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Nats not real active as deadline arrives

Jul 30, 2013, 4:23 PM EST

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DETROIT — While most of the baseball world approaches Wednesday afternoon's trade deadline with fervor, clubs clearly setting themselves up to be buyers or sellers, the Nationals' response to the annual late-July frenzy appears to be a shrug.

Positioned neither as a strong contender seeking a big boost to get over the hump nor as an also-ran seeking to dump veterans, the Nationals don't expect to do anything bold before the 4 p.m. deadline arrives.

As much as their lineup has underperformed, the Nationals don't have an obvious hole to fill. All eight regulars are under team control for another year, all but Adam LaRoche under control through at least 2015. And those eight players, taken collectively, have been more productive than you might have guessed: They've combined to hit .272 with a .338 on-base percentage and .448Read more »

  1. SonnyG10 - Jul 30, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    I don't want to give up much, so I'm ok with standing pat if nothings available on the cheap.

  2. Tcostant - Jul 30, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    Stand pat!!!

  3. NatsLady - Jul 30, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    Off this topic, but interesting comments from Span. At first, I think it upset him he wasn't leading off, as he has done his entire career. Now:Denard Span was brought in to be the leadoff hitter, but his .313 on-base percentage entering Sunday wasn't a number typically associated with top-of-the-order hitters.So the Nats moved him to the seven-hole and Span responded. He prefers hitting lower in the order, and the numbers agree: Span had four more hits in the Nationals' 14-1 win and is 12-for-30 out of the seven spot."When he goes from the one-hole to the seven-hole, he becomes more aggressive," manager Davey Johnson said. "I like that."Said Span: "Well, I'm hitting seventh, so I don't have to worry about going up there trying to see pitches. By the time I get up there, I've already seen six guys hit, so I already have a good idea of what that pitcher's doing. When I get up there, if they're going to throw me a first-pitch fastball, I'm going to swing. It's different when I'm leading off, I try to see as many pitches as possible, but hitting seventh, there's really no rules."

  4. Theophilus T. S. - Jul 30, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    With the possible exception of Lombardozzi, none of the current bench players will be on next year's opening day roster. While I'd be happy to start repopulating the bench now, Rizzo's preference is to acquire bench players through free agency or from within.None of the Nats current minor leaguers will fetch anything significant in return, although collectively they are of significant value to the organization. (Five pitchers among Jordan, Karns, Cole, Ray, Purke, Solis and Giolito are likely to constitute the 2017 rotation.) Are there any expendable position players with value? Possibly Walters, Goodwin, Souza and Martinson — but none of them is ready to start in the majors and there is a lot of doubt (in my mind) any of them will be every-day ML players. (T. Moore, in my opinion, should not be traded — though it may not make any difference as almost every other has a 1B that has youth and power or is old and salary-crippling. What do you suppose it would take to get Ryan Howard?) The only player I can imagine that would be worth getting at a price the Nats could afford would be Michael Young — but the Phillies will almost certainly be offered more from teams who see him as a starter.This is a long way of saying I agree w/ Mark; more likely Rizzo will do a waiver deal (such as Suzuki) in August as the gap between the real contenders and the pretenders continues to widen.

  5. NatsLady - Jul 30, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    Just did the rankings and player stats for Nats and Tigers. It's not your imagination that Rendon is slumping big time (and Hairston hasn't had a hit).Nat and TIgers

  6. JamesHoy - Jul 30, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    Please replace Tracy with anyone.

  7. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 30, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    Idk, tcostant… I dont think it would hurt to look at another pitcher…We dont know which D Haren we will get.. We dont know how Det is doing… T Jordan, whom I obviously like a lot, is on an innings limit and will be sat in a while… and Ross O – the big question is, can he sustain the success…Its a lot of questions about the back end of our rotation….And we definitely need another OF bat…

  8. Tcostant - Jul 30, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    As far as Span hitting 7th, if he not leading off he should really hit 8th. Bottom line, when the 9th spot is up and the pitcher needs to lay down a bunt with less than two outs, it is a lot easier to move that guy up if Span and not a catcher is running to second or third base.

  9. NatsLady - Jul 30, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    MrsB, I'm with you on a pitcher, just a body, not a top pitcher like Peavy. Too many uncertainties. Been saying that since it was clear Det was not himself, and then he went on the DL, and now the DL looks like September. Yes, I'd like Haren to be good, Jordan to pitch well until his limit, JZimm not to be injured, Ohlendorf to step right in…. that's a lot to ask of Dame Fortune.

  10. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 30, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    With the possible exception of Lombardozzi, none of the current bench players will be on next year's opening day roster.===I actually kinda hope we keep Roger (yeah yeah, we all know I am one of his bigger fans) but I think he is great to have on the bench and can fill in more than adequately in the OF…

  11. NatsLady - Jul 30, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    MLB Injury News ‏@MLBInjuryNews 36sAccording to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports Michael Young will only approve a trade to the #Rangers. Has a full no-trade clause. #Phillies #MLB

  12. bowdenball - Jul 30, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    Mrs B-In an ideal world, sure, it would be great to get a back end starter to replace the question marks you list. The problem is that anyone better than what you list is gonna cost us legitimate prospects, and we're not close enough to contention to start shedding legitimate prospects for a back end starter. It really is that simple. If we were a game or two out, fine, but not when we're 9 back in the division and 6.5 back of the second wild card.Unless there's a deal out there that is way better than I can imagine, standing pat is the right move. The Nats should also explore trading LaRoche or Soriano for prospects, but I seriously doubt any team would give them anything in return.

  13. NatsLady - Jul 30, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    Sounds like Pittsburgh is going for all the marbles. Bud Norris and Alex Rios?? Them's the Twitter rumors.

  14. Theophilus T. S. - Jul 30, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    Span as a seven-hole hitter is another case of Rizzo's stats side getting the better of his eye-on side. (Nyjer Morgan, who the stats geeks saw as a better CF than LF, being the prime example.) Span, also, is now playing for his job next season. Some team with Rizzo-wool over their eyes may see his affordability for the next two years and take him off the Nats' hands in the off-season. Unless Span continues to hit for next 60 days, I can't see the Nats holding out too hard if someone else wants him. Where to go from there? There are no immediate internal options — and I don't want Rizzo thinking he can acquire someone else's rusty lamp and coach it to something shiny.

  15. NatsLady - Jul 30, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    LOL, or Jake Peavy and Alexei Ramirez for the Pirates…lotta rumors.

  16. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 30, 2013 at 5:41 PM

    Bowdenball – for some reason your post made me think of where this organization and its farm system was prior to Rizzo and where we are now…I think the only prospects that would and could net anything would be the pitchers… But nonetheless, I get it… I do but I dont think it will hurt to call out/listen given so much uncertainty with our back end…

  17. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 30, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    HAHA… NL – I was like Bud Norris… really… lol….and M Young is going to the Rangers… Interesting…

  18. natsfan1a - Jul 30, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    I'm down with whatever Rizzo thinks seeing as how (1) I don't do armchair GM; (2) even if I did do armchair GM, it wouldn't matter one bit what I thought; (3) I don't do rumors either. Is it game time yet? 😉

  19. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 30, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    The waiver wire will provide the Nats with a clearer opportunity on what they need.It takes Rizzo a long time to make a move and so far the only ones who has survived the numerous roster moves is Tracy and Haren.HenRod – Gone. Espi – AAA ZDuke – Gone. Storen – AAA TyMo – AAA That is exactly 20% of the Opening Day roster are now gone. The only one unforseen to me is Storen.

  20. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 30, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    Dodgers are going to be making a move or 2. This should be interesting.Angels are in sell mode. Crazy in SoCal!

  21. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 30, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    Times like this I wish C Garcia was okay… I think he could have helped us…

  22. Tcostant - Jul 30, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    Natslady might be correct, Bud Norris has been scratched from tonight's start. I think he is also in play to the O's

  23. Section 222 - Jul 30, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    Five pitchers among Jordan, Karns, Cole, Ray, Purke, Solis and Giolito are likely to constitute the 2017 rotation.I sure hope you're not right about that since we have options on Gio for both the 2017 and 2018 season, and I'd like to that either JZnn or Stras, if not both, will re-sign with us and not leave after the 2015 and 2016 seasons. respectively.

  24. NatsLady - Jul 30, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    MrsB, Garcia is now on the 60-day DL. I feel bad for thinking he might have a phantom injury because it looks pretty real now, and we could use him. Mattheus has certainly not looked good in his two appearances.

  25. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 30, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    NL – I was in the small group of hoping to convert C Garcia to a SP… But alas, I dont think that is happening…

  26. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 30, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    Admitted blown call by Jerry Meals costs Red Sox in big way====Yet another reason why MLB needs the replay… I saw most of this game (I was rooting for Boston as I picked them to go to the WS) and Im not even a fan of either team but I was mightily upset by this…

  27. bowdenball - Jul 30, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    Section 222-He also assumed the Nats would not sign a free agent or make a trade for a starting pitcher.There is zero chance that our 2017 rotation is comprised of five of those six players. I'd bet 1000 to 1 against it without hesitation. I can't think of a rotation in baseball that is comprised of even four guys that were in the club's farm system four years ago. In fact I bet there hasn't been one in the last 20 years.

  28. James Joyce - Jul 30, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    Rizzo usually shrugs at the deadline. He did nothing last year when he had a club that could win, he did nothing to unload Adam Dunn when they were looking to lose 100 games. He's just much on in-season moves. BTW, that bunk about how Haren, Ohlendorf and Jordan make Rizzo confident on SP going forward for the rest of the season is rich. He's at a Novena right now on his knees praying that those guys can hold it together with chicken wire and duct tape to keep his club from falling into third place.

  29. SCNatsFan - Jul 30, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    Theo I was under the impression Hairston was signed for next year; if so then he will be back on the bench next year.

  30. James Joyce - Jul 30, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    Hairston gets $2.5M next year. No idea why they added this guy at his price.

  31. A DC Wonk - Jul 30, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    Off Topic Tuesday Tidbits:- There were four games that ended on walk-off hits yesterday (including HR by 42 y-o Jason Giambi — brining his BA up to .194, and breaking Hank Aaron's record for oldest player to hit a walkoff HR) (and including Denorfia hitting a 2 run HR off of Aroldis Chapam in bottom of the ninth for a 2-1 win).- J.B. Shuck hit his first career HR in early June off of Matt Garza. It was overturned. He finally got his _real_ first career HR yesterday – his 115th game. Off of Matt Garza.- Not only did the Giants score only three runs in their three-game series with the Cubs, going 4-for-23 in RISP, but they loaded the bases five times.- Everybody in the Marlins lineup yesterday was 25 or younger except for Ed Lucas (a 31-year-old rookie) and Jeff Mathis (a 30-year-old Aries).- The Rays leapfrog the Red Sox for 1st place by beating them 2-1 — with the help of a blown call. Rays scored the tying run in the bottom of the 8th, but ump missed the play and called him out. Video here. But Rays also made ridiculously terrible strategy errors — lots of them — in the last two innings. See the page where that clip is for more.

  32. bowdenball - Jul 30, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    I got curious after my last post so I tried to think of teams that have a rotation with four or more guys who were in their system four years ago, weren't acquired via trade or free agency, and haven't been extended by the team. The best I could do was the Cardinals, who have three guys they drafted in their rotation plus Wainwright, who was acquired early in his career via trade and is on his second post-arbitration deal, and Westbrook. Is there another rotation with more of a home-grown rotation than that? I can't think of one.

  33. A DC Wonk - Jul 30, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  34. A DC Wonk - Jul 30, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    "When he goes from the one-hole to the seven-hole, he becomes more aggressive," manager Davey Johnson said. "I like that."That's what Davey's been saying all year — swing that the darn pitches that are over the plate! Note that Span's first HR was a first-pitch. His second was on the first strike thrown to him (if you could call it a strike).Davey also noted that in Sunday's game, RZim's first two hits were both on first-pitches.

  35. Section 109 DC - Jul 30, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    Off topic, but has anyone heard an update about McCatty? I can't find anything. Thanks.

  36. Teddy Rochlis - Jul 30, 2013 at 6:39 PM

    As long as the phillies don't get a massive package from the red sox for lee and young im happy, we do not want to see Boagearts and Webster in phillies uniforms.

  37. A DC Wonk - Jul 30, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    Rizzo usually shrugs at the deadline. He did nothing last year when he had a club that could win, he did nothing to unload Adam Dunn when they were looking to lose 100 games.Because Rizzo wants a good price when he goes shopping.FWIW, it paid off in spades, as Dunn unded up netting us two good draft picks.But when he needs (like when Ramos and Flores were down) he acted quickly last year and got Suzuki. (And, so he didn't do "nothing" last year — it just happened to be after the deadline)

  38. A DC Wonk - Jul 30, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    James Joyce said… Hairston gets $2.5M next year. No idea why they added this guy at his price.Because as a full-time outfielder last year, he batted .263 with 20 HR.

  39. mick - Jul 30, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    Nats should go with what they got and let's see how it all plays out. As i said yesterday, goal should be a winning record and strong finish, set the bar at 86 wins plus, if that gets then in great, if not…it still is OK

  40. Theophilus T. S. - Jul 30, 2013 at 6:49 PM

    Section 222 — Strasburg to the West Coast as a FA, in my mind, is a foregone conclusion. Right now, Gonzalez and Z'mann are pitching like trade bait. In any event, there are limits to the no. of players the Nats will pay $20MM plus per season, as well as the no. of 30+ y/o pitchers to whom they will give long-term contracts. Or at least I hope there are limits. You need to be prepared for a future in which you won't have to commit half of the luxury tax threshold to four or five guys to field a good starting rotation. For example, see the Phillies. The way to do that — see Tampa Bay, AZ — is to keep cycling good young, inexpensive pitchers up through your system. The Nats have them, and ought to use them.

  41. Scott - Jul 30, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    Four of the five Giants starters were drafted by San Francisco (Zito the exception).

  42. Scott - Jul 30, 2013 at 7:04 PM

    And the year Zito was hurt (2011), Sanchez started 19 games (he's a SF draftee), so that would have made all 5 starters home-grown.

  43. Mr Baseball - Jul 30, 2013 at 7:09 PM

    Mike, no major deals! You have a left handed bat on your team now, in LaRoche. Make the move now – Zimmerman to 1B, Lombo at 2B, and Rendon to 3B. Use LaRoche as a pinch hitter and a defensive replacment in the 8th and 9th. Why does Davey always take a guy out of the lineup when he is going well and hot (Lomb) both with the bat and glove? I know when I coached, I always rode the hot hand until he cooled off!

  44. bowdenball - Jul 30, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    Great call, Scott. Although Cain was given a long term extension or he would have been a free agent after 2012, so in that sense he's a lot like Wainwright, but he was a Giants draftee. Plus if you're counting Vogelsong, he left the organization and came back.

  45. SCNatsFan - Jul 30, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    Theo I don't think our circumstances are the same as Tampa or Az; Rizzo thinks we are close to winning it all. When AZ won in 2001 it wasnt with home grown talent and despite all the buzz the Rays have, in their history, won 1 world series game. Sure you want to have a good team every year but Rizzo is trying to build a team that wins it all and the young arms you mention won't be helping for years and years.

  46. bowdenball - Jul 30, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    The Rays of recent years would be another example of a homegrown rotation, they've usually had 3 or 4 homegrown talents as starters. I think they have four at the moment.However, there is zero chance that a nine-figure payroll large market club like the Nationals is going to have five homegrown guys still under their rookie deals as their 2017 opening day rotation. It's just not going to happen.

  47. James Joyce - Jul 30, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    No one wins with only home grown talent.Wonk — the Cubs threw $5M at Hairston for those 20 HRS in Hairston's career year in 2012 (and they were likely wrong to do so). So the Nats took on this aging, career bench guy as a 4th OF for something like $3.5M total money when they had Moore, Lombo and Bernadina? If they wanted RH thump off the bench, which I get, was this really the best that they could do? Feels like another over-spend move by Rizzo to me.

  48. A DC Wonk - Jul 30, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    JJ — call him an "aging career bench guy" if you want, but he played 134 games last year at age 32. That's not so old, and he certainly wasn't bench.Moore and Bernadina are both under .200So, yeah, I would try to get somebodyFeel like another gratuitous swipe at Rizzo to me.

  49. Knoxville Nat - Jul 30, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    "So the Nats took on this aging, career bench guy as a 4th OF for something like $3.5M total money…"I'll point out that Hairston is a full year younger than our regular right fielder who is getting about a gazillion more dollars for the next four years.

  50. James Joyce - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    Wonk — Hairston batted cleanup a lot too in 2012, b/c he played for the woeful and injury plagued Mets. 124 games is the most he has ever played, 6th organization in 10 years, a career .243 hitter. Hitting .118 with no XBH in only 18 PAs since coming over so he has not yet been some shot in the arm for a club trying to climb back into the race. He is an aging (will be 34 in May) career bench guy, I call 'em as I see 'em. He's going to make $2.5M to not play very much next year.

  51. James Joyce - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:07 PM

    Knoxville helps make my point re Rizzo overspending for veterans with iffy ability.

  52. Knoxville Nat - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:20 PM


  53. A DC Wonk - Jul 30, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    Hairston batted cleanup a lot too in 2012, b/c he played for the woeful and injury plagued Mets. No — he played that much because he was batting .263 with 20 HR's. He's a career .243 hitter? Fine. That's still a whole lot more that Shark or Moore were hitting. (Moore was hitting .151 when we got Hairston, Bernadina .170). $2.5M isn't outrageous for such a guy given our circumstances. If it's not working out, not too much damage done. To criticize it now, however, is 20-20 hindsight.Let's also remember that a benefit of getting _anybody_ else is that Moore gets to play every day in the minors and find his stroke back. That's worth something too.(He won't be 34 until next year May)

  54. James Joyce - Jul 30, 2013 at 9:18 PM

    Wonk — his birthday is May 25, 1980, he's 33 years old now.The criticism of the move is that it's too little impact for too much money. It made sense on some levels (OF RH bat that can hit for decent power off the bench), but he's not a great pinch hitter (career .183) it adds further salary inflexibility to a club that already is getting tight for 2014 for a guy who was not going to get much PT.

  55. Sec. 3, My Sofa - Jul 30, 2013 at 10:39 PM

    Willie Mays made about $2MM in salary over his career. Granted, $2MM went a lot further in those days.





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