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The ever-changing NL East

Oct 24, 2012, 11:00 AM EST

US Presswire photo
Ozzie Guillen's firing yesterday completed the latest dismantling of the Marlins.

The NL East was, for a good portion of the season's first half, the toughest division in baseball. All five franchises stood at least three games over .500 on June 1, and all looked poised to stay competitive through the remainder of the season.

That, of course, didn't happen. Though the champion Nationals and runner-up Braves each got better over the final four months, the Phillies fell apart in midsummer before a late surge got them back to the .500 mark, while the Mets and Marlins simply fell apart and never recovered.

Where, though, does that leave things heading into the offseason? The Nationals obviously will return loaded in 2013 and should be favored to repeat as division champs. But the Braves, too, will have the bulk of their 94-win club returning to the fold and will be determined to jump into first place and avoid the one-game playoff that killed their season.

The Phillies may continue to get older, but their strong finish will give team executives and players alike reason to think they can makeRead more »

  1. baseballswami - Oct 24, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    Seems like so much will ride on what happens during the off season and key injuries. Feels so random. I think the Phils, despite their hot finish, and the Marlins, will need at least the 2013 season to continue to re-configure their teams. The Braves will continue to dog us. The Nats will need to come out of spring training with their game faces on and ready to go. They will need to sustain it day by day, series by series. It will be interesting to me to see how the new AL/NL format affects things.

  2. Constant Reader - Oct 24, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    Was the NL East after June 1 an aberration or a reflection of reality? Are the Philthes really old and brittle; are the Mets really under talented; are the Fish really dysfunctional? Sure looked like reality to me.Yes, if we don't go out and beat those teams, we can't win (and yes I understand how that sounds). We came into 2012 hoping we had a team that was built to compete with the other teams in the NL East and ultimately best them in the years to come. We leave 2012 having really put three of five in the rear view mirror on a fundamental level.Gives me warm fuzzies.

  3. MicheleS - Oct 24, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    It's still going to be a tough division regardless. I think it will take 90 wins next year to get into the playoffs (with the Wild Card).

  4. baseballswami - Oct 24, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    It just pains me to see that some other teams can win their division hands down with ten less wins. Of course, the Astros are no longer in the NL to pad those win totals in their division. The Reds, St. Louis and Milwaukee all benefited from playing them so much. Now they won't have those gimme games. It astounds me that we got to 98 regular season wins in the NL East and with us getting the ALEast draw in 2012. Can you imagine having played in the central – you got to play the cubs and astros a bunch of times. I almost feel that being in a tough division hardens your team, though, from the beginning. The Orioles had that effect going on from playing in their division – you just have to be tough every single day and then beat up on the teams outside your division.

  5. Don - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    No one knows what any team is going to look like come Spring. Last October the Fish had Hanley and Sanchez, and they did not have Bell, Reyes, Zambrano or Beuhlre. But, the Marlins have a bunch of talent and they'll hire a more rational and less media hounding manager who will get more out of them (hard to do worse than Guillen). dfh21

  6. rabbit34 - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    The looks, culture, feel, Everything of the Marlins just increased 100%.

  7. Dave - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    Gotta agree that losing Ozzie probably upped the stock of the Fish. They still have some good guys (Stanton, Reyes). Let's see if they really are "rebuilding."

  8. Theophilus T. S. - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. pdowdy83 - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    Swami can you elaborate on how the "Braves will continue to dog us"?Last time I checked we were 10-8 against them this season and after checking on baseball-reference it says the Nationals are actually 73-72 against the Braves since 2005. That means even through all of the awful seasons the Nationals had they have always played the Braves well.

  10. Theophilus T. S. - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    Braves will have holes at Chipper, 2B, probably CF and maybe C, and will rely on a rookie SS. Their starting pitching may depend on Medlen having another 25-gram winning streak — in a single season. (Unless Teheran shows up big.) I think 94 wins is probably their ceiling.

  11. Theophilus T. S. - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    Mets have virtually no talent. Except for Wright, Dailey, Niese, no reliable players anywhere. Except for Reyes and Stanton (and I wouldn't be too sure about them), the Marlins have nothing to build on. Even if Turner and Eovaldi come up big, the pitching won't get any better as Johnson will be going somewhere and I read they may be trying to move Buerhle.

  12. Theophilus T. S. - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    Medlen — "25-game winning streak."

  13. JaneB - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    Apropos of nothing, I have two questions: Mark, will you do a World Series thread again this year, or wait until the Nats are in it? And does anyone know if Drew went back to school, like he did last year? Or is he all done?Third question: Why is the NL East so strong? And has it always been? I never tracked all the teams before, just "my" team (which is no longer "my" team). So I don't have a sense of the weight of each division over time.

  14. Theophilus T. S. - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    Phillies have plenty of starting pitching — unless Halladay stays hurt — but otherwise, except for Ruiz and maybe Rollins (thinks he's Jeter but isn't Jeter), have a lot of incomplete players. Polanco is shot, Howard strikes out at a rate of 250 per season. Outfield seems to consist of Ruf, Mayberry, Brown. Bullpen reeks. You can say that we can't tell in October what these teams will look like in April but, in fact, none of them will be spending big money in the FA market or taking on any big veteran contracts. Miami may be shedding money. Atlanta usually doesn't go big on free agents — even their own. (E.g., will they sign Maholm?) Mets say they're not going to spend big. If they do minor trades, all pawns look the same on the chess board.

  15. Doc - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    Interesting to see where Ozzie lands–maybe the Cuban National Team…LOL. I'd like to get fired with $7.5 million coming in the mail!In other news, next year in the NL East, it'll be our Nats and the Braves again. But don't think that the Braves will be able to catch up.

  16. sjm308 - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    I realize the title of the post begs talk about the other teams in our division.I think in 162 games, its more important to just focus on who "we" are and what "we" do rather then looking at others. The new format will also come into play for the first time. More dh and I am guessing a few more 2 game series.So, I will be eagerly awaiting the decisions on LaRoche and our pitching staff. I will be hoping to see Desmond and Zimmermann extended, and will also be looking forward to that one move Rizzo makes that none of us expect. I am not concerned about what the other teams do or don't do. Everyone got all jacked up over the moves the Marlins made. How did that work for them? Everyone got excited about the Angels and all that money they spent. Where were they in the playoffs?? No matter what the other teams do, we have a solid base, lots of youngsters coming off injury and others who will develop. Very exciting if you ask me.Go Nats!!

  17. Joe Seamhead - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    Great points, sjm308. The fact that we will play more games with a DH involved is another great reason to keep Morse. I agree with Boz' column this morning in the WaPo in that there is very little need for the Nats to make many changes. We were a pitch away, several times, from going to the NLCS. We are already a better team then we were at this point a year ago. If we get through with fewer injuries, and Johnson returns, we will win the NL East again.The Braves will be our main competitor.We will be in a dogfight for rhe next several years with them. Phillies are what they finished: a .500 team. The Mets are lost in space. As to the Marlins, J. Loria is a reckless, greedy idiot. It wouldn't surprise me if he eventually loses the franchise. I have a tough time wading through some of the posts that are pushing for wholesale changes. Rizzo will probably surprise us with something unexpected, but it's not time to over tinker with this club, IMHO.GYFNG!!!

  18. Section 222 - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    At least with Ozzie being fired, Showtime can get whatever team he lands with next to be the subject of The Franchise. This past year in the NL East is a great cautionary tale for all of us who think we are great prognosticators. Predictions made one year ago about how this season would play out in this division were probably 90% wrong.

  19. Section 222 - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    308/JoeS — I don't think we're going to play more games with a DH next year, they are just more spread out over the season. I would have thought we'd have more two game series as well, but looking at the Nats schedule, it looks like there are only a couple. We play two games against the O's at home, but followed immediately by two away games. We have three game series against the White Sox, Twins, Royals, and Indians, and and a two game series, at home, against the Tigers. Not a bad draw really.

  20. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    Lots of good comments today. This team needs 2 signings: Davey and LaRoche.The other need is AAA rotation depth which isn't there because there's no John Lannan right now to place there.Otherwise the Nats could go "as is" and watch the weak spots like Espinosa. With a full year of Strasburg, this team is already better.I don't see the others in the NL East improving but we will see what happens in trades and Free Agency.

  21. WA2CHI - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    Just wondering if Zim is going to have arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder this winter to clean it up and avoid cortisone shots in 2013. Any news on that?

  22. sjm308 - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    222: I think you are correct! I just did a quick look at the 2013 schedule and I see just 10 away games at AL parks. I don't know how many we played last year but that does not seem like alot. Again, I did this quickly and could have missed a series. I thought there would be more.Go Nats!!

  23. Theophilus T. S. - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    "With a full year of Strasburg, this team is already better."With a full year of Strasburg, Morse, Zimmerman and Werth, and a maturing Harper, this team is already much better. There's probably an "oops" in the lineup somewhere, and I think the other starters have something to prove, but I'm reasonably confident they get back to at least the same point.Perry apparently had an exceptional performance in the AFL last night. It's nice to fantasize about filing the remaining spot in the rotation without trading away the farm (system). Whatever the present condition of the Syracuse roster, there will be enough ML possibilities to fill in any temporary holes in the rotation. I suspect Garcia will be down there, learning to start, and Rizzo will sign a couple of TJ/rotator cuff rehab cases to provide other alternatives.

  24. Gonat - Oct 24, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    Theophilus T. S. said… Perry apparently had an exceptional performance in the AFL last night. It's nice to fantasize about filing the remaining spot in the rotation without trading away the farm (system). ___________________________4 innings of work is like long relief and he is facing advanced Minor Leaguers not Major Leaguers. That ERA of 7.00 isn't exceptional.

  25. Section 222 - Oct 24, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    I don't think we can expect either Perry or Garcia to be ready to be in the rotation next year. Ditto every other prospect we now have in the minors. And Perry is out of options, so not sure what will happen to him. I still think Rizzo will want to go into the season with as good a rotation as he had last year, and that means signing or trading for someone as good as E-Jax. It also still seems possible that E-Jax will accept the one year contract for $13+ million that he will be tendered so that we get a draft pick if he refuses. On the rest of the team, standing pat seems fine but we may be thrown a curveball by the ALR situation. And Rizzo isn't one to rest on his laurels either. I expect at least one unexpected move (trade or FA signing) during the off season.

  26. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 24, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    Congrats to Davey on Sporting News NL Manager of the Year

  27. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 24, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    GoSM, I think it needs an additional starter. We only have four names penciled in so far. I don't think anyone is expecting Perry or Garcia to break camp as Nats fifth starter. I think top candidates are:Scott Baker (if non-tendered, had TJS earlier in the year; has good numbers when on mound)Dan HarenBrandon McCarthyKyle LohseJake PeavyMarquis or Moyer

  28. rogieshan - Oct 24, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    Mark said, "But, if nothing else, it should convince their front office they can't simply show up for spring training and expect to repeat as division champs."————————————————I think Texas & Oakland proved this year that nothing is ever certain. Our starting pitching staff (not counting Wang) went the entire season virtually injury-free, which is rare in itself, and played a huge role in the team's success. Also, we must remember that while his teammates have received their baptism of playing in the postseason, Strasburg is still waiting for his. Therefore, we have yet to see how he responds to his first taste of playoff pressure.

  29. Kevin FSU - Oct 24, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    Out of all the teams in the East, I dislike the Marlins more than the others. Even if they are mired in last place next year I will look forward to wining a series against them more so than any other team (yes even more so than beating the Phills, which by the way, when we played them down here at the end of the season, the busloads of fans from Philly were noticeably absent). Excited to see what Rizzo does.

  30. rogieshan - Oct 24, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    Marquis or Moyer?? Seriously, Faraz. The Jim Bowden-era of garbage picking is over. If the team is going to sign a moderately-priced FA to fill the fifth spot, I believe, at the very least, it will target a durable starter who can eat up innings. Think Shawn Marcum.

  31. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 24, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    what is wrong with Marquis and Moyer? Don't you want experienced starters?

  32. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 24, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    Faraz, I wouldn't risk McCarthy after his brain injury.

  33. NatsJack in Florida - Oct 24, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    Marquis….dumped by Rizzo for locker room issues.. ..Moyer….AARP card in hand.

  34. Tcostant - Oct 24, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    I'm not sure if many here read Boswell's article today; but it calmed me down. This is a process and their are 8 disappointed 90 win teams right now. I can't wait for April 1st.

  35. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 24, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    NatsJack, that's even better with Moyer signing. He will be able to provide perspective that no one else in the league can. And I remember fans mentioning Marquis as having more fire under him than most players, which is not necessarily bad.GoSM, I think McCarthy is more likely to go back to A's after the way they treated him since the accident. I mentioned his name because I think he can keep the guys loose even if he does not pitch. His contract should include a clause that changes his responsibilities in case he can't pitch.

  36. JamesFan - Oct 24, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    I will be the skeptic. I think that we cannot assume the Nats will be better next year and the rest of the NL East will be the same. Old teams know that and will try to fix it. I expect the Phillies, Marlins and Braves to improve over the winter. Mets? Who knows? The Nats have holes in middle relief, possibly first base and offensively at second base. We The Nats do not have much pitching depth in the minors with players ready to take up the slack if anyone gets hurt. (We cannot expect to continue to have no injuries to starters as we did this year.) Ramos is a big question behind the plate.So let's not crown ourselves just yet. There are many turns of the wheel before the 2013 season.

  37. baseballswami - Oct 24, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    Agreed on Boz's article today. Perspective. The org will do their best to put a good team on the field, the players will do their best, then we pray for health, good weather and favorable bounces.

  38. UnkyD - Oct 24, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    18 interleague games, this year, 20 next year.

  39. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 24, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    The 5th starter needs to be an upgrade over EJax or you might as well keep Big Game John Lannan.I prefer Lohse as I think he can be a 3.49 or better ERA and if he can be as strong as he was in 2012 cound be over 1 run per game better than EJax which should be +4 to +6 in wins.

  40. Gonat - Oct 24, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… The 5th starter needs to be an upgrade over EJax or you might as well keep Big Game John Lannan.I prefer Lohse as I think he can be a 3.49 or better ERA and if he can be as strong as he was in 2012 cound be over 1 run per game better than EJax which should be +4 to +6 in wins. October 24, 2012 2:24 PM ________________________________That's interesting. Save 1 run per start over 32 starts is 32 runs.Lohse was actually 2.86 vs EJax at 4.03 is actually 1.17 runs per game and over 32 starts is actually 37 runs and you are correct that is +4 to +6 additional wins. Lohse went 16-3 on the top run producing team. Its not apples to apples plus Lohse faced the weak Cubs and Astros 3 times each but he had a 5 run game against the Cubs which was one of his worst.Lohse was a 3.39 pitcher in 2011 which may be a safer comparison and that still is 22 runs better and +2 to +3 more wins.

  41. Don - Oct 24, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    Some people seem to be feeling pretty confident about how unfixable the rest of the Division might be. Add ALR and a Jake Peavy to the Fish and they are all of a sudden pretty good, no? Add Grienke to Atlanta? And maybe Victorino too? Josh Hamilton could land in the NL East. Some club might go big on high risk/high reward SPs like Haren or Harden or Marcum. The Phils still have Hamels and Lee even if Halladay's return is delayed and they can and will take on salary. 100 RBI potential of RHB Alfonso Soriano playing LF in Philly's lineup? Along with some relief help in Sean Burnett to go along with a healthy Utley playing 3B (making room for some youth at 2B) and Ryan Howard back to form at 1B? Don't think for a minute that the Phils will not go large. And the Braves and Fish are not exactly 5 every day players away from having a chance (like the Mets are). This Division is likely going to be very tight. We'll see.dfh21

  42. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 24, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    Gonat, I like Lohse but still not sure what he is. His 2011 & 2012 were the best of his career and I would want to know what he changed in his approach to improve so much.On paper with Lohse, this rotation would be a murderers row rotation. Again, on paper and in theory.I would only go after Lohse if Rizzo is convinced that his 2012 and 2011 are sustainable. How did HR pitch against the NL East?

  43. Section 222 - Oct 24, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    Far be it from me to get into a stats argument, but isn't the 1.17 difference in ERA over 9 innings. Lohse or E-Jax may make 32 starts, but they usually go only 6 or 7 innings, right? Doesn't that affect your calculations?

  44. Water23 - Oct 24, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    As mentioned, the Nats rotation was incredibly lucky this year and should expect the loss of one of the trio and probably another SP for most if not all of the season. Even with the arbitration raises, signing ALR, we should have a starting point near $90 million before FAs (remember we drop $16 Million by letting Ejax go and moving/non-tendering Lannan). So, go big and sign Zach Greinke. It would seem he wants good money but not a lot of pressure. Being the 3/4 starter on a championship team should be appealing. And if as expected some one does go down he is a good enough to fill the hole. Even with signing him at $20 Mill the Nats still only a $100-$110 mill payroll and could sign/extend either or both of JZimm or Desi.

  45. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 24, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    How did HE pitch.

  46. Drew - Oct 24, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    Faraz: It's almost Halloween and you're asking What's wrong with Jason? Really?There's the 5.22 ERA in 2012, the 4.60 career ERA.There's the scary facial hair that would fit in on the WANTED posters at the WB Mason kids' clubhouse.Just say no to the Marquis de Sod.

  47. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 24, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    I just heard Nolan Ryan won't be aggressive trying to retain Josh Hamilton. With all of Texas new broadcasting cash, there is a hidden message that they won't be keeping Hamilton since they appear to have the money as the incremental difference to resign your own player in this case wouldn't be significant in the near-term.Always telling on how the current team reacts to their own Free Agents.

  48. Ghost Of Steve M. - Oct 24, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    Mark Z, I have had a few posts disappear today.

  49. baseballswami - Oct 24, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    Ghost – I have read a few posts today that I wish had disappeared.

  50. Gonat - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    baseballswami, good one! I was going to say to Ghost he should stop putting in Spam code words like Nigerian Inheritance.

  51. Gonat - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:05 PM update on Purke's shoulder surgery. Good to go for Spring Training.

  52. JD - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    Water23, Here is the problem with your analysis: In a couple of years you can anticipate huge raises for Stras, JZimm, Detwiler, Desi and Harper not to mention built in raises for Werth, RZimm and Gio and when you add this to normal raises to everyone else you will get to $150 mil and beyond very quickly. In this scenario it doesn't make sense to spend huge dollars on 1 more starter which will en the end only improve our chances marginally. It makes a lot more sense to mix and match with mid level short contract starters until you can graduate someone like Alex Meyer to the big club. There is nothing wrong with John Lannan or Zack Duke for the no. 5 slot and if you want to spend money on a FA such as Lohse make sure his contract expires before you have to start paying big bucks for our own players.

  53. D'Gourds - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    Trade proposal-RA Dickey for multiple prospects including Moore, lombo, Brown, Flores, Cole. Mets need to rebuild and Dickey is in walk/option year. How cool would Strass, Gio, Dickey, Zmann Det rotation be? No doubt the best in badeball top to bottom. It would alternate everyday from righty to lefty, blazing speed to confounding junk. Makes me giddy just thinking about it!

  54. Tcostant - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    Thank for the Baseball America link; the second question defined the new process for comp draft picks really well. Thanks

  55. JD - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:17 PM

    Gonat, That's great news about Purke. Solis should be good to go in the spring as well I think.

  56. Joe Seamhead - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    Don@3:09 p.m.To start with, the Utley experiment at 3B is already over.It wasn't working. Secondly. Victorino is at best a 2nd tierplayer.Halladay's best is yesterday's news, and have you looked at Lee's stats from last year? Charlie has ridden those horses and put 'em away wet too many times. I don't even bother thinking for a minute that the Phills will go large. That club is in serious long term trouble. The writing was on the wall before last season started and they've done nothing to improve their odds, not to mention they are still locked in long term with too many players even after dumping Pence and Victorino.As to the Marlins, the problem starts at the ownership level and works its way down,and in spite of the gaudy new stadium the crowds were dwindling after the All Star break.They are far more then 2 or 3 players away from being a serious contender. The Braves are still very strong, both with the ML club and on the farm.

  57. JD - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    Just say no to Matt Purke. We have better pitchers than him in house.

  58. JD - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    I meant Matt Capps.

  59. JD - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    Joe Seamhead, I agree with your NL east analysis although I think that Chipper will be tough to replace.

  60. peric - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    The other need is AAA rotation depth which isn't there because there's no John Lannan right now to place there.Who are Yunesky Maya, Zach Duke (albeit he has a pretty good shot at making the major league roster out of ST 2013), Ryan Perry, Danny Rosenbaum, Christian Garcia, and Jeff Mandel? Possibly Nate Karns and even Sammy Solis at some point after midseason.Looks like pretty good depth to me?What team are you looking at?

  61. Theophilus T. S. - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    Did anyone who's lusting for Lohse watch the series w/ SF? See his nos.? See what he did for the first ten years of his career?

  62. peric - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    And I still think they go out and get a David Price, not a Lohse. More years of team control, better talent, #1 slottable.

  63. NatsLady - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    Isn't Zake Duke a free agent? The Nats would have to re-sign him first, right? Otherwise, some other team might make an offer. If he walks, as a minor-league FA–or at least that is what he signed as– do we get a draft pick?

  64. NatsLady - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Ryan Perry can't stay in AAA, he is out of options. If he doesn't make the ML roster out of spring training, you have to trade him.

  65. blovy8 - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    I think going big on Greinke would be fine, but there is going to be significant competition. I think Lohse will get more than he's worth and doesn't fit the flamethrower mold. That's not a cure for everything after all, since Jackson throws plenty hard. But I would suspect we get Buehrled out of those top guys since other teams need them more. Sanchez would be an interesting target, young as he is, he might fly under the radar a bit more. With innings from the top four being normal, I could see them taking a shot at a guy like Baker since they've got the rehab thing down now.

  66. peric - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    I agree with your NL east analysis although I think that Chipper will be tough to replace.Watch for Lance Berkman to land in Atlanta. That would be very bad news for the Nats.

  67. peric - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    Ryan Perry can't stay in AAA, he is out of options. If he doesn't make the ML roster out of spring training, you have to trade him.They could put him through waivers the might get lucky.

  68. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    Has everyone got their money back for NLCS tickets? I still have not received anything.

  69. peric - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    If he walks, as a minor-league FA–or at least that is what he signed as– do we get a draft pick?He's proven he can start AND pitch out of the bullpen. They'll resign him. He's left-handed. If they lose Burnett as seems the likely scenario they will definitely need him.

  70. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    NatsLady, Yes. two compensation picks.

  71. Scooter - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    Nothing yet for me, Faraz.

  72. Theophilus T. S. - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    The chances of Perry sneaking through waivers are zilch. In a league where Marco Estrada and Miguel Gonzalez are middle-of-the-rotation starters, there is a desperate shortage of pitchers. Didn't Ramon Ortiz get a shot w/ someone last year?

  73. peric - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    Thanks for posting the article on Purke Gonat.What that means is that two of the three Nats top lefties Solis, and Purke will be having rehab years with an innings limit. Seems likely both could end up spending most of their time in Harrisburg perhaps with an introduction in Potomac. Both spec out as starters.Robbie Ray was also in Potomac. He's the other top lefty. He could end up as a relief specialist … but he'll likely start in Potomac again. If he makes it to Harrisburg that would give the Nats three lefties on the cusp of the majors in 2013.

  74. baseballswami - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    (Joe Seamhead via Don at 3:09 – victorino is a dodger.)I,personally, would have absolutely no problem having John Lannan as our fifth starter. He is turning into a "crafty " lefthander who can throw a lot of innings. I think that after four power pitchers, that kind of look would be different – look at what Zito did to the Cardinals lineup! We have the defense to support John Lannan now, we did not used to have it when he was our ACE. In a lot of respects John Lannan IS what you would get with Kyle Lohse. Contact pitchers can have rough games when the defense fails them and that's what happened to Lohse in the NLCS. We really don't need five # 1, power throwing, expensive arms. We could stand to have a mature, level-headed , sturdy pitcher out there every fifth day, who will take the ball and stay out there and navigate the game without a lot of drama. Livo, only younger and still good. He has learned a lot in the dark days, he is experienced and might even prove to be the leader that the starters need. Gio is just too , well, Gio. If we do get a new starter, I think it should be via trade and not a free agent that will suck a big piece of the budget dry. I have a feeling we will have a new one every year for a while. One year contracts until the young'uns are ready to come up.

  75. peric - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    Trade proposal-RA Dickey for multiple prospects including Moore, lombo, Brown, Flores, Cole. Mets need to rebuild and Dickey is in walk/option year.Again, wrong lefty. The Nats FO doesn't particularly trust sleight of hand pitching they go for power. Think David Price (per Drew). The Nats would never trade that many prospects for anything less than an almost Stras level sub 30's pitcher with team control.

  76. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    'Moore, lombo, Brown, Flores, Cole' This many players to our division foes?Scooter, just talked with nationals box office. They asked me to search 'refunds' on and click on first link. Leads me to the earliest you get the refunds is next Monday. After issuing refunds, it takes additional 7-10 days so it will be a while before I get my money back. I wish they had let us know beforehand. Representative said that while buying, we were informed that refunds will happen after World Series so disqualified teams are actually ahead of schedule.

  77. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    Dickey is lefty?

  78. Tcostant - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    No refund for me on NLCS yet.No comp picks on Duke, read the Baseball America link above; no longer do you get more than one pick and you need to offer about $13.5M for 2013 in order to get a sandwich pick if they leave.

  79. baseballswami - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    So – Mike Morse is on twitter – he is serving on jury duty today. "What I did in the off season……" winner.

  80. bowdenball - Oct 24, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    Fangraphs ranked David Price at #20 in all of baseball in their annual trade value rankings back in July. That's one spot ahead of Gio, who is under club control at a reasonable price with no arbitration eligibility through 2018. I can't see us matching the offers that others will throw at the Ray for Price, certainly not after what we lost in the Gio deal. Just to pick one obvious trade partner: the Rangers have more money, a greater need and better high-end minor league talent.

  81. Joe Seamhead - Oct 24, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    Give me a break, Swami. I know Victorino is a Dodger. Doc mentioned Victorino as a Fish possibility. He is a free agent if I'm not mistaken. My point is/was that Victorino isn't a player that would make me shake in my boots if he signed with the Marlins, or any other team in our division.

  82. Section 222 - Oct 24, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    No refund on NLCS for me yet either. I do have the suitable for framing tickets though. I'm still weighing whether to accept compensation picks.

  83. Section 222 - Oct 24, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    NL and Faraz, you guys were joking about comp picks for Duke right? The only compensation we'll get if he walks is that a certain commenter won't be able to tout him for everything from LOOGY to No. 5 starter anymore.

  84. baseballswami - Oct 24, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    Sorry, Joe — hard to keep track of the players without a constantly changing scorecard. Sounded like Don was including him in the Phils picture. I agree with you on Victorino , he is not the player he once was. Seems like quite of few of those guys went from prime players to broken down veterans really, really fast.They got rid of Pence in a hurry and he has landed in a good place. Even though Howard isn't old, that foot injury was very severe and he looked very awkward all season. I think they rushed him back – I don't even like the Phils but it scared me to watch him run. So Victorino was just a rental to help the dodgers make the playoffs and then they didn't?

  85. DaveB - Oct 24, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    swami …Yes, Victorino was just a rental that bombed in LA. I assume that when they got him they intended to try to extend him, but then 2 things happened:1. He sucked2. They had to take Carl Crawford to get Adrian Gonzales in the Boston trade, so now their OF is full.

  86. John C. - Oct 24, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    Joe Seamhead said… Don@3:09 p.m.To start with, the Utley experiment at 3B is already over.It wasn't working. Secondly. Victorino is at best a 2nd tierplayer.Halladay's best is yesterday's news, and have you looked at Lee's stats from last year?Don't kid yourself – Cliff Lee was very, very good last year. Don't be fooled by the W/L record – that was on the Phillie offense, not on Lee. Lee finished with 211 IP with a 3.16 ERA, 1.114 WHIP, 8.8 K/9 and only 1.1 BB/9. His ERA+ was 127, right behind the 17-6 Cole Hamels. Both Hamels and Lee had a bWAR of 4.2 (Gio's was 4.5, Zimmermann 4.4).The Phillies have problems, but Cliff Lee isn't one of them.

  87. rogieshan - Oct 24, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    JD said, "There is nothing wrong with John Lannan or Zack Duke for the no. 5 slot…"The fact Jackson was signed last spring and then Wang was given every opportunity to secure the fifth spot suggest the team prefers to have at least one starter with previous playoff experience who can serve both as a veteran presence and a workhorse in the rotation. Unfortunately, neither Lannan nor Duke quite fit that profile. As Tcostant pointed out, the only way a team receives draft compensation is if it makes a qualifying offer of at least 13.5 mil (one year) to its free agent as determined by "averaging the top 125 players salaries from the previous year".

  88. Theophilus T. S. - Oct 24, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    "NL and Faraz, you guys were joking about comp picks for Duke right? The only compensation we'll get if he walks is that a certain commenter won't be able to tout him for everything from LOOGY to No. 5 starter anymore."Cool. I'll take it.

  89. do1teach1 - Oct 25, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    There's a new thread on NI so no one is ever going to read this one.Still, I want to say how glad I am that Guillen is gone.Guillen said he loved Castro. In saying this, he was reflecting the beliefs of many Central/South Americans, who admired Castro because he stuck it to the United States.None of those Central/South Americans would ever read, "Against All Hope," the story of Armando Valladares, a Cuban freedom-fighter, who was tortured by Castro.Guillen, like many in the US, rejoiced in the works of Castro and the sexy Che Gueverra, ignoring the price in human blood, as long as the US was being diminished in the exchange.

  90. Joe Seamhead - Oct 25, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    John C @ 6:13 p.m. To each their own. I think Cliff Lee was showing major signs of having too many miles in too short of a time. He was very inconsistant. Not quite as bad as Doc, but Lee's best days were yesterday. Honestly, I'm not too sure that Colbert isn't already showing signs of premature wear. Manuel leaves his pitchers in for too many pitches, too often.





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