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Lidge: Nats "can make a playoff run"

Jan 26, 2012, 11:06 PM EST

Brad Lidge spent the last four seasons watching his Phillies beat up the Nationals. All of a sudden, the veteran reliever is on the other side of the equation, and he believes his new employer could be on the verge of supplanting his former club atop the NL East.

"I'm definitely excited for the new opportunity and playing for the Nationals," Lidge told's Jim Salisbury today after agreeing to a one-year, $1 million contract. "They have outstanding potential. I really think we can make a playoff run."

Though the 35-year-old has made his mark in the big leagues as a premier closer, he'll take on a much different role in Washington. General manager Mike Rizzo said Lidge will be used as a set-up man, helping bridge the gap between the Nationals' starting rotation and late relievers Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen.

"Drew Storen's our closer; Tyler Clippard's our setup guy," Rizzo said this afternoon during an interview at Nationals Park. "But Brad Lidge willRead more ยป

  1. Gbomb - Jan 26, 2012 at 11:20 PM

    I like it. Low risk high upside. Why not

  2. baseballswami - Jan 26, 2012 at 11:32 PM

    I think he will end up finishing a lot of games that are non-closer situations — we're way ahead, we're losing, Clip and Store have pitched too many days in a row, etc. I really think we will see him in 7, 8 and 9 this season — and even finishing a sixth for somebody that is crashing. Drew really admires him and so maybe Lidge can keep him steady WHEN we get into the post season THIS YEAR.

  3. NatsLady - Jan 26, 2012 at 11:35 PM

    Revenge is sweet, Mr. Lidge. May it be yours!!!

  4. Anonymous - Jan 26, 2012 at 11:35 PM

    Man, I was just hoping for Mike Gonzalez, Dan Wheeler type reliever, but Lidge-signing is definitely unexpected and pleasant surprise. From this interview, you can tell, he has some grudge against the Phillies now. Even better. Seeing him shut down the Philles should be a sweet thing to watch. One "hairy-chested" bench player to go!

  5. gonatsgo - Jan 26, 2012 at 11:37 PM

    I liked Gio a lot at the press conference yesterday and I think the fans will like him pretty quickly. However – I really took a while to warm up to Jayson Werth – he was just a Philly in my mind and I had painful memories of him humiliating us. Gio I have no emotional history with. Phillies – well, it takes me some time to see them as Nats. It just takes me longer to accept players that were the enemy as opposed to pitchers from far away lands. I am not at all opposed to this signing – it's just harder to flip the mental switch and start liking these guys and wanting them to do well.

  6. NatsNut - Jan 26, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    Something awful just occurred to me in the midst of my daydreaming. I don't think Nationals Ballpark operations are ready for the big crowds that come with the exciting season I foresee. 25K people pushes the threshold of any kind of pleasant experience, for lines, food, entrance and exit, everything. Man I hope those concession and operations people are paying attention to what's happening to this team and are ramping up their game, so to lie, captcha was finom.

  7. Anonymous - Jan 26, 2012 at 11:57 PM

    I hate to bring in another ex-Phillie into the conversation, but how about Pat Burrell as the bench/back up outfielder option? He can still hit for power with high OBP. Just a thought.

  8. natsfan1a - Jan 27, 2012 at 12:02 AM

    gng, I rooted for the Astros in the 2005 postseason, so I'll just be glossing over that whole Phillies period and welcoming Lidge. :-)

  9. natsfan1a - Jan 27, 2012 at 12:04 AM

    NN, ya, that'll stink. OTOH, it would be awesome to take back the house from invading Phillies Phans.

  10. Gonat - Jan 27, 2012 at 12:08 AM

    Brandon Inge of the Tigers found out thru the media that he was being replaced at 3rd by Miguel Cabrera.

  11. Gonat - Jan 27, 2012 at 12:10 AM

    Gbomb said… I like it. Low risk high upside. Why not January 26, 2012 6:20 PM ___________________________No, low risk high reward x 2

  12. Positively Half St. - Jan 27, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    On Pat Burrell- I thought of that and dismissed it earlier, but perhaps I was hasty. My thought was that he is essentially done, but maybe that is just as a starter. It does not appear that there are many great choices left.+1/2St.

  13. Anonymous - Jan 27, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    The better the bullpen the more they can limit Strasburg to six innings to pitch into the Fall. Vlad comes home as super pinch hitter and feared bat off bench. Buy him a first basemen mitt.

  14. Feel Wood - Jan 27, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    I believe Pat Burrell has retired. Dmitri Young OTOH has slimmed down and is tanned, rested and ready to play. Sign him to a minor league deal and let him compete in spring training for the 25th man big bat off the bench position. Dude can probably still roll out of bed and hit, so there is absolutely nothing to lose here.

  15. rogieshan - Jan 27, 2012 at 12:29 AM

    Love this signing. Should Lidge regain his stellar form and the team finds itself still lacking in center field/leadoff position, Rizzo can parlay his abundant assets in the bullpen for the missing piece. After all, did he not consider swapping Storen for Spahn of the Twins just last summer?

  16. Dave - Jan 27, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    I think we're waiting to see who signs Cespedes. If it's the Cubs, I think we get Byrd for a song: if Miami then I think we try to pick up Bonifacio or Bryan Petersen.

  17. Theophilus - Jan 27, 2012 at 12:43 AM

    Dave — Do you think the world began last year? Two of the three you want to pick up have already been run out of this town for being unmanageable knuckleheads. Byrd wouldn't take hitting advice from Frank Robinson; Bonafacio wouldn't stay on first when he was told not to steal. You really want that?

  18. MicheleS - Jan 27, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    Anybody else jealous of Mark being at the Park today??? I would love to take a run around the bases…sigh.. the clock isn't moving fast enough

  19. Gonat - Jan 27, 2012 at 1:09 AM

    Hilarious, Bryce Harper just did a Twitter Q&A chat when he was at the airport. Some funny stuff!

  20. Positively Half St. - Jan 27, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    Mark's tweet about the Nats having the top farm system in BA's Prospect Handbook (to press before the Gio trade) made me very happy. It also made me interested in following the A's a bit this year. I found out that the A's are having a FanFest this year (yes, one of the most pathetic teams in the majors for this year has one, we don't). Among the players attending will be tommy Milone and Brad Peacock. That is telling, because the absence of Derek Norris indicates that they are not so desperate as to start him in Oakland to start the year.+1/2St.

  21. NatsFanJim - Jan 27, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    I am impressed. Lidge makes a good bullpen an excellent bull pen. This could mean several games alone in the standings. Can't wait for spring training.

  22. N. Cognito - Jan 27, 2012 at 2:30 AM

    natsfan1a said… "…it would be awesome to take back the house from invading Phillies Phans."The Buses Are Coming the Buses Are Coming."Egermency, egermency, everybody to get from street."Mark your calendars. May 5th. Get your tickets.Take back our ballpark!

  23. Drew - Jan 27, 2012 at 2:48 AM

    cintron — VERB — to get booted from the major league roster in May.Used in a sentence:I sure hope Lidge won't cintron.(Let's set the over-under at July 27, the date Matt Stairs was DFA. Tick, tick, tick, tick….)

  24. MicheleS - Jan 27, 2012 at 2:57 AM

    NCog.. I will be at that Game!! part of the Teddy Plan..Drew that's not nice.. we haven't even seen Lidge pitch yet….So I go over..

  25. JaneB - Jan 27, 2012 at 3:10 AM

    Theo — Frank was old school. I think Marlon could still be good for us. Or somebody. You had to do it Frank's way or else. Davey is a lot less like that. And Marlon blossomed when he was playing in a clubhouse that was looser.

  26. Drew - Jan 27, 2012 at 3:12 AM

    Michele:I said I HOPE he won't cintron.OK, let's look on the bright side. He might cabrera, which Merriam-Webster defines as:VERB — To last six days longer than Alex Cintron.

  27. Unkyd - Jan 27, 2012 at 3:50 AM

    Negavibes, Drew….. We're keeping our eyes on you……. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  28. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 27, 2012 at 3:53 AM

    Beats getting pattersoned.Not to mention chiefed.captcha: tushe.What you sit around on after all the above.

  29. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 27, 2012 at 3:57 AM

    Which reminds me: any early nominations for who gets pattersoned this spring? Or is it too early?whoa, capcha is "whogy" — so I'm thinking it's going to be a relief pitcher…

  30. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 27, 2012 at 4:01 AM

    Theo — Frank was old school. I think Marlon could still be good for us. Or somebody. You had to do it Frank's way or else. Davey is a lot less like that. And Marlon blossomed when he was playing in a clubhouse that was looser.Seriously, Marlon is famously a model citizen. Probably past is CF due date, but I always liked the guy.

  31. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 27, 2012 at 4:02 AM

    past *his

  32. Gonat - Jan 27, 2012 at 4:14 AM

    Top Prospect Adrian Cardenas is designated by the A's. Cardenas was once a top Phillies prospect who was traded to Oakland and never lived up to his top prospect status.

  33. Mark'd - Jan 27, 2012 at 4:23 AM

    Does anyone remember the last time the Phillies traded a player who turned out to be any good? Maybe JA Happ?They have made lots of trades: Halladay, Lee from Indians, Oswalt, Pence, Blanton

  34. Anonymous - Jan 27, 2012 at 5:05 AM

    Sorry Sec3, NO MARLON. The name of your future CF for years to come is BJ Upton. Get used to it.

  35. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 27, 2012 at 5:10 AM

    I said I liked the guy. I didn't say I wanted to hire him.

  36. Sec 3, My Sofa - Jan 27, 2012 at 5:11 AM

    But while we're on the subject, the Pirates may be have a CF blocked in the minors.

  37. Dave - Jan 27, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    Hey, N. Cognito, I remember that movie! (Alan Arkin, Soviet submarines come to a small New England town…)This is my once-every-two-days checking in. I like the Lidge deal and feel pretty good about the Nats's pitching. Very, very eager to see a bit more slammage in the hitting lineup, however.

  38. natsfan1a - Jan 27, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    I remember it, too. In fact, we used to called one of my dad's colleagues "Whittaker Walt.""What would the Russians be doing on United States of America island, with so many animosities and hatreds between these two countries? It is too funny an idea, is it not? No, we… we are of course… Norveegans."

  39. natsfan1a - Jan 27, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    I always liked Marlon, and thought he was a very nice young man. So there. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  40. natsfan1a - Jan 27, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    (Disclaimer 1: Of course, we only called "Walt" that behind his back. You see, kids, back in the day we were taught to respect our elders, and if we didn't, well, let's just say that it didn't always end well.)(Disclaimer 2: If I'd had my coffee already, I would have modified that quote and replaced "Russians" with "Phillies Phans" and "USA" with "Nationals Park" and "Norveegans" with, uh, I don't know. Eh, I'm going to get a cup now. Talk amongst yourselves.)

  41. gonatsgo - Jan 27, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    I know we have actually batted this subject around a lot lately – but we really do have too many pitchers. Talk by posters of someone getting "Pattersoned" made me realize that somebody is going to be the odd man out – maybe more than one somebody. John Lannan is a veteran, Detweiler was a top draft choice, Stammen surely lost his opportunity yesterday and has been with the nats a long time – great guy. CMW, Perry, Matheus, Gorzo -I know it's supposed to be a good problem to have,people get hurt, yadda, yadda , but maybe we should move a couple of them for other pieces? Spring Training is going to be interesting for sure. Nobody wants a ticket to Syracuse.

  42. Dave - Jan 27, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    Wait, did I really type "Nats's"?Now back to radio silence, since Loudoun County Public Schools networks still run Windows XP and IE6. No commenting for me today. I do follow the threads during the day, though.

  43. Anonymous - Jan 27, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    I can't think that Lidge is taking only $1M — he could have gone to other high quality clubs for more money than that one has to think — unless he thought that he'd have a chance to Close again should he round into something like his old form. Derw Storen is likely on the block.

  44. Anonymous - Jan 27, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    N. Cognito said… Mark your calendars. May 5th. Get your tickets. Take back our ballpark!———————————Occupy Nats Park!

  45. D'Gourds - Jan 27, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    I just don't get it. Why didn't we re-sign Coffey? He was fantastic last year. Great sinker, threw strikes, good guy. Why take a risk on a known head case? Just doesn't make sense to me.



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