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Posted at 9:28 AM ET, 11/23/2010

Adam Dunn and free agency: the Nationals' strategy and its risks

By Adam Kilgore

Today is one of those deadline days in baseball's offseason. By today, teams must offer one-year arbitration to their Type A and Type B free agents in order to ensure they will receive draft pick compensation if one of those free agents signs with another team.

For the Nationals and Adam Dunn, their lone Type A free agent, this part is mostly kabuki. The Nationals surely will offer Dunn the arbitration, which in his case would probably come to $15 million for one year. The amount hardly matters -- Dunn, assuredly, will not accept by Nov. 30, the deadline to decline or take the arbitration, because he knows he can receive a lucrative, multi-year contract in free agency. [Update: A team source confirms that the Nationals have offered Dunn arbitration.]

The decisions will ensure that the Nationals will receive an extra pair of draft picks. Since Dunn is a Type A, that means no matter who signs Dunn, the Nationals will receive a "sandwich" pick in the supplementary round between the first and second round. They'll also receive one more pick based on which team signs him. The first 18 picks of this year's draft are protected. A team that picks in the first 18 selections will surrender its second-round choice if it signs another team's Type A free agent, but a team in the bottom 15 picks of the first round that signs another team's Type A free agent will lose its first-round pick.

This year, the Nationals have always had three options with Dunn: sign him, trade him or let him walk and collect the draft picks. The two sides could not come to terms on a contract extension in spring training, and in July, the Nationals decided none of the myriad trade offers for Dunn offered fair value. Barring a stunner in the coming week, they have chosen the draft picks.

General Manager Mike Rizzo, a former scouting director who believes in building through the draft, basically chose those picks over whatever could have come in a trade for Dunn. Time will tell whether that decision works out, which in and of itself is the problem.

The Nationals -- having lost 102, 103 and 93 games the past three seasons -- don't have a ton of time to wait for the development of the draft picks Dunn's departure will yield. They need to demonstrate to their fans they are headed in the right direction -- not just with progress in their farm system, which they are making, but at the top level right now.


Consider Jordan Zimmermann, one of the players the Nationals chose with the compensatory picks they got for Alfonso Soriano in 2007. Zimmermann is unquestionably one of the Nationals' brightest hopes. Taking him was a success. But he took a few seasons in the minors, and then got derailed by an injury. The Nationals drafted Zimmermann in 2007, and here, three and a half seasons later, they've gotten 23 major league starts from him.

And that's a draft pick that worked out. Rizzo has an incredible history of success in the draft, but draft picks, by and large, are lottery tickets. Josh Smoker, a left-handed starter, was the other pick the Nats receive for losing Soriano. Three and a half years from the time of his drafting, Smoker is stuck in Class A Hagerstown, where the Nationals have turned him into a reliever.

By three and a half seasons from this year's draft, the end of the 2014 season, the Nationals will be a wholly different team. Ryan Zimmerman is signed through 2013, and he is clearly sick of losing. More dreadful seasons mean more incentive for Zimmerman to explore his value on the market when his contract expires. Zimmerman's contract situation may not yet be pressing, but it will start to be soon.

Taking the draft picks will not be as expensive as signing Dunn. But it won't be cheap, either, especially in comparison to trading him. The Nationals paid Dunn the (roughly) $4 million portion of his salary to play from July 31 to the end of the season, for zero games with any consequence to their ultimate place in the standings. They'll have to pay signing bonuses to their draft picks, which should come to about a combined $2 million, more if the Nationals receive a non-protected first-round pick as compensation. The Nationals could have saved $6 million if they had traded Dunn for a pair of prospects with minimal salaries whose signing bonuses have already been paid, prospects who likely would be ready to contribute at the major league level sooner.

The strategy could pay off. Maybe Rizzo drafts a pair of college players who start helping the major league club in 2012 and eventually become all-stars. But there are impediments, namely the fickle nature of the draft and the growing impatience among fans and current players to win. Maybe the Nationals shock the baseball world, sign Dunn and it all becomes moot. If not, time will tell if they made the right decision.

By Adam Kilgore  | November 23, 2010; 9:28 AM ET
Categories:  Adam Dunn  
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Comments

Nicely done AK. The choice not to move Dunn now places a lot of pressure on Rizzo to land studs via those draft picks and he was already under a lot of pressure to land difference makers for the currently woeful MLB roster for 2011.
I so hope he goes bold on the hot stove. We'll see.

Posted by: dfh21 | November 23, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Preparing for a tomorrow that may never come. The Lerners need to open the checkbook in Free Agency to help build the ML roster and make the team competitive, NOW.

Posted by: Section505203 | November 23, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Thank you for this post, Adam, this has been my biggest question mark about Rizzo's tenure.
One gets the sense you wanted to be more critical of Rizzo but ultimately chose not to. Yes, time will tell, but thinking we could have Daniel Hudson plus probably a young borderline major leaguer instead of two draft picks makes me a little mad.

This is a high risk, relatively low reward move (how likely is it the two picks will really be better than what the White Sox offered, and be better fast...) by the Nats. Not what you're looking for.

Posted by: amo36 | November 23, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Okay 502503 - we do this every year, so why disappoint.

Who should the Lerners sign (and will come play here) out of this "stellar" FA market? Be specific please.

Posted by: dand187 | November 23, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

dand187: For starters, they should shock the baseball world and sign Dunn. The good players and the fan base is really, really sick of sure we are going to be losers next year, but trust us, "tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow" we are going to be competitive. No, not if you don't sign the quality free agents you have, unless they are trying to extort the team, which Dunn certainly was not.

Posted by: NatsFly | November 23, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

>Who should the Lerners sign (and will come play here) out of this "stellar" FA market? Be specific please.

Posted by: dand187

Stay the course, Pants. Keep pointing that finger. Sure is nice down here in sunny S. Florida, good to see nothing's changed with the bozos that run this outfit. Gonna go down to the beach and check out the honies. One of the yahoos on the AFL championship broadcast said that Harper might not make the majors until 2013. Probably thought that Pants was gonna be ultra-conservative with his development, just like he's doing now with his assignment to Hagerstown. Or maybe he was given a leak from the Nats front office not to expect much the next couple of years.

Posted by: Brue | November 23, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Fundamentally this is not flawed logic on behalf of Senior Rizzo however....., when you lose close to 300 games in three years, have a declining fanbase, have made little in developing a baseball culture in a predominant football town then I'd say they are rolling the dice and hoping that they get a pair of sevens.

You don't have to look that far for small successes, I think the results of the AFL is remedy enough to hold back the skeptics. However..., is Michael Burgess ready, is Chris Marrero ready, is Steve Lombardozzi ready, is Derrick Norris ready, is Bryce Harper ready, is Sammi Solis ready, is Dustin Hood ready. We have been waiting every year for someone to show up (besides SS) and set the process in motion. So far you can point to Ian Desmond, Danny Espinosa, Roger Bernadina, Jordan Zimmerman, Ross Detwiller, Drew Storen and they still lost 93 games. Can this franchise survive waiting much longer?

Posted by: TippyCanoe | November 23, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

@dand187,

They should most definitely SIGN Cliff Lee. Perhaps another pitcher as well. They should trade some of the prospects listed for a top of the rotation starter ... and perhaps Justin Upton.

Of course all of this is speculative and very difficult to achieve. Still, Mike Rizzo somehow managed to sign his 25 of his 26 top picks including AJ Cole and Robbie Ray. And many you said it couldn't be done, would never happen. Now didn't you? Right?

I suspect Rizzo will not fail to achieve at least some of what I listed above even if he does not succeed in achieving it all. He knows the team has to improve now in order to attract fans, top free agents, and to set the "right tone". He has also admitted that the mess he found this team in in 2006 was worst than starting from scratch with an expansion franchise. Its a longer road than expansion!?

Hopefully, he will find the right deals and sign the right free agents to change things. But he has to start with the starting rotation not at first base.

Posted by: periculum | November 23, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

It took the Tampa Bay Rays 9 years to break through so to me this is almost like a new franchise with the clock starting at 2007 and hope it gets clicking long before 2016.

Bryce Haper will be a difference maker for sure and hopefully even more impactful then Jason Heyward.

2010 was finally a season where positive change was made and you could see clearly the areas of weakness in CF, 2nd base, backup catcher, the worst bench in the Majors, and the need for a true #1 pitcher.

Rizzo took care of 2nd base with Espinosa and backup catcher with Ramos which leaves fixing the bench, CF, and a true #1, but in the Nationals infinite wisdom they have complicated the picture as they don't have a 1st baseman and are going wishy/washy on the future of Josh Willingham.

So here is the offseason list now:

1) 1st baseman w/ power and high OBP
2) Fate of Josh Willingham
3) #1 pitcher (which won't happen)
4) CF (probably will stick with Nyjer)
5) Build a bench

I can't believe this team is back to the same issues it had in 2008. This time they have money to spend. They won't get Cliff Lee but I don't see any reason to spend the money on Vazquez who is a risk and will take money away from the long-term solutions this team needs.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | November 23, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

"Adam Kilgore writes... Maybe the Nationals shock the baseball world, sign Dunn and it all becomes moot. If not, time will tell if they made the right decision."
_______
Yah, wouldn't that change the dynamics. You keep your franchise player happy and get a good clubhouse guy that delivers 100+ RBIs!

If the BBWAA writers think Dunn is the 21st best player in the NL, why doesn't our braintrust with the Nationals??????


Posted by: GoingGoingGone | November 23, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

If Dunn wont take the three years let him walk. He is good for almost 40 homers a year, but he also good for numerous rally killing strikeouts. I recall when this same scenario occurred with Soriano a few years ago. I thought the Nats should have resigned Soriano no matter the cost. We all know how that turned out.

Dunn is not going to get better with age. He has been the left handed version of Rob Deer. I dont see how he benefits the team going forward. The Nats need to take the picks and go about trying to acquire Justin Upton and/or Greinke. Overpaying for Dunn or going for Cliff Lee would be big mistakes.

Posted by: KingJoffeJoffer | November 23, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

It looks like the Lerners will continue to stockpile prospects long after Dunn retires. The Nats are building a solid reputation as the League's farm team.

Posted by: nonsensical2001 | November 23, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

dand187,

As a few others noted on here, for starters, how about resigning Dunn?

Cliff Lee is a pipe dream so, I won't even go there. Outside of him though, there are several Starters that could come and solidify the rotation. De La Rosa, Padilla, Garland, Harang, Harden, Millwood, etc.

Qualls or Dotel could help the BP.

Punto could add depth to the infield

Crawford, Ankiel or Melky Cabrera could help the OF situation.

The players are out there every year, that could help a struggling franchise get better but, the Lerners don't want to spend the money to help the ML roster while the minors gets rebuilt.

I wish the Koolaid tasted as good for me as it obviously does for you. Unfortunately for me and a lot of people in this fan base it tastes like someone p*ssed in the punch bowl.

Posted by: Section505203 | November 23, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Without Dunn, there is a lot of pressure for both MOrgan and Bernadino to come through big and that is unlikely to happen. Without SS the pitching is probably not going to be much better than this past season either.

My impression is that signing Dunn this is still close to a 90 loss team, without him it is definitely a 90 loss team.

Really the team needs to sign Dunn and improve major league talent with another move to improve in 2011.

Posted by: Pensfans | November 23, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

If ones definition of failure this offseason is not signing Lee then be prepared for failure.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | November 23, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

For one, I don't think there were too many people that said to sign Alfonso at "any price" - I wanted to resign him, but at the 8 years/$130+M that he got, way too much.

Same thing with Cliff Lee, love to have him, but if he'll be getting 6 years, it's a bad deal at that price.

As for who would I sign from this "stellar" FA market, for one, I'd resign Dunn. Unless you have a guy on the farm ready to go, or a Free Agent available who would be an improvement, letting Dunn walk is a bad plan. So, I'd start at 3/$45M, and be willing to go to 3/$51M, and since the Nat's payroll for 2011 is under $50M, I'd front load Dunn's contract. And why not offer him a mutual option at the end of the contract for $20M.

Pitching wise, I'd take the risk and buy low on Webb, sign him for $6M, and add a second year at $12M that vests at 25 starts.

And that's still not enough pitching, put a 3 year deal out there for de la Rosa. Say, 3 years, $24M, and again, front load it.

Finally, getting to the OF. Drop Morgan. And sign Carl Crawford. Back up the Brinks truck for him. Would he sign for 6 years and $126M?

So, you asked, that's what I would do. And with all of that, the Nats 2011 payroll would be about $100M.

Posted by: comish4lif | November 23, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

The problem with not signing Dunn is much like the problems the Redskins have had for the past dozen years. It creates a hole where there was none and now the team has to address 1st base in addition to starting pitchers, the outfield, the bench. Not to mention that, Dunn is probably the ONLY 40HR-100RBI guy in the League who WANTS to be a National. I'm sure R. Zimmerman wants him back for legitimate protection.

Posted by: Kolchak | November 23, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I hope whatever team is smart enough to pick up Dunn beats the crap out of the Nats. Repeatedly. Dunn is a great player and a class act. We'll miss him.

Posted by: pirate1 | November 23, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

More realistically, the Nats could sign Dunn, de la Rosa and Rauch. And some smaller parts for the bench and be improved.

The problem is that as you lose 100 games over and over, no FA wants to come here. Except for overpaying. So, while the Nats invest and rebuild the farm, they cannot afford to ignore the MLB product on the field. Which is what they have been doing. Frankly, I'm not so sure that they are investing heavily enough in the Farm. Yes, they signed Strasburg and Harper - they had no choice; that's the cost of doing business. And Storen worked out. But the Farm is still not producing enough players.

And that's why the Nats need to spend money to keep players like Dunn here, and bring in talented FA to fill in the holes. So that yo can put a major leaguer at every position.

Take last winter for example, ultimately, the Nats cut Elijah Dukes. And replaced him with... Maxwell, Bernadina and Morse. That's not much of a backup plan. Last winter, Aubrey Huff signed a $3M deal in SF. I know hindsight is 20/20, but at $4M, Huff would have been a better plan for RF. And he can play LF and 1B too. It would have been a cheap enough option.

For those that are going to remind me that the Nats didn't cut Dukes until mid-spring training. I know. What an awful plan to cut a guy when you have no backup in place and to not address the issue over the winter in the first place.

Posted by: comish4lif | November 23, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

To answer Tippycanoe, "is Michael Burgess ready, is Chris Marrero ready, is Steve Lombardozzi ready, is Derrick Norris ready, is Bryce Harper ready, is Sammi Solis ready, is Dustin Hood ready"? No, No, No, No, No, No, and No. Not for 2011 at least.

Also, for all of you touting the organization success, don't forget that the Carolina League is far from the NL and that the AFL is a complex team. That is, it's a handful of Arizona Diamondbacks, Baltimore Orioles, Colorado Rockies, San Francisco Giants and Washington Nationals.

Posted by: comish4lif | November 23, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I doubt seriously that the Nats will expand payroll by a significant amount (a $20 million expansion gets you to MLB average). Instead, I expect the usual mid-60s. Bush league.

A friend up in NY tells me he expects the Yankees to sign Crawford and Lee. You can have Ankiel (who hit .232 last year and is .248 lifetime, with moderate power) and Melky (.255 and no power)--they are leftover types by now. Why go after them? Only the Nats would think they are upgrades--and they probably are!

So I am expecting a little upgrade in the OF, a 3rd-in-rotation new starter, and an older 1B on the downside. Maybe a reclamation project at pitcher thrown in.

With Dunn gone (why would he want to play here after the way he was treated, unless he has no good option?), it's a dull team. The fan base would get smaller still if that happens, proving conclusively that DC is no baseball town.

Sad thing is, DC would be a great baseball town if fans know the ownership is committed to winning. If the Nats can somehow dig out of their past philosophy and make some good things happen, then that would be a great turnaround, as the team is at the crossroads. It probably has to happen through trades, since the good FAs will avoid the Nats.

For the first time since the Nats arrived, I have bailed out of all my season ticket groups. Too bad for me, as I love baseball, but I'm not going to support what I see here. I know, my loss!

Posted by: EdDC | November 23, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

"If not, time will tell if they made the right decision."

The Nats are running out of time - the fans will soon be running away from the Nats. Go to Craigslist during next season and see seats given away or for penny on the dollar.

Posted by: kparc1212 | November 23, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Does Victor Martinez signing w/ Detroit mean that they're not pursuing Dunn anymore? Does the Martinez deal (4 years/ $50MM) set the market for Dunn?

Posted by: JEp1 | November 23, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Re your comment about "The Nationals paid Dunn the (roughly) $4 million portion of his salary to play from July 31 to the end of the season, for zero games with any consequence to their ultimate place in the standings." Hey, Kilgore, I paid full price for my Nats tickets in August and September and full price for the food and drink. I expected a good game, not a bunch of AAA guys "trying out" -- even if it's "zero games in the standigs". I enjoyed watching Dunn play. When are you media geniuses ever going to figure that out? Or is it always kindergarden/fantasy time in the media?

Posted by: RLFWDC | November 23, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

One would think Martinez to DET and Huff resigning with SF eliminate two potential destinations for Dunn.

I dont know how the grass couldnt be greener on another team, but for Dunn it may not. Here's hoping he accepts arbitration and collects $16 mil for another year on Half St.

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | November 23, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

EdDC--I am bailing on my ST package this year too, after several years in. I just do not see a serious commitment to putting a real MLB team on the field as long as Uncle Teddy owns the team. It is sad, because I liked being a ST holder, I liked having that link to the team and wanted to stay in. But I am sick of being ripped off by the Learners and felt I had to quit enabling this crappy ownership.

Posted by: NatsFly | November 23, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I think the notion of saving money by the Nationals is no longer an acceptable business practice. Especially since their concept of savings usually translates into horrific on field results. They need to sign Dunn NOW and spend lots of big dollars NOW. This build through the draft and win on the cheap strategy is a loser one and is killing an already tired fan base.

Posted by: vagator | November 23, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I know we all want the Nationals to do well and be a winner sooner than later, but I don't see any of the current crop of free agents helping us much. I would not overpay for any one or two players. Let's wait and see how it shakes out. Maybe we can get a Dunn type deal out of whomever is left over. I'd rather continue to stockpile draft picks and build some good young talent. I love Dunn as much as anyone, but having him at 1b just gives away runs...and games. I would try to resign Nick Johnson, assuming he is healthy, as he gives us a solid bat and great defense (Gaby Sanchez might be a good alternative or backup choice). It is time for Chris Marrero, Justin Maxwell, Mike Morse and the other farmhands to step up and perform.
Keep Morgan, but I sure would try to get Davey Lopes to help his stolen base IQ. I do like the idea someone posited about taking a chance on Webb! The upside is very high for him and the Nats. I would take the "defense first" line for 2011. If J Zimm can come all the way back, our September staff would have him, Stras (fingers crossed), Livan, Lanan and an X factor picther. I like Espinosa and Howard up the middle. I think a decent 2011 is a springboard for a really good 2012!

Posted by: JpJp | November 23, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Funny thing is, you actually don't build through the draft very well if you do not sign free agents and if you do not accept good-salary guys when you make trades. If you are not aggressive, it hurts you in the draft! These kinds of additions can be turned into extra draft choices when they sign elsewhere after their time as Nats is over--or at least prospects, if you want to trade them before their contracts expire. So it is not build through the draft vs. being aggressive with trades and free agents. It is not one or the other. That's a false choice.

Posted by: EdDC | November 23, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Our firm has had season tickets since the team arrived and we are not going to renew our package. Adam Dunn is one of the few exciting things going. Yes, they finished last with him. But this is the entertainment business, and they need to entertain. Dunn entertained. I understand (and completely approve of) building through the draft. But they also need to bring the payroll up at the major league level. I don't want to sit through 3 more dreary seasons waiting for the kids.

Posted by: MRMESQ | November 23, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

"Funny thing is, you actually don't build through the draft very well if you do not sign free agents and if you do not accept good-salary guys when you make trades. If you are not aggressive, it hurts you in the draft! These kinds of additions can be turned into extra draft choices when they sign elsewhere after their time as Nats is over--or at least prospects, if you want to trade them before their contracts expire. So it is not build through the draft vs. being aggressive with trades and free agents. It is not one or the other. That's a false choice."

So why then is it a bad thing that the Nats signed free agent Adam Dunn in 2008 and are letting him go now for draft choices? Aren't they doing exactly what you're saying they should?

Posted by: FeelWood | November 23, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Yes, let's bring back Nick Johnson. Dmitri too, so he can fill in for Nick when Nick is out with injuries. Who needs Dunn?

Posted by: EdDC | November 23, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

The problem with not signing Dunn (or other free agents) & stockpiling picks is that you put a horse-sh*t product on the field & charge major-league prices, thus alienating the fans. If the Nats are a developmental team, they should acknowledge as much & lower their prices.

Also, they will lose Zimmerman when he is a free agent; why would he want to stay with a team that is basically a AAA-level team that looks like it won't play even .500 ball anytime soon?

As AK says, draft picks are risky at best. Storen doesn't look like a dominant major league closer; will he ever? Will Detwiler or Zimmermann pitch like 2-3 starters? Not this year, maybe next. So Nats are stuck with a lousy team for at least another 2-3 years, by which time the fan base should be around 3,000. Great.

Sign Dunn. As a fan, I don't care if the Nats overpay, they need his bat, unless they sign Crawford. And why would Crawford come to DC, as opposed to going to a winner?

Posted by: nyskinsdiehard | November 23, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm for signing Dunn, but antoher option would be not sign Dunn gain the two draft picks, sign Crawford and others and end up with talent now and talent in the future.

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 23, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

And why would Lee come here since he is well known as a post-season ace? Why would any of the good ones go to last place losers? And I assume Zim will be gone. No way would he want many more years of this crap.

Anyway, MRMESQ makes a great point. This is entertainment, especially since wins and loses are basically irrelevant after early May. I know I scheduled my errands around the house so I could be glued to the TV when Zim and Dunn came up--I didn't miss those ABs. And at the games, no one went out to the concession stands when Zim and Dunn came up. This is really all we had as fans, along with SS. So now what? Zim's ABs are less interesting without Dunn hitting behind him, and will the Nats have the weakest clean-up hitter in baseball?

Posted by: EdDC | November 23, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

@JpJp - Nice ideas except that Davey Lopes is a coach in LA now - on Mattingly's staff. Maybe we could get the Dodgers to take Morgan for a PTNBL... Nick Johnson healthy - maybe in a different world where the bizarro Nick Johnson has a Ripken-esque durability streak.

I'd love for Maxwell to step up. But he's more than likely a bum.

Posted by: comish4lif | November 23, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

The reputation the Nats have thusfar built is not conducive to grade A free agents. They have thrown the anchor over board and pulling it back in won't be easy.

Posted by: cokedispatch | November 23, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

If they don't sign him they won't get the same buy-in from the good players who remain. That's just the way it is--the players will say 'we understand the business', but they're human.

Maybe he's not management's dream 1B. But sometimes everyone's got to take one for the team, and that includes them.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | November 23, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

I am a partial plan season ticket holder since day 1. If they resign Dunn I will re-up my package that day. If they don't I really have to question why I should invest in the team next year if the owners aren't going to. They are never going to sell out, so there is no real advantage to buying 20 games when I could just walk up to the gate when the weather is nice.

Posted by: IBC-AS | November 23, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Dunn's choices when he woke up this morning: (1) Take the three year offer the Nats have on the table for him. (2) Go to arbitration with the Nats. (3) Take the four year offer that his agent guaranteed would be forthcoming from some other team.

Dunn's choices now: Fire agent before taking choice 1 or 2, or fire agent after taking choice 1 or 2.

Posted by: FeelWood | November 23, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm really getting sick to death of seeing all of this "Fantasy Baseball"-type analysis of draft picks and the rest of the rationales for not signing Adam Dunn. The bottom line for me as a season ticket holder is: Who the hell is going to make this crummy team worth watching for the next two or three years? Zimmerman can't cut it on his own. Without Dunn, who?

Posted by: fluffy4 | November 23, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Time frame by AK for the Dunn situation is good for engaging readers, but bad for baseball analysis. Nats improved by 10 wins this year. If they can do that for the next two years, they will be in the playoffs in that second year.

What's holding them back? -- pitching and fielding (not managing). Dunn's fielding was part of the problem and hurt R. Zimmerman. The poor fielding makes me question their professionalism and commitment to winning.

The Cleveland Indians with Manny Acta improved by 10 wins as did the NY Mets. I am happy for Manny.

I think the Nats are on the right path. Until someone shows me differently, I am giving Rizzo the benefit of the doubt.

But the seats are still too expensive for the product that they are putting on the field. They should adjust their prices lower even more.

Posted by: Instructor5 | November 23, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

You guys can go on and on if you want to, but the biggest need for this team is the OF. They've got nobody. Willingham is gone, Dunn is outta here, Bernadina looked promising but can't hit off-speed pitches to save his life. They need to get a Werth or even take a shot at Francouer. Morgan proved what he was - a jerk and a lousy OB% guy. Forget him. If they're looking for a solid starter they should go after Brett Myers (spare me your morality plays kids because you shouldn't be throwing stones). Plus the Rays will be having a fire-sale on young pitchers soon.

Open up those deep pockets Lerners and get Werth!!! Move Morse to 1st - you've lost Dunn. That's still a real good young infield. Catching should be Ramos and Flores if healthy. Trade I-Roid if someone is desperate for catching.

Posted by: Dog-1 | November 23, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

If Dunn is willing to Play in SF he might get a deal from the Giants to warm the bench, if not more.

Posted by: hariknaidu | November 23, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Go after Brett Myers (with a restraining order?), in a trade?

Because he's not a free agent. The Astros gave him a 2 year deal (through 2012) with an option for 2013.

Posted by: comish4lif | November 23, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Ok, so Huff went for 2 yrs $22M; Victor Martinez got 4 years $50M. Do people in here really still think Dunn won't get north of the 3 yrs $30M the Nats claim to have offered?

Posted by: dfh21 | November 23, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

"Ok, so Huff went for 2 yrs $22M; Victor Martinez got 4 years $50M. Do people in here really still think Dunn won't get north of the 3 yrs $30M the Nats claim to have offered?"

First, the existence of a 3 yr offer has been confirmed by two sources (Boswell and Ladson) so that is probably true. The $30M is suspect though. Boswell floated that number, but logically it makes no sense. The Nats paid Dunn $12M in 2010 (his 2/20 deal was structured $8M in 2009, $12M in 2010) so a three year offer from them would not start with a pay cut. Rather, it would be 3yr $36M minimum, probably more like the 3/40 number that a lot of people have speculated.

And yes, given the Huff and Martinez signings it's looking quite likely that 3/40 is probably the right ballpark of what Dunn could command. He's worth less than Martinez and more than Huff.

Posted by: FeelWood | November 23, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

So what your really saying is that we should expect the National top lose 90 games next year?

Posted by: agarnett1000 | November 23, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

thi steam will lose 90+ games next year if Adam Dunn goes and somebody as good as Adam is added to the team.

It is going to take a couple of additions to improve the team. If it keeps Dunn and brings in another good player the team can improve unless Ramos, Desmond, Morse, Bernadino and Espinosa don't come through (lots more question marks than I expected).

Posted by: Pensfans | November 23, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

I am gonna take a wild guess that Dunn gets something like 3 yrs $53 ($16M per with a $5M buyout on a 4th). We'll see what happens - I think the odds he takes the arb offer are widly long (the guy has been squawking forever\ about getting a long term deal and some club will offer him at least 3 years at decent money, so no real need for him to take only 1 and have to do it all over againin 2011).

I think that whatever coins he gets, Nats management is hoping and praying it is an AL club that gets him -- so that they'll be able to differentiate their offer from the winning one based upon that club projecting Adam as a DH down the road.

Posted by: dfh21 | November 23, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-With out reading any of your comments , and with having only bare info on the Martinez signing by Detroit, two thoughts pop up.
One is that if Martinez is getting (only?!) 50 mil for four years...well, it'll be interesting to see what Adams' price will be. Especially in light of the fact that the Tigers were reputed to be one of the teams with a strong interest in him.
Second.....once again Mike Illitch is getting ready to invest some serious coin in his team. Y'know.....civic duty kinda bunk.Spending some of his vast fortune to give his fans a product worth rooting for. Not worrying about the possibility that he may well lose money out of pocket. Terrible business practices, eh? (Sort of a reverse Wall Street perspective!). Now I am NOT advocating spending for it's own sake, or for not building a strong, perennial farm (the PLAN-which I believe EVERY team at least claims to believe in).
Too bad, though that WE don't have owners with enough personal wealth to afford to spend (yes, maybe a tad foolishly, even!)in order to give their suffering and disgruntled fans something to look forward to. While they wait for the "Plan's" fruition. Then again, this market is not all that large, and CERTAINLY isn't all that wealthy, either. Not like Detroit, right? Right?
Still.....I AM a Rizzo fan. And I think Harper is gonna be like Babe Ruth was to the Yankees. Really. And for all my carping, I STILL think the Slows are gonna eventually build a perennial contender here. That's just good business. But the wait....well, it's better'n having NO Nats at all.
Go Nats!!!

Posted by: zendo | November 23, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

There's no way I would give Adam Dunn a long term contract because Adrian Gonzalez, Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder will all likely be Free Agents after the 2011 season. I'll do a 1 year contract with Dunn if he accepts arbitration or give Michael Morse a first baseman's glove. Personally, I think any team that wants to win shouldn't want Adam Dunn playing 1st base, heck why give someone a boat load of money then always remove him from the game after the 7th inning because of defensive reasons.

Posted by: 4U2Know | November 23, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

zendo,

It is said that time heals all wounds, but sometimes you have to go to the doctor to get some help. It is fine to wait. Patience is a virtue. But you still have to do things to build a club.

When I take a long run, sometimes I just slow way down, until I realize I am hardly running. At some point, you have to go out there and cover the ground. You have to make progress. Pick up the pace. Otherwise you stay more or less in the same place. Just putting the time in by itself will not get you to the finish line.

Yes, you get Harper and lose Zim. You lose Dunn and sign a replacement, hopefully almost as good--but as Pensfan pointed out above, that only gets you back to even. Your draft picks develop, but you do not add enough extra draft picks to gain on the competition. (When players you sign in trades and as free agents sign elsewhere, you get extra draft picks--but you need quality guys to bring extra draft picks, not bargain bin types).

This team very much reminds me of myself running. If I don't put forth the effort, I just don't get very far.

Posted by: EdDC | November 23, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Fact: The Lerner group, after 4 1/2 years of ownership has yet to sign a player contract that averaged more than $10M/year. Reportedly offered, yes; Signed, no.

I'll leave it at that.

Posted by: BinM | November 23, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Barring injury, Gonzalez, Pujols and Fielder are all going to cost well north of whatever Dunn gets. Pujols and gonzlaez will be well over $150M each and Fielder over $100M (and Fielder at 5'11" and 290 or so pounds? -- buyer beware!)

Dunn is not going to take a 1 year deal unless no other team is offering him 2, which is very unlikely (as Huff just got 2 and he's several years older and less projectable offensively). I still think that the Cubs will be in on him.

Posted by: dfh21 | November 23, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

The Nats won't get Adrian Gonzalez or Albert Pujols. So those next year dreams are just hollow words of comfort. Fielder might be more of a possibility, but Milwaukee--yes, small-town Milwaukee where the jobs are fleeing--makes a much greater commitment to building a better team than the Nats do. Much more.

So OK, be tough and say one year for you, Dunn, or you are out the door! Where does that get you? Dunn will not accept arbitration for the privilege of playing another year with our Nats.

Posted by: EdDC | November 23, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

And yes, given the Huff and Martinez signings it's looking quite likely that 3/40 is probably the right ballpark of what Dunn could command. He's worth less than Martinez and more than Huff.

Posted by: FeelWood

Dunn is worth less than Victor Martinez? I don't think so.

Martinez is actually a year older than Dunn.

Dunn's career OPS of .902 is 64 points better than Martinez.
Martinez is not a particularly good defensive catcher. His caught stealing rate of .214 is the lowest of the 12 MLB qualifying catchers in 2010. It's a lousy rate, people run on him. In 106 starts, he gave up 99 SB's.

Martinez is a right handed fielder, and it would be a stretch to suggest he's appreciably better defensively at 1B than Dunn.

Martinez is a catcher, and so maybe he gets a premium there. And compared to other catchers, he's an excellent hitter, so again, a premium there. But not at all sure his value will prove to be greater than Dunn's.

Posted by: Sunderland | November 23, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Wow, from reading the comments it appears that Adam (200 strike outs) Dunn is our MVP, our golden boy. Without Adam Dunn I guess we are already pronouncing that Zimmerman will be gone. Without Dunn Zimmerman's at bats are just "less interesting" (whatever that means).
Without Dunn I suppose the Lerners can't even throw money at other players. Without Dunn no one will bother even watching Zimmerman play next year. Without Dunn, we might as well forget about having Strassburg and Harper even bother to show up for 2012.

It seems like Adam Dunn was not the first baseman everyone else rushed to sign at the drop of a hat. Go figure. It seems he was the entire reason for season ticket sales here. He must have been a 10 WAR player from what I have been reading here because we are sure to slide back ten wins from 2010 to 2009 wins.

If Adam Dunn does wind up here in 2011 it would be fine with me. If he goes elsewhere I won't be filling my crying towel with tears either. Will the Nats have a better record next year than 2010? I would think so, based entirely on my trust that Rizzo can improve the overall team.

Posted by: driley | November 23, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

"Dunn is worth less than Victor Martinez? I don't think so."

The Tigers do. They signed Martinez at 4/50, but rejected Dunn because his salary demands are too high.

Posted by: nunof1 | November 23, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Driley - The Nats could spend $40+M in 2011 and still only edge into the top 50% of payrolls in 2011. Rizzo's job should be EASY.

He has a ton of money to play with (even if they keep payroll under $70M), and the club has needs all over the diamond for him to fill and look birlliant for doing so.

Maybe it is Ted's fault -- maybe he's not letting Rizzo do what it takes. Who knows. But the lernes talk a big game in wanting to build a club. If the Lerners are serious about building a winner it is well beyond time for them to put their money where their mouth is. Get some freaking players. Real, honest to goodness, healthy and not 40, and not out of baseball or hoping for a shot at redemption Odalises, Julians or DiMitris, but real MLB players! They are out there to be had. Clubs with less revenue are landing players left and right, but the Nats remain, as ever, a timid club in a big market, with big ticket prices in a publicly financed park.

AK's piece highlights Rizzo takng a gamble on the draft pick compnesation for Dunn. In any event I think Rizzo made a bad play, because draft pick compensation for a club that has finished last 3 years running with a low level payroll and iffy roster is not so helpful. We are going into year 5 of Lerner rule and management is still looking for people who have not yet begun playing pro ball to save the franchise? They have no excuses for not simply taking on payroll either via FA signings or trade and adding players who are likely to help them win more games.

Why do they make this hard? By most accounts, they are making enough money to make much more of it available for payroll. If they spend some money and improve the roster, the club will have a chance on paper and DC will support it and the club will make more money. Build it and we will come, Ted. Why is this not getting through?

Posted by: dfh21 | November 23, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm guessing nobody will give Adam Dunn a 4 year contract and the best 3 year contract offer Dunn has is from the Nats. The Nats hold the cards not Dunn.

Posted by: 4U2Know | November 23, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

4U2Know -- why the presumpiton that no one is going to offer 4 years or more money than the Nats have to Dunn? Especially given the Huff and Martinez deals to older players?

Nunof1 said above that the Tigers thought Dunn's demands too high -- I had not seen any report to that effect -- is that recent?

Posted by: dfh21 | November 23, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Crawford, Lee, etc are not coming to Washington even for more money. Not going to happen. I would be surprised if Webb even wanted to come here. For me Dunn is the canary in the coalmine as he is the only solid free agent who is willing to play here. If the Lerners go with the usual retreads and don't sign Dunn it is a very compelling sign of their shortsighted cheap ownership.

Posted by: CountDemoney | November 23, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

"Nunof1 said above that the Tigers thought Dunn's demands too high -- I had not seen any report to that effect -- is that recent?"

Jon Heyman of SI said on MLB Network just last night that the Tigers have money to spend and would be going hard after Victor Martinez and Jayson Werth, but had decided that the asking price for Adam Dunn was too high. Today the Tigers signed Martinez. Tonight on MLB Network the entire panel was practically orgasmic over how good the Tigers have become now that they have Martinez. Several of them already predicting the Tigers would be Central Division champs in 2011. There was mention of one other thing they might do if they wanted to go totally over the top - sign Jayson Werth. Adam Dunn's name was not mentioned at all. Not just for the Tigers - for anyone. The market for four years of Adam Dunn may already have dried up completely.

Posted by: nunof1 | November 23, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

The answer to your question dfh21. 2 years ago the Nats gave Dunn the best offer 2 years 20 mil. You tell me what has changed with Adam Dunn in 2 years that now will have teams offering Dunn a 4 year contract?

Posted by: 4U2Know | November 23, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Crawford, Lee, etc are not coming to Washington even for more money. Not going to happen. I would be surprised if Webb even wanted to come here. For me Dunn is the canary in the coalmine as he is the only solid free agent who is willing to play here. If the Lerners go with the usual retreads and don't sign Dunn it is a very compelling sign of their shortsighted cheap ownership.

Posted by: CountDemoney | November 23, 2010 9:13 PM

Doesn't it make you wonder why Adam Dunn would want to stay with the Nats if it's true no other top Free Agent would want to sign with the Nats. I get the feeling Dunn wants to get paid without having the pressure of winning if he were to stay with the Nats.

Posted by: 4U2Know | November 23, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

driley,

No, we do not think Dunn is the most wonderful and indispensable player ever. You need Dunn to stay even as a 90+ loss team. That's all--just to stay even with 2010. And you need Dunn to add to what you are going to do next, not to subtract first and then hope you might be able to stay where you were. Get it? Who is going to come here if the Nats can't even be loyal to their better players?

Anyway, you win--the Nats are too late to do anything about it.

Posted by: EdDC | November 23, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

The irony of all irony: fans whining about all the losing, then begging to re-sign and overpay the biggest loser of all...Adam Dunn. Never in his entire career has he played for a winning team. Lost every year with the Reds, lost even more with the Nats.

Give Rizzo some credit. Having Dunn back for 4 years just about guarantees 4 more years of losing. All he wants to do is jack 40 HR's a year until he reaches 500. 40 dingers in over 600 plate appearances, with a K every third AB. One tool circus act, period.

Signing the Donk is "proof" the Lerners are "serious about winning?" Not in your lifetime.


Posted by: howjensen | November 23, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

So one guy says his firm won't renew their tickets because without Dunn,the Nationals won't be exciting.They,like many "fans"like excitement.I like winning baseball.In 2005,when the Nationals got off to their improbable start,they won partly due to good defensive play at first by Nick Johnson.Good defense would seal what could become a terrific infield.I cannot believe any true fan would sacrifice defense to see a few home runs.Pitching and defense are what win.

Posted by: seanmg | November 24, 2010 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Fact: The Lerner group, after 4 1/2 years of ownership has yet to sign a player contract that averaged more than $10M/year. Reportedly offered, yes; Signed, no. I'll leave it at that. Posted by: BinM | November 23, 2010 5:50 PM

Fact: The Lerner group, after 4 1/2 years of ownership has yet to obtain a player in a trade who makes more than $3 million a year. Reportedly considered trading for, yes; Obtained, no. I'll leave it at that.

Posted by: EdDC | November 24, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

"The answer to your question dfh21. 2 years ago the Nats gave Dunn the best offer 2 years 20 mil. You tell me what has changed with Adam Dunn in 2 years that now will have teams offering Dunn a 4 year contract?"

He started hitting for a much higher average and kept the power. He started playing 1B and did so at a better than laughable level (if you trust AK's beloved UZR, he played better than Konerko and Fielder and a few others). He also did not get hurt at all and maintained the amazing consistency of high performace in terms of OBP, SLG, RBI and HR.

In short -- he got better and the league got worse (power 2 years ago was not at the premium it is now), and he's still pretty young compared to the market for FA sluggers.

I guess at the end of the day, why is Martinez (who is older and playing a postion more likey to get hurt) a 4-yr guy but not Dunn?

Posted by: dfh21 | November 24, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Adam -

Was the strike-through added because the Tigers signed Victor Martinez?

Posted by: Snopes1 | November 24, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Too many "experts" here appear to miss the point.

Aubrey Huff was successful in SF because well they had pitching! Starting with Lincecum and Cain. Willingham would look far more "successful" on that team. As would Dunn.

If they don't get Lee, trade to get a top of the rotation starter. Get lucky in free agency and find a hard throwing Livan Hernandez who still has something left (because most all are in their mid 30's after Lee)? HOW DO YOU UPGRADE THE MAJOR LEAGUE PRODUCT!!!? YOU CAN'T without literally GIVING UP THE FARM, RIGHT?

Because of Strasburg's injury, Zimmermann's injury, Detwiler's failure to pitch at the major league level, the failure of prospects like Colin Balester to become reliable top-of-the rotation starters! The Smokers, the McGeary's THEY DON'T HAVE REAL STARTING PITCHING outside of Livan Hernandez.

YOU WON'T GET WHAT you want if they sign Crawford, Dunn, extend Willingham, even if they get lucky enough to get Justin Upton ...

THE ONLY WAY will be if they SIGN LEE by some miracle. Yuniesky Maya adapts to his new surroundings and once again becomes an ace. Jason Marquis by some miracle has a really solid career year. Lannan improves plus one of Zimmermann and Detwiler really step up for once. Perhaps Solis shows up toward the end of the season? Along with Stras. Maybe.

So, IT'S NOT ABOUT MONEY, spending more or less. Its about what's available and the demand for that most coveted commodity : top of the rotation starting pitching. RIGHT?

Posted by: periculum | November 24, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

peric:

You're not wrong, as far as winning and losing is concerned, it is more about starting pitching than anything else.

But it's also about ownership respecting what left of the fan base. You want to charge me MLB rates for seats, parking and beers? Fine. Then spend money at MLB rates to put a decent product on the field.

It's about building a fan base. Consecutive years of pathetic performance is keeping people away from the park in droves. Put an MLB quality team on the field and develop generational interest in baseball and the Nationals.

And signing Lee would (IMHO) be the worst thing this team could do. Seven years, $25M a year, committed to one guy who plays every 5th day and plays the position most likely affected by injury. Would be foolhardy for this team. Take that $25M a year and get Greinke and Werth. Or Garza and Crawford. Or whatever. Lee's value is to a team needing to get from serious playoff contention to serious title contender. That's worth money. For Lee to take us from a 72 win team to an 80 win team, that's not worth the money. Look what King Felix did for Seattle. Pitched like Cy Young, helped them win perhaps 6 extra games this season.

Posted by: Sunderland | November 24, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

When I look at Adam Dunn's career numbers in 2008 I see a player who is remarkably consistent at delivering a particular level of production, and who has X years of shelf life left. When I look at his numbers now, I see a player with the very same level of consistency and production - no better, no worse - but now he has X-2 years of shelf life left. If Adam Dunn was any other kind of product there's no way he'd be worth more now than he was two years ago. Why should that not be just as true for him as a baseball player?

Posted by: FeelWood | November 24, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

All the negative comments about Adam Dunn are correct, assuming the Nats put someone better at 1B. I doubt they are even aiming to do that, however.

Pitching does not appear on its own. You have to go after it, in the draft, in the international market, in trades, and through free agency. This is a multi-year job--it will not be solved in one season. Rather, it has to be part of the ownership culture to encourage this process. Periculum knows how to accomplish this job without money. The rest of the baseball world knows you need ownership cooperation over a several year period to take advantage of opportunities as they arise. We only know of a few pitchers the Nats passed on because of money (Chapman, Crow, Porcello), but if we were on the inside, we would know of many others passed over because they were not affordable.

And yes, I know Crow has been a bust and isn't it wonderful all that money was saved and the Nats got an effective reliever, etc.

Posted by: EdDC | November 24, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Because market dynamics change. Because power hitters continue to decline in supply. Because he proved he can hit home runs outside of the Great American Tiny Ballpark. Because he developed a level of competency at another position.

The market for players is too fluid to compare to anything else, too irrational to compare to the market for other products.

There's no rational justification for Ryan Howard's contract. None also for Mark Texiera's contract. They are not worth twice Dunn or three times Adrian Gonzalez.

We'll see what Dunn gets. But 2 for $20 or 3 for $30 would surprise me.

Posted by: Sunderland | November 24, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Why does Adam Dunn deserve some small fraction of Ryan Howard's deal?

Posted by: dfh21 | November 24, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

If I had to guess I would say Dunn gets 3 for 35-40 million from the Lerners to continue to play for the Nationals. That's my gut feeling.

@Sunderland, @EdDC, all I know is that everyone raved about how wonderful the Nats 3.4.5 was and is? How much our relief pitching had improved? Try comparing King Felix CY Young for Seatlle to our current ace Livan Hernandez? Back in his day Livan was King Felix. But those days were over many moons ago.

The Nats desperately need a transfusion of top quality starting pitching whether its through canny trades or FA signings.

YES, Cliff Lee is well worth it for this team!! Where else (other than Stras) are they guaranteed to find it? Plus their rotation needs the kind of stability that only a left handed Lee can provide. Which is to say he give you something King Felix, Lannan, Hernandez, and even Greinke probably would not. Even if its for three years out of 5 or six it looks well worth it from where I am sitting. Worth more than another 3 years of Adam Dunn and the 3,4,5.

Posted by: periculum | November 24, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Cliff Lee has won just a little over 100 games, and he will be 32 in August. His value is as a post-season stopper. He could even make the HOF if he plays for a winner, for teams with hitters, and keeps racking up wins during the season and more post-season accomplishments.

Naturally, the Nats are not going to pay for this post-season prowess, because they are last place losers, and all that post-season ability would be wasted. They would really overpay for Lee. And Lee will not want to sacrifice his baseball career to come here. I don't want to be the one who breaks it to you, peric, but Lee has not always dreamed of becoming a Nat. Isn't it more fun if we try to make some sense?

Posted by: EdDC | November 24, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

"Isn't it more fun if we try to make some sense?

Posted by: EdDC | November 24, 2010 2:21 PM"

I agree. So when are you going to start? You haven't written a word of sense yet - and that goes back to the days when your handle was LernersARECheap.

Posted by: FeelWood | November 24, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

For the record, I have only posted as EdDC.

Sometime please tell me why I don't make sense, apart from the insults. Provide facts, logical arguments, etc. It is always good to read things like that comment--since it reminds me I should be doing more useful tasks. So I do appreciate!

Posted by: EdDC | November 24, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-for what it's worth, Ed, you've always made a ton of sense to me. (And feelwood's had some great insights, too, for that matter.) Ed just consistently and reasonably (if a tad sarcastically),IMHO, points out that The Slows have yet to demonstrate any real financial commitment on the BIG league level to fielding a team to quicken our pulse. I always call 'em the Slows because I truly believe they want to build a winner. The classic, tried'n true method is through organizational strength-I got no problems with that. But it takes time, and the Slows were in no hurry to even have a creditable staffing level til The Rizz took charge.
And building for the future AND winning in the present-heck, just performing at an MLB level on a consistent basis!-well, they're not mutually exclusive. Given the wait, the unfulfilled promises, the wretched play- the missed GOLDEN opportunity to have a rabid fan base and an international brand...well,I've maintained that the Nats(run right)could afford to spend money-even unwisely-as a gesture to their fans AND to the game itself and not jeopardize the future-in fact, could ENHANCE it (see Mike Illitch). So-maybe the Slows AREN'T ...er, penurious....they're merely prudent. But as of now, there's little evidence of that. What money they HAVE spent hasn't been wise.....and crazy as $5 million being "small" is, in today's baseball world....the LoDucas and Willy Mo's and ....
I dunno...
The Gangs' debate here reminds me of a family at a holiday dinner...we might disagree on the HOW but we ALL want the same result-a delicious meal would be nice, but at least an edible product at this point! So overcooking, or under seasoning...the seating arrangements...Hey!You can't make a meal with what you don't have! Next years' crops are just that, and we are DESPERATELY hungry NOW!!! (Haven't eaten for a loooong time!). Sure, we've made strides (finally) but it pains me to suspect that the Slows' only real commitment is to the bottom line...and the commitment to a "Plan" is merely convenient cover. Hope they prove me wrong-or our young talent finally makes the argument moot.
BUT...whether they're wretched or not Iam TRULY GRATEFUL for both having a TEAM of my OWN to root for (or bitterly whinge about!) and THANKFUL to ALL of the GANG for making a success outta being a Nationals fan WHATEVER their record is!
Happy Thanksgiving and
GO NATS!!!

Posted by: zendo | November 24, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

@Zendo: Love your holiday analogy...

That said, I admire EdDC's passion, even if his message has become like Thanksgiving rolls trotted out for dinner the following Sunday (i.e. stale...just keeping with the theme).

For me, the overridding factor has been that we indeed have a baseball team in DC and, with a son that LOVES baseball, I look forward to spending time during his "tween" and teen years going to games on Half Street.

Happy Thanksgiving to all

Posted by: TimDz | November 24, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

>Sometime please tell me why I don't make sense, apart from the insults. Provide facts, logical arguments, etc. It is always good to read things like that comment--since it reminds me I should be doing more useful tasks. So I do appreciate!

Posted by: EdDC

You always deliver the same punchline, that the Lerners will only spend a certain amount. You think that eliminates the need for actual baseball arguments. I don't know how much baseball you know, because I can't really tell, you always crawl back to the same answer for every debate - they will never be any good because of a ceiling on spending. Imo, they could still go .500 for what they're spending right now - the A's, Marlins and other teams have done it for years, but the Nats can't do it because Pants Rizzo is incompetent. That's the reason they suck so bad, it's the guys making the baseball decisions, because they don't really care about winning, at lest for the forseeable future, because if they did, the team would be a lot younger, and they wouldn't have a loser for a manager. I'd go further, but everyone's been over it a million times. The guys that run this team are just happy to have a job - and you can't win with guys like that.
Plus, you post too much. Happy Thanksgiving

Posted by: Brue | November 25, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

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