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Riggleman, Capps, Guardado, Marquis

There's been plenty of immigration into NatsTown this week. It's practically like Ellis Island. Welcome, Jason Marquis. Welcome, Eddie Guardado. And perhaps by tonight the Nats will have their third signing of the week, if Matt Capps selects Washington rather than his other finalist, the Chicago Cubs.

A few notes in the meantime ...

* Here's the fishwrap story that details Washington's improved perception among free agents across the league.

* Here, Matt Capps provides a little insight about his coin-flip decision. He's hearing recruiting pitches from both D.C. and Wrigleyville.

* Please note this about Guardado: He'll be getting a one-year deal, non-guaranteed. Meaning he won't be added to the 40-man roster. And he won't have to take a physical for the time being.

* I spoke with Jim Riggleman by phone about the Marquis signing. The manager had this to say: "I think this is the type of guy we need on our staff. He's a solid winner in the big leagues. He has a history of pitching deep into games; he has a history of being healthy. He meets all the criteria we're looking for. Had it been Garland or somebody else I'd be saying the same things, but these are dependable guys that take the ball. They have not been on the DL. And they allow us to have more days where we're not into our bullpen so early. We had a lot of times last year where we were going to our bullpen in the third and fourth inning. That's not a good formula to get your team to win by. We have to have more days where we're into or past the sixth inning with our starter."

A few other highlights from the conversation...

On whether he considers Marquis his No. 1 starter: "You know what, that's interesting you say that. I hadn't even thought about it. As I think about it now, he and Lannan would kind of share that honor for the ballclub based on both of them having good ERAs last year. Both threw over 200 innings. I don't know I could tab either of them, though."

On whether he looks ahead now to his 2011 rotation (best case scenario: Strasburg, Marquis, Zimmermann, Lannan, Mystery No. 5) and gets really excited: "You can't get ahead of yourself. Back in the day I remember Paul Wilson, [Jason] Isringhausen and [Bill] Pulsipher being the future of the Mets. In Oakland it was Mulder, Zito and Hudson. Whether it's because of injury, free agency, you never got to see those people work together for years. So rarely does it happen. It seems like Atlanta is the only team that ran out three or four No. 1s or No. 2s every day for many years. And they won the division every year."

Having made that point, Riggleman emphasized the importance of the Marquis signing, because it means the organization isn't simply depending on a few young arms down the road: "This type of thing signifies that the Lerners, Stan [Kasten] and Mike [Rizzo] have the desire to making us better sooner than later. I think there's a tendency to say, boy, 'The year 2011, Zimmermann will be back. Strasburg will be there. We'll still have Lannan.' But to address things going into the 2010 season is a statement to our fans: We're just not going to wait."

By Chico Harlan  |  December 23, 2009; 11:06 AM ET
 
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Next: Nothing official yet with Capps

Comments

On whether he looks ahead now to his 2011 rotation (best case scenario: Strasburg, Marquis, Zimmermann, Lannan, Mystery No. 5) and gets really excited.
--------------------------
That looks like a playoff rotation. I think a healthy Jordan Zimmermann is a top of the rotation pitcher.

Can we just skip 2010 and fast forward to 2011 now?

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | December 23, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

It's difficult to have any objection to a non-guaranteed deal for Guardado. Nothing is lost if it doesn't work out, other than the money he gets paid while he's here. That seems to be the attitude we have been hoping the team would have.

Saw something in Olney's blog this morning indicating that teams have widely divergent views on the future of Chapman. Yankees may have little-to-no interest. If that's true, the Nationals could be real players if they want to be.

Posted by: jcj5y | December 23, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

With Strasburg and perhaps one other guy on the rise from AAA they may just have enough now. Its the bullpen where all the worries still start and end. Capps, Storen would definitely help. Needing help but with the right mix of veteran and prospects.

Posted by: periculum | December 23, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

The Nationals looking better and better with each signing.

Posted by: alex35332 | December 23, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

As someone mentioned, 2 years removed from TJ. If he pans out, he'll be effective veteran that could possibly be traded mid-season for prospects. If he doesn't, he probably didn't cost much.

Posted by: goexpos2 | December 23, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Rosenthal is reporting his "better guess" that Capps will sign with the Nationals, possibly on a multi-year deal.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/121409-Latest-MLB-buzz

Posted by: jcj5y | December 23, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Who was dropped from the 40-man roster to add Jason Marquis? As I recall, they were right at 40 coming out of the winter meetings, weren't they? Nationals.com currently shows exactly 40, counting Marquis.

Posted by: section309 | December 23, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

sec309: The Nationals were at 39 prior to the Marquis signing - he topped off the roster at 40.

Posted by: BinM | December 23, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

It was the non-tender of MacDougal that gave them the wiggle room.

Posted by: BinM | December 23, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

2010 is the Year they Most show significant progress and not be the butt of very MLB joke BECAUSE....Suites and Pres Club seats all had a 3 year commitment as I recall...what they did sell in 2008 as part oft he new Park Hype...they are all going to be hard to resell at any price....unless the put a good product on the field in 2010....that is why we are seeing some baby steps to improve the product.

Posted by: JayBeee | December 23, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

They need more than Marquis in the rotation. Rizzo needs to get another one from the list of Garland, Pinero, Sheets, Padilla.

And can we please stop with the Storen, SS on the team this year. It would not be wise to rush them. If they are Sept call ups, fine. Personally, I don't want to see them before then.

Posted by: Section505203 | December 23, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

the idea was to ADD the Big Unit, not compare Eddie to him.
Yes, I know that sounds even sillier to some.
*************
Sec3, I really hate to prick someone's bubble when he's obviously riding high on this most excellent news ... but I don't think Guardado is *quite* as good as Randy Johnson.
Posted by: Scooter_ | December 23, 2009 12:38 AM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 23, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

the Pirates fans commenting on the Capps story linked above were mixed on whether they wanted him back, but definitely unhappy Pittsburgh got bupkis for him.
Sounded familiar, but without the Post-Modern references.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 23, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I agree, and I think Rizzo does, too. We'll see.
********
They need more than Marquis in the rotation. Rizzo needs to get another one from the list of Garland, Pinero, Sheets, Padilla.

Posted by: Section505203 | December 23, 2009 12:39 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 23, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I don't expect to see them before Labor Day either, but if they're ready, not rushed, then maybe we will. Sometimes it works out.
***********
And can we please stop with the Storen, SS on the team this year. It would not be wise to rush them. If they are Sept call ups, fine. Personally, I don't want to see them before then.

Posted by: Section505203 | December 23, 2009 12:39 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 23, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

From earlier-from-earlier:

I think 87% is high, but fair enough. Blown saves in the 7th or 8th are more likely by pitchers who aren't good enough at closing to be doing that. But then, I think that was my point--not just anybody can be effective at closing.

Might be interesting to see what the blown save % is for 9th/last innings alone.
****************************
Brief follow up on "closers."
The save/save opportunity ratio is about 2/3, but that's overall. I was referring to closers, who have a success rate more like 87 percent. That's not surprising given the nature of the task.
-------
sec3mysofa: The major league average for blown saves is about 1 in 3 chances--that's your "most of the time." If just anybody could do that, no one would get paid extra for it.
Posted by: KenNat | December 23, 2009 8:49 AM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 23, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

You should be so lucky ...

*************
I really need to stop this string of brief, kind-of-related, barely coherent posts. People already confuse me with Sec3 enough as it is.
Posted by: Scooter_ | December 23, 2009 12:51 AM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 23, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

My mind's already made up--don't confuse me with Scooter.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 23, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

What about Duchsherer?

Posted by: goexpos2 | December 23, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I, for one, have never confused him with either sec3 or Scooter. What? Oh. Never mind.

---

What about Duchsherer?

Posted by: goexpos2 | December 23, 2009 1:07 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 23, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

'Scuse me if this Bleacher Report item on Capps has already been linked to:

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/313479-sign-with-the-nationals-matt-capps

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 23, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

has anyone from the team commented yet on where they see SS starting out next year? Is he gonna be right in AAA or start in Harrisburg?

Posted by: alex35332 | December 23, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

alex: No comments from the FO that I've either seen or heard; I'd think the team will see what he looks like in Viera, and make their judgement then. Could be as low as Potomac (hi-A) or as high as SYR (AAA).

Posted by: BinM | December 23, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

has anyone from the team commented yet on where they see SS starting out next year? Is he gonna be right in AAA or start in Harrisburg?

Posted by: alex35332 | December 23, 2009 2:41 PM

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

Oh no, man! He's GOTTA put in at least two weeks in Potomac, so I can get an autographed ball on Signature Sunday!

Posted by: MikeH0714 | December 23, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

@MikeH: I'm hoping he starts the year in POT so I can get an early look at the kid.

Posted by: BinM | December 23, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

MikeH0714

Thats probably the best reason I have heard about having him start low that I have heard yet. Also I could see some good sales for Potomac on a SStart.

Also how does Potomac do in terms of drawing a crowed? Because I would rent a car and leave DC to just watch him destroy some lower level competition.

Posted by: alex35332 | December 23, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and Scooter, there's also this (maybe I should have specified a position player):

blah blah Silver Slugger blah blah

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 23, 2009 8:45 AM
++++++++++++++
The album version is "second baseman." The 12-inch doesn't count.

(And dude, what was with everyone talking about Pudge and Marquis? Wasn't there some cat who played for the team in 2009 who won a Silver Slugger? And a Gold Glove?)

((And man, just think how much better he could have been if the team were smart enough to move him to first, like we told them to. Sheesh.))

Posted by: Scooter_ | December 23, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Alex35322 wrote:

"... Because I would rent a car and leave DC to just watch him [Strasburg] destroy some lower level competition."

I flew from Anchorage, Alaska to Phoenix to watch him in AFL, and it was totally worth the trip.

On the same trip, I saw Aaron Crow pitch (and Drew Storen).

We came out so far ahead in that deal, it's not funny.

Posted by: wigi | December 23, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

I'd been wondering why Capps had picked Wednesda night to sign. I guess he's waiting for the Cubs to top the Nats standing offer:

http://espn.go.com/chicago/columns/blog/_/post/4768403/name/levine

"Barring any unforeseen change, the Cubs will contact Kinzer sometime Wednesday evening with either a proposal in hand or stating that they are bowing out of negotiations. Either way, Capps is expected to sign with a new team before midnight Wednesday."

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 23, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Wednesday's child is full of woe?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 23, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

We're gonna have a Special Guest?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 23, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

He's implying he'll bring whichever team it is over the hump?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 23, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I flew from DC to Phoenix (and boy were my arms tired! badaboom!) to see him and all I got was 2.2 innings of balls being hit halfway back here.
Well, at least I didn't get tossed.
***********
I flew from Anchorage, Alaska to Phoenix to watch him in AFL, and it was totally worth the trip.
Posted by: wigi | December 23, 2009 3:26 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 23, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

bisquit(s), sounds like everybody agrees tonight's the night (gonna be all right). No telling whose idea it was -- the team could have chosen tonight because they wanted to meet the player's deadline.

My guess is, there's some goyische holiday coming up end of this week, and some dudes seem interested in settling contract worries prior to said holiday.

Posted by: Scooter_ | December 23, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Will the Cubs call Rizzo's bet, or fold the hand? News at 11.

Posted by: BinM | December 23, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Buster sez Capps is close to agreement with Nats...

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4768894

Posted by: Section220 | December 23, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Or, to paraphrase from Godfather II: Rizzo to Capps "If the contract is on my desk when I wake up, I'll know we have a deal".

Posted by: BinM | December 23, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

"Just when I thought I was out...they pull me back in."

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 23, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

@1a1: You could never get out - You were "a made woman" back in '05.

Posted by: BinM | December 23, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Correction: better phrased as "a made Fan".

Posted by: BinM | December 23, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

True, BinM. They had me at "play ball."

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 23, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

From Godfather III to Jerry Maguire? That's a cinimatic foul...

Posted by: TimDz | December 23, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Based on a "sniff test", the Capps decision might boil down to whether or not the Cubs offer a 2nd year guarantee on the contract; I think Rizzo has offered enough $$ to pique his interest, and a 2nd year vested on games either pitched or finished.

Posted by: BinM | December 23, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

hehe

---

From Godfather III to Jerry Maguire? That's a cinimatic foul...

Posted by: TimDz | December 23, 2009 7:08 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 23, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

In other news, the Rockies are apparently "kicking the tires" on former Nationals pitcher Tim Redding (per T.Harding on MLB.com).
Good luck with that.

Posted by: BinM | December 23, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

@TimDz: Since the mashup reference was from Godfather II to Jerry McGuire, good call - that's a clear cinematic crossover foul.
If the mashup had been from Godfather III to Jerry McGuire, that's a "no-call, inadvertent whistle" in my book. (The Godfather III should have never happened).

Posted by: BinM | December 23, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

@BinM: Godfather III should never had happened, this is a true statement...

The "Just when I thought I was out..." line was indeed from the aforementioned (as n never should have happened) GFIII

Posted by: TimDz | December 23, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

the Times is saying (I think it was them) that the Nats offered two years but that Capps actually prefers a 1 year deal cuz he is arbitration eligible and is looking for a bigger payday/longer contract next year

Posted by: jfromPG | December 23, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

MICHAEL (leaning over to Vincent)

Never let anyone know what you're thinking.

(then, to Al Neri and the group)

All right, let's get a, let's get a message to Joey Zasa. I respect what he's done. The new overthrows the old, it's natural.

VINCENT

How can you do business with this guy?

MICHAEL (ignores Vincent)

I'm a businessman, first, foremost. I want no further conflict with anyone.

VINCENT

Well you tell him from me, that he can live, or he can die.

MICHAEL

Vincent will you SHUT UP!

MICHAEL

That’s it.

(then)

Joey Zasa. He can't be doing this alone. Ugh -- just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!

(then)

Our true enemy, has not yet, shown his face.

Posted by: TimDz | December 23, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

@TimDz: You are right - no whistle, no foul on 1a1; play on.

Posted by: BinM | December 23, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

@TimDz: You are right - no whistle, no foul on 1a1; play on.

Posted by: BinM | December 23, 2009 8:32 PM
_______________________________

I don't know much (just ask my ex-wife...she'll confirm it), but I know my Godfather references...

Posted by: TimDz | December 23, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

A good update on Capps from Zuckerman:
http://washingtontimes.com/weblogs/chatter/2009/dec/23/nats-close-to-signing-capps/

Posted by: Section222 | December 23, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm... So Capps wants to gamble on a 1-yr deal; OK, sign him for whatever Rizzo offerered him up-front (I'm guessing $2-2.5M), throw him in the pool with Bruney (& others) and see who wins in Viera.

If he does agree to terms, the question becomes who gets DFA'd / released? My best guess would be either Estrada or Mattheus.

Posted by: BinM | December 23, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Isn't Mattheus the one we got from Colorado for Joe Beimel? He just had Tommy Jonn Surgery...Would he be able to be placed on the DL or does that have to happen during the season (probably showing my lack of baseball acumen here...please don't banish me from NJ)

Posted by: TimDz | December 23, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

lack of baseball acumen? Ha. Dude. You fit right in. =)

Posted by: NatsNut | December 23, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

The MadDog is tweeting that Capps' agent says he hopes to have a deal done in the next couple of hours. Say what you want about ol' Bill, but you have to hand it to his reporting this offseason. He's all over everything... just ignore his editorializing though.

As for Capps, regardless of whether his deal is one or two years, he's under control for two. He will be the power arm we've never had in the back of our bullpen. I hope Tony Plush is working the phones right now to get this done.

Posted by: sec307 | December 23, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

SO, theoretically, if a reasonably good outcome in 2010 is "respectablility," not competitiveness in the NL East, so that the next year, 2011, when the free agent market is expected to be better stocked, they can attract top-level talent, then

Valverde, at something between $5MM-10MM, vs. Capps at maybe $2MM-2.5MM, might be worth, what, 5 fewer blown saves? More? What's a win worth, again?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 23, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

"Say what you want about ol' Bill, but you have to hand it to his reporting this offseason. He's all over everything."

Well, he's a baseball reporter--what the hell else has he got to do? Learn a foreign language?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 23, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Yes, my quote was from III.

BTW, there's a new post, but nothing, um, new yet.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 23, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

And III *was* pretty bad, I agree.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 23, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Godfather III quotes should sleep with the fishes like Fredo.

Posted by: dfh21 | December 24, 2009 12:30 AM | Report abuse

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