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How much is Burnett worth?

Nov 2, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

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Sean Burnett owns a 2.81 ERA in 3 1/2 seasons with the Nationals.

Plenty of attention — and rightfully so — has been given to the Nationals' ongoing attempt to re-sign Adam LaRoche. And a good deal of time has been spent debating the Nationals' need for a new No. 5 starter with Edwin Jackson unlikely to be in the picture next season.

There's another brand-new free agent, though, who deserves to be mentioned right behind those two, because he has played a huge role on this ballclub for more than three seasons and would continue to play a significant role in 2013 and beyond if he's re-signed.

Sean Burnett may not have appeared in as many headlines during the Nationals' 98-win season but he was no minor player on this team.

Burnett, like LaRoche, declined his side of a mutual option on a 2013 contract with the Nats, this one worth $3.5 million. The decision wasn't unexpected; Burnett had made it clear all along he wanted to become a free agent and attempt to secure a multi-year deal. But it does add another important item to general manager Mike Rizzo'sRead more »

167 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. MurrayTheRed - Nov 2, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    He is worth it, and 3 years isn't that long.

  2. MicheleS - Nov 2, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    I hate this part of the offseason.

  3. Gonat - Nov 2, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    Mark: How much is Burnett worth?Me: Whatever someone is willing to pay him.

  4. Gonat - Nov 2, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    Some said the Nats were waiting for the World Series to end to make the announcement that Davey would be back. The World Series ended on Sunday….

  5. alexva - Nov 2, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    I think they could offer 3.5/4/4.5M and he'd go for it. At least I hope he would. He has been a reliable player and appears to be a good teammate.

  6. Doc - Nov 2, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    Sign Lefty!!

  7. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 2, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    Burnett has sixth best WAR among lefty relievers since 2009, according to BBref. Guys that are ahead of him are, Downs, Thornton, Flaherty, Oliver, and Marshall. All of them are either veterans or locked for multiple years. Burnett will easily score a 3-year deal. Looking at those comparable numbers, he seems somewhat underrated. I wouldn't mind bringing him back on 3-year deal for $15 million or so. I don't think that is risky given his career numbers and age.Carrying over from last thread, contact% is a good indicator of bat speed?

  8. 320R2S15 - Nov 2, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    I'm with you M. This is the part of baseball that I do not really understand. The money part is so much that it is out of my ability to comprehend, I mean how can a guy like Albert P. dump on St Louis over a couple of $M in 20+? Now I'm nervous about Davy, and it no doubt has something to do with $.

  9. Section 222 - Nov 2, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    And here I thought that Gonat was being facetious, since a slowed bat speed can look awfully graceful failing to catch up to fastballs.

  10. Feel Wood - Nov 2, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    Gonat said… Some said the Nats were waiting for the World Series to end to make the announcement that Davey would be back. The World Series ended on Sunday….Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Clearly they are waiting for his Manager of the Year award to be announced so they can hand him his pink slip.Seriously, dude, chill out. This is truly a situation where no news is good news. Davey is already under contract for next year as a consultant. It's totally his call on whether he manages next year or not. Putting on his consultant hat, if for whatever reason he has decided he's not going to manage next year, do you think he's going to wait until the last possible minute to tell Rizzo and leave him behind the 8 ball on finding a replacement? The "official announcement" that Davey will be back will happen when it happens. Everyone already knows it's a done deal.

  11. baseballswami - Nov 2, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    There are many things I like about Burnett — he can get out both lefties and righties so you don't need to burn him on just the one hitter. He has nerves of steel, he can pitch in any inning – even be the closer. I think he can also pitch more than one inning. Durable, reliable, consistent, already a Nat so we know he is a good fit in the clubhouse. Maybe even leadership qualities? Could he be the new long man? Pay the man.

  12. Section 222 - Nov 2, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    My prediction. Davey will be back, Burnett will not.

  13. baseballswami - Nov 2, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    Quick question — do players want to know who the manager is going to be before they sign?

  14. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 2, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    Wait, maybe $15 million is too much money for him. Actually his SO/BB ratio is not that impressive compared to other relievers.http://tinypic.com/r/2645kkm/6For more comparisons, http://bit.ly/SgLptO

  15. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 2, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    Why wouldn't Davey come back? Stop worrying people. If there is any hold up, it is probably health related.

  16. Feel Wood - Nov 2, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    baseballswami said… Quick question — do players want to know who the manager is going to be before they sign?Unless it's an icon like Bobby Cox or LaRussa, doubtful. The shelf life of an average manager is less than the length of the contracts most players are trying to get as free agents. While managers call the shots on a game-by-game basis, it's the GM who controls the long-term direction of the organization. If a player is looking for a multi-year deal, he's going to care who the GM is a lot more than he cares who the manager is. For instance, Werth was clearly no fan of Riggleman, but he signed anyway because he knew he would outlast him. But if he didn't like Rizzo, he probably would have gone elsewhere.

  17. Gonat - Nov 2, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    Mark said…Burnett might well be the best of the bunch, certainly no worse than No. 2 behind Affeldt.____________________________Affeldt's stock went up with his post-season performance. I would have said a month ago that Burnett was the best of the bunch.

  18. NatsLady - Nov 2, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    FS, I looked at the charts on fangraphs, thanks. The think I like about Burnett's is on WHIP, FIP, etc., his are going in the right direction–down. That suggests to me he's gotten smarter and more reliable–or maybe he's just been used more intelligently.

  19. Gonat - Nov 2, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    Feel wood, yah, Davey's history in Baltimore ended in un-grand fashion and that certainly will be part of Angelos's failed legacy, not Davey's.Davey has unfinished business to take care of here.

  20. 320R2S15 - Nov 2, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    No my friends it is always about money. Davey wants a boat load more than his consulting deal cuz he knows he is worth it, and the Nats are feeling the pressure. done deal, I don't think so.

  21. Don - Nov 2, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    I'll venture wildly: Burnett to either the Cards or Phils for say 3 yrs $16M (only a couple of decent lefty RPs available, big pocket clubs have needs and the Nats might think that they have internal options). Davey comes back — that was not a hard one.Riggleman gets the job in Toronto — why not. Grienke to the Bo-Sox — they freed-up a bunch of money and need pitching and a splash. Nats trade for Haren to replace Jackson and take Pagan for a reasonable price over paying $80-90M to Bourn (who's just not THAT good). Josh Hamilton to the Cubs, after they trade Soriano to the Phils. ALR comes back to DC 3 yrs $32M. NHL comes back for a 50 game season, and the Preds take the Stanley Cup in 6. Jimmy Hoffa found, ALIVE, living under an assumed name in a old-folks home in Baton Rouge. . . . And when none of that happens, I will not be surpised.

  22. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 2, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    NL, what I noticed was trajectory of Downs, Oliver, and Thornton's. Their numbers at burnett's age were similar to Sean's numbers now it seems and then they went down and became even better relievers. if sean is on the same path, we should try to secure for multiple years but don't know about money.I should have added Affeldt as well. Except one bad season (2010), his numbers are pretty much comparable to the other five I think.

  23. Don - Nov 2, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    Oh and with ALR back and Pagan tending CF, I should have also added another stupid prediction — that Morse gets moved to Seattle for 2 prospects.

  24. NatsJack in Florida - Nov 2, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    With Davey, it's always about the money.

  25. blovy8 - Nov 2, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    Is there actually any reason Gorzelanny couldn't become a loogy? Mop up/long man lefty is a less important job. If you're willing to go 5 mil a year for Burnett, 3.5 for him is more in line for that role especially since, like Burnett, his splits aren't terrible if there's a right hander in the middle of two lefties. I suppose they will want at least two lefties in the pen, but ugly as it would be, he might deserve the higher leverage situations rather than the other guys they might have.

  26. MicheleS - Nov 2, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    NJ.. true, and you look at Dusty Baker's contract as the starting point. The fact that the Lerner's have never paid money for a manager COULD be an issue, granted, who would pay bookoo bucks to Manny and Riggs?

  27. SCNatsFan - Nov 2, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    If Davey wasn't coming bak then no way would they have let Porter leave

  28. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 2, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    As I recall, Baker got $5+MM, which is ridiculous for what he offers. For sure, Johnson thinks he's worth as much if not more. His ego is huge. The Lerners probably thought they were going to get away for $3MM; unless they move promptly Johnson will start remembering why he lives in FL and hates traveling. If he doesn't get Baker's money, or most of it, the question will be "How much does he like managing?" I think it's reasonable to be concerned.

  29. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 2, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    Davey will be back but its sure taking a long time for Rizzo to get a signature on that contract which should tell you that frienship & respect only go so far when you are talking about millions of dollars.

  30. Feel Wood - Nov 2, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    320R2S15 said… No my friends it is always about money. Davey wants a boat load more than his consulting deal cuz he knows he is worth it, and the Nats are feeling the pressure. done deal, I don't think so.Get real. You think Rizzo/Lerners are going to balk at paying Davey top manager money after he just got done taking the team to the playoffs for the first time ever? Top manager money in MLB is in the $5-10M range. That's chump change in the grand scheme of things. For God's sake, they just got done paying a pitcher $5M to sit in AAA for a whole season just so he could make a few spot starts for them. You think they're going to cheap out now on retaining a HoF manager? If there's any holdup now, it's not over money. It's probably because the Lerners are trying to lock Davey down for multiple years, and he has to decide how many he wants to commit to.

  31. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 2, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    SCNF — Porter and Johnson are completely unrelated. You just don't refuse to let one of your coaches to be interviewed for one of the top 30 jobs in baseball. (Especially when you let him interview for the Marlins job last year.) I just think the Lerners have been solar-plexed by the money required to keep Johnson on board. They've had a couple weeks to recover and now need to move decisively if they want him to stay.

  32. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 2, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    Feelwood, like I said, he will be back. Davey has a ring to get. He doesn't want someone else taking what is his but will be content getting 1 and let Rizzo pick his successor and go out on top!

  33. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 2, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    Agree w/ FeelWood about multiple years. Problem likely is that Johnson wants to be paid without being obligated. I don't think he wants to be chained to the dugout bench for three years, but he'd like the option to do it and also the flexibility — which almost any personal services contract allows — to cash in his chips and walk. Thus, mgt. has to not only pay big $$ for 2013 but also be sure he is incentivized to come back for 2014, etc.

  34. NatsJack in Florida - Nov 2, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    My comment wasn't meant to indicate anything other than what I've heard the man say.With Davey, it's always about the money.

  35. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 2, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    I still think hold up is probably health related since Davey is oldest manager in the league with some health issues. He may not be comfortable committing multiple years but he does want to come back and win it all once more and confirm his HoF credentials further.

  36. NatsJack in Florida - Nov 2, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    Davey's played golf almost everyday since he's returned home.Health is not an issue.

  37. JD - Nov 2, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    Burnett – 2009 and 2011 not very good. 2010 and 2012 excellent. It's a close call. $15 mil for 3 years is a ton of money for a lefty specialist and it is fairly likely that he will under perform that contract at the same time based on limited options the Nats may be forced to overpay for Sean.

  38. JD - Nov 2, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    When people say "pay the Man" it drives me crazy. Rizzo can't look at every contract in isolation because like it or not he has to operate within a budget. He has to take into account normal contract inflation as young players begin to reach arbitration and free agency as well as the cost of new free agents. The basic concept is you pay the player an amount based on an estimated no. of games that player will win for you vs. an alternative. Who is to say that Purke or Solis won't end up as the lefty specialist down the line?

  39. JD - Nov 2, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    NatsJack, With very few exceptions it's always about the money with most players and managers.

  40. Feel Wood - Nov 2, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    I just think the Lerners have been solar-plexed by the money required to keep Johnson on board.Again, get real. They lay out hundreds of millions of dollars to buy top-notch players like Werth, Zimmerman, Strasburg and Harper, and then they're going to be surprised when Rizzo tells them it's going to cost a few million more a year to retain a top-notch manager?With Davey, it's always about the money.As it also is with the Lerners. They have shown consistently ever since they bought the team that they will spend whatever it takes to get quality in return. Davey wants the money as a sign of respect, not out of greed. Whatever Davey says he is worth, the Lerners will pay without question because they know they are getting quality in return.

  41. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 2, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    i don't think burnett is a lefty specialist.

  42. Feel Wood - Nov 2, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… Davey's played golf almost everyday since he's returned home.Health is not an issue.Is he playing a round late into the night, then hopping on a plane to some far away city to play another round the next day? Is he going to repeat that drill for the next 6-8 months?Health may not be an issue with him, but no matter how much he enjoys managing he knows it's a grind. At his age he needs to decide how many more years he wants to sign up for that grind.

  43. NatsJack in Florida - Nov 2, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    His exact words….."The money has to be right."Certainly not an unreasonable approach. And doesn't indicate that he's greedy or the Letner's are cheap.Just that the negotiation hasn't played out yet.

  44. JD - Nov 2, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    Faraz, Yes he's not a classic LOOGY but he is also not the close or primary set up man and with both Storen and Clip healthy his role would be diminished here to that of a lefty specialist or a 7th inning reliever a role he would share with Ryan Matheus and Christian Garcia.

  45. NatsJack in Florida - Nov 2, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    List all the scenarios you want…. Health is not an issue.

  46. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 2, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    JD, who would you replace Burnett with?

  47. Don - Nov 2, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    Wow Feel Wood, you've got something close to revisionist history in the "They [Lerners] have shown consistently ever since they bought the team that they will spend whatever it takes to get quality in return." They have shown consistently since maybe late 2010 that they'll spend for quality, sure. This club's DC history is largely about retreads, dumpster diving and betting on long shots (D Cab, Dukes, Lastings, D'mitri, Wily Mo, Nyjer, Wang, etc.) and paying managers pocket change (Acta and Riggs were among the lowest paid managers in baseball, and Davey did not demand a multi-year deal when he came on and he may very well be asking for that right now and at a premium manager rate). The Lerners may now be well beyond their not fully staffing the front office old days, but it is hard to argue that they have consistently, ever since they bought the club spent whatever it takes, no?

  48. Feel Wood - Nov 2, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… List all the scenarios you want…. Health is not an issue.Yes and no. At any age, the ability to stand up to a grinding job is an aspect of one's health. At Davey's age, it's a much bigger aspect. Only he knows how big it is.

  49. NatsJack in Florida - Nov 2, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    Wrong Don. The Lerners did their dumpster diving when Bowden was in charge. Once Rizzo took over, the money flowed to scouting and developement, then to roster building.

  50. JD - Nov 2, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    Faraz, That's a real good question and in context they may well choose to overpay Sean to keep the player. All I'm saying is that it's not a slam dunk.

  51. Feel Wood - Nov 2, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    This club's DC history is largely about retreads, dumpster diving and betting on long shots (D Cab, Dukes, Lastings, D'mitri, Wily Mo, Nyjer, Wang, etc.) and paying managers pocket change (Acta and Riggs were among the lowest paid managers in baseball, and Davey did not demand a multi-year deal when he came on and he may very well be asking for that right now and at a premium manager rate). The Lerners may now be well beyond their not fully staffing the front office old days, but it is hard to argue that they have consistently, ever since they bought the club spent whatever it takes, no?I said they will spend whatever it takes for quality. Those examples you gave don't apply. Of course they are not going to spend money just for the sake of spending money. You and the rest of the Lerners Are Cheap crowd have never understood that.

  52. Feel Wood - Nov 2, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    Davey did not demand a multi-year deal when he came on and he may very well be asking for that right now and at a premium manager rateRizzo wanted to give him a multi-year managing deal, but Davey turned it down in favor of the multi-year consultant deal with periodic re-evaluation of managing. That's totally different than saying "he did not demand a multi-year deal."

  53. NatsLady - Nov 2, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    Here is an article (with pics) about guys for the 2013 draft. (You don't have to be a subscriber to read it). Local guy:Matthew McPhearson | OF | Riverdale Baptist School (Upper Marlboro, MD)5-foot-10/170 pounds | left/left profile | draft day age 18y 2mo | Univ. of Miami commitFirst Take: Explosive, athletic player with tools. Showed solid pitch recognition throughout tourney, collected big hits all weekend. Ran everything out hard. Took ball up the middle. Outstanding range to either side, looks like pure center patcher.–Dan EvansSecond Take: Made one of the best defensive plays of the tournament ranging to right-center gap with impressive closing speed and body control through sliding catch; above-average to plus runner in field but slower out of box with 4.15-4.22 times to first from left side; improving at bats; works best gap to gap as slasher; hit tool projection unclear, but starter kit for solid lead-off hitter with plus defense in center.–Nick FalerisScouting the Drafthttp://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=18826

  54. rmoore446 - Nov 2, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    Unless the price soars above 3 years for $15M, spend the money on Sean.And it would be foolish to upset the chemistry of the clubhouse by letting Davey walk.

  55. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 2, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    I think the LaRoche situation will be an interesting one to watch from the outside but I find the Adam LaRoche history to be an interesting one why he has never received top respect in a sport where Adam Dunn can get a 4 year $56 million deal and the best deal of LaRoche's career was when the Nats signed him to his 2 year $15 million deal.Out of High School he was drafted by the Marlins and turned them down. When he was 20 he was drafted by the Braves in the 29th round and signed for chump change only to spend 4 years in the Minors.In his first season, at age 24 LaRoche went under the radar with a solid season for a Rookie and didn't get any Rookie of the Year votes.In LaRoche's 3rd year with the Braves he put up very good numbers, 32 HRs, 90 RBIs and a .354 OBP and what did the Braves do? They traded him to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Mike Gonzalez. Pittsburgh traded him to Boston, Boston traded him back to Atlanta and then LaRoche became a Free Agent.After slashing .325/.401/.557/.957 in Atlanta in 2009, nobody would give LaRoche the deal he wanted and he took a 1 year deal at the age of 30 with Arizona DBacks.LaRoche's numbers in Arizona were a mixed bag. LaRoche became a Free Agent once again and the best he got was the 2 year deal from the Nats. As we know, his 2011 was a near disaster and his 2012 finally showed a consistent player who was near All Star potential.I really like Adam LaRoche and Washington seems the type of town to appreciate its players. Adam Dunn was a player who lost respect before he came to Washington and became a fan favorite and then left to get a great deal in Chicago. There weren't many teams clamoring for Adam Dunn when he became a Free Agent after the 2008 season and he didn't sign with the Nats until mid-February of 2009 and only got a 2 year deal. After Washington, Dunn seemed to be viewed differently.I see many parallels between Dunn and LaRoche's careers and Dunn I feel turned his career around in Washington and I feel the same way with LaRoche but then again, we shall see how the rest of the baseball world views LaRoche as a Free Agent this time around.

  56. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 2, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    Burnett is in a seller's market. No matter you or I may think 3 years/$15MM is a lot for a LH 7th inning/set-up/sometimes-LOOGY guy, the shortage of LH relievers on the market (and all of the extra TV dollars going to all of the teams) means he's likely to get that, and more. Ironically, Gorzelanny establishes at least the floor for what Burnett is worth. Gorzelanny made $3.1MM in 2012, and is likely to get a raise in arbitration even though his innings were much less critical than Burnett's.I hope the Nats re-sign Burnett. Gorzellany is not a replacement. He has a tendency to la-de-dah the first couple of hitters, and doesn't have Burnett's ability to miss bats. If they don't re-sign Burnett, maybe they can trade a young RH or two (Rodriguez/Mattheus/Garcia/Perry) for a LH. I also think the Nats would prefer to have three LH relievers and will sign a LH retread and hope to get a 2010 model Doug Slaten season out of him.

  57. fast eddie - Nov 2, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    I've read lots of NI comments re: Haren and Lohse, but what about other FAs like Kuroda (16-11, 3.32) and Dempster (12-8, 3.38)?Count me in the Lannan camp as #5 starter. Rizzo can still make a mid-season trade if he doesn't work out.

  58. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 2, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    JD, here are options for LH relievers:Jeremy Affeldt (34)Sean Burnett (30)Tim Byrdak (39)Randy Choate (37)Dana Eveland (29)Pedro Feliciano (35) – $4.5MM club optionBrian Fuentes (37)Mike Gonzalez (35)Alex Hinshaw (30)J.P. Howell (28)Will Ohman (35)Oliver Perez (31)J.C. Romero (37)George Sherrill (36)Hisanori Takahashi (38)I have not gone through all their stats but Affeldt will be top candidate to replace Burnett but he will cost even more than Sean I think.

  59. Kiterp - Nov 2, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    Michael Bourn to Nats, Morse to 1st base, ALR to somewhere else, Burnett stays and Davey, like all 70 year old men is in no rush … sitting in his big chair napping about right now. Where the crystal ball fails is #5

  60. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 2, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    of course I have not mentioned trade candidates so there could be more names involved.

  61. JD - Nov 2, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    I don't mind Mike Gonzalez for $2 mil a year but I think Burnett looks pretty good vs. that list.

  62. SCNatsFan - Nov 2, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Theo – my point is if Davey isn't coming back then Porter starys as manager, so by lettin him go it tells me Davey is back. Sure, let him interview and when the time comes and he gets the offer the Lerners step in and say go if you want but Davey won't be back; Porter wouldn't have even asked his wife where the bags were and would have stayed right here.

  63. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 2, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Kiterp said… Michael Bourn to Nats, Morse to 1st base, ALR to somewhere else, Burnett stays and Davey, like all 70 year old men is in no rush … sitting in his big chair napping about right now. Where the crystal ball fails is #5 November 02, 2012 11:11 AM Jon Heyman is already tweeting up Bourn to the Nats and MLBTR has had Bourn to the Nats. What does that mean? Absolutely nothing. All Boras top clients will be tied to the Nats. Bourn, Lohse, Madson and RSoriano.Expect a lot of that. I don't see anything happening until LaRoche's situation goes one way or another.With the emergence of star centerfielder Bryce Harper, there is no longer an immediate need to find a CF and with the emergence of high OBP leadoff man Jayson Werth there is no longer an immediate need to find a leadoff man.I think the Nats post-season lineup is better than one with Bourn and without LaRoche although a defense with Bourn and Morse shifting to 1st base is probably slightly better net/net.

  64. JD - Nov 2, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    SCNatsFan, I don't think Porter was ever the heir apparent in DC. If he was they wouldn't have brought Randy Knor up to be the bench coach.

  65. JD - Nov 2, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    Ghost, Bourn is looking for $90 – $100 mil 5 year deal. There is no way we should go there based on what you say above.

  66. NatsLady - Nov 2, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    Ghost, right about ALR. He was "under the radar" in the past but won't be now, being on a playoff team and winning the gold glove plus his offense. His age, however, speaks against a 4-5 year guaranteed contract. After slashing .325/.401/.557/.957 in Atlanta in 2009, nobody would give LaRoche the deal he wanted and he took a 1 year deal at the age of 30 with Arizona DBacks.It seems strange to me that he couldn't get that type of contract when he was three years younger and had put up solid numbers most of his career. [aside]I have questions about the DBacks as they don't seem to get the best out of their players on a consistent basis. With the type of talent they have coming through their system, you would think they would have better results over the last few years than they have had.It seems like a solid business move for LaRoche to wait until his free agency and see what offers come his way. I don't doubt that his agent has a solid offer from the Nats in his pocket that he can compare. Although he is the top first baseman on the market currently, first base is not a premium position. Most NL teams have Tyler Moore types (hot young hitter) or Michael Morse types (aging sluggers) that they can slot into 1B. LaRoche cannot play any other position, not even LF in a pinch. So it is 1B or DH for him, and DH reduces his value because he loses the defense component. I just don't think he will get 4-5 years on the market, which circles him back to us. Unless there is a bidding war with an owner who thinks ALR is the final piece necessary for a playoff run (see Fielder, Prince), I think the Nats have a good shot.

  67. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 2, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    JD said… Ghost,Bourn is looking for $90 – $100 mil 5 year deal. There is no way we should go there based on what you say above. November 02, 2012 11:30 AM Agreed. The dynamics have changed positively for the Nats with Harper/Werth. I don't believe the Nats will land Bourn and will only be in there until the end to help their pal Boras much like the Prince deal. Could Washington be some sort of fallback position? Yes but unlikely.

  68. Feel Wood - Nov 2, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    Ironically, Gorzelanny establishes at least the floor for what Burnett is worth. Gorzelanny made $3.1MM in 2012, and is likely to get a raise in arbitration even though his innings were much less critical than Burnett's.Gorzelanny got to where he is salary-wise because he was a starter until his most recent trip through arbitration last year. Burnett has always been a reliever in arbitration years. Starters are valued higher than relievers in arbitration, and once a player gets to a salary level in one year of arbitration it is almost impossible for his salary to go down in subsequent arb years. So if Gorzelanny had been a reliever all along, he'd be making less now. But that's irrelevant anyway, because once a player hits free agency as Burnett is now doing, arbitration salaries are meaningless. In free agency, the market determines the salary, plain and simple.

  69. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 2, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    Good analysis NatsLady on LaRoche. If Texas gets David Ortiz, they are out of the LaRoche need in my opinion but I don't know if they are in any rush to make a move. I could see LaRoche's future dragging out for months if he waits for other teams and hope he makes the choice to stay in Washington if they can do a 3 year deal.I just don't think it is in Rizzo's best interest to go longer than 3 years at this time.

  70. Drew - Nov 2, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    An outfield of Werth, Bourn, Harper blocks Goodwin for years, which doesn't make any sense — even if Morse is traded.I like Michael Bourn a lot, but Goodwin will be ready by 2014. Why give Bourn a multi-year deal?

  71. MicheleS - Nov 2, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    Fast Eddie.. saw that Kuroda wants to stay in NYY and would be willing to take a 1 year deal to stay.ALR issue – Wasn't the knock on ALR the slow start and his sometimes lapses (or was it ADD?) Which is why he never got a long term contract. He kicked both issues to the curb this year.

  72. JD - Nov 2, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    Drew, Extrapolating Goodwin to the big club is a stretch at best to me at this point; he looks like a decent prospect but is far from a sure thing.

  73. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 2, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    I think if LaRoche leaves that Rizzo could trade for Justin Upton. Upton would be an upgrade on corner outfield defense and provide a good middle of the lineup power and OBP.

  74. NatsLady - Nov 2, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    Ghost, agree on the 3 years. Then ALR has to decide if he wants to retire at 35 (or go to the AL as a DH). He might decide to retire. His career earnings at that point would be in the $60-$70MM range and he doesn't strike me as the type for foolish business ventures ala Curt Schilling.

  75. JD - Nov 2, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    NatsLady, I think ALR would do 3 years; I am not so sure about Rizzo; I think he would prefer 2.

  76. JD - Nov 2, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    'I think if LaRoche leaves that Rizzo could trade for Justin Upton. Upton would be an upgrade on corner outfield defense and provide a good middle of the lineup power and OBP.' I would love it but the cost would likely be something like: Espi, Morse and Rendon.

  77. NatsLady - Nov 2, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    JD, yes, I'm sure Rizzo would prefer two years, but I think the market would give ALR three, and Rizzo will have to match it. If it goes higher, I think Rizzo falls out of the bidding.

  78. Water23 - Nov 2, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    Just a thought but maybe they let ALR walk and before you crucify me hear me out. First, ALR is notorious for starting slow. Granted last year he shook it off but almost every other year it was true. So, which is it a new ALR or an aberration?Second, maybe like the Cardinals did last year, they can let the stud 1B walk if it is a big overpayment and fill the role. Allen Craig is no Pujols but he is very good and an undervalued player. For the Nats, the equivalent would be either Morse or Moore.The Nats have a logjam and maybe letting ALR walk is the right move?

  79. NatsLady - Nov 2, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    Water23, I hear you, and although I treasure LaRoche, I'm sure Rizzo has a Plan B.However, arguing against letting LaRoche walk: I think (a) Morse has more value in a trade than at 1B; and (b) a contending team is unlikely to turn 1B over to a rookie (Moore). As we've seen, LaRoche's D is critical, especially if RZ doesn't fix his throwing problems.

  80. Water23 - Nov 2, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    NL,I agree on both but if ALR gets a 3yr $40-$45 Million with 4th yr option or other such then it is best to walk away. The question is what would you get for Morse and what do the Nats need? what they would get? Decent SP or prospects but not enough alone to let him go. What do the Nats need? 1B – not if ALR returns. 2B – Sure if Cano is available in the deal but that will take a lot more than Morse.SS – Nope3B – NopeC – Not unless Posey, Weiters or maybe Mauer (if the Twinkies eat some money)OF – Upton or Cargo sure but again it would cost too much.So, letting ALR go and moving on with Morse might have to be the solution.Then again Rizzo always seems to have something up his sleeve and "In Rizzo We Trust"

  81. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 2, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    JD said… 'I think if LaRoche leaves that Rizzo could trade for Justin Upton. Upton would be an upgrade on corner outfield defense and provide a good middle of the lineup power and OBP.'I would love it but the cost would likely be something like: Espi, Morse and Rendon. November 02, 2012 12:13 PM On 2nd thought, I don't like the trade. LOL I see Rendon's name on there and that's too rich. That's probably what AZ would want but that's too much.I don't trade Rendon. Just can't do it.

  82. NatsLady - Nov 2, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    Water, I wasn't thinking of Morse in a one-for-one trade, but rather in a package. Morse alone is not worth trading because he is an excellent (maybe even elite) hitter when he is healthy, so you would want to keep him unless you are getting(a) a better fielder who is almost as good a hitter; or (b) a SP better than Lannan.

  83. NatsJack in Florida - Nov 2, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    You know Rizzo has a plan"B" in case LaRoche leaves. And it may or may not include Morse.As witmessed recently, plan "B" can work out better because if Buehrle was plan "A" and Gio was plan "B"…..well I'm sure we are more than happy with that plan "B".

  84. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 2, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    I have looked at other teams and the only 2 teams I see that could outbid the Nats for LaRoche is Texas and Boston and nobody has even penciled in Texas as a suitor for LaRoche, as I've only seen Boston which was the team that once had LaRoche for 9 days before they traded him away.Unless Rizzo is holding firm at 2 years which I think he would go to 3 years, I hope they get a fair deal done.If LaRoche's demands are more, I say Good Luck Adam I barely knew ya!

  85. Exposremains - Nov 2, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    There is no way Burnett should get 3/15M deal. If a team is willing to pay that, good for them. How many wins did Burnett cost the Nats in the past few years with his yearly 2 months slumps. If you want to give 15M to a reliever go get a really good one even if he's RH. Cards had only one LH pitcher in their bullpen.If you don't resign Laroche aka The RocK(french speakers you know what I mean)and move MOrse to 1st then Harper becomes your only LH threat. This team is better with 2 LH threats. If you keep Laroche, is Morse a better option than Upton or Bourn? I would take Upton because of his power, the only thing Bourn has going for him is speed which in 2-3 years will be almost gone.I would get a very good SP, doesn't have to be a fireballer it could be a good contrast with the rest of the rotation if he wasn't.I would like to see a SP with really good control. I would not be scared to trade prospects like Goodwin because there's no guarantee he becomes a great player. All you could hear about last year is how Michael Taylor would be the future CF, what happened to that?Thank you to anyone that read my entire post. Its a bit long.

  86. NatsLady - Nov 2, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    Well, so much for rumors. I believe Boras is still Ankiel's agent, right?Tim Brown ‏@TBrownYahooNot for nothin', but Scott Boras on Ankiel possibly returning to mound: "Rick Ankiel is a position player. He's not pitching."

  87. JD - Nov 2, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    Here is an interesting read about NL moves that 'should' happen including one by the Nats:http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/hotstove12/story/_/id/8579468/los-angeles-dodgers-trading-andre-ethier-national-league-moves-happen-winter-mlb

  88. JD - Nov 2, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    FWIW I think Morse should fetch more than Drabek and Mc.Coy.

  89. NatsLady - Nov 2, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    Jon Morosi ‏@jonmorosiGood news: Spring really does come early this season. A's begin Cactus League play on FEB 23 because of WBC. Your team probably is same.Mark, is there any more up-to-date word on pitchers-catchers and spring training dates?

  90. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 2, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    " Unless there is a bidding war with an owner who thinks ALR is the final piece necessary for a playoff run (see Fielder, Prince), I think the Nats have a good shot." Rangers fit that description. They will have $$ freed by Hamilton walk. And they badly need to replace LH power bat. Somebody said they hadn't seen Rangers linked to LaRoche. I have. In any case, they can't be thrilled w/ their 1B options (Young, old; Napoli, wants to be a catcher and is not a good defender; Moreland, non-descript or under-achiever or both). (Final thought: Rangers' stadium plays to LH HR hitters as it replicates RF at Tiger Stadium — still known to some of us as Briggs Stadium. Not a dispositive consideration but it might be something LaRoche would be thinking about.)

  91. NatsLady - Nov 2, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    Have to agree that LaRoche makes more sense for the Rangers than Ortiz, unless the Rangers have someone in their (well-stocked) farm system for 1B. Yet the Ortiz/Texas rumors keep floating around.

  92. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 2, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    Actually Mauer can solve our 1B problem long term. I think he is a very good hitter. not a great power hitter, but a very good hitter nonetheless.

  93. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 2, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    Nats Lady — Re: WBC. You can look at it as ST opening early or as the off-season ending early. Maybe fewer of those early-March just-as-the-games-begin signings. Probably not; just a fantasy about what it will take to stop the "trade Morse, Rendon and Lombardozzi for a one-year rental pitcher" crap.

  94. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 2, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    Rangers could use both LaRoche and Ortiz (DH, if they're willing to let Michael Young go). With Young/Moreland available, however, they are more in need of a LF.

  95. NatsLady - Nov 2, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    So I looked up Drabek and McCoy. A "meh" pitcher and a light-hitting (VERY light-hitting) utility guy? Why would Rizzo even consider trading Morse for those guys?Drabek has had two TJ's (he's 25). For that we might as well go with Garcia (or Perry).

  96. NatsLady - Nov 2, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    Plus I can't see the Jays giving up on Drabek. They need starting pitching, way more than we do.

  97. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 2, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    why wouldn't rangers trade for Mauer? his left-handed bat in that lineup will be very dangerous I believe. their perennial 1B worries will be gone for next six seasons and they have a deep farm system to make a trade of that level.

  98. NatsJack in Florida - Nov 2, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    Faraz….actually, you take out Ault and Profar and the Rangers are pretty weak in their farm system.

  99. NatsLady - Nov 2, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    Someone was asking if there is a site that tracks bat speeds. I haven't found one yet, but this site does show the bat speed for home runs (all home runs are tracked). Could probably put it into a spreadsheet and sort by player.home run trackerhttp://www.hittrackeronline.com/index.php

  100. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 2, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    NL, it was me. I believe that is speed off bat of baseball, not bat speed. right?NatsJack, I don't know much about prospects but others have rated their farm system as one of top 5. Could be that the high ranking is mainly due to those two guys you named.anyways, I do see mauer as a fit for rangers.

  101. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 2, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    Of course Giancarlo Stanton rules first two spots of speed off bat ranks.

  102. bowdenball - Nov 2, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    NatsLady said…So I looked up Drabek and McCoy. A "meh" pitcher and a light-hitting (VERY light-hitting) utility guy? Why would Rizzo even consider trading Morse for those guys?Drabek is a prospect more than a pitcher. Scouts loved his stuff; he was ranked very highly circa 2009. He'd be a lottery ticket type acquisition. McCoy is a decent OBP guy- .376 for his minor league career, higher in the hitter-friendly PCL- who can play defense all over the field. Basically Lombardozzi with better defensive skills and more flexibility.The reason they'd trade Morse for them is that if they sign LaRoche and a CF, Morse is completely expendable, especially with Tyler Moore around. And because he's in the last year of his deal, injury-prone and has serious defensive limitations, a package like that from an AL team might be the best they can do. I don't think that was a rumored deal, just an idea. But if we sign LaRoche and a CF to free agency deals, expect something similar.

  103. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 2, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    Even if he is expendable, I think we can get more than a utility guy and an older project.

  104. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 2, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    Faraz, the problem with the Rangers is they weren't in a situation to improve much at July 31st as they didn't have the guys to trade for the right player and wouldn't part with Profar.The Rangers are in a situation of going the Free Agent route for now.Like I said earlier, the Rangers aren't tied to LaRoche and they may not be interested in him but I would think they are going to look at Bourn and BJ Upton for CF as well as putting a bat at 1B. Their first need will be a CF but they could also decide to add a LH good power bat at 1st/DH.

  105. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 2, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    Not sure why anyone is speculating on trading Morse. I think Morse stays here unless the Nats re-sign LaRoche and get a top outfielder.

  106. NatsLady - Nov 2, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    Average distance of Nats HR = 404Average bat speed of Nats HR = 104.2Morse 407/105Harper 412/105.8RZ 405/105.5Moore 406/104.5ALR 397/103Danny 407/105Desi 409/105

  107. NatsLady - Nov 2, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    FS, yes, it is the ball speed off the bat. I haven't been able to find a lot on actual bat speed except from manufacturers and coaches telling you how to improve it. :) :)

  108. NatsLady - Nov 2, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    bowdenball, I understand (and agree with) the reasoning behind a possible trade of Morse. But as an excellent to elite hitter, I believe we can get better return. If we do not get good return, I see no reason to trade him, and certainly not for someone else's pitching project when we have our own, and for a "Lombo" replacement when we have Lombo.

  109. JD - Nov 2, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    In a game I went to in August we were there for BP and Morse hits the most gargantuan bombs you will ever see. There is no doubt about it; he has awesome power. The question is this. Given a regular job with regular at bats how much offense will you get from Tyler Moore compared to Mike Morse at a fraction of the cost?

  110. JD - Nov 2, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    Ghost, IMO if LaRoche signs Morse is almost certainly gone. I don't think Rizzo wants that defense in left field all year next year.

  111. NatsLady - Nov 2, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    And that's the bottom line in the proverbial nutshell.IMO if LaRoche signs Morse is almost certainly gone. I don't think Rizzo wants that defense in left field all year next year.

  112. JD - Nov 2, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    NatsLady, With all his excellent hitting Morse ended the year as a 0.3 WAR player which simply proves that a run prevented is as valuable as a run produced. I think that playing 1st base will reduce Morse's defensive liability so ghost is right in that sense; if we don't sign LaRoche we will likely move Morse to 1st.

  113. NatsLady - Nov 2, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    Lotta claiming of guys off waivers (via Twitter) but none by the Nats so far. Mostly stuff like Twins claiming A from the Rockies and vice versa.The rumors about the Nats are, I think, just speculations or ideas about what the Nats should do, not real information based on anyone in the front office leaking. Rizzo (as usual) is keeping a tight lid.

  114. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 2, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    NatsLady, interesting chart and I was surprised that Harper wasn't higher than 105.8 and also surprised Zim's speed would be that high.The physics of Bryce Harper's baseball swing is unique. He creates the extra top-hand torque and bat speed as his hands rotate prior to impact. The extra force he creates in the last few inches of swing before impact is incredible. It allows him to sit back on balls a split second longer and once he commits to a pitch he still has enough bat speed to power the ball and to hit it the opposite way.With that super slo-mo camera they used at the World Series, I hope they use it for Fox games of the week to show Bryce's swing.Hitting coaches call it "throwing your hands" at the ball but I've never seen a player do it with the force that Bryce generates. Whoever taught Bryce to hit at an early age should be congratulated.

  115. bowdenball - Nov 2, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    NatsLady said…"bowdenball, I understand (and agree with) the reasoning behind a possible trade of Morse. But as an excellent to elite hitter, I believe we can get better return."I think the problem here is that like most every passionate fan, you're vastly overestimating Morse's value. Especially when it comes to lovable fan favorites like Morse. I feel that way about him, but he's not an elite hitter. Instead he was elite for one peak season, and you can say that about almost any above-average major league bat if you take their best season. Of the 92 NL hitters with 400 or more plate appearances in 2012, he ranked 40th in OPS. Barely above average, and that's a pure ratio stat, not affected by his missed time, and it includes catchers and middle infielders. Add that to his obvious deficiencies on defense and his inability to stay healthy and the fact that he's only under contract through 2013 and you have an asset that's simply of very little value. To be honest I'm sort of talking myself into keeping him the more I write about it. The 2013 Nats are probably the favorite to win the National League. Considering how little we'd probably get in return, it might be better to have him around for various reasons.

  116. NatsLady - Nov 2, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    JD, I agree. Morse's value comes almost entirely from offense, and you hope his D (especially in LF) doesn't cost you.Looking at WAR for 2011 when he played 146 games, Morse was a fWAR 3.3 player. This in spite of the fact that his fielding was -13 and his baserunning -.1. The current estimated value is $6-8MM per win, so Morse should be getting, conservatively, $18MM. That is the value we should get in a trade IMO, bearing in mind that he is a one-year "rental" for the other team.

  117. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 2, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    JD said… Ghost,IMO if LaRoche signs Morse is almost certainly gone. I don't think Rizzo wants that defense in left field all year next year. November 02, 2012 3:07 PM I'm still not buying it. Did you see that 2 run HR in Game 5? A healthy Morse is as dangerous a player as there is and even the dropoff in his defense is easily fixed by the late inning defensive replacement that Davey really didn't seem too concerned about. I think this harping of Morse as a defensive liability is greatly exaggerated on here.Also, the intangible value of having Morse behind Zim and LaRoche was invaluable.

  118. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 2, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    WAR is cumulative. Look how much time Morse missed and how much he played injured. The Morse hatred is way overdone here.Have a great weekend. I've read enough.

  119. NatsLady - Nov 2, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    Actually, bowdenball, I'm trying NOT to overvalue Morse. And trust me, as a lover of good D, he's far from a favorite for this fan. I think he belongs in the AL, like it or not, and that is where you would get trade value for him. However, watching him this year when he was healthy I saw the same skills that he had last year, the power was there, and the hitting eye for singles was there.

  120. bowdenball - Nov 2, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    GoSM-The Morse "hatred" is simply in the context of his current trade value. We're trying to see him as other GMs will see him.I think that if you looked at him in the context of Nats fandom instead, the sentiment would be the polar opposite of hate.

  121. NatsLady - Nov 2, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    Ghost, to look objectively at the strengths, weaknesses and trade value of a player is not "hatred." Sorry that you feel that way.

  122. bowdenball - Nov 2, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    NatsLady said… "However, watching him this year when he was healthy I saw the same skills that he had last year, the power was there, and the hitting eye for singles was there."This is why I'm starting to think I want them to hang on to him for 2013. I see this stuff too, and how it could be incredibly valuable for a contender. But there's no question that the other things will affect his trade value in a huge way. And if they do, I say keep him. The fans love him. He loves DC and the fans. 2013 is a "go for it" season.

  123. hiramhover - Nov 2, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    BowdenballAgreed, but it doesn't seem that Davey loves him.

  124. hiramhover - Nov 2, 2012 at 7:41 PM

    As for GhostIt's not "hatred" to say he's a defensive liability. As I fan, I really like the guy, and if/when he's healthy, his offense more than makes up for his poor D–but it's still poor D.

  125. NatsLady - Nov 2, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    The counterargument to Morse in LF is Gregor Blanco in LF. If you knew for sure that Morse was going to give you 3.3 WAR offensively, and that you could sub in a Bernadina-type pretty regularly, then you would keep Morse (this is assuming LaRoche re-signs) because why wouldn't you keep an $18MM player that you are only paying $6.8MM?The unknown is (a) Morse staying healthy for 140+ games and being healthy in October and (b) whether you could get something better in a trade. I would say for sure that if ALR goes then Morse stays and I hope he staves off his boredom by hiring a coach to work with him on 1B defense.

  126. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 2, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    What I like about Morse: middle of order power bat, good #5 hitter that sprays line drives all over the field, high avg hitter.What I don't like about Morse: defense, OBP is less compared to his AVG, high K, injuries.Why I favor his trade: don't see him part of future and upgrade to defense.Why I don't favor trade: not easy to replace #5 power bat of his.

  127. NatsLady - Nov 2, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    hh-No, Davey doesn't love him. But if Morse comes back with a serious, hustling attitude, keeps himself healthy, and produces offensively, Davey will cope. :)

  128. JayB - Nov 2, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    apples and oranges for Gio Plan vs Mark B. Plan…….one is FA Sign and one is trade of proven prospects…..Signing FA is always better in my view than trade of prospects…it just costs money and now less likely a pick

  129. JayB - Nov 2, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    Beltran…good FA sign…lots of them out there every year…lots of bad ones too….just like trade market

  130. Joe Seamhead - Nov 2, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    I don't get so many of you to be so anxious to move Bryce Harper to LF. Actually I think it's pretty ignorant baseball. The kid improved unbelievably in CF, has too much arm, and too much speed to be wasted in LF, not to mention he has made it clear that he feels that he gets better reads in center. I say forget Bourn and both Uptons. The outfield is not a major problem for this team.

  131. JD - Nov 2, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    Joe S. I think that optimally you would play Werth in left and Harper in right. I agree that Harper in center is not a problem at all as long as you don't have a defensive liability like Morse or Moore in left. Justin Upton is an elite 2 way player with speed, power and defense. Who wouldn't want that?

  132. JD - Nov 2, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    JayB, If you sign Beltran as a FA; who does he replace?

  133. NatsLady - Nov 2, 2012 at 8:17 PM

    Agree, I think the idea is to move Harper to right if he "outgrows" center. He's got that great arm!

  134. JD - Nov 2, 2012 at 8:17 PM

    'Signing FA is always better in my view than trade of prospects'.Kind of like what the Marlins did; right?

  135. NatsLady - Nov 2, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    THis made me laugh. The Dodgers have too much money. Ten Bobbleheads??!!???Los Angeles Dodgers@Dodgers The 2013 promo schedule features 10 bobbleheads- including Koufax, Scully, Jaime Jarrín, Magic Johnson, Kemp & Rick Monday saving the flag.

  136. NatsLady - Nov 2, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    Actually, signing a free agent isn't always better than trading prospects–not if you have to pay a lot of years and $$ and indenture the future payroll. It completely depends on how well you stock the farm system. Part of the PURPOSE of a good farm system is for trades.

  137. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 2, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    I would go for Koufax, Scully, Kemp, and Rick Monday.

  138. NatsFan05 - Nov 2, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    First, I'd like to see Sean and Adam return, but at what price.If Adam doesn't come back, I see him going to the O's for a 4 year deal. He would be a good fit with the Q and then he can move over to DH in his 4th year. (Wish MLB would get the MASN dispute settled soon!)http://sports.yahoo.com/news/five-first-baseman-interest-baltimore-orioles-fans-view-230800613–mlb.html;_ylt=AtL1Uljc_m.iJ985my5XCE6FCLcFIf Adam does go, then I do see Sean coming back, but not both at the prices they are asking. Also, If Adam goes, then we going to need to come up with another everyday LH hitting player, like Brian Goodwin in CF/LF or someone else outside the organization.Just my two cents!

  139. NatsLady - Nov 2, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    That is why I am of the mind of draft the best possible player rather than draft for the positions you need. (I mean, within reason, you can't draft 100% pitchers). Most of the kids you draft are 3-5 years away from the majors, and in that time, if they develop you will ascertain whether they are needed in a trade or at your own team's ML level. That is where a smart GM has a balance between acquiring FA's, re-signing your own players, and trades. Everything in CONTEXT.

  140. Feel Wood - Nov 2, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    NL, it was me. I believe that is speed off bat of baseball, not bat speed. right?Simple Newtonian mechanics will tell you that from the moment the bat touches the baseball until the moment the ball leaves contact with the bat, the speed of the bat and the the speed of the ball are one and the same. And once the ball leaves contact with the bat, there is nothing that will cause its speed to increase. So if the measurements of the speed of the ball off the bat are taken immediately after the ball leaves contact with the bat, that will be virtually equivalent to the bat speed.

  141. JD - Nov 2, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    NatsLady, Exactly, exactly. That's why the Nats drafted Anthony Rendon even though 3rd base was the position which needed the least attention. He was by far the best player available and there is always something you can do with such players.

  142. Joe Seamhead - Nov 2, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    JD said: Joe S. I think that optimally you would play Werth in left and Harper in right. I agree that Harper in center is not a problem at all as long as you don't have a defensive liability like Morse or Moore in left. Justin Upton is an elite 2 way player with speed, power and defense. Who wouldn't want that? November 02, 2012 4:10 PM———————————–Justin is a better then average rightfielder that is getting almost $8million a year. He is not known to play a good CF. We have greater needs.I'd rather have the OF we have, with Morse's bat. Re-sign ALR, find a better #5 then EJ.

  143. Feel Wood - Nov 2, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    NatsLady said… hh-No, Davey doesn't love him.Why do you think that? Any time Morse was injured and out of the lineup, Davey would repeatedly say they needed his bat back. In the race to clinch the division and in the NLDS, even though Morse was not 100% Davey left him in the lineup. Davey definitely likes Morse if he's going to play a diminished version of him instead of a fully healthy Moore or Bernadina in left field in crucial games.

  144. JD - Nov 2, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    Joe S. In the last 4 years Upton's WAR no's are: 4.8,3.0,6.4,2.5. (average of 5.2 which at market price is worth something north of $25 mil a year). Upton's defensive numbers for these 4 years are:7.7, 5.5,7.7,-2.1 (avg 4.7) – hardly just above average and he's 25 years old. Mike Morse avg WAR for these 4 years is just under 1,5 with one outstanding year in 2011 of 3.3 and he's 30 years old. Sorry; no comparison.

  145. hiramhover - Nov 2, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    Feel WoodI think it's a question of demeanor–Davey doesn't like his goofing around–for example, that game in Sept when Morse was goofing around in the OF when Bryce caught a flyball, and Davey pulled him.Joe S Actually, I'd be fine with a #5 starter who matched EJax's production this year–but not his salary.

  146. NatsLady - Nov 2, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    Last year Morse (and some other players) did a lot of off-field stuff, endorsements, product lines, etc. (I'm not counting the trip to Japan). You couldn't turn around without seeing Morse. A lot of that has been cut back this year. (I did see Gio came out with some t-shirt line). Davey tolerated the "goofy" stuff early in the season–he was goofy himself sometimes– but as the goal got closer, his tolerance got less and I think Morse didn't quite pick up on that. As I said, if Morse comes back this season with the focus on playing, Davey will be fine with him.

  147. NatsLady - Nov 2, 2012 at 9:24 PM

    And as for Davey saying we need Morse's bat in the lineup, what is he going to say, "No, we don't"? You have to manage the players you have, not the ones you wish you have.

  148. Feel Wood - Nov 2, 2012 at 9:24 PM

    I think it's a question of demeanor–Davey doesn't like his goofing around–for example, that game in Sept when Morse was goofing around in the OF when Bryce caught a flyball, and Davey pulled him.There's no evidence that Davey thought Morse was "goofing around" on that play, and even if he did there's no evidence that it had anything to do with Morse coming out of the game. Davey didn't seem to have any problem with Morse "goofing around" on the phantom grand slam, or with lots of other players "goofing around" at other times, did he? Why would this one play give him a problem? You guys are manufacturing a controversy out of nothing.

  149. DaveB - Nov 2, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    I thought I had read that 5pm today was the deadline for making qualifying offers. Shouldn't we be hearing whether we gave EJax a QO? (I assume LaRoche would get one assuming we haven't signed a new contract).

  150. Feel Wood - Nov 2, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    NatsLady said… And as for Davey saying we need Morse's bat in the lineup, what is he going to say, "No, we don't"? You have to manage the players you have, not the ones you wish you have.Well, in the games that counted the most at the end of the season he had Morse who was playing hurt and a fully healthy Moore and Bernadina. Who was in the lineup EVERY SINGLE DAY? Morse. Case closed.

  151. TheManBearPig - Nov 2, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    Morse supposedly being a defensive liability is exaggerated. He's a good National League leftfielder, that is, a player with an adequate arm, adequate range and decent glove who might give up an extra base now and then, but crushes the ball when you put a bat in his hands. Trading him only makes sense if you can replace his bat in the lineup, and I'm not convinced that Tyler Moore isn't a downgrade. Rolling the dice on Morse showing up in spring training in the best shape of his career and staying healthy for most of the season is a pretty good bet – as a 31 year old player in 2013 he's running out of chances to convince MLB GMs that he's worth big bucks as a free agent. We've seen what a healthy Morse looks like – 30+HR/.900+ OPS. A team with high expectations for the 2013 post-season shouldn't be dealing a player like that unless they have a dire need they can fill by trading him, and the Nats are not in that position. The decision is only whether to keep him for 2013, not whether to extend his contract. This one seems like a no-brainer.

  152. NatsLady - Nov 2, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    FW, do you think Davey was going to make a decision based on personal likes and dislikes? I don't. My observation was that Davey didn't like Morse's "style." That doesn't mean he wasn't going to play him. Unrelated. Case unproven.

  153. NatsLady - Nov 2, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    ManBearPig–Morse approx = Josh Willingham and Rizzo traded Willingham. I think it's unpredictable. There are arguments both ways, as you have seen in this thread.

  154. JD - Nov 2, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    ManBearPig, I guess we don't agree on what constitutes adequate or decent. To me Morse is a downright awful outfielder and his offensive stats in 2012 do not translate to 'crush' either which resulted in a player who was barely above replacement. In 2011 Morse put up exceptional offensive numbers which did to a large extent cover for his poor defense to the tune of a 3.3 WAR. If you be sure that Morse of 2011 is what you are getting in the future (he only had 1 year like that) then you have a case; I,m not convinced that this is a slam dunk.

  155. TheManBearPig - Nov 2, 2012 at 10:01 PM

    NatsLady, I agree that Morse = Willingham. The Nats were in a different position at the time, following a 93-loss season, not a 98-win season with WS hopes for the following year, so I'm not sure that deal would get done in the 2012-13 offseason. JD, Morse, when healthy, did crush the ball and when he is, he's the equivalent of Willingham or Matt Holliday, both offensively and defensively. He's been injured a lot during his career, so betting on him staying healthy for multiple seasons wouldn't be a good idea, but it's quite a different matter to bet on him being healthy in his contract year, 2013. And if he's healthy, he's probably going to be close to his 2011 numbers.

  156. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 2, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    Morse has had two big league seasons — 2011 and 2012 — as a regular. Last year he got into 102 games; was clearly recovering for virtually all of them (didn't start pulling consistently until the last three weeks of September); probably would have sat on the bench if not DLed on a non-contending team for about 15-18 of them — and still had 18 HR and 60 RBI. On the basis of a two-season sample, a bunch of idiots on this list want to insist that 2011 is an anomaly. Go back in your holes until February.

  157. NatsLady - Nov 2, 2012 at 10:19 PM

    From Twitter. This is all I've seen so far–no Jackson.Chris Cotillo ‏@TradeDeadlinerQualifying offers so far to Hamilton, Kuroda, Laroche, Lohse, Ortiz, Bourn, Swisher, Upton, Soriano. More expected. #hotstove

  158. hiramhover - Nov 2, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    Feel WoodNo one's trying to "manufacture a controversy," except maybe you, with the belligerent attitude. Our esteemed host and others drew a connection between Morse's horsing around in the OF and getting benched in that game. Take it for what you will. If that's not much, fine by me.

  159. NatsLady - Nov 2, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    Theo, I'm not arguing that 2011 is an anomaly. I think Morse is very talented with the bat. The question is whether he brings sufficient value in a trade, if we re-sign ALR, that it makes it worth it, bearing in mind that he is basically–for us–a one-year "rental." I can't see the Nats keeping him when he is a free agent, since he "belongs" in the AL. In the end we will wake up in February and see what Rizzo decides, of course.

  160. sjm308 - Nov 2, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    Lots to catch up on here and I will only comment on two points1. I am with manbearpig on the concept that Morse will want to have a killer year in his final year of this contract. It happens all the time in baseball and Morse will be no exception. If he wants to have that one final big contract, next year is his time to shine and I think he will.2. I sign Burnett for 3 years and people that are still worried about the money don't seem to understand that we drew 400,000 more people this past year and will probably improve again this season. Add the MASN deal and the fact that the Lerners are already doing well and money doesn't enter into it. We are not the Yankee's or the Red Sox, but we are now becoming one of the top teams in profit and hopefully will stay there.

  161. DaveB - Nov 2, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    Still nothing on QO fro EJax. I assume that means they are letting him walk….http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/11/nationals-make-adam-laroche-qualifying-offer.html

  162. NatsLady - Nov 2, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    According to Kilgore, no offer to Jackson.

  163. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 2, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    Feel Wood @ 4:33 PM, speed of ball off bat instantaneously should be affected by speed of ball initially I would think. 95 MPH fastball will come off that much faster with a faster swing of bat than 72 MPH Jamie Moyer pitch that Stanton destroyed in May, http://atmlb.com/TqRzH2.What I am saying is that by using same bat speed on a SS fastball with all other parameters being held constant, speed off bat would have been greater.

  164. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 2, 2012 at 11:33 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  165. baseballswami - Nov 5, 2012 at 2:02 AM

    Anyone watching the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year awards? One player per team – ALR, of course. Lots of kudos for him as well. Here's the funny one – Atros– JMax.

  166. baseballswami - Nov 5, 2012 at 2:10 AM

    Bourne named the top defensive player in the Nationsl League. Okay.

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