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VIDEO: Analysis of Fister trade

Dec 4, 2013, 12:25 PM EST

The Nationals’ trade for Doug Fister was met with reaction from across the baseball world. Most were surprised Mike Rizzo was able to acquire a pitcher of Fister’s caliber without giving up more than Steve Lombardozzi, Ian Krol and Robbie Ray.

What made Fister so attractive to the Nationals? And why did they get him at this price? I discussed those topics last night on Comcast SportsNet.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Dec 4, 2013 at 1:56 PM

      Yes, but I hope no one jumps the gun like last off-season and hands WS to us. Our offense is dependent on couple of talented kids and injury-prone veterans. Bench is still bad.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Dec 4, 2013 at 2:54 PM

        The bench hasn’t even been constructed yet so let’s not label it bad before Rizzo builds it.

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

        I know. I am just saying that folks are already talking about 2014 WS and Nats when Nats clearly have roles to fill.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 4, 2013 at 5:05 PM

        Who won the World Series in 2013? Did anyone, anywhere, at any point during last off-season, expect that?

        Nobody knows anything about who’s going to win the World Series. There’s a couple of pretty good guesses for who’s NOT going to, but it’s like trying to predict a coin flip–actually, no, it’s like trying to predict the exact roll in Liars Dice. Sure, it can be fun to try, but seriously.

  1. Hiram Hover - Dec 4, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    I wanted to push back on one argument that Mark makes here, and that plenty of other folks have made as well – that Fister is going to benefit from having a much better defense behind him in DC.

    Here’s the UZR for 1B/2B/3B/SS/total for the two teams for 2013:

    Nats: -2.0/5.9/-16.1/2.8/-9.4
    Det: -3.2/-0.1/-12.1/6.0/-9.4

    The sums are identical, and they get there pretty much the same way – weak on the corners, stronger up the middle.

    Now, you can nitpick the ratings, or say that Zim will probably rebound defensively. And maybe he will (I hope so!).

    But even with those caveats and (wishful) adjustments, it’s still hardly night and day, and just underscores how important it is for our corner IFers to pick it up in 2014.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Dec 4, 2013 at 2:13 PM

      hopefully the new coach will have some effect on our defensive ratings.

    • masterfishkeeper - Dec 4, 2013 at 2:22 PM

      Hiram, I’m guessing that Zimmerman’s number improved in the second half, based on the eye test, although I don’t think there’s any way to be sure, because I don’t know of any publicly available data. My guess is that the Nats would have moved him to first if they thought last year was going to be the norm.

      On Laroche, let’s hope for a rebound.

      • NatsLady - Dec 4, 2013 at 2:55 PM

        Defense at 2B should be better, as Rendon will have learned the position–or Danny will be playing it.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Dec 4, 2013 at 3:05 PM

        masterfishkeeper, RZim’s UZR improved the end of August into September, but overall was awful and there’s just no fair way to sugarcoat what he was in 2013. I am hopeful RZim finds himself and bounces back to GG quality.

        I’m not expecting much from LaRoche as age regression says he will not get better but I think he will benefit from defensive positioning with this new Coordinator.

        Hiram, your stats reflect reality on UZR but the Nats infield was much better than Detroit in defensive runs saved.
        Also remember the NL has a .24 better ERA on average and Fister will benefit from that. I think the outlook is very favorable. Love the trade!!!

      • therealjohnc - Dec 4, 2013 at 11:24 PM

        Even at face value, the defensive stats reflect a Detroit team at full strength and a Nationals team with a 3b recovering from shoulder surgery and a second baseman who had not played a dozen games at the position. Beyond that, even those who tout modern defensive metrics readily admit that one season of defense is not a reliable indicator of a player’s ability – it takes at least three seasons to get a read on a player’s ability.

        This is why I prefer Defensive Efficiency as a metric. It is a team statistic based upon the number of balls in play a defense turns into outs. For all the carping, the Nationals were actually pretty good at getting outs last year (12th of 30 in MLB in Def. Eff). They did slip from 2012, when they were 5th. They have the raw ability to get back into the top 5 again in 2014, but we shall see. The Tigers, by the way, were 18th in defensive efficiency in 2013 – so Fister will have a better defense while also no longer having to deal with the DH.

    • Section 222 - Dec 4, 2013 at 3:39 PM

      Very good point. Peralta/Iglesias were no slouches in the field last year. I think the argument is mostly based on the reputations of Zim and ALR as gold glove types. They weren’t last year, that’s for sure. But we have reason to hope for improvement from both of them, as well as from Rendon. But whereas the Nats infield defense was seen as a big strength going into ST last year, that won’t be the case this time around.

    • Hiram Hover - Dec 4, 2013 at 3:49 PM

      Thanks to everyone for the thoughtful replies. There are various reasons to be optimistic, as folks say – the new defensive coach, Rendon growing into the position, Zim having started to improve in the 2d half this year and hopefully staying on track next year.

      222 – I think you’re on to something about ALR and Zim’s reputations being the source of this talk, rather than their actual performance in 2013.

      Ghost – I noticed that about DRS too. I don’t know enough about differences in how that’s calculated (compared to UZR) to know what to make of it.

  2. NatsLady - Dec 4, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    With regard to “complaints” from other teams that the Tigers didn’t shop Fister around for a better offer. I think that speaks to how hard Rizzo & co. worked on the trade (meetings, scouting, etc) and the fact that if Dombrowski had asked around at the last minute “anyone want to better this”? he (Dombrowski) would have had to restart the process again, scouting the prospects, etc. And how many times are you going to do that when he had bigger fish to fry (i.e., sign a closer, look at Choo, etc.) Basically, Rizzo had his foot in the door first and never took it out.

    Another question that was raised in a the “Effectively Wild” podcast is why were there no rumors? Well, actually there were rumors, only they were about Scherzer, for whom, if the Tigers were ever going to deal him, the price was too high.. But why would either party (ESPECIALLY the Nats) allow rumors to start? That lets other teams into the picture, possible raising the price–or, as noted above, forcing the Tigers to field a zillion phone calls and evaluate every prospect on 28 other teams.

    • NatsLady - Dec 4, 2013 at 2:59 PM

      Also, it was obvious to me (and some other posters on here) that Rizzo was going to go after a quality SP. Why the Nats never showed up in lists of teams that needed starting pitching is a mystery to me, but they didn’t, and Rizzo wasn’t about to correct those lists. Hence, teams may not have even considered that the Nats were “in the market” despite vague Scherzer-Nats rumors that were brushed off as wishful (fan) thinking.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Dec 4, 2013 at 3:14 PM

        The Nats were tied to Garza and trades for Scherzer and David Price so the Nats were tied to the biggest names of pitchers deemed possibly available.

        Getting Fister was pure genius. Like I said, he’s a finesse pitcher like Kyle Lohse but better, cheaper, and his intangibles are better like what he does to opposing baserunners. He also fields his position well.

      • Hiram Hover - Dec 4, 2013 at 3:36 PM

        That’s interesting, because I was more surprised by the opposite – how many fans (inc. many posters here) thought Rizzo was only going to rely on internal options for the 4-5 spots, when it seemed like the more professional evaluators thought otherwise (look at mlbtraderumors top FA list, for example, and the Nats are listed as possible suitors of many of the top pitchers).

        I expected Rizzo to go outside the organization for another SP, but didn’t think he’d get someone as good as Fister. Then again, like pretty much everyone else, I didn’t think someone like Fister could be had so cheaply.

      • shawndc04 - Dec 4, 2013 at 4:56 PM

        @Ghost of Steve M.

        Like I said, he’s a finesse pitcher like Kyle Lohse
        _____

        I agree with most of your post,except that I believe that Lohse throws about 96, while Fister’s fastball tops out at just over 88. Lohse, to me, is more power than finesse. Fister is sink and command.

      • therealjohnc - Dec 4, 2013 at 11:36 PM

        I’m not surprised Rizzo made a move for a starting pitcher. My fear was that they were going to empty the farm system for two years of David Price, whose fastball velocity has been declining, or just one year of Scherzer – whose 2013 to me looks like a classic “career year” and would be a textbook case of buying high. With so much invested, the Nationals then sign Price/Scherzer to a big money extension, only to discover that they invested in fool’s gold while not stockpiling enough to extend the big three of Desmond, Ramos and Zimmermann. THAT would have been the Yankees/Redskins type of move, and the more people talked about it the more worried I became.

        Suffice it to say, I like Rizzo’s solution better. :-)

  3. Section 222 - Dec 4, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    Interesting thoughts NatsLady. I definitely agree that it wasn’t in the Nats’ interest to open a bidding war, but I’m not sure your guess as to why the Tigers didn’t look elsewhere makes much sense. Isn’t a front office and scouting system always evaluating other teams’ top prospects to have some idea of who to go after in a trade? It can’t be that the Tigers didn’t look to other teams because it was too much trouble. And surely some team out there could have offered up a more highly rated prospect than Robbie Ray. Is it possible they really think Lombo is a blue chip in disguise?

    My guess is that Dombrowski wanted to bank the Fister salary dump before closing the Joe Nathan deal. The timing of those two deals is too perfect. Or maybe Rizzo gave Dombrowski a deadline to say yes or no because Ray was coveted by someone else. What other discussions might Rizzo be having as we speak?

    Whatever the reason is, I’m sure glad it turned out the way it did.

  4. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 4, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    One of the main reasons could be that Tigers value Ray like no one else does.

  5. Section 222 - Dec 4, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    After reading the comments on the last post, I’m now convinced that either Hairston or Moore should not be on our bench next year. I like Moore because he can play 1B against lefties if ALR is struggling, and he still has an option (right?) if he just doesn’t pan out. Hairston is just too limited. But Rizzo should definitely not keep both of them. Let’s go after both a RH and LH big bopper for the bench. And a utility infielder with adequate defensive skills who can hit!

  6. Faraz Shaikh - Dec 4, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    Is Hammer a candidate for bench player? One year, $7 million left on his contract. One year removed from 35 HR campaign. does strike out a bit, does not play field at all. I guess having Hairston limits your options.

    • scnatsfan - Dec 4, 2013 at 4:12 PM

      If we didn’t have Hairston we’d have a Hairston like player, wondering if Hairston would be better.

      I snicker at some posts suggesting Beltran as a 4th outfielder. Whoever gets this spot will be someone we hope does well, not someone who we know will do well.

      • Faraz Shaikh - Dec 4, 2013 at 4:32 PM

        Hairston wishes he hit as well as Hammer. Hammer does not have as much split difference as Hairston does. Hammer is clearly better player than Hairston, he just happened to be a bit injured last season.

    • water47 - Dec 4, 2013 at 4:32 PM

      Although Hammer might be fun, why not Morse. He seem to fit in better and can play OF & 1B

      Heck he has even played SS, 1B & 3B. If we signed him wouldn’t that solve all of our problems!

      • Faraz Shaikh - Dec 4, 2013 at 4:34 PM

        depends on how he is recovering from the injury. I think he will sign late. I am not sure we want to wait that long.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Dec 4, 2013 at 4:55 PM

        Morse may cost $8 million and he wants to start. Even if Rizzo would pay him that sum, he may not want to come to DC for a backup role.

    • therealjohnc - Dec 4, 2013 at 11:43 PM

      Well, no, Willingham is not a candidate for bench player in 2014. Because Willingham is going to be starting as a DH/OF in Minnesota next year. When the Orioles tried to get Hammer with a waiver claim last August the Twins reportedly asked for one of the O’s top prospects (Eduardo Rodriguez) in return. The Nats aren’t going to invest in that much for a “bench bat” and the Hammer isn’t going to sit on the bench.

  7. Section 222 - Dec 4, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    I think even Ghost has given up the ghost on having Beltran as a 4th outfielder. Heck, if we could sign Beltran, I’d make Span our 4th outfielder….

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Dec 4, 2013 at 4:29 PM

      Yes, you’re correct on my views on Beltran. He will definitely be a starter and part time DH in the AL. My references today are people describing the Nats needs of a player spec’d as Beltran which isn’t happening.

  8. Eugene in Oregon - Dec 4, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    The NYT offers a positive (or at least non-negative) comment on each HOF candidate:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/04/sports/baseball/little-things-stand-out-about-baseballs-best.html?ref=baseball

    There’s even a good word — okay, it’s actually an amusing anecdote — regarding former Nats great Paul Lo Duca (and it’s not about his short stint in LF).

    • Faraz Shaikh - Dec 4, 2013 at 4:35 PM

      Liked the Piazza tidbit. thanks for sharing.

  9. Ghost of Steve M. - Dec 4, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    222, Hairston and TyMo spec better as AL players who can DH. The Nats cannot go down that road again with these one dimensional players like Stairs. Tracy had limited extra value as a corner infielder but since he’s a lefty had that extra value if he could’ve reached the .750 OPS level and he wasn’t close.

    I can’t think of another righty specialist other than Hairston in the NL and this is why he is a luxury item the Nats can’t afford.

    Luckily via Fister the Nats lost Lombo who became addition by subtraction.

    I like the idea of a bench of Eric Chavez, Drew Stubbs, McLouth, Espinosa and Suzuki. That’s the type of bench to wish for as each is a fringe starter.

    • masterfishkeeper - Dec 4, 2013 at 5:14 PM

      It would be great if the Nats could have that bench. I’ve been hoping Matt Williams could help land Chavez.

    • Section 222 - Dec 4, 2013 at 5:41 PM

      Ghost, I’d even accept Espi as our infielder bench guy if we could have that bench. The way he hit last year, though, he’s not even a fringe starter. And I’m not expecting any better until I see it with my own eyes.

      Agree on truly one dimensional players like Stairs. They’ve all got to be able to play the field. But I don’t think they have to play it well. Tracy wasn’t a bad bench guy because his fielding was below par. He was a bad bench guy because his hitting was awful. Give me four guys who can hit and make the routine plays when they take the field three or four games a month and I’ll be fine with that.

      Backup catcher is another story. That guy has to be able to play the position well enough to start two games a week at least.

      • unkyd59 - Dec 4, 2013 at 7:36 PM

        Now…. Exactly what was Stairs’ “dimension”? ;-)

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Dec 4, 2013 at 8:36 PM

        I think a right-handed Espi is a fringe starter platoon guy just like Stubbs. They aren’t starters because they have big holes in their games.

        Espi can hit lefty pitchers.

        That bench I laid out potentially could be the best in baseball IF used to their strengths.

  10. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 4, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    Re Not-shopping Fister: Isn’t it pretty much a GM’s job to pick up the phone and call about the players he might be interested in, and inquire, rather than wait for the For Sale sign to get hung out? I know there’s only 24 hours in a day and all, but if there’s any job where “everything is negotiable,” it’s probably that one.

    • NatsLady - Dec 4, 2013 at 6:38 PM

      My point exactly. If teams aren’t smart enough to realize Detroit had a surplus of starting pitchers, I have no sympathy.

  11. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 4, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    To hear Dombrowski and Rizzo discuss it after the fact, it seems they were talking for weeks. It’s not like nobody else had a chance to get a word in.

    • trochlis318 - Dec 4, 2013 at 5:34 PM

      it had to be at least of week of significant information being exchanged and a couple of weeks of curiosity and discussions of multiple paths. I am now starting to see why teams usually have the same trade partners more often then not, with all the information they get with each trade it doesn’t surprise me that teams will be interested in others in the same system. Just think about how much we have traded with the A’s

      • NatsLady - Dec 4, 2013 at 7:20 PM

        If I recall, the A’s moved one of their minor-league affiliations to the same league as one of the Nats minor-league teams (sorry, I don’t recall which). I remember thinking at the time that made it much easier for Rizzo’s team to scout their players–and vice-versa–when the teams play each other.

    • NatsLady - Dec 4, 2013 at 6:40 PM

      This is the other method. But I don’t think Rizzo likes to go to auctions at the Winter Meetings. If I recall, last year he went, signed Dan Haren and then left.

      http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/12/04/cubs-are-planning-to-shop-starter-jeff-samardzija-at-next-weeks-mlb-winter-meetings/

      • water47 - Dec 4, 2013 at 6:49 PM

        NL that is another part of the process. One part is beating the bushes and see what comes up. The owners want to also have some times when the mgmnt teams have a chance to interact. Partially to work some admin stuff out. Partially to have them build relationships, partially to see if deals can be made and I do think part of it is to keep baseball relevant during the off-season.

        Remember, unlike every other major sport, the MLB draft is in the middle of the season and not the off-season.

      • NatsLady - Dec 4, 2013 at 7:16 PM

        @water47, I think Rizzo does that (building relationships, exploring ideas) at the GM meetings. I just get a sense he doesn’t like the “hothouse” (not my description) that is the winter meeetings.

  12. Ghost of Steve M. - Dec 4, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    ShawnDC04, Lohse? He averaged 89.95 MPH on his 4 seamer in September 2013 so he’s almost where Fister is. In 2008 Lohse had his best velo at 92.90 in June 2008 and that’s the highest of his career. You are probably thinking of someone else.

  13. Ghost of Steve M. - Dec 4, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    Seattle Mariners GM discussing Cano and the FA market: Zduriencik on mega-deals: “You have to adapt to the market. In some cases, if you have to stretch more than you want to, you just have to.”” :

    • Hiram Hover - Dec 4, 2013 at 5:54 PM

      Gotta wonder if Jack Z is really serious, or just aiming to come in 2d and tell his fans he tried.

      • Section 222 - Dec 4, 2013 at 7:15 PM

        Sounds like Bowden a few years back on Mark Texiera.

      • nats128 - Dec 4, 2013 at 7:30 PM

        The Nats were on Texeira and Fielder and I think they thought they had Texeira and all he was doing was using the Nats.

        Jack Z might be serious and if Cano goes there, he will be a rich miserable man.

        Even tho the Yankees are scum I expect they made him a fair offer and Cano got greedy. I hope he gets screwed!

  14. NatsLady - Dec 4, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    This is interesting. Speaks to how teams overvalue their prospects, especially their pitching prospects. Also speaks to how important it is for Rizzo to find and develop pitching prospects to the point where they turn into major leaguers–one way or the other.

    @anthonyfenech: Dombrowski said he had interest in 15 young SP. Robbie Ray was only one they could get. Even explored 3-team deals.

    • Hiram Hover - Dec 4, 2013 at 7:00 PM

      Sounds to me like Drombowski is engaging in some CYA.

      • NatsLady - Dec 4, 2013 at 7:23 PM

        I thought the same when I read that.

        It’s still puzzling, if Anthropoulus is to be believed, Dombrowski was looking for certain things in the trade and blew off some other teams saying they “didn’t fit.”

  15. NatsLady - Dec 4, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    Here is a long but interesting article about how GMs talk to each other. Towards the end is the interesting stuff that relates to the Fister trades, and may relate to the Gio trade.

    http://blogs.thescore.com/djf/2013/12/03/aa-speaks-small-deal-coming-morrow-100-more/

    • Eugene in Oregon - Dec 4, 2013 at 7:13 PM

      I think you posted this while I was writing my 7:09 post below, but it’s along the same lines.

  16. water47 - Dec 4, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    One kinda out there idea –

    How about cashing in on the good relationship with Boras and see if Cano will go for –

    If Cano get nothing to his liking then – 1 yr 25 Million or 1 yr 17 million with the guarantee that the Nats will not make a qualifying offer, It gets him on a really competitive team and a true FA next year.

    • Hiram Hover - Dec 4, 2013 at 7:02 PM

      I would love to be on the phone to hear Boras’s reply. Scratch that – I think I could be in an adjoining county and still hear the peals of laughter.

    • David Proctor - Dec 4, 2013 at 7:13 PM

      Boras isn’t Cano’s agent. Jay-Z is.

      • Eugene in Oregon - Dec 4, 2013 at 7:16 PM

        I owe you one of those virtual beers.

    • Eugene in Oregon - Dec 4, 2013 at 7:16 PM

      Not sure talking to Scott Boras is gonna help. Mr. Cano is now represented by rapper JayZ’s nascent sports agency, if I’m not mistaken.

      • water47 - Dec 4, 2013 at 8:46 PM

        Ooops. Just having a little fun.

  17. Eugene in Oregon - Dec 4, 2013 at 7:09 PM

    I’m speculating a bit here, but I think this makes sense (and may even make a point):

    Recall two or so weeks ago when there was a report that the Nats were discussing Ian Desmond and Anthony Rendon with other teams. Not ‘shopping’ them, mind you, but discussing them. There was much gnashing of teeth on this site that Mr. Desmond’s name could even be mentioned. In retrospect, that seems to be about the same time the Fister trade was originally conceived, if I’m reading the reports correctly, and it began with some more general talks about several Detroit pitchers.

    My assumption is that the Nats and the Tigers were throwing lots of names around, including Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello (along with Mr. Fister) from Detroit and Messrs. Desmond, Rendon, and others from the Nats. Along the lines of ‘if you want Scherzer you’ve got to give up Desmond plus a pitching prospect like Ray’ and ‘we won’t give up Desmond, but what would it take to get Fister?’ which may have led to ‘what about Rendon and Ray?’ which eventually led to ‘not Rendon, but what about Ray and Krol, plus Lombardozzi?’

    My point is not that that sequence is exactly right — I’m sure it isn’t — but that you have to be willing to talk about your best players (e.g., Ian Desmond) to get an idea who the other team is willing to part with. And that’s why no player should be off-limits in a discussion. Even if you have no intention of trading him, you let the conversation take place as a way to gauge your own players’ values and to better understand how the other team values its own players. That’s why I have no problem with the Nats talking about anyone — and I mean anyone — on the team. That’s good intel gathering (assuming you don’t access to all those NSA intercepts).

    • David Proctor - Dec 4, 2013 at 7:18 PM

      I’m sure this is what happened. Or perhaps another discussion was had if Rizzo is in on other players that we’re unaware of.

  18. nats128 - Dec 4, 2013 at 7:40 PM

    This is kind of intresting from the Anthopoulos article:

    ——————————

    So would have Mat Latos or Gio Gonzalez– one of whom I’m pretty sure Anthopoulos is talking about here (assuming he’s got the timing wrong, that is) as he continued on about the process of lining up on deals:

    I was just actually talking to someone earlier– I remember being in on a young starter three years ago, and it was going to be a prospect type deal, but the team trading him told me that they wanted– and their ownership wanted– that they wanted players that were pretty much going to go onto the big league roster right away, or by mid-season were going to go onto the big league roster. So the talent that we were offering was down low in A-ball, but probably higher ceiling, maybe more long term value– and the team even acknowledged that for me. But there was a dynamic there, from an ownership perspective, that the other team had the better fit, maybe not the better players long-term, but the better fit because they were able to put some guys on the 25-man. Those are some of the things that don’t necessarily get out to the media, or don’t get out to the fans, but there are other dynamics when you’re dealing with some of these things.

  19. David Proctor - Dec 4, 2013 at 8:12 PM

    Here’s a funny article. It’s obviously satire, but some people have taken it seriously, which is even more funny.

    http://citizensofnatstown.com/home/2013/12/3/trading-lombardozzi-the-second-biggest-mistake-mike-rizzos-ever-made

    • nats128 - Dec 4, 2013 at 8:15 PM

      If you read comments on the MASN Facebook page, you would believe it is true.

      • nats128 - Dec 4, 2013 at 8:22 PM

        “He may not have had the talent, speed, power, or overall ability of the average baseball player but he more than made up for that with effort. Steve Lombardozzi was the little engine that could. He was the Nats inspirational key to winning.”

        The 1st sentence is true. The 2nd sentence might be how the writer feels. The 3rd sentence is downright silly but if you call it satire, ok then.

        The points made about team chemistry and the Morse and Lombo discussion does have merit. I think many believe Morse was that guy the team needed.

  20. trochlis318 - Dec 4, 2013 at 8:37 PM

    WOW a little shocking but now due to the new change in the posting system Tanaka is now looking to not be posted got to admit a little shocked i wish that the mlb was more global and as bad as this is would have teams in other countries that play baseball it would really become more excitign imo.

    • nats128 - Dec 4, 2013 at 8:51 PM

      Its not a fair market system. The Japanese league was asserting monetary control over these players who arent true free agents under their system. Its sort of pre-Curt Flood but worse because these Japanese teams are getting “paid off” to let them leave to America as a Free Agent. Instead of the money going to the players, a big amount goes to the payoff.

      Now given the MLB system, a Free Agent who is given a qualified offer also has a “paid off” system to a lesser extent in a compensatory draft pick but no cash is changing hands and that player can negotiate like Ellsbury did for as much as the market can accept.

  21. trochlis318 - Dec 4, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    This is just a random idea i had, a pipedream tbh.

    Just imagine an MLB that had 4 divisons 6 teams in each, we have an East, Central, West, Japan of course across both AL and NL where a total of 8 teams from each leauge make the playoffs (4 division winners and 4 wild cards) you could also put a team in other countries like cuba so you can have as an east division adding Havanna and even go south to mexico to add another couple of teams to the central and add like vancover to the west and finding 12 teams from japan willing to make the jump to the mlb wouldn’t be that hard in fact their league would most likely dissolve and the teams would combine to form the 12 teams and the other teams that were left out would be part of a minor system for the japanese divisions and the same rules and stuff applies but all trips to japan from the east coast would have to of course be together so that the teams don’t spend so much money going back and forth between plane trips but anyway this could really be the future the future of all sports is international competition but actually integrating teams from other countries like canadian teams in the mlb nba and nhl is the way to go i honestly think it would vastly improve the mlb tv ratings significantly especially durign the playoffs.

  22. David Proctor - Dec 4, 2013 at 9:17 PM

    I just want to recap some recent Mike Rizzo trades:

    He gets Mike Morse for Ryan Langerhans in 09, gets a few good years out of him and then flips him for AJ Cole, Blake Treinan (who was a bigger piece of the deal than Krol) and then Krol as the the PTBNL.
    He trades Matt Capps to the Twins for Wilson Ramos.

    He gave up quite a bit to the A’s for Gio Gonzalez, to the point some considered it an overpay. But let’s look at it. Tommy Milone, Brad Peacock, AJ Cole and Derek Norris. Milone, Norris and Peacock have combined for 6.5 WAR while Gonzalez has been worth 8.2 so far. AJ Cole is the wildcard, but he ended up getting him back anyway.

    It’s too early to judge the Meyer for Span trade, but Span was a 3.6 win player last year and still has two more years of team control remaining. And that was with a down offensive year. 3 years of team control for a roughly 3.5 win player for a AA prospect with high upside but some big question marks?

    And now Lombardozzi, Krol and Robbie Ray for Doug Fister. Lombardozzi, a 12th round pick with a 69 career OPS+ and mediocre defense. Krol, the PTBNL in the Morse deal. and Ray, a 9th round pick and again, a decent upside prospect, but a lot of question marks (far more than Meyer).

    • nats128 - Dec 4, 2013 at 9:28 PM

      Let us just say Rizzo has been getting better in the trades. They are now offsetting the really bad ones like the Willingham for Henry/Brown which I believe was his 1st trade as the GM after Kasten was gone.

      The Fister trade is the type of trade that if it works out great makes you the Executive of the Year.

      • therealjohnc - Dec 5, 2013 at 12:02 AM

        Sigh. The Willingham trade didn’t work out, sure, but it cost the Nats nothing. The Nats traded one year of Josh Willingham, and it was a good one (29 HRs, .246/.332/.477). But by trading Willingham they opened a spot on the roster for some guy named Morse. Who was better (31 HRs, .303/.360/.550). So the Nats actually came out ahead even in 2011.

        And everything that Willingham has done since then 2011 has nothing to do with the trade at all. Because Willingham was a free agent after 2011. Heck, the Nats could have resigned him if they wanted to, but they already had Morse in the “brittle RH slugger with lousy defense” slot on the team. The Nats took a shot for two prospects with serious upside, neither of which has panned out. Which is why they call them “prospects.” Sometimes that works (like when the Indians got Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore AND Brandon Phillips for Bartolo Colon) and sometimes it doesn’t (like when the A’s got … three guys … for Mark McGuire).

  23. David Proctor - Dec 4, 2013 at 9:33 PM

    Bob Nightengale ‏@BNightengale 39s
    The #Cubs signed left-handed reliever Wesley Wright to a one-year contract believed to be for $1.425 million.

    I’m not sure why Mike Rizzo wasn’t in on this. But that would seem to set the market for left handed relievers.

    • nats128 - Dec 4, 2013 at 9:49 PM

      Astros screwed up. He should have been signed and traded. Poor decision.

      • David Proctor - Dec 4, 2013 at 9:54 PM

        He was actually traded to the Rays. The Rays non-tendered him.

      • nats128 - Dec 4, 2013 at 9:56 PM

        Sorry, Rays screwed up. They should have tendered him and traded him. Poor decision unless they absolutely needed his spot on the 40 man.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Dec 4, 2013 at 10:04 PM

        You can bet they tried to trade him and were being offered Cutter Dykstra types and they don’t have a demanding fanbase that cared whether they got garbagr in return for him so they basically let him walk for nothing.

        Many GM’s like even Rizzo has done with Nyjer and HenRod will take a warm body to appease the fanbase. The only thing good about Dykstra is that his girlfriend is a popular attraction at his games.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 4, 2013 at 10:43 PM

      Just because a team is willing to pay a million-five for a player doesn’t mean they were willing to part with somebody else AND THEN pay him. The Cubs probably were hoping to get him cheaper, anyway, but once a negotiation starts, even good bargainers are inclined to stay for a price they would have walked away from at the start. And this is still the Cubs, regardless of who’s in the big chair.

      • David Proctor - Dec 4, 2013 at 11:01 PM

        Who else would a team have to part with?

  24. trochlis318 - Dec 4, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    credit to Natspo but this is really cool: Hope it works

    Span

    Harper Werth

    Desmond Rendon

    Zimmerman Strasburg LaRoche

    Zimmermann, Fister

    Gonzales, Detwiler

    Soriano Ramos Moore

    Clippard Hairston

    Storen Walters

    Stammen

    Solis

    Ohlendorf

    • trochlis318 - Dec 4, 2013 at 11:17 PM

      didn’t work but i don’t know how to delete comments so yah…

      • nats128 - Dec 4, 2013 at 11:38 PM

        What are you trying to do?

  25. trochlis318 - Dec 5, 2013 at 5:52 AM

    i would just like to say on offense the combination of Espi, Moore, Lombo, Bernadina,and tracy were worth a grand total of -3.6 WAR now that is extremely unforgivable especially from bench peices. If they batted at replacement level we make the playoffs, and replacement level is not good. Luckily out of the 5, 3 are automatically gone, and we aren’t even sure if espi or moore make the team. So this is a big place where we can pick up so major ground.

    • nats128 - Dec 5, 2013 at 7:38 AM

      I think that makes sense. Very bad bench. Who would think they could cost the Nats a spot in the playoffs!

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