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Beltway Baseball – 12/14/11

Dec 14, 2011, 12:00 PM EDT

It’s been a while since our last episode of Beltway Baseball Live, so there wasn’t shortage of material this afternoon when Chase Hughes joined me to discuss the Nationals’ offseason to date. We also were joined by a special guest: Amanda Comak of the Washington Times.

Topics on the table today include:d The Nationals’ failed attempt to sign Mark Buehrle and what they might do now to bolster their rotation, the possibility of Jayson Werth moving to center field and opening up right field for Bryce Harper and the club’s decisions Monday night at the non-tender deadline.

And as always, we fielded your questions on the Nats. Thanks to everyone who sent in submissions. Enjoy the show!

  1. Gonat - Dec 14, 2011 at 12:21 PM

    Mark, play GM, what pitcher do you go after, what CF, and what 2 bench players do you add?

  2. MurrayTheRed - Dec 14, 2011 at 12:46 PM

    What are the odds of the Nationals landing one of the "outside"MLB players? Either the Cuban center fielder or the Japanese pitcher?I like them because the Nationals would not have to give up any players to get them.

  3. sjm308 - Dec 14, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    Murray: another "outside" player of interest is Aoki, the Japanese CF. I have read reports that he is closer to being ready than the Cuban.Mark: we have extreme depth at catcher – Obviously Ramos is with the big club and I am guessing Flores as well. Where do you see the others landing? Will they put the other two on the 40 man both in AAA? If so, does Norris get the bulk of the work or do they split it?A kinda non-nationals question. Have you heard where Pudge and Livan might land? I will miss Pudge and what I consider to be a guy who helps as much in the dugout and clubhouse as on the field although I have no direct proof of that.Thankssjm

  4. Anonymous - Dec 14, 2011 at 1:06 PM

    Thanks Zuck. I think that the biggest conern right now is still the lead-off guy. If the plan is for Werth to play CF and for Harper to take a corner OF position with Morse in the other, that is great, but they still have a huge hole at the top of the order. Is Mike Rizzo that comfortable in his job security that he's willing to bank on Desmond replicating and improving upon the 6 weeks of decent production at lead-off from the end of last season overcoming Ian's entire history of failing to get on, striking out and failing to hit for either average or power?dfh21

  5. baseballswami - Dec 14, 2011 at 1:22 PM

    Non Nats ( kind of) questions — will Pudge and Livo get contracts anywhere or have to retire. Sad thoughts.

  6. Mark'd - Dec 14, 2011 at 1:23 PM

    Will Davey give Harper playing time in innings 1 to 3 in Spring Training to see how he stacks up against legit MLB starters?

  7. Ray - Dec 14, 2011 at 1:33 PM

    My question: is there any realistic interest in Joe Saunders joining the Nationals? Does Rizzo see him as a viable alternative to Buehrle? Thanks Mark!

  8. Tcostant - Dec 14, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    I like to know your gut feeling on how much they will bid for Darvish.

  9. Knoxville Nat - Dec 14, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    dfh21,Didn't Rizzo get a five year contract at the end of the 2009 season when his "interim" tag was taken off the GM title? I would imagine he is as comfortable in his job security as any GM in MLB can possibly be.

  10. Drew8 - Dec 14, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    Does the Rays' decision to re-up with B.J. make it more likely that the Nats will wait and make a cf splash next winter? Or are they in on Nori Aoki, who seems the type of lead-off hitter Rizzo's pining for?

  11. Just wonderin' - Dec 14, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    Is Carlos Beltran even on the Nats' radar screen?

  12. Water23 - Dec 14, 2011 at 2:16 PM

    In looking at spending for this off-season, what is the likelihood that the Nats look to Aoki for as a short-term solution and Soler as a long, long term solution.

  13. Just wonderin' - Dec 14, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    If a team gets over the posting hurdle and then manages to sign Dervish, is it a simple FA signing? By that I mean, is it X years for Y dollars, period? Or would it be more like signing someone via the draft, where the arbitration/free agency rules apply and you potentially retain control of the player for a longer period of time?

  14. NatStat - Dec 14, 2011 at 2:29 PM

    Any up-dates on Solis' recent visit with the Tommy-John doctor in Alabama??

  15. Diz - Dec 14, 2011 at 2:35 PM

    Mark,It would seem to make a lot of sense for the Nats to go after Aoki and Darvish. Other than the cash outlay, which the Lerners seem they are ok with, you don't have to give up anything, i.e. no picks, no prospects.And Aoki posting doesn't seem like the dollars to win his bid and sign him are going to be that high.Like I said, there doesn't seem to be much to lose here other than the dollars and the opportunity cost of signing another high priced FA (which, I might add, do not seem to be on our radar at the moment)Diz

  16. Anonymous - Dec 14, 2011 at 2:49 PM

    The problem with Darvish is guessing what other teams might bid. The Red Sox put up $51M for Dice-K, but the next highest bid was only $30M. Hard to hit the magic number. Of course if you go as high as you're willing and don't get it, nothing lost.

  17. UNTERP - Dec 14, 2011 at 2:58 PM

    JayB said… 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.Bingo! Guess who short change the team? The Lerners. Not saying that Buehrle would have signed anyway, but if the Nationals wanted him and Rizzo made him his number 1 get, then $60 million and 4 years is the offer. Werth is the fool me once. Lerners didn't want to spend $60 million for another Werth. Werth was a horrible decision all the way. His signing will hamstring Rizzo for the unforeseeable future, and I can't say I blame them…

  18. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 14, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    Swami, according to MLB TR this morning:"The Astros and Rays are possibilities for Ivan Rodriguez, according to Heyman (on Twitter). Though the Mets have discussed Rodriguez, they’re leaning toward relying on Mike Nickeas as their backup to starter Josh Thole."

  19. PAY TO PLAY - Dec 14, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    Newest rumor is Greg Dobbs for the bench. Then on MLBTR: Twins Agree To Sign Josh Willingham? The two sides are very close to wrapping up the agreement, which Joe Christensen of The Star Tribune says is worth $21MM over three years I am surprised that Willingham is only worth $7 million a season. Yes, he is below average on defense however he is well above average on offense. The type of money Philly spent on re-treads, I'm surprised they backed away from Willingham. Heck, at that price the Nats could use him as a 4th outfielder and 1st baseman.

  20. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 14, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    Former Nats Josh Bard, Wil Ledezma, and Matt Chico all signed with the Dodgers.FWIW.

  21. UNTERP - Dec 14, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    And oh, no one really believes the Nationals acquiring Darvish has any chance?

  22. Exposremains - Dec 14, 2011 at 3:12 PM

    As much as I would like the Nats to get Darvish, here's why they will not do it:Lerners have spent a lot of money on draft to get guys like Purke, Meyer, Cole and others. Those guys were not drafted to be 4th or 5th starters. I'm guessing the team is hoping one of them will be in rotation with Stras and Zim by 2013 when they think they can win it all. Spending a lof of money on draft is a "cheaper" way to acquire talent and that's the way they're commited to. That is the Plan since the beginning.There's no real phase 2. There's no way they will make a 100M gamble. They will say: we offered what we think was market value like all the other 2nd place finishes.That said, I hope I'm wrong.

  23. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 14, 2011 at 3:15 PM

    "Bingo! Guess who short change[d] the team? The Lerners. Not saying that Buehrle would have signed anyway, but if the Nationals wanted him and Rizzo made him his number 1 get, then $60 million and 4 years is the offer.Werth is the fool me once. Lerners didn't want to spend $60 million for another Werth. Werth was a horrible decision all the way. His signing will hamstring Rizzo for the unforeseeable future, and I can't say I blame them… "Ummmm…

  24. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 14, 2011 at 3:20 PM

    "UNTERP said… And oh, no one really believes the Nationals acquiring Darvish has any chance?"The thing is, it doesn't matter what we believe. It looks like it's going to take over $100,000,000, maybe well over, and it would be hard to make that work for a guy who plays maybe 35 games a year, even if he *is* all that.

  25. erocks33 - Dec 14, 2011 at 3:22 PM

    Wow, a lot of Negative Nancys around here lately, all harping about how Rizzo hasn't done anything to help the club or throwing out the conspiracy theory that the Lerners are forcing him NOT to spend money all of a sudden. There have been only 2 teams that have gone out this offseason and added to their club: the Angels (there was no way the Nats would have landed Pujols and the consensus around here was that no one wanted Wilson) and the Marlins (consensus everywhere was that they overpaid for both Reyes and Buehrle). There's a LOT of time left this offseason to make moves, so be patient. As for shoring up the bench, this usually occurs closer to the start of spring training. If you feel that player X really needs to be signed now as he is the missing piece of the bench, then why is that player not an everyday starter?? Why is he so good that he's only a role player?? These type of guys are a dime a dozen and I hate to say it but it really is a crap shoot. Some guys can come in and do well, while others don't. No one can ever tell for sure who is and who isn't the best candidate.

  26. lesatcsc - Dec 14, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    Frankly I would rather see them spend a lot less but still pay a premium to get Oswalt for two years than $100 million for Darvish. With Oswalt you have a pretty good idea what you're getting off the mound and you're getting the mentor you want for the youngsters. Plus, if you can get the term right, you will have an opening when one of the prospects is ready.Mark, what are your thoughts on Oswalt versus Darvish, I can't imagine Rizzo will do both and he may not have an opportunity to do either, but if he has the opportunity and could get either one done, which way do you think he'll go?

  27. Diz - Dec 14, 2011 at 3:33 PM

    The one thing we have to consider on Darvish, but probably not so much on Aoki though, is the positive impact he'll have on revenues.He'll definitely generate it overseas with the "Nationals" following he'll create in Japan but there will also be a lesser effect here on ticket sales as well.Regardless, it'll help negate the outlay for acquiring him moreso than spending that money on a more "state-side" FA.Diz

  28. Tcostant - Dec 14, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    Just wonderin' said… If a team gets over the posting hurdle and then manages to sign Dervish, is it a simple FA signing? By that I mean, is it X years for Y dollars, period? Or would it be more like signing someone via the draft, where the arbitration/free agency rules apply and you potentially retain control of the player for a longer period of time? MY answer: Well, the first important difference, is no draft picks are lost if you sign a player from Japan (regrardless if it is as a FA or a posting). Next, the rules are the same, but many times the agents do negatated this away. I remember that Masato Yoshi became a FA earlier than 6 years, because his contract stated that. Same thing with Hideki Matsui too. I would not give in there.I would offer Yu Darvish about $40 over 4 years, with a $60M posting fee. After 4 years, if Darish is as good as I think, yould be happy to pay him $18M in arbitration.

  29. Steve M. - Dec 14, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    Sec 3, Buehrle was following Ozzie. I think 4 years $61 mill w/ a no-trade may have had a chance but like you said it becomes a bad signing. They can get Saunders, who is younger by 2 years, for much less and their starts aren't much different.Joe Saunders in 2008 was one of the better pitchers in baseball and an All Star. In 2009 Saunders was the lucky recipient of good run support which he didn't get in 2010 and was traded for Dan Haren. Rizzo should take a chunk of the money he was going to spend pn Buehrle and get Saunders. My guess is home cooking in DC will agree very well with him and his performance.

  30. Steve M. - Dec 14, 2011 at 3:46 PM

    lesatcsc, I think getting Oswalt if you can't get Saunders is a decent move. Figure Oswalt doesn't make it the full season and needs DL time, then you go to your hot hand in Syracuse.Oswalt could be the veteran pitching leader the Nats need. A 1 year deal with him would be great with a vesting option for a 2nd year if he pitches 180 innings in 2012.

  31. natsfan1a - Dec 14, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    In other news, Scully will be doing his Uecker impression if/when Chico reaches the bigs. "aaaand Chico's pitch is…just a little bit outside…" :-)Seriously, good luck to Chico. Hope he thrives.Sec 3, My Sofa said… Former Nats Josh Bard, Wil Ledezma, and Matt Chico all signed with the Dodgers. FWIW. December 14, 2011 10:06 AM

  32. SCNatsFan - Dec 14, 2011 at 3:55 PM

    Tcostant, it's very easy to spend someone else's 100M and say its worth it to improve the team, but as pointed about above only 2 teams have opened the bank so far this offseason. You have to believe that every team will be looking hard at that 100M number and thinking of all the players they could get for that, Nats included. It doesn't make those teams cheap; it makes them wise. I'd prefer they spend the money on 2 years of Oswalt and getting a guy like Soler. The argument that Lerner is a bazillionaire and should be buying everything just doesn't work for me.

  33. natsfan1a - Dec 14, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    Any updates on how our players are doing in the winter leagues? Looking at the stats available on the Nats site, it seems that Flores is still tearing it up. If any of those teams made it to the playoffs and, ultimately, the Caribbean World Series, might any Nats players be on the rosters? (Wish that MLB Network would air show the CWS games as they did in their first year of broadcasting. Sigh.)

  34. natsfan1a - Dec 14, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    Also on an offseason note, would be interested to hear Ms. Comak's impressions of Nats organizational players she saw on her AFL trip (and I enjoyed her piece on Walters).

  35. Sunderland - Dec 14, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    Mark Z – Is there any chance the Nationals (Rizzo and DJ) would even consider a 6 man rotation?Strasburg would benefit. Maybe Zimmermann would. Certainly CM Wang would benefit. And all of Detwiler's effective starts in 2011 came on extra rest. It would help bring Peacock and Milone along. And if they want Darvish, it might be what's best for him and that investment. It certainly has its merits.Would they even consider it?

  36. Diz - Dec 14, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    I think the Darvish signing is the first domino that has to fall. Once that happens, I think the teams that lose out on him with move on Oswalt and Saunders.Mark, the one thing I don't get is why it's taking so long for Fielder to land. Do you think he's part of this domino effect as well or is it "Something Completely Different" (Like a man with three buttocks)?Diz

  37. Anonymous - Dec 14, 2011 at 4:33 PM

    SCNatsFans, there are many other ownership groups wealthier than the Lerners. The Lerners could be the wealthiest individuals, but not the wealthiest ownership group.In St. Louis many are blaming Albert Pujols instead of ownership for his departure. With all the press on the subject came scrutiny of the Cardinals ownership. The combined net worth of the Dewitt St. Louis Carndinals ownership group according the St. Louis Dispatch is over $5 to 7 Billion estimated. They detailed how they made their money too in a quick bank flip that would boggle your mind. They did something similar when they bought the Cardinals in 1995. They paid $150 million which included the Cardinals portfolio of land around the stadium district. Dewitt & Partners sold the land around the stadium for $101 million and kept the stadium which they owned. Essentially their basis in Busch Stadium + the franchise was theirs for $49 million.The Dewitt's and partners accumulated much of their wealth in a bank flip. In a Sept. 3, 2004 St. Louis Post-Dispatch interview with Andrew Baur, it was said that Baur and Dewitt's family and other team owners were stockholders in Mississippi Valley Bancshares, which owned Southwest Bank in St. Louis. The bank was bought for $9.4 million in 1984 and was sold a few years ago for $502 million. In addition to Baur, Cardinal owners Fred Hanser and Donna DeWitt Lambert (sister of William DeWitt) were large stockholders in the company.The Lerner's own a franchise that they paid in excess of $450 million w/ limited TV rights.Oh, and the Cardinals TV deal is reportedly valued at $50 million per year and they sell out about every game. They also used private money to build the new Busch Stadium and public funds to build the infrastructure and roads and other improvements. After the 2013 season, the Cardinals will owe the City of St. Louis and the State of Missouri nothing for all the dollars they put in.The Nats have been dealing with a raw deal from the start. A depleted farm system and that concocted price tag they paid for the team of $450 million. Even Forbes says the franchise is worth less than what they paid for it at $417 million currently.

  38. Tcostant - Dec 14, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    SCNatsFan your missing the point.I saw this guy pitch in the WBC in San Diego, he is a top 20 pitcher in the majors the minute he gets to the states. He is that good, and Rizzo is a scout at heart and should know that too and hopefully is convincing the owners. It a risk just like Zack Greinke mental state which he did offer $100M to last year.You know I grew up a Mets fan and I remember Bobby Valentine saying that Ichiro Suzuki would be a top 10 player in baseball the minute he came to the majors. He was the Mets manager when he said this after managing in Japan. The Mets ignored their own manager, and his posting fee was under $14M.I beleive Rizzo the scout, has to convince Rizzo the GM that this is a risk worth taking. I'm confinced that whoever gets Darvish will look really really smart in a few years.Rizzo was right, getting an ace on the open market is hard, here is his chance, don't be scared.

  39. Drew8 - Dec 14, 2011 at 4:45 PM

    Mark and Amanda:Why do people use apostrophes in plurals that aren't possessive?

  40. Theophilus - Dec 14, 2011 at 4:51 PM

    Not to mention "your" where they mean "you're."

  41. DFL - Dec 14, 2011 at 4:53 PM

    Sign Cody Ross for centerfield and Jeff Keppinger for infield. If Rizzo and Johnson think Stephen Lombardozzi is a regular second baseman, trade Ian Desmond. Lombardozzi leads off and Ross bats seventh.

  42. Steve M. - Dec 14, 2011 at 4:53 PM

    Tcostant, Darvish may be a top 20 pitcher next season but I doubt it would happen that quickly. Its the same issue with Cespedes or even when Stephen Strasburg came into the league. It takes time to mature within the league. Stephen Strasburg may be as close as you will see for a long time of a player who adjusted quickly and he still had some downs with his ups and is not a Top 20 pitcher—yet.The Nats could take a chance on Cespedes and put him in the Minors for some work. I don't know if they could do that with Darvish.You could be right and I could be wrong but a top 20 pitcher in the MLB would need to post below a 1.15 WHIP and a better than 3.15 ERA which is a tall order. They said similar things about Aroldis Chapman also. He's still just a good reliever.

  43. Anonymous - Dec 14, 2011 at 4:54 PM

    Maybe I'm as cheap as the Lerner's supposedly are, but it seems to me like whoever wins the Darvish lotto is going to pay too much, probably for too long. I'm fine with the Nats submitting a reasonable bid, but it won't break my heart if they miss out.For all the hype, Darvish is basically like a draftee coming out of college or high school. Sure, maybe he's played against tougher competition, but he's still a complete unknown as far as the big leagues go. No one knows how he'll adjust or how his talent will translate on the big stage.All to say, no one would ever recommend paying $100 million for even the best of college of HS prospects, and while Darvish does have professional experience, he's certainly not a proven MLB commodity like Pujoles or even Reyes. It just seems like a huge crap shoot to me.

  44. sjm308 - Dec 14, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    Sunderland – I think I brought this up at the end of the season when it discussed how to get SS to the end of the season. I can't imagine old school guys like Davey and Rizzo thinking outside the box but I agree with you. It would help SS, Detwiler and probably all the others if they bought into it. It would also save the bullpen as theoretically, the starters might be stronger and go further on most starts.Mark – I think I have this right but does the Japanese club have to take the highest bid or can they actually chose which team they want to try and sign the player? I think I read its up to the Japanese team to chose.

  45. Steve M. - Dec 14, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    DFL, you just don't get it. Lombardozzi may not even make the team as a bench player and you want him to lead-off? I don't know if you are screwing around or serious. If you are serious, get some help.

  46. natsfan1a - Dec 14, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    Who know's? Maybe their slow learner's. Drew8 said… Mark and Amanda: Why do people use apostrophes in plurals that aren't possessive? December 14, 2011 11:45 AM

  47. Theophilus - Dec 14, 2011 at 5:02 PM

    Yankees and Red Sox said to be sitting Darvish out because of luxury tax concerns; you would think that applies to the Angels as well. Dodgers and Mets the only other teams with TV deals big enough to afford a big posting fee (cash) so it makes you wonder who's still in the game. Cubs? White Sox? Yankees and Red Sox need pitching more than anyone else so the rumor they're not bidding seems bogus.Would just as soon Nats didn't get in on it. Not impressed that Darvish would be a "top 20" pitcher. Lots of "top 20" pitchers that aren't making anywhere near what reports say it will take to sign him. Buy American.

  48. Sunderland - Dec 14, 2011 at 5:04 PM

    1a, priceless, thanks

  49. S.U. Sasskuash - Dec 14, 2011 at 5:06 PM

    Mark,In Rizzo's liveblog yesterday, he sounded as if the Nats have given up on trading for a CF this offseason. Do you think that's the case, or might they still work something out? If they do look at a trade, who are likely players that the Nats are willing to deal? Thanks.

  50. Section 222 - Dec 14, 2011 at 5:09 PM

    I don't see any way the Nats go with a 6 man rotation. You short change the bullpen and the guys you want pitching every 5th day, particularly Zimmermann, don't get enough starts. I do think they should consider having Strasburg pitch 5 innings max for each start in order to keep him going into September. Giving us a chance to win every 5th day for almost the whole season, with Stammen/Gorzo at the ready for at least 2 innings each time he pitches seems like a way to maximize his value this year. Any chance the Nats will be creative with Strasburg's innings limit this year rather than just putting him up there for 100 pitches per start until he hits 160 innings like Z'nn did? What are some of the other strategic options that have some chance of being implemented.

  51. Whoa_now - Dec 14, 2011 at 5:35 PM

    I don't think the Darvish contract will be 100 million. I bet the posting fee will be close to 30 million. I'll wager 33 million. The contract is a bit different. He can turn it down if he feels it's not enough, but honestly he'll take the money if its more than what he is set to make in Japan. His current salary is around 6.5 million per year. I would a assume a contract around 8-10 million per year for 5 years would get the contract signed. So say a contract for 5 years at rougly 45 million/with incentives. That is 78 million. Is he worth it for that? Buerhle went for about that much for 4 years? If that's what it cost, I think I might take the chance.Now for Aoki, I don't know what he made in 2011, so I can't speculate on his contract. What I've read is that his posting fee should be around 10-15 million…Contract I have no idea. Soler and Cespedes are free agents(once they establish residence)so no posting fee…but Cespedes is looking for a gigantic contract. Months ago it was 30 million for 4 years..now I hear 70 million. That video is providing some sweet value for his production company. IF I'm rizzo, and I'm not, I find out what range Cespedes is going to sign for…and I figure out what I can sign Aoki and Soler for..and do the cheaper of the two. I like the idea of adding Soler to either A)Trade down the road, B)Insurance for Aoki in two years. C) Stud.Couple more thing I like about Aoki. He doesn't strike out, Plus speed, good defense and good range, good all round tech (baserunning/batting/defense) Downside: avg or below avg arm, and who knows what he'll really do. He and Alexi Ramirez had similar stats in Japan. I'd take that for the right price.

  52. Anonymous - Dec 14, 2011 at 5:43 PM

    Artificially shutting Stras down to save his arm after the 5th inning for later starts does not really make sense. The number of starts is a bigger factor than the number of innings as having to warm-up is a lot of tosses, and the in between work for long toss and such is a big drain too. Not to mention that if Stras is throwing a great game it might not be sensible to pull him in hopes that maybe he'll be able to throw a great game at the end of the season. Take the effectiveness as it comes and shut the guy down when the time is right anbd when rosters happen to expand anyway.dfh21

  53. Section 222 - Dec 14, 2011 at 6:16 PM

    dfh — You may be right, but I'd like to hear that from an authorititative source (not that you're not authoritative in some sense of course.) Obviously, the 160 innings is a proxy for something, but I've never heard that it's based on the assumption of 6-7 innings per start. It's an innings limit, not a starts limit, and not a pitch limit. If someone gets knocked out after 3 innings, that only counts 3 innings toward his pitch limit. If that happens twice, he could have an additional 6 inning start before reaching 160. I've never heard anyone say that the fact that he's warming up for three starts intead of two makes a difference. If SS can start 32 games intead of 26, then the Nats have a chance to win six more games. That seems worth considering, especially if we have two reliable long men in the bullpen. And I'd much rather have SS available for five innnings down the stretch than have to rely on a replacement callup. And yes, I think it's very sensible to take him out after 5 innings when he's pitching well, in the hopes that he'll give us another lights out peformance in September.

  54. JaneB - Dec 14, 2011 at 6:47 PM

    I know it has nothing to do with the future of the Nationals, but count me as one who wants to hear what could happen for Pudge and Livo. Please. Looking forward to a Beltway Live!

  55. MurrayTheRed - Dec 14, 2011 at 7:13 PM

    One more general comment for discussion. I hear a lot about this player or that player being a "mentor for our young players" what is that all about?Isn't that the coach's job? Aren't all the coaches former big league players who could presumably mentor our young players! And even if it is a "real" factor what dollar figure would you put on it? If player A and B are equal but A is a better mentor – how much more are you willing to play to get A instead of B? BTW I will tolerate no comments on my use or lack there of, of punctuation!

  56. Not Mark - Dec 14, 2011 at 7:19 PM

    Mark – I think I have this right but does the Japanese club have to take the highest bid or can they actually chose which team they want to try and sign the player? I think I read its up to the Japanese team to chose.**********************************************The Japanese team does NOT need to take the highest bid. Since they don't get paid the posting fee unless they player actually signs a contract, they can opt to take a lower bid, but one where they think a deal is more likely to be consummated. Thus, if Dervish has (hypothetically) said "I'll only play for a West Coast team," they could pick the Mariners' bid over the Nats' bid in hopes that Dervish will actually sign and they will thus get to keep the fee.

  57. Tcostant - Dec 14, 2011 at 7:23 PM

    Steve M. ironicly I saw Chapman pitch during those same WBC games in San Deigo. It wasn't close, Darvish is an ace and Chapman was a project. You guys realize that he was facing guys like Adrian Gonzalez? I hope they don't blow it and bid the $60M needed to know they will win the post.

  58. The Ghost of Walter Johnson - Dec 14, 2011 at 7:33 PM

    Six-man rotation? Five days rest? Limiting a pitcher to five innings per start? Are you talking about Little League? Because you're certainly not discussing professional baseball.

  59. Young Pitchers - Dec 14, 2011 at 7:36 PM

    hmm… so Yu is different from DiceKHideo Nomo – HT: 6'2 WT: 210Daisuke Matsuzaka – HT: 6'0 WT: 185Yu Darvish – HT: 6'3 WT: 225Chan Ho Park – HT: 6'2 WT: 206Chien-Ming Wang – HT: 6'3 WT: 230Stephen Strasburg – HT: 6'4 WT: 220

  60. Anonymous - Dec 14, 2011 at 8:23 PM

    What info do you have on Jorge Soler and Henry Urritia? How much do you think they will sign for and how interested are we?

  61. NatsLady - Dec 14, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    The 160 innings "limit" is really 162 so Stras can qualify for awards. It's also approx. the number of innings a pitcher would go in the minor league season (5 months), so I believe both numbers (5 months, 162 innings) factor into the rehab year for Stras. After 5 months AND 162 innings, Stras will be shut down.

  62. Anonymous - Dec 14, 2011 at 9:57 PM

    I read somewhere that for the posting system the Japanese team gets to keep the fee even if the player does not sign. If so, big gamble.

  63. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 14, 2011 at 10:03 PM

    I hear a lot about this player or that player being a "mentor for our young players" what is that all about? Isn't that the coach's job?" The younger players don't get to see the coach's workout routine, how he keeps himself in shape, how he carries himself after a great or a horrible inning or outing, or interact with him on a more-or-less peer-to-peer basis. The coach is his boss, and young guys especially can have issues with bosses, particularly bosses who make less in a year than some of these kids pay in sales tax.And "thereof" is one word, not two. So sue me.; )

  64. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 14, 2011 at 10:05 PM

    4:57, you were misinformed. If they posted player doesn't sign, the money gets refunded.

  65. Anonymous - Dec 14, 2011 at 10:06 PM

    Nope. I have read several places that if the player does not sign, then the posting fee goes back to the US team, and Darvish, of course, goes back to the Japanese team (until free agency in two years presumably).Interestingly, Sports Illustrated is handicapping the Nats as the third most likely high-poster for Darvish (at 6:1 odds), behind Toronto (5:2 odds) and Texas (3:1). All over but the shouting at this hour…. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/baseball/mlb/12/14/yu.darvish/index.html?sct=hp_t2_a6&eref=sihp -BDBD

  66. Exposremains - Dec 14, 2011 at 10:06 PM

    5:05. Do you know where your Darvish is?

  67. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 14, 2011 at 10:07 PM

    2:36, not sure what your point is. One might be 6' 3", 220, but still not throw a ball very well, or hard.

  68. Nats1924 - Dec 14, 2011 at 10:09 PM

    Pertaining to OF options….why don't we go after Juan Pierre/LF ?Move Werth to CF and Morse to RF

  69. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 14, 2011 at 10:14 PM

    "Steve M. said… Sec 3, Buehrle was following Ozzie."For the record, I think you may have been responding to my quote of Unterp. Credit where it's due, an' a' that.

  70. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 14, 2011 at 10:15 PM

    captcha: menesholOoh, that's a bad omen…

  71. John C. - Dec 14, 2011 at 10:16 PM

    According to wikipedia (and I've not seen anything that contradicts this), the bids are submitted to the MLB Commissioner (incidentally, this explains the 5pm deadline; it is 7am in Japan). The Commissioner opens them, determines the high bidder and informs the Japanese team posting player of the amount of the highest bid but does not identify the submitting team. The Japanese team then has up to four days to decide whether to accept the posting bid. If accepted, the MLB team and the player have 30 days to work out a contract. If successful, the Japanese team cashes the posting fee check. If not successful, the posting fee is returned to the MLB team and the Japanese team retains the rights to the player's services.

  72. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 14, 2011 at 10:20 PM

    @Nats1924, maybe because he's 34, not good on the bases, and they're looking for someone long-term.

  73. Not Mark (@ 2:19) - Dec 14, 2011 at 10:28 PM

    John C.,I stand corrected. Thank you.

  74. FS - Dec 15, 2011 at 12:31 AM

    Video is not working for me.

  75. lesatcsc - Dec 15, 2011 at 4:47 AM

    Hey Mark, great show. Some really interesting discussion. I am hugely encouraged to hear you guys debating whether a play-off team's third starter is good enough to replace anyone in the Nats current rotation. It doesn't seem like it was that long ago when the Nats were desperate for guys that were 10th or 11th on other team's depth charts. Your discussion also made it clear to me that Darvish would be a bad risk; yes, he has huge upside but unlike previous years there are a lot of other options that don't involve potentially risking much better players they already have at some point in the future. I hoping for either a short term deal for Oswalt or save the money to pay for RZimm and some of our other young players.You didn't mention Aoki, does that mean you don't think the Nats are really interested in him, or was it a simple oversight?Again, great show. I really enjoyed it. Thanks for all you do!

  76. ehay2k - Dec 15, 2011 at 10:19 PM

    Nice show Mark and Chase. Too bad we didn't get to see Amanda's impressions of Nats' organizational players. I bet they are hilarious. Maybe next time? :-)

  77. Scooter - Dec 16, 2011 at 2:32 AM

    Wait, she does impressions? Why am I just now learning this?

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 55 44 --
ATLANTA 55 46 1.0
NEW YORK 48 53 8.0
MIAMI 47 52 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 43 57 12.5
Through Wednesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
Full season schedule

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

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

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

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