Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: AdamKilgoreWP and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

Nationals could increase payroll this offseason

By Adam Kilgore

Though he declined to specify a defined threshold, Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo said he will have the ability to raise the team's payroll this offseason. The Nationals had a payroll of roughly $61.4 million in 2010, 23rd out of 30 teams. The Nationals, Rizzo said, will have more flexibility this year in what could become a busy offseason.

"We don't have a specific number," Rizzo said. "We're not going to base the payroll on a specific number. We're going to see what the offseason brings to us, how we can improve the club. If we have to add a player or players through a free agent market or take on more salary in a trade, we're open to all those possibilities. If it makes sense for '11 and the long term, we certainly will do that, yes."

At the annual General Manager Meetings in Orlando, Rizzo said there has already "been a lot of dialogue" with other clubs concerning trades.

"There's a lot of interest in a lot of our players, which is a good thing," Rizzon said. "I think that will continue throughout the offseason.

"We are active. Now, whether that translates into doing a lot of deals, I don't know. Every deal that's done, there's 100 deals that you prepared, worked hard at, had discussions with other teams that didn't happen for one reason or another. I can say we're very busy, and we're being very aggressive. That doesn't always translate into getting a deal done."

By Adam Kilgore  | November 16, 2010; 7:01 PM ET
Categories:  Mike Rizzo  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Nationals' search for a top starter won't be easy
Next: Nationals 'keeping options open' at first base, with Adam Dunn

Comments

The Braves picked up Uggla today. The Marlins & the A's are making moves to strengthen their rosters. Meanwhile, the ever cautious Rizzo and the frugal Lerners are sitting on the sidelines as usual. Like years past, they will be dumpster dipping in January and February.

Posted by: bupbups | November 16, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

They had %^#$^*$ better well increase the payroll. I "Expect It!!!!!!"

There cannot be anymore talk about several years down the road. Having sad that they expect to surprise in 2012, they can no longer follow the Pirates' path in 2011. Enough already. Spend enough money to get out of last place, and be in a position to vault to Wild Card contention the next year.

This is not negotiable. The many ways to get there are what need to be negotiated this week.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | November 16, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

>"There's a lot of interest in a lot of our players, which is a good thing," Rizzon said. "I think that will continue throughout the offseason.

Pants Rizzon. What could be more perfect?

Posted by: Brue | November 16, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

The opening-day salary for the Nationals' roster was $66.3M (per Cot's), but salary obligations floated towards $72M in 2009, including in-season trades, buyouts & bonuses.

It isn't really a question of how much the Lerners' spend, but more a question of how wisely they spend it. IMO, a 25-man roster expenditure of $70-75M could secure an interesting, competetive team in the NL East for 2011. Certainly not a Division winner, but a team capable of finishing in 3rd place & being an irritant to the 2nd-place team.

It would require at the very least, a LH-hitting OF/1B with power (#3-#5 everyday hitter in the order), at least one top-end SP, and building some bench depth (five players capable of bettering the 2010 combo of Kennedy /AGonz /Harris /Maxwell/ Nieves/ Mench).

The bench is easily do-able, and LH-power hitters are available (at a price). The 'top-of-the-order' SP will be the hardest bit, IMHO.

Posted by: BinM | November 16, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

I'll believe it when I see it.

Posted by: egoodman8 | November 16, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Ask Mets fans how important it is to spend boatloads of money, and ask Giants fans if you have to do so to win.

It isn't about spending; its about spending wisely and getting what is needed. Lets hope the Nats make the attempt.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | November 17, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

It is important to the Nats that they convey an impression of trying. Going after that rotation ace. Going after Uggla. Flexibility in expanding payroll. Not signing Dunn because maybe they can snag Crawford along with a better-fielding 1B. Making a trade that takes salary off some other club and lands some legit help here in Natstown.

And if these things do not happen for a variety of superb reasons we can all understand? Then we know for sure the Nats tried. How can anyone argue with that, even if payroll is in the mid-60s next season again in 2011?

I kid just a little. Building the club is a multi-year process. You trade for young guys, even if they make decent salary. You sign quality young free agents. You sign the best international kids you can get, even if they cost some. And you take advantage of these opportunities over a period of years. The Nats need to start doing these things, expanding their low budgets. And it usually can't be done in one season. But you have to start sometime. Why not now? One thing the Nats want to avoid doing is signing a bunch of old, slow, fat guys, like the Os used to do every year, simply to convince fans that the org is sincere.

Posted by: EdDC | November 17, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

The Marlins wanted EspinoSa as part of the Uggla trade. Doesn't make a lot of sense for 1 year deL for Uggla who is a free agent after 2011 not to mention Uggla is not a great defensive player.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | November 17, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

@scnatsfan Ask the Giants if you have to spend money to win... um... did you look up their team salary?

In 2010, they had an opening day payroll of more than $96 million. Along the way they added Burrell, Guillen and Cody Ross. They are far from a frugal team.

As for spending wisely, I agree. Just that the Nats don't spend at all. Looking at the Giants, if the Nats had a better plan for RF last winter, they could have added Aubrey Huff for $3-4M. But they cut Dukes (fine), and no viable backup plan in place.

Posted by: comish4lif | November 17, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Got a call from Nats ticket office wanting to know what it would take to sign up again for seson tix that i let lapse a couple of years ago. I told them a viable Major League product. The sales person wanted to focus on the 10 game improvement.

I told him it was lipstick on a pig and I wasnt going to even think about an investment unless the teams stops its yard sale approach.

I expect more of the same this year, tales of the offers made to unattainable FA's and non-deals because the return didnt improve the team enough.

I expect the season tix base is close to a third of 2005 and dwindling, you would think they would realize that promises of future success isnt registering with the fans, casual or otherwise.

Posted by: kyle4 | November 17, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

comish is right. Here is what the priorities should look like:

1. Spend wisely but go ahead and take advantage every year of wise-spending opportunities, even if that means an expanded payroll.

2. Don't spend hardly at all--stick to your little budgets, about $20 million a year lower than MLB-average.

3. Spend gobs of money foolishly, especially on old players beyond their prime years.

Nats' management convinces us that #2 is better than #3. And they are right! But what about #1?

Posted by: EdDC | November 17, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

We need to focus entirely on pitching, which we have supposedly been doing for the last 5 years. However, we had the worst pitching in baseball last year? We clearly don't truly know how to evaluate talent....there in lies the problem....

Posted by: SkinsWins | November 17, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what Rizzo's budget is, but if you read this piece from Kilgore, neither does Rizzo. And that's bad.

By my estimate, it looks like it will be a shade under $50M, as it stands now. Of course more signings or trades could happen, but this is what it looks like today:

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0Ah8KBga3QqVzdFNtYmtNdS1ZU2FIMVhvNWRwM2VlckE&hl=en&authkey=COWdnpcM

Posted by: comish4lif | November 17, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

The opening-day salary for the Nationals' roster was $66.3M (per Cot's), but salary obligations floated towards $72M in 2009, including in-season trades, buyouts & bonuses.

It isn't really a question of how much the Lerners' spend, but more a question of how wisely they spend it.

Posted by: BinM | November 16, 2010 9:10 PM

LERNER SYNDROME!!!

Posted by: Kev29 | November 17, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

>The Marlins wanted EspinoSa as part of the Uggla trade. Doesn't make a lot of sense for 1 year deL for Uggla who is a free agent after 2011 not to mention Uggla is not a great defensive player.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone

Ah yes, now you've hit one something.
1) The Marlins wanted somebody with some talent.
2) Uggla is a free agent after next year

These are the exact two reasons that Uggla didn't end up with the Nats - 1) Pants doesn't have the cajones to trade anything of value. See, if you want to be a GM, you have to have the stones to firstly ACQUIRE talent, then you need the ability to DEAL talent. Guess what? Pants can't do the second part.
2) Uggla wouldn't sign a new contract with the Nats, but I've got $100 that says the Braves had a handshake agreement for Uggla to sign on after next season - otherwise, the Braves wouldn't have dealt Infante. That's just how things work.
So whose fault is it that the Nats GM is scared to death to trade anything of value? And whose fault is it that Uggla wouldn't sign an extension with the Nats? Who cares if they increase payroll, it's not like Rizzo knows how to put a team together anyway. They'd just throw the money down the drain and make excuses afterward. He's made ONE TRADE involving major leaguers, and it's been at least two years he's been sitting there as GM. Pants for Prez~!

Posted by: Brue | November 17, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company