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Determining a pitcher’s value

Dec 20, 2011, 12:00 PM EDT

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The Rangers will pay $51.7 million for the right to negotiate with Yu Darvish.

Well, we now know who has won the right to negotiate with Yu Darvish (the Texas Rangers) and how much it cost to win that right ($51.7 million). That's the largest posting fee ever paid out to a Japanese club from a major-league franchise, narrowly besting the $51.1 million the Red Sox dished out five years ago to win negotiating rights with Daisuke Matsuzaka.

We'd known since Friday that the Nationals chose not to submit a formal bid for Darvish. It's probably safe to say now they were aware some other club was going to top the Dice-K posting fee, and in their minds Darvish simply wasn't worth it.

How much would the Nationals have been willing to pay to win the rights to Darvish? We'll never know, but suffice it to say the total sum had to be considerably below the Rangers' winning bid. Otherwise, they might have submitted it, thinking they at least had a chance to come away as the high bidder.

This is the debate that plays out every day in the front offices at 1500 South Capitol St., and it's become the story of the offseason so far:Read more »

  1. Tim - Dec 20, 2011 at 12:09 PM

    Is it possible that now that the Rangers are committing such a huge sum for Darvish that they are now out of the Prince Fielder sweepstakes?Rumors are that the Nationals still have interest in Prince and if so, the price to sign Prince may have dropped just slightly by the Rangers unable to commit to both Darvish AND Fielder.MLB.com also reports that DeRosa is still interested in signing with the Nats.GYFNG!

  2. Will - Dec 20, 2011 at 12:13 PM

    Well it only costs the Rangers $51.7mil for the right to sign Darvish. If he doesn't sign, that money is returned to the Rangers.As I mentioned in the other thread, this gives the Rangers A LOT of leverage. The Fighters are as invested as the Rangers are in signing Darvish. If Darvish doesn't sign, they don't get their record posting fee, but instead have to pay Darvish about $4mil of salary. It's in everyone's interests that Darvish signs. That's why I don't think he gets anywhere near what Wilson got. I expect it will be slightly more than what Dice-K signed for (6/$52m) to ensure that he has the highest posting fee and highest contract for a Japanese player (not named-Ichiro).Regarding pitching valuations, that is the real question. I'd avoid Gio Gonzalez like the plague. To me he seems like a starting pitching version of HRod (Gonzalez led the league in walks last season). And if it means giving away at least 3 of our top 5 prospects, no thanks. There's better young starters out there that can be acquired.

  3. MIcheleS - Dec 20, 2011 at 12:15 PM

    Good Morning Mark!$51.7M is a lot of cash and I doubt Rizzo would have ever gone that high (he didn't for Buerhle). i am okay with this especially since we have Peacock/Milone and the other kids in the minors that we can shuttle between DC and SYR.I am a little concerned by the talks of Gio from the A's. Isn't he under team control and fairly cheap? Why would the A's be shopping him? Just to get a haul of prospects (which I heard they don't want anyone with MLB service time) or is there something else behind it?And I do think that this takes the Rangers out of the Fielder sweepstakes.

  4. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 20, 2011 at 12:17 PM

    Darvish will sign and it will be upwards of $12 Mil per 5 or 6 years. He's developed some baggage through an ugly divorce and wants to turn the page by leaving Japan. But what a HUGE gamble by the Rangers. Nolan Ryan sure likes to roll the dice.

  5. Slidell - Dec 20, 2011 at 12:23 PM

    So much for the earlier assertions (by others)that the Blue Jays had the high bid.

  6. Will - Dec 20, 2011 at 12:28 PM

    Michele,Because of the A's financial situation, Beane has to regularly sell off his team to remain competitive. There's a long history of it: see Mark Mulder, Tim Hudson, Dan Haren, Carlos Gonzalez, Matt Holliday, Rich Harden, Trevor Cahill, and now Gio Gonzalez.These trades are supposed to refresh the A's funnel of cheap, cost-controlled players. And as soon as they start to get expensive during arbitration, they're sold off for more cheap players. The Mulder deal for example netted Daric Barton and Dan Haren, who subsequently got Brett Anderson and Carlos Gonzalez, who subsequently was traded for Huston Street and Matt Holliday, who was subsequently traded for Brett Wallace, who was then traded for Michael Taylor, who now has little value, which kills this trade flow chart.But you see the point. Beane consistently sells off talented, but increasingly expensive players for promising young cheap players. That's what he's trying to do with Gio.

  7. MicheleS - Dec 20, 2011 at 12:33 PM

    Will..Thanks.. still thought it was a little to early in Gio's career to try and dump him. I thought the team had at least 4 years left of control, but if he is due for the huge raises I understand Beane shipping him off. Since he wants cheap and under control with little or no service time, I hope that means we don't give up Peacock! And it also means that LannEn/Det will not be in the trade. Just wondering as to who the A's would want (which I suppose is a good thing since MLB had a scorched earth policy to the Nats Farm system)

  8. Will - Dec 20, 2011 at 12:44 PM

    Beane sees the writing on the wall. Young talented starting pitchers are the hottest commodity in baseball right now (see the Latos trade). Gio is coming off a very good season, so Beane is trying to sell high in a seller's market.Based on what Beane has targeted in the past, I'd definitely expect Peacock and/or Milone to be included, as well as Cole. If the Latos trade sets the market price, then we're looking at something of 2 of our top 5 prospects, our 9th or 10th best prospect and a decent major leaguer. That would amount to Peacock, Cole, Lombardozzi and Lannan. Would you do make that trade??I would for other starting pitchers, but not a chance for Gio.

  9. Anonymous - Dec 20, 2011 at 12:45 PM

    The decisions are not simple but the issues are not unique either. The Nats are in the same game as every other club. Every GM in the game is doing the same thing. Sure, this is hard stuff, but Mike Rizzo is not trying to stop global warming or prevent nuclear profileration from his office on South Capitol Street either.The irony is that the market prices for pitching are not some mystery. We know what the Padres got for Latos, what Wilson just signed for, etc. All of this talk about determining this pitcher's value over that one's in the short versus long run is a little over done. The club needs to make the hard decisions that every other club is making. Why should we feel sympathetic for Mike Rizzo having to scratch his brain the same way a Walt Jockety or Sandy Alderson are doing? Nats management has had real trouble gauging market vlaue for guys they really wanted in the past. Rizzo needs to just go get the guy he knows he needs. (Which, I think, is Gio Gonzalez.) Pay the price and get guys to fill the roles that the club knows it needs to fill. Front end pitching, lead-off, bench, etc. These are hard decisions, I get it, but the needs are known and they have options in terms of potential soultions. The Nats often appear to be over-thinking, over-valuing their position over the other club's or the FA's and making the decisions even harder than they need to be. The Nats can't keep throwing their hands up and telling us that every option is too expensive, or not quite the right fit, or too much of a set back for the farm to take in trade, as we watch club after club taking the plunge to get better.dfh21

  10. ehay2k - Dec 20, 2011 at 12:50 PM

    $125 M committed to a guy who as never thrown an MLB pitch? That's a big gamble. I always question big money signings, in any sport. (See, you CAN learn from Danny Snyder, even if HE can't!) They just so rarely pay off. Add the never-played-at-the-MLB-level factor, and the risk is even greater. But let's assume it pays off, that Darvis has MLB stuff and immediately pitches well.If he has a WAR of 5, and signs a six year contract, that's over $4M per extra win. Seems like there must be a better way, and with less risk due to injury or other issues, to win 30 games over six years. Or am I missing something?I realize there are a lot of other factors, like ticket and jersey sales, to consider. But strictly from a win/loss perspective, I have to believe that if you spent a lot less than Darvish's posting fee on improving the bench, the Nats would be better off. And finally – Embraceable Yu? (I hope that's the last one.)

  11. Constant Reader - Dec 20, 2011 at 12:51 PM

    Updating what I posted last night with a few details.Gio (and with a name like Gio, you don't need a last name) is under control for four years. Look at his last two seasons. On balance, his last two seasons are better than any season for a Washington Nats pitcher. Go back and look at the numbers. In seven years, we've had 11 pitchers hit 'qualified' status; three in '05 and eight in the six years since. If you believe Gio gets you four seasons like his last two, he's worth a pitcher on the cusp but who certainly isn't described as a can't miss #1 or #2 starter (Peacock), a pitcher with potential who hasn't put it together yet (Detwiler), an outfielder with potential who hasn't put it together yet (Bernadina), a blocked catcher (Norris or Flores), and a blocked middle infielder (Lombardozzi). If you think Gio produces four seasons like the last two, I'm not certain ALL FIVE of those guys get him except for the fact the A's are a desperately cheap franchise in need of live, cheap bodies.And if you think Gio has reached his apex and will be a disaster the next two years and out of baseball by year three, I can't argue with you.

  12. jeeves - Dec 20, 2011 at 12:53 PM

    I wrote on the last posting that i thought four players for Gio might be something like Detweiler, Milone, Norris, and Lombardozzi. The question is, as Nat fans, would we like such a trade?

  13. Will - Dec 20, 2011 at 12:56 PM

    Well said dfh21.Rizzo's overvaluation of his players worked well when we were sellers (e.g. Capps for Ramos), but now that we're on the cusp of relevance, we've turned into buyers, and Rizzo seems to be incapable of realizing that he's now on the other side of things, and that GMs are within their rights make ridiculous demands (e.g. Capps for Ramos). Unless he can pull the trigger and give up a player that he perceives to have even a modicum of long-term value, then he's never going to anywhere (Capps, Hairston, Marquis, Morgan, Hanrahan, and Burgess were all not in the Nats future plans when they were traded).

  14. Will - Dec 20, 2011 at 1:02 PM

    Constant reader said, "On balance, his last two seasons are better than any season for a Washington Nats pitcher.Isn't Jordan Zimmermann's 2011 season better than either of Gio's two full seasons, even with 40 fewer innings?I'll also enter Strasburg's 68 IP in 2010, Esteban Loiaza's 2005 season, and John Patterson's 2005 season for consideration.

  15. N. Cognito - Dec 20, 2011 at 1:16 PM

    It's all about risk. The Nats decided the amount it would take to sign Yu was not worth the risk. I have no problem with that.There are much cheaper, much less risky options, and some of these are already in the Nats' system.

  16. Unkyd - Dec 20, 2011 at 1:32 PM

    Who's Waldis Joaquin?

  17. Tim - Dec 20, 2011 at 1:33 PM

    Pitching is our strength. We should stand pat on pitching and go for Prince. Lefthanded 40HR, 110RBI, .400 OBP, makes us an immediate contender… Even with the pitching we currently have.Then re-sign Zim and we're good for a number of years.Plus… watch how the ballpark fills up!

  18. NatStat - Dec 20, 2011 at 1:43 PM

    Davish's comparatives will be interesting to watch. Now he will be pitching every 4 days, not every 5. He will be facing waaaaay better hitters, going from an A league to the bigs, and throwing a larger ball.Former ERA of 1.44, probably becomes 3.44 or worse.

  19. Todd Boss - Dec 20, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    What is the value of a pitcher? Certainly not the prices that they're going for this off-season. Darvish, if he gets his 5yr $75M contract will have cost more than $125M all told. That's more than Cliff Lee or CC Sabathia's price tags, and they're the two best, most expensive pitcher FAs to hit the market in the recent past.Who would you rather have? A cy young winner with a proven track record of success, or a relative unknown who has never thrown a MLB pitch but who has dominated AAA-level talent?

  20. jcj5y - Dec 20, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    I think the Gio trade market was changed by the Latos trade. Latos is inarguably a superior pitcher to Gio (1.154 WHIP vs. 1.410 WHIP), with the same number of years left under team control.Latos netted San Diego a marginal, if talented, starter (Volquez), a low-end pitching prospect (Boxberger) and two good, not great, prospects (in 2011, BA had Alonso at #73 and Grandal unranked; BP had Grandal at #86 and Alonso unranked). I think that translates into Detwiler (similarly difficult to gauge, but without a solid season in MLB like Volquez), Milone (a better prospect than Boxberger), Norris (arguably a better prospect than either Alonso or Grandal) and Lombardozzi (a lesser prospect than either Alonso or Grandal).If that's right, you MIGHT get it done without including Peacock. But if you have to throw Peacock instead of Norris, I wouldn't consider it a dealbreaker.Peacock and Norris is too much in my view, given the Latos trade. Although you could argue Alonso and Grandal have higher floors than Norris and Peacock. They likely have lower ceilings as well.

  21. Gonat - Dec 20, 2011 at 1:52 PM

    The math is so interesting in the whole I LOVE YU deal. $51.7 million is more than 5 teams spent in salaries last year and you have to now pay Yu on top of that.NatsJack says $12 million a year or more and most think it will be $15 million with incentives.If the deal goes for 5 years, then the total investment with the posting fee would make him $25.3 million per year.For perspective, Roy Halladay signed a 3 year deal last year at $20 million per year. The Rangers should have gone after CC Sabathia in hindsight as CC signed for $22.75 million per year.Tconsant has thought Yu would be a top 20 pitcher which is fine but at $25.3 million per year, Yu Darvish will cost the Rangers money that may be the most expensive acquisition in history for a pitcher. I applaud the Rangers for stepping up and hope he does better than CJ Wilson.

  22. Drew8 - Dec 20, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    Speaking of Rizzo, it's interesting to note in Bill Ladson's piece that Mark DeRosa said he had spoken to his friend Jason Marquis about playing in Washington and that Marquis had raved about the positive experience. (So much for that epic dugout-tunnel-clubhouse cage match with Riggs.)Seriously, that speaks well for the franchise. We've heard similar comments from Matt Capps and Adam Dunn. Other than Nyjer, it seems a lot of ex-Nats are spreading a positive impression about playing in Washington.I think that speaks highly of Rizzo — and of Washington's fans.

  23. Joe Seamhead - Dec 20, 2011 at 1:55 PM

    Not that Gio isn't a kid with a chance of a bright future, but I wouldn't trade Peacock straight up for him, and I certainly wouldn't throw in 3 or 4 other players.Gee, I wonder how Mike Rizzo ever got a driver's license, much less a job as a MLB general manager, as he's obviously a dummy according to so many people on this board. The last time a DC baseball team traded so many guys for one pitcher we ended up with no team and a guy named Denny. No, we don't need the return of a Bob Short type horse trader.

  24. Gonat - Dec 20, 2011 at 1:56 PM

    jcj5y, good analysis on Gio Gonzalez. This will be a hot topic in NatsTown. I like the guy but not worth giving away the future of the farm system.I would give up Lannan or Detwiler plus Flores and Tyler Moore as he is better suited for the AL. Throw in Cutter Dykstra too.

  25. MicheleS - Dec 20, 2011 at 1:57 PM

    Darvish in the band box that is TX and then dealing with that GOD AWFUL heat in Late June/July/August and a DH… I think that ERA will be closer to 4

  26. Anonymous8 - Dec 20, 2011 at 2:03 PM

    From Yahoo Sports on Darvish: Exactly how he develops under the rigors of an expected five-man rotation (and four days of rest) will be the trickiest part of acclimating Darvish, who often started on five or six days’ rest with the Fighters.

  27. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 20, 2011 at 2:03 PM

    I'm of the opinion that the Nats need to hold onto their minor league prospects for one more season to see how the current crop drafted this past season pan out.Giving up Milhone, Peacock, Cole, Ray, Solis or any of the other highly touted arms seems premature until you see how Meyer, Turnbull, and Purke pan out.

  28. jcj5y - Dec 20, 2011 at 2:08 PM

    How would you not trade Peacock for Gonzalez straight up? Every GM in baseball would make that trade. Gio has two years as a proven MLB starter. In a couple of years, Peacock may be as good as Gonzalez is right now, or he may be nothing more than a bullpen guy (as Keith Law predicts).

  29. Will - Dec 20, 2011 at 2:10 PM

    jcjy5yI think you're seriously underselling how good Alonso and Grandal are. They were both ranked in the top 100 best prospects (as you pointed out). That's a pretty big deal. Lombardozzi isn't anywhere near top 100.Nats in top 100 in 2011: Espinosa (#66 or #92), Norris (#72 or #41), Wilson Ramos (#96), AJ Cole (#95). Peacock was also named #27 and #42 in BP and BA's 2011 midseason rankings.I fully expect the A's to demand two of those players (probably Cole and Peacock), in addition to a Lombardozzi/Tyler Moore-esque player (not highly valued but still worth something) and Tom Milone, Detwiler or John Lannan (useful SP who can immediately replace Gio).

  30. FS - Dec 20, 2011 at 2:14 PM

    I am with NatsJack on this one. I am not willing to part with any prospects yet, after it took years to build a respectable farm.

  31. Anonymous - Dec 20, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    A respectable farm is worthless unless it is used to yield a high quality MLB club.dfh21

  32. jcj5y - Dec 20, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    I'm not trying to undersell Alonso or Grandal, but they aren't comparable to Peacock as prospects. As Will points out, Peacock is now a top-50 prospect, maybe close to a top-25 prospect in all of baseball. If you include him in the deal, it seems to me that the second prospect should be a lot less than Alonso/Grandal, who are both in the 75-100 range in prospect rankings.I'm not saying that Peacock shouldn't be included, I'm just saying that the team could try to sell the A's on Norris (still potentially better than either Grandal or Alonso) and someone like Moore or Lombardozzi (Lombo was the Nats' 10th best prospect on BA's 2012 list). No way you include both Cole (who BA ranks just below Peacock, and who others think is a better prospect) and Peacock in the deal. That would be a LOT more than the Reds gave up.Don't forget that what the Nats are potentially getting in return is a pitcher who is significantly worse than Latos to this point in his career.

  33. Sec 204 Row H Seat 7 - Dec 20, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    What has to be said is guit drinking the darn kool-aid!! The NATS are not one SP/Leadoff Center Fielder away from winning the pennant. They had a good finishing kick last end of season and that's all. Rizzo will get a starter that won't break the bank-player wise or moneywise. I believe it will be Oswalt. As for Fielder, anyone have any idea why he is still available?

  34. Gonat - Dec 20, 2011 at 2:32 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… I'm of the opinion that the Nats need to hold onto their minor league prospects for one more season to see how the current crop drafted this past season pan out.Giving up Milhone, Peacock, Cole, Ray, Solis or any of the other highly touted arms seems premature until you see how Meyer, Turnbull, and Purke pan out. December 20, 2011 9:03 AM_________________________________Its not the popular opinion because people want to see "action" but I don't flow with the popular opinion so I agree with you.I think there are players who can be traded to make it a fair package. Give them a MLB ready pitcher like Lannan or Detwiler. Give them a catcher and give them a 1st baseman like Tyler Moore. Much more than that is crazy. I don't include Peacock in any large deal.Gio Gonzalez is a #2 pitcher who 3 years ago looked like he wouldn't stick in the Majors. He has come a long way in 2 years.

  35. Constant Reader - Dec 20, 2011 at 2:32 PM

    Will:I did sort of set qualifying as the threshold. Eliminates Strasburg, but I'll admit that is being a bit picky for JZimm's lack of two outs. Agree with you that the two '05 seasons are comparable. Still, I'll stand by my point that if his two consecutive years are something this franchise has yet to produce in seven total years. If you believe that is an indicator of future production, it demands a lot.

  36. Anonymous - Dec 20, 2011 at 2:37 PM

    Gio's home/road splits the last two years:2010 H: 8-3 2.56 ERA, A: 7-6 3.92 ERA2011 H: 10-5 2.70 ERA, A: 6-7 3.62 ERAOakland is one of the better pitcher's parks in MLB. Doesn't necessarily prove anything about how he would perform in a more neutral environment, but just saying.

  37. Unkyd - Dec 20, 2011 at 2:37 PM

    "I think that translates into Detwiler (similarly difficult to gauge, but without a solid season in MLB like Volquez), Milone (a better prospect than Boxberger), Norris (arguably a better prospect than either Alonso or Grandal) and Lombardozzi (a lesser prospect than either Alonso or Grandal)."——————–Oh my! 3 MLB ready pitchers? And two of them leftys? No no no….. It's entirely possible that each of them will have good MLB #s, at the end of this year… Again, like NatsJack, I'm for keeping the powder dry, for one more season.

  38. William Safire - Dec 20, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    Avoid cliches like the plague.

  39. The Dude Abides - Dec 20, 2011 at 2:46 PM

    Who actually thinks Billy Beane would trade a single prospect like Peacock for Gio Gonzalez straight up?That brings down the overall mentality of the posters on this site several notches.

  40. jcj5y - Dec 20, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    @Unkyd–I'm suggesting 2 pitchers (Detwiler and Milone) and 2 hitters (Norris and Lombo) as a best-case scenario. If you have to include Peacock instead of Norris, I'd try to include a lesser hitter and keep Milone.It is possible that Detwiler and Milone will have decent numbers this year, but they have never done so before. It is also possible (perhaps even likely) that neither of them will ever have a good MLB season. Gonzalez has two solid years of production under his belt. That's why you make the trade.It's also important to note that getting Gonzalez does not hurt the long term plan, because he is under team control for the next four years.

  41. Eugene in Oregon - Dec 20, 2011 at 2:48 PM

    A big part of the equation — whether we're talking about Mr. Darvish or Mr. Gonzalez or anyone else — is the team's media deal and what it contributes to the team's cash flow. Perhaps the biggest reason the Rangers were willing (and able) to make such a huge play on Mr. Darvish was the guaranteed $80 million/year they'll be receiving from Fox Sports for the next 20 years. Ditto the Angels, who were willing to outbid everyone for Mr. Pujols because of their reported $3 billion (that's a 'b' not an 'm')/20-year deal. Even the woeful Mariners are looking at a potential new deal in the $70 million/year range. That kind of guaranteed income can certainly make a GM's job a little bit easier when it comes to working out the final equation of what to offer a free agent like Mr. Buehrle or Mr. Oswalt.

  42. Mississippi Snopes - Dec 20, 2011 at 2:48 PM

    Constant Reader -I'm pretty sure JZimm did qualify in 2011, just barely. The rule is that you need one inning pitched for each game the team plays. Jordan pitched 161 1/3 innings, which would not have been enough to qualify if the Nats had played their full season. But the cancelled game (was it with the Dodgers?) let him just sneak in and qualify.Interestingly, on MLB's stats site, Zimmerman is not included when you click the "qualified" tab for pitching leaders but on ESPN's stats site, he is (at #10 in the NL with his 3.18 ERA)

  43. Tim the Enchanter - Dec 20, 2011 at 2:59 PM

    Anyone want to bet that Mike Cameron doesn't play 50 games for the Nats.

  44. SCNatsFan - Dec 20, 2011 at 3:03 PM

    What happens if a team like the Nats bids 100M for the rights then offers Darvish 1M a year for 10 years…. doesn't that block him from coming?Sorry if this was addressed elsewhere.

  45. Constant Reader - Dec 20, 2011 at 3:04 PM

    A few more points and then I have to go back to acting like I am working.Gio is controllable for four years. While he won't be inexpensive for those four years, he will certainly be cheaper than signing Cain, Greinke or Hamels next offseason. That frees up more money to re-sign that Zimmerman guy and get the CF of our dreams.Lannan, Peacock, Milone and Detwiler are basically interchangeable and disposable at this point. If all four are on the roster at the beginning of ST, Peacock and Milone are bound for Syracuse. If Peacock or Milone pitches so well, we have to take one of them north in the rotation, then Detwiler becomes a middle reliever or has to be unloaded on the cheap. And if we acquire another starter, much as I love him, Lannan is certain to be traded.Do you guys really project Peacock or Milone as a bona fide qualifying #3 in either '12 or '13?

  46. FS - Dec 20, 2011 at 3:09 PM

    "A respectable farm is worthless unless it is used to yield a high quality MLB club."dfh21, did you say that to Omar Minaya in 2002? It seemed like he took that too seriously.

  47. Will - Dec 20, 2011 at 3:10 PM

    Constant reader:Yes. Peacock and to a lesser extent Milone could very easily be a quality #3 (Milone probably #4) pitcher. 2012 might be a little soon (it takes some time to adjust), but certainly by 2013.On top of that, Wang is only signed to a 1 year deal. Only Zimmermann and Strasburg are locked up for the next 2+ years. No one is really blocking these guys. Even with the addition of another SP.

  48. Constant Reader - Dec 20, 2011 at 3:10 PM

    I stand corrected about JZimm qualifying this year. I forgot about the rainout and was relying on the accuracy of the search engines. Arguably a comparable year.

  49. BullpenCatcher - Dec 20, 2011 at 3:11 PM

    Mark Z- What doyour spidey senses tell you about the Gio trade. What Nats are assiociated with this deal according to your sources? I would definitely give up 4 prospects for a 26 yo pitcher!"Is Roy Oswalt better than John Lannan or Ross Detwiler?" My answer yes, in any term Lannan is the Mike O'Conner of 2011-2012 he is irrelevant to the Nats future, if he was in say the Braves organization he would be in AA if he was lucky! Detweiler, just another bad draft pick, unless he is moved to the pen he is worthless to the Nats!

  50. Will - Dec 20, 2011 at 3:15 PM

    SCNatsFan,The posting fee is returned to the bidding team (the Rangers), and the player returns to his Japanese team. He can be posted the next year. The A's did this last year with Hisashi Iwakuma. Put up a huge offer, then weren't willing to negotiate, in an effort to block other teams from signing him.Read about it here: http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/12/yu-darvish-and-the-perils-of-japanese-baseballs-posting-system/250215/

  51. Water23 - Dec 20, 2011 at 3:16 PM

    NatsJack,As the market for a long term deal for Fielder has slowed, my previous proposal of 3 yrs $70-75 million or 4 years $80-100 million may be possible. A lot of team will have worked out their finances in about two-three years and Fielder would then be a top-tier 1B/DH.

  52. The Joker - Dec 20, 2011 at 3:20 PM

    Perhaps the Nats could sign Kim Jung-un, reportedly a pitcher with a 110 MPH fastball and a curve that breaks nine feet. However, Kim is devoted to his people and love of the Korean people is what drives the Kim family.

  53. SCNatsFan - Dec 20, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    Thanks Will. An interesting article. Have to think this system gets changed sooner then later.According to MLBtraderumors…The Nationals announced that they agreed to sign Chad Tracy, Brett Carroll and Xavier Paul to minor league contracts with invitations to Spring Training

  54. Constant Reader - Dec 20, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    Admitting that I'm not really working anyway …Will, I hope you are right about Peacock. I like him as well. Milone feels like a Lannan replacement (not that there's anything wrong with it; I love me some John Lannan). Much as I like them, I see nothing to convince me Lannan, Milone or Detwiler are #3s on a pennant contender. My two cents in this enjoyable exchange: I'd rather have Gio for '12 and beyond as a legit #3, and spend next off-season talking about how close Cole, Meyer, Purke, or Solis is to cracking the '13 rotation.

  55. Will - Dec 20, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    The Nats stockpiling of minor league free agents is worrying. It certainly makes it seem like they're hoping through sheer numbers one will stick, which doesn't fill me with hope regarding their CF plans.We've now signed, Mike Cameron, Jason Michaels, Xavier Paul, Brett Carroll, Chad Tracy… I know there's more. I hope they're nothing more than AAA depth, but it's terrifying to think what if Jayson Werth or Mike Morse gets hurt… We have absolutely no depth in the OF!

  56. NatsLady - Dec 20, 2011 at 3:39 PM

    Constant Reader, FYI, JZimm qualified. The rule is innings pitches must be equal to or greater than games played. Nats played 161 games. You can bet if the Nats had played 162 games, JZimm would have come out of the bullpen for 2 outs… :)

  57. Anonymous - Dec 20, 2011 at 3:42 PM

    what is the latest with Cespedes? Yankees seem to be kicking the tires! does that move the Nats out of the market for him????

  58. Sunderland - Dec 20, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    Joker, many thanks for the Kim post. Very good.I've never allowed myself to consider that Prince Fielder might don the Curly-W. And I'm not going to start now. Keepin' my expectations low…

  59. Tcostant - Dec 20, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    I agree with some of the comments here, that the 5 years / $75M isn't likely. When DiceK posted, it was the same thing he was looking for a lot more (closer to $100M), but in the end Boston stuck to thier guns that the posting price does effect the deal. Some great descriptions of leverage here. I think a 4 or 5 year deal at $10M per get it done. You can go shorter and say, if your that good you'll end up getting a lot more in arbitation. Bottom line, he posted, his club wants the post and will push for him tio go, which will still be a lot more than he'll make in Japan.Someone asked what is the latest with Cespedes? I read somewhere that this residency requirment is backed up and won't be a free agent 'til January because of it.

  60. Binx Bolling - Dec 20, 2011 at 4:08 PM

    Chad Tracy is a good bet to make the team. Plays first, third, left and right. He once hit 27 homers in a season- six years ago. Cameron and Michaels are likely finished. Paul and Carroll are AAA fillers, Bixler wannabees.Is Craig Counsel a free agent?

  61. The Dude Abides - Dec 20, 2011 at 4:09 PM

    Will…. could you please look at the Syracuse roster and see how many people need to be replaced? …. Please?It's not just the Nats….Most teams need to restock several AAA guys every year.

  62. Steve M. - Dec 20, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    Anonymous said… Gio's home/road splits the last two years:2010 H: 8-3 2.56 ERA, A: 7-6 3.92 ERA2011 H: 10-5 2.70 ERA, A: 6-7 3.62 ERAOakland is one of the better pitcher's parks in MLB. Doesn't necessarily prove anything about how he would perform in a more neutral environment, but just saying. December 20, 2011 9:37 AM This is what I was going to bring up. A's pitchers generally seem to disappoint when they go elsewhere like Barry Zito and Mark Mulder. Mark Mulder had 1 good year after he left the A's and fell apart and retired at 30 years old.I would expect a similar falloff with Gio Gonzalez that he will be closer to his road stats although not as bad so maybe a 3.35 ERA….which brings me back to Joe Saunders who only costs you ca$h and would be better IMO in Washington than his numbers in Arizona and doesn't cost the Nats any players.Players I would trade are Lannan, Detwiler, Marrero, Bernadina, Lombardozzi, Moore and Norris and other prospects not in the Nats Top 15. Problem is if you trade these players, who is available on July 31st if the Nats are in contention?Definitely go with Joe Saunders and take your chances on Cespedes. If the Yankees are in, you know you have someone special.

  63. Steve M. - Dec 20, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    Tcostant said… I agree with some of the comments here, that the 5 years / $75M isn't likely. When DiceK posted, it was the same thing he was looking for a lot more (closer to $100M), but in the end Boston stuck to thier guns that the posting price does effect the deal. Some great descriptions of leverage here. I think a 4 or 5 year deal at $10M per get it done. You can go shorter and say, if your that good you'll end up getting a lot more in arbitation. Bottom line, he posted, his club wants the post and will push for him tio go, which will still be a lot more than he'll make in Japan.December 20, 2011 11:07 AM A 4 year deal is idiotic as that $51.7 million now spread over 4 years is $12.9 million per year. Everyone believes $12 to $15 million with incentives is the deal and based on pride, he may return to Japan if he doesn't get HIS price. He doesn't get any part of the posting fee.Gonat's point above is spot on. In the end, Darvish will cost more than Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee and possibly more than CC Sabathia. If Darvish turns out better than those pitchers, that's where the silver lining is.I still think he will be a good pitcher, and we will have to see how he adjusts especially pacing himself to 4 days rest vs. the 5 to 6 days rest he normally works on. For this type of money, he will have to be a great one!

  64. Steve M. - Dec 20, 2011 at 4:34 PM

    Will said… The Nats stockpiling of minor league free agents is worrying. It certainly makes it seem like they're hoping through sheer numbers one will stick, which doesn't fill me with hope regarding their CF plans.We've now signed, Mike Cameron, Jason Michaels, Xavier Paul, Brett Carroll, Chad Tracy… I know there's more. I hope they're nothing more than AAA depth, but it's terrifying to think what if Jayson Werth or Mike Morse gets hurt… We have absolutely no depth in the OF! December 20, 2011 10:37 AM Both Werth and Morse spent time hurt last year and Werth's injuries came from fatigue injuries I believe. I agree that there is very little depth and it is troublesome. If it wasn't for Jerry Hairston's RH bat last season going into spot duty in the OF, the Nats would have been screwed. Too many lefties were on the bench: Stairs, Nix, Bernadina and add Ankiel. Gomes wasn't a good addition. The team hasn't addressed the issue to get another RH outfield bat.By the way, the Cardinals are going after Coco Crisp and they definitely aren't a West Coast team. Just sayin'

  65. Will - Dec 20, 2011 at 4:35 PM

    The Dude Abides,A quick glance at the Chiefs roster shows 4 OFs there. Curran and Brown are both pretty much locks to stay there next year. Add in Harper and maybe Komatsu if he's returned, then you have a full OF there.But my question remains. Who is going to play CF for the Nats? What happens if Werth or Morse gets hurt? Yes, it's only December 20th, but Carlos Beltran is the only half-decent option left. Besides him, it seems inevitable that Cameron and one of the other fodder will be on our Opening Day roster, possibly our starting centerfielder.

  66. Anonymous - Dec 20, 2011 at 4:51 PM

    I am with NatsJack on this one. I am not willing to part with any prospects yet, after it took years to build a respectable farm.I'm not so sure Rizzo can't manage to bring the price down. But his strategy is clear and makes sense. Both Purke and Solis, their top two left-handed arms, have suffered with arm problems recently. They just lost another prospect to TJ : Taylor Jordan. McGreary another lefty starter went to school and really didn't get anywhere baseball-wise … when he finally focused on baseball he too ends up on the TJ roster. Gorzelanny has also suffered arm problems and that goes back to his first good year with the Pirates. He too looks to be on the cusp …So, they aren't as well off left-handed starter OR reliever for that matter as they would like to be. You look at teams like SF who had an abundance of left-handed starters … clearly given the NL East that's where Johnson wants the Nats to be.So, they do have Lannan, Milone, and Rosenbaum but all except Gorzelanny are soft-tosser inning eaters. Rizzo wants a top reliable lefty, and since he was outbid for Buehrle he set his sights higher and on a top-of-the-rotation guy … and finding they are far more costly than Buehrle … in prospects!! But, it does look like he almost has to do something like this in order to get a good balance of left-handed pitching given the situation with the prospects in the minors.Pretty sure he would trade Lannan if he could get anything for him. But Milone? That guy might actually be Buehrle! Detwiler seems a good bet to ship to the AL and the cavernous park the A's have. But as you can see now you are bleeding lefties. But you probably want to keep Peacock because you just don't know if he might be another JZimm. Rizzo and his brain trust (including Johnson) have to tread carefully. They've made what seem like wrong guesses in Marquis and La Roche, plus possibly Werth. Though only Werth would be a really bad choice if he is in decline offensively. Its going to be a really tough call … Fielder looks like an easier decision by comparison … but then, ending up with 2 long-term contracts and players way underperforming?

  67. Anonymous - Dec 20, 2011 at 4:57 PM

    A quick glance at the Chiefs roster shows 4 OFs there. Curran and Brown are both pretty much locks to stay there next year. Both Chris Curran and Corey Brown are superlative CF's. And Brown just might still prove to be a five tool with some offense. He does have decent power. But, as time goes by that seems far less a possibility.Both can play CF at the major league level. Both have left-handed bats. Add in Cameron a right handed bat and Bernadina a left-handed bat. Explain how they aren't covered in CF by a decent bench and depth because it sure looks like they are. Its the starter everyone questions.

  68. Tcostant - Dec 20, 2011 at 6:16 PM

    Hey Steve -A 4 year deal is not idiotic, you still control the player for 6 years before he could become a free agent. It smart, in that if he lights it up those for years hit hit the arbitration lottery, if not you can move on earlier.

  69. can't use my name for this junk - Dec 20, 2011 at 9:06 PM

    ehay2k said:And finally – Embraceable Yu? (I hope that's the last one.)maybe not the last, but the best so far. and happy hanukah to all our yuish friends.and yes, i know i'm going to hell.

  70. Anonymous - Dec 21, 2011 at 3:29 AM

    Um, I think yu meant Happy Hanyukah

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