Skip to content

Lidge agrees to 1-year deal with Nats

Jan 26, 2012, 4:01 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Brad Lidge has 223 career saves and a 3.44 ERA in 10 seasons.

Updated at 11:49 a.m.

In search of a veteran reliever who could help soften the burden on late-inning stars Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard, the Nationals are turning to a one-time nemesis from a division rival.

The Nationals have come to terms on a one-year contract with former Phillies closer Brad Lidge, the club announced this morning. The deal will pay the 35-year-old a $1 million base salary, with incentives, according to CSNphilly's Jim Salisbury.

Lidge has extensive experience closing in both Houston and Philadelphia, but in Washington he'll be used as a setup man, probably pitching the seventh inning in front of Clippard and Storen.

Though injuries and inconsistent performances cost him the closing job with the Phillies, Lidge did put up strong numbers last season whenRead more »

166 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. SCNatsFan - Jan 26, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    Wow? If healthy, the benefit would be in not blowing out Clippard, and to a lesser extent Storen, over the course of a season. I like the move.

  2. joemktg - Jan 26, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    Didn't expect that one. Talk about coming out of right field (figuratively and literally).

  3. natsfan1a - Jan 26, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    There's your veteran presence. Would hope for the "lights out" version.

  4. RPrecupjr - Jan 26, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    I agree. And if this is "dumpster-diving", I'll take it

  5. natsfan1a - Jan 26, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    Probably not sprinting, but that's okay. :-)joemktg said…Talk about coming out of right field (figuratively and literally). January 26, 2012 11:07 AM

  6. NatsLady - Jan 26, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    Re-posting on the previous topic (sorry).Here are the problems with leaving Harper behind for April and May:1) Games lost in April count just as much as games lost in August;2) If Harper needs time to adjust to major-league pitching and fielding, April and May are better months to do that than June and July;3) We need to see what the outfield situation is before–well before–July 31; we also need to see if we are above .500 at that point. And, most important,4) Davy wants him up, and what Davy wants, Davy will get.I totally grasp the "business reasons" for keeping Harper down for a few months based on the future "return," as was done with Stras. But we could afford to do that then–a last place team, etc. We can't afford to do that now.If we are in the wild-card race for 2012, the payback will FAR FAR outweigh a lost year of Harper (who could, let's face it, get injured anyway). As has been noted, this is the year for the Nats to make their mark as a pro sports team in this area. Gio and Harper have "charisma." We need them plastered all over billboards. Can't do that if Harper is in the minors. We need them all over this city and its suburbs, yakking with kids, etc.Also, you can't assume that you can plan and promote a big debut for Harper and it will sell platinum DVD's like Stras' did. Two different animals. Harper could flub his debut and STILL be a great player. Unless the Nats go 1-12, Harper will be up by Tax Day.

  7. jcj5y - Jan 26, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    This is going to be a very strong, and very deep, bullpen. (Although I think signs point to Detwiler instead of Mattheus.) I trust Davey to manage it appropriately.

  8. NatsLady - Jan 26, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    Coffey anyone???? Oh, I guess not today.

  9. MicheleS - Jan 26, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    And NO this doesn't mean you trade Storen! (Especially if Denard Span has the concussion issues) so STOP.Lidge is on the back end of his career and GOOD YOUNG CHEAP CLOSERS DO NOT GROW ON TREES. Okay.. I will get off my soap box now and stop yelling. I must have had too much coffee this morning. Sorry about that…I feel better now…

  10. natsfan1a - Jan 26, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    LOL, I know the feeling, MicheleS (in fact, I could use a cup of coffee right now). Get it all out. :-)

  11. Joe Seamhead - Jan 26, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    At worst Lidge fills a void until [if/or when] Cole Kimball comes back. Lidge's fastball is barely a shadow of what it once was, but I don't see much down side with this move, at this time.

  12. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 26, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    OK….I'll say it. "Didn't see that one coming". Don't suppose Lidge has a bad taste in his mouth from Amaro's low ball offer, does he?

  13. Diz - Jan 26, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    It's official on Lidge.And NatsLady, I think all of what you said is true, but I would still value an extra year of control on BH at the age of 25 is worth more than the two months you are going to get at age 19. Those 2 extra months are not going to be the deciding factor on whether or not we make the playoffs this year.I want BH when he's close to his prime. That's when he's really going to affect the direction of this team.

  14. The Fox - Jan 26, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    Joe Seamhead is correct Lidge's fastball is gone, still has a good slider but I'm not sure that is enough. Only pitched 19.1 innings last year. Not sure he is better than some of the other options we already have.

  15. Positively Half St. - Jan 26, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    SCNatsFan-Great point about saving Cippard's arm. I think that this signing puts Ryan Perry in the minors for sure, and Detwiler may put Mattheus there, as well.My initial talk about a trade was more a thought that they might take the chance of trading Clippard, not Storen. After some thought, though, I guess that neither would really be likely.+1/2St.

  16. MicheleS - Jan 26, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    Does anyone know who Lidge's Agent is? I wonder if it is Boras? And Could Amaro be burning bridges with the hole Madsen debacle.Also, If this means no Big Pot of Coffey, I am going to miss the big lug. He was fun (and better than Slaten)

  17. phil dunn - Jan 26, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    Depending on what they are paying him, I think Lidge is a good addition to the bullpen. In addition to pitching the 7th inning, he along with H-Rod, can sub for Clippard and Storen when they aren't available.

  18. John C. - Jan 26, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    The Lidge thing is weird – with Wang and Lidge on board, are the Nats trying to collect all the pitchers off of whom Zim has hit walkoff HRs?On the previous thread debate, I'm not in the JB/dfh camp, although I certainly understand it. When a team loses as many games as the Nationals, you burn through some of the leeway until you actually win. I do get as tired as everyone else from reading the same rant day after day after day … but I'm guessing that the ranters feel much the same about having the same concerns day after day after day. So we're still all in this together.The roster isn't perfect yet. It's better, and I'm looking forward to baseball. C'mon, April!

  19. Positively Half St. - Jan 26, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    MicheleS- I was better than Slaten, as were you.Lidge's agent is Rex Gary, whoever that is.I hope that Rizzo has a quick bench surprise coming that would be as exciting as Lidge. I also thought of Vlad, since he could fall out of bed and get a hit, but he couldn't play the field under any circumstance, and would be very limited because of that.+1/2St.

  20. Water23 - Jan 26, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    NatsLady,Wait, if point 1 is true then why is point 2 true? Is it easier to win in April and May? If so, then point 1 is false. If not, then it is more then when he arrives should be based on when he is ready. As to when to bring up Prince OppoBoppo, Harper starts slow and has limited time at AA. Granted he played in the AFL but it would seem prudent to get him some additional time/seasoning at AA and even AAA regardless of the Super-Two issue. Another quick point, we already have one slow starter in ALR. If we add Harper from the beginning, we may find that the already anemic offense is down-right catatonic. If the Nats lose a bunch of games early on as a result then they may be out of it the running in June/July. As to the "DJ get what DJ wants" I remember a quote (I think it was from Billy Beane in Moneyball) that questioned why people gave so much power to a middle manager. And there is some validity to that which teams let their manager run the day to day roster and a General Manager who looks to the long term well being of the franchise.

  21. MicheleS - Jan 26, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    +1/2St.Davey said if Clipp goes so does he…

  22. JaneB - Jan 26, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    MichelleS, I am shouting with you. We keep Clippard and Storen. I never thought we would have Brad Lidge. I hope he has a lovely season with us, and like that we won't have to call on Clippard so much. Wow.

  23. NatsLady - Jan 26, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    Diz, I hear you on a player at 25 reaching his prime. No doubt about it. But I'm still going for this year, and I DO think the extra two months of Harper, after he works out the kinks, will put us in the playoff hunt. By the extra two months, I mean June and July, after he works out the kinks in late April and May. (I would not bring him up on Opening Day because we are not opening at home).I wasn't one of those who thought we should sign Fielder at any cost and worry about the drag he would be on the 2016 team and payroll in 2015.However, in Harper's case, we have the proverbial "bird-in-hand." We may not even have Davy next year (heart problems–G-d forbid). Get the kid up here under Davy's supervision, get him acclimatized to ML pitching and fielding, max out the publicity on a playoff run, and even if we don't make it we got 2013, 2014, and 2015, and a team that is NOTICED.

  24. NatsLady - Jan 26, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    To some extent, I believe it IS easier to win in April and May. Many position players are "late starters," and you have off-days for bad weather, and it's not as hot and humid. So, in the early months you have the chance to either pile up victories (if Harper is ready off the gun), or give him a slightly easier ride (if he isn't). Either way, my money says it's better to bring him up early. If you don't, and the season doesn't go well, then might as well not bring him up until September. No point in bringing him up in June if we are 12-35–which WE WON'T be, as long as we have the pitching. So pray for our pitchers, people.

  25. sjm308 - Jan 26, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    We have no depth in the outfield but take a long look at our bullpen. I had totally forgotten about Cole Kimball but even without him:StorenClippardBurnettGorzoHRodMattheusLidgePerryR. Martinand maybe Detwilershould be a great spring training!NatsLady – good food for thoughtI agree with you that if Harper is one of the top 3 outfielders in the spring he will be with us. I do understand that this would mean losing him early but no one knows that for a fact. If we have won multiple playoff games (wait, I have to take a deep breath here) and are in the World Series, maybe he sees this as a place to make his mark and takes an extention. I am not going to worry about 2018 when we have a shot at doing well in 2012.go nats!!

  26. Water23 - Jan 26, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    MicheleS and JaneB, A well rested bullpen will make sure the Nats pitchers stay at a consistent CLIPpard for the season and Storen up some good arms so that their production does not fall of a Lidge when they are most needed for the playoff run.:)

  27. CN - Jan 26, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    @ +1/2St. Good point on Vlad not being able to play the field. The same argument could be made for Stairs, though he was a lefty, who saw some meaningless time on the field as 1B. However, Stairs did stick around. I wonder what Vlad's asking price is, I suspect it being higher than what Rizzo would want to pay for a bench bat and I would assume Vlad would prefer an AL team to get some starts @ DH, as opposed to a cameo PH appearance in the NL.

  28. JayB - Jan 26, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    There is a reason you can get Brad L. for $1 Million list late…..nobody wants him…his Fastball is gone….he gets hurt every year at this point…this move is meaningless….We need bats off the bench that are not all washed up. We need CFer who is not 39 or a never will be like Roger. Stay Focused on the biggest problems Rizzo.

  29. CN - Jan 26, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    my captcha was "kinchmen"finally got a good one…

  30. CN - Jan 26, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    Based on Tcostant's link to Hardballtalk.com, Lidge is getting $1m. Didn't Coffey get at least $1.25m, not much diff, but considering Lidge's experience and potential worth to the bullpen as a mentor and key middle reliver, that seems like a good deal for this team.

  31. Steve M. - Jan 26, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    That was some foreshadowing yesterday that Rizzo had this in the bag!Should set up a trade now I would think!

  32. Theophilus - Jan 26, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    Posted previously: If Lidge can get the ball over the plate in ST (odds, 50-50) then I think HRodgriguez gets traded. I always thought Rizzo acquired him as a future trade chip. Look for a team that thinks they need a set-up guy and has an underachieving CF. Seattle and Franklin Gutierrez? January 26, 2012 11:50 AM

  33. Anonymous - Jan 26, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    Adios, Drew Storen.

  34. Steve M. - Jan 26, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… OK….I'll say it. "Didn't see that one coming". Don't suppose Lidge has a bad taste in his mouth from Amaro's low ball offer, does he? January 26, 2012 11:18 AMOnce the Fielder deal went South, now Rizzo has a few dollars to spend. By bulking up the bullpen he also has maybe a trade in mind.Like I said, Rizzo would have snagged Madson if he wasn't holding out on Prince.

  35. Just wonderin' - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    Ever get the feeling that there are some people in the world who, if you gave them the keys to a decent but second-hand Mercedes would say: "But I really wanted a newer model BMW!"

  36. jcj5y - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    This is definitely not meaningless. Lidge doesn't have anything left on his fastball, but his slider remains devastating (at least it was when he pitched against the Nats last year). That makes him a replacement for/upgrade over Coffey. It's not earth-shattering, but it's just as meaningful as the 24th and 25th bats on the bench. And as Theophilus points out, it creats even more roster flexibility in case a favorable trade comes up.

  37. Theophilus - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    Lidge's fastball may be gone but the slider was always his put-away pitch. When the slider stayed flat in the World Series, that's when he got bombed. Can't say he's still got enough to get outs but the Nats didn't sign him so he could clean up Lannan's excess baserunners in the 5th or 6th inning. He's either good enough to pitch the 7th or he moves on.

  38. Steve M. - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    Theo, I wouldn't be surprised if it is HenRod. Has to be a multi-player deal. Figure Marrero, Lombo, HenRod and Detwiler are the prime candidates for another large deal with any combination.

  39. BinM - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    If completed, the Lidge signing will have come out of nowhere (Rizzo in 'stealth mode' again). Lidge can serve as a setup arm on the A-line bullpen (Burnett, Clippard, Storen), or as a closer on the B-line pen (Severino, Mattheus, HRod). Yes, it complicates what Rizzo might ultimately do with the likes of Perry, Mattheus, Severino, or even Detwiler. Hopefully, ST resolves that.

  40. PAY TO PLAY - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    SteveM, You have said before that Tampa needs to cut payroll so I think you are right. Add in Berndina to your list if they are trading for an outfielder.I can't see trading any more Top 10 minor leaguers. I know Cutter Dykstra is available.

  41. blovy8 - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    Man, Lidge throws that slider a LOT. I'm ok with this if he runs out to the mound every appearance.

  42. NatsLady - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    The other thing that makes it easier to win in April-May is that IF IF you have a good spring training regimen, you have players who are ready but not hurting. By June-July, yes, a lot of players are at their best, but injuries are starting to kick in.Also, there is such a thing as "momentum" (cf., NY Giants.) In June-July you run smack into teams that have it. In April-May, guys are just waking up, feeling out their teammates, getting their doubleplays working. You can bet the Red Sox wished they had some of those April losses back last year.Of course, you could argue that by July you run into teams that are already out of it and "playing out the string." And what would be really great is if the Nats could BEAT those teams!!! A win is a win.Now, as for the "seasoning" in the minors. The big gap is between A and AA, that has been made clear in many analyses. Pitchers in A-ball are just trying to throw strikes, they are not analyzing the weaknesses of hitters, etc. In AA-ball you are getting a better quality of pitching and defense. OTOH, you are not getting a big bump in AAA. The next big bump is the majors. That's why a lot of teams promote directly from AA to the majors, and use AAA to stash players for callup (basically, reserves.) So, if Harper can handle AA, his next move is here.

  43. PAY TO PLAY - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    BinM, this sets up a trade. I think Rizzo stays away from Clip and Storen but keep in mind he may have a team that has proposed a trade to him for a CF and is in need of bullpen.With the Twins getting Willingham, is Denard Span back in play? Same as before, can't do Clip or Storen. Right?

  44. blovy8 - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    I wonder if there's a team out there who still thinks Gorzelanny can start?

  45. The Fox - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    If its used to set up a trade it makes some sense otherwise he can only fill the 7th inning setup role which makes him very limited.

  46. Anonymous - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    PEOPLE, GeeeezUS, if we trade for a CF it means Harper will NOT be in the majors this year!!!! Unless Rizzo can somehow trade LaRoche by deadline.Lipty,

  47. Anonymous - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    I am fully in the JayB camp, not that anyone cares.JayB doesn't have a camp. He has a padded cell.

  48. NatsLady - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    Clip and Store are pair, and Rizzo is not going to split them. If he's not splitting them, then he's not trading them. End of story.

  49. NatsLady - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    @12:13, you MADE my day!!!! ROFLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL.

  50. Water23 - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    Rizzo on 980 now. Talking about Lidge.

  51. Anonymous - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    NatsJack, sorry, if this was the big surprise then it is a letdown. This isn't Lidge from 5 years ago. This is a guy with a 88 MPH heater. He is Coffey's replacement and a welcome addition. I agree w/ Steve M., this sets up a trade.

  52. PAY TO PLAY - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    Water23 said… Rizzo on 980 now. Talking about Lidge. January 26, 2012 12:18 PM Wow, he talked nice about Michael Morse

  53. Anonymous - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    THOM LOVERRO SUX. Talking about overweight

  54. blovy8 - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    Willingham replaces Cuddyer basically. Probably it's still a Span-Revere-Willingham outfield for the Twins. I'm sure if it cam to concussion guys, they'd rather trade Morneau. Span is signed to a nice contract.

  55. CN - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    Good read on mlb.com on the top 100 prospects:Harper #2Rendon 27Meyer 83Solis 86 (Cole is at 88)http://sandiego.padres.mlb.com/mlb/prospects/watch/y2012/index.jsp

  56. blovy8 - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    Definitely looks like a trade coming though.

  57. PAY TO PLAY - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    blovy8, the Twins still need starting pitching. Maybe Bernadina + Detwiler. Just thinking. Who knows.

  58. Water23 - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    Just a thought, with Rendon a year away and the OF solutions a year away, is there a possibility that next year the Nats and the Tigers line up and solve a roster problem? They will have VMart back and by then will have realized that Miggy is not a 3B. How about moving RZimm for Miggy?

  59. Anonymous - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    Rizzo shot down the start and stop approach on Strasburg as far as stopping him in August to start him back up for the playoffs. That was a stupid question by those 980 nimrods

  60. NatsLady - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    Nice words on Rendon, Rizzo said he is past "rehabilitation" and will be at spring training.

  61. John C. - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    Lidge's velocity was down last year because he was working his way back from injury. It's not going to be back to 93 mph, but 90-91 is not out of the question. Even at 88-89 he was fairly effective in a limited role last year; he has NEVER been a pitcher who relies on velocity to get people out. For such a low cost, this is a good deal. As others have noted, the increase in bullpen depth allows for potential trades either for an OF or a plus bench player.On Harper, remember that to retain rights through 2018 he only has to miss 3-4 weeks. It's not the money, it's the extra year – as a "Super 2" player, if he's for real Harper will get paid in 2018 either way. I just want to make sure that in that scenario he's with the Nats. It also gives them better leverage to extend him the way they did with Ryan. Give up at least year when he is near his peak (whatever that is, and it has the potential to be great) for 25 or so games when he's 19? That's not smart. If Cameron and Bernadina both stink in ST and no other OF is available it may happen, but I'd feel better if Harper gets to dominate AAA and move up in May or June.

  62. FS - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    Water23, Tigers will need more than one year for Zimmerman to move MCab. I would say couple of top prospects because MCab is under contract for few more years I believe.Anyways, I am not sure why everyone thinks a trade is coming. I don't think Lidge is taking anyone's job right now.

  63. Steve M. - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    Water23, blasphemy! Do you know in some countries a suggestion like that would get your tongue cut off?In all seriousness, lets walk before we can run to make a decision like that as Rendon has to prove he can play baseball at the MLB level and is healthy.I am sure Rizzo is hoping that Rendon is the stud all GMs thought he was a year ago.

  64. blovy8 - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    Pay, Detwiler's a good fit, but they'd want another prospect. They're so far back from contention, they'd have to be looking for minor leaguers.

  65. Steve M. - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    FS, there are now 10 guys for 7 spots now in the bullpen. Sure, Stammen and Perry can go to AAA. On the other hand, you hope that Rizzo has a packaged deal in mind. He sounds cautiously optimistic that he has something in mind. We will see.

  66. Anonymous - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    I am guessing that no club is going to give us a starting CF for Detwiler and Bernadina unless there is some salray dump invovled.dfh21

  67. Anonymous - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    The Twins are looking to contend. Last year's last palce finish had much to do with freakishly bad luck injury-wise. They won the Division in 2010. And this off season they added some bats and are healthier. In a soft Divisions but for the Tigers they have a shot at winning. They are likely looking for MLB ready talent should they move Span or Revere.dfh21

  68. Mark'd - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    dfh21, I was getting ready to say similar. Salary dump which means Royals and Rays and those teams with a need for a lefty like Detwiler where they would give up their CF and take Bernadina.They get 2 players making league minimum. Tampa needs bullpen and middle infield and really needs to drop salary. Tampa has 6 starters also.

  69. Sec 204 Row H Seat 7 - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    Great deal!! Should cut down some innings for Clippard. Center field awaits next off-season. The next is to extend Zim. To all Kool-Aid drinkers, repeat after me 2013, 2013. To the ever pessimistic JayB, NATS win 85-89 this season (As always I reseve the right to change after ST.

  70. PAY TO PLAY - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    DFH21, What are you watching? The Twins already announced Pavano as their Opening Day starter which tells you how bad their starting rotation is. They let 2 studs walk to Free Agency and added Willingham. Big deal. They are contending for 2nd place after the Tigers signed Fielder. Put a fork in the Twins right now, they are done.

  71. Anonymous - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    Coffey anyone???? Oh, I guess not today.Back to Milwaukee.

  72. JayB - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    Yea big salary dump to get anything for those two. Ross is a head case who Jimbo really screwed up by putting him in 1 inning of MLB game to repay him for signing cheap and fast. Now he has no option and has never worked hard in the off season. Roger….just not going to happen…..very clear.

  73. FS - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    Steve M, oh I see what you mean. options game again. in that case, would be nice to have BJ audition in CF this season for couple of major leaguers?

  74. Water23 - Jan 26, 2012 at 5:58 PM

    Steve M., I know, I know, blasphemy and I would love to RZim a Nat for life. Your point about years is valid, but I would assume that the Tigers would get 48 Hrs to work out an extension. In the end, they would be swapping a big salaries so they may have the money already budgeted. Also, I agree on letting Rendon walk first but that is why I said a year from now. It may never come to fruition but it would solve some issues.

  75. Anonymous - Jan 26, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    Just a thought, with Rendon a year away and the OF solutions a year away, is there a possibility that next year the Nats and the Tigers line up and solve a roster problem? They will have VMart back and by then will have realized that Miggy is not a 3B. How about moving RZimm for Miggy? That's pretty dumb. They aren't going to trade a top WAR and a top FOF (according to FanGraphs) for that guy? What team are you watching Water23? Sheesh! If they trade RZimm its going to be for top of the rotation starting pitching period. As for Rendon and Zimmerman they both fit: one at 2nd base and the other at 3rd base. The issue is who plays shortstop? Right now I am betting on Espinosa. The Nats still need an elite, top left-handed bat in their lineup. That is a HUGE hole. FAR bigger than the CF thing everyone is wrapped around the axle about … not too long ago they put Milledge there remember? Werth, et al even Harper will be okay until they sign Upton. Then not "Miggie" dude!? They go all-in for Votto, Adam Dunn's replacement in Cincinnati.

  76. Water23 - Jan 26, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    Braun skipping the Brewer's fanfest. Not that noteworthy but the fact that the FanFest is this weekend is. Come Nats get with the program!!!

  77. Steve M. - Jan 26, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    FS, One guarantee I will give you is Tampa Bay is about $12 million over budget right now. They are trying not to look desperate and are trying to trade and here who they are shopping: Shields, Niemann, BJ Upton. Probably 1 or 2 of those 3 will be traded. Problem is they are looking for minimum salary players that are top prospect types and pull what they did with Garza last year.The key as I see it is if Rizzo plays the trade game with them is he can't roll over like he did on the Gio deal.

  78. upperdeck4 - Jan 26, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    MicheleS said…Does anyone know who Lidge's Agent is? I wonder if it is Boras? _____Rex Gary of Turner Gary Sports

  79. NatsNut - Jan 26, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    It would be a letdown if we got Lidge to be our star closer or something, but for a 7th inning guy behind Clip and Store, this is awesome.______________________NatsJack, sorry, if this was the big surprise then it is a letdown. This isn't Lidge from 5 years ago. This is a guy with a 88 MPH heater. He is Coffey's replacement and a welcome addition. I agree w/ Steve M., this sets up a trade.

  80. Anonymous - Jan 26, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    I am guessing that no club is going to give us a starting CF for Detwiler and Bernadina unless there is some salray dump involved.Make that Lannan and Bernadina. Johnson likes Detwiler in spite of the lunacy of Bowden he's hung in there JB. He's done far better than Balester and the rest of the Motley crew of JimBo starters. Far better than Mock. Lannan is almost untradeable at his current salary? What would TB take for Upton? That would have been made attainable if Fielder had signed. Now, it seems highly unlikely until July perhaps.

  81. Water23 - Jan 26, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    Anon 1:00 PM,Yeah, it is dumb to trade a above average 3b for one of the best most dominant hitters in baseball who has rarely missed a game in his career. Ohh and to fill the hole created by the trade you install a potential stud who's natural position is 3b. Ask ten GMs if they would trade Zimm for MCab and at least nine out of ten would do it. Ask ten Gms if they would trade MCab for Zimm an it might be closer to 50%.Yeah, I must be crazy. I know Zim is the FoF but lighten up it is only a proposal.

  82. Anonymous - Jan 26, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    The key as I see it is if Rizzo plays the trade game with them is he can't roll over like he did on the Gio deal.He wouldn't in any case. Upton is a free agent next year. The only way Tampa gets that kind of leverage is by extending him … as the Nats did with Morse. As an FA to be he is a 1 year rental until the Nats extend him. And I suspect they will come to an agreement. Upton knows that Rizzo has been pursuing him for years. His family and his brother especially know Rizzo.

  83. FS - Jan 26, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    Another key is just one year control of BJ. Garza was under control for 3 years, that's why his return was multiple prospects. I think for one year of BJ, we can easily give them couple of major leaguers with minimum salary and years of control such as Ross, etc. But I hope we do not compromise any of our starting players and top prospects. I am okay if we include some C prospect.

  84. PAY TO PLAY - Jan 26, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    Tampa overworked James Shield "Big Game James" and he was toast in the post-season. They have Desmond Jennings who can play CF. They need Shields and can trade the other 2. Niemann goes to arbitration and will make $3.5, Upton is at $7.0 They can trade both and have to trade Upton for a controlable outfielder who can play corner OF.

  85. Anonymous - Jan 26, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    Yeah, it is dumb to trade a above average 3b for one of the best most dominant hitters in baseball who has rarely missed a game in his career. Ohh and to fill the hole created by the trade you install a potential stud who's natural position is 3b. Yeah dumb, expensive and Bowden-esque. What is the difference between this guy and Votto? Fielder? For that matter Harper? He bats right like Rendon and Zim. Votto, Fielder, Harper bat left. Before I go for this guy I'd grab up the Cardinals first baseman who is a switch hitter … see stats on Lance Berkman. The Nats brain-trust wants impact left-handed bats. They are too skewed to the right … right now …

  86. Water23 - Jan 26, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    Hmmm, maybe Bernie, Det, Lombo for BJ? Then sign Roy and a INF and things start getting exciting!

  87. MicheleS - Jan 26, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    Water23..What would we do with MCab if we got him? He can't play 3B or LF and he is Adam Dunn at 1b. And he is getting chunky.. doesn't fit the Nats MO.

  88. Theophilus - Jan 26, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    Water23 must take his Seagram's Crown Royal straight. Other than that, who would trade Zimmerman for the All-AlAnon Cabrera, the drinking man's Prince Fielder?

  89. lesatcsc - Jan 26, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    I really like this move, whether it is just to add an arm or set up a trade. It was inexpensive and simply gives Rizzo more options going forward. I really hope he isn't done though. The Nats are desperately thin in the OF. I think it would be a terrible mistake to go into ST with no real alternative but Harper. What happens if he isn't ready, or even if it is clear he isn't ready defensively? Long term it makes even less sense. Ideally Rizzo finds a way to get an everyday OF for at least one year and Harper moves up either as a result of a deal at the trade deadline or as a September call-up. I'm still not opposed to doing a deal that sends Desmond + something to the Rays for Upton. The Nats have stronger MI prospects that are closer to ML ready than they do OF prospects.

  90. Section 222 - Jan 26, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    John C reminds us of the key point on Harper. He doesn't have to stay in the minors until mid June to give us an extra year in his prime before he becomes a free agent. Bringing him up at or near the end of April will suffice to make sure the doesn't get major league service time credit for 2012, and therefore will be eligible for free agency at the end of 2018, rather than 2017. NatsLady, I'm surprised you'd even consider trading another full year of Harper in his prime in 2018 for having him play 23 games in April. I sure wouldn't. And I doubt Rizzo would either, regardless of what DJ wants. (Actually, I very much doubt DJ would make that trade either.)Keeping him in the minors to try to prevent him from becoming a Super-2 and reaching arbitration sooner is another story. If he's ready at the end of April bring him up and stop the Bernadina/Cameron experiment.Here's a link on how major league "service time" works:http://bizofbaseball.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=662&Itemid=75On Lidge — so much for HRod as the 7th inning guy I guess. And this seems to put Mattheus on the bubble, unless Clipp or Storen is traded. I frankly see that as unlikely, but for the right CF, I would definitely pull the trigger.

  91. Mark'd - Jan 26, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    lesatcsc, you had me until you mentioned trading Desi. No way can you move Lombo or DeRosa in as a starter right now at 2nd. Ridiculous suggestion.

  92. baseballswami - Jan 26, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    Can Brad Lidge coach our pitchers on the Phils' hitters weaknesses? Is he mad enough? He will probably be a good bullpen presence for our younger guys – maybe he can keep MPHRod under control – hahahahahahaha I also agree with NatsLady that we need more of our guys faces in out in the public eye. Harper and Gio are prime personalities, but there are others, too. Desi made an awesome speech at the nationals baseball camp opening. A lot of our players are very well-spoken, polite, nice looking and sound intelligent. Rizzo types. Get those guys out in the community and the kids will be begging their parents to take them to Nats Park.

  93. NatsLady - Jan 26, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    Three or four weeks' delay on Harper I could go for. Mid-June–too much.

  94. Mark'd - Jan 26, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    Steve M. Jan 26, 2012 10:02 AM FS, One guarantee I will give you is Tampa Bay is about $12 million over budget right now. They are trying not to look desperate and are trying to trade and here who they are shopping: Shields, Niemann, BJ Upton. Probably 1 or 2 of those 3 will be traded. Problem is they are looking for minimum salary players that are top prospect types and pull what they did with Garza last year. The key as I see it is if Rizzo plays the trade game with them is he can't roll over like he did on the Gio deal.———I trust what you say. Just wondering why no writers are discussing it?

  95. NatsNut - Jan 26, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    It's not just the super-two, free agent question that will keep Harper down, it's because he hasn't spent a day over AA. If Davey Johnson and Rizzo say anything about the possibility of Harper coming up after ST, it's to either encourage the kid or to toy with the media and blog commenters.NatsLady, I have to respectfully disagree on Harper's charisma. Harper is a character but he does not have charisma. In fact I have a feeling we'll want to keep him as far away from the media as possible once he is up, but maybe that's just me.

  96. Anonymous - Jan 26, 2012 at 6:42 PM

    Jorge Julio still available too.

  97. Section 222 - Jan 26, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    NatsNut — I totally agree. Note that I said to bring him up, "if he's ready." I very much have my doubts about that, and not only about his defense. And I definitely wouldn't bring him up to be a lefthanded bat off the bench. Let him play full time in whatever outfield position they anticipate him filling and then come up and start in June, July, August or even September.

  98. NatsLady - Jan 26, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    Has Lannan signed? Rizzo should get with his agent and discuss the possibility of a trade where the Nats eat some of his salary. Yes, he's too expensive for Tampa unless we throw in some $$. But I think he is not happy here, or at least not as productive as he could be, and the AL might be better for him.

  99. Steve M. - Jan 26, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    Mark'd, here is a total for Tampa now after the Carlos Pena and Luke Scott signings. They won't go broke if they didn't make a trade. This is a significant jump for them:http://www.raysindex.com/2012/01/opening-day-payrol.html

  100. Steve M. - Jan 26, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    NatsLady, Tampa won't want Lannan. He would be a #5 to them and not a bullpen type. Tampa has 6 starters right now. They may take Detwiler as he is controlable and could do bullpen time.

  101. Anonymous - Jan 26, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    All I can say is thank God JayB will never be able to figure out how to write in bold on this blog. Although I guess it would make his rants easier to pass by.

  102. NatsLady - Jan 26, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    OK, maybe "charisma" is the wrong word for Harper. But he will appeal to kids, especially middle-school age. There won't be a tin of shoe polish left in any store around here. :) Yeah, he's gonna aggravate the "sober" serious types, like Stras and the Zimmermen, and Jayson will step on him a few times. And, yeah, he'll say the wrong things to the press and tweet about the Yankees… OK, so what? Bring it on.

  103. lesatcsc - Jan 26, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    I didn't say I'm keen on it, but you have to give something up to get something. The Rays need a SS and the Nats need a CF and have more depth in the MI than in many other places. The Rays have a surplus of pitching, so its unlikely they will trade Upton for pitching. Remember you potentially have Lombo, DeRosa and perhaps Rendon as possible 2B replacements. Espy may be an upgrade defensively at SS too. As it stands, this team is going to have a minor league calibre player starting in one of the three OF positions on opening day. Something has got to give.

  104. NatsLady - Jan 26, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    Steve M., right, not Tampa. But some other cash- and pitcher-poor club. Can't tell me there are none of those around…

  105. MicheleS - Jan 26, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    NatsLady.. I disagree with the Lannan being more productive in the AL. I think the DH and being in the AL East would crush him (his ERA would go up by at least 1 run)

  106. MicheleS - Jan 26, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    NatsNut…I agree with you about Harper.. I get the feeling he could be another AROD and become a "d-bag" (sorry, had to go there). I hope RZ, Jayson, and others beat that out of him.

  107. NatsLady - Jan 26, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    MicheleS–good point on the DH, I was thinking more of his not having to bat, and not having to pitch against the Phillies. Steve M. shot down Tampa, but what about teams like the Royals, I don't know their pitching situation.

  108. natscan reduxit - Jan 26, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    … for all the good folks in DC, you never know when you may have just unknowingly avoided a big problem. See below:http://content.usatoday.com/communities/dailypitch/indexBuehrle forced to live outside Miami due to pit bull banBy Scott Boeck, USA TODAY"Mark Buehrle was thrown a curve ball when making plans this offseason to move his family and four dogs to South Florida. … [snip]"Go Nats!

  109. blovy8 - Jan 26, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    If all you needed was a temporary CF, you could get Byrd for a song.

  110. MicheleS - Jan 26, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    NatsLady..He might avoid the Phillies but he gets the Tigers/Prince …And what do the Royals have that we want? I mean I get Alex Gordon, but We have Bryce for that position. Unfamiliar with that team…

  111. Anonymous - Jan 26, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    Good signing. If he can put together a good year, he will help the Nats make a serious run. At worst, if they are out of it and he still is having a good year, they can turn around and trade him to replenish the farm system. Win-Win in my books, but that's assuming he will be the Lidge of old.

  112. Anonymous - Jan 26, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    Pay to Play — trust me, the Twins think that they have a winning club. Carl Pavano is no Roy Holladay, sure, but the guy's a 220 inning machine (they did this same kind of thing years ago with Johan — he was hands-down the most dominant SP in baseball but he was the No. 2 starter in Minn behind Radke, a RH guy who does not K many guys or walk anyone gets gthe ball ahead of the LH K machine in Liriano). The Twins have top of the order guys, speed, middle of the order mashers (batting title and MVP caliber bats), they catch it well and the pen (with the add of Drew Storen perhaps?) is solid. The Twins know what they are doing. And all things being equal, they have a better chance at the playoofs than the Nats in that they are not the 3rd or 4th best club in their Division on paper, no? You're not suggesting that the Nats are done becasue the Phils are so much of a better club, I am guessing. The Twins are far, far from hoping to just add some low level prospects.dfh21

  113. fpcsteve - Jan 26, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    The Royals are pretty excited about the progress they're making. I haven't heard anything on the local (NE) TV stations or seen anything in the newspapers that suggests they are shopping. They think they're young and on the move. And you're right on Gordon–he is as untouchable as a player can get.

  114. natsfan1a - Jan 26, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    That's not what Rod Barajas says .Oh wait, you meant *Alex* Gordon, not Dee. Never mind.

  115. natsfan1a - Jan 26, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    Daggone it. Take two.

  116. Section 222 - Jan 26, 2012 at 7:41 PM

    I'm starting to think that whether Rizzo tries to add a CF via trade will depend on whether he's thinking about bringing Harper up sooner (April-June) or later (August-Sept.). If it's sooner, then he's got ALR at first and Morse and Werth already in the outfield, so where does he put that CF? More likely that we muddle through with Bernadina/Cameron until Harper comes up. If it's later, then ALR can possibly be traded, Morse moves to first, and he needs that CF or he's stuck with Bernadina/Cameron for the whole year. So we could get a better signal of what's in store for @BHarp45 from what happens in CF over the next few weeks than the vauge "we're coimng north with our best 25" comments that we've seen so far. Of course, if we sign Prince, that changes everything. Wait, sorry, that was last week's standard last line. Sigh…

  117. Mark'd - Jan 26, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    lesatcsc Jan 26, 2012 10:54 AM I didn't say I'm keen on it, but you have to give something up to get something. The Rays need a SS and the Nats need a CF and have more depth in the MI than in many other places. The Rays have a surplus of pitching, so its unlikely they will trade Upton for pitching.——–You are trying to solve one issue and cause a bigger one in its place.If Rendon and Lombo were MLB ready and MLB good, different story.

  118. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 26, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    natscan reduxit said…for all the good folks in DC, you never know when you may have just unknowingly avoided a big problem.I don't see the problem here. The guy seems plenty responsible and his dogs sound like good dogs.

  119. lesatcsc - Jan 26, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    My point is that they're closer to ML ready than anyone in the Nats system that plays the OF. A better scenario is Rizzo somehow gets Byrd without giving up too much and brings Harper into the picture when it suits him. A Desy + one for Upton would be to acquire a long term solution at a position that is a problem. They have the fix at SS already in Espy, it depends then on how close the prospects are and/or the tolerance they have for a weak hitting second baseman. Of course another possibility is that they make the trade for Upton using Desmond and sign a FA to provide ML depth at 2B, even if they do plan to give Lombo the first crack at it. Upton would not be a small addition and is an upgrade on Desy at the plate.

  120. natsfan1a - Jan 26, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    I think the problem was one that the law posed for Buehrle and his dogs. Some breeds get a bad rap.

  121. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 26, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    @1a: Ah. I read it as saying DC fans dodged a problem.Re Byrd: My Cubs people tell me Marlon's CF days are pretty much behind him, and the Nats are just as well off with Werth in 2012.

  122. Anonymous - Jan 26, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    Rendon, OK, but why is Lombo not ready? He's hit very well and consistently in the minors and his glove is nice too. Why not throw Lombo out there at 2B?The Nats can point to 5 weeks of this or that season for glimmers of hope and pray a whole lot that Ian Desmond magically finds both sides of his game in his 3rd full season as an everyday SS all they want, but it very likely is not going to happen (139 K's for his 8 HR's? batting .260 with 4 K's per every walk? Fielding percentage under .960?). Desmond belongs in Cuse with those stats. If some other club will fork over something shiny in return for Ian, then I really hope that Rizzo pulls the trigger. dfh21

  123. lesatcsc - Jan 26, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    Anyboby know if Damon could still play in the field. He hits left and has a decent bat. If he can play the corners, wouldn't he be an upgrade on Cameron as bench strength and a 4th/5th OF?

  124. MicheleS - Jan 26, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    DFH21..Davey loves Desi, so I think he gets the entire year to prove himself at SS and leadoff.lesatcsc… good point on Damon, not sure he could play left, and I think Rizzo would rather have an CF and keep Werth/Morse on the corners until Harper is ready.

  125. blovy8 - Jan 26, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    Damon only played 10 games or so in lf last year, he'd be like putting Miggy Cabrera back at 3rd. Wait a minute…

  126. jd - Jan 26, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    Nats Lady, The problem with bringing Harper up is that he's not ready. He didn't dominate AA ball at all and the stint in Arizona is statistically insignificant. You don't want to do a Trout; when he comes up you want him up for good and there's no reason to believe that the time is here.

  127. jd - Jan 26, 2012 at 8:17 PM

    If we can flip any of our relievers for a full time quality center fielder who is under team control for several years then it's a steal for the Nats.

  128. Diz - Jan 26, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    I don't see any way we trade Lannan or Det right now.You never go through a season with only 5 starters and then add Stras being shut down in Sept.The Nats really don't have any potential SP depth in AAA behind the front 6, none. Maya is not an option and nobody else is ready.You're playing with fire going into the season with only 5 viable SP candidates at the Major League level if you trade one of them in my opinion.

  129. jd - Jan 26, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    Mark'd, I know it's early but I predict that both Zim and Rendon will be major league 3rd basemen. I think one of them will be traded and Water23's basic idea is not crazy. Steve M, Just as a frame of reference, A's fans are screaming that Beane gave away Gio for a bunch of minor leaguers. I guess it all depends on your reference point.

  130. MicheleS - Jan 26, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    JaneB and 1A (an all others curious about this).Here is a link to the monstrosity that is that HR feature at the Marlins new park. That thing is going to be BIG and TACKY!!!http://mlb.sbnation.com/2012/1/26/2737237/miami-marlins-home-run-feature-john-waters-directing-2001-a-space-odyssey

  131. Mark'd - Jan 26, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    JD, its crazy today, maybe not a year from now

  132. JaneB - Jan 26, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    "Just as a frame of reference, A's fans are screaming that Beane gave away Gio for a bunch of minor leaguers. I guess it all depends on your reference point."They'll STOP screaming when they see those babies pitch. Then Beane will be smart again.

  133. N. Cognito - Jan 26, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    jd said… "Just as a frame of reference, A's fans are screaming that Beane gave away Gio for a bunch of minor leaguers."The Nats didn't really give up anybody for Gio. If some of them don't make it, it's no loss. If some of them get really good, they'll be free agents in a few years anyway.

  134. markfd - Jan 26, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    Wow, this is awesome. I hope Brad helps out the young bullpen!

  135. JaneB - Jan 26, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    MichelleS, thanks for that link! It is AWESOME. And not in a good way. 1950's Miami motel is the inspiration for the structure, so it's hideous looking. WORSE, it will distract from the thing you most want to watch in a home run: the guy run the bases. The team high-fiving him in the dugout. It's just a nutty choice, from a game presentation perspective. Like they think the fans come for hoo-hah and spectacle off the field. I can see somebody designing it. But then they actually BUILT it. Makes like the submarine horns even more. Just the player, the fans, and the submarine surface alarm.

  136. Don - Jan 26, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    I'm surprised by all the Harper talk. He can hit, but he has only been playing the position for a year. If I remember his final Arizona league stats he had his share of errors.It doesn't matter if he can hit if he can't catch. It's not worth bringing him up until he's ready and there's a big difference between hitting .300 in A/AA and AAA/MLB.Let's take a look at Lombardozzi. He's batting .300+ in AAA and tore up September with a whopping .194 BA. That was after a whopping 0.00 for the first week+ he was in DC.From our host on Nov 4, 2011:“For all his offensive heroics, Harper remains a work-in-progress in the outfield. This is especially true in left field, where he has played some in Arizona and where he continues to need some work.”And on Nov 17, 2011:“Before you get too excited, though, Harper's overall play was far from pristine. He committed six errors in 24 games, perhaps evidence he's still a work-in-progress in the outfield and perhaps more reason to believe the Nationals want him to continue to work on his defense and baserunning in the minors come Opening Day 2012”Just give him time. He'll be here when he's ready. If that's 2013 that's when it is. It's better for him to be here when he can make a difference.As for the trade, a good move with a successful vet in the pen. Let's hope for a few more surprises over the next 23 days.

  137. Anonymous - Jan 26, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    Anyone would be an upgrade over Mike Cameron. As for Damon, a right-handed hitter, Mike Cameron's role would be play against LHP (with Bernadina batting against RHP). Damon bats LH; so, I don't see Damon as candidate to play ahead of Cameron.

  138. jd - Jan 26, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    JaneB, If the Nats make the playoffs and Gio plays a big part in it in the next couple of years then this is a win for the Nats regardless on how 'those babies' pitch. If we traded Zimmerman to let's say Anaheim for their best 4 prospects everyone here would be screaming and so would everyone in Anaheim because they know their prospects and we don't.

  139. N. Cognito - Jan 26, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    Don said… "I'm surprised by all the Harper talk."I'm with you on that, and I'm more surprised that just about everybody thinks he's gonna come up and crush the ball. It's much more likely he'll struggle his first year in the major leagues.I believe a lot of Nats fans are "spoiled" by Ryan Zimmerman's quick path to the majors and his early success.

  140. Section 222 - Jan 26, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    I agree with N. Cognito. Harper had trouble at first in AA, just imagine the adjustment to MLB. And for those who think we should just throw Lombo out there at 2B? Seriously? He didn't show anything at all at the plate in September. Compare Espi in September 2010. I don't mind keeping him if necessary as a utility infielder, but to rely on him as our starting 2B? Yikes. Mendoza line here we come. I think we're stuck with Desi at SS for awhile, I just wish we could bat him 7th or 8th.

  141. gonatsgo - Jan 26, 2012 at 9:18 PM

    Everyone seems to focus on Harper's hitting success – I realize that's his claim to fame. I just think they should make very sure that he can play a position well enough – maybe not gold glove worthy – but well enough, before they bring him up. He seems athletic enough to be an offensive asset and to not be a defensive liability. Let him learn the outfield and how to steal bases before he comes up so that he is not making those mistakes at the big league level. I think being hungry to be here is a good motivator for him. Why not make sure instead of jumping the gun? This kid can be a superstar – shortcuts will only hurt him and the organization.

  142. Anonymous - Jan 26, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    Does JayB ever say anything positive or constructive? He should follow a different team!

  143. Water23 - Jan 26, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    Mark'd,My point all along it that things will be different in a year and something like that kind of deal might make sense. By then we should know a lot more about what the OF will be and the MI. It may make sense to trade the FoF as his replacement may be ready. Then again, moving him to 1B or having Rendon play 2b may work as well. Its just that some things that are unknowns now will have been discovered in about a year maybe a year and a half. FWIW, I would much rather have both of them in the lineup, Morse crushing 30 Bombs from 1b, Werth and Harper manning the Corner OF and Bourn/Upton/Goodwin etc + Epsy as SS and Rendon at 2B. But rarely do things work out the way we all want.GYFNG!!

  144. Section 222 - Jan 26, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    Here's an interesting nugget from Chase Hughes' piece on CSN about the Nats possibly being interested in Roy Oswalt (that interest was reported on by Ken Rosenthal):"The Nats seem to already have a full rotation, especially with the addition of lefty Gio Gonzalez. Gonzalez will slot behind Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann with John Lannan providing one of the best number four starters in the National League."Wow. I'm also intrigued by Mark's summary of our likely pitching staff "as it currently stands," with the 7th bullpen spot likely going to whichever of Detwiler, Wang, or Lannan doesn't make the starting rotation. Seems to me that both Wang and Lannan are unlikely to be in the bullpen, even if Detwiler tears it up in spring training. I still think one of our lefties gets traded before Opening Day.

  145. natsfan1a - Jan 26, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    MicheleS, thanks for the link. First, I experienced a bit of webcam nostalgia, thinking back on the days when we'd check out the Nats Park webcam frequently. Next, I wondered "was that a Seinfeld reference" as I started to read the post. (Yes, yes it was, I daresay.) Finally, I repeated two words over and over as I read on and looked at all of the pics. Imagine my amusement to find them typed, next to a helpful arrow, on one of the photos (holy, uh, moley). Okay, I alternated with three other words: Oh. My. G*d. That is some HR feature they have there. Wowza. I quite simply lolled, my dears. :-)

  146. Gonat - Jan 26, 2012 at 9:38 PM

    On Bryce Harper, at least this year they have told him he can make the Opening Day roster and I am sure that means it is a tryout and he has to be better than the penciled in CF to push Werth to CF. Can Harper do it? We will see. I am with those that don't see him ready.

  147. NatsLady - Jan 26, 2012 at 9:40 PM

    I do think it's possible/likely that Harper will struggle both offensively and defensively in the majors. So you have to bring him up early (April) or late (September). Don't bring him up in June, July or August when he will disrupt the clubhouse and the field. Better to bring him up this year, when we only MIGHT be in the hunt than next year. If we don't plan to bring up Harper, we sign Ankiel and start him every day in CF, with the idea of possibly trading him in July if a better option becomes available or if we need a pitcher. That he's not signed is, to me, a clue.

  148. JaneB - Jan 26, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    JD, I guess what I meant was the Anaheim fans can cry now, but they will see the wisdom of the move eventually. I am hopeful that it was a good deal for both teams.

  149. NatsNut - Jan 26, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    LOL, 1a. I got the Seinfeld reference. =)

  150. lesatcsc - Jan 26, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    Anon 3:53 Okay, but Damon is a vastly sperior hitter to either Cameron or Bernadina, so as a bench bat he's better than both. I suspect he's a better hitter than Cameron against LHs, so maybe the side of the plate he stands on shouldn't be the main question. If he still pays some defence he can't be a complete disaster. Has his defense been curtailed by injuries (i.e. he can't play D for any period of time) or is it just because he's a sub-par defender? If it's the latter, the question should be, how much worse is he? The Nats are looking for a guy that can hit with a little pop and play in the OF if necessary.

  151. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 26, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    NatsLady…..struggling is exactly what Harrisburg and Syracuse is for. He needs to develope at those locations and experience success before bringing his game to The Show.

  152. natsfan1a - Jan 26, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    ;-), NatsNut.You want submarine horn? I'll give you submarine horn.(Didja know you could search videos on the team site by player?)

  153. Gonat - Jan 26, 2012 at 10:01 PM

    NatsLady, it ain't 2010 any more. No repeats of guys like Stairs on an Opening Day roster. This team is in it to win it. Love how the National League keeps weakening with the exodus to the AL.

  154. jd - Jan 26, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    JaneB, That was exactly my point. It is very very possible that the Gio deal will end up being a win for both teams. I don't necessarily agree that Rizzo was fleeced in the deal. I do however feel that he was fleeced by Boras in the Werth deal and I suspect he knows it too.

  155. Gonat - Jan 26, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    natsfan1a said… ;-), NatsNut.You want submarine horn? I'll give you submarine horn.(Didja know you could search videos on the team site by player?) January 26, 2012 4:55 PM ________________________________Thanks for that off-season video. One of the greatest moments of 2011

  156. JaneB - Jan 26, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    1a THANK YOU! I am still smiling my face off. What a night that was! What great sounds — the bat, the fans, the horn! Counting down the days till we hear it again. (NOW I have to dig up the Mariners' call of that same play, but I don't know how to do the link).

  157. lesatcsc - Jan 26, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    jd, are you sure it was Rizzo fleeced in the Werth deal and not Lerner? Boras has a history of preying on octagenarian billionaires. Look at the mess Mike Illitch's GM finds himself in today. I guess that's why GMs get paid the big bucks. You build a team with a vision and then your owner blows the budget on some guy and you get blamed for it forever.How many teams has Boras completely conned now? You have to think that once you've been fooled once, you would be harder to fool the next time around. Maybe not…

  158. Gonat - Jan 26, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    At least Detroit got their best offensive player in Prince. Werth may be the highest paid but not impact. He is supporting cast.

  159. natsfan1a - Jan 26, 2012 at 10:28 PM

    JaneB, here it is. (No way!)

  160. natsfan1a - Jan 26, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    (I should have typed "Yes, way!.) :-)

  161. natsfan1a - Jan 26, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    Uh, change that period to a closing quotation mark, and we're good to go. I think I need some food. Later…

  162. John C. - Jan 26, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    I'm not a fan of moving Desmond and pencilling in Lombardozzi for starting 2b, but I don't think he should just be written off forever because his September wasn't up to snuff. Stats over 28 games really don't mean all that much. Let's remember that Danny Espinosa hit all of .214 during his September callup.I don't write off Harper's AA performance as struggling, because he was lousy at first and then started to mash, which is his precise M.O. at every level he's ever played at – he just got injured before he could completely offset his earlier stats the way he did in Hagerstown. And to those who sniff at his performance in AA ball – how can you cite his 27 games in AA ball for the idea that he struggled but dismiss his destruction of the AFL (again, after starting slowly) in 36 games as "small sample size?"

  163. Anonymous8 - Jan 26, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    Bill Ladson has just made some disparaging Tweets about Roger Bernadina. Wondering if he was asked by someone to trash Bernadina. Lets face it, Bernadina isn't a star and won't be but the guy is serviceable if you don't bat him leadoff.washingnats William Ladson There is no way I see a platoon of Roger Bernadina and Mike Cameron in CF. What about Rick Ankiel and Mike Cameron? We'll see. #Nats washingnats William Ladson I'm going to be honest: I don't see how Roger Bernadina fits with the #Nats. A lot of people in the FO don't think he is a CF.

  164. D'Gourds - Jan 27, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    I really don't understand why we didn't re-sign Coffey. The guy was fantastic last year. Lidge is a head case with withering skill.

Archives

ON THE RADIO

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

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

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

Follow us on Twitter