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Rizzo: "We like who we are"

Jul 31, 2012, 10:00 PM EDT

US Presswire file photo
Davey Johnson and Mike Rizzo didn’t feel the need to make a trade today.

Updated at 6:00 p.m.

As every other NL contender around them made waves in the hours and minutes leading up to today’s trade deadline, the Nationals made a self-evaluation and determined their best course right now was to stay the course.

Despite potential interest in adding a veteran catcher, infielder or starting pitcher, general manager Mike Rizzo decided to stick with the status quo, counting on young players currently on his roster to come through during Washington’s first pennant race in three generations.

“All along, we said we like who we are and we like where we’re at, the composition of the roster,” Rizzo said. “We didn’t see a whole lot of holes to fill. It’s not about complacency. It’s about making good, sound decisions and not taking the short route with rental players that could affect us long-term. We feel we’re in a position to play meaningful games into September and beyond, and there wasn’t a whole lot of necessity to make a deal.”

Rizzo did work the phones down to the wire and held discussions with fellow GMs about several available players but ultimately felt the price was too high for pieces that would not have filled major roles anyway.
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  1. Unknown - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:17 PM

    No surprise. The Dodgers, Giants, Reds, Pirates and Braves improved their rosters while Rizzo stands pat—as usual!

  2. MicheleS - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:21 PM

    Adam Kilgoreā€@AdamKilgoreWP Lerner says, "We're going all the way with what we've got in this room." (Plus any possible August trades, I would add.) Unknown, time will tell who improved their teams.

  3. ptindc - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    @unknown, standing pat as usual? Have there been some other recent pennant races that you're referring to? This is uncharted waters to me, and I think Rizzo and Davey have earned our trust until they give us a reason to question their judgement. We can't compare this deadline to those past as previous versions of the Nationals (except 2005) have always been sellers.

  4. JD - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    unknown, every improvement or upgrade comes at a cost. Sometimes the the best trades are the ones you don't make.

  5. MicheleS - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    Wait? Didn't standing Pat net us Drew Storen in a draft? Or maybe it was Jordan. We got one of them for a compensation pick for someone. Plus when Adam left we got compensation picks for him as well (last year) thinking that had to be some of the other 1st rounders we got.Plus Capps for Ramos.

  6. dhall88 - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    Completely satisfied with no moves for the Nats at the deadline

  7. Laddie Blah Blah - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    "We got one of them for a compensation pick for someone."Aaron Crow. I would rather have Storen than Crow, any day.

  8. djinFl. - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:29 PM

    The other contenders made moves. They only improved their roster based on the players results with their previous club. There is no guarantee the numbers go with them. Many players take time to get comfortable with new roles before they produce. All trades are a roll of the dice. Another catcher might have been nice, but not at a hostage type price because they know your needs.

  9. upperdeck4 - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    @Unknown:The Dodgers, Giants, Reds, Pirates and Braves improved their rosters while Rizzo stands pat—as usual!_____And what, pray tell, would you have him do?Dodgers–Victorino– will be 31 in the fall and with Werth coming back and Bernadina playing well, we can handle any outfield issues internally.Giants–Pence– younger, but see above.Reds–Broxton– we have Clippard closing with Storen in the wings if Clippard falters.Pirates– Gaby Sanchez– Gaby Sanchez?Braves– Paul Maholm– he's still in the league?

  10. Laddie Blah Blah - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    "Plus Capps for Ramos."I thought that the one thing Rizzo might do would be to trade one of our relievers for a secondary player, like back-up catcher or infielder. He probably tried, but he drives a hard bargain. No need for him to sell cheap. Our catchers will heal, and the Nats have a number of IFs in A and AA that could become ML players within a year, or two,

  11. JD - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    Dodgers – added Victorino and Ramirez; huge offensive upgrade and didn't give up their best prospect. A- Giants – Added Pence; marginal improvement and gave away a solid catching prospect + a decent extra outfielder + must over pay Pence for 1 more year.D- Reds – Added Broxton; Not sure what for. C Pirates – Added Gabby Sanchez; could be a nice addition to a thin lineup; didn't give up much – B Atlanta – Added Maholm and Johnson; bottom of the rotation starter and a super sub for an A level prospect; helps in the short term but an over payment – B-

  12. MicheleS - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    According to Kerr.. RZ and ALR out of lineup and Tyler and DeRo in.

  13. rogieshan - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    Michele,Jordan Zimmermann was from a compensation pick as a result of not trading Soriano.

  14. natsfan1a - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    Seconded. Remember in the offseason, when the Marlins were spending like crazy and getting ready to open their stadium? Lots of folks thought they'd improved their team as well. How's that working out for them? hmmm…MicheleS said…Unknown, time will tell who improved their teams.

  15. JD - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    MichelleS, You don't get draft picks for losing free agents any more. Standing pat is reasonable if you are not being offered fair deals. Having said that; are we comfortable going into the stretch drive with Flores and Leon? I,m not.

  16. rogieshan - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    Laddie,Storen was the compensation pick from Crow not signing after getting drafted. It had nothing to do with the Nats standing pat at the trade deadline.

  17. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    MicheleS…..the Nats got Jordan with the Soriano compensation pick and Storen for not signing Crowe.

  18. natsfan1a - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    That said, I'm quite looking forward to the next episode of The Franchise. :-)natsfan1a said… Seconded. Remember in the offseason, when the Marlins were spending like crazy and getting ready to open their stadium? Lots of folks thought they'd improved their team as well. How's that working out for them? hmmm…

  19. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    JD…..another catcher can be had through waiver wire.

  20. sjm308 - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    Raining here in Burtonsville but I am off to the park.While JD's grades are probably right on, we did not need another outfielder and I am not sure we needed anything more then a backup catcher. If Solano and Leon can learn quickly on the job and Flores can get a few more days off in the next two months, I am ok with what happened. I definitely did not want to give up prospects for the re-tread pitchers that were out there.Go Nats!!

  21. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    Ryan Zimmerman out of the lineup. What's the word on that Mark?

  22. Tcostant - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    JD that is incorrect. You still get a draft pick if the guy was on your team for the full year and tenter him a certian amount. So if Demister leaves as a FA the Rangers get nothing; but if the Cubs keep him (assuming tenter) and he signed elsewhere, they would still get a pick.

  23. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    Lombo 2B, Harper RF, Espi SS, Morse LF, Moore 1B, DeRosa 3B, Flores C, Bernie CF, Stras P

  24. Nats In Athens - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    I know that two of our division rivals got a lot weaker and that helps us to reach the playoffs (I think something like 20 of the remaining games are with the Marlins and Phillies). I know that getting a top closer and a veteran outfielder is better than what most of these teams got at the deadline. That Lannan for free is a much better bargain than any other starter we could have gotten in a trade. That all the buyers will feel they need to sign their rent a player in the coming months, and will probably overpay for them. I never forget that we were built to compete in 2013 and anything that happens in 2012 is just gravy. And I know that come 2013 the Nats will have the best rotation in baseball. Last but not least I never forget the experiences of the last five years, all the more to savor what we have today. Nothing of what I know or see worries me in the least!

  25. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    Zim tweaked his back on that slide into home in Milwaukee Sunday as reported by Dan Kolko. Now add back pain to his long list of pain. Figured with the day-off he would be feeling great today.Phillies put up a chopped up lineup and Nats forced to do the same.

  26. Tcostant - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    Yep gravy.Also – good time to rest Zim with the Phils short a guy tonight. He can always pinch hit if needed./

  27. JD - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    NatsJack, You are right of course and there is Koyee Hill but Leon really makes me nervous back there and Flores is constantly getting beat up and he stopped hitting altogether.

  28. bowdenball - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    JD:I know he's an ex-Phillie and so we should hate him and all that stuff, but Hunter Pence is not just a marginal upgrade for the Giants in RF. They added almost 100 points in OPS at the position even if Pence continues to his career-worst year. If he plays to his averages over the last few seasons it's even more than that. Easily the biggest position player upgrade of the deadline trades.

  29. bowdenball - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    Also, Pence is eligible for arbitration. The whole purpose of arbitration is to pay the player his market value. It makes no sense to say that they'll overpay him in arbitration.

  30. JD - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    Bowdenball, I don't agree. I think he's a defensive downgrade from Blanco and I think his 'good' career numbers are a by product of Houston and Philly band boxes. He is also scheduled for a $12 – $13 mil arb raise and the Giants gave up a 21 year old solid catching prospect. I think Pence adds 1 win to the Giants this year at most.

  31. Eugene in Oregon - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    natsfan1a said…That said, I'm quite looking forward to the next episode of The Franchise. :-)——————–Not sure there's much to look forward to anymore. From Variety, I understand the Marlins traded the director, a cameraman, the gaffer, and the key grip for The View's second assistant director and a couple of prospects from the UCLA film school.

  32. JD - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    I think lots of players are over paid in arbitration which is based on years of service and past performance when in reality one is likely to decline in future years.

  33. bowdenball - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    JD-His OPS+ numbers, which are adjusted for park/schedule, show him to be a decent upgrade over Blanco too.1 win over 60 games is an enormous upgrade. That comes up to close to three over the course of a season. It's basically the difference between Ian Desmond this season and Steve Lombardozzi this season. You can't call that marginal. If they get a full extra win out of Pence in the midst of an airtight pennant race he will be well worth the price they paid, and that's before we even talk about what he'll do next season.

  34. JD - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    IMO the Dodgers added 3 – 4 wins with their moves and are now a clear favorite to win the west. Victorino is the perfect pick up because you can drop him like a hot potato after the season and you can use the savings to get a better player.

  35. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    Good points on Pence, JD. But he is an upgrade offensively and his gap power will result in doubles and triples instead the cheap CBP home runs. And in Frisco, it's all about getting that pitching staff runs.

  36. baseballswami - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    There is just no predicting how a move will affect a player or a team. I am ok with where we are. I am not sure that any catcher available would have been enough better at an affordable cost. Tonight should be interesting. Both line ups are not exactly what each manager would be choosing in a perfect world. Hope Strassie is on his game tonight and the hitters are seeing the ball like a basketball.

  37. baseballswami - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    Eugene – very funny!

  38. mick - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    natsfan1A… as you said last evening..before Rizzo took his nap he staed, "I'm going in to take a nap. When I wake, if the money's on the table, I'll know I have a player. If it isn't, I'll know I don't..lol

  39. Jimmy - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:18 PM

    I'm with Nats in Athens: very happy we didn't ship off a bunch of prospects for a rental when we're built for 2013 anyway. Enjoying every second of 2012 – love that Rizzo and co are building a long-term winner.

  40. Don - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:18 PM

    Not sure standing pat was the right play for Rizzo. Stoppach or Torrealba would have been nice insurance, and they could not have been asking for much for either of those guys, and if Lombo or Espi tweeks a hammy the club has some real problems so a utility middle infield guy might have gone a long way.The Phils will do what tonight:PierreRollinsUtleyHowardRuiz Nixsome other OF stiffLee — maybe something like that? That's still a club that can score bunches of runs.dfh21

  41. RickH - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:18 PM

    I'm glad they're standing pat. While I realize you can always improve, I also agree with, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

  42. TheManBearPig - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    I think Valdespin has 10 RBI as a pinch hitter, with most of them coming against the Nats (at least it seems so).

  43. Oldguy - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    Let's play ball! On my way to the park!

  44. baseballswami - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    This team, since the off season, was being built for 2013 and beyond. This season has been a total surprise and a real treat. To think that we have the best record in baseball on July31st with more wins than we have had in some whole seasons just continues to tickle me.I don't want them to do anything to jeopardize the team's future because I think the team is being built the right way. It could be tempting to sacrifice that to win right now. Same thing with Stras. I am trying to enjoy the day to day and looking forward to having a winning team for years to come. I am happy that they are not being shortsighted. Whatever happens the rest of this season, the Nats are for real now.

  45. IloveCheerleadingX - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    i for one am delighted with no moves, we kept key prospects: rendon, meyer, goodwin, perez, solis, robbie ray and michael taylor. This team is good enough to win the world series, and you dont want to go all in on a year when you wernt expected to contend. The last thing the nats need to do is do what the phillies did and trade all their good prospects away.Good Job Mike Rizzo, sometimes standing pat is the best thing, Jim Bowden got us zimmermann for not trading soriano at deadline, Rizzo got us goodwin and meyer for not trading Adam Dunn

  46. Positively Half St. - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    MicheleS-You were the only one who mentioned August trades. Others may have said waiver wire, but there are so many comments, because we are all pumped. Anyway, Kelly Shoppach may still be obtainable from here on out, but at a lower price, right? Now he would have to pass through waivers, and there is no deadline pending for another month. The Red Sox's leverage is gone.Is he better than Sandy Leon? Other, better scouts among our number can say better than I can, but I think the answer is yes, now. Sandy might end up being great, but he has options. Shoppach has a positive WAR for the year, and might help us get one more win. That could be crucial.Strasburg vs a depleted Phillies lineup. Please let it work out as expected.+1/2St.

  47. ExposedinDC - Jul 31, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    While I am completely happy with the overall shape of our club those of you who think a combination of Flores and Leon is going to get it done come playoff time have overdosed on the Kool Aid, Imo we have arrived and staying status quo behind the plate was not in the best interest of our playoff chances

  48. Gardner - Jul 31, 2012 at 10:33 PM

    We had fewer holes than those teams – I think it's that simple.

  49. peric - Jul 31, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    The Nats have for the most part, young players to deal if they so choose in the offseason. That's exactly the commodity teams are looking for. And come September many more will be on display for other teams. The problem is the Nats are going to need new prospects and thanks to Selig they can't go to draft well and pull some great over-slot signed prospects like AJ Cole, Robbie Ray, and Nate Karns and longer. The Nats do not have a very good international presence which is nothing short of shocking given who Mike Rizzo and Roy Clark are. The next avenue is via trade and we saw many teams use this avenue to start or continue the rebuilding process with prospects right up to the trade deadline. This is where Natslady contention might come in, that the Nats might trade a player like Michael Morse. The Nats might be able to net a nice cache of prospects for Morse in the offseason or a young top-of-the-rotation starter to replace EJax perhaps. And Morse is still young enough and cheap enough to interest just about any team.Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

  50. peric - Jul 31, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    Nationals are number #3. Glad we're getting respect.The Bleacher Report is about as bad as it gets … I never read them now.

  51. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 31, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    Shoppach has been classified as not a real good clubhouse guy by the Boston press. But again, I'll trust Rizzo.

  52. The Fox - Jul 31, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    Eugene @5:02,That was hilarious I actually laughed out loud at it.

  53. natsfan1a - Aug 1, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    Good one, Eugene. Yes, it worked out just as we thought, Mick. :-)Eugene in Oregon said… natsfan1a said… That said, I'm quite looking forward to the next episode of The Franchise. :-) ——————– Not sure there's much to look forward to anymore. From Variety, I understand the Marlins traded the director, a cameraman, the gaffer, and the key grip for The View's second assistant director and a couple of prospects from the UCLA film school. July 31, 2012 5:02 PM mick said… natsfan1A… as you said last evening.. before Rizzo took his nap he staed, "I'm going in to take a nap. When I wake, if the money's on the table, I'll know I have a player. If it isn't, I'll know I don't.. lol July 31, 2012 5:12 PM

  54. Bill Lage - Aug 1, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  55. Bill Lage - Aug 1, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    Christian Garcia…in Syracuse…what can you tell me about him?Got spectacular numbers, good size, still pretty young, not a lot of innings in recent years…injuries?Looks like ho could be Henry…but with control.Have you seen him?

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