The Marlins?

As MLK once said, “I have a dream.”  Well, I had one last night and it wasn’t pretty:)

The Marlins ended up winning the NL East!  By only 2 games, mind you, but what a shock.  Actually I’ve had the thought in the back of my head for a couple of weeks, but refused to acknowledge it.  What happened?  The Nats offense and bull-pen ended up being the problems I predicted. Take a look at the BP’s collective ERA today, March 30.  Look at how the offense has been performing.  Yes, It’s only spring training, I know.

I think I know where Bryce Harper’s ring will be, come October:)

BTW—Tom Boswell’s article in the POST today is another gem.

Casey Janssen–Nats Got Him!

For 4 days I’ve been trying (unsuccessfully) to find time to post something urging the Nats to sign either Francisco Rodriguez or Casey Janssen for the bullpen.  Well, the team beat me to it:)  And am I happy!  Good job Mike Rizzo.

Now, if they just had a GOOD second-baseman the would be all set for 2015.

Scherzer Revisited, Again

Here is yet one more better move than the Scherzer signing:  Cole Hammels is still out there.  Every staff of starting pitchers should have at least one lefty, right?  They could have acquired Hamels for significantly less than $210M, then traded Gio, the weak-link of the rotation.  With the money saved they might have acquired a top second-baseman, like Ben Zobrist, or at least one who is better than “The Danny,”  and isn’t a clubhouse liability.

More on the Scherzer Trade

With a bit more time to reflect on this massive coup, I’ll admit that the Nats now have some insurance in case JZimm, Fister or Strassburg is traded.  If i were the GM, as I said before, I would make EVERY effort to keep the first two!

They also have some insurance (though not on a par with Scherzer) if Ian Desmond walks after this season, having acquired Trea Turner and Yunel Escober who can both at least fill in at SS until a real good option comes along.

Even with Tanner Roark likely moving to long-relief in the pen (and I predict he will excell in that role) Mike Rizzo still needs one more late inning flame thrower.  Treinin has some potential, but I’m not quite convinced he’s NASTY enough:)

What just Happened?

The Nationals and their fans woke up today to a total shock!  Mike Rizzo had pulled off the biggest deal of this off-season; he played poker with Scott Boras and walked away with Max Scherzer for $210 million over about a hundred years:)  Why?  What the team really needed was Ben Zobrist at 2B and more offense!  Instead they have a journeyman 2B on the downward side of his career and a broken bank account.

I guess Zobrist just didn’t work out, but it’s hard to see why if the team will pay this amount for a pitcher they don’t even need.  Well, having Scherzer does give the team some insurance if JZimm or Doug Fister walk after the 2015 season.  But the odds of them getting their money’s worth out of such a long/expensive pitcher contract are exceedingly slim.  And it seems they are stuck with their weakest pitcher, Gio, because he is their only lefty starter.  If I were in Rizzo’s shoes I’d be trying to trade Gio now for a good hitter for the bench or a better closer than Storen.  The bench and the bull-pen are where Rizzo needs to focus

The only person really happy about this is Scott Boras, agente extraordinaire:)

Is Ben Zobrist a Future Nat?

Could be.  I’m hearing a lot of chatter on the rumor channels.  With the Rays picking up Asdrubal Cabrera today (Dec. 30), that would indicate they could decide to part with Zobrist and his much fatter contract.  Zobrist is the kind of quality second baseman the Nats have wanted.  He has WAR numbers that are up with league leaders (though I have not yet seen the exact numbers myself).  Zobrist can play several positions well in both the IF and OF, but second is possibly his best place to play!

I’m crossing my fingers that Mike Rizzo is going for broke on this!

Comments on the Souza Trade

The recent Stephen Souza trade was on balance a good one for the Nats.  I’m sorry to see him go, but he was not going to be a starter in 2015 for the Nats, so it’s good for him, and the Nats get Trea Turner, a shortstop with a bright future (though he is likely two years from getting to the Major Leagues).

What is interesting to me is how Mike Rizzo does a great job of keeping his wheeling and dealing out of the press!  I don’t think anyone saw this trade coming.  That is vintage Rizzo

Which Teams Have Improved Themselves so Far?

This has been a wild hot-stove season so far with trades galore.  And it is not over!  There are still some outstanding pitchers out there such as Scherzer and Hamels, and Justin and BJ Upton haven’t gone anywhere.  But some teams have made themselves a lot stronger, such as the following:  Blue Jays, Cubs, White Sox, Mariners, Padres, Astros and Marlins.

All the rumors about the Nats are a bit nerve-wracking.  But they are not talking to the media, so we fans are left to speculate:)

I Thought The Nats Were Looking for a Second Baseman!

That is what the team said.  But in the last 24 hours both Dee Gordon and Howie Kendrick have been traded, and NOT to the Nationals!  Both are second baseman who could certainly help the Nats.  Kendrick is going to the Dodgers (to replace Gordon) and Gordon is going to the Marlins.

I do know Mike Rizzo had been talking to the Angels about Kendrick.  I’m discouraged that the two teams could not put a deal together.  However Asdrubal Cabrera is still out there!