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Davey on Haren, LaRoche and more

Dec 4, 2012, 9:26 PM EDT

USA Today Images
Davey Johnson holds court before reporters today at the Winter Meetings.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — There are few managers in baseball more comfortable speaking their mind in front of reporters and cameras than Davey Johnson, so it was no surprise when the Nationals skipper didn't hold back this afternoon during his Winter Meetings media session.

Johnson spoke glowingly about today's signing of Dan Haren — which, remember, is still pending a physical — and made another impassioned pitch for Adam LaRoche to return to Washington.

He also had some revealing thoughts on Danny Espinosa, the Wilson Ramos/Kurt Suzuki catching situation, Game 5 of the NLDS and his motivation for 2013.

Here are the highlights, and there are plenty…

What is your reaction to the signing of Dan Haren?
"Well, you need to talk to Rizzo. I think it's a great move if we can get him. Great athlete, outstanding stuff, gamer. He fits right in. IRead more »

  1. Eugene in Oregon - Dec 4, 2012 at 9:37 PM

    "Whatever I do, I'll probably be successful at it." — gotta love that kind of (N)attitude.

  2. JamesFan - Dec 4, 2012 at 9:38 PM

    A guy who knows this is his last year and is in a solid position is very free to speak his mind in public. The media is going to love Davey this year.He certainly is putting press on everybody to sign LaRoche. That doesn't say much about his confidence in Morse. He also put a little pressure on Espinoza with his comments.

  3. Theophilus T. S. - Dec 4, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    I don't see, from that, a lot of reason to expect the Nats to waste a bunch of money on another "emergency" starter. If they're into the second month at Syracuse and Garcia has an aching wing, then they'll find some guy who's been left out of the major league musical chairs game to fill the slot.

  4. SCNatsFan - Dec 4, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    Its nice to hear us talking about the guys here and the success we'll have instead of discussing retreads we signed and the guys in A ball

  5. Scott Margenau - Dec 4, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    Translation:Morse is gone. Lombo will start. I am a genius.

  6. baseballswami - Dec 4, 2012 at 10:01 PM

    Everyone is a genius in the off season.

  7. Joe Seamhead - Dec 4, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    Naw, we're all morons, remember?

  8. MicheleS - Dec 4, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    Gonat, the DBacks beat reporter poo-poo'd that rumor.

  9. MicheleS - Dec 4, 2012 at 10:26 PM

    Oh and since I haven't said it today:I love Davey.

  10. MicheleS - Dec 4, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    Wait WHAT? 2 years for Sean?Ken Rosenthal‏@Ken_RosenthalFree-agent LH reliever Sean Burnett now looking beyond #Nationals. Not looking for Affeldt money (3/18). Open to two-year

  11. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 4, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    MicheleS, that's on the link of the MLBTR above. JUpton for Cliff Lee than quickly said not true.

  12. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 4, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    The Twitterverse is crazy. A GM and agent say Hi in the lobby and they call it a deal. Amaro and Towers shook hands, must be a deal!

  13. MicheleS - Dec 4, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    Thanks Ghost, it was hilarious on the twitter feeds EXPLODING on the Upton/Lee stuff for about 5 minutes and then the inevitable let down. It's great fun. Plus it looks like there is a Nats Fan/blogger stalking everyone so we get pictures too!

  14. staring out the window waiting for spring - Dec 4, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    Free-agent LH reliever Sean Burnett now looking beyond #Nationals. Not looking for Affeldt money (3/18). Open to two-yearSo 2/$12m would be "Affeldt money"? Can he get 2/10?

  15. MicheleS - Dec 4, 2012 at 10:53 PM

    Staring out the window.. Considering teams seem to be handing out money like drunken sailors on leave, Sean will probably get that.

  16. staring out the window waiting for spring - Dec 4, 2012 at 10:53 PM

    FWIW, I read that as Davey saying "Whatever I do [with Ramos and Suzuki] will work, because they are both good–I can't miss."

  17. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 4, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    MicheleS, it's unreal and Boras hasn't started his full court assault with Bourn.What the heck happened with Boras and Rizzo. Unless the Nats grab Rafael Soriano which is unlikely, looks like a Boras shutout this year.Maybe Boras shouldn't have said that he and Riz built the Nationals. Have to wonder if there's a message in the bottle.

  18. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 4, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    So with Victorino signing in Boston, does he play left or does Ellsbury get moved?

  19. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:00 PM

    NatsJack, can you believe how fastthe CFs are getting signed. Hoping Bourn to Seattle.

  20. MicheleS - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    I can see Ellsbury moving out of CF, he seems to be injury prone so maybe they shift him to the corner.

  21. natscan reduxit - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:20 PM

    [moving my reply to this thread from the last one]… just getting back from attending my daughter's "graduation" from her learning sessions so she can be the next Roller Derby Queen. Go Emily!… I want to thank those of you who responded to my question. Let me assure you I have not overvalued Mike Morse. I have felt he has played over his head for the past couple of years. But that said, I have great faith in Mike (Ratso) Rizzo. And if he makes a deal by which he sends Mike away in return for a bullpen arm and a couple of minor league prospects, I'd ring the approval bell.… my feeling is however, that there are a few GMs out there who DO overvalue Morse, and if Rizzo can get one of them alone in a phone booth (or on a Twitter feed I guess these days), the Nats just may came away with an everyday player. Go Nats, on to Viera!

  22. Don - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    Ok, Victorino is getting 3/$39M, Pagan 4/$40M, Napoli 3/$39M, Hunter is 37 yrs old and got 2/$26M, Ortiz also 37 is straight DH, coming off injury and he got 2/$26M (let's forget Upton's big deal due to his age and higher upside, and Bourn and Hamilton's projected huge numbers), so I am guessing that LaRoche is thinking that he's worth something like $35-40M over 3 years coming off a 33/100, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger campaign in which he was the Division-winning club's MVP. If the Nats won't go for the 3rd year, then, based on what is going on in the market and the needs of some clubs who have needs, money and a chance to be playoff bound, I am thinking some other club will pay the man. And all this talk about him being a simple rancher and not needing to break the bank is nice and all, but 50% more money? — he's simple maybe, but he's not stupid.

  23. Gonat - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:25 PM

    Ruben Amaro on MLB Network in a Live interview. He says no way he will trade right now Halladay, Lee or Hamels. That puts the DBacks rumor for Justin Upton right in the trash can.

  24. Candide - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:28 PM

    MicheleS said…Gonat, the DBacks beat reporter poo-poo'd that rumor.MicheleS, not to get all spell-checky on you, but I'm pretty sure it's supposed to be "pooh-pooh.""Poo-poo" is…something else.

  25. MicheleS - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:28 PM

    Don, what I don't get is why some other team hasn't come in to ALR with a 3 year deal? If the Rangers re-sign Hamilton, they are out, but surely someone else will want him? I am not sure who the other suitors are (unless they are teams that ALR doesn't think will compete)

  26. MicheleS - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:32 PM

    Candide, it was deliberate. and poo poo is what I meant

  27. NatsLady - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:36 PM

    Don, that is depressing but you could be right. Adam will wait longer then to see if he gets three years from a team that at least has a CHANCE to compete.

  28. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:41 PM

    MicheleS, look at ALRs history. He has a very good year in AZ and at the age of 31 the best deal he got was the Nats for 2 years. At some point Rizzo has to say put up or shut up so he has time to trade Morse for good quality.

  29. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    Comparing the dollars for the center field market to dollars for the first base market doesn't work. Two entirely different markets.

  30. SCNatsFan - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:55 PM

    With ALR, as with all athletes, remember we are talking silly money here. If ALR likes the team, area and teammates he might sign for a couple of million less and still be able to afford to take his family to Applebees and not split appetizers. Starting over in a new location at this point might be something he has no desire to do but he doesn't want to see himself too short.

  31. MicheleS - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:56 PM

    WOW A phillie fan is trolling Amanda:Amanda Comak‏@acomakNot trying to be a homer but, um, think most prob disagree RT @dutch4885: @acomak Haren stinks.Nats finish 3rd in NLE.karma for arrogant org

  32. MicheleS - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:57 PM

    and Mark has a new post.

  33. Feel Wood - Dec 5, 2012 at 12:07 AM

    LaRoche is gone. Everyone knows it, especially ALR and Rizzo. He wants three years and he will end up getting that from some team, just not the Nats. But the first base/future DH market hasn't started to develop yet, so things are on hold right now. Dominoes need to start falling, and eventually they will. Until then, the possibility of him coming back to the Nats needs to be kept afloat so as to keep the bottom end of his price at three years. That's why Davey et al keep saying they will do anything to get LaRoche back. They're saying that to prop up his future deal with another team.Looked at another way, if signing ALR is really Rizzo's #1 priority and if ALR really wants to be a Nat til he retires, why hasn't a deal been done already? Because neither of those statements is true. ALR wants three years and there's no way Rizzo will give it to him. There is no possible deal there.

  34. peric - Dec 5, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    And according to Kilgore Johnson said he wants another left-handed reliever … as I think I've said? Seems like Mark might be editing out some of what Davey said?

  35. peric - Dec 5, 2012 at 1:15 AM

    AAA will again be interesting this year as it was in 2011. With Rosenbaum, Garcia, and perhaps Ryan Perry there (or not) along with Maya and Roark. As will the AA Harrisburg rotation. Its going to be interesting to see …

  36. SonnyG10 - Dec 5, 2012 at 1:18 AM

    I'm very happy that we didn't have to give up any of our starters or top minor league players for Haren. Way to go Mike Rizzo. Whoever called Rizzo our most valuable player earlier, I think you're spot on. He's the one person we don't want to lose, ever.

  37. mick - Dec 5, 2012 at 3:34 AM

    perfect…. now resign ALR and 1 more stopper and we are ready to rock and roll!!!

  38. mick - Dec 5, 2012 at 3:35 AM

    feel wood,ALR will be back, i really believe he will

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