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Rizzo in attendance to watch Chapman

The Washington Nationals, just months after signing the most hyped pitching prospect in a generation, now have their eyes set on another untested but prodigious talent. According to two sources, Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo on Tuesday attended a workout in Houston to watch the bullpen session of 21-year-old pitcher Aroldis Chapman, a Cuban defector who is sometimes described as the left-handed version of Stephen Strasburg.

According to media reports, representatives from 15 major league teams attended the workout session. Though Rizzo's attendance doesn't mean that the Nationals will become serious bidders for Chapman -- he could command a contract worth $20 million or more -- it suggests that the organization is curious. Unlike Strasburg, who was obtained in the amateur draft, Chapman is a free agent and can entertain offers from any club. He defected last summer from Cuba, and is touted by many in the industry as the best pitcher not already in an organization.

Earlier this year, during the World Baseball Classic, Chapman's fastball was clocked at 102 mph. Chapman recently switched representatives, and is now advised by the Hendricks brothers. They orchestrated this throwing session as a de facto showcase for Chapman, given that many teams have insufficient information about him. According to an ESPN.com report, Chapman threw mostly 92 and 93 mph fastballs, topping out at 96.

Also: The Nats signed six players today to minor league contracts, including some familiar ones. (Pete Orr, Logan Kensing and Jamie Burke.) Here's the full release.

By Chico Harlan  |  December 15, 2009; 5:04 PM ET
 
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Next: Nats announce individual ticket prices for 2010

Comments

Responding to comments on the previous threads, I'm not saying that no quality free agent would want to play with the Nats, just not the premier, marquee (not Marquis) players like Halladay and Lackey. They will go to to the Red Sox, Phillies, Yankees etc. because they can. And who would blame them? It's not money that's motivating them, at least not entirely, but glory, as in World Series glory.

But not everyone can go to a contender, and that's why the Nats have to be in all in trying to get someone in the second tier. So far, we have no indication that Rizzo isn't exploring every legitimate option, which is why the belly-aching on here prompted by the Halladay deal and the Lackey probable signing is so silly. Like I said, take a deep breath and hold your fire until February/March.

I think I'd rather they bring in two legitimate No. 2/3 starters for next year than break the bank on the untested Chapman, but it's not my money, so if Rizzo/StanK can convince the Lerners to go after him, I'll be all for it.

Posted by: Section222 | December 15, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Chapman's former agency API is suing the Hendricks Bros. for tortiously interfering with API's contract with Chapman and stealing him away. Should be interesting...

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | December 15, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Hm. Where do I know the Hendricks brothers from...? Oh right. Good Luck Rizzo. It'll REALLY stick it to Bowden if you get this one.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 15, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry Section222, but rational, well-considered, thought out and correctly spelled postings calling for moderation and patience have no place in this commentary.

I shall have to report you forthwith!

Posted by: ts35 | December 15, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Thank you ts. Nice to have another rational poster.

That Chapman switched to the Hendricks is a red flag. Not only is he now embroiled in, what could be, a prolonged legal battle, but he went with the folks who advised Crow to forgo a year of pay and to delay F/A for a full year, just to end up signing with KC.

But then pitchers don't necessarily have the best set of tools between their ears. But that may just be from my perspective.

Posted by: mikecatcher50 | December 15, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

"Kool Aid! Getcha Kool Aid here!"

Posted by: Section505203 | December 15, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Off topic, but Logan Kensing is harder to get rid of than crabgrass and athlete's foot combined. What, we didn't see enough of this guy's awesome "potential" in '09?

By Bill Ladson / MLB.com

12/15/09 6:50 PM EST

The Nationals signed pitchers Joel Peralta, Logan Kensing and Ryan Speier, catcher Jamie Burke, infielder Pete Orr and outfielder Jerry Owens to Minor League contracts on Tuesday.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | December 15, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Hey, if unwilling to accept guaranteed perrenial losing from penny-pinching ownership makes this poster irrational, then color me cookoo.

Posted by: dfh21 | December 15, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Coming soon from Miramax: "Logan's Runs," a sci-fi thriller in which the hero has a 5.81 career ERA.

Two thumbs down.

Posted by: Drew8 | December 15, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Re: The lede - I agree with all of you who think Chapman switching agents is a red-flag, and when you bring the Hendricks Bros. into it, it will most likely end badly for the player; To quote, "He chose poorly".

Posted by: BinM | December 15, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

FWIW, Kensing agreed to re-sign back in November - The contract has finally been registered with MLB. He was "killer" in SYR last year (.224BAA, 5.8:1K-W); As long as the Nationals don't promote him again, all is well.
All the rest of the guys either signed or assigned to the Nationals are minor-league signings; They'll possibly fill slots at SYR or HAR, and that's OK. At least the team doesn't look like KC or OAK who seem to be building their entire AAA team from FA signings. The Nationals have "been there, done that" (see 2006-2008).

Posted by: BinM | December 15, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

At least Livo should still be available once other teams have taken the pick of the litter.

Posted by: CountDemoney | December 15, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

It is not virtuous to complain, ridicule, and whine.

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 15, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Just say no to Livo. Entertaining though he may be, of all the innings eaters who ate as many innings as he did in 2009, his ERA was the worst. We're trying to win a few more games this year, people.

Posted by: nunof1 | December 15, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Bisquit: By your definition, that means that being virtuous is no fun at all. Maybe that's why I behave more like a hedonist on this blog. Pain vs. Pleasure; It's all motivational.

Posted by: BinM | December 15, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

nunof1: Livo's a good guy, but at this point the only way I'd want him back on the roster is if three SP's break down (much like 2009).

In that situation, he's a good fill-in until somebody either gets healthy, or the season ends. I admit to being a voice for him earlier, but times & needs are fluid.

Posted by: BinM | December 15, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm all for signing Chapman, but I don't think he should count as one of our two FA starting pitchers for '10. From what I've read, he's not as ready as Strasburg - but then who is.

Rizzo was the only GM to travel to see him, which is a good sign. As for his agent, who cares. All agents are a-holes, it's their job. I believe his first agent was trying to get him $50 mil while hiding him in Europe. At least this agent has him in this country and actually working out for all to see.

The more I think about it, the more I think we should pay whatever it takes to get him just to show we can. He's a piece for the future, not just a two-year stopgap like Garland or Marquis. Sign him and one other FA pitcher, then trade Willingham for another pitcher might work.

I also think it would be good for Strasburg to have someone pushing him - and diverting attention.

Posted by: sec307 | December 15, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

sec307: A. Chapman up until now is Sydd Finch - a figment of someones' imagination brought to life. Buy into an "eyes-on" evaluation more than the agent's hype of someone who's been sequestered for nearly a year. Even if he's half of what the hype has been, he's still probably 3-4 years away from a MLB-ready situation.

Posted by: BinM | December 15, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

For all of you hypocrites who screamed at the top of your lungs last summer...."F*** Boras and F*** Strasburg...don't need em/ don't want em"..... I'm hearing the same nonsense here about Chapman....However, don't fret, the WORST team in baseball won't be in play for this kind of guy who is available to the highest bidder... for every reason: $$$, and the fact that the Nats are $$ bottom feeders so the Olsen's and the Livan's of the world....meet the profile of who will be inking contracts to play here.

Posted by: FletcherChristian1 | December 15, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

The reality is that only 4 teams heve any chance of winning the bidding. Either the Yankees, Red Sox, or one of the LA teams will sign him. It's an old story.

Posted by: fischy | December 16, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

"The reality is that only 4 teams heve any chance of winning the bidding. Either the Yankees, Red Sox, or one of the LA teams will sign him. It's an old story."

2008 -- Biggest bonus for an international FA Michael Inoa $4m to Oakland. Not one of the 4.

2009- biggest international bonus Miguel Sano $3.1m to the Minnesota Twins. Not one of the 4 either.

Guess who just signed another Cuban for a little over a million? The Royals.

Chapman may be overrated, he may not have the mental makeup to be successful but he's lefthanded and can throw real hard. He's big and projectable. There is a chance he could give you $50 million in production while he's under team control. There is ZERO chance any of the mediocre 2/3 (more like 4/5) starters available in the FA class. Take the risk, play the upside.

Posted by: traderkirk | December 16, 2009 12:47 AM | Report abuse

Signing young players with high up-side potential is exactly what the Nationals should be doing. In fact, nothing is more important.

I know nothing about Chapman beyond what's written above. But if they can blow $6 million on two years of an over-the-hill backup catcher, surely they should be willing to risk several times that on a lefty pitcher who has a realistic chance of being a major part of a championship-quality rotation.

Posted by: Dynatic | December 16, 2009 2:48 AM | Report abuse

Tiger Woods and John Patterson were treated by the same doctor from Canada who is now being investigated for steroid distribution. Galea's specialties sound like a combination of voodoo mixed with good old fashion PEDs; he gave his patients HGH and a drug made out of calf's blood in addition to using other methods such as oxygen therapy.

www.nytimes.com/2009/12/16/sports/16doctor.html

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | December 16, 2009 6:51 AM | Report abuse

It's a shame Patterson couldn't get it together. I was never sure if it was his head, his arm, or both. He had a lot of talent and had he stayed healthy would have made a big difference in the early years. Same goes for Hill, although there it is a little more clear - it was his arm that failed him. Imagine if Patterson, Hill, and Cordero had all stayed healthy and productive for five years. Maybe some of the young pitchers, the Nationals kept saying they did not want to rush, would not have been rushed and the farm system would look much more robust right now with Zimmermann, Detwiler, Stammen, Martis, and Mock all still qualifiying as rookies. The Nats might have been able to trade a couple for some missing pieces. Certainly the future would look a lot brighter.

Alas, all teams have injurries, but ....

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 16, 2009 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Joel Peralta is the sleeper among those signees. He blew up a bit last year in a short stay with the Rockies, but had some good years with the Angels and Royals in '05 - '07.
http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=2332&position=P
Looking at his fangraphs chart, he throws a lot of good breaking balls, and, anecdotally, breaking ball pitchers do not do well at Coors. Throws hard enough (90+ on his fastball) that he is not just a junk thrower. Has a decent split too.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | December 16, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

i doubt the big big money market teams sign him. they have immediate desire to win and chapman is supposedly less major league ready than strasburg. he has to adapt to culture as well as expectations and competition. i think we have a good chance to sign him if we really want.

do we care about appearances of paying chapman more than strasburg even if strasburg is more ready? i don't, but i doubt the money is that much different. strasburg was on the hook for $50 million before reality trumped hype.

if the money is less than $20 million, i expect us to be all over this.

Posted by: longterm | December 16, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

With these new signings, it looks like The Riz will be prepared if the bullpen (whatever it may look like after Spring Training) falters and he needs to reach down and pluck someone from Syracuse. At least we will have some veterans to choose from.

Posted by: markfd | December 16, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

markfd: "With these new signings, it looks like The Riz will be prepared if the bullpen (whatever it may look like after Spring Training) falters and he needs to reach down and pluck someone from Syracuse. At least we will have some veterans to choose from."

Well, yeah, we've got Logan Kensing back. He's a veteran, right?

Posted by: shepdave2003 | December 16, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

If what has been reported is true, the floor for Chapman is a $15.5 million offer from the Red Sox. I suspect that if we weren't interested in paying at least that, Rizzo wouldn't have personally attended the workout. On the other hand, sitting at 92-93 and touching 96 does not match the Chapman hype. I agree with longterm that if the price stays under $20, the Nats will stay interested.

I'd also note that Boras is exactly right when he says the system is unfair to US draftees. Chapman does not appear to be anywhere near Strasburg, and yet he seems certain to get more money to sign.

Posted by: jcj5y | December 16, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

"I was never sure if it was his head, his arm, or both."

Don't be too hard on yourself, natbiscuit; I don't think anybody is sure of that. Including John Patterson.

Posted by: Scooter_ | December 16, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

If we got this kid, think of the 2012 rotation: Strasburg, Chapman, Lannan, Zimmerman, Holder. Can you say NL East Champs.

Posted by: hansenjo | December 16, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Yay for Pete Orr. He's a ballplayer.

Posted by: AsstGM | December 16, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Agreed, AsstGM.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 16, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

This is exactly the kind of player the Nats need to pursue -- extremely high upside without breaking the bank. A rotation with Chapman and Strasburg would potentially be one of the best in baseball, and even if it wasn't, it sure would be fun to watch.

Posted by: miked88 | December 16, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

wow, i really didn't know he was 6'10.

la unidad grande!

Posted by: longterm | December 16, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Sign Livo, on the condition he can lure Chapman here as well. And maybe Pedro Ramos has a few innings left in him as well.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | December 16, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

When is this team finally going to bite the bullet and spend the money on a PROVEN major league pitcher?

Excuse after excuse after excuse.

First, it's 'a big name pitcher would take innings away from our younger talents'.

Then, it's 'nobody out there is worth the money that is being talked about'.

Then, it's 'we are looking but nobody seems to be biting'.

So, no one is interested in Washington?

So, throw a few EXTRA bucks in the deal to get their attention.

God knows the $40M payroll isn't going to kill the organization.

Posted by: leopard09 | December 16, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

leopard09,

But, a higher than 40 mill payroll will eat into Uncle Teddy's profits.

StanK would have to hawk a lot of Kool Aid to make up the difference.

Posted by: Section505203 | December 16, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

"Though Rizzo's attendance doesn't mean that the Nationals will become serious bidders for Chapman -- he could command a contract worth $20 million or more -- it suggests that the organization is curious."

I suspect that many would agree that the Nationals organization is, indeed, curious.

Posted by: BobLHead | December 16, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Chico, When the media reports that a team like the NY Yankees has a payroll over $200M, what all goes into that number? Specifically, is that based on the projected payroll based on the opening day 25 man roster? Or does it include all guaranteed contracts including dead money from released players and minor league players and signing bonuses? When they report the National's payroll this year will it include Strassburg and Storen even if tney are not on the 25 man roster?

Fans everywhere -except in New York- complain that their team's budgets are too low. Some, like DC, have a reason to complain while others, like Boston, do not.

What are the National's saying they are forecasting for 2010? Up or down from last year?

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 16, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Just a point of information: Daniel Cabrera throws pretty hard, too.

We know nothing about this guy beyond the write-ups, and I don't trust them implicitly. That's why Rizzo's there to look, and even then, it's always a gamble.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 16, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Bisquit, this kind of question is often answered more quickly by Mr. Google than Mr. Harlan:

http://espn.go.com/mlb/teams/salaries?team=nyy

(Team payroll = aggregate salaries of players on the roster, not total payroll.)

Posted by: BobLHead | December 16, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

just say NO to babelfish.

***********
wow, i really didn't know he was 6'10.
la unidad grande!
Posted by: longterm | December 16, 2009 10:50 AM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 16, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I am 100% fed up with "wait until we are team in contention", "we are too young right now", etc.

Let's face some facts.

1. Our farm system is not a top farm system and it wont be for a while.
2. We've had back to back 100 loss seasons.
3. We have one of the lowest payrolls in baseball, yet according to sources we are a top profiting club.

We've had too many excuses and not enough action. Go get Chapman, he's all upside and DC is a great place for Chapman to grow as a ball player (not NY, BOS, LA). Spend money on two big named pitchers, that will eat up innings RIGHT NOW. SPEND THE MONEY! Go sign or trade for a big name/great defensive middle infielder. TURN US INTO A POSSIBLE CONTENDER NOW. SPEND MONEY NOW.

Two possibe scenerios:

1. Ten years from now we can say the Lerners/StanK have done everything in their pockets/power & ability to turn this club into a winning one, and this city into a baseball town, even if we've failed.

2. That stadium will be a ghost town, if still even used for baseball, DC will have lost out on a great opportunity because of the lack of effort and investment.
We are the

Posted by: NatsandSkinsareclassclassclass | December 16, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Oooooorrrrrrrrrr! I wonder how his fantasy team is doing this year.


I always thought total payroll would include all guaranteed commitments for the year (signing bonus prorations, guaranteed draft money, dead money to released players).

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | December 16, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I dunno, the gripes I see about "no more excuses, sign big time FA now, the incompetence continues, blah, blah, blah," just sound like dated complaints.

It's pretty clear to me that since Rizzo took over they aren't making excuses at all. They're actually DOING STUFF. And I have no doubt they're gunning hard for the next tier of FA starters under Lackey, but it won't be easy. I mean, there ARE 29 other teams. Still, I bet we'll get someone that makes us happy.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 16, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

although, NN, it *would* be ironic if they fired Bowden and then hired another Lackey.

Bada-boom.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 16, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

NatsNut..........

Ah yes, the fresh smell of mediocrity and complacency. Our Nationals have reaked of it since inception, and now even the fans are simply content with a front office overhaul and the signing of PUDGE?! Is this what we've settled for??????????????

Posted by: NatsandSkinsareclassclassclass | December 16, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Mediocrity?? You had mediocrity? You were LUCKY. We used to DREAM of mediocrity. It would've been a palace to us!

We had to live, all 9,000 of us, in a decrepit outdoor soccer field built during the Eisenhower administration, no coffee, no radio signal outside the beltway, TV rights owned by our sworn enemy, and when the former owners' new team came to town, they'd thrash us to sleep with baseball bats.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 16, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

It's not so much "settled for" as "tired of listening to a lot of pointless windging."

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-ring.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 16, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

and they have REEKED since 2006. Double-E there.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 16, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Don't be ridiculous. Nobody is *content* with a staff overhaul and Pudge, fercryinoutloud.

But in 6 months, more good things have happened than bad. And the good things have been way better than the good things BEFORE Rizzo, and faster.

If you're really paying attention, it's pretty clear that it's not the same ole, same ole in the Nats front office. THAT'S why the same old gripes don't seem to apply anymore.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 16, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

This just in: The player known as 21 year old Aroldis Chapman, the 100+MPH Cuban pitcher, is actually 54-year-old Jack Mikva, born and raised in suburban Chicago, and throws in the high 80s on a good day (a good day being any day they let him take pills without peeing in a cup later).

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 16, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

See, now THAT would be the same old Same Old.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 16, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Mediocrity?? You had mediocrity? You were LUCKY. We used to DREAM of mediocrity.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 16, 2009 1:49 PM

***************

Now that's funny.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 16, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Mediocrity?? You had mediocrity? You were LUCKY. We used to DREAM of mediocrity. It would've been a palace to us!

We had to live, all 9,000 of us, in a decrepit outdoor soccer field built during the Eisenhower administration, no coffee, no radio signal outside the beltway, TV rights owned by our sworn enemy, and when the former owners' new team came to town, they'd thrash us to sleep with baseball bats.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 16, 2009 1:49 PM

As usual, I'm with Sec3mysofa. As befuddling as some of the Nats' moves have been, this is a helluva lot more fun that projecting the Deadskins' first-round draft pick. Go, Rizzo, sign Jason Marquis to a two-year deal and make us prouder.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | December 16, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

NN,

When I see 2 solid starters signed in FA, then I will believe that it's not the same old same old. Rizzo is a breath of fresh air, I will admit but, it's the people over him that I don't have faith in. StanK and the Lerner's have showed me nothing but, bloviation and cheapness since 2006.


Posted by: Section505203 | December 16, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

The Lackeys and the Hollidays (OF) of the world hardly ever sign with 100+ loss teams, so don't blame the Nats. For $20 million a year more, if you can get Chapman in the farm and Marquis and Duchscherer (sp?) or Nolasco via trade in the rotation we are in good shape.

Did someone say Holder?!?!

Posted by: goexpos2 | December 16, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

505, fair enough, but is that really your only benchmark? What if it's one good FA starter, but we're .500 at the allstar break?

Posted by: NatsNut | December 16, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Wait a minute...Galea has been accused of distributing PEDs. Maybe that is why Tiger needed to get involved in all of that extra-curricular activity.

Also, we can't use Pete Ramos to try and influence Chapman. Pete is still in Cuba. Either he would try and lure Arnoldo back to Havana, or Castro won't let Pedro leave, for fear that he might resign with the Washington Baseball team.

Posted by: Catcher50 | December 16, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

You think Tiger was 'roiding and that's why he turned out to be a horndog? But I thought steroids shrunk your junk?

Posted by: section309 | December 16, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

The best things to happen to this club in the last 6 months are Kearns, Belliard, Young and Cabrera being off the books. The Nats already paltry payroll just got $20M+ lighter. And the club has only Zim's affordable long term deal in place.

This club has all kinds of chances to get any number of high caliber players RIGHT NOW, whether by taking on contracts, singing FA talent or trading away Willingham. I can only hope that Rizzo is going to spring something and very soon.

I am with the no excuses camp in here. The Lerners are in a great position but are sitting on their wallets at a moment when players can be had at a discount. This club could be relavent this year if the Lerners so choose.

Posted by: dfh21 | December 16, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

dfh21 wrote: "This club has all kinds of chances to get any number of high caliber players RIGHT NOW, whether by taking on contracts, singing FA talent or trading away Willingham."

Every fan of every club says this every December. Please propose specific signings and/or trades, including $ and players traded.

Posted by: NattyFan | December 16, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I second that emotion. :-D

---

Now that's funny.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 16, 2009 2:12 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 16, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I was in attendance to see Ninja Assassin, but it doesn't mean I now know how to use nunchuks.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 16, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Please propose specific deals? Come on. There is no need to specualte as to what specific moves the club could possibly make, as almost every player in the bigs on a big contract is fair game right now. Any player without a no-trade could be a Nat.

I guess that I could say that they might sign Matt Holliday for $90M and trade Willingham to the Braves for D. Lowe and about 70% of his salary, then sign Joel Piniero for 3 years plus an option at about $33M and add Matt Capps or another of the serviceable relivers on the market for say 2 years and $7M. But that would be very speculative, no? (Adding the $45-50M or so next year would still put the Nats in the bottom third of MLB payrolls.)

The Nats have a revenue producing club with an ultra low payroll and no bad contracts. Ahd they so chosen, they could have had Juan Pierre or Mike Cameron, they could have had Kevin Millwood, they could have had any player off the board this year but for Halladay.

BUT, Nats management is telling us all we have to settle for Jason Marquis or John Garland and their softballing ways, if we get lcuky, and maybe a glove first back-up MI. And a lot of people seem to be buying that junk.

Posted by: dfh21 | December 16, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Man, my typing skills are lacking -- sorry.

Posted by: dfh21 | December 16, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

505, fair enough, but is that really your only benchmark? What if it's one good FA starter, but we're .500 at the allstar break?

Posted by: NatsNut | December 16, 2009 2:51 PM
________________________________________________________

NN,

Yes, I guess, two solid starters signed via FA, would be a "benchmark" for me. I just want them stop sitting on their checkbook and not being active in FA. Kasten avoids it like it's a highly contagious disease.

Going the 50 mill payroll and build through draft and minor trades route hasn't worked out to well over the last 3 years. 89, 102 and 103 season in the Lerner era prove that point.

They need to spend some money on quality, ML ready talent to speed up the process of making this team competitive.

Kasten spews this "have patience" and "the young guys are developing and coming soon"
crap. A lot of those guys will never develop because of injury's or the fact that they will never pan out.

Posted by: Section505203 | December 16, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

With our record, signing a Type A or B FA and not losing the 1st round pick is an easy way to get pieces in that you can trade later.....and that actually help you win now!

Posted by: goexpos2 | December 16, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

"Kasten spews this "have patience" and "the young guys are developing and coming soon"
crap. A lot of those guys will never develop because of injury's or the fact that they will never pan out."

Plus, the guys who *do* pan out aren't getting younger. How many more excellent seasons from Zimmerman are the Nats going to waste surrounding him with an awful team?

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | December 16, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5wmParkppw

---

I was in attendance to see Ninja Assassin, but it doesn't mean I now know how to use nunchuks.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 16, 2009 4:10 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 16, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait until they've wreaked havoc.

---

and they have REEKED since 2006. Double-E there.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 16, 2009 1:52 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 16, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

hmmm, I guess that Tony Plush does that on the base paths a little.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 16, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

And I'm gonna do it in the new post, by gum.

Posted by: Scooter_ | December 16, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Right now, there is no difference between Aroldis Chapman and a young Daniel Cabrera (except that Cabrera threw harder at the same age). It is insane to throw huge money at a guy who is more of a thrower than a pitcher. You could end up with Randy Johnson (who was nothing but a thrower with the Expos), but you are far more likely to have Cabrera, Matt Anderson, Todd Van Poppel, or Steve Dalkowski. We are very lucky to have a young man with the polish of Stephen Strasburg.

Posted by: ddcencasa | December 17, 2009 1:29 AM | Report abuse

Player Salary (US$)
1 a. Cristian Guzman 8,000,000
1 b. Adam Dunn 8,000,000
1 c. Austin Kearns 8,000,000
4. Dmitri Young 5,000,000
5. Ryan Zimmerman 3,325,000
6. Josh Willingham 2,950,000
7. Scott Olsen 2,800,000
8. Josh Bard 1,600,000
9. Willie Harris 1,500,000
10. Logan Kensing 660,000
11. Jamie Burke 600,000
12. Ron Villone 500,000
13. Saul Rivera 475,000
14. Wil Nieves 445,000
15. Jason Bergmann 439,000
16. Matt Chico 431,000
17. John Lannan 424,000
18. J.D. Martin 420,000
19 a. Elijah Dukes 415,500
19 b. Jesus Flores 415,500
21. Collin Balester 401,000
22 a. Roger Bernadina 400,000
22 b. Marco Estrada 400,000
22 c. Shairon Martis 400,000
22 d. Ian Desmond 400,000
22 e. Luis Atilano 400,000
22 f. Jordan Zimmermann 400,000
22 g. Tyler Clippard 400,000
22 h. Alberto Gonzalez 400,000
22 i. Ross Detwiler 400,000
22 j. Justin Maxwell 400,000
22 k. Garrett Mock 400,000
22 l. Craig Stammen 400,000
Total Team Salary: 62,001,000
Re allocating the salaries of Kearns, Young among some other smaller salaries should help have a better team for roughly the same money

Posted by: Enrico1 | December 18, 2009 3:42 AM | Report abuse

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