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Nats still have money to spend

Dec 4, 2012, 7:14 PM EDT

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The Nationals still have money to re-sign Adam LaRoche if they want.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Dan Haren's $13 million salary — assuming he passes his physical with the Nationals and officially signs — will be the third-largest in team history. Only Jayson Werth ($16.5 million) and Ryan Zimmerman ($14 million) have made more money in a single season than Haren will make in 2013.

And the Haren signing will push the Nationals' payroll to heights it previously has not reached, topping nine figures for the first time.

But that doesn't mean Mike Rizzo doesn't still have money to spend on further bolstering his roster for next season.

Indeed, the Nationals still have the financial wherewithal to add or retain more key pieces, whether in the form of first baseman Adam LaRoche, a veteran reliever or even an emergency starter who could either pitch out of the bullpen or start at Class AAA and be ready toRead more »

  1. ExposedinDC - Dec 4, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    Dear Mr. RizzoPlease don't forget about me….long term.Sincerely, JZimm

  2. NatsLady - Dec 4, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    Mark, I heard Davey was going to speak at one of the sessions. Will you be able to get video of that, or at least a transcript?

  3. MikeinDC - Dec 4, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    I'm all for ALR coming back. But seeing that big 6 next to Morse, it's hard to see them both coming back.Not to mention some of these salaries are out of line with production and that will be an problem in the next two years. Or do we expect Danny to be happy when Maya makes 3x as much? Don't think they don't know or care.

  4. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 4, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    From Twitter: DKnobler @DKnobler 6m Angels made what they thought was a good bid to keep Haren, but Nationals blew them out of the water. Good stuff!

  5. Don - Dec 4, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    How do we know the Lerners are "certainly willing" to do anything much less have a $106M payroll??

  6. MicheleS - Dec 4, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    Don.. umm not to sound morbid, but have you seen Ted Lerner's age? That's why.

  7. MicheleS - Dec 4, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    Snicker:Jerry Crasnick‏@jcrasnick Davey Johnson: "Adam LaRoche is gonna come back. If I have to go to Kansas and take him and all his cattle to Florida, I will.''

  8. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 4, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    Obviously the Phillies are #1 in the NL East in salary. I wonder if the Nats will spend more or less than the Braves by Opening Day. Not that I care, but the $100 million plateau is significant.I read a blogger say today the Nats were only in front of the Marlins in spending in the NL East. My feeling has always been that if you can win the World Series with a $70 mill payroll, congrats to you!

  9. Grandstander - Dec 4, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    Members of the Lerner family have expected all along to continue increasing payroll as the team improves and television rights fees increase.Speaking of which, whatever happened to that? I saw recently Fox Sports was trying to buy out MASN. Any word on that?

  10. Tcostant - Dec 4, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    Maya agent must have the hottest wife/girlfriend of all time. This guy know how to push the positives…

  11. Feel Wood - Dec 4, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    RP Tyler Clippard $3,500,000*All you Clipboard lovers, enjoy him now and get ready for him to go the way of Burnett or Lannan next year.

  12. Tcostant - Dec 4, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    I didn't know that (Foz/MASN Report); I was able to find this:http://dc.sbnation.com/2012/12/3/3722330/fox-sports-wanted-piece-of-masn-according-to-report

  13. Feel Wood - Dec 4, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    Jerry Crasnick‏@jcrasnickDavey Johnson: "Adam LaRoche is gonna come back. If I have to go to Kansas and take him and all his cattle to Florida, I will.''That won't work, unless Davey personally fronts the third year on LaRoche's contract too. You can drive a herd of cattle to Florida, but you can't make them sign a two year deal.

  14. baseballswami - Dec 4, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    I hate seeing Rendon's name up there with all the guys who are already big – leaguers. Kid hasn't done anything yet.

  15. Tcostant - Dec 4, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    More MASN Stuff:"…Fox’s efforts to land the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, where Orioles owner Peter Angelos serves as majority owner, are not moving as smoothly. Sources say Fox has spent the past several months in on-again, off-again talks to acquire all or part of MASN, which holds the rights to the Orioles and Nationals. Fox currently is not in that market and this would fit with its strategy to build on its RSN business. Comcast, which operates Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, also had preliminary talks, which sources say did not progress far.Several sources described those negotiations as currently off, saying that Angelos opted not to sell the RSN.Fox’s involvement in talks with MASN came at MLB’s urging, sources said. MASN still is involved in a rights fee dispute with the Nationals. That dispute hasn’t been resolved, though both parties met at MLB’s New York offices last week. MLB hoped that a deal with Fox would solve the dispute. MASN and Fox have not met for several weeks, and no further talks are scheduled."http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2012/12/03/Media/Fox-Sports.aspx

  16. UnkyD - Dec 4, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    There's a lot to love about the Haren signing (and I do!), but the best part, for me, is that it didn't cost any talent! There's $$ in the budget for shopping this year, prolly next year, as well, but we're not much more than a couple of extensions (Zimnn&Desi) away from less freedom, in that regard. This is why I'm hip to restocking the pipeline. You can't keep everybody, forever, and if suitable talent develops from within, guys with a year or two of control can be sold for even more youngsters….

  17. Doc - Dec 4, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    Glad that the Learners didn't get into a spending war over Cranky-Greinke. Their ex-partner Kasten and his new free-spending partners will live to regret spending $200mm on Greinke!The difference between Greinke and Haren is not $187 million!Kasten has baseball executive experience, and likes to play with lots of money, but I doubt that he has a real grip on the '$ sign on the muscle'.

  18. phil dunton - Dec 4, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    You don't trade a middle of the lineup Beast for relief pitching, as MLB.com is suggesting, unless the reliever is a 25 year old Mariano Rivera.

  19. Theophilus T. S. - Dec 4, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    Other than a LH RP there's nothing more to shop for; either Morse or LaRoche fills 1B. Time to move some of the inventory, get fresh merchandise.

  20. natsfan1a - Dec 4, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. natsfan1a - Dec 4, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    New, improved post. Now, with link!!Head 'em up, move 'em out, Davey. :-)MicheleS said…Snicker:Jerry Crasnick‏@jcrasnickDavey Johnson: "Adam LaRoche is gonna come back. If I have to go to Kansas and take him and all his cattle to Florida, I will.''December 04, 2012 2:35 PM

  22. Theophilus T. S. - Dec 4, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    Much as I'd like to see it, getting Angelos to sell MASN is a pipe dream. He needs to be able to milk it, especially through underpaying the Nats, to subsidize illusions of being competitive in AL East – against three of the wealthiest teams in baseball – on a regular basis. He will sell MASN only if/when somebody rewards him handsomely for starving the Orioles for so many years.Unless Bud Selig solves the problem with his Alexandrian sword, the only foreseeable way out is litigation. A thin reed but let's see if MLB likes litigation as much as the NFL.

  23. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 4, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    Tcostant, good stuff. MLB could run MASN more efficiently while adding needed local content. I can't watch the Phil & Mike Show as it is so poorly produced. Seriously, there are college kids in their Broadcasting/Journalism classes producing better video. The in-game Nats graphics and statistician work is sub-par and behind the O's broadcast but they both stink.

  24. pdowdy83 - Dec 4, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    Phil, you do if there is also a prospect involved in the deal.Ship Morse off to Baltimore for Brian Matusz and a prospect. They want offense and Matusz fits out needs well. People are overvaluing Morse's trade value I think. He is coming off an injury and a season with an OPS under .800 and only has 1 year on his contract. I'm not saying trade him for a bag of balls but remember what we got for Willingham? A slugger coming off an injury with one year left on his contract? Oh thats right a reliever and a mid-level prospect.

  25. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 4, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    Theo, this is Angelo$ F.U. to MLB. He isn't part of the Country Club and he is thumbing his nose at them. He did it with his Cuba baseball trip and many other times.Nobody knows what his deal is or his motivations besides making money and joining the Billionaires Club. I believe he thinks broadcasting is the answer and he's probably correct.

  26. Don - Dec 4, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    Oh, eighty-SEVEN is the magic age when you go for the World Series club?? Please, that guy is as healthy as a horse and as stubborn as a mule. He sat on his wallet for years when the club could have been much, much better much, much sooner, so some idea that NOW he's channelling Mike Ilitch seems pretty baseless. If Zuckerman has a source that confirms that the Nats are willing to spend to a certain level, then great, but that's not what he wrote.

  27. JD - Dec 4, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    Pdowdy83, You are correct but at this point I would prefer better prospects who may be further away.

  28. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Dec 4, 2012 at 8:12 PM

    Doc said… Glad that the Learners didn't get into a spending war over Cranky-Greinke. Yeah, but I hope they're bidding up the price anyway so StanK can really choke on his morning cornflakes.Dodgers = West Coast Yankees, without the 27 flags.

  29. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Dec 4, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    PDowdy83 said:People are overvaluing Morse's trade value I think. He is coming off an injury and a season with an OPS under .800 and only has 1 year on his contract. You may be exactly right. I think while Morse is viewed as a late-bloomer, I think there may be a perception he's injury-prone and a defensive liability, at least in the OF.I used to think we could make a run at the WS with MM and TyMo as our first basemen. Then I looked at some old ALR defensive highlights. The guy is a vacuum cleaner. Saves Zimm at least 8-10 errors a year.I'm joining MicheleS and standing in the corner pouting until ALR re-signs. I think Davey is in the corner with us.

  30. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 4, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    Sunshine, you nailed it. Its more ALR saving Zim's errant throws and it shouldn't be that way. It was sometimes 1 to 2 of those bad throws a game. If Zim could make his throws than I would feel more comfortable with an ALR alternative. As it is, I can't imagine not having ALR at 1st.

  31. MicheleS - Dec 4, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    Don, not saying 87 is the year you start to pay attention, Paying over slot for drafts, Werth, Zim, etc, is the start, he may be stubborn, but he is old.

  32. waddu eye no - Dec 4, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    Davey Johnson: "Adam LaRoche is gonna come back. If I have to go to Kansas and take him and all his cattle to Florida, I will.''sorry davey. florida won't allow it. enough BS already in marlins stadium for the whole state

  33. JD - Dec 4, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    Don'He sat on his wallet for years when the club could have been much, much better much, much sooner,' No they couldn't. They could have been marginally better with more money spent but it's a waste of resources to throw money at free agents before you have a good enough young core to build around and then you don't get to draft Strasburg, Harper and Rendon which basically means that you are perpetually mediocre. What Rizzo and the Lerners did was let the whole thing disintegrate and then they built up properly. That's not being cheap; that's being smart.

  34. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 4, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    Don, Scott Boras was advising the Nats back in 08-09 to stockpile the farm system and not spend their money on high priced Free Agents.If its a strategy and in hindsight you can see it as that, then its a good strategy. Suckitude netted Strasburg and Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon in consecutive Drafts plus the farm system yielded the trade for Gio Gonzalez and Denard Span.Can't people just enjoy the journey and stop obessesing over losing 100 games vs 80. Neither takes you to the playoffs but the former got you top Draft picks which got you to 65 losses and the best record in the Majors.I'd say the strategy has paid off.

  35. natsfan1a - Dec 4, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    Me, too. Um, it's getting kinda crowded here. :-)Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said… I'm joining MicheleS and standing in the corner pouting until ALR re-signs. I think Davey is in the corner with us.

  36. natscan reduxit - Dec 4, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    … okay. you're all coming round to agreeing with me about ALR over MM. So tell me, all of you who have better access to the rumour mills and trade possibilities than I do, what kind of reasonable trade is there available now for the Beast? Names. We need names.Go Rizzo! Go Nats!!

  37. MicheleS - Dec 4, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    1A/Sunshine… my pouting has gone up to new heights. I am even offering to buy a side of beef from Adam to keep him.

  38. natsfan1a - Dec 4, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    Uh, I gotta go clean out the chest freezer. Back in a bit. :-)

  39. pdowdy83 - Dec 4, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    Agree Sunshine. Morse may be able to "handle" first base at an averageish level but LaRoche is far beyond average. Especially at picking up throws in the dirt and coming off the bag properly on errant throws.JD- That would work too. Give me two A ball prospects with upside for him and I'd be okay with it. I just think some people in Natstown are a bit over ambitious as to what he is truly worth. Our team could use a nice shot in the farm system now and Morse, if LaRoche is resigned, is a solid way to recoup a couple minor league arms possibly.

  40. pdowdy83 - Dec 4, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    The corner is getting crowded. hahaha

  41. natsfan1a - Dec 4, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded.

  42. JD - Dec 4, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    natscan reduxit, I am almost positive that none of us will have the names right in any event; Rizzo is pretty cagey that way. I am also pretty sure that most of us will be disappointed with what we get for MM. 1) We are over valuing him. 2) He is a FA in a year. 3) We are likely to get young decent to good prospects that none but the biggest geeks will have ever heard of. 4) I seriously doubt there will be any major leaguers coming back.

  43. JD - Dec 4, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    pdowdy83, Exactly; if we get 1 Alex Meyer level player for MM it would make this an MM for Span trade which I think is very good from the Nats perspective.

  44. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 4, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    I'm a Morse guy but we are talking about who to choose and ALR is an upgrade on defense. I don't care as much about subjective UZR, I care about the glove on the bag. ALR saves errors on poor throws and has been doing it for so long he makes it look easy. He's the best I have ever seen. The shame is Zim creates most of the poor throws so if the fielders helped the 1st baseman, shouldn't be as big of an issue as its become.Where ALR had issues were 3 instances where umps said he wasn't on the bag on throws and all 3 times he was. Not sure how you change that besides (doing pilates for better stretching?)instant replay but all 3 were huge plays. One was in the Detwiler game against the Reds early in the season on a Desi throw (ruled a Desi error). It led to 4 unearned when Ludwick hit a Grand Slam a few batters later. One was in a Braves game. Can't remember the 3rd one but he was on the bag and doubly tried to make sure and made a swipe tag also.

  45. Candide - Dec 4, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    Just to give the devil his due – what does Angelos stand to gain by giving the Nats more $$$?The undying affection of NIers?The Nats' first round draft picks for the next five years?A big attendance surge at OPaCY from DC and NoVA when the Os are in town and the Nats are out?It appears to me he's holding all the cards, and has no reason to move one inch off his contract.

  46. JD - Dec 4, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    Looks like the Giants will give Scutaro 3 yrs at $8 mil per. Unbelievable. It's amazing how much money this former journeyman will make based on a great playoff run last year.

  47. MicheleS - Dec 4, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    Candide, and That is exaclty why Angelos will hold onto the network with his cold dead hands.

  48. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 4, 2012 at 9:06 PM

    Candide, I agree with you and he doesn't seem to care what people think but he learned last year that you make more money when you win so there seems to be a change, albeit small, up there. He is a lawyer with no sense of PR although last year got lucky hiring a casualty of the former ownership of the Dodgers and scored a top guy in the Feffer role for the Orioles. This new VP really shook things up and possibly was instrumental in pushing for what it takes to build back fan loyalty in emphasizing winning and long-term commitments to players but the tiger doesn't change his stripes and all the rest is vintage Angelos. He's lucky Phil Dunton doesn't critique his team.

  49. baseballswami - Dec 4, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    MLB reporter is "stupefied" that the Nats have not re- signed Adam yet. Can we offer Drake a clubhouse mascot deal to sweeten things?

  50. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 4, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    MicheleS, he learned all of those years of class-action asbestos and smoking suits where he made gazillions off of the dying was harder than making gazillions off of the masses paying cable fees.As the prospector yelled "We struck gold!" or in Angelos words MA$N. MR. ANGELOS $ NETWORK

  51. JD - Dec 4, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    Swami, These things take as long as they take. I don't blame ALR for waiting it out to see if there's a 3 – 4 year deal out there and I don't blame Rizzo for sticking with the plan; he doesn't have to do anything because any way it works out is fine with him. That's not a bad position to be in.

  52. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 4, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    baseballswami, it will get done I believe.

  53. natsfan1a - Dec 4, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    Well, he *was* asking for three thousand billion at the beginning. :-)JD said… Looks like the Giants will give Scutaro 3 yrs at $8 mil per. Unbelievable. It's amazing how much money this former journeyman will make based on a great playoff run last year. December 04, 2012 4:00 PM

  54. JD - Dec 4, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    Tampa Bay still makes the most sense to me for MM. That's a wonderful pitching rotation to waste with the pop gun lineup they have and MM is still very cheap for 1 year. I would say no thank you to any of their MLB pitchers though; I would ask for prospects instead.

  55. natsfan1a - Dec 4, 2012 at 9:18 PM

    Oh, my bad, it was three thousand million. :-)

  56. natsfan1a - Dec 4, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    But there's a new post anyway, so never mind.

  57. Water23 - Dec 4, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    Three options in the Nats, O's – MASN negotiations.1) MASN agrees to $100 Million+ /yr NATS and the Nats go away happy.2) The Lerner's and Angelos' litigate and litigate.3) Harper, Morse and $50 Million are traded to the O's for the Nationals TV rights.

  58. Water23 - Dec 4, 2012 at 10:01 PM

    Sorry,4) Lerners begrudging accept MLB's (Bud Selig) deal and end up getting screwed for now. Then, after Buddy retires and Angelos dies the Lerners reject any new owner in Baltimore unless the MASN deal is recinded. The Angelos heir get $200 million less when they sell the team.

  59. pdowdy83 - Dec 4, 2012 at 10:01 PM

    JD, I take Alex Torres from Tampa in a trade for Morse. Had an off year last year but was ranked highly last offseason. Young lefty with pretty dominating numbers before the '12 season. Maybe a Torres + other prospect deal.

  60. Apache98 - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    Freaking Angelos. But it did expand the fan base for our Nats. Gotta sign LaRoche, trade Morse for prospects/bullpen, and sign a lefty bullpen specialist. I'd prefer a Burnett return, but we'll see…

  61. Don - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:05 PM

    JD -Ghost — I did not make the point very well (shockiingly!), but the argument from MicheleS was in essence that Lerner is old and thus willing to spend more to go the extra $6M above the currently projected payroll. My point was that he was old 5 years ago too when he was letting the club lose to beat the band. The strategy of suckitude to build a club is fine, and it has produced results, of course, but there are other more pricey strategies to win sooner if you want to do so. Rizzo was working for the D-Bax when they built a WS winning club out of nothing in their 4th year (won a Division in year TWO) with a bunch of money. Lerner could have tried that route if he was thinking "I am getting wicked old and I had better go for it now before I am pushing up very expensive daisees." He didn't.

  62. Kenz aFan - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    Mark, your totals are $1,400,000 short.If Strasburg didn't reach Super-Two status and wasn't arbitration eligible, his 2013 salary should be $3,900,000. (according to Cot's)Also Maya signed for $8 million split evenly over 4 years, so he'll be getting $2 million in 2013.Just sayin'BTW, I'd love for Rizzo (and Johnson) to keep Morse and get him his At Bats in by subbing at 1B, LF and as DH against AL teams.

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