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Looking at future payrolls

Jan 3, 2012, 7:36 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Jayson Werth's salary increases from $13 million in 2012 to $21 million by 2015.

One of the major ramifications of the Nationals signing an elite free agent to a mammoth contract (ie. Prince Fielder) is the effect it may or may not have on the club's ability to retain its current core players long-term.

But how much exactly would the Nats need to pay to retain those players? Perhaps more than you realize.

The Nationals, as currently constructed, are both in a highly advantageous position and a potentially dangerous position.

The good news: Nearly everyone of consequence on the roster is under team control for the next three, four or even five years. (The biggest exceptions are Ryan Zimmerman, Michael Morse and John Lannan, who all can become free agents after the 2013 season.)

The bad news: All of those core, young players are going to be eligibleRead more »

  1. Anonymous - Jan 3, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    Great post.Thanksjindc

  2. Anonymous - Jan 3, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    ..that said, we can still afford Zim extension and Prince. Both would = xtra $40mil/yr. Still not close to what the big boys shell out!!!All this Prince specualtion means the Nats' will not be signing 1999/Go Crazy!Lipty,

  3. Tom in AR - Jan 3, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    I hope all these arbitration guys play well enough over the next few years to be awarded these salaries!

  4. Natitude/Longitude - Jan 3, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    Mark…way off topic:It seems like, back in 2005 and 2006, we had a ton of discussion in the media about the All Star game coming to Washington.It never seems to come up anymore. Any idea when the ASG might visit DC?

  5. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jan 3, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    Yunesky "86 mph fastball" Maya has a multiyear deal?That's great agentry.

  6. NatStat - Jan 3, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    What the hey? It's all part of being an owner in the Bigs. What are we, Oakland or somethin?!!If the Lerners are really the richest of the rich in the Land of Horsehide Stitchings (according to Forbes)who cares as long as Nats win. Good players pay for themselves with attendance and TV.But great analysis Mark!Gooooooooooooooooooooo Nats!!!!

  7. Anonymous - Jan 3, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    OR they seriously may consider trading Zim to replace some of those prospects they lost and using Rendon at third base. Right now as things stand Rendon doesn't have a position. He will likely need one. And Zimmerman's spot is his best position.So, there are many possible permutations that would permit the addition of elite free agents like Fielder. And as Mark mentioned they no longer have the revenue stream they were receiving because the payroll was in the bottom third baseball wide.The Nats really MUST WIN to replace that revenue stream and probably create more.

  8. @mathewbrown - Jan 3, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    @Natitude/Longitude: When Navy Yard area develops into something worth visiting, that's when, and not a moment before. The two giant empty footprints that line Half Street? Those need to be centers of commerce, not giant pits.

  9. JamesFan - Jan 3, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    Mark, how many ML teams have salaries above $100m? Who are they?

  10. Anonymous - Jan 3, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    @Natitude/Longitude: When Navy Yard area develops into something worth visiting, that's when, and not a moment before. The two giant empty footprints that line Half Street? Those need to be centers of commerce, not giant pits.According to Boz they are getting rid of the cement factory … that's a start.

  11. PAY TO PLAY - Jan 3, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    You still have to fill in the rest to get to a MLB roster of 25 so the numbers will still surpass that.

  12. Young Pitchers - Jan 3, 2012 at 8:17 PM

    my speculation is the following players won't be on 2013 payroll:Adam LaRoche Sean Burnett John Lannan Michael MorseTom Gorzelannyso it'd be about $30MM less.

  13. Anonymous - Jan 3, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    The Phillies and Braves are both at 100 million somewhat above or somewhat below depending.

  14. Whoa_now - Jan 3, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    Your numbers say Morse will make about 10 million in the next two years-say he has a two years similar to this past year(roughly 75/30/95/.300)…what do you think it will cost to sign him as a free agent in 2014? 3 year deal at 12-15 million? He'll be 33, exiting his prime, but the nats will be in the middle of their window-with NO FA 1st basemen available(so we'll be sort of stuck leveragewise) So over a five year period you will have spent-around 50 million- 40 million for the 3 yr contract.If we sign Prince, then Morse is the odd man out. We will trade him or not resign him. Say we keep him because he's relatively cheap for his production instead of trade him. I think Prince signs for 6 yrs-24 mil per year-So the question becomes: Is Prince worth close to 60 million more than Morse at 1b ( Morse at first; starting in 2014-2016: 40 million. Fielder at first starting in 14-16:99 mil) I don't think so…60 mil can go a long way signing our young guys.The only way I'll be happy with a Prince signing is if they frontload the contract so he is making more now, and much much less later. I don't think owners or players like that sort of stucture..but it would make sense from the owners perspective(probably not financially). Give Prince a 130 for 6 year contract, pay 55% of it off the first two years-Or 35 mil each year. Then the next four years he makes on avg 15 mil(much more affordable to sign Zim)- you can chose to stagger it so that by year six he is making 10 mil.-right when you need to re-sign some of your younger stars. And while he won't be worth 35 mil these next two years. He'll be closer to that than paying him 22 million for year 5 and 6.

  15. Anonymous - Jan 3, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    Zuck — I stopped reading in earnest when you wrote that in 2015 the club's payroll could exceed, dare I even type it . . . $100M. $100M is the 2011 average payroll, should anyone be scared off by that amount? Should the Lerners be shaking in their diamond studded boots about having a potential payroll 4 seasons out that might meet 2011's average MLB payroll? Come on.dfh21

  16. Eugene in Oregon - Jan 3, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    If I'm reading USA Today's list of 2011 team payrolls correctly, getting into the $105-120 million/year range would put the Nats into the same bloc as the Cardinals, Tigers, Twins, and Giants. Given the DC market, I'm not sure why the Nats shouldn't be able to handle that.

  17. Anonymous - Jan 3, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    Ladson is now reporting that the Nats are in fact definitely in on Fielder. According to the Nats Enquirer everything should come to a head by the end of this week. Ladson states that ownership will make the call on whether to sign him or not.

  18. Will - Jan 3, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    List of MLB payrolls:Total payroll, then average individual salary1. New York Yankees $201,689,030 $6,722,9682. Philadelphia Phillies $172,976,381 $5,765,8793. Boston Red Sox $161,407,476 $5,978,0554. Los Angeles Angels $138,998,524 $4,483,8235. Chicago White Sox $129,285,539 $4,788,3536. Chicago Cubs $125,480,664 $5,228,3617. New York Mets $120,147,310 $4,290,9758. San Francisco Giants $118,216,833 $4,378,3839. Minnesota Twins $112,737,000 $4,509,48010. Detroit Tigers $105,705,232 $3,915,00911. St. Louis Cardinals $105,433,572 $3,904,94712. Los Angeles Dodgers $103,788,990 $3,459,63313. Texas Rangers $92,299,265 $3,182,73314. Colorado Rockies $87,998,071 $3,384,54115. Atlanta Braves $87,003,192 $3,346,27716. Seattle Mariners $86,424,600 $2,880,82017. Milwaukee Brewers $85,497,333 $2,849,91118. Baltimore Orioles $85,304,038 $3,280,92519. Cincinnati Reds $76,181,365 $2,539,37920. Houston Astros $70,694,000 $2,437,72421. Oakland Athletics $66,536,500 $2,376,30422. Washington Nationals $63,681,929 $2,195,92923. Toronto Blue Jays $62,517,800 $2,016,70324. Florida Marlins $56,944,000 $2,190,15425. Arizona Diamondbacks $53,639,833 $1,986,66026. Cleveland Indians $49,188,867 $1,639,62927. Pittsburgh Pirates $46,047,000 $1,534,90028. San Diego Padres $45,869,140 $1,479,65029. Tampa Bay Rays $41,932,171 $1,612,77630. Kansas City Royals $36,126,400 $1,338,015The average was about $92,900,000. The Nats are wayyy below that. And even if their payroll rises to $104mil in 2015, that will likely be very close if not below average.

  19. Anonymous - Jan 3, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    my speculation is the following players won't be on 2013 payroll:I think Gorzelanny will still be there. He is a fairly talented left-handed pitcher who may end up starting again.

  20. DC Tom - Jan 3, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    Interesting article, but I think it lacks some perspective.In 2011, twelve major league teams had payrolls over $100M. The median team payroll was $86.7 million. Baseball salaries in the last four years have increased 17%, so if that same rate of growth happens from 2011-2015, you're looking at the median team payroll being over $100 million in 2015.So I don't really see this as an albatross or a ticking time-bomb inside the Nats organization.

  21. John C. - Jan 3, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    Mark, in addition to showing which players are under contract and who is eligible for arbitration for each of the next several seasons, I'd recommend adding a line after each year indicating what players are slated to become free agents.That would drive home the prospective costs. For example, the projected payroll numbers you lay out go from $96,000,000 in 2013 to $88,150,000 … but that's before any cost for re-signing Zimmerman, Morse, and/or Lannan (or signing replacement free agents). It would make explicit what is implicit in the way you have it laid out.

  22. UNTERP - Jan 3, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    Anonymous said… my speculation is the following players won't be on 2013 payroll: I think Gorzelanny will still be there. He is a fairly talented left-handed pitcher who may end up starting again.Interesting comment…

  23. Feel Wood - Jan 3, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    Ooooooo. $80 million. $90 million. $100 million. Add in another $20 million for Zimmerman and $25 million for Fielder. Still well under the luxury tax threshold. Where's the problem here?

  24. DC Tom - Jan 3, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    With a young team like the Nats, it is true that Gio, Clippard, Jordan Zimmermann, Storen, and Desmond will be relatively "expensive" via the arbitration process over the coming years. But that cost is somewhat avoidable — if the team does not win, those players become trading chips. In 2015, the Nats are not locked into *any* player beyond Werth.There's plenty of room here to sign Fielder, extend Zimmerman, and even extend Morse for a couple more years.

  25. jcj5y - Jan 3, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    DC Tom makes an excellent point. Salaries are steadily increasing. That's sure to continue. It's probably a little bit premature to be worrying about the total cost of fielding a team in 2015. But I do think there's a reason to be concerned about how much may be devoted to 3-4 players, especially if there's a chance that some of those players are substantially underperforming.The Nats may not bat an eye at spending $100 million on the team in 2015, but if $50 million of that is going to a decrepit Werth and an overweight Fielder, that doesn't leave much to spend on a competitive team.

  26. gonatsgo - Jan 3, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    Does anybody have a good read on whether or not the organization wants to be like the A's, like the Rays, or like the top-tier teams? Are they ambitious? I just don't know what their style was in the past. Didn't they build a fairly decent organization in Atlanta? By the way – check out the bottom six in payroll — two of them were in the playoffs this year.White Sox, Mets, Cubs – ouch – they are an example of unwise spending and how it can bite you in the behind. This list clearly shows that you have to spend smart, not just a lot.If their intention is to build a dynasty, they could be willing to increase spending each year. I am also in the camp that 100 – 125 million just gets you into the top ten. Does this organization see itself as one of the future big boys?

  27. Steve M. - Jan 3, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    Anonymous said… Ladson is now reporting that the Nats are in fact definitely in on Fielder. According to the Nats Enquirer everything should come to a head by the end of this week. Ladson states that ownership will make the call on whether to sign him or not. January 3, 2012 3:27 PM I can rest easy knowing Ladson is on the case!As far as it coming to a conclusion the end of this week, its possible but I think that other report of Boras pushing it after the Darvish deadline makes some sense although it probably isn't smart if he does that as it will expose that the Rangers are -out- if they sign Darvish meaning the Nats may be the only team willing to go any more than 4 years.

  28. Steve M. - Jan 3, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    The last time the Nats were in this situation was with Teixeira and it looked good for the Nats until the Yankees jumped in.Difference now is the Nats are possible contenders and not the septic tank they were 4 years ago.I am not getting my hopes up too much but I can see that the Nats would be the perfect place on a 5 year deal for Prince and just hoping now that Darvish signs with Texas as that may be the only thing holding this up.

  29. Steve M. - Jan 3, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    O's just broke the bank and traded for Jai Miller! Does that mean no Coco for them?

  30. Anonymous - Jan 3, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    Does anybody have a good read on whether or not the organization wants to be like the A's, like the Rays, or like the top-tier teams? Are they ambitious? More like Boston under Theo Epstein. So, one could say that the Nats and Cubs could look similar.The Rays keep payroll intentionally depressed and rely entirely on their prospect pool to field a major league club. When prospects are about to become too expensive they typically flip them for even more top prospects. The Rays have been best at this.The A's play it similarly.Boston relied both on its bevy of prospects and on top free agent signings. They've done well competing against the Yankees. Yet, so have the Rays competing against both. Rizzo's model is one that features athletic, young (below 30) controllable players who can help the team both in the near term and long term. It doesn't matter where they come from.

  31. JamesFan - Jan 3, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    Well, the Nats should certainly be in the company of current teams with $100m in payroll in this market. Isn't it amazing that the O's are spending $85m for that mess in Baltimore?

  32. Anonymous - Jan 3, 2012 at 9:06 PM

    O's just broke the bank and traded for Jai Miller! Does that mean no Coco for them?The A's might yet end up with a farm that is better than Tampa Bay's!

  33. The Dude Abides - Jan 3, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    Jai Miller??? !!! Wow!… Didn't see that coming.

  34. Anonymous - Jan 3, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    And its pretty clear that Crisp is going back to the A's. He did say he wanted to be on the west coast. Apparently, Billy Bean is going to accommodate him.

  35. DC Tom - Jan 3, 2012 at 9:24 PM

    Actually, the A's have developed very little of their own talent. They have relied more on the "buy low, sell high, from and to whatever source" approach to player acquisition.Of their everyday players and starting pitchers, only Dallas Braden, Kurt Suzuki, Colin Cowgill, Cliff Pennington and Jemile Weeks are "homegrown" players they drafted. None of those guys are worth writing home much about. They players they're building around — Brandon Allen and Josh Redick, were all acquired via trades.

  36. Wally - Jan 3, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    Mark – this is a good synopsis. It reinforces what I felt earlier though – the Nats can do this if they can see themselves as a $110-120m payroll club. I think that is a realistic expectation for a club that wants to be a repeat contender, and is honestly what I felt that they were signaling when they signed Werth last year, since you don't do that if he is going to be more than 15-18% of your expected payroll. I think that is a doable scenario, given what you laid out above. Tweak the roster above by replacing some expensive bullpen and non critical guys for pre-arb players, defer some money in those years for Fielder and Zim, and they can still fill out a quality roster, but it is a commitment to be above $100m.In all likelihood, one of the big guys, like Harper or Stras, gets traded a year before their control lapses if the Nats don't think they'll extend, and return back some young, cost controlled pieces that get through 2015/2016 financial squeeze.

  37. Anonymous - Jan 3, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    There is another aspect to the Fielder deal that is brought up constantly on the WaPo NJ blog:Fielder as an elite African American talent. It pays to do this in DC. With the struggles and eventual loss of JMax replacing him with BJ Upton would add another solid-to-top talent piece that would fall into that genre of player. Its pretty clear that Bernadina is slated to a 4th outfielder/bench role. Have to wonder if that is one of the marketing ploys Boras is using with the Lerners. Having both a "white" and African American FOF? Not sure if that would sell more tickets, certainly it would go a long way toward energizing fans and creating a very large ardent fan base.

  38. Mark'd - Jan 3, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    Rumors had O's signing Coco Crisp and trading Adam Jones for Tommy Hanson. Crisp changed his Twitter pic to a photo of himself as a kid wearing an Orioles Little League shirt. Looks like something happened in last 24 hours. Now A's send Jai Miller to Orioles for cash.

  39. NatsLady - Jan 3, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    Anon @4:35 — agree 100%. Got in trouble for saying that a few weeks ago. The Nats are very good about hiring local people, and I'm starting to see a few number of fans also. It needs to be a good experience for kids. The summer camp days are great also. Now they just need to get some kids' teams a little more organized…Don't know how BJ Upton is with the outreach, but he's young and good-looking.

  40. Section 222 - Jan 3, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    Good to have these numbers. Like many others here, I don't see this as much of a dangerous situation. In 2015, Desmond, Storen, Clippard, H-Rod, Bernadina and Perry are not on the team with those salaries unless they have delivered in a very serious way. Only Ramos and Espinosa seem a lock to be here with high arbitration salaries at that point. And $100 million could very well be an average major league payroll by then. To rephrase a thought from my last comment to the Fielder rumor post: This analysis is bad news only if the Lerners want to follow the Oakland, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay model of trying to piece together a winner on the cheap. If they want to contend year in and year out, they're going to have to spend. And this market will reward them handsomely for it.

  41. NatsLady - Jan 3, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    There is an excellent poster over on NJ named Dargreg (Dar Gramps we call him because he had a grandkid). He's a little testy sometimes but he brings the black voice to the Nats experience (though he lives in Atlanta). I wish he would come over here.

  42. Anonymous - Jan 3, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    Don't know how BJ Upton is with the outreach, but he's young and good-looking.He's also a local. And that could factor into energizing the fan base. After Fielder that is the next logical move. Upton's the guy Rizzo basically has wanted as his CF probably from day 1.

  43. court - Jan 3, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    Nice look ahead Mark. I think it is important to see the potential salary commitments that the team has moving forward. Tack on an additional $20 mil in '14 and '15 to keep Zim and it gets worse. It seems a high-dollar/short-term deal would work best and Ken Rosenthal floated the idea of a shorter term deal, or an opt-out, that might work better for the Nats. Prince could take, say a 3 year/$84-90 mil deal, to max out his value for the next few years and then hit the market again when he's 30 and try again for a longer term deal. Even if he only gets a 5 or 6 year deal then, he'd get top dollar when you combine it with the previous deal. Much more risk for the player, but if the market isn't there for the long term deal this offseason, maybe Boras considers it.It would work for '12 and '13, then maybe you defer Zim some money until after Prince's deal. Any way you slice it, Mark's post illustrates that the Nats' payroll is headed above $100 mil/year, probably north of $120, benchmark and would need to be in the $150 neighborhood to support both Zim and Prince. I think a winning team in DC could support that. Makes the new MASN deal interesting.

  44. baseballswami - Jan 3, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    Ok – all of you , Texas, Darvish, Boras, Prince — listen up – pitchers and catchers report in 47 days. You have stuff to do to get ready. SIGN THE DARN CONTRACT ALREADY!!!! Ok,,, I'm done now – whew. First day back at work – getting to me.

  45. natsfan1a - Jan 3, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    Second that, NatsLady. I don't tend to post over there anymore because I find the interface quite cumbersome, although I do read AK's posts. I miss "seeing" Dargramps. :-)NatsLady said… There is an excellent poster over on NJ named Dargreg (Dar Gramps we call him because he had a grandkid). He's a little testy sometimes but he brings the black voice to the Nats experience (though he lives in Atlanta). I wish he would come over here. January 3, 2012 4:49 PM

  46. Just sayin' - Jan 3, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    baseballswami @ 5:07 p.m.: Understand your frustration, but here's what will happen:– In the next day or so, the Nats will introduce Gio at the traditional press conference with jersey and hat fitting. Certainly no announcement on Fielder before then, both to give Gio his due and to allow Boras and the Lerners to hammer out the final details of the agreement in private.– A day or so after the Gio press conference, word will emerge that the Nats and Fielder have reached agreement. It will take a day to confirm it, but expect something by the weekend (next Monday at the latest).– A day or two after that, there will be the big press conference in DC with Prince putting on his XXXL Nats jersey (with similar jerseys going on sale at the team store) and a one-size-fits-all curly W hat (that won't quite fit, but no one will care and the equipment manager will have a bigger one available in Florida).– Separately, Darvish will sign with the Rangers (he was visiting Texas yesterday or today) sometime over the course of the next week, maybe sooner.Hope that helps.

  47. baseballswami - Jan 3, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    Just sayin' – you promise?

  48. Anonymous - Jan 3, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    Damn, I was really hoping the Nats were the team that was going to land Coco (A's inked him — 2 years, $14M). Werth in CF and Desmond at lead off might not be a winning combination for the club.dfh21

  49. Anonymous - Jan 3, 2012 at 10:43 PM

    Here is how the rumor of PF coming here is getting out of hand…That Milwaukee report about the Nats being the front runner – It's on the ESPN bottom line ticker. Great! He will end up in Chicago because there is way to much chatter about the Nats.

  50. MicheleS - Jan 3, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    Just Sayin…Darvish landed today in TX….

  51. Anonymous - Jan 3, 2012 at 10:59 PM

    Damn, I was really hoping the Nats were the team that was going to land Coco (A's inked him — 2 years, $14M). Werth in CF and Desmond at lead off might not be a winning combination for the clubI think I said at least a dozen times in ain't happenin'? Rizzo wants Upton. If they do sign Fielder don't be surprised to see him in a Nats uniform in Viera. He doesn't have a left-handed bat (and that for Rizzo would be perfect see Goodwin, Brian; Brown, Corey) but he is the guy Rizzo wants in CF. And statistically he is by far superior to Crisp and all of the other candidates. His performance reaches all-star heights outside of the Trop. Another right-handed bat is not optimal from the Nats FO's perspective. If it doesn't happen this season I expect Corey Brown might make the roster as the third bench outfielder after Bernadina and Cameron.

  52. Anonymous - Jan 3, 2012 at 11:06 PM

    – Separately, Darvish will sign with the Rangers (he was visiting Texas yesterday or today) sometime over the course of the next week, maybe sooner.– More likely —–Immediately afterward the Nats will go to Tampa Bay with Morse and Desmond or Lombardozzi in hand -plus prospects-. Another attempt will be made to get Upton – BUT – because Upton is a year away from free agency the Nats will ask for more for Upton and will be willing to give up more. I surmise it will be another left-handed pitching prospect. Alex Torres or Enny Romero. It'd be nice to take a swing at landing David Price as his salary has to be a tad on the rich side for the Rays given the plethora of prospects they do have. But I suspect they'd have to throw Rendon ( and they can't do it yet) and Lombardozzi to make that happen.

  53. Theophilus - Jan 3, 2012 at 11:10 PM

    Of the dozen or so teams w/ payrolls over $100MM, all but Twins have much bigger markets, much bigger TV deals, and/or draw 3MM plus every year. The Twins are hammered by the Mauer and Morneau deals and will be in purgatory for a long time. The real comparables are the Rockies and Braves — and the Braves will soon find themselves in the same arbitration box as the Nats. Unless the Nats start winning, and unless they then start drawing 3MM a year — which in this town will not necessarily follow — I don't think the Lerners are morally obligated to lose millions just because they have billions. Attendance last year for a .500 team was pretty pathetic (self included). Until the market shows it can support a winning team in a big way, the Lerners are right to be cautious.

  54. Anonymous - Jan 3, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    — Rizzo and ownership hammer out extensions for Zimmerman and Upton. Then focus on planning ways to replenish the prospects lost. Expect they might go for the young 19 year old Cuban outfielder. Be nice if they were in on Seth Smith.

  55. Gonat - Jan 3, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    Anonymous said… Don't know how BJ Upton is with the outreach, but he's young and good-looking.He's also a local. And that could factor into energizing the fan base. After Fielder that is the next logical move. Upton's the guy Rizzo basically has wanted as his CF probably from day 1. January 3, 2012 4:50 PM ________________________________Mark DeRosa grew up in Bergen County New Jersey and it takes about the same travel time from his childhood home as BJ Upton's family in Chesapeake, Virginia. Neither is local. Joe Saunders and Justin Maxwell are locals. Justin Verlander is from the Richmond area 2 hours away and he doesn't call himself a Washingtonian.Its like saying someone in San Franciso is local to Los Angelese because they are both in California.The Uptons are closer to North Carolina. its just a ridiculous comparison that has been discussed here before.And I would take Prince Fielder over BJ Upton as a role model based on my observations.

  56. Anonymous - Jan 3, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    Unless the Nats start winning, and unless they then start drawing 3MM a year — which in this town will not necessarily follow Part of that is marketing in the form of educating the public. The Lerner's have hired some new expertise in that area to work with MASN. With Fielder and perhaps Upton in the fold the Nats can legitimately claim to have a contending team that will play exciting baseball. It starts with the first home series with the Phillies. Seeing the Philly Phans get drowned out by fanatic Nats fans.

  57. Theophilus - Jan 3, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    And don't tell me it's a chicken/egg problem. I was at Nats Park three times in September, when the team was playing well, and there were decent visiting teams, and all I saw was Atlanta and Dodger hats and fans masquerading as blue chairs. It was embarrassing.

  58. Sunderland - Jan 3, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    This is why the Nats need to make a long term deal with Jordan Zimmermann (among others). Buy out a few Arb years, and extend him into his first few FA years. No team can afford to keep all the talent it develops. So get some cost control wrapped around a few of these younger guys.Offer him a deal that guarantees him wealth for several generations. $45M over 7 years or that there ballpark. It's guaranteed the day it gets inked. Most guys would have a hard time turning that down to go after the bigger pay days 3+ years down the road.

  59. FS - Jan 3, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    I think Coco would have been a better sign than Fielder (if we do). Fielder switches between good and great seasons, but whichever teams pays him, will be paying for his great seasons which is not entirely fair. Anyways, I am guessing we add a CF next off-season. Not even any good OF are available, not sure what Rizzo can do now.

  60. Anonymous - Jan 3, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    The Uptons are closer to North Carolina. its just a ridiculous comparison that has been discussed here before.And I would take Prince Fielder over BJ Upton as a role model based on my observations.Well a guy who ACTUALLY PLAYED on teams and LIVED NEAR Upton considers himself a local? That would be Ryan Zimmerman? Who The F are you GoNat to determine who is a local and who is not? Who died and made you king of DelMarVa?Upton plays extremely well on the road. He doesn't like the Bat cave known as the Trop. Not many TB fans like it either and it shows when they don't show for a team contending for playoff slots? Give the guy the benefit of the doubt. The FOF does and honestly I'll listen to his opinion first.

  61. Anonymous - Jan 3, 2012 at 11:25 PM

    This is why the Nats need to make a long term deal with Jordan Zimmermann (among others). Buy out a few Arb years, and extend him into his first few FA years. No team can afford to keep all the talent it develops. So get some cost control wrapped around a few of these younger guys.You realize of course (and I hope?) that this is directly connected to signing Fielder? That getting Zim to sign an extension is directly connected to signing Fielder? And perhaps getting Upton on board? Again, at that point the Nats can legitimately claim that they are fielding a contender, RIGHT NOW, in 2012. That is how you get young players to sign up by promising them that they will be part of a franchise that contends for the world championship every year.

  62. This Isn't Fun - Jan 3, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    Anonymous dude, you seriously need to lighten up.You're the only one who brings this kind of attitude here. It's completely inappropriate. Please.*******"Who The F are you GoNat to determine who is a local and who is not? Who died and made you king of DelMarVa"

  63. Anonymous - Jan 3, 2012 at 11:33 PM

    I think Coco would have been a better sign than Fielder (if we do). Fielder switches between good and great seasons, but whichever teams pays him, will be paying for his great seasons which is not entirely fair.And Oakland got ripped off he's not that good.2011: 583 PA, 0.323 wOBA, -2.3 bRAA2010: 328 PA, 0.362 wOBA, 8.8 bRAA2009: 215 PA, 0.318 wOBA, -4.4 bRAAThis guy isn't even close to "bad attitude" BJ Upton. Not even in thesame league. And it appears that he's had some issues with injuriesto boot. On top of that he is 32 years old. Upton is 27.

  64. OH Really its the Network Police? - Jan 3, 2012 at 11:36 PM

    Anonymous dude, you seriously need to lighten up.You're the only one who brings this kind of attitude here. It's completely inappropriate. Please.Move arrow to scroll bar and press down. If you want to point fingers join the FBI. For goodness sake! Stand on your head and spit nickels?Natslady mentioned Dargreg and wonders why he doesn't post here? He tends to get very emotional and has strong opinions. He wouldn't want to deal with people like this … #disgusted.

  65. Sunderland - Jan 3, 2012 at 11:37 PM

    Maybe Ryan Zimmerman considers himself a local only because he plays here? Maybe if he was signed by ATL or STL or anyone else the whole notion of whether he is a DC area local would never come up? But since he does play here, and since it has come up, of course he is going to say he considers himself a local.It's not as though he grew up rooting for the Nationals, or the Senators, or the Grays. Bet he wasn't a big Expos fan back in the day.

  66. Sunderland - Jan 3, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    peric, I for one more than welcome your opinions. But I for one don't appreciate your name calling and your insistance that alternate opinions are definitively wrong.

  67. Theophilus - Jan 3, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    All these people that want Upton remind me of the Cleveland GM — might've been John McHale — who traded Rocky Colavito to Detroit for Harvey Kuenn and said, "I just traded hamburger for steak." 'Cept in Upton's case that's being unkind to hamburger.

  68. Anonymous - Jan 3, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    peric, I for one more than welcome your opinions. But I for one don't appreciate your name calling and your insistance that alternate opinions are definitively wrong.I tend to get confused with many anonymous posters. Unkyd definitely got more than a few confused with me … ~smiles~ I give you credit for having the blue live link to a real profile. Still when the profiles are almost completely bare? I actually post with my Facebook Id in other places and have live twitter accounts. I keep up with Jackobeam and misschatter and her scooter there. Way too many here can be very pretentious and I suppose I in turn follow suit … ;)But I do accept your polite and complimentary suggestion. – peric

  69. Mark'd - Jan 4, 2012 at 12:46 AM

    The FoF went to UVA and moved to the DC area. The Nats are geographically his closest team. He is now a Washingtonian. Both Upton brothers have made their home in Tampa Florida.Does geography matter where they come from? No. It matters more where they consider their home in the off-season like most Redskins. Zim and Werth are now Washingtonians. The rest? No

  70. NatsNut - Jan 4, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    Anon, at least DarGreg has an identifiable name. You are so cocky and indignant. Gonat told you why you were wrong and you try to compare Upton to Zimmerman. It's close but no cigar. Tidewater isn't Washington DC. I just called a friend in Norfolk who laughed at the comparison.

  71. Wally - Jan 4, 2012 at 1:01 AM

    Marlins signing Dobbs. RedSox also sign Carlos Silva – while I don't like that guy specifically, I still think that we need a vet starter on a minor league deal to stash at AAA for the inevitable injury situation. Maybe Millwood, Penny, someone like that. I think the other guys get major league deals.Here is a bench guy via trade possibility: Will Venable. Good lefty hitter (platoon only, can't hit lefties) and plays pretty good defense, including passable CF. Pods have a boatload of OFs now, so he might get squeezed. He is in arbitration (second year, maybe?) so he might be getting expensive from Pods view. Could be a good guy to get if we don't find a more permanent CF. Maybe he and DeRosa split the 3rd OF spot, and he takes CF against LHs and Werth slides to RF.

  72. Anonymous - Jan 4, 2012 at 1:05 AM

    Joe Sheehan Sports Illustrated:"BJ Upton is the next Matt Kemp"

  73. Anonymous - Jan 4, 2012 at 1:11 AM

    Anon, at least DarGreg has an identifiable name. You are so cocky and indignant. Gonat told you why you were wrong and you try to compare Upton to Zimmerman. It's close but no cigar. Tidewater isn't Washington DC. I just called a friend in Norfolk who laughed at the comparison.We'll see Natsnut. So far I've been right. That's not cocky its a fact. I was right about the Nats not getting all of these slap hitter CF's, right about them getting a top left-handed top-of-the-rotation starter NOT as plan B as Kilgore seems to want to assert … nope PLAN A+. I was right about Fielder and its highly likely Upton is the next target before other teams get at him. Calling him a "local" like Zim helps in that regard HELPS especially when his family AND fans can come and see him play with a winner frequently. One could use your rather juvenile argument and apply it to Woodbridge. But when it comes to baseball THEY DO CONSIDER themselves local. Natsnut you are one of the more "emotional" pretentious types that I described earlier.

  74. Anonymous - Jan 4, 2012 at 1:28 AM

    Interesting points, Anonymous@8:11pm. Except you haven't been right – you have just been claiming my comments as your own. You weren't the one that said the Nats wouldn't get the CF, wouldn't get the LH starter, and you didn't say they would get Prince. That was ME that said all of those things, not you. You and I both know that you're not the real Anonymous, I am.

  75. Anonymous - Jan 4, 2012 at 1:30 AM

    Oh, please quit – this is starting to sound like nj…..

  76. Anonymous - Jan 4, 2012 at 1:51 AM

    No. I mean please go on. I mean I can't decide what I like!

  77. Anonymous - Jan 4, 2012 at 1:51 AM

    Shut up Anonymous! I'm the real anonymous and I've been right all along! You've been wrong every time you've posted and we both know it!

  78. Anonymous - Jan 4, 2012 at 1:56 AM

    I've been anonymous longer than anyone else here has been anonymous, except maybe for that guy who posts as "Anonymous"If you can't tell which one I am, I'm the guy with all the correct predictions and the witty remarks. The other anonymous posters are just being a$$hole$.

  79. Anonymous - Jan 4, 2012 at 1:57 AM

    I give up.

  80. Exposremains - Jan 4, 2012 at 2:00 AM

    If they sign Fielder and you go with Mark's $ figures you have to assume by 2013, Morse,Lannan, Gorz, Bernadina, Flores and maybe Burnett are gone. That's 20-24M$. Unless Harper gets really good at CF, there's no place on that team for Morse. I think that 2014 is a bit far to predict and 2015 even more. A prospect could replace Desmond, Clippard by then.

  81. Anonymous8 - Jan 4, 2012 at 2:21 AM

    This site needs to go to registering a name and email so we don't have this circus.When Upton grew up his closest team geographically was the Baltimore Orioles. The Nationals didn't exist. It isn't like he grew up a Washington Nationals fan.Ladson was the one that was promoting the Upton's as locals. Its a real stretch and the comparison to Verlander who is from Richmond area still doesn't qualify geographically as a Washingtonian as someone in Baltimore isn't a Washingtonian. Now if someones geographical allegiance was to Washington and lived 2 hours away, its still a stretch.The Tidewater region of Virginia is the eastern portion of the Commonwealth of Virginia formally known as Hampton Roads. Norfolk-VA Beach-Newport News, VA-NC MSA (Part): Chesapeake City Gloucester County Hampton City Isle of Wight County James City County Mathews County Newport News City Norfolk City Poquoson City Portsmouth City Suffolk City Virginia Beach City Williamsburg City York County

  82. Section 222 - Jan 4, 2012 at 2:23 AM

    Just got home. What blog is this again?

  83. Natsnut - Jan 4, 2012 at 2:31 AM

    Anon at 8:11, I rarely post and came on to tell you how i see you. Prince William County is part of the Washingto Metro so yes, Woodbridge is LOCAL. Chesapeake Virginia is not local.

  84. Anonymous - Jan 4, 2012 at 2:37 AM

    HUD defines the District of Columbia, Washington, D.C. MSA as:Marland Counties of:Calvert CountyCharles CountyFrederick CountyMontgomery CountyPrince Georges CountyVirginia Counties:Arlington CountyClarke CountyFairfax CountyFauquier CountyFrederick CountyLoudoun CountyPrince William CountySpotsylvania CountyStafford CountyWarren CountyIndependent cities in Virginia:City of AlexandriaCity of FairfaxCity of Falls ChurchCity of FredericksburgCity of ManassasCity of Manassas ParkWest Virginia Jefferson County

  85. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 4, 2012 at 2:41 AM

    For the record, I am not anonymous to those who know me. And I'm not any of the anonymice above–and you can trust me on that, because you know me. I don't understand why people go out of their way to show up daily someplace they don't seem to enjoy, but hey, it takes all kinds. I don't need to understand. Or be right. Which is a good thing, in this case. I really am getting antsy for something to actually happen, like, y'know, baseball, e.g. (not "i.e.", note). Soon.And I like NatsNut–the Original NatsNut, accept no substitute.

  86. Gonat - Jan 4, 2012 at 3:05 AM

    The geography lesson has been interesting and thanks for the voices of reason explaining what a Washingtonian and a local is. NatsJack has it right—>Ignore Anonymous posters unless they sign a name like dfh21.

  87. Anonymous8 - Jan 4, 2012 at 3:15 AM

    I would say anyone that lived in the Washington DC region and moved away and still has their geographic allegiance to DC is a transplanted Washingtonian.I think there are many who post here who would fall in that category.

  88. Just sayin' - Jan 4, 2012 at 3:29 AM

    Didn't realize there was so much interest here in geography. But since there is, some of you may appreciate a relatively new blog at NYTimes.com called 'Borderlines' (link below). Enjoy.http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/category/borderlines/

  89. Gonat - Jan 4, 2012 at 3:50 AM

    http://www.examiner.com/sports-business-in-washington-dc/nationals-could-boost-their-masn-income-by-signing-prince-fielder?mid=56A good perspective thinking Fielder could help the Nats case in arbitration on the media deal.

  90. Anonymous - Jan 4, 2012 at 9:20 AM

    Please stop pushing BJ Upton on us. He ain't nothing like his brother.

  91. gonatsgo - Jan 4, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    If the traffic is ridiculous, you are in the dc metro area. Easy.

  92. natsfan1a - Jan 4, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    Me, too.Sec 3, My Sofa said… And I like NatsNut–the Original NatsNut, accept no substitute. January 3, 2012 9:41 PM

  93. MicheleS - Jan 4, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    Gonat, thanks for the link… Got a chuckle out of the picture of Angelos, Bud, Castro that is on the article.and NatsNut… me 3natsfan1a said… Me, too.Sec 3, My Sofa said…And I like NatsNut–the Original NatsNut, accept no substitute.January 3, 2012 9:41 PM

  94. Unkyd - Jan 4, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    (46 days….. 46 days til the end of geography class….and the CRACK of the bat!!!)

  95. natsfan1a - Jan 4, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    Just followed the Examiner link above. Seems more like an attempt to use the MASN situation to argue for a Prince signing than to provide insight into the tv deal, imo. Wonder whether the author participates in this forum or if it's just coincidence that the piece was posted on the same day we were discussing it here.Did like the Fidel pic. Word is he was PO'd because he tried out for the Senators back in the day but was rejected. (Actually, I believe that story has been debunked but you know me – anything for a laugh. :-))

  96. Avar - Jan 5, 2012 at 2:03 AM

    My only quibble is that Stras will not be arbitration eligible in '13. They delayed his call up last year to June so he will not be a Super Two. They will have to re-sign him for '13, presumably for a raise but technically can pay him the minimum. He will be arbitration eligible in '14. Therefore, I think your numbers for him are a little high but doesn't change the big picture of the numbers.

  97. NatsNut - Jan 5, 2012 at 3:22 AM

    Said by someone who has taken someone else's moniker. =)NatsNut said…Anon, at least DarGreg has an identifiable name.

  98. NatsNut - Jan 5, 2012 at 3:25 AM

    oh, haha. just saw the other posts. Thanks Sofa, 1a and MicheleS, I think you meant me. =)

  99. natsfan1a - Jan 5, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    Yup, there's only one original NatsNat. Any others are poseurs. ;-)

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