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The classic Nationals prank on Eddie Guardado

Eddie Guardado has been around for 17 big league seasons, experience that grants him a certain license to say whatever comes to mind. As such, even with spring training just days old, those in the Washington Nationals clubhouse have already identified Guardado as the geyser of both wisdom and one-liners.

Guardado, 39, is a non-roster invitee. But because of what he knows, and because of what he's seen -- three times he saved more than 35 games in a season -- the lefty has a strong chance to crack the Nationals' bullpen. Guardado likes the talent of his young teammates, but doesn't get carried away with hype: "Great arms. Can they throw strikes?" He jokes that his oldest son, a 13-year-old, can beat up Stephen Strasburg. He says things like, "Everybody throws a no-hitter in the bullpen," and though he wishes spring training weren't so long, he also says, "I've got no complaints man; none at all. Still got a big league uniform on."

Now that stuff is all good.

But best of all is a story from two years back, when Guardado was a pitcher with the Texas Rangers.

It was trade deadline -- July 2008.

Texas Manager Ron Washington summoned Guardado from the steam room, starting one of the all-time pranks.

The manager hinted that Guardado was gonna be traded to the Nats.

And the reliever from the steam room got steamed.

Guardado takes the story from here ...

"I was pitching good [that year]. I was throwing the ball good. I was like, 'What the [expletive] am I gonna be doing in Washington?' If I was gonna get traded, I wanted to get traded to a contender. That was the whole thing. It was nothing against Washington. It just came out wrong. Because I was hot. I was in the steam room getting ready [for a game]. It was early. You know, it was close to the deadline and skip pulls me out of the steam room like, 'Come here.' I'm soaking wet and [ Washington] is like, 'They want you upstairs.' I'm like, 'Where am I going!?' And he goes, 'Ahh, you gotta go talk to the general manager.' I go, 'Skip, I at least deserve to know where I'm going.' He says, 'I think it's the Washington Nationals.' I'm like, 'The [expletive] Nationals!? What the [expletive] am I gonna do there!?' I don't know. So I'm soaking. They take me upstairs. I'm in my shorts, go up to see JD (general manager Jon Daniels) and all the brass is in there. And I'm like, 'What the [expletive] is going on?' I was hot. And he looked at me like, 'Come here man. We're just playing with you.' I said, 'You're about to go out that window.' ... But that was a story. It was fun. They got me. But hey, I've got nothing but respect for the [Nationals]. They were the first team to give me an invite [this offseason]. They showed me respect."

By Chico Harlan  |  February 23, 2010; 10:20 AM ET
 
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Next: Bullpen sessions, full-court shots, etc.

Comments

I know I am making vast assumptions here, but I like the idea of Guardado in the bullpen for the following reasons: a.) he has been good against lefties throughout his career; and b.) he has been good in "high leverage" situations. A lefty specialist who is not afraid to pitch in pressure situations? I think the Nats will find a spot for him.

Having said that, if he is used like Beimel was last year, he will do poorly (e.g. more than one inning and facing too many righties).

Posted by: Vladman1327 | February 23, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I remember this story from a few years ago. I didn't want to say anything when they signed Guardado, though.

I guess I just want to move on from 2008 (and 2009, for that matter).

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 23, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Chico trying to show off for the new guy ... ~laughing~

Posted by: periculum | February 23, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Ahhh, the Nats being the punch line -- this time literally. Nice.

Posted by: dfh21 | February 23, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Let's see Goessling writes about Nyjer and his goal of relearning how to slide ... and both Mark Z. and Chico write about the same exact thing? Those two must move about spring training together.

Posted by: periculum | February 23, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

That is a good one. I guess Eddie came full circle though, because a lot of Nats fans said "Eddied Guardado? Why the [expletive] did they bring that [expletive] old guy in? We had just restocked the bullpen, why did we [expletive] need him? Oh wait, maybe it's because we just alienated some of our staff during arbitration? [expletive] Lerners!

LOL - all in good fun. Nats forever !(Eddie for no more that one year)

Posted by: ehay2k | February 23, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Our team is a laughingstock, the punchline, the butt of jokes. Great.

Thanks Uncle Teddy.

Posted by: Section505203 | February 23, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

"Our team is a laughingstock, the punchline, the butt of jokes. Great."

That would be WAS, not is. This story is dateline July 2008, in case you hadn't noticed.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 23, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

And the title to the post suggests that 'the classic Nationals prank' is as ubiquitous as the hot foot or the shaving cream in the face for an interview.

Ha! Eddie, you should have seen your face when we told you -- like we do to ALL the aging, once talented vets -- that you were going to the effing Nationals!! I cannot belive you fell for that!

Posted by: dfh21 | February 23, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

That would be WAS, not is. This story is dateline July 2008, in case you hadn't noticed.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 23, 2010 11:48 AM
______________________________________________________________

ABM,

And that was before we had back to back 100 loss seasons. I wonder how bad the jokes are now.

As I said, Thanks Uncle Teddy.

Posted by: Section505203 | February 23, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"I wonder how bad the jokes are now."

Pretty bad I'd wager ... given the effects of those two arbitration meetings : Lannan changing agents, two FA pitchers telling the Nats they are going in different directions ...

It may very well be that the Nats are becoming a team to avoid if at all possible.

Posted by: periculum | February 23, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Ah yes. Pudge Rodriguez, Jason Marquis, Chien-Ming Wang, Stephen Strasburg, even Eddie Guardado laughing all the way as they signed their contracts. Such a joke.

Thanks Uncle Teddy.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 23, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

An Broscia Mor,

Pudge: Over-the-hill.
Marquis: Average or slightly below.
Wang: Seriously injured and recovering
Guardado: Over-the-hill.
Strasburg: Draft pick, either sign or pull an Aaron Crow.

The ONLY REAL top rung free agent (someone who had a choice) they've managed to sign is and was Adam Dunn and that was a lucky stroke in that no one but the Nats showed any real interest in the guy. (Because of his fielding?) And even the Nats were initially hot about pursuing Texiera.

Posted by: periculum | February 23, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Aaah, it is interesting how different people find different villians in the same story. I wasn't thinking "thanks Teddy", I was thinking "what the hell gives Eddie Guardado standing to say anything about any major league team -- now or in 2008 -- he hasn't been a viable major league reliever for years." This story doesn't really endear me to him.

Posted by: raymitten | February 23, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

You just know that if Eddie makes the 25-man, they're going to call him upstairs someday and tell him he's going to the Yankees.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | February 23, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Ahh, c'mon, it's a funny story. Get over ourselves.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | February 23, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

peri - how does Lannan changing his agent reflect poorly on the Nats?

Its one thing to be critical, its another to preach doom and gloom in every post no matter what the circumstance.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | February 23, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

He went with Brodie Van Wagenen, right? Isn't that Zimmerman's agent?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | February 23, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

ABM,

You're such an apologist for the Lerner's.
First off, the Strasburg signing had to be done or they would have been crucified in the National press and inside baseball, for letting a once in a generation player pass by without signing. And being that he signed with like 30 seconds to spare they still almost F'd it up.

I will give them credit for being a little more active in FA than in years past but, I wouldn't consider these guys huge game changers. And the payroll is still in the bottom 5 so, they really didn't do enough to improve back to back 100 loss teams.

This is a 90 loss team, if we're lucky.

Posted by: Section505203 | February 23, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

@SCNatsFan,

"peri - how does Lannan changing his agent reflect poorly on the Nats?"

Inference: according to Lannan he wanted an agent that had a good working relationship (track record) with the Nationals ... especially when it came to avoiding arbitration ...

According to The Business of Baseball the Nationals go to arbitration far more than any other major league team.

If Lannan is worried about dealing with Nats management/ownership on money issues (and he is ostensibly their best veteran pitcher) what are pitchers on other teams
thinking?

I can't help but wonder if Jesus Flores story will endear the team to many players ... he had to hire his own personal trainer? Theo Epstein was talking about how with his ownership he was able to obtain a $30,000 piece of equipment to aid with the recovery of one player. Which he appreciated.

Posted by: periculum | February 23, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Classic Everyday Eddie;

Now for Classic PT Bowdoin:

JimBo gave the run down on the Nats last night over on MLB-Homplate XM-175. Impressed with the moves Rizzo has made (of course he would, Rizzo is renting JimBo's DC Condo). Says RZ is the best 3rd basemen in the NL. Loves Morgan, JZ, Detwiller,Lannen, SS, bullpen additions. Thinks Marquis will win 10. Still loves StanK, the Lerners and The Plan. After that JimBo says, there ain't much else (uses the usual verbs to describe the rest of the Nats players).

JimBo predictions: Dunn and Willingham will be trade-dealine bait. Dunn goes to an AL team and Willingham goes to a club in a race. Thinks Nats have to many role players and will never be anything else. Not sold at all on the teams improvement in the field with the addition of Adam Kennedy. Bowdoin states, you can have all the great pitching you want but if the team behind you can't field its really doesn't matter.

JimBo says: 5th place in NL East 63-99

Thanks Jim, no how is that FBI investigation going?

Posted by: TippyCanoe | February 23, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Marquis, Wang and Pudge all had offers from other teams, they chose to come to Washington.

Posted by: Cavalier83 | February 23, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

@Tippy - thanks for the Bowden quote. He really has some gall to take shots at this team. The roster he built here lost 200 games in 2 years. Few teams have ever been that bad. How the hell does he think he has any standing to critique this team or any other with that track record?!

Let's just write this down somewhere and see what Rizzo's record is in 2 years. Betting it will be a lot more than 119 wins.

Posted by: Avar | February 23, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Our bullpen is a lot better then last year. Last year we would have highlighted this guy as a key addition, this years he may or may not make the squad. That is a big difference.

Posted by: Stu27 | February 23, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

If there is one thing Jimbo has in ample supply, it is chutzpa!

Posted by: NatsFly | February 23, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

And thanks for the vote of confidence Jimbo. I sure do hope your wife doesn't kick you @ss today.

Posted by: Stu27 | February 23, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Save the venom for cab drivers. The season hasn't started yet and everyone is up in arms over how bad (or good) they are going to be. Geeze, lets play a month first before we "Thank" Uncle Teddy with either true thanks or with our tongues firmly in our cheeks.

Posted by: Nataholic | February 23, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

So Nataholic, should we truly Thank Uncle Teddy for 102 and 103 loss seasons or should that be a sarcastic Thanks, as I originally intended it to be?

Posted by: Section505203 | February 23, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

JimBo's predictions look pretty solid to me. The Nats are not very likely to re-ink Dunn before the season ends, so unless they are in the hunt, he'll be traded. Willingham might not last until June. I think the win/loss prediction is a little lean, I am thinking the Nats win say 73 games.

Posted by: dfh21 | February 23, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

JimBowLo certainly doesn't pull any punches nor endear himself to many in baseball ... still getting past the "Dukes is either in Jail or in the All Star game comment".

One can only hope that is the right kind of fodder to inspire Elijah.

"Marquis, Wang and Pudge all had offers from other teams, they chose to come to Washington."

No one else really wanted Wang or Pudge. Certainly IRod could have waited for the season to start and injuries to happen to get signed ... but the Nats (Rizzo) showed him the right kind of respect ... Wang waited and took his sweet time to see if other offers were going to suddenly appear.

Marquis? Yes.

Again, NONE OF THESE players were considered TOP rung.

Compare to the ace starting pitcher Boston signed in Lackey. The Nats, more than anything or anyone else, needed to sign someone of that caliber to be the anchor and ace in their rotation. The stopper. And don't start, (as suggested by that fool Ladson) with the Strasburg stuff ... the guy may be a phenom but too many burn out quickly ... they need to go slow and steady with him to ensure he is a consistent performer and doesn't BURN OUT his arm.

Rizzo just about came out and promised that he would find someone like that to anchor this staff. Marquis is not a #1, #2 guy and fits more in the #3, #4, #5 slots in the rotation along
with Lannan.

Posted by: periculum | February 23, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, unfortunately, given the Nats luck with injuries Bowden's predictions are probably a pretty good gauge right now ...

They need that solid #1, #2 guy that isn't named Strasburg.

Posted by: periculum | February 23, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps they have been more likely to go to arbitration because they have been more likely to rely on arb-eligible players with borderline talent.

-----

According to The Business of Baseball the Nationals go to arbitration far more than any other major league team.

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 23, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Bottom line - guys traded mid-year from a bad team want to go to a team in a playoff race and that was not the Nationals in 2008. I understand why he was upset.

He should be on the team if he pitches well this spring and the story is a non-factor. After all, the Nationals knew of the story and still were the first team to call...

Posted by: tcostant | February 23, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Should I thank Uncle Teddy for the bottom 5 payroll every year, for top 10 ticket prices, or the 23rd best farm after 3+ years of focus on the farm, for waiting years to hire an adequate front office, for my $18 beer and bbq sandwich, for allowing me to spend Tens of Thousands of Dollars on season tickets to watch him trot out re-tread players of every stripe? Help me out here, what should Ted get a pat on the back for from me?

Posted by: dfh21 | February 23, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

"The Nats are not very likely to re-ink Dunn before the season ends"

Both Rizzo and Dunn have said they want to give him an extension. Why then do you think it's not very likely that it'll happen?

Recall this time last year when both Rizzo and Zimmerman were saying they wanted to sign him long term, and everyone here said that would never happen. Guess what? It happened.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 23, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Haha! Yeah, we should all thank Uncle Teddy! Certainly we should thank him for the past failures. Just don't be so quick to thank him for this year's failure when we don't yet know how this season will shake out. It might not be so bad that Uncle Teddy needs our thanks.

Posted by: Nataholic | February 23, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

"Help me out here, what should Ted get a pat on the back for from me?"

For not going Leonsis on you, bozo.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A50620-2004Jan26

Posted by: nunof1 | February 23, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Haha nunof1: The man who said all those things about stuff not happening is calling the kettle black.

Posted by: Nataholic | February 23, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

nataholic, the naysayers are in a perfect position - if we lose, they say told you we stunk, if we win they say think how much better we could be with better management. It's those of us who think we are making progress that stand to get kicked in the butt again.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | February 23, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Recall this time last year when both Rizzo and Zimmerman were saying they wanted to sign him long term, and everyone here said that would never happen. Guess what? It happened.
_____________________________________________________________

How 'bout your repeated arrogant assertion that Milledge was NOT going to be traded. How'd that work out?


Posted by: Section505203 | February 23, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

How is that an "all-time prank"? It was pretty unimaginative. You got traded. Oh, no you didn't, we were kidding. Thanks Chico for ruining my afternoon with that stupid story.

Posted by: dclifer97 | February 23, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

peri - c'mon now, after Lackey who qualified as an ace that was a FA. Marquis was as good as anyone else available in that tier. You can argue we could have traded for one but, realistically, we have no bargaining chips for a top of the line guy without ruining something else.

And, dfh, you can complain when Dunn doesn't resign but both sides seem to want to make it work. I can't imagine your pain spending the $ you have on the terrible product they have put forth the last couple of years but from a distance I'm encouraged by the direction the team is headed; at some point I hope you come around. At $18 for a sandwich and beer I'd be mighty upset too!

Posted by: SCNatsFan | February 23, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Nunof1: There is a chance they get it done, but I think it is a long shot. Dunn cannot be expected to give DC a hometown discount of any sort, so while he says he'd like to stay, unless they pay him market money over the right number of years, he'll look around. And from the Lerners' perspective, the Nats have no interest in taking on big contract obligations for a guy who may blow a knee or something mid year.

The Lerners inked Zim to the long deal, sure good stuff, but they made the move in order to save money by buying some of his FA time down the road. Dunn is not like Zim, who had not yet had a big payday. Dunn can afford to wait it out. He's likely thinking that he'll learn to play an adequate 1B and show NL clubs he is as viable there as Howard or Fielder. After he hits 40 HR in 2010, he'll be the best pure slugger on the market and he can take the same money the Nats might offer from a club that might have a more realistic shot to get to the playoffs some time in his baseball lifetime. And note that Dunn characterized the talks as being at "level zero" so it is not like Rizzo has even made a serious offer of any sort. Rizzo's mouth says 'I love Adam' but his wallet is not so infatuated with the big man.

So, while anything can happen, I think it is a long shot that he signs.

Posted by: dfh21 | February 23, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I will thank Uncle Teddy for buying the team in the first place so I don't have to watch Los Nationales live from San Juan on Univision.

Posted by: SpashCity | February 23, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

"peri - c'mon now, after Lackey who qualified as an ace that was a FA."

Randy Wolf and he was left-handed. Andy Petite. Pineiro, Harden.

Posted by: periculum | February 23, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Nunof1: Bozo? wtf. Grow up. And for the record, if Ted (Leonsis, Lerner, Turner, Danson, Nugent, Bundy . . . any of 'em) want a piece of me, bring it on.

Posted by: dfh21 | February 23, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Everything is at Level 0 before it gets started. That doesn't mean it's not gonna happen.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 23, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

@dfh21,

I'm not sure I agree that they won't sign Dunn, and I offer this as an opposing argument: if Dunn (a lefty) manages to get pretty decent at 1st base, improves the walks, home runs, RBI's, on base ... then you would be right ... because he would then be more valuable than Texiera. And still reasonably young.

Isn't it possible that Rizzo can take that to ownership and convince them he would be a wise investment using essentially the same arguments he used to attempt to acquire Texiera? And they were definitely in the running ... he just was not ready to put on a Natinals uniform.

He is one guy I think they almost have to sign ...

Posted by: periculum | February 23, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

@periculum - those are dumb examples.

Petite was Yankees or Bust
Harden is always injured
Pineiro had magic water in St. Louis
Randy Wolf is no ace.

Come on man, no real top of the rotation guy except Lackey, and he wanted lots of money and a chance to compete for a title this season.

And don't start on that Chapman garbage again; he is unproven.

I'm no Uncle Teddy apologist but the team should not be looked at in such a black and white prism.

Posted by: Nataholic | February 23, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Why didn't the nationals sign Mike Mussina????

Posted by: Nataholic | February 23, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

"nataholic, the naysayers are in a perfect position - if we lose, they say told you we stunk, if we win they say think how much better we could be with better management. It's those of us who think we are making progress that stand to get kicked in the butt again."

Although I admit Chapman was too expensive ... they still should have signed him ... getting beat by Cincinnati? JimBow probably loved that. I would have been convinced. He isn't ready now but he would be when Strasburg is ... now you have a starting rotation that can compete with anyone in the major leagues.

Rizzo is all about pitching. I don't see the kind of "dramatic improvement" that Kasten claims will occur this year? And Rizzo being the smart GM/Scout knows that's where it all starts.

If they manage to trade for a reasonably good close-top-of-rung pitcher, or with pretty damned good potential to be top rung then I would be convinced that progress is forward, albeit slowly. And, their only real possibility to get that just surprised Rizzo and everyone else with hip surgery! Unless Aaron Thompson suddenly pans out?

Posted by: periculum | February 23, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

peri if Marquis hadn't signed here and we signed any of those guys then you'd be putting Marquis with the others saying we should have signed him and they guy we signed was mediocre

Posted by: SCNatsFan | February 23, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I will thank Uncle Teddy for buying the team in the first place so I don't have to watch Los Nationales live from San Juan on Univision.

Posted by: SpashCity | February 23, 2010 2:25 PM
______________________________________________________________

I would rather be Thanking William Collins who put like 20 years worth of effort into trying to bring baseball back to DC.

For now though, I will "Thank" Uncle Teddy for a doo doo brown, underfunded product, that I have spent a lot of money on.

Posted by: Section505203 | February 23, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

"Come on man, no real top of the rotation guy except Lackey, and he wanted lots of money and a chance to compete for a title this season."

@nataholic,

On THIS team any of those guys would be top of the rotation. Wolf, the left-hander would have made the perfect mentor for Strasburg and company. Now, introduce Strasburg, Detwiler, maybe Holder, etc. You might have a real shot at making a play for the NL East division lead. Even with the Phillies pitching staff. Hey it would definitely attract more fans from Philly to fill those coffers.


Posted by: periculum | February 23, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

peric: I agree. I think that the Nats should be aggressive with the guy ASAP, but I just don't see them changing their spots into stripes given their risk-hating spending history. It might help the Nats pull the trigger that Dunn is never injured and his risk factor is seemingly low, not sure how they see him.

If the guy shows he can glove at all at first, his price soars and he waits it out. Dunn should not be eager to sign unless the Dollars are very big, because he does not want to guess low on his market.

I am guessing it would take something close to a Jason Bay type deal (maybe $16M/yr at least 3 years with an option that pays him if they walk away). I dont see the Nats throwing $55-60M out there unless they KNOW they are getting the right guy at the right price. And they don't want to over guess his market the same way Adam wants not to take less than he would from the market at season's end. And I think Rizzo does not want to be the guy who throws big coins on the player only to find out that he can't do the job at 1B and he's bought an NL albatross.

So, while I would be very happy to see it happen, I think JimBo's prediction of Dunn to AL trade is much more likely right now.

Posted by: dfh21 | February 23, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

"peri if Marquis hadn't signed here and we signed any of those guys then you'd be putting Marquis with the others saying we should have signed him and they guy we signed was mediocre"

@SCNatsFan,

As you have seen, and unlike many others, I would have been content if they had signed Chapman. Because for next year or the year after they would have placed themselves (as Cincinnati has) for potentially having one of the best starting rotations in baseball.


Posted by: periculum | February 23, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

"And they don't want to over guess his market the same way Adam wants not to take less than he would from the market at season's end. And I think Rizzo does not want to be the guy who throws big coins on the player only to find out that he can't do the job at 1B and he's bought an NL albatross."

@dfh21,

Isn't that exactly what they are finding they have in Marerro? Both at bat and in the field? It looks like he may be another guy who did not come back from injury. Without Marrero Dunn becomes far more valuable to this team. And there is his left-handed bat.

I don't think you want Norris at first base either.

Rizzo appears to have 2 priorities. Getting a #1, #2 starting pitcher to complement Strasburg and signing Adam Dunn long-term.

Posted by: periculum | February 23, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

periculum - Granted, they needed more stable veteran starting pitching. Instead they got two upside-ish injured pitchers (Wang and Olsen) and a stable vet (Marquis). And they really needed Detweiler to slide into the rotation. I'm not so sure the FO is happy about it but the FA marketplace was pretty barren. I think the team believes that the Nationals have better pitching on the farm in a year or two and thus cannot really afford to give Wolf or someone of his ilk 3 years. I tend to agree because looking at the FA pitching class of 2010, I (and many others) were vastly underwhelmed.

Posted by: Nataholic | February 23, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Holder? Really?

Posted by: goexpos2 | February 23, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Peri; I agree that those SHOULD be Rizzo's priorities, but I am not sure he has the coins to do any or all of it. And I have to question Rizzo's plan as he spent money on Marquis first, when they could have spent on something closer to an Ace and then filled the innings eater role a lot cheaper, no?

Anyway, Dunn is going to cost big money. Getting a 1 or a 2 SP likely means taking on salary (Lowe, Bonderman, Meche, someone owed big bucks on a club that can expend the guy for one reason or another). The world of big spending to improve the club is new territory for the Nats. I hope they can navigate it well. We'll see.

Posted by: dfh21 | February 23, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

"Holder? Really?"

Yes, Holder who will likely start the season in Potomac. If not Harrisburg. He actually did pitch 240 innings in college. Two college world series. Ace and leader on his UGA team. He is a power pitcher who needs some work on the rough edges. I
suspect he will advance quickly right behind Strasburg and Storen.
Short of Detwiler he looks like the only possibility at this point.

There really isn't anyone else.

Posted by: periculum | February 23, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

"when they could have spent on something closer to an Ace and then filled the innings eater role a lot cheaper, no?"

Agreed, with Livan who is still out there or even Pedro. But I suspect Rizzo has found that pitchers out there really do look at the Nationals as a horrible place to end up at. Just as Guardado did. He has that to work with along with the Lerner's need to justify and micromanage every penny spent.

Posted by: periculum | February 23, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, it is easy for me to wonder why Rizzo did or did not do this or that when there are all kinds of unknown to me forces that keep players from going to a club. The Nats likely have to be bold to get the guys that other clubs really want -- I mean this IS an every year last place club. So, if Rizzo was going to sign someone of a perceived high caliber, the Nats were likely going to have to over-pay. Bold moves have not been this organization's strong suit to date.

Posted by: dfh21 | February 23, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

@Nataholic,

Look at JD Martin? At Burnett? At Clint Everts? Patterson? White? Cordero?

All former #1's who went through surgery and had to take that long road back ...

Of them only Martin, because he appears to be the consummate competitive athlete, has come back as a starter. But is he the same pitcher?

Are you really going to depend on Chico, Olsen, JZimm, and Wang? That's pretty high risk, almost a shot in the dark. Something the Lerners are purportedly dead set against?

Sans Detwiler their best hopes are probably Martis, Holder, and Karns. Of these Martis has a shot ... he doesn't look like he will be a stopper. But you never know. None are left-handed. Aaron Thompson is an unknown and is no longer considered a top prospect? But he is left-handed.

Posted by: periculum | February 23, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

"All former #1's who went through surgery and had to take that long road back ..."

Correction: Change "All" to "Most". Sorry.

Posted by: periculum | February 23, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Tommy John surgery is not the same as shoulder surgeries. Dumping those two together is a highly suspect arguing tactic.

So, Chico and JZimm should both come back at full strength due to Tommy John.

Detweiler is dealing with a hip injury. He should be fine.

You already rang Holder's #, so don't go back on it.

Karns could be pretty good. And they do have Strasburg. And what about Stamen?

I count 6 pitchers. And that is without Martis, Martin, Balestar, Thompson, McGeary, Smoker, Wang or Olsen.

So, yes, the Nationals didnt need Wolf clogging up the path to the majors in 2011 and/or 2012.

Posted by: Nataholic | February 23, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Peri, I hope you're right on Holder, but he wasn't even a top 200 prospect going into last year's draft. Everyone thought picking him was a huge reach.

After Strasburg and Detwiler, I would put Zimmermann then Mock, Chico, Martis, Arnesen, Meyers, Thompson, Jaime, Balester, Milone, Atwood, Morris, Frias, McGeary, and maybe 3-4 more before I would get to Holder.

If your point is that we don't have many, if any top of the rotation candidates, then I do agree with that.

At this point though, trade and draft are the only ways to get that commodity....and as someone mentioned, we don't have that much to trade. FA markedly better than Marquis will not come to a 100 loss team.

Posted by: goexpos2 | February 23, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Right goexpos2. And I'm not so sure a mediocre pitching FA is all that better than what is down in the farm.

Posted by: Nataholic | February 23, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

So, yes, the Nationals didnt need Wolf clogging up the path to the majors in 2011 and/or 2012.

Posted by: Nataholic | February 23, 2010 3:35 PM
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I disagree. You can NEVER have to much pitching. And odds are most of those young guys still in the minors, will never pan out.

Posted by: Section505203 | February 23, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Hope springs eternal in baseball. Everywhere but here. I hope these 'thanks Teddy' guys aren't sitting next to me at a game. Its supposed to be fun. And -- dare I say it -- I have fun even in the 103 loss seasons. And yes, I dare to be optimistic that the team will be better. Sorry to rain on your 'everything sucks' party. I guess that makes me a total sap, I don't think all hope is lost in February. So be it. Yeesh.

Posted by: raymitten | February 23, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

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