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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. Tcostant - Dec 16, 2011 at 7:21 PM

    It's a big deal to me. This was a chance to get an Ace for just money. Ne draft pick. No Cliff Lee saying, don't call us will call you.Very short sighted. You get the chance to get an ace, you take it.I look forward to going to see Yu pitch vs. Baltimore next year.

  2. Anonymous - Dec 16, 2011 at 7:26 PM

    We've got at least two pitchers now that are as good as — and likely better than — Darvish. He wasn't going to be the "ace" of this staff for $100 or $100 million.

  3. upperdeck4 - Dec 16, 2011 at 7:29 PM

    I agree, Mark. What I don't understand is why Rizzo kept speaking glowingly about him and implying that the Nationals would indeed bid on him. Apparently there was no intent from the jump to submit a bid.

  4. Tom in AR - Dec 16, 2011 at 7:30 PM

    Would I put up 100 million of my own money? Of course not (besides I don't keep the 50 million liquid to cover the post). Would I put up 100 million of the Lerner's money? That is a different question. I am disappointed that they apparently didn't even make a bid, but I don't think it makes sense to bid as much as it sounds like Toronto did, so I am glad for that. I don't care what Dice-K went for, experience has shown that was a bad deal, and I wouldn't have given that much for Darvish (though I think he will turn out to be a much better pitcher than Dice-K). I don't see why they didn't bid 35-40, unless they knew that kind of bid would get blown out of the water and they didn't want to come off looking cheap. 35-40 for the posting and 5 years for 50 seems right to me. Still would have been a risk, but I was getting very excited about the possible rotation.My next big hope is that they made a bid for Aoki, the centerfielder. Any word when that will get announced?

  5. Get Some Players - Dec 16, 2011 at 7:30 PM

    What would it have cost the Nats to announce they didn't bid a couple days ago?

  6. Tcostant - Dec 16, 2011 at 7:33 PM

    Anon at 2:26pmI can only go by what I saw live in the WBC classic' the guy is an ace and a top 20 starter the moment he arrives. In addition, respected baseball man who saw him pitch in Japan while managing (Red Soxs manager and a Dodgers coach), both say he is a Top 5/Top 10 major league starter.Zimm as much as I love him, is not in this class. Steven is on a pitch and innings count and has to prove he can pitch a full year again and won't help in September 2012.This is what a top pitcher cost, it was a risk worth taken.

  7. HHover - Dec 16, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    upperdeck4Many of the rumors and leaks we hear are deliberate misinformation and misdirection–to get other teams to up their bids, to cover up a team's real intentions, etc., etc. I don't understand why more fans don't get at that in the first place.

  8. Nate - Dec 16, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    the Nationals weren't confident enough in the [player's] ability to dominate at this level to commit an enormous amount of money toward acquiring him. That's fine, but the same can be said of every major free agent of the last five years not named Werth or (arguably) Teixeira. That's where the problem comes in. Either the Nationals are improperly assessing the free agent talent pool, or they're unwilling to pay market rates, or both. That's the real concern.

  9. lesatcsc - Dec 16, 2011 at 7:40 PM

    Personally I think it is a good call by the Nats. That big an expeniture on an unproven quantity would likely have been disruptive, it also likely would have made it harder to sign some of our current budding stars down the road. For less than half the price, Rizzo can overpay for Oswalt and get a known quantity that will also serve as a role model for our young staff. I don't get how folks can wring their hands over Oswalt's back at less than $40M for a couple of years but are ready to go all in for $100M on a guy that has not yet thrown a pitch in the MLs. Any word on whether Rizzo made a bid on Aoki?

  10. Nattydread - Dec 16, 2011 at 7:43 PM

    RepostingAnyone who thinks not bidding $100M on Yu was a mistake should read this:http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/how-much-would-yu-pay-for-jordan-zimmermann/

  11. Tcostant - Dec 16, 2011 at 7:44 PM

    Nate that is the smartest thing I've read in a while. Great post!

  12. Anonymous - Dec 16, 2011 at 7:49 PM

    looks like nobody will ever satistfy the Nats SP pitcher requirements. Could that be by design I wonder?

  13. Whoa_now - Dec 16, 2011 at 7:52 PM

    Yea, I didn't really want him for the price it was going to cost. But I'm shocked they didn't bid on him. I wouldn't have been upset with a 35 million bid. Anything over that I would have thought crazy.I will be upset if they head to spring training without a legit centerfielder. If they go thinking Werth will play center-I'll call this hotstove a failure. Sign Aoki or Cespedes or Crisp…or trade.Also know I've read the nats are interested in: Gio/Danks/Garza…all which will cost us valuable pieces of our future, and in the case of Danks, probably more than Buerhle. But he is a Lefty.Also Aoki has been posted. Does anyone know when that ends? and when the annoucement will be made? By my calculation-Posting ends today..which means an final announcement Tuesday at the latest.

  14. Anonymous - Dec 16, 2011 at 7:56 PM

    This team is not getting any better WHILE THE REST OF THE DIVISION IS. Do they honestly think the fans base will grow while they continue to grow an MLB level team year after year. Good luck.

  15. whoa_now - Dec 16, 2011 at 7:58 PM

    Its amazing how much press Darvish posting got..but Aoki's posting is a deadend on google.

  16. CBinDC - Dec 16, 2011 at 8:02 PM

    I just want to put this logic out. If those other teams can put in bids and win, are they fools to move on such a risk and is not such high payout low reward system a broken system that needs replacing. If the Nationals knew days, weeks, months, ago they did not want to play such a broken system then WHY did they not say so then. Are they stupid to not know the cost going in before kicking the tires on Darvish or were they playing the fans with cheap hope of major movement. Because Darvish maybe not worth the price only time will tell but it was no mystery what the process and cost would possibly be so what game is the FO playing here?

  17. Tcostant - Dec 16, 2011 at 8:04 PM

    Just makes me mad the the Nationals left us twisting in the wind as a fan post. I understand that if your not going to bid you don't say it before (because then another team may bid more), but after the deadline whisper that you didn't bid in a beat writters ear. Nothing was gained by letting your fan base assume that the Nationals bid.Once again – just plain sad.

  18. blovy8 - Dec 16, 2011 at 8:09 PM

    Yeah Anon. The Phillies, Mets and Braves are a WHOLE lot better… It's just money, sure, but they're wasting their resources if they go 120 million on a pitcher like Darvish right now. I understand about getting a solid pitcher, Darvish has not pitched one MLB inning yet. This is not the time for that one extra piece to put you over, hell, they're not close to even thinking about being close yet.

  19. Anonymous - Dec 16, 2011 at 8:11 PM

    Ok Zuck. When the sure thing guy they really want is out there and the Nats don't go the distance to get him (Beuhrle) — they got crushed in terms of $/yr and years, and CJ Wilson is way too pricey, and the big talent from the East who may never translate into MLB success and he's so expensive why risk it guy should not be in play either — who exactly do should the Nats consider worthy of market money?The Nats are "trying to bolster a roster that already looks capable of approaching contention in the National League" — looks capable of approaching contention? Zuck, you've nailed Nats management's position — The Nats have what it takes to reasonably aspire to be middle of the pack already, why push it? dfh21

  20. blovy8 - Dec 16, 2011 at 8:13 PM

    Tcosant, an overbid is what it takes. And then we all get to complain about the money they spent on a guy like Darvish who has no MLB credentials, while no extensions have been negotiated.

  21. Anonymous - Dec 16, 2011 at 8:18 PM

    Who cares about extension for guys under contract already in hot stove season? Just not a priority at all right now.

  22. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 16, 2011 at 8:18 PM

    Maybe they decided not to bid late in the process, maybe they got some inside intel that Toronto intended to blow everybody's doors off, and backed out (reasonably, IMO) at that point. Honestly, WADR, I do not get all the angst about not knowing. Rizzo *did*, in fact, say they weren't interested in pursuing Prince Fielder; you see how much that's worth around here.As for saving face by putting in a bid you can justify as reasonable, but know perfectly well won't win, just to look good to the fans, count me opposed. For one thing, nobody buys a ticket because they didn't get somebody. They come to see the guy play, and see the team win. There's probably a few dozen people who care about that, for the Nats, tops.

  23. Anonymous - Dec 16, 2011 at 8:21 PM

    Greg Dobbs will soon be here to save the Nats from 4th place. Do not despair.

  24. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 16, 2011 at 8:24 PM

    BALK! Your pronoun has to have a clear antecedent:"There's probably a few dozen people who care about that, for the Nats, tops."where "that" should refer to making a face-saving but losing bid, not seeing the team win.My bad.

  25. Anonymous - Dec 16, 2011 at 8:25 PM

    That means we still need a CF to start the year.No, not at all. It still means Werth is in CF. It may take awhile to trade LaRoche … it just means the Nats need a corner outfielder to start the season and one or two defensive replacements:1. Roger Bernadina, Corey Brown (I'm betting he makes it.), Stephen Lombardozzi. 2. FA Rick Ankiel if he decides to come back.I am betting they get at least one decent bench bat that can play a corner outfield position and won't be non-plussed about Harper (as I suspect Laynce Nix was). Yes, something to keep in mind … players won't want to come to the Nats to be place-holders for Harper … hmmm another argument for Davey to use to bring Bryce up with the 25-man. ;)

  26. alexva - Dec 16, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    I've never been a fan of overpaying for talent, I don't care how much existing players are told to be patient and they'll get theirs, I think it creates tension and resentment. You can explain away Werth as needed for relevance, but if you keep it up you become the Redskins. We've all suffered through some really bad seasons butas I see it we're very close to being competitive. I'm willing to stay the course and have faith in Rizzo. I still think a significant trade will be made in the next 65 days.

  27. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 16, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    "The Nats are "trying to bolster a roster that already looks capable of approaching contention in the National League" — looks capable of approaching contention? Zuck, you've nailed Nats management's position — "Hey, don't shoot the messenger. That description sounds capable of approaching accurate to me. Doesn't make it Mark's idea.

  28. Bill Veeck - Dec 16, 2011 at 8:29 PM

    "It isn't the high price of stars that is expensive, it's the high price of mediocrity."

  29. SonnyG10 - Dec 16, 2011 at 8:30 PM

    I have no problem with the Nats not bidding on Darvish. I think there are better uses for the $100M.

  30. Anonymous - Dec 16, 2011 at 8:31 PM

    So, TConstant? You actually think that Yu Darvish a right-handed starter would be better than:1. Stephen Strasburg.2. Jordan Zimmermann.3. Bradley Peacock.????? Really? You're making this blog look a whole heck uv a lot more like idiots than NJ? Doh! Its lefties they want and lefties they'll get but it may in the end cost them more than that 100 million because they will have to shell out both $$$ and very valuable prospects to acquire them.

  31. whatsanattau - Dec 16, 2011 at 8:34 PM

    Darvish is a poor risk. Not talking about bidding or not bidding is smart. More than half the players that will sign or be traded this winter have yet to move. And that includes some pretty big names. No time to panic or despair. Plus with Harper and Stasburg both likely to see roster time next year, the Nats may already have the most improved team in the division. Yes the Marlins are better, but not the Phils, Braves, or Mets. Paplebon is not a very big upgrade over Madson.

  32. Whoa_now - Dec 16, 2011 at 8:38 PM

    Why do people want Bryce Harper to start the season in MLB? why? The dude is gone when FA comes…might as well keep him in MiLB. Let him get better and bring him up after the cutoff. Save a year on the back end.Seriously It is very very stupid. Stop suggesting it.

  33. JayB - Dec 16, 2011 at 8:41 PM

    Mark,The problem with your argument is they did not spend the money on sure things. Several out there and they chocked on all of them. Rizzo has had his budget cut…my bet is that the end salary for this year will be less than the end of 2011. They will dump contracts like Adam L by July 31. The only reason they did not honestly report they did not bid is Rizzo does not want to kill any buzz about contention and spending before the big Season ticket push in DC…..then they will start the PHL NYC marketing effort.

  34. Unkyd - Dec 16, 2011 at 8:42 PM

    CB, would you be happier if you were invited to all FO meetings, and your advice was solicited? If you had decided not to make a play for Yu, yet knew that you had a rep for spending big$$, especially if it wouldn't cost any personnel (they just changed the draft rules, at least partially on account of us), would you really broadcast that your rivals needn't worry about us bidding $60 mil, to save THEM the extra $10-$15 mil they might have to go, if they thought we are serious players? Stop with the histrionics… It's easy enough to say you differ with their approach, without further implying that they aren't doing due diligence, in failing to run it by us, first….Sheesh….

  35. Anonymous - Dec 16, 2011 at 8:44 PM

    Sorry @sec3 mysofa (the handle Chase Hughes loves so much) …I still believe the Nats are a contender for Prince Fielder's services but not for 10 years unless there are certain hard and fast stipulations. An opt out not just for the player but for the team! If you want an instant upgrade to beyond respectable, to field a lineup that is more than capable of holding its own against the Phillies, Marlins, and Braves you need Fielder plus a top left-handed starter or two. (I guess Johnson is still holding out hope that Detwiler could help with that.) THAT's your 2 players. Not a CF which would have a negligible effect on the offense and the position appears capably handled by Jayson Werth. They need Harper, Fielder, Zim, Morse, Espinosa, and Werth in the same lineup every day:Prince Fielder 692 PA, .407 wOBA, 49.9 bRAAMichael Morse 595 PA, .393 wOBA, 36.3 bRAA2011 Nats offense: .312 wOBA and -40.1 bRAA: Improvement Needed!

  36. Tcostant - Dec 16, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    blovy8 said… Tcosant, an overbid is what it takes. And then we all get to complain about the money they spent on a guy like Darvish who has no MLB credentials, while no extensions have been negotiated. Me – It not an overbid, it the current market. I truly believe that when we look back at this in three years, Yu will look like a bargain because then he'll being compared to top free agents. He the best FA on the market, that total package is in line with those numbers.About 5 years ago; I was in Seattle to see some baseball and when on a stadium tour. You know what they asked, who wants the tour in English and who wants the tour in Japanese. We were show three stadium build boards, which were companies in Japan with no American presents. They were there because games were being watch in the East on TV. We all complain about the MASN deal, but we missed the boat on this form of global marketing, in addition to larger crowds at game.They were saying they were making an extra $1M a start during Steven’s first year, if Yu is as good as I think they could have gotten a similar bump.It just funny, last year’s Werth deal was to suppose to show baseball that Washington was a place that would spend money and what happen since. Cliff Lee – no thanks. Buehrle – Not enough. Yu – Not interested. It’s a jokeEnd of rant.

  37. Anonymous - Dec 16, 2011 at 8:48 PM

    my bet is that the end salary for this year will be less than the end of 2011. They will dump contracts like Adam L by July 31.Keep in mind that beyond Werth they are going to have to come up with a contract that beats out Tulowitzki's in Milwaukee (a supposed small market team) for Zimmerman. Plus the arb's on their pitching could rise significantly. And if they acquire a top left-hander in trade? What if they end up signing Fielder? They aren't done yet JayB. You can start whining in February after spring training is over. Then you will have seen most every move the Nats are going to make.

  38. Anonymous - Dec 16, 2011 at 8:49 PM

    Ooops sorry I meant to say the Rockies ant Tulowitzki … got it mixed up with MIlwaukee and Fielder.

  39. CBinDC - Dec 16, 2011 at 8:53 PM

    So now the truth is all over the place THEY DID NOT POST. Again I am upset over playing games on everyone of these FA and Darvish is a controlled FA. The money was no mystery what really the true cost is a mystery right now but WHY say you are going after Darvish and then do nothing. As far as his pitching I feel he has the stuff to match Strasburg and has not broken down. ALL of our home grown pitchers have been through rehab ALL of them. Talk about crap shoots.All of our starting rotation has been in one rehab or another. So here he is with 6 years of Professional baseball experience and they do not want to play the game to get him. Does this say they will never play the game? Well so far they HAVE NOT. And to think I was going to post one day the very nice experience with a Nationals rep I had on the phone. Who listened to me on a wide range of subjects for over an hour and half, we another day maybe.

  40. Anonymous - Dec 16, 2011 at 8:57 PM

    Its just funny, last year’s Werth deal was to suppose to show baseball that Washington was a place that would spend money and what happen since. Cliff Lee – no thanks. Buehrle – Not enough. Yu – Not interested. It’s a jokeEnd of rant.How many starts and wins has Aroldis Chapman posted? What was Adam Dunn's batting average last year? Dude like it or NOT the Nats pitching rotation is CROWDED with top NOTCH YOUNG talent. They are only lacking in the left-handed department. They have a bumper crop of right-handers and when AJ Cole is ready they'll have yet another. And who knows what might happen with Meyer and Robbie Ray? They didn't save any money on the draft in fact by all accounts they blew the moon! Thus the change in rules in the new agreement just signed?How do you and JayB reconcile that? Baltimore isn't doing that. Not even Tampa Bay and they have the best farm system in baseball along with the tightest budget. There really isn't any room for Yu Darvish unless you want to send a message to your guys working their butts off in the minors that your opportunities will be rare to non-existent as with the Yankess. Its better to draw from within.

  41. NaterialGuy - Dec 16, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    Well now that they have that extra cash they should go ahead and give Ryan Zimmerman that extension.

  42. sm13 - Dec 16, 2011 at 9:09 PM

    Smart move to pass on over paying for Darvish. Now let's take that money and put it towards signing Ryan Z. That should be priority 1 for this off season.

  43. sjm308 - Dec 16, 2011 at 9:13 PM

    Can anon 2:36 explain to me how the Phillies have improved their roster with the signings of Ty Wiggington and Jim Thome? If we had signed these two players people would be screaming. They replaced their closer with an AL guy who was shaky at best last year in big games. Their big guns are all a year older and their slugger might not be back until June/July. They have great starting pitching but at present they have no shortstop or leftfielder and the two signings for first base are really a joke. I don't follow the Braves but they are probably in pretty good shape just holding on to what they have and the Mets are a mess.I feel like we can make a run on both the Phillies and Braves, not sure the Marlins will mesh immediately and I like our chances. Would I like another SP, sure. Do we need someone to play CF, yes. Its not even Christmas, lots of time to make moves and I think I will sit back and trust Rizzo rather than yell, scream or make cutting remarks about the gloom and doom to come.My glass of egg-nog is still half full and I keep refreshing it often (actually can't stand the stuff but I thought a holiday reference would be apt). Doubt if Rizzo reads this stuff but he probably would get a kick out of some of the philosophies presented here. Also I hope the various Anons who like to write in capital letters with bold print, I never used the idiot word.

  44. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 16, 2011 at 9:13 PM

    My post from yesterday…….I'm not that suprised that they didn't go all in on Darvish. His agent made it pretty clear that Darvish preferred a West Coast team and expected to get Daisuke money.I know I proposed that they put a bid on him and go as high as they felt comfortable, but they would be better served with Oswalt, if a pitcher is what they are after. December 15, 2011 8:43 AM So now we know. OK… no big deal… let Rizzo do his thing, hopefull that he stays under the radar while making whatever move they deem necessary.Again, I feel like it will be "didn't see that coming".

  45. Mark'd - Dec 16, 2011 at 9:17 PM

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/ how-much-would-yu-pay-for-jordan-zimmermann/Great article. Smart people recognize JZim as a top pitcher. Spend the money on Joe Saunders, Coco Crisp and Cespedes.Cespedes can go to AAA or AA to get him MLB ready.

  46. natsfan1a - Dec 16, 2011 at 9:27 PM

    There was plenty of speculation that they might go after Darvish, but did Rizzo or the Nats actually say that they were going to do so? I don't recall seeing a quote to that effect. I'm okay if they didn't do so, although Yu's BPP (Bad Pun Potential) was off the charts. Pity, that.CBinDC said… So now the truth is all over the place THEY DID NOT POST. Again I am upset over playing games on everyone of these FA and Darvish is a controlled FA. The money was no mystery what really the true cost is a mystery right now but WHY say you are going after Darvish and then do nothing.

  47. Tcostant - Dec 16, 2011 at 9:33 PM

    Anon @ 3:08pmI grew up a Mets fan; I watched the Mets put all their eggs in Gerneration K (Paul Wilson, Bill Pulsipher & Jason Isringhausen) basket and it blew up in their face. You always have room for a Top 20 overall major league starter, which I believe Yu is.As for Aroldis Chapman, I've posted on these boards that he was at the same WBC in San Diego in 2009 and I wan NOT impressed. Yu impressed me – a lot. As for Dunn, smart move although he may have done better here, but I think that move was related to better defense than Rizzo seeing some major hitting dropoff.

  48. Not Werth It - Dec 16, 2011 at 9:35 PM

    Regardless of what a large gamble it would have been, Darvish would have undoubtedly made the team better. After all this hype about this being the year to contend, I'm getting frustrated that Rizzo hasn't pulled the trigger to land any top talent.I wonder how we are going to spin it when we miss out on Gio Gonzalez? Then John Danks? I feel like Rizzo is too concerned with making a bad deal. So what if we give up more prospects than we would like if we land an established major leager that will help us compete? So what if we have to give up more of Mark Lerner's endless cash than would be ideal?Just make something happen already.

  49. Catcher50 - Dec 16, 2011 at 9:36 PM

    Let's see:Major League executive who knows the most about Japanese baseball, its players, and culture, would be Bobby Valentine (two Japan league championships).The posting amount from the Mets = $0. Easy call.

  50. Golfersal - Dec 16, 2011 at 9:41 PM

    Mark,Couldn't agree more with you.What a stupid process. People complained about giving a guy like Strasberg $16 million right out of college, how about spending $100 for a player?As I have said before if your going to spend that money go after a Price at Tampa Bay or a starter from the Dodgers. Bet that if you offer any of these two teams $50 million you can get a star also.So frankly I agree with the actions of Rizzo.Only question is why was this so secret? Why couldn't Rizzo tell the media on Wednesday that he didn't bid. Is this screwing with other GMs in getting them to jack up the price?Have no idea but we shouldn't of had to wait days to find out the Nats didn't bid.

  51. Drew8 - Dec 16, 2011 at 9:42 PM

    Never mind I'll findsomeone like YuI wish nothing but the bestfor Yu(unless Yu wind up in the NL. Then Yu are on your own.)So, did the Nats bid on Nori Aoki?

  52. Mark'd - Dec 16, 2011 at 9:43 PM

    Catch50, Bobby Valentine is with the Red Sox, not the Mets.

  53. NatsNut - Dec 16, 2011 at 9:49 PM

    29 teams weren't going to get him and most don't like the blind bid payment which isn't part of the final contract. It's a bad system.The Nats weren't going to win so who cares. On to more important debates like Oswalt, Saunders and Gio.

  54. NatsLady - Dec 16, 2011 at 9:52 PM

    How can you say that the Nats are not looking at the international market–when they ARE?? Our players on the Taiwan trip? Wang? Maya? They may not be hyperactive on the Japanese scene, but they've got their eyes open.As for announcing whether or not they are making a bid–NO NO NO! Keep your cards close to the vest, so other teams can't predict your actions.I would have loved to see Yu pitch, he looks exciting, but that's a lot of money and another RHP starter in not necessarily the Nats' greatest need this year. Do we play the Jays this year?

  55. Anonymous - Dec 16, 2011 at 9:52 PM

    And the Red Sox were not going to bid in any event due to the luxury tax issues they would have if they did.dfh21

  56. Anonymous - Dec 16, 2011 at 9:56 PM

    Maya is pretty much the only international play the club has made in a long time. Wang does not count as he was already an established MLB player; it's not like they inked him out of Taiwan. dfh21

  57. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 16, 2011 at 10:01 PM

    "Catch50, Bobby Valentine is with the Red Sox, not the Mets."I don't care what uniform he wears, or who signs his checks. Bobby Valentine is with the Mets. Forever. Anyway, the Mets don't have $50,000,000 to post.

  58. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 16, 2011 at 10:04 PM

    And the Red Sox were not going to bid in any event due to the luxury tax issues they would have if they did.Actually, and someone knowledgeable please correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think the posting fee itself counts against the luxury tax, so if they were to offer him, say, $70MM over 7 years, it wouldn't be that much of a hit.

  59. Kenz aFan - Dec 16, 2011 at 10:05 PM

    Why is everyone referring to Darvish as being Japanese, when he's not? Comparing Darvish to other so called big name "Japanese" pitchers who turned out not to be such a big deal after all, is like comparing an apple to an acorn.

  60. Tcostant - Dec 16, 2011 at 10:06 PM

    Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.When Bobby Valentine was with the Mets, after managing in Japan; he tells the Mets that Ichiro Suzuki would be a top 10 overall player in the majors the day he comes to the states. The Mets make no bid and Seatle gets him for under $15M.Now Bobby Valentine last week of the Red Soxs, states publicly the he has seen Yu pitch and that he is a Top 10 pitcher overall in the majors the day he comes to the states. He goes on to say he twice at talented as Dice K and so on. The Red Soxs down't bid, likely because if Dice K, not Yu.Will see if history reperts.

  61. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 16, 2011 at 10:10 PM

    I FFFFFFI FFI FFFFI FFI FFI FFI FF… Darvish is all he's hyped to be, AND IF he doesn't balk at playing here instead of the West Coast, AND IF he doesn't get hurt, then yeah, I think it would have been money reasonably (if not well) spent. But that's a big if, and sure, it's not *my* money, but you know … $100MM here, $100MM there, pretty soon you're talking a lot of money.

  62. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 16, 2011 at 10:13 PM

    dfh21, you're forgetting what's-his-name, the international signing from Mexico…Rafael Martin.captcha="loftiefu"Ouch. Sounds like an oxymoron, a lofty f.u.

  63. Anonymous - Dec 16, 2011 at 10:16 PM

    Sec3 — I was thinking about the big cash that Darvish is likely going to get in his contract. The Sox have to looking at something North of $170M right now. Not sure about what guys like Elsbury and Big Papi will get in arb.dfh21

  64. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 16, 2011 at 10:16 PM

    "Why is everyone referring to Darvish as being Japanese, when he's not?"He was born in Osaka, raised in Japan, his mother is Japanese. His father was born in Iran.

  65. HHover - Dec 16, 2011 at 10:18 PM

    Kenz aFanI'm just guessing here, but I think it's because he was born in Japan, grew up there, and plays there professionally.

  66. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 16, 2011 at 10:21 PM

    dfh, yes, I realized that; my point was that if paying him $10M costs them $15M, that's not out of line, IF he's that good.

  67. Anonymous - Dec 16, 2011 at 10:23 PM

    I agree — someone asked why Bobby V was not in the bidding, I am syaing that the Sox did not really have much of an option to do so, all things considered.dfh21

  68. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 16, 2011 at 10:23 PM

    … born in Iran, but moved to the U.S. as a child and and went to Japan after college, to marry Yu's Japanese mother.

  69. psdfx - Dec 16, 2011 at 10:39 PM

    I find there to be a number of thoughtful posts (and post-ers) here and I'm thankful for this community. I've read the blog a lot longer than I've posted here.That said, I'm completely sick and tired of the "fix it all, right now, at any cost" mentality of some of the posts… Oh boohoo we didn't get Buehrle, even though he was our top target … boohoo we didn't bid an outrageous amount on Darvish, boohoo we don't have CF yet.Here's the deal, complainers: If someone (warning, ridiculous example ahead) had given Buehrle a 7 year, $350MM contract, at $50 million per, we'd obviously all know that this was a gross overpayment, right? So note that there *IS* a price that is too high (whether in dollars or years).I, for one, am THANKFUL that Rizzo has a plan and is being disciplined in his approach. I'm thankful that he obviously sees that THIS year is not the year to go all in (nor, in all likelihood, is next season). So you make an excellent offer to Buehrle and see where the chips fall. You gauge whether we could make a reasonable offer on the bidding for Darvish, and decide no if it gets too high. This does NOT mean they are misjudging talent or the market … it simply means they have judged it, and decided not to overspend. It is so ironic that we live in a town defined (in all sorts of ways) by gridlock, yet some posters here want the Nats to take the Skins approach: Pay whatever it takes and get stars here now. Patience, people. We are improving the harder, the slower, and yet the BETTER way—by building farm system depth and raising up our own talent to be supplemented by free agents and trades. We are on a great path. (And yes, I'd *LOVE* a SP or CF — but, with all our minor league talent, I only want them at the right price and without betting the farm. If we HAD to bet the farm this year, I'd want to do it (nobody agrees with me here) on … Fielder. I can't help but to imagine—in two years—how good this batting order would be (letting our pitchers grow up for another year plus): CF / Rendon / RZ / Morse / Fielder / Harper / Werth / Espinosa / Ramos / P

  70. MicheleS - Dec 16, 2011 at 10:40 PM

    Info on the Red Sox..Apparantly John Henry owns some soccer team in England and has been shelling out cash to pay for players over there. And they have been crying poor mouth all off season.. hence the reason Paps left to go to Philly and why they traded for the Houston Closer instead of signing a FA.

  71. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 16, 2011 at 10:46 PM

    Nevermind Fielder, get the 1954 Willie Mays, I tellya.

  72. Natty Bumpo - Dec 16, 2011 at 10:51 PM

    stupid, stupid, stupid…no extension YET for Zim, no good free agents signed,. drafts are fine until Strasburg and Harper are free agents signed by the Yankees.

  73. Anonymous - Dec 16, 2011 at 10:51 PM

    If we HAD to bet the farm this year, I'd want to do it (nobody agrees with me here) on … Fielder. I can't help but to imagine—in two years—how good this batting order would be (letting our pitchers grow up for another year plus): CF / Rendon / RZ / Morse / Fielder / Harper / Werth / Espinosa / Ramos / PUnfortunately, Fielder fits BOTH models. He is young enough (younger than Zim) that he could be considered a building block for the future. If his physicality doesn't get in the way. It would certainly be better for the Nats if both Marerro and Tyler Moore were left-handed bats … or at least switch hitters. In Moore's case, if he can improve the OBP dramatically, a case would have already been made to put him at first base NOW. He is in fact two years older than Marerro. Its why La Roche ( a left-handed power bat) is at first and could ostensibly remain there the entire season if they don't sign Fielder. Its why I believe the "fixed at first base" pronouncements from the Nats are all efforts to maintain a strong negotiating position. I strongly suspect they may be in the running for Fielder. Again, because Fielder plus ONE top left-handed starter, without selling the farm, would be enough to make the Nats a very young, yet still very competitive team … now and some years hence.

  74. BinM - Dec 16, 2011 at 10:51 PM

    If true, I'm highly dissapointed that the Nationals did not post a bid for Darvish. The thought of three young RH gunslingers at the top of the rotation was attractive. Oh well, another dream dashed on the rocks of reality. Hope that Rizzo has a bid in on the NPL CF, Nori Aoki. It looks like he could be a nice gap-fill until we see what Perez – Goodwin – Taylor can do at higher levels in the minors.

  75. NatsJack n Florida - Dec 16, 2011 at 10:54 PM

    Great post psdfx…. we always appreciate a voice of reason…… just be aware you will hear from JayB on your approach…and it won't be pretty.

  76. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 16, 2011 at 10:58 PM

    Fielder will be 28 in May while Zim will be 28 in September. Not to nit pick but that makes Fielder older.

  77. Anonymous - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:00 PM

    Now Bobby Valentine last week of the Red Soxs, states publicly the he has seen Yu pitch and that he is a Top 10 pitcher overall in the majors the day he comes to the states.Same has been said about Stephen Strasburg, and Jordan Zimmermann, and Bradley Peacock. Other than Tommy Milone the Nats DO NOT HAVE ANY left-handed starter that put up decent stats last year. And many here will say small sample size in spite of the sterling seasons Milone enjoyed at each and every level in the minors. They want LEFT-HANDER[s]. The subterfuge is so that that they don't look too desperate and drive up the price … NOT IN $$$ but in prospects which are far more valuable! And believe me they know it. Every team now knows the Nats are on the cusp of competing seriously. They don't want to help them. And I believe the same is true with Boras and Fielder. Both have to know the immediate dramatic transformation that would take place in the Nats lineup. Both also know that Fielder will be surrounded by some really good young players for the next five years.

  78. Anonymous - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:00 PM

    Rizzo is arguably as much a coward as he is some conservative player. The Nats are at the point right now where they shoyuld be trading for pieces and adding free agents. And right now Ladson is saying that the Nats are essentially out of the Gio Gonzalez sweepstakes b/c the price the A's want is crazy high. If I did not think that Rizzo might always think that the price for a high caliber MLB player is crazy, I might be OK with that news. But Mike has mad lust for his prospects more than he does for other clubs' young under-control MLB talent. Gonzalez is under control for 3 more years and is something in the neighborhood of a Cole Hamels, not as good but close, and Hamels is going to easily be getting $80M+ on his next contract — maybe Rizzo should go the extra mile in a package for hat kind of a value play, no? dfh21

  79. Was that really necessary? - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:01 PM

    just be aware you will hear from JayB on your approach…and it won't be pretty.

  80. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:03 PM

    FWIW, the Yankees, among other teams, are also demurring on Gio for the same reason. Danks, Jackson, Oswalt–all still out there. I'll start worrying in mid-March.

  81. Anonymous - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:07 PM

    Danks, Jackson, Oswalt–all still out there. I'll start worrying in mid-March.And if Rizzo wants to put Fannies in the seats to make up for the revenue stream they lost from having one of the lowest payrolls … he had better make the right moves for his ownership group.

  82. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:09 PM

    Those of us that appreciate Rizzo's approach get labeled as "sycophants" by the impatient crowd.

  83. gonatsgo - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:10 PM

    I read the article on JZimm, who happens to be a big favorite of mine. I think it's kind of funny that we tend to downplay our own players instead of overplay their abilities. It's nice when more objective baseball people recognize our guys. Many teams would kill for a #1,#2 ( in no particular order at this time) JZim, Strassie rotation. I am also very happy with our organization not spending 100 mil on a pitcher who has never pitched every 5th day or even pitched with a same-sized ball. I don't care where his parents were born. There are some big dominoes still to fall ( Fielder, Darvish, Madsen) and then I think things will start to pop.

  84. Tcostant - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:11 PM

    Who needs Yu, we can out hit them, we got Micaels. That is much better (toung firmly in cheek).http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/12/16/jason-michaels-signs-with-the-nationals/

  85. Anonymous - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:16 PM

    Aoki, Oswalt, Soler and an improved bench would make a great Nats' Christmas.

  86. Exposremains - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:19 PM

    And those of us who don't agree with Rizzo's approach(it's more the Lerners approach) are labeled as crazy fans who have no idea what they're talking about. It goes both ways.

  87. natsfan1a - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:20 PM

    NatsLady, yes, the Nats will be at Toronto in June.Do we play the Jays this year?

  88. Anonymous - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:23 PM

    Ok playing devil's advocate here, suppose you could pry $100 million out of the Lerner's wallets, why not spend that money on acquiring a CF or maybe a US based ace, instead of saying "I am happy the Nats did not spend $100 million on a pitcher from Japan"????

  89. natsfan1a - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:24 PM

    Almost forgot tonight's musical selections:I Get Along Without Yu Very WellI'm a Fool to Want Yu

  90. MicheleS - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:34 PM

    I think I will wait until the plan unfolds a little bit more. So instead, here is my letter to Santa (Ted Lerner):We have lots of Shiny toys on our team.. I know most want the new toy that is on the market. But I am THRILLED we have Stras, JZ, Espi, Morse, Ramos, Storen, Clip and the rest of the bullpen, The Kiddies in the minors, and Yes even Desi, LannEn, Werth and Hopefully a healthy LaRoche. And even MPHRod (despite the fact that he gives me heartburn).What I want Santa (Ted) to bring me now… an extension for RZim! (and that big Hairy chested guy that Davey really wants) and maybe my Teddy ornament that they said STH's would get.

  91. MicheleS - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:40 PM

    1A.. bringing it with the musical selections.

  92. Anonymous - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:40 PM

    At what point is it ok to be impatient? How long do I have to wait before I can be legitimately grumpy that the Nats are slow playing the plan? Rizzo is going into his third full season as GM — he's been with the club as AGM since day 1 and GM since March, 2009, I think. The Lerners are no longer new owners. The club is going into its 4th season in the new, publicy financed park. The club has been a loser every year and is going into its 8th season looking like an also ran, "looking to be capable of approaching contention", as Zuck pointed out. Ryan Zimmerman is nearing FA status, only a couple of years left. Exactly when is it OK for a fan who buys the tickets to be right to demand beter performance from management? Comes a time, no?dfh21

  93. JayB - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:42 PM

    Come on people…..tons of data from the past 5 Nats years…..March last minute budget signings do not build championship benches…..or Starting CFers. We have the data needed with that approach to not repeat the past history. Make moves now with higher dollar players. Winning teams to not build their last few spots on the 25 man roster and key bench players with what is left over in March!

  94. N. Cognito - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:42 PM

    I knew this would bring out the perpetual whiners and malcontents. Tthese are the same people who, if the Nats won the World Series, would complain about the parade route.

  95. The Ultimate Anonymous - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:44 PM

    Hmmm I think Rizzo's approach starting with hiring the brain-trust and not relying on Joy and ex-Cincinatti players and one's own draft picks while with that team … is the right way to go. We'll just have to wait and see what he has cooked up. Its tougher for him now … he has to work to ensure that the prized prospects have a place on the club when they are ready … and that he doesn't give too many of them away for a needed piece.

  96. MicheleS - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:46 PM

    DFH..be as impatient as you want.. It's your right as a fan. Plus it gives us so much to chatter about. I mean really.. we are in the off season and Mark's posts are getting tons of hits each day. We get to talk baseball as we all dream of Spring training.

  97. Anonymous - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:46 PM

    We have the data needed with that approach to not repeat the past history. Make moves now with higher dollar players. Winning teams to not build their last few spots on the 25 man roster and key bench players with what is left over in March!That's not how Davey's done it JayB and he has fielded more than his share of winning teams.

  98. natsfan1a - Dec 16, 2011 at 11:50 PM

    What she said.MicheleS said… DFH..be as impatient as you want.. It's your right as a fan. Plus it gives us so much to chatter about. I mean really.. we are in the off season and Mark's posts are getting tons of hits each day. We get to talk baseball as we all dream of Spring training. December 16, 2011 6:46 PM

  99. baseballswami - Dec 17, 2011 at 12:01 AM

    Last year we did the early, big-dollars signing, didn't we? I guess every year is going to unfold in a different way. Mixed results with the Werth signing so far. These things really seem to be a toss-up. Some work out, some don't. Easy for us to arm-chair gm when we don't have to prioritize the dollars and complete with the other teams for players. I think we are better off with the tortoise approach, even when it's frustrating – remember, the hare lost. Yes, I will arm chair gm also — I would rather see 100 million spent on long term deals within our current team and some less-splashy FA deals or trades.

  100. Anonymous - Dec 17, 2011 at 12:03 AM

    Maybe we can get TEBOW!!! Surely he can hit a curve ball! He is a Lefty so he can be #3 starter and I bet on the other days he can play Center!

  101. baseballswami - Dec 17, 2011 at 12:03 AM

    Compete – not complete – it's Friday, I'm tired, I'm stressed, I'm hungry. And a bad speller.

  102. MicheleS - Dec 17, 2011 at 12:06 AM

    Swami.. Love the Tortoise VS Hare comparison…very true!

  103. Anonymous - Dec 17, 2011 at 12:06 AM

    One third, a fourth and 5 last place finishes, show me exactly when these things have worked out in Natstown?

  104. Theophilus - Dec 17, 2011 at 12:08 AM

    Pay Fielder whatever he wants, and hedge by buying Golden Corral or some other all-you-can eat chain.The St. Louis Cardinals had a well-known formula for salaries that served them very well — until this winter, anyway. I don't recall the details but it was something like twenty percent of the payroll for two stars (e.g., Pujols, Wainwright), 40 percent for the next 7-8 guys (e.g., Molina, Carpenter), and 40 percent for the bottom 15-16. You could find an article about this somewhere with the exact nos. Maybe Boswell wrote about it. They bent it for Holliday. Anyway, it got them two World Championships. The point being, you can spend sensibly, balance your lineup and win at the same time. The list of free spenders who flushed huge sums is long: Rangers, Angels, Mariners, Dodgers, Mets, last year's Red Sox, etc. You don't see Nolan Ryan going out and buying another ARod do you?

  105. MicheleS - Dec 17, 2011 at 12:10 AM

    Theo.. you forgot the Cubs (Soriano/Zambrano) and Yankees (they bought ARod twice and only have 1 WS to show for it)

  106. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Dec 17, 2011 at 12:36 AM

    Is the dumpster suitably filled for our annual January-February diving contest against the Royals, Pirates and other wannabes of the small markets?

  107. Anonymous - Dec 17, 2011 at 12:46 AM

    @Theophilus,You are missing someone. The reason the Cardinals have been winning may not so much have been Pujols but a guy that everyone thought was washed up and a guy who would fit much better than Fielder with the Nats were it not for his age: Lance Berkman. He's the real reason their offense was the best in baseball … albeit Pujols and Holiday were the other two major contributors.

  108. Anonymous - Dec 17, 2011 at 12:54 AM

    One third, a fourth and 5 last place finishes, show me exactly when these things have worked out in Natstown?Last to 3rd in a new GM's first year. Just one game short of .500.Instead of hoping for Destin Hood, Colin Balester, Michael Burgess, Chris Marerro, Colton Willems, Zech Zinicola, etc. to come through?There's Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon, Strasburg, Zimmermann, Peacock …Instead of Dukes, Milledge, and Willingham? Morse, Werth and Harper.Instead of Guzman at short, Harris, FLoP, Vidro, etc, Nick Johnson and Zim … you can look forward to an infield of Zim, Rendon, Espinosa at the very least … (hopefully Zim is signed if he isn't then yes the Lerner's might just be cheap).

  109. Anonymous - Dec 17, 2011 at 12:55 AM

    Last to 3rd in a new GM's second full year ..

  110. CBinDC - Dec 17, 2011 at 12:58 AM

    Maybe it is all for the better or best or bestest by the time the ink was dry and the conversion to yen was done, Yu Darvish would need トミージョンon his elbow. But would fit in to this rotation we just have to wait another year to see him pitch.

  111. lesatcsc - Dec 17, 2011 at 12:59 AM

    Mark:MLB Rumours is reporting that the Nats signed IF Blanco, OF Michaels and RP Fulchino today. With the exception of Blanco who might be a light-hitting utility guy (emphasis on light) neither of the other two looks like they have a snowball's hope in hell of making the team. Please tell me these are just depth signings to swell the roster in Syracuse.

  112. waddu eye no - Dec 17, 2011 at 1:03 AM

    despite the Temptations, can't get next to Yu babe.sorry

  113. CBinDC - Dec 17, 2011 at 1:06 AM

    So believe this Ladson is now saying that the Nats are done with FA pitchers. So what can be the result of really DOING NOTHING be now. This again is crazy to defend as a plan. They have needs but seem to be now unwilling to anything constructive about it and I am suppose to be understanding. This was the what got them 6 straight last and 2 megalast. How can you resign Zim if this is all you are going to do.

  114. Anonymous - Dec 17, 2011 at 1:15 AM

    Only took Mike Rizzo 2 years to not finish last, wow, aint he somethin'!!Such pride in finishing 20+ games out behind the costing to the finish Phils and not within a 5 iron of the Wild Card? Yikes. Since when did the non-existent 3rd place trophy start looking so glittery? The club looks better than it has in years, true, but so does every other club in the Division. Even the Mets are substantially better than last year and are in a good place going forward having shed a ton of payroll as they rebuild. They are not going to wait 8 years to try to win again, that's for sure. Face facts, the Nats are not doing enough to win. Not trying to win is unacceptable, yet the Nats not dare try, ever. This club right now HOPES to finish third. They are HOPING to be relevant in late June, nothing more. It's sad. The fans deserve more, I would think, but maybe 3rd works for you guys.

  115. MicheleS - Dec 17, 2011 at 1:18 AM

    Hmmm.. I think Dan Snyder is one of the Anons… I don't want to be the Deadskins..

  116. Anonymous - Dec 17, 2011 at 1:21 AM

    I wasn't sad about Buehrle, and I'm not really upset about our failure to pursue other free agent pitchers either. In general, long-term free agent contracts tend to be mistakes, and that is especially true with pitchers. By the time they get to free agency, their best years are behind them. I honestly think we'll be a stronger team with our current pitching staff than with one of these overpriced, slightly over-the-hill types. And certainly, it would be a mistake to waste money on one of them if it means we can't use it to resign Zim or improve our hitting. But I would like to see the Lerners spend some money on someone! Someone who will actually help the team. Darvish seemed like a sensible bet. You don't have to give anything up for him besides cash (of which the Lerners have tons, especially since they have been racking up profits from this team). He's young, so that if he fails it won't be due to age. And if he succeeds, he could be another ace besides Stras for years to come. So I'm pretty sad about this one.Now that he's off the table, I'm hoping we take a shot at the international centerfielders. Again, just money, and a chance to really improve the team without trading away prospects or giving long-term deals to mediocrities. I'll be pretty disappointed if we don't at least try. And if we don't try, we had better pour a ton of money into resigning Zim and getting a superstar centerfielder next year. Another year of no spending would be pretty hard to defend. . . .

  117. gonatsgo - Dec 17, 2011 at 1:40 AM

    The Cardinals really lucked out with Berkman – no one predicted that he would be as good as he was. They took a chance and it worked out. Likewise with David Freese – he was chronically injured,then he got a chance and it just as easily could have gone the other way. You make the best decision you can and let the chips fall. I just think it's a bad idea to trade away the farm system you just worked years to build, or get yourself in a situation like the Cubs are now – tons of long term contracts that are hand-cuffing them. The FO has to work with what is available and keep an eye on the future.

  118. BinM - Dec 17, 2011 at 1:41 AM

    The window for true improvement to this team is rapidly closing. Rizzo should just re-focus on a CF, and bench strength. The options for cost-effective SP's has closed for the most part, imo. Fill the offensive holes (CF), build a bench for DJ to work with & let's see how the first 1/4 of the season plays out. My personal preference would be (based on current roster)… Starting Lineup (8) 1)Aoki-CF [FA signing] 2)Desmond-SS 3)Zimmerman-3B 4)LaRoche-1B 5)Morse-LF 6)Werth-RF 7)Espinosa-2B 8)Ramos-CA 9)pitcher SP rotation (5)1) Jordan Zimmermann 2) Stephen Strasburg 3) John Lannan 4) Chein-Ming Wang 5) Ross Detwiler Bullpen (8) LR) Tom Gorzelanny LR) Craig Stammen MR) Ryan Mattheus MR) Sean Burnett LS) Atahualpa Severino SU) Tyler Clippard SU-CL) Henry Rodriguez CL) Drew Storen Bench (4) CA) Jesus Flores IF) Steve Lombardozzi OF) Roger Bernadina UT) ??? I'm not particularily comfortable with that 25-man roster; Would any of you be?

  119. Anonymous - Dec 17, 2011 at 1:41 AM

    Please re- sign and extend the Zimmermen!

  120. Just sayin' - Dec 17, 2011 at 1:59 AM

    Anonymous said…Maybe we can get TEBOW!!!*********************************Haven't watched him that much, but from what I gather from the commentary isn't he more of a knuckleballer?

  121. mstomper - Dec 17, 2011 at 2:08 AM

    BinM, I'd be fine with the starting 9. I can live with the rotation, although I'd be more comfortable with another established pitcher. I'd prefer Jack Wilson to Lombardozzi at this point; I'd probably want Dobbs as the other utility guy, or maybe Branyan.

  122. JayB - Dec 17, 2011 at 2:32 AM

    BinM…..No, Not at all comfortable with that bench or CF or Rotation.

  123. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 17, 2011 at 3:26 AM

    natsfan1a said… Almost forgot tonight's musical selections: I Get Along Without Yu Very Well I'm a Fool to Want YuBringing the Lady Day, as well… nicely done.

  124. Waddu eye no - Dec 17, 2011 at 3:39 AM

    Du du that vudu that yu du so well

  125. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 17, 2011 at 3:40 AM

    I'd rather have Ankiel than Bernadina, if I can only have one. Bernadina might do well elsewhere anyway — he's still young. Package part, maybe?I'd rather have Oswalt than Detwiler–Ross'll get his chance soon enough, when somebody gets hurt or can't do the job, probably in May. Starting pitchers are not blocked.They still need two or three big bench guys.

  126. Bryce H. - Dec 17, 2011 at 3:43 AM

    Better to be Hitterish than Darvish!!

  127. Whoa_now - Dec 17, 2011 at 4:12 AM

    Aoki posted tonight. Winning price: 2.5 million. I'll be upset it Rizzo wasn't willing to bid that much.

  128. Feel Wood - Dec 17, 2011 at 4:20 AM

    Bitching about a roster made up only of players on hand now when Opening Day is almost four months away is like eating a frozen pizza straight out of the fridge and complaining that it's too cold. Sure, JayB does that kind of thing every night and twice on Sunday, because he's just a hater. But I would have thought BinM was better than that.There's lots of time left for changes on that roster, BinM. At this time last year, the Willingham trade hadn't happened yet, LaRoche was not signed, and none of the eventual bench moves had been made. Even absent any moves so far, the team is in better shape now than it was at the equivalent time last year. So chill out, man.

  129. Tom in AR - Dec 17, 2011 at 4:52 AM

    psdfx – @5:39pm – I like your dream lineup, but it has 10 men. You can't start Fielder, Harper, Werth, Morse and a CF.BinM – I would be happy with your line-up (although I would swap LaRoche and Morse), at least until June when my hope would be to trade LaRoche, move Morse back to first, and bring up a relatively unknown prospect whose name rhymes with Hyce Barper.

  130. Drew8 - Dec 17, 2011 at 5:09 AM

    That seems a reasonable posting fee for Aoki, who has two batting titles in Japan. Put it this way: If a free agent cf were a leadoff hitter with two AAA batting titles wouldn't that pique your interest?

  131. Joe Seamhead - Dec 17, 2011 at 9:21 AM

    For all that say that this team messed up by not getting Darvish I,I gotta say you bring to mind an old Mose Allison song: "Yu Mind Must Be On Vacation Cause Yu Mouth Is Working Overtime"Starting with Davey Johnson we are so much better then a year ago.After that there is a healthy Zimm, Zim, LaRoche, Stras, Flores, Wang. Mix in a now seasoned Ramos, Storen and HRod. Brad Peacock is not mentioned enough, as he is the real deal, too. Espy has a year under his belt and who of us really knew how talented hisglove is? And with better gloves at first even Desi looked respectable.Oh yeah, unlike this time last year, the Sleeping Beast has now awoken and gained a ton of confidence. By early summer Prince Oppo Boppo should provide some pop.I also think Mike Rizzo will surprise us in some pleasant unexpected way before we start next season. Hope springs eternal!

  132. Traveler8 - Dec 17, 2011 at 9:26 AM

    Wow, Tom in AR, who are you talking about – Bryce Harper?

  133. Stephen Strasburg - Dec 17, 2011 at 12:31 PM

    Anything Yu can do I can do better. I can do anything better than Yu.

  134. Unkyd - Dec 17, 2011 at 1:01 PM

    Annie Oakley?! How Yu been, Girlfrand?!

  135. baseballswami - Dec 17, 2011 at 1:09 PM

    Joe Seamhead – thanks for the reminders of how much things have changed in a year! Hoping for great things in 2012 and watching that counter inch slowly down.

  136. JayB - Dec 17, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    What I am saying is by waiting until opening day to address Rizzo and Johnson publicly identified weaknesses (Bench, CF, (SP and Lead Off- Rizzo Only)) we know from past attempts that does not work. You end up with hope and prayer types. Does Matt Stairs teach you nothing. OK how about this list of last min "solutions"2010 list of "solutions"Adam KennedyJustin MaxwellAlberto GonzoloezY MayaKevin MenchWillie TavereasScott OlsonIt goes on for 2010 if you care to get depressed…..2009OK here are the 2009 "solutions"Anderson HernandezRonnie BelliardAlex Cintron (opening day fist PH of the Bench)Get the point…I was really kind of kind not giving a full list of all the failed last min signings….it is amazing how poor Rizzo as ASTT GM or GM has been in getting any help to this team after the new year.

  137. The Dude Abides - Dec 17, 2011 at 1:54 PM

    Hey… a new rant by JayB…..has anybody heard this before?

  138. Unkyd - Dec 17, 2011 at 1:54 PM

    2009….59-1032010….69-932011….80-81……get it?Yu don't gotta be a genius, to see where this club is headed…

  139. Gonat - Dec 17, 2011 at 2:16 PM

    http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=20031687&partnerId=aw-7834555913103422973-1047This will answer all questions on Bryce Harper by Mike Rizzo. Watch all 3 parts. It was obviously taped a while ago as you will notice he discusses Willingham who is already with the Twins.He also answers that 6 man rotation question. NO

  140. JayB - Dec 17, 2011 at 2:25 PM

    Yu we have to be a fool to not know they would get a lot farther faster if they did not have the worst bench in baseball LAST YEAR! Yu can easily see that the last min approach has never worked. Yu would need to agree that the team in getting better yes….and yu know I agree….but yu could do more faster with better players like real teams like Phil, LAA, DET, TEX, AZ and other winning teams are doing right now.

  141. JayB - Dec 17, 2011 at 2:37 PM

    As you all know when I see a glaring issue I post……as soon as Riggs was gone I stopped posting….this team was making great progress….it was a great year….does that mean we need to repeat history and underachieve because you are cheap and indecisive about addressing none of the needs.

  142. Frediemac - Dec 17, 2011 at 2:37 PM

    I Love this team with all my heart. There is plenty of time to still get pieces needed for the upcoming season. I know many of us would like it to happen before Christmas. Just keep your chin up Nats Nation this team is coming strong this season

  143. Joe Seamhead - Dec 17, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    JayB, say what you want, you're entitled, but the fact is the Nats are moving in the right direction.Look at Unkyd's post. If we were a player away from being seriously close to World Series level Rizzo could go for broke. We're not, but we are consistently improving. When the Expos moved here MLB gave us a bankrupt roster and farm system. Bowden did not improve it much. Mike Rizzo has been building a very good foundation for a successful long term organization, from top to bottom. He is not going to derail what he's accomplishing by giving away prospects, or by overpaying pitchers with longterm contracts.I honestly think that even if we don't make any blockbuster type moves that we will be very good with the team we have, with bringing up a couple of guys and having Johnson playing the hand he's been dealt. Bryce Harper will be on the 25 man roster at some point tnext season. We are committed to LaRoche at first, so the outfield out of the box will be Morse, Werth, and Who Knows. Bernadina? Ankiel? Brown? Harper? A player to be named? We don't know. Our bench? I not broken hearted to see Nix, Bixler, Nomes,Cora, Hairston, and Stairs gone, but we may end up with very similar types to start the year.It's still early and I would be very surprised if Rizzo doesn't make some form of a move that will involve a trade of one of our surplus pitchers. Other then the OF and bench this roster is pretty much set, IMHO. BTW- go back to last year's posts on this blog from around this time. It was amazing how many predicted a last place finish with over a hundred losses for the 2011 Nationals.Ha! Fail!

  144. JayB - Dec 17, 2011 at 2:48 PM

    not me……I was a .500 or above prediction at this time. It would have been true had they not WAITED to get the worst bench in baseball signed up.I am not asking for $100 Million player….I want a Bench and a really strong one for say $20 million across 1 and 2 year contracts for 3-4 players.

  145. Unkyd - Dec 17, 2011 at 2:49 PM

    Um… I'm not a fool. Is it absolutely nessecary to denigrate those with whom Yu disagree? Really?

  146. JayB - Dec 17, 2011 at 2:55 PM

    My apologies…I guess I took your comment wrong?"Yu don't gotta be a genius, to see where this club is headed…"….kinda says what you are taking offense at does it not?

  147. Sunderland - Dec 17, 2011 at 2:58 PM

    Here goes – JayB is not wrong, our bench has been a huge liability. This is not news.I'm not at all sure why people are arguing that point.Rizzo / management has not put enough emphasis on having a strong bench. And it certainly looks as though that may again be the case this year.

  148. JayB - Dec 17, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    Exactly….and in my view this is why we were under .500 and not right there with the Braves.

  149. Unkyd - Dec 17, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    JayB:…… Touché…. (although it seems less negative, when I say it…lol)

  150. sjm308 - Dec 17, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    JayB – your posts are a big part of this blog and we don't always agree but you tend to exagerate. You are listing last minute signings and its not even Jan. 1 yet!! If we have not made progress with our bench or CF by the middle of Jan, you will have an excellent point. All/most of the signings you listed are valid failures but Rizzo still has time.Joe Seamhead and I both listed lots of postives about the direction of this team and I think you do agree with that. You are not a hater, we all get that but give it time (if that is possible).I am still thinking that with minimal tweaks, this team is at 85 wins and just a few breaks our way takes us into the playoff hunt. Full year of both Zimmerman and Zimmermann, LaRoche getting back to his norm, Werth improving to his norm (again not great but surely better than last year), a healthy SS & Wang, continued improvement by our youngsters and hopefully a legite CF at least defensively. The bullpen is solid and we also have a full year of ONE MANAGER who will set the tone in spring training and everyone will gain confidence from that. Hard to remember that we had 3 different voices in the dugout last year and still won 80 games. Not everyone will like Davey but he is going to give us a consistant philosophy and that will make a difference with coaches and players.Go Nats

  151. baseballswami - Dec 17, 2011 at 3:11 PM

    I think that the bench staff for any team is a tough thing to put together. Do you go utility or do you go hitter? Also – most of the guys available are guys who think they can still play but are probably past their prime. How do you get guys who accept their role, can play field positions if you need them to,are still capable of playing the game and can come in off the bench cold in a clutch situation and actually help you? There are just a lot of factors involved. Of course they are not the top tier free agents – they are guys waiting around to see if their careers are over. I don't think you should criticize past leadership for going with the bench philosophy that stressed defense and speed. It's one way to go that is legitimate. If you go with dh type guys you gain something but you lose something, too. Those guys are much more important in the national league – you have those few spots to cover a lot of needs. You also have to deal with the fact that nobody can hit well or play the field if they don't get consistent at-bats or some time in the field. Tough balance.

  152. FS - Dec 17, 2011 at 3:21 PM

    Well I am glad Darvish isn't coming here, because I was already sick of all Yu jokes. Besides that's too much money just to negotiate with the guy. Having said that Nationals should have placed a bid to show their interest. No need to go 45-50, but at least show your fan-base some effort. Not bidding on Darvish may not be a big deal to the club in long term, but for us fans, it does matter. Anyways, there needs to be a better system in place to compensate the Japanese clubs. Trade or draft or even getting some of these guys young (while in high school) should be explored.It would be great if we get Aoki at least before 25th.

  153. Anonymous - Dec 17, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    OK, can we get something straight. 2010 Chi Sox won 88 games, in 2011 they won 79. 2010 D-Bax won 65 games, 2011 they won 94. Past performance is not indicative of future results. The Nats record last year, with a different club, against other different clubs and a different schedule, etc., means nothing, nothing at all for this year's club's record. They won 59, then 69 and then 80. Nothing in that progression, because it is not a progression, means that they will win any number of games in 2012. The club is not "headed" to a winning record by virtue of almost having had one last year. Maybe it is headed to a winning record because it has the pieces in place to be a winner, or because relative to competition it is better, or what have you, but the past records means zilch in terms of some direction the club is headed. Let it go.dfh21

  154. sjm308 - Dec 17, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    Swammi:excellent points and it really is so much more important in the NL. It will be interesting to see what kind of imput Davey has on the bench and I am betting it will be a big part. I don't want a Gomes type back but its the kind of player Davey relishes. I would be happy with Dobbs, Ankiel, DeRosa or Keppinger, and even Mike Cameron if I though he could accept that kind of role (he at one time was really solid). I am wondering what will happen to Bernadina this season and would be interested in what the folks here think.

  155. Sunderland - Dec 17, 2011 at 3:33 PM

    FS, if the Nats placed a bid and were way off the mark they'd be getting even more grief. Deciding to pass is better than deciding you're in and not being close.Also keep in mind that if a low bid did end up winning (I would guess anything under $20M for sure, and maybe even up to $25M) the Fighters would almost certainly decline it and keep Darvish.So really, no point in bidding except to try and win.

  156. sjm308 - Dec 17, 2011 at 3:36 PM

    dfh: I actually agree with you but you do have to admit that its a lot more exciting to be heading toward success than being stuck like a certain team to the North in what seems like an endless succession of sub .500 ball. It really does go back to what many have mentioned earlier. Games are played on the field, not on paper. That being said, I will let go what we have done in the past and just look at what we have to look forward to in the future. SS, Harper, last years draft picks, health for our 1b and 3b, and improvement from Esi, Desi, Ramos etc.

  157. sjm308 - Dec 17, 2011 at 3:38 PM

    Have we heard anything more about Aoki? If the bid was 2.5 million, and I am against all this posting stuff, but if it was just that, isn't he almost a bargin? I realize that team still has to sign him but I wish they would be more timely with news about which team that is.

  158. Sunderland - Dec 17, 2011 at 3:43 PM

    I actually think determing how to construct the Nats bench has been pretty simple. They never a staff that would regularly go deep into games, and they did not have an offense that would stake them to large leads. So, they would need to go to the bench early and often. And that means no DH types (Stairs) and value versatility (Hairston).It doesn't make it easy to sign the guys you want, because as Swami notes, many of them want to go where they can play every day. But it does make figuring out the complexion of the bench fairly easy.

  159. CBinDC - Dec 17, 2011 at 3:57 PM

    Again the only reason to be upset at the FO is that they were talking before the Hot Stove season that they were players in a process that can be expensive and has some risks so far they have acted like their old self. Not putting in a bid on Darvish means not just they thought the price was to high but that they are just lookers not players and this would be opposite to the position they presented before this season began. Here is a fact, The Nats have a relative lower payroll every year since 2007 and are even lower right now then in 2011. Yes they spent on all of those draft picks but again they were hopelessly low on minor league players and cost and only now are average in total cost. So again the price to see the team has been compared to record expensive and they still are high on average price. Anybody EVER get a offer for free tickets that did not have some other purchase in connection. In the first year after the lock out Teddy L sent me a offer for free tickets just show up. to 4 Caps games. Ever see that from this FO. The Nats have been low on payroll and high in profits the whole time the Lerners have owned them that is a fact that hangs over this team and this off season. They need to do something to prove that business as usual is over and none of the past moves has changed the perception they are just going to try an produce a passable team.

  160. Anonymous - Dec 17, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    This is a big deal because it once again shows how deceitful Rizzo is. He pretends to be interested in Darvish, jerks the gullible fans around, then doesn't even submit a bid. Sick! No wonder Riggleman couldn't work for him.

  161. Whatsanattau - Dec 17, 2011 at 4:09 PM

    That is just silly

  162. NatsLady - Dec 17, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    I don't want to insult people on here— but I will. This statement is NUTS:…Nationals should have placed a bid to show their interest. No need to go 45-50, but at least show your fan-base some effort. You know what showed effort? Hot chocolate at the Ramos vigil. After that, I don't care about "effort." Let Rizzo make the best decisions he can with his information, budget and player availability. Unless it's some kind of bluff, a deliberately failed bid is not "effort," it's stupid.

  163. Unkyd - Dec 17, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    Whatsa: Agree.dfh21: Disagree.

  164. Wily Mo Petersen - Dec 17, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    What if Davey Johnson's right and Detwiler blows up next season? We might already have our power lefty in the rotation. He looked pretty good at the end of the year I want to see how he does.

  165. JayB - Dec 17, 2011 at 4:48 PM

    Ross D is not going to blow up in a good way. He is a big baby on the mound. He pouts and gets upset at every little thing…..he is a bust in my view and because Jimbo put in on the 25 man roster and he pitched on inning that draft year as a reward for signing early…..he is out of options…..just one more in a very long list of Nats F'ups…..and yes….Rizzo is better and yest he team is better…..does not mean we can not do better than we have now.

  166. Unkyd - Dec 17, 2011 at 4:54 PM

    Det might surprise us. I think he was coming off 2 surgeries? Having another winter, might get his core totally up to snuff… That hip prolly takes some time…

  167. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 17, 2011 at 5:12 PM

    Hot chocolate was nice, and probably reached more fans than a "face-time" bid would. "Nuts" is a little harsh, maybe, but nobody comes to the park to see the guy they didn't get. There are probably fewer than 1,000 people alive who even know the difference, let alone buy tickets because the Nats merely showed up at an auction.

  168. FS - Dec 17, 2011 at 5:14 PM

    Natslady,You may look at it as a deliberately failed attempt, I see it as trying to get someone at the right price. I did not complain when Nationals failed to get Teixeira or Lee because they tried. They put their whatever best offer they thought and came up empty. For me, this Darvish bidding is the same thing. After all scouting and glowing reviews, you don't even bid? I don't see how that makes sense to you.

  169. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 17, 2011 at 5:21 PM

    Ross D is not going to blow up in a good way. He is a big baby on the mound. He pouts and gets upset at every little thing.Actually, if that were all it was, he'd be fixable. I never thought his stuff was all that good as a starter. Maybe we'll find out, maybe somebody else will.

  170. NatsLady - Dec 17, 2011 at 5:23 PM

    FS, that's not what was said in the post. What was said in the original post was the Nats should make a bid to show the fanbase they are making an effort. That is a not a good motive for making a bid. The Nats already made the PR signing (Werth). The Nats should make a bid if they feel the player is worth it and fits their needs. They should make the highest bid they feel they can afford and that has a chance of winning. If the highest bid they want to make has basically no shot, why do it? To bid just to say you bid–? Sorry, not my style and a waste of time, and speaking of being "deceptive." Rizzo handled it just fine, if you ask me. Glowing reviews may have run up the price that SOME OTHER TEAM will pay for him. Not saying whether or not you gave in a bid–good also, because next time you might or might not put in a bid and why should all the world know?

  171. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 17, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    I don't see how that makes sense to you.After Mark's whole exposition, and dozens of posts over the past few days, and over 150 today, the argument isn't clear, then it's not going to be. That said: If they had reason to believe no one else was going to bid, and they didn't want to be kicking themselves for not bidding at all when nobody else did, either (even tho the Fighters could simply say "No, thank you" if they didn't like the number), then, sure. But lowballing just for the sake of it does not, in fact, sell any tickets, which is what the "fan base" is–people who buy tickets.

  172. Unkyd - Dec 17, 2011 at 5:31 PM

    FS: it could be that they siimply didn't want to take the $50+ mil salary gamble (posting fee notwithstanding). In that case, keeping mum may help drive the post up, when making a bogus offer may accidentally get you his rights, and make you look foolish… The Nats obviously feel they're awash in good RH pitching…for the near future, and it's hard to argue that point. There's likely to be a new legit RH prospect, knocking on the door in ST, in each of the next 3-4 years…

  173. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 17, 2011 at 5:40 PM

    Another reason things won't happen as fast as we'd like:Cespedes' Free Agency Pushed To JanuaryBy Steve Adams [December 17 at 9:12am CST]Yoenis Cespedes found a place in all of our hearts with a life-changing 20-minute scouting video back in early November. Fans who have been yearning for more can now be satiated, as Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus brings us the much-anticipated sequel (note: this edition, sadly, has no sound).

  174. JayB - Dec 17, 2011 at 5:43 PM

    You are also correct…his stuff is not that good but good enough to be a #5 LH starter….problem his head is a mess……Just looks scared, angry and frustrated all at once with every walk or single….he is not going to any good to anyone.

  175. Eugene in Oregon - Dec 17, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    FS @ 12:14 p.m. said: For me, this Darvish bidding is the same thing. After all scouting and glowing reviews, you don't even bid? I don't see how that makes sense to you.*********************************************Several folks on this (long) thread have made the above argument (i.e., "given how much the Nats scouted Mr. Dervish, why didn't they bid on him?"). But isn't that logic backwards? Shouldn't it be something like "Given how much the Nats scouted Dervish, they ultimately concluded that what they had seen wasn't worth the money that would be required to get him"? Isn't that what scouting and statistical analysis is all about — making both positive and negative decisions?As a fan, I would have loved to have seen Mr. Dervish playing for the Nats next year. But I'm not prepared to make a final judgment on the off-season's success or failure until the off-season is over. Despite all the angst (even anger) I'm reading here, there are several good free agent pitchers still available, several good free agent hitters still available, and a number of pitchers and hitters still very real possibilities via trade. I'm willing to wait until mid-February to evaluate the totality of the off-season deals.

  176. CBinDC - Dec 17, 2011 at 5:51 PM

    Here again If you had a estimated 4 teams place BLIND bids on a player whose cost was not unknown just the final price and you make waves and comments that you understand all of that, do interviews in relation to that process and in the end you are NOT one of those 4 teams then what were you doing the whole time. WHAT? Well without an explanation all you can do is look to past performance and say I guess this was blue smoke and that all of the statements and discussions were just, LIES? None of what people on here and elsewhere have said explains what the Nats actions were in this moment in time only Rizzo and the Lerners can explain and THEY REALLY NEED TO DO JUST THAT, EXPLAIN.But until then you just look cheap. Yes all of the cost and other factors Ii am fully aware of and was aware of before Weds. That discussion is done. The new one is are they really improving the TEAM, MEDIA and THE FAN EXPERIENCE or just trying to look like they are and again hope no one really notices. You can not live on the money of Filthy Fans forever. BTW if Jason Werth's contract is some road block to further action then you should have never bought a sports team. He is not a bust yet but also you said you knew why the cost was high, live with the results and build not recede.

  177. Sunderland - Dec 17, 2011 at 5:52 PM

    NatLady, 11:14, you wrote exactly what I was thinking….

  178. JayB - Dec 17, 2011 at 5:54 PM

    That thinking has always allowed Rizzo at GM or AST GM pick up Stairs and Alex Cintron types as the Feb Solutions……that does not work for me…..What is wrong with paying market price for top talent in Nov and Dec just like PHL, DET LAA, TX and AZ have done? Each year the teams that move early get the better players….do they pay more…yes…do they get more yes.

  179. JaneB - Dec 17, 2011 at 5:55 PM

    Just recall what a "find" Yunesky Maya was. He was going to blast through and be worth way more than the many millions we paid him. I'm glad the Nats let this go. The downside was too far down.Ah! Baseball gabbing does a body good.

  180. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 17, 2011 at 5:56 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  181. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 17, 2011 at 5:58 PM

    THEY REALLY NEED TO DO JUST THAT, EXPLAIN.No, they really don't.

  182. JayB - Dec 17, 2011 at 6:00 PM

    JaneB Maya is a prime example of the problem….The player to get was Chapman….they did not want to pay the price…..they settled for sub market price and sub market (not even MLB caliber really player)…..THAT IS WHAT THEY DO ALL THE TIMESee long list of examples above

  183. Sunderland - Dec 17, 2011 at 6:04 PM

    JaneB, and that's why I am not in any way high on Cespedes. He's a really good hitter in a league where Maya was one of the very best pitchers. I doubt Cespedes can hit MLB pitching. He's "5 tools" and all that, and to me, I think he's roughly the equivalent of Justin Maxwell. I'm willing to bet he spends at lesat 80% of 2012 in minor league ball.Captch – sticurvi:I bet Sofa could have done something with that captcha. Me? I got nothing.

  184. Anonymous - Dec 17, 2011 at 6:09 PM

    No big deal … The big deal happened last year with Werth. The Lerners are still smarting over it and don't want to commit another error. Rizzo can mention to writers and radio hosts about all the players he is after (and refuse to divulge this or that) but nothing will happen without "outfielder" Mark Lerner's final approval. I guess he disapproved on the price for Darvish. Once bitten, twice shy.

  185. JayB - Dec 17, 2011 at 6:16 PM

    OF Mark Lerner….is a joke….he does nothing and has no power….TED is well over 80 years old and will hold all the power until he dies.

  186. FS - Dec 17, 2011 at 6:28 PM

    Natslady, I should have been clear the first time. It is not just about PR. Darvish definitely fits our need, but he may not be worth the money he is going to end up getting. Then again, which ballplayer ever is? Anyways, I feel Nationals either should have made a bid for what they thought the right price or made it clear earlier that they are not interested for that much.Anyways, like I said earlier, a better system needs to be in place for Japanese players.

  187. Gonat - Dec 17, 2011 at 6:35 PM

    Padres acquire RHPs Edinson Volquez & Brad Boxberger, INF Yonder Alonso and C Yasmani Grandal from Reds for RHP Mat LatosThat seems like alike of players to hope for the Latos of 2010 to return. Alonso was blocked by Votto but should have been enough

  188. NatsLady - Dec 17, 2011 at 6:39 PM

    FS, I agree a better system needs to be place for the Japanese players. I don't like the blind bidding because who knows if the player wants to play for the team that makes the high bid–then the whole thing is a waste of time!!! With Buehrle, Rizzo went to his place and tried to emphasize the positives of this team, not just the money. In the end, Florida offered Ozzie and an extra year, but Rizzo made the "effort," because a Lefty SP is what we are looking for. I just don't think he was going to outbid Florida, and that's fine.Now, I don't think "Darvish definitely fits our needs." We have three RHP pitchers in the rotation, two of whom are quite young. Add another guy in the mix who is new to the culture and league–maybe not. If we are going for an RHP, and if we are going to spend big $$ on an RHP, I'd MUCH rather it were Oswalt.

  189. FS - Dec 17, 2011 at 6:42 PM

    Eugene in Oregan, did or do the Nationals (or any of us) think Mark Teixera is worth 8/180 before or after three years since signing that contract? But the Nationals did scout him and made him a offer they thought was reasonable. Let's talk about this off-season. Nationals have made very clear since the beginning that Fielder is not one of their targets. Just like that, I believe Nationals should have taken one of these two courses. I am not a fan of this route they have taken for Darvish bidding. Anyways, kinda tired of all arguing. What's done is done. I may not like what they did now, but I do trust Rizzo to fill the gaps with good players.

  190. sjm308 - Dec 17, 2011 at 6:49 PM

    This is great, I go out to the gym, do a little yard work, come back in and JayB is still ranting. Now we also have JayB and an Anon telling us what is happening in the Lerners minds. I challenge any of you to actually tell me you have heard that the Lerners are "still smarting" over the Werth acquisition or that it has defined how they are doing business this year. Its just your negative speculation. JayB might be right about Ted calling the shots but I don't even know that to be true and honestly, don't care. I just want Rizzo to build the best team possible and still think that is what he wants to do as well. To suggest we have been lied to or that people are smarting about moves from the past is just looking for ways to ramp up your own angst.I do love that JayB has a passion for this team and I think he wants a winner as much as all of us. He just prefers to complain a little more and this is a great place for that.NatsLady, you were dead on. Its none of our business if they bid or not and Sofa is right as well, they don't have to tell us anything. This is a business and often, in deals, the less said the better. How many of us knew anything about Jason Werth coming here before that deal was made. I still think Natsjack has this right, something will come around that we were not expecting.

  191. Anonymous - Dec 17, 2011 at 7:10 PM

    OF Mark Lerner….is a joke….he does nothing and has no power….TED is well over 80 years old and will hold all the power until he dies.JayB, did you think that about Jack Kent Cooke? He ran the Redskins right up to the end as well …Ted Lerner ain't no Ted Turner … he seems to be more than a bit smarter … but he is the patient sort … he's the investor who invests for the long-term not looking for short-term profits as so many of the greedy 1% often do.Its why he is in the best financial shape of ALL, BAR NONE, major league owners. Doubtless, in my mind, the figures posted about him in Forbes are inaccurate. He likely is worth far more but manages to keep that hidden as that is his MO. Long ago I worked for the guy as a lifeguard. Just a silly life guard for one of his apartment complexes and yet his people brought me into his offices and showed me his business and how he liked to do things.Does Ted know the business of baseball? I think he is learning. Not sure about Mark but Ted sure as heck is … and he appears to be getting better at it … so his mind is still as agile as ever …Because of his age and lack of experience surely, he is looking at Rizzo and his brain trust as folks who can do the job with as little hands on on his part as possible? He jumps in when there is a potential big deal in the offing. And JayB, let's face it, this guy INVENTED THE SHOPPING MALL. When's the last time any of them OR YOU did something like that!? Wheaton Plaza goes back to the late 1950's dude!!! So, of course he feels like he's the guy to jump in there and lead the negotiations with Boras, Grienke and his agents, whomever when necessary. Wouldn't you? However, getting to your point the question of energy comes into play. How much does he have to continue on? What kind of affect might it have on this critical time when the Nats are on the cusp of competing and that jack-ass Loria is upping the ante? It is Ted that must find a strategy to respond to that not Rizzo. And look at this way JayB, thanks to the corrupt "Union" Mafia lawyer Angelos, like Riggleman, Ted Lerner had to enter into a deal he didn't really like. The multi-media "TV" revenue is completely controlled by that jack-ass friend of the former governator of Baltimore William Donald Schaefer who used MY TAX MONEY to set that jack-ass in business!!!! The lawyer has no money of his own and is a lousy businessman (unlike Ted Lerner) yet he has a noose around Ted's Nationals controlling their revenue stream as a means of keeping them close to the same level as the Orioles.Ask yourself, why then did Ted enter into this deal? Because HE IS THE consummate local just like the Cafritz family. But, yes, its ego too, as he believes he is the better wheeler/dealer business man. I wouldn't bet against him on that score. And I believe he is indeed making Angelos sweat bullets and hopefully he will sell the team to a real ownership group if the pressure gets too much. Ted has proven that the pressure won't get to him … he has proven by the Nats improvement post-Bowden that he has gotten this thing going in the right direction and in spite of the handicaps he is making a franchise cast-off by Loria, a competitive and respected franchise in major league baseball again.

  192. gonatsgo - Dec 17, 2011 at 7:21 PM

    Ah – while most people are out shopping and doing holiday-type stuff, the hard core fans are here on the computer "explaining" their views to one another. Seriously – the off season is sooooooo boring – no wonder people get cranky. I am glad to see that all of the bloggers are keeping their opinions in tip-top shape!

  193. Anonymous - Dec 17, 2011 at 7:38 PM

    I just don't think he was going to outbid Florida, and that's fine.I'm sure Rizzo and the Nats could have outbid Florida Nats lady. But that many years for an over-30 pitcher, when injuries start to pile up, who IS JUST a #3 starter?I suspect a lot of it is subterfuge … something I suspect (I don't know for sure) Ted Lerner the old dog is teaching Rizzo. Misdirect the opposition and then make the score when they aren't looking. They are going for left-handed power pitchers for a #1/#2 slot in the rotation. A guy under 30 they can negotiate with for a longer term contract than Buehrle. For this year HOPEFULLY pushing Strasburg down to #3 where he belongs given the innings limitation and the recovery process. That means John Danks, Gio Gonzalez, David Price … Consider Lerner critics, a lot of the moves Loria made (and I believe with little GM input) were done in response to whom? The Philles? The Braves? NO. The Nationals because everyone, and I mean everyone sees the Nats as up-and-coming. They know that Harper and Rendon are going to be tremendous hitters. They know the Nats young pitching has improved almost exponentially. Every starting young pitcher they had in the rotation in 2009 is gone exceptions of Lannan and Stammen. Gone are Atilano, Mock, Martin, Olsen, Thompson … and in spite of that the Nats get better … Let's face it … the Lerner's like to keep things quiet … their strategies behind closed doors, close to the vest. But they aren't adverse to misdirection. Unlike Bowden, Rizzo is mirroring that philosophy.So, in the end I believe Natsjack is spot-on. We will eventually see some roster altering moves when we aren't expecting them … just not as quickly as people on this blog like JayB would like … its going to take time … meanwhile both Florida and Baltimore will be sweating bullets. But the goal is to get the Phillie's and Brave's management to do that.

  194. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 17, 2011 at 7:40 PM

    Ah – while most people are out shopping and doing holiday-type stuff, the hard core fans are here on the computer "explaining" their views to one anotherAn excellent point, well taken. Will we get a new version of "Santa Baby" this year, 1a?

  195. Wally - Dec 17, 2011 at 7:48 PM

    Gonat said…Padres acquire RHPs Edinson Volquez & Brad Boxberger, INF Yonder Alonso and C Yasmani Grandal from Reds for RHP Mat LatosHoly craptastic trade for the Padres, Batman. This just seems staggering to me. I think that is more than Halladay, Lee (twice), Greinke or Haren brought back. All of those are better pitchers, although I know Latos has more years of control left than they did at the time of the trade.You know, reading these comments all at once makes me want to reach for the Maalox and bourbon that gets passed around during the season.I share the desire to see the Nats add somebody worthwhile too, but focusing it when the team hasn't done anything is hard. You can't just say 'I like the player', you have to take into account the cost. 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 don't like 6+ year, $100m contracts, almost ever, and certainly not for a guy who has never played in the big leagues. I might do it for Fielder, who I see as an elite hitter and young enough to hold his level for 5-7 years, but I wouldn't go 10 years for him, if that is what it takes.There are guys who could help and will likely sign for 2-4 years, several of which have been mentioned. Oswalt, Beltran, Jackson: that would be where I hope Rizzo grabs one or two.

  196. Sunderland - Dec 17, 2011 at 7:52 PM

    Loria did not make a single move in response to the Nationals. His motivation has nothing to do with the state of our roster or our standing in the minds of anyone.

  197. Anonymous - Dec 17, 2011 at 8:14 PM

    Loria did not make a single move in response to the Nationals. His motivation has nothing to do with the state of our roster or our standing in the minds of anyone.And so Sunderland, a team that already HAD and allstar shortstop and a team with decent young pitching going for an over 30 soft-tosser (whom the Nats freely announced was their #1 target … remember these are the new Nats who like to keep things close-to-the-Vest ala Ted Lerner)? Yeah dream on dude.

  198. natsfan1a - Dec 17, 2011 at 8:19 PM

    Funny you should ask. I was thinking about dredging it up again, but I got distracted by holiday-type stuff. Maybe after the dust settles around here I'll update it. I'd rather do that than "explain" my views, anyway. :-)Sec 3, My Sofa said… Ah – while most people are out shopping and doing holiday-type stuff, the hard core fans are here on the computer "explaining" their views to one another An excellent point, well taken. Will we get a new version of "Santa Baby" this year, 1a? December 17, 2011 2:40 PM

  199. natsfan1a - Dec 17, 2011 at 8:20 PM

    Oh, and Ms. Oakley sends her regards, Unk. ;-)

  200. Sunderland - Dec 17, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    Yeah, why would the Marlins need a decent lefty to stabilize their rotation? Their best pitcher is coming off a shoulder injury. Their 2nd best is not going to re-sign with them. They've got 2 young guys in their rotation who threw to ERA's over 4.5 last year. Their starting staff was among the very worst in the NL last year.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. They signed Ozzie, who wanted Buehrle, and so they signed Buehrle. If you want to think they're playing keeping up with the Lerners, fine.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 58 49 --
ATLANTA 58 52 1.5
MIAMI 53 56 6.0
NEW YORK 52 57 7.0
PHILADELPHIA 49 61 10.5
Through Friday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 12:35 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Braves 7:35 p.m.
Full season schedule

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ON THE RADIO

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TUE: 2:30 p.m.
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THU: 2:30 p.m.
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