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Best and worst offseason moves

Nov 10, 2012, 2:00 PM EDT

US Presswire file photo
Was the 2010 signing of Jayson Werth for $126 million a great move or a disaster?

Every offseason has its highs and lows, moments when teams are lauded for moves they make (or don't make) and chastised for other moves they make (or don't make).

Truth be told, it's almost impossible to judge the merits of those transactions when they occur. Only after the passage of time do we learn whether the moves were savvy or suspect.

So with that in mind, let's take a stroll down memory lane and revisit some of the most significant offseason transactions the Nationals have made since arriving in town. With the advantage of hindsight, we can now select the best and worst moves from each winter…

2005-06

BEST MOVE: Trading Brad Wilkerson, Terrmel Sledge and Armando Galarraga to the Rangers for Alfonso Soriano

What was at the time perceived as a bold (and potentially foolish) deal by Jim Bowden proved to be one of the best the former general manager ever made. Soriano made a successful transition to theRead more »

  1. Gonat - Nov 10, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    2011 WORST MOVE: Traded Josh Willingham to the Athletics for Corey Brown and Henry Rodriguez_____________________________Yes, I agree it was a bad trade as Rizzo needed to get more in trade and if he couldn't he should have kept Josh. I agree with you on HenRod but lets be fair, Corey Brown hasn't been given an opportunity at the Major League level. Give him 2 weeks playing every day against RH pitching.I still think a close 2nd to WORST moves was signing Matt Stares. Not sure if it was more painful watching LoDuca or Stares. Watching 3 straight fastballs from Halladay for Strike1-2-3 with less than 2 outs and a runner on 3rd was one of the worst moments of that year.

  2. Gonat - Nov 10, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    For 2012, if Brad Lidge was your worst move, than it was a good year. Personally I think it was bringing back Wang.

  3. NatsLady - Nov 10, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    AFL "Hot Sheet." Rendon.3. Anthony Rendon, 3b, Salt River Rafters (Nationals)Statistics: .538/.588/.923 (7-for-13), 4 R, 3 2B, 1 3B, 5 RBI, 3 BB, 2 K, 1-for-2 SB, 1 ErrorAfter claiming the fifth spot in last week's Hot Sheet, Rendon slugged his way two spots higher this week with three multi-hit games. After splitting time across four levels this summer, rehabbing from a 2011 shoulder injury and 2012 ankle fracture, a healthy Rendon has looked great this fall, batting .328/.416/.484 with eight doubles, second in the AFL. Overall, scouts have been impressed by his patient approach, strength and contact ability.AFL Hot Sheethttp://ht.ly/2t8EQc

  4. NatsLady - Nov 10, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    David Ross contract with RedSox is two years, $6.2M (pending physical). Can't figure why the Braves didn't match it.

  5. NatsLady - Nov 10, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    Happy Birthday to Ryan Mattheus!

  6. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 10, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    These are all hindsight analyticals. How many questioned these moves before they happened. I also don't think Lidge was the Worst Move. I think it was not extending LaRoche mid-season.

  7. Gonat - Nov 10, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    Overall, scouts have been impressed by his patient approach, strength and contact ability.____________________________NatsLady, great post on the scouting on Rendon. Its that contact ability especially in 2 strike counts which enhances his strengths. SteveM, would you say Rendon is a hybrid of Werth and BHarper?

  8. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 10, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    NL, big big Braves mistake. Why wouldn't they match that?

  9. natsfan1a - Nov 10, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    grrr…that made me so mad (well, and sad, too)…grrr…WORST MOVE: Selling Jamey Carroll to the Rockies for cash and signing Damian Jackson

  10. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 10, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    Gonat, good comparison but too early to say he has Jayson's plate discipline but he doesn't panic in 2 strike counts at this level and keep in mind he is a ringer there. The one comparison to Harper is barreling up the ball and quick hands and eye-hand.Don't mistake Rendon's power to Harper. Rendon is a gap hitter and a contact guy. His power is he hits the ball hard which will help his BABIP.

  11. Gonat - Nov 10, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    SteveM, thanks for the analysis. Its exciting to think of the possibilities.

  12. UnkyD - Nov 10, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    Actually, worst move for '12 has to be Rizzo's shocking failure to assemble an adequate bench, right JayB? ;-)

  13. slidell2 - Nov 10, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    I agree with most of the choices, though there were a ton of bad choices to choose from, mostly in the early years. What all that reveals, is that probably the worst choice of all time falls on the Lerners for choosing and sticking with Bowden for so long. (BTW; I especially get irritated whenever I see a box score showing Jamey Carroll doing good)

  14. JaneB - Nov 10, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    I agree that this tear's worst move is not resigning ALR. How can we assess ANY of these moves but in hindsight? Think of all the people you dated in life who looked promising until they kicked your cat or burbed after drinking right out of the milk carton (examples from a criend's life, you realize)?I can still remember how happy I was when we signed Marquis. And I'll love him forever for plunking se D-back in an endless game in June '11 after they plunked a bunch of our guys (Danny and Wilson among them, if I recall). And he just turned to the Ump and shrugged. That awful day where they pulled him in the first, when he was injured, is still the nadir of my baseball watching experience. And yes, I was at Game Five.

  15. Gonat - Nov 10, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… I think it was not extending LaRoche mid-season. November 10, 2012 9:38 AM _______________________________Interesting. I think FP Santangelo would agree with you.

  16. natsfan1a - Nov 10, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    Thanks for the much-needed laugh, JaneB. I have, um, friends who have experienced similar regrets. Although, on the plus paw, the experience also helped, um, my friends to recognize a good guy when he did come along. :-)Also, having observed commenter mood trends on here when a thread was languishing for days and days in years past, I really appreciate Mark having taken the time to write up posts in advance before his vacation. I also appreciate the posts from Chase in his absence. New posts are a good thing, even if one does not agree with the premise, imho. :-)Think of all the people you dated in life who looked promising until they kicked your cat or burbed after drinking right out of the milk carton (examples from a criend's life, you realize)?

  17. natsfan1a - Nov 10, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    I wasn't there, it being a road game and all, but for me the game where Nick Johnson broke his leg is up, er, down there. (I was also at Game 5.)I can still remember how happy I was when we signed Marquis. And I'll love him forever for plunking se D-back in an endless game in June '11 after they plunked a bunch of our guys (Danny and Wilson among them, if I recall). And he just turned to the Ump and shrugged. That awful day where they pulled him in the first, when he was injured, is still the nadir of my baseball watching experience. And yes, I was at Game Five.

  18. LoveDaNats - Nov 10, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    Game 5. Sorry, just had a post traumatic stress flashback…..

  19. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 10, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    Apart from the fact they received nuthink! (except for petty cash) for Carroll, I don't feel so badly about it. He's been a fill-in starter for some teams (break glass in case of emergency), sometimes for long stretches but never really the first choice until this year w/ the Twins at age 30+alot — and I watched a couple of Twins games this season and his range and arm were both suspect. Nice player and someone you'd like to have on your roster if you didn't have Lombardozzi. My problems have been with the guys they signed/acquired (Milledge?), not the guys they got rid of, as to whom there never should have been any regrets.

  20. rogieshan - Nov 10, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    Best Move: Zach Greinke vetoing trade from KC for rumored package of Jordan Zimmermann, Drew Storen and Danny Espinosa.

  21. NatsJack in Florida - Nov 10, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    Any chance Cherington got his Ross's mixed up?Signing David Ross to add to their catching stable is baffling on several levels…..for the Red Sox, Ross himself, and even the Braves for not poneying up to keep him what with McCann' issues. I don't get it.

  22. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 10, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    Rogie, yeesh, you aren't kidding. I went completely nuts when I heard the proposed trade and still think history will paint Greinke as a pitcher with 1 magical season and several good years. Unless Greinke refinds 2009, he will just be a decent and very expensive #2.

  23. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 10, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    NatsJack, let's see what Wren does now. As a Nats guy, I live this Braves FAIL.

  24. billyhacker - Nov 10, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    When your worst moves cost $5 million or less, you end up in the NLCS. Doing a best/worst for almost any other team (other than Oakland) will show many more millions lost on long contracts for declining players – let's hope we never get so successful that we are willing to go there.

  25. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 10, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    Dodgers drunken spending spree continues. They just won the Ryu lottery for $25 mill.

  26. Teddy Rochlis - Nov 10, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    can someone please explain to me how the dodgers are going to pay for all the hit and miss big contract players they are acquiring? There salary has to be around 180mil already plus they just got the rights to the korean pitcher, and they are talking about signing greinke, i don't know how they will be able to stay afloat.

  27. MicheleS - Nov 10, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    Dodgers this off season equals Marlins last off season, the only thing the Dodgers have on the plus side is Donny Baseball vs Ozzie.

  28. MicheleS - Nov 10, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    And this after all the beats announce davey staying for 13 only…(already one opening the door for more)James Wagner‏@JamesWagnerWPThis is all barring a change of heart, though. Nats like to promote from within, so bench coach Randy Knorr is a leading candidate for '14.

  29. NatsJack in Florida - Nov 10, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    Ghost……yep….makes me happy.Definitely interested in what Wren does now.

  30. Steady Eddie - Nov 10, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    Even assuming for the sake of argument that the Willingham trade was as bad as Mark paints it, remember that we COULD have signed Wollingham as an FA before this season if we wanted him back. IOW, all we traded was a one-year rental of Willingham to the As. Rizzo traded him not only because of his injury-proneness but also because he didn't fit the athletic model of an outfielder that Rizxo was pursuing. Which makes it interesting to contemplate what Arizxo may or may not do in the outfield this offseason with Morse. (Largely moot if we can't resign ALR though.)

  31. SCNatsFan - Nov 10, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    Ghost, what makes you think LaRoche would have signed mid season? He parlayed his comeback into a huge payday, the last of his career; the odds of him getting a better deal midseason as opposed to now is slim. If he was betting on himself to continue his great year then he was a very smart man and there wasn't anything Rizzo could have done at that time to sign him.

  32. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 10, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    NatsJack, the Braves had the one Peachy injury and McCann was banged up so I consider them lucky so they take their questionable position in catcher given McCann's health and let their 1-B walk for $3.1 mill. Makes no sense.I also believe it was Wren who badmouthed Rizzo during the playoffs.

  33. whatsanattau - Nov 10, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    Other bad moves include giving Riggleman the full time job after Acta did not work out and keeping Felipe Lopez and Dukes as long as they did. Other good moves include the trade for Michael Morse, the trade for Kurt Suzuki, the non-signing of Aaron Crow (and subsequent drafting of Storen), the refusal to give up on Desmond, and the signing (and re-signing) of Davey Johnson as Manager.Bonus bad move: designing the stadium so that the upper deck patrons are so far away they have to pay Virginia Sales Tax.

  34. natsfan1a - Nov 10, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    Another good move of 2012, letting Teddy win. :-)

  35. SonnyG10 - Nov 10, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    At the time I didn't realize how bad a GM Bowden was. Looking back on it, he was really bad. Thank goodness he's gone and we have Rizzo.

  36. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Nov 11, 2012 at 1:25 AM

    Any list of bad moves is incomplete without including one more name:Nook Logan.

  37. d0e81e8c-9f37-11e1-a165-000bcdcb471e - Nov 11, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    I actually like Brown, he's shown great speed and Defense in all 3 OF positions, and given the chance, I see him as an everyday player. Maybe a trade pkg, and he will start for a team that can use him..

  38. The Retired Journalist - Nov 12, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    From 07/08: "Albaladejo's only claim to fame is having an incredibly difficult name to pronounce." But it can be sung, to the tune of "Guantanamera".

  39. Gardner - Nov 12, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    I am very thankful for the Bowden years…due to his epic stink we were able to snag Strasburg and Harper.

  40. Gardner - Nov 12, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    I am very thankful for the Bowden years…due to his epic stink we were able to snag Strasburg and Harper.

  41. slidell2 - Nov 12, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    Amazing how different Jayson looks clean-shaven.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
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ATLANTA 69 64 6.5
MIAMI 65 66 9.5
NEW YORK 62 71 13.5
PHILADELPHIA 61 72 14.5
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MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
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