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Beltway Baseball — 11/8/12

Nov 8, 2012, 2:00 PM EDT

There was plenty to talk about during our first offseason edition of Beltway Baseball, and Chase Hughes and I tried to touch on just about every important subject facing the Nationals as the Hot Stove League gets underway.

Among the topics of discussion: Adam LaRoche and the domino effect his situation has on so many others, the need (or lack of need) for another outfielder and the various possibilities for a No. 5 starter. We also brought up what I think is perhaps the most fascinating storyline of the offseason: Should the Nats “go for broke” in an attempt to win the World Series in 2013, but in the process potentially hamstring themselves down the road?

And, of course, we answered your questions on a variety of subjects. Hope you enjoy the show!

129 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. JD - Nov 8, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    Gonat, A couple of days ago I suggested a trade between Arizona and the Nats: Espinosa, Rendon and Morse for Upton and Bauer. The rumor discussed yesterday is pretty close. no? I would try to exclude Ramos if possible (replace with Leon and Morse?). I like Clip a lot but you cannot hold up a trade of this magnitude for a reliever who can be replaced by Madson. The key for me is Trevor Bauer who was drafted above Rendon and who is a top of the rotation arm and would be under team control for 6 years.I don't think this deal would preclude signing LaRoche because I think we would need the left handed bat; I think what it does is make Morse superfluous.

  2. SonnyG10 - Nov 8, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    I'm on vacation at my time share in Massanutten and my internet connection is so slow. It will not do streaming very well, so I haven't been able to watch the video above. I did want to respond to the proposition that the Nats go for broke to win the WS in 2013 at the expense of being hamstrung down the road. DON'T DO IT, please. The WS is a crap shoot as we all know and we had a team good enough to win it all in 2012 without hamstringing ourselves. Just don't do it.

  3. JD - Nov 8, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    SonnyG10, How are we hamstringing ourselves by acquiring 2 young top notch players?

  4. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 8, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    Espinosa, Rendon and Morse for Upton and Bauer? You are kidding I guess.

  5. sjm308 - Nov 8, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    JD – I have already commented on the trade for Upton and have come around to seeing it as a plus but I still can't get past losing Rendon. I realize that like the youngsters we gave up for Gio, he has not contributed yet but I think he is special. Morse,Espinosa, Clip, Flores all fine by me but I would love to see Rendon here for 6 years.Werth rf 20+ HRHarper cf 20+ HRZimmerman 3b 20 + HRLaRoche 1b 20+ HRUpton lf 20+ HRDesmond ss 20+ HRRamos/Suzuki C 20+ HRLombardozi 2b I realize Morse would also provide that kind of power but look at that outfield defense. We would have one of the best defensive teams in the majors, one of the best pitching staffs in the majors and speed all through the lineup.Go Nats!!ps: that Kevin FSU guy is pretty solid. might have to keep him around

  6. sjm308 - Nov 8, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    SonnyG – I agree about being hamstrung and that is why I would not be happy with 5 years for Bourn. Upton is only 25, he is under control for 2 more years and even if we extended him for 3 more he would still be just 30. I don't think that hamstrings us. Where you get hamstrung is when you do what the Phillies did with Howard and Rollins.I do think Werth will in the end put us in a difficult position but hopefully he has 2 or 3 good years left before there is more moaning and groaning. Zimmerman's deal look fine and like Peric has mentioned, the move to first base can extend his career. I guess the question is, if we keep building and building for the future and it never gets here what is the fun in that. I would rather see a WS game in Washington DC sooner than later.

  7. SonnyG10 - Nov 8, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    JD said…SonnyG10,How are we hamstringing ourselves by acquiring 2 young top notch players?JD, I was responding to the following statement from Mark, not to any specific players:We also brought up what I think is perhaps the most fascinating storyline of the offseason: Should the Nats "go for broke" in an attempt to win the World Series in 2013, but in the process potentially hamstring themselves down the road? However, it the trade you suggested, you are trading young players for young players. In my opinion, if you trade Espi, we don't make the playoffs in 2013. If you trade Rendon, we lose a potential triple crown winner in the near future. I definitely do not like that trade.

  8. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 8, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    You've got to know a lot more about Bauer than appears from his record to think he's going to be a big help in the short term, i.e., before 2014. He wasn't ready for the big leagues last September; in the minors he was walking 4-5 guys a game. I don't see how you give up half the roster in order to get him as a throw-in on an Upton deal.

  9. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 8, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    Bauer was drafted above Rendon because — and only because — Rendon was damaged goods. Again, you have to ask why AZ is shopping him around. It's because they think they have at least four, maybe five, young pitchers that are going to be better. Given the importance of pitching depth, that suggests they aren't even confident he's going to be a major league starter.

  10. NatsLady - Nov 8, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    Sporting News – Billy Beane Executive of the yearhttp://aol.sportingnews.com/mlb/story/2012-11-07/sporting-news-mlb-awards-billy-beane-executive-of-the-year-oakland-as-moneyball-The full voting results: 1. Billy Beane (Athletics): 31 votes; 2. Mike Rizzo (Nationals): 13 votes; 3. Jon Daniels (Rangers): 6 votes; 4. Walt Jocketty (Reds): 3 votes; 5. John Mozeliak (Cardinals): 2 votes; 6. Brian Sabean (Giants)/Ken Williams (White Sox): 1 vote

  11. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 8, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    I bet SS shutdown cost him lot of those votes.

  12. NatsLady - Nov 8, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    Surprising that Sabean got so few votes. Bet he would get more if the voting were done now, after two WS wins in three years.

  13. NatsLady - Nov 8, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    Somehow, I missed this.Minor-league signing with spring training invite.Arizona Signs Garrett MockRight-handed reliever Garrett Mock had some success out of the bullpen with the Nationals in 2008, posting an 89 xFIP- in 91.1 innings. He’s had no major-league success in the meantime, however. He did post a 68:28 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 61.2 innings between the Triple-A affiliates of Boston and Houston in 2012. Also, he’s been signed by Kevin Towers now, who has a reputation for identifying possible reclamation projects.

  14. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 8, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    Saw it yesterday on twitter. I think Natsjack re-tweeted someone's tweet.

  15. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 8, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Agree with Mark that LaRoche move is the first thing to take care of because that affects other positions significantly.Like Sonny has said, playoffs are crapshoot. I want to build a team that makes playoffs on an yearly basis. Basically increase the odds of winning WS. Loading up on star level players like Upton simply means that retaining talented players down the road will be that much more difficult. If we are to acquire a solid player from FA for 3-4 year deal, that makes more sense to me than gutting farm system second off-season in a row.

  16. MicheleS - Nov 8, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    Ex Nat newsKen Rosenthal‏@Ken_RosenthalIt's a busy time for minor-league FAs as well. One in demand: RHP Collin Balester @ballystar40, who spent most of year at AAA with #Tigers

  17. Don - Nov 8, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    I am wagering that Rizzo is going to be bold this off-season. Clubs that get good do what it takes to stay good. And GMs that don't produce a winner once they have had a winner get run out of town in a NY minute.

  18. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 8, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    Haven't heard anything about HRod. Cut?

  19. JD - Nov 8, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    Faraz, I disagree with your conclusions: Rendon for Bauer is a top prospect for a top prospect; I don't see the gutting and Rendon plays a position where he is blocked for the foreseeable future (not buying the Zim to 1st scenario). So now you are talking Upton for Espi, Ramos and Clip. You are opening up a position for Lombo (small downgrade), acquiring a young top notch 5 tool player and resolving the outfield defense. Losing Ramos hurts the most here because I think Clip (who I like a lot) is a replaceable piece.

  20. JD - Nov 8, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    Theo, Bauer is still a top notch prospect. The D Backs are pushing back on him because he is an independent thinker who has his own routine and is considered resistant to old training methods.I would take him in a heart beat.

  21. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 8, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. JD - Nov 8, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    I agree with Don that Rizzo should not be passive this off season based on 98 wins. There is no guarantee that this will be repeated and it's his responsibility to address what he perceives as weaknesses and to improve the team any way he can.

  23. Don - Nov 8, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    I think that HRod might be out of options.

  24. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 8, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    One interesting thing Mark said was that any short-term FA, e.g., Pagan, that would displace Morse has to be measured against what you would expect from Morse in 2013. Against that standard, Pagan, or Victorino, and a whole bunch of others, fail. That test, however, goes beyond just one year. Now that the Nats (1) have said they intend to be W.S. contenders every year and (2) have come agonizingly close to the W.S. this year, then every player they sign, whether for one, three or five years, must be expected to equal or exceed Morse's output/value in 2013 as well as down the road. Otherwise, the Nats risk taking a step back, which in the present circumstances is unacceptable.Too much is made of "defense" in LF. A lot of teams have won championships w/ Franken-gloves in LF — Philly (Pete Incaviglia), NYM/SFG (Kevin Mitchell), Boston (Ramirez), St. Louis (Holliday). What counts is whether the guy can mash and put his body between the ball and the wall most of the time.

  25. JD - Nov 8, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    'Too much is made of "defense" in LF. A lot of teams have won championships w/ Franken-gloves in LF — Philly (Pete Incaviglia), NYM/SFG (Kevin Mitchell), Boston (Ramirez), St. Louis (Holliday). What counts is whether the guy can mash and put his body between the ball and the wall most of the time.' This is true; however Morse didn't 'mash' enough in 2012 to gloss over his poor defense; his overall value of 0.3 above replacement does not put him in the category of the players you mention.

  26. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 8, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    Don, HRod didn't have options when he came to the Nats. still under team control.

  27. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 8, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    JD –And exactly what would you do w/ Bauer next year? Do you really think it's worth the risk to anoint him as your #5 starter? I'd be happy to put him at AAA, to see if he can find the strike zone, but I wouldn't give up Rendon and and all of those others for a guy who's sixth or seventh on AZ's depth chart.

  28. JD - Nov 8, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    Ghost,'Don, HRod didn't have options when he came to the Nats. still under team control.' Unfortunately.

  29. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 8, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    I saw Morse win more than .3 games with his bat. Those are the only wins that count in the standings.

  30. JD - Nov 8, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    'I'd be happy to put him at AAA, to see if he can find the strike zone, but I wouldn't give up Rendon and and all of those others for a guy who's sixth or seventh on AZ's depth chart.' Give me a break; he's below all the crap they had in the majors last year that led the to 3rd place in a weak western division? he's just not ready yet that's all. Yes he would have to pitch in AA or AAA this year but Rendon would have to play in the minors too. Do you think 2 weeks of AFL puts him in DC? he's yet to have any success at AA. He's a fantastic prospect but he's not yet ready just like Bauer.

  31. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 8, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    Beane won GM Executive of the year. Rizzo was a distant 2nd.

  32. Don - Nov 8, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    Ghost — HRod is only under team control if he's on the 25-man roster. Not sure that the Nats can risk having a wildy wild HRod on the 25-man roster and they'd risk losing him if he did not stay on the roster, so he may not be in the plans going forward. We'll see.

  33. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 8, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    JD,1) Clippard: FB pitcher in AZ ballpark. If you think Blanton's HR/FB% in CBP is laughable, Clip will drive DBacks fan mad.2) Ramos: AZ already has their catcher locked up for five more seasons. Why would you want Ramos as backup?3) Morse: One year left on contract, may be a good fit but AZ already has enough OFs (eaton, kubel, parra) and 1B (goldschmidt) for next season.4) Bauer: Why would a team use Bauer as a throw in when as a one of the top prospects he could be used to net a bigger fish?5) Rendon: Why would we wanna give up on Rendon without knowing what he can do in a full season?6) Espinosa: This is the only guy I can see fit in AZ lineup and park. His flyballs might finally become HRs in that park and he can play SS on a daily basis which they need since Drew was traded.7) We create 3 holes by your trade. Second base (Lombo does not cut it for me), top setup man (like I said yesterday, Clip has been rock solid for 3 seasons longer than any other reliever of his age group), and a top prospect assuming Bauer becomes our fifth pitcher.This is all besides the fact that AZ will be interested in this package.

  34. JD - Nov 8, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    Theo, Yes, he won more than .3 with his bat. But he also lost some games with his his glove. 0.3 was his overall value in 2012 compared to a replacement player based on fairly common standards used by fangraphs which are universally accepted around the industry. I will also admit that Morse was a 3.3 WAR player in 2011 which is more reasonable and was based entirely on a tremendous offensive year. If he returns to those kind of numbers he is definitely a valuable player. Obviously your level of confidence in that happening is greater than mine but I'd be happy to be wrong.

  35. JD - Nov 8, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    Faraz, I am not the one who brought up Clippard, I'm just saying that if I wouldn't hold up a trade of that magnitude for a set up man. I didn't suggest Ramos and I would hate to lose him but he was part of the rumor. I think Lombo batting 7th or 8th would be fine; not flashy but fine; you don't have to have a star at every position and Espi is not a complete player either; just ask some of the posters here. Rendon may be great (likely) but in order to land talent like Upton and Bauer you have to give something back and Rendon is blocked in the Nats scheme. Again; Arizona wouldn't be using Bauer as a throw in; it's just a price they would have to pay to acquire a full time SS and a full time 3rd baseman.

  36. Unknown - Nov 8, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    I think Rendon is going to be a lot like the Senators 1970 5th round pick, 3rd baseman Billy Madlock who was a superb hitter for average along with decent power and good on-base percentage, mostly for the Cubs and Pirates. I'd hate to lose him.Farid @ Idaho

  37. JD - Nov 8, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    Guys, I am not actually advocating this trade; I'm just saying that it's not one sided and it makes some sense for both teams. That's all.

  38. Unknown - Nov 8, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    And regarding Espinosa, I was one of the guys who wanted to trade Desmond last off-season and move Espinosa to short and give second to Lombardozzi.If Espi can figure out how to stop striking out so much, he could be a .260-22-70 hitter with a superb glove. I think the team is strong enough to see if he can figure it out in 2013 like Ian did in 2012. That said, Lombardozzi's glove is equal–he won the Gold Glove at second two seasons ago over every second baseman in the minors. He'd be just fine.Farid @ Idaho

  39. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 8, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    Don said… Ghost — HRod is only under team control if he's on the 25-man roster. Not sure that the Nats can risk having a wildy wild HRod on the 25-man roster and they'd risk losing him if he did not stay on the roster, so he may not be in the plans going forward. We'll see. That is correct but the point is the team still controls him but can't send him direct to the Minors unless he passed through waivers which probably won't happen and even if he did pass through waivers he could opt to be a Free Agent at that point.

  40. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 8, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    Farid in ID Rendon:Madlock is a good comparison. Rendon probably has more power, is more versatile.

  41. NatsLady - Nov 8, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    Here is a very interesting (free) article on the increase in strikeouts, and the decrease in caught-stealing. One aspect I had not considered is whether the increased emphasis on pitch framing detracts from the catcher's ability to throw out runners.Why Nobody Gets Caught Stealinghttp://www.baseballprospectus.com/a/18863

  42. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 8, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    I don't see how, when a runner is hauling ass to second, a catcher can even blink before throwing.

  43. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 8, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    Theophilus T. S. said… Farid in IDRendon:Madlock is a good comparison. Rendon probably has more power, is more versatile. November 08, 2012 12:16 PM If I remember the photo, wasn't Madlock one of the Pirates photographed smoking cigarettes in the dugout?I don't see Rendon doing that either.

  44. SonnyG10 - Nov 8, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    That said, Lombardozzi's glove is equal–he won the Gold Glove at second two seasons ago over every second baseman in the minors. He'd be just fine.Farid @ IdahoFarid, it's not Lombo's glove that concern me. I agree he has a good glove. I think his range is not as great as Danny's, but the big thing for me is his weak arm on turning double plays and relays from the outfield. That's where I think he will cost us games compared with Espi. He's just not as athletic as Danny in my opinion.

  45. NatsLady - Nov 8, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    What about this guy?Ken Rosenthal ‏@Ken_RosenthalSources: #Mets showing little interest in signing Dickey to extension, discussing him in trades.

  46. NatsLady - Nov 8, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    Theo, exactly. So if the catcher's mind is focused on the framing, how is it also focused on the runner?

  47. Feel Wood - Nov 8, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    NatsLady said… What about this guy?Ken Rosenthal ‏@Ken_RosenthalHe's a jerk.

  48. NatsLady - Nov 8, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    FW, agree on Rosenthal. Me also not an R.A. fan, but, two years? While some of the baby pitchers grow up, vs. 6 years for Greinke?

  49. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 8, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    you will need a specialist catcher for him I bet.

  50. NatsLady - Nov 8, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    I keep wondering about all these rumors from the GM meetings. Do team FO guys actually talk to reporters sending out "trial balloons" like politicians do, or do the reporters have very high powered listening devices and bugs planted?

  51. Water23 - Nov 8, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    So, the Rizzo Hot Stove plan should be -1) Sign Davey. Enough negotiating and set the tone by have the manager back.2) Sign Greinke – Last years roatation health is a mirage. Rarely, do teams go through the season without losing one if not more SPs to significant time. Also, there is no loss of 1st Rd pick as he was traded last year.3) Sign ALR for 3yr – $39 Million. Rather have him on a 2yr deal but sometimes you have to bite the bullet4) Extend JZimm – see Gio deal.5) Get things done quickly and then wait to see which FA come a calling at the end of the winter to be scooped up as they want a chance at a ring.

  52. Water23 - Nov 8, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    As to Dickey, what would it take? If he is available he would be an awesome addtion on a two year deal. Imagine facing SS, Gio and then R.A. followed up by a JZimm and the Det.Teams would have a tough time adjust to heat from the right side, heat from the left side and Knuckles.

  53. rabbit34 - Nov 8, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    Don't go for broke to try to win he WS in 2013 by making trades that will only diminish the team after 2013. Making trades to "go for broke" doesn't make sense. If that has to be explained, then who it has to be explained to doesn't know baseball very well.

  54. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 8, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    NatsLady said… I keep wondering about all these rumors from the GM meetings. Do team FO guys actually talk to reporters sending out "trial balloons" like politicians do, or do the reporters have very high powered listening devices and bugs planted? November 08, 2012 12:39 PM I believe many teams test the waters before the season starts with "possible" signings and then you have to consider the teams like the Orioles who have been doing it for years where it is just to get Season Ticket holders to send in their money.For instance, yesterday the big news is the Orioles are looking at Josh Hamilton. Do you really believe they will pay $20 million a year for Josh Hamilton?On the other hand, the Red Sox are considering filling 1st base with Mike Napoli or Adam LaRoche. The Red Sox are sold out but they have a fan base that isn't too happy with them these days. I have to believe that is the example of a "trial balloon".

  55. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 8, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    NatsLady — The sequence should dictate that framing is not a priority. In almost every situation — except, possibly, Strike Three w/ two out — the extra base is more important than the strike. (n that case, ignore the runner.) The runner is in motion — and in the catcher's field of vision — long (relatively) before the pitch reaches the plate. When the catcher sees that runner a third of the way down the baseline the only thing that should be going through his mind is, "Get rid of the ball."

  56. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 8, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    "For instance, yesterday the big news is the Orioles are looking at Josh Hamilton. Do you really believe they will pay $20 million a year for Josh Hamilton?"With the influx of additional, big TV money, anything is possible. Who'da thunk they would have wasted (relatively) big money on Mark Reynolds? Now they have more money to play with, and there are those who think Hamilton @ $20MM is a steal, at least in the short term.I just don't think they need him nearly as much as they need a 2B and some pitchers.Angelos may look at the Padres and decide it's getting time to cash out his winnings. A big star would help. (Though the Pads don't have one.)

  57. NatsLady - Nov 8, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    Theo–maybe. Here is some food for thought. Jeff Sullivan used PitchFX data to estimate how many extra strikes each team enjoyed this season, and the Yankees placed fourth in baseball (and first in the AL) at +5 strikes per 1,000 pitches. The league average is actually -5 strikes, not zero. Blame the umps. New York’s pitching staff threw 23,181 total pitches this season, so the pitching staff received approximately 232 more strikes than the league average. That doesn’t sound like much across 162 games, but it is. Past studies have calculated the difference in value between a called ball and a called strike at 0.13 runs, so Martin’s (and Chris Stewart‘s) pitch framing helped save the team a touch more than 30 runs this season. Roughly 9.5 runs equaled a win in 2012′s scoring environment, so those extra strikes were (theoretically) the difference between an AL East title and a wildcard play-in game.It’s important to note that Sullivan’s estimations ares just that, estimations. Fast’s study was much more precise and comprehensive, and we shouldn’t attribute every single extra strike to the catcher and his pitch framing anyway. Sometimes the umpire was going to the call the pitch a strike without the catcher’s help. Even if that 30 runs saved number is off by as much as 50%, it’s still a lot of runs to save with a simple skill. Catcher defense is a very tough thing to quantify, but analysts have gotten better at it and pitch framing is one of those things that seems to impact the game much more than originally expected.Runs saved due to pitch framinghttp://riveraveblues.com/2012/10/estimated-2012-runs-saved-due-to-pitch-framing-77384/

  58. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 8, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    Water23 said… So, the Rizzo Hot Stove plan should be -1) Sign Davey. Enough negotiating and set the tone by have the manager back.Here's what I know and its not much of where the final hangup is on the contract but the sticky part is Davey doesn't have an agent and is self-represented by himself and his son. I don't know if Kilgore or Amanda has disclosed that or even are aware of that.It is difficult to negotiate without a real agent especially when Rizzo and Davey are tight and you are discussing millions of dollars.Not a good idea. NatsJack brought up before about Davey wants to get paid. Dusty Baker signed a 2 year deal for $4 mill per year. That is Davey's comparable. Very simple you would think. So back to, where is the hangup?

  59. NatsLady - Nov 8, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    Just think about the change in a hitter's approach when the count is 2-1 vs. 1-2. That is the difference in a called strike. I think an interesting study would be the WPA (win probability added) by the stolen base vs. the WPA of the called strike–if I could figure out how to do it!

  60. NatsLady - Nov 8, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    Davey should get an agent IMO. Even though there is a lot of trust, and Davey has been in baseball a long time, there are too many contingencies, especially at his age. It is worth the price to have a professional, that has been my experience.

  61. Water23 - Nov 8, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    Ghost,For instance, yesterday the big news is the Orioles are looking at Josh Hamilton. Do you really believe they will pay $20 million a year for Josh Hamilton?Yes, Yes I do. Remember the Albert Belle signing. Petey makes these deals every once in a while. Especially, when he is spending the bonus money made from his favorite team — the Nats.

  62. NatsLady - Nov 8, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    LOL–a Henry doppelganger!Rany Jazayerli ‏@jazayerliThrows really hard with no command? Should be better than he is? Of course the Blue Jays would want Jeremy Jeffress.

  63. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 8, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    NL — In German, espec., literature, "doppelganger" has a more sinister connotation than a mere "twin" (Zwilling). A doppelganger is often a tangible evil side emanating from an individual.

  64. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 8, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    What I meant was, H. Rodriguez is his own Doppelganger.

  65. NatsLady - Nov 8, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    Theo, LOL!!! Good point. Anyway, Jeffress didn't cost the Jays anything but cash. I looked him up, he's been suspended twice for a "drug of abuse" (assumed to be marijuana). A third suspension would mean a lifetime ban.

  66. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 8, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    Water23 said… Yes, Yes I do. Remember the Albert Belle signing. Petey makes these deals every once in a while. Especially, when he is spending the bonus money made from his favorite team — the Nats. MLB grossed for all teams additional national TV revenue going forward of $750 million a year to be shared equally! That is approx. $25 million windfall to each team. What they do with it is up to the team.I believe from shared revenue from MLB contracts for TV and media and advertising and licensing that each team will start the season with a base of $107 million and that could be more depending on licensing and additional deals.On top of that all teams have their own share of local TV, radio deals, concessions, merchandising, advertising, sponsorships and ticket sales.I think Angelos has plenty of money to spend just like every team not called the Tampa Bay Rays and the question is, will he spend it? Also don't fear on the Albert Belle deal as Angelos had an insurance policy on him.November 08, 2012 1:17 PM

  67. NatsJack in Florida - Nov 8, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    NatsLady… having spent 30+ years as a Central Florida real estate developer… don't worry about Davey and his ability to be his own agent.

  68. blovy8 - Nov 8, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    I would be more interested if that pitch f/x information were a sustainable trend, otherwise I would consider it about like clutch hitting or park effects.When I used to do youth league umpiring, I paid very little attention to where the catcher set up, except in terms of keeping out of the guy's way. You have to set the zone before each pitch. Players will get pissy, but if you have a catcher set up off the plate and the ball stays off the plate and it hits the mitt, it still isn't a strike. All that matters is the strike zone. Of course, I might expand the zone a bit to give a pitcher the "black" or a bit above or below the zone to move the game along, and get kids swinging, but the catcher's mitt usually only matters on a foul tip or interference call. You can't call a changeup or breaking pitch where the damned thing ends up, that's just silly. It's too late to decide, at most it's just a little more information, for when an ump has lost focus on a particular pitch, and I'm sure that does happen over 300+ calls in a game.

  69. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 8, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    Even Tampa will have to spend more money under the new CBA, or get a new stadium. Heretofore their business model has been to spend no more than what they take in, then bank the revenue sharing money. Under the new CBA, they won't qualify for revenue sharing as they are now one of the larger markets. Therefore, they will need to spend money to make money, by getting more fannies in the seats in St. Petersburg's version of the D.C. Armory, and more eyeballs on local telecasts. Or get a new stadium. For the next several years, that would seem to dictate signing/keeping star players that people want to watch, rather than novitiates.

  70. NatsLady - Nov 8, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    Oh, here is a clarification. Joshua Kusnick ‏@39onthelineJeremy is on the 40 man roster and not eligible to be suspended for a failed drug of abuse.Seems like a strange rule.

  71. NatsLady - Nov 8, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    Kilgore says he's hearing Davey's deal will be done by the end of today (Twitter).

  72. MicheleS - Nov 8, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    Natslady.. just saw that as well on Davey. SWEEET!!!!!!!I bet my bribe offers sealed the deal ;-)

  73. blovy8 - Nov 8, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    If every team is going to have that extra $25m, you'd have believe the bids will go up for free agents in demand. I'm guessing that means LaRoche is going wait a bit longer to see what develops because that is some serious money to throw into the pool.

  74. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 8, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    NL, WPA for pitch-by-pitch would be too unreliable. Right now WPA is calculated by each PA or event that happens. So you might be able to see a change in WPA after a SB (attempt) but not after a hitter goes from 3-0 to 3-1 account.

  75. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 8, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    good to know about Davey.

  76. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 8, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… NatsLady… having spent 30+ years as a Central Florida real estate developer… don't worry about Davey and his ability to be his own agent. November 08, 2012 1:48 PM I am thinking like NatsLady. Better to pay a few % to let someone else be the go between.I know there have been a few players who thought they saved themselves some cash negotiating their own deals and its like going through an arbitration hearing.Harold Reynolds brother is a big time agent and actually represents both Upton's and he still negotiates Harold's deals in broadcasting. Its not easy negotiating for yourself or family.

  77. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 8, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    NatsLady said… Kilgore says he's hearing Davey's deal will be done by the end of today (Twitter). November 08, 2012 1:54 PM I will pop a beer to celebrate if that happens! One down and about 3 more tough ones for Rizzo.

  78. NatsLady - Nov 8, 2012 at 7:10 PM

    FS–seems like somewhere there ought to be data on results after a particular count. There isn't that much difference between 3-0 and 3-1, but there is a big difference between 2-1 (so-called "hitter's count") and 1-2. Obviously, the data doesn't figure in the quality of the hitter, but most of the stats don't, for example the stats on "runs expected with bases loaded and no outs."Even though it is run on thousands of cases, win expentancy (and WPA) is unreliable because of that. A Nate Silver type could refine WPA with a factor like the team OBP, the ERA+ of the pitcher or something, especially late in the season.OTOH, you could just play the games.

  79. Feel Wood - Nov 8, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    Very simple you would think. So back to, where is the hangup?There is no hangup. Both sides are sending out signals that they will have no problem doing the deal, but there's no impending deadline for it to get done and therefore no sense of urgency. Davey is already under contract as a consultant, which is all a manager can do for a team anyway til spring training starts. They have plenty of time yet to put things down on paper and get signatures.It's like when two bachelors are sharing an apartment and there's a pile of dirty dishes in the sink. It will sit there until there's a reason to do something about it, like say one of the guys' mothers calling up and saying she's coming for a visit this weekend. Then things that everyone knows are going to happen become urgent, and things get done. Until then, what's the problem?When spring training starts, Davey will be the manager. Makes no difference if that becomes "official" now or the night before the doors open in Viera.

  80. NatsJack in Florida - Nov 8, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    Ghost…but remember, Davey is under contract through 2014 as a consultant. The parameters are already in place based on the first contract modifications that made him manager. This is basically "this is what I want". Once the money's right, it's done.

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

    have we considered Oswalt on a one year deal? looking at his stats, it seems he might have been a bit unlucky last season (and should not have waited so long to sign).

  82. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 8, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  83. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 8, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… Ghost…but remember, Davey is under contract through 2014 as a consultant. The parameters are already in place based on the first contract modifications that made him manager. This is basically "this is what I want". Once the money's right, it's done. November 08, 2012 2:16 PM There's been no leak of info so I don't know what the hangup is. I would think money and maybe Rizzo wants a 2 year commitment. Have to think Davey is 1 and done like LaRussa if he wins it all and would need an "early out" clause.

  84. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 8, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    NatsLady, Jeffress is from Virginia and he pronounces his name Jeffers. When I first met him and he introduced himself I tried to do some research on him by spelling his last name as Jeffers and nothing came up and eventually found the correct spelling in a High School boxscore. He had a reputation growing up as a flamethrower and he was. Only problem is he has no clue where the ball is going.I wasn't impressed with him as a pitcher and his background is tarnished. His agent Kusnick is a story for another day.

  85. NatsJack in Florida - Nov 8, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    At the latest, it gets done before the Winter Meetings.

  86. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 8, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    Johnson's contract as a consultant is a personal services contract. Since the Supreme Court decided the case of Napoleon Lajoie in the early part of the previous century, the only think he can be compelled to do under that agreement is not work for another team. If he doesn't feel like working under its terms, he doesn't have to.

  87. Feel Wood - Nov 8, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    Theophilus T. S. said… Johnson's contract as a consultant is a personal services contract. Since the Supreme Court decided the case of Napoleon Lajoie in the early part of the previous century, the only think he can be compelled to do under that agreement is not work for another team. If he doesn't feel like working under its terms, he doesn't have to.So? Until spring training starts, there are no games to be managed or practices to be run. All a manager can do until then is offer his opinion/advice to the GM. If he doesn't want to, that's his problem. The GM can function fine without him. It's then up to the GM to decide if that intransigence is worrisome enough to go find someone else to manage. Doesn't seem like things have reached that point, since Rizzo and Davey are cleraly still in communication.

  88. NatsLady - Nov 8, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    It seems to me that there could be myriad little "hangups," starting with years; bonuses for MOY awards (or nominations, or votes) which Davey may not get next year for the same reason Bochy didn't; contingency for disability (how long, who is the temporary replacement, etc.); is the salary guaranteed? NJ, if you have 30+ years in RE development I'm sure you don't need an agent. I, on the other hand, have been party to exactly 5 real estate transactions (other than apartment leases). I could make a serious mistake costing me a lot of money. Most players and managers are in the same situation, they are dealing with a FO that negotiates hundreds of contracts whereas they only negotiate a few in their lifetime.Ghost, I read somewhere that sports agents only take 5%. Is that true?

  89. NatsLady - Nov 8, 2012 at 7:41 PM

    FW, like you, I don't see a problem other than outsiders PR wondering if there is a real problem… All the items I mentioned above are easily resolved by two parties who both want to get it done. One is at the GM meetings with a thousand thoughts about deals and the other is off fishing for charity… As usual, Rizzo does things in his own time frame.

  90. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 8, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    If Kilgore says it'll get done today, it'll get done in 24 hours. Rizzo doesn't talk but others (not for attribution) in the FO do, and so does Johnson (also not for attribution). That's how Boswell gets his "inspirations." So I'm confident in Kilgore's information on this.

  91. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 8, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    NatsLady said… Ghost, I read somewhere that sports agents only take 5%. Is that true? Believe it or not there is no agent ceiling set by the MLBPA but nobody pays more than 5% and most are about 2 1/2 to 3% for top players and the fees are negotiable. It is also the players responsibility to pay the agent directly and you shouldn't be surprised how many issues there are behind the scenes of the agents getting their pay. The big money the agents make are on marketing deals which are roughly 20 to 25% of the total gross. Just ask David Falk who got the Nike deal for Michael Jordan, and Gatorade, etc.

  92. NatsJack in Florida - Nov 8, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    Not "me", NatsLady…..Davey has been in residential real estate development here since the late 70's. And I'm talking subdivisions from land purchase to infrastructure developement to lot sales to builders.He's had successes and failures but all in all, he's one savy character.

  93. NatsLady - Nov 8, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    NJ, thanks. I was not aware of that, but I agree Davey is very smart. Hope he does well with his investments over all. I read today (can't find the link, so I'm doing this from memory) of the number of MLB players (5), NBA players (8) and NFL players (14) who made over $100 million and have gone into bankruptcy.

  94. NatsLady - Nov 8, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    Ghost, that explains a lot. I read that the NBA logos are worth $165 MM each (I assume they mean each company, not each logo on each player). Hope that doesn't come to MLB.I was surprised at the small percentage, as when I was in consulting, my agent took 30%, and that was the usual in my field. Most of what my agent did was secure clients, which was what I paid him for, as marketing myself was not one of my strengths. The contracts themselves were not complex, there was pretty much a standard contract for the type of work I was doing.

  95. Unknown - Nov 8, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    Theophilus T. S. said…Farid in IDRendon:Madlock is a good comparison. Rendon probably has more power, is more versatile.November 08, 2012 12:16 PMIf I remember the photo, wasn't Madlock one of the Pirates photographed smoking cigarettes in the dugout?I don't see Rendon doing that either. From Farid: The one I remember in that photo was Dave Parker. As I recall, it was a "funny" looking cigarette.

  96. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 8, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    NatsLady, Kusnick is a great example of an agent whose top clients are Lorenzo Cain and Jeffress, those agent fees don't add up to much.

  97. natsfan1a - Nov 8, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    I thought he was a criminal defense attorney? Oh, wait. Wrong dude. Never mind.If I remember the photo, wasn't Madlock one of the Pirates photographed smoking cigarettes in the dugout?

  98. Unknown - Nov 8, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    Word that Davey's deal is almost done. Yay!One of the strangest things I experienced when I went home to DC this May and covered the team for my newspaper (they were the first games I'd seen in Washington since an August '71 Senators game)was Davey's press conferences.I was in the room talking with Bill Ladson when Davey came in. Everyone stood up remained standing until Davey sat down and began the press conference. The deference provided him was amazing (I wonder if this is normal across the Major Leagues?) Memory says that Henry Rodriguez had blown a few saves on the road trip (this was a game against the Padres)and when someone asked him about Henry, he said, "Henry is our closer and I'm not going to talk about this again until it changes." Davey is a man that commands respect, that's for sure. That night Bryce Harper hit his first home run. I've got my press credential from that day and the photo I took of him hitting the homer framed and on the wall next to my picture of Frank Howard along with the tickets from RFK when he smacked a couple of homers off of Dave McNally.Farid @ Idaho

  99. Gonat - Nov 8, 2012 at 9:24 PM

    From Amanda Comak:— Rizzo was fairly straightforward when it came to his explanation for the team not extending a qualifying offer to free agent right-hander Edwin Jackson. By not doing so, the Nationals assured that they would not receive draft pick compensation if Jackson declined the one-year, $13.3 million offer and signed elsewhere.Rizzo said it was a simple evaluation of the player and how he fit on the team."Those are decisions that you talk about internally," Rizzo said. "We felt with the depth we had at the major league level and the depth of free agents that we had out there that we had as good or better options."

  100. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 8, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    Rizzo's comment about Jackson isn't completely straightforward. The way he puts it, it seems to be a simple assessment of how Jackson fits into the scheme of things. But it wasn't really a question of either depth or options. It was a fear that, if offered, Jackson would accept. Straightforward would have said, "We were afraid he would take it. He isn't worth it." To be less brutal, he could have added, "in our opinion."

  101. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 8, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    Farid, amazing experience. At least you didn't ask a Clown Question I would assume ;))

  102. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 8, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    Theo, Rizzo tried to be diplomatic about it and its certainly up for interpretation. Four years ago EJax would have been the #1 and Lannan the #2.Now Rizzo has many opportunities in front of him to better this team. Choose wisely Mike.

  103. Unknown - Nov 8, 2012 at 10:00 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… Farid, amazing experience. At least you didn't ask a Clown Question I would assume ;))From Farid:I really really wanted to ask a question or two but I was sitting next to Bill Ladson, Adam Kilgore, Mr. Nats Insider himself and I just knew if I asked a question it would be that 4th grade brain-freeze in the front of the class thing all over again. No way. I think the coolest thing was being in the locker room, seeing it first hand. They made it into an oval so players wouldn't congregate, but trust me, there was a pecking order. Farthest away from the entryway was Ryan Zimmerman's locker, like the King overseeing his court. If Ryan was at twelve-o-clock, Bryce Harper was at ten. Tom Gorzelanny had the locker closest to the doorway, where everyone was coming and going. Everyone was talking and visiting, but Gorzelanny sat at his locker reading what looked like an e-book on his notepad, not looking up once. I wonder if he's just the quiet type. Brad Lidge was at nine-o-clock, being interviewed by a gaggle of reporters on the status of his injury. I was standing in the middle, just taking it all in, wearing my BYU-Idaho t-shirt (I live in Pocatello ID). Harper walks by, sees the shirt and says something like, "cool bro, neighbors," referencing I think both the western state and LDS connection. I have to tell you, it was one of the highlights of my life. I've gotten the chance to interview some very cool people and my series about local baseball here garnered some good press. But, man, I felt so insignificant talking to and sitting next to these great Nationals' writers I read every day.One funny thing: I also interviewed our Idaho delegation and got to have dinner one night with some staffers from a couple of senators' offices.Someone said at the table, "Everyone, let's call off names and universities for those who don't know us." I heard Columbia, Georgetown, Ohio State, Stanford and Harvard. Then it came my turn. "Hi. Farid Rushdi, Idaho State University. I write for the Journal in Pocatello."Man, you could have heard crickets.

  104. NatsJack in Florida - Nov 8, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    Theo….making a qualifying offer is a double edged sword. …..Yes, Rizzo may have been afraid EJax would have taken it…… but at the same time, it would have established an inflated number for other teams to consider when contemplating the multi-year deal EJax is supposedly seeking.In other words, it would have severely limited the possible suitors had EJax turned it down.

  105. Gonat - Nov 8, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    Farid said…I was standing in the middle, just taking it all in, wearing my BYU-Idaho t-shirt_____________________________Small world. Do you know Garrett Stephenson? Local Maryland guy who played there and went there after his playing days to live.

  106. SonnyG10 - Nov 8, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    Farid, very interesting post re your @5:00pm.

  107. NatsJack in Florida - Nov 8, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    Great stories, Farid.

  108. Gonat - Nov 8, 2012 at 10:18 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… In other words, it would have severely limited the possible suitors had EJax turned it down. ______________________________I still don't think EJax gets $13.3 million but should be close to it. I do think it helps him that the team doesn't have to worry about potentially giving up a Draft Pick to take him.

  109. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 8, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    Alana Rizzo reporting Davey won the Redbone Fishing Tournament in the Florida Keys.

  110. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 8, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    Farid, great story. Gonat, Garrett Stephenson moved back to Maryland and lives in Urbana. Excellent golfer. His oldest is a pitcher for Univ of Maryland Baltimore.

  111. NatsLady - Nov 8, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    farid, loved your story. I know a song that mentions Pocatello.

  112. NatsJack in Florida - Nov 8, 2012 at 10:46 PM

    Gonat…. If he gets anything more than 3 at $30 Mil, I'll be suprised.

  113. NatsLady - Nov 8, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    NJ, yes. That is what made me wonder if it was in his contract or there was a private agreement that it was in both parties' best interest not to make the offer.

  114. JD - Nov 8, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    Gonat, EJax could only get 1 year at $10 mil last year, established again that he is a decent pitcher but nothing more and is one year older. I would be surprised if he does better than last year.

  115. MicheleS - Nov 8, 2012 at 11:34 PM

    ADAM Gets the SILVER SLUGGER!!! Awesome! PLEASE SIGN HIM!!! PLEASE!!!

  116. MicheleS - Nov 8, 2012 at 11:36 PM

    And looky loo… Billy Ripken drinking some Nats Koolaid on Adam. Desi better win over that tool down in MIA

  117. MicheleS - Nov 8, 2012 at 11:41 PM

    IAN!!! Should have had the Gold Glove as well! Way to go Desi!!!!I think you have successfully shut all your doubters up!

  118. baseballswami - Nov 8, 2012 at 11:50 PM

    Yeah!!! Way to go Nats!!!!

  119. baseballswami - Nov 8, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    Went to MLB.com to see the other winners and neither league had a second baseman listed,. What gives? Away from a computer.

  120. MicheleS - Nov 8, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    Swami.. they are announcing now on MLB Network. Cano and Aaron hill..Stras may get the award for pitcher

  121. NatsLady - Nov 8, 2012 at 11:55 PM

    Aaron Hill and Robinson Cano for 2B.

  122. baseballswami - Nov 8, 2012 at 11:55 PM

    Thanks! Away from tv also!

  123. NatsLady - Nov 8, 2012 at 11:57 PM

    Swami, get a Twitter app on your phone, then you can follow.

  124. MicheleS - Nov 8, 2012 at 11:57 PM

    STRAS Gets the Silver Slugger!!! Next year Cy Young too..

  125. baseballswami - Nov 8, 2012 at 11:58 PM

    Thanks for the tip NL.

  126. baseballswami - Nov 9, 2012 at 12:01 AM

    This is very cool stuff!

  127. SonnyG10 - Nov 9, 2012 at 12:06 AM

    Wow, three silver sluggers on our team. How cool is it that our pitching ace also got a silver slugger.

  128. Unknown - Nov 9, 2012 at 12:07 AM

    NatsLady said… farid, loved your story. I know a song that mentions Pocatello.From Farid: Something like, "I was born in a trunk at the Empire Theatre in Poca-tello, Idaho."Sound about right? Farid @ Idaho

  129. SonnyG10 - Nov 9, 2012 at 12:07 AM

    New post.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
x-WASHINGTON 87 63 -- 0
ATLANTA 75 76 12.5
MIAMI 73 77 14.0
NEW YORK 73 79 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 69 81 18.0
Through Tuesday's early games
x-Clinched division title
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WED: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
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SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
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