Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: AdamKilgoreWP and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

[UPDATED] Nats non-tender Olsen, MacDougal

Facing the midnight Saturday deadline to offer contracts to arbitration-eligible players, the Washington Nationals decided to cut ties with Scott Olsen and Mike MacDougal, pitchers coming off near-opposite seasons.

By non-tendering Olsen and MacDougal -- the former a starter who never fulfilled his promise; the latter a closer who exceeded all expectations -- the Nationals trimmed two veterans from a pitching staff thin on experience. But they also spared themselves from committing several million dollars to a pair with injury concerns. Olsen is coming off shoulder surgery, and MacDougal is coming off hip surgery.

After announcing the decision Saturday evening, General Manager Mike Rizzo expressed interest in having both with the club in spring training on reduced contracts.

"We'll have discussions in that vein in getting them back with the Washington Nationals," Rizzo said, "but you never know. They'll be free to discuss with all 29 other clubs, but suffice to say I'd be very comfortable if they're wearing the Washington Nationals uniform next season."

The Nationals tendered contracts on Saturday to their six other arbitration-eligible players -- relievers Jason Bergmann, Sean Burnett and Brian Bruney; catchers Wil Nieves and Jesus Flores; and outfielder Josh Willingham.

Olsen, acquired in a trade with Florida last November, was coming off a year marred by uneven performance (2-4, 6.03 ERA in 11 starts) and subsequent left labrum surgery. Though Olsen is fully rehabilitated from the surgery, his salary -- $2.8 million in 2009 -- necessitated this move. Had Olsen been tendered a contract, he would have made a comparable salary in 2010 via arbitration.

"He's still young, still has ceiling left, but labral surgeries and shoulder injuries are very tenuous situations," Rizzo said. "We're pretty sure he'll be full-go by spring training, but being a left-handed pitcher and having shoulder surgery was just too much of a gamble to tender to a contract."

MacDougal, in 2009, was actually one of the bright spots. Though he wasn't signed by the Nationals until April, and though he didn't appear with them in the big leagues until May, his ascension into the closer's role stabilized the most problematic part of the ballclub. He had 20 saves in 21 opportunities, finishing with a 3.60 ERA. Still, MacDougal has a history of shaky control and inconsistency. He relies on one pitch, a fastball, and has a worrisome strikeout-to-walk ratio. Also, he finished the season on a down note, with a 9.53 ERA in September, and in early October he had arthroscopic surgery on his right hip.

In line for a salary of more than $3 million in 2010, the Nationals decided that MacDougal represented too much of a risk.

During the winter meetings last week, they acquired Bruney, a hard-throwing relief pitcher, from the Yankees. Bruney will be given a shot to handle the closer's duties in 2010.

"Mike had a nice season for us," Rizzo said. "But he struggled at the end, and with the hip surgery you just don't know where you're at. We felt that the risk was too big to take a run on Mike."

By Chico Harlan  |  December 12, 2009; 1:29 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Your new (starting?) catcher, Pudge Rodriguez
Next: After one day away, Olsen rejoins Nats

Comments

No surprise. Hope Olsen doesn't go elsehwre and make Nats rue this decision.

Posted by: leetee1955 | December 12, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

He probably will. That's our luck here in DC.

Posted by: big_game_lannan | December 12, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I am thinking they hope to resign him...or why not offer him to the braves for Kelly Johnson...or any other team for their arb eligibles

Posted by: Anatsphan | December 12, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

@big_game_lannan

I have more faith in the talent evaluation skills of the combined expertise of this FO than in its previous occupant. This has probably been a long-term scenario.

Posted by: leetee1955 | December 12, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Trading for Kelly Johnson makes very little sense Nats. He's one of the worst fielding 2B in MLB. His hitting stats have been declining the last 2 years, when he should be improving. He's arbitration eligable, so we'd have to pay him more than the $2.8mil he earned last year (when taking the first 2 points into consideration, that's too much). Finally, if the Braves cannot trade him they are likely to non-tender him also. That way, if the Nats want K. Johnson, they can sign him as a free agent for a lot less than the arbitration process would cost the team.

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | December 12, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

So let's see, at this point we're looking at

Morgan, CF
Guzman, 2b
Zimmerman, 3b
Dunn, 1b
Willingham, LF
Rodriguez, C
Dukes, RF
Desmond, SS
P

Hmmm. Still not .500, but better.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 12, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Not overly suprised with the Olsen decision, but it is tough to surrender on a relatively young LHP.

A resounding NO to Kelly Johnson; his fielding numbers are in decline, and his offensive production isn't all that great either.

Posted by: BinM | December 12, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Just saw y'all's discussion in the last post. I think Dizzy has earned an invite to spring training, at the very least. Maybe Marichal -- another reason to have a DH.

I'll also observe that Pete Gray and (to a lesser extent) Mordecai Brown were interesting, albeit for reasons one wouldn't choose. Oh, Jim Abbott too, I reckon.

(Does Pete Reiser merit consideration? Depends on your emphasis.)

Posted by: Scooter_ | December 12, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Rounding the glass up to full: One advantage of hitting Guzman second after Morgan--if Morgan is on base, teams would be much less likely to throw the standard curveball-in-the-dirt to Guzman just because he'll swing at it--they'd be handing Morgan the next base. So Guzzie should see more fastballs, on which he can hit >.300 (if mostly for singles, but still).

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 12, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

OMG how could we have missed putting Ol' Diz into the rotation

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 12, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

You know what, Sec3? Your lineup above could win the Serious. Yes, I'm serious. Of course, it would require a rotation we have absolutely no chance of seeing -- and probably everyone has to have a good year at the plate.

Of course, our goal this season is not to win the Serious. But what I'm saying is something we've known for at least four months: scoring runs is not the problem. At this point, it's all about the pitchers -- whom do they add, and how much do the kiddies improve over last year.

Posted by: Scooter_ | December 12, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Ooh, Diz is a good one! I love that story about the headline after he'd taken a ball off his noggin and been checked out by the docs: X-Rays of Dean's Head Show Nothing.

And carrying forward:

Wow, I can't keep up with all of the teams in the league, but I like the idea!

For the the eccentric team, the Mad Hungarian had occurred to me as well, and I'm on board with Finley or Veeck as owners. I agree that Berg was more interesting off (or perhaps "in") the field than on. Maybe we could short list Eddie Gaedel as well. heh.

Re. other teams, I suspect that AJ might qualify for the All-Jerks team, and I agree that it could be unkind to put Piersall on a Weirdos team.

I'm also sad to see the Times sports coverage end. IMO, they frequently blew away the Post as far as quantity of coverage, and, as Boom Boom noted in a previous post, competition is a good thing. On a somewhat related media note, wouldn't it be great to see MASN give more non-game tv coverage to the Nats? Yeah. I'm not holding my breath on that one.

p.s. Yes, we did discuss hot catchers earlier, but in a different context. :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 12, 2009 3:04 PM |

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 12, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Hope that they might be able to re-sign Olsen. I'd like to see what he can do if healthy. Well, I guess we've already seen that, with the Marlins. I'd like to see what he can do *for* rather than *to* our team when healthy.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 12, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Opening day lineup last year was:

Milledge CF
Guzman SS
Zimmerman 3B
Dunn LF
Johnson 1B
Kearns RF
Belliard 2B
Flores C

Nats last year were just under the league average in runs scored, at 710 (average was 718) and OPS. This looks like a MUCH stronger lineup. When Pudge is the soft spot in your lineup, you have to be pleased.

Now, if we can just get 25-30 wins out of Strasburg...

Posted by: gilbertbp | December 12, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Scooter: The players you mention all had, shall we say physical anomolies? You could add Carlos May and Antonio Alfonseca to that list as well.

Posted by: BinM | December 12, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, 1a. Surely they'll sign him to a lower contract full of juicy incentives.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 12, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Taking a look at the current 40-man, it would seem that any of the following could be bundled as part of a trade, or released to make space for a FA acquisition: AGonz(MI), Bernadina(OF), Maxwell(OF), Martis(SP), or Estrada(SP/RP), as they are all out of options.

Posted by: BinM | December 12, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

How about Wookie? (tallest player) Or would one need to have extra digits and such?

---

Scooter: The players you mention all had, shall we say physical anomolies? You could add Carlos May and Antonio Alfonseca to that list as well.

Posted by: BinM | December 12, 2009 3:16 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 12, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Maybe it's just me, 1a, but I don't find being tall particularly interesting. (Though, to be fair, I've never tried it.)

BinM, you have stumped me: I don't really know about the gents you mentioned. Soon as I'm at a decent computing device, I shall rectify that situation.

Posted by: Scooter_ | December 12, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

But Scooter, if being tall isn't interesting, what about Gaedel? After all, being short is a lot more common than being tall -- heck, even my 3-year-old daughter can do it.

Posted by: Scooter_ | December 12, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad you asked. Eddie Gaedel, within the subset of major-league ballplayers, is very, very short -- well "ahead" of his closest competitor. Rauch, otoh, merely happens to be like half an inch taller than a bunch of other dudes. It's a distinction without much difference.

Posted by: Scooter_ | December 12, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Now, missing an arm or some fingers -- THAT'S how you make this team. Getting your [Utley] bit off by a Lapplander -- that'll get you a starting gig, no tryout necessary.

Posted by: Scooter_ | December 12, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

@BinM: Non-tendering Olsen and probably one other guy today creates 40-man roster space. At any rate, they don't even need to create space until they actually sign a FA. There's no way they're going to cut loose any of those guys you mentioned now just because they're out of options. Although it does mean they'll all have to battle for spots on the team in spring training, because if they don't make it they'd need to be cut then I'm pretty sure.

Posted by: nunof1 | December 12, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Scooter: Being to either extreme of height (tall or short) would be a rather specialized sub-category of the "physical anomaly" group, imo. Another sub-category there could be the "two-sport" or "uber-athlete" list - Deon Sanders, Bo Jackson, Dave DeBuschere, Brian Jordan, Jim Thorpe, etc.

Posted by: BinM | December 12, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

@nunof1: I wasn't thinking about roster space per se, just they would serve as "frangible" players in a trade due to the lack of options.

Posted by: BinM | December 12, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Assuming everybody is healthy, that's not a bad lineup, with only one question along the lines of Kearns or Pena or LoDuca or Young -- is Dukes as good as he sometimes appears, or as bad as he sometimes appears? Time to find out.

Posted by: markfromark | December 12, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I enjoyed your dialogue immensely, Scooter. That is all.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 12, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

The staff was right on Patterson, Hill and COrdero.... they get the benefit of the doubt on Olsen, who if healed 100% would be signed

Posted by: SCNatsFan | December 12, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Dialogue has always been my strength, 1a. It's in character development that I fail [Utterly].

Posted by: Scooter_ | December 12, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

I am pretty surprised by this move. IF olsen is healthy, he's likely worth $3M on a one year deal. Again, if healthy -- and maybe the Nats know something we don't, he gets a MLB contract someplace else.

Posted by: dfh21 | December 12, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

@dfh21: A labrum / shoulder injury is more likely to be a problem down the road than a "Tommy John" elbow proceedure (JZimm) for a pitcher. With Flores & his shoulder, they could get "insurance" (IRod); With Olsen (& his labrum surgery) due for Arbitration, not so much. Olsen might buck the odds & be ready for opening day, but I have my doubts.

Posted by: BinM | December 12, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Just noticed that there's an update at the top of the post. The Nats non-tendered Olsen and MacDougal.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 12, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

To be more precise, it says that they "will non-tender" them.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 12, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm more than a little suprised by the McDougal decision - I thought the Nationals would tender & sign him as an early-season closer, while waiting for Storen to make the final step. I personally don't see Bruney as an interim step in the closer position.

Please tell me this doesn't mean Rizzo is going to throw away money on someone like M. Gonzalez.

Posted by: BinM | December 12, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

I thought it might be Olsen and Nieves.

Also, there are a couple of related posts on the OP blog and the MASN site, but they were written before this information came out.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 12, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

These are both good, solid, smart baseball decisions. Both are now free agents, and the Nationals can now offer them new contracts, maybe even minor league deals to save roster space, and see how they do in spring training to decide whether they should make the team. I imagine there may be more interest around the league in Olsen than McDougal, but honestly, both are eminently replaceable, and not worth anywhere near the $3 million per year they probably would have received in arbitration.

Posted by: Section222 | December 12, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

How many players end up agreeing to a smaller contract with the team that non-tendered them?

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 12, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

This is off topic, but I was listening to the XM feed of the UMD basketball game and Johnny Holliday made a comment about his grandson. I caught the tail end of this, but I believe the gist of it was the the he is cancer free. I had not heard anything about this and I hope I heard it correctly. If I did, that is really wonderful news. I am actually hopeing that this is OLD news and that I am (as usual) just late to hear things.

Posted by: TimDz | December 12, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Johnny posted an update about his grandson on the MASN site a couple of days ago, TimDz. It is great news!

Speaking of updates, another one was made to the top of this post.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 12, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Oops, I meant to post this link.

http://masnsports.com/2009/12/from-one-holliday-to-another.html

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 12, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Good to hear that my knack for hearing things late is still true to form...especially in this case!

Posted by: TimDz | December 12, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

guess mrizz and the braintrust realized that mac did most of his best work with smoke and mirros last year and a less scary closer is needed.

Posted by: surly_w | December 12, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

DESPERATE Nats fans cling breathlessly on another Ratzo move......repeat after me 98..99..100........

Posted by: FletcherChristian1 | December 12, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't Flores due an arb offer as well? Zuckerman at the OP sez he got one.

Posted by: Hendo1 | December 12, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

I love it-- the "This IS my day job" team. Oh, and add Satch, for his basketball days with the Globetrotters.
**************
Another sub-category there could be the "two-sport" or "uber-athlete" list - Deon Sanders, Bo Jackson, Dave DeBuschere, Brian Jordan, Jim Thorpe, etc.

Posted by: BinM | December 12, 2009 4:25 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 12, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

That's pretty amazing in itself, I think--how many of these teams Paige would make. All-Interesting Hall of Fame, first ballot, unanimously.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 12, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

They know they have Bruney, they have Storen on a short tether in AAA, so why risk time and money on Mac. Olsen is sort of like toothache, it comes and goes, so Rizz and Co figure its time to pull the tooth rather then leave it. They need two B-Tier starting pitchers, they know it and they will probably get'em (Garland and Marquis are my hopes)!

If anyone has XM and can stomach 3 hours of PT Bowdoin on XM-175 MLB Homeplate, be very happy that MRizzo is running the show. Diamond Jim would have probably convinced Uncle Ted that Olsen and MacD would be the second coming of Livo and Cordero!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | December 12, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

2 good baseball moves. I'm slightly surprised by the Olsen non-tender, thinking that a young mid-20s lefty that has shown some performance in the past would be worth the $3M or so gable.

Also slightly surprised by the Nieves tender. I guess they're really covering all their bases if Flores isn't ready to go day one.

Posted by: tboss | December 12, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm with Tboss in my surprise at the offer to Wil Nieves. Who? Wil Nieves.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | December 12, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

If Bowden were still GM, Nyger Morgan & Willingham would be traded for Milton Bradley.

Posted by: raymitten | December 12, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Late-day nomination for Post of the day by raymitten:

If Bowden were still GM, Nyger Morgan & Willingham would be traded for Milton Bradley.

I think it's Nyjer, but it's still P-o-d material.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | December 12, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

this just in: Tim Redding non-tendered by the lowly Mets. Do we need a fifth starter?

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | December 12, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

To Sunshine Bobby Carpenter...:

You're right, it's Nyjer. People have trouble with that one, for some reason. It's easy: think NY (New York) JER (Jersey).

Posted by: MikeH0714 | December 12, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

@If Bowden were still GM, Nyger Morgan & Willingham would be traded for Milton Bradley.

That's impossible...Bradley has never played for Cincinnati.

Posted by: InTheCheapSeats | December 12, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

There's a lot to like about the way the team is being run these days.

Instead of endless reclamation projects (with a 15% chance of working out) we are building a foundation of solid players (Pudge, Bruney) who have character and who have predictable futures.

In the past, we were digging in the dust bin & pinning things on with blind hope. Cabrera, Lo Duca, Estrada, Mo Pena... And most of the time results were disastrous.

Now just about every deal is carefully planned and has an upside.

And, Rizzo is building the teams rep at the same time.

Lets see the starters now...

Posted by: nattydread1 | December 12, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse


this just in: Tim Redding non-tendered by the lowly Mets. Do we need a fifth starter?

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | December 12, 2009 8:26 PM

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Like Livo, Just say NO to the past.

Posted by: leetee1955 | December 12, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

How many players end up agreeing to a smaller contract with the team that non-tendered them?

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 12, 2009 6:39 PM

***********
I know we did it with Mike O'Connor after his surgery. It's probably not that common but certainly not unheard of, especially when coming off surgery.

In this case, players probably know they may not be worth the arbitration money while still recovering but are willing to sign lower to stay with the team.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 12, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

I think Olsen signs a lower deal with incentives with a goal of proving himself. He has stated that he likes it here...then again, if I made 2.8 million last year, I'd like it here too.

Posted by: TimDz | December 12, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

I made a whole lot less than that and I like it fine. I mean, it ain't Firenze or San Francisco, but it's home now.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 12, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Langershlang is non-tendered by the Mariners. As leetee1955 sez, "Just say no to the past," Mike.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | December 12, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

The complete non-tendered list. Or, Santa, which of these leftovers do we want:

^AMERICAN LEAGUE=
¶ BALTIMORE (1) _ Brian Bass, rhp.
¶ BOSTON (1) _ Brian Anderson, of.
¶ CHICAGO (1) _ D.J. Carrasco, rhp.
¶ CLEVELAND (3) _ Adam Miller, rhp; Anthony Reyes, rhp; Jose Veras, rhp.
¶ KANSAS CITY (2) _ Josh Anderson, c; John Buck, c.
¶ LOS ANGELES (3) _ Jose Arrendondo, rhp; Matthew Brown, inf; Dustin Moseley, rhp.
¶ NEW YORK (1) _ Chien-Ming Wang, rhp
¶ OAKLAND (1) _ Jack Cust, dh.
¶ SEATTLE (1) _ Ryan Langerhans, of.
¶ TAMPA BAY (2) _ Gabe Gross, of; Shawn Riggans, c.
¶ TORONTO (1) _ Raul Chavez, c;
¶ ___=
^NATIONAL LEAGUE=
¶ ARIZONA (1) _ Josh Whitesell, inf.
¶ ATLANTA (2) _ Ryan Church, of; Kelly Johnson, 2b.
¶ CHICAGO (1) _ Neal Cotts, lhp.
¶ COLORADO (1) _ Garrett Atkins, 3b.
¶ CINCINNATI (1) _ Jonny Gomes, of;
¶ FLORIDA (1) _ Alfredo Amezaga, of.
¶ MILWAUKEE (3) _ Mark DiFelice, rhp; Seth McClung, rhp; Mike Rivera, c;
¶ NEW YORK (4) _ Lance Broadway, rhp; Tim Redding, rhp; Jeremy Reed, of; Cory Sullivan, of.
¶ PHILADELPHIA (1) _ Clay Condrey, rhp.
¶ PITTSBURGH (2) _ Matt Capps, rhp; Phil Dumatrait, lhp
¶ SAN DIEGO (2) _ Jackson Quezada, rhp; Mark Worrell, rhp.
¶ SAN FRANCISCO (1) _ Ryan Garko, 1b.
¶ WASHINGTON (2) _ Mike MacDougal, rhp; Scott Olsen, lhp.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | December 13, 2009 12:23 AM | Report abuse

Give Wang a minor league deal and see if he can return to form.

Posted by: amorris525 | December 13, 2009 12:43 AM | Report abuse

No one on Sunshine's list is really blowing my skirt up. But y'all know other teams' players a lot better than I.

As to the day-job team, we need us some Danny Ainge. And Michael Jordan can be on our AA squad.

(BinM: I looked up May and Alfonseca. I guess they balance each other out.)

Posted by: Scooter_ | December 13, 2009 12:50 AM | Report abuse

I remember when I first heard Slowes calling a game involving Alfonseca. I thought "Al" was his first name. :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 13, 2009 7:52 AM | Report abuse

And Scooter, should we start calling you "Marilyn"? Oh wait, you said that your skirt *didn't* blow up. :-D

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 13, 2009 7:54 AM | Report abuse

That's a much shorter non-tender list than I had expected; Outside of somebody like D.J. Carrasco, I'm not seeing much to look at who could help the Nationals.

Posted by: BinM | December 13, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Whst's the deal with Ryan Church? He seems to wear out his welcome quickly -- he was doing a good job in '07 and along come Whiffy Mo Pena and he loses his job. Then he goes to the Mets, seems to be putting up good numbers, but then is suddenly out of favor with the manager. Then he's traded for Frenchy Francoeur and within three months is non-tendered.

He doesn't seem like a clubhouse problem. What's the deal?

Posted by: raymitten | December 13, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

ray: I recall him being a problem in that 1) he won't play when he's less than 100% physically, and 2) he's apparently not the most pleasant guy to be around when he's not in the lineup.

Posted by: BinM | December 13, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

>That's a much shorter non-tender list than I had expected; Outside of somebody like D.J. Carrasco, I'm not seeing much to look at who could help the Nationals.

Posted by: BinM

You can bet that Olsen will get picked up - a lefty who's young and can throw 200 innings? He's already been throwing for awhile already. Rizzo will get up there and say that they'd gladly have MacDougal and Olsen back, but only at a lesser price. So, they already know that they probably can't fill those two spots with anyone who's worth a damn. Which means they only care about the money, and not the performance. In the presser, he even says that Olsen being 'a lefthander and coming off surgery' is reason enough to non-tender him. Like being a lefty has anything to do with it. They can't even get their excuses right. Everybody knows it's because they're cheap. They pick up a guy with ELBOW PROBLEMS LAST YEAR and say they're going to give him a shot at closer. And the guy didn't even have surgery to correct his problem like Olsen and MacDougal did! What a bunch of lo-lifes.
Olsen goes to the Mets. I got money on that. They'd save about 3 million/year with Olsen as opposed to someone of comparable value.

Posted by: Brue | December 13, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

My brother-in-law and I used to call Church "Box 'a Rocks" because that seemed to be what he had in his head. Zero intangibles to cover any weaknesses in his game. I vaguely remember some quote he had in the '06/'07 timeframe that was really, really bad...

On the non-tenders, here's a couple of reactions:
- since we've proven in the last couple of years that we need lots of warm bodies in the staff/bullpen, it's a little odd to hear Rizzo talk last week about overpaying Pudge by $2M - $3M then say this week that he'd be happy to have both pitchers back but not at the current rates.
- But Rizzo also seems to be a big-time "character" guy (welcome change from JimBo the "tools" guy). I can only think they either really don't have confidence in the arms/surgeries and/or don't like Olsen's ummm... attitudinal tendencies.
- This must mean he's confident in getting enough of his targets to put a decent ("respectable"? "less than awful"?) staff together - looking forward to hearing the rest of the shoes come down.

Posted by: natslifer | December 13, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

They're not paying Pudge $6MM because he's a "warm body."
Olsen will certainly get offers from other clubs, very likely the Mets among them, but none of them anywhere near $2MM, or more than a year. If they sign the free agent starter(s) discussed for months now, that will cost more than Olsen, with a reasonable expectation of getting a much better pitcher in return.
If they do not sign a couple of starters, AND also lose Olsen, AND Olsen can in fact still pitch well enough to make them regret it, then, yeah, this was a mistake.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 13, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Olsen and MacDougal may indeed get signed by another team. But if they do, it will be for far less than either one of them would have gotten in arbitration had they not been non-tendered. So the Nats had the choice to overpay them, or cut them loose and take the chance that they could sign them for less as FAs. But of course that's the chance, because they could end up going elsewhere.

But hey, isn't that how we lost Tim Redding to the Mets last year? Anyone regretting that loss? Same deal if MacDougal and/or Olsen get lost. It's not the end of the world. $6M or so towards signing someone better.

Posted by: nunof1 | December 13, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

>Olsen will certainly get offers from other clubs, very likely the Mets among them, but none of them anywhere near $2MM, or more than a year. If they sign the free agent starter(s) discussed for months now, that will cost more than Olsen, with a reasonable expectation of getting a much better pitcher in return.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa

Olsen wouldn't get an offer of 2 million? Bull-****. 3 million is the major league average. It's all money based. It has nothing to do with making the team better. They'll hold a roster spot open, so they don't really have a better option, or one they're willing to pay for, otherwise, if they didn't want him, they would have said that. See, when your payroll is barely 40 million, roster spots are move valuable than money, because you only have 25 of them. They're just worried about the money. It's old news. So even if you're right and Olsen signs for less money, they've still lost him. Why would he play for the Nats when he can go to some team that at least has a chance of winning for the same amount. Our rotation is Lannan, and Strasburg whenever he's ready. That's it. They have no other pitchers in the system that can start at the major league level.

Posted by: Brue | December 13, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Digging a little deeper into the non-tenders, Matt Capps might be worth a look. The drawback might be that he was concealing an injury in 2009, as his numbers fell off dramatically.

Posted by: BinM | December 13, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

No idea about the status of his arm, but what's this about Olsen's "attitudinal deficiencies"? I remember a game he was pitching for the Marlins against the Nats a couple of years ago (maybe his 200 inning season) in which he took a rocket comebacker on the shin in one of the early innings, gimped around the mound for a few minutes, but then stayed in the game. Pitched creditably for another couple of innings before he had to come out. Sort of the anti-Tony Armas.

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | December 13, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Just some baseline numbers going forward.

Washington Nationals: Of the 38 players currently on roster (as of 12/13/09)...
> six are currently under contract ($32.75M committed for 2010).
> six players have been tendered arbitration ($5.905M total in 2009, could double for 2010).
> the remaining 26 players ($6.1M) will recieve standard contracts, with increases based on service time & performance for 2010.
That runs out to around $51.6M committed for 2010 - Given that the average ML (25-man) roster was $56.5M in 2009, the Nationals should be looking to spend another $12-14M in 2010 salaries to get to ML average.

Something to think about going forward in the off-season.

Posted by: BinM | December 13, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Brue,

The parts of your rants I understood, I disagree with. Olsen will not get the $3mill guaranteed that he would be entitled to through arbitration. Olsen had a great year in '06. He is a fastball-changeup pitcher who was throwing a 92-94 MPH fastball complimented by a 82-84 MPH changeup to keep hitters off balance. In 2006 this combination translated into a lot of strikeouts- almost 1 per inning (8.3k/9 Innings on average. Since '06 his fastball has lost velocity each year, with the bottom point being last year when he was throwing it 86 MPH, only 4MPH faster than his changeup. His k/9 rate tanked accordingly, bottoming out around 5k/9 in 2008. His ERA (6.03) and WHIP (1.7) followed suit in 2009. Without another quality pitch, which Olsen does not have, he's not giving any team 200 valuable innings- he's giving batters predictable pitches to T-off and pad their stats with.

Furthermore, he's coming off of one of the worst surgeries a pitcher can have. Labrum surgeries don't heal as well as tommy john or rotator cuff surgeries. They are very high-risk procedures in baseball, and many pitchers never re-gain their pre-surgery performance level.

Finally, last year I noticed something about Olsen: He seems to make it through the opposing batting order the first time without a problem. The second time through, he gives up hits. The third time opposing batters see him is when they destroyed him for multiple runs. I wonder if Olsen's future is in the bullpen anyway.

Personally, I don't want the Nats promising $3mill+ to a "starting" pitcher with an unsustainable pitch repetoire, coming off a risky surgery and one who might not be a career starter even if he was healthy. If somebody else does want to spend that money, best of luck to Olsen and his new team. If the Nats want to offer him an incentive-based minor league deal, that might be worth the risk. But offering him a guaranteed raise through arbitration is not the way to go.

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | December 13, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

>Something to think about going forward in the off-season.

Posted by: BinM

A bunch of noodling for nerds. All I care about are W's. I don't give a damn if they're a financially-viable entertainment option. And neither does a majority of fans who don't make it out to the park anymore.

Posted by: Brue | December 13, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

I am also of the opinion that Olsen won't get much interest elsewhere. He has to prove he can be a 200 inning guy, but without his former velocity - he's not that guy anymore. I am intrigued by the idea of him as the situational lefty. If we can get him back with a league minimum or a minor-league deal, he may be open to shifting to the 'pen simply to prove he can pitch. But I'd rather see his $3 mil go towards Garland and Marquis, just as I'd rather see McD's $3 mil go towards better bullpen options. Maybe pick up Capps and trade for Jenks?

Posted by: sec307 | December 13, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I don't want the Nats promising $3mill+ to a "starting" pitcher with an unsustainable pitch repetoire

Posted by: cheeseburger53

Even you don't know what that means.

Posted by: Brue | December 13, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

>I am also of the opinion that Olsen won't get much interest elsewhere. He has to prove he can be a 200 inning guy, but without his former velocity - he's not that guy anymore.

Lemme get this straight - they don't sign a guy who's coming off of successful surgery (Olsen - who's been throwing for awhile now), but they sign a guy who had elbow problems last year, who DIDN'T get his elbow fixed, to be their closer. Why? Because he's cheaper. You want them to buy some free agents, but they haven't done that yet, and they've missed out on about 10 of the top line pitchers so far. So, if they keep waiting, what makes you think they'll get anything except a leftover? Millwood goes to Balt. for virtually nothing. Why didn't he come here? Because he had a 12 million dollar salary. Only reason. So, these aren't baseball moves, they're strictly financial ones. You can't have it both ways - after they non-tender him going on about how he's not the pitcher he was. Hell, he was HURT las year, and he was better than any of the guys in our system. That's how impoverished the rotation is. Rich Harden went to the Rangers while the Nats were waiting for a 'bargain'. There are no bargains on the second tier of FA starting pitching - it's an illusion. Only the top few are worth even getting.

Posted by: Brue | December 13, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

So as of today, the Nats have one starter lined up for next season who has demonstrated sustained competence at the major league level. And while Rizzo says he would like Olsen to come back, and that they're "pretty sure he'll be full-go by spring training," it's too much of a "gamble" for the Nats to pay him $2.8million+ for 2010? Right.

As Brue says, they're just worried about the money. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | December 13, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

OK, I want to agree with y'all but Olsen and McDougal are just not the answer. I think these are baseball decisions guys. According to fangraphs:

Mike MacDougal (55 IP, 6.71 K/9, 5.56 BB/9, 0.65 HR/9)

The Nationals wisely let the control-challenged, injury-prone MacDougal walk, rather than going to arbitration with a guy whose surface stats (20 saves in 21 chances, 4.31 ERA) far exceeded his peripherals (5.63 K/9, 6.29 BB/9, 4.99 xFIP). MacDougal was as wild as ever in 2009, and his stuff missed few bats. The 32 year-old righty decided to chuck mid-90’s heater after mid-90’s heater (Mac tossed his fastball almost 90% of the time in 2009). Subsequently, his contact rate spiked to 83.9%, compared to a career 78.2% average.

Scott Olsen

Have you seen Olsen’s career? In 2006, the lefty looked like one of the more valuable commodities in the N.L. At 22 years old, Olsen posted a 4.07 xFIP in 180.2 IP, whiffing 8.27 hitters per nine innings and displaying an excellent slider and changeup.

After a mediocre 2007 season (4.95 xFIP), Olsen’s velocity fell off a cliff in 2008. So did his ability to make hitters miss: 8.27 K/9 in ‘06, 6.78 in ‘07, and just 5.04 per nine in ‘08. A trade to the Nationals did little to revive his velocity and career, and Olsen underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in July. Perhaps Washington will bring the soon-to-be 26 year-old back at a lower cost, but his stock has plummeted.

Posted by: ABHFGTY | December 13, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Funny, I don't recall Brue's and CiL's man-crushes on Scott Olsen manifesting themselves at all last season, either while he was pitching or while he wasn't. What brings these guys out of the closet now?

Posted by: nunof1 | December 13, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

As much as Kasten seems to be opposed to a more than 2-year deal to a pitcher (a practice I don't necessarily disagree with), would a 2-yr+option at $8.5M offer to Jon Garland is enough to get a signed contract with WSH? I'm thinking probably not, as he seems to be looking for a 3-5 year deal.

This leads to either the next tier of FA's, or a trade / salary dump. From the FA side, Jason Marquis, Joel Pineiro, or Vincente Padilla are out there, while the Braves, Diamondbacks, BlueJays & others are looking to lose salary.
Marquis' numbers seem about average, but he has a good GO/FO ratio. Piniero is coming off his best year since 2003 (red flag), and Padilla can be a headcase (DFA'd by Rangers, 2009). If Garman is out of reach, offer Marquis either a 1-yr $7M, or a 2-yr $12M deal w/incentives to $15M+. Both Pineiro & Padilla would scare me from anything other than a 1-year deal.

Posted by: BinM | December 13, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Olsen's not great, but the question is, what are the Nats' alternatives? Again, right now they have 1 proven starting pitcher in the fold. And then we get quotes from the Nats' brass about free agents like "one will fall to us"

This is just more of the same, year after year. If the Nats were saying that they thought Olsen was done and was not going to return from his injury, that would be one thing. But they're not--they want him back, just not his "exorbitant" salary level. When they have 1 starting pitcher, they're still playing that game? Come on.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | December 13, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

It gives the me the opportunity to make two points of which we never tire: the owners are cheap, and everybody but them is stupid.

Posted by: markfromark | December 13, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

We can agree on one thing- They haven't signed anybody who is going to win games for them yet. I'll stay optimistic until we enter February with Livo as our #2...

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | December 13, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

>Posted by: nunof1

It's easy. Look at the alternatives. There are none. We're not talking about replacing one guy, they need three badly. Right now they need four, until Strasburg comes up. Anytime your kneecap comes completely out of place, you're usually good for surgery down the line. Book it. So yeah, they need four starters. The top tier is already gone and we have nothing to trade. Of course, the O's traded nothing to get a top shelf guy, and even got the Rangers to throw in some cash!! Then the Rangers went and got Harden for one year. So they're both better off. You don't think the Nats could have come up with something more than Chris Ray? I mean, it wouldn't be so bad if they had someone to step into Olsen's spot, but the ones we have, they're trying to replace too!

Posted by: Brue | December 13, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I think most of us will agree that Brue is an A**hole too. But every message board needs a few of those, otherwise they might be civil places for real discussion (god forbid).

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | December 13, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

>Olsen underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in July. Perhaps Washington will bring the soon-to-be 26 year-old back at a lower cost, but his stock has plummeted.

Posted by: ABHFGTY

So you're blaming the injury for his performance, and now it's been fixed.
How do you know how hard he's throwing now? Whether he has any pain? What kind of mobility he has. Even RIZZO said (if you don't believe me) that he'll be ready for spring training but they just didn't want to gamble on him? The reason his numbers went down is because of the torn labrum. If he can even pitch that well when he's hurt, how well do you think he's gonna pitch now that everything's gotten fixed?

Posted by: Brue | December 13, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Brue: Gotta love your passion, but you brought up the $$$, not me.

I'll admit that Millwood might have been a good fit with the Nationals, but McPhail & the O's got there first; You can't just say a trade does (or doesn't) get done because of money unless you have ears inside the FO's.

Posted by: BinM | December 13, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

> You can't just say a trade does (or doesn't) get done because of money unless you have ears inside the FO's.

Posted by: BinM

Sure you can. They said they weren't going to pay top shelf prices for pitching this year. They stated that specifically. Millwood makes 12 mill. On top of that, they didn't even sign HARDEN for about half that and he's probably the most talented pitcher available! It's so cheap to say 'you weren't there'. I didn't need to be. They told me what the deal was up front. That's what makes these guys fools - they say before the winter meetings that they're limiting themselves to someone who will 'fall' to them. It's easy if you just listen to what they're actually saying. Not what you think makes sense.

Posted by: Brue | December 13, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

We can agree on one thing- They haven't signed anybody who is going to win games for them yet.

Posted by: cheeseburger53

Including Olsen. Hell, Craig Stammen is older than he is! To give up on a guy when he's 26 when they pick up a reliever who's older than him, had a 3:2 K/BB ratio, has worse numbers in general, and was injured recently, AND hasn't gotten his elbow fixed yet! What was that geeky comment about Olsen's repertoire? Unsustainable or something? Hey it's not a type of fish that we need to conserve. Although it is about resources. Pitching resources. I still don't get it.

Posted by: Brue | December 13, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

CiL: Granted, the Nationals have only one SP with a "proven" track record (Lannan), but Olsen was not a significant loss, imo. Take a look at his 2006-2008 lines (his 3 full-time years) & tell me he's that much different from Lannan, other than strikeouts.

Non-tendering Olsen saved the team about $2.5M; If they put that (& more) toward a #1SP via trade or FA pickup, it's a good move - otherwise, we all have a reason to be pi$$ed.

Posted by: BinM | December 13, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

>Take a look at his 2006-2008 lines (his 3 full-time years) & tell me he's that much different from Lannan, other than strikeouts.

How is this bad? He'll probably throw even harder now. All Lannan needed was runs anyway. But Olsen has some harder stuff than Lannan. Or at least he did. But yeah, for the most part they're similar. He got bogged down with the offspeed breaking balls the way Lannan would occasionally, but that was after he'd already lost his velocity.

Posted by: Brue | December 13, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Wait-a-minute - Why are we expending all this angst over Olsen? His best year statistically was his Rookie year (2006), where he posted a 12-10W-L, 4.04ERA, 2:1K-W, and 1.30WHIP in less than 5.8IP/GS. He hasn't bested ANY of those numbers since then.

Posted by: BinM | December 13, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

The Olsen situation should be handled completely separate from the FA search. I still believe we'll see Olsen re-sign and be back for spring training, but if he doesn't then so what. He's getting worse every year, and there are no guarantees that he's "fixed".

It's also a little ridiculous to get all worked up over what the FO is not doing, until all the FA's have signed and we see what we're looking at heading into Spring Training. Let's not forget the trade market is out there too. Guys like Nolasco, Vasquez, Harang just to name a few might be possiblities. Hopefully some chips will begin to fall soon and we can more accurately judge Rizzo. But for now, I still see plenty of upgrades over Olsen and Livo and I'm hopefully a couple of them will end up here.

Posted by: sec307 | December 13, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

sec307: Thank you for some level-headed thoughts. We (as fans) all have to hope that the FO can acquire some pieces that help the team to the next level. When they don't, we'll undoubtedly see diatribes raking the Lerners', Rizzo & anyone else who might have been involved. If they do, we'll see praises & huzzahs from the masses toward the FO, along with a few self-congratulatory comments. Such is the nature of the beast.

Either way, again, thank you.

Posted by: BinM | December 13, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

>12-10W-L, 4.04ERA, 2:1K-W, and 1.30WHIP in less than 5.8IP/GS. He hasn't bested ANY of those numbers since then.

Posted by: BinM

Need to waste energy on somebody. And now his shoulder is fixed. He's skinny, and it was probably a gradual process. And now he knows how to pitch. The difference between him and most of these other FAs is that they're older than he is. Lot of guys 30+
32 players have already signed.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=ApjEPSD7zpeDjzc8nWZkqGURvLYF?slug=jp-freeagenttracker111909&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

Posted by: Brue | December 13, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

BinM, I understand what you are saying, but it seems to me that we have been down this road before with the Nats and starting pitching. Shopping from the bargain basement bin. And now we hear that "one will fall to us." Not encouraging in my opinion.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | December 13, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

You just KNOW there were fans in San Francisco carving the Giants FO a new one for not signing Barry Zito, until they did. And then they laid into Zito and the FO. Because they can.

OK, pitchers and catchers don't report for about six more weeks, and the season doesn't start for well over three months, so the fact that they have Lannan and (someday Strasburg, maybe) only matters because we don't get to be jazzed up about the starting rotation during the Christmas season. It doesn't matter who they didn't sign, it only matters how the guys they DO sign, pitch. And we won't know that until April at the earliest.
Like I said, IF they don't sign a couple of good starters--better than Olsen--AND Olsen turns out to still be good, then yeah, this will have been a mistake. It's right there in the post. I'll even see your 3/4-empty check bet and raise you a $7 beer if it happens that way.
But I can choose to be miserable, or I can choose to be happy, or I can go be a frontrunner for whatever team is good today. Because it's just a game.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 13, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

CiL, with all due respect, you're ALWAYS discouraged. Santa Clause doesn't seem to encourage you.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 13, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

OK. How strongly do you feel about that?
************
Olsen wouldn't get an offer of 2 million? Bull-****.
Posted by: Brue | December 13, 2009 12:51 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 13, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Sec3, you only get to see the Nats fan part of my life. And on that front, it's hard not to be discouraged by a team that has been awful the past four seasons, the worst in baseball for the past two, yet whose management is showing no sense of urgency in trying to turn things around.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | December 13, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Fair enough. I'll agree with all that but the last part. I do think I see improvement in turning things around, but time will tell.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 13, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Both non-tender moves make sense. Olsen's velocity was down from the get go and he never produced. MacDougal's numbers may look good on the surface but he was very shaky most of time. Way too many walks often followed by wild pitches. Given the surgeries and the fact they were both first year players there is absolutely no reason for arbitration. Resigning as FA's also makes sense. Given the circumstances I'm sure neither expected to get arbitration.

Posted by: SackMan | December 13, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Because G-d knows I've considered this team unwatchable for large parts of the past four years.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 13, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, let's give Olsen a ton of money! The Lerner's ARE cheap. But these are baseball moves, not money moves.

From Slate: Written in 2004
http://www.slate.com/id/2100895/
Of the 36 major-league hurlers diagnosed with labrum tears in the last five years, only midlevel reliever Rocky Biddle has returned to his previous level.

Just a quick internet search, other than Joe Saunders, who would you take?

Torn Labrums - A Small List:
Chad Cordero
Angel Guzman
Kenny Baugh
Nick Neugebauer
Ryan Anderson
Joe Saunders
Robb Nenn

Posted by: ABHFGTY | December 13, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Tim Hudson
Eric Bedard

Come on guys! A torn labrum is the kiss of death, and Olsen is no good unless his fastball has velocity.

Posted by: ABHFGTY | December 13, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

And they just signed Olsen. So it WAS the right decision by Rizzo. Again. Thank God Brue doesn't run the team.

ESPN Jerry Crasnick

"While the base salary is just $1MM, Crasnick says that the deal could jump to nearly $4MM if he makes 33 starts."

Posted by: ABHFGTY | December 13, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4739830
Source: Olsen's deal incentive-heavy
By Jerry Crasnick
ESPN.com
Archive
December 13, 2009, 7:23 PM ET
Left-handed pitcher Scott Olsen, who became a free agent when he was non-tendered by the Nationals on Saturday, has agreed to terms with Washington on a one-year contract for a base salary of $1 million, a baseball source told ESPN.com.

According to the source, the contract includes incentives that could increase Olsen's salary to almost $4 million if he makes 33 starts for the Nationals.

Olsen, 25, posted a 32-37 record in parts of four seasons with Florida before coming to Washington with Josh Willingham in a five-player trade in November 2008. He posted a 2-4 record with a 6.03 ERA last year before undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery in July.

Olsen is well along in his rehabilitation, and the Nationals expect him to compete for a starting job in spring training.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 13, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

SO they didn't offer him arbitration for several million dollars on Saturday, signed him for $1 on Sunday, and if he winds up actually being WORTH IT, then he *can* make the aforementioned several. Those cheap bastards.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 13, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

OK, for $1,000,000. What's a few zeros among friends?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 13, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Clearly, Olsen and his agent didn't think there was $2MM+ on some other table somewhere. They could have been wrong, I suppose; or maybe he just really, REALLY likes it here.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 13, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

And the fact that this got leaked Sunday sorta implies the deal was more or less done before yesterday's deadline. So Rizzo and Olsen both knew about this before now, maybe a long time before.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 13, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

oh, and Good Job, Rizzo.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 13, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

>Olsen is well along in his rehabilitation, and the Nationals expect him to compete for a starting job in spring training.

They had no choice, they had to sign him. If he starts, the money's the same. Bunch of friggin gyrations.

Posted by: Brue | December 13, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

and, of course: http://tinyurl.com/ycxjev5

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 13, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo: "We'll give you One MILLION Dollars just for being Scott Olsen. Now, if you actually can still pitch, we'll give you more, but if you can't, that's all you get. OK?"
Olsen: "One MILLION DOLLARS? Just for being Scott Olsen? Hell yes. It's not like I've got offers for TWO Million Dollars clogging up my voicemail. Where do I sign?"

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 13, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

"They had no choice, they had to sign him. If he starts, the money's the same. Bunch of friggin gyrations."

Of course. IF he starts. This way they're covered if he doesn't. They don't have to pay him then. If they'd gone to arbitration with him, they'd have ended up paying him well over $2M whether he ever started again or not.

So tell me again why non-tendering him was a bad idea? I'm not following your argument at all.

Posted by: nunof1 | December 13, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

and I got yer gyrations right here:
(psfw, dowyw)
http://tinyurl.com/lfh4cf

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 13, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Will have a hard time with anyone not liking this unless you never wanted him back here in the first place. Will be interesting to see how he rebounds, if not we cut him and lose only $1M. Hopefully Olsen isn't counting amongst the 2 starters we all know we need to sign this offseason. Good job Rizzo.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | December 13, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

actually, the million dollars might not even be guaranteed. If he shows up in Viera and does a Brian Lawrence, and blows his arm or shoulder out and never pitches again, they might get to pro-rate that.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 13, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, it's kinda fun reading all of this and scrolling through the rants after the fact. So after all the sturm and drang, it seems that we still have Scott Olsen on board. Well done.

p.s. sec3, the tinyurl that you posted seems to be a circular link that points back to the tinyurl site. So those gyrations will just have to wait, evidently. :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 13, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

BTW, the OP's blog has a piece up on the re-signing of Olsen. Gosh, I'm going to miss those guys. Maybe the Post will pick up one of them for the beat here, eh?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 13, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Nice move. It's a better gamble than many of the $1M bets that will be made this year by MLB teams. Olsen knows how to pitch, the only question is whether he will be physically able to pitch at a high enough level this year.

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 13, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

1a, for me it goes here
http://www.boingboing.net/2009/05/29/bb-video---boiler-ba.html

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 13, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

whereas the OP story is here
http://tinyurl.com/ybbzkf6

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 13, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

That one works, sec3. Thanks.

BTW, Chico has a new post now, too. (That's what I get for talking up the OP. ;-))

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 13, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

And that tinyurl worked fine. Go figure. Perhaps the problem existed between chair and keyboard on this end. :-D

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 13, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

perhaps your wetware filter needs lubricating, 1a ; )

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 13, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

the classics.
KCI Error code 1d10t

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 13, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company