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No LaRoche resolution in sight

Dec 21, 2012, 2:00 PM EDT

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Adam LaRoche is holding out for a third year nobody seems to want to give him.

Earlier this month, when talks with Adam LaRoche seemed to be progressing, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said he wanted resolution to his No. 1 offseason task by Christmas.

We're now four days from that self-imposed deadline, and with few developments over the last few weeks, there's little reason to believe resolution is near.

The sticking point remains the same thing it's been all along: LaRoche wants three guaranteed years, Rizzo isn't willing to go beyond two. Throughout the process, other clubs have been mentioned as potential alternatives for the 33-year-old first baseman, yet none has emerged as a serious threat.

The Rangers appeared to be LaRoche's best non-Nationals option, especially after star slugger Josh Hamilton bolted for Anaheim last week, but they've hit the same sticking points that has scared offRead more »

251 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Kiterp - Dec 21, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    sounds like 2 and half years should make both sides happy… right before the 2015 trade deadline

  2. Candide - Dec 21, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    Mark said…There doesn't appear to be another viable suitor for a Gold Glove-winning, Silver Slugger-winning first baseman.Sounds incredible, doesn't it?

  3. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 21, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    Gonat, agreed on discretion. I like signings without much fuss.

  4. Timothy Folk - Dec 21, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    LaRoche is trying to earn for his family so I can't knock him. But if this keeps on its time to see what Moore can do.

  5. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 21, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    at this point, only teams interested or have a job are those with unprotected first round picks.

  6. Gonat - Dec 21, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/on-the-nationals-interest-in-adam-laroche/Some nice unbiased comparisons of ALR and Morse. Take his Draft pick and move on. The time to have traded Morse would have been at the Winter Meetings. To give Morse away for a mid-level prospect isn't worth it.

  7. MicheleS - Dec 21, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    Still sulking in my corner… the offer of the bottle of Johnny Walker Blue (Rizzo) and buying a side of beef (Adam) is still on the table.

  8. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 21, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    The summary paragraph of the Fangraphs piece on LaRoche and Morse (thanks Gonat for the link):"Just on the basis of the numbers, Morse seems to be roughly as good as (and maybe a bit better than) LaRoche at about half the reported 2013 price, which makes the National’s interest in LaRoche puzzling. However, other factors (just to name a few possiblities) such an injury information that the team has, the style of hitting, and a desire for a more handedness-balanced lineup might make spending a more for LaRoche an attractive option as the Nationals make another loaded run for the playoffs. In addition, if they did bring back LaRoche, Morse’s relatively low salary might might him an attractive trade piece."

  9. BigCat - Dec 21, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    sjm…I to went to the Baseball Reference. In 2011, Lannan's last full year with a bad Nats ballclub he was 10-13 with 3.70. He gave up 194 hits in 184 innings pitched with a 1.462 Whip. Last year with the Angels Haren was 12-13 with a 4.33 era. He gave up 190 hits in 176 innings with a 1.291 Whip. Very similar stats indeed. What is not similar is Haren will make 13 mil and Lannan inked for 2.5 mil plus incentives with the Phils. Haren is 32 years old, with back and hip injuries. Lannan is a healthy 28 who pitched great down the stretch last year for us. I have always said that Lannan could win 15 games with a good ballclub. I still say…..bad move getting Haren

  10. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 21, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    Michele, if they don't take you up on it, we can split the Blue and burgers at the first game. Fangraphs obviously didn't take Drake into account for that calculation. Something else that I've wondered about: Why would a guy who likes hunting name his kid after a duck?

  11. sjm308 - Dec 21, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    Big Cat: we agree that we both liked Lannan and I was all for keeping him. I was really talking about the body of work for both which is a huge plus for Haren. I realize that last year was his worst and he was injured (for the first time in his career I believe). I am hoping he bounces back from that and again, I read his last 8 starts were totally different from the first 22. Even injured he pitched 176 innings. I think you can count on him for 200 innings if he is healthy. I don't think its a bad signing and again, I was all for keeping Lannan as well. We will both have to wait and see about what kind of move it is but you can't compare the two men when you look at total careers. It is nice to disagree with someone without having him call me an idiot or tell me to take a nap. Thanks for that.

  12. sjm308 - Dec 21, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    Damn it Gorse, I was going to let Michelle know that I was available to help with the "blue" but you beat me to it.

  13. BigCat - Dec 21, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    Take a nap? Must of been Peric that said that. I realize everyone has an opinion and respect that. As a Nats fan, I hope Haren has a career year next season. I just worry with a pitcher on the down side of 30, who has had injuries and has lost a lot on his fastball.

  14. Gonat - Dec 21, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    BigCat, have to hope for a Lohse rebound for Haren. "Stuff" and "approach" beats Velo without "approach".

  15. John C. - Dec 21, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    BigCat, that's the best you've got? That Lannan's best season was comparable (not better, but comparable) to Haren's worst? Even then you had to cherry pick numbers and ignore that Haren is pitching in a league where pitchers don't hit. When you look at the two pitchers, Haren is not just better, he is miles better than Lannan. Pitching in the AL, he strikes out more, walks fewer, gives up fewer hits and baserunners while pitching deeper into ballgames and more innings in a season. And after he came back from his injury, he pitched like, well, Dan Haren. In his last eight starts as the Angels pushed for a playoff spot (they actually won one more game than the Tigers did) Haren went 4-3, with a 2.81 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and a 41/5 K/BB ratio while pitching 48 innings. He's older? Yes, but he's 32, not rocking-chair age. It would be an issue if the Nationals signed him to a long term deal – which they didn't. Haren has every incentive in the world to prove that he's 100%. I hope he proves it 100%, and the Nationals can get another compensation pick for him next year.I'll always appreciate Lannan for soldiering when then Nats were terrible, and I'll wish him well while wishing the Phillies ill. But watching him pitch made my eyes bleed, and that keeps me from looking at his tenure with rose colored nostalgia.

  16. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 21, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    TICK TOCK said the mouse or in this case take out the U in MOUSE and put in a R and what does it spell?Say it louder MicheleS! Your new 1st baseman wants that JW Blue!

  17. hiramhover - Dec 21, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    I think we can all agree that Haren if healthy is a better pitcher than John Lannan, no? Some folks seem to have graver doubts that he really is healthy, and will stay that way all season.

  18. hiramhover - Dec 21, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    On that fangraphs piece – nice to see their analysis catching up with NI commenters.

  19. Feel Wood - Dec 21, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    According to a source close to the organization, Texas GM Jon Daniels is unlikely to offer LaRoche a three-year deal and doesn't want to lose the first-round draft pick that would be stripped from him if he signs a free agent who was given a qualifying offer from his former club.This is either BS analysis or a case of the Rangers source putting out smokescreen information to keep their cost to eventually sign LaRoche as low as possible. Why? Because even if the Rangers do lose their first round pick by signing ALR, they have gained a sandwich pick already since Josh Hamilton signed with the Angels. The Rangers' first round pick is late in the round, which means that sandwich pick will occur only a few slots after the pick they lose would have occurred. IOW, their lost first round pick and that sandwich pick are virtually the same thing.The press seems to have latched onto the lost draft pick as the reason so many big name FAs have not signed yet. But again, that's faulty analysis. The lost draft pick is basically a tax on the FA transaction, not unlike sales tax at the car dealer. These as-yet-unsigned FAs are big ticket, high price items, the Mercedes and Lexus of ballplayers. Purchasers of big ticket items do not say "oh, I'm not going to buy that because I'll have to pay tax on it." No, what they do is deliberate over which of the big ticket items they want, and then try to get the lowest price they can for it. Then they buy, and they pay the tax. But this process takes time, and if there's no deadline there's no pressure to rush it. This is all that's happening with these FAs right now. Once the teams decide which FA they want, they will go after him and get the lowest price/number of years for him they can. Once one team's interest gets strong, bidding wars for some of them may erupt out of nowhere, like we saw with Jackson. Until then, though, all you hear is silence. The talking heads must talk, though, so they start spinning theories like the draft pick loss discouraging teams.

  20. sjm308 - Dec 21, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Thanks johnc for making my point even stronger

  21. NatsLady - Dec 21, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    It's not only the pick, it's the money that goes with the pick. If I understand correctly, the money is put in one pot, and it allows teams to offer more money to a draft pick who might be "unsignable" otherwise.

  22. Will - Dec 21, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    I have nothing against LaRoche holding out for a 3rd year, but I don't have any sympathy for him. He's earned over $38mil in his career, and is guaranteed at least another $25m (assuming the Nats offered about $12m per season). A $63m nest egg is plenty to set up his family for the rest of their lives, and it's not like if LaRoche takes a 2 year deal, he'll never play baseball again. I'm sure a team would be happy to sign him to a one year $6mil deal in 2016, and probably another similar deal in 2017.He's gotta do what he's gotta do, but we'll see where his priorities lie. If a few million dollars is the difference between resigning with the Nats and another club, I'll wish him the best, as we pick up a draft pick or two.Adam Dunn turned into Denard Span and Brian Goodwin. Soriano – Jordan Zimmermann and Josh Smoker. Those compensation picks aren't to be overlooked.

  23. alexva - Dec 21, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    Feel, that may be how some teams think but not all. I think you are undervaluing a #1 draft choice. It has an assigned dollar amount available for signing all picks and it usually generates a MLB player down the road. the O's in particular should not cast this aside, whether or not you think that is the reason ALR is not in Charm City right now

  24. Feel Wood - Dec 21, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    Something else that I've wondered about: Why would a guy who likes hunting name his kid after a duck?Perhaps he bagged a big one on the day Drake was born. "Ah, honey, sorry I couldn't be there with you in the birthing room. But look what I brought back!"Stranger things have happened. Chipper Jones named one of his kids Shea because he always hit so well there.

  25. Feel Wood - Dec 21, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    And if that's the case, Drake is probably glad his daddy wasn't hunting squirrel or possum that day.

  26. Gonat - Dec 21, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    hiramhover said… On that fangraphs piece – nice to see their analysis catching up with NI commenters. December 21, 2012 10:17 AM ________________________________Never under-estimate that FanGraphs and other sites don't read the best Nats blog. Tip of the hat to Mark Z

  27. Gonat - Dec 21, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… TICK TOCK said the mouse or in this case take out the U in MOUSE and put in a R and what does it spell?Say it louder MicheleS! Your new 1st baseman wants that JW Blue! December 21, 2012 10:11 AM ____________________________________Does LaRoche hunt mouses or is that mice.

  28. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 21, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    Will, it is not about just money. Stability also factors in. No one likes to switch states or go coast to coast every other year.

  29. Will - Dec 21, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    Feel Wood, the #25 draft pick (which Texas would forfeit to the Nats) was given a $1.75mil slot. So at the very least, the draft pick is worth that much money. But it's actually considerably higher, especially because of the changes to the CBA and draft spending limits.The Nats took a lot of cheap, easy-to-sign players in rounds 2-10 because each team is only allowed to spend a certain amount of money. Giolito was known to be an expensive sign, so the Nats had to take cheaper players in order to be able to sign him. But when you get more compensation picks, the recommended slot value is added to your total draft cap space. An extra $1.75m to spend in the draft is pretty much the difference between the Pirates actually signing Mark Appel. Extra picks give teams much more financial flexibility, and based on the ALR market, it's clear they value them quite highly.

  30. NatsLady - Dec 21, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    alexva==> exactly. Now, do I owe you a diet Coke or do you owe me one? The CBA has made it harder to improve the team by the way of draft picks and international signings. The idea was this would "improve" the market for current (FA) players. The Rangers are a well-run team with a good farm system, like the Nats. I'm not surprised their thinking is similar. I would imagine teams are waiting for the Nats to sign ALR so they can put in a bid on Morse.

  31. Gonat - Dec 21, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    Feel Wood, I was thinking Beaver but then again I think there was a TV show that had a kid named that.

  32. Gonat - Dec 21, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    Texas lost Josh Hamilton. They need to replace him with at least Michael Bourn. I think they are going to give up their Draft Pick regardless if its Bourn, Swisher, LaRoche.

  33. Feel Wood - Dec 21, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    alexva said… Feel, that may be how some teams think but not all. I think you are undervaluing a #1 draft choice. It has an assigned dollar amount available for signing all picks and it usually generates a MLB player down the road. the O's in particular should not cast this aside, whether or not you think that is the reason ALR is not in Charm City right nowIt's a tax. All taxes have dollar amounts. And FA signings generate an MLB player right now, not maybe sometime down the road. Teams who sign FAs are doing it because they want an MLB player right now. If the O's or any other team don't sign LaRoche or any other big ticket FA, it will be because they don't want to pay the price, not because they don't want to pay the tax.

  34. NatsLady - Dec 21, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    It also seems to me that AL teams would value Morse more highly than LaRoche because of the DH factor. Logic says to me the Nats, as an NL team with somewhat chancy arms in the infield, should go the "sign LaRoche/trade Morse route." AL teams would think the opposite. The bidding for Morse could get quite fierce once LaRoche is signed, and I think Rizzo knows that.

  35. Feel Wood - Dec 21, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    Gonat, MLB players are hunting beaver every day. Haven't you read Ball Four?

  36. alexva - Dec 21, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    NatsLady, either way owe is the operative word, Happy Holidays

  37. Feel Wood - Dec 21, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    I would imagine teams are waiting for the Nats to sign ALR so they can put in a bid on Morse.There's a name for teams like that. Losers.

  38. NatsLady - Dec 21, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    Well, it's a double tax. It's the lost pick AND the lost $$ associated with the pick, which could be spent on another pick. I haven't looked at what the 2013 draft class is like. There are a few early reports, but so far I haven't seen an outstanding, unanimous No 1. However, if a good player falls to the Rangers I expect they want to have the funds to sign him.

  39. alexva - Dec 21, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    Feel, call it a tax if you want. at least acknowledge that different teams place a different value on that tax.

  40. SCNatsFan - Dec 21, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    The longer this plays out the longer I warm to the idea that MM will be our first baseman. Should Rendon have another injury I suspect there will even be chatter to extend him as I think he'll have a monster year at the plate.

  41. Feel Wood - Dec 21, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    "I was going to buy a Jaguar, but they put on a double tax. So instead, I'll walk for now and save that money in case I see a good deal on a used Smart Car later" said absolutely no one, ever.

  42. Feel Wood - Dec 21, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    Will said… Feel Wood, the #25 draft pick (which Texas would forfeit to the Nats) was given a $1.75mil slot. So at the very least, the draft pick is worth that much money.Okay. So what's the dollar slot given to a sandwich pick? Probably a few hundred thou less. Do you seriously think that a team like Texas is going to pass on signing a FA for tens of millions of dollars because the draft pick tax is going to add a couple hundred thousand dollars to the purchase price?

  43. NatsLady - Dec 21, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    So, LaRoche is a Jaguar? When did that happen? He's a good, solid player, but, um, a Jaguar. Not in my view.

  44. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 21, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    NL, Mark Appel is likely #1. then again Houston has the pick like last time and they did not chose him.

  45. blovy8 - Dec 21, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    The problem with that analogy Feel Wood, is that ALR is more like a Ford truck.

  46. blovy8 - Dec 21, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    Bourn is more of a sports car, right? Lots of speed, not really practical unless you have a big place to drive around in, and overpriced. Kind of a defensive purchase for a middle-aged guy too.

  47. Feel Wood - Dec 21, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    blovy8 said… The problem with that analogy Feel Wood, is that ALR is more like a Ford truck.But his price tag says Jaguar. That's all that matters. If he was going to sell himself at Ford truck prices, he'd have taken the Nats qualifying offer and been done with it.

  48. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 21, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    Feel Wood & Gonat, thanks for a good laugh!

  49. peric - Dec 21, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    With the exception for this left-handedness the Nats really don't need him that much … from the perspective of the FO he blocks prospects.The guy that really wants him and has been campaigning for him is Davey Johnson because he wants the left-handed impact bats in his lineup. Its probably best to just let him go at this point and my guess is that's likely what they'll do unless Davey can convince LaRoche to do otherwise. They aren't making any traction with the FO.

  50. peric - Dec 21, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    It also seems to me that AL teams would value Morse more highly than LaRoche because of the DH factor. Just the opposite. Morse is younger and in better shape and LaRoche has a potential left-handed impact bat. LaRoche is more the designated hitter type. HOw many other positions does Adam LaRoche play other than first base Natslady? How many other positions can Michael Morse play? Your logic is flawed in this case I think?

  51. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 21, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    How's about Boras just dragging out all of his big Free Agents until next year. The Bourn market has been real quiet without the Nats in the mix for clandestine meetings.

  52. Water23 - Dec 21, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    I think one thing we are forgetting is that if ALR signs elsewhere and MM stays healthy and plays well (25+Hr 90+ RBIs .280/.360/.580) then the Rizzo and the Nats will be in the same situation. Rizzo will initially tender him and when he declines offer at best a two year deal. Why -All the prospects(Moore, Rendon etc) will be a year closer. Morse will be 31 yrs old. He will have proved that he is legit and hope to cash in. As a result, even though the tender will be a nice bump in pay, he will decline and look for a 3+yr deal. The Nats will either get him on their terms or a second supplement draft pick and the additional draft pool money. So, for Morse, one of the best options might be for the Nats to sign ALR and move him. He would hope to sign an extension with the new team and have $$$ and stability. And this is why Rizzo is in his job. He either gets LaRoche now for two years and is able to find a sweet deal for Morse or gets a supplementary pick in each of the next two years.

  53. sjm308 - Dec 21, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    Having nothing to do with the LaRoche signing, the cost of the draft pick, luxury cars or such, I just realized or think I have figured out something. I enjoy so many people on this blog. I don't want to start naming them but John C has been enjoyable for the brief time I have read him. The other day he mentioned the Legion of Doom and again, I am old, but I just figured that John could very possibly be Swift Eagle from posts in the past. This came to me as I was lifting at the gym so you can tell a couple things from that. 1. still ADD at age 672. Addicted to baseball and this blog 3. very scattered and unfocused (see #1)ok, off to complete the spousal equivalent list of to-do'sGo Nats!!

  54. sjm308 - Dec 21, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    One last thing – I am still strongly in the camp of keeping Morse no matter what happens with LaRoche. I realize I have been labeled unreasonable by several strong posters here but I am sticking with this idea.I don't think we will get anything back in a trade like the production Morse will provide this year, even if he is coming off the bench. Go Nats!!

  55. peric - Dec 21, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    One last thing – I am still strongly in the camp of keeping Morse no matter what happens with LaRoche.There are a plethora of good reasons for doing exactly that … starting with the rationale that they won't get good value for Michael Morse given that he can still come off the bench as an impact power-bat playing either first base or or the outfield. And in fact one can be fairly certain that is how the FO sees it right now. If Tyler Moore's outfield play were vastly improved things might be different but he is still a first baseman or a DH.

  56. peric - Dec 21, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    The Bourn market has been real quiet without the Nats in the mix for clandestine meetings.The Nats interest in Boras clients has been very sparse interestingly enough.

  57. D'Gourds - Dec 21, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    I'm sorry but this is ridiculous. this is the time for the Nationals to spend money. give him the third year and move on! the worst that could happen is that he is an outstanding bench left handed hitter in the third year while Zimmerman plays first. he was our most valuable player last year for crying out loud!

  58. Water23 - Dec 21, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    Feel Wood, It is not the amount of money per se lost in combination with the cost of signing the FA but the amount of money lost as part of the draft pool dollars alloated. In the instance you referred to – The few hundred thousand, let's call it $450K, is inconsequential to the Rangers or almost any other team when signing a top tier FA but when that is about 10% of your total budget to sign your top 10 draft picks that is significant. And note, I maxed out the over-slot bonuses to be paid without giving up additional draft compensation (as that would just continue the cycle of lost money).Rays (2012 -25th pick) had a budget of $3.8 Million for thier fist ten 10 rounds only. Depending on where the supplemental pick falls the will lose between $380K-$500K. That is at least the cost of one or two of those players. So, you are stuck either signing lower level prospects or passing on signing a prospect or two. That coupled with the fact that you gave up twenty slots in the draft for your first pick must be part of the calculation. Again, I agree, when you are talking Hamilton or Greinke then that is worth it but for a 33yr old 1B maybe not. And for a team like the Orioles with limited budgets definitely not.

  59. NatsLady - Dec 21, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    The Vegas view: here are the five teams whose winning-it-all odds have improved the most since the day after the World Series, according to the sports book at Bovada:Team Odds now Odds in OctoberBlue Jays 15/2 35/1Dodgers 17/2 18/1Royals 50/1 75/1Angels 17/2 12/1Nationals 9/1 12/1

  60. IKN8wxU2 - Dec 21, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    So Vegas now views the Nationals as longer shots than the Blue Jays, Dodgers, and Angels? Fine with me. I'd rather not be the pre-season favorite. Can't wait for the season to begin.

  61. Water23 - Dec 21, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    Peric,I agree on siging ALR and keeping Morse. That would make an awesome bench and winning the WS would make everyone happy and Davey could sail off into the sunset!!

  62. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 21, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    sjm308 said… One last thing – I am still strongly in the camp of keeping Morse no matter what happens with LaRoche. I realize I have been labeled unreasonable by several strong posters here but I am sticking with this idea.I don't think we will get anything back in a trade like the production Morse will provide this year, even if he is coming off the bench. Go Nats!! December 21, 2012 11:44 AM I am with you on that. If it happened, I feel bad for Morse but you do whats best for the team like Lannan last year. There is no way you trade Morse to another team for a Cutter Dykstra type.I truly feel Morse is due for a monster year.

  63. Taino in DC - Dec 21, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    2013 was suppose to be the year to go all out , but look like Rizzo will do the way Tampa work . He plan to be good every year , but never overspend to try to win it all . Everybody love the Rays , but they never won the ring when the window was open . Scare to think we are going to be like them .

  64. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 21, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    IKN8wxU2 said… So Vegas now views the Nationals as longer shots than the Blue Jays, Dodgers, and Angels? Fine with me. I'd rather not be the pre-season favorite. Can't wait for the season to begin. December 21, 2012 12:01 PM Lets see how all the teams do with injuries and clubhouse chemistry.The Dodgers and Angels have many different personalities and egos that can be due for a clubhouse inferno if not managed well.

  65. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 21, 2012 at 5:26 PM

    Taino in DC said… 2013 was suppose to be the year to go all out , but look like Rizzo will do the way Tampa work . He plan to be good every year , but never overspend to try to win it all . Everybody love the Rays , but they never won the ring when the window was open . Scare to think we are going to be like them . December 21, 2012 12:15 PM I disagree. Rizzo got the CF he has coveted and now has the best outfield defense in the MLB and also has a leadoff in addition to Werth.That was his main priority for 2013. Next was replacing EJax and did that with Haren. Next was a backup to LaRoche if they didn't re-sign him and they have that in Morse. The last piece is a LH reliever and they took care of that with Duke and Bray and in addition still could improve the bullpen.

  66. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 21, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/12/21/mike-adams-turned-down-more-money-possibly-from-nationals-to-sign-with-phillies/If you believe this, the Nats also tried for Mike Adams but probably wouldn't offer him a vesting option although more money over the 2 year contract.

  67. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 21, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    Taino, let me also add that the only weakness the Nats have was the offense provided at 2nd base and I don't see that continuing.There's always July 31st to patch up loose ends so give Rizzo some more time as I believe he will finish September with the 25 men he will take into the postseason including the best 4 pitchers and a shorter hook.

  68. TheManBearPig - Dec 21, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    "I am still strongly in the camp of keeping Morse no matter what happens with LaRoche."If Morse is healthy, he's a .900+/- OPS hitter with 30+/- HR and 100+/- RBI. He can play 1b and a team that needs his bat can put him in a a corner outfield position. It's hard to imagine that he's more valuable on the bench than in a trade.

  69. NatsLady - Dec 21, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    Ghost, I don't believe it. Nats already have RH's in the bullpen. Why would they be looking for another one? Unless Rizzo was going to flip someone.

  70. BigCat - Dec 21, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    Yes D'Gourds, we need to give Laroche what he wants. We are knocking on the door, had the best record in baseball and Rizzo, who has done a great job so far building this thing, has called off the dogs. He's in the corner counting pennies. Now is the time we need to go for the throat. Sign Laroche AND keep Morse

  71. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 21, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    NatsLady said… Ghost, I don't believe it. Nats already have RH's in the bullpen. Why would they be looking for another one? Unless Rizzo was going to flip someone. December 21, 2012 12:39 PM Very observant but I also believe its true that the Nats were in on Adams and I said in October that I thought Rizzo would go after Ryan Madson and others to dominate in set-up and closing. It gives him the opportunity to put Christian Garcia in AAA and to take the best 7 forward and if HenRod isn't one of them he would DFA him. He still needs a lefty although Bray is good.As NatsJack said, the 40 guys you see now won't necessarily be on the 40 man on April 1st.

  72. Kiterp - Dec 21, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    D'Gours … agree … just get it done. Is this having an impact on getting a bullpen…dollars spent here versus dollars spent there

  73. hiramhover - Dec 21, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    For those who want to keep MM around if ALR re-signs:Realistically, ask yourself what value MM can add as a bench player. In 2010 as a part-time player, he got about 300 PA, 15 HRs, a total WAR of 1.1. Last year as a part-time player, Bernie put up an impressive 1.9 WAR in 261 PA–he's not the hitter that Morse is, but he's a much better fielder and baserunner and got more value that way. So it seems reasonable to predict Morse as a bench player to add between 1 and 2 WAR, probably closer to the middle than either extreme.But MM is now making a lot more than he did in 2010, or than Bernie did last year. His 2013 salary is $6.75M–which isn't unreasonable for, say, 1.5 WAR. Except that there's another player on the bench whose strengths and weaknesses are almost identical to MM's–Tyler Moore, who will make ~$500K next year. Let's say Tyler Moore isn't as good as Morse–maybe 75% as good. So if Morse's WAR is likely to be around 1.5 this year, it means the value he adds over TyMo is ~0.4 WAR. So Rizzo has to ask himself–is that really worth almost $7M and another spot on the 25-man roster? Because that's the cost of keeping MM and TyMo, and it's pretty steep.If ALR comes back, Rizzo won't give MM up for nothing. If he can't deal him before April 1, he'll try again in July. But keeping Morse and ALR will not be plan A.

  74. blovy8 - Dec 21, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    If Rizzo was handing out contracts like that, he should have paid Burnett. The other lefties in the market are much worse.

  75. Joe Seamhead - Dec 21, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    As to the Vegas odds, take 'em with a grain of salt.Last year when I was saying "tick-tock" about them, Vegas was giving odds that the Phillies were the hands on favorites to win the World Series last year. Jays and Dodgers look good on fantasy baseball paper. Lets see if they can put it together on a real field.

  76. NatsLady - Dec 21, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    Joe, absolutely! A salt truck! However, it's interesting that Vegas thinks Rizzo's moves have improved the Nats.

  77. blovy8 - Dec 21, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    The issue with Morse won't be the money, it'll be what value they would get in the trade. You can't compare this to dumping Morgan for pennies. You have to get a viable prospect or quality reliever for him, not organizational depth. He probably has about the same value as Kendry Morales.

  78. blovy8 - Dec 21, 2012 at 5:58 PM

    Yeah, the vegas odds are also about getting people to bet so they can make money.

  79. blovy8 - Dec 21, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    NatsLady, I thought that was weird too. It's not like the moves since then have improved the club so much. Most of the advantage would be more and better from Strasburg and Harper, Span plus Haren are only a little better than losing Jackson, Haren and Burnett so far. But I do think the Marlins and Mets woes, and the iffy stuff from the Braves and Phillies have made it easier to get into the playoffs perhaps.

  80. Alphabet Soup Erik - Dec 21, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    HiramHover-When Morse starts hitting, the other guys will be the ones who have to sit down (Werth, Span, LaRoche-if they keep him), not Morse. I am with Ghost of Steve M in thinking he is going to have an MVP type season. Do not trade Morse…regardless of what happens with ALR. I could really see 45 HR and 125 RBI's with Harper, Zimmerman, Span/Werth in front of him and LaRoche/Desmond protecting him. He has that kind of power!!!

  81. blovy8 - Dec 21, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    LaRoche not Haren in that equation obviously

  82. RaleighNat - Dec 21, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    I am completely torn (I love both) but lean LaRoche when I consider the following:SpanWerthHarperZimmermanLaRocheDesmondEspinosaRamozukiLike the idea of keeping both (unless we get a great offer) b/c I know we'll have injuries.

  83. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 21, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    does WAR account for pinch-hitting game changing PAs?

  84. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 21, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    'Ramozuki' that's the coolest japanese sounding name i have heard in a long time. good job raleighnat.

  85. hiramhover - Dec 21, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    ErikI was answering the "re-sign ALR and keep MM" chorus. If you really think MM is going to put up monster #s in 2013, there's an easier and cheaper solution to all this: don't re-sign ALR.

  86. peric - Dec 21, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    Realistically, ask yourself what value MM can add as a bench player. In 2010 as a part-time player, he got about 300 PA, 15 HRs, a total WAR of 1.1. Last year as a part-time player, The problem with this logic is that it excludes TWO KEY POSSIBILITIES:1. Morse might start as a swing man but if you starts off as he did in ST two years ago and wins a starting role? IN that role he has proven that he can be an impact bat just below the tier-1 level in baseball. He is now in his prime he just might hit tier-1. If that happens someone else sits either LaRoche or Span. Given his contract and that he is really just a slap hitter who may not even be as good as Lombardozzi offensively? We all know what happens Morse plays.2. Injuries occur. Morse could easily slide into left field. right field, or first base and produce at pretty high level.The comparison with Bernadina is fine but they already had the head-to-head competition and Morse won because he is a legitimate major league impact hitter. While Bernadina is more like Span. Why did they need Span? I believe that question is going to be asked over and over again. But Rizzo and the FO where wise enough to go after a guy with a contract that easily allows them to sit him on the bench or trade him if that's how things work out. The FO and Rizzo are always thinking ahead. As fans we need to start seeing things that way … seeing what is now and then looking ahead.

  87. peric - Dec 21, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    Michael Morse had a 35.4 batV or offensive "WAR" in 2011 according to statcorner.com. LaRoche did not get there in 2012. Morse's overall ended up at 19.0 due to his defense. But the 35.4 is an MVP level number. In other words don't underestimate Morse's potential as an in his prime impact hitter.

  88. rogieshan - Dec 21, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    Will said, "Feel Wood, the #25 draft pick (which Texas would forfeit to the Nats) was given a $1.75mil slot."————————————————Actually, the Nats would only receive a sandwich pick between the 1st & 2nd round. Under the new compensation rule, a team signing a "qualified" free agent forfeits its first pick (unless it is in the top-10, in which case it loses its second pick) but it doesn't go to the team who lost the player.

  89. JamesFan - Dec 21, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    If LaRoche realistically evaluates the offer to see where he is in the process, he will grab the Nats' offer. If the Nats pull their offer, his value falls through the floor for even a two year deal. Sometimes you wonder what these agents are thinking.I favor Morse over ALR anyway and hope the Nats give him until Tuesday morning to decide at most.

  90. Section 222 - Dec 21, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    I'm highly skeptical of the report about Adams. Just don't see Rizzo offering more than two years and $6 million per year to any reliever. Well, maybe Craig Kimbrel if he could, but no one else.

  91. Section 222 - Dec 21, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    rogieshan — The Nats receive a sandwich pick, but the Rangers will forfeit their #25 draft pick. That's the value they would lose by signing ALR.

  92. peric - Dec 21, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    SpanWerthHarperZimmermanLaRocheDesmondEspinosaRamozukiStill think it'll end up being:WerthHarperZimLaRocheMorseEspinosaDesmondSuzuki/RamosBench: Span, Bernadina (unless he's traded for a reliever), Brown, Moore, Lombo, and Tracey and perhaps Marerro.

  93. TheManBearPig - Dec 21, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    peric, I agree that if Morse is on the roster and healthy, he'll be in the lineup. His bat is not one that you keep on the bench. But if the Nats' lineup looks like the one in your comment (2:04pm), you might say (with the benefit of hindsight, of course) that the Nats have traded Alex Meyer for a late-inning defensive sub.

  94. hiramhover - Dec 21, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    pericIt's funny to hear you invoke the need to think like Rizzo @1:22. Isn't he the one who set in motion these plans you seem to hate–signing Span in the first place, and planning to move Bryce out of CF? But, look, as for Morse–we agree he's a good hitter. All this "monster year!" talk is beside the point–if he just produces something like an average of his 2010-11 #s, he'll be great and an upgrade over ALR. That's why I think he's wasted as a bench player, and why the easy solution is to put him at 1B, and bid ALR adieu.

  95. Section 222 - Dec 21, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    Rizzo offered ALR a two year deal, and traded for Denard Span. Seems pretty clear that he isn't going to unload Morse as long as he needs Plan B at first base, but there's no way he's going to keep him around to sit on the bench. Nor is Span going to be on the bench either. If he wanted Morse and ALR in the lineup together next year, he would have stood pat, not traded away our best pitching prospect for more outfield depth.

  96. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 21, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    hiramhover said… = Last year as a part-time player, Bernie put up an impressive 1.9 WAR in 261 PA–he's not the hitter that Morse is, but he's a much better fielder and baserunner and got more value that way. Rarely can you say a fielding play was a difference between a Win or a Loss and give Bernadina a 1.0 WAR on that game saving catch in Houston to end the game.Obviously I am jesting about the 1.0 WAR but right there that catch was good for a Win and saved Clippard's backside.

  97. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 21, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    I think in Spring Training Davey talked about getting Lombo 450 ABs between playing time in the infield and LF and I'm sure if Davey had both Morse and ALR he would get both plenty of ABs but Span is the every day Centerfielder. I don't know what Peric is thinking about his lineup but Span will play 150 games in 2013 and I don't think ALR will be back. I am buying into the theory that someone wrote this week that Rizzo has turned the page on him.SpanWerthHarperZimmermanMorseDesmondLombinosaRamozukiI expect not only Morse to have a huge year but expect Ramos to break out in June.

  98. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 21, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    Still remember Clip's face and Stammen jumping like a kid. Haha very Kardiac ending!

  99. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 21, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    Peric will like this article. Clearly not written by Ladson:http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20121204&content_id=40529484&fext=.jsp&vkey=news_milb&partnerId=rss_was

  100. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 21, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    Let's say Span plays 128 games, as he did last year. When he's been healthy and productive, it's closer to 150, but let's say 128.Werth, BamBam, and LaRoche, if healthy, should all be good for 150 games. They may have tie Harper up in the basement for two weeks to keep him to 150, but barring injury, that's reasonable. If any of those gets injured in the first half of the season, then there's enough innings for Morse to start, IF we assume he isn't hurt, which is a big IF. But if those four are all healthy and reasonably productive, even assuming nobody else gets any outfield starts at all, there just aren't enough at-bats there for Morse … unless you have no intention of re-signing him after 2012, and don't mind pissing him off, which it kinda sounds like may already be in progress.

  101. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 21, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    Faraz, I know the Nats PR had been doing Nats highlights. Did that catch make the list?

  102. Feel Wood - Dec 21, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    Section 222 said… I'm highly skeptical of the report about Adams. Just don't see Rizzo offering more than two years and $6 million per year to any reliever.Adams don't have a good track record of sticking with the Nats. First there was Dunn, then Kennedy, now LaRoche. Mike Adams read the tea leaves correctly.

  103. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 21, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    Yep, number 4. werth walk-off, harper steals home, and phantom slam are ahead of that play. as far as entertaining goes, it is on the same level as harper stealing home.

  104. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 21, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    Adams don't have a good track record of sticking with the Nats.Good point, Woody.The problem with signing LaRoche to two years and keeping Morse too is the (IMO) strong possibility you lose him at the end of the year anyway. Now, if you can't get more than the value of the draft pick next season, maybe that's OK, but I have to think they could get more.

  105. Feel Wood - Dec 21, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    If Morse is only a part-time player in 2013, he won't be worth a $13M+ qualifying offer. Therefore, no draft pick when he leaves. Which he will, if he's only a part time player in 2013.

  106. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 21, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    Another good point.

  107. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 21, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    Although, technically, I don't think there's any rule stopping them from making the offer.

  108. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 21, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    But supposing, just supposing, by mid-February LaRoche incredibly doesn't have a better offer than Rizzo's, and says, "OK, wasn't my first choice, but I'll take the two years."How do tell the reigning Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, heart-of-your-lineup-that-just-won-100-games first baseman "Sorry, can't use you."

  109. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 21, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    Well, Adam may not have a job, but I do.

  110. Feel Wood - Dec 21, 2012 at 8:12 PM

    This ALR saga is like a remake of The Brady Bunch. In last week's show, Mike (played by Mike Rizzo) and Carol (Adam LaRoche) hit a bump in their relationship when Mike finally realized Carol was a transvestite. They decided an amicable divorce would be best for all concerned, and in particular they tried to put on a good face for the kids. Greg (Davey Johnson) characteristically took charge, trying to bargain with Carol to get her to stay with Mike. He even offered to pay for a sex change operation. Carol was polite but strangely silent, off in her own world. The other kids (played by various Nats fans) worked their way through the stages of grief – denial, bargaining, etc – but none could reach acceptance.This week, it was revealed that Mike had been sleeping with Alice (played by Mike Morse in drag) all along. The kids who were still in denial stayed there, but the rest of them gradually started moving toward acceptance.In next week's episode, Carol will find herself fending off the advances of several suitors until at last one of them comes up with the three carat ring she really wanted all along. Meanwhile, Mike and Alice will try to make a go of it, but as always happens when a guy takes up with the woman who wrecked his home it looks like that relationship will be good for a year at best.

  111. rogieshan - Dec 21, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    Section 222, "rogieshan — The Nats receive a sandwich pick, but the Rangers will forfeit their #25 draft pick. That's the value they would lose by signing ALR."————————————————Yes, but my understanding of the new rule is the "forfeited" pick does not go to the team that loses the player. In this case, the Rangers would simply lose its turn at #25. The Nats, in turn, would receive a standings-determined choice in the supplemental-sandwich round. I think there's confusion as to whether the Nats would receive two compensatory picks, as it would have under the old rule.

  112. TheManBearPig - Dec 21, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    "This ALR saga is like a remake of The Brady Bunch. In last week's show . . . "I don't think I ever saw that episode.

  113. John C. - Dec 21, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    Thanks for the kind words, sjm, but I have to admit that I am not now, nor have I ever been, Swift Eagle. I've always just been John C. – unless I posted as d_c_guy back when MZ was first setting up this corner of teh internats.

  114. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 21, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    As someone who personally knows Swift Eagle, I can vouch for John C.

  115. sometimesitrains - Dec 21, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    one factor the fangraphs article fails to take into account is the relative importance of hearing "Tattoos on this Town" versus "Take On Me" in the eighth inning. :p

  116. John C. - Dec 21, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    Here's a crazy notion. Right now everyone is at impasse. ALR wants three years for a contender, but the Nationals aren't willing to go more than two years. But no other team is willing to sign ALR for three or more years AND lose their #1 draft pick. To make matters worse, the standoff has dragged on so long that the potential trade market for Morse is drying up. How to solve this problem?A modest proposal: Sign and trade. Let Adam work out a three or more year contract with a suitable team. Once the terms are settled, then the team and the Nationals agree on a trade. Say, a B level prospect or a LH relief pitcher, but not the type of cost effective top talent the team could expect to get with their first round draft choice. The Nats don't quite get a supplement pick (and signing allotment), but they do get value for losing a free agent. They also settle their roster. The signing team doesn't have to forfeit their #1 pick, getting good talent that will be cost controlled for years. And ALR gets his three year deal, presumably with a condender. A happy ending for all! Merry Christmas!

  117. John C. - Dec 21, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    To make explicit what my 4:04pm post assumed, After the trade is worked out ALR signs the contract with the Nationals and is immediately traded to the desired team.Of course, it does require that you trust the third team, because they would theoretically be able to walk away after the contract is signed and stick the Nationals with the contract. Which makes trading with the Orioles problematic.

  118. NatsLady - Dec 21, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    Sofa, very good point. That is why I expect Rizzo will exercise patience, and in the end, he'll say to LaRoche, no problem, c'mon back.

  119. flynnie - Dec 21, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    John C – I like your deal because it allows LaRoche to play for the O's who's games I watch when the Nats aren't on. I don't like it because all those balls in the dirt that he catches are going to go past first, giving Nats' opponents extra outs which will result in fewer curly W's. Love those curly W's and got so many last year with LaRoche keeping the other guys to three outs.

  120. Ghost Of Steve M. - Dec 21, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    NatsJack, where is Swift Eagle? He's a voice of reason and positivity!

  121. John C. - Dec 21, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    Well, Flynnie, in my scenario he's not going to play for the O's, because I wouldn't trust the O's (well, Angelos really) to honor their part of the deal. So there's that.Also, not all those balls that LaRoche would have caught will skip past first. Morse or Moore will stop some of them, probably most of them. But some would get by, leading to runners and occasionally runs. On the bright side the Nats would score more runs since Morse is a better hitter than LaRoche, and the Nats would have about $6 million to go sign a LHRP and a couple of marginal starting pitchers for AAA depth. So cheer up, it wouldn't be so bad :)

  122. natsfan1a - Dec 21, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    MLB pizza discount alert: get 50% off large Papa John's pizzas from 12/21-12/28 using code MLB50 for online purchases.

  123. Section 222 - Dec 21, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    rogie, you're correct, the Nats get one pick — a sandwich pick (not sure, but I assume the teams with sandwich picks make their selection in the same order they picked in the first round). The Rangers forfeit their pick, and teams 26-30 move up one place in the picking order. In terms of the cost to the Rangers if they sign ALR, though, they lose their pick in the 1st round. It doesn't really matter to them where the Nats pick.

  124. Feel Wood - Dec 21, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    With my sandwich pick I choose the Fried Bologna they sell at Blue Smoke, next door down from Shake Shack on the Scoreboard Walk. How about everyone else?

  125. Section 222 - Dec 21, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    I'll take a Shake Shack burger. The lines are probably short this time of year.

  126. NatsLady - Dec 21, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    Oh, I wish, wish, wish I was at Nats Park in about 89 degrees trying to decide which sandwich I want. It's Friday, so the Kosher place isn't open. Yeah, maybe the Shake Shack burger…

  127. natsfan1a - Dec 21, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    hmmm…either a Shake Shack burger and fries or one of those Jammin Island jerk sandwiches. :-)

  128. baseballswami - Dec 21, 2012 at 10:18 PM

    Soft ice cream in a helmet. My kids used to collect those little helmets. Feeling nostalgic. Missing the game.

  129. Feel Wood - Dec 21, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    Sandwich picks cannot be used on dessert. You'll spoil your dinner.

  130. Feel Wood - Dec 21, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    Sandwich picks can, on the other hand, be used on beer. It's basically liquid bread anyway.

  131. Feel Wood - Dec 21, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! said… But supposing, just supposing, by mid-February LaRoche incredibly doesn't have a better offer than Rizzo's, and says, "OK, wasn't my first choice, but I'll take the two years."As I said the other day, it's not like there's a fully-completed two year contract sitting on a table waiting for his signature. (Despite what Davey says.) There probably isn't even a framework of a deal yet, beyond the vague "two years." So if ALR comes back with his tail between his legs, that's just the beginning of the negotiations.How do tell the reigning Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, heart-of-your-lineup-that-just-won-100-games first baseman "Sorry, can't use you."You don't have to, because he doesn't ask. He knows the score. If he wanted a guarantee that he could come back to the Nats no matter what, he could have taken the qualifying offer and immediately started working on an extension. That would have given him his guaranteed fallback and not held the rest of Rizzo's offseason planning hostage. But he chose not to do that.Look, LaRoche will find some other team to sign with. If no one will give him three years, someone will give him two. And they can tack a club or mutual option onto it so it won't look like he's snubbing the Nats.

  132. sjm308 - Dec 21, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    Feel I have not had the aforementioned Bologna sandwich but my son swears by it. I scoffed the first time he raved but he continues to return to it so I am thinking its really good. I am going for the 2 dogs for $5 at Justins with home cut fries and a nice cold draft (craft) beer for $3 in one of the the best happy hours near the park. This year I expect MicheleS to sneak her bottle of JW Blue out to the picnic table outside Justins and we can have shots and beers.John C. accept my mistake on your identity as a compliment as you and Swift are both positive influences on this blog (& we will keep NatsJack around as well).I loved that my thoughts on keeping both Morse & LaRoche drew so many thoughts. I would point out one other rebuttal to HHoover when he used Morse's numbers from 2010. Morse crushed the ball that spring training but Riggleman was doing everything he could to keep his old crusty veterans on the field. It took an injury to get Morse playing time but the reality was, Morse knew he was going back to the bench. That had to affect him.In my scenario, Morse is both respected and has earned playing time. Davey will make it a priority to see that he gets quality at bats. Besides injury (which I think we all agree is a part of the game), LaRoche can rest against tough lefties. Werth will also appreciate days off and Span as well. Yes, Harper will be screaming but I still think it will work. As Peric mentioned,if Morse is crushing the ball someone is going to sit and as long as we are winning it should be ok. The big problem is that in my scenario, if we don't get off to a hot start there could be trouble. I really don't think this is how its going to work, but if LaRoche does end up here I do not want to immediately trade Morse for prospects. I want spring training to be a valid competition to start for one of the best teams in baseball.Go Nats!

  133. realdealnats - Dec 21, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    John C. –love the sign and trade idea as a way out of this impasse. Someone else broached that earlier, but you fleshed it out nice and clear. 222–realistically you're absolutely right that Rizzo would not trade Meyer for Span to ride the bench.Having said that, and showing what a poor GM I would be, I'm in the sign ALR and keep Morse club, with the thinking that curly Ws piling up like clover will make everything nicey nice in that clubhouse. The way things are shaping up now with Adam, I think we can get him for 2 years. And why give up Morse cheap when he can rotate in and out of the lineup. I guess in such a case Meyer=the hopeful perfect rotation of ALR/Morse/Span which hopefully =WSAnd to repeat two old points–1) ALR never has to block young talent. What better insurance policy than to have him come off the bench next year as a defensive replacement or LH bat when and if that talent pushes him out of the starting lineup, and 2) Sometimes the biggest waste of $ is not to spend a chunk of it at just the right time. Resign ALR, Keep Morse, Get yourself a real good LOOGY or at least resign M. Gonzalez for starters.

  134. Feel Wood - Dec 21, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    To all of you who still think LaRoche will be back: Denial is not just a river in Egypt.

  135. BigCat - Dec 21, 2012 at 11:54 PM

    JohnC….I had to work…I'm back. Deleting all your blabber, the one thing that you said that has meat to it is that John Lannans best season is mildly comparable to Harens worst season. Lannans best season 1-2 years ago to Harens worst season last year. Harens worst season LAST YEAR. Helloooo? 32 years old. 1900 innings pitched….HELLOOOOO? I have an old black cat named Mo. He used to run the yard and grab vermin, fast as lightning….now?…he limps down the stairs for breakfast, he eats and he lays back down….

  136. phil dunton - Dec 22, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    It's time to kiss Laroche goodbye. He's jerking the team around. Besides, he will never duplicate.his career 2012 season. We have two good options at first base.

  137. BigCat - Dec 22, 2012 at 12:03 AM

    Here's a stat I always go by to let you know who is fooling who. I don't even know all this Whip stuff exactly. But one easy way to tell you if a guy has good stuff is innings pitched to hits. If the hits are below the innings pitched you normally have something going.

  138. BigCat - Dec 22, 2012 at 12:07 AM

    Phil, if you had a family in McLean and you were coming off a great season and you knew it might be your last contract, would you flush 12 million down the tubes when there are hundreds of millions being tossed around by other teams? Its called "market value".

  139. Joe Seamhead - Dec 22, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    I just re-read Rizzo's comments the day the Span trade was made. Based on his comments, how can anybody really think that Denard Span is not going to be the starting, lead off center fielder for the Nats? Seriously, I'm not trying to antagonize, but seriously,Mike Rizzo has followed Denard since he was in high school.Span is the lead off center fielder. Part of Rizzo's comments: "You talk about a true defensive ballhawk center field type of guy with great range, sabermetrically and with the scout's eye, he's a front-line defensive center fielder. He's a consummate leadoff type of hitter. He appealed greatly to us because of his skill set as an offensive player, high average guy, .350 on base percentage type of guy, doesn't strike out, one of the tougher guys in the league to strike out, and can really really run from the left side of the plate, which keeps our lineup balanced. A guy who, in the past, has stolen a lot of bases and we feel is going to really come into his own as a basestealer with us in the National League."

  140. John C. - Dec 22, 2012 at 1:22 AM

    BigCat, you and I will have to agree to disagree. Happy holiday!

  141. MicheleS - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:21 AM

    SJM308: Gulp Bang! I will meet you and Kevin at Justin's!!!

  142. natsfan1a - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:29 AM

    Wait, you can't trade sandwich picks?Feel Wood said… Sandwich picks cannot be used on dessert. You'll spoil your dinner. December 21, 2012 5:20 PM

  143. MicheleS - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:35 AM

    Oh and NatsLady.. even though it's Friday, I would LOVE to have a shwarma from the Kosher place. My favorite thing to eat at the park.

  144. A Strong Package for Gorse Hackage! - Dec 22, 2012 at 3:06 AM

    "Wait, you can't trade sandwich picks?"1a wins an internet. Post of the Week.

  145. peric - Dec 22, 2012 at 3:15 AM

    I just re-read Rizzo's comments the day the Span trade was made. Based on his comments, how can anybody really think that Denard Span is not going to be the starting, lead off center fielder for the Nats?Davey Johnson manages the Nationals NOT Rizzo.Look it up. Rizzo said PRECISELY the same thing Nyjer Morgan. Not to antagonize but GM's build rosters and depth charts. Managers fill out lineup cards. Most especially when the manager is Davey Johnson.PERIOD. END OF STORY.

  146. peric - Dec 22, 2012 at 3:21 AM

    That's why I think he's wasted as a bench player, and why the easy solution is to put him at 1B, and bid ALR adieu.I think Morse can do better if he can manage to stay reasonably injury free. Same is true for Zimmerman for that matter. The key? Playing him at first base instead of the outfield. But even in the outfield he absolutely will end up starting over Span. Span isn't as good as Lombardozzi offensively. I'd rather stick Lombo in the outfield before Span.And, again, Rizzo did the same thing with to the roster trading for Nyjer Morgan. Ignoring Morgan's comportment do we really believe that Morgan, even during his big August when he first arrived, is as much of an impact hitter as Morse? I sure as hell don't.

  147. John C. - Dec 22, 2012 at 5:25 AM

    Span isn't as good as Lombardozzi offensively? That is a difficult statement to support. It's hard to find an offensive category where Span isn't better. Batting average, OBP, slugging percentage, stolen base percentage, all Span. Span strikes out less, walks more. What does Lombardozzi offer that Span doesn't? I ask that honestly, and as a Lombo fan.

  148. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 22, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    Davey and Rizzo are on the same page with Span. Think of Davey playing with Paul Blair and managing Mookie Wilson.He knows AND likes the the Span type player.

  149. Joe Seamhead - Dec 22, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    Jack, I really liked Harper in CF, thought he was pretty raw in the beginning, but he improved by leaps and bounds.By the end of the year I honestly felt that he could become a truly elite player in center.The jury is out for me as to whether Span is the "the" guy, as I haven't seen him play very much with my own eyes.I felt the move by the brass to acquire Span was partly to better the OF, but more to have a speedster, high OBP, lefty leading off. Speed beats you in many ways, especially at the top of the order.This enables them to not only have a viable baserunning threat, but also to move Werth back down to a more natural position in the line up for his bat. Yes, Jayson excelled leading off last year, and no he didn't the year before when he hit in the middle of the order. I felt his first year here he just flat out was pressing too much. Anyway, I just don't think Rizzo made this move without his consulting with, and getting the approval of, his confidant, Davey Johnson. I also don't think that they traded the #1 prospect in the minors for a potential bench player. When we got Nyjer, we had the worst OF in the majors. At the time, Morgan was an upgrade. Nothing that I read about Span compares him to Nyjer Morgan in any way, other then that he's an outfielder. The worst thing that I have read about Span in CF is that he tends to play deep because he doesn't excel at balls over his head, and that he doesn't dive for balls, but is more of a slider. Again, I haven't seen enough of him, just going by reports I had read.I am beginning to think that Span coming here at least minimizes the chance of ALR and MM both being on the roster next year. Like SJM308, I am trying to accept, and coming around to, the possibility of Morse at 1B.

  150. sjm308 - Dec 22, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    Peric: you beat things to death but your comparison to Nyjer is one that needs to stop. Can you people not remember his arm? If he was not the worst outfield arm in all of major league baseball, he was close. He took terrible reads to balls that led to either spectacular catches or dismal misses. He ran the base paths like a maniac and was not really a good baserunner. Like John C. I looked at stats and while you can compare their power numbers, that is about it.Span gets on base, rarely strikes out, takes pride in being a lead off hitter and helping his team. Of course there is always a slight chance that he will struggle in spring training but like Seamhead and NJ have said, they didn't bring him here to sit on the bench and both Davey and Rizzo are usually on the same page. All I am asking as you continually comment on Span being a bench player next year is to stop with the N.Morgan comparisons. He is not a pleasant thought to this fan and it really doesn't make sense.Go Nats and good morning everyone!!

  151. Joe Seamhead - Dec 22, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    Good morning, Coach! Last year, virtually every inning was manned in LF by worse then average outfielders. Morse was hurt, but even when 100% he is not exactly grace in motion out there. Tyler Moore was lost in space. Lombo improved on his tracking the ball, but I've seen much better outfield arms in WCAC high school games. So, I'm accepting it as fact that we will have three ML level guys manning the OF next year, with a quality #4 in either Bernadina, or Brown. I, like others, worry about the possibility of ALR not playing 1B, as the quality of the entire IF goes down without him, which effectively creates a multitude of problems. Yet at the same time, I really hate the thought of not having the Beast's production in the line up. Of course Span won't ever put up power numbers, but he could be a catalyst spark plug that ignites the whole line up. Oh, all of these problemos! Can't wait to see them get solved!GYFNG!

  152. baseballswami - Dec 22, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    Mornin' all. For once there is more wind outside than hot air in here! I am kind of sad that Flores is being totally and completely forgotten. Good kid, went through a lot to return from injuries, helped us get from Ramos to Suzuki and stay in first place. You never hear him mentioned, in the media or here. I hope he finds a home. Wang is most likely done- lots of good dollars burned on him.

  153. NatsLady - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    Hi, folks. Yeah, pretty windy out there. Flores will get a minor-league signing plus an invite to spring training. Hopefully, he will make something out of that.Wang will probably go to Japan. First, injuries, and then, I think he lost his nerve. I was watching McCatty watch him, and I don't think they would have put him out there if he was not more or less healthy. But he just lost it mentally, knowing that his career depended on each pitch.

  154. NatsLady - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    The A's seem to be giving up on Selig helping them:The Athletics signed a new five-year lease to stay in their current home in Oakland. That gives them two years to work out a deal to move to somewhere, and two years to build a new stadium, with some extra time for wiggle room.The reason I mention this is because the Nats are getting the worst of both worlds. They are considered a "big market" team so not getting in on revenue-sharing, but ALSO not getting the TV revenue they should be getting. Selig needs to address this!

  155. baseballswami - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    NatsLady – so right!!! The Nats are getting hosed, big-time. In 2013 this has got to be addressed.

  156. NatsLady - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    swami, luckily, Rizzo is one smart, stubborn guy, so the Nats still have a chance. But we are up against it when you see the spending other teams (Dodgers, Rangers) are able to do. Don't blame the Lerners, the Nats still have plenty of debt to pay off, I saw a chart yesterday.

  157. JayB - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    NLady,Can you link or point me to the Debt Chart. I was thinking it was a 5 year plan and they had fully paid that 2006 debt to zero. What I love about this place is we all see things differently……Nlady sees us as luck to have such a smart stubborn GM…I see Rizzo's stubborn side as as the A. heel that will keep Nats from winning it all. I do not see getting C. Isturis instead of Marco S. at trade deadline as an advantage. I do not see getting whatever cheep LH arm for PB he can find in March over S. Burnett as an advantage either.

  158. NatsLady - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    Here is the link on revenues/debt. Not sure what the problem with Izturis was. Got him for a short period when Desi was on the DL, dropped him when he wasn't needed. Marco S was doing terribly for the Rockies, so if you knew he was going to do great for SF, that is 20/20 hindsight.MLB Valuationshttp://www.forbes.com/mlb-valuations/list/If this list is out of date, I apologize, don't see a date on it.

  159. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 22, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    Not to mention the Giants had a huge hole in their infield after losing Freddy Sanchez. Make sure you acknowledge that when complaining about Rizzo.The situations were entirely different.

  160. JayB - Dec 22, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    Issue was Danny E has always been an K machine when facing a quality pitching staff with using a well thought out scouting report.I for one (likely Rizzo and Davey) knew the was a huge whole in the line up. He was too STUBBORN to admit it and it cost them BIG.Forbes info is coming up on a year old. I seems to say they have still have about 200 Million debt. It is the cash flow looks good so it seems like they are choosing not to pay debt down…they could have paid it all by now….just shows they pocked the profits they claimed they were using to pay debt to zero.I am not an accountant or tax guy…bet some of you are…thoughts?

  161. JayB - Dec 22, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    Too me Danny E was and still is a huge hole in the Nats line up.

  162. NatsLady - Dec 22, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    Rizzo's stubborness could come back to haunt the Nats, but I don't think it will be Danny or Burnett. Burnett had back and elbow problems. That's one too many problems for me. Danny, that is a topic that we have to "agree to disagree" on.

  163. baseballswami - Dec 22, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    I have no judgements on anything anyone says about Espi. He has surely got to be one of the biggest player-puzzles out there. He plays good D and has a cannon for an arm, good range. He is a switch hitter with power. On the other hand- he can definitely be a K machine and an automatic out in the lineup and seems to be a head case at times. Hopefully the coaching staff and the veteran players have figured out what works with him and what doesn't work and what makes him tick. Good luck with that. As far as I am concerned, he could continue to struggle or become and all-star. Who knows? The new beard is very Wilson- like. Another thing about Danny – you hardly ever hear anything at all about him. The other guys show up on twitter or people see them out, you kind of know where they are and what they are doing in the off- season.That pic of him on twitter giving out gifts to kids seems like a rare Danny sighting. He seems pretty intense and is perhaps a loner. Certainly an enigma. Good kid, but has issues?

  164. snopes1 - Dec 22, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    My sandwich pick:Well, it's still the Sabbath, so Max's Kosher Grill is still not open and the shawarma (which is not just the best sandwich at Nats Park, but the best sandwich in DC) isn't an option.So I'll settle for the jerk ribs and chicken at Jammin' Island BBQ. It's a tough choice, though, because even though the seriously spicy food is very good, the service is consistently awful. At one game this year, the checkout lady pulled off a loud and angry "take this job and shove it" quit just as I was trying to pay for my ribs and chicken. That turned out to be a 3-inning food run.Back to the shawarma. My wife and I went to Israel on vacation this spring. To help plan our trip, a friend set me up for lunch with a lady who works for an Israel-US think tank. Her job involves taking US bigwigs on tours of Israel (and Jordan), so she is a treasure trove of knowledge about the place. I asked her where I could find the best shawarma in Jerusalem. Her response, "Well, you aren't going to beat the shawarma at Nats Park anywhere in Jerusalem."Just be sure to get extra hot sauce.

  165. Gonat - Dec 22, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    JayB said…I am not an accountant or tax guy…bet some of you are…thoughts? December 22, 2012 10:01 AM__________________________________I would think they have such favorable terms on the debt that they are paying it down only as required. Its like someone with spare cash that has a 2.5% rate on their car and puts the money in the bank.The team also has many in the ownership group that probably like the dividends.

  166. Gonat - Dec 22, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    NatsLady said… MLB Valuationshttp://www.forbes.com/mlb-valuations/list/If this list is out of date, I apologize, don't see a date on it. December 22, 2012 9:49 AM _____________________________________The Orioles made more money than the Nats when you consider that chart is strictly Operating Profits and all dividends paid on MASN is outside that amount. Angelos 87% of the estimated $35 to $50 million in MASN profit pushes the Orioles profit above the Nats.

  167. Gonat - Dec 22, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    baseballswami said… I have no judgements on anything anyone says about Espi. He has surely got to be one of the biggest player-puzzles out there. He plays good D and has a cannon for an arm, good range. He is a switch hitter with power. On the other hand- he can definitely be a K machine and an automatic out in the lineup and seems to be a head case at times.____________________________________Well described in summation. I think Davey is World Series or Bust and will use a Plan B or Plan C is Espi struggles. Will there be a short leash? I don't think so. I think Davey will give Espi a real shot to show he is improving.

  168. bluejeener - Dec 22, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Jumping into the ALR question, I don't see any consideration of how well -how error-ssaving well – he handled some of Zim's throws. If that was not a physical issue for Zim, and isn't fixed, then I am not as comfortable with Morse at first. Although he certainly is a more flexible piece of the pie.Anyway, Happy Holidaze!

  169. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 22, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    automatic outs are guys hitting below .200. I don't think Danny had such tough stretch. Even if he did, probably in the first half, we know he improved as season progressed. There are many things to like about this guy's game. I really hope Davey sticks with him because I think he can do better next season.

  170. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 22, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    Saying the Giants had a hole in their lineup after losing Freddy Sanchez is a fact. Saying the Nats had a hole in their lineup due to Danny Espinosa is an opinion.

  171. JayB - Dec 22, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    True to an extent….I trust you did watch the last part of the season and play off series right? Was that lack of contact, clueless situational hitting and K parade fact or opinion?

  172. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 22, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    Danny hit .255 in September. He was awful in the playoff. So was Nick Swisher.Slump… yes…. Hole…. no.

  173. alexva - Dec 22, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    show me instances where a team is having more success than any other and decides to make a significant change (benching Espi). you may find some where it worked but you will also find some where it backfired.attributing the decision to stubbornness ignores the risks.

  174. baseballswami - Dec 22, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    Brian Kenny often says about hitters that there can be bad results or a bad process. Bad results happen and tend to even out over time. A bad process has to be fixed. Danny got robbed in one of the playoff games – totally a bad result that came out of a good at bat. But a lot of the time what we are seeing is not bad luck, BABIP problems or good at bats resulting in outs. We are seeing a bad process – a terrible approach, a thoughtless, impulsive approach. It would seem that this is actually fixed much more easily than bad luck. Maturity? Patience? Even though his BA was not under 200, I think much of the fans' frustrations come out of the awareness that he has boat-loads of talent and potential. If anyone can handle someone like Danny, it should be Davey Johnson.

  175. JayB - Dec 22, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    I think it is more a hole that was always there but exploited in high value playoff setting. Teams in the playoff are the best teams with the best pitching. Teams in the playoff use scouting reports and take hours of time to brake down film and hitters and then have manager and pitching coaches make sure that the plan is executed. That has always and may very well always expose Danny E. In Sept the pitching he faced was not like anything he faced in Playoffs.Do you disagree?

  176. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 22, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    A simplistic approach:League's batting 7th has produced these numbers – .249/.309/.400 against Danny who has mainly been our #7 hitter – .257/.329/.423. Surprisingly Danny did not have as many PA as I thought initially. His overall slash is .247/.315/.402.League's second basemen – .257/.318/.383 against Danny's .233/.307/.382 which includes month of April where he was terrible (actually hit .200 in that month).About his numbers with RISP, no one argues that he was good. He wasn't but is that what we should expect going forward by looking at numbers of 150 or so PAs. If you want to look at those numbers, let's look at last season's. he was much terrible with bases empty. I think we can not use these to argue for or against him until these stabilizes over a good sample.All this talk is just about offense (mainly average) where one can conclude that he is league average. We have not talked about his power from 2B which is easily top 5-7. We have not talked about his defense which is easily top 2 or 3. I have said it before that us fans have unreasonable expectations of players. I am not saying he does not have problems, he does but so do some other Nats hitters and his supposed replacement. Morse and Desi do not walk, Lombo has no power, among others.

  177. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 22, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    Uhh.. no. I don't agree. Look how many series were played in September playing teams that were in playoff contention.

  178. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 22, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    I have also seen some refer to Scutaro's trade as a reference point, but let's not forget who was SF's 2B before. Theriot and Burriss were good neither defensively nor offensively.

  179. Alphabet Soup Erik - Dec 22, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    Espinosa looks to me like a slightly worse version of Rickie Weeks. Certainly not a terrible player, but one that sooner or later people will realize has been overhyped based upon potential. I have no problems giving Espinosa another shot, at least until something better comes along. I do think Rendon is pushing for playing time by the summer.

  180. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 22, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    Faraz…. That's why I said the loss of Freddy Sanchez created the hole.

  181. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 22, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    Erik….defensively, Danny is far superior to Weeks.

  182. ehay2k - Dec 22, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    wow, so many posts. onAJaugua ALR being a Jauguar or a Ford truck: Awesome power, but not too flashy. And for all the power, not very fast around corners. Also in the shop a lot. Definitely a Jag.Span vs. Morgan? Hmm.. can't begin to understand that comparison. Ok, they both play CF. But the Noodle arm (know to everyone himself), "I'm a tough guy" attitude, idiot on the base paths, gets balls thrown at teammates, plays a lousy CF unless the ball is hit straight to and in front of him, can't control his emotions, no grasp of the current situation, etc. Umm.. no. on ALR "jerking the Nats around": you need to have SOME leverage to do that. ALR has none. Not sure what he has done to warrant that description. He has not Yes/No'd them. He has not tweeted nasty things about theoir offer. Besides, no one knows what the comversation was witjh Rizzo. Maybe they agreed that if he can find a three year deal, the Nats will match it. on Morse vs. ALR: if we assume all stats are the same, then I vote to keep the maturity in the clubhouse. Also, to me, at the plate, Morse is a beast. In the field, his play is beastly. As in awful. I don't care what the UZR numbers are. He can't get to anything except high above his head. At least at first he has Espi to his right. In LF they need to glue gloves to the walls.Happy holidays all!

  183. ehay2k - Dec 22, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    wow, so many posts. onAJaugua ALR being a Jauguar or a Ford truck: Awesome power, but not too flashy. And for all the power, not very fast around corners. Also in the shop a lot. Definitely a Jag.Span vs. Morgan? Hmm.. can't begin to understand that comparison. Ok, they both play CF. But the Noodle arm (know to everyone himself), "I'm a tough guy" attitude, idiot on the base paths, gets balls thrown at teammates, plays a lousy CF unless the ball is hit straight to and in front of him, can't control his emotions, no grasp of the current situation, etc. Umm.. no. on ALR "jerking the Nats around": you need to have SOME leverage to do that. ALR has none. Not sure what he has done to warrant that description. He has not Yes/No'd them. He has not tweeted nasty things about theoir offer. Besides, no one knows what the comversation was witjh Rizzo. Maybe they agreed that if he can find a three year deal, the Nats will match it. on Morse vs. ALR: if we assume all stats are the same, then I vote to keep the maturity in the clubhouse. Also, to me, at the plate, Morse is a beast. In the field, his play is beastly. As in awful. I don't care what the UZR numbers are. He can't get to anything except high above his head. At least at first he has Espi to his right. In LF they need to glue gloves to the walls.Happy holidays all!

  184. sjm308 - Dec 22, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    I am not sure about this but I do not believe Rendon has played one game in his short minor league career. He might be a once in a generation type hitter but he will still need to spend time at a new position. I do remember hearing that he played some 2nd base in his last year at Rice while again battling injury. I am not pushing for plan B or C either. If Morse is at first, we need Espinosa's defense next to him and I think that his offense, even at a low level can be absorbed by what the others will provide.Of all the arguments against making a move, I liked alexva's best and once again he/she swoops in, makes one short statement and vanishes. Wish I had that way with words.One last thing, people were able to discuss pro's and con's without using bold, italics, name calling or other such silly devices. How adult.Go Nats!!

  185. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 22, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    Exactly NatsJack, if they had Freddy producing his 2010-11 numbers, doubt they trade for Marco.

  186. sjm308 - Dec 22, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    Meant to state that Rendon has not played Second Base in the minors but I can't type or be short with words.

  187. natsfan1a - Dec 22, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    Speaking only for myself, and as one who does not have a Tweeter, I actually think it's a plus that he's not all over the Tweeter and that one doesn't hear much about his off-field activities. Again speaking only for myself, I don't need players to interact with me or post about where they are and what they're doing – just play the dang game and I'll be happy. Just another natsfan1a editorial (TM Joe Seamhead). :-)baseballswami said… I have no judgements on anything anyone says about Espi. He has surely got to be one of the biggest player-puzzles out there. He plays good D and has a cannon for an arm, good range. He is a switch hitter with power. On the other hand- he can definitely be a K machine and an automatic out in the lineup and seems to be a head case at times. Hopefully the coaching staff and the veteran players have figured out what works with him and what doesn't work and what makes him tick. Good luck with that. As far as I am concerned, he could continue to struggle or become and all-star. Who knows? The new beard is very Wilson- like. Another thing about Danny – you hardly ever hear anything at all about him. The other guys show up on twitter or people see them out, you kind of know where they are and what they are doing in the off- season.That pic of him on twitter giving out gifts to kids seems like a rare Danny sighting. He seems pretty intense and is perhaps a loner. Certainly an enigma. Good kid, but has issues? December 22, 2012 10:22 AM

  188. Alphabet Soup Erik - Dec 22, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    NJ-Most definitely, but my point was that "potential" can make people see things with rose colored glasses. Weeks is making $11 million per year to hit .240 with 169 K's and poor defense because he has 30/30 type potential at 2B…Danny needs to show improvement in April, May and June or it may be time to look at dealing him to a team that needs a shortstop.

  189. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 22, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    Erik….I agree to a degree.

  190. sjm308 - Dec 22, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    Erik: Would you be happy with Lombardozzi full time at 2nd? That would reduce our range on that side of the infield, reduce our power at the plate and mess up what I think is a terrific lineup. I understand that Espinosa strikes out way to many times but he is hitting 7th. I think its the perfect spot for him as he works out his issues. If Susuki starts hot Davey can even move him down to 8th (although he would then need to understand the importance of learning how to take a pitch out of the strike zone). I just don't think there is a comparison between what I have seen from Danny compared to Lombardozzi. I am not using stats, just what I see. Lombo is a nice player, hustles, can play lots of places but Danny, to me, is someone special.

  191. JayB - Dec 22, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    So Njack…..6 out of 27 games in Sept when Danny was Not a hole in the line up according to you at least (.255) were against playoff teams….did I miss something?Bottom line for me is a 2B guy hitting at the end of the line up lead the NL in K's……He was like what 2 shy of 200 K's….that is Dunn K rate.That is inexcusable on any level….that was all year….long….what did you expect him to do in the Playoffs? He did just what I expected.

  192. NatsLady - Dec 22, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    Dbacks just gave Cody Ross (age 32) 3/26. I think Rizzo's offer is looking better by the minute if it is in fact 2/25. About the same money, one year less of work.

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

    Good for you JayB…..good for you.

  194. sjm308 - Dec 22, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    JayB. I understand you watch just about every game and I respect that. Are you benching Danny for good or just a game or two while he works on his mechanics? Do you sacrifice the defense we lose during that time? Not trying to be critical, I just want your opinion. Also, you criticize Rizzo for his being stubborn, isn't playing Danny more a criticism of Davey than Rizzo? Again, just wondering and thanks.

  195. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 22, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    JayB, what did you think of Espinosa going into last season?

  196. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 22, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    Trade for Upton is happening that means because that gives them like four or five starting OFs. Kubel, Upton, Ross, Eaton, and Parra.

  197. NatsLady - Dec 22, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    Danny made a couple of misplays in the playoffs, to me that was more disappointing than his bat. I think he was feeling the pressure.

  198. baseballswami - Dec 22, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    Lombardozzi would be a different player with a different skill set. You seem to have a short memory — his range was excellent and he has plenty of arm to play second. He is very, very good there. While he doesn't seem to have power, he did seem to start finding some this season. He is, however, way up high in his rate of making contact – that means he can lead off, get on base, which means he can use his speed to steal. He can move runners – all sorts of things. He also has a very high baseball IQ. You can't directly compare the two – it's apples and oranges. Same position, but you get different things. Danny – a little more range and more arm ( which is somewhat wasted at second) and some power. Lombo – Very good defense and a smart, contact hitter, who very well might develop a little power. I would not be concerned to have Lombo play second – as he did very well the entire time Desi was out. I do think Danny has the ability to be a better player there, when he is at his best. I think there has to be a competition in Spring Training, though. Danny must play well or hear Lombo's footsteps behind him.

  199. JayB - Dec 22, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    Simple questions Njack…what did you think he was going to do against good pitching and from the LH side in the playoffs. How do you defend 200 K's from you number 8 hitter and 2nd Baseman? How is that a plan to win games?I bench Danny for the rest of the year in Sept when he proves he is just to selfish and stubborn to change his approach. I trade him this winter to get what value is there before the rest of the league finds out just how easy an out he is. If he agrees to stop switch hitting and start making some contact with 2 strikes and a runner at 2nd and no outs, then I would keep him and let him tryout in spring training.Rizzo and Davey are one and the same. Those who think Rizzo has nothing to do with who plays are wrong and those who think Davey has nothing to do with who is on 25 and 40 man roster are wrong. Lombo was a better choice for playoffs. Trade at deadline for a proven infielder was what was needed.Yes I liked Danny after 2011 season….but did know he was not a switch hitter and that when AB count and playoff pitching started..he was going to be exploited.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 58 47 --
ATLANTA 58 49 1.0
MIAMI 53 54 6.0
NEW YORK 52 56 7.5
PHILADELPHIA 47 61 12.5
Through Wednesday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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