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Rizzo on Fister trade, 5th starter and more

Dec 3, 2013, 12:24 PM EST

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General manager Mike Rizzo just wrapped up a conference call with reporters a few minutes ago. Obviously, last night’s trade for Doug Fister was the primary topic of discussion, but Rizzo also addressed some other issues, including the competition for No. 5 starter, the state of things at second base and the continued desire to add a left-hander to the bullpen.

Here are several highlights from Rizzo’s session…

Q: How did the Fister trade talks come about?
Rizzo: “We opened the discussions just before the GM meetings via telephone. [Tigers GM] Dave [Dombrowski] and I had some conversations and kind of set up some meetings in Orlando at the GM Meetings to discuss some of his starting pitchers. We originally kicked the tires on Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello and Doug Fister. And as we turned our focus mostly towards Doug Fister after the GM Meetings, they kind of progressed to the point where we had specific players in mind in return. And Dave and I went back and forth for a week or so about the type of players that would be involved in the package. Sometime late yesterday we came to an agreement on what players that he would get back, and physical information was given back and forth for the four players involved. And shortly after we got the green light from our medical staff, they got the green light from their medical staff, we announced the trade.”

Q: Do you have any interest in trying to sign Fister to an extension?
Rizzo: “Well, we haven’t broached that subject with him. He’s been a Nat for a day, so we’re going to see where we’re at, what we’ve got here. We know that Doug is a terrific competitor, he’s a tough pitcher on the mound and is really one of the more successful pitchers in baseball the last three years. We’re very excited to have him added to our rotation. Like we said going into the GM Meetings, we really like our ballclub, we like our rotation and we recognize we’re not without flaws. But we’re trying to put the best product on the field for the Nationals’ fan base.”

Q: Was Fister the guy you targeted all along?
Rizzo: “We really had identified Doug as our primary acquisition target as far as starting pitchers go, thought he was an undervalued asset. We thought that we had really strong scouting reports from our scouts in the field, we had extremely strong sabermetrics reports from our analysts here in the office. A guy that I’ve seen pitch over the years and I’ve scouted personally at times and fit the criteria that we were looking for for one of our rotation starters: a big, physical pitcher that takes the ball and logs innings and has had success at the most crucial times in a team’s season. So, we like the entire package with him. We also liked that he had multiple years of control and a guy that we think can grow with the Nationals.”

Q: Why do you think he’s been undervalued?
Rizzo: “That’s a good question. He’s certainly not undervalued by us here. It’s a good day in the Nationals’ office when the sabermetricians and the scouts in the field see the players in the same way. It makes things much easier for me. That’s what we had here. It’s a good match for us. He’s the type of pitcher who could continue to be very successful here in the National League. We feel we’ve got a good defensive infield. Him being a 55 percent groundball guy, I think he’ll flourish with that. Pitching in the National League without the designated hitter, his numbers will only improve. The fact that we control at a comfortable cost — when you look at the players that are required in recent trades in the last couple years with the Garza trade, the Shields trade, the Dickey trade — we thought the player acquisition that we would have to give up was palatable.”

Q: Were you willing to trade away top young prospects like Anthony Rendon or Lucas Giolito?
Rizzo: “We made it clear to the industry we weren’t going to part with a handful of players, some of them you just mentioned. To do a deal, to get a caliber of pitcher like Doug Fister with the makeup he has and the track record he has, we’re excited. We gave up three fine players to get him. You have to give to get. We felt that it was a fair baseball deal. The trade did what they felt they had to do. And we filled the need we thought we needed to fill.”

Q: How do you view the No. 5 spot in the rotation? Is it Ross Detwiler’s if healthy?
Rizzo: “We feel that we’ve got the resources to have a quality guy sitting down there. I think the difference this year from previous years, we’ve got great depth at that spot. When you talk about Detwiler and [Tanner] Roark and Taylor Jordan and [Nate] Karns and [Sammy] Solis, and then the younger wave of guys that could get here in the future, we feel good about where we’re at. It was one of the reasons we felt it made it possible to move a Robbie Ray in a trade, because we have starting pitching depth close to the major leagues. That’s what made it comfortable for us to move a talented, young, left-handed pitcher in Robbie Ray.”

Q: Are you done going after starting pitchers?
Rizzo: “I think we have enough to handle the fifth spot in the rotation and have depth. As we all know, it takes more than five starting pitchers to win in a season, and we feel comfortable with the quality of depth that we have in our rotation.”

Q: Does Fister’s reputation as a groundball pitcher fit well with new manager Matt Williams and defensive coach Mark Weidemaier’s philosophy?
Rizzo: “Again, I think that’s going to play into his success here. Because of the advanced techniques that we’re going to employ this year will be an aid to that. I just think he’s a great pitcher. He’s hard to pick up. I’ve talked to guys who have hit against him, guys who have played against him. You’re talking about a 6-foot-8 guy who comes at a real difficult angle to handle as a hitter and has extreme late sink in the strike zone, doesn’t walk anybody, can really pitch to all four quadrants of the plate, and a guy with a full arsenal to get major-league hitters out.”

Q: What’s left on your offseason agenda?
Rizzo: “I don’t think much has changed since we started the offseason. We feel that we’d like to tweak the bullpen a little bit. We’d like to help the bench a little bit. We wanted to address the rotation, which we’ve done. We still have some work to do. Like I said, we’re not a flawless team, but we think that we have a good, talented ballclub, and I think that going into the Winter Meetings we like the construction of the roster and the makeup of the ballclub. We’re going to do what we have to do to improve ourselves, and we think that we’ve taken a step towards that with the acquisition of Fister. But we’re certainly not going to be content with that. We’re going to do what we have to do to make us better.”

Q: What’s the plan for Danny Espinosa?
Rizzo: “Danny Espinosa is going to go to spring training and battle for a job on the roster. He’s an excellent defender, Gold Glove caliber at second base and shortstop. He gives us speed, he stole 20 bases in the big leagues in a season so far. He hit 20 home runs in a season so far in his young big-league career. He had a down season last year, but this guy’s a makeup guy. He’s a grinder, and a guy that his personality and his makeup plays well on this club. I’ve always been a Danny Espinosa fan and I still am, and I think he’s going to have a good major-league career.”

Q: Is Anthony Rendon your starting second baseman?
Rizzo: “Anthony Rendon finished the season as our starting second baseman, he’ll go into spring training as our starting second baseman. But we’re going to have competition at that position, and there’s going to be competition for several roster spots.”

Q: Do you feel like you’re set at second base with Rendon and Espinosa?
Rizzo: “Yeah, I like our second base situation. We certainly have talented players at that position, those two guys that you mentioned. We have depth in the minor leauges at that position, and we feel comfortable there.”

Q: How important is it to now have all five starting pitchers under team control for at least two years?
Rizzo: “It’s comforting to know that you’ve got good, quality starting pitchers that you control. It doesn’t stop you from having a long-term outlook on your roster. You always have to be looking ahead and looking forward. And I think we do a good job of that. You can’t be complacent. You have to constantly be thinking. You have to be creative and you have to do what you have to do to keep this thing flowing always with talent coming to stand the test of time.”

Q: How important is it to add a left-hander to your bullpen?
Rizzo: “We think that’s one of the things we have to address. We have in-house options there. I think we’re better-suited going into spring training with our left-handed bullpen than we did last year. But it’s something that we’re looking into the free agent market or the trade market and trying to upgrade. It’s a spot that we feel that we have to upgrade at. That said, I think we have some in-house options that can perform at a high level for us.”

  1. masterfishkeeper - Dec 3, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    Interesting comments.

    I was looking up Doug Fister’s stats at Baseball Reference and noticed that his top similiarity score (meaning the player he is most like statistically, in the entire history of baseball) is some guy named Jordan Zimmerman.

  2. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 3, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    My version –
    Q: Do you have any interest in trying to sign Fister to an extension?
    A: We should try to sign him to GG-type deal if possible. Otherwise, we can hold.

    Q: Were you willing to trade away top young prospects like Anthony Rendon or Lucas Giolito?
    A: great choice. I am glad we did not trade even Cole.

    Q: How do you view the No. 5 spot in the rotation? Is it Ross Detwiler’s if healthy?
    A: Another great answer. Glad it is not being handed to RD right now.

    Q: Are you done going after starting pitchers?
    A: Yes, we should be done with that.

    Q: Does Fister’s reputation as a groundball pitcher fit well with new manager Matt Williams and defensive coach Mark Weidemaier’s philosophy?
    A: That’s gotta help his numbers. Like someone else mentioned, the move to NL, better infield defense and change in coaching philosophy all should help fister perform better.

    Q: What’s left on your offseason agenda?
    A: mainly bench and maybe Howell for bullpen with O’Flaherty as insurance in minors. I feel that we have RH relief covered with in-house options.

    Q: What’s the plan for Danny Espinosa?
    A: works for me. sad to see Danny struggle but he needs to show the team he belongs up here.

    Q: Is Anthony Rendon your starting second baseman?
    A: Yes.

    Q: Do you feel like you’re set at second base with Rendon and Espinosa?
    A: No, we need a bench player that is at least replacement level in case Rendon is injured.

    Q: How important is it to now have all five starting pitchers under team control for at least two years?
    A: I wonder how many teams can say that they have five talented starting pitchers under control for at least two years.

    Q: How important is it to add a left-hander to your bullpen?
    A: very important, in-house or FA; this is one area Rizzo must improve.

  3. Hiram Hover - Dec 3, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    A competition at 2B?

    I can’t really fault Rizzo for saying it, for PR purposes – but does anyone really think it’s true?

    • David Proctor - Dec 3, 2013 at 1:13 PM

      I think it’s true in theory, but as someone said earlier, I can’t imagine what it would take for Espinosa to beat Rendon.

      • Eugene in Oregon - Dec 3, 2013 at 1:49 PM

        The more telling quote is that Danny Espinosa will “battle for job on the roster” (note both verb and the ultimate goal).

      • Hiram Hover - Dec 3, 2013 at 1:53 PM

        as someone said earlier, I can’t imagine what it would take for Espinosa to beat Rendon.

        Actually, that was me 😉

        Mr. Eugene – yes, that’s a key quote. Along with “I think he’s going to have a good major-league career” – not, “I think he’s going to have a good career with with OUR major league club.”

      • langleyclub - Dec 3, 2013 at 2:57 PM

        The concern with Rendon is injury. Until 2013, he had missed major time in every season since his freshman year in college.

  4. TimDz - Dec 3, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    My question for RIzzo:

    “What are your plans at catcheer? Ramos is a keeper, but has had trouble staying on the field the last two years. Do you REALLY plan on going to spring training with Solano as the backup?”

    The catching options are thinning out…Ryan Hanigan was traded to the Rays earlier today. I am concerned about Ramos going down and how that will effect the team…

    • Jw - Dec 3, 2013 at 2:34 PM

      Kurt Suzuki still available.

      • TimDz - Dec 3, 2013 at 3:20 PM

        I think the Nats have let that ship sail….then again, I can’t tell if your comment is snark or not….
        Sounds like the Rangers are interested in him though….

  5. DaveB - Dec 3, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    That Hanigan trade was interesting since the Rays have Lobaton and recently re-signed Molina. They have lots of LH reliever depth (although a little less after non-tendering Wright) … any chance we match up for a trade there? How about McGee and Lobaton for TyMo and Solis?

    • TimDz - Dec 3, 2013 at 1:24 PM

      No WAY they trade Solis at this point….not without seeing what they have in him for a full season…

      • DaveB - Dec 3, 2013 at 1:33 PM

        Good point … they wouldn’t want to lose both of their upcoming lefty prospects, but McGee is a stud and controlled for several years yet. Maybe Stammen instead?

    • Faraz Shaikh - Dec 3, 2013 at 1:30 PM

      serious overpay for a LOOGY and a defensive catcher.

  6. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 3, 2013 at 1:36 PM

    Buck, Jarrod, JPA are available for backup C roles so I think they don’t need to go trade route to fill that role. Similarly Howell is still available so they can sign him without any cost to their farm system or big league roster.

  7. rogieshan - Dec 3, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    I’d sign Fister to an extension now before he wins 20 games – mark my words he will – next season and his value skyrockets.

    I do not share Rizzo’s positive take on Espinosa, but maybe other GMs will.

    • David Proctor - Dec 3, 2013 at 2:03 PM

      He’s 30. I’m not really comfortable extending that long-term. And Fister wouldn’t want a 1 or 2 year extension because that would probably hurt his payday down the line due to advanced age. I’m okay getting 2 years out of him, extending him a qualifying offer and taking the draft pick.

      • Eugene in Oregon - Dec 3, 2013 at 2:10 PM

        Good plan.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Dec 3, 2013 at 3:08 PM

        +1 with the caveat of let’s see how it goes.

      • Section 222 - Dec 3, 2013 at 4:29 PM

        I hear what you’re saying, but if he’s amenable to a four or five year deal that buys out his last two years of arbitration and several years of FA, that might be worth doing. FA pitchers are only going to get more expensive as the years go by, and having him in the fold beyond would be a nice bonus.

        Fister has exactly the same contract status as JZnn (FA in 2016), he’s just two years older. That age difference may make him less attractive for a long term deal, on the other hand, he has more of a track record — 5 years of 26 starts or more vs. 3 years for JZnn. So I don’t know why you wouldn’t at least kick the tires on an extension.

      • David Proctor - Dec 3, 2013 at 4:52 PM

        Those two years are a big deal. 33 vs. 35 at the end of it. Plus, a pitcher who throws 88 has much less margin of error than a guy like Zimmermann who throws 95. Even if Zimmermann loses velocity at the end, you can reasonably expect him to remain productive. Fister? Not so sure.

      • Section 222 - Dec 3, 2013 at 5:51 PM

        Those are all good reasons why Fister won’t get as big a contract as JZnn will get. But there are lots of very good pitchers at 33-35 yrs old, and Fister shows every indication of being one. So I still think they should kick the tires on that.

        If Rizzo signs Fister for four years at a reasonable price, he probably strengthens his hand in negotiations with JZnn too, or at least softens the blow if JZnn walks.

  8. TimDz - Dec 3, 2013 at 2:30 PM

    Dave B…..

    Stammen is pretty cheap (less than 2 million this year, I think)… effective as he has been and as relatively inexpensive as he is, I don’t know if the Nats would want to move him….that said, many posters here have said that he may be the odd man out in the bull pen and could be moved….

    Hot stove is definitely getting hotter…..

  9. Eugene in Oregon - Dec 3, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    Back to the Danny Espinosa situation:

    I asked this question a few weeks back, but never saw an answer (if you posted one, forgive me for missing it): Does anyone know what Mr. Espinosa’s plans were/are for the off-season? I’m pretty sure he was not having surgery on either his shoulder or his wrist. But was he going to take it easy and let his injuries heal? Or was he going to aggressively work on his hitting? As I understand it, Scott Boras — still Mr. Espinosa’s agent, so far as I’m aware — has a state-of-the-art training facility (or two — didn’t he also open one in Florida?) available for his clients. Has Mr. Espinosa spent time there with high-tech improve-your-hitting machines? If he’s chosen to rest and heal, will he be heading to the Boras training camp after the New Year to get ready for Spring Training? Just wondering.

  10. Ghost of Steve M. - Dec 3, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    Rizzo said all the right words on Espi. Worse case is he sucks in Spring Training and heads back to AAA and best case is he is amazing and forces Rizzo to trade him. No way does he take Rendon’s spot. Rendon isn’t a Bryce Harper power type but is a future batting champ I believe.

    I see 3 outcomes for Espi:

    1) bench utility infielder
    2) AAA player
    3) Trade bait

    After the Fister acquisition, the Nats will have to assess along the way for any upgrades heading to the trade deadline. If Espi shines, all the better as teams need young controllable shortstops.

    This is a positive.

    • Doc - Dec 3, 2013 at 3:31 PM

      Another possibility(ies) Ghost.

      ALR sucks big time in ST and early part of the season, and Espi shines.

      RZim moves to first base, ARen takes over 3B and Espi goes back to 2B.

      Hey it’s baseball Ghost; anything can happen, and usually does!!

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Dec 3, 2013 at 3:40 PM

        As crazy as that sounds, I think Rizzo knows this is the year and the leash is short on LaRoche and that could be a possibility.

        I’m still hoping that Rizzo gets Giancarlo Stanton on July 31 and moves Werth to 1st, but the best case is LaRoche has a season like 2012 and all the other noise is silenced. ALR controls his own destiny.

  11. Ghost of Steve M. - Dec 3, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    From an Os blogger from North of the border:

    “@CamdenDepot: #Orioles MO last three years has been to create an 85 win team and then hope for some luck.”

    I’m still laughing. I’d say they build it for a 75 win team.

  12. Ghost of Steve M. - Dec 3, 2013 at 3:44 PM

    Tigers sign Joe Nathan. Interesting.

  13. David Proctor - Dec 3, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    I don’t even think LaRoche needs to have a 2012 season. If he hits .260, hits 25 homers, drives in 80 runs, I will absolutely take that. It’s not what you’d necessarily hope, but it’s not a drain on the lineup either. Especially if he rebounds defensively.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Dec 3, 2013 at 4:03 PM

      Those are decent stats and above a .775 OPS most likely but you really want ALR driving in runs and near 95 RBIs. Compared to last year’s stats I would take your numbers but we deserve to be greedy I think after last year’s poor showing.

      • David Proctor - Dec 3, 2013 at 4:11 PM

        I mean, LaRoche had 100 RBI in 2012. I can’t see him getting 95 in 2014.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Dec 3, 2013 at 4:20 PM

      the more i think about it, I feel like we need to trade for a young, LH controllable 1B. are there any?

  14. jd - Dec 3, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    Keith Law’s take on the Fister trade.

    • Section 222 - Dec 3, 2013 at 4:33 PM

      Is there anything worth knowing in the part that those who aren’t “Insiders” can’t read? From the headline and the first few graphs it sounds like Law thinks the Tigers got fleeced.

      • TimDz - Dec 3, 2013 at 4:41 PM

        The “Tigers got fleeced” group is quite large…They have hats and tee shirts….

      • jd - Dec 3, 2013 at 4:51 PM

        He thinks the Nats are stacked with the only weakness being a lack of a left handed specialist which he thinks is not that big of a deal.

        Law also thinks that with the lack of quality pitching around Detroit should have got more than a fringe backup infielder, a fringy bullpen prospect and a young prospect whose upside is bottom of the rotation starter. He calls is 30 cents on the dollar.

  15. David Proctor - Dec 3, 2013 at 4:50 PM

    Adam Kilgore ‏@AdamKilgoreWP 3m
    Doug Fister says Ian Desmond call him this morning, and he’s got Adam LaRoche’s phone number.

    Desi is such a leader on the team. I read a while ago that Matt Williams said that Desi’s been calling him regularly trying to figure things out re: spring training and wanting to know how they were going to run it, and what they need to improve on, and what their plans are, etc. Wiliiams said that on ESPN980 a while ago.

    • Doc - Dec 3, 2013 at 5:22 PM

      Correctomundo, DP.

      I’ve been sayin’ since his first full season in ’10 that this guy Desi is the true team leader!

      He cares about everybody on this team, and wants the Nats to be a winner!!!!

      Goooooooooooooooooo Desi!!!!!!! GooooooooooooooooooooooooooNats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Dec 3, 2013 at 6:13 PM

        Werth and Desi are the team leaders and as you saw both were at Matt Williams presser. As I’ve said I think if the Nats make Desi a comfortable longterm deal he will take a home town discount doublecheck. He wants to be in DC.

  16. trochlis318 - Dec 3, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    This is the Law article enjoy.

    The Washington Nationals seemed like a good bet to go after an undervalued starter for the back of their rotation (I guessed Brett Anderson, who was originally drafted by Mike Rizzo in Arizona, in a post earlier on Monday) and they did just that, sending some quantity — infielder Steve Lombardozzi and lefties Ian Krol and Robbie Ray — to the Detroit Tigers for Doug Fister, who’ll give Washington one of the best rotations in either league for 2014.

    Detroit might fill some minor holes, but I don’t think they got full value back given the market for starters right now and how effective Fister has been the past two seasons.

    The Nats get Fister for the next two years before he hits free agency, coinciding nicely with their main window of contention, as Jordan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond, and Tyler Clippard are all scheduled to hit free agency after 2015 as well. Fister has been quietly effective since Detroit acquired him from Seattle for the baseball equivalent of a wad of used chewing tobacco in 2011, shifting his pitch mix to throw more two-seamers and generate more ground balls; that, combined with plus-plus control, means he can be extremely valuable (averaging more than 4 WAR over the past three seasons) without big velocity.

    He’s been fairly durable, with one significant injury in those three seasons, a costochondral (cartilage connecting the ribs to the sternum) strain, meaning he’s had no arm trouble. The Nationals could be looking at 400-plus innings from him over these two years and 9 WAR, all for maybe $18 million to $20 million total if he just goes through arbitration twice.

    Fister’s arrival gives the Nationals a potential surplus in the rotation, with Tanner Roark, Taylor Jordan and the injured Ross Detwiler all candidates for the fifth spot; Detwiler could move to relief, as the Nationals just traded Ian Krol, the only left-handed reliever in their bullpen, or prospect Sammy Solis could ease into the majors in a relief role to fill that void. They don’t have any obvious needs at this point other than that left-hander in the pen, which as needs go is a minor one. This is a stacked team if they can stay healthy.

    I can’t believe the Tigers couldn’t get more total value than this for Fister, who is easily a top 25-30 overall starter in the game; they might have traded more to fill needs than to maximize their return. Krol flourished after a shift to the bullpen, going from 86-89 mph as a starter to 92-95 in relief, with an above-average changeup and fringy curveball; he’s underutilized in a lefty specialist role, but I like him as a potential seventh- or eighth-inning guy given more time to adjust to short relief.

    Lombardozzi is a backup second baseman, lacking the stick to play there every day, and has played just 22 games in pro ball at shortstop, meaning it’s unclear whether he can even be a utility infielder in the era of the four-man bench.

    Ray is the prospect, a potential back-end starter who shows four pitches but has nothing plus, although there’s some upside here if the Tigers can get him to lengthen his stride. His sharpest pitch is his spike curveball, but like most pitches of that type it usually ends up out of the zone, and his changeup is fringy enough that he’s had trouble finishing off right-handed hitters. He’s a project, a guy with some value but who could use some mechanical adjustments.

    Drew Smyly, who was superb in relief for Detroit in 2013, takes Fister’s spot in the rotation but won’t be able to match that production.

    A lefty reliever, a backup at second and a non-top-100 prospect is just not a good return for two years of one of the top 30 starters in baseball.

    • masterfishkeeper - Dec 3, 2013 at 5:08 PM

      Not cool to copy the article and paste here.

    • Section 222 - Dec 3, 2013 at 5:58 PM

      Thanks trochlis! I’m deeming that fair use. :-)

  17. thenatom - Dec 3, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    We need a LH specialist, but that’s the easy part to figure out. Rizzo’s main challenge will be figuring out what type of players to sign to complete the bench. Assuming he is counting on T-Mo and Hairston, IMO, we need:
    A utility infielder: Wait till Spring Training, see how Danny looks. If it’s good, he’s the man (or trade bait). If not, this should be a late FA acquisition.
    2nd bench outfield bat: Good defender who can provide good baserunning off the bench. With Hairston and T-Mo’s bats, we don’t really need this guy to be great offensively. Can also fill in for Span. Kobe and Eury are options in house, or Rizzo could look at FA, but he does not need to.
    Backup catcher: Most likely bench trade, due to the lack of options in FA. Rays have 3 replacement level catchers on their roster as someone mentioned, so they are a trade target.

  18. Theophilus T.S. - Dec 3, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    Not cool for ESPN to make you take their stupid magazine in order to get content that’s not in the magazine. I don’t condone wholesale copying beyond “fair use” but I haven’t looked at ESPN in a couple of years because the only insightful — and I use the term advisedly — content is hidden.

    Detroit has a rookie 2B they think is ready to replace Infante but has little or no big league exposure. Lombardozzi is a safety net. Considering they returned Kobernus last year it’s an odd choice.

  19. Theophilus T.S. - Dec 3, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    I think I read Rizzo’s comments on the LH RP differently than some other people. I think it says, “Call me; don’t expect me to call you.” For a couple of reasons that’s disappointing: first, it is too reminiscent of last season; second, I think it shackles Detwiler to the BP and I still think of him as a rotation starter.

    • David Proctor - Dec 3, 2013 at 5:56 PM

      Rizzo explicitly stated on the radio today that he was going to acquire a LH RP either in free agency or trade. Whether he does it or not, we’ll see, but he didn’t leave much room for interpretation in what he said on 106.7 earlier today.

  20. trochlis318 - Dec 3, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    For the few who complained about me posting the insider article, my personal view is that a free sports website that is owned by one of the biggest companies in the world (disney) should not make certain articles viewable and certain ones not. THis article relates to an anyalsis of one trade by one anaylst between the nationals and tigers. Some people would like to see an expert’s opinion and for them to lock people out because it provides analysis on a deeper level than just the players involved is again wrong in my opinion and becuase someone asked to see it i posted it.

    • trochlis318 - Dec 3, 2013 at 6:09 PM

      another point i didn’t mention was the fact that these writers work hard on these articles and are pretty well thought out and of course opinionated but for only 10% of the fans to be able to see the article is just flat out wrong and doesn’t do the author or the fans justice i guarantee you the writers aren’t making any extra money from insiders reading their articles.

      • natsfan1a - Dec 3, 2013 at 6:23 PM

        imho and fwiw, it’s immaterial who owns the site that published it originally. I agree that lifting the content of a piece from that (or any) site and posting it on another site is not cool.

      • natsfan1a - Dec 3, 2013 at 6:25 PM

        And I doubt that writers of pieces that were lifted from a site and republished elsewhere would be okay with that, particularly if they weren’t paid for the republishing. Having people see one’s work is nice and all, but it doesn’t pay the rent. That is all.

      • Hiram Hover - Dec 3, 2013 at 6:55 PM

        I hear you on the merits. But the fact is that whatever you or I think about it, copyright is copyright, and by posting the content on Mark Z’s site, you potentially expose him to trouble.

        I don’t think Disney’s intellectual ppty goons are coming for him in the black helicopters over one posting, but you do want to keep our host in mind.

    • TimDz - Dec 3, 2013 at 7:29 PM

      If it helps even the field, I appreciated you for doing it…

    • Faraz Shaikh - Dec 3, 2013 at 8:01 PM

      and it is not like he wrote anything groundbreaking. I think we covered pretty much all angles written by him and then some.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 3, 2013 at 9:34 PM

      My personal view is that any cars left parked on the street and not in a garage are fair game for me to use, especially the expensive ones.

  21. David Proctor - Dec 3, 2013 at 6:44 PM

    From 2011-13, MLB starters threw an average of 23.6 percent of their pitches to the horizontal middle of the strike zone. Fister, by contrast, threw just 20.8 percent of his pitches down the middle. Among AL starters throwing at least 6,000 pitches since 2011, only Mark Buehrle (20.3 percent) and Jon Lester (20.7) offered hitters fewer cookies.

    • nats128 - Dec 3, 2013 at 7:53 PM

      If 23.6% was the average, and the pitcher throws 100 pitches in a game, then the best pitchers are 3 pitches less than the average down the middle in a game?

      That doesnt sound right. Its still the quality of the pitches.

      • David Proctor - Dec 3, 2013 at 7:56 PM

        You can’t really look at it over a game, You need a large sample size.

  22. David Proctor - Dec 3, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    The A’s and Phillies just made a trade. Dom Brown for Yoenis Cespedes.

    • David Proctor - Dec 3, 2013 at 8:10 PM

      It’s fake. My bad. This is the downside of twitter.

  23. David Proctor - Dec 3, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    Ellsbury to Yankees. 7years, over 150 mil.





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