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Winter Meetings storylines

Dec 2, 2012, 12:00 PM EDT

US Presswire file photo
Mike Rizzo and Davey Johnson will have their hands full this week in Nashville.

The baseball world converges today on Nashville, with executives, managers, coaches, trainers and more from every franchise, a phalanx of agents, minor-league officials, regular folks seeking work in the sport and — of course — media members taking over the gargantuan Opryland Resort and Convention Center for the next five days.

The annual Winter Meetings are quite a spectacle, so many people affiliated with the game of baseball hunkered down in one location, and they're quite often the scene of some major news. (Anyone remember the Albert Pujols extravaganza last year in Dallas?)

Slowly but surely over the years, the Nationals have become a more significant force at the meetings, their biggest splash coming two Decembers ago at Disney World when they shocked the industry by signing Jayson Werth to a $126 million contract.

Now that they're coming off a 98-win season their first-ever playoff appearance, the Nationals won't sneak up on anyone at theRead more »

102 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Positively Half St. - Dec 2, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    I get the point that prospects are not proven, which is why they call them prospects. Even still, I will chafe at any deal that includes Anthony Rendon. I would hope that any trade that includes Morse and Espinosa (which would hurt, too) would not require that Rendon be required as well.I got up this morning, as I do every morning around this time of year, hoping to see that something really interesting happened that could help the Nats' cause in some way. It could be the Nats involved, or another trade that does something like, I don't know, dismantle the Fish.However, because the Nats made one trade, and the Fish are already on a salt plank over the charcoal that was their playoff hopes, I am just as glad that the poor GMs and reporters got the only night of sleep they are likely to get until Friday. They have to work on entertaining us 24/7 starting today.+1/2St.

  2. original Nats Fan - Dec 2, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    Remember how the Marlins stole all the headlines last year? [snicker, snicker] I can't wait for the wheeling and dealing to begin. Rizzo probably has several things up his sleeve. Go Nats

  3. Theophilus T. S. - Dec 2, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    I can't believe a trade for a "big" pitching name, e.g., Price, is in the works. I don't think Tampa — even though they have a surplusage of major league pitchers at the moment — or any other team gives up a "big" pitcher w/out getting a potential #1 or #2 in return, no matter what other bodies come in the trade. (See, Sanchez & Infante to Detroit for Turner.) Other than, possibly, Karns, the Nats have no one to deal who comes close to that description. So I have to think Rizzo will be trolling for smaller fish, if he intends to make a trade. NatsJack yesterday mentioned Wade Davis, who seems intriguing. If Rizzo ends up with a FA, it will be someone with a question mark, like Haren, McCarthy or Marcum, whose medical records give him a high level of comfort.

  4. Gonat - Dec 2, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    Mark writes…a phalanx of agents___________________________________I found this definition of: A phalanx is a unit of Greek soldiers who carried long spears and big shields

  5. MicheleS - Dec 2, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    i hope that before christmas all of this is resolved.

  6. Gonat - Dec 2, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    MicheleS said… i hope that before christmas all of this is resolved. December 02, 2012 8:28 AM ________________________________Not a chance. Every year Mike Rizzo is making moves in January, February and always one huge surprise in Spring Training:2013: ?2012: John Lannan to AAA2011: Trades Nyjer Morgan, Keeps Matt Stairs2010: DFAs Elijah Dukes

  7. UnkyD - Dec 2, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    With you, on Rendon, +1/2st… In fact, if all holes can be filled with FA (as seems to be the case), with nothing over 5 years, I'd hope to go that route, and make trades (over the next two years) for young farmhands, to keep this party swinging…————UnkyD said…If I were the Boss:Bring ALR, Burnett, and MGonz all back, go get Grienke, and sell Mikey to the highest bidder, for young prospects. Best roster in baseball, for the next three years, and as Rendon, Skole, and Goodwin (and some baby arms) rise, there'll bea couple of starters to sell (high) to replenish the farm…So Let It Be Written…..December 01, 2012 1:11 PM

  8. MicheleS - Dec 2, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    Gonat..It was wishful thinking on my part…

  9. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 2, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    I'm all wore out from yesterdays banter. Think I'll just sit back and react to actual occurences for the next couple of days.

  10. MicheleS - Dec 2, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    I hope Mark has a GPS for the hotel. It's Massive and the stories of people getting lost in there from the last time the meetings were held there are hilarious.

  11. Another_Sam - Dec 2, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    MicheleS — what's the hotel?

  12. Another_Sam - Dec 2, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    I see. A quick Google. Thank goodness for the google. LOL

  13. hiramhover - Dec 2, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    I don't expect a big FA signing or trade. The Span deal is much more likely to be representative of Rizzo's MO at this point–shorter term, lower cost, a solid deal that's going to add to the core he has in place without tying his hands long term.

  14. DJB - Dec 2, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    Positively Half St.I would give up Rendon, a prospect with a terrible injury history, in a heartbeat for a durable, cost-controlled SP with post-season experience. Trading Rendon, Morse, and Espi for Price would be a steal from our perspective. Trading Morse and Espi for Shields would be a steal as well, and trading Morse and Rendon for Shields would be fair. The question is whether the Rays would do this.

  15. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 2, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    With every trade of a Minor Leaguer, the prospect stockpile shrinks.Would Rizzo trade Morse and Espi for prospects? Ken Rosenthal got some credible intel on Espi. Sounds like Rizzo will dangle him to see what he can get. Big note, it doesn't mean he will be traded, just shopped.I think Lohse is the realistic target as he may go first.Anibal Sanchez is certainly intriguing and Greinke seems out if the realm.

  16. Gonat - Dec 2, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… With every trade of a Minor Leaguer, the prospect stockpile shrinks.Would Rizzo trade Morse and Espi for prospects? Ken Rosenthal got some credible intel on Espi. Sounds like Rizzo will dangle him to see what he can get. Big note, it doesn't mean he will be traded, just shopped.I think Lohse is the realistic target as he may go first.Anibal Sanchez is certainly intriguing and Greinke seems out if the realm. December 02, 2012 10:26 AM ______________________________________Interesting. So you see it as a possibility that trades may be for prospects. I still can't understand why Rizzo didn't tender Lannan to trade him for a prospect. Any chance Rizzo trades Morse this week or does he have to wait on LaRoche?

  17. SonnyG10 - Dec 2, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    It will break my heart to lose Espi's defense if he is traded. OTOH we need a spot for Rendon. I am in a quandary. I don't want to give up Rendon or Espi. If Lombo has to replace Espi, I am going to curse Rizzo every time Lombo doesn't complete a double play in time, or when Lombo just can't reach a ground ball. I'm going to think Danny would have made that play. I will be steamed for a while then repeat the mantra "in Rizzo I trust", "in Rizzo I trust".

  18. Feel Wood - Dec 2, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… With every trade of a Minor Leaguer, the prospect stockpile shrinks.When you have one of the youngest teams in MLB, a reasonable payroll and are coming off a season where you won your division with the best record in baseball, your prospect stockpile doesn't need to be very big.Would Rizzo trade Morse and Espi for prospects? Ken Rosenthal got some credible intel on Espi. Sounds like Rizzo will dangle him to see what he can get. Big note, it doesn't mean he will be traded, just shopped."Shopping" his current players or prospects to see what he might be able to get for them is clearly not Rizzo's M.O. Rizzo instead focuses on the other teams' players/prospects he likes and wants to acquire, and then uses his own players/prospects as the means of obtaining them. The two approaches are diametrically opposite. One is going to the store with a list of what you want to buy there, and the other is going to the store with a pile of money to spend and no real concern about what you will get for it.

  19. SonnyG10 - Dec 2, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Gonat said…Any chance Rizzo trades Morse this week or does he have to wait on LaRoche?I think Rizzo would trade Morse before waiting on LaRoche if a fantastic deal presented itself. Otherwise, I think he waits.

  20. SonnyG10 - Dec 2, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    NatsJack, I love your new tattoos. I am 69, or will be tomorrow, and I've never had a tattoo either. I told my wife about yours and she said "NO WAY"

  21. Feel Wood - Dec 2, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    If ALR is signed, Rizzo would trade Morse for prospects because he basically becomes a gift card with an expiration date. But Rizzo's not trading Espi for prospects. The only way he trades Espi is if that's what it takes to land a major player that he wants to acquire.

  22. mick - Dec 2, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    I would be hesitant to trade any of our starters period. If ALR is signed, maybe Morse as part of a deal that gets a stud starter and or stopper

  23. mick - Dec 2, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    Lombo sr is going to make Good Counsel baseball a nationally ranked program. This means, the DC area for the first time ever will have local school where one can watch future MLB prospects in their own back yard. This is what winning baseball by the Nats has brought to the area… I am very excited!

  24. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 2, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    Thanks SonnyG10…….

  25. mick - Dec 2, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    that is cool Natsjack… love it!!!

  26. Gonat - Dec 2, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    SonnyG10, happy birthday!

  27. mick - Dec 2, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    Happy B day Sonny, good number ha ha

  28. Gonat - Dec 2, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    mick said… Lombo sr is going to make Good Counsel baseball a nationally ranked program. This means, the DC area for the first time ever will have local school where one can watch future MLB prospects in their own back yard. This is what winning baseball by the Nats has brought to the area… I am very excited! December 02, 2012 11:03 AM __________________________________The difference in what I have seen in baseball in this area in the youth ranks over the past few years is mind boggling. Programs at St Johns and Georgetown Prep and the public schools is on the upsurge and I expect Lombo Sr will improve Good Counsel.Getting a MLB baseball team in 2005 is now almost 8 years ago and when these local kids were 6 to 9 years old they chose baseball over other sports inspired by guys like Ryan Zimmerman. Those kids are now in High School or entering High School. I think the bigger influence across the country is the McGwire/Sosa effect back in 1998. Those young kids are now 19 to 22 years old and chose baseball. The quality of baseball with American kids is now better.The baseball camps and showcases I work at now have DC kids near the top of the talent. Look no further than Danny Hultzen from Bethesda who was the #2 pick in the Draft and finally scouts are coming to DC to follow local players.

  29. Eugene in Oregon - Dec 2, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    Mark Z: Thanks for the useful summary of where things stand. Two comments: First, I don't see the Nats looking for a 'fifth' starter as much as I see (hope?) that they're looking for an 'additional' starter. Some of the names you mention (e.g., Mr. Saunders) would appear to fall into the 'fifth' category, others (e.g., Mr. Greinke, Mr. Price) would obviously become the number two or three. Personally, I'm hoping that Nats go the latter route and are willing to pay the price — in dollars or personnel — to get another top-flight starter to supplement the current rotation.Second, relievers — particularly those below the 8th-inning/closer level — are fungible. I hope the Nats don't worry too much about plugging the gaps you mention; there's no need to overspend. In many cases those holes can be filled late in the offseason or even with folks who are let go by other teams at the end of Spring Training. Witness the Nats acquisition of Mr. Gonzalez last year.

  30. hiramhover - Dec 2, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    I lean towards the cautious side in regard to trading Espi. He's got his problems at the plate (they begin with the letter "K" and pretty much end with it too) but I don't see Lombo as a long term solution, and I'd rather see more of Rendon in the minors before anointing him as ready to handle 2B at the major league level.

  31. Joe Seamhead - Dec 2, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    mick, my son played with/against and was coached by a few guys from the DC/Baltimore area that made it to the show including Gavin Floyd, Joe Saunders, and Justin Maxwell. Dematha, St.John's, Mt. St. Joseph, and Calvert Hall are all terrific programs already. L.J.Hoes of the O's came from St. John's and Danny Hultzen will probably be up this year, too.I think Lombardozzi SR will certainly help Good Counsel's program, and also the WCAC in general. My point is it won't be for the first time ever to have prospects playing in our back yard.

  32. JamesFan - Dec 2, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    Strengthening the pen to me is more critical than the fifth starter. I'm not worried that Rizzo can find a solid 4 or 5 guy for that role, but if we have this excellent starting rotation, we had better have a lights out pen. Davey does not let his starters go deep, and right now we are not that great in the pen, especially from the left side.Rizzo's style is first to go after young relatively inexpensive players with some extended team control. He tends to trade prospects over guys on the 25 man roster. Second, he fills in with solid second tier experienced free agent players over high priced free agents–Werth being the exception for well-known reasons.Therefore, I do not see the Nats going after Greinke or any pricy free agents this year. I see them looking for a trade for quality young pitchers first (starter or pen), then settling for a second level free agent if that doesn't work out. They might find value in the rule 5 process or non-teners for the pen. I just don't know the range of options there.

  33. Joe Seamhead - Dec 2, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    I think Espinosa stays unless an awful good deal comes around. At least until the trade deadline.

  34. ExposedinDC - Dec 2, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    Starting pitching should be a major want….I hate to think negatively, but we were extremely blessed last year with the health of our starters, Lannan would have been a nice insurance policy but I understand why the move was made.

  35. Theophilus T. S. - Dec 2, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    Scanning the list of non-tenders at mlbrumors.com, Lannan, Flores and Gorzelanny appear to be the cream of the crop. Which is a pretty bad indictment of the rest of them. The list of Rule 5s is worse. And a team that expects to contend for a championship can't afford to stash a non-contributing late bloomer on its 25-man roster for a full season. There is some logic in this — the teams that have the most and best young players are the ones that have stunk for several years. Their best young players are treated like inventory, not depreciating assets. The best of them are on the major league roster, not sitting on the shelf in the minors. And those on the major league roster — for the most part — are extended or traded before the team has to fear the outcome of arbitration. So you don't see any gems cut loose from teams like the Royals, Rays or Diamondbacks, or in fact from very many teams at all.

  36. JayB - Dec 2, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    OK…here we go….Sign ALR 3 years or two with a huge buy out of the 3rd…whatever it takes.Trade Morse, Espi, Rendon and another arm in the system and cash if needed to Rays for Price. Sign price to a long term deal like Geo got but more $…..Then lets go all in for the next 4 years and win 3 WS.

  37. SonnyG10 - Dec 2, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    Thanks for the birthday wishes GoNat and Mick. I'm just right behind Davey Johnson in age and I think I'm enjoying the Nats as much as he is. Now if Mike Rizzo will just give me a nice birthday surprise, I'll be most happy. :)

  38. SonnyG10 - Dec 2, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    JayB, we don't need Price to win three straight world series. We're already good enough to do that. What we do need is good luck and experience. Remember the playoffs are a crap shoot and you don't need 5 starters in the playoffs anyhow.

  39. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Dec 2, 2012 at 6:19 PM

    @MicheleS: I've stayed at this fun house hotel. It's a horror show. True story: covering something a few years back there. I kept running into a friend of mine looking for his room. I kept looking for mine. Finally, we met again and I said, "I found your room, but can't find mine." We just exchanged keys right there. I went to his room and he finally found mine. And I did all this cold stone sober. Not even the Maalox part of the bourbon and Maalox.

  40. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 2, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    So I guess this will be the new broken record railing at Rizzo should he not extend LaRoche and not obtain Price.I'm all for re-upping LaRoche but the Rays will not part with Price and somehow, that will construed as a Rizzo fail.

  41. NatsLady - Dec 2, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    I agree with this guy. Don't see Rizzo doing much at the meetings except maybe laying the groundwork for later moves. Now, Davey on the other hand…winter meetinghttp://www.nypost.com/p/sports/more_sports/flurry_of_action_set_to_take_GimMLSfy8bSmt2jL7yevhK

  42. JayB - Dec 2, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    need 5 good starters because they get hurt….if 4 of the 5 are still around in Oct then we will be lucky.Rays will not want and will no pay Price….so someone will get him soon….why not Nats?

  43. JayB - Dec 2, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    and yes if Rizzo does not do what is needed then he is to blame. He has the money, Trade chips at all levels and Rays are know they can not pay market rates for cy young winners.

  44. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 2, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    JayB…the Rays will part with Shields and/or Wade Davis…..David Price, no.

  45. JayB - Dec 2, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    Will they be willing to pay Price 100 Mill over 5 years? That does not sound like Rays to me.

  46. JayB - Dec 2, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    ESPN's Buster Olney says David Price is available right now for the right offer. Rival executives are convinced the reigning Cy Young Award winner will be traded in the next 13 months as his salary through arbitration becomes prohibitive for the Rays. Here are the rest of Buster's rumors…Read more at http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/david_price/#xTl0pkKroAU6lgA4.99

  47. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 2, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    The Rays will want a major league ready, controlable catcher which equates toa healthy Wilson Ramos along with the names you mentioned. Pitching they got.Trading Shields frees up enough to keep Price 2 more years.

  48. Theophilus T. S. - Dec 2, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    TB doesn't have to pay Price $100MM over five years. They "only" need to pay him $12-$13MM in arbitration in 2013. They just agreed to pay gazillions to Longoria for the next ten years so they can pay like a big team if they feel like it.Nor will they deal Price at the trade deadline next year, because they'll be within 3-4 games of the lead in the AL East and feel it's worth hanging in there. When/if they trade Price it will be for two or three future All-Stars plus first pick among Hank Aaron's grandchildren.

  49. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 2, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    It doesn't matter anymore. JayB has already decreed not getting Price a Rizzo failure. Get used to hearing the same refrain after every future Nats loss.

  50. natsfan1a - Dec 2, 2012 at 8:12 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  51. natsfan1a - Dec 2, 2012 at 8:12 PM

    Gonat: fyi, you might want to try this site for more comprehensive definitions.Gonat said… Mark writes…a phalanx of agents ___________________________________ I found this definition of: A phalanx is a unit of Greek soldiers who carried long spears and big shields December 02, 2012 8:17 AM

  52. natsfan1a - Dec 2, 2012 at 8:21 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  53. natsfan1a - Dec 2, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    Also wishing Sonny a happy birthday. Congrats on the tat, NatsJack. Dare I ask where it is? Never mind, that's probably too much information. :-)Not a real or armchair GM but I like JayB's LaRoche idea and would love to have Price as well. As well, the guy's entitled to his opinion just like the rest of us. "Just another natsfan1a editorial." (Trademark Joe Seamhead. Used without permission. This offer void should Mr. Seamhead get wind of it and come after me.)

  54. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 2, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    natsfan1a….thanks and it's on my left shoulder.There isn't anyone on this or any other site that wouldn't love to have Price. It's the …ahem… price that that the Rays would demand AND the fact that they have more expensive and moveable pitchers.

  55. natsfan1a - Dec 2, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    NatsJack, you're welcome and whew. ;-)Understood on the price of Price.

  56. Exposremains - Dec 2, 2012 at 9:14 PM

    The next trade will be with the Twins or As because that's the only 2 teams Rizzo trades with;). As much as I would like to get some of the Rays pitchers I don't think its happening. The Rays do a lot of talking and not much trading unless they're fleecing you. For a guy like Price, I bet Harper is mentioned or something like Desmond+Ramos+Rendon+ Detwiler

  57. NatsLady - Dec 2, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    Jayson Stark thinks the Rays will trade Shields.Just look at the contract,” one AL exec said. “He’s got this year and next year left. So he’s got more value now than he’ll have a year from now. They’re very analytical about everything they do. It just makes sense that now’s the time.”The Rays owe James Shields a $9 million salary in 2013 and hold a $12 million club option on him for the 2014 season.Shields, 30, had a 3.52 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 223/58 K/BB ratio in 227 2/3 innings this year. He finished third in the American League Cy Young Award voting in 2011 after posting a 2.82 ERA over 249 1/3 frames.

  58. Joe Seamhead - Dec 2, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    natsfan1a, you are welcome to your own editorials as you will. Anytime.

  59. Natman - Dec 2, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    I had a bit of different idea whilst thinking about a 3 year contract forALR.It seems to me that we have another player on the roster that will represent sunk costs later in life. One who is athletic, has a strong arm, and will definetly require a poistional shift while he is with the Nationals.Is it absurd to consider Jason Werth as a first-baseman?Freeing up that outfield spot would allow us to consider adding a different outfielder who's not guaranteed to be collecting multiple millions while being a (potential) liability. Gee – maybe we could go after Stanton!

  60. NatsLady - Dec 2, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    From Ladson:"[Johnson has] been all over me since the end of the season," LaRoche said. "He's been hammering on me to get this done. I'm like, 'Listen, there's two sides to this, Davey. You need to go to Riz and tell him the same thing. Don't just yell at me. Go yell at the boss, too.' I'm sure he does. They wear each other out."But I talked a little bit with Riz yesterday. I hope we can gain some ground. I don't think there's a huge hurry. I've made it as clear as I can that I want to come back. On the other hand, I've got two kids and a wife to worry about, too, so I can't do something stupid. I'm not looking to set a record deal, by any means. Let's get something fair and let's go. I want to finish up in D.C. And then when I'm done there, I'll be done."

  61. natsfan1a - Dec 2, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    Thanks, Joe. ;-)

  62. djinFl. - Dec 2, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    So NatsJack, it was my turn to just ride as we headed home from Carolina today. I thought it would be the husbandly thing to do, to read the blog to my sweetheart. Well, I got to the part of about the tat, and had to refer back to the prevous blog to get a description. Her reply, I want that!!!!Thanks for the gift idea, and yes to Price at what ever Rizzo feels is fair.

  63. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 2, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    Great to hear from you dj. I was wondering where you got off to.

  64. djinFl. - Dec 2, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    Been leaving the GM stuff to the pro. Also trying to knock out an entire year of "honey do's" before spring training.

  65. SonnyG10 - Dec 2, 2012 at 11:47 PM

    Thanks for the happy birthday wishes, natsfan1a.

  66. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 3, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    Must have missed the earlier post noting your birthday, SonnyG10. Happy Birthday as well.

  67. Steamer - Dec 3, 2012 at 12:45 AM

    I'm sick of some of these writers saying Sean is looking for a four year deal don't they read what his agent said.

  68. SonnyG10 - Dec 3, 2012 at 1:12 AM

    Thanks for the Happy Birthday wish, NatsJack.

  69. Eugene in Oregon - Dec 3, 2012 at 1:22 AM

    This is purely speculative, but bear with me…I've seen a couple of references to Mr. Greinke having tasked his agency to perform 'due diligence' or 'background checks' on the teams that are pursuing him. I've got to wonder if that doesn't bode well for the Nats.Presumably, Mr. Greinke and his folks know what they need to know about the Angels since he's been there for half a season. If you're doing due diligence on the Dodgers, you're going to learn they have a boatload of money and a new TV contract. But what about their clubhouse? Does Mr. Greinke want to play on a team that includes a prima dona like Hanley Ramirez? I'm not sure about the other players (Mr. Kemp?), but given LA's performance at the end of last season isn't there going to be a tremendous amount of pressure to live up to the multi-millions being spent? By high-profile owners?Compare that to the Nats. Low-key clubhouse, sense that they know how to protect pitchers (and will do so, even in a pennant race), plenty of money to spend, but not in a flashy way, etc. A bit less pressure since he'll be — roughly speaking — the number two or three on the staff. And obviously the potential to go far into the playoffs for the length of the contract he'll be signing.Obviously there are other teams out there (e.g., Texas). But I've got to wonder if the whole 'due diligence' exercise (assuming it's real) doesn't favor the Nats — at least over the LA teams — given Mr. Greinke's history and his personality (as I perceive it from afar).

  70. SonnyG10 - Dec 3, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    Hmmm…could be, Eugene. I wouldn't be too surprised if that happened.

  71. sjm308 - Dec 3, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    NatsJack: I have talked about a tatoo for the last 7 years (since I turned 60). Bottom line is I am a big sissy. I like it!! I am thinking its the turning point in winning the World Series next year.Go Nats!!

  72. UnkyD - Dec 3, 2012 at 1:57 AM

    Eugene, the Nats would seem to be an easy sell, sure. I hope it's worth the few millions/year between our offer, and the Dodgers. Isn't Grienke kind of a low key sort? The media environment here has to be nicer than in LA, as well, no? If he were to come here for 5 years, there would be only a year (right?) with him and Jayson, along with the early years of whichever of the youngsters get extended (and you know that however much we love every one of them, 2-3 of them will be moved, for younger models, as Rendon, Goodwin, and some arms rise to the top…). It just doesn't seem all that onerous, to get Greinke, and re-sign Adam, and Sean….

  73. UnkyD - Dec 3, 2012 at 2:05 AM

    …and if you do all that…. Why not bring MGonz back, as well…

  74. realdealnats - Dec 3, 2012 at 2:06 AM

    Nats have a ways to go this year before they come anywhere close to the 178m luxury tax. And the same goes for the future. But like Eugene said they are known for not spending flashy which is a good thing. That said I get worried when I hear people wanting to trade Espi, Rendon, Ramos and others for a final starter. If you want a final starter: spend the cash, keep the players. Except for Morse, who I love, but is gone after next year–and for him you get one or two young arms. And maybe Henry if he doesn't right ship in ST. I really believe Espi has a shot of pulling a Desi this year, which as we all know too well means putting the ball in play, not out of the stadium. And I think he'll get it finally. And not many cover 2B like he does with his arm. I'd really miss him if got dealt. Keep Lombo for utility. And keep Rendon for heaven's sake. He could very well be as much the future as Harp or Stras. And unlike Stras, he'll be playing every day. And do not move Werth to 1B. The main issue now is getting Rendon in the lineup in September or in '14. We have ALR/Morse/TMO/Skole/JZim for 1B down the road. And of this array I say give Adam his 3rd year and keep on moving. And pay Sean the 18m if you have to. And sign Mike G and/or Zach Duke for the other BP lefty slots. Then go after either Greinke or Lohse or one of the FAs so we can hang onto the youth we have left in the minors. We can ride this wave with what we have for 3 years. Then like Unkyd said earlier, start dealing off age in year four to replenish. And by then the young arms will be able to come up–if Purke, SS, Giolito etc are ever going to do it. But as always–In Rizzo We Trust. Watching Rizzo is like watching an artist at work–same with Davey.

  75. SonnyG10 - Dec 3, 2012 at 2:16 AM

    Right on, realdealnats. I'm with you, except I think you meant RZim instead of JZim for 1st base.

  76. realdealnats - Dec 3, 2012 at 2:48 AM

    Sonny–Yes you are cor-rect Sir. And Happy B'Day with many more.

  77. SonnyG10 - Dec 3, 2012 at 2:53 AM

    Thanks for the Birthday wish, realdealnats!

  78. D'Gourds - Dec 3, 2012 at 3:12 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  79. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Dec 3, 2012 at 3:14 AM

    ALR: "I want to finish up in D.C. And then when I'm done there, I'll be done." That sounds like he wants a three-year deal, and maybe even four.Again, I don't think anything beyond two is going to fly on Air Rizzo.

  80. D'Gourds - Dec 3, 2012 at 3:14 AM

    R A Dickey!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Mets need a catcher, CF and power from the right side of the plate. How about Ramos, Morse, Cory Brown and, say, Lombardosi for Dickey? Very plausible. Dickey is awesome–I want him on our staff so badly. He battles. He complements our staff with his slow junk sandwiched by the smoke of the rest of our staff. Drool. Please, please, please. Read Dickey's book–he has so much character. He'd be a great fit.

  81. SonnyG10 - Dec 3, 2012 at 3:19 AM

    D'Gourds, you're a riot! :)

  82. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 3:51 AM

    Yep, as Drew suggested Price is the target. But it seems more than likely he will be too expensive in prospects. And they just just coughed up a good one in Alex Meyer.So? I think ownership wants Grienke. They're sold on Zach. Price is a far better piece to acquire for so many reasons … but? The Nats no longer have a AAA close to the majors ready top of the rotation pitcher to barter with. Karns is close but he won't be there until next year at the earliest.That means the Nats would have to give up multiple top 5 prospects including Morse. One could certainly be Tyler Moore. Don't expect Rizzo to trade Reondon unless its for Price in a one-to-one deal. He's far too valuable. And given the long-term signing of Longoria? Nope. its Grienke I guess/

  83. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 3:53 AM

    In other words Eugene may have hit the nail right smack dab on the head.

  84. Alphabet Soup Erik - Dec 3, 2012 at 4:18 AM

    Morse for Shields would be my guess. Throw in another prospect…maybe Karns or Purke.

  85. ExposedinDC - Dec 3, 2012 at 4:53 AM

    DGourds……we could also throw in a couple prospects !!….sounds do able….I like Dickey to, but …….don't see that happening.

  86. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    Price would be (and cost) the Mother Lode. Shields is more like it but CAN'T include Rendon so I'd prefer Greinke.But we will see.Of course with Rizzo, it could come out of left field and be King Felix. What a pipe dream that is.

  87. Dave - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    So I awake this morning, and no earth-shattering deals were made while I was sleeping. Or is it just that I haven't heard about them yet?

  88. hiramhover - Dec 3, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    I will be happy when Greinke signs somewhere else and the conversation can move on.

  89. SonnyG10 - Dec 3, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    Rizzo probably has the cook stove on. Surely something is brewing.

  90. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 3, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    So apparently rays are talking Morse and Espinosa for one of their starters. i am little skeptical giving up two starters (1B since ALR is not signed and 2b) for one pitcher. but if it is shields we are talking about, i might be ok with that.

  91. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 3, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    I know Nashville is in the Central Time Zone but it's time for a new post.

  92. Dave - Dec 3, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    Regarding Rays starting pitchers, if it's not Shields (or Price), then who else would it be? Can't think of anybody.I agree with NJ: I long for a new post.

  93. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 3, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    Dave, agreed that it has to be Shields or no one from Rays. I don't like to part with Espinosa. I love that guy but shields is a great return and exactly what the rotation needs. Price is gonna be way too expensive. we will have to part with 2 top ten prospects and more which I am against given number of trades in last 12 months.

  94. SCNatsFan - Dec 3, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    Dave I have seen Hellickson mentioned

  95. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 3, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    Hellickson's advanced stats are terrible I believe. Not worth any cost.

  96. hiramhover - Dec 3, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    I'd hate to part with Espi, and the fact that the Rays front office–one of the savvier ones in baseball–would want him ought to serve as a reality check to some of our own fans, who tend to focus on his faults.

  97. DaveB - Dec 3, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    MLBTR nows says that the discussions with Tampa have no traction, and that Tampa has signed James Loney for 1B.

  98. hiramhover - Dec 3, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    Hellickson is a righty and not so much a GB pitcher, but in a lot of other statistical respects he's a 3 year younger version of John Lannan. Nats could do worse for a 5th starter, but he's not worth giving up a lot–certainly not Espi and Morse.

  99. MicheleS - Dec 3, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    Thank god a new post.

  100. fast eddie - Dec 3, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    The A's #1 need is a SS. Given Rizzo's relationship with Billy B., how about Espinosa for AJ Griffin? He came up in June and posted a 7-1 record with 3.06ERA.Shields or Price would be great but too expensive.

  101. UnkyD - Dec 3, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    Excellent point, HiramHover…I see no necessity to trade anyone, other than Morse. Greinke, Sanchez, or Lohse, bring Adam back, along with Sean and MGonz. There is kind of a salary window, for 2-3 years… Spend it.(I just know that, if I say it often enough, I'll convince Rizzo……hehe)

  102. natsfan1a - Dec 3, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    (Addendum for UnkyD: "Hi, Mike!" ;-))

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