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Nats sign Haren to 1-year deal

Dec 4, 2012, 4:26 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Dan Haren went 12-13 with a 4.33 ERA last season with the Angels.

Updated at 11:55 a.m.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Nationals have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with right-hander Dan Haren, adding the final piece to what was already one of the majors' deepest and most-talented rotations.

The deal won't be official until Haren, 32, passes a physical, but the two sides have agreed to terms that include a $13 million salary for 2013, according to a club source.

Haren is a three-time All-Star with a career 119-97 record and 3.66 ERA in parts of 10 seasons with the Cardinals, Athletics, Diamondbacks and Angels. He had an off-year this season in Los Angeles, going 12-13 with a 4.33 ERA while dealing with a lingering back injury that scared off some clubs.

After a brief July stint on the disabled list, Haren returned stronger and posted a 3.58 ERA over his final 13 starts. The Nationals were confident enough in the right-hander's health to agree to terms on a contract now, though they still need him to pass the physical beforeRead more »

147 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. We are the Nationals - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    Oh yeah, baby!

  2. baseballjones - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    Uh, boo?

  3. Taino in DC - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    I thought we pass the days of signing players with ? sign .

  4. blovy8 - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    Man, I thought Haren was older than that. This works out well if he stays healthy too, because they're sure to make a qualifying offer.

  5. burns15 - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    Absolutely love this move. I would still like to see us get a sixth quality starter that we could use in a role similar to Lannan last year in case of injury. I know we would have to pull this guy off the scrap heap because no top guy would want to go to AAA. Or maybe we could sign another starter and use him as our long man in the pen, and also have him as insurance for the rotation. Someone like a Brandon McCarthy or a bargain buy type

  6. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    another preposterous suggestion: trade for Shields and move Detwiler to bullpen as the other LH reliever.

  7. Nats fan in NJ - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    I love this deal

  8. MicheleS - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    I am good with it, as long as the back is okay. Would rather not trade anymore of the prospects away for players. We need to re stock the Farm.Now onto the Fun Stuff. Last big chip, Will we sign ALR/Morse traded for LOOGY? or Keep Morse and look for a FA Loogy?

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

    Buster Olney just tweeted it might be his Hip that is the issue.

  10. Water23 - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    Nice move. He can be a 2 on teams when healthy. This frees up money to make a long term commitment to JZimm and Ian. Also, this might make signing ALR easier. As I mentioned on a previous post, I would prefer if the sign ALR and keep Morse. It gives them the depth they need when a major injury or regression occurs and if nothing happens he can be moved at or near the deadline.

  11. staring out the window waiting for spring - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    Blovi8, he's got a lot of innings on him for 32, but the only risk is money. If he holds together for one year, it's gold. If not, then they can still go get somebody else. He's one of five. Wasn't he still with Oakland when Suzuki came up in 2007?

  12. Todd Boss - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    Great deal.

  13. sm13 - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    The best part of this deal is that it is only for one year and cost us no players. Haren is a health risk, but as the 5th starter, could be skipped once in a while to keep him fresh. If Morse is now not needed as a trade chit for a starter, does this mean he stays over ALR?

  14. hiramhover - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    It's pending a physical, so if there's a real medical problem, hopefully they'll catch it. And if he's healthy, he's a great addition.It is a little worrisome that the Angels have the most medical info on him and chose to let him go–even tho they're pretty desperate for SP.On the plus side, this will kill the Zack Greinke talk.

  15. JD - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    Water23, That's not happening. It's either ALR or Morse. Neither one of them will sit on the bench. I think this is a prime opportunity to acquire a couple of solid A level prospects to start restocking the pipeline. McCarthy is not a scrap heap pickup. There are several teams interested in adding him to their rotation. Rizzo will find a couple of pitchers such as he did last year with Zach Duke to fill up the Syracuse rotation.

  16. Sam - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    I love this. A guy who was one of the best pitchers in baseball just two years ago to be our 4th/5th starter? After skipping a start in August, he had a 2.81 ERA in his final 8 starts, backed by a 3.39 FIP. Hopefully that's the Dan Haren we got.

  17. Water23 - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    sm13 not only no players but no picks either!

  18. staring out the window waiting for spring - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    SM13, I don't see how, barring an injury that makes Morse a starter again. There just aren't enough games for him, and he doesn't seem to do nearly as well coming off the bench.

  19. JD - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    Sam, I didn't realize that Haren finished so strong; I like this even better now. I think he is easily superior to EJax.

  20. Don - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    I think that the attention is on trading Morse and then re-signing LaRoche, not the other way around. I know that runs contrary to the sensible logic of using Morse to leverage LaRoche, but a trade won't wait if it comes. And I don't think that Rizzo wants Morse in tow. His nice bat comes at a high injury risk and with a terrible glove (he's a butcher at 1B too), and he's the best trade chip the club has (they can get some good return for him and they can pencil-in a nice lineup without him, even if ALR is gone). A deal will likely be made for Morse, if at all, quickly while LaRoche arguably has incentive to wait out the market (until after Hamilton lands potentially). I dunno. We'll see.

  21. peric - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    Well now they've got Haren, Duke, Stammen, and potentially Danny Rosenbaum as fifth starters. Haren at 33 can't be expected to pitch more than 150 innings. That gives Johnson two righties and two lefties. Probably not what Rizzo originally wanted but the Nats aren't going to trade Espinosa for anything less than sub-30 year old lefty Cy guy David Price. Shields would not be worth it.And I guess Haren is one of his guys.The Nats are going to wait on Karns, Solis, Purke, and Giolitio it seems.

  22. Water23 - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    Hiramhover, Alas, as we have seen in the past, the Nats medical staff does not always seem to catch things.JD, I know but since we have had a lot of injuries lately it would be a nice insurance policy.

  23. CN - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    Though Haren had back issues, he still made 30 starts and topped 175 inn in 2012. He's been durable in his career and I think he's a big upgrade from Ejax, since he's more consistent.I think his back is a small ?, so it's not like the team signed Ben Sheets or CM Wang as high-risk/high-reward. Haren's still steady.Also, the team already has its emergency starter, Duke, who will be the long-man / 6th starter in case of injury, knock on wood.

  24. Laddie Blah Blah - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    Rizzo does it, again.Haren still has to pass the physical, but if he is healthy, another coup for the Nats and their GM. No need to trade Morse for a starter now. If someone else wants Morse, they are going to have to pay Mike's price, whatever that may be. Of all the talented people in Nats world, Rizzo may be the most valuable.

  25. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    I found six pitchers of age 33 and all pitched mor than 180 innings. four pitched more than 200 and one other pitched 198 innings. not sure where you got the idea that he will not exceed 150 innings. as far as I understand, nats are probably hoping haren's starts don't require much work for bullpen.

  26. baseballjones - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    The reason for my boo is this article – http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/dan-harens-health-and-what-we-dont-know/.

  27. pdowdy83 - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    Even if Haren replicates last season that makes him a league average 5th starter. If he produces better, which he is obviously capable of, it is money in the bank. If he has injury problems it is a one year deal and doesn't prevent the team from looking at someone at the trade deadline. The upside is HUGE on this deal and the risk is only money instead of prospects, players or draft picks. This isn't another Wang scenario where he missed a lot of time. He still made 30 starts and pitched 175 innings last season.Rizzo is so stealthy with his moves. Gotta love it.

  28. MicheleS - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    From Bill James:Bill James 2013 Haren projection. 15-9, 218 IPs, 3.47 ERA 186ks & 41 BBs I am good with that.

  29. peric - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    Morse represents 48 home runs over the last two years. LaRoche hasn't done that. Zim hasn't done that. Werth hasn't done that.That's hard to replace. I believe Rizzo when he says he isn't actively trying to trade Morse. There's nothing in Span's contract that says he has to start. Its not like a Werthian deal. There's nothing stopping Johnson from putting Morse back in left-field to get his bat and putting Span on the bench with Harper in center. Nothing. And Johnson is a manager who likes the big hit not the stolen base.

  30. hiramhover - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    WaterYeah, thats part of my concern–the Nats are actually paying him more than it would have cost the Angels to keep him, but they had better/more info and chose to let him walk.StaringMorse over his career does nearly as well coming off the bench as he does as a starter. The problem is that his price tag is way too high for a bench player.

  31. blovy8 - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    Yeah, you don't get this kind of deal on a talented pitcher if he didn't have questions. It's a lot like Jackson last year, getting paid well enough, but really trying to build value for a multi-year deal. It's an interesting difference in style too, since everyone else throws hard on the staff. Wouldn't hurt for him to show the other guys his splitter either.

  32. Laddie Blah Blah - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    "I think his back is a small ?, so it's not like the team signed Ben Sheets or CM Wang as high-risk/high-reward. Haren's still steady."I had back problems severe enough to require surgery many years ago. After rehab, I have had no problems, whatsoever, in the years since. The back is stronger than ever.

  33. MicheleS - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    BTW.. Credit my post on Bill James stuff goes to Pdowdy83 for digging that up. He posted it on Twitter.

  34. staring out the window waiting for spring - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    For the record, Haren is only 32. Born in Sept. 1980.

  35. JD - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    Peric, I Dunno; Haren won't be 33 until September has always pitched way more than 200 innings until 2012. Bill James projection: 15 – 9 3.47 ERA 218 innings. I'll take that. K to BB ratio is about 7 to 2 but he does give up a bunch of home runs.

  36. Alphabet Soup Erik - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    Water23…Agree 100%. Absolutely no reason to trade Morse. He is a proven MLB .300 30 HR and 100 RBI guy and everyone wants to trade him for prospects with no hope of helping this team until around 2017. KEEP MORSE!!! SIGN LAROCHE!!! Plenty of playing time for all!!!

  37. peric - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    not sure where you got the idea that he will not exceed 150 innings.Injuries. I think folks said the same thing about Jason Marquis and he was younger. Last year he only pitched 176 innings. Have to assume he is declining and will continue to trend toward fewer innings.

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

    I like it.

  39. JamesFan - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    What was his back issue? Oswalt had back problems.

  40. Todd Boss - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    peric: why don't you check out Haren's b-r.com page. Here's the link: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/harenda01.shtmlAnd, while you're at it, look at his injury history. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=31384He's missed a grand total of 28 games in his entire career, dating to 2003. Yes he had some injuries in 2012. But he threw 238 innings in 2011! If the medical staff clears him, there's no reason not to think he'll revert to the 33 start/25 inning guy he has been for the better part of the decade.

  41. CN - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    Haren's handy w/ the bat too:Lifetime (from Baseball Ref):.223 BA over 264 ABs2 HRs & 21 dbls w/ 27 RBI22 sac bunts

  42. JD - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    Peric, You don't give up Alex Meyer for a player to sit on the bench. Span will start; take it to the bank. Your point on Morse's power is well taken but you can't underscore how poor he is on defense at any position; his overall WAR was 0.7. The power difference can be made up by: Harper,Espinosa and even Werth.

  43. staring out the window waiting for spring - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    Hiram–if you say so. I stand corrected.I don't think one has to assume Haren will get hurt, any more than anyone else. He had the one back issue, which seems to be fixed, and rumors of a hip issue, which will nix the deal if true, maybe. Even last year he made 30 starts, 176 IP.

  44. peric - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    Water23…Agree 100%. Absolutely no reason to trade Morse. He is a proven MLB .300 30 HR and 100 RBI guy and everyone wants to trade him for prospects with no hope of helping this team until around 2017.This is the last year on his contract. Although Morse has more flexibility as far as placement on the field than LaRoche so he isn't as much of an issue when it comes to blocking top prospect Anthony Rendon … the 1 year deal makes Rizzo more inclined to trade him so that he can get something back for Morse. Morse could be a valuable commodity trade-wise. If you let him play out the entire year and he becomes a free agent they may get nothing for him. Of course if he has a good year, they can make him a qualifying offer and get a draft pick. So, there's more to it.

  45. pdowdy83 - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    Peric, why on Earth would age 33 mean he can't be counted on to pitch more than 150 innings? Look at Ryan Dempster, Tim Hudson, Barry Zito, Hiroki Kuroda and others and try to justify that logic please. I'm not sure I would count on Haren for his usual 210+ innings but the Nats aren't paying him with this contract to be 2011 Haren. They are paying him to give a veteran perspective to a young staff and take care of some, hopefully above average, innings at the BACK of the rotation. Dempster is seeking a 3 year deal, Kuroda got more money on a 1 year deal and Jeremy Guthrie of all people got 3 years this offseason. I'd have to say even if he only pitches up to last years numbers this is a pretty good pick up.

  46. JD - Dec 4, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    Todd Boss, Peric's point that players generally miss more games as they age is reasonable.

  47. peric - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    You don't give up Alex Meyer for a player to sit on the bench. Span will start; take it to the bank.That's not Johnson's game. If Span doesn't produce he'll sit and Morse will play.As for the UZR who really cares. The Nats have plenty of defense and can afford to go for offense in at least one spot. Plus, there's Tyler Moore and in left field he is worse than Morse. I wouldn't bet the farm on Span starting in Davey Johnson's lineup for the entire season. Maybe in Randy Knorr's but not Johnson.

  48. pdowdy83 - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    JD, The point Peric made could be reasonable but he put a number based on the fact that he is turning 33. Dickey, Cliff Lee, Tim Hudson, Kuroda, Zito and Dempster (The first guys I could think of in that age group) all pitched at least 175 innings last season. I don't understand where the 150 innings thing came from. Yes it is reasonable to think Haren may not get to his usual 210-220 innings pitch because he is aging but to say he will only pitch 150 innings is a bit of an overstep. Especially when he pitched a good deal more than that last season.

  49. Laddie Blah Blah - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    "The reason for my boo is this article – http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/dan-harens-health-and-what-we-dont-know/."Every word of it is pure speculation.

  50. peric - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    Peric's point that players generally miss more games as they age is reasonable.Which is why Rizzo's tendency is to stay far away from pitchers Haren's age. He and ownership got burned by Marquis and Marquis wasn't that age. Haren is one of his guys from Arizona. If he pitches 150-170 as a fifth starter it isn't a problem. They appear to have the depth to cover if Rosenbaum comes back from his injury and steps up. Next year they will have to start thinking Karns, Purke, Solis, and Giolito will be moving up through the system as well.

  51. blovy8 - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    Sabathia is about the only guy I can find who's thrown more innings in the last eight years. If they really want to, I'm sure they can find some damage, it would be unnatural if there weren't some. I suspect this will be a THOROUGH physical, but you can't really argue with his results when he's healthy. It's exactly the type of gamble you can make when you already have four good starters.

  52. staring out the window waiting for spring - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    The only reasons Morse might stay are 1) the odds on any of four guys–three outfielders and a first baseman–getting hurt are not that long, and 2) even with a relatively high salary for a tenth guy, it's only for one year, and they can afford it for one year. Any one of the four starters misses significant time, like Werth did last season, and then Morse slides right in. If not, he'll be happy enough on the bench if they are winning, but he won't get the starter time he rightly thinks he deserves, unless someone gets hurt. There are just not enough innings for everyone.

  53. staring out the window waiting for spring - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    prospects with no hope of helping this team until around 2017.They will still have a team in 2017, and need players. Got to think ahead.

  54. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    Peric, Haren is a righthander? Amazing huh?

  55. peric - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    The only reasons Morse might stay are :POTENTIAL devastating 30+ home run power when healthy, really the only true power hitter they have other than Harper.

  56. natsfan1a - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    Like [thumbs up] (pending physical etc. etc.)

  57. JD - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    150 inning pure speculation. Rosenbaum has shown nothing to suggest that he can start in the big leagues. Solis was a minimum of a year away before he got hurt so now it's at least 2; purke – who knows? Giolito – minimum 3 – 4 years once he gets back. Nate Karns has never pitched above A ball and is 25 years old; I don't get how that extrapolates to the majors in 1 year. In other words there is nothing imminent in the minors. If Haren misses significant time it will have to be covered by Duke or someone else Rizzo will obtain.

  58. peric - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    Peric, Haren is a righthander? Amazing huh?Actually, yes. But its a choice between the guys Rizzo has internally and going outside. We both know where Johnson's feelings lie and you might as well call him a member of the FO like Showalter in B-More.So, Rosenbaum, Purke, and Solis are left-handed starters.Karns (and like Meyer some still feel he may end up as a reliever) and Giolito are what they've got on the right side.Looks to me like the Nats will feature a rotation that favors the left-side in the very near future.

  59. JD - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    Peric, You don't think Davie was in on the Span conversations before the deal went down? I don't think you are that naive. Ideally we Sign ALR, trade Morse for someone like Alex Meyer making the trade something like Morse for Span.

  60. peric - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    Nate Karns has never pitched above A ball and is 25 years old; I don't get how that extrapolates to the majors in 1 year.Lost more than a year due to a shoulder injury similar to Purke's. That is why he is an "older" prospect Beantown. Simple research would have told you that.How many levels has Karns had to repeat? How long has he stayed at a level? He won pitcher of the year among other accolades. My guess is he lands in AA to start and is in AAA around June or so.That means he's just about ready.Rosenbaum has graduated from every level and has also won pitcher of the year. This year he graduates to AAA and becomes starting rotation depth for the major league club. Purke starts in A+ but the FO thinks he lands in AA if he is recovered enough.Solis was already done with Potomac. He moves to AA.AA->AAA Giolito is not 3-4 years away more like 2 or so if he is a Stras-level talent.NEXT?

  61. Adamnational - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    Better than Edwin I guess.

  62. peric - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    You don't think Davie was in on the Span conversations before the deal went down? I don't think you are that naive.And Davey is also the one who said he really liked the #1,#2 of Werth and Harper and wanted to see it over the entire season. Rizzo still has Riggle-itis in his FO. Perhaps SF winning the series playing something similar to Giggleman smart ball small brain helped that faction win over Rizzo. Its hard to tell.

  63. Alphabet Soup Erik - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    Morse is a FA after this year, so what team is going to give us much of anything for him? His value to the Nats in 2013 is much higher than anything he is going to bring back in a trade…just my opinion. Love the Haren signing and think it is a pretty big upgrade over Jackson. Averages less than 2 BB's per 9 innings and in 2011 had just 1.2 BB's per 9. You have to hit him to beat him. He generally doesn't beat himself. Jordan Zimmermann clone…or vice versa since Haren has been doing it for years. Toast to good health!!!

  64. staring out the window waiting for spring - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    Boldic–a serious middle of the lineup power hitter, yes; Davey's bighairychestedguy, when he's not getting on Davey's last nerve (I think Davey thinks Morse is a bit of a chucklehead, but that may be just me), when healthy. Which is the main reason (a really good one, to be sure) he's so tradeable, if not now, then in-season. He's exactly the guy you don't keep, because he's worth more to other teams than to the Nats. And if they sign LaRoche, and if Zimm isn't still hurt, and if Desmond can keep up his stroke from last season, and assuming Harper lights it up like everyone expects next season, they'll get their home runs.

  65. MicheleS - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    Ghost,Who is Haren's Agent?

  66. staring out the window waiting for spring - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    Morse is a FA after this year, so what team is going to give us much of anything for him?A team that sees itself as one good bat short of winning.

  67. MicheleS - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    Actually, from some of the interviews davey has given recently, He sounded like he was in on the Span deal and was really excited about it. Talked about the base running aspect (going from 1 to 3). Plus Span's D and the fact that it gives him the flexibility with Bryce and Werth

  68. hiramhover - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:24 PM

    PericIt's not a question of Stras-like talent. Giolito is a high schooler who just had TJ surgery. He'll get little if any time in the minors next year, and so 2014 will be his first full season in the minors. No way he's up before 2015 at the earliest, and that would still put him on a Doc Gooden-like pace.

  69. phil dunton - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    Okay, the starting pitching is now complete and there is no reason to trade The Beast. Just move him to first base and let Laroche walk. That saves money and the lineup is solid.

  70. peric - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    He's exactly the guy you don't keep, because he's worth more to other teams than to the Nats. And if they sign LaRoche, and if Zimm isn't still hurt, and if Desmond can keep up his stroke from last season, and assuming Harper lights it up like everyone expects next season, they'll get their home runs.And if they start slap hitter Span? Drastic reduction in power something Davey likes in his "chucklehead". So far its worked for Davey both here and on the other teams he has managed. So?The ONLY reason Morse becomes expendable is if LaRoche signs, the Nats decide his replacement will be Ryan Zimmerman in order to make room for Anthony Rendon and there is still the much young but far less flexible relative to the positions he can play Tyler Moore. Certainly Moore has Morse's potential power-wise.They do need an influx of new prospects at the lower levels of the minors and that is what a Morse could bring in trade. If not? Then you keep him make the qualifying offer if he has a good year and get the draft pick.

  71. Water23 - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:26 PM

    Laddie Blah Blah, I had back problems severe enough to require surgery many years ago. After rehab, I have had no problems, whatsoever, in the years since. The back is stronger than ever.December 04, 2012 11:51 AM —Good to here. BTW, are you a lefty and what is you repitoire? Maybe a Knuckle-Curver and a Splitter? Peric,Agreed on Morse but there are at least two scenarios where keeping him works out. 1) they keep him all year and he replaces various players as they are injured and the Nats win the world series. 2) Replaces players during the season and is moved at the deadline for a couple of prospects.

  72. MicheleS - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    Wow, all the beats and National reporters are hot and heavy on the Beast for pen/prospects deals.

  73. peric - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    No way he's up before 2015 at the earliest, and that would still put him on a Doc Gooden-like pace.Yes, the high school part would make a difference. 2015 makes sense.

  74. staring out the window waiting for spring - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    Phil, I'm sure Rizzo has pointed that option out to LaRoche's agent. Not a bad fall-back, to be sure, but I (and they) still want Adam & Son back, because they're better with him than without him. For two years.

  75. JD - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    Peric, Karns – maybe; but it's a huge leap from A+ to AA and I know about his injury but this still doesn't change his age; he may make it but it's no sure thing. Rosenbaum – is 25; was so – so in AA last year; bottom of the rotation at best if everything goes right. Solis – was considered a bottom of the rotation guy before his injury; this year coming off TJ has to reestablish his position and on a pitch count; not a sure thing. Purke – hasn't been healthy in years. Giolito – comparison to SS is ridiculous. SS was the best college arm in the country by a mile and on a fast track. Giolito is 18 years old coming of TJ. Keith Law estimates 5 years; I'm optimistic and say 4. A.J Cole; another high school can't miss has just completed his 3rd pro season at A+ ball with a 0 – 7 record and a 7.82 ERA.

  76. peric - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    Wow, all the beats and National reporters are hot and heavy on the Beast for pen/prospects deals.There's no guarantee Rizzo gets what he wants. None. He won't pull the trigger unless he does.

  77. MicheleS - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    And Boz:Thomas Boswell‏@ThomasBoswellWPIf Haren's healthy in '13 (190 IP), Nats are N.L. favs no matter who gets Greinke. If not, it's $13M/yr risk, not $50-to-150M risk. A+ move.

  78. staring out the window waiting for spring - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    Of course, the other reason Rizzo might not bother to trade Morse, aside from just not getting a good offer, is that it is such a topic of buzz. Rizzo hates buzz. Stan Kasten would have kept Morse just to spite the reporters. Rizzo isn't that bad, but he does like being the Mystery Team.

  79. peric - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    A.J Cole; another high school can't miss has just completed his 3rd pro season at A+ ball with a 0 – 7 record and a 7.82 ERA.Beantown, you forgot Robbie Ray? And there's Smoker and McGreary if we want to go back further.Giolito by consensus is considered to live at a more elite level. He can throw 100 mph and he isn't 6'9" like Meyer. He is said to have better control. If not for his injury problems its likely he would have gone first overall.

  80. MicheleS - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    Waiting for spring. Agree, Rizzo is into the Stealth as we saw yet again this morning. It is going to come down to Adam and how that is resolved

  81. We are the Nationals - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    Which means Rizzo is conjuring up something completely different. The media hasn't snuff anything close to what Rizzo is up to.

  82. staring out the window waiting for spring - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  83. MicheleS - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    Funny how we all thought that Adam had to be the first thing to be resolved, and now he might be the last thing to get done.

  84. Dave - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    I like this. Haren >= EJax.

  85. peric - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    If Haren's healthy in '13 (190 IP), Nats are N.L. favs no matter who gets Greinke. If not, it's $13M/yr risk, not $50-to-150M risk. A+ move.Given that Nats have at least 3 power pitchers and one control artist who should be ready or at least reasonably close to the majors by next year? I agree. In spite of what Beantown says.

  86. peric - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    That's what I said.Uh no. You were staring out the window. You were daydreaming and left an awful lot of potentially important factors out.

  87. staring out the window waiting for spring - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    Plus, the Nats have Drake LaRoche, who should be ready to start by 2017 at the latest.

  88. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    MicheleS, Haren is a CAA guy. Same place as RZim, Lannan and Drew.

  89. sometimesitrains - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    peric – is there a reason you're not including Christian Garcia amongst the starting pitcher prospects?

  90. staring out the window waiting for spring - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    You just don't read carefully.

  91. sm13 - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    Agreed. However, the notion of Morse off the bench must really intrigue Davey.

  92. peric - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    peric – is there a reason you're not including Christian Garcia amongst the starting pitcher prospects?He's still a reliever. After dual tommy johns the Nats decided not to risk letting him start again. He will have to start over. But if he demonstrates shutdown stuff in AAA Syracuse as a starter? Sure. There's also Ryan Perry.

  93. peric - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    The only reasons Morse might stay are 1) the odds on any of four guys–three outfielders and a first baseman–getting hurt are not that long, and 2) even with a relatively high salary for a tenth guy, it's only for one year, and they can afford it for one year. Any one of the four starters misses significant time, like Werth did last season, and then Morse slides right in. If not, he'll be happy enough on the bench if they are winning, but he won't get the starter time he rightly thinks he deserves, unless someone gets hurt. There are just not enough innings for everyone.Show me where you speak about Anthony Rendon? The potential to get a draft pick if Morse plays enough next season to garner stats like 2011? Go back to staring out the window dude.

  94. MicheleS - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    Thanks Ghost, now it makes sense why didn't hear a thing on this.

  95. Doc - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    RE: Mikey Morse: Don @11:45 "His nice bat comes at a high injury risk and a terrible glove (he's a butcher at 1B too)."Injuries, maybe; 'terrible glove' and a butcher at 1B—that's really goofy Don. Not much range in LF, but he doesn't make many, if any errors. At 1B he did well, and will do well. He's above average with the glove, and with experience (he hasn't played a full season at the bag) he will get better. Morse came up as a SS and can handle the glove very well!

  96. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    Say goodbye to Greinke. This is low risk, high impact, just wish it had a $20 million option with it.Rizzo still isn't done. I hear Rizzo and Towers were talking too. Mike Rizzo being Mike Rizzo.

  97. JB - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    Another good side effect of this deal is that we can continue to negotiate with Tampa for Price or Shields, but on our terms. If Haren is a strong #5 (a low bar to clear) we're set. But Tampa's leverage with Price and Shields diminishes every day they get closer to FA, and so they'll be just as eager to move them in July as now.

  98. NatsLady - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    Rizzo's days of being out-of-the-spotlight-under-the-radar-mystery-team are over. He might actually have to buy a suit.Luckily, he's smarter than the average bear. Listening to interviews with some of the GMs—whew!

  99. peric - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    Morse came up as a SS and can handle the glove very well!Morse is a lot bigger and heavier now, and the injuries have taken their toll on his range and glove work. But he definitely is an upgrade over Tyler Moore in the outfield. And the experience he has had does help him to manage multiple positions and he played many positions in AAA. He is not as bad as Natslady believes nor this other dude Don that's for damned sure.

  100. peric - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    But Tampa's leverage with Price and Shields diminishes every day they get closer to FA, and so they'll be just as eager to move them in July as now.Or they might surprise everyone and attempt to extend them as they did with Longoria? Tampa Bay has become a tad unpredictable at this point.

  101. peric - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    Agreed. However, the notion of Morse off the bench must really intrigue Davey.And the way he manages his bench. But he also likes fixed starters. I'm just not sure Span is his ideal CF given Harper and what he told Corey Brown after spring training.

  102. Eugene in Oregon - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    I've got to assume this means that the Nats have concluded that Adam LaRoche will sign elsewhere.If you think you're really going to keep Mr. LaRoche, then the logical move is to trade Michael Morse (your most valuable expendable starter) for a starting pitcher. Doesn't signing Dan Haren to a one-year deal suggest the Nats have concluded they need to keep Mr. Morse? And they're not keeping him to play any position except full-time 1B.I guess you could spin out an argument in which the Nats still re-sign Mr. LaRoche and then trade Mr. Morse for either an established reliever (hard to imagine) or yet another starter (a little easier to imagine) or a pitching prospect (easier to imagine), but I see the logic train — as it now stands, but always subject to change — pointing to Mr. LaRoche moving on.

  103. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    JB at 12:46, that's what the rumor is. Rizzo is not done with trades and the only big FA signing this year is AdamLaRoche.No Greinke, no Anibal, no Lohse.

  104. peric - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    If you think you're really going to keep Mr. LaRoche, then the logical move is to trade Michael Morse (your most valuable expendable starter) for a starting pitcher.I don't think you can get a starting pitcher better than Haren even if he is 33 with Morse. Now, Espinosa? That's an entirely different story. But Espy at shortstop would make him a cornerstone for a team like Tampa Bay. Espinosa next to Longoria? That would permanently fix the left-side of their infield. They could move Zobrist back to 2nd, find a decent first baseman and then use the farm to build the outfield.But, Rizzo is going to want a top of the rotation starter under 30 from Tampa Bay and Jimmy Shields is 31. Its Matt Moore or David Price.

  105. SCNatsFan - Dec 4, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    Peric, Rizzo did not get Span to sit… period. Sure you can say if he chunks it up he'll be benched but in no way will he be on a short leash; he is our CF for the forseeable future. I like Brown but it appears the best he can hope for is the Bernadina role on this team. Morse, I just don't see us keeping him (assuming ALR returns) just in case of an injury, but you look what Rizzo did to Lannan and you realize Rizzo will do whatever it takes to make the team best and player feelings get hurt then so be it.

  106. NatsLady - Dec 4, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    I don't think Morse would have gotten you a top-of-the-line SP. He is a one-year "rental" with injury history and let's just say, questionable fielding skills. You would have had to package him with other everyday players, and I think Rizzo is reluctant to do that. Hence Haren and a thorough physical. Morse's market, whatever it may be, isn't going anywhere. Lots of teams need offense.

  107. MicheleS - Dec 4, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    TB won't be giving up Moore or Price this year. They are both still cheap (or Cheapish with Price). With their pitching the Rays always hae a shot in the AL east. They just always get by picking up bats off the scrap heap.

  108. SCNatsFan - Dec 4, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    Eugene, I don't think it rules out ALR; I just don't think Rizzo was confident with an in organization replacement and after seeing the prices for other starters or what similar FAs wanted he decided to move and not be left standing without a chair when the music stops.

  109. Water23 - Dec 4, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    So, where are the real holes in the lineup?C- Suzuki is signed through this year and Ramos if healthy is the future1B – We have all agreed that either Morse or LaRoche will play 1B and play well enough this year and most likely next year to not need an upgrade.2B – Danny holds the spot now and if he can cut down on his Ks he should have it for years. Lombo is a nice backup.SS – Ian Desmond with Danny and Lombo as backup. enough said3B – FOF – with Rendon in the wings.OF – Harper, Span, Werth, Bernie, and Morse if he staysSP – Stras, Gio, JZimm, Ross and Haren (this year)RP – Store (closer), Clipp (setup) and the boyz.I just do not know where there is a projected hole this year or in the next few years. If, Rizzo extends Ian and JZim with all the money saved this year on not getting Grienke and possibly passing on ALR. Then the next real issue is when SS and Harper need to be extended.So what is left? Backup 2B? Stylish RP? I know PICK UP Rizzo's two options years and look to extend him!!!!

  110. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 4, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    MicheleS, you are welcome. There were a few here speculating it would be Haren and I wasn't one of them. I really thought it was Lohse.

  111. baseballjones - Dec 4, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    Laddie Blah Blah said… "The reason for my boo is this article – http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/dan-harens-health-and-what-we-dont-know/."Every word of it is pure speculation. December 04, 2012 12:04 PM This is rich.

  112. whatsanattau - Dec 4, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    Is it safe to assume that had Ejax been willing to sign another one year deal he would still be here? I liked him very much and got the impression he was a good teammate. I think Haren's potential is higher but Ejax was already on the team. Soliciting opinions. Who wanted the separation? Ejax or management?

  113. Water23 - Dec 4, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    Or maybe, look to more Int'l signing. Adding depth for two to three years down the road is a good idea.

  114. MicheleS - Dec 4, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    And what you want to hear from Ross.Byron Kerr‏@masnKerr#Nats Detwiler OK w/ No. 5 to Dan Haren No.4: "I don’t know if he is going to be five. It looks like I will be five again and that is fine

  115. Eugene in Oregon - Dec 4, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    Water23 @ 1:03: In Greek tragedy, this is when Cassandra (or the chorus) shows up to remind us all just how fickle and unpredictable the world can be.

  116. Section 222 - Dec 4, 2012 at 6:23 PM

    The guy who should be breathing easier after this trade is Danny Espinosa. No need to package him with Morse and others for a starting pitcher. Hard to imagine Morse being traded before the ALR issue is resolved. Rizzo says he's fine with TyMo as his starting first baseman, but I doubt that's really the case.

  117. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 4, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    Eugene, nice Agamemnon reference. Nailed it.

  118. blog - Dec 4, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    With the exception of Detwiler, this is a rotation that can handle the bat. Haren had a .667 OPS as a batter in his last NL stint (3 yrs, 229 plate appearances with Arizona). When he was a DBack, I always coveted this guy. Very good pitcher defensively, too. Time will tell whether he can fully recover from last year's issues, but it's a low-risk move with tons of upside.

  119. hiramhover - Dec 4, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    MicheleSThanks for the link, but I didn't read Neyer as wildly loving the Nats (the tongue in cheek bits aside). He says it's not a bargain price but a reasonable one, given the risks the Nats are assuming. "The only clear winner is Haren himself."

  120. baseballswami - Dec 4, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    So — what do we expect realistically from Haren? I am thinking 200 innings and 10 wins? Do we think he moves to 4? Stras – Gio – Zim – Det – Haren – a perfect R/L/R/L/R? which would put him fifth? Now we move on to the ALR/Morse decision and then the bullpen. Clip, Storen, Mattheus and Stammen – anyone else left? OH – Duke? Looking good, folks. I am so happy that these things are getting done quickly. So much for free agent pitchers not wanting to come to the Nats…….

  121. UnkyD - Dec 4, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    Eugene in Oregon said…I've got to assume this means that the Nats have concluded that Adam LaRoche will sign elsewhere…………..Mmmmmm…I don't think so. To me, if Adam is back the best thing to do with Morse, is a deal for a young prospect(s). At that point, the big club is strong and deep. Lets build up our in-house inventory of just-in-case guys… They can be flipped, if nessecary, in a couple of years. Rizzo looks like a genius right now, in part, because he's not dealing from a position of weakness… Lets keep it that way!

  122. Eugene in Oregon - Dec 4, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    Whatsanattau @ 1:14: I don't think so. The Nats didn't want Mr. Jackson at $13.4 (or whatever the number after decimal point was) for a single year, otherwise they would have made him a qualifying offer. They clearly were concerned he might just accept that amount. Otherwise why not make the offer and get the draft choice when he signed elsewhere? For whatever reason — and I can think of several — management thought the money could be better spent elsewhere.

  123. Tcostant - Dec 4, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    whatsanattau said… Is it safe to assume that had Ejax been willing to sign another one year deal he would still be here? I liked him very much and got the impression he was a good teammate. I think Haren's potential is higher but Ejax was already on the team. Soliciting opinions. Who wanted the separation? Ejax or management?Me – I don't agree with this. The Nationals chose not to offer EJax $13.3 that would have resulted in a draft pick, if he signed elsewhere. Their is only one reason not to offer, they feared he just might take it. They didn't want him for even 1 year as they actions say it all.As for Haren, it's a great move. Hight risk / high reward; he could be a 16 game winner on this team and throw 200 innings. Great move.

  124. MicheleS - Dec 4, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    HH.. I saw it as "If he Is healthy" we have a stud rotation. From the reaction the Nats are getting on line for this, it's "If he is healthy" one of the Top Tier rotations in MLB.

  125. flynnie - Dec 4, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    Why would Mike Napoli, a sub-par fielder, be worth $39 M for 3 years and Adam LaRoche not be worth more? Why is it such a bad idea to offer ALR 3 yrs 45 M? I don't get it. He is such a pleasure to watch.

  126. NatsLady - Dec 4, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    Flynnie, the problem is not LaRoche–who is indeed a pleasure to watch–but what is coming in the next three years: Rendon, Tyler Moore, and a possible move of the Face to first base. Rizzo feels he doesn't want to lose the flexibility and turn into an aging, high-priced team like the Fillies or Yankees. You have to figure they will work it out–or, they won't… :)

  127. Water23 - Dec 4, 2012 at 6:42 PM

    flynnie,Long term roster flexibility.

  128. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 4, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    as far as I am concerned, Nats need to worry more about how to win next season than long term roster flexibility. that does not mean you sign ALR for $45 million either. something reasonable which I am sure ALR will agree to. if not, we have morse and moore.

  129. NatsLady - Dec 4, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    FS, I'm with you. Get Adam for 2013 and 2014, give him a nice buyout for 2015 if he insists. (I'm repeating myself, I know.) Let's win.

  130. NatsLady - Dec 4, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    Seriously, Rendon is in the future, and so is Zim moving to first base. A lot can happen between now and then, injuries, trades, a minor-leaguer we haven't paid attention to "figuring it out." LaRoche is a bird-in-hand, you know what he does, his offense (streaky but steady in the end) and his defense that improves the entire infield, and his clubhouse presence.

  131. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 4, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    Rizzo gave himself maximum flexibility by going this route. A little riskier than the status quo which would have been keeping Lannan but much greater upside as Haren can pitch like a #2 plus he brings a true veteran presence.The best part is the payroll isn't compromised and there is the abililty to further upgrade at 7/31 for the playoff push.Now Rizzo can complete his bullpen and of course make a trade if he in fact re-signs LaRoche.

  132. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Dec 4, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    Post of the day candidate:Ghost Of Steve M. said… Peric, Haren is a righthander? Amazing huh?

  133. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 4, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    I wanted to add that I like how Rizzo didn't wait for dominos to fall this year. Get your guys and if you find that you still want to make the David Price trade, you don't have to do it out of neccesity to add a 5th starter as now you have 5 starters and you make the deals that still make sense.Rizzo wasn't done last year until he signed EJax. I don't think he believes he is done until he is told "no". If you don't ask, you don't get and the worst they can say is "no".

  134. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Dec 4, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    BTW, I am way beyond totally cool with Haren as our nominal No. 5 starter. IN fact, if his back holds, he's more like a 2 or a 3 on most clubs.Gosh, it's great to have a real GM.In Rizzo we trust…

  135. MicheleS - Dec 4, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    Gonat called it.DKnobler‏@DKnobler Orioles seem a little frustrated. Want to add, but appears they don't have money to play big on FA market.

  136. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 4, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said… Post of the day candidate:Ghost Of Steve M. said…Peric, Haren is a righthander? Amazing huh?December 04, 2012 2:00 PM Thanks. It was daily crazy talk that the Nats must have 3 lefties based on some issue that Davey supposedly had with the Dodgers. Really? With 2 lefties in the mix in Gio & Det, the main thing was upgrading above what you had in the guy you were replacing. It looks like Riz is happy with that.

  137. flynnie - Dec 4, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    NatsdLady – you were the one who alerted us to the beauty of LaRoche's fielding (for which I'm grateful Your posts are knowledgeable.) His carrying the franchise with his bat the first 1/3rd of the season was an agreeable surprise. Surely, you would offer him 3 years @ $45M. Wouldn't he "look stupid" (to quote him) if he signed for less than Napoli?

  138. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 4, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    flynnie, LaRoche is 2 years older than Napoli and that's the difference. I am with NatsLady, 2 years with a 3rd year vesting option with a buyouts and incentives. Its highly probable that at age 35 to 36 he will be on a decline and possibly a bench guy in the Chad Tracy role and Riz doesn't want to pay $13 mill for that.

  139. NatsLady - Dec 4, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    LaRoche's problem is timing. The Nats just don't have a long-term need at 1B. If he feels he would "look stupid" signing for less than 3/45, then he might sign for a team like the M's. But he also said he didn't want to play for a loser, he had enough of that in Pittsburgh, and it, in his own words, "wasn't fun." In theory, the Rangers could be a match, but they have similar problems to the Nats in that 1B has other takers or potential takers. The bottom line is LaRoche only got a two-year offer when he was 31 (two years ago). His best option is probably the Nats, and I feel that he and Rizzo will come to terms. Rizzo said in an interview yesterday that he is not going to rush and "put pressure" on Adam to sign right away. Rangers First Basehttp://sportsblogs.star-telegram.com/foul_territory/2012/12/what-will-the-rangers-do-at-first-base.html

  140. NatsLady - Dec 4, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    Napoli can also catch (whether he does or not, in actuality) whereas there is no flexibilty with LaRoche, not even left field. He is too slow. He's a very slick first baseman, but a lot of that comes from where he positions himself and how he reads the ball off the bat.

  141. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 4, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    MicheleS said… Gonat called it.DKnobler‏@DKnoblerOrioles seem a little frustrated. Want to add, but appears they don't have money to play big on FA market.December 04, 2012 2:04 PM Funny. Glad a national reporter outed them. They have always been a smoke & mirrors team and while Duquette is a standup guy, he has a boss who tells him what his parameters are and there is someone behind the dark curtain who tells reporters, as anonymous sources, that they are "in" on Greinke, Hamiltion, LaRoche, etc. Note that they are the only team in the entire Majors that has that reputation. You aren't going to get Greinke at 6 years and $10 mill per year [insert sarcasm] so that isn't "in". The lower IQ of that fanbase (I used to be one of them) used to buy that bull until I saw the pattern. The internet and the sharing of information through blogs has further exposed Angelos scheming.

  142. MicheleS - Dec 4, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    new post.. Mark's been busy.

  143. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 4, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    Has anybody ever heard Mike Rizzo or Davey Johnson even mention Corey Brown as the starting center fielder? Ever? Even when the Nats didn't have one?Maybe the Nats should have approached the Astros to see if they could get back their former Syracuse starter, Justin Maxwell. And someone continues to insinuate there is some disconnect in how Rizzo and Davey work in putting this team together. There isn't. When it comes to bench, bullpen, starting rotation or whatever, they are in lockstep.

  144. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 4, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    DKnoblerVerified ‏@DKnobler 6m Angels made what they thought was a good bid to keep Haren, but Nationals blew them out of the water.

  145. Theophilus T. S. - Dec 4, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    (A) Agree Span was signed to play everyday; (B) agree, also, that Span for Morse creates a power deficit, unless Harper cranks 40 (which is possible, and in any event they had a power outage in LF for 60 games last year and still won); (C) Span is being paid Bernadina money so it's no skin off Johnson's butt if he stinks and has to be benched. (And I think Johnson would do it if he started putting up Nyjer nos.) I still don't think that makes it worthwhile to keep Morse. The Nats have several players that are better than the jobs they are filling and they really need to trade them before they lose value and the team misses the opportunity to restock the farm.I also think Span is as good as advertised.

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