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Nats head home early

Dec 5, 2012, 9:26 PM EST

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Davey Johnson and Mike Rizzo each left Nashville on Wednesday.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Having already addressed two major needs and sensing there was nothing left to accomplish here, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo and manager Davey Johnson left the Winter Meetings this afternoon, one day before the event officially concludes.

General managers typically stay at the meetings through the Thursday morning Rule 5 draft, but the Nationals aren't expected to select any players and don't really have any available roster space for an unproved project like that anyway.

Rizzo apparently also felt there weren't any more discussions with agents or other clubs that needed to be done in person, so he departed the Gaylord Opryland today and headed back to Washington.

"You know, we didn't have a whole big wish list," Johnson said before departing for his home outside Orlando. "I didn't have a whole big wish list, and Dan Haren's a really great pickup. Of course we gotRead more »

  1. MicheleS - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    RePosting since it's just tooo good:Just got home and Saw my favorite Peter Gammons on MLB Network Had nothing but high praise for the Nats and – in a very nice Peter way – totally slammed the Phillies! HAHAHAHAHA! Tick Tock!!!!!!

  2. MicheleS - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    Oh and for those of you that think ALR could go to the Pirates. Umm, the Fans there HATE him (I have a lot of Pirate fans as friends – and they were SCREAMING about him this year). remember he got boooed when the Nats went to Pittsburgh.

  3. peric - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    Everything else will have to wait until the big money teams make their roster moves. Then everything will settle out and the trade offers will begin in earnest. And LaRoche just might find a different spot … if it goes down like the Adam Dunn deal.

  4. Theophilus T. S. - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    Does Harden fill up the 40-man roster? Or is there a spot left? (Not counting a couple of throw-aways.)

  5. NatsLady - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    Rizzo cracks me up. Let the other guys have their four-team blockbuster trades and their Greinkes and Hamiltons. I'm heading home in case RG3 goes to another Caps game.Meanwhile, Davey thinks he's encouraging ALR to sign by telling him he won't get any days off?

  6. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:37 PM

    I think there are 2 spots left.

  7. NatsLady - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:38 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Section 222 - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    Shorter Rizzo — "I'm in the driver's seat on every level here. The agents and the other GMs have my number." Heh, heh. Well played. He's also got work to do on figuring out how much to offer JZnn, Desi, and Storen to avoid the bad feeling that going all the way to arbitration causes. Or maybe even reach multi-year agreements with them.On Burnett, I just think Rizzo doesn't want to pay that kind of money for a reliever, even if he's the best LH option out there.

  9. staring out the window waiting for spring - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    Theo, I count 36 on the roster on the Nat's site.

  10. Section 222 - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:46 PM

    Michele is absolutely right about ALR and the Pirates fans. I was at a Nats game there in 2011 where the fans all around me were absolutely ripping on him. What they hated most was his lack of emotion. It didn't sit well that he'd show no fire when he'd strike out with men on base. They thought he wasn't really trying and didn't care. Very interesting contrast to the way he's been received in DC. The thing is that he had a very good year in 2008. They have short memories in Pgh I guess.

  11. staring out the window waiting for spring - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    What's a middle reliever worth, even a really good lefty? 2 wins, tops? A +1 WAR would be superb. Hard to figure that's worth $8-10MM, nevermind $12MM, per year. And yet, he may well get that, somewhere else.

  12. Todd Boss - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    Haren and Duke were MLB signings, so they count as 40-man roster spots. I've got the Nats at 38/40 right now.

  13. Water23 - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    You gotta love this quote from a recent Boswell article – Span asked in a tweet, “What’s Natitude?” It’s trading for you, buddy, when plenty of others wouldn’t, then putting 13 million chips on Haren-to-win.Nice! Welcome home Denard!

  14. Eugene in Oregon - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    Just catching up with MLBTradeRumors — while my students take their exam — and thinking how nice it is that the Nats are not among those teams competing for 30-something utility IFs and platoon OFs in hopes that they might somehow recapture their glory years and thus be able to fill a full-time need. Even the Yankees seem to be in that category (heh, heh) this year. And looking at the dollars being spent on (and contract years being given to) some seemingly suspect players, I'm marveling at the Nats' ability to lock-up a solid CF for two or three years for a fraction of the market price. Well done Mr. Rizzo!

  15. NatsLady - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    222, interesting. I guess we are used to the Face, who's not a fiery guy, though he did get upset a couple of times at bad calls. Our best players, before this year, like the Hammer and the Donkey, didn't show a lot of emotion, and of course Stras is stoic. Wasn't until this year, with Gio and Bryce, that we got some showmen, and even then, the veteran guys kept them 'in line.'

  16. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    Todd Boss…..that's how I got to 2 spots left.

  17. NatsLady - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    So the Pirates fans wanted LaRoche to throw a fit (or a bat) when he struck out? Um, we frown on that here…

  18. feelanau - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    Davey's unabashed lobbying for ALR can't sit well with Morse. If ALR does end up going elsewhere, that's a rift that may require mending. Maybe this is crazy, but there were times last season when I got the sense that Morse wasn't Davey's cup of tea, whether it's his goofiness or whatever. I can go either way on it. i think Morse is better/more consistent offensively but ALR is better on defense and hits left handed. But if he leaves, it's not the end of the world. I just hope that Morse is able to forgive and forget that he was a distant second choice.

  19. Theophilus T. S. - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    Possible, then, we won't see any 40-man roster moves until well into ST. Any additional FA action is likely to be minor league contracts, and the trades will probably even out. In any event, I think Kimball and Maya are throwaways.

  20. Theophilus T. S. - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    Marrero, too, for that matter.

  21. NatsLady - Dec 5, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    feelanau–last winter LaRoche had to hear endless Prince Fielder rumors, and knowing he was a "second choice." He survived. Hopefully, Morse will also, if he's the last man standing. Once the season starts I think a lot of that is out-of-mind. It may return, of course, at contract time…

  22. Tcostant - Dec 5, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    I love the article comparing this team vs. the '86 Mets. Gotta say that the writter lost me when they gave a 20 year old Harper the edge over a 24 year old Strawberry. I watch those teams and ever time Strawberry was up with men on base, you felt like he was gonna get a hit – no kidding. Harper I hope has the better career, but this one season view can only be Strawberry.

  23. feelanau - Dec 5, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    NatsLady — ALR/Prince not exactly the same. I don't recall that it was management rooting for Fielder over ALR. And the fans didn't have much to go on since ALR missed virtually all of the 2011 season. But I agree that Morse will have to get over it. Maybe it will even motivate him, which is a win/win for everyone.

  24. realdealnats - Dec 5, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    Feelanau–Agreed on Morse's sentiments. But that's Davey: what goes through his mind comes out his mouth–his strength and his weakness. Mostly strength. I've thought more than once that what Morse is going through this year is what Adam suffered through last year with all the Fielder talk. Michelle and 222–just had one of my son's friends over last night and is a die hard Pirates fan from Pittsburgh–he didn't hate ALR–but was surprised he was a good fielder–not great but even good. Like once ALR left Pittsburgh he fell off the planet. Weird b/c this kid follows the game.

  25. Steady Eddie - Dec 5, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    feelanau — Morse is in his walk year and knows – or his agent will tell him – that he needs to act like a pro in his own self-interest. He knows there's no way he stays with the Nats after 2013 so his whole season — here or somewhere else (assuming a trade to somewhere else doesn't include an extension) — is about showing his stuff for a last, big ~3-4-5 year contract.

  26. MicheleS - Dec 5, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    Looks like Sean is going to Angels

  27. JD - Dec 5, 2012 at 10:19 PM

    realdealnats, LaRoche wasn't always a great fielder; he has really improved especially through his years with the DBacks and the Nats.

  28. DL in VA - Dec 5, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    Well, Burnett is gone.Which brings up two questions: is there anyone on another team that 1) is analogous to Burnett, 2) is tradable to the Nats, and 3) we can get to wear his hat crooked?

  29. JD - Dec 5, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    MichelleS, And Choate to the Cards. I wander if Bill Bray is the LOOGY apparent or if there's someone else to come. I know Rizzo won't pay crazy money for that role; I'd bring back MGon if possible.

  30. JD - Dec 5, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    It's a 2 year deal for Sean. I wander at what price?

  31. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 5, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    Angels blogs are reporting between 8 and 9 mil for 2 years (4 – 4.5 per year)

  32. Eugene in Oregon - Dec 5, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    Repeat the refrain: Relievers are fungible; don't overspend.The Nats are in such a good position right now talent-wise and contract-wise that they can afford to sign a couple more 7th-inning-types and let them compete. See who has the strongest arm and the liveliest movement on the ball as of late March. Then bring one or two north and release, assign to AAA, or trade the others, as appropriate.

  33. NatsLady - Dec 5, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    The Angels finalized their bullpen search on Wednesday, signing left-handed reliever Sean Burnett to a two-year deal with a club option, a source told deal, which is still pending a physical, is expected to be just south of the two-year, $9.5 million deal Kyuji Fujikawa got with the Cubs, and way south of the three-year, $18 million deal Jeremy Affeldt signed with the Giants.

  34. MicheleS - Dec 5, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    Well, JP Howell's name has been mentioned as a LOOGY

  35. Don - Dec 5, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    Love Davey: He tells ALR that he won't platoon him. As if Adam is worried he's going to be sharing ABs.

  36. bobfromalexandria - Dec 5, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    Agree completely and been worried it

  37. MicheleS - Dec 5, 2012 at 10:51 PM

    Don, remember Davey's comment in Spring Training last year when Adam's foot was a problem? Platooning with DeRo. I bet that's what is behind the comment from Davey.

  38. phil dunton - Dec 5, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    Davey talks about ALR like he is the second coming of Joey Votto or Albert Pujols. He. had a career year but his career stats are very ordinary and he's getting old. If he reverts to his Pirates stats, fans will wish he went the way of Adam Dunn.

  39. NatsLady - Dec 5, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    MASN ‏@masnsportsAdd Jim Riggleman to list of potential Orioles third base coaches

  40. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Dec 5, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    And Rizzo heads out of Nashville the way Willie Sutton used to exit banks.

  41. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Dec 5, 2012 at 11:33 PM

    If the Orioles hire Riggleman, does he stay the full season?

  42. feelanau - Dec 5, 2012 at 11:54 PM

    I understand not giving Burnett the 3 years/$18M that Affeldt got from the Giants, but 2 years/$8-9M seems reasonable. I'm sorry to see him go. As for the departure of the Nats contingent from Nashville, I love it. It says, "we're done here; you all can finish up." Let's just hope the 2013 performance matches the Natitude!

  43. natsfan1a - Dec 6, 2012 at 12:01 AM

    Hopefully, at least until the batter reaches third base.Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said… If the Orioles hire Riggleman, does he stay the full season? December 05, 2012 6:33 PM

  44. Don - Dec 6, 2012 at 12:51 AM

    Ok, thanks MicheleS – so makes sense to me now. :-)

  45. Jim Webster - Dec 6, 2012 at 3:16 AM

    Someone needs to tell me where the Beast fits if ALR re-signs. He doesn't seem like a bench player or 4th outfielder. Would a trade be the only option?

  46. Laddie Blah Blah - Dec 6, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    "Someone needs to tell me where the Beast fits if ALR re-signs."He doesn't. He is a liability in the OF, where the Nats have other, better options. Both Moore and Tracy are available as backups to ALR at 1b. Rizzo is not going to make room for the Beast, IMO, by moving Moore, Lombo, Tracy or Bernie.He belongs in the AL, where his bat and power are ideal for DH, and his woeful glove, plodding stride, and weak arm will do no harm. He can carry a club with his bat, alone, for weeks, as long as he stays healthy. Not having to play in the field will reduce the possibility of injuries in the AL.When asked about Morse the other day, Davey made no mention of his role on next year's team, either at 1b or in the OF. Just a matter of time before Rizzo moves him. Rizzo said, himself, that his decision on Morse, or anyone else, is not dependent on whether ALR re-signs, or not.





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