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Rizzo on Strasburg, Desmond, Dunn, etc.

Just a few minutes ago, GM Mike Rizzo spent some time chatting with the media about ... well, whatever happened to be on the minds of the media. The 15-minute session touched on Stephen Strasburg, bullpen jobs, starting pitching depth, Jesus Flores, Adam Dunn, etc. Lots of it was boilerplate stuff, but I'll pinpoint a few highlights.

* Rizzo hesitated to reveal a plan for Strasburg as the season begins, saying he'd compete for a rotation job like everybody else. But he made it clear that Strasburg will almost certainly debut in the big leagues in 2010... at some point. "If he's the player we think he's gonna be, we feel he'll have some kind of impact in the major leagues in 2010," Rizzo said.

* Rizzo downplayed the idea of using shortstop Ian Desmond as a back-up, which advances the notion that Desmond will begin the season with Class AAA -- at least if Cristian Guzman is healthy. "I will say, Ian Desmond is gonna play everyday somewhere after spring training," Rizzo said. "We see him as a shortstop for us, not only in 2010 but down the road."

* According to Rizzo, three bullpen spots are up for grabs. And there are seven legitimate candidates from which Washington can choose.

* Rizzo, on the importance of signing Adam Dunn to a long-term deal: "It's important for me because he's one of my favorite players on the team. I love the guy. There aren't many 40-home run, 100-RBI guys running around out there. He fits in with this club. He's a very unique leader, I call him. He leads in kind of a quirky way, but leads nonetheless. He's always open to helping the younger players. And you know, look at it this way: Several years down the road, if he continues at the pace he's at, we're gonna be talking about Hall of Famer Adam Dunn."

By Chico Harlan  |  February 20, 2010; 1:02 PM ET
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Chico - If there are three spots in the bullpen open, I'd love to know who Rizzo is thinking has spots locked down.

Seem to me that Capps is certain.
Bruney, Burnett, Clipper and Walker are not only among our best, but are also out of options.
That's 5 spots.

Bergmann is also out of options, and I have him penciled in for the 6th spots but Rizzo of course may not agree.

And if Bergmann is indeed the 6th, then the 7th kinda must be a lefty, Guardado being the leading suspect.

Posted by: Sunderland | February 20, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Bill ladson reports thdt rizzo also said he was not done making roster changes; still looking for pitching.

That, to me, would seem to be the day's headline.

Posted by: swanni | February 20, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

There is no drama to the Strasburg situation as to whether he'll break camp with the club. If he does, tyhen Rizzo should be fired immediately, I do not care how good the kid looks in ST. If they keep him on the farm until June they get another year before free agency for the guy. No brainer, if ever there was one.

Desmond is not ready for an every day MLB gig, so whatever they do with him works for me. When it is time, he'll get a shot.

Not sure I believe this big love fest over Adam Dunn from management when they have really done very little, if anything at all, to get that extension done. The Lerners are crazy not to push that extension right now. Dunn will play 1B at least to the level of Ryan Howard this season, he'll hit his 40 HR's and half of baseball will be in on him after the season.

Posted by: dfh21 | February 20, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

And thank God that rizzo is still looking..,

Posted by: swanni | February 20, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

There should be very little holding Rizzo back from simply adding that pitching he claims to be searching for. Time for Mike to put Ted's money where his mouth is and get some more pitching for this club right now.

Chico: Next time you get face time with Rizzo ask about the bottom 5 payroll every year, will ya. Why are they not adding to it significantly?? 3rd season in the publicy financed park, big money market, pricey tickets . . . Why only 1 reliable MLB guy added to a roster that lost 100 games? How is Rizzo any different from Bowden in terms of trolling the ranks of the has-beens, coming back from injuries and hope the kid with talent blossoms heres?? Go ahead ask, you're a short timer you can afford to piss him off.

Posted by: dfh21 | February 20, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Ladson also reporting that Guzman's agent was seen talking with Stan kasten today, but the agent and kasten wouldn't comment when asked about the conversation.

Posted by: swanni | February 20, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

LOL, dfh. I was thinking the same thing as I read the first few lines of your paragraph.


Go ahead ask, you're a short timer you can afford to piss him off.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 20, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo's comment about Desmond makes me think he's shopping Guzman.

Posted by: MBUSA | February 20, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

what teams need a SS?

Posted by: JDB1 | February 20, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

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