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How the Nats were assembled

Feb 12, 2012, 12:00 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Drew Storen is one of 21 current players acquired after Mike Rizzo became GM in 2009.

There's no question the roster that will gather in Viera one week from today will be the most talented one in the Nationals' brief history. It took eight years, but this franchise will finally open spring training with a legitimate chance to contend.

For that, plenty of credit has to go to Mike Rizzo, who since taking over as general manager in 2009 has overhauled the Nationals' big-league roster, not to mention its front-office, coaching staff, scouting department and minor-league staff.

But Rizzo isn't responsible for acquiring the entire roster. Of the 38 players on the current 40-man roster, 21 were drafted, signed or otherwise obtained during Rizzo's tenure as GM. Another eight were acquired when Rizzo served as assistant GM and vice president of baseball operations (from July 2006-March 2009).

That leaves six players drafted in 2005 and 2006, during Jim Bowden's tenure as GM but before Rizzo joined the organization. And then there are the last three links to the Expos: Ian Desmond (drafted by MontrealRead more »

120 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. JayB - Feb 12, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    "it takes considerable time" OR it has taken Lerner's considerable time…..to spend some money in the draft and take the industry wide advice and their own Team President's advice (Kasten) and get out the the Jim Bowden used car sales game.Yes Rizzo has done well with top over all picks…who would not…..and he is light years better than Jimbo without any money at all to spend…….but I think 8 years was 4 more than it should have been had this team hit the ground running with a real plan…..recall the days of Kasten telling us they had built the best set of scouts in baseball only to find out they were a bare bones group and all very unhappy because their $69 hotel stays and $7 lunches were not getting reimbursed in less than 90 days…..recall telling players they are over budget on their 12 bats payed for in April…….you can not push under the rug how poor half of the first 8 years was run.

  2. Roberto - Feb 12, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    "Yes Rizzo has done well with top over all picks…who would not….."But that's missing the point: Strasburg and Harper have yet to make major contributions on the MLB level. The improvement has come from guys drafted later (Jordan Zimmerman, Danny Espinosa, etc.) and trades. Gio Gonzalez was acquired for players taken in the fourth, tenth and forty-first rounds.Also, lots of teams botch top overall draft picks: for instance, Tim Beckham will probably not amount to much. I can and will fault the Lerners for sticking with Bowden and, I suspect, buying into his "dumpster diving" approach. But once Rizzo was put in charge they have done what they needed to do.

  3. Rabbit - Feb 12, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    Hard to believe it's been so long ago for Ryan Zimmerman.

  4. Positively Half St. - Feb 12, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    The Shark has given us some mild satisfaction, but the team really needs to consider whether he needs to get a roster spot over one of the non-roster invites or a guy like Carlos Rivera. Cameron and Ankiel can sub for each other if a switch is needed later in the game.I forgot how very dead the last few weeks before Spring Training are. In previous years, we had to wait for ST to see what waiver crimbs fell off other teams' tables. Now we have to wait to see if desperation will cause another team to trade for John Lannan.I certainly hope that a winning season will give us the comfort to finally let go of how long it took to get there, and why. Honestly, after 6 losers in a row, I will be grateful just to cut the string that has wrapped itself all around Pittsburgh and Baltimore.+1/2St.

  5. Positively Half St. - Feb 12, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    I note, too, that the Nats' 40-man roster still only sits at 38. Although I scoffed at the team needing to beg at the feet of other teams in the past, it is still quite possible that the Nats could sign 2 more players from the waiver wire this spring.The difference this time is that DC could snag players with options to go to Syracuse, which I figure is still pretty thin after the Gio trade. I grant that this is a longer shot, but if a team with a full roster makes a trade or picks up a player without options, there could be some opportunity. It's just that the Nats are halfway down the priority list in getting to choose, based on the 15th best record in the majors last year.Again, these kind of musings definitely spring from how slow this time of year is for real intrigue.+1/2St.

  6. Positively Half St. - Feb 12, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    Here's one more scrape at the bottom of the barrel:Is this the year that Screech matures from teen-age eagle to adult, or do the Nats have to make the playoffs first for that to happen? After all, Teddy probably wins his first race the day after the Nats clinch a playoff berth.+1/2St.

  7. Gonat - Feb 12, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    Mark, how many of those Free Agents were International Free Agents. It would be nice to see Int Free Agent also. Thanks.

  8. Anonymous - Feb 12, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    Is Storen also a pitcher who employs the "inverted w" in his delivery? Since Gio has been identified as such a hurler, is anyone at least mildly concerned about the possible validity of this concept and its implications for the Nats?

  9. MicheleS - Feb 12, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    Anon 8:18.. Doesn't Roy Halladay employ the "inverted W"?

  10. NatStat - Feb 12, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    As stated by JayB (and probably Stan Kasten in the background) the 8 lean years are at least 4 years over-due.Both the Rays and the Marlins have fared better than the Nats with similar start-up issues, reportedly less money, and less fan support.Rizzo has done well, but how much better would the Nats be, under any GM, if ownership had been more supportive early, not later.

  11. Positively Half St. - Feb 12, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    Gonat- It sure is not many, and that is a legacy of the MLB-run days. The Nats had Dominican Summer League teams made of players who were too old to be prospects there. That continued into the early days of the Lerner era. I would think that any real effort would have given us more than just Eury Perez from the Washington days.I surely can't comment on the talent of the international free agents in the system now, but Luke Erickson at NationalsProspects.com has them pretty low in his organizational depth chart (watch list). In predicting the rosters of the Nats' affiliated from low-A Hagerstown on up, IFA's only fill backup roles at Hagerstown, and almost nothing at higher affiliates, short of Eury Perez.This is what happens when you don't really try until a few years ago, when the Dominican team tinally gets some 16 to 18-year-olds. If any of them pan out, it is not going to be for several more years. My hope is to have more of them in the Gulf Coast League team or in Auburn this year.+1/2St.

  12. NatStat - Feb 12, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    The captcha was "ubetcha"

  13. Gonat - Feb 12, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    1/2, Mark wrote that Roger Bernadina (free agent, 2001)and Atahualpa Severino (free agent, 2004)were Int FA's. I am thinking Eury Perez might be the only other.Since the rules are different for International players I think the distinction is important.

  14. Positively Half St. - Feb 12, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    Gonat- They were, but I didn't include them in my thoughts, since they were Expos pickups. There is a long dry spell after that.+1/2St

  15. Gonat - Feb 12, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    1/2, agreed. The international system is flawed in many ways and there needs to be an international draft.Also, the Japanese posting "shakedown" payola system with their players is unfair to their players, the MLB teams should do the same thing in reverse. I understand a reasonable compensation back to the team but $51 million is nuts.

  16. SCNatsFan - Feb 12, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    Well some good news, to add to depth – can't see the Yanks keeping Meyers; the other rule 5 guy they picked, Cabral, supposedly lit it up in winter ball and so way do they carry 2 rule 5 guys on the roster. Will boost the kids confidence as he returns to the curly W organization and we make 25K, enough to pay for a couple of bobbleheads.

  17. Theophilus - Feb 12, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    Can't see the Nats taking anybody off the waiver wire. They have a half-dozen guys on minor league contracts and at least half of them are likely to end up on the Opening Day roster, and will have to be added to the 40-man roster. So those two "vacancies" on the 40-man are ephemeral.Additionally, I don't think the Nats are done signing. Among the "holdout" free agents, there are several who have sufficient reasons to be attractive that, in mid-March, it would be very difficult to pass up at least a look-see — and in some cases (Fukudome) more. Thinking about Chavez, Nady and Gload, for example. Fukudome may well end up back in Japan but I would not be surprised to see at least one of those four in a Nats uniform.

  18. Positively Half St. - Feb 12, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    I've heard the argument that taking away the chance for the big early payday might direct Dominican and other kids away from baseball. I suppose every action has a reaction, but considering the niche that the Dominican fills, it doesn't make sense that they would attempt to dive into the very deep, worldwide soccer prospect pool. On top of that, the build of the typical Dominican shortstop suggests that the NBA is not going to take away many kids from baseball.All-in-all, then, Gonat, while I would prefer that the Nats use the Lerners money to both have the most successful academy and a long string of high-profile signings, it seems that I should wish for the international draft you describe. So what if that means that the very best Japanese players stay in Japan? None of them are coming to the Nationals, anyway.+1/2St.

  19. Positively Half St. - Feb 12, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    Theophilus- Good points. Cameron and Ankiel are among the players who would fill the 2 spots immediately.It's funny, too, that when you mentioned Nady, my response was, "He can't mean Xacier Nady- surely he has retired." I guess he hasn't yet.As for Fukudome, it is instructive to remember him when watching the Cespedes signing play out. I remember very early in the history of the Nats when many of us hoped that the Nats would be the ones to sign Fukudome. I'm glad we did not, but would be happy to have him as an extra player. A Marlins writer today mentioned that no Cuban position player who defected since 1991 has made the All-Star Game. Perhaps it is best to let the Marlins spend the money.+1/2St.

  20. sjb - Feb 12, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    @NatStat–It's hard to say that the Rays and Marlins fared better than the Nats in developing their franchises. The (then Devil) Rays endured ten straight losing (very losing) seasons before suddenly leaping from 66 wins in 2007 to 97 wins in 2008, and basically being in contention ever since. As for the Marlins, they have twice assembled World Series winners and then promptly dismantled them; after the last diamanting following the 2003 championship, they have had mostly winning seasons but have never made postseason or really been inn contention for it.

  21. Positively Half St. - Feb 12, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    That's "Xavier Nady," of course.

  22. Eugene in Oregon - Feb 12, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    Gonat,Be careful what you wish for regarding an international draft. The draft works in the U.S. because young baseball players have a well-organized, well-financed (relatively speaking), and well-defined path to play and learn and develop. Players can generally afford to keep playing baseball until they're 18 (finishing high school) or 20 (finishing junior college) or 21 (finishing their third year of university) because the 'system' supports them in some way. In most cases, they don't need to make a choice at age 14 or 15 or 16 between going to work to feed their families (as their siblings do) or following their baseball dream (which is less about the glory of the game and more about making it big).The status quo is far from perfect and could be modified and improved significantly, but the current scheme — for all its flaws — gives those kids in the DR and Venezuela an avenue to keep playing. If you went to a draft (at what age?), you could expect something akin to what's happened in Puerto Rico since our 'Free Associated State' became part of the MLB draft 20 years ago. Baseball has declined substantially because too many of the best players simply had to make some hard choices about their lives before they reached draft age (end of high school). And those choices would be even more stark in the DR or Venezuela, where if a kid couldn't sign early and then get some development time in an academy, that kid may well end up out of baseball and in the work force.

  23. Eugene in Oregon - Feb 12, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    + 1/2 St.,It's not soccer or the NBA that will get those Dominican kids, it's the sugar cane fields or a small auto body shop or some sort of menial labor. Too many of them have to make a 'career choice' at 15 or 16, and if baseball isn't an option then they'll be doing whatever their fathers and uncles to earn some money for the family.

  24. Feel Wood - Feb 12, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    Both the Rays and the Marlins have fared better than the Nats with similar start-up issues, reportedly less money, and less fan support.Huh? The Rays were rock bottom for an entire decade before they ever did anything. And the Marlins? Sure, they bought a pennant twice and both times had to sell the entire team in a fire sale before the World Series parade reached the finish line. Now they're trying to do it a third time. You can't tell me you want that for the Nationals.

  25. Wally - Feb 12, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    As is, I am not sure the international free agent market makes sense economically. With the lack of a system in place to control spending, the ability to sign kids at ages even earlier than HS age, plus the inconsistencies over basics like training regime and player histories, I don't know that it is worth it. It is easy to look at a King Felix or Miggy Cabrera and say, 'we should have signed those guys', but for everyone one of those, there are what, 100 '16' yr old kids getting $500k-$1m bonuses that never make it to AA? It just seems like you pay a ton for a super young kid whose development profile is extremely variable. So it doesn't seem like the ratio of $ to player development is close to being as attractive for a team as the other sources, certainly the US draft but even taking a guy out of one of the Asian professional leagues.

  26. sm13 - Feb 12, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    Mark, your list is proof positive that the Nats stuck to "the plan" that Stan Kasten described, ad nauseum, for what seemed like a decade (but really was much less). What we've seen is that the team declined steadily, hit bottom (for two years) and is now climbing at a fairly steep trajectory. That is a receipe for long-term success. What Rizzo has to avoid is to try to reach the apex in one year and then enter another period of steep decline — a pattern repeated with teams like the Cubs and Mets. 69 wins in '10, 80 wins in '11, 90+ wins in '12 — that is the steady improvement of a long-term playoff contender, not a one-and-done franchise. I'm still with the plan, as long as that means we sign Ryan Z to a nice long extension before openning day!Two months until the home opener!!! I'm ready, I'm ready…..

  27. Positively Half St. - Feb 12, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    Feel Wood- I actually think I would take the Marlins' path over what the Nats have done. As much as I like watching players mature and succeed with the team, I think that any number of cities would take one championship a decade. Sustained excellence is preferable, yes, but any path to a title is better than waiting a lifetime for one.+1/2St.

  28. Eugene in Oregon - Feb 12, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Wally,You're right about the 'inconsistencies over basics like a training regime' being a problem. But that's exactly why you have the academy-based system that has developed. In the DR (and I think the same is true in Venezuela) you simply don't have the sort of organized baseball programs we have in the U.S. And what little exists isn't school-based or nationwide. If you want Dominican kids to get any sort of consistent, basic instruction and training, it's got to be done privately. I fully acknowledge there are lots of problems (of all sorts) with the academies, but if you don't let the kids sign and get a monthly stipend, they're not going to play baseball.And the average signing bonus, by the way, is nowhere near $500k-$1m. Sure, those exist, there aren't hundreds of kids getting those. For most of the kids, the bonus is in the $25k-$50k range (if that), then they get several hundred dollars per month (plus room and board) at the academies. And, quite frankly, many of those kids are like American minor leaguers; no one expects them to make the majors (or even get to the minors), but the real prospects need someone to play against and it's worth it to the teams to sign and pay those 'roster fillers' for the sake of developing their real prospects.Again, the system certainly could be improved (for all concerned, but especially for the players), but I doubt a draft is the way to go.

  29. Drew - Feb 12, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    Aging Matsuitelling the Yanks and the A's he can still be da man.Made in JapanGood ol' Godzillawilling to stomp on a bus full of drunk Philly fans.Casey, blame StanAll the old outfielderswhere do they all come from?All the old outfielderswhere do they all belong?

  30. Positively Half St. - Feb 12, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    The thought of the Marlins winning twice in their short lifetime sent me back to the list of World Series champions. My point of waiting a lifetime for a championship applies to more than just the Cubs. The Indians haven't won in 63 years, and the Padres have never won in their 42 years. Heck, with the Orioles getting close to 30 years, many young fans have never seen them win it.Yeah, I would take the Marlins' path to success.+1/2St.

  31. Theophilus - Feb 12, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    In very idle moments, I wonder what the Nats will do w/ Smiley Gonzalez-Alvarez. Having proved he can hit college-grad pitchers in the NY-Penn league, will they move him up to the bench in Hagerstown? Release him? Let him become the Rick Short/Jim Morris of the aught-teens? They have extended him far beyond what might have been expected. Even if its in part just because they need cheap fodder for infield practice, what is it they are seeing? Is it — heaven forbid — they see real ability? Do they see it as training a future functionary at their Dominican training facility? Time for someone to do a serious follow-up on this.

  32. Wally - Feb 12, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    Eugene – ok, maybe a draft isn't the way to go (although my take on the NYT article from a few weeks ago suggested some other possible causes for the demise of baseball in puerto Rico, like a general improvement in the standard of living giving kids other choices for spending their time). I know that an international draft is a complicated issue.But my point was more on the cost side of things – the vast majority of bonuses are $25-$50k? Ok, seems right, but Rizzo already does that and rarely announces it because, to paraphrase your point, they are mostly org guys who don't even make it to the GCL. But hasn't he been criticized for not doing more? And it is the 'doing more' that I have questions about from a financial value perspective. Robbie Ray got a $800k bonus and was an 18 yr old kid with a fairly extensive track record and lots of measurable stats. What kind of prospect do you get for that in the DR? Maybe someone in the top 20 for that year, ostensibly a 16 yr old kid who is only a set of tools and guesses to what he'll become. I mean, most of scouting is probably a guess to some degree but the international kids just seem like much larger ones.It would be great to read something that compared bonuses of international signings compared to US HS and college kids, coupled with their development success rates.

  33. JaneB - Feb 12, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    love the songs, Drew…thanks!

  34. Wally - Feb 12, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    By the way, add me to the chorus of you who feel like late Jan through opening of ST is the dregs of the offseason. Feels like the Seinfeld episode where Kramer finds the Merv Griffin set and starts holding 'shows' in his apartment. It goes great for a while (i.e. the early Hot Stove season) but then they run out of topics for the shows. At one point, Newman starts talking about all the different ways that he likes to eat beans. Kramer just looks at him and says 'we've hit rock bottom'. (Eugene, none of this relates to our discussion, just a general comment).I am ready to put away trades, signings etc and get to some actual baseball. ST stats are meaningless to me, as are the best shape of their life guys, but I am looking forward to seeing and hearing about Rendon, Purke, Adam L, Harper, Davey giving his daily takes on the roster, and how many backstops HRod has hit.Just 1 more week to go.

  35. greg - Feb 12, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    while i agree that i want the WS wins, and the marlins have had two, the market here doesn't necessitate doing it the way they did. the team can afford not to blow up a WS caliber team, which the marlins have not been able to.i like the idea that the nats built similarly to what the rays did (despite the naysayer earlier), and that the nats were able to do it without sucking for longer than a decade. once again, the difference will (or at least should) be that the nats don't have the financial need to continue to retool like either the marlins or the rays. the nats can afford to maintain a $100m+ salary structure (particularly if they win). neither the marlins or rays can do that. the key to the beginning of the yankees run was a commitment to growing their own players while the boss was in exile. they built a strong core and when the boss came back, he supplemented it with big money.

  36. N. Cognito - Feb 12, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    sjb said… "The Rays endured ten straight losing seasons before suddenly leaping from 66 wins in 2007 to 97 wins in 2008, and basically being in contention ever since."It was only "sudden" for those who weren't really paying attention.

  37. Slim Nady - Feb 12, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    I'm X NadyThe real X NadyAll the other Nadysare just imitatin.

  38. #4 - Feb 12, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    An $800,000 bonus in the DR is extremely rare, almost unheard of. The best kids are getting $25-50 K – most a lot less than that. The reason is that they are so young and therefore more of a risk. The $50K bonus though for a kid's family is life-changing money when the breadwinner might be earning $1 a day. Given the lack of basic trustworthy infrastructure, an international draft would be almost impossible. Simply verifying if a player was draft-eligible, i.e. old enough, would be a challenge. Births in the DR often go unregistered and sometimes take up to one year to be registered. One also needs to remember that high school and college baseball do not exist in the DR. Kids work out and play informal games with their buscones who get a cut of their bonus. If you took the incentive away from the buscones, I'm not sure what would develop in its place.

  39. Anonymous - Feb 12, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    I'll take the Rays path to success over the Marlins but much prefer Boston's under Epstein which used free agents and prospect development together. I believe that is how the Nats are doing it.The difference JayB, is that no one expected Rendon to be available … now did they? And JayB having that many picks (including some from Dunn) in that particular draft was pretty canny now wasn't it?Now the Nats have an interesting problem. Is it better to wait for the high end low cost super high ceiling prospects or go out and sign free agents? Clearly the answer is they wait and that makes sense from both baseball and financial perspectives. The only open position for an impact player was first base and the Nats were players for Prince Fielder. IMO CF is not an open position (something strangely enough all of the well informed fans on this blog seem to fail time-and-again to understand?) Why? Because Bryce Harper is almost ready and the Nats best right handed hitter is currently ensconced in the outfield until they do something with Adam LaRoche. So unless they are somehow able to get 1. BJ Upton, 2. Peter Borjous, or 3. by some strange miracle Andrew McCutchen you aren't going to see any movement toward signing old dudes to lead off and play center field. Why? Because lead-off isn't the biggest problem. And either Desmond or Lombardozzi will likely be able to handle that. And I bet Harper could even do it. Bottom line is they need run production from the middle of the order and that means Harper, Rendon, Espinosa, Morse, Zimmerman, and Ramos. Perhaps Werth but I am thinking he is starting his decline. Without Fielder the offense is going to have to stand on these guys until Votto becomes available.

  40. Anonymous - Feb 12, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    It was only "sudden" for those who weren't really paying attention.But, in part because of Strasburg, Harper, and perhaps Rendon … people are paying attention to the Nats. Right JayB?

  41. greg - Feb 12, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    anon 1:05, if they are able to get a quality CF (and i'm not saying they would be able to), they'd have no problem making room. just makes it easier to wait on harper a little which also give them time to move laroche after he's had a chance to show that either he's back (value) or not (either bench or trade for spare minor league filler). i'd be surprised to see anyone on the nats FO use laroche's presence on the roster as a reason not to acquire a quality CF.

  42. JayB - Feb 12, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    Nats have big holes in roster still…..mia and tb have won….i would take either until nats prove something like even a .500 record.

  43. JayB - Feb 12, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    Exactly greg some people with find any excuse to suck

  44. greg - Feb 12, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    you mean miami doesn't have holes in its roster?or do you mean that you would rather have a team that has won in the recent past?

  45. SacTown - Feb 12, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    Geez, everyone is really confused here about what NatStat meant. He's talking about the Rays, not the Devil Rays. When the team changed the name, they improved immediately. Why didn't that happen for us here when we changed from the Expos to the Nationals?Likewise, the Marlins have gone from the Florida Marlins to the Miami Marlins. New team colors too. Completely different team. With the way they've been investing in the team, there's no way they won't win the East…

  46. Anonymous - Feb 12, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    anon 1:05, if they are able to get a quality CF (and i'm not saying they would be able to), they'd have no problem making room. just makes it easier to wait on harper a little which also give them time to move laroche after he's had a chance to show that either he's back (value) or not (either bench or trade for spare minor league filler). Of course. The CF's I list would have ceilings at least as high as Harper's and would almost certainly be considered a part of the Nat's long-term future as well. That would be the only case where a CF would be brought in due to the current situation roster-wise. Essentially, it would be like adding another Harper to the mix. Especially in the case of an Upton or McCutchen. i'd be surprised to see anyone on the nats FO use laroche's presence on the roster as a reason not to acquire a quality CF.Again, it has to be a young former uber prospect with that high ceiling like an Upton or perhaps Borjous. I still think it will be Upton. But for any other of the many possibilities bandied about I am certain the Nats have already just said no.

  47. JayB - Feb 12, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    Mia has 2 world championships

  48. Anonymous - Feb 12, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    Exactly greg some people with find any excuse to suckThe Nats are getting younger JayB. Just look at the pitching staff if you don't believe it. A lot younger and more talented. Like it or not dude that is what is happening. Why in blazes would they not do the same thing with the CF? Especially given how Rizzo likes to tout that position?I wonder what JayB will say if Rendon sets spring training on fire, looks better than Harper, and has Johnson asking to get him a spot on the 25-man?

  49. JayB - Feb 12, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    I will say great move him to 2nddo base and danny to ss and send ian two aa to learn cf

  50. The Dude Abides - Feb 12, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    "Mia has 2 world championships". And the second worst sleezeball owner in the game.

  51. JayB - Feb 12, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    True but he wins

  52. Oldguyjim waiting for ST - Feb 12, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    Come on people! This team including The Lerners, MR, the Scouts, and especially the players as they are developing have done very well. Remember this is a team that MLB was trying eliminate. The farm system was dead and the Expos came to town in Nats uniforms with a bunch of misfits who gave their all at RFK. There are many teams that did not win for many many years before approaching championship quality. We are far better than many of those losers at this point and I believe, we will be a contender very soon. Constant complaining by a few gets old real fast. Have faith and give these young folks the support they deserve.

  53. greg - Feb 12, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    here's the thing. florida developed a good core. so did tampa. and that's where the nats are (hopefully) starting to come through as well. none of the FA stuff works until you develop enough of your own players.it's not like the marlins *purely* bought those two championships. they started with their own group and added the right expensive guys. so the hope is that is where the nats are in the next two years. and the upside is that if the nats have to pay big for a FA contract or two (above the one monster they have) as well as resign their own guys, this market will actually sustain it, unlike any baseball market in florida. *THAT* is when i'll make my decision about whether the lerners are cheap or not. do they either pull a loria in 2013 and buy 3-4 big contracts, then sell off immediately after the big run (can't see that happening)? or do they not add *any* big contracts in 2013/2014 and waste the opportunity they have with a strong young core coming into their own (which is exactly where a franchise with the financial potential of this market wants to be). they can either invest in a good 3-5 year window in the next 12-15 months or they can miss out. i don't think they have to go all in this season. but *next* season, after harper has had some seasoning and we have a better handle on espinosa and ramos (and desmond gets his last chance), that's the time to push your chips into the center of the table.

  54. greg - Feb 12, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    all the above said, if the right opportunity for a long-term piece makes itself available this season (a la gio), you make the deal.

  55. gonatsgo - Feb 12, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    I think if you look at the history of major league baseball,8 years is not that long to re-build a franchise. I think some others have gotten lucky occasionally, but for the most part, it takes longer. Building a winning baseball franchise is not an exact science that you just add money and win the World Series. Just ask Boston, Atlanta, NewYork and Philadelphia – there are no guarantees. Rizzo and the FO seem to be making intelligent moves. The rest is just not all that controllable. I like the roster to this point – no, it's not perfect, not many rosters are. But, I like what's there – now the games have to be played on the field. Can't wait to see what happens! Are we really getting down to a week?

  56. Knoxville Nat - Feb 12, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    Sorry JayB but if memory serves me correctly Jeffrey Loria was NOT the owner of the Marlins when they won their two WS championships. Can someone else confirm this for me?

  57. Anonymous - Feb 12, 2012 at 7:41 PM

    "Suffice it to say, it takes some considerable time to completely overhaul a baseball organization." — Mark. Suffice to say that when an organization is in no hurry it takes a long time. Huntington in Pittsburgh, Jocketty in Cincy, Anthopoulos in Toronto, have all arguably done more in comparable time. Houston's in the process, as are the Cubs, the Padres did a couple of years back.

  58. Sunderland - Feb 12, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    In 2003, the Marlins won their second World Series. Loria designed the 3½ ounce championship rings that contain 228 white diamonds, 13 rubies and one teal diamond.wikipediaHe bought the Marlins in 2002, so he was there for 1 of the championships.

  59. Anonymous - Feb 12, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    Chi Sox are churning the whole organization too, Kenny Williams himself likely to be gone soon too. The Red Sox have undergone a pretty drastic couple of years too. Good clubs tend to be more stable until the age ctahces up. Anyway . . .gonatsgo — it IS simply about adding money to some extent. Very few low payroll teams play well enough to make the WS ever, much less threaten to get there year in and year out for some period of time. Winning baseball is about getting the best players and he best players cost money. The Nats could have been a better club much sooner had they elected to spend money sooner. Just watch the Fish this summer. Just like the Nats, they went out and got guys they need to be a better club, and they too will very likely be a better club.

  60. The Dude Abides - Feb 12, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    Houston started dismantling their aging roster 2 seasons ago. Their minor league system is barren. They move to the AL West next year. Just when do you expect them to turn the corner? And don't even get me started with the Pirates.And the Cubs and Padres? Find anyone with a crystal ball clear enough to predict the year they'll be competitive.

  61. Sunderland - Feb 12, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    "Huntington in Pittsburgh…arguably done more in comparable time."Right. Find me one person in Pittsburgh who thinks their team has done more over the past 8 years than the Nats have. Just one.When the Nats came into being, Pittsburgh had endure 12 losing seasons and had no hope of that ever ending. Now they sit at 19 consecutive losing season, with the same hope they had 8 years ago.

  62. Anonymous - Feb 12, 2012 at 8:29 PM

    Dude — not sure I understand what you're saying.After moving Oswalt, Bourn, Berkman, Keppinger and Pence how can the Stros minor league system be barren? And if it is, then it has to be better than it was before those moves, no? Not sure when they are going to turn the corner, but it is likely not going to take 8 years.Cubs had back to back Division titles in 07-08 and they have oceans of money and a new approach from the top, I think that it is a fair bet that they'll be back sooner than later. Padres were in the thick of it in 2010; it's not like they've been losing like the Nats or Bucs or Royals, there's no reason to think that they can't get it together and win again sooner than later. Byrnes knows what he is doing and the club has some pieces and huge payroll flexibility. All it takes for some clubs is one big hot stove season — Nats, Marlins are the proof.

  63. Anonymous - Feb 12, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    Sunderland — don't sleep on the Bucs. They had 3 All Stars last year for the first time in 20 years, they had a winning record at the All Star Break (1st place as late as July), they have young talent all over the place and while they have not made any splashes like the Nats, they have added Barmes, Jaun Cruz and Bedard. They are in a much better place than they were when Huntingon took over. The fans in Pittsburgh realize this is the best club they have had since the Reagan Administration and Huntington has only been on board since late 2007.

  64. Sec 3, My Sofa - Feb 12, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    The plural of "opinion" is not "facts."

  65. waddu eye no - Feb 12, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    perth wins game 3 of the australian series in 13 innings. tape delaye placebo ball on MLB

  66. Sec 3, My Sofa - Feb 12, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    Comparing the Lerners' Nationals to any other franchise is inherently limited. No one, as in not any one, not even expansion franchises, were in the devastated shape this one was.

  67. natsfan1a - Feb 12, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    now the games have to be played on the fieldThis. Seven more days, thank goodness.Congrats to Perth, even though I was kinda rooting for Melbourne and that was a hard way to end it for them. Had a feeling it would end after 13 again. Was a fun series to watch, imho.

  68. Scooter - Feb 12, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    Well, and here's the other thing, Sec3. Other teams have done well, with great front offices and some good fortune. Other teams have not done so well. To say that some teams have succeeded is true, but it doesn't mean the Nats' rookie owners have failed — not everyone can be the best.I'd love to have the Rays' success, and I'm ambivalent about the Marlins'. But those teams ain't here, so I'm gonna keep rooting for the one we've got (just like JayB does), and not get worked up about what already happened. Yeah, it probably could have been better, but it wasn't.

  69. The Dude - Feb 12, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    Sec 3, My Sofa said…The plural of "opinion" is not "facts."Yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man."

  70. Anonymous - Feb 12, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    Pls, the once-devastated shape of the franchise when the Lerners go it is some whining. The Nats were not good from top to bottom when they came to DC in 2005, no doubt — but the Lerners did not exactly light the world on fire trying to fix things when they took the keys to the place. It took them years to get a legit front office, they went low Dollar for managers and players and PR and pretty much everything. It's taken a long time to get the club this much better in no small part due to the loafing and bumbling of this rookie ownership group.

  71. Positively Half St. - Feb 12, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    Waddu-Yeah, I watched the ABL final, too. That's desperation.Sec 3 – Too many forget the deprivation caused by MLB's ownership. If the Nats start winning now, it will be an impressive turnaround. Mike Bacsik didn't pitch for us accidentally. Kory Casto wasn't our best prospect because he was any good.+1/2St.

  72. Anonymous - Feb 12, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    Time for games to start. The negativity in here is getting oppressive. Too many people who think they know too much talking to those who don't know a freaking thing. I'm outta here until March.Using anon because I'm sure I'm not alone. Beam me up, Scotty …

  73. Gardner - Feb 12, 2012 at 10:43 PM

    Love the mediocre trade talk thrown out for a top tier CF – would Nats fans trade Rendon, Purke and Flores for Mccutchen? It would take near that – just curious because a Desmond and Lannan trade gonna get it done

  74. NatsLady - Feb 12, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    Rendon, Purke, Flores for McCutcheon?????? In a heartbeat. That would be playoffs THIS YEAR and several to come. Not sure the Pirates would go for it though. OK, throw in Desi and Lannan.

  75. NatsLady - Feb 12, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    Rendon– hasn't seen a professional pitch. Purke– great if he's over his injury. Flores– a catcher coming off injury. All have excellent upside, but McCutcheon is THERE.

  76. Anonymous - Feb 12, 2012 at 10:58 PM

    You can't trade Rendon or Purke Natslady. And I sincerely doubt Rizzo would go for it. That's a bit too much right after the Gio trade.Desmond and Lannan? Sure … throw in Lombardozzi. I'd do it for Upton because I believe he may be about to break out. The important stats have been trending upward and gee 23 homers, 27 doubles, 4 triples and 37 SB's is nothing to sneeze at. Plus he is the better fielder. I can promise you that is what Rizzo and the FO are looking at. A reasonably inexpensive very young veteran who might be just about to break out as an AllStar.

  77. Anonymous - Feb 12, 2012 at 10:59 PM

    Rendon– hasn't seen a professional pitch. Purke– great if he's over his injury. Flores– a catcher coming off injury. All have excellent upside, but McCutcheon is THERE.They are not tradable yet. Not until next season. Even suggesting it is silly and its way too much.

  78. Constant Reader - Feb 12, 2012 at 11:00 PM

    Rather than devoting another moment to rehashing miserable seasons past, why not discuss the brightness of the future? All of us here lived through the lean years where we were, frankly, laughable to embarrassing. In a few short days, we are launching an new era–not a season, but an era–where the Nats are going to be in contention for post-season play for the next five or six years.

  79. Anonymous - Feb 12, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    Comparing the Lerners' Nationals to any other franchise is inherently limited. No one, as in not any one, not even expansion franchises, were in the devastated shape this one was.As Mike Rizzo pointed out when he first took over JayB. C'mon dude you must admit that led to a couple of those Marlin's world championships … Loria decimating the Expos and leaving them for cannon fodder.

  80. Whynat - Feb 12, 2012 at 11:25 PM

    After reading this thread I concluded it was time to start my spring training. Gonna have a couple of beers to get in Nats Park shape.

  81. baseballswami - Feb 12, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    Part of the fun is that the season will be unpredictable. The last 6 weeks of the 2011 season proved that. All the bloggers, talking heads and sabermetricians in the world can't tell us what will happen on the field – their predictions might be close at times, but that's all. Did I read that some of the guys are down in Viera already? That's pretty cool. They must be ready to get started!!! Soon, very soon… Mark – you headed down there?

  82. NatsLady - Feb 12, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    It's a lot because McCutcheon is worth a lot, and under team control for, I believe, another 4 years.You don't get something for nothing. As was remarked several times, piling on mediocre players (Lannan, Lombo, Desi) doesn't get you a star. It just doesn't. The Pirates' GM said he would be open to a "franchise-changing" deal– well, that deal would change their franchise and ours. The only question is whether Rizzo is in enough of a hurry to do it, and whether the Pirates would go for it, because it is trading away a lot of the future. But all three players we got for a (relative) song. The Pirates would assume the risks. All three of the mentioned players have risks associated with them, Flores perhaps has the least risk. We would give up the future benefit to gain a real and present star.

  83. natsfan1a - Feb 12, 2012 at 11:28 PM

    Anonymous said…But…but…we haven't even discussed dining in Viera yet. Time for games to start. The negativity in here is getting oppressive. Too many people who think they know too much talking to those who don't know a freaking thing. I'm outta here until March. Using anon because I'm sure I'm not alone. Beam me up, Scotty … February 12, 2012 4:47 PM

  84. natsfan1a - Feb 12, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    Oops cut and paste fail.But…but…we haven't even discussed dining in Viera yet.Anonymous said…Time for games to start. The negativity in here is getting oppressive. Too many people who think they know too much talking to those who don't know a freaking thing. I'm outta here until March.Using anon because I'm sure I'm not alone. Beam me up, Scotty …February 12, 2012 4:47 PM

  85. Anonymous - Feb 12, 2012 at 11:33 PM

    The Pirates would assume the risks. All three of the mentioned players have risks associated with them, Flores perhaps has the least risk. We would give up the future benefit to gain a real and present star.AGAIN, Rizzo can't trade Purke and Rendon YET. And I sincerely doubt he would trade both for McCutchen. It would be a ludicrous one-sided deal even if he does side with having the proven major league talent over potential. In any case projecting this sort of trade is ludicrous because it can't be done yet.

  86. NatsLady - Feb 12, 2012 at 11:33 PM

    However (sadly), I don't think the Pirates will go for it. You may think it's too much, but the Pirates won't… I remember asking a few days ago if we have enough for McCutcheon yet.However, if all our star pitchers stay healthy, we might have enough in June.

  87. NatsLady - Feb 12, 2012 at 11:35 PM

    Of course, you are right, bold-anon. Can't trade Rendon and Purke this year. But the question was asked, and, if we could, we should.

  88. Anonymous - Feb 12, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    To demonstrate why such a trade is one-sided and ludicrous once-and-for-all:Prince Fielder: 602 PA, 0.438 wOBA, 64.3 bRAA [ELITE LHB]Andrew McCutchen: 678 PA, 0.383 wOBA, 36.8 bRAA [GOOD]McCtuchen DOES NOT have a bat that could change the Nats offense overnight into a power house as Fielder did. His right handed bat is basically akin to another Ryan Zimmerman or Jayson Werth when they are having good years.ITS NOT ENOUGH. Rizzo would not make that deal period. Given that he decided not to match the Tiger's offer for Fielder.

  89. Anonymous - Feb 12, 2012 at 11:50 PM

    Looking at raw offensive stats without the help of advanced statistics :(Which show McCutchen as 2 or 3 times better than Upton)BJ Upton 23 home runs, McCutchen 23 home runsBJ Upton 4 triples, McCutchen 5 triplesBJ Upton 27 doubles, McCutchen 34 doublesBJ Upton 37 steals, McCutchen 23 steals.BJ Upton 162 K's,. McCutchen 123 K's.BJ Upton 71 BB's, McCutchen 89 BB's.BJ Upton 82 runs, McCutchen 87 R.BJ Upton 81 RBI, McCutchen 89 RBI.And Upton is considered vastly superior in the field and is only 2 years older.

  90. The Dude Abides - Feb 12, 2012 at 11:58 PM

    This is just getting stupid.

  91. Sec 3, My Sofa - Feb 13, 2012 at 12:06 AM

    So, how about that Perth Heat, huh?

  92. Anonymous - Feb 13, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    Awkward

  93. greg - Feb 13, 2012 at 12:58 AM

    it's ridiculous to compare mccutcheon to fielder. they play vastly different positions. compare fielder to who he'd replace (some combo of laroche/morse) and mccutcheon to who he'd replace (some combo of ankiel/bernie, or one of the minor league kids down the road) and *that's* the value his bat would have to the nats.

  94. NatsLady - Feb 13, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    Ah, the voice of reason. How about this outfield: Werth, McCutcheon, Harper?

  95. Eugene in Oregon - Feb 13, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    Wally @ 11:18,Didn't mean to ignore your comments/response, but I've been out all day (skiing, if you must know — ah, the joys of the Pacific NW).I fully agree that Puerto Rico is different from the DR (and Venezuela); I should have been clearer that as a U.S. commonwealth, PR has some real advantages economically. And yes, I did see that NYT piece a few weeks ago, but was basing my comments mostly on other things I've read and my own experiences living in Santo Domingo (admittedly back in the last millennium) and keeping up with Dominican baseball (particularly Licey) ever since. So while there may, indeed, be other factors that have contributed to the decline of baseball in Puerto Rico, my take is that the draft is predominantly responsible. But be that as it may, on the financial points you made, I guess my main response would be that the MLB teams wouldn't be there (in the DR) if they didn't think they were getting a reasonable return on their investment. And while I don't have the figures you're looking for, I don't think that the total amount being spent on Dominican (or Venezuelan) prospects comes anywhere near the total signing bonuses that American draftees get. But, then again, the new CBA is putting limits/restrictions on both American draftees and international FA signings, which speaks in support of your concerns. It will be interesting to see how that plays out.

  96. Gasoline on the fire... - Feb 13, 2012 at 1:46 AM

    2010 WAR – Fielder 2.7, McCutchen 4.02011 WAR – Fielder 5.2, McCutchen 5.5

  97. SCNatsFan - Feb 13, 2012 at 1:53 AM

    I laugh when I see people giving up on Rendon who many feel was the best hitter in this years draft… and while no player is a sure fire hit no matter where they are drafted, in a system that is so devoid of offensive talent (except Harper) the last thing we need to do is trade him. Can you imagine had we given up Zimmerman for McCutchen???

  98. natsfan1a - Feb 13, 2012 at 2:01 AM

    That one pitcher really had some high heat. He was throwing, like, 145 MPH. What? Oh. Never mind…Sec 3, My Sofa said… So, how about that Perth Heat, huh? February 12, 2012 7:06 PM

  99. Neal Huntington - Feb 13, 2012 at 2:03 AM

    Rendon, Purke, Flores for McCutcheon??????"Pfft. Throw in Zimmermann and we'll talk.

  100. Protaganist - Feb 13, 2012 at 2:32 AM

    Maybe if we threw in some of our 2012 draft picks?

  101. Anonymous - Feb 13, 2012 at 2:45 AM

    2010 WAR – Fielder 2.7, McCutchen 4.02011 WAR – Fielder 5.2, McCutchen 5.5WRONG.According to Fangraphs the authority on this:2009 WAR – Fielder 6.4, McCuthcen 3.52010 WAR – Fielder 3.4, McCutchen 3.72011 WAR – Fielder 5.5, McCutchen 5.7Bottom line is Johnson's analysis THE REAL VOICE of reason notsilly fans. Johnson wants more offense. The Nat's overall offenseas measured using park and defense neutral stats is woefully inadequate, way below average for the past 5 years and more. Last year's team bRAA was abysmal at -40.1. Compare to the Cardinals whowere 151.9. That's a huge chasm of a difference. If you believe McCutchen can come in and fix that you are hallucinating on your meds. Now, Fielder along with Harper plus Rendon … Morse and Zim? Maybe.Adding a CF has absolutely nothing to do with improving aglaring weakness: offense, scoring runs. It might help get menon base but honestly? Rendon and Lombardozzi might be betterfor that?

  102. greg - Feb 13, 2012 at 2:50 AM

    again, adding fielder only changes the 1B WAR. adding mccutcheon only changes the CF WAR.mccutcheon is a bigger upgrade over what the nats can put in CF than fielder is over what the nats can put at 1B. you're measuring them in a vacuum. the nationals roster is not a vacuum (no matter what some of the naysayers might want people to believe).

  103. Anonymous - Feb 13, 2012 at 3:00 AM

    you're measuring them in a vacuum. the nationals roster is not a vacuum (no matter what some of the naysayers might want people to believe).NO, its far worst than a vacuum at this point. Its a negative vacuum. A -40.1 bRAA vacuum. That's a huge gulf that has to be made up to be truly competitive now that the pitching, theoretically, could be vastly improved (and a lot of that is based on potential not real results as yet). The Phillie's bRAA was +5.9 which is more than 40 points higher. And its actually that low (down from +31.1) due to the loss of Ibanez (age/performance) and Werth. Pence filled in but it wasn't enough. The Braves are at -19.2 a huge drop for them from +66.5 in 2010. They are vulnerable. Again, the gap between -40.1 and -19.2 is still significant!They have to try to at least bridge that gap this year.

  104. Anonymous - Feb 13, 2012 at 3:04 AM

    adding mccutcheon only changes the CF WAR.And if Tampa lowered their price Upton could be both cheaper and better. He has that high a ceiling …

  105. greg - Feb 13, 2012 at 3:34 AM

    that's all great, but you're still wrong comparing mccutcheon and fielder directly (which, of course, you ignored). if you don't have any CF or 1B and asked which one would have more impact, that would be fielder. if you said i could replace morse with fielder or ankiel with mccutcheon and asked which change would have more impact (especially when you consider the financial commitment), i'd say mccutcheon.

  106. Mick - Feb 13, 2012 at 3:37 AM

    The whole key will be our pitching, are we healthy, are they injuries, etc…If we stay healthy, we win 90 games

  107. Mick - Feb 13, 2012 at 3:38 AM

    let me try again, I cant type worth a sh—The whole key will be our pitching, are we healthy, are their minimal injuries, etc…If we stay healthy, we win 90 games

  108. Anonymous - Feb 13, 2012 at 3:45 AM

    Best 25 go North!!dfh21

  109. Scooter - Feb 13, 2012 at 4:05 AM

    gulp-BANG!(Judging by the formatting I see above, it looks like some other folks could use a little gulp-BANG in their day.)GNYB25GN!

  110. Anonymous - Feb 13, 2012 at 4:18 AM

    So true, Scooter. So true.dfh21

  111. Drew - Feb 13, 2012 at 4:36 AM

    BoldAnon — now with Oxymoron and Borefacts.Warning: Contains methane, strongly degradable.

  112. Changing the subject - Feb 13, 2012 at 4:49 AM

    It would seem this would apply to several of the Nats' offseason signees.From the NYPost:Article XX(B) free agents — essentially most free agents who have played at least six major league seasons — who have signed minor league contracts this offseason must either be put on the major league roster five days before the regular season or be given a $100,000 bonus to go to the minors and the right to opt out of their contract on June 1. The union insisted on this as a way of keeping players who should be in the majors from being parked in the minors.It is unlikely many — if any — teams will agree to the $100,000 bonus. Thus, in late March, you can expect a layer of player movement that did not exist previously.The Mets already are deploying a strategy built around this new rule. They had been considering a bunch of lefty-hitting outfielders such as Rick Ankiel. But they stopped their pursuit, in part, because they believe a few will become available just before the regular season, at a time when the Mets would know for sure if that is an area in which they should invest. Ankiel, for example, signed a minor league deal with the Nationals. If Washington decides to go with super prospect Bryce Harper, it might not carry Ankiel or pay him $100,000 additionally to wait in the minors as insurance.Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/more_sports/yanks_bosox_no_longer_only_top_tier_t1zHRjGaI2FwGUQR6nPUYI#ixzz1mEZIZAaW

  113. NatsLady - Feb 13, 2012 at 5:15 AM

    Just heard a funny item on Baseball America. They are doing their minor-league affiliates "shuffle" talk, and, the Yanks got shafted by the Mets.The Yanks triple-A affiliate in Scranton is rebuilding the stadium and the Yanks wanted them to share the Newark park with the Mets' affiliate. Sorry!

  114. NatsLady - Feb 13, 2012 at 5:49 AM

    Discussion on Baseball America of the topic we were on previously–quantity vs. quality in the prospect pool. The example they give, is, say you are the Cardinals and you have Pujols as a prospect, and no one else. You have the top prospect pool, because "a guy like Pujols changes your whole organization." Well, apparently, that is how they feel about Harper, and, although the Nats traded 4 of their top 13 prospects, they still have a good system. Bryce Harper has the potential to be a Hall of Famer, he, "by himself" makes the Nats one of the best farm organizations. And there are others…Depth you can find, you can "piece" your way to depth, but you can't find a cornerstone guy just by laying out a few million dollars. This is from their 2/10 podcast if you want to take a listen.

  115. Gonat - Feb 13, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    Its interesting spending time comparing McCutcheon to Fielder and all that except the Nats aren't getting either so spend your time on the players that are doable.

  116. baseballswami - Feb 13, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    Good morning- the number is 6 – thank you, thank you very much.

  117. natsfan1a - Feb 13, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    Thanks, swami, I needed that. :-) (Oh, and good morning to you, too.)

  118. Andrew Stefan McCutchen - Feb 13, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    Note the spelling, please.

  119. Annie Savoy - Feb 13, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    Take my word for it, Andrew is eminently do-able.

  120. Tcostant - Feb 13, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    In a surprising move the Marlins did not land Cespedes. The A's gave him a 4 year deal, where he is a free agent after that. Why MLB would let a team, do a deal where a guys is a free agant before 6 years is beyond my understanding.http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/02/13/jose-canseco-is-still-trying-to-play-baseball/#/2012/02/13/yoenis-cespedes-signs-with-the-oakland-athletics/

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