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Nats signing Soriano for $28 million

Jan 15, 2013, 7:40 PM EDT

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Rafael Soriano saved 42 games for the Yankees last season.

Already overloaded with right-handers with experience closing games in the big leagues, the Nationals are adding another big name to their bullpen … and making a major financial commitment to him.

The Nationals have agreed to terms on a two-year, $28 million contract with veteran Rafael Soriano, a source familiar with the deal confirmed. Terms also include a $14 million option for 2015 that would automatically vest if Soriano finishes 120 combined games over the next two seasons.

The surprise addition of Soriano (a Scott Boras client) gives the Nationals yet another power right-hander at the back of their bullpen, but raises immediate questions about how manager Davey Johnson plans to divvy up roles.

Drew Storen was in line to retain his position as the Nationals’ closer after a strong finish to 2012 before his blown save in Game 5 of the National League Division Series. Tyler Clippard, who led the club with 32 saves last season, figured to retain his role as the top set-up man.
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267 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Feel Wood - Jan 15, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    While it's certainly possible there will be no changes to either Storen or Clippard's role, teams don't typically dole out $14 million per year to a seventh-inning reliever.Agents don't typically let seventh-inning relievers sign contracts with options that vest based on number of games finished either.

  2. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 15, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    Water23 is worried about $25,000 to Metro and the Nats just plunked down $14,000,000 to Soriano.Payroll going to $120 million. Stan Kasten is sweating!

  3. MicheleS - Jan 15, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    I KNEW IT!!!Adam Kilgore‏@AdamKilgoreWP The Nats-Soriano deal is done. One nugget: Owner Ted Lerner was very involved in the negotiations

  4. Constant Reader - Jan 15, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    So we've been wondering what Morse gets in trade. Wonder what Morse and Clippard gets us in trade? The plot thickens with Rizzo.

  5. Alex Howard - Jan 15, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    i hate this deal, lose a pick(the farm is barren), and we still need a lefty!!!!!

  6. MicheleS - Jan 15, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    This smells like a Mike Illich move

  7. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 15, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    Clippard is not getting traded. Get that out of your thoughts.

  8. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 15, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… I said after the playoffs meltdown that the Nats would look at Boras 2 veteran closing candidates. Madson was off the board quickly. If the Nats did this, its another example of "going for it".January 15, 2013 2:17 PM Peric, when I wrote that in October you told me I was crazy.Lerner just went crazy! January 15, 2013 2:42 PM

  9. Tcostant - Jan 15, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    I mention this before ALR re-signed as a possible Rizzo move, all here told me I was crazy. With that said, once ALR re-signed, I no longer thought it would happen as I figured if ALR signed elsewhere the draft pick comp would at least be close to the #1 pick lost. I'm a little shocked.I though a larger discount too.

  10. timeless46 - Jan 15, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    I don't like this move

  11. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 15, 2013 at 7:50 PM

    Yeah, 120 games finished tells me he is our closer for next two seasons. Bit of an overpay.

  12. Timothy Folk - Jan 15, 2013 at 7:50 PM

    We don't have time for what happened in game 5 again.. opportunity wasted.. get it done rizzo

  13. SCNatsFan - Jan 15, 2013 at 7:51 PM

    Ghost, I disagree. I think Clip is going. Giving away the pick and losing the talent means the Nats can move Clip and Morse for something very good.

  14. Theophilus T. S. - Jan 15, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    The option vests if Soriano finishes more games in two years than he has any two seasons in his career. So I'd call that improbable. And you can bet this was the last part of the negotiation as the Nats have to be crossing their fingers he doesn't reach that number. The loss of a pick — not so much, because of how far down they'll draft, but most important the pool money — really hurts. Rizzo's response to the lost pick would have been to pick some kid deemed unsignable, or some Gioloto-type who's already been marked like a side of beef for surgery, and pay him a lot more than slot. Losing the pool money pretty rules out the Nats' layaway tactic for draft picks.

  15. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 15, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    Probably Davey had enough of kardiak kids. Anyways, not exactly a fan of this move.

  16. NatsLady - Jan 15, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    I don't see how they are trading Clippard or Storen. Can't trade one without trading both and they are NOT doing that. Wow. Some bullpen. OK, everybody move over, just pitch, boys, just pitch. Didn't see this one coming.

  17. Water23 - Jan 15, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    GoSM – Not worried at all. In fact, I was making fun of those who constantly rant about the Lerners bieng cheap!!!! Ergo – Cue Lerners are cheap rant!But thanks for reading my post!

  18. Nats fan in NJ - Jan 15, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    I don't know, I think somebody in that pen is gone with Morse to get us a bigger return. I think I like this deal, but need to ponder…

  19. timeless46 - Jan 15, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    just further proof that if you are a player negotiating with the Nats, you should have Boras as your agent or you will leave a lot of money on the table.

  20. Water23 - Jan 15, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    MicheleS,It does seem like an Illich move. Here's hoping the Lerners continue and keep Morse and go all in.

  21. Gorse Hackage, still waiting for spring - Jan 15, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    I'm pretty sure this will be the most popular deal ever as soon as he goes 1-2-3.

  22. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 15, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    SCNatsFan said… Ghost, I disagree. I think Clip is going. Giving away the pick and losing the talent means the Nats can move Clip and Morse for something very good. January 15, 2013 2:51 PM On the surface many think it means Clip or Storen will be traded.There's still the question of Vazquez. To me it says the weaker guys need to worry.

  23. pdowdy83 - Jan 15, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    Natslady I don't follow what you are saying. Why wouldn't they be able to move one of Clipp or Storen without moving the other? That makes absolutely no sense. I could see them keeping all three. Clippard in the 7th, Storen in the 8th and Soriano in the 9th. Clippard has excellent numbers against lefties so that would eleviate some of the need for anything more than Bill Bray and Zack Duke in the pen from the left side.SorianoStorenClippardStammenBrayDuke+1 of Mattheus, Garcia, HRod etcThis, however does make not bringing Burnett back look odd. They are paying Soriano more in one year than they would have for Burnett's entire contract.

  24. Feel Wood - Jan 15, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    I don't see how they are trading Clippard or Storen. Can't trade one without trading both and they are NOT doing that.I don't recall them being joined at the hip. Are they so fragile that like twins they would fall apart if separated? Not the kind of mental toughness you want in a setup man.

  25. Steamer - Jan 15, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    This is a shame I guess they don't feel comfortable with clip or storen wow

  26. Feel Wood - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    pdowdy83 said… Natslady I don't follow what you are saying. Why wouldn't they be able to move one of Clipp or Storen without moving the other? That makes absolutely no sense.Consider the source. This is the wack job who said she's changing her seat just because I happen to sit in the same section.

  27. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    I'm getting access denied to the rest of the story?

  28. Steamer - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    I hope storen or clip get traded they will be better off

  29. Theophilus T. S. - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    I always thought Clippard was a seventh inning guy misplaced as the set-up man.Which leaves open what to do w/ Mattheus.If a trade looms — which I don't dispute — I'd like to see something like Morse and Clippard to the Mariners — I agree Clippard has been overused and I don't feel as confident in him as I once did. Plus Rodriguez just to make someone take him. In exchange, one of the young starters and one of the three other players (Franklin, Furbush and one other guy) AZ was offered for Upton.

  30. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    By the way, its a big over-pay. I think Boras takes advantage of Lerner. Shouldn't have paid more than $11 million for a Qualified Player given nobody else was biting no matter what Boras says.I am all for using CASH in the "GO FOR IT" mode.

  31. SCNatsFan - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    NatsLady I don't follow the logic if Clip is moved then Storen has to move too. I thought Dr Andrews cut the cord on them last year.

  32. Tcostant - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    Mark, please check these facts: "…The 33-year-old right-hander previously was an All-Star closer for the Rays in 2010, saving 45 games while posting a 1.73 ERA. He then signed a two-year, $22 million deal with New York, serving as Mariano Rivera's set-up man in 2011 before taking over ninth-inning duties last season after Rivera suffered a major knee injury."I though he signed a longer deal with the Yankees for around $14M per, with an opt out, which is why he became a free agent this year.

  33. Water23 - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    And just to make the day even weirder, it looks like Nyjer Morgan as TPlush imploding again

  34. Don - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    Nice! Soriano is going to be the man. It looks to go Clipp 7th, Storen 8th, Soriano 9th. And that works perfectly for me. I was hoping the club would go big like this and make the pen as lock-down as the SP. HRod is likely gone and/or some trade is brewing (to replace the pick that they give away maybe). Love this move.

  35. Candide - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    peric said… I'm getting access denied to the rest of the story?Me, too.

  36. SCNatsFan - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  37. NatsLady - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    Clip & Storen aren't joined at the hip. They are married, however, which is an interesting quandry for a GM. Yes, Rizzo could trade Storen. I don't think he will, though, I think we've seen the last of Henry.

  38. Theophilus T. S. - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:07 PM

    Maybe the Nats can get one of Seattle's young IFs by throwing in Rivero — I think Seattle is one of the teams that could use him.

  39. Water23 - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:07 PM

    Tcostant,Interestingly, Mark is correct. Soriano only played two seasons for the NY. Previously, he played for the RaysSoriano Teams

  40. SCNatsFan - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    When I see Clip I see Majewski who was awesome her but they knew he was about to blow from overuse

  41. SCNatsFan - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    Henry might not even get his travel visa now

  42. Steamer - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    Clip will get traded mark my word

  43. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    NatsLady, I don't think you have anything to worry about with either Clip or Storen. I agree that we've seen the last of Henry but he has only used up 7 of his 9 lives and may make it north with the 25.Money is no object here as I have said before. Its spending smart money and while Rafael Soriano cost $14 million it was only a $3 mill overpay.Payroll heading over $120 million.

  44. pdowdy83 - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    Natslady, what the heck are you talking about? Clippard was here before Storen and they have nothing to do with each other besides both being relievers on the same team.

  45. SonnyG10 - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    If we keep both Clip and Storen, I'm thrilled with this. I'm withholding final approval until after I see if there are any more fireworks in store.

  46. Tcostant - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    For the record, I don't like this move at all. The salary is to high and the lost pick and slot money hurts. If this move was gonna happen, why not trade Drew for Span instead of Meyers? Also, this should have been a one year deal at about $8M, I have no idea who we were bidding…End of rant.

  47. Don - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:11 PM

    Are we sure that the 120 finished games is right for the option trigger? No one finishes 60 games per year. 100 maybe?

  48. blovy8 - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:11 PM

    Yep. That's a ton of money. If he gets the 90 saves that makes it sort of worth it, it only means they overpay for the third year where he gets sucky and old.

  49. Water23 - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:12 PM

    pdowdy83 said…Natslady, what the heck are you talking about? Clippard was here before Storen and they have nothing to do with each other besides both being relievers on the same team.—-They live together, blog together and seem to be best friends.

  50. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:12 PM

    Clippard is not getting traded. Get that out of your thoughts.He is arbitration eligible and NFA_Brian appears to consider it a distinct possibility Ghost.

  51. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:13 PM

    And replacing Clippard with Mattheus makes sense. Fresher arm less stress over the past 3+ years.

  52. Tcostant - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:13 PM

    Okay his orginial deal with the Yankees was 3 years / $35M, with an opt out. I knew I wasn't wrong.http://sports.espn.go.com/new-york/mlb/news/story?id=6020119

  53. Water23 - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:14 PM

    Tcostant,And he had an opt out every year. It was one of the oddest deals a team would make.

  54. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    They live together, blog together and seem to be best friends.Still, I'm not sure I would go as far as Natslady appears to have with the two? And I'm sure Pam Storen reads this blog Natslady?

  55. sm13 - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    It's hard to see how we keep both Drew and Clip. They both want to close and neither will be happy with the 7th inning.

  56. Water23 - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    Another possibility, maybe the MASN deal got resolved in the Nats favor? Not likely but wouldn't that be a nice cherry on top?

  57. Will - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    Agree with the sentiment of a lot of posters… Why exactly did we sign Soriano??If you had asked me yesterday what our greatest strength was for next season, RH power relievers would have been up there with corner outfielders.So why are we spending $28mil on another?MicheleS got it right. This is totally a Mike Ilitch move. Needlessly throw around a lot of money so he can see his team win before he goes. The problem is, he's hamstringing the team in the future…

  58. blovy8 - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    Since we've done the Yankees a solid, they ought to reciprocate…

  59. Teddy Rochlis - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    i don't like the fact that Lerner had a heavy hand, while it might have been a good pick up, in Rizzo we Trust. Curious on his take on it he obviously didn't say flat out no or else Lerner wouldn't have offered the contract right?

  60. Don - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    Tcos — they were not going to get the guy at a $8M 1 yr deal. They got the best FA closer available and on a deal that is not so wild — star players on 2 year deals are in this ball park. Maybe Morse goes in a pakcage now. We'll see.

  61. Section 222 - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    This is Rizzo saying "World Series or bust." For those who don't like the move, what is it? Surely not the money. Who cares how much the Lerners spend as long as we win? Losing the draft pick? Ok, fine, a legitimate concern. But remember, it's the 29th pick, not the 1st, or even the 7th. And either Clipp or Storen could bring us a very decent prospect in return. The only other reason would be thinking that Clipp or Storen (one will likely be traded this year I think) will perform better this year than Soriano. I just don't agree with that. Rizzo may be getting ready to trade Morse, Clipp/Storen, maybe Bernadina to refill our starting pitching pipeline. Let the bidding begin.And it looks like H-Rod's days are truly numbered

  62. Alphabet Soup Erik - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    Another thing nobody has talked about on here…could Storen or Clippard be injured??? I hope not, but this deal is rather surprising.

  63. Sheldon Pais - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    @sm13 whoever said clippard wanted to close? he has thrown the 7th before, i dont see why he wouldnt for 2 players like drew and soriano for a WS bound team..

  64. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    Tcostant, like I said above it was an overpay. I think the Nats got suckered into it but if you are going to give up a Draft pick, glad they did 2 years and not one.

  65. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    Meanwhile, it looks like the Nats will have every reasonable possibility as far a left-handed relievers invited to camp including Patrick McCoy.

  66. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    Section 222 said… This is Rizzo saying "World Series or bust." Nope, this was Ted Lerner and Davey Johnson saying World Series or bust.It sends a message over to StanK also about buying players. The bullpen was the weakest part of the 25 man. It no longer is.

  67. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    Agree with the sentiment of a lot of posters… Why exactly did we sign Soriano??Reposting Kilgore's analysis which appears to fall in line with Ghost's from October:Now that we have that out of the way, there are also plenty of reasons why it does make sense. Davey Johnson loves his ‘A’ and ‘B’ closer system on winning teams, and Soriano’s presence would give him that option. If the Nationals challenge 100 wins next season, both Soriano – who notched 42 saves with a 185 ERA+ and 9.2 K/9 for the Yankees last season – and Storen would get plenty of save chances.The Nationals don’t need to replace Storen, who was great down the stretch until the final game. But they could augment him. Remember last year, when the Nationals signed Brad Lidge to swing between closing and setting up to take pressure off Clippard and Storen? Soriano would be like a Super Brad Lidge. He’d also be about a dozen times more expensive, but we’ll get to that.Last year, scouts believed the back of the Nationals’ bullpen wore down significantly in September. Soriano, who has averaged 56 games the past seven seasons, would give them enough depth to prevent that this season. So he’s not a lefty. They could still execute one of the smartest moves in any sport – strengthening a strength.The Nationals clearly rank in the top third of the league, if not the top five, with their rotation, infield and outfield. By adding Soriano, they would make their bullpen every bit as good, on paper, as the rest of their team. The bullpen is good, potentially very good, as it is. It could be excellent with Soriano.

  68. Don - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:23 PM

    is an "Illitch move" some kind of slur? I don't get it. The Tigers are winners year after year and their club is chock full of studs, in no small part because they have an owner who'll go get a guy. I am not sure how fans can not like the club getting a guy of this caliber. It's not like they traded Bryce Harper for some shag balls and a fungo bat here. They got a lot better. Do you remember game 5? This is — Adios Nuke LeHrod sailing one to the backstop in a tight game — Hello a lot of shut down 7th-8th-9ths and curly W's in the books.

  69. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    The bullpen was the weakest part of the 25 man. It no longer is.Even if they do trade Clippard, if Bray comes back from his injuries then the Nats would have the best bullpen in baseball. Bar none. And that is how you win 100+ games.

  70. NatsLady - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:25 PM

    I understand Pam Storen reads the blog. I really really hope she understands. I think she does–this is the 21st century. If the Nats had won the WS, there would have been an announcement, I would bet big time money. But, brothers (e.g., Uptons) play on different teams, so can Clip and Store. This will be something everyone will have to meditate upon.

  71. Exposremains - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:25 PM

    Clip and store: Sori-another closer will get it done.I know it's terrible

  72. MicheleS - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    Will..One thing I will disagree on.. The moves this off season are not hamstringing the team. NOT one of the moves is beyond 2015. Span has an option for 2015, Haren is a 1 year rental, ALR is 2 years, and this guy is 2 plus an option. This gives Rizzo 2-3 years to re-stock the Farm and bring up the next batch, plus after 2015, he will need the money for the young guys we have now.

  73. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    One has to figure that if they did happen to sign Vasquez … they wouldn't have a problem paying Harren to do long relief 6th starter … since they already have one reliever making 14 million a year.

  74. Section 222 - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    If neither Clipp nor Storen is traded, they may not like pitching the 7th, but one of them will do it gladly if Davey tells them too. A 7-8-9 of Clipp, Storen, Soriano rivals anything any other bullpen can throw out there, including the Braves. Indeed, we now have one of the best bullpens in the game to go along with the best starting rotation and the best defense. With Stras, JZnn, Haren, and Det still not likely to go much deeper into games, that will be very valuable. Kudos to Rizzo.

  75. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    Sect222, I truly believe there was some hurt feelings between Rizzo and Boras over the Boras "We built this team" comment and I believe Boras went right to Ted Lerner on this and took Ted's money.I don't like it for the reason I think Boras took advantage of Mr. Lerner but on the fan side, who cares, go for it and win it all!In the words of MicheleS, WOOOOOO HOOOOOO™

  76. NatsLady - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    Sheldon Pais==> Who said Clip wanted to close? Er, Clip said he wanted to close. It really bothered him being behind other guys who got to close. He got his chance, he did pretty well with it. But his shoulder, it can't be good after these years of over-use.

  77. MicheleS - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    Peric, Haren is not going long relief and I seriously doubt that Javy comes here.

  78. MicheleS - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    AND another tidbit:Dan Kolko‏@masnKolko Worth pointing out that draft experts don't see 2013 class as particularly talent-laden. #Nats might not miss 29th overall pick that much.

  79. BigCat - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    I worry about the chemistry of the pen now. I also worry about Drew's mental make up. Is this Rizzo smacking Drew in the face for his blown save. My opinion on Drew is that he is young and has filthy stuff and was gonna develop into the best closer in the NL. He's at 97 with a viscious curve and had recently learned a nice 2 seamer which ran down and away from lefties. I don't like this move, but the old saying is that you never have enough arms. Boy…..is Rizzo in bed with Boras or what?

  80. Jimmy - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    I love when I'm just hanging out, minding my own business, then check the old google reader and find out the Nationals went and made themselves better. Again. Seems to be happening a lot these days. No idea what this means as far as trades are concerned (no one does). Might mean nothing. At this point, Rizzo could sign Ronald McDonald to a five-year, 100 million dollar contract and I'd be ok with it. He's earned my trust and then some.

  81. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    This gives Rizzo 2-3 years to re-stock the Farm and bring up the next batch, plus after 2015, he will need the money for the young guys we have now.Not every starter is a Strasburg … it typically takes between 2 -3 years to develop a starter. They have some guys on the M*A*S*H list per Luke Erickson who might develop in that time including Solis, Purke, Giolito, and Karns. But some could end up in the bullpen.Rizzo must acquire young starting pitching talent to develop NOW to give them that development time.

  82. UnkyD - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    Keeping our interest up…. "Oh, this roster is SET…. Maybe a LOOGY, but then we're DONE!" GAWD, this is cool!

  83. NatsLady - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    Pais, I mean, it bothered Clip that other guys (Lidge, Henry, etc.) got the chance to close when Storen was injured and he was passed over. That was in the papers last year, the only time I've ever heard Clip speak up about stuff like that. Now we will see. Very interesting/outstanding bullpen.

  84. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    Peric @3:22, thanks for that. My reasoning in October if Sec222 can find one of my posts on signing a Boras closer had to do mostly with Boras convincing Lerner that Storen failed him.This is Boras's M.O. to convince GMs or in this case the owner that he has a player to get them the ring.I theorized this would happen but thought it would've happened quickly. I honestly wrote it off and kind of shocked that it happened at this point in time.

  85. Will - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    Don, talk to me in 5 years about that Prince Fielder contract.The Tigers are going to be an extremely expensive and old team in a couple years, and when they lose Cabrera, they won't even be very good. Did you notice they were the 6th best team out of 14 teams in the AL last year? That's not very impressive, especially in a miserable AL Central.They actually remind me a lot of another team with an extremely overpaid "star" surrounded by a bunch of other old, overpaid players and starting to go through some tough times, letting their best players leave. Soriano might be able to fill you in on how that's working with his old employers…

  86. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    Worth pointing out that draft experts don't see 2013 class as particularly talent-laden. #Nats might not miss 29th overall pick that much.And he got that from NFA_Brian. Nothing on the radar from the MASN minor league expert Byron Kerr as yet.

  87. Will - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:34 PM

    Correction: the Tigers were the 7th best out of 14 last year. They'd have finished in 4th place in any other division.

  88. SCNatsFan - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:34 PM

    If you are Storen and you see this signing, sulk and hide under a rock then you don't have what you need to close. If you see this signing and work harder to have these guys set you up then that's the kind of player I want closing for this team. Competition breeds better results.

  89. Melissa Rabey - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:35 PM

    What I see as more likely? Soriano and Storen alternate closing, based on matchups, the status of the game, etc. Clip stays as the set-up man in the 8th, and we have Mattheus/Bray/Garcia pitch the earlier innings as needed (which I'm thinking won't be nearly as much pitching as in the past, since I don't think Davey will be as conservative with the starters as he was this year.)Alternating Storen and Soriano fits in with what Davey tried last year with Clip and Storen after Drew came off the DL. Makes sense to me–not that I'm not saying anything that other people haven't already pointed out. Signing Soriano is a bit of a head-scratcher, but hey, if Ted Lerner wants to win a World Series this year and is willing to pay out, I'm not gonna quibble. :-)

  90. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    peric, Purke is the best pitcher I have seen in the Nats system but I haven't seen Giolito and think that the pipeline is there.You have to do what the Rays have done and build most of the talent organically from within. Remember, even the Yankees had a Core 4 of Jeter, Mariano, Pettite and Posado. The Nats have a much deeper Core. All it takes is lots of cash and team unity to keep that core together.

  91. Sheldon Pais - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    NatsLadyBut i think Clip is miles better than lidge or henry, so sure that would be a bother, but as the best 7th inning guy in the league followed by two of the best setup and closers in the league? why not? everyones gotta do their part

  92. Section 222 - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    Do people really think that Ted Lerner told Rizzo to sign a guy who Rizzo didn't want? No way. Ted Lerner being "very involved" means the deal came down to more money than Rizzo thought he could spend and the Lerners saying "go for it!" Maybe there was a bidding war at the end and, for once, the Nats were the last team standing (cf., Texiera, M; Chapman A; Fielder, P.; maybe Howell, J.P.) Agree with Michele that this does not hamstring the team for the future. One 1st round draft pick at the back end of the draft is not going to make or break our long term prospects. Having an outstanding bullpen to go with an outstanding rotation sure helps us in the short term.

  93. sm13 - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    Clippard has said he wants to close. He was very public about it last year. It makes sense. As this deal proves, closers make the big bucks.

  94. MikeinDC - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    First step in the Rizzo era I disagree with. I didn't like, but understood, Lannan last year, but this move doesn't seem good from production or team chemistry standpoint. We'll see…

  95. BigCat - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    I hate to say it, but my boy HRod is in trouble now

  96. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:39 PM

    MicheleS said… AND another tidbit:Dan Kolko‏@masnKolkoWorth pointing out that draft experts don't see 2013 class as particularly talent-laden. #Nats might not miss 29th overall pick that much.January 15, 2013 3:29 PM If you are going to give up a Draft Pick, it might as well be that late in the Draft but it still hurts as the shift has to be to International Signings to supplement the depth of the farm system.

  97. Feel Wood - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:39 PM

    NatsLady said… Clip & Storen aren't joined at the hip. They are married, however, which is an interesting quandry for a GM.NatsLady said… I understand Pam Storen reads the blog. I really really hope she understands. I think she does–this is the 21st century. If the Nats had won the WS, there would have been an announcement, I would bet big time money. Yes, in the 21st century it is perfectly acceptable for two guys to get married, at least in some states. Maryland being one of them. Just hope they were ready to be thrown out of the closet and into the clubhouse, where from what I've heard it's not the 21st century yet.

  98. The Fox - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:39 PM

    Looks like Rizzo is a little unpredictable. I surly didn't see this coming?Hard to say what the bullpen will look like. I think its a little too early to put Bray in there yet.

  99. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:40 PM

    The Nats have a much deeper Core. All it takes is lots of cash and team unity to keep that core together.I can't agree violently enough with that statement.But, if I am Mike Rizzo, Roy Clark, Minniti and all the smart guys they have in that FO I am into insurance if I can buy it. Remember, the Lion or White Knight of the Nats, Ted Lerner is 87 years old. As someone had to point out in the flurry of tweets. This may not happen after he passes?We don't know for certain that the Nats will be able to keep that core. So unfortunately its hope for the best and plan for the worst. Giolito, Purke, and Solis are a part of that strategy. As is Karns. And there are others but they need more … just in case.As always they can be traded once they reach a certain value as we saw with Alex Meyer. Or used if they lose some or all of that core.

  100. Don - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:40 PM

    Every RP guy wants to close, like you siad Closers get paid. And they get he big love from the fans. The Nats likely did not spend $28M to have Soriano share a role. It is very likely that he'll be the primary guy — and on paper, right now, even without the big contract factoring in, he should be anyway. He's the best guy for the job on the roster.

  101. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:44 PM

    BigCat said… I hate to say it, but my boy HRod is in trouble now January 15, 2013 3:38 PM Like I said he's used up 7 of his 9 lives already. With the ability of flexibity of Minor League options and the fact that Bray can open in the Minors since he is on a Minor league deal the team can still see what HRod has.SorianoStorenClippardDuke+3 of Stammen, Bray, Mattheus, Garcia, HRod etcThis also doesn't include the possibility of Vazquez signing a MLB deal and starting out in the bullpen.

  102. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:44 PM

    The Nats likely did not spend $28M to have Soriano share a role. It is very likely that he'll be the primary guy — If Davey, again, implements is A and B bullpen he'll be sharing closer duties with Storen. As Kilgore pointed out the bullpen wore down in September. The way to keep that from happening is to apply Davey Johnson's strategy to the problem and there are always injuries. Both Storen and Soriano could get 30+ saves on a 100 win team and be fresh for October.

  103. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    This also doesn't include the possibility of Vazquez signing a MLB deal and starting out in the bullpen.Or Harren, since Vasquez has the power arm. And we all know the power arms typically take precedence over ground ball control types with Rizzo and Johnson.

  104. blovy8 - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:48 PM

    ok, so Espinosa, Clippard, and Morse, for Cano and Rapada? Yeah ,I know, it'll never happen.

  105. IKN8wxU2 - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:50 PM

    You know, I thought they might go after Soriano, but thought they might work some odd sign and trade deal with the Yankees for Morse:http://www.natsinsider.com/2013/01/my-2013-hall-of-fame-ballot.html?showComment=1357769008928#c1879765975291040492

  106. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    ok, so Espinosa, Clippard, and Morse, for Cano and Rapada? Yeah ,I know, it'll never happen.They are not going to trade for Cano!!! You might as well move Morse to 2nd base you'd get more production and he could play the position.Too many people tend to overestimate the Spankees. There IS A REASON why the Spankees FO is stoked to get three legit first round picks in this year's draft! That trade would be the ultimate in stupidity but surely something Bowden would go for.

  107. Tcostant - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    Don said… Tcos — they were not going to get the guy at a $8M 1 yr deal. They got the best FA closer available and on a deal that is not so wild — star players on 2 year deals are in this ball park. Maybe Morse goes in a pakcage now. We'll see. Me: Maddison was in a similar situation last year and that is what he got, that was my basis. I didn't see any other bidders, the Yankees said "no thanks" to a return and the whole draft choice/ pool thing. I thought it was a fair estimate and if the Nats didn't set forward will never know.

  108. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    peric said… @Ghost Of Steve M. said…The Nats have a much deeper Core. All it takes is lots of cash and team unity to keep that core together.I can't agree violently enough with that statement.Peric, twice in one day. We are making progress!This deal came together quickly and out of Rightfield!Like you said, Ted Lerner is 87. He knew 2012 was a pleasant surprise that exposed some weaknesses, but he expects it in 2013.Kudos to Boras for showing Mr. Lerner why the Nats didn't advance. All he had to do is show Mr. Lerner as Warner Wolf used to say "to the videotape" and watch Storen fidgeting and the quotes of "smelling blood in the water" with Gio.If the Nats had a stealther 8 man bullpen in the playoffs they could've pulled Gio after the 3rd inning with that 6-0 lead.That's what Boras showed Ted Lerner. Bullpens save important games.The one message I impart on Davey is when you go for it you sometimes have to step on those you love and you may hurt some feelings but this is about the other 24 guys not just about 1.

  109. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    You know, I thought they might go after Soriano, but thought they might work some odd sign and trade deal with the Yankees for MorseThat's not how Boras works. He cuts out the middle and goes directly to the owner … in this case Ted Lerner.

  110. blovy8 - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    One blown save after being used a couple of days in a row in the postseason doesn't mean Storen can't close. I'm not so sure we want to consult Boras for a pitcher to fill the most important postseason innings after Jackson's October…

  111. Bzl. - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    Knock me over with a feather~! Shocking stuff. I think Storen gets traded… but what do we need?

  112. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    Just a hunch, I think Morse the Yankees is a bigger possibility now given the Yankees just secured another pick with the Soriano deal. They can afford to trade away a top prosepct. Get 'er done Mike!

  113. Bzl. - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    Anyone who thinks that Rizzo wasn't 100% behind this is out of his/her mind.

  114. The Fox - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:57 PM

    Mattheus would have to pitch his way off the bullpen in Spring training. I think Davey really likes him. Hard to say what might happen and I can't rule out a trade altogether.

  115. Section 222 - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:57 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  116. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    They can afford to trade away a top prosepct. Get 'er done Mike!But the Nats might be going for more than one. And the Rays would be one-stop shopping in that regard.

  117. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    Bzl. said… Anyone who thinks that Rizzo wasn't 100% behind this is out of his/her mind. January 15, 2013 3:56 PM I'm out of my mind. Boras did this direct with Mr. Lerner mano y mano. Of course Rizzo had a glass to the door cheering it on.

  118. blovy8 - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    Peric, the Nats would be loaded for this year with that trade, and Rendon can be shifted to 2nd next year or maybe be traded for similar talent if not. Clippard would probably make more than he's worth in arbitration next year, Morse would be a FA, and Espi is a necessary loss to win this year.

  119. The Fox - Jan 15, 2013 at 8:59 PM

    I think you might be right Ghost with the Yankees making a trade for Morse. Something tells me there is more to this.

  120. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:02 PM

    Clippard would probably make more than he's worth in arbitration next year, Morse would be a FA, and Espi is a necessary loss to win this year.Espy is a better choice at second base for the Nats. Why help the Yankees by saddling them with Cano? They have his offense in Morse and Morse can and has played 2nd base probably at close to Cano's skill level. Espy is light years better.Its a really fantasy baseball thinking not professional baseball.

  121. Section 222 - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:02 PM

    Davey always talks about "my closer." You only need one of those because we're not going to win every game, or have a save opportunity in every win. Until Storen was injured last spring, he never wanted to have A and B closers or closer by committee. I repeat. Davey's A and B bullpen construct is not about having two closers. It's about having two sets of 7th and 8th inning guys, who pitch on alternate days in close games, whether or not we are winning or losing. This contrasts with the usual A and B teams, like we had last year, with Burnett and Clipp almost never pitching when we were losing. In blowout games, you use your long guys into the 7th or 8th, and everyone gets some extra rest. So, potentially, you have:A:MatheusClippand B:Bray (H-Rod?)StorenSoriano closes all save opportunities, unless he's pitched in two (or maybe three if his pitch counts were low) games in a row, in which case the other group's 8th inning guy does the job. The long relievers match up with the starters of the opposite hand — so Stammen backs up Det and Gio, while Dukes backs up our righties. This kind of arrangement, which keeps everyone fresh, even when you're in a bunch of close games in a row, only works if you have two guys who you can trust with the 8th inning. Now we have that.

  122. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    Peric, I think the Rays have a CF on their wishlist that they won't get and could bring in Morse as a LF/DH to slide Desmond Jennings to CF.They also need a middle infielder but that is secondary. I don't see them doing a blockbuster now as they usually like trading high priced pitchers and they probably won't move David Price until they are out of the playoff hunt or next off-season.If they do anything I see Morse for a prospect. Maybe sweeten the deal with HRod for a better prospect.

  123. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    Soriano closes all save opportunities, unless he's pitched in two (or maybe three if his pitch counts were low) games in a row, in which case the other group's 8th inning guy does the job. He's 33 years old. How old is Storen again? He might get most save opportunities but not all. That's Giggleman thinking.

  124. baseballswami - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    I think Clip gets traded – he is due for a pretty big payday. I also think Soriano is the designated mentor for Drew for the next two years to make sure he ends up tough as nails. He is still a baby and has plenty of time to be a big league closer. Plus – if you win 100 games, any one closer can close, what, maybe 40? Maybe Drew will have a longer career if Davey doesn't push him to 45 like 2011. He ended up missing a lot of the season after that. This just gets more and more interesting, though.

  125. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    The Fox said… I think you might be right Ghost with the Yankees making a trade for Morse. Something tells me there is more to this. January 15, 2013 3:59 PM As they say in Vegas, I'm having a very good day. It helps being able to read Spanish. I got my tidbits before even Heyman had it which scared me into thinking it wasn't real.

  126. snopes1 - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    Mark -I'm confused by your statement that the Nats' first pick is #29 overall. Since they had the best record in baseball in 2012, won't they pick last in the first round?That would make the Nats' first pick #31 overall, wouldn't it? (Since the Pirates get an extra first round pick to make up for their not signing Mark Appel, there are 31 picks in the first round.At least that's this page on the MLB website seems to say. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20121120&content_id=40372360&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlbBut maybe I'm overlooking something?

  127. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    If they do anything I see Morse for a prospect. Maybe sweeten the deal with HRod for a better prospect.For the right prospects they could easily get Lombo, Moore, Morse, and perhaps Clippard as well. Maybe even H-Rod. They could use them all because the Rays are an AL team with a DH and they lost some offense this season with Pena and Upton now gone. The Rays really could use all of them. They might have to throw Karns in as well. But I would imagine they might be able to come away with some top high-ceilling guys from A ball and lower who they could develop. And perhaps at least one who is almost major league ready.But who knows? That's why Rizzo gets paid the big bucks to make that sort of thing happen. To ensure both teams get what they are looking for.

  128. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    Take care everyone. I have a meeting to jump into. Will check back in.

  129. snopes1 - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:08 PM

    Oh, I think I figured it out. I'll bet some other teams have already forfeited their first round picks. Never mind.

  130. blovy8 - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:09 PM

    Why pay a guy 14 million bucks to pitch relief innings if you aren't willing to go all in? If Soriano is only the co-closer, it seems like Detwiler really should be the in the pen and the Nats should get Lohse.

  131. Candide - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:10 PM

    peric said…That's not how Boras works. He cuts out the middle and goes directly to the owner … in this case Ted Lerner.Really? He goes to Lerner and says, "You can have Soriano for two years at $28 million; let's do this just between you and me – don't tell your GM."And Lerner says, "Duhhh, okay!"And Rizzo, on discovering that his boss suddenly thinks he's Dan Snyder, doesn't blow a gasket?

  132. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:10 PM

    Another thing to consider? I believe draft picks are now trade-able? The Nats could acquire one for this year's or next year's superior draft?

  133. Section 222 - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:10 PM

    peric, all I'm saying is that Soriano will be our closer. He won't officially share the duty with Storen or anyone else. Storen (or Clipp) will close on occasion when Soriano needs rest. If being 33 years old means he needs more rest than a 25 year old, so be it. But it's not going to be an every other day thing. That's not what the A and B bullpen construct means.

  134. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    Really? He goes to Lerner and says, "You can have Soriano for two years at $28 million; let's do this just between you and me – don't tell your GM."Doh. Of course Rizzo is in on it YOU DOLT. But Boras doesn't need to have his client first signed by the Yankees and then traded to the Nats to make that happen? Don't YOU READ? Or did you never hear of the commercial reading is fundamental Candide? Okay Homer? Take the radioactive rod out of your pocket now.

  135. Section 222 - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:13 PM

    snopes1, doesn't the World Series winner always get the last pick in the round?

  136. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:14 PM

    But it's not going to be an every other day thing. That's not what the A and B bullpen construct means.What it means is Davey plans ahead on how he wants his starters and bullpen to lineup. He'll try to make the choices based on availability and match ups. Which is different from what you are suggesting. Yes, he really does think that far in advance. That's why he is renowned for his bullpen management.

  137. blovy8 - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:16 PM

    So LaRoche gets millions less than Soriano a few days later after all the BS, and he's about a month older. Who will be worth more?

  138. Candide - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:17 PM

    Excuse me, mr. peric, for not completely understanding what you were writing. I'll try not to be such a dolt in the future.Jackass.

  139. snopes1 - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:17 PM

    Peric -I think it's only in rare situations involving teams overspending in the draft that certain "compensatory" picks can be traded. Here's what Wikipedia says about that:Bonus poolFrom the 2012 draft on, each team is allocated a "bonus pool" from which it can offer initial contracts to its drafted players. Each team's pool is based on its draft position and number of picks, plus the amount spent in the previous year's draft. For the 2012 draft, these pools ranged from $4.5 million to $11.5 million. If a team goes over its threshold by 5 percent or less, it must pay a "luxury tax" of 75% on the amount over the threshold. Teams that go 5 to 10 percent over must pay a 100% tax on the excess, and will lose their next first-round pick. A team that goes 15 percent over can lose its next two first-round picks, in addition to the "luxury tax". These excess picks will go to smaller-revenue teams via a yet-to-be-reported formula. Uniquely, these compensatory picks can be traded—marking the first time MLB has allowed trading of draft picks. However, all previous rules against trading of regular picks, or picks awarded as free agent compensation, remain in force.

  140. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:19 PM

    So LaRoche gets millions less than Soriano a few days later after all the BS, and he's about a month older. Who will be worth more?LaRoche didn't hire Boras. He might have fared better. Plus I don't think LaRoche can repeat last season or even close to it at his age. There appears to be a better chance that Soriano will. But you never know.

  141. Section 222 - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:20 PM

    I think we should all pause and recognize that Kilgore kind of called this back on January 6. Of course, one of the things that would make it possible, in his view, was the money that would be saved by not signing ALR.

  142. Mark Zuckerman - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    Sorry for the problems with the link to the rest of the story. It should be correct now.

  143. John C. - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    Wow. I did NOT see this coming! It makes me wonder when the other shoe will drop – I see this as a move that makes certain other moves possible.I now think an offer for David Price moves into the realm of legitimate possibility. Package Morse (for 2012), Detwiler and either Storen or Espinosa to the Rays for Price (who isn't a free agent until after the 2015 season, but is arbitration eligible and will therefore become pricey). The Rays need a bat to compete in 2012, and could afford Morse with Price's contract off the books. They also get two cost-controlled, high upside players going forward. Espinosa would give the Rays an infield of Longoria (3b), Espinosa (SS), Zobrist (2b) and Morse (1b). Detwiler fills in their rotation.The Nats slide Lombardozzi into 2b and the #2 spot in the lineup, moving Werth down to the #6 spot. Carlos Rivero moves into the utility IF/bench guy spot. It all sounds so plausible, it will never happen :D

  144. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:26 PM

    Sickel's final top 20 prospect list for the Nats. Yes, Carlos Rivero makes the cut as does Zach Walters.Sickel's Top 20

  145. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    Espinosa (SS), Zobrist (2b) and Morse (1b). Detwiler fills in their rotation.They aren't going to trade Espinosa. There was probably a better chance they would trade Desmond after his miserable 2nd season in the pros than Espy? C'mon! Forget about it. Its not going to happen. They aren't going to put Lombo or Rendon at second base not with Zim's three injury filled years.

  146. Section 222 - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    I agree that Davey is renowned for his bullpen management. And what I described is the way he would like to do it if he had the right arms. I remember him very clearly saying that he doesn't like the way most bullpens are set up where some guys always pitch when you have a lead and others pitch when you're behind. He wants the A and B bullpens to be equally good, so that the A team doesn't get worn out when you're on a winning streak. Ideally, relievers would pitch every other day. That's always been his preference. You can look it up, but I just did:Just in case you're too lazy to click the link, here's the money quote: "Basically, Johnson says that he has always divided his bullpen into two groups, A and B. The group he uses alternates by the day with only the closer remaining constant. That is except for this season because he's designated Henry Rodriguez and Brad Lidge as A and B closers. I'm not sure which is which, or which is better. That's only part of my confusion.I'll let Davey take if from here:"I've done it my whole career," Johnson said. "I don't see any other way, if you're handling arms at a very high level, than that the ideal situation is pitch, day off, pitch. I won't give examples, but if you go with your main guys every time you're tied or up, they're gonna run out of gas halfway through the season. So you have to have confidence in the other side of your bullpen.""You're welcome.

  147. snopes1 - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:32 PM

    Section 222 -No, the draft order is determined strictly by regular season standings.The Nats were #31 but had moved up two slots in the standings due to the signings of Josh Hamilton by the Angels and B.J. Upton by the Braves. Both Hamilton and Upton had qualifying offers.The only other player among the nine players with qualifying offers to change teams so far is Nick Swisher. The Indians did not have to forfeit a pick for signing Swisher because the first round picks of the bottom nine ranking teams are protected.

  148. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:35 PM

    From Fangraph's Jeff Sullivan, Let’s ignore the vesting option; that kicks in if Soriano finishes 120 games between 2013-2014, and Soriano’s never finished 60 games in a season once, let alone twice, let alone consecutively. That’s probably not much of a factor. Still, I think we have to conclude that Soriano probably won’t be worth this contract. No matter how you figure reliever valuation, Soriano’s getting $14 million a year for two years. He’d have to be incredible to be worth that, and then there’s also the matter of the lost draft pick.Mathematically, this is probably an overpay. The Nationals are in a situation where they don’t have to worry too terribly much about a slight overpayment. They’re fantastic, and a World Series championship justifies an awful lot. They’re in a better spot now.

  149. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:37 PM

    "IN RIZZO I TRUST". That's my motto and I'm sticking with it.

  150. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:38 PM

    I think we should all pause and recognize that Kilgore kind of called this back on January 6. Ghost apparently called it in October using similar logic … not sure he has found the link yet.

  151. DaveB - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    from MLBTR:Rays executive VP of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said he’s still looking to add a bat and, potentially, a reliever, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reportsHmmmm… wonder who he'd be talking to

  152. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:48 PM

    Section 222 you are quoting the A&B bullpens out of context. Johnson never had the luxury of multiple closers and was forced into that situation last season due to Storen's injury … now he as TWO BONAFIDE closers. Either one could be relegated to the A or B side … and if he is smart (and Davey is smart) he will alternate that periodically to give each chances to close games where the Nats have a lead and save them down the stretch. A&B bullpens the WHOLE STORY in contextYou're welcome.

  153. sjm308 - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    Late jumping in1. Peric, play nice, you have been so much better lately. It's ok if someone a. didn't understand or b. disagrees with you2. Not sure why anyone is upset we are spending more money. It is not ours and believe me, the Lerners have it. 3. I think I like the move and while I trust Ghost a bunch, I am not certain Clip or Storen will be moved quickly.4. The Storen/Clippard thing is very interesting and I am not sure how I did not hear that before this. Doubt if it makes any difference to anyone on the nationals or in the front office (at least I hope it does not).5. Like a few others, I continued to hold out hope for HRod. That hope has diminished just a bit. Hard to see him in our top 7 but man do we have a great top 7.6. Morse will now not have to pitch in relief and can resume just worrying about corner outfield and infield along with dh and pinch hitting (thats a joke people if you haven't been playing along).Go Nats!! World Series or Bust!! Keep Morse!!

  154. pwilly - Jan 15, 2013 at 9:58 PM

    Forget about the money, easy for me to say. This will be off the books in 2 years so don't think Davey must use Soriano exclusively as the closer because he's getting $14mil. This makes the bullpen better, period.Rizz is definitely not afraid to ruffle some feathers. He's all about what makes the team better, especially in the post season.

  155. Section 222 - Jan 15, 2013 at 10:01 PM

    I'm just going by Davey's own words peric. And sure, use someone other than Soriano periodically, just as I said. When Soriano needs a night off, use Clipp or Storen. If we keep both Storen and Clipp, I think it's much more likely that he alternates them in the 8th and uses Soriano as his primary closer than that he alternates Soriano and Storen as closers. Alternating closers would mean having two relievers who are only used in every other save opportunity. And unlike the 8th inning, save opportunities don't happen in every game, so that's a real waste of a bullpen slot. I was excited to see that you actually posted a link, something you rarely do, and then found it was the same article I had linked to. So no thanks.

  156. BigCat - Jan 15, 2013 at 10:03 PM

    Somebody earlier was talking about Clip in the 7th, Drew in the 8th and Boras….er…Soriano closing. That would pretty much turn the game into a 6 inning game for teams against us. If your losing after 6, you call in the dogs and head for home cause its night night time. Maybe keep Hrod to walk some people and make it interesting.

  157. MicheleS - Jan 15, 2013 at 10:03 PM

    Adam Kilgore‏@AdamKilgoreWP Nats could make a trade, and if they do I'd bet Clippard is likeliest. But Soriano is about depth. Scouts thought the Nats tired last year. HMMMMMMMMM.. he seems to be right when guessing the next move by the nats.

  158. Section 222 - Jan 15, 2013 at 10:04 PM

    The Storen/Clippard thing is very interesting and I am not sure how I did not hear that before this. Doubt if it makes any difference to anyone on the nationals or in the front office (at least I hope it does not).I'm pretty sure it's a figment of NL's vivid imagination.

  159. Don - Jan 15, 2013 at 10:09 PM

    Davey using A nad B closers his whole career is a myth, even if Davey himself professes it. Randy Meyers was the closer for Davey's O's, Jeff Shaw for the Dodgers. If he has a guy he can rely on he uses the guy. If Lidge had been reliable, he would have closed when Storen was hurt. HRod did not alternate nights for Saves when he got the nod. Mid season it was Clipp, Clipp, Clipp for saves. Late in the season when Storen came back it was Storen, Storen, Storen to close. Unless the guy was unusable he used him. Let's face it — Rafael Soriano is your 2013 Nats closer and no one outside of Storen himslef should be upset at all about that.

  160. Section 222 - Jan 15, 2013 at 10:15 PM

    Don, I agree that Soriano is our closer this year. But Davey has never professed to use A and B closers. If you read the article that both peric and I linked to, all he said is that he likes his A and B bullpens to both be good enough to go to in close games. That way he doesn't burn his best guys out. But that doesn't count the closer since the closer doesn't pitch every day. He always uses a single closer. Even Davey's description of his A and B bullpen is kind of a myth as the author of the article points out. And last year, Burnett and Clipp usually handed the 7th and 8th in tight, important games.

  161. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    Nats could make a trade, and if they do I'd bet Clippard is likeliest. But Soriano is about depth. Scouts thought the Nats tired last year.Add on to that the fact that Mattheus is definitely a power arm and Clippard is on the cusp and Davey has always said he likes at least two left-handed arms in the bullpen, so unless Bray really screws up or is injured he has to be in. If 222 is right then Storen becomes a setup guy to Soriano's close along with Mattheus and H-Rod. Storen is the backup closer. Clipp as a former All Star potentially returns the most value.

  162. NatsNut - Jan 15, 2013 at 10:17 PM

    So help me, if Clippard gets traded away, it's another trip to the black pit of despair for this fangirl.Please, please, please, I'm begging. Rizzo, just be greedy now and go ahead and keep all three of them. Thanks.

  163. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 10:17 PM

    Of course Storen could be trade bait as well … Still think its going to be Tampa Bay and a trade for prospects.

  164. sjm308 - Jan 15, 2013 at 10:22 PM

    I think the one thing we can agree on is when Gio & Det pitch, Stammen will be rested and when our right handers go it will be Duke next up. I do like that both Mattheus and Clip get lefties out well but Bray is definitely a possibility. I do understand that Clip would bring the most value but it will be hard to see him leave after all he has given us. Again, like I said on the early post, we have now crossed into entirely different expectations for this team. The battle just to make the 25 man roster is incredibly tough.222 – I think it today's world you are probably correct that it would not be kept hush/hush.

  165. NatsNut - Jan 15, 2013 at 10:24 PM

    Still, I LOVE that all the writers are talking about how set our roster is, pretty much for years, and Rizzo can STILL surprise us. LOVE IT.

  166. MicheleS - Jan 15, 2013 at 10:24 PM

    And every other team that NEEDS pitching is watching VasquezPeter Gammons‏@pgammoJavy Vazquez can pitch Caguas to Puerto Rican title Tuesday, many clubs in to see if he tops out @ 95 again. Boston has seen every start

  167. NatsNut - Jan 15, 2013 at 10:27 PM

    Good or bad deal, 'm thinking this is what it feels like to hang with the big dogs. I'll take it.

  168. Feel Wood - Jan 15, 2013 at 10:27 PM

    Actually, Clip and Store were headed down that road until Clippard made the mistake of getting filmed reading Fifty Shades of Gray to some other guys.

  169. Ron In Reston - Jan 15, 2013 at 10:28 PM

    peric said:They are not going to trade for Cano!!! You might as well move Morse to 2nd base you'd get more production and he could play the position.And then said….Why help the Yankees by saddling them with Cano? They have his offense in Morse and Morse can and has played 2nd base probably at close to Cano's skill level.—————————Ok, what are you smoking? Morse has played exactly 19 games at 2B, ALL in the minors in 2009. During those 19 games, he made three errors. In 154 games last year, Cano made six. Exactly how is that showing Morse "close to" Cano's skill level?

  170. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 10:30 PM

    I was excited to see that you actually posted a link, something you rarely do, and then found it was the same article I had linked to.That's a lie. I've posted at least 4 today. I am fairly certain I post more links and give out far more attributions than you do by a very long country mile.You're welcome.

  171. JayB - Jan 15, 2013 at 10:31 PM

    This is just what they needed. This is going for it. This is how you win. This is how you upgrade your odds of winning it all. Well done Rizzo….Well Done Lerners.Interesting that Rizzo did just what I wanted him to do…….that means he is really dumb right?

  172. MicheleS - Jan 15, 2013 at 10:33 PM

    JayB? when did you say that Rizzo should sign Soriano?

  173. Section 222 - Jan 15, 2013 at 10:34 PM

    Morse has played exactly 19 games at 2B, ALL in the minors in 2009. During those 19 games, he made three errors. In 154 games last year, Cano made six. Exactly how is that showing Morse "close to" Cano's skill level?It isn't. Whoever made that statement didn't actually consult any stats. Obviously.Some people seem to have the idea that since Morse originally was a shortstop and played a few games there in 2005-2007, he can play 3B or 2B in 2013. That's a breathtaking leap of logic. The only infield position Morse is ever going to play from here on out is 1B.

  174. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 10:34 PM

    Ok, what are you smoking? Morse has played exactly 19 games at 2B, ALL in the minors in 2009. During those 19 games, he made three errors. In 154 games last year, Cano made six. Exactly how is that showing Morse "close to" Cano's skill level?Can doesn't run. He has NO range. Morse at least tries? Sure 2012 he had his first non-negative positive UZR since he was a just about newbie to the majors. He is NO Espinosa. Especially since he is on a 1 year and done (like Morse) and his agent is Boras (as is Espinosa's for that matter. Again, folks tend to overestimate Spankees.

  175. Feel Wood - Jan 15, 2013 at 10:36 PM

    I for one think that if Morse played second it wouldn't get all that Uggla.

  176. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 10:39 PM

    Some people seem to have the idea that since Morse originally was a shortstop and played a few games there in 2005-2007, he can play 3B or 2B in 2013. That's a breathtaking leap of logic. The only infield position Morse is ever going to play from here on out is 1B.57 games at shortstop in the majors and 9 games at first base with 124 games in each corner outfield position? Sure he weighed 50 pounds less than he does now. BUT he could still do it. Sorry I'm just not impressed with Cano's ability to play second base …. at all. He is mostly a bat just like Morse. And if you believe otherwise you didn't consult the scouts dude.

  177. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 10:40 PM

    Meant to say 9 games at third base for Michael Morse.

  178. Doc - Jan 15, 2013 at 10:43 PM

    Mark, thanks for fixing the lead story link—I had a WTF moment!

  179. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 10:43 PM

    Interesting that Rizzo did just what I wanted him to do…….that means he is really dumb right?And I suppose you are now claiming to have come up with this first? Before Ghost and Kilgore? Not likely JayB. No, he did not do what you wanted him to do. He buttressed the bullpen he didn't go out and trade the farm away for Justin Upton.

  180. JayB - Jan 15, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    I said he should get a top of the line closer…..I did not say which one or how. I said he should spend money and go for it now…the window is smaller than most think….

  181. JayB - Jan 15, 2013 at 10:49 PM

    is anyone really thinks that is not something I said…you can look it up….I do not think regulars would doubt it

  182. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    I said he should get a top of the line closer…..I did not say which one or how. I said he should spend money and go for it now…the window is smaller than most think….Well then he didn't do what you said (and I doubt you said that). He got another insurance policy like Harren at age 33. A better choice over the recovering Brad Lidge who really was once a top closer. Soriano closed for TB and 1 year with the Yankees. He's a good reliever but he's not Mariano Rivero in his prime.

  183. MicheleS - Jan 15, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    JayB.. i take your word on that one. your fandom is not something I question, I just couldn't remember what you had said you wanted Rizzo to do.

  184. Section 222 - Jan 15, 2013 at 10:56 PM

    How many innings at a position other than 1B or OF in 2007? Fourteen (14). How many since 2007? Four (4). Yet he's capable of playing 2B "close" to Cano's ability. Sorry, but you don't have to think that Cano is Espi to know that that assessment is way off base. By the way, in those 9 games at 3B in '06, '07 and '09, he averaged less than 4 innings in each (a total of 32.2 innings), and all of 11 chances!! Oh, he did play 3 innings at SS in '06 and '07, but had no chances.

  185. JayB - Jan 15, 2013 at 10:59 PM

    Peric…..come on now….MR in his prime is the best closer of all time….I said top of the line…that is what they got.Stop playing the zero sum game….two can be right….win win…..and THIS IS A WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  186. MicheleS - Jan 15, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    222 I just added a drink to my Tab with you.

  187. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 15, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    Sects222,.can you find my October posts about Rizzo going after Madson or Soriano. Just curious since JayB says he also suggested it.Thanks. Also my gut says Clippard is a strength and won't be traded. Now the bullpen is.a strength.

  188. Laddie Blah Blah - Jan 15, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    "BUT he could still do it. Sorry I'm just not impressed with Cano's ability to play second base …. at all. He is mostly a bat just like Morse. And if you believe otherwise you didn't consult the scouts dude."Hmmm. MLB just put ML 2nd basemen through their shredder, and added Bill James' assessment, plus Harold Reynolds' opinion, and that of a former 2-time GM Executive of the Year, all of whom rated the top ten 2nd basemen in the MLs, right now. There was complete unanimity:"Cano is in a class by himself":http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=25551269&topic_id=7417714Neither MLB's shredder, nor sabermetric guru Bill James, nor the former GM Exec of the Year had Danny Espinoza on their list of the top ten 2nd basemen. Reynolds had him rated 9th on his list, and was the only evaluator who even mentioned him. Reynolds especially likes the way Cano plays defense. Defense was the main reason Reynolds was the only one who named Danny to his top ten, at all. If you believe otherwise, try and catch a rerun of that show.

  189. Unknown - Jan 15, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    Part of me wants to trade Espinosa, Morse, Detwiler, Bernadina and a B-level prospect to Tampa for David Price. I wonder if they'd do that?I still think Lombardozzi is a great second baseman (he won the 2011 Minor League Gold Glove at second and will be a .280 hitter with a .345 OBP and 25 steals. But if Espinosa figures it out like Ian did he could be a .260-28-80 guy with 25 steals and a Gold Glove. so I don't know. I seem to be a little less concerned about our minor league depth than most of you. I was two or three years ago, but the Nationals have a pretty good second tier of players ready to go (Moore, Rendon, etc.) and the majority of this group is young and will be around for some time. Farid @ Idaho

  190. BigCat - Jan 15, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    Well, one thing is for sure, when that bullpen gate opens, someone nasty is coming out……and thats what you want

  191. NatsNut - Jan 15, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    Ghost, can I owe you a drink just for saying so? It brought me off the ledge a little. Ghost Of Steve M. said… Also my gut says Clippard is a strength and won't be traded. Now the bullpen is.a strength.

  192. Section 222 - Jan 15, 2013 at 11:12 PM

    For the record, here's JayB calling for Rizzo to spend on a "proven closer" on December 16 and December 31.He also strongly preferred ALR to Morse at 1B. I'd say he's been proven a Rizzo horse whisperer, rather than a "hater." What's he going to do next JayB? Do tell. :-)

  193. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 15, 2013 at 11:15 PM

    Yep, Ghost.I remember your Boras client comment concerning relievers. AndJayB….kudos on your reliever comment. I remember it well.Again……I prefer to sit back and watch Rizzo work his magic.

  194. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    He also strongly preferred ALR to Morse at 1B. I'd say he's been proven a Rizzo horse whisperer, rather than a "hater." What's he going to do next JayB?He spends most of the time criticizing Rizzo NOT congratulating him as he did today? Its like he doesn't remember what it was like with the leather pants Segway Joy riding JimBo on most days.

  195. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    I guess its competition that will determine the closer NOT the pay scale and that will happen in ST. Otherwise Dan Harren would be the ace and #1 starter by that logic.

  196. JayB - Jan 15, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    This is truly a great move. Nobody is going to have a better pitching staff in the playoffs. Pen will not be burned. Starters will be protected…..Keep Morse (change for me). Get him 350 ABs and have a DH ready for inter league and WORLD SERIES!!!!!!!!!!

  197. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 15, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    Huge news on the deal. $14 mill is deferred. AAV is now $11.8 which puts it exactly where I said it was market.WTG Lerner/Rizzo.

  198. MicheleS - Jan 15, 2013 at 11:20 PM

    JayB.. starting hanging out at Justin's with me and SJM308.. I bet he buys you a beer for the Keep Morse comment!

  199. peric - Jan 15, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    Reynolds especially likes the way Cano plays defense. Defense was the main reason Reynolds was the only one who named Danny to his top ten, at all. So, Laddie Blah Blah you are saying that you believe Reynolds believes that Robinson Cano could be a gold-glove shortstop in the majors? But Espinosa can.Dream on. He a Spankee that's all that makes him special. He's just Dan Uggla in pin stripes.

  200. MicheleS - Jan 15, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    Ghost..I don't think the 120 finishes is going to make that option year a possibility. So good deal all around

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