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As We Begin Another Week on the Teixeira Watch

Wow. Check this out: My friend Roch Kubatko produced not one, not two, not three, not four, but five -- FIVE! -- posts over the weekend in in the interests of debunking a single rumor regarding Mark Teixeira. (And if I'm reading that first post correctly, one of Roch's commenters resorted to calling around to downtown Baltimore hotels.)

Best I can tell, there has not been a real, factual, honest-to-goodness development in the Teixeira watch since we left Las Vegas. (The revelation of the Angels' offer doesn't really count, since the offer was made last Tuesday during the winter meetings.) And frankly, as I wrote over the weekend, this silence is not a good thing for the Nationals.

As one agent told me last Thursday as the meetings were breaking up, it is no coincidence that there is plenty of information out there about the offers from the Nationals and Orioles (and now the Angels as well), but virtually nothing about the ones from the Red Sox and Yankees -- or even if there have been offers at all. I want to be careful here, because I don't want to accuse anyone of anything, but let's just say teams like the Nationals and Orioles have less reason to protect the details of their offer than do teams like the Red Sox and Yankees.

We were able to nail down details of the Nationals' offer almost immediately, following the team's acknowledgment that one was made. And it served a purpose of sorts for the organization -- broadcasting to the industry and the fan base back home as to how serious ownership is about improving its product. Again, don't misunderstand: I'm not accusing the team of being insincere in its pursuit. Far from it. I've been told the Lerners very much want Teixeira in Washington. But it did not hurt the organization's interests to have the information out there, and in fact it may have helped in some regards.

Meantime, there are dozens of excellent reporters in Boston and New York -- and I have some sources with the Red Sox and Yankees, myself -- but there have been virtually no revelations about those teams's pursuits of Teixeira, only speculation about their respective degrees of interest. I would venture to say, again, that is no coincidence.

I certainly hope there is much more to follow on this story this week. And if there is, we'll be dropping it here first.

By Dave Sheinin  |  December 15, 2008; 8:44 AM ET
 
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Next: The Caravan Takes Off

Comments

So, the fans of the Nationals are left to feeding off rumour & innuendo until "Boras' Big Top" makes it's final stop on the Teixiera tour. It's going to be a l-o-n-g two weeks.

Posted by: BinM | December 15, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Did the post fire Chico? No posts or articles from the guy on any subject since November. I hope he wasn't fired, I like his work a lot. I mean granted, he isn't Svrluga, but he covered the Nats beat quite well during his brief stint in the position. Writing for the Nats Journal is starting to look like a gig that is up there with drumming for Spinal Tap....

Posted by: wahoo2x | December 15, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

we should give daniel cabrera a starting gig here. it would buy some time for zimmermann and detwiler and maybe find a nice piece.

Posted by: longterm | December 15, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Should the Teixera negotiations fail to land the big prize, where do you see the Nats going next? It seems that by the time this mess works itself out only the leftovers will once again be available for the bottom feeders...as usual. The Nats really need to make this happen if they want a decent pre sale on tickets in order to have fannies in the seats. More of the same just won't do.

Posted by: cokedispatch | December 15, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

ESPN.com's Buster Olney ruminates this morning about why either the Nats or AngelO's are in the bidding for Tex. Story is on ESPN.com at

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=3770058&name=olney_buster

Posted by: leetee1955 | December 15, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I never thought I'd say these words but, Olney is exactly right. Teixeria is a damn good player but, he is not the only superstar out there. Dunn, a work horse pitcher and Hudson come cheaper for fewer years and teach this team more. They allow more breathing room and if Hernandez/Gonzalez/J. Zimmerman/Dukes/Milledge/Ballister et al. develop fast enough to take the work load of carrying a team off them then, then 3-5 year contracts they are easier to trade.

There is no point eating 20 million a year for three years and have Tex sitting around waiting to be on a competitive team.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 15, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

leetee: Interesting piece that makes some sense, given the long-term financial commitment. Doesn't change my personal opinion one whit.

Posted by: BinM | December 15, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

" . . .this silence is not a good thing for the Nationals."

I wouldn't agree with that. It seems, if you can believe reports, that Tex has 3 offers 7 years $140 million (O's), 8 years $160 (Nats and Angels). From everything I have heard, the Red Sox haven't made an offer yet. I don't think anything will start to happen until the Red Sox decide what to do. Now if the Nats offered 10 years and $200 million and there was no word from Tex that would be a bad sign. I don't believe the Yankees will get involved and I believe that speculation is just to push Sox to offer more. However, if the Yanks go after Manny and sign him then that will put a lot more pressure on the Red Sox to do something and would not be good news for the Nats. I still see it as a 40% chance that the Nats sign this guy.

Posted by: brothbart | December 15, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

What scares me is that after Tex goes to the the Yankee-Sox the other will turn their attention to other sluggers on the market meaning we could miss out again. We we strike now we might be able to sign guys whose price is only going to go up once the Teixeria sweepstakes are over.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 15, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Recall that the Sawx really hosed Teix when he was first drafted, then opted to play college ball.

If I were Teix, I'd squeeze the Sawx, use them to jack up the price to the Os and Nats, or even sign with the Yankees. Payback can be a powerful motivator.

Also, agree with a lot of Olney's article. Based on the current rate of improvement(?) shown by the Nats, Teix may be well on his way out by the time these guys actually field a competitive team.

The $160M for Teix would go a long way towards signing O-dawg, Dunn, and some pitching and improve the product on the field near-term.

We'd then have plenty of spare parts to trade for more prospects and stock up the farm system a bit more.

Once Teix is signed, I expect the price for Dunn to rise dramatically - which may not bode well for his ending up in a Nat's uniform.

Posted by: DesertNat | December 15, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

John Henry/Larry Lucchino/Theo Epstein weren't with the Red Sox when Tex was drafted. Different administration entirely.

Sort of like holding a grudge against the current Marlins for when Huizenga bought then unloaded a World Series winner.

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | December 15, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Hey whatever happened to Chico? He didn't have standing to leave as a minor league free agent did he?

Posted by: Pdoggie | December 15, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I've recently seen more than few people arguing that the Nats could add 2-3 significant pieces for the money they are offering Teixeira.

There's only one problem. That money has been set aside for Tex. It's not like the $20 million they hope to spend on him in 2009 will be absorbed into the budget if he signs elsewhere. If he goes, so does that money.

The same was said about Milwaukee regarding their offer to Sabathia. Making the offer wasn't an implicit acknowledgement that they were open to adding that amount to the budget for just anyone. It was CC or bust.

While the Nats sincerely hope 2009's team is better than the one they fielded in 2008, this is an long-term endeavor. They see Teixeira as part of that plan. Dunn, Hudson, et al do not necessarily figure into that future.

Bottom line: just because they're willing to spend $160 million doesn't mean they have $160 million to spend. I wish there were a real-life analogy for this, but I just can't come up with one.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 15, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

of course Olney would say the Nats shouldn't bid. who the hell do we think we are, the yankees or red sox? how dare we have the nerve to think about acquiring a top free agent, you know they all exclusive property of Boston, NY, Chicago, and LA.

with that said:

I'm on the fence about ditching Tex completely and going after Dunn and some other guys.

cause I'm getting the "we're being played" feeling again.

and by "we" I don't mean the fans getting played by the Lerners, I mean the Lerners getting played by Boras.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 15, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Boston Herald speculates that the Red Sox will likely offer Mark Teixeira an "eight-year contract worth somewhere between $145 and $175 million, possibly more." - rotoworld.com

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | December 15, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

As Tracee pointed out last week, Chico has been out of the country working on a non-Nats story. He is expected back this week.

Now that I've done some work for NJ, will you pay for my breakfast, Tracee? It was only $3.79.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 15, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

JiM

Er, if the money has been budgeted for Teix, surely if we don't sign him, we could simply change the budget and use it for Dunn/Hudson/Workhorse? No? I may be misunderstanding.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 15, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Wow, the Herald really went out on a limb with specifics, huh?

Are the Yanks still pursuing Lowe? If they get them, that would be $300+ million for 3 SP - add Tex and that's over 1/2 billion for 4 players. I know they are the Yanks, but I just can't see that...

Posted by: goexpos2 | December 15, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

sorry to come out of lurk mode before pitchers and catchers report but,

WHAT IS UP WITH THE MASN SURVEY?

I get 400 internal server error on about every question. Anybody else?

MASN's repeated displays of incompetence offend me as much if not more than the same from the Nationals front office. This is worthy of mention, if only for a follow up to the laughable number of viewers they had last year.

Ok, see you guys again in February.

Posted by: ihatewalks | December 15, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

so if we offer Tex 160m and he doesn't accept it, that means that the 160m just disappears?

I seriously doubt that. you can take that money and turn into at least 3 smaller contracts.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 15, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

i understand not spreading around superstar money and split it up three ways to role players.

tex money is for 8 years. these other guys would get it in 4 years and limit roster flexibility with mediocreness. we have to be careful here.

Posted by: longterm | December 15, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

That seems to make more sense.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 15, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

It's hard to tell which is more Mediocre:
1b Tex
2b Hernandez
5th starter: Redding/Bacsik type guy

or

1b Dunn
2b Hudson
3b Oliver perez type guy.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 15, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm not saying the money disappears. I'm just saying the Kasten and the Lerners are less willing to spend it as immediately as they are willing to spend it on Teixeira.

Just because they're willing to spend in on Teixeira doesn't mean they're going to spend it in Teixeira's absence. They could certainly take the $20 million they offered Tex this year and turn it into smaller contracts. But it is my prediction that, if they don't sign him, the budget will not increase by anything close to $20 million.

Milwaukee offered Sabathia 5 years/$100 million. By doing so, the Brewers weren't saying, "Look, we have $20 million to spend this year." They were saying, "We want Sabathia, and we're willing to spend to get him."

The Nats are in a similar situation. They're offering a contract that will commit four times as much money to the budget this year than last year's largets FA signing, Lo Duca ($5 million). In doing so, they're not saying, "We have $20 million to blow. Let's get good." They're just trying to get their guy.]

My guess? You'll see a plan B 1B and maybe a Perez-type pitching FA, but I doubt it goes much further than that.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 15, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

They both seem mediocre now, but the whole point of getting Teixeira is you can build around him.

So yeah, it wouldn't mean a pennant push in 2009. But with pitching in the pipeline, trades, and possibly another big FA signing when the team is close to making that push, Tex could be a big part of a winning formula.

By going long-term, they're saying they feel this will take more than four years. By then, Dunn/Hudson/pitcher would be gone.

Of course, this is rendered moot if they allow an opt-out.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 15, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I got the server error on the MASN survey too. Funny thing is it happens right after Question #1, which asks if you watch the Nats or the O's. I answer Nats, and the survey crashes!

Posted by: SwiftIT | December 15, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

JiM, unfortunately, the breakfast money was budgeted for Sheinin and can't be applied to you.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 15, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

What MASN survey, IHW? And come on back here...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 15, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

The 160 million is for Tex, or nobody. Bowden has said the pursuit of Tex is due to the fact that he (sort of) fits in with the plan of adding quality players in their 20's. Dunn is possible, but that's a stretch due to his defense and high strike outs. If they don't get Tex, look for more of the same AAAA players at Spring Training like: Langerhans, Orr, Boone, etc

Posted by: SwiftIT | December 15, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

MASN e-mails a survey every year to get feedback on the broadcasts. This year, it crashes after Question 1

Posted by: SwiftIT | December 15, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Swift. Guess that I should sign up for their emails again.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 15, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Forget it: Tex is NOT coming to the Nats. This just a ploy to placate the fan "base." The Nats will have to offer 8 years and at least $200,000,000. Ain't going to happen.

8andeight
Now 7and9 (Deadskins)

Posted by: 8andeight | December 15, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Give me Dunn, O-Dog and Oliver Perez and that should be good for at least 15 more wins in 09. Total price tag for all three would be in the 15-20M range.

Dunn gets 12M for two
O-Dog gets 7M for two
Perez gets 3M for one

Posted by: TippyCanoe | December 15, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Tippy - none of them would sign for that few years.

you are gonna have to give Dunn and Hudson at least 4 years apiece.

dunno about Perez. maybe he'll sign for 3 years.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 15, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

JMAD;

Problem is will the Nats be committed to Dunn, O-Dog and Perez for more then two or three?

Bottom line is; please no more Langershlong, Orr and Boones Farm signings.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | December 15, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

JohninMpls:

I think I have a good real-world analogy for you, one that also involves the Nats.

I made the EXACT same argument to people when DC was debating whether or not to fund Nats Park. People kept arguing that the $500 million would be better spent on the school system -- which may have been the case, who knows?. However, that was not an option. If the stadium didnt get built no one was going to dump $500m into the school system. It was the stadium or nothing, not a choice between the stadium and better schools, so the argument fails the reality test. Same thing with the $160 million offer to Teixeira.

So that said, lets go get Teixeira and not debate how to spend $160 million theoretical dollars!

Posted by: HenryStin | December 15, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how serious Boston is about Teixeira. Sure they got rid of Manny's salary, but they still need another SP and if the Yanks aren't going for him then Boston doesn't have to out bid them to keep him away. Also, if they sign Teixeira they have to give their 1st round pick to the LAA, but if we sign Teixeira, the LAA only get a 2nd round pick. I know that probably isn't a HUGE deal to Boston, but it might come into play. Most importantly I don't think Boston wants to give more than 7 years (they don't like having players still under contract at 36), an reportedly don't want to offer a full no-trade or an opt-out. Finally, it's a tricky matter to pick up his $20+mil/year contract and THEN make a trade to open a spot for him. Looking at the trade market right now it doesn't look to go to me for them to ship Lowell or whatshisname, they' probably have to eat most of that salary too and not get good value in return.

IF Boston wants Teixeira as much as we do it will be a very tough job to pry him away, but the biggest advantage the Nats have is that Teixeira is thier ONE AND ONLY. I don't believe they'll make another big FA move if they don't get Teixeira, Dunn is a maybe is he'll sign a 2-3 year deal (doubtful, even in this market). They are totally going to go ALL IN for Teixeira, I don't doubt they'll go for more years, more dollars and better options (opt outs & no trades), but if Teixeira can get his opt out the only way he sees year 7-9 of any contract is if he's hurt so why play 3 years in DC before your opt out if the Red Sox are giving you the same money in the same timeframe?

All depends on how serious Boston really is and I don't think any of the chatter we've heard gives us any real insight into what Boston is planning...

Posted by: estuartj | December 15, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

The $20 million that the Nats would spend on Tex is not just an expense, it's an investment. In other words, Tex would presumably make the Nats a better team, which would sell more seats and merchandise--not to mention those who would buy seats just to see Tex. His signing would increase the visibility and, in some ways, the legitimacy of the franchise. In other words, there is a "return" on that $20 million.

Spending the same amount on three AAAA players does not accomplish the same goal and, therefore, would not produce the same "return." One might say the same about the $600 million or so spent on the ballpark. Spending that amount on the schools, arguably, would not bring the same return. The ballpark attracts visitors from out-of-District and increases the city's tax base. In the long run, it will likely "pay off" in monetary terms.

Am I close here?

Posted by: Good2bOK | December 15, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Good2bOK

Er, you might hurt Dunn and Hudson's feeling if you described them as AAAA players to their faces you know.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 15, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

www.masnsurvey.com/index.php?sid=33886

Here is the survey

Posted by: brothbart | December 15, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I am somewhat ambivalent about spending $20 mil annually for eight years for Teix when this is clearly going to be a buyer's market for most free agents. Boras knows with the economy the way it is now and possibly for the short-to-long term future, he HAS to drum up competition for his big-ticket items to ensure that they get their money before teams are able to sign other FAs to contracts more to the teams liking than the players and their agents. It may be late January or early February before many of these players know where, or if, they'll be playing in 2009. Boras also is known for drawing out "negotiations" (i.e. having teams bid against themselves) as long as possible to squeeze the last dollar.

Posted by: leetee1955 | December 15, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Mark Teixeira is a very good player and would definitely be an asset who would hopefully help the Nationals improve the results on the field. I hope we sign him. But he is not the type of dynamic player/personality who is going to increase attendance all by himself. People are not going to buy tickets to say they are going to see Mark Teixeira play they way they would for one of the superstars of the game. Therein lies the danger. While a fine player, he is not a game changer all by himself. Put him on a team like the Red Sox or Angels and you're potentially adding the missing piece to a championship. Put him on the Texas Rangers, recent Atlanta Braves, or current Nationals and, if the rest of the Nats' master plan for the future falls through, you're in the same place you were last year (bad record, mediocre attendance) with a ball and chain in your payroll for the next decade.

Shelling out 200 million for Mark Teixeira. That's a tough one. Much of it is a roll of the dice. Glad I'm not the one who has to make that decision.

Posted by: DoctorJoe | December 15, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Our latest rumour of a rumour is that the Red Sox have offered 200 million/8 year deal. That and not losing a draft pick make Adam Dunn look really appealing about now.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 15, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

This past weekend, ESPN.com's Peter Gammons wrote a column on how teams that are patient may benefit more than the heavy plungers this early FA season.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=3767323&name=gammons_peter

Posted by: leetee1955 | December 15, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Picture John Wayne in khakis (with shorts of course) standing on the passenger seat of a Land Rover as his driver zooms across the Serengeti at high speeds trying to catch up to and bag a big-game animal so its head can end up on his den wall.

John Wayne = Jim Bowden
Speeding Land Rover = Free agent signing period
Big-game animal = Mark Texeira.

I think it's gotten to the point that the team wants to sign Mark Texeira so they can say that they signed Mark Texeira.

No thanks.

Which of these makes the most sense:

Mark Texeira: 10 years/$200 million
Adam Dunn: 5 years/$65 million
Pat Burrell: 4 years/$44 million

Pat Burrell? Sure. After a career of being given up on by the Phillies, Burrell has averaged over the last 4 years 31 homers & 99 RBI's, which is 9 homers less than Dunn has averaged but exactly the same number of RBI's. His career batting average of .257 is 10 points higher than Adam Dunn's and his .367 OBP, though 14 points lower than Dunn's, would still be the 2nd highest on the Nationals among starters (Dukes is .386).

The only downside on Burrell is that he's 32 while Dunn is 29.

Burrell likely has four good years left, and being a bridge between the bad Nats and the good Nats isn't a bad thing.

Is it?

Posted by: rushfari | December 15, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

soundbloke: If true, So long Mark, and thanks for all the fish - Hello Mr. Dunn, how does 3/$39M sound?

Posted by: BinM | December 15, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

rush: Burrell might have been an option before we nabbed Willingham; Now, not so much.

Posted by: BinM | December 15, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

But Burrel will have fewer people on base in front of him in Washington, so that number might plummet a little.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 15, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

2:34pm: A reader who heard the show says Patrick was only speaking in the hypothetical with the $200MM figure, so Bloom's post was apparently inaccurate. This is why I typically avoid radio reports unless I hear them myself...sorry about that. In listening to the Reggie Miller interview on Patrick's site he was definitely only giving an opinion during that portion.

It wouldn't make sense for the Red Sox to pay $40 million more than the Angels and Nats. They in theory could offer less and get him.

Posted by: brothbart | December 15, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Sorry guys, I don't think this Teixeira thing is going to work. If the Nats do indeed sign him, I still don't see them competing for a playoff spot for another 2-3 years, unless we're able to miraculously turn Nick Johnson and a couple of our surplus outfielders (Milledge and Kearns?) into a couple more stud SPs. By that time, Tex will have opted out of his contract to go for more money in a (hopefully) more stable economic climate.

And those of you who think he might not opt out in 3 years because we'll be competitive need to reevaluate the situation. He's a Boras client and an upper level talent. A-Rod opted out to get more money even though he was with the Yankees. Manny got out of Boston so that he could go for more money. Unless you're hurt or have struggled mightily, it's just what you do in MLB.

Furthermore, signing Teixeira does not really fit in with The Plan, which ostensibly prescribes developing young talent until you are competitive, and THEN going after the big money free agents to put you over the top. The Nats are not competitive yet, and Teixeira is not going to put them over the top, so why not wait 3 years? Maybe Tex will have opted out of his contract with the Red Sox by then and we won't have wasted $60 million waiting for the kids to develop.

Posted by: WMPete | December 15, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

God I can't wait for him to make up his mind so we can all start agonising over something else.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 15, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

The trouble is, I don't see anyone fitting in with "The Plan"—I mean any FA available this go-round.

Teixera is a questionable fit, as is Dunn. I guess if I were the Nats, I would go back to square one and concentrate on pitching, as the Diamondbacks have done.

We have to consign ourselves as fans to a long period of mediocrity along with the hope that some draft picks and trades eventually will work out. FA signings it seems to me are not going to help.

We might not even be competitive by the time Zimm can leave.

Posted by: JohnRVA | December 15, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

One thing being missed is that if we sign Teixeria, then we can trade Marrero for something real since we will no longer have a position for him.

With or without Tex, I think the Nats will be wild card contenders in three years which would help keep him, in the unlikely event that he's given an opt-out in the first half of his contract (I would say year 5 of 8, not 3, would be more likely).

I personally think Dunn would be terrible (think Wilkerson on the juice). He can't play the field and he's all or nothing at the plate so he can't move runners or do any of the little things that don't show up on the scorecards. Which brings me back to Teixeria, who has no negatives other than expense. He's one of a kind and the brass needs to do what it takes to make a statement, not only to the fans, but to other future free agents, that this is place that is dedicated to winning.

Any two or three year projections of the future of this franchise change dramatically if we sign Teixeria. He's one hell of a butterfly, if you get my drift.

Posted by: sec307 | December 15, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Money isn't exactly flowing like (cheap) champagne so far this off season. AP is reporting that the A's have lowered their four-year offer to Rafael Furcal from $52 million to $40 million. I'm willing to wait out the market to see how it shakes out. I see Teix as more of a finishing piece for a good team (Yanks, Sawx, Halos) than a building block for a struggling franchise like the Nats because the team currently doesn't really have anyone in the lineup to either protect him or consistently get on bse ahead of him to create potential RBI opportunities. I would wait until Teix can opt out whatever deal he signs this winter when the Nats will hopefully be more offensively accomplished and he could be a better fit.

Posted by: leetee1955 | December 15, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Soundbloke - but I love all Tex, all the time blogs.

Oliver Perez is nice in theory, until we start talking money.
http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/the-perez-sweepstakes/

Boras, his agent, asked for 5 years, $70 million. Think more like 4 years, $40 million, if you view him like Ted Lilly, or 4 years, $41 million that Lohse just resigned for. Now maybe he is waiting to be signed in March and the market for him crashes (like it did for Lohse last year), but if that is the case, he has to be a target of opportunity and not an early signing.

As for Dunn plus O-Dog vs. Tex, assuming the money is there, it is a closer question. I'm sticking with my prediction that Tex ends up with about $23 million / year if he ends up with the Nats, and that a $20 million / year with an opt-out after 3 does not get it done. For that $23 million, you might be able to get Dunn and O-Dog, with some left over for a target of opportunity SP. With O-Dog, you have your leadoff hitter. With Dunn, you have a nice breeze on the Anacostia (except when he walks). Two of Milledge / Kearns/ Johnson / Willingham will need to be moved.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | December 15, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Leetee - The A's did not offer 4 /52. He asked for 4/52, per ESPN (olney). The As went for 4/ 36 (Lugo money) to 4/ 40.
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3770877

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | December 15, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

jca

Thanx. I stand corrected. I was looking at the asking price when I made my post.

Posted by: leetee1955 | December 15, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

I hear the Yanks have signed another right-hander further removing themselves from the Tex race:
http://www.borowitzreport.com/article.aspx?ID=6969

Posted by: MBUSA | December 15, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Good2bOK

Er, you might hurt Dunn and Hudson's feeling if you described them as AAAA players to their faces you know.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 15, 2008 2:31 PM

---------------------

Good point, Bloke. I am a big guy (6'6" and about 260 luscious, middle-aged pounds), but still not quite as big as Dunn. And not quite as young. Yes, I am intimidated. Let me revise: "Spending the same amount on three *lesser* players does not accomplish the same goal and, therefore, would not produce the same 'return.'"

Am I safe now?

Posted by: Good2bOK | December 15, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't trying to start a fight. I was just pointing out that neither Hudson nor Dunn would be out of place in a championship team. They are a long way from Belliard and Young, who we've been filling vacant spots with to date, and won't cost us 20 million a year while we're waiting to be ready to compete. Signings like Teixeria are best saved until we are looking for one more piece to be ready..

As for Hudson, I reckon you could take him. I would do it myself but I just poured a fresh cup of coco.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 15, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Tex fits The Plan, and instantly helps everyone in the lineup. With him batting behind 4th, Dukes and Zim (2nd and 3rd) will be protected and see a lot more fastballs. Seemed like Zim was down 0-2 all year.

I don't think they will pursue the other veteran FA's mentioned on here (Dunn, Hudson, Burrell) All of whom (I think) are Type A and would cost the Nats a draft pick in addition to the $$$

Posted by: SwiftIT | December 15, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Dunn was offered arbitration and turned it down, so no comp picks needed for him.

I still don't see what he brings other than a "So sorry" message from the Lerners. If the price is right, go for it.

O-Dawg, I would love to watch play, but he actually HURTS the plan. We don't need two aging middle infielders, especially when we have Hernandez and Gonzales ready to get try outs, and Belly and Harris on the bench.

Burrell we already have. His name is Josh Willingham. We don't need two.

Tex is the only high-profile free agent that makes sense for this team. Otherwise, it will and -regrettably- should be Odalis Perez type free agents.

Posted by: Section506 | December 15, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Dunn was offered arbitration and turned it down, so no comp picks needed for him.

-------

just a small nitpick, 506.

Dunn wasn't offered arbitration at all.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 15, 2008 6:29 PM | Report abuse

if he had been offered Arbitration and turned it down, then we'd lose a pick to sign him. but since he was never offered, we don't lose anything.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 15, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

If you're all getting bored with the Nationals' 1B woes, lets talk some more about SP.
IMO, The Nats' need a #1SP - the 2009 Free-agent market clearly isn't going to bear fruit there (Lowe, Sheets & R.Johnson are the only proven commidities left, and they're too costly). So, either the team trades for a #1, (is there a team with pitching surplus & a dearth at OF?), do they look internally to see if someone can rise to the occaision, or is a draft-pick (and a further wait) the answer?
And before you all jump in with Strasburg as the response, remember that he has to survive another College season before he "proves his worth" as the correct answer.

Posted by: BinM | December 15, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Burrell we already have. His name is Josh Willingham. We don't need two.

Posted by: Section506 | December 15, 2008 6:28 PM

Burrell might have been an option before we nabbed Willingham; Now, not so much.

Posted by: BinM | December 15, 2008 3:54 PM

Is there an echo in this blog?

Posted by: BinM | December 15, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Some guy for the ny post says the sox arn't worried about tex signing with ''loers' and a more worried about the angels. I HATE THE RED SOX!

Posted by: Baseball95der26 | December 15, 2008 7:09 PM | Report abuse

I'll say it again tex or o-dawg and the donky defenetly the 2nd part is funner to say and better for this club.

Posted by: Baseball95der26 | December 15, 2008 7:11 PM | Report abuse

I've recently seen more than few people arguing that the Nats could add 2-3 significant pieces for the money they are offering Teixeira.

There's only one problem. That money has been set aside for Tex. It's not like the $20 million they hope to spend on him in 2009 will be absorbed into the budget if he signs elsewhere. If he goes, so does that money.
Posted by: JohninMpls | December 15, 2008 11:35 AM
-------------------------------------------

@JiM: You're probably right - the $20M/yr allocated for Teixeira doesn't mean the team would spend all that money somewhere else. It would most likely equate to $$$ to another left-handed 1B candidate (Dunn - sob!) and holding the remainder for the draft.

Posted by: BinM | December 15, 2008 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Ooooh, good catch Mr. Madison.

Dunn wasN'T offered arbitration. It reminds me of the time I said "yes" to that cop when I really meant "no"....

BinM, great minds think alike. And I guess we do, too!

Posted by: Section506 | December 15, 2008 7:52 PM | Report abuse

This is pure agony.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 15, 2008 8:22 PM | Report abuse

@506: Only time will tell - I liked Burrell on this roster before the Bonifacio trade.
That being said, so where do the Nats' look for a #1SP, and who can they offer for him? I don't think Peavy (SD) would waive his limited no-trade; maybe SF (Cain), Greinke (KC), Bedard (SEA), or someone else?

Posted by: BinM | December 15, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

@natsNut: This is "hot-stove" season - Do not agonize, fret, or overly concern yourself with minutae, although that type of analysis is always welcome. Jump into the crazed, sometimes free-flow discussion of what is wrong with the Washington Nationals franchise, and how best to fix it.
C'mon in, the water's fine!

Posted by: BinM | December 15, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

NatsNut, the great thing about hot stove is it requires even less thought than usual.

BinM, I have bad feelings about starting pitching next year. If the money's tied up in Tex I would put the probability of signing a star pitcher in the low 0's. Even if money is not spent on a bat, I would say less than fifty percent. I think we will see more Perez type signings and a year of auditioning for young pitchers.

Hope for Tex to cover for more Bergmann. Also, hope for Bergmann to be Good Bergmann all the time, because Jason is an awesome dude.

Posted by: Section506 | December 15, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

506: No more SP's, not even through trade; just class-C reclaimers? B-but I was hoping for a sign - you know (snif), just even a glimmer of hope that someone (whimper) in the blogosphere would think that the FO saw the same need.

Just like Santa (& Teixeira), if you believe enough, it becomes real. Think happy thoughts for the Nationals, come the holidays!

Posted by: BinM | December 15, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

This sure feels like it's dragging on, but my bet is that Teixeira makes a decision sometime this week. We know that Boras and Tex have both met with Nats officials and we know that the Nats have placed AT LEAST 8 years and $160 million on the table (reports are that we may go higher than that). It's been reported by Bill Ladson that Tex is definitely interested in playing for the Nats and Boras has mentioned that the Lerners have a good plan for the future in place based on hims meetings with them, and having the first draft pick certainly helps our cause.

As for the other teams: Reports are that Angelo$ isn't planning on upping his offer. The Red Sox, who haven't even made a confirmed offer yet, are supposedly leary of offering long-term deals, especially with opt-out clauses. The Yankees are most likely not even in the race, despite what the media says. Neither of those two teams even really needs a first baseman. The Angels are in the running, but they are at a disadvantage in not being on the East coast. Of course, there are lots of rumors floating around and they only time we'll know anything for certain is when the ink on the contract has dried.

I'm really ticked that the people in the media, particularly at ESPN, are disgusted at the thought that Tex is even considering Washington (Buster Olney, I'm talking about you!). I agree that we're not playoff/WS contenders at the moment, but there is a plan in place and we're headed in the right direction. Injuries hurt us big-time this past season, and if we can avoid that in 2009, plus add a decent arm to our pitching staff, I think things are definitely looking better, Tex or no Tex. Still, I want to see him sign here just to see the reaction of all these "experts" who are saying there's no way he'll play in DC. I honestly think our chances of landing him are pretty good - not 100%, certainly, but we're definitely in the race. The Lerners have made it clear that they're willing to make this investment - I don't know how much more they have to do to be taken seriously.

BTW, nationals.com has a live chat with JimBo at 11am tomorrow.

Posted by: BGinVA | December 15, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

I think the Nats have made it quite clear that they don't plan to SIGN any major free agent pitchers. The question at hand is whether they will make a trade for a starter, but I just don't think the Nats have the pieces to get the kind difference making arm they'd be looking for. We don't have any highly coveted prospects, and our extra outfielders are not impressive enough to land a legitimate pitcher. I'd rather just be patient and see what becomes of Lannan, Balester, JZimm, etc. and hopefully pick up at least a Jack or a King (if not an Ace) off the discard pile.

Posted by: WMPete | December 15, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Teixeira is part of the plan.
Teixeira is not part of the plan.
I like the plan.
I don't like the plan.
We should sign him.
We shouldn't sign him.
The Lerners are cheap.
The Lerners are not cheap.
The Yankees will sign him.
The Red Sox will sign him.
It's the Angels.
It's the Orioles.
Blah, blah, blah....

I'm getting a little weary of the whole issue. The fans of whoever signs him will be delighted to have him, but much of America is going to end up hating him like they hate ARod when its all over. Should he worry about that? No, he'll be rich. But, he'll have to put up with the perception for the rest of his life. For his own sake he should finish this off soon. The longer it takes, the more likely the legacy will get tainted. As I noted, he probably should not worry about this, but ARod, Kobe, and other mega stars have paid a huge price for their wealth and fame - family happiness, peace, guilt, and more. Signing with the Nats or Orioles will not help him avoid this fate, but the kind of guy that would sign with the Nats or Orioles in the face of more money from bigger markets, might just be special enough to avoid it on his own. Whichever way he goes, he should resolve it soon.

Posted by: natbisquit | December 15, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Veteran Free Agent pitchers are a big risk, and are busts far more often than the hitters. I'd like to see the Nats spend money on FA position players, and use The Plan to develop the pitching.

My question is how many position players on the current roster are part of the long term plan? I say Zimmerman, Flores, Guzman, and maybe Dukes and Millidge. So ideally we need to add a 2B who can lead off (Hudson), and an outfielder and 1B with lots of pop (Manny and Tex). Come on Lerners, there is no salary cap! Let's try to buy a title just like the Celtics did

I can dream right?? It's Christmas

Posted by: SwiftIT | December 15, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Okay, BinM, for you I'm hoping that Sabathia has a change of heart, eats his contract (probably literally), and comes to play in DC for free!

natbisquit, I think one point in Tex's favor that A-Rod can't claim is that no one will be calling him "Mr. April" when they complain about his massive contract...

Posted by: Section506 | December 15, 2008 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Some reading for tonight/tomorrow, which, for natsbisquit, is a non-Teixeira article.

Keith Law, reposted entirely, for your amusement:

Lopez could be a positive for Diamondbacks
Monday, December 15, 2008

Posted by Keith Law
Arizona signed Felipe Lopez to a one-year contract, giving the Diamondbacks a low-risk look at a former first-round pick who has been a disappointment for most of his big-league career, since he was rushed to the majors by Toronto in 2001. Despite his up-and-down (mostly down) history, Lopez has ability and I like the chance this signing gives Arizona to catch one of his up periods.

You wouldn't know it from his stat lines, but Lopez has good raw tools. He can run, albeit not quite as well as he did before he started putting on weight; he has at least average raw power; he has good bat speed; and once upon a time he was a rangy shortstop with a good arm. He's lost much of this to indolence, seldom putting forth the effort required to convert his tools into performance outside of his one outstanding year in 2005. His midseason release in 2008 seemed to be a wake-up call, which, combined with some extraordinary luck, led to the best 169 plate appearances of his career. He's capable of sustaining some parts of that surge, and a .275/.350/.420 season with average defense at second base and value on the bases is within reach if he shows up in shape and sustains his effort level all season. That would make him an above-average second baseman at a below-average salary, and he could easily slug .450 or more given his raw power and the homer-friendly ballpark in Phoenix.

The signing does have a downside for Arizona. Orlando Hudson's defense was declining, but still above-average, and Lopez is likely to be a downgrade, which would leave the Snakes with an average or worse fielder at every infield position, which might turn Brandon Webb homicidal by the All-Star break. Lopez entered 2008 in a walk year and still was out of shape and playing in first gear for much of the season, so there's no guarantee being in a walk year in 2009 will lead him to fare any better. Those caveats are why he was available for one year and a salary more typical of a player going through arbitration for the first or second time, but at least this one-year deal comes with a chance for some upside.

Posted by: Section506 | December 16, 2008 12:00 AM | Report abuse

I read the Law article on Lopez and pretty much came to this conclusion:

"The signing does have a downside for Arizona"...Yes, they just signed Lopez over, say, Miguel's older brother from Bad News Bears. Please welcome, the 2009 NL West third place finisher, your Arizona Diamondbacks!

I once played a game between innings last season with my season ticket compadre called Who Would You Rather Have at 2nd Instead of Lopez. Way too much fun. Best Answer: Air.

1A - kudos for the JiM funny. I laughed out loud.

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | December 16, 2008 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Thanks 506....that made my morning....someone WAS watching Lopez from 2001-2007...to bad it was not Jimbo....Lopez killed this team for 2 years and then killed them in the press.....enjoy Dbacks fans

Posted by: JayBeee | December 16, 2008 5:40 AM | Report abuse

Asked this several times last month but now with less than 60 days till ST......any chance Chico (sorry could not resist), or a post intern could do a report on all those injured Nats what we are going to count on in 2009....Hill, Chico, Johnson, Pena, Kearns, D. Young all ended the year on DL or close too it and all would have to play a lot of innings in 2009 as it stands now.....where are they with their injuries and what have they been doing all winter to improve on bust seasons. I most want to know if D. Young is still over 300 lbs and if Kearns has been in the Cage working with a MLB qualified Batting Coach (not Lenny). What about Hill....it looks like yet again this team is going a role the dice and hope......based on what I would like to know....that Hill's arm troubles are finally in the past. Pena....we are going to pay him $2 Million so that means Jimbo is going to force Manny to Play him yet again this year for at least 250 ABs in April, May and June.......how is that shoulder and fragile mind.....crying on the bench...."there is no crying in baseball!"

Posted by: JayBeee | December 16, 2008 5:49 AM | Report abuse

Oh and yes RKGF/ABM.....Young will be on this 25 man roster at 300lbs.....Jimbo gave him $10 Million, $5 already wasted and $5 more this year....if he can walk without falling down Jimbo make sure he gets onto the roster sooner or later just to rationalize the expense.

Posted by: JayBeee | December 16, 2008 7:14 AM | Report abuse

JayB, who claims he will admit when he is wrong (although I have yet to see it despite all his posturing) now has two, count 'em, two opportunities to do so. On Saturday, Feb 14th, pitchers and catchers will report and Stan Kasten will be spending another Valentines Day as president of the Nationals. Will JayB post then to say he was wrong about his prediction that Kasten would be gone? Don't hold your breath. Then, on Opening Day, April 6th, when Dmitri Young is either playing first base, DHing or sitting on the bench for the Syracuse Chiefs, will JayB post to admit he was wrong about Young being on the Nats' 25-man roster? Again, I wouldn't bet on it.

Prove me wrong, JayB. But I'll say it again, it will never happen.

Posted by: raykingsgutfeeling2 | December 16, 2008 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Has anyone seen the MASN ads with Cordero's picture on them? I saw one this morning at L'Enfant Plaza. Those MASN people are clueless!

Posted by: frog7694 | December 16, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

With the Redskins season over, any chance we could get Svrluga back here on the winter beat. Chico is MIA and was no Barry to begin with. Sheinin is Great, but we want more. Tracee and Cameron are key contributors, but we need that certain something, that Barry brought to the table. Where's the snark?! Where are the barbed comments aimed squarely at Kasten? Where's the feature stories on the Nats personnel? Where are the probing, pithy reviews of of each story and non-story that we hunger for? Where's the work ethic? Where are the expense reports? Where are the checks for the expense reports?

Posted by: natbisquit | December 16, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Law came from the Blue Jays, right? Maybe he has a bit of an infatuation with Lopez. I found it interesting how he said that a .770 OPS out of Lopez would give the D-Backs a better than average 2d baseman at below average price. Where have I seen a .770 projection for a Nats 2d base platoon before. SuperWillieBelli.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | December 16, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

"Those MASN people are clueless!"

Don't dismiss the possibility that it's a 2007 promotional that has never been taken down and won't be for three more years. It is Metro.

Posted by: Section506 | December 16, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Young will not be on the roster at 325lbs but will at 300lbs thus the reason to know his status....last time I asked you ranted on and on about how he was never going to be on the roster no matter what so I did not need to ask at all.......that is the point.

Posted by: JayBeee | December 16, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Posted this to the wrong thread (not sure whether it's been posted here yet):

http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/baseball/red_sox/view.bg?articleid=1139328&srvc=sports&position=3

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 16, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

"last time I asked you ranted on and on about how he was never going to be on the roster no matter what so I did not need to ask at all.......that is the point."

If you can trust Nationals Farm Authority, JayB (and I believe you do, don't you?), Dmitri Young is not even on the Nationals' 40-man roster any more. (Nationals.com does show him still there, but that is obviously out of date.) Therefore, he's not going to be on the 25-man roster unless he works his way onto the 40-man roster first, and to do that he'll need to show up at spring training, tear things up there and beat someone out. Just like he did in 2007, actually. Can he do that? Who knows? Clearly, though, the Nationals aren't planning on him being able to do that, or he'd be on the 40-man roster right now. Thanks to his contract, they're unfortunately stuck with paying him, but he's clearly not in their plans. The only way he'll play for them in 2009 is if he shows he can play, JayB. Not because Bowden decrees that he does, as you misguidedly keep saying. I look forward to your post on Opening Day admitting that you have been wrong all along on this - and many other things as well, of course.

Posted by: raykingsgutfeeling2 | December 16, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

No need to keep him on the 40 man roster....he is going nowhere because Jimbo's stupid contract is due him.....He is not off the 40 man because he is not in the plans he is off so they can protect players someone may want.....I know baseball 101 is tough for you to comprehend but try before you pretend to understand it.

Posted by: JayBeee | December 16, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

The Boston Globe is reporting a massive offer for Teixeria. Once you've swallowed the massive pinch of salt, and look at the contract it looks pretty grim for those of you stating that Teix was bound to sign with us earlier last week.

It really is time to get a jump start on plan B. I really hope I'm wrong about this but the Sox need to step up their pursuit of a Teix given what the Yankee have been doing and Scott Boras knows it. Teixeria will now no longer be signing a contract which is anything but destructive for the team that gets him. We should leave our offer on the table but start to look elsewhere. Get Dunn, trade what we can for a decent pitcher and let the scraps go for prospects.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 16, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I tried to get interested in Daniel Cabrera but got scared away by the ERA and the walks. What about dealing a spare outfielder to (ahem) the Reds for Homer Bailey?

Posted by: BobLHead | December 16, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

According to MLB.com, the Red Sox have purportedly offered Tex a contract described as "the longest and richest in the seven-year history of the ownership group led by John W. Henry."

"The two biggest investments the Red Sox have made under current ownership? A $103.1 million sum -- including the $51.1 million posting fee -- to Daisuke Matsuzaka over six seasons and a five-year, $70 million contract for J.D. Drew."

That's all we know. There's no actual information that would enable anyone to conclude that the Bosox' offer is more "massive" than the Nats' massive offer. My bet is they're offering substantially less than the Nats, in years and $$, but are holding out the promise of playing for a winner.

Posted by: TomServo | December 16, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Funny, soundbloke, that the Boston Globe wouldn't see fit to put that story on their webpage:

http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/

Posted by: Section506 | December 16, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

i would like to see what St. Claire can do with someone like Daniel Cabrera.

if boston wants to pay 200 million for tex, i'd say congratulations and good luck. at least now we've met boras in the trenches.

Posted by: longterm | December 16, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

"The Boston Globe is reporting a massive offer for Teixeria."

Link?

I found speculation that they didn't want to go for 8 years but a rumor of 6/$150 in the "Buzz" column (updated at 7:55 this morning)...

Posted by: OldDude | December 16, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

f boston. manny was the best thing they had going for them. only reason they won 2 world series was cause he decided to sign there instead of NY. that decision was a franchise changer for both teams. they should both be more worried about tampa but they are all caught up with themselves. i'm happy we are NL.

Posted by: longterm | December 16, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

The link to the MLB.com article:

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20081216&content_id=3718580&vkey=hotstove2008&fext=.jsp

Posted by: TomServo | December 16, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Bowden is chatting live on MLB.com right now.

http://www.forums.mlb.com/ml-wasevent/chat?redirCnt=1

you need to have or create a MLB.com account to access it.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 16, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

The Boston offer averages $25mm per year for 6 yrs. If the Nats want to compete they need to front end load their contract ( say $30mm per yr for the first three years, with an opt out at the end of yr 3)

Posted by: mjames0 | December 16, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

no way would i give him 90 million for three years and let him demand a trade to the Northeast and we get shafted on players in return.

Posted by: longterm | December 16, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Bowden is chatting live on MLB.com right now.

http://www.forums.mlb.com/ml-wasevent/chat?redirCnt=1

you need to have or create a MLB.com account to access it.

---------------

Bowden is pissing me off.

he's only answering questions from one specific person basically, and that person is asking super-generic, stupid-ass questions.

there are tons of people, myself included, submitting real questions that are getting ignored.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 16, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Just to say something different, I'm going to spend the rest of this post putting forth an entirely different viewpoint (that I don't necessarily believe) as if I had the inside knowledge to do so. Unlike sports commentators, though, I won't be paid to do so.

Boras is using the Red Sox to leverage the Nationals. By floating secret Red Sox offer rumors he hopes to get Tex a big payday with an opt-out clause in Washington.

This will give Boras 1) a lot of money, 2) a reputation for getting his clients a lot of money, which leads to more clients and more money, 3) the ability to advertise to teams that his client was integral to turning around a failed team again (and so are my many other fine clients), 4) time to have Tex take the opt out and get another big contract and start it all over again.

What does signing with the Red Sox get him? "I got my client on a prestigious team for a lot of money, but if you're not a top tier team don't even think about making an offer for a Boras client."

Posted by: Section506 | December 16, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

The link to the MLB.com article:

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20081216&content_id=3718580&vkey=hotstove2008&fext=.jsp

Posted by: TomServo | December 16, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Karl Ravich on ESPN Radio is reporting that "Mark Texaira is close to making a decision and he is very interested in playing near his hometown".

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | December 16, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

News Flash; JIMBO plans to do a "state of the Nationals" thing sometime this afternoon. I got an email last night and since I don't have access to my hotmail account at work I can't pass along the particulars. Check the usual websites/suspects for place and time.

Also am I asking to much for the WAPO to spend maybe a quarter page of actual print (not cyber) on something Nationals. Geez, over the past three days its been non-stop Redskins. Earth to Emelio, the Redskins are not, repeat not going to play a game in January, how many different articles can you guys shoe-horn in on a dead-subject.

What a crying shame that the Capitals can't even get decent ink and these guys are the real deal in DC these days. Come on WAPO expand your horizons, you might sell a few more dead tree editions.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | December 16, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Not to mention that Jimbo seemingly can only answer one question every 5 minutes. Zzzzzzzz.

Posted by: BobLHead | December 16, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I agree, TippyCanoe. But I would be willing to sacrifice Nats coverage in December to give some attention to the Caps. Talk about a compelling story, they should be front page.

Posted by: Section506 | December 16, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

The Caps suited up their web developer on Friday. That alone should have been worth at least a little more ink than Santana's shoe polishing antics.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 16, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Link to Karl Ravich talking about Big Tex

http://sports.espn.go.com/broadband/video/videopage?videoId=3772842&categoryId=2521705

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | December 16, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

From Ravech, Via the WEEI Red Sox blog:
---------------
Someone very familiar with the negotiations said, it’s almost fascinating what’s happened. Every time one team steps up its offer, the other four teams do the same thing.
---------------

so apparently it was said that the Lerners "wouldn't get into a bidding war" for Teixeira...

but apparently that is exactly what they did.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 16, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

and i used "apparently" one time too many in that last post. :(

Posted by: MrMadison | December 16, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Apparently you did, MrMadison.

Bowden is all sunshine and rainbows on the chat. I hope he's right.

Posted by: BobLHead | December 16, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

------
Thanks for being here today with me. Happy Holidays to you and your families...

Scott Boras is on the phone, sorry gotta go.

------

that's how he ended his chat. is that a cliffhanger or what?

Posted by: MrMadison | December 16, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

From an LA Times article on Andruw Jones, this note about Anderson Hernandez (playing on the same Winter League team).

But the Tigres don't need much offensive help since they're hitting a league-best .299 and have the league's leading hitter in Anderson Hernandez of the Washington Nationals, who is batting .371. He also leads the Dominican with 38 runs and 72 hits.

Posted by: natbisquit | December 16, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Hernandez is demolishing that league.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 16, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Yeah Mr. Madison, that was pretty interesting how Jimbo ended that chat wasn't it. I wonder if it was his way of playing with us, or was it for real. Of course, he's probably had multiple conversations with Boras over the past couple of weeks. At least it seems to indicate that the Nats aren't out of it yet, or perhaps Scotty is trying to unload Manny...hmmmm.

Posted by: cokedispatch | December 16, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Why do I get the feeling that "wilnieves" who asked all those "chat" questions probably has an office down the hall from JimBow?

Posted by: leetee1955 | December 16, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Hope that a chat transcript will appear at some point, as the link on the Nats' site is no longer active (guess it was for real time only).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 16, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

we have the whole thing over on WNFF, but it is too long to copy/paste here, I think.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 16, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

1a, I tried to post a copy of the transcript here and got a message that my post was being "held for approval" by the "blog owner." Maybe it will show up some time later. Anyway, someone has posted the transcript at BPG if you dare to venture over there.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | December 16, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

http://www.wnff.net/index.php/topic,11660.0.html

Posted by: MrMadison | December 16, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I just found it here:

http://firejimbowden.blogspot.com/

(no charge for the plug, SoCH ;-))

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 16, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

the link I posted is a thread on WNFF with the full transcript in it.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 16, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, CiL and MrMad.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 16, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I hadn't seen either of your posts before I posted my link.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 16, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

SoCH's transcript is not complete. some of the answers were cut off.

specifically the ones about the medical staff and "why should a free agent sign here".

Posted by: MrMadison | December 16, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

That also seems to be true of the Ballpark Guys transcript (I braved it, CiL). Maybe JimBo fell off his Segway at that point...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 16, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

tsk tsk, 1a. you'd rather go to BPG than come home to WNFF to get the info?

as we really THAT bad?

we've got the entire thing, no cutoffs.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 16, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

In looking at the team site, I found a press release about a Winter Caravan and Nats Fest (the latter to be held at Nats Park on January 25 - woohoo! - except that it's the day after the local SABR chapter meeting. Looks like a busy weekend.):

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/news/press_releases/press_release.jsp?ymd=20081216&content_id=3718826&vkey=pr_was&fext=.jsp&c_id=was

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 16, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Cute, MrMad.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 16, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

good find 1a. looks like we'll have some REAL marketing for a change.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 16, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I hope so. Glad that they are finally going to have a real fan fest.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 16, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like he's going to Baltimore.

Posted by: Zornado | December 16, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

according to Ladson, we've already contacted Adam Dunn, so either way I'm fine with it.

if we don't get Tex we should be able to sign Dunn rather quickly, if we are already talking to him.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 16, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

On the topic of lacking coverage, the Detroit papers announced today that they are cutting back home deliveries to three days per week. Dicey times for the publishing industry.

Posted by: BobLHead | December 16, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Ravech's comments sure don't sound promising; "home" is clearly Baltimore, not DC.

Posted by: BobLHead | December 16, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Hate to disagree, home is not necessarily Baltimore. It is the Washington Balto area. The only player who gave the Os a "hometown discount" was Rip, and he was looking at the longterm. That was a good move and not repeatable.

If there is any significant difference between Nats & Os offers, he'll go with the Nats. The F/O is not nearly as dysfunctional as Baltos.

All of that, notwithstanding, I'll still bet on L.A.

Posted by: Catcher50 | December 16, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Just read excerpts from the Revech thing...I don't know which teams are up to 28 mil a year, but even I wouldn't want the Nats to go that high.

Posted by: Cavalier83 | December 16, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I share catcher50's interpretation of "home" (that is, the Washington/Balto region).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 16, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Home is where the heart is. And Boras' heart is where the money is. Thus, home is where the money is.

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | December 16, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I have no problem if he simply wants to sign with the O's, But if they outbid the Nats I will be a bit upset.

Posted by: JDB1 | December 16, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

LDO has it on the $.

Posted by: Catcher50 | December 16, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Ravech didn't just report that Teixeira wants to play near "home," he reported that "there’s an enormous attraction to the Orioles" and that for Tex there is "something that kind of keeps bringing he and Scott Boras back to the Orioles as a hometown, 'I'd love to play for the team I grew up watching.'"

Now, we are all free to take Ravech's reporting for whatever we think it might be worth and decide that Ravech has no clue what he is talking about (and cue LDO's apt home is where the money is comment). But there's no getting around the fact that Ravech reported that Tex wants to play for the O's. He did not just say that Tex wants to play at "home."

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | December 16, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

"The F/O is not nearly as dysfunctional as Baltos"

Ha ha ha.

Posted by: bselig | December 16, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

TRIUMPH!

Of a very small sorts. MLB Trade Rumors Chat:

1:56
[Comment From Matt]
The winner of the Teixera sweepstakes will be......
1:56
For no reason I kind of like the Nationals. Just a feeling.

Posted by: Section506 | December 16, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

From SI's Jon Heyman's Hot Stove Blog

Nats may pursue Hudson, Dunn

If the Nationals don't get Mark Teixeira -- and nobody actually thinks they will -- baseball sources indicate they will try to sign Orlando Hudson and Adam Dunn instead.

There's also some speculation the Nats could try for Manny Ramirez, or as one competing baseball executive put, "They may bail out Manny.'' That executive was referring to the seemingly slow market for the the free-agent slugger.

"We need a left-handed power hitter. That's what we need,'' one Nationals person said, explaining the pursuit of Teixeira, from nearby Severna Park, Md., and possible pursuit of Dunn.

The Nas' interest in Dunn is no surprise since GM Jim Bowden is known to be a fan of Dunn's from their days together in Cincinnati. As is the case with Dunn, Hudson's market doesn't appear to be developing as hoped. Originally, he sought a $50-million, five-year contract.

Posted by: leetee1955 | December 16, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm in a bad position now: I'm hoping we get Teixeira more to rub it in Heyman's, et al., face.

Posted by: Section506 | December 16, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

http://sports.espn.go.com/broadband/video/videopage?videoId=3772842&categoryId=2521705

Posted by: beas13 | December 16, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Has any season ticket holder received the email that will come "with information on how to register for these tickets on Tuesday, December 16."? I haven't received mine...

**************************************
In looking at the team site, I found a press release about a Winter Caravan and Nats Fest (the latter to be held at Nats Park on January 25 - woohoo! - except that it's the day after the local SABR chapter meeting. Looks like a busy weekend.):

Posted by: Section138 | December 16, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the additional details on the Ravech comments, CiL.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 16, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

eh. if we don't get Tex and we instead get Dunn/Hudson, I won't complain.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 16, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

First time by WNFF. Love the set up. Will register.

BobLHead - Homer Bailey would be a good gamble. What I'd like to see the Nats do with the 4th or 5th slot in the rotation is give it to a fallen prospect ace. Bailey was a top 10 prospect going into last year. TINSTAAPP, but if Cinci really has given up on him, perhaps there can be a deal. Don't know their needs too well, and don't know the fit.

Given the number of years that established aces sign for as FAs, I think they are horrible investments (or at least a fellow can hope as he watches CC the next 7 years). Aces have to be developed or acquired in a salary dump / rebuilding.

I would like to see the rotation next year with Lannan (or whatever Lannan and Milledge could get you), Olsen, a system product (probably Balester but maybe Zimmermann or Martis), a fallen ace prospect, and this year's Redding / Perez. My guess is that there will be 2 Nationals Idol slots along for system products along with either a trade or an FA SP who is not signed until February.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | December 16, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Leave it to our crack Nats marketing staff to contradict themselves. On a separate page they say the season tickets holders will receive an email on Wednesday, 12/17.

http://tinyurl.com/6rdtso
"Information on how to receive tickets will be sent out to season-ticket holders via e-mail on Wednesday, and all Nationals fans will be able to purchase tickets beginning at 10 a.m. ET that day."

http://tinyurl.com/66ex9s
"All Nationals Season Ticket Holders are eligible for four complimentary tickets per account and will receive an e-mail with information on how to register for these tickets on Tuesday, December 16."

Bang up job, fellas.

Posted by: Section138 | December 16, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

NatsFest info should be emailed to season ticket holders Wednesday per the press release.

I hope Pete Orr is there. We can share fantasy football stories and terrific places to eat in Syracuse. ORR!

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | December 16, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

"NatsFest info should be emailed to season ticket holders Wednesday per the press release."

Ah-HA! Which one did you read, though?

Posted by: Section138 | December 16, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

ESPN had a good article about the Caps 10 minute goalie:
http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=3765928

It is a good read even if you are not a hockey/Caps fan. Something to fill the time until MASN or CSN start showing winter ball next month.

Posted by: Batboy05 | December 16, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

First time by WNFF. Love the set up. Will register.

------------

WNFF is the best place you can go for Nats fan stuff. seriously.

sometimes we may get a little mean and surly over there, but it's not anywhere near as bad or irreverent as BPG, nor anywhere near as blatantly stupid as MLB.com. and at the end of the day over there, we're all Nats fans and everyone knows it, regardless of differences or how hard we debate.

WNFF and here are really the only two places I post when it comes to the Nats.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 16, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

CiL, thanks for finishing off the point about Teixeira's view of "home." I guess we can hope that it was Ravech's spin, but it sure didn't sound like DC belonged in the same category. Also those numbers are getting pretty high for a team that's probably not going to have much more than a $100 million payroll for the foreseeable future. Tie up $25m in one player and there's less available to sign Zimmerman and our future homegrown aces to long-term deals.

I guess I'd take Dunn and Hudson as a consolation prize, but as to Dunn I don't like taking the hit on defense (we already lack plus defenders in left and center, and Guzzie is probably average at best in the hole). Young pitchers need good defense.

And speaking of young pitchers, JCATBNL, I'm with you on the fallen prospect SP, and Homer is that -- hard as that may be to believe given that he's still only 22. There were rumors of him going to the ChiSox for Jermaine Dye; the Reds need OFs and we have those in spades. Work it out, Jimbo!

Posted by: BobLHead | December 16, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

BobL: If the rumoured $$$ for Teixeira prove to be true, I'd have to say the Nationals are out of this hand.
I've campaigned hard against Dunn for his defensive liabilities, B-U-T, he is 1) a LH bat with power & good OBP, and 2) he has expierence at 1B. If Teixeira goes elsewhere, 2 ot of 3 ain't bad.

Posted by: BinM | December 16, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

BobL: As an addendum, the Nationals' should'nt offer him more than a 3-yr deal, hoping that Rhinehart and/or Marrero are ready for the show by then.

Posted by: BinM | December 16, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

On SportsCenter right now, "Free agent 1B Mark Teixeira close to decision".

Apparently the decision is close to done and will be coming out within 24-48 hours.

Gammons is suggesting that unless the Nats blow him away, he still thinks it's between the Angels and Sox. What a shock Peter...

Posted by: AlexL925 | December 16, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

my gut feeling says Orioles.

time to focus on getting Dunn.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 16, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Maybe it's all the Christmas cookies I just ate, but my gut says Orioles, too.

If he goes to Charm City, so be it. Honestly, I'd prefer that to Boston. I'm getting sick of the baseball media elite, and that'd really stick in their craw.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 16, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Regarding O. Hudson as a 2B for the Nationals - some downside indicators are that 1) he's coming off a back injury, 2) he's a "Type-A" arbitration rating, and 3) his agent is looking for a 4 or 5-year deal.
His upside is 1) he's a proven leadoff hitter, 2) he's a former gold-glove winner.
Before the Nationals' toss serious money at him, consider this - Both A. Hernandez & W. Harris had better Range Factor ratings than O-Dog last year (albeit based on a small sample size), and both of them are already under team control for at least two years. Also, Hernandez was tearing it up offensively in the Winter Leagues, at last report.
Maybe the $25-$30M that the team would spend on Hudson would be better spent on a SP & couched for draft-pick bonuses in 2009? Go with Hernandez / Belliard at 2b, subbing SuperWillie between CF & 2B as needed.

Posted by: BinM | December 16, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

my gut feeling says Orioles.

How could it not be after that report from Ravitch? I guess it's a good thing I live 3 miles from Camden Yards. Damn. I used to live 10 blocks from it until recently.

Never give up until the ink is dry

Posted by: Brue | December 16, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

JiM, Brue: If either the O's pumped up their initial offer to "steroid-era" numbers, or the Sawx rumoured offer values are true ($23 - $25M AAV), then sobeit.
The Nationals will have made a solid, market-competitive, long-term offer to a player they valued highly. We'll see how it plays out, but as Brue stated, "Never give up until the ink is dry".

Posted by: BinM | December 16, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it great how Dunn is just waiting around to be sloppy seconds for Jim Bowden if Texeira doesn't come here.

Posted by: CountDemoney | December 16, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it great how Dunn is just waiting around to be sloppy seconds for Jim Bowden if Texeira doesn't come here.

--------

well it is only smart for him to wait until Tex makes up his mind.

then he can get the most money he can, based on Tex's price.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 16, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

I think Dunn is waiting around for whoever doesn't sign Teix. Frankly he will have a number of teams interested who have shown a willingness to drop very serious money. Dunn owes Teixeria a fruit basket for driving the price of his contract up.

The defence issue still baffles me. I felt the Nat's might have traded Guzman and tried out their three speedy defensive whizz kids they signed last year. Only then they traded one for more bad defence. However, this team, with Dunn is toolsey, slow, rotton on defence. If we don't like that kind of team we should switch over to firejimbowden and sign that damn survey.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 16, 2008 7:49 PM | Report abuse

BTW, Dunn's agents are Peters & Genske (the same pair that represents Sabathia). Rut-Row-Reorge!
I'd still go 3-yr base, but be open-minded to a either a higher AAV than the $13M (3/39), or an option year w/ a reasonable buy-out ($2.5M CO?), so it goes on paper as a 4-yr, $45-48M contract.

Posted by: BinM | December 16, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

@sound: At the very least, Dunn would owe Teixeira (and Boras) "Thank-you" cards. The top remaining 2008 FA's prices will trickle down from the ceiling established by CC's ($23M AAV) & Mark's ($20+M AAV) contracts for "skills-in-demand" players (Top-end SP's, proven 4-5 "tool" players).
For the lower-tier players, the results might not be as significant - Dunn would probably grade out as a 2-3 tool player (+ Power & plate dicipline, plus-to-even on arm strength, even-to-minus on speed, and minus on fielding); That could still be enough to earn him a 7-14% AAV increase.

Posted by: BinM | December 16, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Careful. That'd get you suspended in the NHL.

-----

Isn't it great how Dunn is just waiting around to be sloppy seconds for Jim Bowden if Texeira doesn't come here.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 16, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

JiM: As an aside, that's one of the things I don't understand about today's NHL - how "shooting from the lip" can get you effectively booted out of the League (not that that Avery doesn't deserve it for other crap), but a clear overstep of "the rules" (i.e., boarding/cross-check/slashing) doesn't draw the same type of scrutiny.
Insight - I still hold George McPhee responsible for ending the career of Ed Kea way back when in 1983.

Posted by: BinM | December 16, 2008 9:06 PM | Report abuse

>Isn't it great how Dunn is just waiting around to be sloppy seconds for Jim Bowden if Texeira doesn't come here.

Not as good as if we get Man-ny. Oh Man-ny you diabloical distracted dirtbag. Get in there you massive rocketship science hitting clinic

Posted by: Brue | December 16, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin goal in OT beats Islanders 5-4...DC sticks to a NY area team again.

Posted by: cokedispatch | December 16, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Brue: You can have your personal fantasies, but stop posting them.
Manny causes more problems than he would resolve here - 1) he's a RH-hitter (the Nats' need a LH bat), 2) he's a LF/DH (the NL only needs a DH for 21 or so games a year, and the Nats' are "lousy" with LF players), 3) he's 36 & looking for a 5-yr+ deal, 4) he's a "knucklehead", 5) he doesn't want to end his career without a couple more WS rings & a "free-pass" into the HOF, and 6) he's another Boras client.
On the plus side, 1) he's probably the best "pure hitter" currently in the ML (maybe Pujols is a rival), 2) he MIGHT be able to share some hitting knowledge with Nationals' hitters; beyond that, I've got nothing.

Posted by: BinM | December 16, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I think the blog-ectorate is divided 99.5% to 0.5% on "Man-ny."

Sorry, Brue, no matching funds.

Posted by: Section506 | December 16, 2008 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Nev-er give up on Man-ny until the ink is dry. Are you all nuts? Tex probably isn't gonna come here, it's time to think globally. Like going to Man-ny's planet.

Posted by: Brue | December 16, 2008 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Count me as one who would be in favor of having Manny on the Nats. Why?

(1) He can hit. Who cares if it's right-handed? He can hit, which is more than you can say about the lineups of the last few years here.

(2) He homers. Often. Again, more than you can say for recent lineups here. And Manny's power here would most likely cause Dukes to ratchet it up a notch in response, which would make Elijah TRULY frightening at the plate.

(3) He's good enough in the field. Anyone who can rob a homer at the fence, high five a fan, and then turn around and make a throw that ends up getting him an OF assist is way more than adequate in the field for this team. Not to mention highly entertaining.

(4) He's NOT a clubhouse cancer. Look what he did for the Dodgers.

(5) He'll put butts in the seats. And they already have the Manny wig for Teddy to wear in the Prez Race.

What more do you need? If you can't get Tex, get Manny!

Posted by: nunof1 | December 16, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

The Nats are NOT going to sign Manny. He's exactly the kind of free agent (old and expensive) that doesn't fit with this stage of teh Plan. Manny will be long gone by the time the Nats are in contention; Tex won't.

If it's not Tex, it'll be Dunn.

Posted by: TomServo | December 16, 2008 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Firstly, signing Manny would be ridiculous. Secondly, he is goo on a competitive team. Whenever the Sox were out of contention he faked an injury and left.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 16, 2008 11:12 PM | Report abuse

>Anyone who can rob a homer at the fence, high five a fan, and then turn around and make a throw that ends up getting him an OF assist is way more than adequate in the field for this team.

I laughed for the next week. One of the greatest plays ever. Great burst of speed to flag that ball down.

Posted by: Brue | December 16, 2008 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Manny....NOT. 5 years ago, ok...but now...no no no no. He would not fit in with a non playoff team. A bad seed...indeed.

Posted by: cokedispatch | December 16, 2008 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I forgot to mention another thing - the Nats already have a mini-me for Manny in Ronnie Belliard.

Manny makes as much sense for this team now as Ted Williams did as manager of the Senators in 1969. Which is to say a LOT of sense. This team needs some star power, as long as the star can still perform. And Manny can still perform. If you can't get Tex, get Manny!

Posted by: nunof1 | December 16, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse

If Manny were to sign here my two emotions would be shocked and amused. Seeing that the dominant emotion from last season was numbness then I guess that would be called an improvement.

Posted by: driley | December 17, 2008 6:41 AM | Report abuse

if we sign manny it would be simply to dangle him mid season to hopeful playoff teams. spend some money up front and try to spin it into prospective talent.

that's about the only way i'd see him fitting into any type of longterm plan. and it requires more than a few moves to retrace your steps. maybe not a great idea but it has positives if we could sign him for 2 years and absorb 1/2 price of 1st year. that can't be a great situation for him though. he'd want so much control over where he'd be traded. messy messy distraction.

i don't want to trot him out as a circus freak. that ain't right.

Posted by: longterm | December 17, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Of course, Manny doesn't fit into the long term plan - but if we can get him to sign a 2 year deal, he'd could fit into a plan. Face it, the Nats don't seem to have any MLB level outfielders at the top of the farm, and on the Major League roster, I could envision a scenario where none of our current outfielders are MLB starters 3 years from now.

That said - Manny is a big time bat. He rakes against all pitchers and it would be fun to see him here for 2 years. He's the type of hitter that makes everyone in the lineup better.

Posted by: comish4lif | December 17, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

"If Manny were to sign here my two emotions would be shocked and amused. Seeing that the dominant emotion from last season was numbness then I guess that would be called an improvement."

Ha! I'm not going to start pulling for us to sign Manny, but if we do, that argument just might win me over at the end of the day.

Posted by: BobLHead | December 17, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Also, this from MLBTR:

"From Ken Bell of ABC6 out of Rhode Island:

Great news for Rocco Baldelli. A visit to the Cleveland clinic last week revealed that doctors had misdiagnosed his illness. Baldelli missed much of last season, and when he did play, he was limited because of extreme fatigue. Doctors thought it was mitochondrial disorder, which can be fatal. The Baldelli family told me tonight that the Cleveland clinic diagnosed his condition as channelopathy, a non-progressive, highly treatable disease."

Could Baldelli be the answer in CF?

Posted by: BobLHead | December 17, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Continuing the conversation with myself this morning, assuming Furcal signs with the Braves, we might be able to send them an OF for Kelly Johnson.

Posted by: BobLHead | December 17, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

I don't do the armchair GM/fantasy thing but I'm happy for Rocco and his family if this is report is accurate. The St. Petersburg Times also has an item on this, and they say that it is unclear what effect a change in diagnosis might have on his playing status:

http://blogs.tampabay.com/rays/2008/12/better-diagnosi.html

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 17, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Hope that the above qualifies as conversation, BobL. ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 17, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

BobL

While I like him as a player given that we don't have a first baseman, centre fielder, and are currently sitting on 3/5 of a rotation maybe a second baseman is low on our list of priorities.

I only say this because Bowden has a habit og stockpiling one position and then wondering why his team is useless. he needs to focus, so please don't distract him.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 17, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Can Rocco play center? Can he play center well? We need a good fielding center fielder not just a Milledge-a-like. Hmm, it's interesting though. And I like his bat a lot.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 17, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

i've always been a big rocco fan. but i think his center fielding days are over. milledge is fine for now. let's give him another year...

Posted by: longterm | December 17, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Some info on channelopathy, which is a broader term that includes a number of disorders:

http://www.answers.com/topic/channelopathy

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 17, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Also, Sheinin has a FA-related speculation post up on Baseball Insider (involves more than one player and more than one team but does touch on the Nats).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 17, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Good lord, periodic paralysis?

I'm glad Rocco's prognosis significantly improved (although I'd be asking for a second, third, and fourth opinion), but channelopathy does not sound like a walk in the park.

I'd be happy with Milledge in center and Rocco paralysis-free.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 17, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

If you want Milledge in center why sign Rocco? We have Willingham, Dukes, Kearns. Frankly, signin a guy 'just because' doesn't make much sense, either we need a center fielder so we can play Willingham or Milledge in left and trade the other, or we need to move on and sign people we actually need.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 17, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

I'm with you on that, JiM. My understanding is that Rocco has seen many docs since his issues first started, with various diagnoses ensuing.

In other news, Buster Olney (whatever) sez that the O's are out of the Tex bidding wars:

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3775042

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 17, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

In other news, and on the nostalgia front, Vin-NY Cas-TIII-llla:

Castilla shines in Mexican winter league

ESPNdeportes.com

Vinny Castilla, in his second game of the season in his dual role of manager and player, hit a double and a home run and drove in three runs Sunday to lead Naranjeros de Hermosillo to a 7-0 rout of Yaquis de Ciudad Obregón.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 17, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

1a, thanks for the Vinny sighting--he will always be one of my favorite Nats.

Brue, the problem with your Man-ny fan-tasy is, you're thinking too small. Visualize Man-ny AND Bar-ry (the hitter, not the writer). Yeah, sure, they'd both be DHs in the National League, but man, that'd fill some seats with butts and baseballs!
They could platoon--"Hair today, Gone tomorrow."
Or if you get one of them to move to right, you'd need a fast CF. Hmmmm. Been a while since we had a real two-sport star--I gotta think T.O. could run down and catch anything hit over his head. Just position him very shallow and have him break back on every pitch. I can hear the chant now: "Go LONG, T.O.!!"
NOW how much would you pay?

Posted by: CEvansJr | December 17, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

What are people's thoughts on Kelly Johnson? I know AH is on fire in the Winter Leagues, but I'm pretty sure none of us are confident in him as the long term solution at 2B. With Johnson expendable in ATL, would you swing a trade involving Lastings + another player for Johnson? This is assuming, of course, that Tex/Dunn/NJ fills our needs at 1B and that we're content to wait on the youngsters for the rotation.

Posted by: natinbeantown | December 17, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

It sounds like a good idea except that we have so many other holes, and Milledge is fairly valuable trading chip. If we enter the Spring with our rotation like it is, and no solution at first, then moving Milledge (or Willingham why not?) for a luxury item will look like a bad idea.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 17, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

First of all, I propose we henceforth refer to Mr. Olney thusly.

Secondly, the Furcal deal isn't done yet, so Johnson is not yet expendable.

Thirdly, even when the deal is done, the Braves may well consider moving Johnson to the OF.

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Buster Olney (whatever)

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 17, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, that was a silly post. I should have written:

How on earth can we be happy with no 1st baseman and a junior rotation? Basing assumptions on Dunn or Teix coming is like basing a plan on Johnson being fit for a season, spectacularly unlikely. Also, unless we make another trade losing Millege leaves us without a centre fielder on the books.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 17, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

That last sentence of mine was poorly written and misleading. I meant, "I'd be happy with Milledge in center and Rocco paralysis-free (at home)."

I apologize for the confusion.

Actually, though, it brings up a point. Do people really think, with all of the issues on this team, that Milledge in center all year is a top concern? It looked like he was improving later in the season.

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If you want Milledge in center why sign Rocco?

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 17, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

>NOW how much would you pay?

I'm not paying jack. I just don't have the patience at this point in my life to wait five years for this team to grow a sack. Just like the posters who object to Man-ny, they seem to have lots of time ahead of them. Too old for that, and it's already been four years, going on five now. Like RHCP say, 'Ain't never been a better time -- than right now'

Posted by: Brue | December 17, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Jeez, is there an echo in here?

Sorry 'bout that, soundbloke. You made your point better than I.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 17, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Ah JiM, what fun is the blogosphere if you can't project 4 or 5 hypotheticals deep??

Yeah, I'm ahead of myself on Johnson, but I agree with others that the KJ-to-outfield move is posturing to keep his trade value up, should everything ATL has going fall into place.

Soundbloke - assuming we need to use Lastings as trade fodder for something (which really is a hypothetical assumption), couldn't AK play CF (or a Kearns/Harris platoon)? He's got the range and arm, and his decline in power numbers wouldn't hurt as much if he was flanked by Dukes and Willingham.

Posted by: natinbeantown | December 17, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

The reason I personally don't like it is because with such a young staff, and with Willingham in left, you want someone with good range, which Milledge would have if he could ever get a decent read on the ball. I'd love to see him in left field ahead of Willingham. Maybe it's not the biggest concern but I favour the trade for a guy like Gonzalez. I do agree there are bigger deals to address though. Our rotation really is not receiving enough attention this off season.

Posted by: soundbloke | December 17, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Here are a few hundred words from JiM's favorite espn.com columnist

Sources: Teixeira to Orioles unlikely
By Buster Olney
ESPN The Magazine

Unless free agent Mark Teixeira is willing to give the Orioles a major hometown discount, it does not appear he will be playing in Baltimore.

The Orioles have stood by their initial offer and have not upgraded it, and sources say that the other teams involved in the bidding -- the Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels and Washington Nationals -- have gone beyond Baltimore's proposal for the slugging first baseman.

Teixeira, 28, is considered one of the top unsigned free agents. He batted .308 with 33 home runs, 121 RBIs and a .552 slugging percentage for the Angels and Atlanta Braves last season.

The only way the Orioles can be considered a serious player for Teixeira now, sources say, would be if the Maryland native were to take their offer, which is believed to be for seven years and about $150 million.

"The Orioles are out of it, unless Teixeira really, really wants to play there," said one source.

According to MLB.com, the Nationals' offer stands at $160 million for eight years. During last week's winter meetings in Las Vegas, the Angels made an eight-year pitch to Teixeira's camp.

The New York Yankees, meanwhile, came into the offseason focused on upgrading their pitching, and have spent $243 million on CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett. But they are not seriously engaged in the Teixeira talks at this point. According to a source close to the negotiations, the Yankees have not taken the step that the Red Sox, Angels, Nationals and Orioles have taken -- the Yankees have not even made an offer on the first baseman.

Although the Red Sox are considered among the front-runners for Teixeira, they won't offer him a 10-year deal, principal owner John Henry said, according to the Boston Herald.

Asked if the Red Sox would rule out offering a free agent a guaranteed contract longer than any other in franchise history, Henry, without naming names, made it clear that won't happen, according to the Herald.

"Yes," Henry responded in an e-mail, according to the Herald. "The Red Sox effectively had a 10-year deal with a player determined not to live up to his contract. A lot can change over 10 years, for both sides."

Manny Ramirez, who had an eight-year contract with the Red Sox with two one-year team options, effectively forced a trade out of Boston last summer. He wound up having two highly productive months with the Dodgers and helped Los Angeles reach the playoffs.

Buster Olney is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.

Posted by: leetee1955 | December 17, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

What fun would the baseball offseason be, for that matter!

You're right. I, for one, love the "What if picked up...?" discussions. Plese don't consider my clarification a rebuke.

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Ah JiM, what fun is the blogosphere if you can't project 4 or 5 hypotheticals deep??

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 17, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

ESPN has an article up saying that the Orioles are probably out of the Race for Tex.

Any guess on how long it takes ESPN to report that the Nats are out of it as well?

Posted by: TimDz | December 17, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

New post!

Posted by: leetee1955 | December 17, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't, for a second, consider trading Milledge for Johnson even up. Milledge is a potential star, is young, affordable, and very much a part of the plan. He's improved a lot in center field and I think another year there will make him at least average in that position.
Jeeves

Posted by: jcampbell1 | December 17, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

leetee and TimDz, the Olney (whatever) piece is the one that I linked to above.

JiM, I did take your home meaning on the Rocco comment and thought that your writing on it was just fine, FWIW.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 17, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I'd love to hear everyones opinions on what position each of our outfielders are capable of playing. My thoughts;

Milledge, LF & CF (minus defender at CF)
Willingham, LF (RF as a minus defender?)
Dukes, LF, CF, RF
Kearns, LF & RF
Pena, LF (minus defender even there)
*Dunn, LF & 1B (minus at LF, ??? at 1B)

Playing an outfield of Dunn or Willingham/Milledge/Dukes is great offensively, but a disaster for defense. Our best defensive outfield would be Milledge/Dukes/Kearns, but that is an offensive dud.

Can Milledge play RF or is his arm too weak? Swapping Dukes and Milledge next to Dunn or Willingham would help make up for the limited range in LF, but is Millege in RF even worse? If we do that are we better off shipping Milledge for a 2B or SP and hoping Kearns can glove makes up for his bat.

Posted by: estuartj | December 17, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

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