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Lannan headed to Philly

Dec 15, 2012, 4:32 PM EDT

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John Lannan is 2-5 with a 6.49 ERA in eight career starts in Philadelphia.

The team — and the town — that has tormented John Lannan more than any other in his career is now his new home.

Lannan has agreed to terms with the Phillies on a one-year contract that guarantees $2.5 million in salary with an additional $2.5 million in incentives, according to a source close to the left-hander.

The deal is still contingent on the 28-year-old (who was not tendered a contract by the Nationals last month) passing a physical.

Nobody has made more starts for the Nationals in their eight-year history than Lannan, a member of the organization's first draft class of 2005. And the lefty faced no opponent during his six seasons more than the Phillies, with 19 of his 134 career starts againstRead more »

184 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. MicheleS - Dec 15, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    WOW.. I wonder how he will do in CBP for an entire season. Good Luck John! and thanks for being a good Nat!

  2. Timothy Folk - Dec 15, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    Lets go then John!! Good luck and all that but your an enemy now

  3. JaneB - Dec 15, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    Wow. Didn't see THAT coming. Goodbye John. I really liked you. I kinda hope you'll do well in Philly except, you know, when you play us. I really respect how you helped us and wish you all good things.I hope the Lerners and Rizzo read Boz today and get the deal done with ALR.

  4. bzlrbi - Dec 15, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    1. I'm delighted for John. 2. He'll probably do quite well since he doesn't have to face his own team. 3. I'm not going to enjoy rooting against him, but I'll certainly do so.

  5. JayB - Dec 15, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    Numbers in CBank Park are not due to the park as much as the team he faced there. Those teams were the best hitting teams in baseball at the time. Dumb stat to use in that story….at least Mark points out he is a sub 3.8 ERA pitcher if you take out a big number of start again those powerhouse Phil Lineups. Replace those starts and project against weak Nats line ups and I bet he is a Sub 3.50 ERA.

  6. Apache98 - Dec 15, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    Good luck John, you showed yourself as a class act last season, despite the rough beginning. Too bad you couldn't have been a part of what we hope to be a special number of seasons.I never wasn't the biggest fan of Lannan, but he did his job the best he could. I'll probably eventually miss him like I miss Livo and Dunn.

  7. Traveler8 - Dec 15, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    I thought John might land with the Mets, but I wish him well, except I hope he goes 3-13 against the Nats in 19 starts!

  8. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 15, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    July 21 2012 a day that John Lannan saved the Nationals.

  9. Candide - Dec 15, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    JayB said…Numbers in CBank Park are not due to the park as much as the team he faced there.You mean he looked terrible against the Phillies all those years when the Nats had a AAAA lineup and the Phillies were one of the best teams in baseball?Who woulda thought…?

  10. original Nats Fan - Dec 15, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    bet the Braves aren't happy to still have John in the division.

  11. JamesFan - Dec 15, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    Good deal for the Phillies. I'm surprised he took it.

  12. baseballswami - Dec 15, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    Repeating from previous post– John is a ground ball guy and his infield is geriatric. Fly balls will go out. Could be a tough place for a guy that doesn't blow people away. I wish him well, he was a good Nat. Will Howard and Utley forgive him now? Glad baby Lannan will have a home when he gets here.

  13. Eugene in Oregon - Dec 15, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    First, good luck to John Lannan. You contributed to the Nats for multiple seasons and did your job professionally and well in 2012 idespite the awkward situation..Second, this is like a gift from the stats gods. If we think of Dan Haren as Mr. Lannan's replacement, they'll both be facing essentially the same schedule: their pro-rated share of the NL East, the rest of the league an equal number of times (more or less), and then roughly the same intra-league schedule. It won't be perfect, of course, but much more comparable than if they ended up in different leagues.. Then, at the end of the year, we can see if Mr. Haren was worth the roughly $10m more that he's getting paid (depending on which incentives do/don't kick in). Even if you think of Ross Detwiller as Mr. Lannan's replacement, you get the same comparison. Let's all remember to check at the end of the season.

  14. Positively Half St. - Dec 15, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    I hope John can meet the incentives for the second $2.5M because other things go awry with their rotation. +1/2st.

  15. UnkyD - Dec 15, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    Because I like John, I'm apprehensive about him, in that park… not tailor made for pitch-to-contact guys… All the best, John!!

  16. Positively Half St. - Dec 15, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    I hope John can meet the incentives for the second $2.5M because other things go awry with their rotation. +1/2st.

  17. waddu eye no - Dec 15, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    enjoy PhilEdelphia.

  18. stublues33 - Dec 15, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    Quick look at Phils schedule; if Lannan piches every 5th game he makes 32 starts. Five each vs Marlins & Nats, 4 vs Mets, and 1 against Braves. If his turn is skipped every time due to days off & All Star break he'll make 24 starts; still 5 against Nats, but Mets3, Marlins 2 and Braves still only one. Wonder if Phils will try to spot him against Braves more often?

  19. natsfan1a - Dec 15, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    Ha! Didn't see that coming. Thanks to John for all the times he took the mound for us, particularly after coming back up last year. I wish him well in Philly, except when facing the Nats, of course. :-)

  20. Oldguy - Dec 15, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    Good luck, John. I hope all our fans will show you the respect you deserve when you pitch here.

  21. UnkyD - Dec 15, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    Team all around us keep adding parts…..Rizzo keeps saving money….hope he has a plan for a LH bat, Gold Glove 1B Defense, LH Pen Set up and Depth, Starter Depth and Closer Experience….Every other team has helped themselves….Dodger, Phils, Reds, ATL, SFO in NL and Clearly LAA, NYY, Tigers all have improved………….Nats in my view as currently signed up….a step or even two backwards. CF is weaker than with Harper in CF. 1B with Morse is a huge step backwards. Haren for JAX a wash at best. Bull Pen LH side huge step back.Instead of improving and filling holes in Rotation, LH Pen and Closer…they have gone backwards.December 15, 2012 11:34 AM——————–My hat's off to JayB… As a fan, he takes a back seat to nobody, in terms of interest, or passion. But he is a facinating cat! I've seen him admit, more than once, that Rizzo is a very good GM, and no rational soul can look at the improvement over the past 4 years, and question the effectiveness of the course Mike has taken, in that time. But JayB never values Rizzo's judgement over his own… Even though the results are indisputable, that Mike clearly knows what he's doing. Moreover, perhaps JayB exults in the progressive improvement and success these Nats have enjoyed, but outwardly, nearly all his emotion and analysis are spent in playing the Eeyore, as regards the future…..

  22. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 15, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    If the Nats were a paint by numbers portrait, JayB would only use black and dark grey and for go any numbers that required bright colors.

  23. Joe Seamhead - Dec 15, 2012 at 6:42 PM

    So, if things work out for John, and he wins a starting position in their rotation, he is effectively taking Worley's spot, which is hard to predict as to that all washes out. The last Nats cast off that Philly picked up was Laynce Nix, which, partially due to injury, didn't pay great dividends. But he still has another year guaranteed from them. It's fun to watch other teams picking through our cuts instead of the other way around.

  24. BigCat - Dec 15, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    Just read Bozwell. Yep, every team is out gorging itself..but….a 3rd year for Laroche "isn't in our plan." "Don't panic, we've got a plan, we know what we're doing." Vinnie Cerato (2008)

  25. Unknown - Dec 15, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    I'm surprised with his choice, especially considering this problems at CBP. If he nails down that last spot in the rotation–and I'm not seeing any guarantees from the Phils–he's probably going to be an 8-12, 4.35 kind of pitcher.Farid @ Idaho

  26. Feel Wood - Dec 15, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    BigCat said… Just read Bozwell. Yep, every team is out gorging itself..but….a 3rd year for Laroche "isn't in our plan."If the Nats had a gaping hole at first base, then a third year for LaRoche would make sense. But they don't. With Mikey Morse at first and Span as a LH bat to replace him, they don't even need one year of LaRoche. So offering him two as has been reported is a sign of Rizzo already bending his plan strictly as a favor to LaRoche. There's absolutely no reason he should bend it further than that and offer him three years now just because other teams are spending money. Very stupid analysis on Boswell's part. He's usually better than that.

  27. Joe Seamhead - Dec 15, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    Big Cat, comparing Mike Rizzo to Vinnie Cerato is blasphemy. Go to the corner.

  28. Feel Wood - Dec 15, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… If the Nats were a paint by numbers portrait, JayB would only use black and dark grey and for go any numbers that required bright colors.And he would not stay inside the lines, and then blame whoever drew those lines for drawing them wrong.

  29. Joe Seamhead - Dec 15, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    Feel Wood, just because you disagree with Bozwell's analysis doesn't make Boz'views stupid. I happen to think Boz is a pretty astute sports writer, and I feel lucky to have him here. Personally, I think Tom is the best sportswriter since Povich. Just my opinion.

  30. UnkyD - Dec 15, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    Joe Seamhead said…Big Cat, comparing Mike Rizzo to Vinnie Cerato is blasphemy. Go to the corner.—————-Word.

  31. BigCat - Dec 15, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    Comparing Spans bat to Laroche's is silly. And you just know Morse is gonna get hurtOk, well instead of 2 year 25 mil for Laroche, give him 2 years at 36 mil. That is 3 year money. But the bottom line is….GET LAROCHE BACK!

  32. BigCat - Dec 15, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    ….and yes…I agree about the Vinnie/Rizzo thing. Just venting

  33. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 15, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    As I recall, Boswell predicted something like 97 wins, last year, and then didn't even believe it himself.

  34. baseballswami - Dec 15, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    Some doom and gloom today. No holiday cheer happening here. Maybe we will find ALR in our stocking soon.

  35. JaneB - Dec 15, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    Appropos of nowhere else to post this:This year, we named our Christmas tree, "Bo Porter." Every year since 2005, the tree has been named for 1-3 Nationals, depending. Only one (Livo) has made it twice. And this year, for the first time in 24 years, NO CARDINALS ALLOWED ON THE TREE.GYFNG!

  36. Feel Wood - Dec 15, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    BigCat said… Comparing Spans bat to Laroche's is silly. And you just know Morse is gonna get hurt Ok, well instead of 2 year 25 mil for Laroche, give him 2 years at 36 mil. That is 3 year money. But the bottom line is….GET LAROCHE BACK!Funny how you just know Morse is going to get hurt when it was LaRoche who missed the whole 2011 season due to injury. And 2 years 36 mil won't do it. LaRoche wants the years, not the money. Get LaRoche back? No. RELEASE THE BEAST!

  37. peric - Dec 15, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    You mean he looked terrible against the Phillies all those years when the Nats had a AAAA lineup and the Phillies were one of the best teams in baseball?No Candide. Nats fielders weren't that bad albeit not as good as what they will field next season … not even close.The other team's hitters, in particular the left-handed hitters feasted on Lannan. Mark looks at his stats I'll look at mine.In 2012 a 5.18 tRA (ERA adjusted to remove park and defense bias) that would be third as a starter after CM Wang (6.46), and Tom Gorzelanny (7.29). Last year and the year before Lannan was the worst. Lannan's pRAA ended up at -2.8 which was 2nd worst on the staff.He looks like a guy that will end up in AAA before too long unfortunately. I do believe Nats hitters will feast on Lannan as the Phillies hitters used to.

  38. Feel Wood - Dec 15, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    Joe Seamhead said… Feel Wood, just because you disagree with Bozwell's analysis doesn't make Boz'views stupid. I happen to think Boz is a pretty astute sports writer, and I feel lucky to have him here.Even the most astute people can occasionally say stupid things, which is what Boswell did this time.

  39. hiramhover - Dec 15, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    JoeBoswell has his pluses, but I'm with Feel Wood here. That was a pretty silly argument Boswell made yesterday: spend the money, on whatever, just because you can–no attention to whether spending on ALR actually makes sense.

  40. peric - Dec 15, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    LaRoche wants the years, not the money. Get LaRoche back? No. RELEASE THE BEAST!And if the Beast goes down in comes Tyler "the Magnolia Muscle" Moore. I'd be happy with that and so is Davey at least so he says … But Davey likes to have a good number of power left-handed bats in the lineup. If you think about it Baltimore's lineup is one he would like to have due to the plethora of good power lefties. With LaRoche gone, there is just one, Bryce Harper. Of course Danny Espinosa could pick things up on the left-side and realize his potential and that would make two left-handed impact power-bats. But, I guess Davey likes to have insurance as much as Rizzo … :~smiles~

  41. Gonat - Dec 15, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    Why would you overpay LaRoche at 2 & 36. If you did that you might as well say 3 & 36 but it doesn't matter. Riz won't do the 1st. LaR gets 2 years and then Riz will talk to him in 2 years about a new deal.

  42. peric - Dec 15, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    Span as a LH bat to replace him,Span is not a left-handed impact power bat like Harper or LaRoche. He never will be an impact power-bat like Harper or LaRoche. Espinosa might but right now that's all the Nats have as Lombo, like Span is basically a singles hitter, OBP specialist.

  43. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 15, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    I'm with Feel on the LaRoche thing, too. I'd like him back but there is no reason to commit money on that third year now. I think Boz is tryiing to stay on Davey's good side.

  44. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 15, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    And when I say "now" I mean this year. Maybe 2 years from now but not "now".

  45. baseballswami - Dec 15, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    So many people on this blog begin sentences with the phrase –" he will never be"". Excuse me, but not one of knows what ANY player will become. When athletes work hard and show up every day, when they get an opportunit to play, then you never know what can happen. That's something that is fun and interesting to watch. You don't have a crystal ball and neither does anyone else. We all have to watch and see what happens. Don 't write anyone off.

  46. Gonat - Dec 15, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    NatsJack @ 2:53, that's my point above. Also, it isn't as if the Nats don't have a Plan B for this year or beyond.

  47. peric - Dec 15, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    Actually JayB is again quite astute.Nats in my view as currently signed up….a step or even two backwards. CF is weaker than with Harper in CF. As I pointed out (and got bombed) when Mark did a comparison of the NL East changes in CF he failed to show Harper's advanced and standard stats. They are indeed superior to Mr. Span's. But a fairly large country mile.. If Mr. Zuckerman had placed BHarp's stats with the others he listed everyone would have clearly seen that. Harper may not be the fielder that BJ Upton is YET and the operative word is yet but it sure looks like he will be a major offensive threat to combine with improved defense. In other words a far superior McCutchen perhaps?1B with Morse is a huge step backwards.Okay, I wouldn't go that far. But losing the power impact left-handed bat with 2 right handed power bats in Morse and Moore isn't what Davey would like to see. He will feel handicapped. Haren for JAX a wash at best. Bull Pen LH side huge step back.According to the scouts Haren has lost quite a bit of velocity to the point where his average fastball speed is around that of John Lannan's, or Tommy Milone. But can he be the control pitcher that Milone is? Can he still compete or should he learn Livo's mickeymouse curve? The jury definitely has to be way out on this move. If it turns out to be another Brad Lidge (that's a mistake by Rizzo and the FO to go with Maya : both lost a lot of velocity!) then who do they have to step up? Christian Garcia or Nate Karns had better be ready! Or else Zach Duke. Instead of improving and filling holes in Rotation,That all depends on Christian Garcia, Nate Karns, and perhaps Ryan Perry. But JayB is not a fan of looking to minor league talent instead of going outside. On that we tend to disagree. LH Pen and Closer…they have gone backwards. LH pen … well it isn't even Christmas, so I assume Rizzo isn't done making improvements yet.A completely healed Drew Storen is the closer. After him its likely going to be Ryan Mattheus with H-Rod and Clippard working as setup men. I don't consider this a problem. They've all had some tough seasoning in 2012 hopefully it will serve them in lucky 2013.I keep hearing that 'Gascanrahan' is available. I'm sure he wouldn't mind bringing his 98 mph fb back to the Nats now that he is an All Star.

  48. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 15, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    Time to leave. Check you all tomorrow.

  49. UnkyD - Dec 15, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    Would love to have LaRoche back… But the more I hear that the season is LOST without him, the less concerned about losing him I get. Adam is great, defensively, swings a LH power bat, and is an asset in the clubhouse. Love him. GorseHacker was passable, defensively, and with his upbringing as a SS, actually has a high ceiling there. Swings a power bat against LH as well as RH…and I've never heard a discouraging word about him as a team mate… What's not to like….?

  50. whatsanattau - Dec 15, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    Well it works out well for the Lannan haters. I wish him well for all the other games he starts, but it's surprising to me that Philly thinks Rollins and Utley can still turn the double play.

  51. sm13 - Dec 15, 2012 at 8:21 PM

    I wish the best for John, but also wonder if that ballpark is going to eat him up. He won't have to face Ryan Howard there any more, but he will have some pretty nasty NL East bats to get through. I'm sure he's glad to stay on the east coast so he can be close to his family.As far as the Nats are concerned, I think Dan Haren is a significant upgrade for us.

  52. Gonat - Dec 15, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said… Time to leave. Check you all tomorrow. December 15, 2012 3:09 PM _________________________________Yep, some of this stuff is like the "crop dusting" described by Denard Span.The outfield is stronger today overall than it was to complete the 2012 season.Some of you use WAR to prove a point then go away from it when it suits you. Can't have it both ways.

  53. Laddie Blah Blah - Dec 15, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    Good luck, John, except against our Nats.

  54. Nattering Nat - Dec 15, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    I read Boz's article and had a somewhat different reaction to it than a few folks here. While I think Boz got a bit too dazzled by his phone call with uber-salesman Kasten and thus went overboard on the value of free-spending your way to WS glory, he still had a reasonable point, to me. Namely, the Dodgers will be in there, bidding outlandish sums, for some time to come–as so will the Rangers and Angels–so paying an extra $12 million now for ALR is not so silly against that reality. As we know, a main reason Rizzo is holding firm against three years for ALR is that he will have to contend with keeping his nucleus of stars in about 3 years. Boz points out that had the MASN mess been resolved favorably to the Nats by now, the ALR decision for three years might have been much easier.I thus think Boz's thesis is somewhat defensible, even though I disagree with it. Among the reasons why I disagree is that I don't WANT the Nats to become the Yankees of the NL. And spending endlessly on FAs is well-documented not to be the way to win championships, as Boz knows in his calmer moments. I don't even want to be the free-spending LA Dodgers. I DO want Nats management to step up when it needs to, as surely it will have to big-time in 2-3 years. But I'm glad they don't feel compelled to go out and buy big names just because they have deep pockets (Werth was the exception that proves the rule).Anyway, this is just to say that I don't agree with Boz in this case, but if only he had said the Lerners should loosen the purse-strings a little now, because things are only going to get much worse in the coming years and their financial situation somewhat better, but not like the Dodgers, it would be even more defensible. Still not sure I'd agree with it, as I like Morse and Moore and minor-league prospects, but a reasonable debate to have.

  55. flynnie - Dec 15, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    This has all the makings of a summer visit from Ghost of Christmas Past . . . and Future.

  56. BigCat - Dec 15, 2012 at 9:06 PM

    So you won't commit to a third year for Laroche. So you just let a 30-100 man walk away. All this talk about us going to the next level…blah blah blah. Well you gotta break eggs to make an omelet , and the Dodgers and Angels are breaking a lot of eggs. This is BS people.

  57. natsfan1a - Dec 15, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    I missed something on that reference, Gonat, but here's a bonus movie quote for y'all (and another classic movie for Faraz to add to the list, because it's a slow Saturday):Man on Road: That fella's dusting crops where there ain't no crops.Yep, some of this stuff is like the "crop dusting" described by Denard Span.

  58. peric - Dec 15, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    Some of you use WAR to prove a point then go away from it when it suits you. Can't have it both ways.Not at all Gonat Denard Span's 18.3 paV is superior to Morse's 14.4 paV. But Morse missed a lot of games this past season. If he had repeated 2011 in left field his paV would have been close to 30. While Denard Span is about where he will always be when he has a decent year. Harper's was also around 18-ish. Do you, Gonat, believe Harper will always be at 18 like Span or do you believe it will rise as he gets better?Do you see the difference yet?

  59. peric - Dec 15, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    If Rizzo believes he has some budding superstars and the day will come when he will have to find a way to convince them to stay financially as well in the win-loss column then one can't help but to agree with him. They really do look that good. If they can keep them at least until age 32 or so then Rizzo has done part of his job. Not giving LaRoche 3 years is a part of that strategy, one that everyone, including Davey, will just have to accept. As I must accept the loss of "the goof" as Natslady calls him: Michael "the beast" Morse. Its not always a happy thing but it should almost guarantee a perennial winner for sometime to come.

  60. Feel Wood - Dec 15, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    While I think Boz got a bit too dazzled by his phone call with uber-salesman Kasten and thus went overboard on the value of free-spending your way to WS glory, he still had a reasonable point, to me. Namely, the Dodgers will be in there, bidding outlandish sums, for some time to come–as so will the Rangers and Angels–so paying an extra $12 million now for ALR is not so silly against that reality.Of course it's not silly – IF THE NATS NEEDED ALR NOW. Which they don't. Why overpay for something you don't even need? Makes no sense.

  61. BigCat - Dec 15, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    Nats Jack said….."there is no reason to commit to a third year right now."What, are you sh-tting me? The reason why we need to is that we will lose the best defensive 1B in baseball and his 30 bombs and 100 ribbies if we don't. Wake up people. You gotta spend money if you're gonna run with the big dogs. It wouldn't surprise me if Texas upped it to 4 years.

  62. hiramhover - Dec 15, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    PericSorry, the advanced stats don't back you up about Span vs. Upton. Span is clearly the better CFer per UZR over the past three years, and by a substantial margin (UZR/150 of 9.2 vs. 0.3 for Upton). Comparing Harper is harder. On the one hand, he put up a huge UZR/150 in CF last season, of almost 18. On the other hand, he only played the equivalent of about 1/2 a season at the position, which generally is regarded as too small a sample size for UZR to be very reliable. While there might be a case for Harper in CF, the Nats aren't going to do it, so the question is moot. Even if it weren't, bringing Upton in only weakens your argument.

  63. BigCat - Dec 15, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    Don't need him? Are you kidding?

  64. sjb - Dec 15, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    Before we start bewailing the 'cheap Lerners' again, let's see how the Nats do this year, and how the Kasten Dodgers do. I grew up in LA and was a Dodger fan before the Nats came along, but that was mostly the O'Malley Dodgers, which bear little resemblance to the Kasten Dodgers. The Nats are much more like the O'Malley Dodgers in the approach to team building.The Dodgers of old would not have signed someone like LaRoche long term, would have cashed in Morse while they could, and would not have hesitated to play young talent like Moore.

  65. peric - Dec 15, 2012 at 9:46 PM

    While there might be a case for Harper in CF, the Nats aren't going to do it, so the question is moot. Even if it weren't, bringing Upton in only weakens your argument.Over the past three years or so Upton has been better defensively. Last year Harper was better than Span according to stats? What's the difference? Harper still has a huge ceiling in front of him. Span has NO CEILING. Upton also still has ceiling but not as large as Harper's.So, I believe my argument to be quite strong indeed.

  66. peric - Dec 15, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    Of course it's not silly – IF THE NATS NEEDED ALR NOW. Which they don't. Why overpay for something you don't even need? Makes no sense.Kind of like they did with Werth? Do and did they really need him? He didn't work out so well when Riggleman was running the show on the field that's for sure. He got better with Davey but still? And now what they paid Werth is beginning to look like chump change thanks to the Dodgers, Angels, and Texas and their new TV contracts. Which means LaRoche might feel resentful. And the Nats could get back their old reputation as a place to avoid if you are a free agent of high repute.Its a tough game out there and Stan et al have upped the ante considerably. If anything that is what will drive Angelos out of baseball I think.

  67. peric - Dec 15, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    And the biggest problem with Boswell's argument is that he doesn't bother to figure Rendon into the equation. Do you think the Dodgers would pass up Rendon and instead go for one of these high priced trades/free agent signings? Who would the Dodgers happily ensconce at third base? Hanley Ramirez or the professional hitter-to-be Anthony Rendon? C'mon we all know the Dodgers aren't dumb and Stan himself told Boz they are planning on rebuilding from within … because the Dodgers invented that concept and its in their culture. its just they have the money to do that plus sign the free agents necessary to make them winners now.

  68. peric - Dec 15, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    The reason why we need to is that we will lose the best defensive 1B in baseball and his 30 bombs and 100 ribbies if we don't. Wake up people.In just 2 years Ryan Zimmerman is going to be the best defensive 1B in baseball. "Thirty bombs", is definitely projectable for Zim when he's healthy not so much for LaRoche. Zim is capable of hitting .300. Zim walks more. Zim is younger.In just 2 years Anthony Rendon will set up at third base in an attempt to prove that he belongs with the elite hitters and fielders in baseball. Sure, there's a good reason.

  69. hiramhover - Dec 15, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    Over the past three years or so Upton has been better defensively.Better than what? Upton's UZR/150 over the last three years combined was 0.3. Span's was 9.2. Harper clearly has a great ceiling, but I'm not sure how or why you make those claims about Span vs. Upton. Span is all of 6 months older. People have been raving about Upton's "ceiling" for years–and for almost as long, they've been complaining about his failure to live up to it. At some point, you've just to accept that Upton is who he is–which is in fact not a player substantially (if at all) better than Span.

  70. flynnie - Dec 15, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    The Yankees keep beloved players. I wouldn't mind the Nats doing that, even if it makes for a high payroll. Would you rather have no Jeter, Mo Rivera, Teixera, Cano and a Twins-like balance sheet?

  71. flynnie - Dec 15, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    I left out A-Rod on purpose.

  72. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 15, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    Big Cat, Michael Morse will have better offensive #'s over LaRoche IMO.If the choice was TyMo or ALR I would be concerned.

  73. JamesFan - Dec 15, 2012 at 10:16 PM

    As a group, I would not trade the Nats for the Dodgers straight up even without LaRoche. Nats are a young and up and coming team with chemistry and a great upside. Dodgers are a hodge-podge of individuals with egos to match their salaries. Maybe they will win, maybe not. That's why we play the games.Likewise, I wouldn't trade Rizzo for Kasten. Glad Stan has moved on and believing his own spin.

  74. peric - Dec 15, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    Better than what? Upton's UZR/150 over the last three years combined was 0.3. Span's was 9.2. Uptown's UZR and UZR/150:2008: 7.8 8.42009: 6.7 7.5 2010: 1.4 1.92011: 1.4 1.62012 -2.4 -3.2Spans UZR and UZR/150:2008: 5.7 8.52009: -2.8 -2.82010: 4.4 4.52011: 9.0 17.6 (shortened injury year)2012: 8.5 9.6Bryce Harper2012: 9.7 17.6By your standards HH Harper looks the best in CF if we compare toSpan's injury shortened year?Upton looks better given that he was less than motivated for variousreasons.Your point about his ceiling is valid. That may be what finally shook Rizzo et al off from signing him instead of trading for Span. Plus, there's the younger Goodwin and Corey Brown is now ready … and both are left-handed hitters something the Nats are in short supply of … and may soon lose another. Upton's ceiling has been elusive and at age 28 he doesn't have a lot of time left to prove he is an uber athlete. This sea change for Atlanta is his last chance to do so.

  75. flynnie - Dec 15, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    James Fan said: As a group, I would not trade the Nats for the Dodgers straight up even without LaRoche. A bold statement, Sir/Madam, bold, indeed. Liz Taylor had a saying: "Success is the best deodorant." Chemistry combusts when you're not winning. Professional athletes are competitive and vengeful. One of my daughters just asked a great question. How could Lannan most hurt Davey and Rizzo, who kicked him to the curb right after he got married, and put him in this fix, where he's playing on a one year contract for MLB chump change in a launching pad of a ballpark. Break Z'man's hand like he broke Utley's?

  76. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 15, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    Best wishes to John. We will miss him.

  77. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 15, 2012 at 11:37 PM

    Stopped by for a second. Just discovered Crown Royal Maple! Wow! Listening to Don Henley, Beatles, Stones, Kinks, and Moody Blues. Life is great.

  78. flynnie - Dec 15, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    Love Crown Royal on the rocks. Is Maple sweet? Don't like sweet.

  79. UnkyD - Dec 15, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    Maple. I'm a single malt guy…neat. It'll be a hard sell, but I'm not close minded… Enjoy!!!

  80. peric - Dec 15, 2012 at 11:57 PM

    Big Cat, Michael Morse will have better offensive #'s over LaRoche IMO.If the choice was TyMo or ALR I would be concerned.BUT the choice is actually Beast AND T-Mo over LaRoche because unlike LaRoche Morse is a good enough athlete to play the outfield. It would like a thumbs down for LaRoche except for the left-handed bat.The left-handed power impact bat THAT SPAN DOES NOT HAVE. Unlike Upton he will never be a power hitter. He will never be a game changer. Upton has a ceiling because of his power potential, his speed, and his fielding ability. Span is a 2 dimensional player who won't get any better than he is now. LaRoche represents that game changing ability on the left-side. Espinosa and Harper do as well. After that? Maybe Corey Brown and maybe Roger Bernadina.

  81. flynnie - Dec 16, 2012 at 12:10 AM

    The Phillies are about to sign Cody Ross. This off-season is getting nastier than Haren's bone-on-bone hip.

  82. John C. - Dec 16, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    For those advocating signing LaRoche for three years at around $36 million because the Nats can't afford to lose a 30 HR, 100 RBI bat, remember that signing him means that the Nats have a 30 HR, 100 RBI bat without a position.For those advocating signing LaRoche because he is a LH power bat, remember that the team really wants is a power bat vs. RHP. Morse's career splits vs. RHP (.292/.343/.487) are virtually identical to LaRoche's (.274/.348/.495). Of course, against LHP Morse is much better.For those advocating signing LaRoche because he is "clutch," with RISP Morse hits .307/.379/.508; LaRoche hits .270/.361/.431. Yes, Morse's OPS is nearly 100 points higher. With two outs and RISP, Morse hits .307/.396/.508. LaRoche .256/.365/.421 (OPS 118 points higher).There is a risk going with Morse because he might get injured. There is a risk going with LaRoche because he IS getting old; at age 33 his best years are almost certainly behind him. Not only is he likely to regress because 2012 was a career year, but he is likely to regress from his career averages because he is moving into his mid 30's.And that risk is much greater with LaRoche, because even if you rate the level of risk about even, the stakes will be higher with LaRoche in terms of both dollars and years. Going with Morse gives the team an option to fill in an infield position (with Moore, Rendon or another player), or, if Morse has a good season, to tender him and either resign him or get another compensation draft pick.To cap the analysis, in terms of compensation Morse nets the Nationals whatever they can get on the trade market, when the other 29 teams know that Morse has no position. LaRoche nets the team a supplemental draft pick. No guarantees on that, but the Nationals have used supplemental draft picks in the past to sign players like Jordan Zimmermann and Brian Goodwin. I like LaRoche, and I really appreciate the season he had with the Nationals in 2012. I feel the same way about signing him that I felt about all the people saying the Nats had to pay out the wazzo to sign Jose Reyes to play SS last year. If I thought for one minute that the Reyes they would have got was the 2011 Reyes, sign the man! But that wasn't likely (and didn't happen in 2012). If I thought LaRoche was going to consistently produce like he did in 2012, sign the man! But that is very, very unlikely. And when the Nats didn't sign Reyes, all the sturm und drang crowd whined and carped about the Nats being losers and not willing to step up when other teams were doing that. And Reyes and the Marlins fell on their faces while the Nats' alternative, Desmond, had a breakout season. Keep carping, guys, your track record is tremendous.

  83. UnkyD - Dec 16, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    John C…. Well said!

  84. Teddy Rochlis - Dec 16, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    Peric your points are valid about Span not having the impact bat that Upton but we did not get Span to replace Morse/ALR which is why i think you are looking at this the wrong way, Span is a legit leadoff player and a lot of his value is things that aren't in stats(well looked at stats anyway) like # of pitches seen + he is a good center fielder with high OBP and decent at stealing, we didn't need a power bat we needed a good but inexpensive fill until Goodwin is ready, the numbers lost by Morse/ALR will most likely be made up by a full healthy season of Ramos/Zimm/Harper and we might get even more if Desmond and Espi uptick from last years total. Yes we could lose some but this team especially with its rotation is in great shape. Just need a LH reliever now.

  85. peric - Dec 16, 2012 at 1:48 AM

    Peric your points are valid about Span not having the impact bat that Upton but we did not get Span to replace Morse/ALR which is why i think you are looking at this the wrong way, No, I completely understand. The FO wants the reincarnation of Curt Flood. Not sure why they have this strange envy of the Cardinals model but …Many others have clearly stated that they thought Span was the left-handed bat in the lineup to replace ALR. That is most certainly NOT the case.

  86. peric - Dec 16, 2012 at 1:52 AM

    That said. I prefer Harper in CF and Span somewhere else unless he flames out like Nyjer Morgan did at age 30. Why? Harper will last longer there and its a position he clearly embraces with his whole being. I believe moving Harper from CF for anyone other than say, Mike Trout? Is a mistake. I like they synergy he and Werth have created out there. It makes the Werth signing "Werth it" for me. Span should play left-field.

  87. peric - Dec 16, 2012 at 1:56 AM

    The Yankees keep beloved players. I wouldn't mind the Nats doing that, even if it makes for a high payroll. Would you rather have no Jeter, Mo Rivera, Teixera, Cano and a Twins-like balance sheet?I believe the Yankees have been busy changing that model. Texiera is still reasonably young. As is Cano. As for the rest well the Yankees are looking to restocking their farm system and going younger. You'll be seeing a younger Yankees lineup. Think about it: Tampa Bay Rays with maybe 1/10 the payroll of the Yankees have been competing and often beating them year-in and year-out! They get to the World Series and are soundly trounced by a younger SF Giants team. No, the steroid era is over and the Yankees know its time to change with the times.

  88. peric - Dec 16, 2012 at 1:58 AM

    Let's hope Span doesn't like Nyjer Morgan, end up as another nightmare reincarnation of Curt Flood the hitless wonder for the old Senators.

  89. peric - Dec 16, 2012 at 2:04 AM

    To cap the analysis, in terms of compensation Morse nets the Nationals whatever they can get on the trade market, when the other 29 teams know that Morse has no position. LaRoche nets the team a supplemental draft pick. No guarantees on that, but the Nationals have used supplemental draft picks in the past to sign players like Jordan Zimmermann and Brian Goodwin. Great analysis John C. You might want to add that LaRoche could end up blocking two players with 30 HR and .300 averages in Morse and Rendon. Plus Tyler Moore who looks like he could hit a solid .280 with 30 bombs in as little at 400 at bats. That has to have teams calling Rizzo daily about all of these guys. Morse is the oldest at age 30 but also the most experienced.THE BIG problem? Well besides the whole clubhouse chemistry thing (see Dunn, Adam & Willingham, Josh) LaRoche is a good fielding solid, potentially impact power hitting LEFT handed bat. If I were a bird tweeting listening to Rizzo and Davey when they talk I am almost certain I would hear the word "Left handed" hitter crop up constantly mostly from Davey.

  90. RickH - Dec 16, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    Ugh. I'm going to hate seeing John in a Phillies uniform, but I wish him well (except when pitching against the Nats).

  91. NatsLady - Dec 16, 2012 at 3:01 AM

    I like LaRoche but he is not a Nats "beloved player." I am 50-50 on ALR vs. Morse, both have good points and bad. Rizzo might feel the same, hence the "inaction." Not a problem for me. A 98-win team shouldn't make panic moves.

  92. natsfan1a - Dec 16, 2012 at 3:03 AM

    The Rays WS loss was to the Phillies, not the Giants.

  93. sjm308 - Dec 16, 2012 at 3:36 AM

    I go back and forth on Morse/LaRoche all the time. Peric has made a good point that not only is Morse blocked but so will Moore. I am guessing as we continue to build we will be faced with more and more of this.The post was about LannEn and for the last time, I still think he would have been valuable to this team in the exact same role he played last year. You can't tell me our 5 starters will stay healthy the entire season. I realize Duke can handle this role as well but I liked what LannEn did for us as we won 98 games. Just saw where the Phillies are continuing to spend money giving a set up guy 2 years and 12 million. I just don't see them making a run but you never say never with good starting pitching. Go Nats!! World Series or Bust!

  94. Scooter - Dec 16, 2012 at 3:50 AM

    Gulp-BANG!

  95. JayB - Dec 16, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    Morse does not have a track record like ALR. Morse does not have leadership skills like ALR. Morse is RH and is hurt a lot with freak pulls that take months to heal. ALR is LH and had one major injury two years ago that was corrected with surgery. Morse is a free swinger who does not work counts or understand situational hitting. ALR is a master at working pitchers, knowing the game situation and adjusting to make the most out of ABs.What we are really taking about here is Morse is like Danny E….and we know how that works in the playoffs. In the playoffs, only a teams best pitches work and they use scouting information to the max. Every pitch is purposeful and calculated. It eats up and spits out Danny and Morse types…..That is why this team lost the playoffs. It was true going into August when I was saying it. It was true during playoff when Davey was saying experience was irrelevant and it was true after the playoffs when Davey and Rizzo used lack of experience as major factor to the melt down…..Team needs experienced LH bat like ALR to win in Oct. Moore, Morse, Danny E and god forbid Rendon in Oct….equals K's and unproductive AB's and loses.

  96. JayB - Dec 16, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    When I think of Mike Morse the overriding image is him swinging wildly at a 1-2 pitch that has bounced in front of the plate. That is what he is…he hits bad pitching well. He guess fastball on the first two pitches and in a June game with a team out of playoffs already…he get it and puts it into the seats. In October….easy out.

  97. JayB - Dec 16, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    And yes….a simplistic view of 5 game playoff stats has Morse with a better AVG. Take a look at BB and you see what I am talking about.Really too small a sample size in 5 games to even argue about…..What you do not need a sample size for is when you watch the hitters day in and day out. I have done this as you all know…..I believe my point of view on the type of hitters they are and now they approach ABs is valid.

  98. JayB - Dec 16, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    Morse also has a track record of PED use…That is not likely a one time use but rather a one time caught. Look at pictures of him before and after and judge for yourself. Those types of players break down early and often. ALR….all natural.

  99. sjm308 - Dec 16, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    What is the Nationals Insider record for # of posts in a row?All good points while obviously slanted to your prejudices which is what this blog is for. Like I said last night, I go back and forth and at least the good news is, we will have someone at first who has ability. Some here are strong for LaRoche, others just as strong for Morse. I am probably more for LaRoche over Morse for one reason JayB did not mention and that is defense. That year with Dunn just made me realize that you need someone at first who can help the other 3 infielders and LaRoche does that better than just about anyone in baseball.Go Nats!!

  100. sjm308 - Dec 16, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    Actually I said all good points. The PED stuff might be a point but not a good one in my opinion. I lift pretty heavy and if you look at pictures you could draw all kinds of conclusions. I do agree with you though that Morse swings freely and does not work counts while LaRoche is patient. When hot, I would not want to face either. When cold, at least LaRoche will still be a plus in the field.

  101. sjm308 - Dec 16, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    Two more posts and I could tie JayB but I am going to make coffee. Hope everyone has a great day, I am visiting my 3 week old grandbaby!!!Go Nats!! Go Kieran!!!

  102. JayB - Dec 16, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    Agreed on the PED and weights…still he clearly had it in his system for a long time….2 maybe 3 times caught over a few years….all for the same one time event…..it does speak to all the freakish, slow to heal muscle strain/tare injuries he continues to have.On defense he was much better than Dunn clearly….I remember thinking he was almost Gold Glove like and so the drop off is not as big to me.

  103. JayB - Dec 16, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    They sleep a lot at that age….wait til next year at this time when you visit!

  104. UnkyD - Dec 16, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    Good Morning! I would take Adam over Mikey as well, in a vacuum. He's a better 1B, and I don't hear anyone disputing that point… But Rizzo doesn't work in a vacuum. Davey plays a chess match that lasts a few hours, while Mike's game never ends, in that every move he makes immediat implications, as well as those of next year, and five years down the road.

  105. JayB - Dec 16, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    Many of us been at this blog and with this team for a long time and I value those people's view greatly.Where I think we may differ is on the issue of what is good enough…."I go back and forth and at least the good news is, we will have someone at first who has ability."That just sounds too much like 2007-2010 thinking. I expect to win several World Series (2 would be fine too) over the next 5 years. We paid the price for them already. Lerner's reaped all the profits they need to pay for this effort. Fans paid good money to watch bad bad bad Acta baseball. I am just not willing to settle for the "at least we do not suck" point of view any longer.

  106. MicheleS - Dec 16, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    GO KIERAN and BRIAN Z!! I like starting the morning with that! Got to cheer on our future 1st round draft picks.

  107. BigCat - Dec 16, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    I remember last year when Morse was hitting balls into the 3rd deck in right center, I loved it. I also was thinking that something just isn't right. How does a guy like this stay in the minors for 8-9 years? My wanting Laroche to stay is not an attack on Morse. I love Morse. I personally wouldn't mind moving him to right field….except thats where THE CONTRACT plays.

  108. JayB - Dec 16, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    To me the solution is simple….you trade Morse…you trade him…His value will never be any higher than now. You sign Adam and over pay a 3rd year that you are willing to eat. That money is a tiny fraction of 2007-10 profit when Nats were the number one profit organization in baseball year after year per "Forbes".

  109. Laddie Blah Blah - Dec 16, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    Jay BAgree with almost everything re Morse and ALR. What struck me about the give and take here is that Rizzo has once again created a win/win proposition for the franchise. If ALR walks, he can get a draft pick, and we all know his preference for building from within. And he has the option of sticking with Morse with Moore as a backup, or trading Morse and going with Moore with Tracy as a backup. If he trades Morse, he will likely do so for young prospects. Again, a win for the organization, as he would probably lose Morse next year, anyway, and get no return, as just happened with Lannan.Or he could let ALR walk AND trade Morse, getting both draft picks and prospects in return, and going with Moore at 1b. That would be a risk, since Moore does not have the defensive resume of ALR. But he does have consistent power stats at every level that surpass Morse's (including the ML level), plus a superior approach at the plate and a much more compact, fundamentally sound swing that is more likely to hold up under pressure. And Moore has a history of durability that both ALR and Morse lack.Even more risky would be to keep Morse for the year and lose out on any possible return when he becomes a FA next year. It would also be risky for Morse, who could lose value in his FA year by getting injured (60-40 he misses significant time on the DL), or otherwise gets benched in favor of Moore.All the more reason I think Rizzo will trade big Mike before opening day, whether ALR returns, or not. Rizzo's planning is always for the long term, not just for one season.

  110. JayB - Dec 16, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    I agree with that Laddie….I do not think you win WS just by making playoffs each year. I know Njack and others think you do. We shall see it seems because Rizzo is not ever going to "go for it" He is not going to load up for a run in Jan or July….

  111. JayB - Dec 16, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    With new Super Teams like LA and LAA in the mix with the existing TEX, NYY, PHIL, ATL, CIN powerhouse teams….getting into the playoffs each year and then Winning a 7 game series against these teams is not about luck in my view. It is not just a roll of dice and if you roll enough times your number comes up. It strikes me as that is Njack's view.

  112. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 16, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    No. My view is you can't win a World Series WITHOUT making the playoffs.Pretty simple.

  113. JayB - Dec 16, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    Teams like SFO and STL win world series not just by getting to the playoffs but rather they peak at the right time and trade to add key pieces to complete the team in July. Rizzo would never pay for a Pence or Marco S. when he could get a Alex Cintron type for free (C. Izturis, Nady, Carroll…list goes one and one) ….that is one of the major problems here.

  114. Candide - Dec 16, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    Apropos of nothing: Happy Beethoven's birthday, everybody.Now, back to the Nats.

  115. JayB - Dec 16, 2012 at 2:20 PM

    Well that is good to hear Njack. I do not see how signing ALR or spending now to get LH relief and proven closer would stop team from making the playoffs. Spending money does not hurt future development. They have more than enough profit each year going forward and clearly huge profits from past years…Debt is paid as I recall now…..why are you so against spending some of the windfall profits to increase talent and thus chance of WS wins?Spending money does not block players. It just makes it more expensive when you cut your loses. So what?

  116. Feel Wood - Dec 16, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    Morse does not have a track record like ALR.Morse does not have leadership skills like ALR.Morse is RH and is hurt a lot with freak pulls that take months to heal.ALR is LH and had one major injury two years ago that was corrected with surgery.Morse is a free swinger who does not work counts or understand situational hitting.ALR is a master at working pitchers, knowing the game situation and adjusting to make the most out of ABs.Michael Morse career slash line (1690 PA).295/.347/.470Adam LaRoche career slash line (4669 PA).268/.338/.482Other than ALR being left handed and having been around longer, I really don't see much difference there.Once again, JayB is making stuff up. Haters gotta hate.

  117. hiramhover - Dec 16, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    JayBYour MM-ALR comparison doesn't work for me. They're both pretty free swingers–very similar K rates. Over his career, ALR walks more but actually reaches base less, because he's more of a flyball hitter. ALR's career high WAR was last year (3.8, vs 2.5 highest in any prior season). It's unlikely he'll reproduce it next year, but even if he does, it's virtually the same (controlled for PA) as MM's WAR in 2011, when he predominantly played 1B.I'd be happy to see ALR stay, but only on the right terms (2 yrs, not 3). If he doesn't, I'll be perfectly happy with MM at 1B this season.

  118. Tim - Dec 16, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    I am pretty happy with either Morse or Laroche, when healthy they each have something to contribute at that position. I expect LaRoche to regress and beast to improve this season over last. And Tymo will backup either in case of injury. I think 1B, not matter what is in good hands. I am much more concerned about 2B and Catcher. I see alot of uncertainty at C, with Ramos coming back from injury (maybe not all the way back?) and Suzuki, perhaps not being able to sustain the level of performance from last season. And Danny is still an unknown if he can be more than a 1 trick pony from the left side.

  119. JayB - Dec 16, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    to me that is why stats like WAR are useless. Looking at that 3 stat slash line is useless too. This is one of the things I do like about Rizzo…He know that grinding AB out, Situational hitting and adjusting in the post season to top pitching, attacking your weakness under high pressure matters more than a June series in Houston where Morse cleans up on AAA pitchers.Morse is like Danny……1-2 count they swing from their heels on a breaking ball that bounces before the plate because the guess and look for the one pitch they can hit.

  120. BigCat - Dec 16, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    what is so depressing to me is that we were a blown save away from winning it all last year, and now we are going backwards, all because of Rizzo's bullheadedness. Yes, spend some of that 8 dollar beer money and 40 dollar parking money. Get up off the wallet Rizzo.

  121. fast eddie - Dec 16, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    I keep reading persuasive arguments on the Morse/ALR debate from JayB, Laddie and Feel. I agree that 1B is in good hands with either (with TyMo as Plan B).If Rizzo trades Morse, at least we get something in return.

  122. hiramhover - Dec 16, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    JayBSorry, the stats show that MM has a higher BA and wRC+ than ALR in high leverage situations. But since those numbers don't prove your point either, they're obviously "useless" as well.

  123. peric - Dec 16, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    The post was about LannEn and for the last time, I still think he would have been valuable to this team in the exact same role he played last year. You are right he definitely would have and Rizzo + ownership would have considered the money well spent. With the loss of Rosenbaum even more so now. But, the real reason John Lannan got his 5 million last season was in appreciation for his efforts in the dog days of last place. He was there and could be relied on to go out and make each and ever start. That was noticed and even if his pitching wasn't as good as many here believe ( all one need do is look at the Philly fan blogs as they pore over his record) he was there. He and Livo when Livo came on board. This season is different Lannan made it pretty clear he did not want to return to AAA as veteran backup for the rotation again. He feels he's a full fledged starter and Rizzo has also stated that. And he picks the Phillies thinking he might be able to get Nats management back a bit. Unfortunately, the Nats young hitters get better every year and I'm afraid they will devour John Lannan and again he will end up in AAA. Just not in as enviable and respected a position as with the Nats. John Lannan will be Yunesky Maya from the left-side.

  124. peric - Dec 16, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    If Rizzo trades Morse, at least we get something in return.Unless its a top notch left-handed reliever that is still young it won't help them this year.Morse is a true middle of the lineup presence that is capable of wreaking havoc and he is still getting the hang of major league hitting / pitching. He seems eager to learn and listens to his coaches. And as a result he has improved. Its his fielding that many find less than adequate not his hitting. Plus he seems to consistently suffer from pulled hamstrings. Making him a far better bet to avoid injury at first base. The real problem (and the pundits refer to these as good problems to have), the Nats have a gold-glove-to-be and .300 hitter who should develop power much like Ryan Zimmerman ready to move the front burner. And that is Anthony Rendon. In the end the better fielder at first base over Morse, Moore, and ALR **IS** Ryan Zimmerman. Adding Rendon at third base would give the Nats the best fielding infield in all of baseball bar none. And the offense should be right up there in top 5 or so to boot. That's a huge advantage that should not be underestimated or overlooked. Especially when you feature a young pitching staff. That in and of itself is enough to knock the super rich LA teams right off their expensive marble pedestals. The question is when will Rendon be ready. Rizzo is opting for the conservative route and saying its 2 years. What if he is ready and in AAA next season? Adam LaRoche blocks three players Morse, Moore, and Anthony Rendon. BUT he is singular and unique because he is a left-handed hitter. But can he produce like last year which truly was a career year? I'm not sure I would bet on it at age 33.

  125. JayB - Dec 16, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    Agreed…my point is ALR who you want up in the Playoffs against top pitcher…not Morris….he will swing over a bounced curve ball every time. Look at the number of walks he has. He swings at everything….In June you can do that…October you can't….and win at least.

  126. peric - Dec 16, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    Agreed…my point is ALR who you want up in the Playoffs against top pitcher…not Morris….he will swing over a bounced curve ball every time. Look at the number of walks he has. He swings at everything….In June you can do that…October you can't….and win at least.If this is the criteria then I'd rather have Rendon. His advanced hitting approach is what generates his uber high OBP. He may be superior to both Morse and LaRoche in that regard. We'll have to see if he is a superstar in the offing. Perhaps this season in AA/AAA will offer a glimmer or two.

  127. BigCat - Dec 16, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    Yeah, lets not get too worked up about Rendon. The guy has a history of getting hurt and ever since they got the metal bat out of his hands, has shown a surprising lack of power. So lets just wait a little before you anoint him the starting 3B next year

  128. JD - Dec 16, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    JayB, You keep making the point that MM can't hit good pitching in clutch situations. Didn't he hit a big home run in the deciding game 5 of the NLDS? Also as I recall ALR had a quiet game at the plate. You can't dismiss all the stats which prove you wrong and base your argument on 'he works the count'. On second thought you can do what you want but empirical data proves you are wrong.

  129. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 16, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    The next game Rendon plays T any level will be his 45th as a professional. Couple thay with the wasted junior year at Rice when injured and you have to think Rizzo is correct in his conservative approach.

  130. flynnie - Dec 16, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    I'm concerned about Storen. Like The Chief, he closed in college. That's a lot of wear and tear on an arm. He needed surgery last year. What is Rizzo's "Plan B"? H-Rod? Only if he matures the way Joel Hanrahan did – Rizzo's nadir and worst nightmare as a GM. Z'Mann? Then who starts?

  131. MicheleS - Dec 16, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    Flynnie.. don't foget Ryan Matheus, Tyler Clippard, and even Stammen. All of them have the ability to close

  132. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 16, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    Surely you can't be serious about JZ.

  133. peric - Dec 16, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    The next game Rendon plays T any level will be his 45th as a professional. Couple thay with the wasted junior year at Rice when injured and you have to think Rizzo is correct in his conservative approach.Yes, you are right of course. Still, he isn't giving him more than 2 years and given Rendon's age I expect that is the correct and maximum number?

  134. peric - Dec 16, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    Surely you can't be serious about JZ.Matt Cain but better? Still, I believe it makes JZ all the more valuable knowing that he can come out of the bullpen and crank it up to 98 if need be. And in the highest possible leverage situations. That is something poor Henry has yet to learn. JZ must have Wisconsin winter lake ice running through his veins. But he is the one guy you want out there on the mound on a regular basis for 200 innings or more.

  135. natsfan1a - Dec 16, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    Agreed (except on the morning part, as I was out and about and didn't read any comments until just now).On another note, nice to see people discussing and even disagreeing in a reasoned, civil manner today. :-)MicheleS said… GO KIERAN and BRIAN Z!! I like starting the morning with that! Got to cheer on our future 1st round draft picks. December 16, 2012 8:26 AM

  136. flynnie - Dec 16, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    MichellS – Thanks! Stammen is the most under-rated, least spoken of Nat.Faraz – MLB said that the Nats had found their true closer after Zimm's magnificent appearance in relief in Game 4. The Braves did it with Smoltz, who went back to starting because closing was too hard on his elbow.

  137. peric - Dec 16, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    Flynnie.. don't foget Ryan Matheus, Tyler Clippard, and even Stammen.I don't think they'll go to Clippard or Stammen unless its an emergency at this point. One has to question how much longer Clippard's arm will last after putting it in so many high leverage situations. Its very concerning. Mattheus? Perhaps, he does have the ability. As does Henry if he can learn to handle the pressure. Its my opinion that a lot of it is in Henry's head. And what happened last season can't have helped his confidence … yet managements unwavering confidence in him perhaps offsets that. Its 'Gascanrahan' redux except Henry has the better arm. In truth the two strongest possibilities for closer after Storen (given the crippling injury to Cole KImball) are/were Nate Karns and Alex Meyer. Many still believe Karns could end up in the pen. Next season will determine if he has what it takes to be a top 1-3 starter in a major league rotation. Meyer's height made him less likely to be consistent enough to be a starter. Yet he too could learn and become a 'Big Unit'. With McGreary (now gone to Boston) and Smoker still struggling in the low minors … well its not out of the question given their ages but time is running out. Nelo is gone but now the focus appears to be on Erik Davis. Where does he fit? If you convert Christian Garcia to a starter he becomes #1 on the NationalsProspects depth chart for right-handed pitching. Hassan Pena another closer prototype with a high velocity heater was suspended.But, its left-handers where they are still weakest. Losing McGreary loses them one, even if a remote possibility. Smoker? Robbie Ray? If he gets converted to a reliever while focusing on Solis and Purke as starters? Given Purke's injury perhaps he might be better suited to relief? Bill Bray is back again, former 1st round pick in 2004 for the Expos. Is Matt Grace better than Patrick McCoy? Simko, Hansen and Meza?

  138. peric - Dec 16, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    Faraz – MLB said that the Nats had found their true closer after Zimm's magnificent appearance in relief in Game 4. The Braves did it with Smoltz, who went back to starting because closing was too hard on his elbow.Again, it stands JZ in good stead to know that he can handle multiple roles in high leverage situations. Its huge. But if you are choosing between 200 inning plus of JZ on the mound or 50 or less? You are going to choose the 200 and then use him in relief to win short series in the playoffs or key series in the regular season perhaps. And that's a huge perhaps.

  139. flynnie - Dec 16, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    Nice to hear from you, 1A! Ever since John Patterson and Shawn Hill, I've noticed a tendency to complain, dismiss as not good enough, and be generally ungrateful for players who deserved gratitude. John Lannan is the latest in a 7 year history.

  140. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 16, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    This is my view on relievers. Relievers are nothing but starters with issues. They have either control issues or lack of varied pitches or stamina problem. In short, relievers are failed starters. Good starters are more valuable than dominant relievers. If you give me a choice between Mariano Rivera and Jordan Zimmermann, I pick JZ 100 times out of 100.Reason Smoltz did closing because of injuries. If JZ or SS (God forbid) ever has that kind of issues, I can understand that move. Not because Storen or whoever our closer is not doing his job. That is not reasonable.

  141. flynnie - Dec 16, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    Faraz, who do you close with if Storen fails?

  142. flynnie - Dec 16, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    Great news! R.S. Dickey to the Blue Jays in a 7 player deal! No knucksy-induced slumps for our home-town team!

  143. peric - Dec 16, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    Well here's another former TJ [2009] pitcher who now looks to be the Nat's LOOGY and more barring injury (a not unlikely scenario) or another move by Rizzo. He gets lots more strikeouts than Sean Burnett et al. That hasn't changed at age 29. And like Drew Storen,, he was drafted as left-handed reliever in the first round:The Nats defacto LOOGY in 2013

  144. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 16, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    Supposing that you are talking about next season, Garcia is also an option besides players Michele mentioned. I am not that high on Mattheus but Stammen and Clippard are solid options. Who replaces JZ if he goes to bullpen?

  145. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 16, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    Mets do get back couple of really good prospects if deal goes through (top catching prospect and pitching).

  146. John C. - Dec 16, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    The argument against Morse on this thread largely is "don't talk to me about stats, I know what I know." You know, that's not very convincing. When I started out favoring LaRoche, but the more I actually ran the numbers and considered the age and performance of the players, I came back to Morse. That's why my post on Morse was stat based. He hits RHP like LaRoche, and LHP much better. In clutch situations across the board and across their careers Morse is a better hitter. He's less of a risk because he's not coming off of a career year and he's a critical two and a half years younger. And he's less of a risk because they are only committed to him for a year.These are all what are generally called "facts." For the crowd who just knows what they know and the heck with anything else, well, we will have to agree to disagree.And I find openly hilarious the commenters who trash Rizzo for the way he does his job. Thanks for the laughs, guys. Nothing like an internet expert.

  147. flynnie - Dec 16, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    Lannan? Oh, no. We're so deep in starters, I'm sure it's no problem.

  148. peric - Dec 16, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    Ever since John Patterson and Shawn Hill, I've noticed a tendency to complain, dismiss as not good enough, and be generally ungrateful for players who deserved gratitude. John Lannan is the latest in a 7 year history.I don't understand this comment. Lannan was given plenty of accolades, and appreciation by both Nats fans and Nats ownership/management? FIVE MILLION worth just last season? BUT, in Lannan's mind he was a top-of-the-rotation starter. How could he think that when Livan Hernandez at age 40 perhaps? Took that job and was almost herculean in their last pathetic losing season? The problem is far too many people (including Lannan himself) overestimated his value as a major league starter. And he was even worse as a major league reliever.However, that doesn't diminish the fact that he did show up, relatively injury free, to start games during the worst of those dog days of summer. He represented his team and franchise as well as one could expect under those circumstances. And for that he is appreciated and in some cases idolized.But let's not confuse John Lannan and Colin Balester with Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Gio Gonzalez, and yes, Ross Detwiler. He isn't even close relative to his ability as a starting pitcher.

  149. natsfan1a - Dec 16, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    Sounds like it's whiffle ball time in the AL East. :-)flynnie said… Great news! R.S. Dickey to the Blue Jays in a 7 player deal! No knucksy-induced slumps for our home-town team! December 16, 2012 2:19 PM

  150. natsfan1a - Dec 16, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    Er, make that "wiffle," although the "whiff" part could apply, too.

  151. peric - Dec 16, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    Mets do get back couple of really good prospects if deal goes through (top catching prospect and pitching).They are doing right by their fans … in 2 or 3 years ownership should be out from under their Madoff obligations. If they collect a bunch of good A level prospects with ceilings, as Oakland did, they should be ready to compete at that point.The NL East is going to get tougher and tougher.

  152. flynnie - Dec 16, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    1A – Make that R.A. Dickey, not "R.S."

  153. peric - Dec 16, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    He's less of a risk because he's not coming off of a career year and he's a critical two and a half years younger. And he's less of a risk because they are only committed to him for a year.And they get a supplemental first round pick for LaRoche if he signs somewhere else. With Morse sure you could execute a trade but you aren't going to get a prospect with value that is that high. And it may be that he performs as he did in 2011? And perhaps the team finds a place for him and extends him? Its not like he has to play first base as with LaRoche?Again, with LaRoche, its the impact, power left-handed bat. Without LaRoche you are down to Harper and perhaps Espinosa. That's it. Denard Span is an OBP slap hitter specialist as is Stephen Lombardozzi. After that you go to bench depth and AAA depth and you look at Roger Bernadina, Corey Brown, Erik Komatsu and perhaps Brian Goodwin … but Goodwin looks like he is still at least 2 years out.

  154. MicheleS - Dec 16, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    Glad RA Dickey is out of the NL. Have fun with him American League!!!!

  155. realdealnats - Dec 16, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    Agree with 1A it is real nice to sit here and glean info and insights from so many people with so many worthwhile points to make.I too am 50/50 on MM and ALR. I certainly don't have the empirical data Feel Wood wants but it does seem to me that on bad days when we needed clutch ABs to get on base by any means necessary, ALR was more likely to work the count and end up on first than MM was to hit his way on. I love Mikey and his power, but I'd take ALR's defense, discipline, and all the various strengths just being left handed brings to the table. Stats are really important, but it's when you get the hit, and when you get on base, and when you turn the DP w/o bobbling the ball. Speaking in general and not aiming this at MM at all–b/c I really do like him–but in basketball, a player like Chris Webber often had great season stats and great game stats, but he never showed up to carry his team in the final two minutes of a game or the final games of a season. And as with a Bill Russell, or Michael Jordan, that is what wins championships.

  156. realdealnats - Dec 16, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    I've said all along the money issues discussed so far this off season is chump change given the amounts in question and the amounts spent elsewhere–and especially given the window of optimum opportunity open to this team. If you don't want Adam on your team for year 3, then put him on the bench for great late innings defense and PHing. But get him for this year. B/c so many of us aren't as much in the loop as a few on this blog (meant sincerely) I had no idea of Sean's surgery, but still, I'd have given him 3 years at 15m–and all we needed to give him in the end was 2 anyway! Right now, I'd be lining up Mike Gonzalez to shore up a very weakened left handed BP. And I'd be moving hard on Howell. And possibly another 5th starter b/c I'd be keeping Garcia and Dukes in relief and I don't believe we're going another year w/o Starting Pitching injury. Sometimes the biggest waste of money is not spending an extra chunk of it at the right time.

  157. realdealnats - Dec 16, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    But as always, the man with the big picture in mind, who has assemble this fine team, and who did know about Sean's bone chips in his elbow–In Rizzo We Trust!

  158. John C. - Dec 16, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    "It always seems like ALR …"Beware of confirmation bias. Baseball Reference tracks career stats, RISP, RISP with two outs, after the 7th inning, close games and late. And in category after category, Morse outperforms LaRoche, generally by a substantial margin. Don't take my word for it – look it up yourself. LaRoche also requires more of a commitment, and to a player who is 33 years old. I also looked up performance issues for players past the age of 32; Joe Posnanski ran some numbers here: http://joeposnanski.blogspot.com/2012/02/aging-with-chart.htmlAgain, I don't have a real problem with LaRoche. I like defense, too. If they sign him for two years, hey, I'm OK with that. But there three years to a 33yo player? When the Nats have a 30 HR, 100 RBI bat to play 1b already, who hits RHP just as well as LaRoche, with Tyler Moore ready to back him up? Nah. I'd recommend going with the Beast and the comp pick.

  159. baseballswami - Dec 16, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    I remember when – maybe only a year ago? – we were all upset that Morse wasn't going to stay at first. We mostly thought he couldn't hit while playing the outfield. That was before we really saw ALR play sparkly defense and hit the ball a mile, also before Morse ended up hurt. Morse came up an infielder, he has a long stretch and we were all pretty happy with him there. I would rather keep Adam right now, as long as the contract doesn't impact the future , but plan B is decent. Tyler is plan C and he has skills, too. Pretty good options.

  160. Eugene in Oregon - Dec 16, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    Very good posts by John C (@ 3:56) and swami (@ 4:25). I would only add that if you look at the 2013 projections for both players that are beginning to appear on various website (e.g., Bill James on Fangraphs), there's not a statistically significant difference between them. The most immediate difference seems to be based on the projected number of games played, not on production level per game. I remain comfortable with waiting on Adam LaRoche to make his decision, but not increasing the years offered. I don't see other teams' signings (particularly in the NL East, which accounts for nearly half the Nats' games) as having done anything to change the situation. Wait for Mr. LaRoche, sign some additional relief pitchers (LH and RH), and let things shake out in Florida. If another teams make an offer, listen, but no need to make any dramatic moves.

  161. baseballswami - Dec 16, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    Greinke, Sanchez, Dickey -tough pitchers, all leaving the National League. Reyes-tough hitter, gone also, last year Pujols and Fielder. Still have to face some beastly talent, but I hope they don't let the door hit them on the way out. Ba- Bye!!

  162. Scooter - Dec 16, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    Not that it matters to your overall point, swami, but I thought Greinke signed with an NL team. Otherwise: yes, what you said.

  163. Tim - Dec 16, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    John Lannan was rumored to have said, "If you can't beat em, join em."Wow, 161 comments and a lot of ranting and raving. Who says it's the offseason?

  164. realdealnats - Dec 16, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    John C–point taken before I even posted b/c I know I haven't dug for the data, just don't have the time right now. And I know most of you know such sources. That's why I don't post much, only read others' posts and glean.And I'm sure letting ALR walk and picking up a comp pick might be a way Rizzo excels. He's obviously a tough negotiator. And I hear many who say relievers are interchangeable.But I'd sure like to be better squared away with left handed relievers by ST. And I will surely miss ALR's defense–not just snagging line drives–but catching a fair amount of RZim's errant throws. I'm sure Rizzo had great reasons for letting Lannan walk–but I was surprised b/c it didn't fit his tough persona. Seems like there was a real use for him to back up any starters who went down. And possibly the same for Morse. Sure he might be unhappy–and chemistry is everything–but maybe you keep ALR and Morse–at least until July.Anyway I'm just a knucklehead in chucks who trusts in Rizzo for the bottom line but doesn't understand why certain moves are made or not made and the timing of such moves.

  165. UnkyD - Dec 16, 2012 at 11:33 PM

    Hey, keep posting, ya knucklehead… And one good argument for moving Morse before the season starts, is that indef the new rules, a team trading for him , during the course of the season, would not be entitled to a provisional draft pick, at the end of the year, if he refuses their tender (like we are with Adam now, and will be with Mikey, if we keep him all of the coming year)…. So his trade value nosedives, after opening day (as I understand it)

  166. peric - Dec 16, 2012 at 11:35 PM

    As Natslady said you don't make a lot of wholesale changes on a team that won 98 games. If LaRoche walks, he walks. If he signs he signs. In either case the Nats progression for the minors is unaltered. Except if LaRoche walks then the Nats may have another two players (if drafted out of college) instead of one who could be ready for the pros in 2 years. To complement what they already have. The Nats might actually get more value if LaRoche does decide to go elsewhere. It won't make Davey happy that's for sure but …

  167. peric - Dec 16, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    So his trade value nosedives, after opening day (as I understand it)Besides left-handed relief (and perhaps a former 'Spos first rounder might provide what they need) and David Price. I'm not sure what else they need in trade besides prospects. The prospects Rizzo nets won't be even close in value to what they'll get if LaRoche walks … so …At some point you have to consider what Morse would be worth even if he is only with the club 1/2 a season and gets traded? He has a lot of flexibility, much, much more than Tyler Moore at this point. Certainly, a lot more than LaRoche. Yes, Morse could again make a great bench player who could conceivably work his way back into the starting lineup as he did in 2010 and 2011. Unless Morse himself is extremely unhappy with being the team's swing man from the bench I don't see any problem with it and the Nats are better with him than without him at this point.

  168. natsfan1a - Dec 17, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    Should we knuckleheads who haven't the time (or even, in some cases, the inclination) to crunch numbers on any potential transactions and/or player values post? Soitenly. (nyuck nyuck) er, imho. ymmv. etc. :-)Oh, and in Rizzo we trust. (Gulp, bang!)

  169. realdealnats - Dec 17, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    Gulp, bang! Nyuck Nyuck Nyuck,

  170. UnkyD - Dec 17, 2012 at 1:02 AM

    Gulp, Bang!

  171. baseballswami - Dec 17, 2012 at 1:22 AM

    So why has there not been a Nats classic on for a long time? Only O's . Angelos being passive – aggressive because of the TV dispute? It's making me cranky. I could use a nice Strasmas rerun. Or game 5?

  172. c715e5d6-9d22-11e1-a89a-000f20980440 - Dec 17, 2012 at 2:22 AM

    Baseballswami: I recommend the MLB.com subscription. Watch all the baseball games you want, any time you want, on the computer. I have Verizon DSL, and the regular feed works just fine. Or, you can watch the condensed games, or listen to Charlie & Dave's audio over the cable broadcast. Besides the obvious (Gio's 20th win and complete game, Game 4, Oct. 1, the season and the home opener, Morse's grand slam) anyone have any favorite "must replay" games? Oh, and the July 21 LannEn game.ArVAFan

  173. SonnyG10 - Dec 17, 2012 at 2:39 AM

    I have the MLB.com subscription, but haven't as yet watched any of the games. I've been rather busy lately and have been saving the games for when I really get desperate.I really wish John Lannan well, but I hope I hope the relievers that come in for him blow the games. At least until we have an insurmountable lead in the division. I will always be fond of John because he gave my dog, Sophie, a baseball when we went to Viera two winters ago.

  174. baseballswami - Dec 17, 2012 at 2:40 AM

    Expensive?? Sounds like a Christmas gift– to me, from me. We won 98 games- they should be playing each and every one between now and spring training. ESPN duplication running most if the time. Give me a break. Thanks for the tip alpha- numerical poster!!

  175. Section 222 - Dec 17, 2012 at 2:46 AM

    Boy am I glad I will be fine with either ALR or Morse. We can go to the World Series with either of them at 1B. It must be really stressful to feel so really strongly over something that you have absolutely no control over.

  176. UnkyD - Dec 17, 2012 at 3:12 AM

    222… Exactly!

  177. NatsLady - Dec 17, 2012 at 3:27 AM

    222, yeah. I am glad to read the opinions and appreciate effort, but I will be much gladder (is that a word?) to see REAL ballgames. There are simply not a lot of holes to fill. I think, in the final analysis, that I trust ALR over Morse, but I'll be accused of "Morse-hate." Oh, well. The Cards did pretty well with only one (mediocre) LH reliever in their bullpen. Rizzo and Davey probably want two LH'ers, and in due course, Rizzo will sign another guy. Wouldn't be surprised if he talks a couple of decent, rehabbing pitchers into spending some time in Syracuse, also, as depth for the Nats and good career moves for them.I'm a BIG Danny supporter, but I've made mis-judgments before. I like Danny for his athleticism, his intensity, his "work ethic." I understand he frustrates a lot of people on here, but I just like watching him play. Some players (like our Face) are pretty equal in O and D, but Morse clearly has more fun batting, and I suspect Danny likes to be in the field. Baseball is a great game because it forces guys to come out of their comfort zones–Morse has to field and Danny has to come up to bat whether he likes it or not.

  178. UnkyD - Dec 17, 2012 at 4:03 AM

    Not hating, NL… Most of us prefer Adam, but realize all of our wishes can still com true, with Beast Mode, on the Bag….

  179. peric - Dec 17, 2012 at 6:08 AM

    I concur with ArVAFan. I use mlb.com as well. Not always as reliable as I'd like and I absolutely hate the blackout rules but purportedly those go away in 2014 for that multimedia portal? But I get to rewind plays … get to listen to the radio broadcast of games instead of the announcers if I'm not partial to them. Albeit I do like Santangelo. You can watch entire canned games. You can watch games of other teams. You can watch some minor league games if you add on milb.com. Syracuse and Harrisburg could be fun to watch this season.

  180. peric - Dec 17, 2012 at 6:10 AM

    Natslady don't count out former Expos/Nats draft pick Bill Bray who does have a power left-handed arm and was a first round pick as a reliever like Drew Storen. His problem has been injuries so they'll need insurance but I suspect he may be it.

  181. Unknown - Dec 17, 2012 at 6:28 AM

    I want Adam LaRoche to return as bad as anyone but like the Nats, it needs to be for just two seasons.I picked four first baseman at random. The first set of stats are at ages 30-32 (like LaRoche) and second at ages 33-35.I'm sure there are other first baseman who continued to hit at the same pace, but:(based on a 162 game season and not actual games played)Frank Howard30-32: .284-45-11433-35: .264-23-71Jeff Bagwell30-32: .301-44-13133-35: .278-34-99Ernie Banks30-32: .266-30-9733-35: .271-23-71Willie McCovey30-32: .297-41-12133-35: .247-32-83Fred McGriff30-32: .296-35-11533-35: .290-27-95Most of these players still produced good numbers, but there was a definite drop-off. Based on these numbers, I would guess LaRoche's numbers for his next three years would look something like this:.260-24-88Nothing wrong with that, but Michael Morse will be in his prime over the next three years. Since he's been in Washington he's averaged over a 162 game season:.296/.345/.516 with 33 doubles, 2 triples, 31 home runs and 95 RBI.And Tyler Moore, based on his 2012 numbers and based on 162 games:.263-35-101Based on his last two seasons in the minors-he averaged .270/.320/.542, 31HR, 100RBI–he seems like a 30 home run, 100 RBI slugger. My head says the Nationals would be far better off with Morse at first and letting LaRoche go and getting that sandwich pick draft choice. I think the Nationals would be best served by letting LaRoche walk, trading Morse for prospects and making Moore their first baseman. No, he's not a great first baseman but he's good enough. And even if Moore doesn't produce like LaRoche did, say something around .260-25-80, they won't miss the 8 homers and 20 RBI. I think the other infield positions will produce more than they did last year, maybe +3 at third and short, +2 at second and +6 at catcher (assuming Wilson Ramos is healthy).Harper/Werth/Span should hit about 55 homers next year, about the same as Harper/Morse/Werth and Werth's replacements while on the DL. They could easily carry a first baseman on a learning curve. My guess on the 2013 lineup:CF–Span: .290-4-55RF–Werth: .275-23-753B–Zimmerman: .285-30-110LF–Harper: .290-30-95SS–Desmond: .280-27-851B–Moore: .260-25-802B–Espinosa: .250-20-65C–Ramos/Suzuki: .260-18-50Man, I can live with that.Farid @ Idaho

  182. peric - Dec 17, 2012 at 6:38 AM

    Farid, I don't think you could get real value for Morse. In point of fact you might have an easier time getting value for Moore since he is under team control for far longer … PLUS, Morse isn't constrained to first base he is capable of working as a swing man between positions in the outfield and first base. This is something neither Tyler Moore nor Adam LaRoche can do.So, to me the obvious trade candidate is Moore given that LaRoche returns a supplemental pick. Especially if you don't plan on having him at first base in 2 years. Morse is gone in a year so he isn't a problem and if necessary they might even be able to extend him additionally if need be. LaRoche with 3 years would be a problem. He would definitely end up blocking critical players.

  183. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Dec 18, 2012 at 12:38 AM

    Iffy stuff, bandbox home park, aging infield and over-the-hill team.Lannan has 5-12 written all over him.

  184. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Dec 18, 2012 at 12:41 AM

    @Farid: Nice analysis. I've said all along I think T. Moore will get the lion's share of at-bats at first base. They'll start with Mickey Morse, who will either get hurt or get cold. Moore will get in and Morse will get Wally Pipped.ALR will go nuts with that hot air and homer heaven ballpark in Texas, however.Only remaining development is whether the Rangers announced ALR signing before Christmas.

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