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Coffey signs with Dodgers

Feb 4, 2012, 3:33 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Todd Coffey posted a 3.62 ERA in 69 games with the Nationals last season.

“Coffey Time” is heading out to La-La Land. Which means it may need to be re-branded “Soy Latte Time.”

Todd Coffey, who amused Nationals fans with his bullpen-to-mound sprint last season, has signed a one-year contract with the Dodgers that guarantees him at least $1.3 million.

The right-hander will earn $1 million this year, with a club option for 2013 worth $2.5 million, according to the Los Angeles Times. If the Dodgers decline the option, they’ll pay a $300,000 buyout.

Coffey, 31, went 5-1 with a 3.62 ERA in 69 appearances and proved an effective middle reliever during his one season in Washington. The Nationals had some mild interest in bringing him back, but once they inked veteran Brad Lidge to a one-year, $1 million contract last week, they no longer had an open bullpen slot.

The husky reliever owns a 4.08 ERA in 438 career appearances with the Reds, Brewers and Nationals.

118 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Whatsanattau - Feb 4, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    I'll miss him. He did good work. That's a longer run out there in Dodger Stadium. It's going to sap his strength.

  2. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 4, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    So the Dodgers bullpen has two ex Nats (Coffey and McDougal). Maybe they can get a third with Ayala.

  3. Section 222 - Feb 4, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    I know I promised to let the Strasburg 5 inning limit go, and I will, but I have a question about the so-called Verducci effect, which I'm sure someone here can answer. Here's a link to Verducci's most recent article on the topic, followed by a link to a pretty convincing Deadspin debunking of the theory, with a very clever headline:http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/tom_verducci/01/18/year.after.effect/index.htmlhttp://deadspin.com/5877565/the-verducci-effect-is-overworked-and-broken-downMy question is how TJ surgery fits into this. The Verducci effect applies to all young pitchers. He says that they should build up their armstrength by not pitching more than 30 innings more than the highest number of major league innings they pitched in a previous year. The theory has to do with injury prevention (and prediction), not injury rehab. So if as some have claimed here the 160 innings limit is derived solely from the Verducci effect (under which, by the way, Znn's limit last year would have been 120 innings, and Strasburg's this year would be 98), are veteran pitchers who have a history of 200 plus innings seasons subject to no restrictions on their workload in their first full season back from TJ? And where did 160 come from since both Znn and Strasburg pitched under 100 innings in their only MLB seasons prior to injury.

  4. sjm308 - Feb 4, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    Thanks to Mark for the new post. Pretty sure it wasn't the breaking Coffey news but just gives us a chance to start something new.I am now officially even more excited about the coming season. Just ordered my first jumbo box of 2012 baseball cards and my spousal equivalent also brought me home 3 packs of Topps Cards from Target.Can't be long now. Just fyi, Card #1 is Ryan Braun.Sunderland: thanks for the answer to my question. I did not think for a minute they would try and slip Detwiler through if there was any chance we could lose him. That pretty well tells me that unless he completely stinks the joint out this spring, he will either be in the starting 5 or coming in out of the bullpen when we head north with …… is it too early to start…..Our best 25!!!

  5. Anonymous - Feb 4, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    sjm308, 2012 Topps cards are available to purchase?

  6. NatsNuts - Feb 4, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    If its the best 25 and Mike Cameron makes the team, that's not a good sign for the bench

  7. ehay2k - Feb 4, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    LA? Forget soy latte (that is sooo Portand). It will be "double half-decaffienated half cap with a twist" time. He played well for us, so I'll miss him and root for him unless the Dodgers are playing the Nats. But once again, it speaks to the strength of our pitching that we pass on Coffey who was only asking Livo-discount compensation. Still more progress. :-) Using the "hair of the dog" technique, I am making a bloody mary because I have already seen "bring the best 25 north" three times today.

  8. Anonymous - Feb 4, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    Looks like Coffey won't be eating any of the boys' cookies anymore. Maybe now Clipp will bulk up. ;)

  9. Anonymous - Feb 4, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    And anyway no one drinks soy … its not that good for you … the new "buzzkill" is almond milk Mark. In Portland or LA its what the healthy drink more of …

  10. HHover - Feb 4, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    Sec222I don't think the Verducci effect is worth all the attention its getting–seems to me the doubters, who have looked at the statistics much more carefully, are closer to right.As where the 160 IP limit comes from: that was the projected limit for SS in 2010–and it included minor and major league innings. It seems more like a standard rule of thumb than something derived from close statistical study.

  11. Anonymous - Feb 4, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    My question is how TJ surgery fits into this. The Verducci effect applies to all young pitchers. He says that they should build up their armstrength by not pitching more than 30 innings more than the highest number of major league innings they pitched in a previous year.Its not innings so much as pitch count …They even measure the number pitches used to warm pitchers up. So, its a combination. In fact Zimmermann might have only pitched 120 innings if his pitch counts were high and if he wasn't getting into the fifth inning. Instead Zimmermann was THE MOST EFFECTIVE starter measured best by his pRAA of 14.6, highest of all starters. That was also reflected in his WAR. To get to 160 innings his pitch count in games had to stay well under 100. I think they stopped him at about 90 max. The same will be done with Strasburg. But Stras is technically the superior pitcher so it is possible he could pitch 9 inning games in under 100 pitches. So, its possible Strasburg could reach the 160 innings limit before Zimmermann did and be shutdown.

  12. Anonymous - Feb 4, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    Still don't know why the Nats didn't trade Coffey at last year's deadline. I think they could have got a decent lower level prospect in return. Instead they let him go for nothing.

  13. baseballswami - Feb 4, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    Pudge and Ankiel still out there. I would love to see Pudge end up in SanFransisco backing up Buster Posey's recovery. He will NOT be able to catch everyday. Ankiel also deserves a chance somewhere – his arm is incredible, he is serviceable in the outfield and he is still a hitter than is learning since he used to be a pitcher. Anyone know when we can re-sign people who are still left? I think there is a rule – as there is about almost everything contract related in baseball. I wouldn't mind him staying with the team. Mark – I wouldn't mind seeing an update on who is on the 40 at this point and who is on the 25. What spots do we have left? And , more importantly, when are you leaving for Viera?

  14. Eugene in Oregon - Feb 4, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    Anon @ 12:08: You're right about the almond milk in Portland. The Williamette Valley is full of almond dairies (with their little tiny milking machines), interspersed among the micro-brewries and medical marijuana farms. That's why (and how) people put up with the rain.

  15. N. Cognito - Feb 4, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    Let's please not ruin another thread.

  16. NatinBeantown - Feb 4, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    Anon, I know this flies in the face of many fans' idea that a non-playoff season is a lost season, but I disagree that Coffey should have been traded. If all the non-core players were sold at the deadline, the '11 team is probably a lot closer to 75 wins than 80, and a lot of the momentum and goodwill we've enjoyed this winter is lost. I, for one, appreciated having many of our guys (JHjr and JM excluded) for an exciting September run for .500.

  17. SCNatsFan - Feb 4, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    I think I read you cannot resign with your team until March 1st so no way Ankiel returns before that. Still, unless he is resigned to be a late innings defensive replacement or spot starter no way he comes back; this year Morse, Harper and Werth get the lions share of ABs and next year you have to think Werth, Harper and a true CF with Morse moving to 1B; assuming Rendon doesn't show he's the real deal and Zim moves to 1B. Either way, he gets ABS here for about 2 months before returning to the bench, and I think we all agree his value as a PH is minimal at best. Unless he can transform himself to a great bench player then there isn't room here for him; a better opportunity probably lies somewhere else for him.

  18. Section 222 - Feb 4, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    Anon 12:18 — JZnn had over 90 pitches in 18 of his 26 starts. He had over 100 in 7 starts (4 of his last 6), and never more than 109. So it's pretty clear that he was on a 100 pitch limit. And it also seems pretty clear that his pitch count had nothing to do with when he was shut down — they did that at 161 1/3, nearly 160 on the nose. Where did you read or how did you know that his innings limit was actually a fluid limit based on his pitch count? And was that limit determined based on his youth (Verducci effect) or his TJ surgery?In Strasburg's 12 starts before he got hurt, he never pitched in the 8th inning, and had generally thrown between 90 and 100 pitches when he was taken out. In his 6 inning, 1 hit gem against the Marlins at the end of last season, he was at 79 pitches when they lifted him. I'm not saying he'll never throw a complete game in under 100 pitches, but I wouldn't expect that kind of efficiency very soon. I've wondered how the pitch count/innings limit takes account of warmup pitches (both pre-game and between innings). My sense is that they don't count at all, since they are usually not full strength pitches, but rather for keeping the arm loose. Certainly you never hear about that additional count during or after games. But I could be wrong. Do you have any report on this to point to?

  19. Section 222 - Feb 4, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    Coffey was a very decent member of the bullpen last year. Not lights out like Clipp, but not hold your breath awful like Slaten or sometimes Burnett/HRod. Generally reliable and always entertaining. Enthusiasm is always a very likeable characteristic. Coffey Time is a pretty unique signature (though Heath Bell did a good imitation in the ASG and even added a divot producing slide). That the Nats let him walk is a good indicator of how even the bullpen is improved this year, and that relievers are pretty fungible when it comes right down to it.I'll be happy to see him, McDougal, and JHJr (Jamey Carrol went elsewhere, right) do well for the Dodgers, except when they play the Nats of course.

  20. Sunderland - Feb 4, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    The whole "best 25 come north" thing is silly. There's an infinite number of ways to determine "best 25". It will be the same as always, players with options will lose out to players without options. Guys with big guaranteed contracts will win out over guys without. You think if Gio has a lousy spring that he's not coming north? Harper ain't coming north either. Maybe Lombardozzi has a really good spring, but he goes to AAA to play every day. It's no more "best 25" this year than it has been every other year for every other baseball team. Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was.

  21. HHover - Feb 4, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    The whole "best 25 come north" thing is silly. There's an infinite number of ways to determine "best 25". And that's exactly why Rizzo keeps repeating it.

  22. Section 222 - Feb 4, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    HHover — that makes sense. So 160 is the rule of thumb max for a 1st year pitcher in the majors, and both JZnn and Strasburg are returning to that post surgery since they never reached that limit in their rookie year. Josh Johnson did hit that limit in his rookie year (157), so they probably let him go farther in his 1st full year back after surgery. Perhaps that was a mistake.Thanks for the clarification.

  23. Section 222 - Feb 4, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    "Best 25 come North" may be silly, but people are getting drunk because of it, so I'm all for it.

  24. Sunderland - Feb 4, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    160 is not necessarily the rule of thumb for a first year pitcher. The most basic rule of thumb is limiting the year over year increase in innings pitched to 20%. For example, Brad Peacock pitched 159 innings last year. So his limit for 2012 would be considered to be about 190 innings. Tom Milone went 174 last year, so 2012 might be above 200.

  25. Feel Wood - Feb 4, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    So the Dodgers bullpen has two ex Nats (Coffey and McDougal). Jack Sprat could eat no fat.His wife could eat no lean.And so between them both, you see,They licked the platter clean.

  26. sjm308 - Feb 4, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    Anon 11:41:Yes, topps 2012 are on sale. the card site on-line I use is baseballcardzone.com. His name is Mark and he is a Cubs fan. He has actually invited me to call him if I am ever in Chicago and he will let me use his season tickets. My friendly girl also picked up 12 card packs at Target this morning.This has not been discussed but if Wang seems completely healthy, will he be on an innings limit/a pitch limit or neither. I still think he is the shakiest of the three back end guys, but I also feel that if he is even close to what we saw in Sept he might just be the best #5 starter in baseball.Life is good

  27. Another_Sam - Feb 4, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    The key number in this discussion is in the upper right hand corner of the page: 15. We'll soon be discussing real baseball.Until then: I prefer black, fresh brewed coffee. No almond milk for me. [We actually had a carton of in in the fridge for a while.]Regarding pitch count: any of you pitch count gurus ever throw one — even one — pitch in a pofessional game at any level? LOL

  28. Section 222 - Feb 4, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    @Sunderland — Sounds logical. But then I repeat my question — how does the injury, surgery, and rehab fit in, if at all? And how does an innings count shortened by injury effect the next year's innings limit for a young pitcher?Here's JZnn's inning count (majors plus minors)pre-injury 2008 — 1342009 — 100 post TJ2010 — 712011 — 1612012 — 200?Strasburg pre-injury2010 — 123post TJ2011 –442012 — 160?I'm not good enough at math to figure out a formula that leads to the same innings limit for these two pitchers in their first full year back after TJ. JZnn's 161 is almost exactly 20% more than his highest pre-injury count of 134. But if that's the rule, then Strasburg's limit this year would be 147. And he pitched fewer innings in his immediate post surgery year than JZnn did (44 compared to 71). So are they going back to a rule of thumb for young pitchers who have never pitched 160 coming back from TJ? And if so, what's that number based on other than "that's just how we do it."

  29. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 4, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    Since the Nats first year, I've bought 1 whole box of Topps cards the weekend camp opens. After watching my first practice, I go home and methodically open each pack. When completed, I put the box on top of the previous seasons box. THE stack is getting pretty tall.

  30. whatsanattau - Feb 4, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    My recollection of the Verducci effect – which was not original analysis on his part – is that data showed that pitchers that increased their innings by more than 40 innings per year were at greater risk for injury. The composition of the innings have been debated at times. How many pitches thrown, how much in game action vs. extended spring training vs. how many warm up pitches were thrown vs. the type of pitches thrown (curve, slider, split, etc…). So you won't see a direct relationship from one pitcher's in game innings vs. another's. You can be sure the team knows, but the public really only tracks the published in game innings. And to my knowledge, it has been the press (Mark included) that has put the 160 estimate out there. Rizzo has basically said, "Yes, he's on a limit", but he has not gone public with what it is.

  31. sjm308 - Feb 4, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    NatsJack – I knew I liked you for more than your baseball knowledge.As for cards, I am definitely obsessive-compusive. I try and get a full set by buying what they call wax boxes. Usually around 32 packs in each box. I also buy a wax box and leave it unopened. I have a wax box of unopened Topps for every year since my son was born in 1980. It gets tempting to open them but I leave them alone. I also usually buy the full set(series 1 & 2) at the end of the year because topps usually sticks some special cards in. If I am lucky, I will get a full set out of my wax boxes (plus packs when we visit Target). Another good resource for me is House of Cards in Silver Spring. They are a little high on price compared to internet but its a handy place and very knowledgable. Thats all for "card talk"Go Nats!!

  32. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 4, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    Sjm308,,,,,Thanks. Sounds like you may have something of value with your stash of cards.And for everyone wondering about the magical "160 innings". That equates to wha t should be expected out of a starter at the minor league level (140 game season).

  33. natsfan1a - Feb 4, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    Good for Coffey (and I like mine with a splash of milk – my husband's is best, because he roasts his own beans). In other ex-Nats news, Gomes is in Oakland, which is close to his Petaluma roots. Jamey went to the Twins, sec222.I don't drink, so I'm not a drinking game participant, but I hope that y'all have designated drivers after Sunderland's 12:48 post. :-)

  34. swang - Feb 4, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    As a lactose intolerant older asian, I'd like to say that I'd be lost without Soy in my Latte. Life would be dull. I'd have to contemplate regular coffee! Yikes! Isn't that for plebes?

  35. JaneB - Feb 4, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    He never made me a nervous wreck, which has been my reaction to most Nats relievers over the years. I wish him good luck, except if he ever sees one of our guys.And speaking of drinks and designated drivers, maybe this year, we can retire the official drink of Nats Insiders: bourbon and maalox. Maybe these guys will be that good!

  36. Sunderland - Feb 4, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    Which would excite you more?NatsJack comes back from a day a Viera and posts that Rendon is absolutley raking.NatsJack comes back from a day at Viera and posts that Brian Goodwin is the real deal and should be in CF by 2014.Ah to dream.15 days and hacking.

  37. whatsanattau - Feb 4, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    So, if he is available next year as a free agent and the Nats still need a CF, would you sign Josh Hamilton for 0, 1, 2, or more years?I say a 2 year base deal with a team option for year 3. Resulting in Morse at first and Werth, Hamilton, and Harper in the outfield. Potentially awesome lineup.

  38. Steady Eddie - Feb 4, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    Sunderland @ 12:48 — I agree that, taken literally, best 25 come north is silly, and that it's really "best 25 come north considering all the circumstances" which means something very different that has only very partially to do with "best"(that is, also includes who has options, who can't go out of the pen, who has too many question marks even after ST to be trade bait until much closer to the deadline, etc. etc.). BUT… still three good reasons to use the expression.1) It's yet another sign showing more broadly that we've finally reached the stage, as a team, where we have real competition among players just about all of whom could be very credible and genuine MLB performers, NOT the old cattle calls where we held our breath and fantasized that more than one out of every three or four regulars (especially on the bump) would prove to be more than AAAA quality. Like the MLB Network predictions that put us among the top 4-6 teams in the NL, the point isn't that it's definitely accurate, it's that the Nats have definitely arrived as a real team.2) What Section 222 said at 12:55.3) We get another great five letter acronym!:BTFCN!GYFNG!

  39. Steve M. - Feb 4, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    sjm, You pulled me out for a rare weekend post! House of Cards in Silver Spring is the best! Any place that hangs John Patterson and Jose Vidro and Adam Dunn jerseys up on their walls is a place to spend some money at. The owner Bill Huggins is one of the largest Ryan Zimmerman collectors of game used items (so I heard).I got sucked into the Topps 60th anniversary http://www.DiamondTopps.com promotion. Lets just say I have put together an impressive collection of vintage Senators cards.Any other Senators and Nats collectors out there?

  40. HHover - Feb 4, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    whatasnattuThere are a lot bigger problems with Verducci's "effect" than the kind and number of pitches thrown. Although he wants to say over-extended pitchers are at greater risk for getting hurt or breaking down, he doesn't actually compare them to any kind of control group. There's also a problem of selection bias–pitchers get the extra innings because they were playing well in the first place. Some of those guys were getting lucky (on BABIP, LOB, whatever) and are at risk to get not-so-lucky the next year. Finally, what he counts as an over-extended player who proves the Verducci effect can get pretty odd. For example, he includes David Price, who did see a rise in his ERA, but who actually maintained or improved in the peripherals over which he has most control (Ks and BBs).I'm not saying teams should do away with innings limits as they develop their young pitchers, but the idea that Verducci provides some kind of solid proof for that approach is bunk.

  41. Anonymous - Feb 4, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    im a high school baseball player recovering from knee surgery so i have too much time on my hands,so i made this list:nats tradeable players-micheal morse,lannan,detwiler,bernadina,zimmermann(if we plan on signing grienke or cain,(tommy john patients usually develop shoulder problems),ramos or flores,desmond(if lombo,or rendon do well),laroache,moore,solis,lombordozzi(if desmond or rendon does well),eury perez(cant hit,infield singles=temporary success),bernadina(cant hit),tyler moore(could sign votto after 2013),rendon(if he can't play mid-inf,however i believe he will be the future 2b or ss for nats)clipp,storen,or burnett(can be replaced through draft,trade or f.a)remember matt capps),sammy solis(elbow prob. already),marrero(already have morse),matt purke(we can eat the salary),brian goodwin jr(if were trading or signing a cf'r),wouldnt trade alex meyer(really like his upside and durability,no previous injuries),my point is that the nats have a lot of players who may have high value to others but no long term spot,or are injury risks. the best long term lineup might be like thisC:ramos or flores, 1b(morse,votto,rendon,zim,trumbo,morales,billy butler(because of eric hosmers emergence),daniel murphy(undervalued hitter) 2b:danny espinosa,rendon(if espi is ss) SS:espinosa,rendon,desmond(if he hits .270 or above) 3b:Zimmerman(could move to 1st,played SS in college),david wright(grew up with zimmerman in va beach,zim could change pos.),rendon(if he doesnt play SS,2nd or 1st) Left field:Werth(long term,after 2012) Right field(harper,if he doesnt play center) centerfield,remember the nats could theoretically trade all those players who dont factor long term,are injury risks,are bench players,or can be replaced. Centerfield(in house) Harper,Werth Free agency(Victorino,Bj Upton,josh hamilton) no bourn or gardner(infield singles only give short term success) Trade Targets: Expensive but possible options (Jacoby ellsbury,Carlos Gonzalez,Adam jones,Andrew McCutchen,Drew Stubbs,Bourjos,Jon Jay,Colby Rasmus,Nick Markakis(if he can play center)Alex Gordon(if he can play Center),Chris Young,Andre Either(if he can play center),Grady Sizemore(if healed),Shin Shoo Choo(if he can play Center) Undervalued centerfielders: Chris Coughlan(knee,marlins have bonifacio,possibly cespedes), John Mayberry jr(good young hitter,played cf at times last year),Dave Sappelt(young,fast,.300 avg in aaa,good pop,shane victorino type player) Gerrardo Parra(good hitter,blocked by C.Young),Chris Hiesey(18 hr's in 2011,blocked by stubbs),Carlos Gomez(improving hitter),Nate Schierholtz(good hitter,great arm),Mike McCoy(blue jays,40 sb in 09,.300 hitter,plays inf and of,blocked),Eric Thames(blue jays,27 hr's(aaa),good average and speed,played part time in the majors for 2011,blocked by rasmus and rajai davis) Josh reddick(The A's love to give players away) Agian,i have too much spare time due to my recent knee surgery(no treadmill,skateboard,bike,or school baseball until i recover)im aware i wasted my time i just dont get why everyone says their are no cf options for the nats other than upton,as you can see from my list their are plenty given that morse,detwiler,lannan,flores,moore,goodwin,perez and others are expendable

  42. natsfan1a - Feb 4, 2012 at 10:33 PM

    I'm not a serious baseball card collector. Other than annual Nats sets (the small packs), the ones I buy usually have some sentimental value for me, related to a team to which I or my family has some rooting connection. My husband likes the old school type Allen & Ginter cards, issued by Topps, I think. I've gotten him a few sets of those (Nats and some novelty sets) as gifts.

  43. N. Cognito - Feb 4, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    SCNatsFan said… "I think I read you cannot resign with your team until March 1st"A player can resign any time he wants.

  44. sjm308 - Feb 4, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    steve m:as you can imagine, I also collect old Senator cards. I have every card issued for Eddie Yost. I have Killebrews rookie card in near mint condition. I have some great 55 topps cards of Pascquel, Ramos, Sievers etc. The 55 & 56 cards are some of my favorites. My oldest cards are a couple of 48 Bowmans It's a silly hobby but it's too cold to garden & I can only spend so much time at the gym.

  45. Cwj - Feb 4, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    I used to collect cards when I was a kid, and now wish I had kept them.What I really like are the old portrait cards from the early 1900s. To me they look much better than a photo. Of course, I only had replicas of those ancient cards (I'm only 36).You guys have me really wanting to pick up some cards this year :) Is Topps still the best choice? Any other brands?

  46. sjm308 - Feb 4, 2012 at 11:22 PM

    answer to Sunderland – I would love for it to be Goodwin but would guess its a better chance that Rendon rakes. Thanks for reminding me that we have drafted more than pitching.

  47. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 4, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    Anybody flip cards as a kid?

  48. Anonymous - Feb 4, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    answer to Sunderland – I would love for it to be Goodwin but would guess its a better chance that Rendon rakes. Thanks for reminding me that we have drafted more than pitching.And actually Frietas looks better than Norris offensively. Finished better than Harper at the A level. He should be moving up to Potomac this year.But Harper has the left-handed bat, speed, etc. The left-handed bat being the more important attribute. Which is why the Nats will be watching Matt Skole closely this season. He has a left-handed power bat that might do some damage … have to see how that plays in Hagerstown and beyond. If he's good enough the Nats might not have to worry about getting a left-handed hitting first baseman outside the organization.And no. Zimmerman isn't going to play first, perhaps second with Rendon at third. Morse may for a year or two. Werth isn't going to play first. His bat is too weak for that corner position.

  49. Anonymous - Feb 4, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    Anybody flip cards as a kid?All the time.

  50. sjm308 - Feb 4, 2012 at 11:31 PM

    cwj:I am no way an expert on cards but there have been changes. It's basically just topps & upper deck now with topps having a couple of divisions. Bowman features rookies and newcomers and the Allen Ginter brand is a replica type. I can remember in the early 90's having Fleer, Donruss, Stadium Club, Flair & lots of others.

  51. sjm308 - Feb 4, 2012 at 11:34 PM

    flipped them and also put them on my bike spokes – ruined many a mantle & mays card that way

  52. Cwj - Feb 4, 2012 at 11:58 PM

    SJM- I used to tape them to my bedroom wall :)Do you remember the Baseball Legends cards? I had quite a few of the 1988 edition.Also there was one brand that had players from 1905-1935, and I cant remember the name. The "something Collection". Black and white photos.Good stuff. I miss all my cards.

  53. Anonymous - Feb 4, 2012 at 11:59 PM

    Eugene in Oregon said…Anon @ 12:08: You're right about the almond milk in Portland. The Williamette Valley is full of almond dairies (with their little tiny milking machines), interspersed among the micro-brewries and medical marijuana farms. That's why (and how) people put up with the rain.No BUT I BET its chock FULL of folks with Vita-mix blenders eating "raw" or sprouted food and making almond milk with California almonds within. C'mon you know I'm right dude!

  54. waddu eye no - Feb 5, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    here's the card i'd like – but can't afford:http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/1887-old-judge-cigarette-baseball-card-mike-tiermy great, great uncle, when he played for the ny giants. retired 1899. once hit a homerun from the polo grounds that landed in the stadium next door. you can look it up. still holds team record for triples and stolen bases.ought to be in the HOF

  55. Anonymous - Feb 5, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    Uh section222?JZnn had over 90 pitches in 18 of his 26 starts. He had over 100 in 7 starts (4 of his last 6), and never more than 109. So it's pretty clear that he was on a 100 pitch limit.That's just fifty percent … for the starter who was the most effective and clearly the ace of the staff? Right?I think Natsjack said it best … they were slowly stretching Zimmn out as they would a minor league pitcher especially HS/prep school types but in the majors. Pitch count is the key factor in use … then innings.

  56. Anonymous - Feb 5, 2012 at 12:07 AM

    Ooops bad Math … meant to say 68.9%

  57. ehay2k - Feb 5, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    Ouch! Those reposts of other peoples drinking phrase are killing me!From now on, I will only say "summon the score plus five premier players in the direction opposite of south."

  58. Cwj - Feb 5, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    I have no idea why MLB Network is showing the 2000 HR Derby.I can't stand watching cheater Sosa being cheered like that.Time to change the channel.

  59. Anonymous - Feb 5, 2012 at 12:28 AM

    future nats lineup(i wish)(no order)C:flores1b:zimmerman2b:espinosass:rendon3b:david wright(childhood friend of zim)LF:werthCF Carlos gonzalez,Ellbury,Jones,Victorino,Mayberry jr,nick markakis(could convert to center,jon jay,colby rasmus,chris hiesey(18 hr's in 200 ab's filling in for stubbs)hamilton,Eric thames(hit 27 hr's and batted .350ish for blue jays aaa,when called up he hit 12 homeruns in partial playing time)and or gerardo parraRF:bryce harperguess what happens to lannan,detwiler,desmond,lombo,goodwin,morse,robbie ray,wilson ramos,sean burnett(clip,or storen),marrero,solis,purke,taylor,and or moore,some are involved in package to get jones,cargo,ellsbury or others,if needed we can give away jordan zimmermann for cargo,as long as we sign grienke,guthrie,or cain, fyi the reason jordan zimmermann and strasburg got hurt and will continue to get hurt,if you dont know what it is and why its bad google"inverted w"youll find literally thousands of aritcles from scouts,mlb piTching coaches,and even tom verducci discussing the inverted W,and the science behind why it hurts pitchers,the pitch count is no problem to a pitcher with a clean arm action

  60. ehay2k - Feb 5, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    Hey waddu eye no, have you seen the reprint of that Tiernan card on Amazon?http://www.amazon.com/Photo-Tiernan-Giants-baseball-portrait/dp/B004JO3H12

  61. NatsLady - Feb 5, 2012 at 12:50 AM

    Re: Ankiel. The new CBA is not posted online, but I looked through the old one and I could not find a rule saying that a club was restricted from re-signing its previous players (free agents) during a specified period. If there is such a rule, could someone please elaborate?

  62. Cwj - Feb 5, 2012 at 12:55 AM

    Anon 7:28- Give away J Zimm for cargo? Have you gone mad?The world has too many armchair pitching coaches (check out YouTube).Zimm and Stras will not only be fine, but will likely be 2 of the top pitchers in the NL for years to come.And then you take away Ramos, Morse, Clipp and Storen. That would gut this team, and bring us back to watching a 100 loss perennial loser.Aside from possibly trading a 6th starting pitcher or two (any of Lannan/Wang/Detwiler), the Nats are building not tearing down.

  63. greg - Feb 5, 2012 at 12:58 AM

    anon 7:05, if you want to say someone was on a 90 pitch limit and when someone debunks the 90 pitch limit theory by pointing out they went over 90 18 of 27 times, i don't think it helps bolster that 90pitch theory to say "but that was only 2/3 of the times he pitched he went over the limit i said he had!"whatsanattau, hamilton is a stretch at CF. even the rangers have looked at moving him out of that position. he's just too injury prone and that's a position that guys tend to get injured in. i would not sign him as a CF, i'd sign him as a corner OF who can give yoiu some time at CF if you need him there (position flexibility). the nats already have werth in that role (like him or not) and harper coming in for the other corner. i don't think hamilton's really a good fit here.

  64. natsfan1a - Feb 5, 2012 at 1:47 AM

    Cool about your great, great uncle's card, waddu eye. cwj, if you like the old portrait cards, then you might like the modern <a href="http://topps.com/sports-cards/baseball/allen-and-ginter-baseball&gt; Allen & Ginter </a>cards. NJ, one of the blogs to which this one links had an item recently about a card flipping tournament. Didn't know what that was until I Googled it. My brothers didn't flip cards that I recall, but they did put them in their bicycle spokes. A unique bygone sound, like that of those manual rotary mowers.

  65. natsfan1a - Feb 5, 2012 at 1:50 AM

    Ah, that link didn't work because I left out the closing quotation mark after "baseball." On the plus side, it makes a nice demo of coding for those who were wondering how to do it. Just don't forget to add the closing quotation mark after the URL and you'll be fine. :-)

  66. natsfan1a - Feb 5, 2012 at 1:52 AM

    Take 3 on the link.

  67. Anonymous - Feb 5, 2012 at 2:05 AM

    I know it's off topic, but I just caught up with the Josh Hamilton interview. He certainly does not take the easy way out , does he? It's rare to see someone be so brutally honest about himself. I wish him the best – the demons he is battling don't give up easily.

  68. Steve M. - Feb 5, 2012 at 2:16 AM

    sjm, through House of Cards I bought Senators cards from each year Topps & Bowman and now through the Diamond Topps promotion have add dozens of vintage cards. I plan on filling in the rest thru eBay. Then all start on the Nats. It was a heck of an education going through some of the names that graced the back of the jerseys.

  69. Don - Feb 5, 2012 at 2:28 AM

    I'm curious to hear the reasoning behind moving Zim to 1st. Assume it isn't Marerro or Morse I would think Rendon to 1st is more likely than moving a gold glove third baseman to keep a college player at his position of choice.

  70. Cwj - Feb 5, 2012 at 2:41 AM

    Natsfan- got the link, thanks! :)I like the look. Some of Topps' other series look pretty nice as well.I really wish my printer both worked, and had some color ink left so I could just make my own cards :)Anon- Yeah I really feel for Hamilton. He was very classy about the whole thing.Alcoholism runs in my family as well, and it's a very tough demon to conquer.Don- I agree 100%.

  71. HHover - Feb 5, 2012 at 3:32 AM

    moving Zim to 1BI don't necessarily agree with the reasoning, but it's not hard to grasp. They wouldn't be doing it to humor Rendon; they'd be doing it in a couple of years to protect the valuable player they have in Zim (if he re-signs with the Nats) while getting as much as they can from Rendon.It's not exactly a novel idea to move players to less demanding positions as they age. Yes, Zim only turns 28 this year, but we're talking about a couple of years down the road (we'll see little of Rendon this year). Zim is already entering his 7th full professional season and has shown some tendency to get injured at 3B. While some seem keen on moving Rendon to 2B, he may not have the speed for it (and he has injury issues of his own that may argue for playing him in a less demanding position). Shifting Zim to 1B and playing Rendon at 3B might be the best way to get production out of the various pieces.

  72. Mick - Feb 5, 2012 at 4:42 AM

    Glad to see that pant load go to LA, i will not miss Coffey

  73. Drew - Feb 5, 2012 at 4:46 AM

    Waddu:Very cool story about your relative, Mr. Tiernan. If you skip around his Baseball Reference page, it looks like "Silent Mike" was quite a ballplayer.He hit home runs off of a number of Hall of Famers, including Kid Nichols, Old Hoss Radbourn, John Clarkson, Pud Galvin and (wait for it) Cy Young.As for baseball cards, I have the 1968 Topps set and I've been painstakingly putting the '69 Topps set together for years.Everything is available online nowadays, but I haven't gone that route. It's a lot more fun to follow my wife into antique shops and happen across a lonely 1969 Juan Marichal or "Ted Shows How" with Teddy Ballgame instructing Mike Epstein.My brother collects Hot Wheels, but only those he theoretically could have played with, from 1967 to '72. A thing of beauty is a joy forever. That goes for our wives — and our toys.

  74. Anonymous - Feb 5, 2012 at 6:06 AM

    Anon 7:28- Give away J Zimm for cargo? Have you gone mad?Nutty high school kid playing fantasy baseball. No knowledge of the breadth and depth of the farm system. Which in all likely hood could vastly improve … unbelievable as that may seem.Ignore him.

  75. Anonymous - Feb 5, 2012 at 6:07 AM

    errr likelihood for the anal retentives.

  76. Anonymous - Feb 5, 2012 at 6:10 AM

    anon 7:05, if you want to say someone was on a 90 pitch limit and when someone debunks the 90 pitch limit theory by pointing out they went over 90 18 of 27 times, i don't think it helps bolster that 90pitch theory to say "but that was only 2/3 of the times he pitched he went over the limit i said he had!"Again, as I pointed out too many times now. Zimmermann was the most effective starter last year … THE ACE. When he didn't pitch like that Johnson yanked the guy and publicly excoriated his pitching? Think about it? They were stretching him out … carefully. He got to pitch longer when he proved he could and otherwise NOT.

  77. Anonymous - Feb 5, 2012 at 6:13 AM

    I'm curious to hear the reasoning behind moving Zim to 1st. Not happening. High School fantasy baseball types … even someone who wanted Miguel Cabrera from Detroit there … The Nats FO have pretty clearly spec'ed a left-handed power bat for first base. That's their blueprint. Like it or leave it. Anything else is kids playing fantasy baseball. And Morse is a temporary fix … not what they want permanently there.

  78. Anonymous - Feb 5, 2012 at 6:33 AM

    listen to this interesting interview dc’s 106.7 the fan did with this major league pitching/hitting consultant who works with players,scouts and coaches for 10 different major league organizations,he talks about the Strasburg,Zimmermann,the Nats,and the scientific reason for arm injuries,and why their more prevalent now than 20 years ago, well here it ishttp://nyc.podcast.play.it/media/d0/d0/d0/dV/dG/dF/dJ/VGFJ_3.MP3it’s not actually good news but it makes a lot of sense and the radio hosts of 106.7 the fan end up saying the Nats shouldn’t draft any pitcher until this guy looks at them,he answers many of the age-old baseball questions,The farther you get into the interview the more it makes sense http://nyc.podcast.play.it/media/d0/d0/d0/dV/dG/dF/dJ/VGFJ_3.MP3 106.7 The Fan DC Inverted W Podcastand here is the guys twitter Chris O'Leary (@thepainguy) on Twitter,cole leonida(nationals catching prospect) and the durham bulls gm(aaa rays) are actually followers of his on twitter Links to the guys website are located at the bottom of this email,I am not mr.chris o leary just one of the many baseball players he has helped

  79. Anonymous - Feb 5, 2012 at 6:42 AM

    nevermind the thing i posted above, the links dont work when i published the comment,if you want to hear interview on dc's 106.7 the fan just type in 106.7 The Fan DC Inverted W Podcast <—–just type it in to find the interview,it should be on chris o leary.com,honestly explains why pitchers get hurt,and some dont,and how its preventable,he works with 10 mlb teams,he talks direectly about the nats pitching staff

  80. Sec 3, My Sofa - Feb 5, 2012 at 6:47 AM

    For what it's worth:chrisoleary.comThe "inverted W" has been discussed here at length over the years, but that's the link. Also, FWIW: testimonials are more compelling when they aren't anonymous, and you can spell. Not that that makes you wrong, I'm just saying. It's a credibility thing.

  81. NatsJack in Florida - Feb 5, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    isn't an inverted "W" an "M"?

  82. natsfan1a - Feb 5, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    Anon@9:05 and cwj, agreed re. Hamilton and his personal struggles. I wish him well in that fight.

  83. Original Nats Fan - Feb 5, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    @NatsLady after searching for where I saw the info about free agents not being able to re-sign until March, I finally found it at Federal Baseball:About Ankiel: Mike Wallace pointed out on NatsTalk yesterday……that a free agent can’t sign with the last team he was with til around March 2. So Ankeil can’t sign with the Nats for another month. He may be waiting for that (though MLB Trade Rumors said today the Mets may be interested in him).

  84. Drew - Feb 5, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    BoldAnon.It's colorful, but starts dissolving immediately.

  85. wally - Feb 5, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    Frim Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe writer:2. John Lannan, LHP, Nationals – Lannan, 27, is a terrific option as an end-of-the rotation starter now that Washington has signed Edwin Jackson. There is a lot of speculation that the Nationals will deal him to the Angels for center fielder Peter Bourjos, with Mike Trout on the way to play that position in Anaheim. But the Nationals could also move Jayson Werth to center and sign a right fielder. It now appears that Yoenis Cespedes is not in their plans and they have cooled on B.J. Upton. Lannan, who went 10-13 last year with a 3.70 ERA and a (high) 1.462 WHIP, would be a good option for a team like Boston, but the Red Sox don’t seem to have the center fielder to give back, especially with Ryan Kalish unable to play until June. “It doesn’t have to be a center fielder,’’ said one major league source. “They don’t have to get a center fielder in that deal as long as they get a center fielder some other way. The Red Sox make a lot of sense.’’

  86. Sunderland - Feb 5, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    I don't know of any rule prohibiting a team from signing its own free agent during a certain period. There might be one. But I've never heard of it.If the free agent is ranked Type A or Type B, then there may be something minor in play. Each year there are varying limits as to how many ranked free agents a team may sign. I believe if you re-sign your own prior to a certain date, the counter does not increase. But if you re-sign your own guys after a certain date, the counter does increase.Regardless, this would not affect the Nats and Ankiel.Curious as to whether there's anything to the notion that we have to wait until March.As others have pointed out, Ankiel is going to value playing time more than anything else. His choice will come down to where he thinks he will be in the lineup most regularly. I kinda doubt it's in DC.

  87. Unkyd - Feb 5, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    LannEn for Bourjos? If that was on the table, it would already be done, right?

  88. Sunderland - Feb 5, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    Unkyd, for sure. It can't be a one for one trade. I like Lannan more than most here. Lannan is a good back end rotation pitcher with 2 years control, at an average cost of $6M per season. Bourjos is a reasonable everyday player, but with 5 years of control, and the first two years at $500K each. Heck, a team could ply Bourjos 2 seasons for $1M total, and if he plays well have a great trading chip, a good everyday player with 3 more years of control.It would have to be Lannan plus more for Bourjos.

  89. SonnyG10 - Feb 5, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    I think you're right, Unkyd.

  90. Unkyd - Feb 5, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    I had it figured like that, Sunderland…

  91. Wally - Feb 5, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    I agree with you guys, hard to believe LAA does Lannan for Bourjos straight up. This is probably the Nats proposing that.I just posted it because Cafardo is a decent writer, and it had some interesting Nats tidbits. He's also a Boston guy, and I thought it interesting to get a take on how a writer from another town sees Lannan.

  92. Sunderland - Feb 5, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    Hey 1a, happy end of pointy ball season! The next time we see someone making a great catch, zipping one in there or trapping the ball, it'll be in Viera!

  93. Anonymous - Feb 5, 2012 at 5:26 PM

    Wally you take the trade rumor thing too literaly. The Nats and LAA may be talking Lannan for Bourjos and that is what the dude reported. Does not mean a one for one swap was proposed. Nah. No way Rizzo just says Hey LAA, how about Lannan for PB? It would be more like If you are interested in Lannan we would be interested in PB so lets see if we can figure out a deal that makes sense.

  94. Anonymous - Feb 5, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    Lannan for Bourjos might make sense as it is. Nats dump the solid lefty SP they do not really need and the $5M they owe him and they get a MLB low Dollar under control CF in return. The Angels need the back end reliable lefty innings and they have Trout to play CF.dfh21

  95. Theophilus - Feb 5, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    Trade Lannan for Vernon Wells — if LAA will eat half of Wells's contract.

  96. whatsanattau - Feb 5, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    I believe the rule being referenced above is that a player that is arbitration eligible and is not offered arbitration, cannot sign with the team until after a certain date. That date used to be in May. However, I am not sure that rule still exists and I am pretty sure that Ankiel does not fit into that category. He was a pure free agent. Not an arbitration rejected free agent. (All this from memory though so it could all be wrong).

  97. Anonymous - Feb 5, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    Mark – help? We seem to be floundering on the "can we sign ankiel" rule.

  98. natsfan1a - Feb 5, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    Thanks, Sunderland. Can't wait for the start of the real national pastime. :-)

  99. Just sayin' - Feb 5, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    On the Lannan to the Angels notion: If there's any truth whatsoever to it, the two key elements are probably:– LAA is reportedly looking for a fifth starter (and another left-hander) and Lannan fits that bill.– LAA is faced with an extremely complicated calculus to deal with among their position players. Not only is Trout projected as their CF of the future, but with the addition of Pujols, they're looking at how to fit Morales, Trumbo, and Abreu into the line-up on a daily (or near-daily) basis. They're talking about trying Trumbo at 3B (at least part-time), but it's unclear (perhaps unlikely) that will work. They may also try him in a corner outfield position (probably less likely to work). And, of course, they already have Wells and Hunter, along with Bourjos in the outfield. So something has to give. On top of that, they've already got three above-average to quite good players at 2B, SS, and 3B in Hendricks, Aybar, and Callaspo. That's eight players to fill six slots in the line-up/batting order (I'm excluding catcher, 2B, and SS, which really aren't part of this equation).Thus, depending on how Trout, Morales, and Trumbo perform in Spring Training, the Angels can go several different ways. But I can't imagine them dealing Bourjos until they're 100% satisfied that Trout is ready and will be an upgrade in his rookie year. I think if they're interested in Lannan, they'll be looking to move a player the Nats don't need or want (Abreu, Morales, Wells, or Trumbo) before they'd be willing to move Bourjos or Hunter. And, of course, they'd want more than just Lannan in any such deal.

  100. realdealnats - Feb 5, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    I'm not up on the rest of the league as so many of you are, but it seems to me Rizzo has one more stealth deal he is trying to pull off before opening day. My question is: Who is the best left batting center fielder we could get in the next month, who plays above average defense, and can get on base by any means possible batting first. (Or right handed batting if he's good enough in every other way.) And what realistic package would it take?Asking a lot I know, but if we can't actually get what we really need, doesn't it make more sense to wait for 2013 to go after Victorino or another known commodity we could get for cold hard cash instead of giving up Flores, Lannan, and whoever else we might have to package at an inflated price.And finally, if we go after a CF either this month or next year, are we really going after our CF of the future? Or are we filling a gap and waiting on Goodwin who hasn't necessarily proven anything yet? Victorino would seem to be a great add, but b/c of age, somewhat of a place holder for a few years–but the most important years given the window of opportunity opening for us for WS contention! If he'd even come here…meaning I fear some of these 2013 CFs will re-sign.I say this b/c I like Lannan as a solid #5 LHP to round out this rotation. And with Strasburg and Wang on either pitch counts, and/or untested innings-wise, we'll need these guys and Detweiler in September.I say 1) don't go after a CF now unless he's your guy for the future 2) start Lannan at #5 3) have Detwiler coming out of the bullpen and hope it works and 4) put Wang on DL or send him to Syracuse to keep sharpening his pitches and re-building shoulder strength and 5) don't just dump any of these guys b/c Wang is a good example of determination to young pitchers and could still do a needed job this fall, Detwiler has too much upside still, and Lannan, like him or not, is solid at #5–and left handed.Need some help on this one…

  101. Anonymous - Feb 5, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    It's still Upton. Unlike Borjous (and I really like Borjous a lot!!) Upton has far more ceiling. The power potential is definitely there along with all of the other tools. Carfardo says the Nats have "cooled" on Upton.Sure, we've heard that before … eventually Rizzo gets what he needs. As far as a left-handed hitting CF? Nope, they are looking to fill that need at first base. My guess is Votto, perhaps (and it is unlikely but you never know), Skole jumps up and hits better than Harper and Freitas in Hagerstown. Then, its going to be interesting … even still Skole is still at least 2 years away. That spot gets filled by Morse until then. Morse would be around 33/34 when Skole is ready. Pencil in 2014 for Votto. Perhaps Goodwin and Skole as well … BUT Goodwin like Borjous doesn't have the same ceiling that Upton has.Still see BJ Upton and eventually Votto. Unlike Texiera, at that point I suspect Votto will say yes.

  102. Anonymous - Feb 5, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    As others have pointed out, Ankiel is going to value playing time more than anything else. His choice will come down to where he thinks he will be in the lineup most regularly. I kinda doubt it's in DC.Not with Johnson pushing to get Harper in the lineup everyday this year. Plus Morse and Werth? Ankiel only came to the Nats last year when Riggleman pretty much told him he was the defacto starter. That was why. That all changed after his injury when Johnson took over. At that point he actually hit better as a bench player.

  103. N. Cognito - Feb 5, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    Serious Super bowl question: Is there any way both teams can lose?

  104. Roger Goodell - Feb 5, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    If the halftime entertainment refuses to leave the field. Or the halftime entertainment renders the field unplayable. I gotta go double check some things…..

  105. Anonymous - Feb 5, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    Votto, like every other slugger free agent, will be valued more by AL teams. It's hard for any NL team to accept the same level of risk an AL team can accept since the Al can stash people at DH. And you were the Anon that was certain that Fielder was coming to DC….

  106. HHover - Feb 5, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    Anon @ 3:08Just curious – why do you say Upton has a "higher ceiling"? He has more power, but that's about it. He's 3 years older and now entering his 6th full years in the majors. I seriously doubt there's much we don't know about him at this point. Although last year was Bourjos' first full season in the majors, he clocked in with a high WAR than Upton. He's probably a better fielder and offers longer team control and at a much lower cost. These are all good reasons that LAA would never trade Bourjos straight-up, and probably not at all, for Lannan. That leaves Upton as the more realistic option (next year, at least), but probably not the better player over the next 4-5 years.

  107. greg - Feb 5, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    it's not as if NL teams are afraid of all 1B and worried about putting them at DH.i don't think votto has the same issues that either fielder or pujols have defensively. (a) he's not a cinder block defensively like fielder and (b) he's a lot younger than pujols (who i doubt isn't at least 2 years older than he says).

  108. Sunderland - Feb 5, 2012 at 10:19 PM

    Free Agent 1B’s who signed contract of 4 years or more:2011Fielder – DET of AL 9/$214MPujols – LAA of AL 10/$240M2010Dunn – CHW of AL 4/$56MV Martinez – DET of AL 4/$50M (also some catcher of course)A Gonzalez – BOS of AL 10/$154M2008Cabrera – DET of AL 8/$152MTeixeira – NYY of AL 8/$180MIf I missed any let me know. I was in a hurry.Notice – they all sign AL.Someone overpays, they know they are overpaying. And AL teams can accept the risk more, so will eventually outbid their NL counterparts.

  109. Anonymous - Feb 5, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    Nats sign Ankiel to minor league deal. Goodbye Bernadina.

  110. Anonymous - Feb 5, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    Just curious – why do you say Upton has a "higher ceiling"? He has more power, but that's about it. He's 3 years older and now entering his 6th full years in the majors.Again, Fangraphs feels completely the opposite. His age at 26 is still younger than JMax, Bernadina … need I go on? Because HE IS ONLY 26 HE STILL DOES Have a huge ceiling? He is the same age as Corey Brown, for example?http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/is-byrd-the-word-for-washington/Trading for B.J. Upton would provide the Nationals with the best available centerfielder. While his bat hasn’t impressed the way many initially thought it would, Upton is still just 26 years old. Further, he has produced two straight above average seasons at the plate, with identical .337 wOBAs. Combine a better bat than Crisp’s with better baserunning and more highly reputed fielding and Upton has tallied 4+ WAR in four of the last five seasons.I am dead certain this is what the entire brain trust of the Washington Nationals is thinking … plus some have compared his progress to that of Matt Kemp? Altogether, Upton has been one of the top centerfielders in the last five years. Stretching back to 2007, when he became an outfielder, Upton rates as the 6th best CF around:http://tampabay.sbnation.com/tampa-bay-rays/2012/1/19/2716228/b-j-upton-2012-rays-25-man-rosterThe Nats brain trust knows more than you do.

  111. Anonymous - Feb 5, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    And you were the Anon that was certain that Fielder was coming to DC….NO, I was certain the Nats were pursuing him aggressively … when most sportswriters (mostly Mark) claimed they were not. That it was never in the plan. THAT WAS WRONG. They need a left-handed power bat and they are projecting that bat for first base. Fielder wasn't perfect but a bird in the hand? Now they must pursue a harder target in Votto unless they can develop that from within.

  112. Water23 - Feb 5, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    Also, if the LAA offer Morales for Lannan, the Nats should seriously consider it. If healthy he is a dominate switch hitting 1B. High .306/.355/569 for his healthy year is nothing to shake a stick at and the Nats do not have a 1B close to that right-handed let alone switch hitting. It would be a gamble but worth the risk.

  113. Unkyd - Feb 5, 2012 at 11:01 PM

    Lots of bold type, obnoxianon, but apparently no opinion on Bourjos v Upton?I'm sure it was an oversight…

  114. greg - Feb 6, 2012 at 12:22 AM

    yeah, it's hard to pay too much attention to someone who puts all of his text in bold. it's not much better than someone who types in all caps. nobody really wants to be yelled at.sunderland, note that only two of those players you listed actually play even average defense. and only one of those was actually signed as a free agent (tex). the other was traded for and signed an extension with boston (as was one of the mediocre defensive 1Bs, cabrera). the rest are mediocre to poor defensive players, regardless of position. in my view, only two of those guys are reasonably comparable to votto: tex and gonzales. and i don't think tex is as good offensively. it's hard to compare a 1B that's already borderline DH defensively when they were FAs to a younger, quality defensive 1B who hits just as well.

  115. Constant Reader - Feb 6, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    It's the end of spring training, Mike Trout is clearly going north with the Angels as their CF. The Angels leverage to make a deal for Bourjos is falling at that point. Assuming CMW has pitched well enough that we are in a quandary, the deal makes much more sense at that moment.

  116. realdealnats - Feb 6, 2012 at 12:36 AM

    So what's the realistic overpay package needed to get either Bourjos or Upton now. Who do you give up? Or do you go with Werth in center and hope he doesn't cost you runs out there in 2012, also keeping Morse stuck in left where you gotta hope the same thing?

  117. sunderland - Feb 6, 2012 at 3:21 AM

    greg, good feedback, thanks. I threw that together without much thought / research (umm, obviously).

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 89 64 --
ATLANTA 76 77 13.0
MIAMI 74 79 15.0
NEW YORK 74 80 15.5
PHILADELPHIA 70 83 19.0
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Friday's early games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

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

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

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

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

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

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

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