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How does Werth rate in center field?

Jan 6, 2012, 12:00 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Jayson Werth performed well during his September stint in center field.

As each day of the offseason passes without the Nationals acquiring a center fielder, it looks more and more obvious that the guy who is likely to see the most action out there in 2012 is the guy who last year signed a $126 million contract to play right field.

Yes, the Nationals appear to be setting the stage for Jayson Werth to slide over to center field, a move that will be made more out of necessity than anything: Bryce Harper will almost certainly play right field when he's promoted, and Michael Morse is set to open the year in left field, leaving Werth with nowhere to go but center.

That said, the Nationals wouldn't do this if they didn't have some level of confidence in Werth's ability to roam the biggest part of the outfield.

"We know Jayson can handle the center field position," GM Mike Rizzo told XM Radio last week. "It's not a perfect world for us. He's a good defender out there and is ready, willing and able to take on theRead more »

121 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Joe Seamhead - Jan 6, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    So, is Corey Brown presumed to be out of the equation? After all, he was supposed to be the key return piece in the Josh Willingham trade.

  2. MicheleS - Jan 6, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    Joe S.I think they are waiting to see how Corey does in Spring Training after the staph infection last year.

  3. MicheleS - Jan 6, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    As far as Werth in Center this year. I think I am okay with this for this year only. He is not a long term solution. Plus if we have Cameron/Bernie, we can spell him late in the game or for a game or two.

  4. MFG - Jan 6, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    I think Brown is still in the picture, but probably not for 2012. He had a rough year last year, despite earning the September call-up.Brown hit just .235/.326/.402 last year at Syracuse. In 2010, split between AA and AAA for Oakland, he hit .283/.370/.466. If Brown can put up numbers like he did in 2010, he will jump back into the long-term CF picture.

  5. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    An UZR/150 rating over such a small sample size which is taken from multiple years with different home parks too, is just not meaningful. That stat itself is a bit awkward and when you have so little data (he may have had less than 200 put-outs in those 877 innings) it's worse. The bottom line is that Werth is fast and athletic enough to not be terrible in CF if he needs to play there (which is why he's been a fall-back option to play CF over the last few years).I think that if nothing changes on the roster, though it certainly might, the Nats will flip-flop between a platoon of Bernadina and Cameron in CF until Harper comes up, and to get the better bat over Cameron starting DeRosa in RF against lefties with Werth in CF. Not so bad.dfh21

  6. sjm308 - Jan 6, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    I can't imagine Brown winning the starting job in CF even if he has a great spring training. I can see him making the team and forcing them to move either Cameron or Bernadina. Remember, Brown was waived off the 40 man roster and cleared waivers so there was not a lot of demand for him from any of the other clubs. I still hold out hope that he can perform as I believe he may very well be our best defender. What I am not sure of is if he can play the corner positions. I am guessing that the 4th outfielder will have to fill in at all 3 (which I believe Bernadina and Cameron can do pretty well). Mark is almost certain that Harper will be in RF this spring. Why wouldn't they groom him as a CF'r? I would think that if he has the ability, it would only enhance his value.Go Nats

  7. Tim - Jan 6, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    I don't understand why Harper is not being groomed for CF. He has natural baseball talent and could play anywhere on the diamond. Yes, centerfield takes some practice and grooming but now's the time! Spring training, at Syracuse, whatever… just do it. He's cut in the same image as Josh Hamilton. CF problem solved. Now, about that leadoff spot…

  8. Ray - Jan 6, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    I'm fine with Werth in CF for '12. He seemed to stay awake out there, whereas he would occasionally take some plays off or doze in RF. Just not sure this is the long term solution, which it would have to be (unless you bench Michael Morse) if you sign Prince Fielder.

  9. Drew - Jan 6, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    Werth seemed to struggle at times with the odd wall in right. In a way, I'm looking forward to him having more room to maneuver.Of course, it is a short-term fix. If the Nats don't land the big fish, the Nats' FO sets its own wheel play in motion later this year. They deal LaRoche, Morse moves back to first, Werth moves to left and Bryce mans right, leaving cf for one of next winter's free agents — Bourn, Upton or Victorino.

  10. Joe Seamhead - Jan 6, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    MFG, Those C. Brown stats are misleading on two counts. Number one, he started horribly trying to come back from an injury suffered in spring training with the ML club. Then he was subjected to a [failed] complete makeover of his swing before he said "screw it" and went back to his natural approach and proceeded to pretty much tear it up afterwards. I still am under the impression that Brown is a very good defensive CF with some pop to his bat, if he can stay healthy. He does seem to be the product of some pretty crappy luck in that regard.As to Werth, in the limited time that I've seen him in CF he looks more comfortable, and adept, there then he does in RF. He really seems to misjudge an unacceptable number of balls hit his way in right. It's funny, but from my experience playing, and coaching, I think RF is the most difficult OF position to master. Combine the slice of the ball off of the the right hander's bat, along with the difficult throw from RF to 3rd base, and it's just a misconception that many people have that you can hide a mediocre player there. That is also the reason that I don't think Harper is ready yet, as he had way too many errors and misjudged balls while playing the easier left field. He needs more work.

  11. gonatsgo - Jan 6, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    I am also ok with this at least for 2012. Werth is a very smart baseball player and I like the idea of him being the outfield captain between Morse and Harper, who are less experienced. If he plays there for one year and then we pick up someone else it won't totally kill his body for the rest of his contract. I would rather have the organization wait for the right player since contracts seem to be going for many years right now and trades can use up a lot of prospects. Spend the money and prospects wisely because you will be living with the player for a long time.So – I haven't heard many posters quaking in fear that the Marlins have picked up the big Z. Good thing TPlush is not still here or we would have lots of brawling opportunities per season.

  12. Will - Jan 6, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    I think its equally important to look at the alternative options to Werth in CF.Past four seasons:Bernadina: -16.5 UZR/150Cameron: 8.3 UZR/150Werth: 0.0 UZRThere's a huge small sample size caveat for Bernadina and Werth (both have fewer than 750 innings played there over 4 seasons). However, if these numbers are accurate, it's pretty clear that Bernadina isn't a very good option there with his weak bat. Werth doesn't seem like that bad of an option, the more I consider it…FWIW- Ankiel: -2.0 UZR/150

  13. Joe Seamhead - Jan 6, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Ray, I agree with you about Werth not always seeming to be attentive in the field. A good OF always establishes an athlete's "base" before the pitch is thrown. Werth often times is instead standing straight up with his glove hand on his hip, appearing disinterested. We have nick-named him "The Dude" in our section, as he's too cool to actually set up properly. In spite of all of this, and his other failings, I still really like him on our team.

  14. Theophilus - Jan 6, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Werth is not a natural CF and did not look nearly as comfortable there — to me — as Mark suggests. Particularly, he seemed to have issues w/ balls hit over his head, meaning he'll likely have to play a deep CF and a lot of dinks and dunks are going to fall in front of him. He's also going to have to cover a good portion of Morse's share of left centerfield. If all three OFs are hitting 25 HR and driving in 90+, that will cover a lot of sins. But some of the pitchers aren't going to be happy.

  15. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    The more I think about it, the more it scares me. Werth can be OK in CF on a part-time basis, but over the course of 80-90 games in MLB with its parity, an OF with Morse, not good in LF by any measure, an out of position Werth in CF and a rookie who has not played much OF at all in RF in Harper is not good for winning baseball games. Balls will drop, cut-off men will be missed, singles will become doubles.I'd rather see the club make a move now rather than hope to land a CF for big money next year in FA. They need the CF glove and they need the top of the order bat. Trade Storen (love the kid, but closers are found on scrap heaps all of the time, starting CF's are not) for Span, something like that. And while I am pretending to be Trader Jack over here, with Span or some comparable actual CF in the lineup, I think that they should try to sell high on Michael Morse now (again, love the guy, love his bat), his value may never be higher than right now.dfh21

  16. Gardner - Jan 6, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    2010 Jayson Werth like performance at the plate erases any potential shortcomings in CF. Perhaps an oversimplification but sounds good to me.

  17. Binx Bolling - Jan 6, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    Perhaps the Nats are looking to a future of 1) signing Prince Fielder for first base; 2) trading Michael Morse now at optimum value; 3) keeping left-field warm for a Bryce Harper June call-up; 4) keeping Rick Ankiel as the center-fielder against righties with Jayson Werth as the center-fielder against lefties; 5) starting Mark DeRosa as the right-fielder against lefties and Werth as the right-fielder against righties.

  18. The Fox - Jan 6, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    My concern is the outfield defense as a whole.Werth will probably be the best starting defensive outfielder and he will be playing out of position. Morse is an average fielder in left and Harper if he does start in right will have a lot of OJT. For most Nat's fans who got used to watching Dunn, or Willingham play left or Milledge or Harris in center or sometimes Guzman in right theses guys will look like GG'ers but outfield defense will not be this teams strong suit.

  19. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    Adam Dunn is a gazelle in LF compared to Morse. Morse's jump on the ball is ssssslllllloooowwww.

  20. Hopeful2012 - Jan 6, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    I think Werth sees the ball better in CF than RF, he seems to get a better jump on the ball. Many times in RF hat seemed like an easy catch ended up dropping in front of him because he did not break correctly on contact. His arm is better suite for CF too, you need someone with a cannon in RF ala Dave Parker and Bobby Abreau and Jayson is not that guy.I think Harper's best position could be CF but I think his arm is well suited for RF. I am comfortable with Morse in LF, but not sure if Michael is comfortable with Michael in LF, I think he would much rather play 1B.

  21. JamesFan - Jan 6, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    I don't have a problem with Werth in center. He looks comfortable there to me, and if he likes it, do it. My biggest concert is him getting hurt out there. I do think the Nats should look at Harper in center, although he hasn't distinguished himself in the outfield anywhere yet. Fielder notwithstanding, Rizzo does needs to sort this outfield thing out soon.

  22. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 6, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. Theophilus - Jan 6, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    Most fans have no idea what sort of CF Corey Brown is because he hardly played in Spring Training last year. The Orioles once fired an announcer for describing Paul Blair racing across the OF "like a mama rabbit in heat." If Brown is that kinda CF, or close, then putting him between Werth and Morse for awhile (pre-Harper) would be fine, even if he hits .219, because that's better than Cameron would do. Unfortunately, ST is likely to be dominated by acclimating Werth to CF and figuring out that Cameron has nothing left. And Brown will just get a looksee in B games.Another reason signing Cameron was a mistake.

  24. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 6, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    There was a brief discussion a few posts ago about why Harper isn't learning center field. The gist of the argument was He has to learn to play the outfield, first. He's looked tolerable at the corners, but he is still learning. Putting him in center would delay his call-up, maybe by a full year, which nobody wants to see, except parts of the NL East. He isn't that "gliding" type of outfielder you typically want to see there. Worst-case scenario is not that he misjudges a few fly balls, it's ripping his hamstring and missing a season, and that's possible anywhere, but it's more likely in center.All that aside, it would be solve a few problems if he could play MLB-average CF, someday, but it's too early to be messing with him. He's not even done growing yet.

  25. Todd Boss - Jan 6, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    Corey Brown was removed from the 40-man. He's going to have to hit .350 in AAA in order to get back into the CF picture. When he passed through waivers and nobody bit, he went from prospect to long shot organizational guy in a flash.Cameron, btw, still has fantastic UZR/150 ratings despite his age. So if you need a 4th outfielder, a defensive replacement type, he's a great choice. Can he hit? Probably not … but neither could Ankiel, the guy who he's naturally replacing … so in my mind its a wash. Not sure how you can say the Cameron signing was a "mistake." It was a non-guaranteed minor league contract. The financial penalties of cutting him in spring training can probably be paid out of my wallet. Its the perfect deal for the team; 0% risk, 100% upside if he turns out to be useful.

  26. Whatsanattau - Jan 6, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    Strongly disagree on Morse/Dunn evaluation of anon 8:59. Morse covered left well enough. He misread a few balls but overall he got to what he was supposed to. Dunn caught only what was hit to him. Morse runs like a giraffe but he he's better than Dunn, Willingham, Gomes, etc…. By a lOng mile.

  27. NatsNut - Jan 6, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    "…but he looked perfectly at ease when tracking down balls hit to any direction."My eyes and memory respectfully disagree. He always looked a little uncomfortable, or sometimes even surprised when he made a somewhat difficult catch. Also, like Dunn used to drive me crazy with, Werth never charges those one-hoppers that could be outs with a quicker guy. He's too cautious. Balls flying over his head and past his glove. I agree with the commenter who said he didn't always look like he was really paying attention.I'm excited about this team for 2012, but I foresee a lot of knots in my stomach anytime that ball is hit out of the infield.

  28. The Fox - Jan 6, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    Theophilus, That reminds me of when Reggie Jackson was finishing out his career with the Angels they sometimes had to stick him in RF as a statue and they brought up Gary Pettis to play CF. Pettis was an outstanding defensive outfielder and the joke was that he played center and right field. Not sure if Brown is that good but it could be an option.As for Cameron unless he has figured out how to catch a ball by reputation I don't think he has anything left in the tank. To me his signing was a basic admission that the Nat's have a defensive OF problem.

  29. NatsNut - Jan 6, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    And don't get me started on that one-knee sliding "catch" that Werth always does. I think they stopped calling it a defensive "highlight" after the first 4 times because a) it's his only move, and b) he didn't always catch the ball with it. Ok. rant over. I really hope Werth just makes up for it at the plate, because I still think he can rake.

  30. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    Maybe Jayson's affinity for the product Lights On Lights Off, will help his attention span in the OF!?

  31. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    NatsNut — a la, the one knee slide, I hate the move that Zim makes on every ball to his left, as if he somehow needs to swing his glove hand up as fast as possible after making the play every time. It's in the Derek Jeter make the easy play look hard category. Annoying stuff from a guy who does not need to doll-up his defensive game one iota.

  32. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    Any thought of bringing in Soriano for one year, assuming the Cubs eat most of his contract? He would add some flexibility in the OF and lessen the need to rush Bryce to the majors.

  33. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    I think Soriano has a couple of years left on his contract, they owe him more than $40M, I think. And I think that he only makes sense if some other starter is moved.Man, how grat was he for us back in 2006?? It's too bad that he's just not the same player anymore.dfh21

  34. greg - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    to add on to what sec3 said about harper in CF, it's not just that he'll take longer to learn that position than RF, but that (as sec3 mentioned) he's still growing. he may be a decent CF for now once he learns it, but he may just end up being too big to play the position as well in the long term. my guess is that the team feels that the combination of getting him to DC faster to play a position that he'll likely be in long-term and that has a lower injury risk (the aforementioned hamstring issues that often come w/CF) gives him more value to the team overall if he stays in RF. basically, they probably don't want to shoehorn him into CF because they have a need there if they think it might potentially either slow him down or raise the injury risk, especially if he won't likely stay there long-term. as for soriano, he has 3 years left for $54M. even if the cubs would eat most of that, it's still three long years for a guy who's turned into a very poor OF defensively and is a shell of himself offensively (760 OPS last season). and is 36.

  35. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    Ouch, Soriano has $54M coming thru 2014. Wow.dfh21

  36. greg - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    and yeah, DFH, he was totally worth the price of admission in 2006. i remember waiting through a long rain delay with a buddy of mine against atlanta and being rewarded with a 3 homer game by soriano.

  37. The Dude Abides - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    Anybody that thinks Adam Dunn is better defensively than Michael Morse has never played the game.dfh21…the Cubs are on the hook for $54 Million over the next 3 years.

  38. SonnyG10 - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    I guess Werth will be ok in CF but I don't look forward to having to use him there. I just don't think there is a better alternative right now. I'll trust Rizzo and DJ on when to bring Brice up, but I'm concerned it might be too soon.

  39. SonnyG10 - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    greg, good points on Harper not playing CF

  40. Just sayin' - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    An O's blog perspective on 're-setting" the Nats' MASN deal to help pay for Prince Fielder…http://birdswatcher.com/2012/01/05/would-fielder-indirectly-be-on-the-orioles-payroll/They get a few of the basic details wrong (e.g., the MASN deal is forever, not just 30 years), but the thrust is that Angelos could end up both losing Prince (as if signing him were really an option) and essentially paying for him (out of what would otherwise be MASN 'profits').

  41. Sec314 - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    I don't understand why the Nats are holding onto Bernadina over Ankiel. Neither one can hit lefties, but Ankiel is better against right handed pitching.Cameron can't hit right handers, so an Ankiel/Cameron platoon would make sense to me.

  42. BinM - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Werth to CF will be a partial-year deal, based on when Harper joins the big club. That's part of the reason Rizzo signed Cameron as an insurance policy. Corey Brown is still young enough to be considered a possibility, but needs to prove himself as a hitter in SYR first. Let's see how ST plays out first.

  43. OutsideTheLaw - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    I just don't understand why Rick Ankiel isn't in this discussion and this picture. You'd think you could sign him for reasonable money and then compete him against Bernadina/Cameron for that 4th/5th outfield slot (I'm not wild about Cameron, I think he's done), and then trade the loser.

  44. greg - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    we don't know ankiel isn't in the discussion for the nats FO. problem is that he's looking for a starting role, which he wouldn't have here once harper arrives. unless and until he backs off of that requirement for a starting role, he wouldn't accept a contract with the nationals. remember, it takes two to tango and unless the player wants to be on this team and in the role this team would offer (and that's not even talking about money), it doesn't matter what the fans/team desire.

  45. Theophilus - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    As to whether Cameron was a "risk," it's a situation where time is worth more than money. Cameron in ST just wastes at bats and innings in the field. Assume that Brown is also a waste (he is, if you are requiring him to bat .350 at AAA; that defines him out of existence). Then, (A) sign someone (e.g., Ankiel) you know can still outrun a caterpillar and (B) spend ABs and innings that would have gone to Cameron accelerating the development and maturation of Harper, Curran, Taylor, Keyes, Goodwin, et al.

  46. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    All I know is 7 weeks from today, I'll be standing out at the Carl Barger Minor League Complex greeting the squad as they assemble for calisthenics and practce.

  47. Theophilus - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    I'm sure Ankiel would like a starting job but there aren't any available for him — except possibly in DC, for the time being. I think the real issue is money. With bonuses, Ankiel made close to $3MM last year. Only half of that was salary. The rest was based on incremental ABs (or PAs) above threshold, and he ended up w/ around 390. The prospect for this year, even if he starts the first 60-70 games of the season, is fewer ABs, so I think he wants between $2.5-$3MM in guaranteed money. As the dust starts to settle in 2-3 weeks, we may see more noise about Ankiel and the Nats — and there has already been an uptick in the past week or so.

  48. greg - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    agreed, theophilus. i think ankiel will see the nats as more of an option shortly as things shake out a little more. and i think the nats FO will look at him seriously once that happens. he makes a lot of sense for another year.

  49. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    Soriano in 2006? That guy was freaking amazing. RFK might have been the toughest place to homer in the NL and he blasted 24 bombs at home. A 40-40 season is something special and to do it at RFK? Wow.I guess he's best when he leads off, even last year the guy hit to an OPS over 900 leading off an inning.dfh21

  50. NatsNut - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    I think I'm missing something. BinM, not just you, but others keep sayng Werth in CF is only temporary until Harper comes up, but I've seen nothing about Harper moving to CF either. It seems like Harper's coming up actually solidifies Werth in CF because Harp's going to RF. At least until we get Michael Bourne next year. =)

  51. N. Cognito - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    Rick Ankiel – .239/.296/.363Yeah, he has a great arm, but I just don't get the infatuation. Let him make outs for someone else.

  52. MicheleS - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    NatsJack…REALLY JEALOUS! Not sure if I am going to get down there this year!

  53. lesatcsc - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    As enthusiastic as I am about the Nats, their OF scares the bejesus out of me. For fun I compared the offensive output of the Nats OF against the Marlins, Braves and Phillies in 2011. It's not as bad as I thought, but it's still pretty scary. Right now the OPS for the top 3 Nats OFs from 2011 stacks up as 910/718/664. Compare that to the Phillies 871/847/750, the Braves 734/708/687 and the Marlins 893/797/744 and only the Braves OF looks worse from an offensive point of view. I hope the Nats don't end up burning a year of Bryce Harper in his prime by starting the season with him before he's fully developed simply because they don't have any other viable option. They need a third ML starting OF, and right now, regardless of where Werth stands with his glove on his hip, they don't have one. It isn't DeRosa, Cameron or Bernadina and it seems unlikely that its Brown or Harper in 2012.

  54. Marty - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    N. Cognito – "Rick Ankiel – .239/.296/.363Yeah, he has a great arm, but I just don't get the infatuation. Let him make outs for someone else."I don't think anyone is infatuated with him, I think most see his virtues in a compared to what scenario.Personally I'm in the not putting Werth in CF camp and would rather see Ankiel there over Bernadina or Cameron.

  55. sjm308 - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    Great reading as always gang.Couple of thoughts -1. I asked about our boy BH in centerfield and liked and agreed with what Sofa said. It reminded me of Mickey Mantle at 19 when he was just getting started and the Yankees had an aging Dimaggio in RF who could not cover any ground. Bottom line was a short pop fly to shallow right center that should have been an easy play for Joe resulted in Mantle injuring his knee and that injury haunted him the rest of his career.2. I had read somewhere that Ankiel not only wanted a starting job but also wanted a two year contract. I am guessing after Crisp got 13 million plus for two years he is still holding out for that but hopefully you guys are correct and we will look like a better option as ST gets near.3. Loved Soriano in 2006 but have there been worse contracts then what the Cubs gave him? I remember people screaming about how cheap the Lerners were in not signing him but that was pure folly. The fact that he is still owed 54 million for the next 3 years and his game has fallen off a cliff is just the reality of these long term contracts. Sort of makes you wonder about Prince for 8 years or longer doesn't it?Have to reinforce how great the

  56. natsfan1a - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    Me, too, and I couldn't convince my husband to go again this year. Maybe AFL, though…At least it wasn't 18 degrees when I got up this morning. :-)MicheleS said… NatsJack… REALLY JEALOUS! Not sure if I am going to get down there this year! January 6, 2012 11:29 AM

  57. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    Just piling on about Ankiel (who I would like to see back, FWIW): while we can justifiably argue his career stats don't merit a starting job for 2 years, I'm guessing he is thinking that he hit better after he came back from the DL, and playing this game with fear and arrogance, he expects that is the new normal for him. His agent would surely be making that point. Unless somebody's starter gets hurt in the spring, I think he won't get it, but good luck to him.And have we wished Mr. and Mrs. LannEn "Mazel tov!" yet?

  58. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    I don't see a place for Ankiel on the club. And he's looking for a shot to play a bigger role thatn he'd get in DC anyway. Not sure he's going to get it now that his supply of bogus prescription HGH seems to have dried up. It is just ODD how he had so much power for the short period of time before 2010 and now it is somehow magically gone. So instead we have another doper Cameron in tow. Great.

  59. Just sayin' - Jan 6, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    NatsNut @ 11:49 – it's not that Werth would play CF until Harper comes up, it's that he would shift to CF once Harper arrives. In the first X weeks of the season, Werth would be in RF and ((fill in the blank, likely a platoon)) would be in center. Werth would only move over to CF to give Harper a corner.

  60. Section 222 - Jan 6, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    NatsNut said… And don't get me started on that one-knee "sliding "catch" that Werth always does. I think they stopped calling it a defensive "highlight" after the first 4 times because a) it's his only move, and b) he didn't always catch the ball with it." Bingo! Well put. Those "defensive gems" used to drive me crazy. They were usually just glorified running catches. The only thing worse was when he'd lazily decide to pick up a ball bare-handed and drop or miss it, allowing an extra base to be taken. Inexcusable.He also seemed to "just miss" an inordinate number of balls hit over his head or in the gap. I couldn't tell whether the problem was a bad jump, a bad route, or a poorly timed jump, but it did seem like a lot of those balls were catchable.Werth is much overrated as a fielder I think. I don't expect he'll be much better in CF than RF, but we can always hope.

  61. John C. - Jan 6, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    Whatever anyone's Mark I Eyeball test says (and clearly opinions vary), Werth has played 123 games in CF and hasn’t disgraced himself there. As Mark notes, his UZR/150 is positive. Using other metrics he seems just about league average. Werth's range factor in CF is either slightly above (RF/9) or slightly below (RF/G) average. His CF fielding percentage is slightly below league average (.976 vs. .989), but his career total zone rating in CF is positive, although only just (+1). The Nationals auditioned him there in September in part to see if he could still play CF, and while he’s no Austin Jackson or Brett Gardner he wasn’t lost out there.And signing Fielder shouldn't really impact Morse. The Nationals are likely to open the season with Werth in RF, Morse in LF, and a platoon of Mike Cameron and Roger Bernadina in CF. Harper won’t start the season in DC – that would enable Harper to hit free agency a year earlier, and why would the Nationals want to give up a year of Harper at 26 for an extra month of Harper at age 19? If/when Harper is ready to come up, he slides into RF (kid has a gun). If the Nationals have Fielder, or if LaRoche is healthy and playing well at 1b, Werth moves to CF and the OF is Morse/Werth/Harper. If Fielder goes elsewhere and LaRoche is not healthy or is struggling, that’s when Morse moves to 1b to make room for Harper. Morse is under team control for 2012 and 2013, so the team has time to ultimately decide what to do to maximize the talent they can put on the field. But suffice it to say that signing or not signing Fielder will have very little effect on Morse’s playing time if Morse continues to rake the way he has the past couple of years in DC. The team has options that it feels comfortable with.Oh, and Dunn was an epically bad OF. A serious contender for worst OF in the last 40 years bad. A Nationals OF of Morse/Werth/Harper would be below league average defensively. But probably not as bad defensively as the Cardinals OF last year of Holliday/Rasmus or Jay/Berkman. And the Cardinals did all right, IIRC.

  62. slidell - Jan 6, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    I liked Adam very much, but watching him lumber after balls making their way to the wall, with runners meanwhile racing around the bases . . . . all you could do was roll your eyes.

  63. Steve M. - Jan 6, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    There are 2 scenarios which are before Bryce Harper comes up and after.I like the Cameron/Bernadina platoon in CF as a worse case.

  64. NatsNut - Jan 6, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    @222,Yes, and yes! Exactly my sentiments.

  65. Mark'd - Jan 6, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    Scott Boras & Ted Lerner on YouTube LOLhttp://www.youtube.com/watch? v=KtLr5HKLrTE&feature=youtube_gdata_playerAlso, just read Nick Markakis had ab surgery today and Orioles are looking to take Alfonso Soriano if Cubs pick up most of his contract.

  66. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    how much better is Fielder than Dunn in 09/10?

  67. greg - Jan 6, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    fielder is just a better all around hitter. dunn was a three outcome hitter (K, BB, HR). not much else happened. fielder will hit for about 30-50 more points of average and take less walks and still be around 400obp. which will frustrate many fans less because instead of taking a walk with a man on second, he's more likely to hit a single and drive him in.

  68. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    Fileder is a true butcher at 1B. Dunn may have been better. Dunn was about as terrible in the field as any playerI have seen, but hitting 40 bombs every year finds you a spot in the lineup, go figure. Dunn did notp lay a good 1B as a Nat, but he was at least comparable to Fielder or Howard or Cabrera. 1B is the safe haven for giant sluggers. Stand there and catch it when we throw it to you big guy.

  69. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    Greg – I tihnk that with a man on second you're more likely to see Fielder get walked than you would see Dunn get pitched around in the same scenario, no? Fielder can get the hit to drive him in or smack the HR. Easy to K that 6'6" strike zone Donkey.dfh21

  70. The Dude Abides - Jan 6, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    Anybody that thinks Dunn is a better fielder than Fielder needs to watch another sport.

  71. greg - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    dfh, you're talking about being pitched around. but dunn often *took* the walk by being particularly selective, as he did on most ABs. fielder is more likely to be looking to drive in the run instead of just get on base.

  72. Wally - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    Cubs just traded for Anthony Rizzo (I like CHC's side of that trade). Cross another one off the Prince list.

  73. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    Bowden posts article 5 reasons why Nats need Fielder.That jinxes it.The Cubs may have dropped out. The Mariners seem unlikely. BUT, there is a team that could use Fielder just as much andfor many of the same reasons: Marlins. The difference isGabby Sanchez is a much better offensive player than AdamLaRoche.

  74. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Anybody that thinks Dunn is a better fielder than Fielder needs to watch another sport.Or thinks Morse is just as terrible and you know who you are.

  75. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    Dude — I think that Fielder is pretty bad in the field, whether he's worse than Dunn is asking which is the worse of two seriously evil evils. Fielder's D is among the worst in the game at 1B every year by pretty much any standard. Someone is going to pay a lot for his stellar bat, and live with his lousy glove.dfh21

  76. lesatcsc - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    There would be no point in platooning Bernadina and Cameron; Cameron cannot hit anymore. They might as well give the job to Bernadina full time and get a better PH. Cameron really is a waste of space, and at his age, it's only going to get worse. Shades of Matt Stairs!

  77. Will - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    Wow the Padres got hosed!Why weren't the Nats in for Rizzo, if all it would have taken was Henry Rodriguez and Jeff Kobernus?

  78. Will - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    lesatcsc,I don't think Mike Cameron is the answer for us at CF, but he has a .678 OPS through two injury riddled seasons and very good CF defense.Comparatively, Bernadina has a .680 OPS and very bad CF defense over that same period.So why the hate?

  79. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    Rizzo to the Cubs? Boras is really pissed off someplace right now. I wonder how much money this trade cost Fielder at hte end of the day? dfh21

  80. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    As each day of the offseason passes without the Nationals acquiring a center fielder, it looks more and more obvious that the guy who is likely to see the most action out there in 2012 is the guy who last year signed a $126 million contract to play right field.There is still BJ Upton, who some project as the next Matt Kemp. But to do this the Nats must first sign Prince Fielder in order to have enough major league now-past-prospects to attract the Rays. Boras knows this. The Marlins know this. But they also know that BJ Upton is a free agent next year. Further, although it isn't as bad as Dunn, his hitting at home is pretty anemic for a future star in the making. So, clearly Upton is not happy playing in his own park in front of his own fans. If the Rays replace him with someone who is more than willing to hit at home and on the road? And the Nats do have a guy from Florida who might fit that model.But its likely a trade could not be executed without an extension in place for Upton. But if this could be achieved, with Rendon, Hood, Goodwin, Freitas, Hague, Kobernus, Martinson, Ramsay, Kelso and perhaps Skoles plus Keyes on their way? Plus another draft and a more aggressive approach internationally? The Nats could build a winner that would last 5 years out in 2012.Lots of work for Ted Lerner … not just Mike Rizzo and company.

  81. Will - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    Theo Epstein is too smart to blow a couple hundred million dollars on a 1B, when the rest of his team is a bunch of scrubs.The Cubs are in full rebuilding mode. It was a shrewd move by the Cubs. Rizzo is going to be pretty good.I wish Rizzo went after his own.

  82. Theophilus - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    W/ Rizzo trade, the no. of teams, in addition to the Nats, that have an arguable need of a 1B plus potential resources (on an "if you feed him, they will come" basis) to pay Fielder dwindles to seven (Astros, Jays, D-Backs, Indians, Mariners, Rangers, Rockies)– scary thought. If the Nats were to sign Fielder, that plus Milwaukee pretty much defines the field of teams that might have an interest in LaRoche.Jays (Rogers Communications) and Mariners (Nintendo) are probably the most financially capable. Tho if I were Fielder I'd want to play in Denver. (Hmm, is there enuf oxygen in the air there to get him around the field on his HR trot?)

  83. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    I like the Cameron/Bernadina platoon in CF as a worse case.Think of it as Cameron/Brown/Bernadina both as the backup OF. With Cameron and Corey Brown as your defensive CF's and you'd be right. I suspect Brown and his left-handed bat have as good a chance as any to get that final slot on the bench.

  84. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:41 PM

    I want no part of BJ Upton, I want to pull for guys who try harder and more often than that the guy seem to.dfh21

  85. Will - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    And the Rangers may officially be out of the running in a couple weeks, when they sign Darvish to an absurd contract.However, I wouldn't eliminate the Orioles just yet. They shed a lot of money this offseason, and Angelos never shies away from throwing money around wastfully.

  86. baseballswami - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    I have always had a soft spot for Bernadina and love watching him play center field. I know he hasn't always been consistent with his fielding or hitting, but he has also never had consistent playing time for more than a few weeks. One thing that concerns me about our team this year is that there is absolutely no speed. Bernie is fast, Bixler was a blur.Sometimes one of the bigger, slower guys got on base and we needed a runner.We just don't have that speedy guy right now. I know Desi us capable of stealing bases, but I think as a whole our team is very slow. Am I missing something or is this just not important?

  87. Will - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    I want no part of BJ Upton, I want to pull for guys who try harder and more often than that the guy seem to.Beggars can't be choosers, and our CF situation is pretty dire.

  88. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    I wish Rizzo went after his own.Let's see … they've got Chris Marerro, Tyler Moore, and Matt Skoles. All three ranked as top prospects. As MIKE Rizzo put it: they have first base covered … with Morse not LaRoche.BUT Fielder? Let's put it this way Anthony Rizzo will likely NOT BE hitting at the same level as Pujols, Berkmann, and Votto at age 27. There is only 1 left-handed bat that can claim that. And that is the elite bat of Prince Fielder. The Braves first bagger Freeman, highly touted isn't even close to Prince's level.That be the difference folks. Its a lot wider than many realize. But, the 8-10 years? Another Werthian mistake? The Lerners and Rizzo aren't buying that from Boras again. Boras and Fielder are going to have to compromise to get him to sign with the Nats.But I strongly suspect the Marlins may be in on Fielder. They want to win now with a new stadium in hand and Jeff Loria who probably wants to pull another Expos with the Marlins. However, its likely Boras wants a no-trade clause. Doubt the Marlins will go for that.Interesting drama we see unfolding during this hot-stove season.

  89. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    Will — I am guessing that Boras is going to want Fielder inked before the deep pocket Rangers are out of the running. Before info is leaking that the club and Darvish are close to a deal. Once Texas is out, its who — Mariners, Nats, O's and maybe the Brewers are back in on him? Am I missing a serious contender for him?dfh21

  90. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    Bernadina is an idiot on the basepaths. Terrible baserunning decisions. Speed is not much of an asset when you ahve a head full of rocks.

  91. Theophilus - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    I choose to believe the Mariners are just laying low: (A) In the past (the ARod, Edgar Martinez, Jay Buhner era), they've shown an enthusiastic fan base; (B) They need a post-Ichiro era player; (C) If all they're interested in doing is selling the team, they need an asset to sell (the New Orleans Hornets problem). I'd like to think the Dodgers were in the mix, McCourt notwithstanding, but I wonder if MLB would let (or encourage) them buy Fielder (the NO Hornets question, again). If allowed to make the deal, LAD would happily sacrifice Jas. Loney.Mets may be close to bankruptcy filing (referring to the consultant they've hired).

  92. greg - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    will, who are you comparing cashner to (hrod or kobernus)? cashner is *NOT* considered a reliever long term. and he was considered one of the cubs' top prospects (#3 in 09, #4 in 10) before he hit the bullpen last season.

  93. Will - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    Since when were Marrero, Moore and Skole top prospects? Last I saw, they all didn't even make the Nats top 10 list, much less the MLB top 100.Rizzo, on the other hand, was ranked the 75th best prospect in baseball, and then put up a crazy good .331 /.404/.652 at age 21 in AAA.Lemme know when either of those players put up numbers like that at any age at any level.By the way, Rizzo is a lefty too.

  94. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    I want no part of BJ Upton, I want to pull for guys who try harder and more often than that the guy seem to.dfh21There are guys at Fangraphs, scouts and other experts who claim that Upton is still learning. They feel he could be the next Matt Kemp. For the Nats he would be still young and cheap. This is why Mike Rizzo identified him as one of his very first targets for acquisition. You remind me so much of all those wonderful posters who claimed that Morse was AAAA? Like it or not, on the road Upton performed as an All Star. He is a major reason why the Rays keep making the playoffs even after losing guys like Crawford, Garza, Soriano, etc? Dude he's why Desmond Jennings isn't in the outfield yet. And Desmond Jennings is Peter Borjous good.Upton very possibly could end up 2 or 3 tiers above their max ceilings. He makes sense. ITS NOT beggars can't be choosers. The slot remains open waiting for Upton. I don't see anything they have in the system that could be better. NONE of the free agent CF's could come even close to his potential. Upton is the optimal solution. The fastest algorithm to the top.

  95. Will - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    Greg, I was embellishing a bit (since there wasn't a perfect comp on the Nats), but it was HRod. A young major league ready reliever with lots of upside, but serious question marks (HRod's control, Cashner's health). (Na and Kobernus being quick, no-power infielders.)But even so, I don't get the Cashner hype. He's a 25 year old, who's had one decent minor league season….This is a very lopsided deal in favor of the Cubs.

  96. Theophilus - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    We will find out how big an idiot Loria is. Over say, eight years, G. Sanchez will cost much less than Fielder every year; in all eight years he'll save them a dozen runs on defense; in the first four years his offensive output will be at least 75 percent of Fielder's; in the last four years it will exceed Fielder's; he won't have a complete no trade clause.

  97. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    BJ Upton has been chasing his potential for a long time now and he's loafing after it. I am not sure why I remind you of so much of anyone, but call me crazy, have the Nats not had less than steallar success with high potential, questionable attitude guys in CF?dfh21

  98. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    Rizzo for Chasner is not so lopsided when you consider that the Padres have a better guy to play 1B for the next 5 years already. I think that the Cubs got the better end of the deal, but Cashner was a firt-rounder for a reason and it's not like he's chopped liver.dfh21

  99. natsfan1a - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    Awww, there's a new post, with a *very cute* pic, if you get my drift.

  100. Bowdenball - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    John C and others:You said that if Harper started the year in the majors instead of being called up later in the season, he would hit free agency a year earlier. This is said frequently but I'm pretty sure it's wrong. It would allow him to gain another year of arbitration, but it eligibility for free agency is tied only to years of major league service (time on the 40 man roster). Keeping Harper in the minors for a few months might save the Lerners a few dollars after the 2014 season, but it won't allow the team to control his rights for an extra year. That clock begins ticking when he appears on the team's 40 man roster during the season.Once you understand this, you can begin to see why many people are projecting that he could make the club on opening day if the Nats fancy themselves contenders in 2012.

  101. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    Since when were Marrero, Moore and Skole top prospects? Last I saw, they all didn't even make the Nats top 10 list, much less the MLB top 100.All THREE are listed both by Nats prospects and by Sickels, Baseball Prospectus and BA in the top 20. And the new lists need to be updatedafter the trade don't you think? Rizzo, on the other hand, was ranked the 75th best prospect in baseball, and then put up a crazy good .331 /.404/.652 at age 21 in AAA.Sorry I prefer park and defense neural stats. They kind of offset a lot of the variables.Fielder MAJORS: 692 PA, 0.407 wOBA, 49.9 bRAAMorse MAJORS: 575 PA, 0.303 wOBA, 36,3 bRAA Rizzo AAA : 413 PA, 0.448 wOBA, 29.6 bRAAMarerro AAA: 546 PA, 0.374 wOBA, 19.6 bRAAMoore AA: 553 PA, 0.361 wOBA, 13.6 bRAAHood A+: 527 PA, 0.371 wOBA, 20.7 bRAAFreitas A: 500 PA, 0.401 wOBA, 27.7 bRAAAND OH YEAH, duh there's this guy named Anthony Rendon.He might make Anthony Rizzo look like an A ball player basedon what he did in college and his fielding. And yes, he toocould play first base? Skole is interesting because he is a left-handedbig power bat.Sheesh, doh!Fielder and Morse had way superior stats IN THE MAJORS.Marerro's were actually pretty good in AAA. Moore Plus in AA. Plus they still have Adam LaRoche?

  102. N. Cognito - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    Got a Season Ticket mailing from the Nats today. Inside a letter including accolades to players including Peacock, Milone, Cole and Norris.Funny, Sad, if you feel that way.

  103. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    BJ Upton has been chasing his potential for a long time now and he's loafing after it. I am not sure why I remind you of so much of anyone, but call me crazy, have the Nats not had less than steallar success with high potential, questionable attitude guys in CF?He isn't Elijah Dukes, Justin Maxwell (who actually had a good attitude just a pretty weak bat thanks to JimBo promoting him from A to the majors), Nyjer Morgan, nor even Alfonson Soriano. He's not anemic bat Ankiel (he wants to start even when he sucks is that a good attitude?)Upton's OPS+ has gone up consistently the last 2 years. That's usually a good indicator that he is due for a break out season. If the Nats trade, and extend before the season they will get the break out season and pay a lot less than they would if he becomes free agent.Upton 2011 AWAY: 330 PA, .275/.360/.841 .370 wOBA .206 ISO.

  104. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    Bowdenball said…Keeping Harper in the minors for a few months might save the Lerners a few dollars after the 2014 season10MM is not a few dollars…

  105. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 6, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    @Bowdenball: Mark Z. says Harper becomes a free agent a year earlier if he's up at the start.Mark Zuckerman said…Just to clear this up, here are the different scenarios for when Harper debuts and how that affects his arbitration/free agency status…– If Harper is on the Opening Day 2012 roster (and if he stays in the majors for six years without any demotions), he would become a free agent after the 2017 season.– If Harper starts 2012 in the minors and is promoted before roughly mid-June, he wouldn't become a free agent until after the 2018 season but would qualify for Super-2 status in 2015. Though he's already scheduled to earn a $1 million salary that season, there's a provision in the contract that allows him to earn an arbitration-level salary if he qualifies. So this scenario could cost the Nats several million dollars.– If Harper starts 2012 in the minors and is promoted after roughly mid-June, he wouldn't become a free agent until after the 2018 season and wouldn't qualify for arbitration until after the 2015 season. This scenario both saves the Nats money because it eliminates the Super-2 possibility and ensures another season of team control before Harper can become a free agent.–###–

  106. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 9:06 PM

    Anaon 3:24 — you forgot Lastings and Nook. Upton can trend anyway you want, the guy's on a playoff caliber club and he still does not seemingly really care much. He trots after balls, his work ethic has been called into question, Maddon has benched him more than once for disciplinary stuff, Longoria's fighting with him. The guy was much better on the road last year than at home, ok fine, but in 2010 he was better at home than on the road. What's the point there? Hey, maybe his due for a huge season, it would make sense as this one counts for him to get paid going forward, but history tells us that he might not be going all out to earn those big coins once he gets that fat contract in hand. I hope the Nats go in a different direction.dfh21

  107. Oldguy - Jan 6, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  108. Mark'd - Jan 6, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    Will said… Wow the Padres got hosed! Why weren't the Nats in for Rizzo, if all it would have taken was Henry Rodriguez and Jeff Kobernus?anuary 6, 2012 2:26 PMExactly what I was thinking

  109. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    The guy was much better on the road last year than at home, ok fine, but in 2010 he was better at home than on the road. What's the point there? IN 2010 Upton improved dramatically over 2009:BUT it is interesting to note that he was far worse away than at home. Although he had more home runs aways. That's a dramatic sea changethat sends a message.As for you points. Again this is not Elijah Dukes. He and his brother Justin have been well respected in the baseball community since their youth like Zim. As far as "discipline"? Its not like Upton made a lot of money (he will this year through arbitration)? There was nothing stopping Maddon from benching him permanently … now was there dfh21? Why didn't he? That in itself makes every single one of your points almost null and void. That means the manager might actually see Upton's side of the story.

  110. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    Use Werth in CF but keep Ankiel on the roster and use him as a defensive replacement in the late innings when the Nats are ahead. His rocket arm could save several games with putouts at the plate that Werth would be less likely to record.

  111. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    Hey, maybe his due for a huge season, it would make sense as this one counts for him to get paid going forward, but history tells us that he might not be going all out to earn those big coins once he gets that fat contract in hand. I hope the Nats go in a different direction.Instead of an arrogant Longoria (like Hanley Ramirez) at third. He'll have his childhood friend Ryan Zimmerman as the Nats FOF. If Fielder is there its likely he will like it even more. The only problem I see is Werth, given Werth's performance (which for a A WHOLE HECK OF A LOT MORE THAM Upton!!!???) was pathetic by comparison to Upton? Who is not going all out while earning "those big coins"? To me right now your finger ought to be pointed at Mr. Law Enforcement Werth-less. He can tackle Racing Presidents and Nyjer Morgan but he was less than capable when it came to major league pitching. The jury is still out on Upton as he is still only 27.Plus Upton is far superior to Werth in the field. A huge advantage over Milledge and Dukes for starters.I do hope they get Upton and not the old men, due to decline like Bourne.See Werth, Jayson.Jayson Werth: 649 PA, 0.332 wOBA, 6.5 bRAABJ Upton : 640 PA, 0.345 wOBA, 9.6 bRAA

  112. Feel Wood - Jan 6, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    That clock begins ticking when he appears on the team's 40 man roster during the season.Once you understand this, you can begin to see why many people are projecting that he could make the club on opening day if the Nats fancy themselves contenders in 2012.YOU don't understand it. Harper is already on the 40 man roster and has been since the day he signed. That doesn't affect anything. He becomes a FA after he has 6.0 years of major league service time at the end of a season. If he's on the 25 man roster on Opening Day, he'll get credit for a whole year at the end of 2012. If he comes up after the season starts, he gets less than one year credit, which means it would be one year later that he'd have more than 6.0 years of service time at the end of a season. So missing part of a season on the front end gives him an extra season on the back end. That's the only reason they need not to bring him up in April, no matter how well he's playing in spring training.

  113. Anonymous - Jan 6, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    Use Werth in CF but keep Ankiel on the roster and use him as a defensive replacement in the late innings when the Nats are ahead. His rocket arm could save several games with putouts at the plate that Werth would be less likely to record.Corey Brown has better range, a left-handed bat, and would cost the Nats a lot less money. I suspect Johnson wants to see him first.

  114. Another_Sam - Jan 6, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    I'm only partially facetious about this: I say ask JW. He's for sure in the outfield every day. If he's okay with center, I'm okay with it. If he has any reservations at all, I say honor 'em.NB: I'm still in the 2011 was a fluke camp regarding Morse, but I hope I'm wrong. It seems like he lit up only when he got to first base every day. Back in the outfield and I've got to see it.

  115. Unkyd - Jan 6, 2012 at 11:50 PM

    "There is still BJ Upton, who some project as the next Matt Kemp.""some". Plural. Let's see 2 links to any reasonably authoritative sources who explicitly compare this clown, favorably, to Kemp. As near as I can tell you are an army of one, in your disproportionate worship of Upton. Let's see the links…and the voices in your head don't count…,

  116. Anonymous - Jan 7, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    NB: I'm still in the 2011 was a fluke camp regarding Morse, but I hope I'm wrong. It seems like he lit up only when he got to first base every day. Back in the outfield and I've got to see it.He consistently hit the same way from 2009 – 2011 whether in AAA or the majors. Advances stats show a marked consistency and surprising improvement in 2011. In 2009 he demolished 2 separate AAA leagues with his bat before promotion after losing a year to injury in 2008. In 2011 he a lot more doubles than he had before and increased the number of extra base hits. He also decreased strike outs and increased walks.Morse really is that good and still has some ceiling as he is just entering his prime. He could get better.

  117. Anonymous - Jan 7, 2012 at 12:07 AM

    "some". Plural. Let's see 2 links to any reasonably authoritative sources who explicitly compare this clown, favorably, to Kemp. As near as I can tell you are an army of one, in your disproportionate worship of Upton. Let's see the links…and the voices in your head don't count…,Old dude clown what voices do you hear in your head? Howdy Doody?): http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/01/2012-baseball-predictions-fred-wilpon-is-next-frank-mccourt.htmlhttp://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/joe_sheehan/12/20/predictions.2012/index.htmlDude you don't know sh*t from shinola. Best you shut that yap you jerk.

  118. Anonymous - Jan 7, 2012 at 12:14 AM

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/is-byrd-the-word-for-washington/Trading for B.J. Upton would provide the Nationals with the best available centerfielder. While his bat hasn’t impressed the way many initially thought it would, Upton is still just 26 years old. Further, he has produced two straight above average seasons at the plate, with identical .337 wOBAs. Combine a better bat than Crisp’s with better baserunning and more highly reputed fielding and Upton has tallied 4+ WAR in four of the last five seasons.Upton is entering his last year of arbitration and the Rays have made no real gesture towards re-signing him to a long-term deal. The Rays are also an incredibly savvy organization, and may decide that the compensation picks received when Upton signs elsewhere after the season are worth more than the prospect platter the Nats offer.

  119. Anonymous - Jan 7, 2012 at 12:22 AM

    Joe Sheehan and Fangraphs AND Mike Rizzo. Unkyd WHO THE HELL do you have that says he isn't good? Hmmm? Who exactly besides YOUR OWN opinion from your own "white" idiot IQ brain?

  120. Unkyd - Jan 7, 2012 at 1:21 AM

    I stand corrected. Actually, I had a hunch you'd back up the claim…Well Done!! You gotta admit, though, predicting an MVP type year, from someone who has yet to fulfill expectations, is something of a reach, right? It can happen, sure, but I'd rather not bet a handful of solid prospects on it. I was pokin' you… You came up strong… I reckon we'll both be here at the end of the season… If BJ is here, and gets MVP votes… Beer's on me!

  121. Anonymous - Jan 7, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    There is nobody out there available that is worth going after. Cameron sucks and isn't worth the ink on his contract. Sign Ankiel for little money. I think he did reputable job last year plus I love his arm. When it is Harpers time, Ankiel will make a great fourth outfielder. Signing Fielder would put the icing on the cake.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 89 64 --
ATLANTA 76 77 13.0
MIAMI 74 79 15.0
NEW YORK 74 80 15.5
PHILADELPHIA 70 84 19.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Friday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON 89 64 --
LOS ANGELES 88 66 1.5
ST. LOUIS 86 68 3.5
-----------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 69 5.0 +1.0
PITTSBURGH 83 70 6.0 --
MILWAUKEE 79 75 10.5 4.5
x-Clinched division title
Through Friday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 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.

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