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Projecting future rosters

Dec 20, 2012, 12:46 PM EDT

USA Today Sports Images
Bryce Harper certainly will be a part of the Nats' lineup in future years.

I wrote yesterday about the state of the Nationals' farm system, tied in with Baseball America's release of the organization's Top 10 Prospects list. One of the always-interesting features of that annual piece is the magazine's predicted lineup for the club three years down the road.

It's often a fruitless exercise, because so much can change over the course of three years and the BA writers don't account for any potential trades or free agent signings. But I was particularly intrigued by their predicted 2016 lineup for the Nationals:

BASEBALL AMERICA PROJECTED '16 LINEUP
C Wilson Ramos
1B Ryan Zimmerman
2B Danny Espinosa
SS Ian Desmond
3B Anthony Rendon

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  1. Positively Half St. - Dec 20, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    I am hoping that Nyjer Morgan won't be on any MLB roster, actually.+1/2St.

  2. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 20, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    'LF Josh WillinghamCF Nyjer MorganRF Adam Dunn'WOW is that the best defensive OF ever or what?

  3. sjm308 - Dec 20, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    Couple things:1. This is the 2nd time I have seen you projecting Harper in right and Werth in left. If was also on the screen during your Beltway Baseball show. Is this speculation on your part or have you heard something? I wrote weeks ago about making that move immediately but was pretty well shot down on here.2. Werth on the bench in 16 actually makes perfect sense. I don't see him as a prima donna and if we have a couple of World Series shots, I think he will enjoy life being a part of that and continue to do what is needed. Others will continue to point out how poor the contract is and have done so for years but the reality is, Werth took us to a new level and I will always appreciate that.3. Is there any word on when Rizzo will offer JZimmnn a contract extention? I realize he is under team control for a couple of years but I think extending Gio really helped him settle in and I have always thought a Zimmermann extention was even more important then the LaRoche signing.4. People continue to question Espinosa on here but wouldn't it be great to have that same double play combination in place for all those years??Everyone have a peaceful dayGo Nats!!!

  4. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 20, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    besides Ramos, every single one of them is either drafted or traded for prospects. WOW!Anyways I was going to make a point about how BA has Danny at second even four years later but after going through 2013 lineup, that point becomes invalid.

  5. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 20, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    sjm, werth will be earning $21 million from 2015-17. if he is not manning an OF position, he will definitely be traded. I don't see such an expensive bench player.

  6. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 20, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    Just wondering, what is the worst defensive OF you have ever seen?

  7. sjm308 - Dec 20, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    Faraz – what team is going to trade for an aging outfielder making that kind of money? Again, I love Werth but the contract was a mistake in the backend. Look at ARod with the Yankees. No one will take that contract and his play, while still decent has declined. I have not checked that contract but I would also be willing to bet there is some sort of no-trade clause as well. He will be here for the duration and once again, I am not upset about that. No Trade for Werth

  8. sjm308 - Dec 20, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    From two posts ago. I just wanted to be sure I understood the draft pick situation with LaRoche. It is my understanding we will NOT get that teams pick but WILL get a sandwich pick between the first and second round. The team selecting LaRoche will lose its pick but that just sort of goes away. Is that correct??

  9. original Nats Fan - Dec 20, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    Worth does have a no trade clause in his contract

  10. JD - Dec 20, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    \ Giolito to start 2016 in the rotation is wildly optimistic. It's not even reasonable to project him at all until he returns from TJ. It's not like he was already developed before the injury; it's back to square one when he returns.

  11. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 20, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    sjm, no team would and since he has NTC, we can only trade him if he waives that clause. Having said that, I still see him as a starting player unless his production drops off like wells which I don't expect him to be. I believe werth has certain skills such as OBP that won't decline as sharply as wells' skills. I think he is our LF until 2017. what to do if rendon and goodwin are ready? I don't know, that's too far ahead for us to worry about.

  12. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 20, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    JD, I don't know about Giolito being in 2016 rotation but he was considered ahead of the curve for a HS pitcher before injuries. I am really hoping him and Karns pan out.

  13. Laddie Blah Blah - Dec 20, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    Not even Rizzo knows what the roster will look like in 2016. He is still not sure what it will look like in 2013.

  14. JD - Dec 20, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    SJM, Faraz, What you are discussing about Werth was pretty much universally predicted when he signed; that the last few years will be 'throw aways' or close to it. We'll just have to see how this plays out one year at a time. Last year Jayson was pretty effective when healthy so there is a good chance that we'll get decent value from him in 2013. After that we'l see.

  15. Theophilus T. S. - Dec 20, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    BA should get out of the roster projection business, stick to ranking prospects.Worst defensive outfield ever would have to have been one that included Orlando Cepeda. Sjm — Your understanding of the replacement pick is correct.I don't think Goodwin ever starts with the Nats, unless they extend Span. Span may be one of those guys who — because they lose speed — peaks early, in which case they may just play him, pay him through the end of his current contract.

  16. bowdenball - Dec 20, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    I don't understand why people have a problem with Werth as a 4th OF. 4th OFs get a ton of playing time, and Werth would be a good one because he can man multiple OF spots. Yes he'll be making $21 million, but it's not like the Nats are deciding to pay him $21 million in 2016. It's part of a seven year package with an AAV of $18 million, it's just a bit backloaded. Yeah that's still a lot of money, but it's wrong to isolate a single year of the deal.And in any event, pay should have nothing to do with it. You field the best team you can, period. In 2010 the Giants didn't set aside a permanent starting OF spot for Aaron Rowand, or a spot at the top of the rotation for Barry Zito, just because they had big money deals. Worked out OK for them.

  17. Theophilus T. S. - Dec 20, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    Continued emphasis on Goodwin's "raw tools" — i.e., what he could be as opposed to what he is, sounds to me like he's all chrome, no bumper.

  18. NatsLady - Dec 20, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    sjm–yes, that is correct. The pick "vaporizes." This is different than the previous CBA. The idea was that only "elite" players (e.g., Hamilton) would have the draft-pick attached to them. New restrictions on draft bonuses and international spending (which the players' association pushed for in order to push spending away from prospects and towards active players) have made draft picks more valuable. So the draft pick compensation is hitting good-but-not-elite players like LaRoche. If EJax had gotten the qualifying offer, he would have faced a tough decision. He may get 4/52 from the Cubbies. Would that have be reduced by a year if he had a pick attached to him? Would he have gotten mult-year offer at all? Teams are now saying, "We can give a one-year offer and get the pick when the FA leaves."

  19. MicheleS - Dec 20, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  20. MicheleS - Dec 20, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    I like that Mark points out the flaw in the projection about the FA's. Span is an FA after 2014 if we don't pick up his option for 2015. I see Werth as a Torii Hunter type. He will be a high OBP guy with an above average glove. At some point he will move over to LF, Harp has the ARM for RF.And that 2013 projected lineup. YIKES! Thank Heaven we don't have to watch that crappahula!

  21. JD - Dec 20, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    Bowdenball, If Werth can be a decent 4th outfielder at the age of 38 your points will have had some merit. There a school of thought which says that this is also very unlikely taking into account projected normal aging decline. As I said; the deal is signed so we will have to see how it plays out a year at a time. If we win a WS or 2 I suspect that no one will worry about a bad contract or 2.

  22. Don - Dec 20, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    Baseball America is giving us an idea of just how bad a contract Jayson Werth is by leaving him off the 2016 starting lineup when he's going to be 37 yrs old and still going to be owed north of $40M. Werth might prove them wrong, he could become an All Star caliber player and be a fixture for the Nats in 2016, but 2 years into his contract his performance has not been $126M type stuff and we thought that the early production was going to have the most value not the sunset years (he turns 34 in May). We'll see, he has the tools and he has done it in the past, but the pressure is on that guy in a huge way. He ahd better play well and the club had better win, as I am guessing he really wants to avoid being Vernon Wells.

  23. Joe Seamhead - Dec 20, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    Very good posts this morning.

  24. JB - Dec 20, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    Faraz Shaikh said… Just wondering, what is the worst defensive OF you have ever seen? In 2006, the Giants sported an opening day outfield with 32 year old Randy Winn trying to cover the ground between Moises Alou (39 y.o.) and Barry Bonds (41 y.o.).

  25. bowdenball - Dec 20, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    You're right, JD. I'm trying to stay optimistic about the last 2-3 years of Werth's deal by telling me that at least his greatest skill- his patience at the plate- should age well.You guys who are criticizing the accuracy of the BA predictions aren't really being fair. They're not intended to actually be predictive- they don't even account for free agency, they just assume everyone extends and stays put. They're a tool for fans to evaluate teams' strengths and weaknesses a few years down the road. For example in late 2009 fans could look at the Nats' 2013 prediction and see that the organization needed an infusion of athleticism in the OF. And now a fan can see that the future is bright for the Nats but that they'll need a lot of money on hand for extensions for their young talent.

  26. JB - Dec 20, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    Actually, Faraz, now that I think about it, there may have never been a defense worse than the one the Yanks put out there, even when they were a dynasty (numbers are Fielding Runs Above Average based on UZR, from Fangraphs):LF Hideki Matsui (-15) CF Bernie Williams (-29) RF Gary Sheffield (-26)Yuck.

  27. SCNatsFan - Dec 20, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    Don, the argument that Werth was the guy who took the money to come to DC when no one else would has been played elsewhere; to summarize, they needed to overpay someone to get the ball rolling here; if it wasn't Werth it was going to be someone else.

  28. Joe Seamhead - Dec 20, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    As to Jayson Werth, I was thrilled the day that we signed him, and I still am. He brought exactly what I thought he would to the table, that being an attitude that the acceptance of losing was going to officially be a thing of the past on this team. He has also been a great mentor to Bryce Harper, who said that Werth was the team leader in the locker room. I am convinced that the Phillies miss him in their clubhouse,too. He also played a part in expediting Jim Riggleman's departure, and for that I am grateful.Bad contract? Maybe, but has it had the effect that Mike Rizzo and the Lerners hoped for when they signed him? Undoubtedly.

  29. JB - Dec 20, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    Bear in mind on the Werth deal that with all the new regional network cable money coming in all over the league, his contract will seem less costly in context. The $21M salary on the back end would already be out of the top ten, and is likely to be out of the top 25 in a few years.And I think it's a perfect example of sunk cost anyway. No one on the Nats will evaluate his playing time or value against his salary. Everyone is on board with the idea that there was a "sucktitude tax" associated with getting a top tier FA to come to DC in 2010.

  30. hiramhover - Dec 20, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    WerthFirst the negatives:We all knew his contract was an albatross the day it was signed–so that "news" is 2 years old. Maybe BA is off by a year, but by 2017, tops, he's no longer a starter. And one way or another, the Nats are going to end up paying the bulk of the money for his "golden" years. Even if he waived the no-trade clause, no team would take him without the Nats eating most of what he was owed. In that sense, he's less Torii Hunter than Vernon Wells. The positives:Even if he's not worth what he's getting paid, he should still be able to turn in decent performance at a corner OF spot for the next couple of years, so at least that's one thing off Rizzo's immediate "to do" list. By all accounts, he's a good clubhouse presence and a good influence. Which I know is a cliche, but it's a cliche for a reason–there are plenty of aging, overpaid former stars who turn into non-entities, if not clubhouse cancers.

  31. 3on2out - Dec 20, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    While you are contemplating the horrific defense in the corners provided by the Alabama Hammer and the Big Donkey it is worth noting that those two combined for 76 homeruns last year!

  32. hiramhover - Dec 20, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    By the way, on the reliability of the 2 BA projections:A lot more of the 2016 projections are guys who are: a, proven major leaguers already, and b, known to be under team control that long. Look at the projection for 2013, and one or both of those conditions don't apply.

  33. original Nats Fan - Dec 20, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    half of the 2013 BA projected lineup are gone from the Nats. Let's come back in 2016 and compare their guess to the actual facts. We will probably be suprized at the difference.

  34. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 20, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    It used to be a challenge to construct a Nats roster a year out and now its much easier. I guess thats what happens when you are good.

  35. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 20, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    Joe Seamhead on Werth. You nailed it! Working to the plan. At some point, it may become a painful process at $20 million+ to decide his fate. Maybe he will follow in the footsteps of Derek Jeter where it won't be an issue. I have often pondered Jayson's future when he isn't the best option in the outfield. Is it 1st Base or the Bench?

  36. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 20, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    Mark wrote…– The Nationals would have to actually make the decision to move Zimmerman to first base and open third base for Rendon, something which has been vaguely discussed before but is far from a guaranteed switch.Vaguely discussed? Its been a daily discussion here with Peric for 6 months now. I wouldn't call that "vaguely" unless you are talking about people with actual knowledge of the future plans.I still think it has to be RZim or JWerth at 1st down the road. JWerth is 5 years older than Zim.

  37. Doc - Dec 20, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    BA's lineup projections are goofy.Apart from generating some extraneous commemtary by us NI's, does anybody really care? Maybe BA should stick to something else to occupy their time!

  38. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 20, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    From Bill Ladson's Q&AQuestion: Do you think Ian Desmond can pull off another incredible year in 2013?– Chris I., Princeton, N.J. Answer: When his career comes to an end, I believe Desmond will go down as one of the great shortstops in baseball. Last year was great, but the best is yet to comeI like Bill's optimism on this but I would be fine with Desi performing on his 2012 pace.

  39. 51e6a1d2-c064-11e1-b214-000bcdca4d7a - Dec 20, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    Awful defense but almost 70 HRs and 30 SBs. I see how back in 2009 that looked awesome! Hehe!

  40. Unknown - Dec 20, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    By 2016, Werth will be the full time Caveman in the Verizon commercials and the Nats will be paying him $20 million not to play.

  41. hiramhover - Dec 20, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    GhostI don't think Werth's power in ~3 years will be such that the Nats would tolerate him as their regular 1B.

  42. Joe Seamhead - Dec 20, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    Whatever,Unknown, but get your commercials right. The Caveman is from Geico ads.

  43. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 20, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    hiramhover said… GhostI don't think Werth's power in ~3 years will be such that the Nats would tolerate him as their regular 1B. December 20, 2012 10:01 AM I think that is a reasonable projection on your part. Time will tell.

  44. 51e6a1d2-c064-11e1-b214-000bcdca4d7a - Dec 20, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    Of course that only works if the player is good enough that a qualifying offer is not enough. EJax wasn't good enough for the $13.3M and if he was given one he probabky would have accepted and the Nats I don't think wanted to run that risk.

  45. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 20, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    51e6a1d2-c064-11e1-b214-000bcdca4d7a said… Of course that only works if the player is good enough that a qualifying offer is not enough. EJax wasn't good enough for the $13.3M and if he was given one he probabky would have accepted and the Nats I don't think wanted to run that risk. December 20, 2012 10:15 AM I would say not good enough for the Nats to pay him that much since they knew for less they could get Haren or someone like that. To a team that needs EJax as their top of the rotation starter, they may pay him close to that number.EJax is still believed by many GMs to have untapped potential and there lies his ultimate value and add to that a durable pitcher.I look at it as you could have Lannan for $10 million less and he can give you the same ERA and innings only with less strikeouts.

  46. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 20, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Todd Boss Q&A to Ladson's mailbox.Q: Do you think Ian Desmond can pull off another incredible year in 2013?A: Sure! Do I think Ian Desmond could also regress at the plate to his pre 2012 numbers? Yes I do. I really have no idea what to expect out of guys like Desmond and Roger Bernadina, who both had career years and significantly improved their offense over their career norms. Are these one-time improvements? Meanwhile, a guy like Danny Espinosa is in the reverse situation; he’s regressing year to year, and needs to make a leap like Desmond made. Predictions? I think all three players stay roughly where they are, Espinosa starts losing ABs against lefties to Lombardozzi, and Rendon starts to force the team’s hand by tearing up AAA in early 2013. That's what I'm thinking also. Rendon plays well enough to force the issue.

  47. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 20, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    'Espinosa starts losing ABs against lefties to Lombardozzi' Espinosa is much better against lefties than righties.

  48. Feel Wood - Dec 20, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    Michael Morse ‏@Dc_BEAST38 330 40 120 Ian Desmond ‏@IanDesmond20 @Dc_BEAST38 yeah it's about that time, you going #beastmode this year or what. Saw those numbers the other day, looks about rightMichael Morse ‏@Dc_BEAST38 @IanDesmond20 #beastmodeSo really, who do you want at 1B/cleanup this year, this guy or the guy who's spending the entire offseason up in a tree somewhere looking for deer to shoot?

  49. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 20, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    Faraz, yep, he got it backwards.

  50. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 20, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    Feel Wood, I've moved on. Give me Morse and the Draft Pick.

  51. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 20, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    Feel Wood, I have that stat of 1.002 OPS of Morse when he played 1st base in 2011 etched in my brain. Can he come even close to that this year?I think so and I like that he is in his contract year and a lot to prove.

  52. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 20, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    Morse at 1st base in 2011 in 83 games hit 19 HRs with 62 RBIs. Project those numbers for 162 games and you are near 37 HRs and 120 RBIs. His slash was .336/.401/.601/1.002 Those are Miguel Cabrera type numbers. With Denard Span, Jayson Werth, Bryce Harper, and Ryan Zimmerman hitting in front of him, I could see 140 RBIs.Pass me the Kool-Aid!!!!

  53. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 20, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    Gorzo to the Brewers for 2 years.

  54. Kenz aFan - Dec 20, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    Baseball America can only project what it believes a team's roster will look like based on players that are currently on the 40-Man Roster and developing in the minors. It's a crap shoot, and should be taken with a grain of salt.In January 2009, Baseball America predicted that the 2012 Nats would look like this:C Jesus Flores1B Chris Marrero2B Esmailyn Gonzalez3B Ryan ZimmermanSS Cristian GuzmanLF Elijah DukesCF Lastings MilledgeRF Michael BurgessSP Jordan ZimmermanSP Ross DetwilerSP Scott OlsenSP Collin BalesterSP John LannanCL Garrett MockThey couldn't know that the Nats would end up drafting Strasburg and Harper, would trade for Gio, Sign Jackson, that Smiley Gonzalez would be exposed as a fraud, that Guzman, Dukes, Milledge, Burgess, Olson, Ballester and Mock would all be gone.Thank God that BA was wrong, because with that group of projected players for 2012, the Nats would have been lucky to win 70 games.I for one, actually enjoy reading the projected future lineups, but as I said, it's a guessing game, because lineups change.BTW, who's to say that Rizzo, after a WS win in which Werth is the WS MVP, finds a suc… I mean finds a taker for Werth. ;)

  55. Dave - Dec 20, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    That 2013 "projected roster" kind of gives me the heebie-jeebies now, looking at it.True, there will be changes between now and 2016, but I find it remarkable how much of the 2013 team is the 2012 team.

  56. peric - Dec 20, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    I don't see Span in CF he'll likely be gone or be a bench player. I wouldn't count Bryce Harper out quite yet and there still is Brian Goodwin so … Andy yep, Werth could be a 21 million a year bench player. Handwriting is pretty much on the wall. Its the risk they took and you have to figure ownership had to know that was going to be a distinct possibility given Werth's age.

  57. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 20, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    Feel Wood and GoSM, I am becoming more and more conflicted as days pass whether I want ALR back or give Morse a shot at MVP numbers.

  58. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 20, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    Faraz Shaikh said… Feel Wood and GoSM, I am becoming more and more conflicted as days pass whether I want ALR back or give Morse a shot at MVP numbers. December 20, 2012 11:13 AM Did you watch the Josh Hamilton press conference this week when asked about the Rangers and Hamilton's wife chimed in that the Rangers allowed them to look around and date and the Angels found him.The Nats did the same thing with LaRoche and using Hamilton's wifes analogy on the other side, LaRoche has been out there trying to date and maybe the Nats have fallen out of love. Would Rizzo pull back his offer?

  59. JD - Dec 20, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    Ghost, Didn't Rizzo kind of suggest that there is a Christmas expiry date on the offer? I think ALR and his agent are trying to wait out the Texas situation (and maybe the Boston one as well) but the Rangers are very methodical and may conclude that ALR doesn't put them over the top anyway. Wouldn't it be something if ALR is forced to take a 1 year deal somewhere?

  60. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 20, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    JD, I thought the same thing that midnight on Monday is the deadline but someone else didn't think that was etched in stone.It looks like ALR's agents are following the Boras lead and allow everyone else to be taken up. The problem I see from the Nats perspective is that the trade market for Morse is shrinking and Rizzo can't give him away. He's much too valuable.

  61. Feel Wood - Dec 20, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    The Nats did the same thing with LaRoche and using Hamilton's wifes analogy on the other side, LaRoche has been out there trying to date and maybe the Nats have fallen out of love. Would Rizzo pull back his offer?Most likely there never has been an offer Rizzo would even have to pull back, in the sense of concrete salary numbers or anything beyond a generic "we could give you two years at most." Rizzo's semi-optimistic comments and Davey's all-out "courtship" of ALR are probably nothing more than a sign of respect to him as a GG/SS winner and for his contributions in 2012. They certainly didn't want to just cut him loose like they did with EJax. Maintaining the possibility that ALR might sign with the Nats helps boost the value of his eventual contract with another team, and also serves to keep Morse motivated. ALR came into 2012 with something to prove after all the offseason Prince rumors, and Morse will have a similar chip on his shoulder in 2013. Rizzo's a failed player himself, he knows how that works. Let Davey play good cop and keep puffing up the players' egos, but if that's all they hear they can become complacent.It's been pretty clear all along that Rizzo doesn't really want ALR back even though he'll tell the press he does, just like with Adam Dunn. If this drags on and ALR doesn't get a three year offer soon enough, don't be surprised if he takes a two year offer somewhere else.

  62. Alphabet Soup Erik - Dec 20, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    I've said this before, but they really need to keep both Morse and LaRoche. Who is to say that Werth won't be a bench player THIS year? Morse is certainly a better hitter than Werth is at this point, so I see no reason to trade him just because he may be the odd man out due to his defensive liabilities in the OF. The difference in offense between Morse and Werth more than makes up for the defensive gap between the two. Two words: contract year!!! If he has a decent season, he may very well be the best hitter available in a very weak FA market (for hitters) next season. He could have a HUGE year and certainly helps this team more than anything he will bring back in a trade. Kendrys Morales brought back a pretty darn good SP and I think Morse is probably better and certainly has more potential for an MVP type season. His 162 game averages as a National are .295/32/97 and I don't think he has even peaked yet. Even if they sign LaRoche, they really need to let this thing play out with Morse.

  63. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 20, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    Feel Wood, thats certainly a plausible theory on ALR but I believe that ALR was there if Rizzo traded Morse. Since Rizzo didn't trade Morse, things may have changed and Rizzo has indeed moved on although nobody is saying anything publicly.

  64. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 20, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    Alphabet Soup Erik said… I think Morse is probably better and certainly has more potential for an MVP type season. His 162 game averages as a National are .295/32/97 and I don't think he has even peaked yet.They are great numbers and Morse was injured most of 2012.I think that's why I have flip-flopped.Span CF LHWerth RF RHHarper LF LHZim 3B RHMorse 1B RHDesi SS RHEspi/Lomb 2B SSuz/Ram C RH

  65. The Fox - Dec 20, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    JD, when you mentioned that maybe ALR would have to settle for a one year contract it got me thinking, probably not a good idea :-)Anyway, since the Nationals had to offer ALR a contract at 13.2 million is this contract null and void as soon as ALR turned it down?Since another team now has to give up a first round draft pick if they sign him wouldn't they have to beat 13.2 million or can the Nats or any other team now get him for less? If it is the case that as soon as ALR turned down the 13.2 it was gone it seems that this new rule greatly favors the team over the player. I would wonder why the MLB players association would have agreed to this because it doesn’t give the player any real leverage since the contract no longer exist but giving up the draft pick does. What if the National didn't sign him and decided to go with Morse? There might be a good chance that no one would sign ALR to a one year contract because they wouldn't want to give up the draft pick, effectively making him persona non-gratis in baseball or at least making him sign for a very low amount of money.Maybe I’m missing something? Anyone know exactly how this works?

  66. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 20, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    I'll give it a shot…Since the Nationals had to offer ALR a contract at 13.2 million is this contract null and void as soon as ALR turned it down?1.1: They didn't have to offer him a contract, just like they didn't have to offer Edwin Jackson a contract. But they figured a year of Adam at $13.2 or so was a good deal, if he took it, which they already knew he wouldn't, because he said so. 1.2: They could choose to leave the offer open, but it would still be irrelevant, because he wants multiple years, and they know he can get at least two years.Since another team now has to give up a first round draft pick if they sign him, wouldn't they have to beat 13.2 million or can the Nats or any other team now get him for less?He's now a free agent. He is free to make any deal he can get someone to agree to. Any MLB signing team will lose a draft pick (which the Nats would not get; they get a sandwich pick).If it is the case that as soon as ALR turned down the 13.2 it was gone it seems that this new rule greatly favors the team over the player. I would wonder why the MLB players association would have agreed to this because it doesn’t give the player any real leverage since the contract no longer exist but giving up the draft pick does.The player's leverage is that he's good at his job, probably very good indeed, or his last team wouldn't have tendered a qualifying offer. Like any other contract somebody turns down because they think they can do better, sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes the bear eats you. What if the National didn't sign him and decided to go with Morse? There might be a good chance that no one would sign ALR to a one year contract because they wouldn't want to give up the draft pick, effectively making him [persona non grata] in baseball or at least making him sign for a very low amount of money.The risk of Adam LaRoche not getting signed for at least one year at $13.x million per approaches zero, I think. It's possible that someone could price themselves right off the market–it's happened before–but it usually is accompanied by other issues. Maybe I’m missing something? Anyone know exactly how this works?

  67. UnkyD - Dec 20, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    "Really need", Erik?… Really? And what catastrophe is likely to occur? "Really need"?Not so much…..

  68. MurrayTheRed - Dec 20, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    Looking at that Projected 2013 lineup brings up a Question. What is the current status of Chris Marrero?

  69. sjm308 - Dec 20, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    Like I mentioned either early in this post or in the last, I am now in the camp of Morse at first and getting that draft pick. That does not mean I will be upset with LaRoche taking our two year deal. I was basically called unreasonable for the following but….. Why would you then trade Morse? Here is my latest thought on this. Right now, our big bat off the bench is Tracy. Wouldn't you rather have Morse than Tracy? Morse can play more positions, he is a better hitter and if he stays professional and does not pout, he is great in the clubhouse. We and every other club deal with injury each year and the more solid players we have, the better we will be. I will finish with this. Name me a better bench then Ramos, Morse, Moore, Lombardozzi and Bernadina. This bench would definitely keep JayB from carping on that subject at least. Waiting to hear why this does not make sense and please don't tell me we need to trade Morse for his benefit. This is a business as well as sport and we need to be in the business of winning.

  70. hiramhover - Dec 20, 2012 at 10:43 PM

    sjm308It's not an unreasonable question, but it has been asked and answered a number of times. If ALR is back at 1B, it's hard to see how it makes sense to burn 2 bench spots on Morse and Moore–they're just too similar in their strengths and weaknesses. One of them is much cheaper, and under much longer term team control–that's Moore–and so the other one is the one you try to move–that's Morse.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 91 64 --
ATLANTA 76 79 15.0
NEW YORK 76 80 15.5
MIAMI 74 81 17.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 85 20.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Sunday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (4) 91 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 89 67 2.5
y-ST. LOUIS 87 68 4.0
-------------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 71 7.0 --
PITTSBURGH 84 71 7.0 --
MILWAUKEE 80 76 11.5 4.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Sunday's early games

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