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Nov 7, 2012, 12:00 PM EST

The World Series is over. The 2012 election is over. The Hot Stove League has begun.

So it’s time to turn our attention to the offseason plan for the Nationals and look at what steps they could (and should) take to not only repeat as NL East champions in 2013 but to make a deeper run through the postseason all the way through the Fall Classic.’s Chase Hughes and I will be touching on a number of subjects this afternoon when we tape our first offseason edition of Beltway Baseball. But we also want to know what subjects you want addressed.

Submit your questions in the comments section, and we’ll pick the best ones to answer on-air. The full show will be posted here tomorrow morning, so be sure to check back and watch it in its entirety.

  1. Brian - Nov 7, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    When are 40-man decisions (additions/arb offers) going to be made?

  2. sjm308 - Nov 7, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    Does C. Garcia have options left?For that matter, who are the players on the 40 man roster that are out of options and either have to make the 25 man roster or be placed on waivers.Thanks Mark and Chase

  3. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 7, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    My questions are:1) 56,808,491 Americans did not want Obama as president but he still is, wassup with that? (btw don't mistake me for a Republican, I am neither.)2) What are the adverse effects of John Lannen as our #5 instead of anyone that is rumored to replace him? I can think of one, that is usage of bullpen in the games he pitches.3) Will Gorzo return to being the lone long man of the bullpen? I don't see any other candidates for this job.

  4. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 7, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    and yes, Sjm's question as well.

  5. Feel Wood - Nov 7, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    3) Will Gorzo return to being the lone long man of the bullpen? I don't see any other candidates for this job.Gorzo was the left handed so-called "long man", Stammen was the righty. Stammen's not going anywhere.

  6. Don - Nov 7, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    Davey Johnson contract getting done.Does Rizzo move a middle infielder — does he sell HIGH on Desi, sell lowish on Espi or sell before the results are fully in on Lombo? Is Morse on the block, whether or not ALR gets re-inked?Matt Purke post-shoulder surgery, what's the expectation on timeline and effectiveness for the kid going forward?Zim's shoulder surgery, same questions. (I know the club says it is no big deal and he'll be ready, but I would say that too if I were trying to sell tickets.)I think that the club's biggest problem last year was the inability to score. Too many Ks not enough OBP. Werth and Harper filled the roles well last season but they are not 1 and 2 hole hitters, they are run producers. What is Rizzo going to do to try to fix that?Dan Haren? Brandon McCrathy? EJ re-inked? Do they go BIG for Grienke? (Only 17% of folks in yesterday's poll said that Zack should be the 5th starter — man, the electorate can be follish sometimes! — the guy is a stud folks. Not sure the coins would be right for the Nats, but do we not want 200 innings of 200 K ball and double digit wins from what would be our #3 starter? Hell yes, we do.) What SP add do they make?Thanks Zuck, looking forward to the show.

  7. MicheleS - Nov 7, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    When will Davey's contract be resolved?Status update on ALR contract and Sean B? Any clue on the Starting Pitcher situation?

  8. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 7, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    actually both Gorzo and Stammen made about the same percent of appearances to pitch multiple innings out of their respective total appearances. Stammen made nine more appearances than Gorzo where he retired more than 3 batters.technically Gorzo was named the long man before 2012. my question is do we see him a return to similar role in 2013?

  9. JaneB - Nov 7, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    If we don't sign ALR, do we go outside for a 1B guy, or use either Tyler Moore or Morse? What's your guess?

  10. Drew - Nov 7, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    What is the likelihood that Rizzo acquires a new starting pitcher through a trade, not free agency?If LaRoche resigns, will the Nats deal Morse for a top pitcher?

  11. Gonat - Nov 7, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. Get Some Players - Nov 7, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 7, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    Get Some Players, if he exists.

  14. Tom M - Nov 7, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    What's the likelihood Tyler Moore makes the Nats ML roster coming out of spring training; what's the likelihood that John Lannan is the 5th starter next year?

  15. Gonat - Nov 7, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    Get Some Players said… Will Alex Rendon be a Major Leaguer at some point next year? November 07, 2012 8:45 AM _____________________________________Are you doing a hybrid of Alex Meyer and Anthony Rendon?Rendon may have been on that RZim fast-track to the Majors if he wasn't injured. Now he needs a MLB position.LONGSHOT: Rendon is the Opening Day starter at 3rd base so Peric's vision of Ryan Zimmerman at 1st base happens.

  16. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 7, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    Gonat, LONGSHOT: If Danny stumbles, Rendon and Danny trade places.

  17. Doc - Nov 7, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    Echoing MicheleS's query. Wad's up with with Davey's contract???For Faraz Shaikh: It's called Democracy pal. Beyond that, 56,808,491+1 voted for him to be El Presidente. Get used to it!

  18. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 7, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    Doc, lame attempt at humor from me. nothing more. I don't intend to get political on a sports blog.

  19. fast eddie - Nov 7, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    Doc:Great post. Put another way, almost 60 mill voted against Romney.

  20. Gonat - Nov 7, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    Gonat said… Rendon 2-2, with a walk, Sac Fly, SB and 3 RBIs with 2 hits w/ RISP. Now batting .305 The rest of the Nats tonight, not so good in Perry, Kimball and Goodwin November 06, 2012 11:16 PM ______________________________________Update: Rendon 3-3, with 2 doubles, a walk, Sac Fly, SB and 4 RBIs with 3 hits w/ RISP. Now batting .317 Mark, how would you rate Rendon's speed?

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

    Gonat, interesting on Rendons speed. 4 stolen bases so far and scoring runs.Most impressive stats to me is his .350 BA w/ RISP and batting much better against RH pitching.Has Rendon always hit righties better?

  22. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 7, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    I found his college numbers for last season; 13 SB in 18 attempts, Owls' best that year. I think his speed would be a plus if he is a good baserunner. His hitting skills is what he was drafted for I believe.

  23. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 7, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    This is better, .

  24. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 7, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    No offense Mark, but as eruditely as you and Chase discuss the most important of these questions — you don't have the answers, or anything more than an educated guess, either (and you've already shared your educated guesses with us, right?). It's sort of the baseball version of The Amazing Kreskin. If someone in the Nats FO had said, "We'll re-sign E. Jackson the day the Devil sells Sno-Cones," you'd have told us, wouldn't you? (This is in contrast to Ladson's, "According to baseball sources . . .," schtick, which includes comments by fans wearing Curly W hats in the men's room at Verizon Center.)Your producers at Comcast need to drag in some schmo from the Nats' organization, or somebody else's organization, or a secretary recently fired by Scott Boras, so that someone can lie to us or obfuscate on the record — let us watch for facial tics or read between the lines.The answers I know you can give us are, who has options and who doesn't, when are tender offers due. Is it true they can let Lannan get $5MM more in arbitration and then dump him — if no takers — before on Opening Day at minimal cost? Speculate informedly about why they/Johnson are screwing around. Maybe you do have real information about the post-operative status of Zimmerman, Purke (and Burnett, for that matter) that you can share. What information have real baseball people — people you can name — given you regarding Rendon's arcing path through the AFL (3-for-3 last night)? Are thoughts of Perry, Garcia as starters to be taken seriously (Perry got rocked yesterday) or just part of the circus for the masses?The Nats keep secrets better than the CIA and it is sometimes very frustrating.Thank you for trying.

  25. NatsJack in Florida - Nov 7, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    So don't watch, Theophilus, and better yet, don't post.

  26. baseballswami - Nov 7, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    Organizational philosophy– 75% homegrown vs 25%free agent ? This year in particular do we go with our own pieces, wait for Goodwin for CF or sign a free agent? What do you see as the Nats makeup?

  27. SCNatsFan - Nov 7, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    Really Theo? Any rumblings of who the 3B coach will be? And interested on your thoughts about Perry.

  28. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 7, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 7, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    Jack — you are mis-reading what I am saying. Mark does the best with what he has. And I appreciate him leading the discussion on this list with the best information available. I do mean that Comcast doesn't give him anything else, e.g., a "guest," to work with. But there are no "answers" to the questions in which we are most emotionally-invested — until they happen because the Nats, and most baseball teams, generally, are much more tight-lipped (or, at least, inaccessible) than management in other sports. I think the questions I'm hoping to see answered (see, above) are worthwhile and potentially answerable, substantively.

  30. MicheleS - Nov 7, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    Also, anything going on with MASN? We know the TV Rev deal is on hold, but are Bob, FP, and Kristina coming back?

  31. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 7, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    Faraz, thanks for getting Rendons speed numbers. Good to see he can run the bases.

  32. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 7, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    Here's an issue that deserves exploration:Before the Cardinals broke the piggy bank for Holliday, they had a fairly well-known formula for remaining competitive, as a medium market team, against big spenders like the Dodgers, Cubs, et al. They allocated X percent of the payroll to two star players, Y percent to the next 10-12 players, and the rest — I think it was around 20-25 percent — to the other 12-14 spots on the roster. In that way they were spending enough money to keep productive players in their day-to-day lineup and fill out the roster with young players and scrubinis. This model worked for them for years.What is the Nats' model? Do they have one? Or do they just ad hoc their way through the budget process?

  33. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 7, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  34. NatsJack in Florida - Nov 7, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    Sorry, Theo but I read your entire post and didn't find your end questions as anything that hasn't already been answeered or anything that can be readily answered by anyone not directly affiliated with Nats management.Speculation at this time of the year is pretty much all we've got.

  35. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 7, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    everyone has a model I bet, it is a business after all.I want Nationals to keep 3-4 home grown star level players and rotate everyone else every 3-4 years. of course it heavily relies on very good draft and very good development program which i think nats have had in recent years.

  36. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 7, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    Jack — Then you do, at least, get my point. Comcast needs to give their viewers something more. It needn't be — though it would useful — someone "directly affiliated" with Nats management. It just needs someone w/ a different/added perspective. Otherwise, we're getting a condensed, short-form format of what Mark and Chase can give us separately, without any added value. Incidentally, I like Michele's questions re MASN. Add to that this one, if the impasse on rights continues, is there any chance it moves to litigation? Ultimately, the Nats' best interest lies in busting up the MASN arrangement.

  37. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 7, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    NatsJack, speculation? Who does that? I don't think any of us really had EJax last year but we kind of hit on it going through Boras clients and I had Buehrle identified last August although we know that swing & miss turned into Gio.I'm still thinking Riz bolsters the bullpen and goes heavy after Anibal only not to get him. If LaRoche doesn't happen, Rizzo will have a Plan B that should be intriguing. Don't be surprised if Boras talks Riz into Madson.

  38. JD - Nov 7, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    Ghost, We have to keep in mind that Rendon has gone through severe ankle injuries which IMO will lead the Nats to avoid 2nd base for him (too much potential for injury on take outs) and will curtail base stealing which is really not Davie's game in any event. I think he ends up at 3rd base which means one of 2 things: 1) Zim ends up at 1st. 2) Rendon is traded. I don't think this is a 2013 issue as I think Rendon will spend most if not all of the year in the minors.

  39. fast eddie - Nov 7, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    Theo:I agree with your posts re: Mark and his insights. Even if he has "sources" within the Nats hierarchy (and I'm sure he does), he can hardly post inside info here without compromising them.That said, I'm still interested in his opinions as a knowledgable baseball reporter on the questions posed here.

  40. JD - Nov 7, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Ghost, Where does Madson fit in? Does he knock Clip out of the 8th inning role? Storen the 9th inning role? Matheus, Garcia, Stammen? I don't see this as a good spend of money and an over reaction to the elimination game. I think the LH bullpen issue must be resolved and that in itself won't be a cheap solution.

  41. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 7, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    Theo, I get your point about going the extra mile with some interviews etc. It can be as easy as an off-season call to players to see what they are working on. I really want to see progress with JZim's changeup and hoping Gio adds another pitch to his arsenal as that is what will get him to greatness. Each player is given an offseason list, it would be nice to hear the progress.The most impressive thing about the Cardinals organization is how the veterans stay in St Louis to work with the youngsters as Chris Carpenter does and Pujols did when he was there.

  42. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 7, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    For those who know our prospects well, what is our AA roster looking like? Rendon, Goodwin, Meyes, Karns should be on it, right?

  43. NatsJack in Florida - Nov 7, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    Ghost….. I can see Madson signing a one year deal with somebody to show his recovery is complete and Rizzo could possibly be the guy.Alot of rumors will probably get stirred up during the GM meetings. This is when the "Hot Stove" fire gets lit.

  44. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 7, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    For those wondering about Goodwin's ups and downs, he was told to work on bunting for hits and its costing him ABs and outs as it isn't working well. He had another bunt pop-up yesterday and the corner infielders are aware of his routine and pressing on the corners.

  45. JD - Nov 7, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    Ghost, I think that the numbers in the AFL are not significant for the exact reason you bring up with Goodwin. Players are working on specifics rather than flat out competing. I think the better picture of where everyone is will come when they compete likely in Harrisburg.

  46. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 7, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    JD, Madson would be the Lidge role from last year and Rizzo's belief Madson is the real deal as I don't see him making that mistake again.Rizzo was right to get the veteran in Lidge and it didn't work out.I see 5 RH relievers and 2 LH. Clippard can't be overused again.

  47. Get Some Players - Nov 7, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    Of course I meant Anthony Rendon. Up late last night.Will Rendon be in the Majors next year?

  48. JD - Nov 7, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    Faraz, Skole? Solis? Purke? Hood? Leon? There are others like: Kobernus, Taylor, Martinson, Moonyhan. But I,m not sure where they all stand as far as the pecking order is concerned.

  49. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 7, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    JD, absolutely about AA. Rizzo wants Goodwin to be a prototypical leadoff with bunting, speed, and high OBP. The bonus with Goodwin is his compact swing that generates power.

  50. JD - Nov 7, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    Ghost, Here is my opinion about the pen: Clip was overused because Storen was out for more than half a season; Lidge was cheap, Madson won't be, Garcia should be a huge addition from within and Matheus and Stammen are more of a know than they were last year. The 5 righties should be: Clip, Storen, Matheus,Garcia and Stammen. I don't know who the lefties will be; we may need to spend some serious dollars on Affeldt.

  51. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 7, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    JD, I still believe Purke is a future star as well as Rendon. Goodwin has tools and needs to see how he transitions in each level. I still see Meyer as a closer unless he gets his secondary pitches up to + pitches.

  52. JD - Nov 7, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    Ghost, Don't get me wrong; I like Madson a lot and if we sign him I think Matheus will have a tough time making the roster because I think Garcia has better raw tools than him.

  53. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 7, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    JD, I could see Garcia starting in AAA for depth.

  54. JD - Nov 7, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    Ghost, I am totally convinced that Rendon is the real deal; I am just not sure that he fits on our team. There are some pieces on the Diamond backs which intrigue me (Upton, Bauer). I can see a deal with them down the line which may involve: Espinosa, Morse, Rendon. I am not basing it on anything except it seems to fit and I think that big deals like that are Rizzo's style.

  55. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 7, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    JD, I could see Rendon deployed like Placido Polanco was between 2nd, 3rd and testing him in the outfield. Sounds sort of like Lombo. Difference between Rendon and Lombo is the much higher ceiling.

  56. Joe Seamhead - Nov 7, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    Garcia looked pretty good, but certainly not invincible. As to Ryan Matheus, I don't see him going anywhere soon.Now,Mark,we really want to know- is Kristina Akra going to be back next year?

  57. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 7, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  58. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 7, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    Some folks — not me, necessarily — probably want to know if Kristina Akra is going to get divorced and become a FA.

  59. SonnyG10 - Nov 7, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    JD, I have high hopes that Rendon will be our high batting average guy in the lineup…someone who is not as streaky as our other hitters. For that reason I don't want to see him traded for anything. He could be our future triple crown winner.

  60. Kevin FSU - Nov 7, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    Hi Mark,I'm interested to know what is going to happen with Flores.Thanks

  61. alexva - Nov 7, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    Have you heard any interest or discussion on the possibility of pursuing Ichiro Suzuki?

  62. Unknown - Nov 7, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    Here in Idaho, the state legislature passed laws that effectively neutered the teacher's unions and gave control back to the parents and students. But the NEA and other unions spent millions of dollars this fall saying the laws were "bad for kids" and they were defeated last night in the form of propositions.In Idaho, where Democrats are really moderate Republicans. So, with that in mind, can we all pool our resources and buy a lot of TV ads saying that the Nationals need to sign Zach Greinke and trade for David Price? Maybe we can get the player's union to pitch in.If Rizzo and Mr. Lerner see them enough, maybe it will work. And no, I'm not taking sides either. Just amazed that the politico types know that spending 'x' dollars sways 'x' number of votes. If you have the dough, you have the votes because so much of the electorate is uninformed. But they all do it, so a pox on all houses not connected with the Nationals. Farid @ Idaho

  63. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 7, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    alexva, I don't know about nationals' interest but count me in. however with Bernie as our 4th OF and Davey preferring more power from bench, I don't see Ichiro signing up with Nats when all their OF jobs are occupied.

  64. peric - Nov 7, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    The key is Davey. His presence makes roster construction moot without his input. They can't move until they decide whether he's on the bench or working as a consultant in the FO.

  65. peric - Nov 7, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    Methinks losing their third base coach to the Astros put a crimp in the Nat's future plans time-line wise … I wonder if Mark et al are willing to address that turn of events and how it might have affected the current situation with Davey?

  66. Doc - Nov 7, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    Theophilus T.S.: You gave me a bunch of laughs with your 9:32 post. Thanks!I'm stll chuckling over your comments about Ladson at the urinal!Love you guys!!!GooooooooooooooooooNats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  67. fast eddie - Nov 7, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    Sanchez's agent is quoted as saying the free agent market is red-hot. He claims "more than a dozen teams have shown serious interest and several have made lucrative, multi-year offers."Question for Mark: Is he trying to goose the price for his client or is this an accurate assessment of the free-agent market?NI postings have implied that Sanchez would be a relatively cheap solution to our 5th SP for 1-2 years.

  68. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 7, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    I don't know about accurate assessment of the free agent market but Sanchez will not come cheap. If Dodgers are linked to him, I would probably stay away because that owner group is going crazy.





As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

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

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