gamble near the money you spent for Marquis.

  72. UNTERP - Dec 13, 2011 at 7:48 PM

    Steve M. said… dfh21, for pitchers, veteran mentors that truly aspire to that role are very much needed just like how Pudge worked with Wilson Ramos. I don't know about other positions but I have heard that Werth works constantly behind the scenes with the batters.Please tell me that this is a joke, "that Werth works constantly behind the scenes with the batters." "Lucy, You Have Some Splainin' to Do"I'd prefer Werth NOT work behind the scenes with batters. This "splains" why they can't hit with RISP, esp with one out and a man on 3rd, the Werth affect…

  73. Anonymous - Dec 13, 2011 at 7:52 PM

    I hear you Steve M., but I am thinking that Gorz is that lefty SP who can take starts if needed, and they have guys who are close to MLB ready. The addition of a front end guy makes a lot of sense to me, but Saunders is a true softballer, he gives up a lot of long balls and walks, with few K's, and playing outside of the no hit NL West I think he's likely to be back to a 4.5 ERA. I think that the Nats can do better than that with the guys they have after Stras, Zimmermann and Wang.dfh21

  74. UNTERP - Dec 13, 2011 at 7:55 PM

    Steve M. said… "big gamble on Wang." ? It's a one year contract…

  75. Tim - Dec 13, 2011 at 7:58 PM

    Saunders would be okay, but not at $8mil per year. What about Clay Hensley as a lefty out of the bullpen. While with the Fish, he gave the Nats fits at times, but who didn't from that team!?!

  76. Theophilus - Dec 13, 2011 at 8:01 PM

    With the injury question about Hermida answered, I vote we offer him a minor league deal.Smoak, inexpensively, would be worth having, Bowden's lack of cred notwithstanding. This is a guy who got traded for Cliff Lee. Seems like there must be a bunch of people who think he has ups.

  77. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 13, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    I can't believe Aaron Rowan got a minor league deal out of the marlins. What?!… No confidence in Coughlin or Bonifacio?

  78. Theophilus - Dec 13, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    Hensley? Surely you jest. One concern is that you might jest but Rizzo might not. His record of free agent/recycled relief pitchers (e.g., Gaudin, Coffey, Bruney; Rodriguez still unproven) is less than stellar.He GM'd the Nats pitching staff into a roster situation last Spring that was really painful. I vote we don't allow Rizzo to sign any new bullpen guys.

  79. Theophilus - Dec 13, 2011 at 8:18 PM

    Oh, and re: Rizzo's bullpen record, I omitted Ramirez and Broderick.

  80. sjm308 - Dec 13, 2011 at 8:19 PM

    I am saying no to Saunders, just for the fact that I believe our pitching was really pretty good last year and our offense was not. I still don't get all the emphasis on pitching when we need to 1. stop striking out so much. 2 get on base more and 3. drive those men on base in. Not sure how adding more pitching helps. We are already adding a full season for Zimmermann, hopefully 160 innings of SS and again hopefully a full season of Wang. I realize that is a lot of hopefullness and maybe I just answered my own question but don't we need offense as a first priority?Gonatsgo – I am so proud of how you politely explained to another anon what you thought of Bowden. I often wonder how he keeps his job with all the "off the wall" rumors he puts out there.

  81. John C. - Dec 13, 2011 at 8:22 PM

    With Slaten gone (our long Nationals nightmare is over at last) we still go three deep in the "bullpen LHP" department in Nats Town: Gorzelanny; Burnett; Severino. There are a lot of LHP coming up through the system that could be become bullpen candidates as well: Solis; Milone; Purke; Ray; Rosenbaum; … heck even Josh Smoker has some potential there.I'm not sure "bullpen LOOGY" is really high on the Nationals' need list right now.

  82. Theophilus - Dec 13, 2011 at 8:25 PM

    Rowand probably a favor from Ozzie Guillen to a former WSox. But, if they don't want Coughlin . . ..

  83. Exposremains - Dec 13, 2011 at 8:46 PM

    Its too quiet, something is about to happen. Suspense is killing me.

  84. Steve M. - Dec 13, 2011 at 8:50 PM

    UNTERP, on Wang the gamble is how effective he can be in 2012 and can he go 6+ innings per start and pitch the full season.

  85. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 13, 2011 at 9:26 PM

    "Major League ready" is not the same as "Major League"; it's "ready to find out." If Wand doesn't work out, Znn has an off year or gets hurt again, then they've got SS on an innings limit, LannEn (who, the anons keep explaining to us idiots, is a bum), and rookies. And Livo on speed dial. That won't finish .500, most years, in this division.

  86. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 13, 2011 at 9:28 PM

    *Wang

  87. Anonymous - Dec 13, 2011 at 9:39 PM

    Really?? Another day's gone by without the Nats having done anything to get out of 4th place. Natstown is still Loserville. Let's wake up folks . . . Mike Rizzo is more likely the ham-handed hack of a GM he is most of the time(people in here think Bowden stunk? How is he so much worse than Rizzo?) — Mike is too much money at the guys he gets and not nearly enough to the ones he wants but misses, and by miles both ways — than he is the shrewd find Mike Morse for almost nothing guy. He has missed much more often than he has hit. And the Lerners just don't get it. Clueless rich people are annoying as can be. Once you go above Davey Johnson, the club is just not in good hands. Tell yourself that this year's cast of hopefuls and comebacks will scratch the winning number on the lottery ticket and fly higher than the better talent and tighter rosters of the Phils, Braves and Marlins all you want, it aint gonna happen. Or be more realistic yet still delusional and hope and pray that this or that set of prospects down on the farm is on the way to save us . .. First Base, Bryce Harper, Second Base, Bryce Harper, Third Base, Bryce Harper . . . Stras pitching every day, against the Gashouse Gorillas of the NL East. Just picture the Conga line of opposing players circling the bases from that old Bugs Bunny cartoon, because that is what Rizzo and the Lerners are setting the stage for right now. The Nats are looking to be crushed down low in the standings year after year for the foreseeable future. And the apologists in here for these self absorbed management fools makes it even worse. Enablers are more annoying than the rich fools to whom they hand money.

  88. natsfan1a - Dec 13, 2011 at 9:39 PM

    Are you married? (No.) Then you're a bum!(Sorry, little bit of a movie flashback there.)

  89. natsfan1a - Dec 13, 2011 at 9:43 PM

    fwiw, my comment related to sec3's comment, as opposed to the screed above, which I did not read in its entirety because, really, life's too short.

  90. Eugene in Oregon - Dec 13, 2011 at 9:59 PM

    While I agree completely with the poster who argued that the Nats' biggest off-season need is to shore up the offense, that's not their only need.Last year the Nats used 11 different starting pitchers. Even if you throw out the starts Milone and Peacock made (i.e., they were given those starts to see how they'd perform), the Nats still used nine starters. A quick review of other teams suggests that's about the average.Currently, the Nats have only seven starters on the 40-man: Strasburg, Zimmermann, Lannan, Wang, Detwiller, Milone, and Peacock. Plus they have Gorzelanny available as a spot starter (but I don't think anyone wants him back in the rotation). Ditto Maya. If you assume that Milone and Peacock will start the season in the minors because they have options left, then you have just five starters competing for five rotation spots during Spring Training. I would prefer to see at least one more legitimate starter in Florida come mid-February, whether it be Oswalt, Dervish, or Saunders (or somebody else). If they all pan out, then you can still trade someone or let Detwiller start the season in the bullpen. And while you can, indeed, have too much pitching, I don't believe the Nats are in danger of reaching that point anytime soon (so long as they find another good bat or two before the season actually begins).

  91. Sunderland - Dec 13, 2011 at 10:05 PM

    Sign Ankiel, put him in the rotation.OK, seriously, I do like having Ankiel on the team.Although signing Ankiel might be goodbye to the Shark.

  92. Anonymous - Dec 13, 2011 at 10:36 PM

    Wow, a venom-filled, Bugs Bunny cartoon reference laden rant? Don't see those every day in NI. Little harsh, tilting to extremes in some ways, but if the point in there was the club needs to do more to win, with that much I agree. And I also think Bowden was less terrible than people want to admit, but whatever, the past is past. Things look about as good as they ever have looked for the Nats.And doesn't Bugs beat the Gorillas in the end, using the Paralizing Perplexing Packiderm . . .something-something else . . . slow pitch along the way? One, two, three strikes, yer out! Oner, two, three strikes, yer out! . . .dfh21

  93. Mark'd - Dec 13, 2011 at 10:43 PM

    Dfh21, have to agree plus the glass is more than 1/2 full. Lots of Joe Saunders buzz on Twitter. His local friends think he would come here.

  94. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 13, 2011 at 11:10 PM

    "natsfan1a said…fwiw, my comment related to sec3's comment, as opposed to the screed above, which I did not read in its entirety because, really, life's too short."that's the long way of saying "tl;dr"

  95. Anonymous - Dec 13, 2011 at 11:11 PM

    Unless they decide to move Wang (instead of Stammen) to the right-handed long relief role I think I agree with what others have said: stick with Milone, Detwiler, Gorzelanny and Lannan for the rotation. The main advantage to Saunders is the 200 ip+. I strongly suspect Milone could do that for the Nats without any problem. Lannan has issues with making it through 5+ and always has which is why Lannan has never succeeded in making it to 200 consistently despite being the defacto ace of the rotation. Detwiler is still a wait-and-see proposition. Gorzelanny pitched 200 sterling innings in 2007 … pitching more than 100 for the first time in his life and then went down with arm trouble for the next 2 or so years. Gorzo never completely recovered from being overused by Jim Tracy. But he is the closest thing to a 200ip starter.But my money is on MIlone, He throws strikes, doesn't walk hitters and so the pitch count stays low. He doesn't try to "fool the umpire" like Livo so he should be consistent. I think Brad Meyers is of the same ilk but unfortunately his slot was supplanted by Peacock due to his injuries and Peacock's lights-out season in 2011. Strasburg, Peacock, Detwiler aren't going to go 200ip this year. I sincerly doubt that CM Wang could even come close that would be a miracle. There's a good chance Zimmermann might. But Milone has been consistently groomed to do exactly that. And so the 200 ip guys would be JZim and Milone IMO.

  96. natsfan1a - Dec 13, 2011 at 11:19 PM

    Good pitch ID work there, dfh. Also, stumbled across this (funny, imo) blog item when I googled it.

  97. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 13, 2011 at 11:21 PM

    "Things look about as good as they ever have looked for the Nats."In one way, yes; 50-31 is still the high point for the franchise in DC, though–anything was possible, and RFK was bouncing with The Awesome Power Of A Fully Operational Mothership, or so it felt then. We haven't gotten back there yet, for all the Strasmases, and all the Oppo-Boppo to come. Still, 2005 is hardly the Lerners' fault; probably not even Bowden's, under the circumstances. You was the commissioner, Bud, you shoulda looked out for us a little. We coulda been a contender–instead of what we became. Which was bums, let's face it.

  98. Anonymous - Dec 13, 2011 at 11:26 PM

    natsfan1a — that is one serious blog post on the Teat Totallers vs. Gashosue Gorillas. Great stuff! Thanks.

  99. greg - Dec 13, 2011 at 11:33 PM

    Anon 1:13 PM, Bowden is capable if being very smart. he's also capable of being a complete idiot. this is why he's not running a team any more. too many "idiot" moments and not enough "brilliant" moments. in this case, the comment he made was in the "idiot" category. natsjack, you should never be surprised that anyone gets a minor league contract anywhere. they mean pretty much nothing in the scheme of things beyond taking a flyer on a guy. there's no guarantee, so there's little to no risk (beyond spreading ABs in spring training).

  100. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 13, 2011 at 11:33 PM

    "And doesn't Bugs beat the Gorillas in the end, using the Paralizing Perplexing Packiderm …"This is a good point–the gorillas do lose, after all. Gotta be careful which metaphor you pick…

  101. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 13, 2011 at 11:36 PM

    "natsjack, you should never be surprised that anyone gets a minor league contract anywhere."Ummmm … I don't think he meant that to be taken at face value.

  102. Anonymous - Dec 14, 2011 at 12:09 AM

    Or be more realistic yet still delusional and hope and pray that this or that set of prospects down on the farm is on the way to save us . .. First Base, Bryce Harper, Second Base, Bryce Harper, Third Base, Bryce Harper . . . Stras pitching every day, against the Gashouse Gorillas of the NL East. Just picture the Conga line of opposing players circling the bases from that old Bugs Bunny cartoon, because that is what Rizzo and the Lerners are setting the stage for right now. This seems way too "Brue-like" in its fantastic pessimism. IMO the list of top prospects/recently promoted prospects should look like this positionally:1. Danny Espinosa.2. Anthony Rendon.3. Bryce Harper.4. Wilson Ramos.5. Derek Norris.6. Tyler Moore.7. Steve Lombardozzi8. Ian Desmond. 9. Jesus Flores.Now, put them together with:Ryan Zimmerman.Michael Morse.If you could find a place to play them all it looks likea fairly good lineup that is exclusively under 30! I'm meanreally where do you put them? My guess is Rendon will beready very soon. Norris is already ready offensively and ifMoore hits 30 again and improves at the plate? Ryan Zimmerman, Danny Espinosa, Anthony Rendon, Michael Morse, and Ramos and/or Flores, Norris??? That's an ALL STAR lineup for even the most conservative bettor. And if Desmond gets it offensively he could be moved to CF solving that problem once and for all. So, the who premise of that anon's argument gets shot all to hell.At least positionally. Must be a resentful Oriole fan like Poopy McPoop.Starting pitching-wise they have some depth but a lot of it is still TBD except for Strasburg and Zimmermann. The jury is certainly still out on all of the rest which is why Oswalt seems almost like a critical must-have IMO. So, yep its still a weakness until Purke, Meyer, Solis, AJ Cole etc. make a showing to bolster the odds.Relief pitching could be the very best in the NL and very young. Albeit weak on the left side with Burnett coming off a less than stellar year. Gorzo did a pretty decent job …So, the Nats are in better shape than many erstwhile fans realize. Its all a matter of time now. My guess is they compete in 2012 because Johnson won't accept anything less. But serious runs at any titles won't occur until 2013 at the earliest.

  103. BinM - Dec 14, 2011 at 12:27 AM

    A hodge-podge of responses to follow… – That was a wild-eyed rant from the Anon@4:39; Clearly that individual needs to step away from things (including their computer & the internet) for a while. – Eugene in Oregon: 2011 results tell us that the offense probably needs a little more off-season help than the pitching, but Rizzo is right in looking for another SP as a priority. The current staff possibles (JZimm, Strasburg/Peacock, Lannen, Wang, Detwiler/Milone, Gorzelanny-Stammen-Maya still expose some weaknesses should more than one injury or collapse occur. Hence the continuing search for a mid-rotation "bridge" arm between JZimm-Strasburg & the BOR. – Anon@6:11; Wang would have the same percieved problems out of the bullpen that Livo would – He takes forever to warm up, throwing 60-75+ pitches to "get loose & get control" of his mechanics. Trust me, I've seen it 1st hand in Potomac. Gorzelanny is a back-end starter at this point, as he's open to surrendering the long-ball when throwing at less than 100%; Sorry, but true.

  104. Anonymous - Dec 14, 2011 at 12:29 AM

    I gotta say that the list is not so sterling . . .1. Danny Espinosa.Nice glove, has real promise, but is far from a sure thing and hitting .230 is not exactly telling the world he should not be in the minors. Pull-happy as can be from the left side.2. Anthony Rendon.Never even played in the minors and is coming off of injury. We'll see how he does.3. Bryce Harper.Cnanot wait for him to be on Half Street!4. Wilson Ramos.He's an every day MLB catcher, not Johnny Bench.5. Derek Norris.If he's the man, then Ramos is gone. It's one or the other.6. Tyler Moore.Huge power at AA and below is nice, but not sure it translates to MLB success at this point. It might.7. Steve LombardozziNice all around player, but everyone seems to think he has a low ceiling. Hope they are wrong as I love the kid's amke-up.8. Ian Desmond. He just is not that good. The glove comes and goes and his approach at the plate is awful as the stats bear-out.9. Jesus Flores.He's going to be traded, barring injury to Ramos before April. There's no place for the guy to play, he has value to other clubs. They won't screw Boras by burrying the kid as a back-up.Maybe Harper will be an every year All Star type along with Zim, but none of the other guys on the list can be inked on to an All Star ballot any time soon.dfh21

  105. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 14, 2011 at 12:56 AM

    Just for comparison's sake, this was last year's NL starting lineup–voted by the fans, remember, not necessarily having the best year at their position:C Brian McCann, ATL1B Prince Fielder, MIL2B Rickie Weeks, MIL3B Scott Rolen, CINSS Troy Tulowitzki, COLOF Lance Berkman, STLOF Matt Kemp, LADLF Matt Holliday, STL

  106. Wily Mo Petersen - Dec 14, 2011 at 2:46 AM

    I would rather see Lannan or Detwiler in the rotation than Saunders. I would rather see Darvish or Oswalt in the rotation than Lannan or detwiler.What is Rizzo doing with the bench? Why hasnt their been any action there yet?

  107. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 14, 2011 at 3:02 AM

    "Why hasn't [there] been any action there yet?"Probably because it's still only Dec. 13, and a lot of the prerequisite deals haven't set the market yet, so everybody is still asking for too much. Or they're waiting to see how their bid on Darvish comes out, so they're going in with some idea what their budget is, there. Just a guess.

  108. The Fox - Dec 14, 2011 at 3:03 AM

    Willingham to Twins, Cuddyer may not sign with Twins now because Morneau could be the DH. Cuddyer could be a decent OF for the Nats. Kubel could also be good bench player 4th OF, bats left.

  109. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 14, 2011 at 3:44 AM

    Cuddyer wants 3/$36MM, and nobody wants to give him that, so far. I can't see the Nats doing anything like that, with Harper coming on maybe this year, almost certainly next.

  110. ehay2k - Dec 14, 2011 at 3:55 AM

    Oh, the Gashouse Gorillas reference made me laugh. I use that when talking about Livo's pitching. There is something magical about a 60mph (or slower!) curveball. The looks Livo gets from baffled hitters are worth the price of admission – to me, anyway.I suppose it's possible, given Livo's inexact age, that Bugs Bunny's pitch was actually modeled after Livo's. Did Mel Blanc ever go to Cuba?

  111. Anonymous - Dec 14, 2011 at 6:48 AM

    How soon do we expect deals to get done for Oswalt (Nats or other)? Fielder? What is the next domino to fall that we should be looking for? Does Oswalt not sign until Darvish signs somewhere, likely in 4 weeks? And how soon is a reasonable expectation for a deal for a CF? When is Cespedes likely to sign somewhere? Or that Japanese leadoff hitter/CF? Just trying to understand the timing on all of this?

  112. Anonymous - Dec 14, 2011 at 7:40 AM

    Looks like the "next action" is Darvish. Maybe Harper will be an every year All Star type along with Zim, but none of the other guys on the list can be inked on to an All Star ballot any time soon.We'll see … I think a lot of names on that list and most especially Espiinosa have a very good chance of making that All Star ballot in the future far more than Lannan does of becoming a consistent 200 ip pitcher. Now that likely will never happen.

  113. JayB - Dec 14, 2011 at 11:09 AM

    I am getting more and more concerned that Rizzo is having his budget cut….or at least what he thought was his budget for this off season cut.He is not able to pay market price for the holes he needs to fill. He is not even doing the small bench moves he must make to fill that gaping void from last year. Something has changed and my best guess is he has been told that he can not spend the extra $30 Million a year he was planning on.Really Nats have been none players in every bid. Just not close to Market Price for anyone.

  114. JayB - Dec 14, 2011 at 11:16 AM

    Above is the FA market comment….On trades Rizzo is also not willing to do a market value deal. That failure is likely the biggest problem with Rizzo as a GM. He way over values his "own guys". Trades for pitching, OF and Bench help are being made every day right now and Rizzo is sitting back……more Stairs and W. Harris on the way it seems to me. Hope I am wrong but the past two winters has shown teams that are aggressive early get the better players. PHL, MIA, LA (2), AZ all have made moves to fill holes and make sure they are in a position to improve and win….Nats…nothing yet…..

  115. Sunderland - Dec 14, 2011 at 12:06 PM

    JayB, if you are not the winning bid, there is no point in being "close". It is utterly meaningless.Let's suppose Rizzo opened to Buehrle with 3 x $13M. Four years ago, Buehrle signed for 4 x $14M, so 3 x $13M is a reasonable opening bid.Then Rizzo gets told the Marlins went 4 x $14.5. He ponders and says to himself "strong bid, they will certainly go higher, makes it seem like if I want to win this I'll need to go 4 x $16M at least, and maybe I'll need to go 5 x $15M. I am not going to go that far. JayB would light me up on NI if I inked Buehrle to 5 x $15M, but that seems to be what it would take. So I'll stop now."So his $39M opening offer was "not close to Market Price". So what? It is an indicator of nothing except he saw what it would take to win and decide he wasn't going to go there.

  116. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 14, 2011 at 12:16 PM

    JayB…. So you don't think the Marlins overpaid (and by a lot) for Buehrle? That 4th year was the killer.I believe not only did they overpay, they'll have to eat most of that money when they dismantle the train wreck that they have created.

  117. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 14, 2011 at 12:18 PM

    As for the bench…. As a start, I believe obtaining Gregg Dobbs would be a nice upgrade over last year.

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

    The train wreck that the Marlins have created? Is there some other group of Marlins of the train wreck sort that the Nats will be playing other than the one with All Stars at every infield position, a deep rotation, improved D, speed and power and an effective pen?Greg Dobbs is a head scratcher. Rizzo seems to love guys who cannot get on base and who do not hit for much power.dfh21

  119. Sunderland - Dec 14, 2011 at 12:48 PM

    dfh, you take the Marlins rotation from last year, pull out Vazquez, add Buehrle and call their rotation deep?Nolasco 206 innings in 2011 at 4.67 ERA.Volstad 165 innings in 2011 at 4.89 ERA.Who knows what they'll get from Josh Johnson, but aside from Buehrle (a good #3) and Sanchez they have nothing in terms of good options. In 2011 they were 12th of 16 in the NL in ERA for SP's. There's really no reason to expect this year will be any better.

  120. Anonymous - Dec 14, 2011 at 1:25 PM

    Sunderland, I think that the Marlins do have a deep rotaion. I did not say it was their strength. Having a couple of batting title guys and a couple of 30 HR OF's and several 40 SB types in the mix of their potential or actual All Star caliber lineup is their strength. But as to the SP, Sanchez is an Ace, Beuhrle is a horse as we all know, Nolasco is a double-digit winner every year and he made 33 starts last year so they could do worse for a 3 starter, and they will get something out of Johnson, if it is 125 innings in 2012 they'll be happy, and they have Sanabia too. Maybe it's not the Angels or the Braves rotation, but it is far from a train wreck, no? They have 3 guys who can reasonably be relied upon to throw 200 innings. dfh21

  121. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 14, 2011 at 2:04 PM

    Now that McCourt is out, it's neck and neck as to who is the worst ownership group in baseball. Loria or Angelos.

  122. Sunderland - Dec 14, 2011 at 2:50 PM

    That's a pretty generous definition of an ace.

  123. Anonymous - Dec 14, 2011 at 3:31 PM

    Fair enough, but Sanchez is more of an Ace than Zimmermann is. So, the Marlins have Johnson coming back likely on an innings limit, Sanchez, Buehrle, Nolasco — how is that not at least on par with Stras, Zimmermann, Wang, Lannan? Maybe it is not as good, but again, train wreck it is not. And their lineup should score and their pen should get outs. They are good.dfh21

  124. JayB - Dec 14, 2011 at 8:37 PM

    All I am saying is that we have nothing. We have a long history of not paying market rates (other than Jason W) and hoping for the best with the left overs right before spring training. That is not how you build a winning team. The future is now. The losing attitude has been stemmed. Davey Johnson is here not Riggs or Acta….not for long so let's make a move to win now. You think Zimm is impressed by the teams complete failure to even try to lock in up at market value and keep him on a team that is just a few key players away for competing for once in his career. He is going to 28 right….he has lost well over 500 games at a Nat already…..what the plan Rizzo?

Archives

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ATLANTA 58 48 0.5
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NEW YORK 51 55 7.5
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WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
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