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No bid on Darvish? No big deal

Dec 16, 2011, 7:16 PM EDT

US Presswire file photo
The price tag for Yu Darvish was too high for the Nationals' tastes.

So it turns out the Nationals did not submit a formal bid for Japanese pitching sensation Yu Darvish. (That's according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. I haven't been able to confirm it myself yet, but I have no reason to doubt the validity of Kilgore's report.)

In the end, though they liked Darvish's repertoire and chances of becoming a big-league starter, the Nationals weren't confident enough in the right-hander's ability to dominate at this level to commit an enormous amount of money toward acquiring him.

And you know what? There's nothing wrong with that line of thinking. It actually makes a lot more sense than getting into an out-of-control, blind bidding war over a player who has never thrown a professional pitch in the United States.

Stop for a moment and think about just how much money another team — the Blue Jays appear to be the consensus choice right now — is going to end up paying for Darvish. The posting fee alone is going toRead more »

252 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Anonymous - Dec 17, 2011 at 8:34 PM

    BTW Sunderland it looks like Hanley is still unhappy about it … ;)“Even though we communicated with him and let him know what our intentions were in terms of Jose, he was the shortstop for six years, a very good one. We’ve asked him to move to third. Sometimes it just takes a little time for things to sink in. I think he recognizes we’re a better team with Jose.”Oh and the failed attempt for Pujols? I believe Loria naturally assumes the Nats could end up with Fielder. If the Nats field a lineup with Harper, Fielder, Zimmerman, Morse, Rendon, Espinosa, Ramos and or Norris, Werth in the near future? This is a very young very potent lineup capable of doing some real damage in the NL East.Yes, people the Nats are right there … just right there …

  2. Anonymous - Dec 17, 2011 at 8:49 PM

    They needed Buehrle more than the Nats did, that's for sure. And as much as Nats fans oogle over their young offense, they scored the same number of runs as the Nats did last year. The Marlins have a young offense as well. Led by Stanton, Morrison, and Sanchez. Ramirez and Coghlan had off years. Both are under 30. Bonifacio was nothing short of da meathook come-back-of-the-year yet he is still only 26. Marlins wOBA was .314 and bRAA -31.0 Nats wOBA was .312 and bRAA -40.1So, the Marlins offense was actually better last year. Making Fielder all the more attractive and demonstrating why the Marlins went for Pujols.So, it was in fact pitching and defense that brought the Nats up one game short of .500:Nats: rotation: 21.8 xRR [great defense], 4.52 tRA, -22.8 pRAAMarlins rotation: -27.2 xRR [terrible defense], tRA 4.31, -1.4 pRAA[Marlins rotation was about average last year. Nats not very good.]Nats bullpen: 22.2 xRR [great defense], tRA 3.90, pRAA 1.9Marlins bullpen: -1.6 XRR [ slightly below average defense], tRA 3.75, pRAA 10.1[Nats bullpen was slightly above average, Marlins was pretty good last year.]

  3. Sunderland - Dec 17, 2011 at 9:05 PM

    Why do you use advanced metrics when the simple stuff will do?You use advanced metrics to show that the Marlins offense was better than the Nats. But across 160+ games, they scored the same number of runs. Why do you think tRA and pRAA are more accurate than Runs Scored In A Full Season? Would you like it more if I called it RSiaFS?In 161 games last year, the Nats starters threw to a 3.80 ERA and the Marlins threw to a 4.23 ERA. Yet you claim the Marlins rotation outperformed the Nats last year. I'm pretty sure the objective is to not give up runs. The Nats did better at that than the Marlins did, right?I'm positive of this. If you use advanced metrics, not only didn't the Cardinals win the World Series, they didn't even make the playoffs!

  4. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 17, 2011 at 9:15 PM

    Sunderland, Wall. Wall, Sunderland.

  5. Anonymous - Dec 17, 2011 at 9:56 PM

    They needed Buehrle more than the Nats did, that's for sure. And as much as Nats fans oogle over their young offense, they scored the same number of runs as the Nats did last year. Perhaps even more than the Nats the Marlins have a very young and talented offense even without the addition of Reyes. Defense was a lot worse than the Nats last year which is why they are moving Hanley Ramirez to third. They are looking at the Nats as a team with young players on the rise much like the Marlins themselves.

  6. Anonymous - Dec 17, 2011 at 10:04 PM

    I'm positive of this. If you use advanced metrics, not only didn't the Cardinals win the World Series, they didn't even make the playoffs!Sorry Sec3 but … Sunderland is decidedly and essentially wrong. As are most of the anti-Lerner negative never-do-wells who complain about anonymous posters and yet are themselves far worse!!!St. Louis Cardinals wOBA .349 bRAA: 151.9!!! Rotation : xRR 4.7, tRA 4.36, pRAA -7.1 (somewhat below average) Bullpen : xRR -1.9, tRA 4.03, pRAA -5.2 (somewhat below average)This clearly demonstrates what we all witnessed last year. The Cardinals won by having an overpowering offense …. a bRAA of151.9 certainly is an elite level offense.

  7. Sunderland - Dec 17, 2011 at 10:19 PM

    Yep, and everyone knows hitting beats pitching. That's been the baseball mantra for decades.

  8. Joe Seamhead - Dec 17, 2011 at 10:58 PM

    And the Phillies re-signed 33 year old Rollins for 3 years, with an option for a fourth at 11million per year. Tick -tock, tick-tock, tick-tock…rocking chair will get you, oh you won't know what hit you…Oh yeah, they also signed Dontrell Willis.

  9. baseballswami - Dec 17, 2011 at 11:29 PM

    Who is totally gone from the Nats at this point? Just Nix and Bally? I don't think anyone else has actually signed with another team yet. Is that right or did I miss one? Am I going to miss them? Healthy Nix – maybe, Bally's personality, yes, pitching , not so much.

  10. Sunderland - Dec 17, 2011 at 11:46 PM

    These may not count, but:Jerry Hairston, Dodgers.Jon Rauch, MetsWily Mo Pena, Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks ($5M for 2 years!)Jamey Carroll (sorry to open this wound again 1a), Twins.

  11. Anonymous - Dec 17, 2011 at 11:47 PM

    Yep, and everyone knows hitting beats pitching. That's been the baseball mantra for decades.Generally … NO. But when you hit at such high elite levels you're talking Yankees dynasty with Ruth, Gehrig, etc al. Three highest ranking elite hitters in Berkman (a switch hitter), Pujols and Holiday. Allen Craig with AllStar level hitting.Berkman wOBA .426, bRAA 52.0Pujols wOBA .405 bRAA 46.7Holiday wOBA .409 bRAA 39.3Molina wOBA .366 bRAA 20.2Craig wOBA .410 bRAA 17.1Compare with the Nats best Morse:(and the only hitter better than Craig:) Morse wOBA .393 bRAA 36.3That's extremely rare Sunderland it doesn't happen every year except in the Arizona Fall League.

  12. Sunderland - Dec 17, 2011 at 11:57 PM

    I know it's rare peric. That's not the point. I know they had excellent offense. That was obvious without your overuse of advanced stats. You see, they led the league in runs scored. By a pretty good margin. They posted the best RSiaFS in the NL. best captcha ever – "cucus"

  13. Willie Nelson - Dec 18, 2011 at 1:19 AM

    Hello Walls

  14. Gonat - Dec 18, 2011 at 2:05 AM

    Wally, comments from Buster Olney on the Padres haul:4th scout on Latos deal: Possible strong No. 2 starter, with significant risk. This evaluator says CIN gave up 3 of their top 5 prospects."–http://twitter.com/Buster_ESPN/status/148205919812071425Think about it, he's saying Cincinati gave up 3 of their top 5 prospects + Edinson Volquez for a player that had a very good rookie year with shoulder issues and was a 3.40+ ERA in 2011. He would have to be Halladay the next 4 years for this trade not to be one of the worst.This is akin to the "rumored" trade that Rizzo was supposedly giving up for Greinke.Cincy fans are ready to riot. This is why Arizona screwed up so severely with letting Joe Saunders leave. Saunders would have brought back 2 prospects in trade.

  15. Scooter - Dec 18, 2011 at 2:24 AM

    I am bored, and I still haven't caught up with the comments, so I'll just inject a little Patience & Prudence into the proceedings:Got along with Yu before I met YuGonna get along without Yu now

  16. Tom in AR - Dec 18, 2011 at 2:33 AM

    Just saw that the Brewers put in the high bid for Aoki. I am fine about not bidding on Darvish. Not really happy about this, though. Clearly no one in the Front Office is not listening to my advice.

  17. Whatsanattau - Dec 18, 2011 at 3:00 AM

    Not winning on Aoki is fine, however, it does lend more credence to Rizzo's early offseason assertion that a cf would need to be acquired via trade. So if not Upton, not Span, not Pagan, not McCuthen, not Gardner, not Borgois, not …, then who? Perhaps they are now looking at a stop gap or prospect. I'd like to start a rumor that they are pursuing Alex Rios and making the White Sox pay most of his salary. I'm not saying he's my choice, I just think it would be more fun than debating whether Rizzo or the Lerners are intentionally ruining Christmas.

  18. Wally - Dec 18, 2011 at 4:10 AM

    Gonat- I am still shocked at what the Reds gave up for Latos. It reminds me more of the ATL-TEX trade for Texiera than anything else. Granted, 4 years of control left for Latos, but would it really surprise anyone if two of those guys had better careers than Latos? (but I am not with you on Saunders, I think he is just a guy, althoughtho need to rehash the discussion from a few posts ago).I'd still like to see Rizzo add someone, but with prices like these, I can't blame him for sitting things out right now.

  19. Drew8 - Dec 18, 2011 at 4:48 AM

    The Brewers win the rights to cf Nori Aoki?Gee whiz, what's next this offseason, a Soler eclipse?

  20. Tim - Dec 18, 2011 at 4:48 AM

    Hey! Maybe Dan Snyder will buy the nats and then we can win the off season every year!

  21. Drew8 - Dec 18, 2011 at 5:09 AM

    Tim:I don't mind sitting out the $100 million Darvish derby. Do I wish they had wagered $3 million on the chance to get a talented lead-off hitter?Yeah, I do.Maybe they just don't want to block Harper's ascent to one of the of spots. Or, perhaps they want to wait until next winter, when Ellsbury, Bourn and B.J. might all be on the market.

  22. Anonymous - Dec 18, 2011 at 7:16 AM

    Sure seems like the Nats are setting the stage for something big … unless they want to really aggravate the fan base? Aoki? No, it has to be Fielder.

  23. sjm308 - Dec 18, 2011 at 1:41 PM

    I was also counting on being in on Aoki, especially since it would not cost us any prospects. I took a deep breath, went back and actually read some things Davey said last month and things are starting to make sense. IF Davey has a huge say, and I think he does, he has already stated that our pitching staff is fine, just the way it is. He felt no need to add another arm after signing Wang and that is what happened. He also did not see us adding a starting CF from Free Agency, maybe an outfielder but not a starter and so far that is what they have done. I don't agree with starting Harper in the majors with Werth in CF but I am guessing that is what Davey is pushing for. Unlike others on this site, I am not privy to exactly what is happening inside their minds or even at meetings but this is what has been spoken and so far he has not waivered and neither has Rizzo. Davey said he expects to challenge for the pennant this year with the team he has so lets get it going!!!All that being said, I am still relying on Natsjack and his theory that Rizzo will stun us with some sort of move when we are not expecting it.Go Nats!!!ps: thanks Mark for keeping all those posts in an archive

  24. natsfan1a - Dec 18, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    Timing is everything. Speaking of which, here's a little something to pass the time. (277.8 was my personal best this time around.)All that being said, I am still relying on Natsjack and his theory that Rizzo will stun us with some sort of move when we are not expecting it.

  25. natsfan1a - Dec 18, 2011 at 3:09 PM

    Dang. Let's try that again.

  26. JayB - Dec 18, 2011 at 3:17 PM

    There some real problems with this approach 308 and we have seen them year after year. First need in my view is the Bench. No mater what Davey or Rizzo say the data and facts say they were the worst in baseball. If they had even an average bench last year they would have been several games over .500We know from past years that waiting to address holes leads to wasted money and poor performance. See Stairs and Mench and Duncan and ……you get he point right?Time is now to address the Bench and both Davey and Rizzo agree and know that is the biggest area of need.On SP….I do not agree that Davey is happy with what he has but fine he is saying it….Rizzo the GM is not saying it. Same as Bench…if you are going to do something, and they should….now is better than later.On CF…I do not agree that Davey said he is happy with CF and Lead Off. Rizzo knows he has a big problem there. Davey if just being the manager by supporting Ian D and Roger B or who ever says should fill those roles……Do you think that is good baseball?On SP….I know from years of watching baseball that Ross D is not anything more than a #5 at best (see head case above). John L is a #5…..they need a #3 (Not a good idea to depend on Wang at this point in his career/recovery) and that again is done now much better than March.QUESTION: Who thinks waiting till Late Feb/early March is a good baseball decision. If so can you share with me the specific examples of how this has worked for Nats or any other team over the past 5 years.

  27. ehay2k - Dec 18, 2011 at 3:23 PM

    Nothing compares to YU.Except maybe an outfielder, even one who might just be A-ok(i) which we need a lot more than we do a RHP. I feel that if you get an everyday player who is unproven, they get to work on improving their game every day. They can get to the bigs an contribute faster. Get a SP, and if he doesn't work out right away, it can take a while. One more reason Strasburg was worth every penny.Rizzo will get what HE feels he needs, at a price HE thinks is right. No amount of complaining or name-calling here or elsewhere will change that, nor should it. As for folks that think the Nats have not been making progress over the past 3-4 years, you have not been paying attention. I remember when Marrero was our top prospect by far. Yikes! Perez our opening day SP? Gag! Back then, you'd go to the game just hoping not to see a train wreck, and for the free T-shirts. We had no one worth trading to any other team, especially on our terms. We just needed so much, and had so little to offer in exchange. Now look where we are. We are deep in places where we used to be bare. We have needs, but no longer are they all glaring ones. Desperate teams give muliple, high-dollar contracts of extra years to older players.I am happy the Nats are no longer desperate.

  28. natsfan1a - Dec 18, 2011 at 3:29 PM

    Bingo. Nor will it change the opinions of others, which is why I tend not to engage in it, generally speaking. As always, your (collective) mileage may vary.ehay2k said… Rizzo will get what HE feels he needs, at a price HE thinks is right. No amount of complaining or name-calling here or elsewhere will change that, nor should it.

  29. Anonymous - Dec 18, 2011 at 3:31 PM

    QUESTION: Who thinks waiting till Late Feb/early March is a good baseball decision.I think ranting in mid-December about what may not even happen until late Feb/early March is a bad decision. But then again, I also think that every time JayB opens his mouth it's a bad decision.

  30. JayB - Dec 18, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    ABM….so nice….I think it is a valid question given we know that is the policy in each past year of Nats history and seems like many here know it and support it.Merry Christmas to you too

  31. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 18, 2011 at 4:00 PM

    natsfa1a….thanks for the link… just hit 302.3.

  32. lesatcsc - Dec 18, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    Brewers win the posting for Aoki… sigh. I hope this means Rizzo has a better idea how to add a couple OFs (1 starter, 1 bench) that can both catch and hit.

  33. Just wonderin' - Dec 18, 2011 at 4:26 PM

    Mark Z,If you're out there listening/reading, a couple of requests for holiday gifts for the NatsInsider community:– A short post on whether the Nats have any interest whatsoever in Carlos Beltran; if not Beltran, anyone else in the free agent world?– A equally short post on whether the Nats are actually pursuing Oswalt and/or Saunders.I know the Nats front office seems to have achieved a 'leak proof' status that any White House would envy, but encourage them to throw a tidbit or two to the fan base. Please.

  34. lesatcsc - Dec 18, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    Brewers win the bid for Aoki…sigh. I hope this means Rizzo has a better plan to add a starting OF and an OF to come off the bench. The options seem to be dwindling…

  35. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 18, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    Not going hard after Aoki tells me our scouting staff doesn't think he's any better than guys we already have or guys we rate as better options.Some times you have to realize that this new scouting staff that's in place are better evaluators that those of 2 years ago. At least I hope so. And somebody please inform me if JayB's rants take on a fresh approach. I'm done reading him this off season.

  36. JayB - Dec 18, 2011 at 5:24 PM

    Your choice as always….I will continue to read yours Jack with an open mind…..I do hope for the best….just seeing history repeat itself right now.

  37. Scooter - Dec 18, 2011 at 5:31 PM

    Not about the Nats, but about Nats Insider: there was a wonderful period of 2 or 3 days last week where my Android-based phone showed the site with an awesome mobile-friendly look. I loved that. Unfortunately, that is no more. I think I've done all I can on my end, but thought I'd ask the group, just in case. Is anyone seeing the mobile theme? Is there a way I can force my phone to show thr mobile site? Thanks for any help.

  38. natsfan1a - Dec 18, 2011 at 5:34 PM

    You're welcome, NatsJack. Just hit 321 myself. I suspect the Yeti is a high penguin hitter.Interesting observation about the new scouting staff. Hope that is so.

  39. BinM - Dec 18, 2011 at 5:46 PM

    NatsJack: You have a valid point. Rizzo trusts his scouts & staff to give him solid information & opinions, then makes the final call. I suppose that the fanbase should try to do the same, but it's hard at times to do that. Losing Buerhle – I understood that. Rizzo offered a reasonable contract, but lost out to a 4th year & Buehrle's comfort level with Ozzie. The 'no-bids' on both Darvish & Aoki though, were stunning. The team had been scouting Darvish for at least three years, and had probably seen Aoki a few times as well. To simply 'pass' on two talented players doesn't do much to promote WSH as a team to pay much attention to in the Far East. Very dissapointing, imo.

  40. Scooter - Dec 18, 2011 at 6:50 PM

    I'm brilliant. Take a Nats Insider URL and add ?m=1 to the end. That gets you the mobile version, and it seems any links you click stay on the mobile version. I changed my bookmark to http://www.natsinsider.com/?m=1

  41. Whatsanattau - Dec 18, 2011 at 6:52 PM

    The no bid on Darvish is not disappointing to me when cost, history, and evaluation are taken into account. For whatever reason the team thought it a better move to make other teams bid up than to bid themselves. On Aoki I am not clear on whether they did not bid or if they simply did not win. I have not seen a declaration yet. However, he is not the big prize everyone seems to think. He is a singles hitter with a weak arm and declining range. I believe we have seen that here in DC before. I was curious if they would pursue him, but by not doing so I think we can safely say that they have determined that he was not worth it.

  42. natscan reduxit - Dec 18, 2011 at 7:27 PM

    "While with the Phillies, Michaels had trouble off the field after an arrest for assaulting a police officer in 2005."… while I look positively towards the rehabilitation of any person who actively wants and seeks it, and was one of those who applauded what the team tried to do with Elijah Dukes, I wonder if the Nats are moving in a retro direction, a la Jim Bowdon, with this signing.Go Nats!!

  43. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 18, 2011 at 9:04 PM

    Scootet, what browser are Yu Yuzing? It should have an option for "mobile view" or something like that.

  44. Anonymous8 - Dec 18, 2011 at 9:58 PM

    Tconsant won't want to read this about Darvish and the comments about "not the Yankees".http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/yankees/post/_/id/25883/yu-already-expected-this-but

  45. Anonymous - Dec 18, 2011 at 11:05 PM

    I love the term "soft tossing lefthander." But I'm not sure I know what it means. I think I'll ask Dave McNally (albeit from beyond the grave) and Tom Glavine. Maybe they can explain it.

  46. Gonat - Dec 19, 2011 at 1:21 AM

    Wally said… Gonat- I am still shocked at what the Reds gave up for Latos. It reminds me more of the ATL-TEX trade for Texiera than anything else. Granted, 4 years of control left for Latos, but would it really surprise anyone if two of those guys had better careers than Latos? (but I am not with you on Saunders, I think he is just a guy, althoughtho need to rehash the discussion from a few posts ago).I'd still like to see Rizzo add someone, but with prices like these, I can't blame him for sitting things out right now. December 17, 2011 11:10 PM ___________________________________I think it is a crazy trade. Short-term it may do OK for Reds. In a couple of years this may be looked at as being one of the worst. Latos could be a #2, #3 or an injury bust.

  47. Anonymous - Dec 19, 2011 at 1:45 AM

    It's just not rational to think that the Nats are a better club than the Marlins are right now.

  48. Scooter - Dec 19, 2011 at 1:55 AM

    Sec3, it's the browser on my G1 phone. The problem is fixed.As to the Latos trade: if the Nats had traded Jordan Zimmermann for the exact same package, would y'all be jumping for joy at the incredible bounty, or nervous that the prospects from the Reds might never pan out, while Volquez may just be falling apart? I mean, I looked up Latos, and he's got 1.5 times JORDAN's innings, with the same ERA+ (108 vs 105), and he's 1.5 years younger.If you would indeed be jumping for joy, that's fine. I won't argue with you. I just think that both teams got some very real value here.

  49. Anonymous - Dec 19, 2011 at 2:12 AM

    Tomorrow is Monday – we really need a new post..

  50. Psdfx - Dec 19, 2011 at 2:45 AM

    Wally said: "I always default to: 'which deal actually happened do I wish we did'. If there are a lot of those, I think it is fair to put the blame on the GM. This year, there aren't many that have happened yet that I wish we did. I wouldn't want Buehrle, Papelbon, Reyes or Pujols at their contract prices. I wouldn't trade our equivalent of those Reds prospects for Latos. Maybe CJ, because I thought 4/$60m was about right, and LAA got him for another year at a reasonable AAV."I say: amen, this should be required reading.

  51. Scooter - Dec 19, 2011 at 3:43 AM

    I agree, psdfx. Not with Wally's conclusions, but with his method: that sounds like a pretty good way to judge how you feel about the offseason.Me? I wish my team had Pujols and Reyes. But I can see why you guys don't.

  52. The Dude Abides - Dec 19, 2011 at 10:08 AM

    Psdfx znd Scooter…..Way to bring it, people….that's the kind of resonableness that makes the posts here the best.

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