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Nats re-sign Duke

Dec 3, 2012, 8:44 PM EDT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Nationals have re-signed left-hander Zach Duke to a one-year, major-league contract, addressing one of their needs for an affordable long reliever.

The deal has not been announced yet, but a club source confirmed the signing.

Duke returns after a solid September cameo in Washington in which he posted a 1.32 ERA over eight appearances. He spent the majority of the season as a starter at Class AAA Syracuse, going 15-5 with a 3.51 ERA.

The 29-year-old, an All-Star with the Pirates in 2009, figures to serve as the long man in the Nationals' bullpen, taking over the role held by Tom Gorzelanny this season. Gorzelanny performed well in the role — he boasted a 2.88 ERA in 45 games — but the Nationals elected not to tender him a contract last week, worried his salary would jump to as high as $4 million through arbitration.

Terms on Duke's contract aren't yet known, but he'll make significantly less than Gorzelanny.

The Nationals are still looking for at least one more left-handedRead more »

104 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Alex Howard - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    This is such a joke of a signing, the bullpen is in absolute tatters at this point and you sign duke? are you kidding me? (in the words of f.p)

  2. Drew - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    Good news. Duke was a strong addition and he can make a spot start if necessary.

  3. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    Yep. He's the Gorzo replacement and a great clubhouse guy.

  4. natsfan1a - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    Works for me. (Not that it matters. :-))

  5. waddu eye no - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    i have to read slower. i saw "resign duke" and thought elijah dukes.phew. this is much better

  6. Michael S - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    Wow Alex.

  7. Kevin Booker - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    Great signing and move.

  8. UnkyD - Dec 3, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    Careful, Alex… Sometimes, when you draw and shoot all at once like that, you can shoot your toe off…

  9. Teddy Rochlis - Dec 3, 2012 at 9:06 PM

    Also signed bray seemed solid in 2011

  10. MicheleS - Dec 3, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    Thanks you 1A, that was exactly the article i was looking for. Someday you can teach me how to index!Reposting link in case anyone missed it: Espi and switch hitting

  11. MicheleS - Dec 3, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    And in defense of JayB.1 – he has been an STH and has seen enough bad baseball to commment/complain about anything he wants to. Just like the rest of us.2- main complaint last year was the bench, well, we ended up with the best bench last year, so that one goes away.3 – at least he has always been civil.

  12. MicheleS - Dec 3, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    And Pagan is with the Giants (4 for 40M). Looks like bourn's market is drying up even more.

  13. Theophilus T. S. - Dec 3, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    The Nats signed Bray? That's good; I said a couple of weeks ago it would make sense to give him a flyer. Neither Duke nor Bray is going to win a Rolaids award but, along with the prospect they claimed from the Brewers a few days ago they are no longer completely nekkid from the left side in the bullpen.

  14. JD - Dec 3, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    Bray makes a ton of sense. He may step into Burnett's role at a fraction of the cost. He was very solid in 2011 and seemed to be injured last year.

  15. MicheleS - Dec 3, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    And with the Pagan signing, that Span deal is an absolute steal.

  16. Eugene in Oregon - Dec 3, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    Repeat the refrain: Relievers are fungible; don't overpay.

  17. JD - Dec 3, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    Eugene, You are bang on. Last year Sean Burnett was a 1.1 WAR player in what was by far his best year. In 2011 Bill Bray was a 0.7 WAR player. You don't need to spend $18 mil on 0.4 games a year.

  18. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 3, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    You nailed it Eugene.

  19. JD - Dec 3, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    Wow; are the Giants overpaying their existing players or what? It's hard to criticize a team which has won 2 tittles in the past 3 years but it just goes to show you how lucky they were.

  20. JD - Dec 3, 2012 at 9:38 PM

    Theo, Exactly right and if this becomes a glaring problem you can always go get someone at the trade deadline.

  21. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 3, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    JD…..that's because the Giants will be cash rich starting next season. The stadium bonds will be paid off and Zito comes off the books.

  22. natsfan1a - Dec 3, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    You're welcome, Michele, and I'm with you on defense of JayB. :-)

  23. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 3, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    My only beef with JayB is the broken record with some off the wall "Rizzo fail" mantra.

  24. JD - Dec 3, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    NatsJack, I get it. I just think you can do better at 4 * $10 mil than Angel Pagan.

  25. JD - Dec 3, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    NatsJack, I am with you 100%. The repeated Rizzo criticism after a 98 win season after a couple of play off loses (before the series ended) was a bit much.

  26. Joe Seamhead - Dec 3, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    In 2011 I saw a live interview with Espinosa when the Nats brought up Steve Lombardozzi.Honestly, it affected my opinion of Danny in a quite negative way. I guess he didn't want to get Wally Pipped. Here was the gist of it:http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/08/30/danny-espinosa-is-not-happy-with-the-idea-of-giving-up-playing-time/In the live interview he really came across pretty badly. Where as Steve Lombardozzi will seemingly do anything asked of him, from bunting, to hit behind the runner, or come of the bench cold and pinch hit, etc, Danny came across as it was all about him.

  27. MicheleS - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:00 PM

    NatsJack, totally agree. I think that goes along with the folks that say the Lerners are cheap.

  28. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    I like Zach Duke, like him better than John Lannan and he has a better resume IMO. And JayB generally knows what he is talking about. Even if it sounds painful at times.

  29. MicheleS - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    Eugene, excellent point.We now have our Lefty Longman out of the Pen, Bray MIGHT be the LOOGY, would love it if we could get Sean back but only if the price is right. Now all we need is the next Starting Pitcher and resolve the 1B situation

  30. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    JD…re: Pagan…..totally agree on the overpay. Now it looks like the Phillies are stuck paying Bourne or, heaven forbid, Shane Victorino.

  31. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    In the live interview he really came across pretty badly. Where as Steve Lombardozzi will seemingly do anything asked of him, from bunting, to hit behind the runner, or come of the bench cold and pinch hit, etc, Danny came across as it was all about him.I completely DON'T understand how you can make such an assumption? Ryan Zimmerman absolutely refused to come out of the lineup and hopefully, you stayed informed and know the seriousness of the injury he suffered and the consequent surgery. He was a hole in the #3 spot for an awfully long time. Both Rick Ankiel and Bryce Harper were just as adamant about playing / not losing playing time (per Davey Johnson himself) and it may have been why Ankiel was released. He wouldn't have signed with the Nats in the first place in either year were he not pre-assured of being in the starting lineup? And there are others. Like Adam LaRoche who wasn't happy with the idea of being platooned with Mark DeRosa?Danny was just being honest as were these others … and Davey said he liked that attitude?Again I wonder what baseball planet we are beaming from? Planet iZod?

  32. MicheleS - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    NatsJack. Sweet! Tick Tock on the Phillies, they will keep getting OLDER and saddle themselves with bad contracts!

  33. JB - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    Theoretical question: if getting a starting pitcher through trade is as likely as through FA, what would you trade for R.A. Dickey? He seems to genuinely be on the block.I'm not suggesting the Nats are or should be going after him, but a Stras/Dickey/Gio series would be downright unfair to hitters. (RHP @96, then knuckleball at 80, then LHP at 94. Seriously.)

  34. JB - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    (BTW, this "JB" is aka NatinBeantown. Though he's now in Ohio. Probably not worth keeping up with.)

  35. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    We now have our Lefty Longman out of the Pen, Bray MIGHT be the LOOGY, would love it if we could get Sean back but only if the price is right.Actually, Duke was pretty effective in key late inning situations. So, he has more flexibility than did Gorzo and Lannan. I just hope you are right Michelle I hope it doesn't resolve to either Patrick McCoy or Danny Rosenbaum. Albeit McCoy is having an outstanding winter.

  36. MicheleS - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    JB.. I am guessing that the Mets are asking for a ton for RA. That's why no serious interest.

  37. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    2- main complaint last year was the bench, well, we ended up with the best bench last year, so that one goes away.No, his main and major complaint, Michelle, has always been the dearth of an international presence and international signings. His biggest gripes are about Yuneksy Maya and Rafael Martin as the "big international signings" that Stan K. had promised and never delivered.He shares this opinion, again, with none other than Brian Oliver (Nats Farm Authority), and Luke Erickson (NationalsProspects.com).

  38. MicheleS - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:18 PM

    Sean news:Amanda Comak‏@acomak Right now, the #nats and LHP Sean Burnett aren't a fit, financially or length of deal, but Rizzo didn't close the door. Likes Burnett a lot.

  39. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:19 PM

    I'm not suggesting the Nats are or should be going after him, but a Stras/Dickey/Gio series would be downright unfair to hitters. (RHP @96, then knuckleball at 80, then LHP at 94. Seriously.)They are also know to last a lot longer than a power pitcher … a lot longer. Still, there is always the question of consistency. I think baseball would like to see him do it again or at least come close before taking the sort of risk he entails.

  40. MicheleS - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    JB: and here is your answer on Dickey:Jon Heyman‏@JonHeymanCBSthe #mets are right to ask for a lot for RA Dickey. hes the Freakin NL Cy Young winner. pardon the language.

  41. Theophilus T. S. - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    It begins to look like the Phillies will be forced into overpaying for Bourn — maybe by a lot. On the other hand, the Phillies have a number of promising pitching prospects that they don't need — immediately — and one of them might entice Oakland to part w/ C. Crisp.

  42. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    @JamesWagnerWP:Mike Rizzo said he'd like to add a second left-hander to the bullpen. Not dire; likes current righties ability to get lefties out.Ask the same question of manager Davey Johnson and you will receive an entirely different answer if he is candid when answering. Johnson likes having a decent number of lefties at his disposal.

  43. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    @masnKolko: Rizzo says he has not had contact with #Orioles during the meetings as of yet. Morse has been thrown out as a possible fit for O's. #NatsAND he won't … that is unless FOX Sports takes MASN off his hands for a tidy sum … :)

  44. Joe Seamhead - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    peric, I still like Espinosa at 2B more then Lombo, but in the live interview I saw he came across as totally self-centered. That was my perception. It wasn't so much what he said, but how he said it. All I can tell you is my opinion of the young man didn't go up that day.JB, I don't see the Nats giving up any prospects for someone as old as Dickey. It doesn't seem to be Rizzo's m.o. at this point in time.With Pagan staying put, the Phillies CF options are getting thinner. Bourn, maybe, but don't discount the chance of Shane Victorino coming back to them.

  45. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    My only argument on the lack of international signings is, well, it really ruined last season didn't it?

  46. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    @acomack: Rizzo reiterated the #nats search for a starting pitcher is simply guided by finding the most "impactful" guy they can.@ZuckermanCSN: Rizzo says Nats still narrowing down list of starters, both free agents and trade targets. Says simply looking for best available.Two different perspectives. I don't think Rizzo is going for the typical #5 starter he is looking top of the rotation, so I assume Amanda's quote is closer. Davey has one more year and Ted Lerner isn't getting any younger.

  47. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    It wasn't so much what he said, but how he said it. All I can tell you is my opinion of the young man didn't go up that dayNot many folks here were happy with the hole in #3 that the FOF was making pre-cortisone shot? Look based on what a candid Johnson said about Ankiel he was just as vocal, unhappy and frustrated with a bench role. He just didn't give an interview and answer that question.

  48. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    My only argument on the lack of international signings is, well, it really ruined last season didn't it?That's all fine and well BUT look at the prospects after the top 5 in the Nats system. There is almost NO depth at this point. Its fairly close to alarming. And given the new CBA and the Nats specific rules Selig imposed? International is the only way to go until that too gets closed off as Puerto Rico was.

  49. MicheleS - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    NatsJack, totally agree. Plus it is going to take quite a few years to clean up the Mess that Bowden/Rios made. Talk about having to start over from scratch.

  50. MicheleS - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    Sweet!DKnobler‏@DKnobler Despite Nationals' fears, Rangers are not involved on LaRoche

  51. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    Pretty good one from Kilgore:@AdamKilgoreWP: Pelfrey is a good scratch-off lottery ticket, maybe he works out where CMW did not

  52. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    On my earlier post of bringing back previous players, the Nats are actually going yo try and do that.

  53. MicheleS - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    Shark is playing in the WBC for the Netherlands. So far only David Wright and Joe Mauer for the US have been announced.

  54. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    So, now its former Nats "top prospect" Bill Bray, Patrick McCoy, and Danny Rosenbaum (a starter) after Zach Duke. Unless you count Fernando Abad.

  55. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    @NFA_Brian: Bray's return adds a former ExpoSo, they lose one original Expo and gain another back.

  56. MicheleS - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:39 PM

    Ghost, was it Komatsu that said how happy he was to be back as a Nat and it felt like coming home? Can't remember if it was him.

  57. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:39 PM

    MicheleS, Texas is rumored to be on JUpton and Josh Hamilton but the Orioles have LaRoche at the top of their list.

  58. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:43 PM

    NatsJack, totally agree. Plus it is going to take quite a few years to clean up the Mess that Bowden/Rios made. Talk about having to start over from scratch.While REAL experts who have been observing the Nats farm system since 2005 generally strongly DISAGREE with NatsJack. They do find the lack of depth that results alarming as do many of the objective, non-Natsfan generic baseball-wide blogs. So, Natsjack once again wrong.

  59. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    but the Orioles have LaRoche at the top of their list.It would seem logical. Except Angelos and MASN are involved. Does LaRoche really want to go to a big maybe in the AL East for 3 to 4? Or can he be happy with a 20-25 million contract for 2 years? How much does LaRoche need to run his ranch in Kansas since he now has Davey buying all of his beef?

  60. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    wrong about what? Does anybody know?

  61. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    In any case Boz was right about the Nats getting Zach Duke back in place of Gorzo in the spot starter/middle relief spot.

  62. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    wrong about what? Does anybody know?Sounds like the Wrongway Peach Fuzz we all know and love.

  63. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:52 PM

    @jonmorosi: Mariners open to a reunion with Mike Morse, source says. Morse could be dealt if LaRoche re-signs.

  64. Timothy Folk - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:55 PM

    I like the moves so far. A couple more solid additions and I'm fine. Players in late 20's with decent priced/short year contracts. Get It Done Mike!!

  65. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    Looking more and more like Natslady was right about losing Morse in the offseason. She may get her wish with the strongest defensive contingent the Nats have ever fielded.

  66. JD - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:00 PM

    NatsJack, Don't you know that Peric is the self proclaimed scorekeeper of who is right and who is wrong?

  67. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    I thought you said Denard Span was Nyjer Morgan with character. If he is as you say, that's no defensive upgrade.Fortuneately, Span is a massive improvement over T-Plush.

  68. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    Don't you know that Peric is the self proclaimed scorekeeper of who is right and who is wrong?More mail from another Morse was a AAAA flounder named NatinBeanTown. Still think he's AAAA dude?

  69. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:03 PM

    I know. I enjoy pointing out his comical side.

  70. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    Fortuneately, Span is a massive improvement over T-Plush.I still prefer Corey Brown and Werth at lead-off. I still believe they need another left-handed power bat in the lineup. And Brown is a superlative CF defensively so there would be no loss defensively. I believe it may turn out that Span is a downgrade from Brown. But, that remains to be seen. And Brown is still in the right age range for someone graduating from AAA.

  71. JD - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:06 PM

    Peric, You also said that the Nats wouldn't go for a speed slap hitter because Davie doesn't play that game. You were wrong about that which is fine unless you insist that you are always right and call other people names.

  72. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:09 PM

    You also said that the Nats wouldn't go for a speed slap hitter because Davie doesn't play that game.True. I was wrong. Although as I tried to point out … unlike a Bourn Span doesn't block a potential power bat from supplanting him in the lineup. Like a Brown or a Goodwin. Natsjack probably will say the jury is way out on them and Natsjack is not a fan of Brian Goodwin. Nevertheless he doesn't block anyone and his salary won't preclude his ending up on the bench if someone comes along and proves they are better.

  73. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:09 PM

    If you like old AAA graduates.

  74. MicheleS - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:09 PM

    If Morse goes to SEA, guess what, he will be playing in AAAA ball.

  75. JD - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:10 PM

    The tell tale sign with Brown is that he was not used much when he was called up and he was quickly returned to the minors. I too felt that his numbers suggested he be given a fuller shot but I think that the brass does not feel as positively about Cory Brown as we do.

  76. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:11 PM

    You were wrong about that which is fine unless you insist that you are always right and call other people names.Oh, well then maybe you should learn to stop making fun of other folks opinions starting with JayB's? Its the same thing dude. You are the hypocritical pot calling the kettle black. Should change your moniker to NatinKettleTown.

  77. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:11 PM

    For the record, I AM a fan of Brian Goodwin. Just think he has some maturing to do that MAYBE Spring Training camp may bring about.

  78. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    If we signed Bill Bray, can Joey Eischen be far behind?Still one of my favorite original Nats, if for nothing else but: "He can suck on it and he can like it," referring to Peter A.

  79. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    I too felt that his numbers suggested he be given a fuller shot but I think that the brass does not feel as positively about Cory Brown as we do.I agree with that. But, I also remember Davey telling him that if he did what he Davey knew he could do in AAA they wouldn't need a CF. And I remember Davey saying he hadn't given up on Roger Bernadina yet. Both had good years. BUT, neither fit the ancient Cardinals model of a lead-off hitter that seems to be wedged in Rizzo and some of the FO's mind. Not Davey's though as we have seen.Its up to Brown (and perhaps Goodwin) to prove Rizzo wrong. Can they do it? I know they will get lots of encouragement from Davey which would not have happened with smart ball, small brain Riggleman. I guess we'll see.

  80. JD - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    Peric, I don't believe in the concept of blocking someone. If the player is good enough he will crack the lineup somehow. I also don't believe in long contracts for aging players not because they are blocking someone but because they take up precious payroll when they are in decline. Goodwin is clearly 1.5 to 2 years away if he even makes it; you don't hold a valuable position spot for him while you are trying to win now. Brown is real close to a make it or break it age.

  81. MicheleS - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    Peric, please practice what you preach. As some have pointed out, when you start calling names, it defeats the points you make in your commentary.

  82. MicheleS - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    Sunshine, what about Gary Majewski?

  83. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    If you like old AAA graduates.You mean like Michael Morse who actually was older? Ha caught you!

  84. natsfan1a - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    Speaking of humor, I enjoyed the Bullwinkle reference. :-)

  85. JD - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    Peric, I also completely agree with you about the sorry state of our farm system. I think the only sure fire big time prospects are: Rendon, Goodwin and Giolito. I think this is less of a concern because the major league roster is very deep and very young. There won't be many open slots in the next 2 – 3 years but it behooves Rizzo to start making some smart trades to improve both the quality and the quantity in the pipeline.

  86. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    Peric, please practice what you preach. As some have pointed out, when you start calling names, it defeats the points you make in your commentary.Okay, Michelle, since you ask nicely. But, they need to find another punching bag to go after other than JayB. I don't care if they go after me but the guy (JayB) seems very sincere.

  87. natsfan1a - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:20 PM

    Speaking for myself, I always liked Tex. I'm pretty sure he's out of baseball, though. I believe that his ex-roomie, the Chief, is trying to make a comeback by way of Japan.MicheleS said… Sunshine, what about Gary Majewski? December 03, 2012 6:16 PM

  88. MicheleS - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    Peric, JayB is a big boy and defends himself quite honorably, I don't think he needs you to defend him.

  89. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    Feel Wood is the only guy that has done that.

  90. Doc - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    Glad to hear that you're a Goodwin fan, NatsJack! He was off to a great start in the AFL, and Matt Williams thought he was a great prospect.Anxious to see what he does at AA/AAA this year.Just when I thought that Rizzo was going to out-fox himself over spending a few bucks on lefty relief, he goes and signs Billy Bray and Zach Duke. OKBut he still should sign Lefty!

  91. natsfan1a - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:22 PM

    Well, er, um, you and I were defending him ourselves earlier. ;-)MicheleS said… Peric, JayB is a big boy and defends himself quite honorably, I don't think he needs you to defend him. December 03, 2012 6:21 PM

  92. MicheleS - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:23 PM

    JD, the current state of the Farm system is what it is because of the trades over the last few years. and as you say the guys on the MLB team are young and under control. Rizzo can spend the next few years rebuilding without making to many major moves. Look how long it took Rizzo to get the Farm system to #1 (prior to the Gio trade). Even with the recent trades, i bet we are still middle of the pack.

  93. MicheleS - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:25 PM

    1A True, but some where using JayB as a crutch to start a name calling which we can all do without. Nip it in the bud and hopefully we don't have to have the principal come down and get on our case.

  94. natsfan1a - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    hmm, maybe not totally out of baseball. Evidently, Tex was with the Sugar Land Skeeters last year. (Now, that's a team name. :-)

  95. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    There won't be many open slots in the next 2 – 3 years but it behooves Rizzo to start making some smart trades to improve both the quality and the quantity in the pipeline.Unfortunately, I believe that is what a Michael Morse trade should garner.New prospects to add to the system. They might also consider trading Bernadina since they now have both Corey Brown and Erik Komatsu capable of playing a bench role. These are cases where A+ level prospects with ceilings could be acquired.I still believe a top of the rotation starter won't involve Morse (since the Rays signed Loney) but it may involve Espinosa. Unless they sign Grienke.

  96. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    MicheleS said… Sunshine, what about Gary Majewski?Oh, wow. I thought I had killed all those old brain cells. This is starting to get bad. I'm beginning to get FLop flashbacks.Back then we were acquiring clubhouse cancers and overrated bums like Austin "The K is for Strikeout Looking" Kearns.Now we're acquiring Denard Span and talking about trading for James Shields.Plus, it was 70 degrees in December. What's not to like?

  97. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:28 PM

    1A True, but some where using JayB as a crutch to start a name calling which we can all do without.Its okay for you but not others. Again hypocrisy raises its head per usual on the Natsinsider blog. It really should be renamed Nats H-pocrisy.

  98. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    Peric, JayB is a big boy and defends himself quite honorably, I don't think he needs you to defend him.Uh NO Michelle. He usually gets slammed by multiple posters all at once who characterize him as a neg-anon (name calling right? right?) and other similar adjectives. And then he leaves.Please get rid of the patronizing tone. It ill befits you.

  99. natsfan1a - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:33 PM

    All this talk of ex-Nats puts me in mind of a "where are they now" post that Mark did at one point (unless I imagined that). Might be fun to have another one of those some day. You know, after the meetings, when Mark has nothing better to do. Speaking of things to do, it's time for dinner here. Later, folks.

  100. MicheleS - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:35 PM

    Sunshine, the ex nats talk brought back the Memories of the Pitching Cattle Calls that Bowden used to do. Thankfully we are well beyond that.

  101. peric - Dec 3, 2012 at 11:36 PM

    Back then we were acquiring clubhouse cancers and overrated bums like Austin "The K is for Strikeout Looking" Kearns.Kearns is actually a good clubhouse guy. Unlike Elijah Dukes et al. And he had that thumb injury that required surgery. After that he produced some pretty decent offense. The problem is why are these injuries always have to be hidden? See Zimmerman, Ryan and the cortisone shots. I think Danny had one of those as well.

  102. Theophilus T. S. - Dec 4, 2012 at 12:01 AM

    I don't think any conclusions can be drawn based on use of Brown in the latter part of 2012. In the LH bat pecking order he was behind Bernadina, Tracy and in some situations Lombardozzi. And, in a pennant race, there were no "throwaway" games (except when Jackson was pitching) in which to give him a start. There simply were very few opportunities.I really think Bernadina is trade-worthy this year — after his best season — unless someone breaks a leg in ST. They traded for Span to play 155 games (although he's not being paid that way). And if everybody else stays healthy Bernadina's ABs will be cut in half. So I expect there'll be a spot for a LH-hitting spare OF.

  103. Manassas Nats' Fan - Dec 4, 2012 at 12:46 AM

    zach duke takes Girzy's spot

  104. Bryan Holland - Dec 4, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    Smart move by Rizzo. Duke was lights out in AAA and he has now found his role in the bullpen and when those doubleheaders pop up he can spot start.

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W L GB
WASHINGTON 75 57 --
ATLANTA 69 64 6.5
MIAMI 65 67 10.0
NEW YORK 62 71 13.5
PHILADELPHIA 61 72 14.5
Through Wednesday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Mariners, 10:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Mariners, 9:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 4:10 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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