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Contemplating a Johnson Trade

The two prospects being discussed in the potential Nick Johnson trade with Florida are Ryan Tucker and Aaron Thompson. Both are former first-rounders drafted in 2005, and both are starting pitchers. It's telling about this organization's philosophy that pitchers -- despite the minor league depth at that position, and despite the dearth of prospects elsewhere -- would be the target here. It's conceivable, of course, that either of these players, if acquired, could be groomed for bullpen roles. Same goes for any other pitcher who doesn't crack the Chosen Five, as we've seen plenty of times.

Tucker is a hard thrower who'd spent most the season of the disabled list with a knee injury. He still needs to develop his secondary pitches, and though he's always been highly-ranked as a prospect, he hasn't put up good numbers in his brief time this year with Class AAA New Orleans. Tucker had a cameo at the big league level with the Marlins last year, going 2-3 with an 8.27 ERA in 13 games (six starts). Most troubling for Tucker are the walk numbers. For his minor league career, he's averaged four walks per nine innings.

Thompson was drafted straight out of high school, like Tucker. His progression hasn't been as rapid; this is his second full season in Class AA ball. His current numbers with Jacksonville, in the Southern League: 20 starts, 5-9, 4.11 ERA.

By Chico Harlan  |  July 31, 2009; 12:37 PM ET
 
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Next: Beimel Traded to Rockies (Updated)

Comments

I don't know about these guys ... but I suppose you might as well stock up the minors with pitchers.

Posted by: periculum | July 31, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

New posted:

I hope that the Lerner's do not go higher than $15M for Strasburg. The most ever given to a #1 overall was Prior with a little over $10M. Increasing this amount to $15M is more than enough, especially considering that the contract will be a MLB contract. And don't forget the implications to caving and paying $25M this year for a pitcher...that will end up being $30M+ next year for an every day player.

I was looking at Baseball America's Top 10 Prospect list for each organization the other day and noticed that they have a list of the top bonuses each club has paid out to draft picks. Take a look through those names and numbers if you want to see just how little correlation there is between spending a lot on a draft pick and getting an all-star major leaguer.


Posted by: NeedANatsFix | July 31, 2009 12:47 PM

Posted by: NeedANatsFix | July 31, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

It's a tough call without knowing much about them, but I do think that at least one of them, probably Tucker, would come over with the intention of putting them in the bullpen. I think Rizzo wants to create competition for the closer role (yes, periculum, Storen looks great, but he's in A ball right now). Just guessing, but that's how I'd read that trade.

I'd probably say Yes to that trade, especially given Nick may turn out to be a short-term rental.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 31, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I refuse to vote, because if there was a second player dealt in, the answer might be yes. If it's 1-for-1 the answer is no.

Posted by: Section506 | July 31, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

The Marlins already have enough ownage of the Nats. It would even more galling with TWO ex-Nats leading the beat downs.

Posted by: leetee1955 | July 31, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Johnson for Tucker straight up seems to be the equivalent of letting Nick Walk in Sep.

Posted by: Section506 | July 31, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I'd trade 2 months of Nick for either one of these guys in a hearbeat. Not getting anything in return for Nick would be just devastating. Rizzo has to move Nick and Beimel by end of day.

Posted by: hoo93 | July 31, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Tucker can develop a second pitch and some control, maybe not. Maybe Thompson's changeup (rated the best in FLA's system by Baseball America, for what that's worth) is enough to make him a good major leaguer, maybe not. Either way, Nick Johnson only helps us this year. Based on what he's said about the contract he wants, we're not getting any discount to keep him so it's just as likely we resign him if he stays as if he goes. Take the prospect(s) and you have a chance at improving your future. If you don't take the prospects, you get nothing at all.

Make the deal!

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | July 31, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

From Foxsports.com:

After days of debate, the Seattle Mariners have traded left-handed pitcher Jarrod Washburn to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for left-hander Luke French and minor-league prospect Mauricio Robles.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 31, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Either? No. Both? Yes.

Chico, once you complete your course in Journalistic Ethics (I see you're doing the take home exam this week) let me suggest you learn how to construct a poll.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | July 31, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Other people have touched on this, but my issue with the team IF they fail to sign Strasburg is - then why draft him? You knew it was going to be outrageously expensive, and you made a conscious decision to draft him INSTEAD of taking Ackley and then busting slot on the 10th pick and spending your resources that way.

That's a long way of saying, in answer to the question about what's the number they could offer where I wouldn't be upset if they didn't sign him, I would have to be absolutely appalled at Strasburg and Boras. I would probably not freak out if Strasburg walked away from a $25 million offer.

Note, I'm not saying he's worth that, or that this was necessarily the best way to spend $25 million. But, to me, the decision to draft him should have (obviously) been accompanied by a commitment to sign him.

Posted by: Section220 | July 31, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

i voted against the proposed trade and this is why.....
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=crasnick_jerry&page=starting9/090729

Posted by: surly_w | July 31, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Carrying over from the Strasburg poll...

I'd be OK with them not going over $20 million. That doubles the best deal. It's still sickens me to think that they could pay $20 for an unproven prospect, but it would sicken me more if we don't make a legit offer. If $20 million doesn't cut it. I'm ok with walking away.

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | July 31, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

If Rizzo really is looking to move Nick this is a good time because he hasn't yet been injured. I would rather get back position players than more pitching, though.

Posted by: leetee1955 | July 31, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

... I voted No. It's one thing to focus on pitching, young pitching, which I think is the right way to go. But it's an entirely different matter when you head down the road to becoming overloaded with them.

Keep Nick J.

Go Nats!!

Posted by: natscanreduxit | July 31, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Hey Eclipse -- Your petulance is getting old. I'm a journalist and I can say for certain that Chico is, pure and simple, a damn good and honest reporter. Give it a rest, please. And get some fresh air now and then, eh?

Posted by: hooverama | July 31, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

This just in: Prospects don't always pan out. In other news, that panhandler who promised to mail you the $20 probably won't.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 31, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

surly_w, you can compile an ever better list of trades for prospects who became stars (John Smoltz for Doyle Alexander, Joe Carter and Mel Hall for Rick Sutcliffe, Brady Anderson and Curt Schilling for Mike Boddicker, Jeff Bagwell for Larry Andersen). You can also trade for veterans and see one guy get better and the other guy fade (Frank Robinson for Milt Pappas and two other guys, the trade that brought Roger Maris to the Yankees). You just don't know. But this team is in last place now and needs more young talent, so I'd take the shot.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 31, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

And there is such a thing as not enough shortstops, but there is no such thing as too much pitching.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 31, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

We should get what we can get for NJ. Too much pitching? There is no such thing.

People remember - the Marlins are only getting two months of Nick, then he will be a FA with no compensation picks for the team that loses him. So would you rather have a couple Marlin farmhands or nothing.

And does anyone really believe Nick can finish the year healthy? I don't.

Posted by: sec307 | July 31, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Surly_W: I don't think this qualifies as a "highly acclaimed" trade. We're not giving up a star, we're giving up a mediocre, injury prone veteran who is a free agent in 2 months anyway. If we were looking at trading a Zimmerman(n), I would agree with you. But we're talking about renting out Johnson for decent prospects; not a centerpiece of the future for highly touted unknowns. I don't think this Crasnik article should be considered applicable to this situation.

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | July 31, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

baltova1

i see your point. but why are the marlins willing to give up what they're offering for what would probably be two months of NJ knowing they could have to face the prospects for several years to come? what about their so-called super 1B prospect gaby sanchez? there is something that just doesn't seem right, that's all.

Posted by: surly_w | July 31, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Would you trade a young outfielder hitting .258 with little power for a solid starter who was 18-8 last year?
Lou Brock for Ernie Broglio.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 31, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

surly_w, I would agree with you but would it make sense to move a guy who hasn't proved to stay healthy consistently? This would be a different story if he played a full year a couple times but he hasn't been able to do that. You have to make the trade for prospects and the marlins are offering 2! Thats a no brainer. We run the risk of getting nothing because all it takes for Nick is one bad play.

If Nick is still with us after 4pm, then we have to pray that he does not get injured for another year and if he doesn't sign with us... We would have just screwed ourselves over. No prospects and no Nick = worst case scenario.

Posted by: hleeo3 | July 31, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Two months of NJohnson for two young pitchers (1RH & 1LH) with options? Mr. Rizzo, take the deal, don't look behind door #2.

Posted by: BinM | July 31, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Is the trade Nick for both? If so, the question should be nick for both and not either! Tucker is intriguing and Thompson is a throwaway

Posted by: hoo93 | July 31, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I believe the Marlins are trying to make a run for the playoffs- they are 2nd int he NL East and only 3 games back in the wildcard. Putting a .400 OBP player ahead of Hanley Ramirez in the lineup helps them score more runs. Their current 1B can also play third, and that moves Bonafacio to a utility role where he belongs. They can use 2 months of Nick Johnson to help them in a playoff race, which is why he is more valuable to them than to the Nats for the rest of this year. That makes it worthwhile to give up a prospect or 2- especially when the Marlins have a deep system. They have guys ahead and behind either of these prospects and won't miss them as much as some other teams. That's also why "you can never have too much pitching"- it's always good to be able to make this sort of deal and feel no painful shortage in a couple years!

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | July 31, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

On the (possible) NJ trade: I lean toward taking it. As noted by others (1) NJ is brittle and unlikely to finish the season healthy; and (2) he's a FA at the end of the year. He either leaves or (gulp) comes back to us. In the meantime, we've stockpiled another arm (or two?) that might help. OTOH, there's no depth at 1B and NJ has been a great Expo/Nat and it would be sad to see him leave.

On the SS negotiations, I think the advice of (Boswell?) is right on - leak the offer to the media, let everyone know that you offered this guy a fair deal and if he still balks at taking it, then so be it. At some point, you have to stand on some principle and not give in to agents like Boras. Plus, as Boswell noted, no #1 overall pitcher is in the HoF, much less even close to being considered for it. While the organization would suffer some embarrassment by not signing him, if the offer is fair and he still balks, it's not our fault.

Posted by: terrapin31590us | July 31, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Just forwarding a Marlins fan's take on it, from MLB Trade Rumors:

"Easily the best part of adding Johnson:
NO MORE BONIFACIO!!!! YAY!!!
Any Marlin fan should be absolutely ecstatic to get that loser out of the lineup."

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 31, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

>Would you trade a young outfielder hitting .258 with little power for a solid starter who was 18-8 last year?
Lou Brock for Ernie Broglio.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa

That was before MRIs>

Posted by: Brue | July 31, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I voted yes, with the understanding that the Nats are in fact in line to get a second player in the deal.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | July 31, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

surly_w, you ask good questions and I think others have answered them. I would add that, for some reason, the Marlins always seem to have an excess of good arms. They can use that surplus almost at will.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 31, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

so can nick pass a physical?

Posted by: longterm | July 31, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I would trade Nick Johnson for a box of balls and a Dippin Dots stand.

Posted by: hackeynut | July 31, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

My suspicion is that Rizzo believes that he can resign Nick Johnson ... Johnson has been treated reasonably well by the organization ... given the injuries etc. He didn't lose his starting job to Dunn even though his power stroke still hasn't quite recovered from the last injury. How can he (Johnson) be sure he would even end up as a starter with another franchise next year.

And like some of the others Johnson can see the potential on the horizon ... and how reluctant Rizzo when it comes to trading people he has come to rely on. This isn't Pittsburgh, the Nats are not, at least at this point, a farm club for wealthier franchises.

The problem is ... now that things are finally settling out ... will ownership blow the whole thing up?

Posted by: periculum | July 31, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

BTW, it stinks that we didn't sign Orlando Cabrera, which we could easily have done. He turned out to be another good veteran to trade.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | July 31, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Random thought. Surprising to see so many teams trading for starting pitching when Daniel Cabrera is available.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 31, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

More bad new for the Padres: the Dodgers acquired George Sherrill for Josh Bell and righty Steve Johnson.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 31, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Why deal a front ranking major league first baseman like Johnson, even if he is in his walk year, for a couple of mediocre pitching prospects with high ERAs and no command? Are the Marlins going to trick the Nats yet again into taking substandard, possibly injured, pitchers like they did with Olsen? Please don't pull the trigger on this trade, Mike Rizzo. We don't need more pitching prospects, we need major-league ready position players especially middle infielders who can both hit and catch a ball.

Posted by: mx_heinrich | July 31, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

You got to make the deal. I like Nike, but he won't be a type A free agent next year because it is based on 2 years average and he was hurt last.

You need to get what you can.

Just do it.

Posted by: tcostant | July 31, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

"I hope that the Lerner's do not go higher than $15M for Strasburg. The most ever given to a #1 overall was Prior with a little over $10M. Increasing this amount to $15M is more than enough, especially considering that the contract will be a MLB contract. And don't forget the implications to caving and paying $25M this year for a pitcher...that will end up being $30M+ next year for an every day player. "

I completely agree with this statement. Any Nats fans that think we should break the bank for this guy is crazy.

The guys who are trying to say we shouldn't have drafted him in the first place are irrational fans. It is real easy to say this now in Heinz-sight, Morons.

Posted by: dominic10464 | July 31, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Tricked into Olsen and Willingham for Bonaficio? That was the Lerner's flexing their financial advantage over the Marlins.

Posted by: longterm | July 31, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm curious how that Marlins fan thinks Bonifacio comes out of the lineup if they get NJ? Is the guy they currently have playing first really a 3rd baseman who will move back there when NJ arrives and force Bonifacio to the bench ?

Posted by: dabagley | July 31, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Type A? No. He won't even be a Type B.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 31, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Better players than NJ are being dealt for middle-level prospects. TEX will not deal its #1 prospect to get back _Roy Halladay_. Might as well keep NJ. Besides, he can actually catch the ball, and he hits OK, and he's not that old, and he's not drawing a ton of interest -- exactly why do we want to deal him?

Posted by: gbooksdc | July 31, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Apologies if this has already been posted, I didn't see it - but, here's one man's thoughts on the Nats' situation:

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/getting-nothing-dun

Posted by: Section220 | July 31, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Right now, I would trade Nick Johnson for a Marlins team jacket or maybe a Billy Marlin BobbleHead doll. There is no reason to keep the guy, and if they can get something for him they should TAKE IT!

Posted by: dfh21 | July 31, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

tcostant: "You got to make the deal. I like Nike..."

I like Nike too, but I prefer Reebok.

Sorry, couldn't resist... ;)

Posted by: dabagley | July 31, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

"I'm curious how that Marlins fan thinks Bonifacio comes out of the lineup if they get NJ?"

The guy currently starting at first: Jorge Cantu can play 3B pretty well. Johnson moves in at first.
Cantu has 27 doubles, 10 home runs hitting .287.

Posted by: periculum | July 31, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

keep Johnson and re-sign him unless you're going to bring in somebody better. At some point the Lerners and Kasten have to realize that those season ticket holder bills that come in each November are not going to be paid to watch the likes of Wil Nieves not block the plate and Anderson Hernandez both a little league-makeable double play.

This team needs to be respectable at the major league level. Period. I'm sick of hearing about prospects. Garrett Mock, Matt Chico, Livan Hernandez. Who would you want? Lastings Milledge, Ryan Church, Brian Schneider. Who would you want?

Keep and extend Johnson and Beimel. The logic of trading them totally escapes me.

Posted by: raymitten | July 31, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Ok. One more time.

Nick can't help the club. He's only here for August and September, and then he's gone.

Even on the Marlins, he can't hurt them--they beat the Nats like rented mules anyway.

It's two months of Nick Johnson NOW, when they are going to lose 100 games if they had Joe Hardy, for two guys who might have some value for the next few years. And the Marlins will pay some of his salary for this year.

There is NO downside to trading him. None.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 31, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Plus, as Boswell noted, no #1 overall pitcher is in the HoF, much less even close to being considered for it. While the organization would suffer some embarrassment by not signing him, if the offer is fair and he still balks, it's not our fault.

Posted by: terrapin31590us | July 31, 2009 1:16 PM
___________________________________

That logic only works if you think no #1 overall SP _could ever_ be in the HoF. Otherwise, it just means the pick is due. Also, SS will have value -- he can be dealt. Don't sign him, don't enhance organizational value (NTM all the neg PR you'd generate). Fact is, Nats ownership is know as Thrifty (as in Cheap) ownership. People won't pay premium dollars for a cheap product, so Nats management needs to do what it takes to shed that label. Say what you will about Angelos, he isn't cheap.

Posted by: gbooksdc | July 31, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

gbook: Cantu would play third and Bonafacio, who is lousy, goes to AAA. Bowden pulled a nice deal grabbing Olsen and Willingham for that kid. Nice wheels, nothing else.

Posted by: dfh21 | July 31, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

"Keep and extend Johnson and Beimel. The logic of trading them totally escapes me.

Posted by: raymitten | July 31, 2009"

I think Rizzo agrees with you or has up until now. I think it would be in Johnson's best interests to stay as elaborated above. I suspect that the brain trust has finally decided to move Dunn to first opening up an outfield position ... probably for Dukes.

The question Rizzo likely has been pondering: Dukes or Johnson? Dukes or Johnson? What would you pick?

Posted by: periculum | July 31, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Chico - you don't do Tucker justice. His stats this year are skewed because of pitching with a bum knee in April. His AA numbers last year were outstanding (ERA under 2 and opponents hitting under .200 against him).

Posted by: kfisher32 | July 31, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm no fan of the Lerners as owners, but I suspect they will be slammed no matter how the Strasburg situation plays out. If they do not sign him (no matter how high the demand), there will be a chorus of ridicule. If they do sign him (for a Boras approved amount), I expect to hear a lot about the idiocy of paying that much for a pitching prospect.

Yes, that's what they signed up for when they drafted Strasburg. But imagine the reaction had the not drafted him.

This is way more fun than all those years of not having a team!

Posted by: KenNat | July 31, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

"The guys who are trying to say we shouldn't have drafted him in the first place are irrational fans. It is real easy to say this now in Heinz-sight, Morons."

Heinz-sight???

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | July 31, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Johnson has stated over and over again that he wants to play for a winner? Does that sound like the Nationals?

Posted by: soundbloke | July 31, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Ray, I agree with respectable, but Nick does nothing toward that for the next two months. And the list of has-beens and never-wases has me confused--are you saying they would be respectable??

*************
This team needs to be respectable at the major league level. Period. I'm sick of hearing about prospects. Garrett Mock, Matt Chico, Livan Hernandez. Who would you want? Lastings Milledge, Ryan Church, Brian Schneider. Who would you want?
Keep and extend Johnson and Beimel. The logic of trading them totally escapes me.
Posted by: raymitten | July 31, 2009 1:26 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 31, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

> Keep and extend Johnson and Beimel. The logic of trading them totally escapes me.

Guess you didn't understand the Mike Stanton trades and re-signing either, then.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | July 31, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

No, but his team sucks and his showplace ballpark is 2/3 empty without Yankees and Red Sox fans.
*************
People won't pay premium dollars for a cheap product, so Nats management needs to do what it takes to shed that label. Say what you will about Angelos, he isn't cheap.
Posted by: gbooksdc | July 31, 2009 1:28 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 31, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Heinz-sight???

Is that like beer goggles?

Posted by: baltova1 | July 31, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

> Heinz-sight???

Pittsburgh will be tasting one of its 57 flavors of that as soon as Milledge takes the field tonight.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | July 31, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

It's two months of Nick Johnson NOW, when they are going to lose 100 games if they had Joe Hardy, for two guys who might have some value for the next few years. And the Marlins will pay some of his salary for this year.

There is NO downside to trading him. None.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 31, 2009 1:27 PM
___________________________________________

Bowden mistakenly thought that action equalled progress (someone else expressed it way better). This would be action without progress. The key words are "might have some value for the next few years". If that is true, fine. If you're talking about warm bodies who would clear waivers within 12 months, then I truly fail to see the point -- especially when you will weaken an already weak defense and create even more losses from games that could have been won if the Nats would just cacth the ball. It matters whether the Nats are bad or truly awful over the last two months, because that will help define the team, and management will make moves based on that definition. You don't want to make moves you feel pressure to make, or that you are panicked into making.

Organizations are keeping their top prospects. I think the highest prospect I saw dealt was his team's #6-rated prospect. Which translates to not making the 25-man roster. (Five years avg career times top five prospects.) The Marlins specialize in getting the most out of inexpensive players. If these guys are cheap AND can play, they're staying in FLA. Since the names they're talking about are cheap, I'm thinking they can't play.

Posted by: gbooksdc | July 31, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

"Johnson has stated over and over again that he wants to play for a winner? Does that sound like the Nationals?

Posted by: soundbloke | July 31, 2009"

Maybe not ... then again you never know ... I really like Rizzo's approach to this ... I truly am hoping he gets to keep the job.

Posted by: periculum | July 31, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Keep and extend Johnson and Beimel. The logic of trading them totally escapes me.

This team stinks. It needs more young talent that's ready to play in the big leagues now or soon. Johnson and Beimel are 30+ and free agents to be. You give up two guys you might lose anyway in a couple of months and get some young guys who can make you better.

Is that enough logic for you?

Posted by: baltova1 | July 31, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Re-signing NJ and trading him are two different conversations. We can do both. So why not get what you can get, then bring him back next year if you so choose.

As far as the rational goes with Johnson and Beimel - they are free agents at the end of the year so what's more important - two more months of them or a potential career with a prospect. Trading Johnson wouldn't hurt the lineup as much as trading Dunn or Willingham and the bullpen sucks with or without Beimel. Plus Grizzly Joe as all but said he wants to return to the Dodgers next year. At least with Beimel, we'd get a pick, but not with Johnson.

So deal them away. But I am staunchly opposed to dealing anyone under contract for next year not named Guzman (who I think can be a better than average 2B and 8 hole hitter next year).

I do not think this team will or should lose 100 games next year. With some free agent pick-ups, they should be able to sniff .500. The offense has been relatively decent all year and with the maturation of the young starters and a competant GM assembling a bullpen in the offseason, this team will be much better.

Posted by: sec307 | July 31, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Signing Strasburg (or not): the Lerners have to deal with the DC fans, true, but they have to deal with the other 29 teams, and the league office, and the union, and their own players, and if they can only please some of them, it probably ain't going to be the fans.

As has been noted, they can make money off this team without spending $50 on payroll.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 31, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Why keep Johnson? Besides to get injured again, he is a on-base machine and he will be retired by the time the Nationals are perennial contenders.
Probably will not be a Type B. Meaning we get nothing if he moves on.

Baseball America has ranked Tucker (22 years old, not broken) in top 10 of the Marlins DEEP farm system. Trade him, I would watch sloppy baseball knowing we got a future but right now our future is in Potomac, Hagerstown, GCL, etc. That is 2-4 years away... Harrisburg and Syracuse are in need of good, decent talent.

Posted by: hleeo3 | July 31, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

ok, $50,000,000.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 31, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I say no to the Johnson deal. Marrero isn't ready yet, so I would entertain signing Johnson for another year, if they can get it done. I know that gambling on Nick staying healthy is a risk, but I'm inclined to think it is finally worth that risk. My toes are crossed on this one though.

Posted by: cokedispatch | July 31, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Sec3mysofa: everything you say re: Orioles is true. But they're also much further along in terms of an organization. Bergesen, Reimold, Weiters, Adam Jones -- all young players the Nats would love to have. I'll take Andy McPhail and Trembley over Rizzo and Riggleman any day.

I'm not an O's fan, but my point regarding Angelos is that, when you're thinking about an O's game, you know they're at least trying to put a winning team on the field, and after quite awhile, they're progressing on that front. Can you really say that about the Lerners? Do you think winning matters to them more than money? I sure don't.

Posted by: gbooksdc | July 31, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

What I'm saying is that the Nationals have a history of trading major league talent for minor league 'prospects' that has the team scraping by with castoffs and rejects. Livan Hernandez is far from a star pitcher, but he has pitched somewhat effectively in the major leagues since 2006 when he was dealt. Neither Mock nor Chico have. Ryan Church and Brian Scheider are solid major league players, and were 1/4 of our starting line up and were traded for a 'prospect with tools' that could neither hit nor field at an acceptable major league level, no matter how much snake oil the team tried to sell.

You're assuming that Nick Johnson is only here for two months and won't be resigned. Unless the team has a plan to get another major league caliber first baseman in here, I think it is unfathomable that Nick Johnson be traded rather than resigned.

At some point, someone has to realize that people are paying major league prices in 2009 to watch ballgames at Nationals Park, and the team has an obligation to its season ticket holders to field a team that is respectable at any point they are selling tickets. Its arguably not even at that level with Johnson and Beimel. Getting rid of them for prospects from the Marlins that likely won't pan out anyway isn't going to help.

Posted by: raymitten | July 31, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

gbooksdc, speaking for myself, I don't give a [RF] if they "look like they're trying" to win. There is no try. They are losing. They will not win with Nick, so there is no downside to No-Nick. And he's not that good a glove, anymore, anyway.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 31, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

The Marlins getting Nick would be a wash defensively for Florida. Bonifacio has made 14 E's in 84 G at 3B this year. Cantu, who was moved to 1B this year because he apparently couldn't play 3B, has made 35 E's in 203 G at the position. The Fish might better better OF by the trade, but the defense most likely won't be.

Posted by: leetee1955 | July 31, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

And can we quit with the "Nick is a good defender" line of arguing? He is giving runs away in the field this year - the stats don't lie (much). He has little range and can't seem to dig out balls in the dirt. Yes Dunn sucks there, but why not give him the rest of this season and the offseason to actually learn the position. He's a big target over there and can move around more than you think. He's never going to be a gold-glover, but at least his power numbers are better than Omar Visquel's (NJ's 6 hrs are embarrassing for a 1B).

And again, trading him now doesn't mean they can't bring him back next year if they want to.

Two months, people. Two months.

Posted by: sec307 | July 31, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

The 'logic' works great if you're sitting at home keeping your money in your pocket until that magical moment in 2025 that the team becomes competitive. Not so much if you're paying $15K a year to the team to watch Anderson Hernandez botch simple double plays or Wil Nieves allow a run to slide between his legs.

Posted by: raymitten | July 31, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Signing Strasburg (or not): the Lerners have to deal with the DC fans, true, but they have to deal with the other 29 teams, and the league office, and the union, and their own players, and if they can only please some of them, it probably ain't going to be the fans.

As has been noted, they can make money off this team without spending $50 on payroll.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 31, 2009 1:40 PM
_______________________________________

And I think that sums it up: they SHOULD only care about the fans. If there wealth gives them a competitive advantage, they SHOULD press that advantage. But they really care about fitting in: that's why Bud picked 'em. They won't rock the boat, they won't upset the salary structure (if you think the Lerners offered Teixeira a deal they though he might seriously accept, you're terribly naive), and they're cheap (call it what it is -- they tried to get out of paying their rent).

DC's not a bad baseball town. It's a cursed baseball town. Cubs can't win a WS but one every 100 years or so; DC can't get a ownership group that puts winning first, EVER.

Posted by: gbooksdc | July 31, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

If I were presented with this trade I would pass and take the compenstation pick for Nick after he leaves as a free agent.

Posted by: markfd | July 31, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Just to add on a bit -- I heard about this great future prospect stuff when Lastings Milledge was traded here for 1/4 of the major league starting roster. How'd that work out?

Posted by: raymitten | July 31, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

And Marerro may never be ready ... when and if they draft Harper I have to wonder about that guy playing catcher in the major leagues.

It may be that Dunn will end up as the 1st baseman of the immediate future ... his batting average is way up over his lifetime .249 this year. He appears to be improving at the plate.

Posted by: periculum | July 31, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

"You're assuming that Nick Johnson is only here for two months and won't be resigned. Unless the team has a plan to get another major league caliber first baseman in here, I think it is unfathomable that Nick Johnson be traded rather than resigned."

A-[ab]GAIN, THESE ARE UNRELATED. NOTHING TO DO WITH EACH OTHER. SEPARATE. DISTINCT. TWO DIFFERENT THINGS. APPLES AND ORANGES. BOTH OF THESE THINGS ARE NOT LIKE THE OTHER.

They can trade him now and sign him later, just as easily (maybe moreso) as keep him now and sign him later.

I wouldn't sign him, but that's just me.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 31, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I'd say that worked out pretty darn good (striking heroic Capt. Morgan Pose).
**********
Just to add on a bit -- I heard about this great future prospect stuff when Lastings Milledge was traded here for 1/4 of the major league starting roster. How'd that work out?
Posted by: raymitten | July 31, 2009 1:48 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 31, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

"Organizations are keeping their top prospects. I think the highest prospect I saw dealt was his team's #6-rated prospect. Which translates to not making the 25-man roster. (Five years avg career times top five prospects.)"

That's not really how the math works. People get traded, and prospects might be in the farm system for years. Assuming that any prospect below #6 won't make the majors assumes that all systems are equal and that the lists of prospects turn over entirely every five years.

Posted by: Section220 | July 31, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

"DC's not a bad baseball town. It's a cursed baseball town. Cubs can't win a WS but one every 100 years or so; DC can't get a ownership group that puts winning first, EVER."

ONLY ONE World Series Win in 100 years. Number of pennants playoff appearances can be counted on less than one hand ... number of teams lost: 2. Cursed doesn't even come close.

Posted by: periculum | July 31, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

@markfd: If NJ leaves, it is doubtful he will be a Type-B free agent, meaning the Nats get zippy in terms of picks.

Posted by: TimDz | July 31, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

There won't be any compensation pick. Nick is not a Type B free agent, and unless he gets really hot, won't be.
*********
If I were presented with this trade I would pass and take the compenstation pick for Nick after he leaves as a free agent.

Posted by: markfd | July 31, 2009 1:48 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 31, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

"I'd say that worked out pretty darn good (striking heroic Capt. Morgan Pose)."

I don't think anyone is unhappy with the "throw-in" former 1st rounder lefty Burnett either. He looks to be in the bullpen next year.

Posted by: periculum | July 31, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

raymitten, I agree with you but Nick Johnson has never, ever played a full season of baseball. In NJ's 8 seasons he has played only 3 of those seasons over 100 games. The most being 147 in 2006. If you get two prospects for that its a steal.
I would take my chances with 2 prospects and Dunn @ 1st, it's a position he will learn but it should get the job done plus Dukes will get his chance back in right field. We gain nothing keeping Nick. We will lose 100 games with or w/o him. This season is done and next season depends on how much the Lerners will spend. I heard O-Dawg is on their radar again because of the failed experiment with Alberto.

Posted by: hleeo3 | July 31, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Why do people think that the Nats can even re-sign him?

If has value as an OPS guy, then there will be other teams look at him. Nick, as a guy that has played in October before, probably wants to play in October again. So the Nats would have to overpay for him to stay put.

Overpaying him would be a terrible idea!

Lets think back to the Soriano situation a few years ago. Not trading him was a mistake, but letting him walk was the RIGHT decision. Just as the Cubs ownership.

Not trading NJ would be a mistake, but resigning/overpaying him would be an even worse mistake.

Trade him.

Posted by: MadmanDrummerBummer | July 31, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Just heard Capt. Morgan on Snyders station.

What a great job Nyjer!!

It was to bad you had to talk to that Nationals hater Kevin Sheehan.

Posted by: CBinDC | July 31, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

> Just to add on a bit -- I heard about this great future prospect stuff when Lastings Milledge was traded here for 1/4 of the major league starting roster. How'd that work out?

Got us Nyjer Morgan, so I'd say it worked out pretty well. You're saying you'd rather have Church and Schneider now instead of Morgan?

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | July 31, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

I would think this is obvious, but a guy doesn't have to be a "top prospect" to have a chance to help this team. Case in point: Jesus Flores. Make the deal.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 31, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

gbooksdc, speaking for myself, I don't give a [RF] if they "look like they're trying" to win. There is no try. They are losing. They will not win with Nick, so there is no downside to No-Nick. And he's not that good a glove, anymore, anyway.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 31, 2009 1:46 PM
________________________________________

You're right, they will not win with NJ, But they will lose more with Dunn at 1B. It's not like he's never played 1B before, that's why we know he's bad at it. Dunn's played something like 136 games at 1B (adding in my head from baseball reference). He's proven what he can do at the position.

But when you say NJ's not that good a glove anymore, and that his 6 HR are an embarrassment, you are absolutely right. The telling thing he that he is STILL an improvement over the Nats alternatives. Bottom line (at least as far as I can see): if you're not enhancing the team, why deal him? You might as well release him if all you have is a puncher's chance (or less) of getting back even a replacement-level player.

Personally, I think an organizational failure to recognize the value of defense is what will ultimate retard this team's progression. Name a consistent winner who can't field. OTOH, the 67 White Sox contended without being able to hit A LICK, but they had pitching and defense (and scrap) in spades. Same for those mid-60s Dodger teams (they could hit, a little).

I'd like to keep this going, and I'd like to see exactly what Dunn's D numbers are vs. NJ at 1B, but I need to get back to work.

Posted by: gbooksdc | July 31, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

FAnNATION.com from five minutes ago...

"The Marlins are said to be "getting closer" to a deal for Nationals first baseman Nick Johnson. They have been offering pitcher Ryan Tucker. Florida will probably need to add one player to that offer."

Posted by: twinbrook | July 31, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

> I think it is unfathomable that Nick Johnson be traded rather than resigned.

Hard as it may be for you to believe, this is truly a case where you can have your cake and eat it too. There's no reason Johnson can't or won't be signed here as a FA even if he's traded.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | July 31, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

raymitten,

I don't think using a JimBozo trade is your best defense. And does anyone doubt that El Capitan is sexy at the plate?

Posted by: sec307 | July 31, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Something else to consider if Rizzo pulls the trigger on this trade - the Nationals' wouldn't have to "settle" for Dunn at 1B; there is an opening on the 40-man and a couple of fair replacement 1Bmen in SYR in Eldred or Morse.

Posted by: BinM | July 31, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I don't necessarily disagree, but that's magical thinking. You want it, therefore someone else is morally obligated to provide it.
Doesn't work like that. This is a business, and they will do what they will do, and I'll pay to see it, or not.

(And they paid the rent. Please--they were late one time, over a principle I don't happen to agree with, but still.)

DC is not a bad baseball town. It's not a cursed baseball town. It's a football town.

That's not to say it can't become a baseball town, but geez louise, look at the level of argument in *here*. This ain't a baseball town.

***************
And I think that sums it up: they SHOULD only care about the fans. If there wealth gives them a competitive advantage, they SHOULD press that advantage. But they really care about fitting in: that's why Bud picked 'em. They won't rock the boat, they won't upset the salary structure (if you think the Lerners offered Teixeira a deal they though he might seriously accept, you're terribly naive), and they're cheap (call it what it is -- they tried to get out of paying their rent).
DC's not a bad baseball town. It's a cursed baseball town. Cubs can't win a WS but one every 100 years or so; DC can't get a ownership group that puts winning first, EVER.
Posted by: gbooksdc | July 31, 2009 1:48 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 31, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

The difference is, you can spin it to Nick that you are trading him to a playoff contender. Then next year, when the deals he's offered aren't all that great, maybe he re-signs anyway. Didn't Rizzo sort of trade Langerhans to give him a chance to play. Didn't turn out so great for him either.

Posted by: mockcarr | July 31, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

You can't be serious about Dunn at first base. First base is much harder to play than most people realize. Oh well, it'll be "Dr. Strangeglove" until we can make another deal.

Posted by: poncedeleroy | July 31, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

"You're right, they will not win with NJ, But they will lose more with Dunn at 1B."

They can't lose more than they are now. And if they do, what difference does it make? They're either going to be the worst team in baseball with Nick Johnson playing first or the worst team in baseball with Adam Dunn playing first.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 31, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Just to refresh my Strasburg polling question from the previous post - what is the amount that Strasburg and Boras could demand that you think the Lerners should refuse to pay? There's no dispute that the Lerners should expect to overpay for Strasburg. But that wasn't my question. Let's assume for the sake of argument that the Lerners are cheap. Nevertheless, there's got to be a number that the fans could accept. What is it? So far, the general consensus seems to be that if Boras insists on a number much more than $20M, the Lerners would be justified in telling him to pound sand.

Posted by: TomServo | July 31, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Maybe they could trade the Strasburg pick for Teixeira.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 31, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

TomServo, I think there may be no such number.
The fans will forgive and forget, if the team wins. They will find excuses to hate, if the team loses.
Some people will be unhappy if they offer $100,000,000 and he turns it down. Some are offended by the idea of a guy who's never thrown a pitch in pro ball making more money than Oprah.
Personally, I don't think it's about the money, ultimately. If it were, who in the world *wouldn't* take $15,000,000 just for signing?? Boras has an agenda.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 31, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

@ Tom: I agree with the $20 million, but I really believe that Boras will take that. Can you imagine the grief SS would get for NOT taking that type of money?

Posted by: TimDz | July 31, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

raymitten:
"I heard about this great future prospect stuff when Lastings Milledge was traded here for 1/4 of the major league starting roster. How'd that work out?"

Considering Rizzo managed to get Morgan for Milledge, it worked out GREAT!

It's also worth noting that Church flamed-out with the Mets, and Schneider is still hitting weak ground balls to the second baseman.

Re-signing NJ at his current salary desires is out of the question, he was on the DL for all but one month of the last two seasons and he's expressed the desire to seek a raise and a multiple year contract. We've been lucky he has been healthy so far this year, but his formerly decent power is nearly gone. If we wanted him back bad enough, he's going to be on the market for a long time this winter with those demands, and when his price comes way down, they could always re-sign him to a one year, incentive-laden contract to bridge the gap at 1B. Although he wants to play for a winner, so that probably rules that possibility out.

As others have very clearly laid-out, there is NO reason not to take the deal.

Posted by: dabagley | July 31, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the Orioles and Angelos, he offers a good case study for the Lerners. When he first took over, he got involved in everything and spent money like a drunken sailor. The result: the team fell apart and he had trouble getting good management talent. That's an example the Lerners shouldn't follow.

He's now got Andy McPhail running things and letting him make smart moves and the Orioles are looking better. The big question will be, how active will they be in the offseason in adding proven talent to their mix of good young guys?

Both franchises will face that decision in the offseason and it will be interesting to see what they will do.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 31, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Do not - please do not trade NJ!!! Not for this garbage!
There is a strong lineup except SS and 2B. Keep it together!

Posted by: johnbear1 | July 31, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

"I would think this is obvious, but a guy doesn't have to be a "top prospect" to have a chance to help this team. Case in point: Jesus Flores. Make the deal.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 31, 2009"


Even with the history of injuries? I know Nick has had his share as well, but he is at least healthy right now? The last pitcher obtained from the Marlins had injury problems ... and that was Olsen.

Posted by: periculum | July 31, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

The Morgan trade proves my point rather than refutes it. The Morgan trade was not a performance for prospects trade, it was the exact opposite?

I suppose there are people on the Pittsburgh board arguing the 'logic' of getting the 'potential' of Milledge for the current performance of Morgan. But their ballpark is empty all the time too.

Posted by: raymitten | July 31, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

>baltova1

i see your point. but why are the marlins willing to give up what they're offering for what would probably be two months of NJ knowing they could have to face the prospects for several years to come?

Posted by: surly_w

They could be working on a sign-and-trade. 400 posts and nobody's mentioned that. Maybe they get Johnson to sign for the next year or two as a condition of the trade. NJ doesn't have a lot of security, he's not really all that valuable.

Posted by: Brue | July 31, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

"They could be working on a sign-and-trade. 400 posts and nobody's mentioned that. Maybe they get Johnson to sign for the next year or two as a condition of the trade. NJ doesn't have a lot of security, he's not really all that valuable.

Posted by: Brue | July 31, 2009"

Tucker has been out with knee injuries for most of the year. The other guy is "A".

No, I think its straight up.

Posted by: periculum | July 31, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

This is ridiculous. Trade someone. For something.

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | July 31, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

"Maybe they could trade the Strasburg pick for Teixeira."

Draft picks can't be traded per MLB rules, and a drafted player can't be traded for 12 months after he is drafted, so Strasburg would have to sign first, and then be traded next year, and if we can sign him, there's no point in trading him.

Posted by: dabagley | July 31, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

People who think that Nats should keep, and God forbid, re-sign Nick Johnson are smoking hemp. The guy has 1 season in his career with 500 AB's, he is a slap hitting, midling fielding, 15-day DL landing machine and he is 31 years old at season's end. He will very likely never play this well for this many games again. Adios Nick! Have fun on Calle Ocho.

If Rizzo has an offer he had better take it. Dunn can move to first for the rest of the seaosn and we can see if the guy can play there to a Ryan Howard level and Dukes gets every day PT. Nats are idiots to do anything else.

Posted by: dfh21 | July 31, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Church + Schneider --> Morgan + Burnett

Milledge's value, ultimately, was as a prospect. Sort of like putting your money in bonds for a while, he paid off.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 31, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse


Thanks, dab. I hadn't heard.
(rolling eyes)

************
"Maybe they could trade the Strasburg pick for Teixeira."
-------
Draft picks can't be traded per MLB rules, and a drafted player can't be traded for 12 months after he is drafted, so Strasburg would have to sign first, and then be traded next year, and if we can sign him, there's no point in trading him.
Posted by: dabagley | July 31, 2009 2:20 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 31, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I would make the deal for both - but I would rather see Sanchez or Cantu (but I don't think the Marlins will par twith Cantu).

Go tell 'em, Mike - tell'em lowcountry said Sanchez and Thompson for Nick.

Posted by: lowcountry | July 31, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Post of the day winner; no more calls please:

Maybe they could trade the Strasburg pick for Teixeira.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa

Posted by: jdschulz50 | July 31, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

"They could be working on a sign-and-trade. 400 posts and nobody's mentioned that. Maybe they get Johnson to sign for the next year or two as a condition of the trade. NJ doesn't have a lot of security, he's not really all that valuable."

A sign-and-trade would mean that they'd have to be willing to pony up more dough in addition to the worth of the prospects they're trading. But they're clearly not willing to do that, since they're asking for the Nats to pick up a big chunk of Johnson's remaining salary for this year. Unless you think that Johnson would agree to a sign-and-trade for less than he's making now, and why would he do that? This trade if it happens will clearly be a rental by the Marlins. They think they're still in the hunt.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | July 31, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I don't see Florida paying Nick what he wants either.

Posted by: mockcarr | July 31, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

It would be more likely that they are doing a three-team deal.
___________________
They could be working on a sign-and-trade. 400 posts and nobody's mentioned that. Maybe they get Johnson to sign for the next year or two as a condition of the trade. NJ doesn't have a lot of security, he's not really all that valuable."

Posted by: lowcountry | July 31, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

sec3mysofa.

They didn't pay the rent. DC eventually dropped it rather than fight them tooth and nail.

Our Nats are in much better shape with Bowden out of the picture. Rizzo should take the pitchers and attempt to re-sign Nick if that's the way they want to go. No sense having him here the last two months. Sorry about the season ticket holders (I gave mine up at the beginning of the season I was so pissed off - a lot has to do with the rent) but you've got to build with prospects, not 30 something oft-injured ballplayers.

Posted by: bflorhodes | July 31, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

sec3, I hope you're proud of yourself.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 31, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

(circling the bases head down, consummate pro that he is)
******
Post of the day winner; no more calls please:
______
Maybe they could trade the Strasburg pick for Teixeira.
Posted by: Sec3mysofa

Posted by: jdschulz50 | July 31, 2009 2:24 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 31, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I don't think baseball teams do sign and trades. There's really no reason without a salary cap.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 31, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

And then you ruined it.

Posted by: soundbloke | July 31, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

90 minutes, still no word on this deal being done (or dead)....anybody else getting nervous?

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | July 31, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Team to Pay City $3.5 Million in Rent Settlement
By Aaron C. Davis
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, October 19, 2008; Page C04

The Washington Nationals and the D.C. government yesterday announced a settlement of their dispute over $3.5 million in unpaid stadium rent and the team's complaints about the ballpark.

Under the agreement, the Nationals will wire the District $3.5 million in rent tomorrow and the city will pay for almost $4 million in stadium improvements before the end of the year, said the city's acting attorney general, Peter Nickles."

www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/18/AR2008101801834.html

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 31, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

awwww, c'mon soundbloke. Can't a guy high-five the fans once in a while?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 31, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I'll hi-5 ya, sec3. Nice work... just sayin'.

Posted by: sec307 | July 31, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

@53: I think the deal gets done soon (I said before 3 PM in an earlier post). I am guessing that Rizzo is waiting to see what the best offer is.

Posted by: TimDz | July 31, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

It IS trade deadline... Rizzo wouldn't be the first manager to float a trade that people stew over all day, just to make a last second deal with an entirely different team.

Posted by: Section506 | July 31, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Only if you release a rap album sec3.

Posted by: soundbloke | July 31, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Jon Heyman, who we know is never wrong, just said on the MLB Network that the Marlins are still pressing the Nats for Nick. He seemed to think the Nats are going to do something, maybe more than one trade, before the deadline.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 31, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

What the hell are the A's doing?

Posted by: Section506 | July 31, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Balatova, 506

Thank you. In lieu of hope, false hope will do.

Posted by: soundbloke | July 31, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Who says I haven't?
***********
Only if you release a rap album sec3.
Posted by: soundbloke | July 31, 2009 2:39 PM |

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 31, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

The deal doesn't HAVE to get done today, either. I imagine Nick could clear waivers if they don't get it done today, and still be traded in August. I'd simply prefer this to be over with sooner rather than later. That way maybe I get a couple hours of work in...

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | July 31, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Johnson will be gone after this season. Trade him for whatever we can get. People don't realize simple supply and demand. No one else wants him besides the Marlins, they aren't going to cough up too much for him.

I've heard what many of y'all are saying for years. "He's a good clubhouse guy, keep him". Heard that about Soriano, Young, all the other players we could've traded and didn't.

See where the Nats are now? They gotta roll up their sleeves and do what the Pirates/Indians are doing.

Posted by: HooLikesNats | July 31, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

DC is not a bad baseball town. It's not a cursed baseball town. It's a football town.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 31, 2009 2:04 PM

Washington is not a football town - it's a Redskins town. Big difference. DC is really a basketball town - or should be - since that's what we know best. We're also a city with a good hockey team, the international make-up to support soccer and have a lot of transplants who bring their baseball allegiances with them.

Posted by: Kev29 | July 31, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm a little fuzzy on the whole draft pick trading and/or trading the pick immediately after signing...

Posted by: Intrudr | July 31, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

The rule states:

Draft picks may be traded but, only in the case that the player received for said draft pick is of equal or lesser value to Willy Mo Pena

Posted by: soundbloke | July 31, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

The Rockies are said to be interested in both Beimel and Johnson. Eric Young Jr is being asked as part of it. The O's are asking for him too for Hendrickson.

This per MLB's trade blog.

Posted by: sec307 | July 31, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

The Rockies are said to be interested in both Beimel and Johnson. Eric Young Jr is being asked as part of it. The O's are asking for him too for Hendrickson.

This per MLB's trade blog.

Posted by: sec307 | July 31, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Here's my two cents on singing Strasburg. I think in this case, you do break the bank for him. If he wants $50 M, you give it to him, trusting that reactionary decision maker Bud Selig and the player's union are absolutely appalled and push through actual slotting requirements for next year like the NBA. This helps the Nats along many different avenues. They get their man and fans like me are no longer distraught knowing that an agent hold more power than a major league ball club. Secondly, over the next two years the Nats should resign themselves to paying $60 M combined for this year's and next year's #1 draft picks.

You can do it one of two ways, hem and haw and still spend $30 M on SS and then do the same thing with Bryce Harper next year. Or, you can give SS $50 M this year, freak out Selig, get a draft pick cap instituted and then sign Harper for $10 M next year without all of the negative media and fan sentiment. Then there's the peace of mind knowing that you'll never be held hostage by the likes of Scott Boras over a draft pick again, until of course, he finds his way around the rookie cap ;)

Posted by: rnkorby | July 31, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Oh good. We need another toolsey outfielder who can't really hit. Sweet!

Posted by: soundbloke | July 31, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

DC Historically is a baseball town first. They played professional baseball on the whitehouse lawn during the Grant administration. It goes way back.

How many plays have been written like "Damned Yankees" for other cities? Forget "Major Leagues" etc. That story/song was written for DC first. How many cities have a high school named after a hall of fame pitcher, perhaps the best ever? Only one even though it is just outside in Maryland. How man cities have a famous adage that has entirely to do with baseball? First in war, last in the American League? Albeit in this case its National.

No, definitely baseball.

Posted by: periculum | July 31, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I meant "can't really defend".

Posted by: soundbloke | July 31, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

interesting thought, rnkorby, but there's an awful lot of IFs in there for a business deal.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 31, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

The Redskins are a late blooming obsession that really started with Edward Bennett Williams, reaching its pinnacle under the auspices of Joe Jackson Gibbs.

Posted by: periculum | July 31, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

soundbloke, if you're talking about EY jr, he's a 2B.

Posted by: sec307 | July 31, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

We've got to do what the Pirates are doing?

They've been doing it since 1992. How's that worked out for them?

Posted by: raymitten | July 31, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Well, you left out the reactionary Dallas fans, but fair enough.

***************
DC is not a bad baseball town. It's not a cursed baseball town. It's a football town.
Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 31, 2009 2:04 PM
-------
Washington is not a football town - it's a Redskins town. Big difference. DC is really a basketball town - or should be - since that's what we know best. We're also a city with a good hockey team, the international make-up to support soccer and have a lot of transplants who bring their baseball allegiances with them.

Posted by: Kev29 | July 31, 2009 2:45 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 31, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

A bunch of sits list him as 2b/of with very suspect glove work. Of course I am using the scouting power of google which is not especially reliable.

Posted by: soundbloke | July 31, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I think all draft picks have to be traded before the 4pm deadline . . .
___________________
I'm a little fuzzy on the whole draft pick trading and/or trading the pick immediately after signing...

Posted by: Intrudr | July 31, 2009 2:46 PM

Posted by: lowcountry | July 31, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Runner-up (to Sec3) for post of the day:

The rule states:

Draft picks may be traded but, only in the case that the player received for said draft pick is of equal or lesser value to Willy Mo Pena

Posted by: soundbloke

I think Wily Mo only had one "L" in his name. He probably dropped the other.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | July 31, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

All I know is I am glad that Rizzo is working deals for players for teams other than the Cincinnati Reds. Really tired of that connection.

Posted by: periculum | July 31, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Easy soundbloke - that is our 1/2 scout that you are talking about :)
____________________________
Of course I am using the scouting power of google which is not especially reliable.

Posted by: soundbloke | July 31, 2009 3:00 PM |

Posted by: lowcountry | July 31, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Ok, if we get no compensation for NJ, I say we take what we can get because he will not resign with the the Nats because he is reportedly going to ask for more than 3 years $16.5. I would just like something back more than two guys to fill the minor leagues out if you want to take a risk on Tucker go for it but get a position player prospect (perferably middle IF) in return too.

Posted by: markfd | July 31, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

@Periculum
I know what you're saying, historically, but in today's light, it's hard to consider DC a baseball town. Head to Philly or Boston or Chicago and ALL they talk about is baseball. Here it'a all about the Redskins Training camp. Go on a pub crawl tonight and see how many have the Nats game on TV. Not many, if any - if they can figure out which channel it's on. Any bar within 100 miles of Boston will have the Bosox on TV

Posted by: Intrudr | July 31, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

google told me that Milledge was a natural center fielder.

Never really forgave it for that...

Posted by: soundbloke | July 31, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Wily lost the l when he got traded for that draft pick..

Posted by: Intrudr | July 31, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

>I don't think baseball teams do sign and trades. There's really no reason without a salary cap.

Posted by: baltova1

Of course they do. What's a salary cap got to do with it? It's all about getting value for the deal. Just because you didn't think of it lol. You need to pay attention and quit trying to compete. You might learn how a real armchair GM thinks.

Posted by: Brue | July 31, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Wily lost the 'l' but Harris ranged of from cf and caught it. Thereby becoming Willlie Harris.

Posted by: soundbloke | July 31, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

"I know what you're saying, historically, but in today's light, it's hard to consider DC a baseball town. Head to Philly or Boston or Chicago and ALL they talk about is baseball. Here it'a all about the Redskins Training camp. Go on a pub crawl tonight and see how many have the Nats game on TV. Not many, if any - if they can figure out which channel it's on. Any bar within 100 miles of Boston will have the Bosox on TV"

Given the what Rizzo has done ... (and if he gets to stay on) comparing him to the circus that Snyder and Cerrato are running ... how long before the reverse happens? I give it 2 years and DC will be baseball exclusively in the summer. Snyder and Cerrato are a train wreck that happens every year. Hopefully the Nats have turned a corner and the Lerner's will become a bit less stingy.

Posted by: periculum | July 31, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

First, do what the Pirates are doing??? Hit that John McEnore button...

Second, ancient history doesn't really count when it comes to a town's sports interest. And, by the way, the plot of "Damn Yankees" and the book "The Year The Yankees Lost The Pennant" was built on the theme that the Washington team was hopeless as usual and needed demonic help to win. Hard to use that as proof of Washington's great baseball heritage.

I agree with Wilbon on this one. I'm not sure Washington's really that great of a sports town (more of an event town) but the Skins obviously dominate the culture.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 31, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Interesting rumor of Nick and W'ham to Fish for Miller and others. I can't believe that but it's out there.

Posted by: hoo93 | July 31, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

I've never seen a baseball sign and trade.

Posted by: Section506 | July 31, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

brue, if by "sign and trade" you mean signing a guy to a new contract and then immediately dealing him to another team based on the fact that he signed that contract, I'd like you to show me an example. Then you can lol all you want.

Posted by: baltova1 | July 31, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Washington was crazy about the Senators, always. The Redskins did not become more than a blip in DC until the George Allen era.

Posted by: Section506 | July 31, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

CBS Sports is reporting that the deal to bring VMart to the Red Sox is done. Man, the rich keep on getting richer...

Posted by: combedge | July 31, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

mlb network reporting that the Marlins unlikely to do a deal by 4pm.

Posted by: lowcountry | July 31, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

@periculum
we'll see. A LOT will have to change for DC to become a baseball town. Other big impediment that the Nats can't fix is all the expats who grew up with other teams and are unlikely to relinquish that loyalty.

Posted by: Intrudr | July 31, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

For those who think the Nats shouldn't trade Nick Johnson, you might want to remember a different Washington team in another sport: The Caps. They decided a few years ago that if they were going to lose a lot with older, well-paid veterans, they might as well lose the same amount with young prospects. So they traded every valuable piece on the team, and ended up acquiring guys like Brooks Laich (20-goal scorer) and the draft pick that brought them Mike Green. Sure, it sucked for a couple years, but it's really paying off now. If you figure that perhaps Strasburg and/or Bryce Harper gives you an Ovechkin-like talent, that's what the Nats should by aiming for.

Posted by: TheFingerman | July 31, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

>brue, if by "sign and trade" you mean signing a guy to a new contract and then immediately dealing him to another team based on the fact that he signed that contract, I'd like you to show me an example. Then you can lol all you want.

Posted by: baltova1

You don't know me. I lol anyway. I know when I've got one on the line. Is there a time limit on providing an answer, herr baltov? After all, you're in charge.

Aren't you?

Posted by: Brue | July 31, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/07/marlins-appear-to-be-moving-closer-to-nick-johnson-trade.html

not sure what happened...

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | July 31, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

>>"Thanks, dab. I hadn't heard.
(rolling eyes)"

Then why post something that you know isn't even a possibility? Without a 'joke disclaimer' of sorts, someone who doesn't read your posts everyday won't know any better.

Now... Are Tucker and Thompson Nats yet???

Posted by: dabagley | July 31, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

new post. beimel is gone.

Posted by: Intrudr | July 31, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

NEW POST

Beimel traded!

Posted by: Naugatuck-Nats | July 31, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Guys, Johnson has already expressed interest in staying with Washington.
I propose a contract at a MUCH more reasonable price; granted he gets hurt, but when healthy, he provides protection to Dunn and Zim!
Besides, in another year someone will be coming up from the minors soon enough.

Posted by: DcFanInMiami | July 31, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

re Sign and Trade in MLB: I don't think this practice is common in MLB, though it is allowed. What is more common is trades made with a contingency clause that the new team signs a new deal with the traded player. If a deal cannot be reached, then the deal is negated. This is most common in situations where the player has a no-trade clause, and threatens to not allow the deal without a new contract. A great example of this was the Johan Santana trade that sent Santana from the Twins to the Mets: Santana had a no-trade clause and said he would not allow any deal to go through unless he got a new contract.

There was talk about a true sign-and-trade this offseason. I forget the player, but there was a Type A free agent who was still unsigned late into the offseason. There was talk that a certain team wanted him, but did not want to give up the draft picks, so they tried to negotiate a deal where the team that the player was leaving would sign him, and then trade him for prospects so that the new team did not have to give up the draft picks in order to acquire the free agent they desired. The deal never happened, however. Wish I could remember the player and teams involved, but my memory is failing me at the moment...

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | July 31, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

OT, but three Nats made the BA prospect hotsheet (Destin Hood, Drew Storen and Derek Norris):

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/prospect-hot-sheet/2009/268625.html

Posted by: BobLHead | July 31, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

"Washington was crazy about the Senators, always. The Redskins did not become more than a blip in DC until the George Allen era."

Wrong, boy wonder. When I was a kid growing up here in the 1960s, my dad and countless neighbors weren't installing huge TV antennas on our houses so we could pick up the broadcasts of blacked-out Senators games on the Richmond stations. It was the Redskins we were after. Then the NFL changed the blackout rule to allow local telecasts of sold-out games and it ceased to be a problem. This all happened well before George Allen arrived here in 1971.

Now if a Senators game was on TV we'd watch it of course. But RFK never sold out for the Nats except for Opening Day. But at the same time the Redskins were beginning their consecutive sellout streak that continues to this day.

Really, this town became a Redskins town as soon as George Preston Marshall was forced to integrate the team in 1960 or so. Meanwhile, I've talked with older black guys in the stands at Nats games this year who say they never liked the old Senators because they were a racist team.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | July 31, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

You have to HAVE a team before you can be loyal to it, four years is not a long time.

Posted by: mockcarr | July 31, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

>re: baltova

By Paul White, USA TODAY
Manny Ramirez's winter-long contract dance with the Los Angeles Dodgers has grabbed headlines, but three other top free agents still without a team might find help from some creative dealing.
Sign-and-trade deals could be the answer to relief pitcher Juan Cruz and shortstop Orlando Cabrera landing on a 2009 major league roster. Those three — and Ramirez — are unsigned free agents who are classified as Type A players in the free agent compensation system.

From USA Today, 2/20/09

Only took a couple of minutes. I'm here to help. You know that, don't you?

Posted by: Brue | July 31, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

The 'Skins became the rage under Vince Lombardi. Hardly a blip? You must not have been here. The Senators were loved but not supported well. (No fault to the stay at home fans who refused to pay to watch 100 loss baseball year in and year out). But put a winning - or even near winning baseball team in DC and watch those turnstiles spin!

Posted by: MarcJMilzman | July 31, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

> The 'Skins became the rage under Vince Lombardi. Hardly a blip? You must not have been here.

The Skins were the rage before Lombardi. Sonny Jurgensen was God here for the better part of a decade before Lombardi arrived.

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | July 31, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

He was in contract negotiations in Boston, when someone said "How much?? Get the L out of here!" So he did.
********************
Runner-up (to Sec3) for post of the day:
-------------------
The rule states:
Draft picks may be traded but, only in the case that the player received for said draft pick is of equal or lesser value to Willy Mo Pena
Posted by: soundbloke
-------------------
I think Wily Mo only had one "L" in his name. He probably dropped the other.
Posted by: jdschulz50 | July 31, 2009 3:00 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 31, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse


No offense intended, dabag. But you walked into a long ongoing conversation, and probably *the* running joke of the last several months.
Then there's the local snark conventions.

Man, we really do need that FAQ, 1a. How's that coming?

*****************
>>"Thanks, dab. I hadn't heard. (rolling eyes)"
Then why post something that you know isn't even a possibility? Without a 'joke disclaimer' of sorts, someone who doesn't read your posts everyday won't know any better.
Now... Are Tucker and Thompson Nats yet???
Posted by: dabagley | July 31, 2009 3:18 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 31, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Fox is now reporting that the trade was made at the deadline for lefty Aaron Thompson.

Posted by: OutsideTheLaw | July 31, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

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