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Morse agrees to 2-year extension

Jan 20, 2012, 9:34 PM EST

US Presswire photo
Michael Morse was rewarded for his breakthrough season.

Updated at 8:21 p.m.

The Nationals have agreed to a two-year, $10.5 million extension with outfielder/first baseman Michael Morse, the club announced this afternoon.

The two sides actually reached the agreement prior to Tuesday's arbitration filing deadline. The contract, however, was contingent upon Morse passing a physical, so he and the club still needed to submit their competing arbitration offers ($5 million for Morse, $3.5 million for the Nationals).

Morse passed the physical today, making the deal complete and negating the need for the arbitration hearing.

The two-year contract doesn't prevent Morse from becoming a free agent following the 2013 season, but it does buy out his two remaining arbitration years at an affordable rate.

This extension, though, could factor into the Nationals' potential pursuit of first baseman Prince Fielder. Though Morse is slated to open thisRead more »

149 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Anonymous8 - Jan 20, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    There you go to all the doubters!

  2. Constant Reader - Jan 20, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    Holy freakin' cow! Is PF totally screwed now or what?

  3. Gonat - Jan 20, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    Mark, I don't take it as any imminent sign, I take it that Morse is more valuable under a multi-year deal. Whether Scenario 1 or 2 happens, Michael Morse needs to be what he was in 2011 and they will make room for him. I see Jayson Werth as the weak link personally who will be the future 4th outfielder.The old saying is you can never have enough talent!

  4. ptindc - Jan 20, 2012 at 9:40 PM

    I'm very pleased to read this. Keep the Beast!

  5. CarlHarse - Jan 20, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    Depending on terms, Morse may be emminently tradeable when we we have too many legit MLB outfielders, so this is not necessarily the end of the Fielder speculation.

  6. joemktg - Jan 20, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    Morse has to be beyond ecstatic, and the kid absolutely deserved it. Good for him!

  7. Tim S. - Jan 20, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    Option 3 (less likely): They think Bryce Harper will be able to play CF by 2013.

  8. Tcostant - Jan 20, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    I hope this is more than two years or nothing has changed; team control would be the same before FA.

  9. NeedANatsFix - Jan 20, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    Option 4: Morse has much more trade value with an extension in place and can be moved to Tampa with LaRoche for David Price who could then be moved to Pittsburgh with other prospects for McCutcheon.

  10. natsfan1a - Jan 20, 2012 at 9:46 PM

    Let the gorse-hacking continue. Good on ya, Mikey.

  11. Anonymous8 - Jan 20, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    Someone "wont mention names" thought the Nats lowballed Morse. This is why you don't jump to conclusions. It is great news for the Morse family and NatsTown. All in all and its been said before, Morse's fan club was born here in 2010. The couple of people that didn't see it either left NI or changed their handles.

  12. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    Tampa signed Pena today

  13. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    @NeedANatsFix – Tampa signed Pena earlier today. They won't be taking Laroche in any deal.

  14. m20832 - Jan 20, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    Hallelujah! Beast Mode is here to stay! Thank you Rizzo and the Lerners!

  15. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    Hmmm, well Harper could learn the CF position … he has the tools that's for certain andhe has more fire in his belly for baseball the does Perez and Hood …In fact it would help a lot given the long term need for left handed hitting.

  16. Wally - Jan 20, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    Tcostant said…I hope this is more than two years or nothing has changed; team control would be the same before FA.Not necessarily if there are team options involved, which would be the primary reason for the team to agree to a deal. My guess is three years with two options.

  17. Whatsanattau - Jan 20, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    Beast of a deal….(Take that anon)

  18. Grandstander - Jan 20, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    KEEP HACKING THE GORSE!!!Really anxious to see this deal. I have always thought the Nats FO severely underestimated his worth so I'm hoping the deal was good for both sides.

  19. JaneB - Jan 20, 2012 at 10:00 PM

    HURRAH! I'm in the camp that says this makes him more valuable in a trade. But I'm also in the "I don't want him traded" camp, with both feet.

  20. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2012 at 10:01 PM

    Yes, yes and yes! That's as profound as I care to be. Unalloyed pleasure.

  21. NSA Domestic Intercepts: Flash Traffic - Jan 20, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    Mike: That you, Scott? I'm surprised to hear from you so quickly.Scott: No, no, this has nothing to do with prints. This is about Jason and Brice.Mike: Really? What's up with them?Scott: Well, as their rep, I'm just trying to understand what you have in mind for next year. In the outfield, I mean. With mores [as heard]?Mike: Oh, the extension. Yeah, we really liked the opportunity it presented. Good long-term.Scott: But do you see either of my guys in center? That's not where their value is, you know? I've got to worry about that, even if they say all the right things in public.Mike: No, no, they don't need to worry. Mores [Morse?} will move to first after the roach leaves. Then next winter we'll be talking to you about born.Scott: Mores to first? [ Expletive.] You sure he can play first long term?Mike: Oh, yeah. Absolutely.[Muffled expletive.]Mike: Scott, Scott? You still there?[Call terminated.]

  22. Sec 204 Row H Seat 7 - Jan 20, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    Great great great!! Now let's get Zim done!! Fielder, Fielder who??

  23. jd - Jan 20, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    This is excellent any way you look at it and I don't agree that it eliminates any scenario at this time. My opinion has always been that 2013 is the go to year coinciding with Harper's full time arrival and Strasbourg's full time availability. When the Nats traded 4 prospects for Gio Gonzalez they signaled clearly that they are going for it in 2012 which may be problematic because Harper isn't ready and Strasburg is on an innings limit. Since we are going for it in 2012 I think we should do our utmost to sign Fielder and I am not against a 6 – 7 year commitment considering he is only 28. One last nugget. I predict Rendon play 3rd base in the majors. Whether for the Nats if they can't sign Zim or for someone else as part of a trade which brings the last needed piece in. JMHO.

  24. Theophilus - Jan 20, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    Will be interested to see what "multi-year" means. At Morse's age, don't see him signing for more than two years, unless they give him five. In two years he'll still have time for a nearly-Werthian contract. It seems to me, therefore, that it may be a Gonzalezian deal w/ multiple team options.

  25. Constant Reader - Jan 20, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    Clever and timely NSA.

  26. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    You see this is why it's good to be anonymous. When you turn out to be a blithering idiot, nobody knows which blithering idiot you are.

  27. NatStat - Jan 20, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    Good deal, but not necessarily for Mark's reasons. There's still room for PF, at Lerner's (not Borass's) price of course!Goooooooooooooo Beast!!!

  28. gonatsgo - Jan 20, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    Quite entertaining, NSA – it doesn't seem like Scott's clients are doing that well — didn't Madson have to settle for less than Philly offered? Prince still on the market. I think there are a couple of others. Maybe the gms have tired of playing his game.

  29. Wally - Jan 20, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    It would be interesting if the Nats sat on the terms of this extension for a few days, and let Fielder wonder. I mean, a long deal, say 5 years, probably does preclude a Fielder deal. No way Werth can be expected to play CF that long, and Harper has limited experience there, so it can't be Plan A at this time.That is probably too much gamesmanship, though.

  30. WTF_Rizzo - Jan 20, 2012 at 10:18 PM

    So, Nats give GIO a multiyear extension, THE BEAST a multiyear extension, but no mulityear extension for THE ZIM!? C'mon Rizzo what are you waiting for!!!!????I see everyone tying this to the thought that this means no Prince Fielder!? Again the logic escapes me, Morse is NOT a 1B he is a guy we plugged in there while Laroche was hurt because Marerro was not ready for the majors yet and the Lerners did not want to make another move, Fielder has always played 1B. I would rather have Morse in LF where he belongs than stick him at 1B and not have a good hitting 3rd OF. Morse, Werth, Harper is a great OF combo but throwing an unknown (and certainly a guy who is not going to hit 30+ bombs) into the OF mix with Werth and Harper is a step backwards!!!

  31. Whatsanattau - Jan 20, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    There Is nothing wrong with a 2 year deal. There is plenty of time to extend and both sides will be more comfortable with establishing actual value.

  32. greg - Jan 20, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    JD, i don't think the trade for Gio necessarily presents a "go for it in 2012" mentality. it sure makes it more possible, but he was under control for a few years and i'm sure they intended on extending him before they traded for him. i think he was still a "long-term" piece of the puzzle who just happens to help in 2012 as well.

  33. Whatsanattau - Jan 20, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    BTW, it's a 2 year deal.

  34. Whatsanattau - Jan 20, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    And why – when a deal is not yet done (such as Zimmerman) is it always assumed to be a management failing. It takes two to make a deal and as just born witness no news does not mean no action.

  35. Wally - Jan 20, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    I am going to guess it is 2/$12m. Still hoping for a team option for 2014 @ $12m or so.

  36. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    It's only a 2 year deal? Then this really isn't news

  37. Anonymous8 - Jan 20, 2012 at 10:33 PM

    Whatsanattau, you can't say the "it takes two" enough times. People think it is just simple that you offer money and the player signs. It really takes 3 sometimes as agents have their own motivations.Now just Lannan to get signed and Prince.

  38. Tom in AR - Jan 20, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    Gio and Morse were both arbitration eligible, that is a completely different situation from Zim. Plus, as mentioned above, don't assume that Zim wants to extend right now, coming off an injury shortened season.

  39. Constant Reader - Jan 20, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    I guess we're back on Fielder watch.

  40. Section 222 - Jan 20, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    I thought we covered all this before. Signing Morse to a multiyear extension does not make signing Prince impossible. Morse is now an even more valuable trading chip, if necessary, because he is under team control for many years, as opposed to just through 2013. Perhaps this indicates a lack of interest on the part of the Nats in signing Prince, but it certainly doesn't mean they are "unable" to do so.I'm happy for Morse, and look forward him pounding the crap out of ball this season. And I still hope they sign Prince.

  41. Wally - Jan 20, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    I don't see Morse having a very high trade value*, with or without this extension. Good hit, poor field guys have not brought back a lot of value in recent years (just going by the stats on the poor field comment). See Willingham, Josh (although, for the record, I think trading 1 year of the Hammer for 5 years of HRod was a good trade, but I acknowledge most don't). I think Morse brings back more than Josh did, but not as much as people might think.* Unless there is a team option, this deal doesn't add another year of control, just cost certainty, which has some value.

  42. jd - Jan 20, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    Sec 222,Actually; he is still under team control through 2013. All this means is that they don't have to go to arbitration this year or next.

  43. Tcostant - Jan 20, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    Just as I feared, two years no option; no change in FA status. Wally I wish you were right, but it looks like my intial fear was reality.

  44. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2012 at 11:05 PM

    No reason to be a feared. Doom is not upon us.

  45. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    Whatsanattau said…There Is nothing wrong with a 2 year deal. There is plenty of time to extend and both sides will be more comfortable with establishing actual value.January 20, 2012 5:20 PM—————————————-Exactly. This deal is a "thank you" for last year, and a chance for Morse to establish that he can post similar numbers consistently. And when he does, he'll be in position to negotiate for a better contract.

  46. Mark'd - Jan 20, 2012 at 11:28 PM

    Morse is classy. Immediately put up a thank you on his Facebook page.

  47. SpingfieldNatsFan1 - Jan 20, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    I'm glad M&M got rewarded for the monumental season he had for the Nats last season. I hope the new contract is a springboard to another great season…and eventually to a long term contract! The Nats need the spirit that he brings to the field and locker room.Congratulation Big Mike!

  48. Anonymous - Jan 20, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    Wanna bet the deal is for $8.5 million? $3.5 the first year and $5 the second?

  49. Section 222 - Jan 20, 2012 at 11:50 PM

    Sorry, I wrote my comment before I saw that it's just a two year deal. So team control is the same as it was before, as is the question of whether the Nats can or want to sign Prince. This just avoids fighting with Morse over what his salary will be next year — if we keep him.

  50. sm13 - Jan 20, 2012 at 11:59 PM

    Signing Morse is known as "the right thing to do". Morse had a fairy tale season and Rizzo rewarded him. Now all Rizzo has to do is finalize things with Lannan and sign Ryan to a nice long extension and we'll all live happily ever after!

  51. Gusto - Jan 21, 2012 at 12:17 AM

    It is worth noting that whenever Bryce Harper comes up Morse would be a very valuable trade chip for a premium CF. Also, if Goodwin should play his way up by mid season, he could platoon at 1st and be a monster RH PH for Davey.

  52. Anonymous - Jan 21, 2012 at 12:41 AM

    I so hope that this means that Fielder is not for the Nats and that the club will make a move for the lead-off, CF guy that they really need. dfh21

  53. Feel Wood - Jan 21, 2012 at 12:47 AM

    Kind of funny the way Zuckerman just can't seem to wrap his head around the concept of Werth playing center field for two years or more. There's nothing so special about center that means you absolutely have to have the perfect player there. The perfect is the enemy of the good, as we all know, and Werth is certainly good enough out there. Two years of Jayson Werth in center field would be the best two years of center field the Nats have ever had, by definition. And there's nothing that says playing center is going to cause Werth to decline any faster than he otherwise would. Except for having to cover more ground, there's nothing special about center compared with the corner outfield positions. Werth has no history of leg injuries that would indicate a sudden drop-off in his range, and he has an excellent arm as a right fielder. A centerfielder's arm doesn't need to be that good, since a right fielder has to be able to reach the plate while a centerfielder is only throwing to the cutoff man most of the time.So if the price of massively upgrading your team by adding Prince Fielder is two or more years of Morse LF Werth CF Harper RF, that's a price well worth paying. No question at all about that.

  54. ehay2k - Jan 21, 2012 at 1:20 AM

    Good points Feel Wood. Although I think Nyjer had the best half year of any CF the Nats ever had. (And I am not a Nyjer fan.)

  55. RickH - Jan 21, 2012 at 1:24 AM


  56. Anonymous - Jan 21, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    Defensively I am still in the Bernadina camp.

  57. Unkyd - Jan 21, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    Does anyone feel that Harper in RF, Werth in LF, and speedy-protypical-LH-onbase machine in CF would be the best of all possible OF outcomes, given our need to maximize Werth's contract and Harpers ability?

  58. whatsanattau - Jan 21, 2012 at 1:37 AM

    "Kind of funny the way Zuckerman just can't seem to wrap his head around the concept of Werth playing center field for two years or more."—well, its probably because he has talked to actual experts inside and outside the organization that have expressed the opinion that it is not an ideal situation, but perhaps I am assuming too much….

  59. CN - Jan 21, 2012 at 1:48 AM

    @ NeedANatsFixI like the comments on NI, but trading Morse & LaRoche for David Price? Why would TB do that, even if Pena hadn't signed w/ them? David Price > Gio, I think we all can agree, and this team gave up 4 of their top 10 prospects, not 2 players over 30 y/o.Another poster here suggested LaRoche & Cash for Upton, that's just as bad, even if it was LaRoche + $8M to cover LaRoche's salary.I like trade scenarios as much as the next fan, but…As for the CF issue, I'd support Rizzo's latest claim that Werth can be the CF for this year. They can give it a try to start the season and see how it goes.

  60. Just wonderin' - Jan 21, 2012 at 2:02 AM

    Did they perhaps include an annex to the contract that Morse, after hitting a home run, refrain from pounding himself on the head so hard that he gives himself a concussion?

  61. Scooter - Jan 21, 2012 at 2:24 AM

    This is totally off topic, and I'm sorry, but I fear I'll never actually catch up with current comments.Steve M., I saw in a prior thread that I'll be at spring training about the same time as you. My dad and I plan to be at the workouts starting Thurs, 3/1, and are leaving the following Tues, 3/6. I've been hoping to say howdy to NatsJack (of course), and it'd be great to meet you too.(And of course I'm pleased about Morse, but every silver lining has a cloud. Please, won't somebody think of the gorse?)

  62. Anonymous - Jan 21, 2012 at 2:32 AM

    I'm happy for Morse. He deserves the deal, although, I was wishing it was longer. I was surprised to see the comment calling Morse a good hit, poor fielding player. I would agree that Morse is not the strongest fielding outfielder, but I thought he did very well at first and saved many throws that would have been errors. He is a much better defensive first baseman than Fielder is. Having Morse is the main reason I don't want Fielder. I just don't see how the team could keep him beyond next season if they sign Fielder. After all, they are committed to Werth for 6 more seasons and they will soon have an up and coming prospect in Harper. Werth may be able to play center for one to three seasons (max) and Harper is projected as a corner outfielder, so they would probably be forced to move Morse and I would hate to see that happen.

  63. Wally - Jan 21, 2012 at 2:35 AM

    Well, I am suffering from as much Fielder fatigue as anyone, but since I have come this far, might as well keep going. This, from Jason Churchill.@ProspectInsiderHearing tonight that the Fielder race is about two teams — both in the American League. This tells me Texas heavy favorite.

  64. Anonymous - Jan 21, 2012 at 2:53 AM

    Well there you go no PF

  65. sjm308 - Jan 21, 2012 at 3:07 AM

    Have to hand it to FeelWood on his comment about Werth. I had never thought of it that way but he is spot on. Werth will give us the best CF play we have had in our short time in Washington. I did watch closely at his brief time there in Sept and I was impressed with how he seemed to glide to balls a lot easier in CF then when he played RF. Its not a stat thing, just an old man's opinion, but he certainly did not look lost. I realize his contract is a big deal to lots of fans but you can't blame him for that. I also wonder if its really that big a deal to sit him in the last two or three years of his contract if our young outfielders make an impact and we have had great success in the playoffs (there I go dreaming again). I mean the Yankees and Red Sox have millionaires on their bench. Why can't we?

  66. MicheleS - Jan 21, 2012 at 3:07 AM

    Were Kilgore and Mark have a twitter tiff? Looks like if from the side bar…Also, I am really happy for the Beast Mode. This allows the team the cost certainty they want and they don't have to go to the Arb hearings for the next 2 years with him. And that is always a good thing!

  67. Mississippi Snopes - Jan 21, 2012 at 3:38 AM

    I wonder how terrible Michael Morse was as a defensive infielder coming up through the minors. If he could handle second base even in "Beast Mode" (think Dan Uggla), it would really open up some options for the Nats to sign Prince Fielder AND add a true center fielder.Imagine this lineup Opening Day 2013:CF – Michael BournRF – Jayson Werth3B – Ryan Zimmerman1B – Prince Fielder2B – Michael MorseLF – Bryce HarperSS – Danny EspinosaC – Wilson Ramos[NOTE: I posted this earlier at the end of a long series of comments on an unrelated article. Re-posting because it fits here better. Apologies for the repetition if anyone actually read the other post.]

  68. Anonymous - Jan 21, 2012 at 4:09 AM

    NSA needs his own blog.

  69. whatsanattau - Jan 21, 2012 at 4:38 AM

    The number of 6'5" 230 pound second baseman in the major leagues is exactly zero. He does not have the range or maneuverability for middle infield. Morse can play 1B, LF, and RF. Those are the positions he can play in the National League on a regular basis. No others.

  70. FS - Jan 21, 2012 at 4:53 AM

    I hope people realize that we can't retain all home-grown players as much as we all like to, unless most of them end up being mediocre. And we definitely do not want that.At this point, RZ is the only guy I see sticking around for career. I would like to keep couple of pitchers as career Nats as well. And Danny, because he is my favorite Nats. Realistically I think Morse and us fans should get used to the idea that Mikey will leave sooner or later.

  71. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 21, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    Some of these comments have been absolutely hilarious. Brian Goodwin getting a callup and playing first base…..Michael "Beast Mode" Morris playing second base….. and a 2013 lineup that DOESN'T include Anthony Rendon….Ludicrous (and not the rapper).On another note. No one at the ST complex today other than a couple of grounds crew guys working on batting cage repairs. I'll check each Friday for the next few weeks to see who shows up early. I'll send pics via twitter (NatsJackinFl)for anyone interested.And I look forward to seeing you Scooter. Ill be wearing the red Nats t-shirt with NatsJack on the back.Same for you Steve M…. We can tag team Rizzo, Davey and Mark Lerner with our ideas.

  72. Sunderland - Jan 21, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    Feel Wood "Two years of Jayson Werth in center field would be the best two years of center field the Nats have ever had, by definition."This is the saddest and truthiest of comments.

  73. sjm308 - Jan 21, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    FeelWood got me thinking. Just how many players with the exception of Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond have actually played one position for two years or more in this organization.I can think of Guzman at SS. I guess you could count Nick Johnson at 1b but I would doubt that he gave you two consecutive years without injury.Dunn split between lf & 1b. Nyjer was only 1 1/2 years and the last part was a joke. Was Schneider our starter for two? We have either moved players from position to position or the players we have had have not been good enough to establish themselves. This should stop this year as Espinosa will have his 2nd year at 2b, Desmond & Zimm will continue and Ramos will also start his 2nd year behind the plate. If they move Werth to CF he obviously won't qualify but if he stays in right, that would give us some solidity in 5 of 8 positions. I realize just having the same guys doesn't make a winner but look at the Phils and how few moves they have made in the past few years. It does make sense to constantly improve but there comes a time when you need fewer nomads as well. Can't wait to see this one shot down as most of my ideas are not real solid.

  74. Anonymous - Jan 21, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    Congratulations to Michael and the Nationals. Found the new Michael Morse "Beast Mode Collection" shirts and jerseys at I placed my order.

  75. Unkyd - Jan 21, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    I can see, maybe 3-4 career guys on the roster, but FS has a point, in that he farm will provide as good/better replacements for some of our favorites, who will be traded for more good prospects, and keep us in the championship hunt for decades, to come!!!!

  76. Theophilus - Jan 21, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    If no Fielder, no reason Morse won't become a career Nat, or close to it. By avoiding arbitration Nats have given themselves the inside track to re-sign him when he is looking, at age 32, for his first and last "big" contract, assuming the team is a contender. There is no 1B in the farm system that threatens him, i.e., no high average sluggers or Gold Glovers. Read somewhere Rizzo has a chart on his desk w/ the projected lineup for the next three years. I'm betting Morse's name is on it for all three and beyond.

  77. natsfan1a - Jan 21, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    I may have posted this before but, to paraphrase my late grandpa-in-law, it's worth posting again.Next Saturday is SABR day, and many chapters (including the local one) will be hosting events. If you're interested, there's a related event map here. I plan to attend the local program.

  78. natscan reduxit - Jan 21, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    from 'James Predicts', Mark writes,"Plenty of experts out there — not to mention plenty of fans …"… now I'm not one to chastise, but Mark, my dear young man, don't you think you made an egregious error with this line? I mean, who are "fans", if not "experts"?Go Nats!! … and tout de suite

  79. natscan reduxit - Jan 21, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    … more on the Bill James prognostications, I can't help but noticing two things. First, it is entirely possible and to be expected that Jayson Werth will have a 'return-to-form' season, an idea which BJ's computer seemed unable to grasp. Second is the notion that since Adam LaRoche was injured last year, the resultant lack of stats could be factored in and use to determine what he might do when he plays. It is to scratch one's head to find the logic in that…. in the end, and based on James' dismal view of the pitching staff, I doubt he's going to line up to buy post-season Nats tickets any time soon.Go Nats!! … and forget Bill James

  80. Feel Wood - Jan 21, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    a 2013 lineup that DOESN'T include Anthony Rendon….LudicrousRendon has yet to take the field as a professional, at any level. Penciling him into a guaranteed lineup spot in 2013 or even ever is what's ludicrous. At this point there are absolutely no guarantees with him.

  81. Wally - Jan 21, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    Hey natscan reduxit – I didn't read those stats as too negative. Werth, for instance, projects almost identically to his career averages. I didn't quite get how he comes up with games played (or innings pitched) projections, and some of those seemed low. But in general, I think that James is considered a generous projector, amongst those groups that do this.I agree that Gio seemed a little low, but otherwise I would take each of those outcomes, with the exception of Laroche only playing 1/2 a season.

  82. Anonymous - Jan 21, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    Well, what do you know? Cheaters do prosper.

  83. natscan reduxit - Jan 21, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    Hi Wally,… I admit my reaction was due to 1/ my innate distatste for the idolization of stats, and 2/ a too-quick read. … as for Werth, it appeared to me James had not projected much above last year's totals, which were obviously low, and quite possibly, a blip. On second glance, this year's projection numbers are higher, but I'll accept your assertion that they are high enough to match his career. Personally I'm looking for even more from the 126M$ man…. but as for the seven pitchers listed, five are projected to have higher ERA's from last year, and four to have a losing record. Those numbers are simply too negative in my view, and don't reflect what I expect to be the team's actual season…. but the bottom line is that all of it is just so much fluff since it's all based on objective facts which conveniently leaves no room for the subjective vagaries of real life.Go Nats!

  84. Unkyd - Jan 21, 2012 at 5:14 PM

    Anonymous said…Well, what do you know? Cheaters do prosper.January 21, 2012 11:26 AM———————Huh?

  85. #4 - Jan 21, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    Morse was once suspended for steroid use.

  86. nats guy - Jan 21, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    Morse was a terrible middle infielder. Was called "clank" in Seattle for fairly obvious reasons. That is also why the CWS traded him to Seattle.

  87. Unkyd - Jan 21, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    Yes, I read about that…. I forgive him.

  88. #4 - Jan 21, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    So have I.

  89. Gardner - Jan 21, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    @ Feel Wood – I agree that Rendon isn't a lock for 2013 (or ever) but he's got a great chance to move fast as an advanced collegiate hitter on a great program. Did a little digging on Dick Howser award winners (NCAA Baseball's Heisman) and those guys rarely miss – although it does happen.

  90. natsfan1a - Jan 21, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    Technically, I believe it was three suspensions. Evidently Morse said that he did it just once and it remained in his system for over a year. Honestly, if he wasn't one of our players, I'd be going "ummm….okay" at the explanation. Actually, I am kinda doing that, as I did when I first read about it. I guess I'm naive enough to think that all of the players didn't/don't do it, and to feel bad for those who didn't use and who didn't get the call-up, the big money, the kudos, or whatever. Yet I do cheer when he hacks that gorse, so I guess that makes me a hypocrite. (Thus ends this episode of True Nats Fan Confessions. Tune in tomorrow for Mediocre Bench Player Love: Life's Guilty Pleasures.)#4 said… Morse was once suspended for steroid use. January 21, 2012 12:19 PM

  91. Anonymous - Jan 21, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    Mike FioreScott BryantBrooks KieschnickEddy FurnissYes you could say that are some misses for sure

  92. natsfan1a - Jan 21, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    Wait (rereads piece and counts on fingers), I guess it would have been in his system for less than a year, going by the dates stated in the piece. Not a doctor, don't play one on tv, so no idea there. Unfortunate that he did it to begin with but he did and later apologized (albeit after being caught). Probably not gonna make my fave player list but I will cheer for any gorse hacking (yeah, yeah, I know).

  93. natsfan1a - Jan 21, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    fwiw, Mediocre Bench Player Love: Life's Guilty Pleasures refers to my general predilection and not to any one specific player (a composite, if you will). :-)

  94. Just wonderin' - Jan 21, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    Coming to this a bit late, but was also struck by the Bill James projections, particularly for Gio and LaRoche. On the Gio W-L record, I have to wonder whether that wasn't produced with him still in Oakland? Not sure when James started running his numbers, but those strike me as based on the A's line-up as it stood around January 1, not the Nats as of January 15. On LaRoche, it would seem he's either healthy or he's not — not this 70-something game middle ground. Does anyone know what system James uses for making these predictions?

  95. Mick - Jan 21, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    Big boy will be a Nat and as far as doctor's go, Rizzo should tell you nay sayers in the words of Bones McCoy "I'm GM dammit, not a doctor" lol

  96. Scooter - Jan 22, 2012 at 2:37 AM

    I believe the Bill James system is his own design. (Which would explain the name.) At bottom, I bet it works pretty much like any other system: look at the player's last few years, weight the most recent year more heavily, and adjust for aging.Weighting the most recent year poses a real problem for guys who miss significant time, like LaRoche. They have a greatly increased chance of playing zero games the next year, and that drags down the average. And projection systems tend to give an average — which works great across an entire league, but might not give the most likely outcome for any individual guy.The folks who make projections struggle with this question. So yeah, it's a very real problem.

  97. Unkyd - Jan 22, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    So spooky. Only one comment, in the last 18+ hours……

  98. Scooter - Jan 22, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    In today's top story, Prince Fielder is still unsigned.

  99. Joe Seamhead - Jan 22, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    Thanks for the poop on the scoop, Scoop.

  100. Lao-Tzu - Jan 22, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    Muddy water, let stand, becomes clear.Scooter said… In today's top story, Prince Fielder is still unsigned. January 22, 2012 10:07 AM

  101. Anonymous - Jan 22, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    Braun said nothing about PEDs in accepting the MVP award last night.Boston Globe has Tampa looking to move BJ Upton and needing a shortstop and a catcher.

  102. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 22, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    Unkyd said…So spooky. Only one comment, in the last 18+ hours……Yeah, good thing Mark spent his vacation fixing the comments thread, otherwise people might have stopped using it. #Ibeensick

  103. Joe Seamhead - Jan 22, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    Anon 10:38 said:Boston Globe has Tampa looking to move BJ Upton and needing a shortstop and a catcher.————————————————————– Yeah, well they can't have any of ours.

  104. Unkyd - Jan 22, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    In today's top story, Prince Fielder is still unsigned.——————and Generalissimo Francisco Franco………

  105. Scooter - Jan 22, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    Still dead.

  106. ehay2k - Jan 22, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    For the potential Upton trade, can Cutter Dykstra play catcher or SS?Sigh, blogosphere is quiet. Must mean a/lot is happening behind closed doors. If only we had an NSA intercept…

  107. NatinBeantown - Jan 22, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    I'm not asking whether folks think it's a good idea, I'm just wondering what the price for Upton would be. Flores and Desmond? That's a lot of player control for Tampa, but would favor the Nats in terms of production. What would the price be? And in the hypothetical world of a PF signing, a similar question: the price for Adam Jones. Would Laroche + Detwiler do it?

  108. In other news - Jan 22, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    I'm Chevy Chase, and you're not.Unkyd said… In today's top story, Prince Fielder is still unsigned. —————— and Generalissimo Francisco Franco……… January 22, 2012 11:26 AM Scooter said… Still dead. January 22, 2012 11:59 AM

  109. natsfan1a - Jan 22, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    That, or people are getting ready to watch pointy-ball games; or doing chores; or being sick. Feel better, sec3. If it's like the one I had, you'll start to feel human after 4 or 5 days, and almost normal after 7-10 days.Sigh, blogosphere is quiet. Must mean a/lot is happening behind closed doors.

  110. baseballswami - Jan 22, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    It's such a dreary day – appropriate only for napping – after watching the caps lose in overtime:( We need a new topic…..

  111. Dave - Jan 22, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    Sorry I haven't been on here in awhile. Despite Mark's restoration of the good old blog (without the fancy-shmancy threaded comments), I still cannot comment from computers on my school's network. Blogger has simply moved beyond what our primitive version of IE can handle there.Moreover, I get rather strange behavior on my iPhone when I try to comment from there. Don't know what's up with that.However, I have been watching everyone's hand-wringing about the impending signing-or-not of the Prince of Fielder. I am getting pretty weary of all the teasing and dribble of non-information. I've especially appreciated the NSA intercepts. Keep 'em coming, NSA! We need to know what's being said on those secure phone lines!Beantown, what I was reading on the Twitter was a suggestion of Espinosa for Upton. That would be a hard trade to take as a Nats fan. On the other hand, I'm not sure Flores and Desmond would be sufficient to get Upton from Tampa.

  112. Anonymous - Jan 22, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    Okay, Cafardo starts what I was looking for. The Scutaro trade starts open season on B j Upton. The Rays need a shortstop and the Nat are in the thick I bet. But Johnson will have to agree to giving up Desmond or Espinosa. My guess is the Rays will want Espinosa but might be convinced into taking Desmond and Lombardozzi. The problem is Fielder who appears to have decided to nix the Nats even if Boras wants him w/ the Nats. In other words: Morse becomes part of the bargain. And they need to replenish pitching lost to the A's via A mult-player trade with the Rays.

  113. Anonymous - Jan 22, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    Finally I am NSA we ignore requests for domestic spying it's against our charter and our principles. It's why "junior" Bush opened his own Evangelical extension in Colorado.

  114. Anonymous - Jan 22, 2012 at 11:00 PM

    Espinosa for Upton? Lets just throw in Strasburg and RZ since we arn't trying to win anymore? suck it Tampa

  115. baseballswami - Jan 22, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    I was just perusing the new top ten prospects at first base list ( after watching yet another "local" team lose in a heartbreaking kind of way) and they have Chris Marrero at number 8. Another example of how the fans value one of our players lower than the "experts". I have read many comments here from posters who just don't think he is very good. He is the John Lannan of position players, I guess.

  116. Unkyd - Jan 22, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    Does #8, on a position-specific list, even indicate a high probability of ever reaching the bigs? Just asking, not pooh-poohing… And I'm a little confused at several aspects of anon 4:45: Upton for a) Espinosa? Though Danny isn't really "certified" yet, I think his upside, and controllability would render him MUCH more valuable than Upton, at this point, no? And b) Desi AND Lombo? I can see Desi and a little sumpin' sumpin', but obviously if Desi goes, we'll be needing Lombo… you must not have considered that… And finally, how does Fielder's absence put Morse into play? No PF would indicate holding on to BeastMode, with BOTH hands, right? I hope I'm misreading you, because I'm not following…

  117. Will B - Jan 23, 2012 at 1:07 AM

    So, this is the email I received today regarding the cancellation of my order of two shirseys (Gio and Morse) from MLB Shop. Take in mind I selected both players from the menu of options taken from the official 40 man roster."Dear William, Thank you for contacting are contacting you regarding the cancellation of your order. We apologize for this and wanted to let you know that your order was cancelled as the player is not on the team. This is the reason given by our vendor."I replied to customer service to explain that both Beast and Nat Gio are not only Washington Nationals, they were options on their website from the menu…anyone have a Nationals PR or marketing person I could forward the email to so they can see the runaround us Nats fans are getting from MLB???

  118. Anonymous - Jan 23, 2012 at 1:18 AM

    WillB – I know you are frustrated but you have to admit it's kind of funny.

  119. Out of touch with reality - Jan 23, 2012 at 1:21 AM

    Will B, don't worry about it. Rizzo reads Nats Insider daily, usually does whatever we ask. Your jerseys are as good as on the way.

  120. Will B - Jan 23, 2012 at 1:22 AM

    Oh sure, it is. But it also shows the lack of respect this franchise gets. Plus, I used a $25 gift certificate I had from completing a health survey at work, and now I'm waiting for them to give me my $25 back to re-use…

  121. Will B - Jan 23, 2012 at 1:22 AM

    Out of touch — don't I wish…figured someone might have a PR email though. I just feel like they should know.

  122. Anonymous - Jan 23, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    At least you can order shirts this year at all…last year there was a stretch that 29 team shirts were available but not the Nats. It might have been because they were shifting over to the curly-W logo, but it was frustrating not to have any clear explanations.

  123. Anonymous - Jan 23, 2012 at 3:57 AM

    Lack of respect is right sometimes – seems like we are one of the invisible teams. But — maybe not so much anymore this season!!!!!

  124. Drew - Jan 23, 2012 at 5:50 AM

    FWIW:I like the way the Nationals have handled the Fielder follies. They haven't raised the fans' expectations and they haven't denigrated the player.Meantime, by locking up Morse at a reasonable price they have positioned themselves to move him back to first base when LaRoche is gone, which opens CF for Bourn, Upton, Victorino, Goodwin, etc.I also like that it's a short-term deal for Morse. He's 6'5, 230 and he will be 30 in March. As myriad examples show (Frank Howard, Boog Powell, Mo Vaughn, George Scott, Greg Luzinski) most big guys are washed up at 34 unless they cheat (McGwire) or just DH (Frank Thomas). If the Nats do sign Fielder, they can either keep the Morse-Werth-Harper OF while they groom Goodwin for CF, or they can deal Morse to replenish the pitching on the farm.Given that Fielder is about to turn 28, I would give him a six-year deal.My worry is not that Fielder would be an albatross. It's that the Nats are committed to paying Jayson Werth $21 million in 2016 AND in 2017. Yikes.

  125. Dave - Jan 23, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    I'm waking up to positive Fielder news. Jim Bowden tweeted last night that Fielder and the Nats are working on a deal. Other rumors on Twitter have it all done except for a physical.More teasing? Is there a big announcement in store today?Or is this just more of the same old same old?

  126. gonatsgo - Jan 23, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    With the counter under 30 now, something has got to give soon. I don't remember any other off-season so dominated by speculation about 1 player.

  127. UNTERP - Jan 23, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    Fielder's signing to be announced Tuesday for 7 years and 161 million w. the Nationals according to The Source I was told…

  128. Anonymous - Jan 23, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    P-P-Playoffs? We talkin playoffs!!??is the torch passing from Philly to DC?

  129. MicheleS - Jan 23, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    I just hope we can resolve the PF Flyer situation soon.. All this speculating is driving me nuts!

  130. MicheleS - Jan 23, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    Oh.. saw the MLB Special last night.. Top 10 now at each position. Love me some Dan Plesac… Even though Clipp/Storen didn't make the top 10 (Have no idea why.. some of the guys on the lower end of that list were no better than Clipp/Store).. Dan went on and on about the Nats pitching staff.It's good to have a cheerleader at MLB Network!

  131. Anonymous - Jan 23, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    Again Unkyd, there is NO ROOM for Michael Morse in the outfield if BJ Upton is in CF and Jayson Werth is in RF. Unless management consciously decides to hold Harper in the minors for another 2 years. I can't see that happening. If the kid works hard they are going to reward him. There is NO ROOM for Michael Morse at first base if Prince Fielder ends up there … with Adam LaRoche backing him up (Doubtless they will likely try to trade LaRoche to a team like the Orioles.) .That said I really like Morse … and always have. I do wish they had not signed Jayson Werth and had instead really gave Morse and Bernadina a solid whirl. Instead of Werth and even Ankiel. But supposedly "cheap" ownership of the Nats decided to sign Werth to a long-term no-trade contract at age 32. They did it in an attempt to attract other players such as Cliff Lee and Zach Grienke. It really didn't help as much as Boras told them it would. Instead just building up from the farm has served this team better. But, its too late now.Again I strongly prefer keeping Espinosa (and preferably at shortstop). But you have to figure that would be TB's price. However, I think if you offered Lombardozzi and Desmond along with Morse to Tampa Bay (perhaps even Lannan although he is way too expensive for what he delivers) and some pitching they could get Upton and Rays pitching prospect[s]. IMO Tampa is the best source to replenish what was lost in the A's deal. And I will just say this: Tommy Milone is a waaaaaay better pitcher than Lannan. Losing that guy is where the Nats FO and Nats fans will feel the most pain from the Gio trade.

  132. Big Cat - Jan 23, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    So if the Fielder thing goes down, all Riz has done this off season is pick up an all star left handed power pitcher in his prime and a slugging all star first baseman in his prime. Granted we had to get rid of some nice prospects…..but hey… gotta break eggs to make an omelet. Good goin Riz!

  133. Anonymous - Jan 23, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    As for who you get to play second base if they trade two MI? Rendon eventually … or Zimmerman. For now you look for a 2 year rental.

  134. NatsLady - Jan 23, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    I for one am not worried about paying Jayson Werth $21 million in 2016. If the Nats win playoffs/WS in 2013, 2014 (and 2012!!!), the money will be there, and he will have done his job. Just think of it as a pension and let it go.

  135. Anonymous - Jan 23, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    Does anyone know how to protect this blog from spamments? Another one I follow (not baseball) has become almost unreadable due to the autobots and I would hate to see it happen here. There is already one thread that has been contaminated ( but we are lucky that it hasn't struck current postings.Any advice for Mark?

  136. natsfan1a - Jan 23, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    This just in from the (Twitter) Reader Beware Department.(Man, will I be glad when Prince signs somewhere, ANYwhere so that all the breathless speculation will end. Geez.)

  137. Big Cat - Jan 23, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    Yeah yeah….talk is cheap Anon 8:14. Lets be frank about this…Upton is a cancer, we don't need him in our clubhouse. I to am a Milone fan, but to start saying he is better than Lannan when he doesn't have half a year in the bigs under his belt is crazy. And lets just wait and see on Desi at short. He's a freak athletically. You just don't give up on that kind of raw talent. My hunch is that he is gonna be a .270 15-20hr guy down the road.

  138. Unkyd - Jan 23, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    Ok, 8:14-8:16… The Fielder part makes more sense now. The way you wrote it before sounded like you wer conceding the whiff on CF, and then trading Morse for baby pitchers:—————The problem is Fielder who appears to have decided to nix the Nats even if Boras wants him w/ the Nats. In other words: Morse becomes part of the bargain. And they need to replenish pitching lost to the A's via A mult-player trade with the Rays.—————-And I'm sorry, but I still think you're making a bigger hole in the MI than we already have in CF….

  139. Anonymous - Jan 23, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    The Nats almost have to sign Fielder in order to get that young, controllable, high ceiling CF everyone is so hot and bothered about. Rizzo seems determined not to use the fallback plan of Jayson Werth unless he absolutely has to. It is my contention, considering the myriad of possibilities, Rizzo had to get the left-handed power pitcher starter first, then the power impact bat from the left-side. He would then have a lineup that would work to gently ween Bryce Harper into the majors. In other words, Harper would be pressed into becoming the key to getting to the playoffs. Nor would Zim, Werth, etc. Then and only then would he be able to have the pieces to acquire a CF that he thinks fits in with his and the FO's blueprint for the team. And certainly the Lerner's would sign on for the trade and extension of that player.If Rendon gets moved to second base they would still need a lead-off hitter. I suspect that would end up being either the switch hitting Espinosa, Harper, or the CF … Upton certainly has what it takes to do that job.

  140. Unkyd - Jan 23, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    Wit'cha, Gato….

  141. Anonymous - Jan 23, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    And I'm sorry, but I still think you're making a bigger hole in the MI than we already have in CF… Its very possible we will see Rendon will advance as far as AAA by THIS YEAR? He is already considered a more mature hitter than Harper. What do you do when Rendon is ready? You DO NOT trade that guy … not with his ceiling so he either plays second base or third base with Zim moving to second base. Espinosa at shortstop.And so Lombo becomes trade bait as he seems too good to languish on the bench. The Nats can pick up a second baseman (its too bad they lost Antonelli) for a year or two as they did with Kennedy. Might as well replenish the pitching prospect pool while acquiring the CF … while you can before another team jumps in there. Right now most of the big market teams are either rebuilding or are in disarray. Now is the time to act.

  142. Anonymous - Jan 23, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    Yeah yeah….talk is cheap Anon 8:14. Lets be frank about this…Upton is a cancer, we don't need him in our clubhouse.Yeah yeah and so is Hanley Ramirez and IMO so is Werth dude. Upton is Rizzo's first choice. Are you going to argue with an expert Mr. Liti-gatto-r?Some people have no clue about baseball. None.

  143. Big Cat - Jan 23, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    Rendon this…Rendon that. Excuse me…..lets get him on the field first before we talk big leagues. From what I understand he went to instructional league and never played. Whats up with that. NatsJack? Give him a full year at Potomac and see what happens. My gut feel is that his shoulder is not good

  144. Anonymous - Jan 23, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    This just in from the (Twitter) Reader Beware Department.(Man, will I be glad when Prince signs somewhere, ANYwhere so that all the breathless speculation will end. Geez.)AND this source isn't any better than one he is pooh-poohing? Bowden verifies that negotiations are ongoing … albeit Fielder isn't signed yet. That makes 3 or 4 source verification by my count. Bowden was right about the package needed to trade for Gio before it happened. He does apparently still have connections within the Nats.

  145. Anonymous - Jan 23, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    Rendon this…Rendon that. Excuse me…..lets get him on the field first before we talk big leagues. From what I understand he went to instructional league and never played. Whats up with that. Reports are the shoulder was fine. The problem was he hadn't played in a while and given the potential he has the Nats decided to err on the side of caution. As they have done with other prospects since Rizzo took over. And so they did not send him to the AZ fall league as they did Purke. And look what happened to Purke because of his long lay off? But the Nats decided he needed to get the work in … as he didn't get enough in the FIL. What team are you watching again? The Mets?

  146. Unkyd - Jan 23, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    Clueless@8:47 said:Its very possible we will see Rendon will advance as far as AAA by THIS YEAR? —————It's also POSSIBLE that his arm falls off. What's your hurry? Werth's as good a 2 year rental in CF as anyone you'll pick up at 2B. Upton has a good chance to be a really good player, but it's likely a better one will be available next winter.You certainly are one of the more entertaining lil' one track minds on this forum…

  147. natsfan1a - Jan 23, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    For the record, I don't doubt that Bowden bases some of his reports on sources he maintains from his FO days. However, when he retweets an item from a seemingly random source, then deletes it, evidently after checking with his own sources, I question his grasp of journalistic methods. I know it's the Interwebz and all, but what ever happened to verifying first, then running it?

  148. Wally - Jan 23, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    natsfan1a said… This just in from the (Twitter) Reader Beware Department. (Man, will I be glad when Prince signs somewhere, ANYwhere so that all the breathless speculation will end. Geez.)Amen, 1a. Prince Fielder signing anywhere is now higher on my personal priority list than Prince Fielder signing with the Nats. Please make it stop.

  149. Scooter - Jan 23, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    This is going to sound less kind than I mean it, Wally, but … you do have the option of not caring.





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