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Tuesday news and discussion

Jan 10, 2012, 12:00 PM EDT

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I’m out of town on vacation until Jan. 16, but that doesn’t mean this site has to go silent. Please use this thread to discuss any news of the day or other topics you wish to bring up with each other.

  1. Positively Half St. - Jan 10, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    Is Scott Boras losing momentum for a Fielder-to-DC outcome by waiting for Texas to sign Darvish? I thought that he had played it pretty well, getting that result to seem the most likely, and one the Nats could not pass on. However, the story is no longer fresh meat for the reporters and bloggers, and the narrative is turning more to one of Fielder's shronking number of options. It also gives fans a chance to take a breath and re-imagine the team going forward without him.Yoenis Cespedes may become available before Darvish is signed. Don't you think that this might draw some of the attention away from Fielder, as well?+1/2St.

  2. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 10, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    Halfstreet, do we have any reason to think Rizzo and/or Lerner are affected by the fan expectations, or the media cycle, in moves like signing Fielder, or not? I'm inclined to guess (and hope) not.

  3. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 10, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    It's good to see your handle regularly again, btw.And warm get-well-soon wishes to 1a.

  4. baseballswami - Jan 10, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    The sight of that curly W is making my heart go pitty-pat. Pathetic, I know.

  5. FS - Jan 10, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    forty more days! yes.

  6. NatStat - Jan 10, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    Lerners(and the board–whoever they are?) have to be questioning Rizzo's ability to evaluate talent when two FAs(Marquis & LaRoche) show up damaged goods, in consecutive springs, just after inking contracts. And another FA(JWerth) underperforms in a $126mm contract.And now they are asked to consider another FA like Fielder that wants even bigger money, for a long period of time.Seems like that they might want to pause a bit and think about this thing with PF.As the monkey said, as he was pissing into the cash register, "this is running into money"!

  7. Drew - Jan 10, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Here's one for Sec3, My SofaI recognize your mug shot from an early "Star Trek" episode. Does it have any particular resonance?(We need some news.)

  8. NatsNut - Jan 10, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    Wait, Boras doesn't represent Darvish? (wink)

  9. Positively Half St. - Jan 10, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    Sec 3-Thanks. I hope they aren't so easily swayed, but Boras seems to work his magic on multiple fronts, doesn't he? He says things often enough, and gets others to say them often enough, that eventually he at least shifts the starting point of negotiations. If he is working with the Lerners directly, then it might be part of the plan to get many more baseball voices beyond just Rizzo in on the conversation.+1/2St.

  10. whatsanattau - Jan 10, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    A GM can fail to ask for a medical report, but only a medical report can fail to identify a pre-existing injury. And, since the Lerners negotiated directly with Boras for Werth, I don't think they can blame Rizzo for that either. There is a common misconception that a GM acts with absolute power and that all mistakes are his mistakes. The GM is accountable, but he may not actually commit the mistake. What Rizzo has done is put together a professional minor league operation, promoted a consistent development philosophy, drafted well, made some insightful trades (HROD, Morse, Ramos), made the hard decisions to dump players when necessary (Milledge, Morgan, Gonzalez), and executed a philosophy of acquiring players who are strong fundamentally (defense, baserunning, pitching). If Rizzo were fired today, he would be running another team in 2013. I would think the Lerner's and the board are well aware of the value that he brings.

  11. Drew - Jan 10, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    So Kilgore is making the case for a "modest" extension of Lannan's contract.According to Baseball Reference, the three most comparable players to John Lannan are Justin Thompson, Trevor Wilson and Chris Nabholz.Do you want three more years of THAT on a contending team? Really?Look, Lannan is a nice guy, but I'd go with Detwiler over Lannan every single time. (Meantime, the farm can sort out the best lefty that will emerge from Solis, Purke, Rosenbaum, Ray, Grace, Turnbull.)I'm so tired of watching John walk and bloop himself into trouble and praying for a double play because he can't strike anyone out.Don't extend. Heaven forfend.

  12. Noirelune - Jan 10, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    Drew,I totally agree with you. I could also add that I couldn't stand the body language of Lannan when he is on the mount. It is a language of fear and submission.We should have trade hime instead of Milone or Peacock.

  13. Theophilus - Jan 10, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    In the ideal world, Nats would be permitted to sell Lannan to the Hiroshima Carp for a chunk of that really pricey blue-fin tuna they were talking about last week.

  14. Section 222 - Jan 10, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    I'd have preferred to trade Lannan rather than Peacock too, not sure about Milone. But what makes you think the A's wanted him or that Rizzo didn't offer him?

  15. Noirelune - Jan 10, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    Section 222I actually don't know If the A's wanted Lannan or if Rizzo did offer him to Billy Beane. Probably not in either cases, I presume : Money ball politics.What I expressed was more a wish than a plan.By the way, is Rizzo forgetting his "philosopy" about athleticism when he thinks hiring Fielder? I don't think so. That's why I think he would stick with Laroche this year and will move Morse at first base in 2013.

  16. Steve M. - Jan 10, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Positively Half St. said… Is Scott Boras losing momentum for a Fielder-to-DC outcome by waiting for Texas to sign Darvish? I thought that he had played it pretty well, getting that result to seem the most likely, and one the Nats could not pass on. However, the story is no longer fresh meat for the reporters and bloggers, and the narrative is turning more to one of Fielder's shronking number of options. It also gives fans a chance to take a breath and re-imagine the team going forward without him.Yoenis Cespedes may become available before Darvish is signed. Don't you think that this might draw some of the attention away from Fielder, as well?+1/2St. January 10, 2012 7:36 AM Personally, I think Prince/Boras are waiting for Mark Zuckerman to return from vacation to sign.NatsEnquirer.com has done an excellent job keeping up with the story and rumors and their inside info and they posed a week ago that Boras's strategy may turn to wait for the Darvish negotiations. I will go a step further. Nothing would surprise me if Boras threw a wrench into the negotiations meaning a timely phone call to Nolan Ryan and telling Nolan how Darvish is NOT the right move for them.Let's face it, the Rangers have to feel a little foolish as they outbid everyone on the posting fee by a wide margin. The Yankees bid was rumored to be $12 to $19 million and the runner-up Toronto Blue Jays after the fact were rumored to be nowhere near that $50 million level. It is now rumored that Darvish wants $17 million a year for 6 years for his contract. Do the math, they can get Prince Fielder for slightly less than that and I am sure Boras has reminded them of this. $51 mill + $17 mill * 6 years is $153 mill so over 6 years is $25.5 million. It also doesn't hurt the Rangers to let Darvish's camp know they have other options which may push the deal down to a 5 year $12 million + options.At this moment, I think the Darvish deal will be nixed and Prince Fielder will become a Texas Ranger unless the Rangers get closer to that $12 mill a year on Darvish. I believe the Nats have the best offer in place (currently) for Prince and this is Boras's last "Hail Mary" to either force Lerner's hand or Nolan Ryan's. Supposedly Prince is not interested in Toronto or Seattle as destinations unless they blow him away with an offer (Werth-esque).

  17. Theophilus - Jan 10, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    Can't understand why Fielder doesn't want to play in Seattle. There are other whales nearby in Puget Sound so he would be among friends.

  18. Constant Reader - Jan 10, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    Forgive me if I am starting to sound like a broken record, but if Texas doesn't sign Fielder after failing on Darvish, Fielder is NOT getting a mega deal. His deal will be judged in comparison to Pujols. If he signs a Werth/Crawford-sized deal to go to Toronto or Seattle, that will be a FAILURE by Boras standards.I think an eight year deal for Fielder for our franchise is nuts. The Nats should offer Fielder a five-year max deal with a player opt out at year three. Yes it puts the team under pressure to make decisions about Morse, RZimm and Fielder and basically everyone on the roster but Werth in the next several years, but it also gives us the opportunity to see who will produce worthy of their next contract. My two cents.

  19. DFL - Jan 10, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    Thom Loverro makes an argument against Fielder in today's Washington Examiner.Four questions: What is Anthony Rendon's health status? If healthy, what keeps Rendon from not starting out 2012 with the Nats? Could it be that Rendon is closer to major league status than Bryce Harper? If Rendon and/or Harper are ready in 2012, do the Nats really need Fielder?

  20. Steve M. - Jan 10, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    NatStat said… Lerners(and the board–whoever they are?) have to be questioning Rizzo's ability to evaluate talent when two FAs(Marquis & LaRoche) show up damaged goods, in consecutive springs, just after inking contracts. And another FA(JWerth) underperforms in a $126mm contract.And now they are asked to consider another FA like Fielder that wants even bigger money, for a long period of time.Seems like that they might want to pause a bit and think about this thing with PF.As the monkey said, as he was pissing into the cash register, "this is running into money"! January 10, 2012 8:30 AM While I hear what you are saying and I throw caution to the wind as 10 months ago I was incensed by all the injuries coming into Spring Training, I give Rizzo a pass on Marquis & LaRoche's injuries but not Ryan Zimmerman's. At least Markakis got his surgery done last week and not well into the season. That is the difference. I never bought for a second that Zim's injury was a new one as I had said it was the one he ended the 2010 season with and still believe that.On Werth, yes, just wasn't a great fit for many reasons although he has been a culture changer for this team. Werth will perform better this year but still not worth the contract he was given. The real issue for Werth is 2 to 3 years from now if he plays near or under WAR. I have said he will be the most expensive "bench" player in the Majors.I am most disturbed about Rizzo being on his own and recommending and pulling the trigger on trades. He no longer has Kasten above him directing things as Kasten always erred on the side of caution, Rizzo seems to be a free spirit looking like an easy "mark" sitting at the high stakes poker table. Billy Beane 2 years in a row got the better of Riz.All in all, I think Rizzo is learning on the job and until he did the Gio Gonzalez trade I had thought he was improving. The best deals are usually the ones you don't make. Those players he traded could have been used as a different package along with Flores and Lombardozzi to construct a different type of package to get a centerfielder. I wouldn't have traded Peacock or AJ Cole.Even if Gio Gonzalez gives you a 3.15 ERA, the WAR improvement won't be better than some of the alternatives.Now that it is a done deal, we have to move forward and if Rizzo can get Prince Fielder for 5 years, he will have achieved success in an unorthodox way.

  21. Positively Half St. - Jan 10, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Steve M.-It's funny that it never occurred to me that Boras could try to work against the Darvish deal. Why wouldn't he? I can almost imagine him putting together a glitzy marketing package describing what a crappy player and person Darvish is.I guess that Darvish has to think in terms of what he would get if he went back to his team in Japan. He would have lost his leverage, and he would be negotiating with people seething over losing $51M. He would also have lost a lot of face by having to slink back to Japan, not impressive enough to get a big contract in the US.Some, such as Thom Loverro, talk of moving Zimm to 1st base as a solution in lieu of signing Fielder. This assumes, of course, that Anthony Rendon will work out as anticipated in a very short time-frame. I don't buy it at all- the O's wouldn't have moved Brooks Robinson at his prime, would they? It is much easier to find a satisfactory first baseman than it is to find an excellent 3rd baseman.Everyone just remember that while this is a good time to debate the wisdom of signing Prince Fielder, not a single one of us is bound to be less excited about 2012 if he is signed in the end. The chance to finally have a winning team now will be a very seductive concept; we'll have to try to enjoy that without too much hand-wringing over what might happen in 2017.+1/2St.

  22. TimDz - Jan 10, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    If Fielder is signed, it think that would indicate a trade of Morse. Werth is not the centerfielder the team wants, so he will go back to right field. Harper will take the left field position (I don't think he will be doing on the job training in the bigs), and with Fielder at first, Morse is left without a position. LaRoche has little to no trade value, so I am guessing that Morse and a prospect may get flipped for a centerfielder. Personally, I would prefer passing on Fielder, trading LaRoche at the Deadline and moving Morse to first base permanently. I was wondering what the more astute here think.

  23. Feel Wood - Jan 10, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    At this moment, I think the Darvish deal will be nixed and Prince Fielder will become a Texas Ranger unless the Rangers get closer to that $12 mill a year on Darvish. I believe the Nats have the best offer in place (currently) for Prince and this is Boras's last "Hail Mary" to either force Lerner's hand or Nolan Ryan's. Supposedly Prince is not interested in Toronto or Seattle as destinations unless they blow him away with an offer (Werth-esque).The lastest scuttlebutt is that the Rangers are offering Darvish Dice-K money, and he wants more. Of course he does, but that doesn't mean he'll get it. The Rangers had clearly budgeted his cost at around that of Dice-K (their posting fee was virtually identical to Dice-K's) and if they weren't prepared to pay that much they wouldn't have bid. So they are basically in a game of chicken with Darvish right now, and I doubt that Boras has any effect on that at all. It will come down to how much Darvish wants to pitch in MLB, because this is his one shot. It's not unusual for agents to back off their lofty demands at the deadline, once they've pushed the team as high as they can get. Remember how Boras said Strasburg would go for $50M? Not even close to what he ultimately got.So Boras is clearly waiting out the Darvish sweepstakes. After all, it's only one more week. Then once that has played out, if Darvish signs with Texas he'll take the Nats' best offer (maybe try to jack it up a bit by inventing a "mystery team"), or if Darvish doesn't sign he'll try to get the Rangers and the Nats into a bidding war for Fielder. If that happens, he'll probably go to Texas because Lerner has already determined a maximum amount he'd pay for Fielder – which is probably a number that leaves room for extending Zimmerman, paying Strasburg and Harper down the line, etc. The nice thing about this is that the Nats don't have to have Fielder, so they won't overpay like they did for Werth. Boras knows that, which is why if Fielder's only realistic option becomes the Nats, Boras will take what Lerner is offering.So we should know in a little over a week how this one ends.

  24. MicheleS - Jan 10, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    Theo.. those whales can't hit homeruns!My $.02 on the Werth contract.. It was the Bad Team Tax. No one would come here or even sniff looking at us until we did one of these "Hey, We are here and we have mega bucks" deals. I am fine with it. Werth was part of the change in culture that this team desparately needed. If he can perform to his normal averages, that's just fine. Plus I own the actual Jersey, so I want to be able to wear it in public without too much ridicule.

  25. MicheleS - Jan 10, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    NatsJack.. Daily reports from you would be greatly appreciated when they start the practices in Viera.I will be very curious about Rendon. He has been off the radar since the end of last season and no word on the status of his shoulder.

  26. Anonymous - Jan 10, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    Thom Loverro makes an argument against Fielder in today's Washington Examiner.Thom Load-verro is clearly worried about someone getting in front of him in the buffet line.

  27. lesatcsc - Jan 10, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    Does anybody have any idea what Darvish is worth in Japan? It's fine for him to demand $17M a year from the Rangers, but what can the Ham Fighters afford if he doesn't make a deal with the Rangers? It seems to me he was earning something in the order of $7M US with them last year. If the best they can do is something in the $10M range, why would the Rangers give him 17? For Darvish holding out for a super big payday may be a lose-lose proposition. It should be an interesting week!

  28. Steve M. - Jan 10, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    +1/2St. @10:48, totally agree with your 1st paragraph. Boras is a master at the sale. You should see him and his team at these Winter Meetings. They look like a group out of Wall Street all suited up with packages in hand. Of course all their stats and projections are all spinned in the positive direction for their client. I could see how they sold Werth. Prince is an easier sell for the Nats as I pointed out a few weeks ago. His record against the Phillies, Mets, and Marlins is excellent. A .462 average lifetime vs. Halladay with excellent above 1.000 OPS against all NL East teams except the Nats and Braves. Don't you think Boras has sold Mr. Lerner on this? I agree with the 5 year deal but wouldn't be surprised about a 7 year with a buy-out any time after year 4 which is fine if the contract is severely back-end loaded in terms of dollars.Yours and other points on Rendon are valid but I see Rendon at a variety of spots and outlined back in August that signing Zim to an extension then Morse as top priorities. Clearly, neither has happened and trading for a starter vs. signing a Free Agent veteran also changed the dynamics.Rizzo better hope LaRoche is in excellent shape because he has a lot riding on him because as of right now, LaRoche batting 4th and playing 1st base.

  29. JaneB - Jan 10, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    +1/2St says: "Everyone just remember that while this is a good time to debate the wisdom of signing Prince Fielder, not a single one of us is bound to be less excited about 2012 if he is signed in the end." Exactly right.Now Steve M has me mad all over again about Zimm coming into camp injured last year, instead of fixed. I don't think anyone in the Nats front office cares about "momentum" to get anyone signed. The best deal happens when it happens and the fans praise and/or carp about it, and the guys show up in 40-50 days, depending. Speaking of counting, I always like it when I come here and see a lower number, especially when it comes down to a new one in the ten's spot. Kind of like watching your odometer, in reverse. Clearly I need baseball to start again as soon as possible because my little mind needs bigger things, like OPS, to be excited about.

  30. Steve M. - Jan 10, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    lesatcsc said… Does anybody have any idea what Darvish is worth in Japan? It's fine for him to demand $17M a year from the Rangers, but what can the Ham Fighters afford if he doesn't make a deal with the Rangers? It seems to me he was earning something in the order of $7M US with them last year. If the best they can do is something in the $10M range, why would the Rangers give him 17? For Darvish holding out for a super big payday may be a lose-lose proposition. It should be an interesting week! January 10, 2012 11:03 AM I understand Darvish's contract in US equivalent is $8 million per year.If he signs with Texas I think it will be for either an incentive laden contract with options and probably around $12 million.I was never in favor of the Nats going after him like Tconsant was. That posting fee has to be part of the total value, like it or not and the dollars can be much better spent somewhere else.

  31. Steve M. - Jan 10, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    JaneB, sorry about getting you mad. When I read about Markakis, I was mad. LOL

  32. Steve M. - Jan 10, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    Feel Wood, trust me, Scott has called Nolan. He is trying to tell him he can afford both Darvish and Prince and if he can't, Prince is a better move for the Rangers. Nolan being a former pitcher may not agree but I could see Nolan saving his $51 mill + 1st year contract on Darvish and taking Fielder and Oswalt for less.Nothing surprises me any more. Have you read the Deadspin article on Dan Lozano? After reading that, you shouldn't be surprised on an agent trying to talk away an owner from a potential signing. At least Scott has never been accused of using hookers and other super sleazy tactics.

  33. Positively Half St. - Jan 10, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    How about this?The Cubs have added Chris Volstad and Paul Maholm to their roster. Ignoring the minor leaguers they got from the Nats, does anybody have insight into whether either of those pitchers was an upgrade over Tom Gorzelanny as he stood going into the 2011 season?+1/2St.

  34. Mark'd - Jan 10, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    SteveM, agreed. Makes perfect sense for an agent to argue against another player for the benefit of his own client/player. I also commend Natsenquirer for their coverage of the Prince.

  35. Slidell - Jan 10, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    Section 3 @8:02-I don't think Rizzo is swayed at all by fan desires or expectations. In the fall of 2010 he resisted the almighty clamor to offer Dunn a contract that could not be refused.

  36. John C. - Jan 10, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    @TimDz: You wrote "Werth is not the centerfielder the team wants." While I think that's true in the absolute sence, I do think that the Nationals are perfectly willing to live with Werth as CF for a year or even two. That's why they played him in CF last year, and he's played almost a season's worth of games there in his career. Is he the great defense speedy high-OBP guy the team would want in a perfect world? Nope – but they haven't been able to get that guy, and unless/until they do they have to make do with what they have.So, until Harper is brought up, I expect that the Nationals will have Morse in LF, Werth in RF and a platoon of Cameron and Bernadina in CF. Even if the Nationals sign Fielder and bring up Harper I do not expect that Morse will be the odd man out unless he badly regresses. If the Nationals sign Fielder Morse stays in LF, Werth slides to CF and Harper plays RF. If the Nationals do not sign Fielder but LaRoche is healthy and contributing offensively as well as defensively then the same thing happens. If LaRoche is still struggling Morse moves to 1b, Werth to LF, the platoon in CF and Harper in RF.The interesting thought is if the Nationals don't sign Fielder and LaRoche hasn't recovered enough to play 1b. Then Morse goes to 1b – but until Harper comes up the outfield is Bernadina in LF, Cameron in CF and Werth in RF (unless Corey Brown shocks the world in Viera). That would be a very good defensive OF but very poor offensively – exactly the opposite of a Morse/Werth/Harper outfield.

  37. Steve M. - Jan 10, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    +1/2St., I think Volstad is an upgrade. Maholm is a pitcher of potential. Cubs have a lot of payroll to shed. I see Epstein in great shape in 3 years when they are done with all their large commitments.

  38. Mark'd - Jan 10, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    Any word if Rendon is ready to go full speed in Spring Training.

  39. Steve M. - Jan 10, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    Mark'd, lets hope Rendon is at full speed at Spring Training but he won't be making the 25 man roster out of ST. He will probably start in High A and then go from there.Harper and Rendon are certainly 2 to watch and don't count out Tyler Moore to see how he comes into camp.

  40. DH - Jan 10, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    are NYY and BOS really not bidding on Fielder? i know they're set for 1b but what about DH? or is it more the luxury tax thingy?

  41. Wally - Jan 10, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    MLBTR speculating on a Morse extension. $3.5MM for 2012, $6MM for 2013, and $9MM for 2014, for a total of $18.5MM over three years. The Nationals will probably want a club option for a fourth year, perhaps at $10MM. If the $18.5MM range seems low, remember that Morse earned only $1.35MM in 2011 and his 2012-13 salaries will stem from that amount.The numbers are lower than what I would have guessed, and seems like a good deal for Nats, if Morse agreed. I would have thought 2/$12m, with two team options.

  42. Theophilus - Jan 10, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    Am wondering where y'all think this mythical CF is going come from, espec. if Morse is traded. If Morse is the quid pro CF, it has to be with a team that needs a full-time 1B or a slugging left fielder. The only top-10 CFs (based on OPS) on a team that meets that description are Dexter Fowler, Adam Jones (if the Os have lost interest in him, why do we want him?) and (ugh) BJ Upton. Anyone really think Upton is worth Morse? After Upton, the list falls off (even more) sharply.Next year's FA class is not the answer. At the top of the list are Victorino and Bourne, who are odds-on to resign with their present teams (who have no replacements in the pipeline). Followed by Cabrera and (ugh) Upton, who add nothing defensively (no GGs between them). Then Sizemore, whose value is entirely dependent on what he does this season, and Pagan, who is already shop-worn goods. (The Wild Card is Hamilton, who I would sign in a heartbeat if he were healthy and truly available.)Therefore, until the Nats find a CF from within their system (Taylor, Goodwin, or Harper stops growing and morphs into Dale Murphy) — which is probably 2 years — they are stuck with plans B, C, D or E: (B) Werth plays CF between Harper and Morse and we hope the team scores seven or more runs per game; (C) Ankiel+ some right-handed bat; (D) Desmond moves to CF; (E) Angels agree to eat at least half of Vernon Wells's salary and trade him for minor league pitching prospects. (Wells is a very, very smart player and I think his chances of a rebound are fairly decent.) Looking at the CFs available currently or in the near future convinces me that good ones are as scarce as unicorns.

  43. Bowdenball - Jan 10, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    Theophilus-Although I agree that we shouldn't overlook potential difficulties in getting a CF, I don;t think you really did a very good job of explaining why Upton in free agency next year is a bad option. He's already as good a hitter as Victorino and Bourn and those guys are older than he is. He's a good defensive player, despite what you say. Gold gloves are the stupidest award ever-Derek Jeter got one LAST YEAR- and the advanced stats show him to be consistently above average for the last four years. All those other guys out there mean that the Nats will have less competition for him. So why exactly is he not the answer?

  44. Steve M. - Jan 10, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    I don't know if we are up to Plan D, E or F now if the Nats don't get Fielder but Cespedes has to pop back on the radar if Fielder doesn't sign with the Nats.I also wonder if Fielder doesn't sign with the Nats if this will sour the relationship with Boras and the Nats the way Boras has done with some other teams that won't deal with any of his FA clients and sometimes even his Draft Picks.

  45. Steve M. - Jan 10, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    Wally, nice to see some chatter on Morse and would love to see that deal get done. 3 years of control w/ maybe a 4th year option would be great. Morse would grant the Nats a hometown discount in my opinion and there shouldn't be any non-trade clause in there which gives the Nats some added flexibility.If you can lock up Morse w/ an option year then concentrate on Zim, the team is essentially locked up for 4 years with this core.

  46. MicheleS - Jan 10, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    Anyone think that it's possible the PF goes back to the Brewers? They still haven't signed a 1B and he could just go back there if other teams don't offer him that huge contract that Boras wants.

  47. Mark'd - Jan 10, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    The Brewers are hoping PF crawls back there as a default. They aren't going to offer any more than what they offered him a few months ago.

  48. Anonymous - Jan 10, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    This video may confirm Yu Darvish and Prince are talking. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdHFvSrIEPU&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  49. Scooter - Jan 10, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    Positively Half St. said…It's funny that it never occurred to me that Boras could try to work against the Darvish deal. Why wouldn't he? I can almost imagine him putting together a glitzy marketing package describing what a crappy player and person Darvish is.I know you guys are just having fun, but lets' try to remember there's a line between negotiating hard for your own clients, and slandering their colleagues.

  50. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 10, 2012 at 6:42 PM

    Drew said …Here's one for Sec3, My SofaI recognize your mug shot from an early "Star Trek" episode. Does it have any particular resonance?Good catch, Drew! Yes, it does. I'm not anonymous now. ; )Speaking of Wha??? — Does anybody know what "quid pro centerfielder" means? I really can't figure that one out–This may be one time my Catholic school education is probably a hindrance. Well, one more.

  51. lesatcsc - Jan 10, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    I sure hope you're wrong John C. the only thing worse than a platoon of Cameron and Bernadina in CF is an OF that has both of them playing everyday. This is the stuff nightmares are made of. It does point to how thin the Nats are in the OF. An injury to LaRoche basically leaves them with Jayson Werth and nothing else to play the OF. There is a huge need to obtain at least one ML calibre OF, even if he is a corner guy.On a related but different topic, I wonder how far away Cespedes is compared to Goodwin or Brown? It would be really interesting to see what the Nats think of both Cespedes and Soler in relation to the OF prospects they already have in the system.

  52. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 10, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    Steve M said …Would love to see that deal get done. 3 years of control w/ maybe a 4th year option would be great. Morse would grant the Nats a hometown discount in my opinion and there shouldn't be any non-trade clause in there which gives the Nats some added flexibility.Not to mention probably increasing Morse's trade value, assuming the terms are not unfavorable, to have controlled cost for several years.

  53. PAY TO PLAY - Jan 10, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    Scooter: I think "slandering" or knowingly lying about another player crosses the line ethically and legally. I don't think pointing out to a GM with facts and projections to promote your player over another player crosses the line. In fact, that is smart business.

  54. Scooter - Jan 10, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    I concur, P2P. Saying "My guy is better than that guy" is expected. Saying "That guy is a bad player" — or, worse, "… a bad person" is over the line.Sec3, doesn't quid pro mean this for? So quid pro CF is this, for a center fielder.

  55. Water23 - Jan 10, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    As to long term options, I would prefer the Nats take advantage of one of the last loop-holes in the new Selig Saves Small markets plan and sign Soler for over slot and maybe even Cespedes. Neither counts against draft bonus restrictions or next year's international signings. They may or may not dominate a the MLB but the are both bonafide prospects. And in the new Selig plan this may be the last chance to grab a bunch of #1 draft picks for just a pile of cash. Good/Great Prospects = Leverage Leverage give Rizzo options to build the consistent winner we all want.

  56. PAY TO PLAY - Jan 10, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    Who could have imagined that on January 10th Prince Fielder and Ryan Madson and Roy Oswalt would all still be available.Prince Fielder seemingly controls the fate of Carlos Pena and Derrek Lee also. Its crazy!Then you still have Pudge and Livan without homes. Could they be only getting offers for Minor League deals? Give Rizzo credit, he was right on moving on from them.

  57. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 10, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    Scooter said …Sec3, doesn't quid pro mean 'this for?' So quid pro CF is this, for a center fielder. The line was "If Morse is the quid pro CF, …"So you're saying he means, if Morse is what they trade for a CF? I have never seen it used like that before. Oh well. LSNED.

  58. Positively Half St. - Jan 10, 2012 at 7:34 PM

    Sign everybody. Let God sort them out.+1/2St.

  59. waddu eye no - Jan 10, 2012 at 7:34 PM

    quid pro? slander? linguistics and semantics? national grammar insider?any other sports blogs this erudite?this next 40 days in the desert can't go fast enough ;-)gyfng ergo sum

  60. Scooter - Jan 10, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    The Living-Room Furniture said …LSNED.Yes. Today I learned what LSNED means. I'd never seen those letters used that way before. :-)(And yes, given the usage you cite, that's the meaning I would guess at.)

  61. Anonymous - Jan 10, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    i heard recently that the Orioles were "entertaining" offers for Adam Jones. Could we interest them with LaRoche, Bernadina and a prospect or two? We could move Morse to 1B and LF should be fairly easy to replace.

  62. natsfan1a - Jan 10, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    Neither had I. Thus, IALSN. Thanks, Google. (And thanks, sec3. I'm feeling better but not yet 100 percent.)Yes. Today I learned what LSNED means. I'd never seen those letters used that way before. :-)

  63. Scooter - Jan 10, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    Glad I'm not the only one behind the times, 1a.It's a little embarrassing that I rely on a guy who's like 40 years older than I to keep me abreast of what the kids are doing on the Infotubes. But somehow, I will get by.

  64. Rat Man - Jan 10, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    Anonymous, the Orioles would probably demand pitching. Detwiler. Purke. Perhaps the could settle on picking two pitchers off the Syracuse team, Corey Brown and LaRoche, as long as we pay his contract. The Orioles won't sent him south cheaply.

  65. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 10, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    Ahh, get off my grass, you're breaking the stems and seeds.

  66. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 10, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    The Orioles need pitching, but Angelos won't risk helping the Nationals.

  67. Scooter - Jan 10, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    Oh, I dunno, Sec3. The man's spent a couple decades helping the Yanks, Sawx, jays, and Rays pick up some easy wins. Why not help the Nats too?

  68. Scooter - Jan 10, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    Though on reflection, I suppose you might have meant intentionally.

  69. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 10, 2012 at 10:28 PM

    The man's spent a couple decades helping the Yanks, Sawx, jays, and Rays pick up some easy wins. Why not help the Nats too? He doesn't believe in helping any team in the area, clearly. He sure hasn't helped his.

  70. NatsLady - Jan 10, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    Another Livo story. Things not going well for him…From the Wash Times:A million-dollar Miami home belonging to ex-Washington Nationals pitcher Livan Hernandez was sold at auction for $40,000 on Jan. 3, according to the Miami-Dade County Clerk of Courts, as the free agent's financial entanglements continued.

  71. natsfan1a - Jan 10, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    Thanks for the LOLs, sec3 and Scooter.Certainly doesn't sound like things are going well for Livo. Sigh.Speaking of (FAFKANs) free agents formerly known as Nats, was watching a rerun of Intentional Talk, and they had Jonny Gomes on. He's a funny dude, and I hope he finds employment somewhere soon.

  72. Why Mariners won't sign Fielder - Jan 10, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    From an article in something called RBI Magazine (at rbimagazine.com). This quote follows a paragraph about how Boras pitches his argument directly to owners, not GMs…"Who would be wooed in the Mariners leadership? The owner is in Japan. Howard Lincoln is CEO, and acts to a degree like the team’s owner…but he still is not. Hiroshi Yamauchi is, and he lives in Japan, and has never even seen the Mariners play (though perhaps that changes this spring when the M’s open up the season in Japan).That’s worth re-stating. The Mariners owner has never even seen the team play."

  73. SpingfieldNatsFan1 - Jan 10, 2012 at 11:57 PM

    I really hope the Nationals sign Morse to a long term deal. In addition to his break out year he had on the field this year, he appears to be a quality person who really enjoys the game and went out his way to represent the Nationals franchise to it's small–but dedicated–fan base. The guy is always smiling and he went out of his way at Fan Appreciation night last year to take a picture or sign an autograph for anyone who wanted one. He's one of those you guys you just hopes continues to succeed. In the area of trying to build a "brand" and a fan base, the Nationals could go a long way be keeping their own core group of good guys like Michael Morse.

  74. Anonymous - Jan 11, 2012 at 2:13 AM

    Test…test…is this thing on?Most boring hot stove day ever…

  75. sjm308 - Jan 11, 2012 at 3:45 AM

    I am going to voice an opinion I doubt will be greeted with agreement by most voices here. I am not in the camp of extending Morse just yet. Yes, he has been a breath of fresh air and yes, he was our best power hitter by far last year. I just think since we have control for at least two more years we wait on this. The more I read about Fielder, the more sense it makes to sign him, even if its more then the five years I wanted. He truly has been one of the top 5 or 6 hitters in baseball the last few years and how often do you get a chance for that kind of talent? With Fielder at first base for years to come, and Harper coming up sooner then later, the only reason to extend Morse is to make him more attractive in a trade and I don't think that is necessary. Of course we don't have Fielder yet so I guess all this is speculation but my preference is to sign Ryan to a long term contract first and then if we don't sign Fielder take care of Morse. Still waiting to see where they play Rendon as well.

  76. One more time, Bill Veeck - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:19 AM

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

  77. Gonat - Jan 11, 2012 at 4:24 AM

    sjm – The talk of extending Morse may also be a signal to Boras to move forward on Prince. The Nats don't have much leverage on the negotiations at this point in time.

  78. gonatsgo - Jan 11, 2012 at 11:39 AM

    Someone finally signed Ryan Madson – only a one year deal? Sure – it's a nice one year,but why has he been hanging around on the market so long? Ryan Zimmerman is probably very sad to see him go – his epic moment of this past season was a total thrashing of Madson – one of my favorite moments of the 2011 season. Seems so long ago now…..I am still confused that the Phils replaced him with Papelbon.

  79. Anonymous - Jan 11, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    Yeah, gng — I saw that,too. Madson/Papelbon – in truly Nat-centric fashion – how does this switch affect us? Or does it? Six of one and half dozen of the other? We'll face their closer a few times this season – unless of course, we are leading in every single game :)

  80. natsfan1a - Jan 11, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    Veeck also said, "That's the true harbinger of spring, not crocuses or swallows returning to Capustrano, but the sound of a bat on the ball." And I say, 39 more days. It can't come soon enough for this fan. (I've nothing against crocuses or swallows, mind you. In fact, like 'em both.) :-)

  81. natsfan1a - Jan 11, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    "Capistrano," I should have stuck a "sic" in there (and yes, I still am, but I'm on the mend).

  82. NatsNut - Jan 11, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    @ GonatI disagree. Seems like the Nats are in perfect negotiating position because a) Fielder, the second biggest expected contract behind Pujols, is still unsigned and seemingly without much competition to sign him b) the Nats really don't need him, or his cost, that much. It's not like Rizzo started the off-season talking exclusively about needing only a "first base slugger" to complete his roster. Seriously, Boras must be squirming at least a little right now.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 57 45 --
ATLANTA 57 48 1.5
MIAMI 51 53 7.0
NEW YORK 50 55 8.5
PHILADELPHIA 46 59 12.5
Through Sunday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
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