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Market for LaRoche thinning

Dec 3, 2012, 5:34 PM EDT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The number of teams interested in Adam LaRoche dropped by one this morning when the Red Sox signed Mike Napoli, but the Nationals still face some competition for the veteran first baseman.

The Red Sox were thought all along as one of the likeliest destinations for LaRoche if he didn't return to Washington. But Boston this morning inked Napoli to a three-year, $39 million contract and no longer has a need for LaRoche.

That thins the ranks of clubs in the mix for the 33-year-old and certainly puts the Nationals in a more advantageous position, though it doesn't guarantee his return.

The Nats' chief competition at this point could be the Rangers, who now need to fill the void created by Napoli's departure. Texas does have 27-year-old Mitch Moreland at the position but could feelRead more »

137 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 3, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    I don't see Seattle or Baltimore truly in the mix. Texas is going to want to wait to see what they do with Josh Hamilton and/or Justin Upton and maybe they have some other options with waiting on Olt.

  2. staring out the window waiting for spring - Dec 3, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    Rizzo plays things so close, I don't suppose they already have a deal in place for LaRoche, but are lying doggo on it until they get a deal for Morse finalized?Naaah.Still…

  3. staring out the window waiting for spring - Dec 3, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    Am I the only one who saw that headline and thought it finished "… faster than his hair."

  4. Dave - Dec 3, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    (new posted)Fan Fest! Woo hoo! And in the winter, too! (Not on the weekday afternoon before the first game…duh.)Seems like most of the anticipatory trade musings here contain some version of the conditional phrase, "if the Nats can re-sign ALR…" and then proceed to unfurl a scenario of trading the Beast and Danny for pitching (Shields?). But I think noises made by LaRoche in the last 24 hours or so make clear that his deal, if there is one, won't happen for awhile.I'd be really surprised to see Morse as part of a trade deal, unless there really is a deal with ALR in the works right now.But I don't really know anything. Nor do most of us here.Incidentally, during about the last 1/3 of the season, we in section 313 started noticing that NL pitchers had seemed to get wise to Morse's fourth at-bat. They always threw him junk, and he always swung at it. "Take On Me" = guaranteed strike one.Love the song, but either Mike needs to get his timing better or he needs to ditch it for walk-up music.

  5. staring out the window waiting for spring - Dec 3, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    either Mike needs to get his timing better or he needs to ditch it for walk-up music. Or step out.

  6. Dave - Dec 3, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    Yep, that's what I meant: don't step into the box until everybody has done the high-pitched "in a day or twooooooooo" business.

  7. staring out the window waiting for spring - Dec 3, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    Of course, the sound engineer could always just start 15 seconds sooner.

  8. staring out the window waiting for spring - Dec 3, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    Meanwhile, in Ex-Nat News:"The Marlins are interested in utility man Mark DeRosa, according to Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. The 37-year-old had indicated at season's end that he was unsure what his future held."

  9. NatsLady - Dec 3, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    I like LaRoche and am totally in favor of re-signing him. But, Adam, settle down. You had one year off with injury. Take a 2 year deal with a $6 MM buyout for the 3rd year. Thank you.

  10. We are the Nationals - Dec 3, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    Staring,I agree… something could be up already with Rizzo and ALR. I would think ALR would sign with Boston for 3/$39 or even less.

  11. staring out the window waiting for spring - Dec 3, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    I wouldn't think that. I doubt he would sign with Boston, where he probably won't win (and he said he wants to), probably won't much like the culture (I don't think they hunt much up there), and have to deal with those knuckleheads, and expose his son to those knuckleheads, for three years. As he said, he doesn't need the money.

  12. Don - Dec 3, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    It might be niether Adam nor Mike at 1B for the Nats when Spring gets here.

  13. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 3, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    I don't think Boston was ever viable for LaRoche. They traded him after days and doubt he wanted to go there again.LaRoche has many different options with signing today a 2 year deal in DC. According to Craig Calcaterra of NBC, Texas is still the top pursuer for Josh Hamilton.

  14. staring out the window waiting for spring - Dec 3, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    Maybe they signed Napoli because he told them no? Who knows?

  15. staring out the window waiting for spring - Dec 3, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    @Don — Anything's possible, but what makes you say that?

  16. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 3, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    Staring, LaRoche has done Boston. They kept him for 9 days before trading him.Seen it done it, was never going to happen.

  17. natsfan1a - Dec 3, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    In re. Michele's earlier announcement, there are NatsFest details here, with more info to come.

  18. Theophilus T. S. - Dec 3, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    Steve — I suspect Rangers would much rather have Hamilton than LaRoche. Which would be another reason things are moving slowly.

  19. staring out the window waiting for spring - Dec 3, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    Ghost, you've said that repeatedly about LaRoche and Boston with such certainty, would you be speaking with more insight than simply your own speculation? Like, somebody said that? Just wondering.

  20. natsfan1a - Dec 3, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    Oh, if we're doing ex-Nats news, the Padres plan to sign Jason Marquis per MLB Trade Rumors.

  21. staring out the window waiting for spring - Dec 3, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    Marquis? You'd think they'd be better off with Lannan.

  22. natsfan1a - Dec 3, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    I'm just a messenger, not a GM. :-)

  23. Doc - Dec 3, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    Glad to see that the 'Lombo replacing Espi' posts haven't reappeared, as yet, on this particular post.Lombo, as good a utility IF as their is in MLB, has no stats (apart from Espi's K's)that match Danny's WAR's, or for that matter his potential.

  24. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    ARod getting hip surgery, again. Jeter out. What do you suppose the Yankees would give you for Espinosa?They don't have anyone that's worth an Espinosa to the Nats. The Nats are better situated than the Spankees except for farm system depth. The Yankees would be more interested in Anthony Rendon for third base than Espinosa.Where do these people come from? Everyone thinks the Spankees are so wonderful? Yikes!

  25. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 3, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    staring out the window waiting for spring said… Ghost, you've said that repeatedly about LaRoche and Boston with such certainty, would you be speaking with more insight than simply your own speculation? Like, somebody said that? Just wondering. December 03, 2012 1:13 PM I talk to people but can't say anything is a direct quote from ALR. Someone called this musical chairs. LaRoche doesn't want to show his hand and eliminate more chairs as they will tip his hand and put him in a disadvantage at the bargaining table but from everything I have heard and read, he is looking for a fit for himself and his family.The Red Sox (prior GM/same owner) had disrespected him after trading him 9 days after he was acquired. The old saying, 1st time shame on you, 2nd time shame on me seems fit for this situation. With signing Napoli it seems the experts feel they are out of the ALR running but my point is ALR was never going to sign there unless he had no other options which clearly isn't the case.Here's the thing, while I identified the Rangers before LaRoche even declared for Free Agency, situations arise all the time like the Tigers for Prince Fielder after VMart had his off-season injury. Right now its only Texas and the Nats. I think "fair" is what NatsLady proposed but I also could see Rizzo saying I want you for 2 years at market value and you may be my guy for additional years but I won't commit for any more years until we see how the next 2 go.Maybe 2 years from now he is offered a bench spot like Chad Tracy has.I think Rizzo is handling it smart.

  26. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    Marquis? You'd think they'd be better off with Lannan.Statistically, Marquis, when health, has always been better than Lannan. But Lannan is left-handed which is a rarer commodity.

  27. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 3, 2012 at 6:42 PM

    Doc said… Glad to see that the 'Lombo replacing Espi' posts haven't reappeared, as yet, on this particular post.Lombo, as good a utility IF as their is in MLB, has no stats (apart from Espi's K's)that match Danny's WAR's, or for that matter his potential. December 03, 2012 1:33 PM Interesting you say that. Where are all the people 1 year ago that were echoing what Peric was saying that Espi should be the starting shortstop and Lombo the starting 2nd baseman?To add to the foolishness some of the same people were saying Lombo should be the leadoff.I laughed at it then and laughing at it again.

  28. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    I think Rizzo is handling it smart.The more Rizzo improves the club over last year? The more likely it will be to see LaRoche sign on the Nat's terms and perhaps even get Johnson for an extra year after this one. And that means YOUNG, projectable talent like an Espinosa, like a Price, not a 31 year old Shields. Notice the Nats went for sub 30 Denard Span over a 30+ more expensive Bourn. They are dangling their best power hitter in Morse in good part because he is now 30+ with a history of injuries.The direction the Nats FO is taking, in general terms, seems fairly clear and correct!

  29. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 3, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    If anything screams "second division club" it's "Padres sign Jason Marquis".

  30. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 3, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    ARod will be out until May 2013 now. There you go talking about how needs change quickly.

  31. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  32. Feel Wood - Dec 3, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    Right now its only Texas and the Nats.I still say don't overlook the O's. You need to look beyond your anti-Angelos bias here. With Duquette and Showalter they have a solid organization and are on a winning track. With Reynolds gone they need a first baseman. They have a ballpark built for lefthanded power hitters.Two years ago in a choice between two years with the Nats or two years with the O's, LaRoche chose DC. If the choice this year is three years in Baltimore or two years in Washington, he's going to choose Baltimore. Rizzo is not going three years. He's made that clear. In the AL with the DH available if necessary, the O's will have no qualms going three years if that's what it takes.

  33. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    Where are all the people 1 year ago that were echoing what Peric was saying that Espi should be the starting shortstop and Lombo the starting 2nd baseman?And look at how Desmond performed in 2011 versus 2012 his break out year? And I (and your good pal Natsjack) continue to maintain without any reservation or variation that Danny Espinosa is a young projectable player with a ceiling that could match and surpass an A-Rod / Jeter when they were young and projectable. And as I recall Natsjack was one of those who thought that Espinosa should be at short instead, and there is Luke Erickson, and Brian Oliver. All know a whole heck of a lot more than the silly Ghost does about baseball. In any case that's what Danny Espinosa represents.Desmond and especially Lombardozzi DO NOT have Espinosa's ceiling and never have. Anyone that says they may or do hasn't played baseball. I believe the Nat's FO is betting on Espinosa finally getting it … the way Desmond did last season. Espinosa has seen Desmond's success and how listening and taking to heart the advice that Eckstein and Johnson gave him worked.

  34. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    With Duquette and Showalter they have a solid organization and are on a winning track. With Reynolds gone they need a first baseman. They have a ballpark built for lefthanded power hitters.Yes, unfortunately, both make a great pair making the Orioles something on shoestrings and duck tape. Its pretty impressive no doubt. It makes the team far more marketable to potential buyers for mob lawyer Angelos.

  35. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 3, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    Peric, are you quoting NatsJack in 2010 or 2011? I don't recall him so bullish in a long time on the Espinosa "high ceiling" projections.Maybe NatsJack will want to answer that.

  36. MicheleS - Dec 3, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    Problem is Espinosa has seen the success of Ian and has not as of yet taken the instruction of Davey and Eck to heart. Danny needs to make adjustments and realize he is not Ian.

  37. 3on2out - Dec 3, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    Wow. I thought Adam had a good chance of getting 4 year from Boston. Nats Lady told me no way that he gets 4 and she is clearly right. Texas and the O's still loom large but I think 3 is the number. I am liking the Nats chances a little bit more now!

  38. Drew - Dec 3, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    Ghost: I'm still here. Once more, with feeling: The gripe about Ian Desmond's offense a year ago was that he had a terrible on base percentage. He was not an ideal lead off hitter.The Nats finally moved him down in the order and took advantage of his run production.Much to Desmond's credit, he blossomed, improving his on base percentage and cutting down on his errors in the field.I gladly admit I was wrong last offseason when I said the Nats should and would ship LaRoche and Desmond out of down. The 98 wins gave the crow plenty of seasoning.That said: I'm glad Ian is lower in the order and driving in runs.

  39. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    Maybe NatsJack will want to answer that.He sees the same Espinosa that I see. That Luke Erickson's sees. That Brian Oliver sees. Rendon is the closest player the Nats have with that kind of ceiling. And Rendon clearly isn't the athlete that Espinosa is but his approach to hitting is clearly far more mature and refined for his age. Then comes Harper who is very close to them just because of what an advanced hitter he has made himself at such a very young age! And the dramatic improvements to his fielding coming from a catching background.

  40. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 3, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    Peric, I agree on the Orioles with you but I believe they were major over-achievers for what they have. It is tough to repeat that success 2 years in a row. You have to spend real money to get real quality and all Angelos does is talk a big game to sell tickets. They are "in" on all the big Free Agents and not one will sign there.Wei Yin Chen, Machado and Wieters are 3 good young players. Adam Jones did nothing the 2nd half of the season and Markakis is slowly declining. They desperately need a real power bat at 1st base and they need more pitching.They are fortunate that the young talented Rays don't spend the big money to really compete as they are very good. The Yankees and Red Sox are just "old" and the Blue Jays on paper are intruiging.

  41. SCNatsFan - Dec 3, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    Espinosa surpass ARod's projections when he was young? I just shot my sweet tea thru my nose. Clearly you jest Peric… although you raise some excellent points its statements like that which make we wonder of there are two posters using your moniker.

  42. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    They desperately need a real power bat at 1st base and they need more pitching.LaRoche makes more sense for the O's for three years than he does for the Nats at two. The difference? The Nats young core is hard to beat especially the pitching. If Rizzo adds another top of the rotation starter they'll pretty much be the team to beat in the National League from here on out. LaRoche knows that as well as anyone. If he signs with the Nats he will go out a winner. If he signs with the O's its a big maybe but he might even get four years from Angelos.

  43. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 3, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    Drew, you are a good man. I wouldn't have felt so strongly on Desi until I saw his progress in August 2011.

  44. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 7:10 PM

    Clearly you jest Peric… although you raise some excellent points its statements like that which make we wonder of there are two posters using your moniker.Ask Brian Oliver famous for the original NatsFarmAuthority web site. Ask Luke Erickson. Ask Byron Kerr who has the most projectable talent both in terms of offense and defense? Ask Doug Harris or Mark Scialba. Go ahead SCNatsFan I dare you.

  45. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    I am getting really tired of baseball ignoramuses who spit tea through their nose and couldn't spot a curve from a slider. Danny Espinosa, Bryce Harper, and Anthony Rendon represent the young core tier one position players along with FOF Ryan Zimmerman. Then comes Desmond at tier 2. After that come the rest.

  46. JamesFan - Dec 3, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    I do not see Rizzo flexible on the two years for ALR. I see this more as a Dunn scenario where the Nats' offer falls short.On Espinoza, put me in the pro-Lombo camp. Yes, Espi may turn it around. I suspect the likelyhood that he whiffs 200 times and hits .230 again in 2013 is greater, however. If he does, his trade value goes way down.

  47. MicheleS - Dec 3, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    Well, If ARod wasn't on the Juice when he was young, then Espi might be able to get to ARod's numbers during the same years.

  48. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    On Espinoza, put me in the pro-Lombo camp. Yes, Espi may turn it around. I suspect the likelyhood that he whiffs 200 times and hits .230 again in 2013 is greater, however. If he does, his trade value goes way down.Lombo WILL NEVER HIT 37 doubles in his best season.Espinosa hit 37 doubles and 17 home runs in a season everyone appears to deem as an underachieving one?What baseball planet are you people from? Planet Bozo?

  49. Don - Dec 3, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    peric — Espi could match or surpass A-Rod or Jeter? Are we talking career Ks?

  50. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 3, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    Please everyone, don't lump any of my assessments with anything that peric says. While I've viewed Espinosa as a bonafide talent, placing him in an Alex Rodriguez category borders on lunacy.And any previous statements concerning Espinosa over Desmond at short were in the context of Desmond having one last season (2012) to attain consistency which he did.Now it's on Espinosa to shake his demons and become the player Rizzo and Davey think he should be. He has to improve at the plate from the left side specifically and both sides in general from a discipline standpoint.Things stop being "projectable" when you reach 26. Either you improve or you are who you are.

  51. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    Needless to day. Espinosa one-up for David Price could end up with the Rays getting the better part of that bargain. Position players tend to last longer than pitchers. The only issue for the Rays is extending Espinosa with Boras as his agent. So, they could end up with fewer years as a result.

  52. Joe Seamhead - Dec 3, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    peric, you crack me up when somebody doesn't agree with you and you come back with " they obviously never played baseball." I spent a lot of time in my life on ball fields, both playing and coaching, and some of the dumbest-assed crackers I ever met were ballplayers, and a few managers, too.

  53. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    peric — Espi could match or surpass A-Rod or Jeter? Are we talking career Ks?Given that Espy is a switch hitter with power from both sides of the plate AND the superior fielder to both A-Rod and Jeter? Sure its projectable even at age 26. Espy kills himself in the gym in the offseason with top personal trainers. A-Rod and Jeter juiced themselves. Who do you think is the better athlete raise their hands.

  54. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    I spent a lot of time in my life on ball fields, both playing and coaching, and some of the dumbest-assed crackers I ever met were ballplayers, and a few managers, too.Very valid point Joe. When I think about that it makes me feel so very fortunate that the Nats ended up with Davey managing. Have to admit I don't see bench coach Randy Knorr at Davey's level intellectually. So, I demur to your point.

  55. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    He has to improve at the plate from the left side specifically and both sides in general from a discipline standpoint.No one disagrees with that assessment. The same was true for Ian Desmond at the beginning of last season. Desmond probably came close to another minor league stint given his struggles at the beginning.

  56. MicheleS - Dec 3, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    So in Arod's career averages are as follows:AVG = .300, OBP = .384 OPS .945, He averages 42 hrs and 33 doubles each year. Average strike outs is 130. And this is even with several down years recently. So maybe you discount it by 20% for the juice years too. If Espi did 80% of these numbers, he would be close to the hall of fame.

  57. SCNatsFan - Dec 3, 2012 at 7:41 PM

    Really you'd take a young Espi over a young ARod Peric? When you pull up Espi on Baseball reference the the players they have similar numbers at this point in their careers are Scott Spezio and Dale Sveum. Please do not lump Erikson or Oliver in with your insanity.

  58. MicheleS - Dec 3, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    Wait? Jeter Juices? Where did that come from? Was he in the Mitchell report? Did I miss that?

  59. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 3, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    Only peric and Espinosa himself see him as a bonafide power hitter beyond gap power for extra base hits. His homerun power today comes from over swinging. Last years 17 home runs coild easily be 20 – 22 just by staying within himself, swinging for contact and running into a few plus improving his average by 25 points and his OBP ny 40 points.

  60. Joe Seamhead - Dec 3, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    I have never heard Jeter's name linked to any form of PED's. Why would you besmirch his good name?

  61. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 3, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    Both Jeter and Desmond are a bonafide 6'2" and Espinosa is a stretched 5'11".

  62. Section 222 - Dec 3, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    What the heck does "projectable" mean when a player has been in the big leagues for two full seasons? The only thing that can be projected for Espi at this point is a sub .250 career batting average and more than 150 Ks per year.But I forgot, he does have a higher ceiling than anyone in the Nats system including Harper and Rendon.

  63. MicheleS - Dec 3, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    Thanks JoeS.I never heard a word on that either, and you KNOW the NY media would hunt those rumors down just for page views.

  64. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 3, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    It was just last Friday on Nationals Prospects peric claimed Denard Span was a good character Nyjer Morgan.

  65. Alphabet Soup Erik - Dec 3, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    Isn't Danny Espinosa's real name Rickie Weeks??? Hey Peric…is Weeks as good as a young AROD and more valuable than David Price? Just wondering…

  66. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    The only thing that can be projected for Espi at this point is a sub .250 career batting average and more than 150 Ks per year. 37 doubles, 17 home runs … oh I forgot that means nothing does it?Morons.

  67. baseballswami - Dec 3, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    At absolutely think The Lombo could put up the offensive numbers that Danny has if he played a full season. I think some of those who post here have forgotten how well he played when Ian was out – and that he was improving each and every game. Extrapolate that into a full season and – pow! He also was just discovering power this season – hitting his first home runs in his first season, and a temporary player.I cannot even imagine how good he would be if he played every day, with his work ethic and baseball iq's. Maybe not the same number of doubles and homeruns, but a miniscule percentage of the strikeouts to go along with it. He will get the doubles because he is wicked fast. And as for Adam — where does Drake want to be ? Can you even imagine bringing your kid to that clubhouse in Boston? He knows what kind of environment he has for his child here.

  68. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    It was just last Friday on Nationals Prospects peric claimed Denard Span was a good character Nyjer Morgan.And Natsjack and others claimed that Michael Morse was a AAAA player not a major league hitter. And wait that John Lannan was a bonafide ace? Yeah right Natsjack your predictions pan out don't they?

  69. baseballswami - Dec 3, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    Oh – and if you want to call me a moron now – go ahead.

  70. Feel Wood - Dec 3, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    Section 222 said… What the heck does "projectable" mean when a player has been in the big leagues for two full seasons? The only thing that can be projected for Espi at this point is a sub .250 career batting average and more than 150 Ks per year.But I forgot, he does have a higher ceiling than anyone in the Nats system including Harper and Rendon.Not only that, Espinosa's in the top tier while Desmond is only in the second tier – even though their defenses are pretty much equal and Desmond's worst year at the plate is better by far than Espinosa's best.Just remember that peric is nothing but a long-winded JayB and it all makes sense.

  71. Laddie Blah Blah - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    NatsJack"Now it's on Espinosa to shake his demons and become the player Rizzo and Davey think he should be. He has to improve at the plate from the left side specifically and both sides in general from a discipline standpoint."Do you have an opinion on Danny being exclusively a RH bat, instead of a switch hitter? He has holes from the right side, but he has one big hole from the left side, except for low pitches in the strike zone. He now has a long, established history as a much better hitter from the right side. Why not go exclusively with what he does best, and see if that isn't much better than also doing what he and everyone else knows he does worst? Should be worth a 2-week experiment in spring training, just to find out. There have been times when Danny has walked up to the plate to hit lefty with a look on his face that says "I am going to strike out," and then he does. I don't know how many times I have seen that look and predicted a strike out, to myself, and then seen him do exactly as expected.All he needs to do is hit .270 – .275, or so, with 15 – 20 homers, fewer than 150 Ks, and a couple dozen more walks, and the Nats would probably be ecstatic.

  72. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    At absolutely think The Lombo could put up the offensive numbers that Danny has if he played a full season. I think some of those who post here have forgotten how well he played when Ian was out – and that he was improving each and every game. Lombo's a better Cristian Guzman, basically a singles / slap hitter with maybe a little more gap power that will diminish as he ages. Unlike Guzman he isn't a switch hitter. Doesn't have his arm and Guzman's range.

  73. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    All he needs to do is hit .270 – .275, or so, with 15 – 20 homers, fewer than 150 Ks, and a couple dozen more walks, and the Nats would probably be ecstatic. He hit .280 with 17 of those 37 doubles and 3 homers from the right side. He also had a .340 OBP.

  74. MicheleS - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    And we finally have our Gorzo replacement Signed:Good for Zach:Comak‏@acomak The #nats have signed LHP Zach Duke to a major league deal, according multiple sources.

  75. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    Guzman had range?

  76. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    MicheleS, that's a relief!

  77. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    Ahhhh….the old Michael Morse fall back. The same Michael Morse I watched play high scool ball as a shortstop. The same Michael Morse who I said could hit once they figured out how to get him on the field every day. That Michael Morse. The one who learned how to close up the hole in his swing once Rick Eckstein got ahold of him.But where's Boomer Whiting these days.

  78. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    Oh – and if you want to call me a moron now – go ahead.I believe I used the "plural". Its for people who don't have a holistic perspective of the player. They look only at certain specific attributes using a reductionist perspective to split a player a part into pieces that make absolutely no sense at all given the athlete at hand. Too many Natsfans belong to the doom and gloom brigade like Natsjack and Ghost et al. They too often persist in only seeing the negative given their reductionist perspectives and then turn around and hypocritically dump on posters like JayB referring to them as negative.The Doom and Gloom brigade is out already in all their glory is all I can say.And yes, MORONS.

  79. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    Guzman had range?When he was young. Enough to be a passable major league shortstop.

  80. NatsLady - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    I also am not sure about Knorr. I am thinking "resident genius" might manage from the bench when the time comes.

  81. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    Ahhhh….the old Michael Morse fall back. The same Michael Morse I watched play high scool ball as a shortstop. The same Michael Morse who I said could hit once they figured out how to get him on the field every day. That Michael Morse. The one who learned how to close up the hole in his swing once Rick Eckstein got ahold of him.You mean the guy I watched in Syracuse destroy two AAA leagues. Who I said would hit .300 for power in the majors. And I was the ONLY ONE who did and there are many here who can vouch for that much to their chagrin. EVERYONE else said that he was AAAA, too old and done. And YOU were among them Natsjack. Let's NOT rewrite the history of NJ.

  82. Teddy Rochlis - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:12 PM

    i never understood why people complain about espi, looking at his numbers offensively he hit .247 17 HR and 37 doubles, in the 7th spot, ill take that from a 7 hitter hell there are teams that can't get there clean up hitters to do that, you guys are to greedy, maybe the strikouts are a little high, but his upside and ceiling scream to me that we should keep him and approach it from another approach. We could have a future All-Star don't give him up as an extra in a trade.

  83. SCNatsFan - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    I would never call anyone here a moron but, to generalize, anyone who thinks Espi will turn out with better numbers then ARod or be more valuable to the franchise then Jeter is a moron.Which isn't to say Danny isn't good; my problem with Danny is he isn't learning which limits his development. At what point does he stop getting a pass because he is young.

  84. Alphabet Soup Erik - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    This advertisement for Federal Baseball brought to you by Peric.

  85. Teddy Rochlis - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    zach duke welcome back to the nats

  86. Unknown - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    Nats sign Zach Duke to a major league contract with the intent of his replacing Tom Gorzelanny and the long-relief guy.I think that's great; I really like Duke.Good news: Duke was an All-Star in 2009.Bad news: He went 11-16, 4.05 with Pittsburgh that year, leading the league in losses.Wonder how "at home" he felt in the NL clubhouse. One relief spot filled, two to go. Farid @ Idaho

  87. MicheleS - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:21 PM

    Teddy, it has more to do with Espi not making adjustments. If he could make adjustments and not swing for the fences every time he goes up to the plate he will be an All Star. Most everyone hear completely agrees defensively he is our best 2B ever (granted the bar was never high), but he over thinks everything.

  88. NatsLady - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    Teddy I have no complaint about Danny. If he were playing SS, neither would anyone else. People think 2B should produce more offense, but a run saved is a run earned. I hope he will improve but I love the guy.

  89. Theophilus T. S. - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    Maybe I wasn't paying attention but didn't realize Shields is under control for only two more years. Even if retained, his price at that point would be much higher. Trading two everyday players for a guy who will play every fifth day for only two years doesn't seem like good arithmetic. Shields is due/likely to earn $20MM plus over the next two years. At this point, he can't be extended for Gio money. One of the mid-level FA pitchers would be a more efficient investment of $$ and wouldn't cost any players. Reading most recent WaPo, it seems clear Espinosa isn't going anywhere. Also seems clear that Nats brass is solidly of the opinion Lombardozzi is no Espinosa.

  90. Laddie Blah Blah - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    "He hit .280 with 17 of those 37 doubles and 3 homers from the right side. He also had a .340 OBP."There you go! Extrapolate that over the full season and 600 ABs and you have an All-Star. I don't have the stats, but my guess is that his strike-out rate was a lot lower from the right side, as well. He may not be able to hit righties at that rate from the right side, but there is only one way to find out.

  91. Unknown - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    And a thought on Adam LaRoche wanting a 3-year contract so his family can stay in one place for a few years.If he moves on, signs with the Orioles lets say, and gets that 3-year deal, he will be in Baltimore for 3 years (if you believe Baltimore would not trade him in that third year which I don't).IF he stays in DC, and signs a 2-year contract, he will have kept his family in the same city for four years. He's never played in one town for four consecutive years.Someone will need to explain that to me. Farid @ Idaho

  92. NatsLady - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    Nats have an auction going where Clipp & Store will come to your kid's school and sit at their table for lunch. That should break up those middle-school cliques!

  93. Tcostant - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    Still don't understand why we don't hear the Pirates are interested? They played very well the first half of last year and have a giant hole at 1B. They could steal him by offering a 3rd (or even 4th year). I still hope he signs a two year deal with the Nats, but I think there is only a 20% chance of that…

  94. MicheleS - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    Laddie,I can't find it, but WaPo did an article sometime in mid season when Espi was having the left side difficulty. It talked about how he has been switch hitting since he was 5 years old and has a hard time picking up Right Handed Pitching when he bats right handed (RA Dickey being the exception). You can't take a lifetime of training and fix it in 2 weeks.

  95. Don - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    Peric — you are wrong, Lombo is also a switch hitter and he plays fine D at 2B. You're just arguing for the sake of it as you're making stuff up and calling people names and it is pretty comical.

  96. SCNatsFan - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    I like the Duke signing; not sure why he fell off the cliff the last couple of years but maybe he can recapture some of is glory and be a good fill in for Gorzo

  97. Theophilus T. S. - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:29 PM

    Guzman was an artificial turf shortstop. You probably would never know how much range he had because anything that would have tested him was already beyond him. On grass, he ran around behind every ball hit in his direction, made plays twice as difficult as they needed to be. I'm not sure he was ever that great in MN. But he was never a good shortstop in DC.

  98. natsfan1a - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    Two words: food fight! :-)NatsLady said… Nats have an auction going where Clipp & Store will come to your kid's school and sit at their table for lunch. That should break up those middle-school cliques! December 03, 2012 3:25 PM

  99. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    Actually, I remember everyone (me included) very happy to see Ryan Langerhans gone. He was the poster boy for modeling a major league uniform with no baseball abilities at all.And I was especially happy to be reunited with another of my favorite Florida athletes. So while your claims ring hollow (as usual) I'll leave you with your fond memories of Boomer Whiting.

  100. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    Laddie, the only time to experiment for Danny would be Winter Ball and it may all be a waste of time. The real time spent is best served working on left-handed basics like you do in cage work.

  101. Theophilus T. S. - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    TCosant — More likely LaRoche isn't interested in the Pirates. Another case of been there, etc. They never showed any love and I doubt he would ever go back. Apart from that, Pirates are patting themselves for extending McCutcheon and aren't going to be cutting any $33MM+ checks. Morse they probably would happily take, if Nats were willing to take a minor league pitcher in return.

  102. natsfan1a - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    Michele, is this the Espi piece in question?

  103. natsfan1a - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    Eww, icky, the Pirates fans boo him like crazy. Don't go there, Adam. ;-)Tcostant said… Still don't understand why we don't hear the Pirates are interested? They played very well the first half of last year and have a giant hole at 1B. They could steal him by offering a 3rd (or even 4th year). I still hope he signs a two year deal with the Nats, but I think there is only a 20% chance of that… December 03, 2012 3:26 PM

  104. natsfan1a - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Oh, wait. Theo already had it on Adam.

  105. Tcostant - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    And now for something completely different.THe Nationals fanfest which usually was a freebee to season tickets holders is now very price.For a family of four, the NatsFest on 1/26 will cost $40 ($15 per adult and $5 er kid). I'm not feeling to loved there…http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20121203&content_id=40500196&vkey=pr_was&c_id=was

  106. Laddie Blah Blah - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    "i never understood why people complain about espi, looking at his numbers offensively he hit .247 17 HR and 37 doubles, in the 7th spot, ill take that from a 7 hitter hell there are teams that can't get there clean up hitters to do that, you guys are to greedy, maybe the strikouts are a little high, but his upside and ceiling scream to me that we should keep him and approach it from another approach. We could have a future All-Star don't give him up as an extra in a trade."Because he regressed last year, instead of improving. He is the worst situational hitter the Nats have, and refuses to adjust his approach at the plate regardless of the situation. He is an absolute sucker coming to the plate with the bases loaded. All he thinks about is hitting the ball out of the park when a fly ball or grounder up the middle gets the team a run. The pitchers know it and feed him junk to hit. He swings and misses, of course, and usually ends up either striking out or over-swinging into a DP. The difference in situational approach between him and guys like Werth and RZ is enormous. You would think he would learn from seeing guys like that every day. Harp did it in less than one full season, and he was only 19. Harp will realize every last ounce of his potential because he is a student of the game. Danny makes himself into a liability at the plate in crucial situations because he isn't. The question isn't his physical potential, the question for the Nats is whether or not they have a better option at the position, given his makeup and lack of plate discipline.One possible change in approach would be to turn him into a full-time RH hitter.

  107. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    This subject has been broached a lot lately, so with the help of Brian Oliver, here’s a chart of ideal ages for each level.16-18 — DSL (Yes, occasionally some 19-20-y.o.’s will make it north of FL, but that’s usually pitchers)18-19 — GCL (HSers and international guys with a year or two experience)20-22 — NYPL (JuCo/college draft picks and guys who have spent a year at GCL)21-23 — Low-A (Mostly guys who spent previous season at NYPL, occasional leapfrog from GCL)22-24 — High-A23-25 — Double-A24-26 — Triple-ASo, yes Mr. Baseball [NOTSJACK] Espinosa IS still projectable at age 26 since he should still be in AAA? Right? Moron.

  108. Theophilus T. S. - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    Natsfan1a — I always appreciate it when someone agrees w/ me, espec. when it's someone whose insights I usually appreciate.

  109. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    So while your claims ring hollow (as usual) I'll leave you with your fond memories of Boomer Whiting.You're a bald-faced liar as usual NOTSJACK but that's typical of the usual doom and gloom brigade that frequents this site. Of which you are the head.

  110. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    Is it me or is he doing his best Robin Williams stage act?

  111. Section 222 - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    Morons!Espi just finished his age 25 season. He has 70 2Bs and 44 HRs. Through his age 25 season, A-Rod had 228 2Bs and 241 HRs. (Yes, I know, 'roids era and all that, but still.) Even Desi had almost as many 2Bs (61) through his age 25 season, which was his crappy 2011. Harper will probably surpass Espi's age 25 total 2Bs in his age 21 season, and might surpass his age 25 total HRs next year.Look, I'm not saying it's impossible that Espi figures it out this year and has a very good career. I'm also not saying he should definitely be traded (though I wouldn't rule out including him in a package for a superstar pitcher if such a deal presents itself.) But to suggest that at this point he's part of the young core of the team in the same way that Harper, Stras, JZnn, and even Desi, are is wrong. I hope after next year he will be. But right now? No.And to argue that he "projects" as being as good as A-Rod is just plain silly, or should I say, moronic?

  112. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    Peric — you are wrong, Lombo is also a switch hitter and he plays fine D at 2B. You're just arguing for the sake of it as you're making stuff up and calling people names and it is pretty comical. Actually You're pretty ludicrous Don? There's a vast, huge difference between someone that is a major league shortstop and someone who is best situated at second base. Michael Morse has played shortstop and can play 2nd and third. Do you compare him with Desmond? With Espinosa? With Guzman (when he was young particularly with the Twins).Yes, Don that was a clown comment bro.

  113. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    Is it me or is he doing his best Robin Williams stage act?More like Dumb and Dumber : NOTSJack and crew.

  114. natsfan1a - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    Thanks, Theo.

  115. Teddy Rochlis - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    Peric what's with the anger we all nats fans here and none of us are making the decisions so calm down it doesn't matter

  116. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    anyone who thinks Espi will turn out with better numbers then ARod or be more valuable to the franchise then Jeter is a moron.Scott Boras for one moron. And last I looked he was a lot wealthier than you are because he manages to do a good job of predicting these sorts of thing. The operative word I uses was **MAY** not will. That is where the word "projectable" comes in? Incredible cretins on this site today.

  117. baseballswami - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    Danny, Lombo, Morse, et al. Talent will only get you so far. Give me a guy who listens, learns, applies , any day of the week. It's what you make out of what you've got that will determine success or failure. I very much like Danny and his talent. He just seems to be stuck in his development. We cannot have that automatic out in the lineup for long stretches of the season. Even with our good- hitting pitchers.

  118. Laddie Blah Blah - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    "Laddie,I can't find it, but WaPo did an article sometime in mid season when Espi was having the left side difficulty. It talked about how he has been switch hitting since he was 5 years old and has a hard time picking up Right Handed Pitching when he bats right handed (RA Dickey being the exception). You can't take a lifetime of training and fix it in 2 weeks."I didn't see that, but he can't be any worse from the right side than he is from the left, regardless. He doesn't seem to be able to pick up the ball from the left side when hitting against right handers, either. Sounds like a rationalization for the status quo."Laddie, the only time to experiment for Danny would be Winter Ball and it may all be a waste of time. The real time spent is best served working on left-handed basics like you do in cage work."Ghost, really, what basics? The guy goes up there and swings from the heels at everything they throw at him. He connects more often from the right side than from the left, using the same approach. Two weeks in ST isn't going to hurt his hitting basics, from either side, because he doesn't have any.Would love to see that kid get his head straight.

  119. Tcostant - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    More info on the FanFest, autographs are now $20 each for two players. http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/was/fan_forum/natsfest.jsp———————————————-+ Autograph Vouchers $20 Autograph Voucher (all proceeds to benefit the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation)Autograph voucher must be purchased at the time that the event ticket purchase is made and will not be sold separately. Autograph vouchers are limited and are expected to sell out quickly. Maximum of 4 autograph vouchers per order.Voucher holder must obtain a wristband at the Autograph Voucher Wristband location at the event prior to entering the assigned autograph session line. Voucher holders should arrive to receive their autograph session wristband at least 30 minutes prior to their scheduled session. Each voucher entitles holder to one autograph session consisting of two players, and voucher holder will receive one autograph from each player. Players will be randomly assigned by lottery to each autograph session. Assigned players will not be announced prior to autograph sessions. Voucher is only valid for the session that is purchased and printed on the voucher. Voucher holder must have a separate event ticket to gain entry to the autograph session. Voucher cannot be refunded or exchanged and will not be replaced if lost or stolen.

  120. Feel Wood - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    Peric projects as being as much of a wacko as JayB. Or maybe it's the other way around. I forget.

  121. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    Peric what's with the anger we all nats fans here and none of us are making the decisions so calm down it doesn't matterLong history Teddy. I was the ONLY ONE who touted Michael Morse after the Langerhans trade in spite of what Natsjack claims. One need only peruse the archives of the Nationals Journal to determine the truth in that. And even the MASN site. And just like today I was constantly slammed for thinking that a AAAA player could play in the majors. And by Mr. NOTSJack the negativity 'bot himself.

  122. Feel Wood - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    Tcostant said… More info on the FanFest, autographs are now $20 each for two players.Not just two players. Two PTBNLs, where "later" is after you've plunked down your twenty bucks. Can you say "bait and switch"?Apparently the convention center does not come cheap. All of you who have been clamoring for a "real" FanFest there should remember that old saying. Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

  123. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    Peric projects as being as much of a wacko as JayB. Or maybe it's the other way around. I forget.And FeelWood projects as some sort of deviant voyeur with that moniker.

  124. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 3, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    peric was not the only one touting Michael Morse.Actually, at the time, peric was touting just about everbody in the Nats minor league system, hence my Boomer Whiting pokes. He had Whiting as the answer for center field and lead off and it's well documented and remembered laughingly by several of us.Boomer finally got a cup of coffee at Syracuse before getting released less than a year of perics proclimations.

  125. MicheleS - Dec 3, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    New post.

  126. Don - Dec 3, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    Peric – Mike Morse can play 2B?? And you think that I am the one making clown comments?? The lithium is calling you from the medicine cabinet, take it! Take it now!

  127. Theophilus T. S. - Dec 3, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    " Peric projects as being as much of a wacko as JayB. Or maybe it's the other way around. I forget. And FeelWood projects as some sort of deviant voyeur with that moniker." The American Psychiatric Association voted over the weekend to approve a revised edition of the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders." Must see if I can find that at Barnes and Noble.

  128. Section 222 - Dec 3, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    peric was touting just about everbody in the Nats minor league systemI'll never forget Matt Antonelli, the sure fire answer to our middle infield woes when he was in Harrisburg and Syracuse in 2011. If only we hadn't released him he would have torn up the NL East last year instead of bouncing from the Orioles to the Yankees AAA affiliates.

  129. tayo - Dec 3, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    on Espinosa, I was as frustrated as anyone could have been with him last year with his strikeouts. However, there isn't a single line-up in the league that doesn't have at least one hole in their lineup. So, even if he doesn't improve, we could surely survive with having only one offensive hole in our lineup especially one who makes up for it with his gold-glove calibre defense.

  130. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 3, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    Don…..Michael Morse was drafted as a middle infieldee and played 2b for the up until around 4 seasons ago. But rest assured, his 2b days are history.

  131. MicheleS - Dec 3, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    Actually, wasn't Mikey Mo a SS? and he hasn't played that since 2007.

  132. Timothy Folk - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    Adam LaRoche for two years with a nice balance in L/R (Maybe let Espi hit only R to help him out).. Or Morse for one year and a draft pick from LaRoche… I like both and am fine with either. But I do not want to trade Espinosa at all.

  133. Don - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:05 PM

    NatsJack — Morse played 19 games at 2B in his entire career as a minor leaguer, never in the bigs and he is 6'5 and 245 lbs. Watch him run. I mean, really. It's nonsense to assert that he can play middle infield as a big leaguer. Adam Dunn played some CF in the minors btw.

  134. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:10 PM

    Peric, would you like to reconsider this statement:"Unlike Guzman he (Lombo) isn't a switch hitter. Doesn't have his arm and Guzman's range."Wow. Where do we begin? OK, Lombo's not a switch-hitter. On that, we can agree.Everything else? Meh.

  135. Steady Eddie - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    OK, Lombo's not a switch-hitter. On that, we can agree.Well, that's amusing. You two are agreeing on the one thing that's objectively untrue.Now he's not a very good switch-hitter:vs. L (hitting R): .231/.268/.264 vs. R (hitting L): .287/.332/.382 but that's different from saying flat-out that he isn't one at all.Not that it matters. Just a mild comic diversion.

  136. nats guy - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:41 PM

    Peric et al,All i have to say is:JD Martin, Seth Bynum, and Jorge Padilla. Case closed.

  137. TheManBearPig - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    Laddie (and others doubting that Espinosa has turned the same corner that Desi did in the 2nd half of 2011), Espi's numbers for July, August and September suggest to me that he'll be a .280/.330/.450 +/- hitter in 2013, probably hitting at least 15-20 HR. Those projected numbers are only a slight improvement over Espi's actual performance for that 3-month stretch.

Archives

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