Skip to content

Nats close to signing veteran DeRosa

Dec 22, 2011, 4:13 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Mark DeRosa hit 23 homers in 2009 but played only 73 total games the last two years.

The Nationals are close to signing Mark DeRosa to a one-year contract, giving the club a veteran utilityman who can play all over the field and come off the bench, albeit one who has been hampered by injuries the last two seasons.

The deal has not yet been completed and won't be until DeRosa passes a physical, according to a club source.

DeRosa, who turns 37 in February, hit 23 homers in 2009 with the Indians and Cardinals and then parlayed that success into a two-year, $12 million contract with the Giants. But he played in only 73 combined the last two years with San Francisco, hampered for much of that time by a left wrist injury that briefly threatened to end his career.

There were, however, glimmers of hope for the veteran when he returned from the disabled list in August. In 29 games over theRead more »

125 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:19 AM

    After Boz's column Chanukkah and Christmas melancholy.

  2. Constant Reader - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:49 AM

    Reposting (first time I have ever done that) because Boz's column is just so bizarre.This is Boz on Monday …"Rizzo has the authority. But he wants to keep it! He really has a good sense of Ted, imo. Rizzo wants value and, as he said to me recently, "Once I get a number in my head on what I think a player is worth, I don't change much." That's who he IS __a talent evaluator. That's what he brings. If he thinks __and he does think these things __Buerhle isn't worthy four years; Oswalt isn't worth three years; Cepedes isn't worth $40-50M; Darvish isn't worth God-knows-how-much; BJ Upton isn't worth a key Nats player just to control him for one year; Pujols and Fielders aren't worth THAT to the Nats because they're set up fine at 1st base. Is this stubborn? Yes. But if you are a team builder, you can't sway with the wind. You have to stick to your guns. If you are right enough, you get to be in a parade. If you are wrong enough, you get fired. He was right, when the world was mostly wrong, on Dunn. (he won't say it because he likes Dunn so much, but he saw a significant downward trajectory to his career, but nothing like what happened in '11. So far, he looks very wrong on Werth __a huge miss, if it works out that way."This is Boz today …"If you want to know why it’s almost Christmas and the Nats haven’t signed Mark Buehrle, Roy Oswalt or Edwin Jackson, why they haven’t bid on Yu Darvish or Yoenis Cespedes, why they haven’t been within a zillion miles of C.J. Wilson, Jose Reyes or Prince Fielder, and especially why they haven’t made a prospects-for-a-star trade such as the Reds for ace Mat Latos, it’s probably because ownership is tensing up, tightening the leash again."That paragraph from today is really bizarre. Buehrle isn't worth four years. Oswalt is not a three-year contract. Jackson is on his seventh team for a reason. Darvish is not a $100M sign for this franchise. Cespedes hasn't come up for bid yet. Wilson went for crazy money. Reyes and Fielder (Boz loves LaRoche) aren't necessarily good fits. And for the Latos trade, it sounds like the Nats are similarly in on Gio. What the heck got into him?

  3. josh f - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:56 AM

    We just added two utility infielders today. Does that mean Desmond or Lombardozzi is headed to Oakland?

  4. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 5:02 AM

    We just added two utility infielders today. Does that mean Desmond or Lombardozzi is headed to Oakland?Just the opposite from the looks of things.

  5. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 22, 2011 at 5:19 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 5:34 AM

    CBinDC said…"Why not hold your tongue like Mark, Adam, Amanda, and Pete Kerzel?" Well, it is not their role to do commentary. That is what Boz is: a columnist; and that is who the role belongs to.

  7. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Dec 22, 2011 at 6:02 AM

    I actually like the DeRosa signing a lot. As Zuck says, he can play anywhere and he's a decent pinch-hitter with some pop. This is like the anti-Stares. Guy can come in late, offensively or defensively, and not embarrass anyone. A nice veteran presence to meld with Desi, Lombo, et al. Nice move by Rizzo.

  8. Another_Sam - Dec 22, 2011 at 10:07 AM

    Yawn.

  9. jeeves - Dec 22, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    Agree with you totally, ConstantReader–a bizarre column. I generally enjoy Boz, but he sounded more like a couple of posters on this site (i will restrain myself from being more specific) than an intelligent baseball man. I remember how last year he was so adament about why the Nats should have done more to keep Dunn.So far, i have no complaints about the way Rizzo has handled the off-season. Disappointed that the price for some players was so high, yes. But, to pay a pitcher like Buhrle sixty million dollars, for example, now that is bizarre. I'd take my chances with Detweiler and Peacock.

  10. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 22, 2011 at 12:10 PM

    Put me in the "Boz is losin'it" column. Today's column is baffling…. I could see it if it was January 15th, 2012 and Fielder, Oswalt, Jackson and Gio were all off the board but they're not.Sounds like Boz is more impatient than some of the Anons that frequent this site.

  11. Gonat - Dec 22, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    Constant Reader, Boz needed to raise his viewership. Get divisive and get the fanbase all worked up. The Nats overpaid Werth last year. Sounds like Boz wants round 2 of spending money because its there. If the Miami Marlins weren't "all of a sudden" spending, Rizzo would have snagged Mark Buehrle. No way you spend stupid money on Yu Darvish…but maybe you do spend stupid money on offense—-Prince or Beltran.

  12. Joe S. - Dec 22, 2011 at 12:25 PM

    I agree with this thread, but I sympathize with Boz. It's rational for the Nats to view 2012 as the consolidation year and 2013 as the breakout year. They don't have to buy expensive free agents this winter. But it is also frustrating.But there is one real problem with the Nats in the winter market. They have set things up for a Gio-type trade: several strong prospects for a very strong established player. If it, or something similar, does not go through, there will be a lot of underemployed young talent in the Nationals' system.

  13. Gonat - Dec 22, 2011 at 12:32 PM

    DeRosa, not trying to read into it, but what does that say about how Davey Johnson feels about Lombardozzi? One guy on here keeps saying Lombo can be the lead-off guy in 2012 (laughable) and I have always thought he isn't even a lock to make the Opening Day lineup! Well, looks like Lombo is now on the outside looking in to make the Opening Day roster.

  14. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 22, 2011 at 12:32 PM

    With as many bidders as Prince seems to be attracting (at lower bids than Boras has promised Fielder) somebody will have to overpay if they really want his services. Overpaying in dollars per year is much more palatable than overpaying for strictly years…. Seven years max seems about right but I'm sure if somebody REALLY wants him they'll go to that 8th year or maybe even the 9 or 10 Boras seems to want.While I would love to see Princes bat in the Nats lineup, I sure don't want to be obligated past his 35th birthday.

  15. Sunderland - Dec 22, 2011 at 12:35 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. Sunderland - Dec 22, 2011 at 12:36 PM

    The column only makes sense if someone pretty well placed within the Nats organization told Boz that Ted Lerner has tied Rizzo's hands.I ain't saying that's the case.I'm saying that's a perspective where Boz's diatribe would make sense.

  17. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 12:39 PM

    I really like the DeRosa add. The guys does everything pretty well, he's played on winning clubs, he's one of the clubhouse guys that everyone wants, Ivy Leaguer, etc. I presume they think he is finally healthy. Zim is, as we know too well, fragile at 3B, this add of middle infield depth frees Rizzo up to move Desmond or Lombo, and DeRosa has been successful as a utility guy, playing corner OF, 2B, 3B and 1B, which is tough work. I think that this is a smart play by Rizzo.dfh21

  18. MFG - Dec 22, 2011 at 12:40 PM

    I agree Gonat. Lombo looked completely over-matched during his call-up last September. He only had a few months at AAA before getting the call. Barring a trade, I fully expect him to be at Syracuse this year. Besides, Lombo doesn't exactly fit the mold for Johnson's type of bench player, a "big, hairy-chested guy that can knock the ball out of the park."

  19. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 12:42 PM

    I stopped reading Boz over a year ago. All he seems to do is try to inflame, annoy or impress us with his pedigree. His opinions are all over the place and they largely revolve around how connected, significant and wise Tom Boswell is.dfh21

  20. Gonat - Dec 22, 2011 at 12:49 PM

    Yesterday we talked about journalistic integrity. Then you have Boz, the journalist with all these un-named sources telling him how "it really is".Overpaying Jayson Werth was ok, overpaying 2 players like Jayson Werth could screw this team down the road.Overtrading for Gio Gonzalez could also screw this team like the 'rumored' Zach Greinke deal. Rizzo can't pull a Walt Jocketty and do a Latos style "all in" deal. The Nats have 2 aces in Stras and JZim. There are several #3's out there and guess what, none of it matters if the Nats offense doesn't score the runs.I would be thrilled at this point if Rizzo got Beltran on a 2 year deal and Oswalt or Saunders. Save those prospects for July 31st and the Nats future.

  21. HHover - Dec 22, 2011 at 12:51 PM

    Sunderland – I see your point–about Boz's column being the result of a leak or planted story–but if so, what he wrote is so hyperbolic and ham-handed that I don't see how it could do the leaker much good.

  22. natsfan1a - Dec 22, 2011 at 12:54 PM

    More Boz chatting below, from October 10 (italics are mine). I suspect he's employing the columnist's prerogative to change his mind (or just blowing smoke – your choice).(Question)Nats DirectionTom, you've advocated that the Nats spend more for years. Now on the cusp of relevance, you're reversing? I actually love your willingness to change your mind (or short memory?) but not this time. Paying market level salaries to good players is what high-level teams do. There only seems to be one Rays organization. OTOH, yes, higher OBP please. – October 10, 2011 7:01 AM PermalinkA.Thomas Boswell:There is another $100-M free agent player out there with the Nats name on him. And I think the Nats payroll should head from $66M to $100M ballpark.But, for now, I don't think its Reyes (selfish, immature), Fielder, Pujols or CJ Wilson. I could be wrong. Ted Lerner believes in spending big if you can get the best of the best. He did it with Teixeira. But what lesson will he see in that!? Tex has been awful, generally, in post-season.Trades that increase payroll are a good possibility. But, NO, I never want to see the Lerners go back to the bad old days.Rizzo really, really believes that they need a high quality No. 3 starter to get to the next level and to contend, not just a solid pitcher or a youngster who may develop someday into a No. 3. I think he's right about that.I'll be more interested in seeing what they do this winter than in trying to pretend to tell them what to do. There will be plenty of time for that after the Series. And you'll read plenty about it, I'm sure.– October 10, 2011 11:28 AM

  23. LoveDaNats - Dec 22, 2011 at 12:55 PM

    Just finished reading Boz's column and agree that it is baffling. Yeah, I'm kinda disappointed that we haven't made any newsworthy acquisitions and each day when I see the addition of another marginal player I think "what the heck?" But I'm hoping they are not done and still working it. What is different this year (Boz) is the anticipation of so many players coming in healthy. Would the addition of a Fielder or Edwin Jackson (!) really be the difference maker? I, for one, am trusting that Rizzo knows what he's doing. Does Boswell know that the Lerners are tightening the purse strings or is he speculating? Maybe he's just a frustrated, hopeful Nats fan….just like the rest of us who want to contend THIS year instead of next.

  24. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 12:56 PM

    so i wonder how mark feels about all the posts about Boz's column in his thread? ……

  25. HHover - Dec 22, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    Anon 7:56Are you really worried Mark DeRosa isn't getting his due?

  26. sjm308 - Dec 22, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    dfh – could not agree more with you about Boz being all over the place – one of the early posts showed that exactly. Maybe Sunderland is right on this.Of all the moves made so far, is there one that you would really have wanted Rizzo to spend money or prospects on the way they played out? Buerhle for 4 years? NO, Reyes, Pujols, Cuddyer for that kind of money? NO. Darvish, absolutely NO. We still need a CF and I agree that it does not look promising at this time (hoping for some huge miracle with C. Brown). If I could make three moves and call my own shots (which is why this job is so damn hard, no one calls the shots) it would be Prince for 5 years at most, Beltran for two years and Oswalt for one year with mutual agreement on a one year extention. That would give us a team even better then I could dream of going into next year.

  27. natsfan1a - Dec 22, 2011 at 1:00 PM

    Speaking of which, did he really compare Rizzo's situation to the Ramos kidnapping? Wow. HHover said… Sunderland – I see your point–about Boz's column being the result of a leak or planted story–but if so, what he wrote is so hyperbolic and ham-handed that I don't see how it could do the leaker much good. December 22, 2011 7:51 AM

  28. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 1:00 PM

    Mark's not a controversial, bone-headed writer.

  29. Unkyd - Dec 22, 2011 at 1:00 PM

    In the Unkyd Universe, Boz just sank through the thin ice, to irrelevance. You just can't backpedal that fast without smashing your fat head on something. When Kornheiser realized he couldn't write anymore, he had the self-respect to stop writing. Take a few weeks off, Boz… You used to be a good writer… Is this how you wanna be thought of?

  30. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 22, 2011 at 1:01 PM

    Just go back and re-read Boz's column and note his use of the word "probably" when claiming that the Lerners were at the root of the "non-signings".That doesn't smack of inside information to me.

  31. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 1:01 PM

    OK, so I broke down and read Boz, b/c that is all the chatter in here. And after I bashed the guy above, of course it goes that I pretty much agree with everything he wrote this morning. I have no clue as to whether the Lerners don't get it and micromanage, or if Rizzo is an ineffective negoiator, or what the problem(s) may be, who knows — but, I think tghat Boz is right, the club is doing a lot more standing around hoping to be better with a lot of money in its pocket right now (forget about the new TV money coming down the road) than it is actively building a winner.dfh21

  32. natsfan1a - Dec 22, 2011 at 1:02 PM

    On topic, I kinda like the DeRosa signing, if he's healthy, upon which circumstance the deal is apparently contingent.

  33. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 22, 2011 at 1:08 PM

    Me too, natsfan1a…. me too.

  34. The Great Unwashed - Dec 22, 2011 at 1:10 PM

    What Boz was saying is that Nats ownership is cheap. He's right, folks. The truth hurts.Before everyone jumps all over me about how much money they've spent on draft picks and the like (which is the cheaper way of doing things), take a look at the current payroll. In a sport with no salary cap, in a top 10 market, in a publicly financed stadium, charging $8.50 per beer, there's no excuse for the AAAA team they continue to trot out on the field.I think the Nats overachieved last year. Don't get me wrong, I'm as happy about that as anyone. But don't expect higher win totals with the way they're operating right now.That's what Boz is saying.

  35. sjm308 - Dec 22, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    Oh right, there was a baseball topic this morning. I think this is OK. Davey liked him a few weeks ago and went out of his way to let him know he wanted him and Rizzo went and got him. Just another example of the fact that Rizzo and Davey are probably together on more of this then we realize. When Davey said he liked our pitching staff it allowed Rizzo to set a bar for Buerhle and not go past it. I do think this means that Lombo goes to AAA to start the year unless he has a spring training like Morse did last year. It will be hard to give both Desmond and Lombo time in the leadoff spot to see which one delivers and I think Desmond actually needs spring training to show he can do the job of leading off. I don't think he has worries about anyone taking the SS job because again, Davey likes him, but the leadoff position is obviously shaky.

  36. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 22, 2011 at 1:12 PM

    I may be wrong, but I believe Steve M. will be somewhat baffled by Boz's column this morning, as well. I'm looking forward to his "take" on it.

  37. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 1:15 PM

    Kinda on topic, Mark DeRosa's wife Heidi is wicked hot. (I'd much rather discuss Nats baseball than Boz's column or even Heidi — but Heidi deserves more attention than Boz by a mile, so I am offering an alternative).dfh21

  38. Feel Wood - Dec 22, 2011 at 1:15 PM

    Gosh, I can't remember the last time Boswell sounded so vehement, indignant and cocksure about something. Oh wait, I can. The day he declared himself a Gibbsologist, told us all that he had deep insights into the soul of Joe Gibbs, and guaranteed that there was absolutely no way that Gibbs would ever not come back and coach out the fifth year of his contract.In case you've forgotten, Gibbs resigned a few hours after that column hit the streets.

  39. sjm308 - Dec 22, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    I realize I should not respond to the negatives, and it certainly is their right to be upset, but we are far from a AAAA club. In fact, the only AAAA player I see is Bernadina (and our bench last year). We did not over perform, we went through 3 managers and lots of injuries and had to shut down our #1 pitcher with a month left and STILL won 80 games.You can be upset that our owners are not spending more and yes, it seems they should but I would not have made any of the deals so far this year and would be the baseball minds on this blog would go crazy if we gave out another contract like Werth's? One more thing and this is extremely important. Even if they do start spending money like they print it, the beer will still be $8.50. Not a pretty thought to those of us who really like our beer.

  40. natsfan1a - Dec 22, 2011 at 1:21 PM

    In former Nat news, MLB Trade Rumors has the Twins close to a deal with Jason Marquis. Other offseason moves have included reupping Matt Capps and acquiring Jamey Carroll and Josh Willingham. I guess it makes sense, seeing as how it was once a DC team. ;-)

  41. Unkyd - Dec 22, 2011 at 1:23 PM

    sjm308 said:If I could make three moves and call my own shots (which is why this job is so damn hard, no one calls the shots) it would be Prince for 5 years at most, Beltran for two years and Oswalt for one year with mutual agreement on a one year extention. That would give us a team even better then I could dream of going into next year.————————–THAT'S what I'm talking about!! I'd even go 7 years on Prince…looking at his dad's career, I'm not too worried about him falling off the face of the earth. And don't forget: starting next year, we'll need a DH every other week, or so… Picking up these three bridges the the next year or two, so we can bring along the right youngsters, making us instantly competitive, and could usher in a decade of realistic championship aspirations. Plus, it costs no prospects! Every year we could trade either a starter with a year or two of team control, or an impending rule 5 candidate, who's blocked by an all star, for more young, strong prospects…If you see a kool-aid stand, manned by a wild-eyed, drooling fella in a rainbow fright wig…. Stop in and say Hi!!

  42. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    Sorry, I got confused, did I mention the Heidi DeRosa is smoking hot?dfh21

  43. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 22, 2011 at 1:34 PM

    natsfan1a…. listening to MLB radio last night and they said "if Jason Marquis is the answer, I don't want to know what the question was".

  44. Bowdenball - Dec 22, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    Thanks, dfh21. Priorities.I stop reading baseball columns the moment the columnist leads a discussion of pitchers with Win stats. It's a sign that either their argument is weak or they have no idea what they're talking about. In the case of Boz, I think both may be correct. I would however like to continue "reading" about player wives.

  45. Unkyd - Dec 22, 2011 at 1:36 PM

    dfh21: oof……. Indeed!!!

  46. Knoxville Nat - Dec 22, 2011 at 1:51 PM

    Well I just read Boswell's piece this morning and it reinforces two beliefs I have had for some time now. One, Boswell will never hesitate to suggest that someone like the Lerners should spend more money, after all it doesn't come out of his pocket. And second, Boz is simply full of himself and it shows in his writing.

  47. Water23 - Dec 22, 2011 at 1:54 PM

    sjm308,The Cards had a slew of injuries including their ace but ended up winning the WS. I am not saying the Nats over performed but injuries happen every year. If you do not have depth and top tier talent you may find that we regress as Desi and Ramos, JZimm could go down for significant time and Morse could easily be a flash in the pan.

  48. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 2:00 PM

    I wish Desi would go down to Cuse and figure out how to hit a slider.

  49. MIcheleS - Dec 22, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    Umm..I will take Mark DeRosa both for his playing ability and for his looks. He is a nice addition to the Good Looking Guys we have on this team. Boys you pull out the looks card and I know that the women on this blog will totally out due you those posts!

  50. blovy8 - Dec 22, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    Boswell is probably pissed they haven't jumped all over Oswalt after that elaborate value column he did for them not long ago. DeRosa is ok, but it seems like he is not the power threat that needs to be on the bench. Nix not coming back and Dobbs trying to find a starting job are messing them up.

  51. MicheleS - Dec 22, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    On Boz..When boz goes all stat head on us, my eyes tend to glaze over. But if he is taking a "Lerner's Are Cheap" shot, then I think that is good. I know a lot of our posters say the same thing. Occasionally, the Lerners need a kick in the rear end to remind them that having a baseball team is about WINNING.. not the bottom line! Getting DeRosa – as mentioned above – was part of DJ's wish list. I also think that DJ's belief that our Pitching staff is fine is a good sign. DJ had a good look at all the players last year. IF he thinks we are only a couple of bench players away, then I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.I am so looking forward to next year!!!!GYFNG!

  52. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    Good point MIcheleS — I should have given Mark fair billing; he's pretty hot in his own right.Are we going to see Gio and Beltran this week? Now that would be some sexy stuff.dfh21

  53. MicheleS - Dec 22, 2011 at 2:12 PM

    DFH..Not interested in Beltran…too old and can only play the corner OF positions.. Gio… waiting to see what that costs. Because with the Exception of Tim Hudson, most of the A's pitchers don't pan out once they leave Oakland… See Zito, Barry.

  54. greg - Dec 22, 2011 at 2:12 PM

    for those of you who think signing derosa means lombo *has* to go down to AAA, keep in mind there were two+ utility guys on the roster most of last season. cora, hairston, and bixler. positionally, derosa matches up with bixler (IF and OF). there's still room for another middle infield guy. the question will come down to whether they want lombo to get more ABs than he would as a utility guy, which i don't think really hinges on whether they sign a derosa.

  55. MicheleS - Dec 22, 2011 at 2:18 PM

    I also think that since a lot of teams are jumping NOT into the Prince Sweepstakes…Is telling. NO one wants to commit that kind of $$$ or Years to him. I am not sure he would want to play in Toronto (hard to compete in the AL East) or the Mariners (not competitive at all and wouldn't be if Prince came). He might like the Cubs, but they haven't been hot and heavy for him. So who else is in play?Mark Z.. again.. try to hold your laughter as we pine for Prince!

  56. blovy8 - Dec 22, 2011 at 2:30 PM

    I fully expect to see a "trade talks have stalled on a Nationals/A's deal" article on MLBTR by this weekend. But who's the next castoff that gets minor league contract?

  57. Constant Reader - Dec 22, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    Wow, natsfan1a … great pull of that two month old chat. Lots of us read Boz regularly. I bet I am not the only one who reads his chats after the fact because his pace of chatting is glacial. His column today is incredibly inconsistent with his tone this off-season bordering on schizophrenic. It's like one of the posters here took control of his keyboard.

  58. The Joker - Dec 22, 2011 at 2:46 PM

    This puts us over the top.

  59. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 2:52 PM

    The Lerners were not instrumental in persuading MLB to return to DC — other groups were. Bud Selig awarded the franchise to the Lerners because they were fronted by Stan Kasten, who has now been paid to pull off the same trick in LA. The Lerners never thanked any of the true pioneers who were responsible for bringing MLB back. The Lerners act like they hit a triple just because they were allowed to walk over to the third base bag and stand on it.

  60. Steve M. - Dec 22, 2011 at 2:52 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… I may be wrong, but I believe Steve M. will be somewhat baffled by Boz's column this morning, as well. I'm looking forward to his "take" on it. December 22, 2011 8:12 AM First thought is, did Tom forget to take his meds? He had been rational for a while. He acts as if the off-season has ended already. The only target missed was Mark Buehrle and guess what, 3 better opportunities have popped up: Gio, Saunders and a 1 year deal with Oswalt. Nothing perfect has come up on offense although we can all agree that Beltran could be a nice fit and Prince for the right amount of years is icing on the cake.Still, Boz sounds like the guy that wants to "guilt" the team into making a big splash and rationalizes it based on his fuzzy math on a supposed TV revenue stream that nobody has the answer to at this time. This is a good statement by Boz "…So what’s up with the Nats? Three months ago, Rizzo came right out and said, “I think we’re an outfield bat away and a starting pitcher away from really being a contender in the division.” Three weeks ago, before the winter meetings, he said the same to me…"Boz is right about Rizzo's statement but again, the off-season isn't finished and Rizzo spoke from the heart about his intentions just like last year in finding an Ace. I would rather he failed on an acquistion than ruin the future of the team (see Reds trade for Latos).The worst thing Rizzo can do is act irrationally and trade away too many key prospects in the farm system.Hey, I'm the first guy to bash Rizzo and Lerner when it deserved. I did it about Matt Stares and did it about the formation of the 2011 bullpen. Its not fair to do it yet. Great move not going after Darvish and if they get Gio, Joe or Roy it won't be a big loss not getting Buehrle. I wish he got Coco, but if he gets Carlos Beltran for 2 years, then that is also a better move.Let's give it time as we have plenty of time to congratulate or criticize.

  61. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 2:53 PM

    Meh…ok pickup IF he can regain his 2009 form, but I have heard that tune too many times coming out of the front office for the past 6 years and rarely see those results.So with DeRosa coming on board we have 3 bench spots left up for grabs and my guess two of them will be OFs because the 40 man only has three guys with major league experience right now. I also assume the final spot will be another infielder, maybe Lombo.

  62. Eugene in Oregon - Dec 22, 2011 at 2:56 PM

    I'm sorry, but you can't dismiss today's Boswell column as just his opinion or as him simply trying to stoke the flames. Mr. Boswell has, generally speaking, been willing to defend the Nats ownership against the 'Lerners are cheap' mantra. Rather, he has developed pretty good access within the — otherwise tight-lipped — organization and his writings reflect this. Which means (as Constant Reader points out) that something changed between his Monday chat session and his Thursday (written on Wednesday) column. And, almost certainly, Sunderland @ 7:36 is right to suggest that Mr. Boswell had a conversation with someone high up in the Nats' management structure. My assumption is that it was Mr. Rizzo himself (note the one on-the-record quote within the column). Most likely, the Boswell-Rizzo conversation lasted a lot longer than it took to get the one quote, but most of what Mr. Rizzo offered was on a not-for-attribution basis. Once you begin 'venting' on a background basis, you often say a lot more than you intended (and reporters/columnists know this). It really doesn't matter whether you're writing domestic political commentary, international affairs columns, or sports — the technique is the same.One paragraph, in particular, suggests to me that the management team is frustrated, even angry, about the process:"A timely "yes,” a strong predisposition to trust the recommendations of top executives, is exactly what the Lerners have never provided the Nats. It remains their flaw. It’s always the same: Start from zero and build an ironclad logical case, full of slides and graphics, so Ted will cut the check. Many who’ve worked for the Nats say the same thing, in the same words: Their toughest negotiation isn’t with agent Scott Boras but with Ted Lerner."The bit about the slides and graphics rings true (it's even reminiscent of some of the complaints out of the uniformed military about how the Pentagon often tried to micromanage the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq).As for motivations (which someone raised), this is not meant to be a 'I'm about to resign' leak, but rather an attempt to turn the situation around. Whether it was Mr. Rizzo or not, whoever provided the ammunition for the column should be pretty happy with it — even if they got a bit carried away in providing detail. The source clearly hoped that the Lerners would read the complaints and learn from them (note Mr. Boswell's compliments to them in that regard). What will be interesting — not just over the coming weeks, but also over the coming year — is to see whether the Lerners accept the criticism as constructive or react angrily and defensively by tightening the leash even further. Time will tell.

  63. UNTERP - Dec 22, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    Constant Reader said… Wow, natsfan1a … great pull of that two month old chat. Lots of us read Boz regularly. I bet I am not the only one who reads his chats after the fact because his pace of chatting is glacial. His column today is incredibly inconsistent with his tone this off-season bordering on schizophrenic. It's like one of the posters here took control of his keyboard.It's clear though about one thing about Boz, he wants a winner here. And he is schizophrenic on how getting a winner is going/coming about. What I'm saying is that I can see why he's two minded. The conflict is that Boz is not sure the Lerners are willing to do what it takes to get that winner here; i.e, spend money. And please no one argue to me about how much money they've thrown in building the minor league system and players and Werth, etc. It's this, Buehrle 4 years and $60 million, not 3 years and $39 million. This, this right here is what throws Boz, this microcosm of spending. If you're right at the precipice why not get above the precipice? The Nationals with Buehrle and a lead-off center fielder might have made them legitimate contenders and the Lerners have decided NOT to go for it and a good baseball man that Boz is, sees this. Nothing is assured in life and opportunities are NOT abounding and when they stare you in the face it is prudent not to look a gift horse in the mouth.Be that as it may, with misgiving I still expect the Nationals to lose the 2012 World Series and then win the next seven consecutively…

  64. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    Derosa–Another over the hill, broken down player! Boswell took the Lerners to task in the Post this morning talking about their return to cheapness. But, you can't blame them after Rizzo blewl $126 million on Jason Werthlelss. The Lerners are part of the problem and so is Rizzo. Of course, we will never have a good GM here because the Lerners always hire on the cheap. Like Bowden, the Nats are likely paying Rizzo peanuts.

  65. Steve M. - Dec 22, 2011 at 3:09 PM

    Eugene, good points made but I'm not buying it. Rizzo knows loose lips sink ships so it didn't come from Mike Rizzo. The part about making the case for a player is probably true as Ted Lerner is a show me type of guy and now is probably a little more apprehensive after the Werth criticism on the signing and the subsequent lackluster 2011 performance. So yes, the case to get a player is probably tougher. Will they go after Cespedes? Will they go after Prince? Did they go after Yu?Again, its unwarranted because the off-season isn't over. It needs to play out and see where it goes and then Boswell can pounce.My thoughts the last 3 months is you can bing in Tin Lincecum and it won't matter if you can't score 700 runs. Beltran and Prince are still on the board. The only other impact player off the board is Pujols and he wasn't coming here anyway. I still am hoping for some positive moves, so let's see what happens!

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

    I can believe the amount of people that think that Boz just went crazy. He obviously was told something, he wouldn't just write a big rant out of nothing.Yes, the winter is not over and they're still players out there but it doesn't matter if Lerners said: We're done spending money.Like other people said, it's possible this article make the Lerners do something.

  67. Mark'd - Dec 22, 2011 at 3:18 PM

    Boswell reminds me of one of my sons making a case to send him on a Spring Break trip and using that term guilting is exactly what it is. To drive the point further you get the comparisons to their friends and how I have all the money to pay for it and my son then gets agitated and tries to drive hone his point by exaggerating the truth.When I just read Boswell, its like his Dad is Ted Lerner and he harbours much resentment. Jealous petulant kid.

  68. The Dude Abides - Dec 22, 2011 at 3:18 PM

    Boz constantly writes stuff without being told anything. That's why he's a columnist.

  69. DC Tom - Dec 22, 2011 at 3:20 PM

    Interesting point, Eugene. I had that same reaction when I read the PowerPoint paragraph of the article — that perhaps this is someone like Rizzo playing Boz in order to get the Lerners to interrupt their family holiday ski trip to Vail or wherever to pull the trigger on a Gio Gonzalez deal.If that's the case, it's a pretty low-rent, amateur move. The Lerners didn't get to be billionaires by doing what newspaper columnists tell them to do.So, better to default to Occam's Razor — Boz was bored, is jealous of the good insight here by Mark Z. and these following comment treads, and decided to throw a hand grenade for the sake of throwing one.

  70. Binx Bolling - Dec 22, 2011 at 3:22 PM

    For those who think Davey Johnson is wedded to the long ball, a look at his only World Series champion team- the '85 Mets- hints that Johnson is flexible. Mets starters included Wally Backman- 1 HR, Rafael Santana- 1 HR, Lenny Dykstra- 8 HRS, Ray Knight- 11 HRS, Mookie Wilson- 9 HRS, Keith Hernandez- 13 HRS. A fast fading George Foster hit 13 HRS and missed the playoffs. Top power reserves were Kevin Mitchell- 12 HRS and Howard Johnson- 10 HRS.

  71. Nats Prep - Dec 22, 2011 at 3:23 PM

    You all are barking up the wrong tree. I think Davey Johnson wanted Yu Darvish and was pissed they didn't make a bid and made the comment to someone who told Boswell that Mr. Lerner didn't see the value in paying Darvish what would amount to $25 million in a year in payout.Boo hoo. Boswell doesn't own the team but is acting like the puppeteer again. I saw Boswell on the field before a game this year hovering around the team during BP and everyone stayed away as if he had horrible bad breath. Everyone knows if you say something to him it will just get twisted.

  72. Constant Reader - Dec 22, 2011 at 3:24 PM

    UNTERP … Let me walk out your supposition for a moment. On Monday, Boz stated clearly that he thought Rizzo was in charge and had the authority. He further stated that Rizzo did not think Buehrle was worth four years. On Wednesday he writes the Lerners are cheap and won't spend the money. If you are right about Buerhle, it suggests that Rizzo read what Boz wrote on Monday, came to Boz and told him (off the record of course) that the Lerners stopped him from going to 4 years. Do you see it any other way?

  73. Feel Wood - Dec 22, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    Mr. Boswell has, generally speaking, been willing to defend the Nats ownership against the 'Lerners are cheap' mantra.No he hasn't. He's always been the poster boy for the Lerners Are Cheap crowd. The most positive thing he's ever said about the Lerners came after the Werth signing when he said (paraphrasing) "Perhaps this is a sign that they're now willing to spend. But time will tell if that's the case."One paragraph, in particular, suggests to me that the management team is frustrated, even angry, about the process:"A timely "yes,” a strong predisposition to trust the recommendations of top executives, is exactly what the Lerners have never provided the Nats. It remains their flaw. It’s always the same: Start from zero and build an ironclad logical case, full of slides and graphics, so Ted will cut the check. Many who’ve worked for the Nats say the same thing, in the same words: Their toughest negotiation isn’t with agent Scott Boras but with Ted Lerner."The Lerners trusted the recommendation of top executives to make a strong run at Teixeira. The Lerners trusted the recommendation of top executives to sign Werth. The Lerners trusted the recommendation of top executives to bestow record-breaking contracts on #1 draft choices two years in a row. The Lerners trusted the recommendation of top executives to not re-sign Adam Dunn after two years of near 40 home runs. Where's the example of a time when the Lerners have overruled the recommendation of top executives?The bit about the slides and graphics rings true (it's even reminiscent of some of the complaints out of the uniformed military about how the Pentagon often tried to micromanage the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq).Expecting your top executives to provide a strong justification for spending tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars is not micromanagement. And again, it certainly seems that if the executives have provided a strong justification for spending the money, the answer has always been yes. "Cheap" means an unwillingness to spend money at all. Being unwilling to spend money stupidly, but instead spending it smartly and when there is good reason to spend is not being cheap.

  74. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 22, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    Good call DCTom… I was thinking the same thing. Boz see's all the insightful commentary that takes place on this site while he's stuck with that poopy guy and Peric's rants.I think he saw all the back and forth yeterday and decided to jump in.Pretty complimentary to Mark, I think.

  75. David - Dec 22, 2011 at 3:26 PM

    Count me in on thinking Lombo can hit leadoff if we trade Desmond. He's hit better than Desmond at every level. Some guys come into the league hot and then they get figured out, and struggle, like Desmond. Some guys start slow. IMO that's Lombo. 31 at bats is not a large enough sample. But if you look closely, he batted .315 over his last 8 games. I'd count on him to be able to figure out the majors.

  76. Sunderland - Dec 22, 2011 at 3:29 PM

    BTW, I'd think Davey J is a more likely source than Rizzo. Rizzo would fret getting reprimanded / fired or worse, having the MLB community think he broke ranks. Davey J couldn't care less at this point in his life.

  77. Steve M. - Dec 22, 2011 at 3:34 PM

    Constant Reader said… UNTERP … Let me walk out your supposition for a moment. On Monday, Boz stated clearly that he thought Rizzo was in charge and had the authority. He further stated that Rizzo did not think Buehrle was worth four years. On Wednesday he writes the Lerners are cheap and won't spend the money. If you are right about Buerhle, it suggests that Rizzo read what Boz wrote on Monday, came to Boz and told him (off the record of course) that the Lerners stopped him from going to 4 years. Do you see it any other way? December 22, 2011 10:24 AM I have been a Buehrle guy for months and wouldn't suggest doing 4 years. Even if Rizzo upped it to 4 years, he still would have chosen Florida for about 6 reasons and in no particular order1) He likes those ugly uniforms2) He likes Ozzie as his manager3) No state income tax in Florida4) Warm weather5) New stadium6) The Miami Heat are a better basketball team than the Wizards

  78. PAY TO PLAY - Dec 22, 2011 at 3:38 PM

    +2 on the slide show bit came from Davey.

  79. sjm308 - Dec 22, 2011 at 3:51 PM

    For no reason what so ever, I just want to thank everyone on this site for such great and I do mean great opinions. It is one of my pure pleasures (which should obviously show everyone I don't have much of a life) to come here a couple times a day and read what is mostly intelligent and varied opinions of my favorite sport and team. I have been called an idiot by some unknown Anon but I am pretty certain that it is not idiotic to go to NI first for my baseball fix.thanks again to everyone – still waiting to see how we can get those beer prices lowered.

  80. UNTERP - Dec 22, 2011 at 3:54 PM

    Steve M. said… For what it's worth, I think you're right, but it doesn't presuppose that the Lerners nixed the proposed deal. Listen, I'm not saying if I were in the Lerners shoes I wouldn't have nixed it too. We all find out in a half dozen years what the Lerners are about because to keep what they have they'll have to pay them. It's cheaper to keep em. I'd rather see Milone and Peacock pitch than Wilson or Buehrle, but they still need a center fielder and lead-off guy…Besides, it's a done deal. I will be attending my first ever World Series game at Nationals Park in 2012…

  81. Binx Bolling - Dec 22, 2011 at 3:54 PM

    I'll add to Steve M's list- Florida has no state income tax. I'm willing to bet that Florida's lack of state income tax spurred LeBron James and Chris Bosh to play in Miami. Wintering in Miami is also a lot more pleasurable than wintering in Cleveland or Toronto.

  82. lesatcsc - Dec 22, 2011 at 3:55 PM

    After hearing about Cameron and DaRosa rumour has it Stairs is eyeing a comeback with the Nats…Man, Boz' column was depressing.It makes me want to bury my head in the sand and go back to the happier times when I thought the Nats were going to spend big to turn the corner and become a winning team.In fact, I think I will go back to that happier place. The Nats have finally developed some momentum in the right direction, momentum they need to maintain; coasting this year will not set them up for success in 2013. This team needs to build that confidence that comes with expecting to win every night out, not hoping to. Coasting could very well take the wind out of their sails and worse, it could create the perception among all those big FAs that everyone seems to want the Nats to sign next year, that this is not a team committed to winning. I wonder what RZimm's take will be if Cameron and DaRosa and the like are the extent of the moves made this winter.If I were RZimm I wouldn't even talk to Rizzo about an extension until I saw some evidence that the Nats are in it to win it.So I'm going back to musing over how the team will look with Oswalt standing on the mound, Fielder and Beltran behind him and all of our young Nats salviating over the opportunity to pounce on another unsuspecting NL pitcher. It's a happier place and it's almost the holidays. Boz is playing Grinch.

  83. Binx Bolling - Dec 22, 2011 at 3:56 PM

    Sorry, Steve M. I missed your number 3.

  84. jeeves - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:01 PM

    For the life of me, i do not understand why so many think the Nats, as they stand, do not have a good offense. An outfield of Morse, Werth, and Harper could be the strongest offensive unit in the NL. The infield corners is the overall strongest in the league. (with the possible exception of the Mets who might be just as good) Espi's stats last year, despite a horrendous slump, still was in the top third of second basemen offensively, and we know what he can do defensively. Ramos hung in there with all catchers not named McCann and Montero. Yeah, i know Posey was hurt. And that leaves only Desi, the whipping boy of many people on this site. Even he had a pretty respectable second half.Potentially this years offense is not comparable to last years–for a variety of reasons that we have already discussed.Barring injury, this team has an excellent chance of making the playoffs.

  85. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:01 PM

    lesatcsc….. never fear… Davey Johnson will never his team coast.

  86. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:03 PM

    never let his team coast.

  87. NatsLady - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    Was it like this last winter? (Wasn't on the list at that time.)

  88. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    I agree with Eugene: something changed between Monday and Wednesday.My best guess is this: Rizzo had a deal for Gio and Lerner nixed it. If there's one thing an owner should do, it's let his baseball people decide whether to trade prospects for a veteran. Lerner himself may have unique and useful perspective on whether a free agent is worth the money, but he can't possibly evaluate the worth of a prospect to the same degree as his baseball talent evaluators.

  89. NatsLady - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:12 PM

    Anon @11:07 — I disagree. IF something changed in Boz's thinking, finances rather than baseball prospects would be where the Lerners would stick in their 2 cents (or their 200,000,000 cents.) The Lerners are far more likely to nix a $$ trade than a prospects trade. Maybe they nixed Prince because Boras wanted too many years and they ran out the salary projections and didn't like what they saw. Maybe the phantom TV deal doesn't project…maybe… maybe… maybe…

  90. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:12 PM

    that perhaps this is someone like Rizzo playing Boz in order to get the Lerners to interrupt their family holiday ski trip to Vail or wherever to pull the trigger on a Gio Gonzalez deal.As I said last night and say again today this is **NOT** something that smacks of Rizzo. Highly unlikely.HOWEVER, it certainly could be Davey Johnson "correcting" Boz's perception and perspective. That is something Davey would do and has in the past. Let's face it Davey went toe-to-toe with ownership in LA why would he do any different in DC?And I must admit it does seem unsettling.

  91. Unkyd - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    There is no "source" for Boz's silly rant. I would have to make to presuppositions about Riz or Davey leaking this to Boz: 1) That one of them is childish enough to want somebody to pout for them, by proxy, to fandom. Sorry… They're both grown men, with great jobs, in a sky's-the-limit situation; why take any risk of looking like a 5 year old? 2) One of them thinks Boz is held in such high regard by the Learners, that his publicly expressed opinion could guilt them into spending over $100 million………………HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! (oh god…clutching side…wiping eyes…..). This is nothing more than whole cloth. Either Monday's opinion, or this morning's, would be simply what columnist's do. Reversing field, so utterly, seems the cry of someone who feels marginalized, and desperatly craves more attention.

  92. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    The Lerners are far more likely to nix a $$ trade than a prospects trade.Likely the reverse Nats lady. They and Kasten were involved with nixing the Dunn trade. They look at prospects as assets with a higher value than $$ as they should. But at some point you need to use them in trade to fill the big club's needs.

  93. Steve M. - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    Boz said "…Three weeks ago, the Nats had so many possibilities for improvement in so many areas and through so many different methods. But until you make your first moves, you can’t get to the rest of the puzzle."huh? SO MANY???Besides Pujols, CJ Wilson, and Buehrle, who else is he looking at? The guys on Intentional Talk on Tuesday think the Nats will be in the Post-season this year or next year with what they have. I wouldn't go that far, but besides the obvious needed to strengthen the bench and adding one more quality outfielder and extending Zim, you get a starter that makes sense to add. We all knew there wasn't the dominant leadoff guy out there and CJ Wilson showed he isn't an Ace. Buehrle was packing for Florida and Yu Darvish wasn't worth the posting fee.So Boz, who do you want Rizzo to get?

  94. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    The only thing that changed was Oswalt stating that a one year deal would get him signed and since Boz has been a proponent for signing Roy, he let his ego take over his word processor.

  95. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:19 PM

    One of them thinks Boz is held in such high regard by the Learners, that his publicly expressed opinion could guilt them into spending over $100 millionIts not about spending money (well somewhat) but more about "spending" prospects I believe. Its more about who is control, someone who knows baseball (someone who considers themselves a genius at it really) and wonders why someone who hasn't the slightest clue interferes. That would be Davey. He's right he and Rizzo DO KNOW what they are doing and Johnson really can be that arrogant about it. And the Lerner's, especially Ted, are also just as likely to put their business procedures in the way of getting deals done. In Ted's field of endeavor he surely could be considered a genius. Clash of the Titans.

  96. natsfan1a - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:21 PM

    If you get really bored, NatsLady, you can read it all here. Short answer: as always, eggnog glass is half-full or half-empty; Lerners are cheap or not; Rizzo is smart or not; etc.NatsLady said… Was it like this last winter? (Wasn't on the list at that time.) December 22, 2011 11:06 AM

  97. Steve M. - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    Binx, no problem and glad you liked the list. I was thinking of a Top 10 list and only came up with 6. Look, Buehrle was coming to Washington until Miami decided to pay the money and I still wouldn't put it past Loria to try to trade any of these new pickups on July 31st since he has trade clauses on them and back end money. The Marlins payroll really doesn't go up much in 2012. In 2015, the Marlins could be gasping for cash if they don't sell seats and get a new TV deal.

  98. natsfan1a - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    Oh, fudge (chocolate for me, thanks), I forgot the link.

  99. NatsLady - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:24 PM

    What Dunn trade? And if a Dunn trade got nixed, and the Lerners were influential in nixing it, then my opinion of them just went sky high.See, I would guess Rizzo is the one more likely to overvalue prospects that he and his team scouted and developed, and the Lerners are more likely to overvalue financial dealings. But so far this winter, I haven't yet seen a deal we didn't make that we should have. Now, there maybe some deals in the making. Who saw Ramos/Capps or Werth before they happpened? But if you list the deals that have occurred–SO FAR–which is the one you wanted for the Nats?Buehrle– Nats made a good effort, but for reasons particular to the player it didn't fly. That's why players are "FREE" agents, people!Latos???Pujols???Wilson???Maybe Nix, but you there you are talking about a player who, LET'S FACE IT, was a tryout last spring and the Nats got lucky. That's a minor impact guy.All these people (including Boz) who are saying that the Nats SHOULD HAVE DONE SOMETHING, please list what it was they should have done.

  100. NatsLady - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:25 PM

    OOO, Steve M. and me typing the same thought at the same time, I LIKE IT!!

  101. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:25 PM

    I wouldn't go that far, but besides the obvious needed to strengthen the bench and adding one more quality outfielder and extending Zim, you get a starter that makes sense to add. With hard grader Sickels grading Destin Hood ABD Brian Goodwin B. Michael Taylor C+. And of course everyone's favorite outfielder Bryce Harper an A? There would be an argument against making any moves in the outfield at this point given the prospects at hand? For that reason ownership could block any OF related move?The Nats have tons of pitching … and veterans like Marquis have been less than effective in providing stability to the bullpen but good at collecting checks and hiding injuries. Then there's La Roche and Werth's off year. That's certain to make ownership hedge their bets and lean toward waiting on the pipeline.Lends credence to Boz's argument. As Boz said it sure looks to me like Rizzo is focused totally on the bench and nothing else.

  102. NatsLady - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    Oh, and Yu Darvish?? Aoki?? Only on Aoki might I have taken a flyer, but I don't know enough to know why the Nats didn't…

  103. lesatcsc - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    Jeeves:The answer to your question is simple. Because they finished 24th in the Major Leagues in runs scored, scoring almost 250 fewer runs than the league leader. They were 12th in the NL and scored roughly 140 fewer runs than the Cardinals. Their pitching was close to post-season quality, their offence wasn't.You can argue that if everything goes absolutely swimmingly they will be better this year. But is better good enough? The delta between the good offensive teams and the Nats is huge. If they don't add any offensive weapons they will require that all those that had sub-par years last year have good to great years this year and that everyone that had a good year last year has another one this year. It could happen, but I think oddsmakers would tell you it isn't likely.

  104. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:29 PM

    What Dunn trade? And if a Dunn trade got nixed, and the Lerners were influential in nixing it, then my opinion of them just went sky high.Dunn to the White Sox for Edwin Jackson and others Nats lady. Boz reported that it was nixed by the "committee" or those executives he mentions that are on the Nats steering committee. Before Rizzo was given the reigns he had to meet with that committee before any decisions could be made. The committee was led by Stan Kasten.You haven't really been following until recently have you Nats Lady?

  105. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:32 PM

    See, I would guess Rizzo is the one more likely to overvalue prospects that he and his team scouted and developed, and the Lerners are more likely to overvalue financial dealings. But so far this winter, I haven't yet seen a deal we didn't make that we should have. And you would be wrong Nats Lady. He put exactly the right value on Dunn and Willingham now didn't he? And with the fanbase screaming for his head when he let Dunn go and traded Josh. And Rizzo genuinely likes both of those men? Even with Mock there must have been something the scouts were telling him about the guy to keep him for so long … but in the end he cut the cord when Mock's age went past the point of no return.

  106. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:35 PM

    The only thing that changed was Oswalt stating that a one year deal would get him signed and since Boz has been a proponent for signing Roy, he let his ego take over his word processorProactive response to the steering committee tying Rizzo's hands.

  107. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:41 PM

    The delta between the good offensive teams and the Nats is huge. True dat. Advanced park and defense neutral stats show that the gulf is enormous! Even with the loss of Pujols it is still huge! It is their worst component. Defense did improve significantly and that of and in itself along with the pitching led to the 80-81 record. And even with Dunn and Willingham the offense was still relative weak by comparison. So improving the defense and pitching was an effective move.Improving the offense is a different story. Werth's numbers from 2010 would go a long way toward helping. Adding Prince Fielder would put them over the top. La Roche's numbers from 2010 were neutral. Neither plus nor negative so … he would be a non factor except defensively. Zimmerman and Morse would definitely add significantly to the total. Espinosa, Harper, and Ramos have the potential to do the same. But all three will be coming into this season with question marks … for Harper its just his rookie-ness.

  108. Steve M. - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    Boswell wrote…"Instead, they’ve done nothing except sign washed-up center fielder Mike Cameron, 39, to a minor league deal. Was that a flare from Rizzo? Venezuela rescued Wilson Ramos in two days; who’ll free the Nats’ GM?"I re-read Boz again and found this reference metaphorically from Ramos kipdnapping to freeing Rizzo disturbing and offensive. Comparing a life & death situation with Ramos to the business of baseball. Its stuff like this that tells me Boswell needs to retire from sports and start critiquing restaurants.I am also blown away how rational and intelligent most posters are on here. Mark has created a good environment to interact and I can't say enough how nice it is.When we all went through the life and death ordeal with Wilson Ramos it put more in perspective that baseball isn't life and death but Boswell during this Holiday season hasn't grasped that clearly by his statement.

  109. Eugene in Oregon - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    I'll willingly grant that the primary source of the Boswell column could well have been Davey Johnson and not Mike Rizzo. Several folks make the persuasive point that Mr. Johnson has been known to push the envelope more than Mr. Rizzo. But whichever one of them (or even someone else in the management structure) talked with Mr. Boswell, I'm satisfied that the column was 'sourced' and not created out of whole cloth.And to be clear, my earlier post wasn't meant to suggest that Boswell's column was 100% correct. Recently, on a slightly different subject, a poster asked that Mark Z. dig out the 'truth' or the 'facts' about some rumored action. Well, the truth is that there is no truth. And most 'facts' are subject to the observer's own perceptions and biases. I have no doubt that the Lerners have often given the GM a lot of leeway to make decisions and/or have readily approved his recommendations. But that doesn't mean that the management team may not also be frustrated about one or more recent rejections of a proposed FA signing or trade. And it may not even be one about which we've heard rumors.I'm not going all gloom and doom on the Nats — or the Lerners — just because of one newspaper column. But, at one and the same time, I'm also treating it as a fairly authoritative data point. As Steve M points out today (and as I've pointed out previously), we shouldn't be making final judgments before the end of the off-season. But that doesn't mean we can't be looking for clues and trends. Otherwise, why bother with the Hot Stove league?Cheers, as I'm off to hunt (visually, not literally) whales along the coast.

  110. The Fox - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:49 PM

    Put me in the Eugene in Oregon @ 9:56 and yes I see a differences in behavior from the Nationals.NatsJack is probably right about Bos wanting Oswalt and this affecting his behavior but I doubt it is ego.The words Free Agent signing and fiscally responsible do not go together.The Nationals paid Marquis 14.5 million dollars for 33 starts and the team didn't financially explode because of it.If the Nationals do not have the best financial offer on the table for Oswalt they are not serious about winning this year.As for the Lerners they are conservative business men who do not like to make bad financial decisions which is what you sometimes have to do if you want to sign a FA.

  111. natsfan1a - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:50 PM

    Ditto (see below).natsfan1a said… Speaking of which, did he really compare Rizzo's situation to the Ramos kidnapping? Wow. December 22, 2011 8:00 AM Steve M. said… Boswell wrote…"Instead, they’ve done nothing except sign washed-up center fielder Mike Cameron, 39, to a minor league deal. Was that a flare from Rizzo? Venezuela rescued Wilson Ramos in two days; who’ll free the Nats’ GM?"Steve M. said… I re-read Boz again and found this reference metaphorically from Ramos kipdnapping to freeing Rizzo disturbing and offensive. Comparing a life & death situation with Ramos to the business of baseball. Its stuff like this that tells me Boswell needs to retire from sports and start critiquing restaurants. I am also blown away how rational and intelligent most posters are on here. Mark has created a good environment to interact and I can't say enough how nice it is. When we all went through the life and death ordeal with Wilson Ramos it put more in perspective that baseball isn't life and death but Boswell during this Holiday season hasn't grasped that clearly by his statement. December 22, 2011 11:42 AM

  112. Steve M. - Dec 22, 2011 at 4:58 PM

    natsfan1a, glad you brought it up earlier. Boz needs some help. When I re-read it, I was a little taken back that he would segue from Ramos's life & death kidnapping to Rizzo's ability for more control of decision making with making it into a comparative situation. Sad, isn't it.Anyway, Mark has a new post up. I have an interesting story to share unrelated to his.

  113. NatsLady - Dec 22, 2011 at 5:01 PM

    I was not "screaming" to keep Dunn. The big lug was likeable enough, but not what we needed. Also, I was going to post this yesterday, if Rizzo did nothing else this off-season, rescuing Ramos was enough. None of us know what he had to do, who he had to bribe, etc., to get that accomplished.

  114. The Fox - Dec 22, 2011 at 5:03 PM

    Wow this Boswell column has hit a raw nerve! I'd say its had its intend effect. Let's hope Nat's management reacts accordingly.

  115. Wally - Dec 22, 2011 at 5:08 PM

    I completely agree with SteveM and natsfan1A that the Ramos analogy was way off base, and really undermines whatever credibility Boz may have had with the article. On the article itself, I agree with Eugene that I think something happened to cause the reversal – even Boz isn't that mercurial to do a 180 reversal in two days without being told something, and Davey strikes me as the 'source'. They're friends, Davey has a shorter time horizon than Rizzo, in all likelihood and it is kind of Davey's MO, (although cutting against this thought, is that he hasn't cared too much in the past if the statement is attributed to him). If there is any truth to the Lerners dragging their feet, my guess is that the Lerners were on board with whatever plan Rizzo put together heading into the offseason (Buehrle, most likely), but as the market has changed and Rizzo perhaps wanted to go after guys not part of the original plan (or pay more $$), that this is where they are balking.But here's a question to SteveM and NatsJack – do I read your reactions correctly to say that if the offseason was over, you would agree with Boz's take? In other words, you would think the Lerners were causing the inactivity rather than Rizzo? Seems like both of you said 'too soon to judge', but I couldn't tell if that meant you would agree with Boz on 'why', if it held up to be true.

  116. Wally - Dec 22, 2011 at 5:18 PM

    Btw, one thing that makes me willing to believe Boz that something has changed a bit is the Werth contract. It just doesn't make sense to sign him to that deal if they weren't prepared to increase payroll to $90-100m.I am not sure any team has allocated 25% of their payroll to one player, especially when that player is more of a good complementary piece rather than a Pujols-type guy. I understand about keeping room to pay Zim, Stras, Harper, … but Stras/Harper aren't going to get real expensive until Werth's contract is almost over, so it doesn't fit into a coherent strategy, at least to me.

  117. Anonymous - Dec 22, 2011 at 5:26 PM

    I completely agree with SteveM and natsfan1A that the Ramos analogy was way off base, and really undermines whatever credibility Boz may have had with the article. Apparently, its a season of discontent for Boz. Let's face it folks Boz won't admit it but he has become even more the rabid fan of our Nats, (Sorry Orioles fans but he is one of ours going waaaay back.), than even the most rabid among this crowd. So, his fan's heart might have inadvertently gotten in the way of his head.

  118. greg - Dec 22, 2011 at 5:39 PM

    of course it's too soon to judge. the only true acknowledged nats target that's gone is buerhle. the only other "supposed" targets gone are darvish and aoki. the other big signings weren't really guys the nats were going to go after. i'm not sure what the "panic" date really is (i suppose it depends on when the FA cupboard looks bare and we still have holes), but it sure isn't december 22.

  119. natsfan1a - Dec 22, 2011 at 6:36 PM

    Yes, it is sad, SteveM.NatsLady, agreed. Given the Ramos incident, I can't get too exercised over the winter meetings/armchair GM stuff (that, and I don't tend to be all that much into it, anyway).NatsLady said… I was not "screaming" to keep Dunn. The big lug was likeable enough, but not what we needed. Also, I was going to post this yesterday, if Rizzo did nothing else this off-season, rescuing Ramos was enough. None of us know what he had to do, who he had to bribe, etc., to get that accomplished. December 22, 2011 12:01 PM

  120. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Dec 22, 2011 at 6:48 PM

    MIcheleS said… Umm..I will take Mark DeRosa both for his playing ability and for his looks. He is a nice addition to the Good Looking Guys we have on this team. Boys you pull out the looks card and I know that the women on this blog will totally out due you those posts!If that's the case, is Jim Palmer available?

  121. Golfersal - Dec 22, 2011 at 6:58 PM

    Joy another near broken-down player for us.Boswell was right, Nats aren't doing a good enough job in getting the right players together and the Lerners aren't allowing Rizzo to spend the money.We need players that can contribute now, not more over the hill, past there prime, old guys that have no upside for the Nats in 2012.

  122. natsfan1a - Dec 22, 2011 at 7:21 PM

    How about Steve Garvey? (virtual wolf whistle) If that's the case, is Jim Palmer available?

  123. Dave - Dec 22, 2011 at 8:02 PM

    Sorry to have been absent from these discussions for so long. I've been lurking throughout the entire fall. My school's network runs an antique version of IE that will not let me comment on Blogger blogs, and I find commenting from the iPhone to be kind of cumbersome.Very interesting to read this thread on the Boz column today. I agree with those who say that he seemed to have gone suddenly off his meds (literally or figuratively). Apart from not giving Buehrle too much money for too long, I'm not sure exactly what Rizzo should have done so far.I for one appreciate the Nats' slow and steady approach. Whether Boz's column is the result of a leak from Rizzo or from Davey or from nobody, it seems prudent not simply to sign somebody big for the sake of making a big signing. (The Werth contract last year was different: a message needed to be sent to the baseball world.)According to my countdown calendar, there are 58 days until pitchers and catchers report to spring training. So, no, the off-season is not over by any means.GYFNG!

  124. Boswell Bites - Dec 22, 2011 at 8:04 PM

    The source of Boswell's column is his own feeble, logically-impaired, emotionally-charged pea brain. Boswell has been flip-flopping for years – it's nothing new, and his misuse and misstatement of facts are horrendous. Boswell should have retired years ago.

  125. natsfan1a - Dec 22, 2011 at 9:15 PM

    Good to "see" you, Dave. Was just thinking about you the other day. Maybe I conjured you up as I do with my rent-a-cat, who likes to pop in for periodic visits. :-)

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 77 57 --
ATLANTA 71 65 7.0
MIAMI 68 68 11.0
NEW YORK 63 73 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 62 73 15.5
Through Saturday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SUN: Nats at Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

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

ON THE RADIO

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

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

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter