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Posted at 4:11 PM ET, 12/31/2010

Derrek Lee to the Orioles probably means Adam LaRoche to the Nationals

By Adam Kilgore

Derrek Lee has agreed to a one-year contract with the Baltimore Orioles, according to a report by the Baltimore Sun, a development that may also decide the Nationals first baseman for 2011.

With Lee off the market, the best remaining target, and one the Nationals have had consistent dialogue with this offseason, is Adam LaRoche. He had been holding out for a three-year contract, but with Lee going for one year and with few other teams in need of a starting first baseman, LaRoche may have to settle for a lesser offer from the Nationals.

LaRoche, 31, hit .261/.320/.468 (average/on-base/slugging) with 25 home runs and 37 doubles last season. He is regarded as one the game's better defensive first baseman; in 2009, he made two errors in 148 games at first base. His UZR last season was 5.2.

The Nationals had also shown interest in Lee and Carlos Pena, who previously signed with the Chicago Cubs for one season.

By Adam Kilgore  | December 31, 2010; 4:11 PM ET
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Next: Weighing Adam LaRoche and a first base platoon


If they get him for 2 years, it's a win.

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 31, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully that domino will fall quickly. Enough already.


Posted by: kevincostello | December 31, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I wanted him over Lee anyway. Even though he hits righties very well, you have to hve a lefty in the middle of the order.

I think Zimmerman, Werth & LaRoche (assuming of course) is better than Zimmerman, Dunn & Willingham because:

1) Dunn was one the worst clutch hitters ever and Werth is very good in that regard.

2) Wllingham could have hit .265-25-100 like LaRoche did last year but he never remained healthy enough to do it.

If Morse plays everyday, that gives the team four guys who will hit 20+ homers, something I really like.

Posted by: rushfari | December 31, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Hey Adam, this is off-topic, but could you please convey congratulations to Barry our original Blogfather? Thanks!

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | December 31, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

You are kidding about Werth, right?

I love him as a player. But a clutch hitter?

With the bases empty, he hit .333.

With men on base, his batting average dropped down to .255.

And with runners in scoring position, his batting average was an appalling .157.

Posted by: MinorLeagueFanatic | December 31, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

First, I'm glad we are now even more likely to get LaRoche, I think Rizzo handlded this well. I think this is exactly what Rizzo wanted, and that with Lee signed and LaRoche out of leverage, he gets the two year deal he wanted.

I've seen many time different notes about Werth being a clutch hitter.

2010, Runners in Scoring Position
Dunn - .217 AVG, .417 SLG
Werth - .186 AVG, .314 SLG

RISP, 2 outs
Dunn - .169 AVG, .366 SLG
Werth - .139 AVG, .319 SLG

rushfari, on what do you base Dunn as not clutch and Werth as a clutch hitter?

Posted by: Sunderland | December 31, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Zimmerman, Werth & LaRoche is definitely better than what we've ever had since baseball returned to DC.

Nats in 2011!!!

Posted by: Nats1924 | December 31, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

...and for the record, I have a hard time comparing Dunn and Werth

- every team Dunn has played on pretty much has end up in the cellar of their respected divisions.

- Werth is completely the opposite, not to mention closer to being a 5 tool player.

I don't need to be reminded that Werth played on the F&*%&# Phils.

Posted by: Nats1924 | December 31, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm all for it! If LaRoche signs, then defense improves at three positions this offseason, and this'd help Desmond, Zimmerman and Espinosa all defense better too. Let's keep those runs OFF the board so we don't have to put up as many!

Posted by: dand187 | December 31, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

LaRoache would definitely be an upgrade defensively. In terms of Werth being clutch, he always seemed to be against the Nationals, haven't really noticed if he has been against others. Will be interesting to see what Werth does now that he won't have the Nats to beat up on 18 times a year.

Posted by: CapHill32 | December 31, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

On this date in 1972, Roberto Clemente was killed when a plane carrying him and relief aid for people affected by an earthquake in Nicaragua crashed into the ocean off the coast of Puerto Rico immediately after takeoff. Clemente, 38 at the time of his death, was a .317/.359/.475 career hitter in 18 seasons with the Bucs, picking up 3,000 career hits on the nose. He was posthumously elected to the Hall of Fame in 1973 after voters elected to waive the traditional five-year waiting period. MLB honors Clemente's charity work each year by presenting the Robert Clemente Award to the player "who combines a dedication to giving back to the community with outstanding skills on the baseball field.

By Mike Axisa, MLBTR

Posted by: Sunderland | December 31, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

The comparative stats you all gave on Dunn v. Werth must be for 2010. In their respective careers, Werth has hit for a higher average in every situation (bases empty, runners on, runners in scoring position, runners in scoring position with two outs and bases loaded). Having said that, Werth is no Albert Pujols or Derek Jeter with runners on. But he's better than Dunn at making contact when it counts (you don't need a home run to score a runner from second, as y'all know).
I think the 2011 Nats that are taking shape right now will produce more RBIs, if not more home runs, than the 2010 team; and the defense will save a few more runs because of both the new players and the odds that the carry-over players will improve with their gloves.
Starting pitching is riddled with question marks, however.

Posted by: johnmdonnelly | December 31, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

CiL, what did I miss? He get a column?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 31, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Dunn was a poor fielder but why people put his hitting prowess down is beyond me. If this guy had been in a line up ever that protected him or forced teams to pitch to him his stats would be monster.
Wonder if Werth benefited from Philly line up past 3 years?
Zim, Laroche and Werth will be ok what they lack in pop they will gain in defense. Desmond will be better. His stats are very similar to Jeter's first year stats and he played for the Yanks. BA is key for him.
They need a CF to really improve defensively. What about Edmunds? He is 40 but had 11 hrs and batted 276. I bet at 40 he is better than Morgan. 1 year deal. Werth right and Morse in left. Ankiel and Bernadina subs.
Let's hope Rizzo can ink Laroche quick.

Posted by: joeortega4 | December 31, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

You said it for me,John. And much as though I'm disappointed the Nats didn't get Lee, I hope they obtain LaRoche for two years. Anybody who doesn't think this team won't be better than last year's edition is not being realistic. And I'm quite certain Rizzo is not finished yet. He will get a starting pitcher with reasonable credentials.
Werth and LaRoche versus Dunn and a Willingham who never has a full season--it's not a contest.

Posted by: jcampbell1 | December 31, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

@ Sunderland: Thanks for the Clemente post. Hard to believe it's been 38 years.

Posted by: eddinska1 | December 31, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Am I missing something? LaRoche's bargaining power just increased. He might have to settle for less than he's asking, since his options are limited, but the natural dynamics of these situations call for the Nationals to up their offer. They've got no other good choices.

I do hope they can come to an agreement. He's a notoriously slow starter (I know because I had him on my fantasy team a few years ago), but if he could hit consistently beginning in April, instead of June, he'd be one of the best.

Posted by: fischy | December 31, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I just Googled and found this on the Blogfather's Twitter feed or whatever you kids call it:

MollySvrluga: Wah! (from 5 hours ago)

Now, I'm a Luddite and all but I think it means that Barry is now the father of more than this blog. If so, I also extend my hearty congrats (and where are the virtual bubble gum cee-gars?) :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 31, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

O.M.G. I'm sorry, but this is seriously cute (and funny):

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 31, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

"Am I missing something? LaRoche's bargaining power just increased. He might have to settle for less than he's asking, since his options are limited, but the natural dynamics of these situations call for the Nationals to up their offer. They've got no other good choices."

And LaRoche has no other choices at all. No other team is left that needs a first baseman. That's why he has lost whatever leverage he had. The Nats don't need to overpay to get him now.

Posted by: nunof1 | December 31, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Tampa Bay needs a first baseman ... but are trimming pay roll and going very young for position players ... prospects.

I don't think they go La Roche.

Posted by: periculum | December 31, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

If we have a lineup of Zim, Werth and LaRoche there is no question but that we have made a defensive upgrade. Offensively? Uh, no. Zim, Werth and Dunn would have been an offensive monster, but Dunn is gone and that is that. If we can get LaRoche and a SP, not a number 1 because they are no longer out there, but some help, the team might claw its way out of the cellar. Or not...

And Woo Hoo to Barry's new family! Enjoy this special time, big guy. There ain't nothin like it!

Posted by: NatsFly | December 31, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

"And LaRoche has no other choices at all. No other team is left that needs a first baseman. That's why he has lost whatever leverage he had. The Nats don't need to overpay to get him now."

Doesn't it just feel awesome to get the leftovers? It really makes that decision not to re-sign Dunn seem so calculated and intelligent.

You guys figured out what I was referring to with Barry, congrats again to him.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | December 31, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Yes, big 'grats to the new 'rents! But will she be able to pitch by 2030? [insert Phase X joke here.]

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 31, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

CiL, you need a stronger Rx on your beer goggles.

But, a thought experiment: Suppose they had signed LaRoche two months ago, for 2/$22MM (or whatever they actually sign him for, assuming they do). Discuss.

I'll sit here thinking they could have signed Dunn for four years, two years ago, but nooooooooooooooo.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 31, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

I still don't like LaRoche, because his OBP is not so hot and he strikes out a lot.

OK, if nobody is on board with signing NJ, how about this: sign Thome and platoon him with Morse, letting Morse play as much as his production warrants against lefties.

Yes. I know Thome hasn't played the field in a couple of years, but heck, he'd only be replacing big Adam. and Thome actually was a real MLB infielder. And what a bat off the bench!

Added bonus: Nats fans would get to see one of our own hit his 600th HR, maybe even at Nationals Park.

Posted by: nats24 | December 31, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

@Sec3...Hindsight is almost close to 20/20. Let's remember:

2 years ago, nobody, I mean nobody wanted Dunn.

2 years ago, Dunn was a left fielder and a bad one, at that.

He is where he needs to be, the AL.

Posted by: mikecatcher50 | December 31, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

No matter how we look at it now, the Nats got their money's worth and more out of Adam Dunn, even if they could have finished last without him. I'm glad he was here. Now he's gone. Time to move on.

Happy New Year to all my fellow Nats fans.

Posted by: nats24 | December 31, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

No Dunn. No Lee. LaRoche would be nice.

Posted by: dannykurland1 | January 1, 2011 1:04 AM | Report abuse

No Lee. No Pena. No LaRoche. And no pitching either.

Put that in your stat-o-meter. We are the Nationals, my friend. And we'll keep on losing 'till the end.

Posted by: howjensen | January 1, 2011 8:16 AM | Report abuse

howjensen, if we sign LaRoche, does your tune change?

Posted by: Sunderland | January 1, 2011 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Hope we sign LaRoche but his game does have serious flaws - for starters he's a strikeout king and has trouble making contact... That doesn't jibe well with a team built around speed

Posted by: Capitalist-1 | January 1, 2011 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Word is that the Nats offered LaRoche 2 years at $8-$9m per. He'd been asking for 3 years at $7m per. I hope they make that deal. It isn't my money, after all.

Posted by: DavidandDonald1 | January 1, 2011 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Sunderland, he's howjensen. Whether Nats or Terps, his tune never changes.

Posted by: VPaterno | January 1, 2011 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Musing of an idle fan mind, if you Google "Adam Dunn strikeout king" it yields a fair number of hits. I'm not saying, I'm just saying...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 1, 2011 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Adam Dunn puts a lot more fear in a pitcher's heart than Adam LaRoche. AD's walks and batting eye are way better. As sluggers, they're not in the same league.

Posted by: nats24 | January 1, 2011 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I love Adam Dunn.

But in real baseball, I'd rather have LaRoche in the middle of my lineup than Dunn.

Put aside the full season numbers, think about high pressure siutations, close game, later inning, people on base. The whole reason why you want a big bat in the heart of your lineup.

With Dunn, he's simple to deal with. You know it's true. Bring in a left handed pitcher and Adam Dunn literally becomes Willie Harris, hitting .199.
That's why his stats with RISP and RISP and 2 outs are so poor. He's easy to deal with.

LaRoche on the other hand is very balanced. His splits between righty and lefty are very balanced. And so in late inning, high pressure siutations, there's no easy way to deal with LaRoche. He's still LaRoche though, he ain't Albert Pujols. But compared to Dunn his stats with RISP and RISP w/ 2 outs are much better.

And it's not because LaRoche is "clutch" or Dunn "chokes". It's because Dunn is easy to deal with, and the whole league knows it. And LaRoche is not easy to deal with.

2010 RISP
Dunn Avg .217, Slg .427
LaRoche Avg .306, Slg .573

2010 RISP 2 out
Dunn Avg .169, Slg .366
LaRoche Avg .274, Slg .575

Tight game, late inning, people on base, this is why you pay these guys big bucks. And LaRoche is better able to handle these situations than Dunn, and LaRoche will be successul more often in these situations than Dunn.

I know it goes against common thinking, but IMO LaRoche is an upgrade over Dunn, not just in the field but at the plate.

Posted by: Sunderland | January 1, 2011 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Interesting take, Sunderland. I don't agree with your overall conclusions re offensive prowess, and given the prices the two players are commanding, neither do the pros. Both players strike out a ton. Dunn walks more and hits way more. But your point on late game 2 out situations is interesting. In any event, LaRoche is the best now out there, so I hope we land him and he makes some nice plays at first that Dunn would have missed and he gets a hit now and then late in the game with two outs.

Posted by: NatsFly | January 1, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Some folks didn't like Dunn. They wanted an upgrade at 1B. Now some folks have decided LaRoche isn't that upgrade. They want somebody else. Who? Jim Thome, the ultimate DH (age and body type)? Nick Johnson (who won't make it through a season without injury)? LaRoche is the winner by default. He holds the position until we replace from within (thus the 2 year deal he will likely get). I think he will be an upgrade for the reasons Sunderland made with his statistical analysis. Why LaRoche in the short run? We're improving this season, not competing for a playoff spot.

Posted by: fpcsteve | January 1, 2011 4:04 PM | Report abuse

You can't always get what you want but sometimes you get what you need.

Posted by: brianbu | January 1, 2011 4:17 PM | Report abuse

There are two paths you can go by, but in the long run it's not too late to change the road you're on.

Posted by: dcnationals1 | January 1, 2011 5:34 PM | Report abuse

If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

Posted by: Sunderland | January 1, 2011 5:45 PM | Report abuse

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 1, 2011 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Granted, that's not a rock lyric, but it just seemed to fit. ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 1, 2011 7:23 PM | Report abuse

That's a Yogi Berra-ism, I believe.

Posted by: bertbkatz | January 1, 2011 7:47 PM | Report abuse

It may make sense for LaRoche to bide his time. The Nats are the only team looking for a first baseman - for now.

There's still plenty of time until Spring Training. LaRoche could wait until someone else gets injured hauling deer meat up the stairs or trying to put cowboy boots on.

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 1, 2011 8:02 PM | Report abuse

LaRoche could wait until someone else gets injured hauling deer meat up the stairs or trying to put cowboy boots on.

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 1, 2011 8:02 PM
He could.

Or he himself could get injured hauling deer meat up the stairs or trying to put cowboy boots on and he's suddenly a free agent even the Nats don't want...

Posted by: gilbertbp | January 1, 2011 9:05 PM | Report abuse

I can hardly believe it. I agree with Sunderland! I love Dunn, but when you need him most, he rarely comes through and he is way too happy to walk instead of swing with men on base. Both he an LaRoche have the strikeout issue.

However, if you look back, prior to last year (172) his highest SO total was (142). Not great, but much better.

I think that "not on paper" but actually in a real game, the addition of LaRoche and Werth is a tremendous upgrade to the Nats offense for when men are on base.

I know that Werth was not very good with RISP last year, but he killed the Nats in that department. In 2009 & 2008 he was around .275 in those departments. A lot higher than last year.

Let's hope Rizzo gets LaRoche for 2 years and that it he can still make a trade for Matt Garza.

How many days til pitchers and catchers???

Posted by: NatsWin | January 1, 2011 9:38 PM | Report abuse

LaRoche loves pay day and that's about it! This is Natinals baseball and this is Nats Town!

Posted by: jwing14 | January 1, 2011 11:28 PM | Report abuse

How can you not love Werth? The guy is a WINNER. Just like Jason Marquis, who had never missed the post-season. You put WINNERS on the team and it turns the fortunes around. Just like Marquis did for us last year.

Wait. You mean we didn't challenge for the division? But I thought Marquis was a WINNER. Oh, I know, let's all blame Dunn.

Yeah, screw you Dunn!

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | January 2, 2011 12:20 AM | Report abuse

If LaRoche is just viewed as a holding pattern, what is it he's holding for? Marrero is no lock, and the consensus here, I'm sure, is that the Nats will not contend in '11.

This is my case for a bid for Thome (altho I'd still prefer taking a chance on NJ):
Give Nats fans something to cheer about. A legit HR threat who will hit his 600th this season. I, for one, would like to see him do it in a uniform with a curly W.

It's a long shot, because the Twinkies will most likely re-sign him. But how boring will it be to see a middle-of-the-pack cast-off like LaRoche play on a team whose goal is to not lose 90 games?

And remember that he'd be platooning w/ Morse, who a lot of folks here would like to see get a legitimate shot at showing what he can do. And why not, if the best we're hoping for is 4th place?

(These same arguments, btw, would apply to signing Nick, who'd be cheaper and might actually play a lot more than Thome)

One more thing: Wouldn't it be great to see Thome stick to the Phils?

Posted by: nats24 | January 2, 2011 12:24 AM | Report abuse

In case it wasn't clear, it would be Thome platooning with Morse, whose stats, btw, last year (and yes, it was in less than 300 PA) were better than LaRoche's.

Morse has never really failed to produce in his chances in the majors. His lifetime BA is actually a bit higher than the .289 he hit for the Nats last year.

So it becomes a question of: Should the Nats give a guy who might actually become a legit force a chance? Or lock into LaRoche, who isn't likely to produce better stats than he has in the past. Sure, they'd be OK, but in my view, that's not a high enough ceiling. It's probably not even as much as the Nats got from DaMeat in '07.

Posted by: nats24 | January 2, 2011 12:52 AM | Report abuse

Yes, it is. I'm a big follower of the wisdon of Yogi. :-)


That's a Yogi Berra-ism, I believe.

Posted by: bertbkatz | January 1, 2011 7:47 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 2, 2011 6:35 AM | Report abuse

Even is we get LaRoche, what about our starting pitching? Rizzo said his priorities are pitching, defense, and athleticism. So, where's the pitching? It's the key to success, and we stink, in it.

Just because the ownership signed Werth, to a big contract, does not mean the ownership is going to sign other big contracts, to get the starting pitching we need to be competitive, as the ownership said they would do, when the new stadium was complete. Well, that's been 4 years, and we've had losing seasons every one of them.

This year, if it doesn't look like the ownership is fielding a competitive team, I'm not going to spend my money going to games. I'm voting, with my wallet, just like the ownership is voting with its wallet. The ownership group is banking that fans will continue to pay Major League prices to see Minor League play. I'm tired of doing that and refuse to do it any longer.

Posted by: mcjr | January 2, 2011 8:07 AM | Report abuse

How can you not love Werth? The guy is a WINNER. Just like Jason Marquis, who had never missed the post-season. You put WINNERS on the team and it turns the fortunes around. Just like Marquis did for us last year.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | January 2, 2011 12:20 AM
I get so tired of these posts complaining about how this good player or that good player - usually Dunn or Marquis - didn't produce a World Series-caliber team.

Look, people, you don't just sign one good or even great player and then sit back and watch your team win 95 games. Putting Alex Rodriguez on a lousy team isn't going to make it a good team - it'll only make it somewhat less lousy.

You get a good player AND THEN YOU ADD MORE GOOD PLAYERS. The Nats have lots of holes to fill and Werth isn't going to fill them all. If the Nats don't do anything more this offseason, you can't blame Werth for not single-handedly winning thirty or forty games.

But some of you will do exactly that. Yeesh.

Posted by: gilbertbp | January 2, 2011 8:40 AM | Report abuse

With Lee off the board, I'm hoping Rizzo & LaRoche can get a contract signed. Bringing LaRoche on-board would solidify the infield defensively, which also aids the "pitch-to-contact" arms on the staff (Lannan, Marquis, Livo, Maya).

Adam LaRoche isn't a replacement for Dunn offensively, but should be looked on as a piece that improves the team overall.

Posted by: BinM | January 2, 2011 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Everybody acting like LaRoche is already signed. That's a new low - hey let's pretend the guy actually signed with the Nats! Why not write an article about it? Someone mentioned that fact that we haven't picked up any starting pitching. Pants is 'letting the pitching come to us'. How's that working out for you, Pants? Better check to make sure that San Diego isn't looking at LaRoche in case their re-hab project doesn't work out. They have to sell tickets too, and the fan base might not take kindly to their replacement at first either. It's starting to look like a ploy to put Morse at 1B and pretend to go after Fielder next year.

Posted by: Brue | January 2, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Bringing LaRoche on-board would solidify the infield defensively, which also aids the "pitch-to-contact" arms on the staff (Lannan, Marquis, Livo, Maya).

Posted by: BinM

Not if the pitchers can't hit their spots. 100 pitches in 5 innings. That'll keep em on their toes. How many times have we been over this?

Posted by: Brue | January 2, 2011 11:45 AM | Report abuse

As we wait for some New Year's Nats News - thought I'd toss this out to you guys.

Maybe some of you remember Strat-o-matic: fantasy baseball before there was such a thing. Back in they day a group of us fiends would get the latest baseball season, hold a draft, and play 100 or so games against each other.

Anyways - so as a lark I started buying the Nationals each year since 2005. I went through all 5 Nats teams available ('05-'09) and put together the best of the players at each position, with a bench - basically made a 25 man roster.

To qualify players had to have 300+ plate appearances, starting pitchers had to have 30+ starts, and bullpen guys need 50+ innings. Had to choose from 1 year of a player...can't have a bullpen of three Corderos.

Fielding ratings are from 1-5, with 1 being the best. There's SO much more...individual e-ratings, arm strength, lefty/righty matchups, holding runners, fatigue...but I always preferred the 'Basic' game.

Starting Lineup:

LF-4: '06 Alphonso Soriano (.277, 41 SB, 46HR, .351 OBP)
CF-1: '09 Nyger Morgan (.307, 42 SB, .369 OBP)
1B-3: '06 Nick Johnson (.290, 23 HR, 46 2B, .428 OBP)
3B-1: '09 Ryan Zimmerman (.292, 33 HR, .364 OBP)
SS-3: '08 Christian Guzman (.316, 35 2B, .345 OBP)
RF-2: '06 Austin Kearns (.264, 24 HR, 33 2B, .363 OBP)
2B-3: '05 Jose Vidro (.289, .348 OBP)
C-2: '05 Brian Schneider (.268, 10 HR, .330 OBP)

'05 Livan Hernandez (15-10, 3.98 ERA)
'05 Estiban Loaiza (12-10, 3.77 ERA, 173 SO)
'09 John Lannan (9-13, 3.88 ERA)
'05 John Patterson (9-7, 3.18 ERA, 185 SO)
'07 Matt Chico (7-9, 4.63 ERA)

'05 Gary Majewski (4-4. 2.93 ERA)
'09 Mike MacDougal (1-1, 3.60 ERA, 20 Sv)
'09 Sean Burnett (2-3, 3.12 ERA)
'05 Hector Carrasco (5-4, 2.04 ERA)
'07 Jon Rauch (8-4, 3.61 ERA)
'05 Chad Cordero (2-4, 1.82 ERA, 47 Sv)

'08 Jesus Flores (.256, 8 HR) (C-4)
'09 Adam Dunn (.267, 38 HR, .398 OBP) (1B/ LF/RF 5)
'07 Dmitri Young (.320, 13 HR, 38 2B, .378 OBP) (1B 5)
'09 Alberto Gonzales (.265) (2B-2, SS/3B-3)
'08 Ronnie Belliard (.287, 11 HR, .372 OBP) (2B/1B-3, 3B/SS-4)
'05 Brad Wilkerson (.248, 11HR, .351 OBP) (LF/CF/RF-2, 1B-2)

Soooo you ask:
What about Josh Willingham? Why did you choose the '09 Zimmerman year? There is no 5th starter better than Chico in '07? And what about Nook Logan? Deilvi Cruz? Josh Bard? Tyler Clippard? Elijah Dukes? Felipe Lopez? Vinnie Castilla? D'Angelo Jiminez? Wily Mo Pena? Micah Bowie? Mike Bascik?

Well, my strategy with Strato has always been to get the best defense you can get with as much bang from the plate as you can muster.

9 from the '05 team.
3 from '06
3 from '07
3 from '08
7 from '09

Happy Nats Year!

Posted by: dand187 | January 2, 2011 1:43 PM | Report abuse

@Brue: Right on form, as always. Clearly, your New Years' resolutions had nothing to do with "developing a positive attitude toward the things I care about". Or, was that just one of the first ones broken?

Posted by: BinM | January 2, 2011 1:48 PM | Report abuse

@dand187: The first question stemming from your post is, how has your cumulative team finished each year?

I'll refrain from asking my second question, as it may well violate blog decorum & standards.

Posted by: BinM | January 2, 2011 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I would imagine that if we indeed had the best year of all the players we've had, our Nats would not have finished last each year. But that's not my point really. What I'd like to offer as a little retrospective is that we have had many bright spots in many different places over the years. The silver linings in past clouds perhaps.

As for your second cryptic comment, uhhh...okay.

Posted by: dand187 | January 2, 2011 2:11 PM | Report abuse

For those not watching football, here's one usually attributed (inaccurately) to Yogi:

On a very hot summer night, he comes out of his hotel room, all dressed up for dinner, and encounters a lady in the lobby.

"Oh, Mr. Berra. You look so cool in that suit!'

"Thanks,'' he says. ""You don't look so hot yourself.''

Posted by: nats24 | January 2, 2011 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Ba-dap... Boom.

Posted by: BinM | January 2, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

MLBTR speculating on where LaRoche signs if he does not sign with the Nats.
No real revelations....

Posted by: Sunderland | January 2, 2011 3:29 PM | Report abuse

@Sunderland: LaRoche has options, and they would be (all teams)...
ATL (opposing Freeman); Not likely, due to salary demands.
AZ: Didn't he just leave there without a tender? No.
BAL: Just declined him & signed D. Lee; No.
BOS: With Gonzalez, Youkilis, Ortiz, & Anderson - No way.
COL (replaceing Helton); Very unlikely.
CUB (replacing Pena); They already spent $10M, so no.
CWS: Given both Dunn & Konerko, no.
CIN (supporting Votto); Again, No.
CLE (replacing LaPorta); Possible, if they're willing to spend $$.
DET (supporting Cabrera); Highly doubtful.
FLA (replacing Sanchez); Again, salary demands equal no.
HOU (pushing C. Lee back to LF); Maybe, but pricey for a team supposedly on the market.
LAA (replacing Morales); No.
LAD (replacing Loney); Another doubtful.
KC (replacing/supporting Butler/Ka'aihue); Due to salary, doubtful.
MIL (supporting Fielder); No, even if Fielder is in his last year.
MIN (replacing Morneau): Only if Morneau is forced to retire from concussions.
NYM (replacing Davis); Doubtful, angain with the salary problem.
NYY (supporting Teixeira); No.
OAK (replacing Barton/Carter); Outside chance, but no.
PHI (supporting Howard); Um, no.
PIT (replacing/supporting Overbay); Absolutely not.
StL (Pujols); Get real.
SD (Blanks, Denofria); Good fit, bad salary.
SF (Huff, Ishikawa); No fit.
SEA (replacing Smoak); Possible, but unlikely.
TB (replacing D. Johnson); Unlikely, due to salary.
TEX (replacing Davis/Moreland); Doubtful, due to salary demands.
TOR: Possible, if Bautista moves to LF.

LaRoche is nowhere near a lock for the Nationals, imo.

Posted by: BinM | January 2, 2011 4:41 PM | Report abuse

What is this "football" you speak of, nats24? ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 2, 2011 6:34 PM | Report abuse

1a, nats24 confused us. We call it soccer. Apparently some call it by its euro-nym.

Posted by: Sunderland | January 2, 2011 6:39 PM | Report abuse

It just makes too much sense for LaRoche to sign here; if he doesn't it's because he doesn't want to play in DC and will put his money where his mouth is and go elsewhere.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | January 2, 2011 8:47 PM | Report abuse

What about a Casey Kotchman/Mike Morse platoon at 1st. Is Morse's defense good enough?

Posted by: Loeff | January 2, 2011 10:08 PM | Report abuse

New Post please ...

Posted by: natbiscuits | January 3, 2011 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Morse came up through the minors as a SS, playing over 500 games there and over 100 at 3B. His rookie year he started 50 games at SS for the Mariners, so I'd have to think he'd more than adequate in the field at 1B.

Posted by: nats24 | January 3, 2011 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I don't doubt Morse could *learn* to play first, but he would have to do so. This isn't the Ponce 48+ rec league. And then they have to replace him on the bench. It may be easier to just get an actual MLB-calibre first-baseman.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | January 3, 2011 1:16 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Morse would have to do much learning to play 1B, Sec3. He's played over 100 games there in the majors and minors. My point about him playing SS and 3B is that he's fielded a lot of ground balls, so handling his position shouldn't be a big concern.

Posted by: nats24 | January 3, 2011 6:08 PM | Report abuse

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