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Nationals lineup vs. Phillies

Here are your Nationals against the Phillies tonight. Will have news on Cordero and Phillies lineup later.

Cristian Guzman -- 6
Lastings Milledge -- 8
Ryan Zimmerman -- 5
Nick Johnson -- 3
Austin Kearns -- 9
Paul Lo Duca -- 2
Ronnie Belliard -- 4
Willie Harris -- 7
Tim Redding -- 1

By Barry Svrluga  |  April 2, 2008; 3:17 PM ET
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Next: Lannan likely Sunday; Lopez to LF?


Cont. from previous post: While I agree with you completely PTBNL that this team could have a $100 million payroll next year or in the very near future, their is one thing that you aren't taking into account. While you are right that guys like Zimm and Cordero and even Hill and others are gonna get big salary bumps in the next year or two you forget all the money that comes off the payroll also. 2.5 million for Vidro (2008), 4.9 for Felipe (2008), 4.2 Guzman (2008), 1.9 Belliard (2009), 5.5 Johnson (2009), 5 D. Young (2009), 5 lo Duca (2008), 1.25 Estrada (2008), this totals up to 29 million. This team should have plenty of money to spend. The thing is to not ignore free agents when there is talent out there, the problem was this year outside of Arod and maybe a reliever or two there was any real good talent out there that was worth paying big money too. Next year could be different, up the middle we could add a Mark Ellis or Orlando Hudson at 2nd and O Cab or Furcal at short (if the price is right) and at the same time we could add a top pitcher like Sabathia or Sheets.

Posted by: Steveo | April 2, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

While it would be amazing to sign Sabathia - I don't think there's a snowflake's chance in hell that we'll get him. Too many big market teams (Yankees, Mets, BoSox) will be in on him. Sheets, maybe, way.
I'm personally of the mind that it's not our starting pitching that should be our primary concern, but the middle infield...we've got lots of young, good (and cheap) talent just waiting for their chance, but for the middle infield our only decent prospect is Diamond Desmond...

Posted by: BigNatsFan | April 2, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I've become more and more convinced that spending free agent money on pitching is just bad business. Name the last free agent pitcher to really make a huge impact without becoming an albatross. I'd venture to say it might've been Pedro Martinez (discounting Clemens and his Astros ventures, which were not so much free agents contracts as hometown honeymoons), which was what 10 years ago?

Draft and develop Starting Pitching. Send the failed starters to you bullpen. Sign position player free agents when necessary.

That is how to build a successful team in this day and age in the big leagues. I'm fully convinced of this. Even the Yankees and Red Sox with their garbage bags full of money have begun subscribing to this in earnest.

Posted by: Mark | April 2, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Something to keep in mind on the free agent front is that DC is becoming a "cool" place to play. Between the new stadium, wireless and Ipod hook ups for all, and the DC party scene, guys want to play here. It's seen as a very livable place. Don't give up on Sabathia yet.

Posted by: #4 | April 2, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm not saying give up on Sabathia.

I just don't want him. We'll have to pay $20 mil a year for a guy that is 300 lbs and ballooning. It's just way to risky. I'd rather spend the money on the 'sure' things that position players are more likely to be.

Posted by: Mark | April 2, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

i agree with mark, to an extent. be careful of what you ask for with SPs. if CC is $20m/per, and gets 7 yrs, that's a dangerous contract. i'd be far more likely to risk that with santana, and even then i'd be nervous about it. a pitcher always seems so much closer to breaking down than a position player.

Posted by: 231 | April 2, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Fair enough. I thought the comment was geared toward DC not being a possibility for high profile FA's.

Posted by: #4 | April 2, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

wtf is harris doin in there instead of maxwell. this is the perfect opportunity to get maxwell some ab's. hes got real talent.

Posted by: dk | April 2, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

dk: They would have brought up J-Max, but with Cordero down yet not on the DL, they needed a relief pitcher to fill the gap. There's not a spot for J-Max on the roster at the moment. Manny's basically said that if the Chief goes on the DL then they'll bring up Maxwell.

Posted by: BigNatsFan | April 2, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of starting pitching, any news about Hill?

Posted by: Lou | April 2, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

dk, welcome to the party.

Posted by: Corey | April 2, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Lou, here's what Barry had to say about Hill in his chat today:

"Hill's three-inning outing in a minor league game in Florida went well the other day. He still has soreness, but the club is sticking with the he's-going-to-have-to-pitch-through-it approach. Hill seems fine with that, but if it gets worse -- and goes to a sharp pain -- he'll stop.

His next outing is scheduled for tomorrow in Viera. If that goes well, he'll pitch next week for Class A Potomac -- as long as it's warm up here. If it's too cool, he'll stay in Florida and throw there. The goal remains to have him pitch in the majors on April 13."

So, a week from Sunday is the plan, for those of you who enjoy holding your breath.

Posted by: John in Mpls | April 2, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Your right maybe we won't get Sabathia but that doesn't mean we shouldn't just let the yankees or mets have him. There are just as many reasons for those teams to not go after him as there are for us. In terms of payroll those teams already will have major obligations to players going forward, i.e. arod, jeter ect., Beltran, Santana, Wright ect. where as the nats don't have any comparison. I also agree that the rule is to develop pitching through the draft and international signings, b/c the price in free agency is always inflated, Carlos Silva 12mil a year is crazy, but Sabathia 20 mil isn't nearly as crazy, he is young no major injury history (like Sheets who is incredible but unreliable) and continues to get better and better. He is the definition of the exception to the rule and shouldn't be judged by it. Anyways the point is that while there is promise in the future the Nats rotation is prob. 3 years away from being able to compete with the top teams in the NL without any outside help. Not to mention adding a top young ace who has plenty of expierence should help the development of guys like Chico, Lannan, Detwiler and Balester.

Posted by: Steveo | April 2, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

how bout sendin down harris and bringin up max. guy can ball circles around harris. hes good enough to be playin everyday in the bigs.

Posted by: dk | April 2, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

What the Nats should invest in is a 20/20. A starting pitcher who wins 20 games and hits 20 home runs. Am I wrong? I think it's a good idea myself.

Posted by: mharm | April 2, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't agree more that spending big money on older proven pitchers is NOT the way we want to go.

Let's develop our farm system. Let's spend some big money putting scouts every around the planet to find the next Fukudome, or the next "big papi". Let's take the road that starts with investing in infrastructure and not take the road that takes us to becoming the Redskins Part deux (god forgive me for saying anything about the Mighty Mighty Washington Redskins in a negative tone, I hate you Dan Snyder).

Finally, we definitely need something in a classy and fun fashion, to trademark Nationals Fans. I have zero ideas on this topic, but I feel it needs some serious thought.

Posted by: Nats=class,class,class | April 2, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

#4 et al,
The Bill James thing about "smarts don't count" isn't really what Bill was talking about. He was really talking about pitchers -- those with power (high K/9 and K/BB ratios) will have the "stuff" longer through their 30s, and as that stuff fades, their wisdom will keep them competitive. A guy like, say, Jimmy Key, will just have nothing left in the tank.

However, the ability to take a walk never fades. And if you can still hit strikes, you can do it pretty long (see Gwynn, Tony). Now, that's not to say Belliard will stay just as good as ever, but it does mean that he'll be able to get on base and contribute as he ages, better than most.

Posted by: section 303 | April 2, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

dk, welcome to the party.

Posted by: Corey | April 2, 2008 04:09 PM

thx. little 2 much cheese though. now wheres the beer?

Posted by: dk | April 2, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Any word on WMP's progress?

Posted by: estuartj | April 2, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Harris is the classic O'fer guy, I thought they solved that problem when they unloaded Schnider to the Mets. BTW Schnider got his monthly quota of hits for April last night when he went 3-4.

Posted by: Tippy Canoe | April 2, 2008 4:51 PM | Report abuse

steveo, the yankees have a ton of money coming off the books next year, with Jason Giambi's, Mike Mussina's, Carl Pavano's, Bobby Abreu's and Kyle Farnsworth's contracts adding up to about $66M/yr off of next year's payroll.

Posted by: 231 | April 2, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

BTW Schnider got his monthly quota of hits for April last night when he went 3-4.

Posted by: Tippy Canoe | April 2, 2008 04:51 PM

did he eva get 3 hits in a game the entire time he played for us??

Posted by: dk | April 2, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Steveo - you are right about my payroll analysis. I ignored the nets in the other direction over the next few years. I did that in part because there will be some resignings of those guys, too, and because I'd kind of expect there is some interchageability among those guys and the likely replacements. I also ignored inflation of salaries, too.

The $9 million in middle infield coming off the payroll can be redeployed next year towards an upgrade without being an add on, and the $10 million or so locked into 1st could be used otherwise if Marrero is ready in '10. Flores will save us money at catcher once he's ready, but would you be surprised if he was not ready until '10? If Flores and Marrero are ready, then that $15 million is about 1 more high end FA in 2010.

Posted by: PTBNL | April 2, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

wow, looking at that number i just mentioned, the yankees could give CC $20M/per, texiera $17M/per, and still have $29M left to replace abreau and farnsworth. grab an OF for $10M and take some more flotsam cut from the worst teams in baseball to replace farnsworth (what a mexican goatXXXX his signing was).

Posted by: 231 | April 2, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

In the words of a great and wise man, Stanley is conveniently located throughout the lower and upper concourses for a nominal fee ranging from $7 to $9. We also encourage you to consider metro as your primary mode of transporation to and from Nationals Park, thus allowing you to spend a ungodly amount of money on adult beverages.

Posted by: Corey | April 2, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

estuartj: From Barry's chat today on WMP:

Barry Svrluga: Indeed, the Nationals are encouraged by Pena's progress. He was supposed to start swinging a bat this week. The reality is that while the Nationals initially announced he would be out four weeks (after suffering the strained oblique muscle on March 12), they actually thought it could be as long as six weeks. So if he's ready in four, they'll be happy.

Posted by: Capitol Hill | April 2, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

John in Mpls thanks a lot for the update!

Posted by: Lou | April 2, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

If WMP can come back 4 wks after the injury he could be available as early as April 9th. I wonder if that is too much to hope gut tells me that he'll take a week or more longer (even with the encouraging progress report) and will likely take a week or more to get back up to speed in the minors before they bring him back.

That said he is technically available to be activated on April 4th...

Posted by: estuartj | April 2, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone found a large picture of the Nats celebrating Zimm's home run? Or know where I can find one online? Thanks

Posted by: bostonNatsFan | April 2, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Carrying over 231's picture link from previous post... awesome pics. Hello new desktop background!


if this works, delete the space between photo and bucket.

Posted by: 231 | March 31, 2008 12:58 AM

Posted by: MKevin | March 31, 2008 09:31 AM

Posted by: Boston, try these | April 2, 2008 10:44 PM | Report abuse

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