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Strasburg finally signs... a marriage license

We're not trying to compete against The Reliable Source over here, but we have word of some nuptials to pass along: Stephen Strasburg, the 21-year-old right-hander whom the Nationals signed in August to the largest bonus in MLB draft history, was married on Jan. 9 near his San Diego home to the former Rachelle Lackey (whom you can see in this photo from Strasburg's introductory news conference in August by the esteemed Joe Silverman of the sports section formerly known as The Washington Times).

The new husband and wife are presently on their honeymoon at an undisclosed location. We presume Scott Boras negotiated them a favorable package price.

The news helps explain a couple of absences on the part of Strasburg. He did not attend last week's Rookie Career Development Program, for which teams typically assign three or four prospects whom they expect to debut in the majors during the upcoming season. (The Nationals' contingent consisted of pitchers Drew Storen, Aaron Thompson and Atahualpa Severino, and shortstop Danny Espinosa. Read into that what you will.)

Strasburg's name is also notably absent from the team's upcoming winter caravan and Natsfest schedule. Team president Stan Kasten confirmed that Strasburg's absences were indeed the result of his wedding and honeymoon, which had already been scheduled when the team signed him. Kasten clearly knew better than to try to mess with a bride's wedding date.

"He was really disappointed to miss Fanfest, but personal stuff takes precedent, obviously," Kasten said. "He's already committed to attending next year's Fanfest."

By Dave Sheinin  |  January 21, 2010; 4:31 PM ET
 
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Next: Nats sign three, including RHP Tyler Walker

Comments

Congrats to the happy couple.

Now let's resume our regular bickering.

Posted by: BobLHead | January 21, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

The Reliable Source would have told us if she had to sign a prenup.

Posted by: nunof1 | January 21, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to the newlyweds... I just hope he's "recovered" in time for when pitchers and catcher report in a few week. Wink wink, nudge, nudge...

Posted by: KenzAFan | January 21, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to the newlyweds... I just hope he's "recovered" in time for when pitchers and catcher report in a few week. Wink wink, nudge, nudge...

Posted by: KenzAFan | January 21, 2010 5:00 PM
___________________________________

Given the neck issue and the knee dislocation, maybe there needs to be a "limited consummation" paragraph added to his contract....

Posted by: TimDz | January 21, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Not honeymooning in Viera?

Posted by: djorl | January 21, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm starting to doubt his intelligence. He's going to miss out on a LOT of strange.

Posted by: ABHFGTY | January 21, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

erocks33 - please see the Seattle Mariners. 2008 61-101. 2009 85-77 ......Exactly....teams that want to improve quickly do it by making bold moves and spending their revenue. Nats are perfectly happy just making money to Ted. Winning is at best a secondary concern of Ownership (behind employing extended family and friends).

If Bud the Dud had picked the VA ownership group how different this team would be by now?

Bud killed this team with Lerner ownership decision which really is not surprising given what what a joke of a commissioner Selig is.

Posted by: JayBeee | January 21, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

A late entry, but runaway nominee for Post of the day belongs to...(Drum Roll, please):

Not honeymooning in Viera?

Posted by: djorl | January 21, 2010 5:14 PM

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | January 21, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Overheard from the Strasburg honeymoon suite:

"One hundred and fifteen million, and they gave us this lousy mattress?

"Honey, can I show you my splitter?"

"No, not now. I'm watching video tape of how Wil Nieves signals for the curveball."

"It's better in Viera."

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | January 21, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Who cares that NATS need to sign another damn pitcher like yesterday!

Posted by: Cartaldo | January 21, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo apparently indicated an interest in signing 1B Mike Jacobs in addition to Hudson and another starting pitcher. A left handed power hitting 1B with limited range at 1B would provide some insurance but could also indicate that Dunn hasn't played his last game in the outfield. Signing a player isn't the same as making the team, and he's not signed yet, but its an interesting objective.

Posted by: natbiscuits | January 21, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

As Thomas Boswell wrote in his chat this afternoon, the Nationals BETTER not be done this offseason. It's been too quiet lately.

They still need: middle IF help, a veteran starting pitcher, insurance for OF (Xavier Nady maybe, but LH better) in case Dukes is a bust. Depth is needed everywhere.

What we do NOT need is slow-bat, strikeout king, iron glove Jacobs. Hopefully Rizzo was just blowing smoke.

Unlike JayBee, I'm not ready to throw in the towel on the Lerner's yet, but the team would likely be more competitive had the Malek or Collins group been given the team. But that's water way under the bridge now.

Fans have only one way to hold the Lerner's accountable for the public trust they steward -- buy tickets if they make a true effort to put a competitive team on the field, stay home if they don't. Just don't call DC a "bad baseball town" if "only" 1.8 million people come to see one of the poorest 2-year performances in baseball history. The blame does not lie with the fans. If the team plays .500 or better, the fans will come, but not if they have to wait 5-10 more years to get to .500!

Hot Stove is not over yet, we shall see, we are watching and our checkbooks are not yet open.

Posted by: sonshinefcc | January 21, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

IDIOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Posted by: tony325 | January 21, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes I feel so bad for this poor kid.

Posted by: Scooter_ | January 22, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

I find it very hard to believe Rizzo would sign Jacobs without a corresponding trade. Could this reopen the Willingham for a "Jordan Zimmermann-like starting pitcher" talks? I keep thinking we can get the Yankees to give up one of Phil Hughes or Joba (I would prefer Hughes 1000 times over Joba). Jacobs was statistically similar to Willingham up until last year.

Jacobs 2008: (.247/.299/.514/.812)

Willingham 2008: (.254/.364/.470/.834)

Perhaps a return to the NL East would do Jacobs some good. However, if this plan ends with Dunn back in LF then we should stop talking about it right now.

We let Doug Davis get away because Rizzo was focused on getting a 2B, and now we are interested in Mike Jacobs? After not hearing anything about anything from Rizzo this seems like a very strange move on his part.

Spring is almost here people! Let's Go Nats!

Posted by: SpashCity | January 22, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

If Rizzo can pull off a trade with Willingham to get a "Zimmermann like SP" then he better not be thinking of replacing Willingham's bat with that of Mike Jacobs. Having Jacobs at first and Dunn in left would be a HUGE disaster. IF he is to make this trade, he needs to sign Xavier Nady to replace JW. His offensive numbers mirror that of Willingham, but he is a MUCH better defender in the outfield (and can also spell Dunn at first for a game or two).

Posted by: erocks33 | January 22, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

I agree erocks. Nady in LF is a much better option than Dunn in LF and Jacobs at 1B.

It seems like Rizzo's M.O. thusfar has been to keep his mouth shut and not reveal anything until the deal is almost done. Does anyone else think it is strange that he just came out and said he has interest in Mike Jacobs out of nowhere? It doesn't exactly pass the smell test.

Posted by: SpashCity | January 22, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I watched the video of the Rizzo interview, and he did not seem to be overly enthusiastic about Jacobs. It seemed like he was simply politely answering the question without getting into any specifics. It was more of a "we will evaluate all available options" answer than Rizzo really jumping out to say "we want Mike Jacobs," like Ladson seemed to indicate. I really hope we don't even talk to Jacobs. He's not a good player- terrible in the field, and his .297 OBP is atrocious. He's lost his power too, making him useless. Go get Garland and Hudson from that list mentioned, leave Jacobs for somebody else.

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | January 22, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I know that it is (somewhat) off topic, but Boz missed one of the great joys for baseball fans, if you stay at Coco Beach for Nats Spring Training. That is CocoExpo. For over a month, beginning mid-February, they have College spring training. There are teams from D3 thru D1. The baseball is fun and goes on morning through evening. The atmosphere is casual. The scouts are plentiful.

Try it, you might like it.

Posted by: mikecatcher50 | January 22, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

What Seattle did in 2009 was remarkable. But you can not tell me that anyone believed the moves they made in the offseason between 2008 and 2009 were going to net them 24 more wins.

These were their offensive/defensive changes:
1B - replaced Richie Sexson and Miguel Cairo with Russell Branyan
LF - replaced Raul Ibanez with Endy Chavez.
CF - replaced Jeremy Reed with Franklin Gutierrez.
DH - replaced Jose Vidro with Ken Griffey and Mike Sweeney.

Granted, their outfield defense improved dramatically, but their offense (on paper) didn't look like they were going to scare too many people. Griffey and Sweeney were old, DH-only types that may or may not last a whole year due to injuries. And no one could have predicted that Branyan would come out mashing the way he did since he hadn't played more than 100 games since 2002. These three players, BTW, signed 1 year free agent deals.

As for pitching, the M's used 20 pitchers in 2009. 10 of them pitched for the Mariners in 2008. 5 pitched in the M's minor leagues in '08. Which leaves 5 pitchers that donned a Mariners jersey for the first time last year. 3 of them were acquired via off-season trades (Jason Vargas, Garrett Olson and David Aardsma), while 2 were acquired via trade mid-season (Ian Snell and Lucas French).

So their off-season moves on the pitching front consisted mainly of replacing their closer (Putz for Aardsma), trading for unproven SP (Vargas and Olson) and letting their minor league pitchers log some time on the major league squad.

If anyone can honestly tell me that they thought these off-season moves last year by the Mariners were going to turn them into playoff contenders the next season, then please tell me 6 numbers between 1 and 50 so that I can play the Powerball or Mega Millions or whatever the big lottery is called these days ...

Posted by: erocks33 | January 22, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I am with you, sonshinefcc . I was sufficiently encouraged by the changes last year that I renewed my ST package. But I swear this is the last time for me unless I see a substantial improvement with this team. They had better not be done yet, because the moves to date, while much needed, are most certainly not sufficient. I will vote with my (closed) checkbook next year unless ownership fields an improved product. I love the Nats, but the fan base is owed better than we have gotten so far.

Posted by: NatsFly | January 22, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

mikecatcher -

My high school baseball team went to the CocoExpo for a Spring Break tournament every year. That was in late-March or early-April though. Fewer scouts, and barely any fans, but it was a great experience to play at a real Spring Training Complex, including one game every year in the stadium. We stayed in the same dorms and ate in the same cafeteria as the old Expos. Maybe I stayed in the same room as Vlad Guerrero!

Echoing mikecather, if anyone goes to Spring Training, you should definitely swing by the old CocoExpo.

Posted by: SpashCity | January 22, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Mike Jacobs? We're interested in signing guys that got released by the Royals? Let's hope not.

In other news, Shawn Hill signed with the Blue Jays.

Posted by: BobLHead | January 22, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Fear not BobL

The Jacobs rumour is Ladson reading into a comment by Rizzo. Spectacularly poor journalism.

Posted by: soundbloke | January 22, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Just listened to the actual interview with Rizzo. You're right, soundbloke, all he said was that he was basically talking to everyone. Imagine that, Ladson getting it wrong. I am shocked. Shocked!

Also Dan Plesac referred to Strasburg as "Stephen Strawburg" at one point. Nice.

Posted by: BobLHead | January 22, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Better "Strawburg" than "straw dog," I suppose.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 22, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

If there is any relation to John Lackey, I think the Nats should ink their first born to a long term deal.

Posted by: Tom8 | January 22, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

In other news, the Mets inked a deal with the Beav. Wonder where Wally will end up? What? Oh. Never mind.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2010/01/mets-to-acquire-gary-matthews-jr.html

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 22, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I would not be too hard on Ladson for reporting on the interest in Jacobs. He had reason to ask, he asked, and then he reported. I can't quite spot the flaw in the process. He even injected a healthy dose of skepticism. I believe he is only guilty of providing coverage.

Posted by: natbiscuits | January 22, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Awwww c'mon natbiscuits, we're not going to give up a perfectly good opportunity to bash Ladson.

Posted by: BobLHead | January 22, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Olney tweets that Willingham is back on the market. Great news. My guess is this means that Rizzo is going to very soon take a 2B, Hudson or Kennedy, ink the upside 1B in Jacobs (who'd hit better than a current replacement option LF and glove better than Dunn at 1B), and move Dunn back to play (butcher, but so what) LF every day. If it goes that way, it works for me.

Posted by: dfh21 | January 22, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm... Buster Olney (ESPN) tweets that Josh Willingham & his recently inked 1-year deal is being marketed. If he gets moved for a proven SP or MI (SF, anyone?), I'd be OK with it. However, if it means shifting Dunn back to LF (as Olney suggests), then NNNNOOOOOOO-OOOOO-OOOOO!

I'd take a chance with either Bernadina, Harris, or Maxwell out there before going with Dunn in LF & a replacement 1B.

Posted by: BinM | January 22, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

@dfh21: Take another look at Jacobs' numbers - He strikes out a lot (like Dunn), but his OBP is horrific, and shows decreasing range at 1B (RF/G) every year. Signing Jacobs would be a step backwards, imo.

Posted by: BinM | January 22, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Come on, Dunn is a butcher in LF, sure, but Morgan is out there now and there are other guys out there in MLB just as bad (Carlos Lee, Manny). Solidifying the IF D is paramount, corner OF D, especially left, is not as important, no?

I think that I might rather have Dunn misplay a ball every once in a while in LF than risk having him misplaying many more potential balls at 1B (with my hit to contact ,sinker oriented rotation). Either way, whatever lands pitching beyond 2010 works for me.

And think about it, forgetting glove work for a moment, it could be some lefty slugger (can't have enough of those guys in the NL east) who'd fit nicely behind (or ahead of, as Riggleman will liekly flip flop Dunn and Zim in the 3-4 as he did last year based on the matchups) Dukes (Carlos Delgado, Jason Giambi, Russell Branyan or Hank Blalcok)? Some very interesting options are out there.

Add an upside SP, a decent glove all around kind of player 2B, and a lefty power guy 1B and I'd be a lot more excited about the 2010 Nats.

Posted by: dfh21 | January 22, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

@dfh21: Some anecdotal values here (no solid statistical backup), but: An infield error turns an out into a man on first, and allows a man already on to advance more than one base less than 25% of the time. An outfield error puts the batter on either first or second, and allows any runner ahead of him to advance two bases roughly 50% of the time.

The general point being that a weak defensive infield surrenders outs, not runs - a weak defensive outfield surrenders both outs AND runs.

Posted by: BinM | January 22, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Doug Davis a Brewer. Lowry coming to DC? Sheets?

Posted by: dfh21 | January 22, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

I hear you BinM, but 40HR's gets a guy an everday position someplace and if a better player can be had at another position, then so be it. He's a bad LF, but he's a bad 1B too with a grand total of like 40 games at the position. So, if they can get a plus offensive player to play 1B better than he would, I think it is a sum GAIN. Russell Branyan and his 30 HR's on a 1 year deal? Why not.

Posted by: dfh21 | January 22, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

You're too young kid what's the rush? Get your pro career going then you get hitched i.e.(see Tiger Woods),Okay back to baseball, I'm hoping Dunn is ready for the challenge at 1B and i hope he comes to spring training in shape and count me in on the NO! to Mike Jacobs hell, bring up Marrero and let the kid get some OJT and we need another veteran arm.

Posted by: dargregmag | January 22, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

@dfh21: To quote Yogi Berra "and you could look it up".
Dunn(1B): 194GP, 1431.3IP, .985F%, 7.8RF/G.
Jacobs(1B): 394GP, 3150.3IP, .990F%, 7.8RF/G.
Branyan(1B): 166GP, 1369.0IP, .991F%, 8.4RF/G.

Jacobs does not make the team better either offensively or defensively. Branyan is a slightly better glove at 1B, but is 'a homeless-mans' Adam Dunn at the plate (.234/.331/.491) vs. (.249/.383/.520), with an even higher K% (38.9% vs 32.4%). No, thank you.

Leave Dunn at 1B for 2010, move Willingham for 'real value' if deemed necessary, and move forward. Don't start shuffling the deck like JimBow used to just to get another name on the roster.

Posted by: BinM | January 22, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Bill Ladson tweeted that the Nats are interested in Orlando Cabrera at 2nd base.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | January 22, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Ladson's on his way to associating the Nationals with every available FA left on the market - sooner or later, he's going to be right. Who's next, Johnny Damon?
----------------------
Bill Ladson tweeted that the Nats are interested in Orlando Cabrera at 2nd base.
Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | January 22, 2010 8:00 PM |

Posted by: BinM | January 22, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Orlando Cabrera is good, but I would still prefer Hudson. Cabrera is older and, like Guzman, would have to learn a new position on the fly at 2B. I bet this is just Rizzo letting Hudson know the Nats have other options.

Ink Hudson at 2 yrs for 8-10 mil.

Posted by: SpashCity | January 22, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

a little late, but I'm out of town.
***************
"He was really disappointed to miss Fanfest, but personal stuff takes precedent, obviously," Kasten said.
**************

I bet he didn't. I can't see Stan mistaking "precedent" for "precedence."

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | January 22, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I would keep the hammer in DC, but since I am in the mental health field (professionally and not as a client...although THAT gap is closing) and not a baseball GM, I will defer to the true baseball minds.
That said, IF they trade J-Hammer, it better yield something significant, like a top line-ish, younger pitcher.

Posted by: TimDz | January 22, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Back to a possible Willingham trade - If the Nationals could work a deal with the Giants for J.Sanchez, where the Nats' eat the salary difference ($2.5M), would that work, or does the deal need a 'kicker' from either side?

Posted by: BinM | January 22, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

If the Nationals could work a deal with the Giants for J.Sanchez, where the Nats' eat the salary difference ($2.5M), would that work, or does the deal need a 'kicker' from either side?

Posted by: BinM

Yes. Have the Giants throw in Pablo Sandoval.

I don't like Sanchez at all. Despite throwing one of the worst no-hitters ever - I think he walked a half dozen guys that night - I just don't see him as being that good. He's 21-and-30 lifetime. Straight up for the Hammer? I don't think so.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | January 22, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

The Nats absolutely, positively DO NOT want Adam Dunn playing left field. Anybody who watched him there last year would know that. Aside from his inability to get to many balls that a big league OF should get to, he has one of the weakest throwing arms I have ever seen (and I went to my first game in '58).

I don't remember Dunn botching too many throw at 1B last season. I was pleasantly surprised at how he did, and I have reason to hope that playing there every day, he'll get even better at picking balls out of the dirt.

I'm sorry, dfh21, I've agreed with many of your past conclusions, but not this one. I don't hate Mike Jacobs, there's no way he improves the Nats.

Posted by: nats24 | January 23, 2010 1:07 AM | Report abuse

Who is Ladson's Boss? How do we get a change made?

Posted by: Bill-CH | January 23, 2010 2:46 AM | Report abuse

Ex-Nats news: LoDuca to Rockies, Shawn Hill to Blue Jays.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/baseball/mlb/01/23/roundup.ap/index.html?eref=si_latest

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | January 23, 2010 5:12 AM | Report abuse

On Dunn, agree with Nats24 and BinM. Dunn in LF is far worse than contemporary stiffs at that position. Even worse than the monumental Hondo, God bless him, who never ceased to amaze with his uncanny inability to catch balls sailing over the fence. Neither his 6'7" height nor his experience as a basketball player at Ohio State seemed to help him there. Dunn will only get worse with age in LF. OTOH, will improve with experience (and was showing improvement in Sep.) at 1B.

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | January 23, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

I saw where the Met's got Gary Matthews Jr. for a song(2mil) while getting the Angels to pay almost all of his contract(21mil!) i was like damn where were we on that deal yeah i know we got a glut of OF's but they don't field like GM JR.(except Nyjer) need a little input on this one should we have been in that deal?

Posted by: dargregmag | January 23, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone else see the Ladson report that the Nat's may be interested in Orlando Cabrera?

I'd rather have Guzman! This must be a ploy by Hudson agent to get his client signed! Rizzo, over pay for Hudson because Orlando is all that is left out there!

Posted by: soundbloke | January 23, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I still think Hudson signs here next month once he realizes that nobody will take him at 9 Million per year.
@soundbloke: I agree that Rizzo will have to overpay for Hudson, but 9 million? Thats in "at least kiss me first" salary range...
My guess is that he signs next month (once he realizes nobody is running to his door to sign him) for 2 years at about 6 million per year.

Posted by: TimDz | January 23, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

As they used to say: "Never trust a dame." Good luck Steven. Hopefully, you haven't been led down the yellow brick road ... :)

And if Espinosa is a good enough fielder that you can wait for the hitting to develop? Hudson for 1 year at most I am sure that is what the hang up is. The guy wants a multi-year prolly. You already have Guzman.

Posted by: periculum | January 23, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

dargregmag, have you *seen* GMJR lately? or are you going on what he looked like 4 years ago?

from buster olney's blog today:

"If Matthews were a free agent, he would be a player who might get a $500,000 non-guaranteed minor league deal with an invitation to spring training. And yet the Mets opted to commit $2.5 million and to trade a serviceable pitcher in Brian Stokes to get a player whose effectiveness might have ended years ago.?"

His defense? Well, Mark Simon of ESPN Stats & Information sent along his year-by-year UZR/150 ratings from FanGraphs. Let's just say there's a trend in the numbers:

* 2002: 23.8 (1st among 107 outfielders with at least 500-plus innings)
* 2003: 6.6 (33rd of 105)
* 2004: 21.3 (9th of 107)
* 2005: 18.7 (15th of 112)
* 2006: 1.0 (46th of 108)
* 2007: -12.2 (88th of 108)
* 2008: -13.7 (94th of 112)
* 2009: -24.6 (109th of 115)

sorry, not interested in him. over-the-hill, fell apart after getting busted for steroids...

Posted by: sec231 | January 23, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

oh, and this comment, too:

"To sum up the view of Matthews within the game: He can't hit for average, can't hit for power, his defense ranks statistically among the worst outfielders in the majors and, to top it off, rival scouts have been reporting that in recent years he has been a clubhouse negative."

Posted by: sec231 | January 23, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, Ladson does really blow it ... quite a lot.

Posted by: periculum | January 23, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

9 Million for Hudson is a lot. But I would turn tricks on the steps of the Capitol Building to raise it, if it meant that Carbrera won't play second next year.

Posted by: soundbloke | January 23, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

According to MLB sources Sanchez had shoulder surgery yesterday and is doubtful for the Giants in April. Oh no, O'Dog stays west coast to sign with SF. Nats get bargain basement scrap heap rement ________ (fill in the blank). Or they do nothing and Rizzo/StanK trot out the usual rope-a-dope about how close they where in signing O'Dog. Thats my prediction!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | January 23, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Tippy

Why would the Giants--who allegedly are close to being tapped out in terms of budget--sign Hudson to play the month of April then have two high priced 2B for the rest of the season? Especially when they have serviceable alternatives that won't cost them much. Your prediction is baseless, if you want to say the Nats won't sign him, just say that.

Posted by: jfromPG | January 23, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

@jfromPG: Agree with you here - the Giants still have Burress, Frandsen or Uribe to hold the fort until Freddie S. comes back. They're already committed to $76M, with Lincecum & B.Wilson awaiting Arbitration hearings.

Posted by: BinM | January 23, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Thank's sec231 for the input on GM JR. and yes i do remember he had issues with roids you're right on point.

Posted by: dargregmag | January 23, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Sure has been a while since last post, did Chico chaperone SS honeymoon or what?

Posted by: cokedispatch | January 24, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Phil Wood has some interesting insight into the two Orlandos' and some other FA tidbits worth reading on masnsports.com

Posted by: cokedispatch | January 24, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

thinking about corner IF backup, what about fernando tatis?? he can play either corner, think he's even played some 2B, as well as corner OF. he's hit pretty decently the last few years.

Positions: 3B-1277, LF-80, 1B-52, RF-42, DH-15, 2B-11, SS-6, OF-5

Posted by: sec231 | January 24, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

231: Tatis would be interesting if the team could get him 350-400 plate appearances, and either CI position was a concern. He got that with the Mets last year with all their injuries, but in DC, I'd hope that wouldn't happen.

Posted by: BinM | January 24, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Chico who....when do we get a full time beat reporter....Zuckerman is my choice please

Posted by: JayBeee | January 24, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Anyone check out the Zduriencik interview on BP? Great stuff but I love this money quote, "I wanted to win last year, so I don’t think that anybody’s expectations for this ball club are ever going to be any higher than my expectations. I expect us to be competitive. I expect us to be a ball club that goes out and plays day in and day out. That said, the message I hope to send out there is that we want to build this organization and sustain it for a long period of time.... We’ve done a lot of things this year because we had to do a lot of things. We did things last year because we had lost 101 ballgames (in 2008), so we couldn’t exactly run that same club out on the field. As we move forward in this whole process, I hope that our best players are players that we drafted, signed and developed. And when you acquire players, you acquire players who will be with you for awhile. Sometimes you need to go out and add a piece here or there, and we have done that, but again, if we’re going to become elite it’s because we developed our good players and maybe added here or there to put the finishing touches on it." Wow! It's the plan, except for the winning part right now. Kind of a big part, if you want more than restive fans.

Posted by: ABHFGTY | January 24, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Looks like a 'dead zone' for Nationals news right now, but a agreement with Hudson or Kennedy would both clarify the MI situation & liven up the boards.

Only 26 days to Catchers & Pitchers reporting.

Posted by: BinM | January 24, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

I think that the Nats are going to do something tomorrow. Guess: Unless Hudson's price comes way, way down quick (I think he waits it out past the comfort zone of the Nats) and they nab Kennedy.

They "need" the extra money that Hudson demands for pitching. If they move the Hammer -- which I think they should do, love the huge power, but hate the brittle back and the almost as bad as Dunn bad fielding -- they could potentially get a rotation guy that brings some excitement, and the extra coins could be spent on another SP. (The Hammer for a top SS prospect would also work for me.)

If the Nats grab some pitching talent, they can comepte* THIS YEAR. They can score with anybody, the D is much improved, the pen is solidified, if not spectacular, and only the SP keeps the club from being decent.

* (Compete, in my mind, means threaten for wild card.)

Posted by: dfh21 | January 24, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Just my thoughts on the NL East for 2010 (so far)...
1) PHI: Solid front-line eight; decent bench. Great starting rotation, very good bullpen 'back-end', w/possible problem @CL position.
2) ATL: Solid front-liners, but aging & injury-prone at IF corners. Very good rotation, good bullpen if Wagner is healthy.
3) FLA: Good starting eight, but soft defensively @2B, 1B & RF. Starters 1-3 are good, #4-5 are unproven; Bullpen could be a weak point as well.
4) WSH: Questions at 2B/SS need to be resolved; good bench. Untested rotation beyond top two; Deep bullpen.
5) NYM: Holes at CA & 1B, even if healthy; Weak defensively at CA, 1B & LF. Rotation needs a #5, but 'back-end' should be very good.

Posted by: BinM | January 24, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

BinM,

Were do you see improved defense? Nats starting pitching and defense are still the weak areas. Adding Jason M is like pitcking up a good #4 Starter to go along with Lanan who might be a ok #3. As long as Willingham, Dunn, Dukes, Guzman and Desmond are playing this team will lead the NL in errors for the 3 time in a row. They did not do enough to even win 70 games.

Posted by: JayBeee | January 24, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

BinM,

Good analysis, agree that the Nats can be better than the Mets and I'm hoping that Rizzo will answer the 2B/SS issue and add one more starting pitcher before ST.

Posted by: jfromPG | January 24, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

binm, tatis could get ABs in the OF, filling in on the corners (maybe defensive replacement for dunn, too, not exactly sure how good he is at 1B), and maybe even an occasional 2B start.

not sure *he* would want to come to DC, but i could see him getting 200+ ABs.

Posted by: sec231 | January 24, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

I think the D will be decent. Dukes can play RF at an above average clip (he has range and a plus arm). Guz will be better, Dunn was putting it together to a tolerable level at 1B at the end of last year, Morgan's addition was huge and Pudge should also help. The Hammer catches like one, but he may be someone else's big HR hitting problem by season's start. Presuming they add a good glove 2B, the Nats should be capable defenders. An Ace who can K 9-10 per game for 220 innings might not hurt either.

Posted by: dfh21 | January 25, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

JayBeee: Where was any mention of improved defense for the Nationals?
Read before you rant.

Posted by: BinM | January 25, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

There is certainly the promise of improved defense. IROD is probably better than anyone the Nationals fielded at catcher last year. In season improvements came from Morgan in center. Dukes was better than Dunn or Willingham in right. Willingham was better than Dunn in left, etc.... A healthy Guzman will likely be better than last year. Marquis every fifth day will help a little. If Desmond can earn a spot then range will improve (even if he is a little more eratic than other MI candidates). If they sign Hudson that will represent an upgrade too.

Dunn is problematic. He is a negative in left and at 1B and should not even be considered as an option in right. When he's hot he can carry the offense for weeks at a time, but when he goes cold he goes subthermal.

A semi-popular viewpoint expressed this winter is that the Nationals have a decent offense but no pitching or defense. In truth the offense still has a ways to go too. In almost every major category, the Nats finished in bottom third of offensive statistics. There's still a lot of work to be done. The only thing worse than the defense and the offense is the pitching where the Nationals allowed the second most runs in the majors last year.

It's getting late and the need for a second baseman and at least one more starting pitcher is still significant. I have faith in management's judgement, but I am getting concerned about their ability to get it done in the weeks remaining. Something needs to pop soon.

Posted by: natbiscuits | January 25, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

can strasburg's new wife pitch?

Posted by: malcolmyoung1 | January 25, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

BinM,

My mistake, thanks dfh21 for correcting and responding.....I do not see Dukes as anything but a liability in RF. Yes he has great tools but he has never shown he can hit a cut off man and had a fielding % near the dead last for OF in the NL. He had like 8 errors in 100 games. That is not good for an Outfielder.

Guzman had 20 errors in about 120 games. That is really bad. Many errors were just balls hit right to him that he muffed. He is not going to be any better. Ian Desmond has averaged over 30 errors in about 120 games a year on the Farm. 2B needs a FA signing Bad. Gonzalez can not make the basic plays with any consistency. Dunn is sub par as is Willingham.....I just do not see improved defense from the same old guys.

Posted by: JayBeee | January 25, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I'm with Jaybee in the subject of Dukes.

At the plate and in the field he has all the tools and none of the execution. If it's any comfort, I think Rizzo probably know this too but has more pressing needs right now. If Dukes shows even a spark of tradability I'm sure Rizzo will get rid of him.

Posted by: soundbloke | January 25, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Yes Rizzo knows...that is what makes me so frustrated with ownership.

Unlike Seattle GM, Rizzo is not given the resources he needs to turn this team around in one year. It could be done all one or two year contracts.

They needed two more #3/4 type,200 inning starting pitchers, Mike Gonzales for the Pen, a defensive minded SS and Hudson and at least one good defense good bat corner OF. Those with the moves already made would make this a winner this year. Lerner is much more concerned about taking our money than winning games.

Posted by: JayBeee | January 25, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I do disagree with you quite often Jaybee but, honestly given the room we have in our payroll this off season is not quite the miracle it cis being portrayed as. Willingham and Dukes could be traded, Winn, Hudson, another on of the starters and a SS signed and it might have been good and we still wouldn't have a high payroll.

Posted by: soundbloke | January 25, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Wow, people ready to throw Dukes to whatever club that offers us some shag balls and a fungo bat for the guy should Dukes start hot? Come on.

Dukes hhas very little MLB experience and the fact is that he is an uber talent. He is a 5 tool player in an era with very few of those types of athletes in the game. Expectations that he should have put it all together by now (with something like 800 MLB AB's) is crazy. Riggleman wants te guy out there every day becasue he knows that there is star potential -- will it be realized, who knows, but the tools need to be applied in order for any results to come.

If the guy, who is not yet 26, hits 30 HR's and steals 20+ bases while knocking in 100, the Nats had better not trade him for anything.

Posted by: dfh21 | January 25, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Dukes will never hit 30 HR....he does not have the mental focus to play 150 games without drifting off into drama of some kind. Trade him for what you can get.

Posted by: JayBeee | January 25, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

There are only 2 untouchables in the Nats entire organization. If the Nats got a good offer on Dukes they would surely take it. Only Zimmerman and Strassburg are hands off. The problem is that other teams have to be willing to give you something of equal or better value. Dukes probably has not peeked in value yet - I'd argue that you hold that card a few more months and see if it goes up in value. Remember sell high, buy low. Players like Willingham and on the other hand are unlikely to spike in value. They are probably close to their highest value now. If you are careful about what you get in return, these are the players most likely to yield future impact players.

Posted by: natbiscuits | January 25, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

BinM -- what about the bench strikes you as good? I don't see it.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | January 25, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

See attached interview with Pirates owner Bob Nutting.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10025/1030840-63.stm

His comments are eeirly similar to Stan K's comments when it comes to payroll. Just saying....

Posted by: lpatashn | January 25, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Sec3: From the players available, there's both LH & RH hitters, position versatility, and no glaring gaps. Just a core of 4-5 guys that won't carry a team, but shouldn't kill it either.

Posted by: BinM | January 25, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Dukes probably has not peeked in value? Understatement of the day. If he gets 500 AB's in 2010 he goes 20/20 -- mark it down. The kid, and he is a kid by baseball standards, if healthy, will produce. If Dukes DOES manage to stay healthy and does produce, then they would be nutso to move him unless overwhelmed, of course.

Posted by: dfh21 | January 25, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

dfh21

So many 'if's' in you post. And so many of them are long shots!

Posted by: soundbloke | January 25, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I'd be a little suprised if Dukes gets 20 attempts at stealing a base this year. Based on last year's results, I would expect that he will have a red light. He'll still gain in value, but it won't be bassed on 20 steals.

And BTW, I believe Dukes led all Nats outfielders in assists last year. Which says as much about the competion as anything else (Willingham, Dunn), but still Dukes has better range and arm than the other corner outfielders on the team. He does lose his concentration out there and seems to play cautiously at times. To me he is an average to slightly above average rightfielder.

.250/20/80 in 450-500 at bats would be pretty good for him. I just don't want to see him picked off anymore.

Posted by: natbiscuits | January 25, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Quick, someone make up a rumor.

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 25, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Too many IF's?? If Dukes is healthy, he prodcues. That is one if. Riggleman says the kid feels great, so hopefully he is helthy. 2010 is the reakout year for Dukes. Heard it here folks.

Posted by: dfh21 | January 25, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

This might not be the most popular thing to say on NJ however....., the MASN site with Byron Kerr, Phil-D-Woods and Ben "G" is putting the WAPO to shame. If you haven't had the chance do yourself a favor, "hold you nose" if you hate Angelos but point your mouse to MASN.COM and stick within the Nats stuff and you'll be glad you did. Its not anything earth shattering but at least they are making an attempt to dig for info. Until the WAPO can figure out that the season is fast approaching and hire someone, we will be stuck in the mud here between every 10th day post.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | January 25, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Bud Selig is pregnant...

__________________________________________

Quick, someone make up a rumor.

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 25, 2010 3:44 PM |

Posted by: TimDz | January 25, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Sorry dfh21

I was counting 'if' he is healthy, 'if' he can concentrate and stay out of trouble and 'if' he can produce as seperate 'if's'. I would add 'if' he can learn to field his position better but I think I mis-read you meaning.

Posted by: soundbloke | January 25, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Dear Washington Post:

We are in "countdown mode" to spring training and yet you remain silent. We all understand the "Chico" situation, and that you're trying to find someone else to take over.

But that is no excuse to remain dark. There are others who could post something--anything--to keep us happy.

We need no red meat; two-day old chicken would suffice.

You're making us feel unwanted and unwelcome.

Not a wise business model, folks.

Oh wait; it was the Times that dropped their sports .... right?

Posted by: rushfari | January 25, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Here's a little news - The Nationals have added the following players to their non-roster invitee list for Spring Training: rhp Drew Storen, ca Derek Norris (per mlb.com).

Posted by: BinM | January 25, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Nationals signed Tyler Walker this afternoon. Last year with the Phillies: 2-1, 3.06, 7.9 h/9, 2.3 w/9, 6.9 k/9.

Also signed Chuck James (out last season with rotator cuff & labrum surgery). In 2007 & 2008 with Atlanta, combined to go 22-14, 4.05 in 48 starts, 8.5/3.4/6.6.

Walker is a great addition to the bullpen. James was a solid starter before his injury. If he is 100%, he's an outstanding addition to the rotation.

Think the Post will cover this???

Posted by: rushfari | January 25, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

don't know if anyone's already posted this, but the nats.com transaction page has them signing of chris duncan on jan. 19...

Posted by: artvandelay2 | January 25, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

MLB.com just reported the Duncan deal.

He was injured last season (neck) and only hit .227-5-32 for Cardinals.

From 2006-2008, he averaged .267-28-78 over 162 games. 2006 & 2007, averaged .273-33-85 over 162 games (.273-23-58 actual).

He's only 28.

Maybe he's the new left fielder????

Posted by: rushfari | January 25, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Good bye Hammer and good luck! The Bronx maybe? Atlanta?

Man Duncan and Dunn? That is like 13 feet of giant lefty.


Posted by: dfh21 | January 25, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Duncan can't hit lefties but crushes right-handers.

If Duncan is Willingham's replacement (assuming he's traded), it'll be a platoon.

Over his career, Duncan has averaged (based on 350 at-bats, about right for a lefty bat in a platoon) .270/.366/.485, 18 homers, 53 RBI.

Justin Maxwell, vs. lefties, has averaged (assuming 250 at-bats, about right for a righty bat in a platoon) .286/.362/.429, 10 homers, 55 RBI.

Those two in a platoon would hit somewhere in the neighborhood of .278-28-108.

Duncan gives you average defense, Maxwell above average.

If Willingham gets traded for a starting pitcher, Duncan & Mawell will easily replace him, assuming Duncan's neck problems are behin him.

Posted by: rushfari | January 25, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

rushfari: If those signings prove true, then that's a couple more 'no-risk' insurance signings to stash in SYR (or lower, in James' case, to get his arm strength back).
--------------
artvandelay2: Thx, nice catch on the Duncan signing - I'd missed that one. That could be another LH bat 'on-call' in SYR.

Posted by: BinM | January 25, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

With Walker likely to make the roster (might even be a MLB deal), I wonder if the club is thinking of giving Tyler Clippard a shot at starting.

I think that Duncan signing is saying that they're looking to use the platoon in LF, if they can move Willingham. If not, then they have a nice power bat off the becnh in Duncan.

That was three ifs there soundbloke, if you're counting, D'oh, four!

Posted by: dfh21 | January 25, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

YIKES! Some of you obviously haven't been fed recently, snapping like piranha at the slightest change, and projecting numbers that are crazy to boot.

Willingham is still on the roster, and is a proven .265BA/20+HR/60RBI hitter, with a 23.4 strikeout%.
Duncan is a LH-platoon bat at best. Yes, he showed some HR power in '06 & '07, but not much lately. On average, he's at .257BA/14HR/45RBI, with a 27.6 strikeout%.

Posted by: BinM | January 25, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

New post (thank the heavens).

Posted by: BinM | January 25, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

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