One can hit and the other can play defense:) Now if Rizzo would just convince the Lerners that the Nats don’t need a cancer in the clubhouse! Dumping Paps would help bring the fans back……………….Just saying……..
The Nats could still be looking for a CF not named Spann or Taylor who can hit leadoff. Several good ones are still available: Fowler, Blackmon, Gardiner for starters.
As currently constituted, the Nats will end up fighting the Marlins for second place in the NL East. They will not be a playoff contender. Sorry Scherzer, you signed with the wrong team, unfortunately.
As I was driving home listening to MLB radio, they said Brandon Phillips had tweeted them the following: “513 to 202.” Those are the area codes of Cincinnati and Wash, DC. That was about 9;30pm. When I got home I checked some of the baseball web sites and at 10pm, Ken Rosenthal (who is almost always right on this kind of news) reported that Phillips was signing with the Nats. I have no details yet, and it’s past my bed-time:)
Update as of 10am, Saturday, Dec. 19: the deal is pausing as the three parties deal with what is likely a last-minute demand for more from Brandon Phillips. I’m staying g on top of this.
Update as of 5pm Saturday, same date. The deal is off. Nat’s said take our offer as is. Phillips said no trade. That’s all she wrote.
Changing the subject, It’s clear to me Papelbon is killing Rizzo’s ability to attract the best players (such as Hayward and Zobrist). The Nats should buy out his contract and cut him loose.
Ok, here is the latest. The Nats are talking with the Reds about 2B Phillips! This would be a good choice. He has been an RBI machine and one of the best 2B guys in the NL for several years. The Reds are in SELL mode for sure and I doubt the price for Brandon will be very high. But the Lerners have already offered $200M for Heyward, so what the hey.
My other two acquisition choices if I were Rizzo are:
Andrew Miller for closer
Brett Gardiner for a lead-off CF.
All three are available for the right deal.
You saw it here:)
I wonder how the season ticket sales are going. As the roster stands today the Nationals will be a mediocre team. What do they need?
A Closer. And they are weak up the middle. The combination of Danny at SS and Trea Turner at 2B would be fine defensively but pitchers would love seeing them coming up to bat:) And they need a power-hitting left-handed outfielder for either CF or LF not named Cespedes. Gordon would be great, but there are several others out there still. The current lack of rumors could mean Rizzo is close to a deal. But his problem is not money, but the fact that few want to play for the Nationals. The reasons are obvious to all by now.
To me the rotation looks……………………………….questionable. Sure, we expect Scherzer to bounce back, but I’ll believe that when I actually see it. Same with Strasburg, who was great over the last six weeks of the 2015 season. Then we get to the real big “ifs.” Gio, Roark and Ross.
About the only real good news is that like the Giants, the Nats seem to play well in even-numbered years! I hope 2012 and 2014 don’t turn out to be their high-water marks.
This is well known. Mike Rizzo and the Lerners (and now Dusty Baker, sadly) better mend fences soon, or revenue could become a problem.
I’m glad to see that just this week, on the margins of the winter meetings in Nashville, they began some wheeling and dealing. Several new bullpen arms are on the way, starting with Yusmeiro Petit, who was a “Nats Killer” with the Giants in recent years. He can spot start or go multiple innings in the middle of games. They have also added the following relief pitchers: Sean Burnette ( who was very successful in his prior stint here), Trevor Gott, Mike Brady, and Shawn Kelly. I predict 2-3 of these will actually end up in the 2016 bullpen and be successful.
The other exciting news is the Nats have made an offer on Jason Hayward. I predict they will not sign him. Why? He is wildly overpriced and there are plenty of great outfielders out there, including three with the Rockies who are so far flying under the radar (Rizzo’s preferred targets!). I think the Nats just made the offer to try to goose other teams into getting Hayward off the market so then they can focus on all the others.
So far, the Nats are still a 75-win team at best; you heard it here:)
Things seem to be churning in the Nats tepid efforts to re-build the “pen.”
The rumor that Darren O’Day is leaning to coming to DC (from the Orioles) is the only seeming good news. He would help in the late innings.
The acquisition of Oliver Perez is nothing Mike Rizzo should expect to be applauded for. His stats are mediocre. He is a step down from Matt Thornton.
The most discouraging is the decision to non-tender Craig Stammen. The rumors are that might be due to a so-far not so good recovery from surgery on his throwing elbow. Not all operations on pitchers throwing elbows are totally successful. Apparently the Phillies Cliff Lee is recovering from the same procedure. And I have seen recent rumors the Phillies are trying to alter or sever his contract. Not having Craig in 2016 would be a really major loss! From 2011-2014 he was one of the most dependable relievers in all of baseball.
Tommy Boz always seems to know what goes on in the Nats front-office. Today’s article sheds light on what was driving me to write my blog-post of yesterday. My suspicions have been confirmed by Boswell. The suspicions are in the same league as Peter Angelos and Dan Snyder.
A noxious odor is emanating from Nats Park!
The Bud Black charade has morphed into Dusty Baker! Maybe the proximity to Baltimore (and Peter Angelos) or our joke of a football team in DC (owned by Danny Boy Snyder), have rubbed off on the Lerners.
We all know Baker ruins pitchers. Why did they even interview Dusty twice? What about all the excellent people they didn’t even interview? Dave Martinez, the Cubs Bench Coach, comes to mind. Ron Roenicke, formerly the Brewers Mgr. is another. Donny Ballgame is a third (he was nuts to sign with Miami).
Ever since the wacko hiring of “Choker” Papelbon, the Nats have been in a downward spiral. They are working hard to just be an after-thought in 2016. You saw it here:) One poster on the MASN site says the Nats have become the laughingstock of MLB. Right on!
Since I wrote about Pap and his family moving out of the house they had been living in (in Alexandria, Va.), I have seen more info from his neighbors that confirms their departure. Hope so.
Besides reflecting very badly on Mike Rizzo, this fiasco also indicates the Lerners don’t lose much sleep over “character issues” either.
Don Mattingly is looking for a job, since he was let go in LA. Even though I’m sure he knows about the Nats toxic clubhouse, he was a success with the Dodgers. Apparently he may be interested in the Marlins manager position, one that to me looks even less desireable than coming to Washington. The owner, Jeffrey Loria, seems to like changing managers as often as he brushes his teeth! And he also has a penchant for selling off half the team every time they make the playoffs. Anyhow, on the off-chance that “Donny Ballgame” doesn’t really want to commit career suicide by going to the Marlins, the Nats ought to invite him for an interview.
He would be better than Dusty Baker, and as good as Bud Black. He lead the Dodgers to 3 straight post-seasons.