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Could the Nats sign a closer?

Nov 9, 2012, 5:00 PM EDT

Joakim Soria is a free agent after missing all of 2012 due to injury. (Photo by AP)

Despite receiving much of the blame for the Nationals’ devastating loss in Game 5 of the NLDS, the team appears confident in closer Drew Storen. The 25-year-old saved 43 games in 2011 and was excellent for most of 2012 up until the playoff disaster. He was a first round pick for the Nationals and replacing him after one terrible outing would be quite the knee-jerk move.

But even with Storen back, and Tyler Clippard in the fold, the Nationals could conceivably look for an insurance policy. Last season they signed Brad Lidge in late January to seemingly fit that role, but that experiment didn’t work out. One could see Washington going after a similar veteran this offseason with hopes for a better result.
Here are some of the best relievers on the market this year and how they may fit in with the Nats:
RHP Rafael Soriano (32 years old) – $11M in 2011

2-1 – 2.26 ERA – 1.167 WHIP – 42 SV – 67.2 IP

Soriano is by far the biggest prize of the 2012 closer free agent market and therefore an unlikely fit for the Nationals. It can’t be ruled out, but the Nationals

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103 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Don - Nov 9, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    I think that they are likely to sign Burnett or Affeldt and a back-end RP with closing experience too (though it might be via trade or a lower teir guy like Rauch, Cordero, Mota, Gregg). Clip might be worn-out, HRod is unreliable at this point, and the club cannot be without concern over Storen's big game implosion and injury history. We'll see.

  2. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 9, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    Thank you Chase for listing some options.assuming that Nats bullpen will consist of five RHP and two LHP, Nationals are only need to add one RHPgiven that a) garcia goes to AAA to start games and become depth pitcher (does he have options left?) and b)hrod will not be relied upon as the fifth RHP; and one LHP, either Burnett or Affeldt. as far as relief is concerned, we have to lock LHP first. Competition will be tough for either. If we do plan to add a RHP from this free agent class, I like Soria on a one year deal.

  3. John C. - Nov 9, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    I think the LHP spots are the only ones up for grabs in the Nats' 2013 bullpen. The RHP will be Storen, Clippard, Mattheus and Stammen. The LHP are the question with Gorzelanny the only one under team control. I'd be perfectly content if they brought back Mike Gonzalez as the pure LOOGY and either brought back Burnett or signed Affeldt as the late inning LHP. HRod is still in the picture (don't underestimate Rizzo's infatuation with his stuff) but is certainly no lock.

  4. NatsLady - Nov 9, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    I also worry about Clip. However, he tired at the end of 2011 (overuse?) and was a little shaky in the spring, and then he had the phenomenal mid-season (winning an award in June). That may just be his pattern, slow startup, strong mid-season, and then has to be carefully used in September and October. I'm a fan, so not impartial, but I don't think you let loose of a guy who is smart, mentally tough, has shown he can handle the highest leverage situations, never been injured, and whose FB velocity has not slipped. Remember Davey said a while back "if Clip goes, I go." I don't see Davey changing his mind on that.

  5. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 9, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    Don, Clip was worn out after 2011 also. It's called overused. I expect him to be fine.

  6. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 9, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    NatSLady, I owe you a soda.

  7. NatsLady - Nov 9, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    Of the list.LHP: Burnett/Affelt – both are going to want 3 years, both will probably have to settle for 2 years, I'd rather have Burnett only because he's the known quantity and AFAIK well liked by the other guys. I think Michael Gonzalez wants to come back, and he will.RHP: Madson would be the guy I'd take on a 1 year flyer, if I knew he wasn't going to be another Brad Lidge. Not because I think they need "veteran leadership" in the pen–nope. Rather, I think Madson will be cheaper coming off an injury and will go for a one-year deal and be flexible about which inning he pitches.

  8. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 9, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    No other reliever in NL or AL has pitched 250 inning or more which Clippard (252) has done over past three seasons. That comes out to be 84 IP per season. And in2010, he crossed that 90 IP mark. Given Stammen's and Mattheus's success, and one other RHP signing should ease pressure on Clip and stabilize his IP to 70 per season. I still think we should sign this guy to 3-year deal and not worry about his arbitration numbers (3/10 or something).

  9. NatsLady - Nov 9, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    I know it seems like Clip's been around forever, but he will be 28 in February. That ain't old.

  10. MicheleS - Nov 9, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    NatsLady,he may not be old, but Clipp has a lot of mileage on him. We probably do need a plan B just so we don't overuse these guys. I am guessing some Tommy John guy will end up here on a 1 year deal.

  11. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 9, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    I saw this morning that the Reds have made Bill Bray a FA. I don't know his physical condition, or what tools he has left after some injuries, but his 2012 nos. seem OK. I liked him as a Nat, and that deal certainly was a stinker even if he was the only from it that survived.Nor am I suggesting he would make up for the loss of Burnett. Maybe Gonzalez but not Burnett. If he could do what Slaten did a couple of years ago, that would be fine.

  12. NatsLady - Nov 9, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    FS– I am with you on extending Clip. He is the only pitcher I've seen in many years that has the talent and ambition to be another Rivera (of whom Clip is a great admirer). A lot can happen between here and there, but Clip said in an interview he throws his change a lot because it's easier on his arm. He's working on his cutter. There is a guy who has the long term view.

  13. SonnyG10 - Nov 9, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    NatsLady, ditto your @1:25pm

  14. NatsLady - Nov 9, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    MicheleS, agree on Clip's workload. And see above, I'd take Madson of the lot of injured guys coming back, though there may be a gem lower on the FA list also. If Clip were a starter he would be putting a LOT more innings on that arm and no one would think he was wearing out at age 28. He's not a starter because he's not "efficient" (too many pitches per inning) but 70 or 80 innings should be entirely manageable. The problem is he's been so damn reliable that Riggs and Davey to some extent just wanted him in there all the time.I think Drew will be fine. All he has to do is close a couple of those first Marlins games in April and he'll be back in the groove.

  15. sm13 - Nov 9, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    Affeldt would be the only one worth spending money on – and, then, only if Sean doesn't return. Cole Kimball will be back in the mix and Christian Garcia proved his worth in September (I'm not sure his history of arm trouble matches up with the talk of making him a starter).

  16. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 9, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    4220 pitches for Clip, of course the most. 200 more than the next guy, marmol.I agree that as a reliever, he has put up a lot of work in past seasons, but he does not throw extremely hard any of his pitches. I am willing to take risk given what we know about him and lock him up for 3 more years.

  17. NatsLady - Nov 9, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    Now, this is funny!Ken Rosenthal ‏@Ken_RosenthalGMs last night dined at home of #Nationals owner Ted Lerner. “After seeing it,” one GM said, “I think they’re getting Hamilton AND Greinke.”

  18. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 9, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    Clippard has pitched a lot of innings, and probably made too many appearances in 2012 and wore down. "A lot of mileage" suggests he's threadbare and I don't think that's the case. By Spring he should be fine, and stay fine if Johnson doesn't overuse him again. (That may be too much to ask.) I think of Clippard as "over-exposed." By the end of the year he is not only tired but every team in the league has seen his quirky delivery and his repertoire several times (not to mention on film). I think he needs to work hard on some pitch other than his FB and change. If not his slider, maybe a split-finger — something that dives. W/ his FB and straight change, hitters are always looking for somethin up in the zone.The Nats already have two TJ survivors in Mattheus and Garcia, and Mattheus should have enuf experience now to be able to do a stand-in for Clippard occasionally. And the point of re-signing Burnett is to have a guy equally good at dealing w/ RHs and LHs who can set up when needed.The guys on Chase's list are too expensive for a team already paying significant $$ to Gorzelanny, Clippard, Storen and Burnett (or his replacement). As it is, the BP seems rather pricy to me — not that I'd regret the money necessary to pay any of the incumbents. If the Nats were to sign another RH reliever (not sure why, unless they are finally ready to get rid of Rodriguez), all I want is that it not be another HR machine like Coffey.

  19. NatsLady - Nov 9, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    Theo, agree on the "over exposure." I noticed in the spring he was mixing stuff up on the NL teams, and then in interleague went back to his usual rep, change, change, get 'em with the high heat, and that worked. As far as other stuff, Clip does have a curve which he rarely uses. Maybe he could polish that up and get it to "dive" reliably.

  20. JD - Nov 9, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    Theo, I agree completely. I don't see the need to add another expensive arm to the bullpen. I think that most of this talk is over reaction to game 5. I don't think Rizzo will make critical decisions based on 1 game.

  21. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 9, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    Faraz — I demur to your "he [Clippard] doesn't throw extremely hard on any of his pitches." I think his delivery is very tortured — he sort of shot puts the ball up there — and probably very strenuous. It's also a major reason for his success. Plus, as someone else pointed out, he throws a lot of pitches per AB, lacking a true wipe-out pitch once a hitter has timed his FB. Which is why I'd be so thrilled if he perfected his slider or developed a split-finger FB (yes, I know, another high-stress pitch).

  22. Todd Boss - Nov 9, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    I can't possibly see the Nats spending money on a closer; Rizzo seems to be of the opinion that bullpen arms are fungible commodities that can be interchanged easily. Posnanski did a study a few years back showing that teams win games with 9th inning leads at the same rate now as they did in the 1950s before specialized closers, implying that big money closers are a waste. I tend to agree.

  23. NatsLady - Nov 9, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    JD, agree Rizzo won't overreact to one game. However, I am more worried about overuse of Clip than Storen's mental state. Stammen also was heavily used, and Mattheus got injured. If there is an experienced guy coming off injury, no reason not to, er, kick the tires.

  24. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 9, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    JD — We saw in the playoffs that the Giants have a great BP, the Cards have a good BP. The Tigers and Yankees, as they stand, certainly don't. The Braves are ++ because of Kimbrel, tho I think their others can be had. And the Orioles' pen had a great year that I'm pretty sure they can't duplicate. I think I'd put the Nats at least in the top six, which should be enuf to win — if their hitters stop shutting down in the fourth or fifth inning.

  25. NatsLady - Nov 9, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    Well, I grew up in the 50s, and there was definitely "specialization." Short relievers, as they were called then were the best relievers and on the top of the food chain in the bullpen. I think Davey was not of the "closer" mentality and he tried alternatives, but eventually settled into the "roles" of closer, etc. As Jim Leyland said, it may not be better [in any given game] to have a "closer," but in the long season it's a lot easier.

  26. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 9, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    "Closing" is a role that sees "dominant" figures like Don Stanhouse, Randy Myers, Matt Capps, etc., whose pitching is pretty mediocre but they get saves because, by the law of averages, they manage to get three outs before the other side scores. (Sometimes they give up runs, but not enough to tip the scoreboard.)Storen brings a really good arm, some good pitches, and (usually) good control to the table. He's capable of being an Eckersley, Fingers, Percival. Keep him, nuture him, pay him.

  27. JD - Nov 9, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    NL, I think Clip was overused because: 1) Storen was out for half the year. 2) HRod, Lidge were totally ineffective. 3) Stras, JZim and Det were limited to about 100 pitches a game which limited them to about 6 innings a game. 4) Davie didn't really start trusting Matheus until late in the year (he didn't trust him in the deciding game). I think a healthy Storen, Christian Garcia and Matheus should really help reduce Clip's workload and I think JZim will be allowed to go 120 pitches and he Stras and Det should be more efficient next year. I also think that we shouldn't under estimate how important Burnet was last year; he was the primary set up man the entire time Clip closed; if he can share some of the setting up with the others mentioned + Stammen it would also help Clip and Storen – we really need him or some one like him.

  28. JD - Nov 9, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    Theo, I agree totally on Storen. He is also smart and has good bounce back ability (short memory) and he's not scared of game situations ALA HRod.

  29. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 9, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    Best thing for anyone worried about Storen's mental state is to not worry. He will bounce back strong. He is a cerebral thinker and will change his approach slightly and will be better for it.Like I have said for a couple of weeks, wouldn't be surprised to see Madson.

  30. Don - Nov 9, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    Storen loked pretty scared in Game 5, no? I could see him shaking from Section 211.

  31. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 9, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    NatsLady said… Now, this is funny!Ken Rosenthal ‏@Ken_RosenthalGMs last night dined at home of #Nationals owner Ted Lerner. “After seeing it,” one GM said, “I think they’re getting Hamilton AND Greinke.” November 09, 2012 1:50 PM That is a great quote! Very funny! I don't expect Hamilton and I still believe Greinke is over-priced and over-hyped.

  32. NatsLady - Nov 9, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    JD and Theo, good points. I don't underestimate Burnett at all. He was nails most of the season, and VERY efficient. 1-2-3 and out of there. (One time he wasn't was the 9-0 game, but a lot was going on in that game). Plus no platoon split and no discernible "nerves." The only black mark I had against him was not reporting his arm problems, but if I had a nickel for every player who didn't report problems… Not being familiar with Affeldt on a day-to-day basis, all I can say is his record is good, but not as good as Burnett's and if the cost in $$ and years is the same, I prefer Burnett.

  33. Tcostant - Nov 9, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    Why isn't Mariano Rivera on this list? Word on the street is the Yankees expect him to take a huge pay cut (think $5M plus incentives). If that Nationals offer $8M plus incentives to $15M if he proves health, we could have the best post season closer of all time.I know this is a long shot, but more likely than signing Rafael Soriano who would command many more years and a draft pick lost.

  34. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 9, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    JD @ 2:22, all good points. Tyler Clippard to me has been more valuable than stats. They have to dial it back on him. Unfortunately in the NL where pitchers get pulled earlier because of pinch-hitting they bullpen has to pick up extra innings.Clip constantly had to step up when others couldn't. By the end of the season, it affected his ability to pitch well.Clip's fastball that he throws up in the zone that seemingly rises is a thing of beauty. Didn't see it the last 60 days of the season. Can't wait to see it in 2013.

  35. NatsLady - Nov 9, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    Ghost, I don't expect–or want–Hamilton. I think we can fill whatever holes we have in the outfield and the batting order for less expense and trouble.Greinke I'm not so sure I want to put on the reject pile yet. As I see it Rizzo has two strategies for the rotation (1) go for an "adequate" No. 5 and keep his $$ and prospects for summer trading if needed; or (2) go all out with five top of the line guys right out of the box. In the end, I think it will depend on how his scout's eye views the top of the line guys that are available.

  36. NatsLady - Nov 9, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    Tcostant, do you think Mo would play for anyone except the Yanks–even at a pay cut? Wouldn't he just retire if he didn't like the money?

  37. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 9, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    Don said… Storen loked pretty scared in Game 5, no? I could see him shaking from Section 211. November 09, 2012 2:32 PM Part of what people thought was shaking was really being over-amp'd mixed with exhaustion. It wasn't shaking with nerves.Gio and Storen looking that way wasn't good. That was all part of the Cardinals "smelling blood" theory. Live and learn.

  38. Tcostant - Nov 9, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    Natslady -I think he wants respect. Before last contract the Yankees were also low balling him for the same reason you state, and then Boston made an offer and the Yankees doubled their offer.I think he doesn't like how last year ended for him and he wants to pitch in 2013; but he won't take a 70% pay cut after all he has done for NY. In the end I think the Yankees would raise their offer. But if the Yankees stay at $5M I could see him pitching elsewhere – really.

  39. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 9, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    NatsLady said…As I see it Rizzo has two strategies for the rotation (1) go for an "adequate" No. 5 and keep his $$ and prospects for summer trading if needed; or (2) go all out with five top of the line guys right out of the box. In the end, I think it will depend on how his scout's eye views the top of the line guys that are available. November 09, 2012 2:38 PM I have been more comfortable with the #1 scenario but clearly if the right starter fell to the Nats then take it now. I thought Anibal was that guy but he is smoking what Swisher is on his own self-worth. Not a chance.I'm 100% comfortable going with Lannan and if needed re-engineer at July 31st with a trade. Those deadline trades seem to re-energize a team when you get the right person. See: Cody Ross & Marco Scutaro. It doesn't have to be a big name.

  40. JD - Nov 9, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    NatsLady, Re Hamilton – run in the opposite direction as fast as possible. I don't think Rivera puts on a non Yankee uniform at the age of 42. I'm beginning to think that LaRoche won't happen; I don't think Rizzo wants to give him more than 2 years; I don't really blame him. I think if Morse ends up at 1st we will need a left handed or switch bat in the outfield which probably lessens the Upton likelihood. Are we really gonna trust a regular spot with Corey Brown? it doesn't sound like a Rizzo move.

  41. NatsLady - Nov 9, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    Ghost, the problem is there are no secrets. All the agents, GMs, and players are looking at the same lists. Also, a lot of the current frenzy is fed by the short term memory of the postseason, and not by remembering you have to GET to the postseason by way of 152 games. Rizzo won't be rushed and he doesn't panic. He made the deal for Gio and the deal for Suzuki after everyone though the shows were over–Buerhle was gone to the Fish and July 31 was passed. If he thinks there are better alternatives than Jackson out there, I would bet he has someone (or more than one someone) in mind.

  42. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 9, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    These stories just seem to get funnier and funnier. ..•The price for Tigers pitcher Anibal Sanchez could be going up, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Sanchez asked one team for $90MM across six years and another for $100MM over seven years, according to Heyman.

  43. NatsLady - Nov 9, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    Sorry, 162 games–but nice to have it clinched after 152…

  44. NatsLady - Nov 9, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    JD, I'm telling you, if we don't get ALR, in the scenario you envision, with Morse at 1B, it'll be Shin-Soo Choo in LF with his lefty bat.

  45. JD - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    NL, I'm very ok with Shin-Soo Choo although I would prefer him in right field with Werth in left. I'm not wild about Morse at 1st and would prefer a scenario with ALR at 1st and another outfielder.

  46. NatsLady - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    JD, either works for me. But Choo's bat would not replace Morse's or ALR's unless he returns to older form. So I think you have to keep Morse if you can't keep LaRoche, and although I don't like him at 1B, I would put pressure on him to hire a coach and work on the position in the off-season. He is a capable athlete who never had the time to get coached into 1B, and I believe he could improve. If he's not motivated to improve, then I guess you have to see if Moore can handle it.

  47. Don - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    If Anibal Sanchez is going to get $90M — he's never been an Ace, then the value play might be to spend the bigger money on the safer bet in Grienke. He's the only truly impact SP out there. I am guessing he gets something like 5 yrs $115-120M, maybe. If the Nats want to beat the Braves and Phils consistently for years to come, then that might be money well spent.

  48. UnkyD - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    NatsLady: "…you have to GET to the postseason by way of 152 games."I love when you're old-school ;-)Nobody is mentioning the option of a Moore/Shark platoon, in LF, in the event of letting ALR walk. Is this so dreadful a short-term option as to be rejected, out of hand?

  49. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:12 PM

    Davey is done!

  50. Don - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    JD — I relly like Choo's game. He does everything well and the Nats are desperados for OBP. If it ever happened, the guy would be the Mayor of Annandale, that is for sure. :-)

  51. NatsLady - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    Ghost, yep! Heyman didn't have any terms, do you know the terms?

  52. NatsLady - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    UnKyd, I don't know if Moore has the arm (and speed) for the outfield. Of course, as noted, people didn't think Lombo would flourish there, and he did well. Didn't have a great arm but got excellent jumps and was smart.

  53. MicheleS - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    WOOOOOO EFFFIN HOOOOO!! DAVEY has signed!Gosh I miss saying that.

  54. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:17 PM

    NatsLady said… Ghost, the problem is there are no secrets. All the agents, GMs, and players are looking at the same lists. You are correct, except the SFX Agents. They don't leak information and don't play the game which is why we have nothing on LaRoche. I was once in a conversation with one of their agents who said something about a pre-arb player and I never repeated it because I knew they have a stance on not leaking information and it was meant off the record. Other agents need mouthpieces like Heyman and even some bloggers to get the frenzy whipped up. Great example is Prince Fielder and why not, it was the biggest news last year. Like I said, don't be surprised if Michael Bourn is spotted in Georgetown. Also now that everyone knows the location of Lerner's hideaway in Cali they will stake out there for player sightings.Some agents are like sleezy auctioneers. If you know you have a real buyer who will pay $100,000, you better have someone, maybe a shill, that will bid up to $99,000.Almost everything leaks and a lot is dis-information unfortunately. I have been caught up a few times printing some of that and feel foolish afterwards.Then you have teams like the Orioles who leak info every year attaching to all the big name players to show their fanbase they are trying only each year to walk away with nothing. They could have gotten Teixeira but chose not to pay the price and when the Yankees got them whined that they once again lost out to the Evil Empire.

  55. natsfan1a - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  56. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    NatsLady said… Ghost, yep! Heyman didn't have any terms, do you know the terms? November 09, 2012 3:14 PM I got nothing but excitement! Expect a lot of incentives in the deal though and I mean a lot and expect an early-out clause. Since its not a players contract I think all they will say is that its a 2 year deal.

  57. natsfan1a - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    He's always done that (shakes/quivers) on the mound. I seem to recall it having been mentioned on a broadcast at one point, and they said it was because he was amped.Don said…Storen loked pretty scared in Game 5, no? I could see him shaking from Section 211.November 09, 2012 2:32 PM

  58. natsfan1a - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    And now I owe Ghost a beverage. This could get very complicated by the time the season starts. :-)Ghost Of Steve M. said… Part of what people thought was shaking was really being over-amp'd mixed with exhaustion. It wasn't shaking with nerves. Gio and Storen looking that way wasn't good. That was all part of the Cardinals "smelling blood" theory. Live and learn. November 09, 2012 2:42 PM

  59. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    MicheleS said… WOOOOOO EFFFIN HOOOOO!! DAVEY has signed!Gosh I miss saying that. November 09, 2012 3:16 PM I know, its excellent! New theme song is Bachman Turner Overdrive – Taking Care Of "Unfinished" Business

  60. NatsLady - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    JD, I don't know why Davey/Rizzo didn't use Corey Brown more. To the outsider he looked fine. I couldn't tell if they simply saw what they needed to see and since they didn't need him for the postseason they sat him, or if they didn't like what they saw. It was a mystery to me, but I have to conclude they would not regard Brown as a full-time outfielder to replace Morse.

  61. natsfan1a - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    If we're going with BTO, I'd pick "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" as the theme song for next season. :-)

  62. MicheleS - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    Ghost.. Yup.. 2013 MottoUNFINISHED BUSINESS! GO NATS!

  63. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    natsfan1a, that's a good one too! I'm still partial to Natitude.

  64. MicheleS - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    1a..kicking it old school with the BTO reference. Love it.

  65. MicheleS - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    1AAnd now that song is playing in my head… Good Times!

  66. Don - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    I don't know if I am buying the Storen always shakes (I never noticed it before and have certainly seen the guy pitch a bunch) and/or he was just really amped, so much as I am buying what I think I saw: a guy looking scared and pitching scared in the biggest game of his life. He might be fine, he might even be notably better from the whole experience, but I think that Storen felt the massive pressure and was buckling under it. And I think that the Cards saw that too.

  67. MicheleS - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  68. MicheleS - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    Drew is going to be fine. They all got gut punched last year. It's a good learning experience for all of them. I expect it to feed them in 2013 and have the requisite chip on their shoulders

  69. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    NatsLady said… JD, I don't know why Davey/Rizzo didn't use Corey Brown more. To the outsider he looked fine. I couldn't tell if they simply saw what they needed to see and since they didn't need him for the postseason they sat him, or if they didn't like what they saw. It was a mystery to me, but I have to conclude they would not regard Brown as a full-time outfielder to replace Morse. November 09, 2012 3:25 PM Talking about nerves of steel. Corey Brown with the Suicide Squeeze in his 1st callup and that WalkOff single in September.I know he is good and I like him as a player. If LaRoche doesn't re-sign, he may have to get his opportunity and platoon with Moore.I love platoons like I suggested last year of a Lombo/Espi where the sum of the whole is greater than the 2 parts working off of individual strengths. Brewers did it well in 2011 with Nyjer/Gomez only it failed last year because Nyjer fell apart.Corey Brown hasn't proven he can go 5 days a week as a starter but on the other hand he hasn't proven he can't. That could be a decent fall-back for the Nats if ALR doesn't work out.

  70. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    MicheleS said… 1a..kicking it old school with the BTO reference. Love it. November 09, 2012 3:27 PM My sources tell me you aren't old enough to know who BTO is!

  71. NatsLady - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    This article is funny. How the Nats would have gotten Buehrle instead of Jackson, there would never have been a Game 5–and thus won the WS…long story.17 teams that could have won the WS if not for Jason Bayhttp://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=18866

  72. NatsLady - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    Don, I don't know. Drew pitched fine the night before in a tie game and the series on the line. Why was Thursday less pressure than Friday? When did he start to get scared–after the Beltran double? But he got the next two outs. When the ump wasn't calling strikes on his low sliders? Maybe, but if so, why wasn't Desi or LaRoche in there more? They both know how to settle a pitcher's nerves.

  73. MicheleS - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    Ghost.. your sources don't know what they are talking about.

  74. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    MicheleS said… Ghost.. your sources don't know what they are talking about. November 09, 2012 3:43 PM They have your birth date later in the 70's and you live in Ashburn, VA —-LOL

  75. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    MicheleS said… Kilgore has a piece up the 2013 will be Davey's last year.http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/nationals-journal/wp/2012/11/09/davey-johnson-planning-on-retiring-from-managing-after-2013/ November 09, 2012 3:46 PM Wow, no early out clause. One and done!

  76. MicheleS - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    Ghost.. Earlier birth date.

  77. MicheleS - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    Ghost.. glad to hear that about ALR's agents. I prefer that type then to the blow hard's like Boras.

  78. JD - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    I am thinking Randy Knorr in 2014.

  79. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    Yep, JD, I would think Randy Knorr also.

  80. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 9, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    MicheleS said… Ghost.. glad to hear that about ALR's agents. I prefer that type then to the blow hard's like Boras. November 09, 2012 3:50 PM Its refreshing to me and it was hard to believe Greinke dumped them as his agents. Funny talking about Mariano Rivera, he's a SFX client too. They don't publicize who they have which is top flight, oh yah, they have Miguel Cabrera too and Gorzo, JZim and Ramos and of course ALR.Did you ever read the Deadspin story on Albert Pujols agent Dan Lozano? Its R-rated if you want to read it. Just have a barf bag by your side.: http://deadspin.com/5861982/dan-lozano-albert-pujolss-superagent-king-of-sleaze-mountain

  81. NatsLady - Nov 9, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    Where is letters-and-numbers with the sky is falling, Davey is leaving, etc.???

  82. MicheleS - Nov 9, 2012 at 9:06 PM

    Ghost.. Does Grienke have representation? I thought he burned through a couple of agents during the time the Nats were persuing him.

  83. SonnyG10 - Nov 9, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    MicheleS, thanks for posting the link. I feel a bit shocked that we won't have Davey for several more years. Gotta happen sometime though. Randy, take good notes!

  84. NatsLady - Nov 9, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    Affeldt likely out of the picture, will get 3 years from SF. Means we might have to give Burnett 3, which Rizzo won't like.Ghost, I read your story and not much shocked or surprised me, except the bit about A-Rod and the kids in Miami. I was indifferent to A-Rod and thought a lot of the NY hate was overblown by his personal stuff combined with poor performance (or, poorer than expected). But if that part is true, he is a real slimeball. Has to be hard for Rizzo to get "character" guys. Makes me think even more you want LaRoche around, if possible.

  85. JD - Nov 9, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    NatsLady, I really like Burnett a lot but if he costs something like $20 mil for 3 years Rizzo would be justified in walking away and looking at someone like Bill Bray.

  86. natsfan1a - Nov 9, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    Natitude worked well!Ghost Of Steve M. said… natsfan1a, that's a good one too! I'm still partial to Natitude. November 09, 2012 3:27 PM

  87. natsfan1a - Nov 9, 2012 at 10:00 PM

    Hope you like the song, otherwise my apologies. :-)MicheleS said… 1a..kicking it old school with the BTO reference. Love it. November 09, 2012 3:27 PM MicheleS said… 1A And now that song is playing in my head… Good Times! November 09, 2012 3:31 PM

  88. Kenz aFan - Nov 9, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    I think fans are worried a little too much about the bullpen. No-one currently or potentially in the pen to start the 2013 season was or will be that big a problem. The Nats will have 7 very solid relievers ready to pitch.To help make ours or any bullpen better, all is needed, is to allow the starting pitchers to pitch and not remove them when they're pitching well. If you let your SP pitch when they are pitching well, the bullpen will have an easier workload and the overall team numbers will be improved. The Nats SP only had 3 complete games in 2012, and offhand, I can recall a dozen or so games where the Nats starter deserved a chance to pitch into the 9th but was never given (or allowed) the opportunity.Of course, this is just one person's thinking process, and hopefully, I'm not the only person to think this way. I truly love Davey, but IMO, he's not at his best when it comes to handling his starting pitchers. There have been too many times when he would either leave them in way too long, or take them out early when they're pitching well. He sometimes defies logic when it comes to how he handles his starting pitchers. Davey has many strong point, but handling starting pitchers has never been one of them. That said, I have a feeling, because of how good our pitching staff will be in 2013, handling the starters will become as easy as shaking hands after a win.I'm so sure that his SP handling will be that easy, because; the "He's still young" or "He's coming off this or that surgery" or the "We need to control his innings" will be a thing of the past in 2013, and by year's end,the entire pitching staff will awe some, confound others, and impress everyone.

  89. NatsLady - Nov 9, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    LaRoche declined the qualifying offer. So did everyone else to whom an offer was made. It mystifies me what that clause in the CBA was expected to accomplish. A player would have to be worth EXACTLY the amount to accept it, yet because of the time lag, they have a week to hear offers. Like Rizzo, GMs are not going to make the offer if it's even close, and if it's not close, players won't accept.

  90. NatsLady - Nov 9, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    Boras said the current CBA (five years, I believe) could live and die without a single player accepting his qualifying offer. Easy to figure he's right.

  91. Kenz aFan - Nov 9, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    MicheleS said…Ghost.. Does Grienke have representation? I thought he burned through a couple of agents during the time the Nats were persuing him.Greinke is managed by Excel Sports Management, who also represent; Tyler Clippard, Mark Teixeira, Derek Jeter to name a few…

  92. MicheleS - Nov 9, 2012 at 10:16 PM

    Thanks Kenz, wasn't sure if he was still representing himself.

  93. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 9, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    Kenz, Excel is Casey Close who started CAA Baseball. Didn't know he had Greinke. Are you sure Texeira left Boras?

  94. Kenz aFan - Nov 9, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    Teixeira switched a while back… According to the Agency Database at MLBTradeRumors, Mark is with Excel Sports Management and Casey Close.

  95. Oldguy - Nov 9, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    How anyone can talk about Storen being to blame or scared or anything else absolutely escapes me. His post game comments indicated (he didn't say it directly) that he didn't get a single break on calls. He showed no signs of being anything but pissed off that it went the way it did. A lot of very good closers have blown some very big games–Papelbon, for one. And even if any of that is true (which I doubt), does anybody doubt that he learned from that tough experience? The thought of replacing him seems like sheer madness to me.

  96. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 9, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    Kenz, didn't know that. Boras got him the massive contract but didn't know he left.Agent fees aren't generally earned up front which means Boras negotiated the deal and probably not getting paid anymore.

  97. JD - Nov 9, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    oldguy, I couldn't agree with you more. And I also agree with Storen 100%. I couldn't believe the Cards where taking some of the pitches they took. Even if they weren't strikes they had no business taking them and the fact that the Ump couldn't pull the trigger is a function of his choking as much as Drew.

  98. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 9, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    By the way, Casey Close was repping Ryan Zimmerman in 2005 and Brody V was assigned to Zim. Not sure how all that went down but seemed to work out well for Zim

  99. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 9, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    JD, read my Storen comments above. I agree with you but some blame per Brenley was on Suzuki and I have to agree he didn't frame some of those pitches well.Expect a better Storen. Cerebral kid.

  100. baseballswami - Nov 10, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    If Affeldt was still available he would be a good addition. He can basically pitch in any inning or go more than one. Very flexible. I like that in a reliever.

  101. Laddie Blah Blah - Nov 10, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    "I know he is good and I like him as a player. If LaRoche doesn't re-sign, he may have to get his opportunity and platoon with Moore."Unbelievable, Ghost. I can't count the number of times I've read this thread and found my own thoughts written down here, but under your name. I may as well not even post any more…;o)It would be fun to see what they could do as a tandem out there. Both power hitters with good approaches at the plate, and I love TyMo's swing. Goodwin's stance and swing are uncannily similar to Brown's, too. The Nats are in a good place with their OFers, present and future, IMO.I think TyMo is more comfortable at first, but i would like to see his bat, and Brown's, in the lineup next year, if the Nats lose ALR and move Morse to 1b. Both TyMo and Brown have something to prove, too. A talented, hungry player with something to prove is what I see in each of them. If they resign ALR, and trade Morse, they could still go with a platoon in LF. My guess is that they would put up some solid, if not outstanding numbers, given the chance. They are really good buddies, too – country boys in the big city. Team chemistry is important, and those two fit right in.Of course, the only thing that matters is what Rizzo thinks, and decides to do. But I have to believe that he has considered the same thing among the many options for shaping next year's team.

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