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Tender decisions await

Nov 27, 2012, 12:00 PM EDT

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John Lannan is a candidate to be non-tendered before Friday night's deadline.

Another of baseball's offseason deadlines arrives late Friday night, when all clubs must tender contracts to all players who aren't already signed for 2013.

For most, this is a mere formality, the acknowledgment by the organization that it intends to keep said player for another season. But for a handful of players — typically those who have more than three years of service time and thus are arbitration-eligible — this can be a tense time.

Arbitration-eligible players are guaranteed to make decent money, at minimum 80 percent of what they made the previous season but typically much more than that. If a player who falls into this category hasn't performed up to snuff but stands to earn a raise through the arbitration process, he becomes a candidate to be "non-tendered," which is just a fancy way of saying he's released and becomes a free agent.

Most clubs non-tender at least one or two players each winter, and the Nationals have shown a willingness to do just that over theRead more »

147 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. MicheleS - Nov 27, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    Glad it's Rizzo making these decisions.

  2. DaveB - Nov 27, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    I had long thought that they would tender Flores as well, thinking he must have trade value. However, it sure seems like there are lots of back-up catchers floating around out there, and his numbers sure tailed off this year, so I now think Mark is right. Too bad, as I had really hoped Jesus would be able to come back and reach the potential he showed before the injury.

  3. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 27, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    belated congratulations to sjm! must be busy having fun with newborn.

  4. sjm308 - Nov 27, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    Until I read this, I thought it a lock that all 3 would be tendered. I guess if they are sure that Ramos is making progress, or if they think our younger catchers are able to be the #2, it does make sense to let him go. I have to think he will be scooped up quickly. My only argument for keeping him would be the fact that they spent $5 million to keep LannEn in Syracuse, it will cost less than a million to keep Flores. I might gamble that a contender would need a backup sooner than later and he could be a valuable trade piece. I definitely do not see him helping us as much with both Ramos and Suzuki.Faraz: had another good day with Kieran & thanks for asking. He is going home today!! (I think the parents are joining him)

  5. Steady Eddie - Nov 27, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    First, Affeldt's deal jacked up the whole market for lefty relievers, so non-tendering Gorzy at some small multiple of his current salary is a non-starter. Note also that speculation re the Nats' bullpen has assumed they're looking at filling one or both of the holes that Burnett and/or M. Gonzalez leaving would create — not having to fill a Gorzy hole too. On the Flores front, I don't see why the calculus with him would be much different than with Lannan re Mark's likeliest scenario (other than that there's not really any conceivable scenario in which we keep him into the regular season) — give him a tender deal, see what you can get in the trade market over the winter, then cut him at low cost in ST if nothing comes up. I assume that once we sign them, that establishes the price for everyone else who might pick him up if we cut him. So there's no benefit to waiting to a team that might want Flores as a backup, in that they'd pay the same price and take the risk that someone else might get him first.

  6. Don - Nov 27, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    The Nats are very likely not using Lannan in the roation in 2013 (he pitched to a losing record in Cuse with an ERA north of 4 against AAA guys and was good but way less than dominant in DC in a handful of starts). Tendering him has risks and not much reward (no club is trading for this guy at his salary and barring some wild injury to a SP between now and the first 30 days or so of Spring Trainging — how likely is that? — there's no real place for him on the club). They should just move on already, let the guy walk and try to hook on with a club that can use him on a $1M deal or the like.

  7. NatsJack in Florida - Nov 27, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    Speaking of Spring Training, I got my Spring Training Season Ticket package in the mail yesterday. Whooopeee!

  8. MicheleS - Nov 27, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    NJ.. Looks like the week of the 17th is when I will be there. Do you go to the away games? I am thinking of going to the game in Lakeland on the 17th. It's on the way to Mom's house and will be at the Viera games later in the week.

  9. natsfan1a - Nov 27, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    Seconded.On another note: go, Kieran! :-)MicheleS said… Glad it's Rizzo making these decisions. November 27, 2012 7:13 AM

  10. NatsJack in Florida - Nov 27, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    Michele…..I get to all games at Kissimmee, Disney and Lakeland. I'll also go to the opener at St. Lucie. We"ll all definitely hook up as I usually see a dozen or so regular Insiders through out ST.

  11. natsfan1a - Nov 27, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    Shopping alert (in case anyone is shopping for, say, cute little Nats baby swag): the mlb.com Cyber Monday sale was extended until midnight. (If the link doesn't work, you can access the sale from the team site's front page. This offer void where prohibited. Some restrictions may apply. Etc. Oh, and go NATS!! :-))

  12. Candide - Nov 27, 2012 at 2:37 PM

    I assume you would non-tender Lannan because you think you can:A) Get someone just as good for significantly less money, or;B) Get someone significantly better for the same money.Question: Who's out there and available to fill either of those slots?Or is my assumption above wrong?

  13. fast eddie - Nov 27, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    MLBtraderumors.com is reporting that BJ Upton and Braves are in serious discussions. If that happens, the market for Rockies' CF Dexter Fowler will heat up fast, with Nats and Filthies leading the charge. Rockies are looking for a starting pitcher plus a solid prospect in return.Fowler (switch hitter) batted .300/.389/.474 in 2012. Sounds like a Bourn-type with better offensive numbers.

  14. JD - Nov 27, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    Candide, Peric said yesterday that Zack Duke re signed with the Nats. Duke brings a similar skill set to the team and at a lot less money. Having said that I don't see any reason to non tender Lannan at this early stage.

  15. SCNatsFan - Nov 27, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    Unless they think one of the other catchers have surpassed Flores then I don't see why you tender him until Ramos knee passes tests in games.

  16. staring out the window waiting for spring - Nov 27, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    Lannan's record in Syracuse is more relevant than his record at home playing MLB2012, but not much more. His job there was not to win games, it was to be ready when they called him. He did that.The word "dominant" has no place in the same discussion. If your fifth starter goes 10-10, he had a good year. If he's worth keeping, he's worth $5M; if he's not, they won't keep him. Until they come north (with the best 25), he's insurance. The chances of one of the starters getting hurt are pretty good, at this point in most seasons, for most teams. If they don't need him by St. Patrick's Day, somebody else will.The only reason I see not to tender him a contract is space on the 40-man, which it looks like they have, at this point, unless he asks to be released so he can seek his fortune elsewhere. The guy will make a seven-figure salary somewhere, if he's not the one who gets hurt (knocking on wood for his sake).

  17. Candide - Nov 27, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    JD – thanks for that. Question about Duke – he was signed to a minor-league contract last year, and I can't find anything regarding his current status. So is he still on the minor-league contract? Do the Nats control him at this point? I don't see him on the 40-man.

  18. rarumberger - Nov 27, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    Fowler played half his games at Coors. I honestly don't think Rizzo's going to get into a bidding war over anyone.As for the Lannan situation, the fact is that we don't have a fifth starter right now. Until that need is met, Lannan is indispensable. We're still nowhere near maxing out our payroll, so I don't think Lannan's 5 mil or less (no chance he gets a raise in arbitration after stinking up AAA all year) is too high a price to pay to ensure we are fully staffed. We can always cut him or trade him for a bag of balls after picking up another starter. Non-tendering him makes absolutely no sense.

  19. MicheleS - Nov 27, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    I don't think Zack Duke was signed yet. All sites are still listing him as a FA.

  20. Tcostant - Nov 27, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    Interesting that ALR id on the home page at Nationals.com; maybe they are getting ready for an announcement?

  21. blovy8 - Nov 27, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    If the Braves win that CF battle, there's still Bourn, Pagan and Victorino to choose from with only Bourn costing a pick, before they have to deal. It's not impossible to think they could still imagine Hamilton playing some center for a year or two as well. If they're willing to blow off a pick for Upton, I'd expect it's easier to pay than give up a prospect/pick for Philly either way, and that might be the advantage Atlanta has.

  22. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Nov 27, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    LannEn is a good bet to be Pattersoned in March.Flores as useful right now as those "Romney 2012" lawn signs.Gorzy is a tougher call. Depends on whether Gonzo or Burney re-sign.And after reading Boz's morning Kool-Aid yesterday, I am more pessimistic than ever about re-signing ALR. I assume most of that column was fed to him by Rizzo. I think ALR is gone too. Sorry, Michele.

  23. NatsJack in Florida - Nov 27, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    You are right Michele. Officially, Zach Duke is listed as a free agent.

  24. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 27, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    I just re-read the headline. Haha, nice play on words.

  25. blovy8 - Nov 27, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    I actually don't think the tenders matter as much this year. Lannan at 5 doesn't seem like a great value, but it's only one year and you don't really know years/cost for better pitchers yet. I've heard it'll be 15 to 20 percent higher than last year. Rizzo will probably stick to his valuation as he did last year with Buehrle, but he would probably want to be flexible. I think having Lannan and Flores around isn't a bad notion even if it costs them buyouts in the spring. It may be that Perry, Garcia, Ramos, et al will look good but you'll still need a ML ready starter until they show enough stamina to be on the roster, especially if all the contract offers too crazy to make a commitment, and the bargain guys aren't any better than them. They would be in a position to be choosier about pitching that way, just as they were with Jackson last spring.

  26. Joe Seamhead - Nov 27, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    Zack Duke struck me as a guy that would probably get crushed his second time through a good ML team's lineup. Maybe I'm wrong, but that was my honest impression of him.I wouldn't be surprised to John Lannan on another team's starting rotation next year. There certainly are worse starters out there then John.I was big on Jesus Flores before his injury. At times last season it seemed as if he was just going through the motions. I think a change of scenery would do him a ton of good.Tom Gorzolany was easy to under appreciate. He had a role last year that generally doesn't get his paycheck.

  27. blovy8 - Nov 27, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    It's not unreasonable to think Gorzelanny isn't worth 3.5m in his role, but Peralta just got 2/6 from the small-budget Rays. He could pitch an fairly average 100-120 swing man innings if things got messy, and a non-tender would leave them really starved for lefty relievers. I know he seemed to fall out of favor with Davey down the stretch, but I guess it would be hard to stay sharp being used once a week. If they were able to re-sign Duke or a similar player for the long man role, he's probably valuable enough to be traded, since he still has starting experience and might be a better fit for another club in exchange for more minor league depth for the Nats.

  28. Todd Boss - Nov 27, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    Zuckerman: are you sure Lannan is out of options? I don't believe he is. This is a significant point: if Lannan has an option, then the non-tender decision thought process is significantly different. The team could tender him and option him to Syracuse as insurance one more time, not a bad strategy actually.Here's a summary of Lannan's contract time:- 2007: contract purchased 7/26/07 and called up: never sent back down, therefore no option burned.- 2008: optioned at beginning of season, but called back on 4/6/08, meaning he spent < 20 days in minors, therefore no option burned.- 2009: spent entire year in majors; no option burned.- 2010: optioned to AA June 20th or thereabouts, recalled August 1st, > 20 days, 1st option burned.- 2011: spent entire year in majors; no option burned.- 2012: optioned out of spring training, recalled for 6 starts mid and end-of-season. 2nd option burned.Does anyone think I have this logic incorrect?

  29. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 27, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    fast eddie said… MLBtraderumors.com is reporting that BJ Upton and Braves are in serious discussions. If that happens, the market for Rockies' CF Dexter Fowler will heat up fast, with Nats and Filthies leading the charge. Rockies are looking for a starting pitcher plus a solid prospect in return.Fowler (switch hitter) batted .300/.389/.474 in 2012. Sounds like a Bourn-type with better offensive numbers. November 27, 2012 9:44 AM Any time you are looking at a Colorado player, please take a look at road splits. I don't see Dexter Fowler being anywhere close to those overall numbers playing for a team in a neutral ballpark.His road splits are just alright: .262/.339/.381/.720 with very little power and that .720 OPS is below what Strasburg produced (.277/.333/.426/.759)At his age he has room to improve, but this isn't a guy you give up a lot for.

  30. Don - Nov 27, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    Ok, Scott Feldman just got $6M from the Cubs, so maybe Lannan will get a tender. But, I still think it is a long shot. Feldman has legit upside, Lannan's a guy who has a rubber arm but who walks way too many guys and who relies on getting lucky with balls in play. He's not the kind of pitcher that Rizzo seems to covet. We'll see.

  31. blovy8 - Nov 27, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    Yeah, I dunno about Fowler, the defensive systems don't like his defense as much as scouts, and his speed hasn't made him much of a base stealer either. Take him out of Coors and how much better is he that Bernadina? The extra homers seems fluky too.

  32. blovy8 - Nov 27, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    That's an interesting sabermetric argument though, Lannan has beaten his peripherals by about half a run, Feldman has done worse than his peripherals by about a third of a run over a similar amoung of innings. Lannan's a year younger and has gotten better at getting groundballs, Feldman's K rate went up a bit last year but he was crappy with guys on base. I'd bet on the lefty myself.

  33. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 27, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    blovy8 said… Yeah, I dunno about Fowler, the defensive systems don't like his defense as much as scouts, and his speed hasn't made him much of a base stealer either. Take him out of Coors and how much better is he that Bernadina? The extra homers seems fluky too. November 27, 2012 11:19 AM That's an interesting comparison to Bernadina. I would say Fowler is a safer bet than Bernadina looking at long-term potential.Fowler has excellent numbers in a small sample size at Nats Park and polar opposite horrible numbers in a slightly large sample size in Atlanta. In his defense, most players have worse road splits as life on the road affects your numbers which is why I think Fowler has better potential than Bernadina if you give a modest boost to Fowler's .262/.339/.381/.720 Also as pointed out, Fowler speed numbers don't back him up as a base stealer. 17 attempts and caught 5 times. Not great. Also on the road last year 40 singles and only 15 XBH which is why his Slugging % is so low.

  34. staring out the window waiting for spring - Nov 27, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    @Todd Boss, 2007 counts as an option year for Lannan, since he was on the 40-man roster. He can't be sent to AAA without his permission, AND he has to clear waivers.

  35. ChiefWJ - Nov 27, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    To answer Todd Boss's question, I'm pretty sure that there's a time limit after the date on which a player first plays in the majors beyond which he can't be sent down without clearing waivers, notwithstanding the existence of unburnt options. I think it's five years. As a result, because Lannan pitched in the majors in 2007, his anniversary date would be 2012 and after that he would have to pass through waivers to go to Syracuse. Since Lannan obviously has value, someone would claim him.

  36. staring out the window waiting for spring - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    To be "tendered" (or "non-tendered") a contract is to be offered (or not) a contract. FYI

  37. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    blovy8 said… That's an interesting sabermetric argument though, Lannan has beaten his peripherals by about half a run, Feldman has done worse than his peripherals by about a third of a run over a similar amoung of innings. Lannan's a year younger and has gotten better at getting groundballs, Feldman's K rate went up a bit last year but he was crappy with guys on base. I'd bet on the lefty myself. November 27, 2012 11:26 AM There is nothing magical or flukely about John Lannan as he is a sinker ball pitch to contact pitcher. His strategy hasn't changed much except a good defense behind him will give better results.He throws a true sinker. He can mix up his pitches and locations and his BABIP on a whole is not luck as he has done it consisently his whole career, its his ability to get movement on his pitches such that he induces weaker contact and groundballs when he needs it.John also nibbles to the better hitters and tries to get them to chase or will issue the dreaded "free pass" but he does so consciously to avoid giving into those hitters and is what Lannan is.Unfortunately 2012 was a small sample size to getting into much depth on trending and analyzing, but my takeaway was the team was 4-2 in the 6 games Lannan started and all those games were key games and he saved this team on July 21st against the Braves as the season was in a tilt. He came out nervous and got into early trouble and then settled down and won the game for the Nats in a season turning point. Sadly, there were a few gloating at Lannan's early struggles and ready to ship his body back to Syracuse. If John's natural progression from that 2011 breakthrough year where his ERA was 3.70 and I expected an improvement into 2012, we will never know as John only got 6 starts in 2012. But if you remove that 1 dreadful start Lannan had in 2012 against the Dodgers, his ERA was 2.79I also recall in 2011 that by John's first start in September his ERA was down to 3.48 before he stumbled to the finish line.Again, I don't care about Velo as much as I care about control and mound presence and being a pitcher and not a thrower. To me its the chess game between pitcher and batter. I don't get all caught up in throwers who can hit 100 on the radar gun if he doesn't know where the ball is going.John Lannan is not an Ace, won't be an Ace, but certainly isn't some piece of $^#& that a few on here have made him out to be and discarded with.

  38. staring out the window waiting for spring - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    DANG. HEY MARK, IT'S EATING MY POSTS AGAIN!

  39. ChiefWJ - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    To answer Todd Boss's question, I'm pretty sure that there's a time limit after the date on which a player first plays in the majors beyond which he can't be sent down without clearing waivers, notwithstanding the existence of unburnt options. I think it's five years. As a result, because Lannan pitched in the majors in 2007, his anniversary date would be 2012 and after that he would have to pass through waivers to go to Syracuse. Since Lannan obviously has value, someone would claim him.

  40. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    GoSM: "John Lannan is not an Ace, won't be an Ace, but certainly isn't some piece of $^#& that a few on here have made him out to be and discarded with."Couldn't agree more.

  41. staring out the window waiting for spring - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    I would agree fully with Steve about Lannan, but this is eating my posts, now, too.

  42. staring out the window waiting for spring - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    Chief, apparently this blog treats my posts as some piece of $^#& to be "discarded with", but you are right about the five years, and also Lannan was on the 40-man in 2007, so it counts as an option year, I believe.

  43. Todd Boss - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    ChiefWJ: service time collected is not the same as calendar years. I've got Lannan's service time calculated at exactly 4 years and 45 days (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Aoe2S6_m1TendEtrUjFBSDg5VkRIOHR5NjNPbGhqUEE#gid=0 is the spreadsheet I maintian of options status and service time for players).We can do a similar calculation of service time for a player by looking at his MLB time:- 2007: contract purchased 7/26/07; from 7/26->9/30 is roughly 65 days of service- 2008: called back on 4/6/08, meaning he only lost a few days and gets a full year of service.- 2009: full year of service- 2010: on the roster from 4/1->6/20June 20th, then 8/1->9/30. Call it 80+60 = 140 days.- 2011: full year of service- 2012: tougher to calculate: he made two spot starts and was immediately optioned back, then spent all of Sept with the big club. Call it 2 days + 30 = 32 days.So that's 3 full years of service (08, 09, 11), plus 65+140+32 = 206, but a year of service is 172 days, so that leaves 65 days left over. Cots has his "surplus" over a full service time year at 45 days, so somewhere in here i've slightly over calculated.But, the main point is that he absolutely has NOT reached 5 full service years, whereby he'd have the veteran status to decline an assignment to the minors.

  44. NatsJack in Florida - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    I'm not nor ever been a John Lannan fan but he certainly has established himself as a back end of the rotation starter. He can serve as our #5 until something better comes along.

  45. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    What NatsJack said. We keep him until mid-March, until something better comes along at No. 5, then he gets Pattersoned.

  46. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    "Lannan . . . certainly isn't some piece of $^#& that a few on here have made him out to be and discarded with." My position is/has been that Lannan (A) isn't nearly is good as some here have made him out to be; (B) probably doesn't pitch as well as he could (i.e., don't make a virtue out of "pitching around" hitters because all he's doing is loading up the bases for the next guy to clear); (C) isn't a good fit for a team that sometimes has trouble scoring runs because he's likely to leave the game three or four runs down in the fifth or sixth inning.However, there are lots of teams out there that would take him, and some ballparks (e.g., Petco) where he would do well, and someone would give the Nats something for him if Rizzo wasn't too greedy and they really needed to move him (unlike last year when they really needed to keep him).

  47. Todd Boss - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    Update on service time: Cot's site on Baseball Prospectus seems to be updated for 2012 service time and is always closer to official;http://www.baseballprospectus.com/compensation/cots/?page_id=150They've got Lannan's service time at 4 yrs 96 days, more than what i've got it at but still < 5 year threshold.

  48. John C. - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    Dexter Fowler would be a possibility as a leadoff hitter, but I wouldn't want to give up too much for him. His stolen base stats, both in number of steals and percentage successful, are less than exciting. And as noted by blovy8 above, defensive metrics don't like him much in CF. He seems to offer some offensive promise, but there are warning signs aplenty.While most hitters do better at home than on the road, Fowler's splits are pretty stark (.248/.331/.367 road, .295/.395/.487 at Coors). His career BaBIP is nearly 30 points higher at home than on the road. You're also buying high (in terms of talent traded for him – his price tag is still fairly low as a first time arbitration eligible) with Fowler. He had a great 2012 (.300/.389/.474), but virtually all of that was BaBIP generated – he had an unbelievable BaBIP of .390 (!) last year. That's unsustainable. His career BaBIP is .353, which is already unusually high. Even if part of his improvement is age related (he's 26 now), between regression and removal from Coors Field you're much more likely to get someone who hits around .266 (his career best prior to 2012) with an OBP of around .350 and little power. Not worthless (his plate discipline would make him an upgrade over Bernadina), but not an impact player either. Further, although he switch hits, he hits LHP better than RHP – so he doesn't really solve the lack of lefty bats in the lineup.

  49. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    The Duke signing is interesting — if in fact he has signed. He did well enuf at Syracuse, and has enuf of a resume, that some team out there (Rockies? Twins?) should be willing to offer him a much clearer path to pitching in the majors. Maybe even a major league contract. Which makes me wonder — if he has indeed signed — whether the Nats made suggestions to the effect that, if they did not acquire a starter somewhere else, he would get the first opportunity at the fifth spot in the rotation. Otherwise, it's another dominoes game: I don't see them ditching Gorzelanny if they see they might lose both M. Gonzalez and Burnett — and I don't see Duke as a LOOGY because he doesn't have Jesse Orosco stuff.How the FO sees Duke as a possible #5 will have a lot to do with how they deal w/ Lannan.

  50. JD - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    Theo, I agree with you on Lannan 100%. If he was able to maintain the same BABIP without walking 5 – 6 hitters a game he would be a more useful pitcher. At the same time most teams 5th starters are worse than John Lannan.

  51. Feel Wood - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    My position is/has been that Lannan (A) isn't nearly is good as some here have made him out to be; (B) probably doesn't pitch as well as he could (i.e., don't make a virtue out of "pitching around" hitters because all he's doing is loading up the bases for the next guy to clear); (C) isn't a good fit for a team that sometimes has trouble scoring runs because he's likely to leave the game three or four runs down in the fifth or sixth inning.(A) No one I know of has ever made Lannan out to be anything more than a fourth or fifth starter. He is definitely that, and even good teams like the Nats need fourth and/or fifth starters.(B) The same could be said about Livan Hernandez when he was the same age Lannan is now. Livo had several successful seasons after that.(C) The same could be said of the Nats' fifth starter last year, Edwin Jackson.Look, even though the Nats may have the best rotation one through four in the majors, they are going to need another three or perhaps four proven big league starters to take the starts those top four guys don't over the course of a season. Last year those slots were filled by Jackson (gone), Wang (gone), Lannan and Duke (possibly gone). Until you see replacements for those guys under contract for next year, Lannan's not going anywhere.

  52. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    Theo said… isn't a good fit for a team that sometimes has trouble scoring runs because he's likely to leave the game three or four runs down in the fifth or sixth inning.Can you please use real stats? Where do you get 3 or 4 runs down in the 5th or 6th inning. Its as if you also expect the Nats to always be shut out in his starts. You are using fuzzy math to support your point which isn't backed up by real stats or even real logic. If you give up 5 runs and your team scores 2 runs you are down by 3 runs but that still makes no sense based on the real stats that it could be an "average" situtation.Here's the facts. Lannan was a 3.70 ERA in 2011 and 4.13 in 2012 which means he is a pitcher below a 3.90 ERA if you combine them and assume that he will be leaving his team in the 6th on average either giving up 2 runs or 3 runs on average as a pitcher technically can't leave in the 6th inning giving up 2.60 runs which is what a 3.90 ERA equals over 6 innings. A 3.90 ERA basically says in every 5 starts where you average 6 innings you will give up 2 runs in 2 of those starts and 3 runs in 3 of those starts which also technically qualifies as a quality start in each of those cases. If your team scores just 3 runs in each of those cases you can do the math. Sounds like Theo is pointing out an offense problem instead of a pitching problem.

  53. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Nov 27, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    I feel better about 2013 just reading these words: Wang (gone)CMW is right up there with WMP as my candidate for Worst. Free. Agent. Signing. Ever.

  54. JaneB - Nov 27, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    Like MichelleS I'm glad it's not me makingthe decisions. If I knew for sure that Wilson was 100% on track, I would non-tender Jesus. Short of that, I'd pay the man. And I think we could do a lot worse than to have LannEn as our fifth guy. Gorzo? How do we lose him AND Sean? I know Gorzo goes long and Sean doesn't but still. We'd be mighty short on LAOGs in the bullpen (my new acronym for "Leftie ANY out guys)".

  55. baseballswami - Nov 27, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    Don't use John Lannan's record at Syracuse as an indicator. He needs a good defense around him. We are not talking about an ace – which, by the way, he was for the Nats for a couple of years — we are talking about a number five who makes all his starts, has stayed healthy and can pitch tons of innings and is left handed. We have gotten to the point where we think everyone needs to throw mid-nineties. Did any of you watch Zito in the playoffs? Veteran soft tossers can be maddening to hitters.

  56. Bigfish - Nov 27, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    My favorite blogger, Charlie Pierce, has a nice piece on Marvin Miller….http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/rip-marvin-miller-112712

  57. Feel Wood - Nov 27, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    CMW is right up there with WMP as my candidate for Worst. Free. Agent. Signing. Ever.Which drug(s) have you taken that erased Daniel Cabrera from your mind? I want some.And technically, WMP was acquired in trade (for a PTBNL) rather than a FA signing. But I feel your pain anyway.

  58. Don - Nov 27, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    Wow, that was funny, Ghost rightly yelling for real stats and then wrongly conjuring a bunch of if you combine this, but leave out the minors stats, and assume that factoidelisciousness.John Lannan is a MLB pitcher, he's just not likely a $5M guy for pretty much any team.

  59. Bigfish - Nov 27, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    Fell Wood: WMP? Windows Media Player? Enlighten us, please.

  60. blovy8 - Nov 27, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    Feldman just got 6 million from the non-competing Cubs to eat innings. He's worse than Lannan.

  61. Candide - Nov 27, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    WMP = Wily Mo "Don't Let That Fly Ball Hit You On The Head" Pena.

  62. MurrayTheRed - Nov 27, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    wmp – willi mo pena

  63. natsfan1a - Nov 27, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    Wily Mo Peña, actually. (Sorry, but my inner editor couldn't let it go. :-))

  64. natsfan1a - Nov 27, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    Oh, Candide had it, anyway. Going back to work now.

  65. Section 222 - Nov 27, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    We keep him until mid-March, until something better comes along at No. 5, then he gets Pattersoned. I agree with this, though I expect something better will come along long before mid-March because, as I've said for quite awhile, I truly doubt Rizzo will stand pat and risk going into next season with a worse rotation than he had at the beginning of this season. But it won't come around before Friday, so Lannan will be tendered. Lannan is a fine No. 5 MLB starter. Maybe even league average. But this team has aspirations to go all the way this year, and that means having better than league average at No. 5 as well as every other spot in the rotation. As for Flores, I'm pretty sure he's a better backup plan for our No. 2 catcher than Leon or Solano. Which means I doubt they turn him loose unless they are absolutely certain that Ramos will be back at full strength on Opening Day. Even with the raise he'll get in arbitration (or in a deal signed before arbitration), he can be turned Pattersoned at a far smaller cost than Lannan if Ramos is ready and a trading partner can't be found.Gorzo stays. He's nothing great, but he's a lefty. And we already are short on lefties. One thing that the playoff shares remind me is that for guys like Gorzo, Flores, and even Lannan, the promise of the postseason is a not an insignificant factor (including a financial factor) in deciding whether they will agree to a reasonable contract in lieu of going all the way to an arbitration hearing. None of them will command a multiyear deal as a free agent. Burnett is another story, as is, ALR, of course.

  66. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Nov 27, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    Feel Wood said… CMW is right up there with WMP as my candidate for Worst. Free. Agent. Signing. Ever. Which drug(s) have you taken that erased Daniel Cabrera from your mind? I want some.You are so right, Wood. To me, watching Cabrera pitch was like avoiding a 20-car pileup on the Beltway. A certain number of brain cells are killed during the process. And I forgot LeatherPants actually traded a warm body for WMP. Man-crush got the better of Mr. Segway once again.

  67. Todd Boss - Nov 27, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    The problem with Flores also relates to service time; he's got 5 years, meaning he cannot be optioned to AAA without giving his approval. Meaning he'd likely refuse the assignment and become a FA anyway, were he to be tendered this off-season and then not beat out either Ramos or Suzuki for the 25-man roster spot. So its likely he gets non-tendered now anyway.Given the price of lefty relief (Jeremy Affeldt; 3yrs $18M) I'd tender Gorzelanny. Lannan at $5M as an 2013 insurance policy in Syracuse is still worth doing, just as we did this year.

  68. Don - Nov 27, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    Well, at least D-Cab was a mistake the club only made once. But Wang? How many Million did they pay him for 16 starts over 3 years, something like $7M maybe? Ouch.

  69. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Nov 27, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Don said… Well, at least D-Cab was a mistake the club only made once. But Wang? How many Million did they pay him for 16 starts over 3 years, something like $7M maybe? Ouch.Excellent point, Don. Just goes to show the mirage a couple of 19-victory seasons with the Yanks can do to even a sharpie like Rizzo. We flushed $7.2 million of Uncle Ted's dollars down the rat hole to get six victories out this slug.Except for Shaun Hill, I can't personally think of more money and time wasted for a guy to get healthy enough to comb his hair with his pitching arm.Perversely, that's what makes watching Jesus, Gio, J-Zimm and Det so much fun. All those years watching the likes of D-Cab, Hill and CMW flounder … now we have this foursome.It's like waking up in the morning with Angelina Jolie laying next to you. Huh, what? How did this happen?

  70. sjm308 - Nov 27, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    Ouch!While I love to use Wily Mo as a first name for most newborns (it gets a great reaction) he honestly was pretty bad but please don't forget Paul LoDuca who while having decent stats for his career was absolutely horrible for our Nats. I guess I would still rank Cabrera ahead of him if we are going worst to first. There are honestly just so many qualifiers for this award.

  71. Another_Sam - Nov 27, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    NatsJack, Michelle — glad to see you posting about spring training; I'm ready. [Read it at the office; couldn't post 'til just now.]Regarding Lanan — I've mellowed out on him; IMHO he's much more tolerable in the 4 or 5 spot and I'd be okay with him starting the season at the end of the rotation next year.

  72. sjm308 - Nov 27, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    Still thinking that tendering all 3 makes sense but the more I hear about service time and options the harder it is to keep Flores around. I am guessing that the two young catchers can provide decent backup if Ramos needs more time. Suzuki proved very very durable and Flores got very little playing time once Kurt became settled.I was interested to hear that we can store LannEn back in Syracuse next season and while he might go nuts, I actually like that idea. We got really lucky in my opinion with our starters this past season and I can't imagine that happening two years in a row. Injury is just a big part of a teams success or lack of and having John as a backup can only help us. 5 million or not, he is still an asset (again my opinion). Like others, I am not concerned with a damn thing he did in the minors. What is important is what he does in major league games and he has proved to be a solid #5 starter for way more then half the teams in this league.I am sure this is obvious to most of the posters on this site since there is above average baseball knowledge, but it just amazes me how much planning has to go into being a GM. You have options, service time, arbitration, 5 levels of minor league play, a 40 man roster, 25 man roster, rule 5 draft, the regular draft, scouting of both draft eligible and current pros, and contracts for each and every player. I am sure I have left out important duties but that is enough to keep busy.Just another reason I love being a faux GM here on the Insider.

  73. Don - Nov 27, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    Let's face it, hands down Werth is the worst signing they ever had on a Dollar for Dolalr basis. They have paid Werth almost $1M per HR to date, or something like $25K per PA, or well north of $200K per each Run scored. Ouch. He's a nice player but he's nothing close to $126M nice (that kind of money buys a LOT of D Cabs). Sure, we can say his inking led to this or that other good thing and that the club needed to overpay to establish legitimacy, that he helped them to a Division win, etc., but THAT much money for a 1-time ALl Star, not so young guy who has been less than a high level producer to date is hard to swallow. We'll see if he redeems Rizzo in 2013 and beyond.

  74. baseballswami - Nov 27, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    Question — is the stalemate about the tv money handcuffing the Nats organization's ability to spend on free agents? Why has there been no furor over this? Statement — I think it's awesome that the A's voted to donate one playoff share to charity. It cut into each player's check a little bit, but will help others enormously. Wonderful thing to do. One of the lowest payroll teams, too. And finally – how epically bad are the Wizards? I feel so badly for the businesses in the Verizon Center area because there is no hockey and the basketball team doesn't draw any customers. Now I am done with my deep thoughts for the day.

  75. MicheleS - Nov 27, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    HOLY POOP! It's hitting the fan in Philly!!!MLB‏@MLB BREAKING: @Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz suspended 25 games without pay after testing positive for an Amphetamine.

  76. MicheleS - Nov 27, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    Swami, Uncle Ted has boatloads, truckloads, and buttloads of Money. the MASN dispute isn't holding him back – now, his business side might be holding it back, but not a pissing contest with Angelos.

  77. Tcostant - Nov 27, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    While no update on the MASN front, the new Dodgers/Fox deal changes everything. The Nationals need at least $150M per year now, based on the current market.Read this:http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/dodgers-send-shock-waves-through-local-tv-landscape/and this:http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/news-corp-to-buy-stake-in-the-yes-network/ (the MASN stuff is midway though the article)The longer we wait – the more we get.

  78. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 27, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    MicheleS, after Melky was signed I wrote about players who are suspect. Chooch got caught for Amps but you have to wonder.

  79. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 27, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    Don, listen to what Davey said about Bryce Harper's Minor League stats and apply that to Lannan's. Who cares!

  80. MicheleS - Nov 27, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    Ghost, which is why everyone has to be skeptical of everything. It's just the times that we live in – sad.

  81. MicheleS - Nov 27, 2012 at 10:16 PM

    LOOGY Alert:William Ladson‏@washingnatsThe #Nats have signed LHP Bobby Bramhall to a Minor League deal. #MLB

  82. baseballswami - Nov 27, 2012 at 10:19 PM

    He was literally carrying that team. No excuse, but that team just pushes their veteran players to the brink. In 2011, they pushed Howard's Achilles until it snapped and the will do the same to Utley's knees. It's one reason they have no depth- they don 't let their younger players play- ever. They run their vets into the ground. Does anyone know what medication ALR takes for ADHD? Could be the same stuff. Supposed to improve focus. Kids take it for exams.

  83. Another_Sam - Nov 27, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    MicheleS — I'm looking at the schedule now; what days are you thinking for spring training?

  84. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 27, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    Don't know about baseball but in NFL adderall is OK if 'scrip is filed w/ league office.

  85. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 27, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    Bramhall's nos. look very interesting. Definitely an injury history. But this makes him look like the most promising — maybe intriguing is a better word — LH reliever in the Nats system — not saying much.

  86. Don - Nov 27, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    Is it not odd how MLB has an ADD/ADHD rate double the rest of the population?? More than 100 guys had MLB permission to use Adderall or Rittalin in 2011. The stuff helps players perform better, but merely as a side effect of providing them much-needed medical help. Yeah, right. Many of them are gaming the system and it stains the guys who really have the problem (ALR being one them — diagnosed as a kid in high school).

  87. Joe Seamhead - Nov 27, 2012 at 10:52 PM

    Wow, I gotta respond to a few things. As to Chooch,I'm not totally surprised. His jump in numbers were suspect.Paul LaDuca was a pretty bad FA signing, but don't forget Brian Burney.Don at 4:13, I disagree with virtually every single point in your post, though you have your right to your opinion. IMHO, the three most important days in Nats history are the day they promoted Rizzo to GM, the day they signed Werth, and the day they convinced Davey Johnson to come back and manage.[ I give Rizzo the credit for being able to deal with Boras on the Strasburg and Harper signings] Werth has played a huge part in changing the loser attitude of both the team, and the fans in ways the stats sheet doesn't always show.

  88. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 27, 2012 at 10:52 PM

    MicheleS, MLB will give Adderall exemptions. Chooch didn't have one and supposedly this follows a positive test warning.

  89. Theophilus T. S. - Nov 27, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    There is such a thing as "adult-onset" ADHD.

  90. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 27, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    Joe, judge bad signings by how long they stayed on the roster, dollars, and negative impact. Bruney wasnt around long. Wang.

  91. sm13 - Nov 27, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    Carlos Cheater Ruiz. He got caught once and just ignored the warning and did it again. 25 games seems pretty light for a sport trying to send a message to cheaters.

  92. Ghost Of Steve M. - Nov 27, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    Joe, Maya?

  93. fast eddie - Nov 27, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    Everyone is talking about LannEn and other #5 options, but what about the impending void with our lefty BP?With a sparse market, why not lock up Burnie and Gonzo (and Gorzo?)? Kilgore mentioned JP Howell and Randy Choate in a recent article, but their stats don't match our guys.Do we have other options in AAA/AA?

  94. Joe Seamhead - Nov 27, 2012 at 11:03 PM

    baseballswami said… He was literally carrying that team. No excuse, but that team just pushes their veteran players to the brink. In 2011, they pushed Howard's Achilles until it snapped and the will do the same to Utley's knees. It's one reason they have no depth- they don 't let their younger players play- ever. They run their vets into the ground._____________________________________________I agree Swami.They have ridden Doc, Lee, and Colbert hard. Now the rumor is that they are going hard after BJ Upton, who not only reportedly is seeking 10 million a year, but will cost the Phills a first round choice, which will be a fairly good pick position due to their .500 season.

  95. Joe Seamhead - Nov 27, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    Ghost, Maya is another bad one. Worst is a relative term.

  96. MicheleS - Nov 27, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    DeRosa is on MLB Network right now.

  97. MicheleS - Nov 27, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    Okay.. I am putting on my broken record on Werth. Yup, get that it was a TOTAL over pay. But let's be real honest, no decent free agent would come to DC until Jayson came here. No one took the Nats seriously as a player in the FA market until that happened. It pissed of the big boys (red sox/yanks/phillies) and the mid market competitors (Braves), because they realized they had legit competition for other FA's. I give him at least $2 million for getting rid of Morgan. The fact that he had to put up with that clubhouse at the beginning of 2011 and has provided leadership and guidance to all the baby nats (let's face it, they all are babies except Ryan and Adam). And those home runs against the Marlins (during that long rain delay) and the Walk Off in Game 4 are made every penny worth it.

  98. fast eddie - Nov 27, 2012 at 11:23 PM

    MicheleS:I'm with you on Werth. Lots of intangibles that make the signing werthwhile. Besides, it's not our money.

  99. Don - Nov 27, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    Joe Seamhead — I can understand your disagreement with the opinion that Werth's signing was the worst Dollar for Dollar, of course, but the stats matter. And while his signing showed the fan-base that the club was moving to win mode, his signing did not lead to some FA rush to play in DC or anything. Werth stunk it up in his full healthy season in 2011 (.230 with 170 Ks and 20 HR). He played only half the games in 2012, so while he played well and was important to the club's success in a big way it is not like he carried the club to the Division either — that was mostly done by the pitchers — guys who would have been here whether or not Jayson signed. I don't dislike him as a player, not at all, but they will be paying him $21M in 2017 so he has to get it into gear and show he's got value for that big contract. They are paying the guy as if he were a star in MLB and to date as a Nat he just is not a star caliber player; most clubs only get to carry so many monster contracts at a time, Jayson has a lot of work to do (in my eyes at least) to prove he's worth the coins. OK, my go: The FOUR most important days for the Nats: when they drafted Zimmerman, when they drafted Stras, when they drafted Harper and when they traded for Gio.

  100. MicheleS - Nov 27, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    Sam, I am going to be on the Gulf Side of the state starting on the week of 17th. Not sure what games I will get to because my Mom has a list a mile long of things she wants to do. I should be able to get to the games on 17th, 21st, 22nd.

  101. NatsJack in Florida - Nov 27, 2012 at 11:28 PM

    Stats matter to stat heads. Wins matter to baseball fans.

  102. Candide - Nov 27, 2012 at 11:28 PM

    MicheleS said…And those home runs against the Marlins (during that long rain delay)…Wow. Werth hit a HR DURING a rain delay? Guy is amazing.

  103. Don - Nov 27, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    Ha. Fast eddiee- it is our money. $126 Million needs to buy tangibles. Jamey Carroll is a nice intangibles guy, Willie Harris, Lombo, Chad Tracy, those kind of guys bring the glue. $20M per year plyers have to produce or your club turns into the Mets.

  104. MicheleS - Nov 27, 2012 at 11:32 PM

    Candide, and I am only on my first glass of wine tonight.. can you imagine what I will come up with after a couple more??????

  105. MicheleS - Nov 27, 2012 at 11:35 PM

    Don.. let's not forget the other best day: Leather pants/segway rider gets flushed and Rizzo is the GM. And the long love affair with "toolsy" ex Reds or head cases ends

  106. natsfan1a - Nov 27, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    You got your invisi-slams, and you got your rain delay dingers. This is a very special group of players, and I love 'em all. ;-) Also, I'm with Michele on Jayson.Wow. Werth hit a HR DURING a rain delay? Guy is amazing.When the team came to DC has to be in the top four days, imho. OK, my go: The FOUR most important days for the Nats: when they drafted Zimmerman, when they drafted Stras, when they drafted Harper and when they traded for Gio.

  107. natsfan1a - Nov 27, 2012 at 11:41 PM

    Oh, and Jamey…sigh…

  108. natsfan1a - Nov 27, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    I'll also add the day they clinched the division.I said…When the team came to DC has to be in the top four days, imho.

  109. NatsJack in Florida - Nov 27, 2012 at 11:44 PM

    Stras and Harper drafts were no-brainers. Anybody on this site could have made those picks.

  110. Don - Nov 27, 2012 at 11:48 PM

    Well, at least Bowden was smart enough to give Rizzo a job.

  111. MicheleS - Nov 27, 2012 at 11:51 PM

    Don.. I think Kasten had more to do with Rizzo being here, not Bowden

  112. fast eddie - Nov 27, 2012 at 11:54 PM

    NatsJack:Agreed on Stras and Harper. Don't forget the picks for Storen (8th in the Stras draft?) and Rendon. We were bad "back in the day".

  113. UnkyD - Nov 27, 2012 at 11:56 PM

    Give it up, kids… If Don can't see it on a piece of paper, he won't see the value. But… The rest of us will enjoy the Big Lug's many contributions, while Don curses him for not being Mickey Mantle. That's ok… If the glass were half full, he might spill it, so maybe it's better this way…

  114. Don - Nov 27, 2012 at 11:59 PM

    Kasten claims credit (anyone shocked?) for Rizzo, but Rizzo has claimed it was Bowden who hired him. I dunno — who cares. He's here and he's doing a nice job. And I hope he's out landing Zack Grienke right now. Stras, Gio, Grienke, Zim and Det?? That's how you build it the right way for years to come!! :-) Ahh, at least I can dream.

  115. SCNatsFan - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:02 AM

    Don, I 100% disagree on Werth. Stats wise I'm sure you can argue it was horrible but some vet, a proven winner, needed to come here and change the culture and it started wuith him. During his horrid season he didn't hang his head and moan, he took it like a professional. There is more to the game then stats and Rizzo knew it when he overpaid Werth to come here.

  116. MicheleS - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    I personally think Rizzo should be the next head of the CIA.. dude keeps his mouth shut and we have NO info on what the heck is going on.Tear jerker on right now, Jimmy V Speech is on ESPN. I have something in my eye..

  117. NatsJack in Florida - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    If it's money, Greinke is in LA. But if it's comfort with those intangibles that Greinke seems to require, the Nats have a shot.

  118. Don - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    UnkyD — I am not cursing Werth at all. But if anyone in here thinks that the club can spend 20% of its payroll on a guy who brings intanglibles as his most important contribution, then that person had better be OK with losing baseball. Werth needs to be an All Star caliber player, he needs to provide actual high level performance, for this club to be likely to win. Sure, the intanglibles of being a leader or being clutch are very important but, call me crazy, so are the Benjamins. Werth does not need to be Mickey effing Mantle, but he can't be Jason Bay either.

  119. natsfan1a - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:17 AM

    Oh, and when Davey agreed to be our skipper.When I mentioned to my husband about the idea of most important Nats days, he said the last day of the Division Series. Hey, honey, pass the glass already. You drank like half of it. Or something. :-)natsfan1a said… I'll also add the day they clinched the division. I said… When the team came to DC has to be in the top four days, imho.

  120. NatsJack in Florida - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    With the advent of the new cable TV contracts, 4 years from now team payrolls could approach $125 million on average and Werths contract won't seem so burdensome.

  121. NatsJack in Florida - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:29 AM

    Sorry. I meant $145 mil on average.

  122. MicheleS - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    And isn't Werth's last year either the same year or the year before we have to shell out Mega $$$$$$ for Bryce? We will just be swapping out mega contracts at that point

  123. Feel Wood - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:47 AM

    If Werth had anything at all to do with Riggleman quitting, that alone makes him worth every penny of the $126M. With Riggleman managing, there is no NL East championship in 2012.

  124. Feel Wood - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:51 AM

    $20M per year plyers have to produce or your club turns into the Mets.Werth produced big time in Game 4. Where were you then, out for a smoke?

  125. UnkyD - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:59 AM

    Don…. No offense intended. We all have the passion. But think about it: if (IF-not counting trophies!)-if we were to win a couple of WS, in the next 5 years, and Jayson doesn't make any ASG rosters… Izzat gonna matter so much to you? It just seems like a "can't see the forest for the trees" point to pick at… I guess it's the offseason-gimme-a-ballgame-jones, at work…. Enjoy, brother!!! Best record in baseball, with the best yet to come !!!!

  126. sjm308 - Nov 28, 2012 at 1:18 AM

    Werth = Riggs and N. Morgan gone!Probably not worth his salary but he did sort of set up the culture here for winning baseball.Love that Don has his points and they are actually correct. For the money we are paying Jason has not produced but guess what? We had the most wins of any team in the majors last year and he was a big part of that. I also don't care how many All-Star teams he makes. I just want him in our clubhouse as a part of our team. I honestly don't even need multiple WS trophies. Just get me into the WS in the next two years Jason and I will be very very happy.Go Nats!!

  127. Don - Nov 28, 2012 at 1:25 AM

    Nostalgia rules the day in here, huh? The club had the most wins last year, Werth played an imprortant role, so what that they owe him close to $100M over the next 5 years, all is good in the world. OK. I agree, if the Nats win the WS with Werth not contributing a ton, it is all good, no argument here. Teh Giants did it with Zito, right. It can be done. Winning is the thing. But, let's also be realistic. The odds of the club actually winning that WS next year or in 14 or 15, much less more than one, are not going to be very good if their highest paid player does not produce. No? Are the Phils not in a bad way if Ryan Howard and his $100M+ contract does not produce? The Twins with Mauer?

  128. Faraz Shaikh - Nov 28, 2012 at 1:38 AM

    What exactly is the point in crying over Werth contract now? Get over it.

  129. Joe Seamhead - Nov 28, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    Regarding drafting Stras and Harper, picking each of them was a no-brainier, but getting them signed, at the last minute in both cases, was something that was not guaranteed. Their signings, in spite of Scott Boras' reputation, was one reason why I feel the day Mike Rizzo became GM is one of the three most important days in Nats history. Harp and Strass are both already stars, will be for years in all likelihood. My point is Rizzo, Johnson and Werth established the Nationals as being legitimate ML contenders.

  130. Candide - Nov 28, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    Okay, maybe not one of my 4 best Nats moments, but it's by no means at the bottom of the pile: The day I discovered there was a blog with knowledgeable posters where that idiot Poopy McPoop isn't welcome. Thanks, Mark!

  131. Joe Seamhead - Nov 28, 2012 at 1:46 AM

    I meant to say that Rizzo, Johnson, and Werth established that the Nationals were committed to being legitimate ML contenders.

  132. Teddy Rochlis - Nov 28, 2012 at 2:02 AM

    For me personally, i have to experience the moment, actually be there (or at least watching it) so my top 4, lets see how far back the memories go Zimms walk off vs the yankees at rfk in the bottom of the 9th. Game 4 of the nlds (werth hr place went crazy), nats clinching the nl east, stras's first start against the pirates i mean come on 14k with the last 7 batters in a row k ed so yah there they are

  133. John C. - Nov 28, 2012 at 2:05 AM

    I'm with Faraz; crying about Werth's contract two years later is beating a dead horse that has already left the barn ;-)The players all cite him as a positive influence, especially Harper. He does seem to have had a positive impact on the culture from the Adam Dunn days. Let go, Don.

  134. Candide - Nov 28, 2012 at 2:32 AM

    John C. said…crying about Werth's contract two years later is beating a dead horse that has already left the barn ;-)Mixed metaphor alert!

  135. UnkyD - Nov 28, 2012 at 2:52 AM

    My favorite kind! (Of metaphor, that is…) ;-)

  136. UnkyD - Nov 28, 2012 at 3:03 AM

    Nice interview with Goodwin, at nationals.com…. Doesn't sound like the head case I've heard whispers about….. Fingers crossed….

  137. NatsLady - Nov 28, 2012 at 3:27 AM

    For those of you who wish Rizzo were less secretive, just look at the mess the Mets are making of the Wright negotiations. Best not to know until the deal is sealed.

  138. peric - Nov 28, 2012 at 4:20 AM

    Rizzo is not only secretive, he makes changes to the 40-man roster as often as he cuts his hair … as Luke Erickson likes to say. They tender all three giving Rizzo more time … plus he still has plenty of space on his 40-man roster. If LaRoche leaves for a long-term contract in the AL (where that is less of a risky proposition) then its down to 37. I think Mark underestimates Gorzelanny who can start and work in the bullpen … as can Zach Duke who may already have been signed.Lannan is a starter plain and simple and not a very good one if you look at his advanced stats the previous years before this one and his minor league stats this year. He's barely what one would consider a fifth starter. And Rizzo has said time-and-again he is looking to upgrade the rotation not suddenly go cheap. Have to wonder what team Mark is watching because his assessment of the personnel and the move smack of his days watching Acta, Riggleman and Bowden. Not Rizzo, Clark and Johnson.Oh Mark? Isn't it time for a paradigm shift or are you going to keep living in the ballyhooed past of 100 losses and the right to draft players like Stras and Harper? As for left-handed relief and starters. Rizzo knows that Solis is close. Perhaps Purke as well. Both are gong to be going through rehab years. There's Kylin Turnbull who might make a decent relief specialist in the back-end of the bullpen. But he hasn't advanced very far in the system. Then there's lefty starters Brett Mooneyham and Robbie Ray. McGreary and Smoker look like lost causes at this point but doubtless the Nats aren't ready to give up on them given their ages. So, in the end Rizzo et al could roll the dice hoping Solis, Purke and one of Moonyham or Ray are ready in a year or two. Or they could use them and other talent in their system to acquire a quality, team controllable top-notch left-handed starter from a team that wants the instant improvement Oakland achieved.

  139. peric - Nov 28, 2012 at 4:25 AM

    Werth as a lead-off hitter with the home run threat still potentially there is well worth the money given he can also play a pretty decent right field. Werth #1, Harper #2 might end up being the best 1, 2 in baseball if Davey doesn't move Harper to bat cleanup. He'll want a lefty to follow Zim if LaRoche leaves. Werth anyplace but #1 or #2 in the lineup is not worth the money. But Davey knows that so why worry?

  140. NatsJack in Florida - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    peric….what's with your incessant penchant for addressing Mark? He's not allowed to provide a much more knowledgeable opinion than any of us? And 40 man rosters are everchanging for every team. Maybe Luke has trouble keeping up with the changes which is understandable as it's not his primary job. But he seems to do OK.And just maybe Zach Duke hasn't signed but has had his agent in touch with the Nats and 29 OTHER TEAMS seeking left handed pitching. What? Werth's no longer destined to back up catcher?

  141. NatsJack in Florida - Nov 28, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    And one more thing. Not one of the lefthanders you named is even close.How can a guy coming off Tommy John who hasn't pitched since August of 2011 (and that at Potomac) be considered ready by Rizzo. I believe Mike would find your statement somewhat dubious.

  142. natsfan1a - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    But not before it kicked over the milk pail and spilled it. Waaah! :-)I'm with Faraz; crying about Werth's contract two years later is beating a dead horse that has already left the barn ;-)

  143. 320R2S15 - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    couple things….He is werth every penny.It is indeed our money.Greatest Nats moments to date Jdubs epic at bat Zimms walk off on the stadium opener Livos strike one first pitch in 2005Here is the other thing. Everyone on here would be absolutely shocked if we new how much money the Lerners have made on this deal. They need to give back, but I doubt that they will.

  144. UnkyD - Nov 28, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    What deal?

  145. Todd Boss - Nov 28, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    Don't feed the (peric) Troll.

  146. 320R2S15 - Nov 29, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    The deal that Bud gave them, you know what I'm talking about.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 73 54 --
ATLANTA 68 61 6.0
MIAMI 64 63 9.0
NEW YORK 60 69 14.0
PHILADELPHIA 57 71 17.5
Through Friday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SAT: Giants at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Giants at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Nats at Phillies, 7:05 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Mariners, 10:10 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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