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Posted at 10:12 AM ET, 12/14/2010

Even in the offseason, the Phillies beat the Nationals

By Adam Kilgore

The Phillies have beaten the Nationals 51 times in the team's past 72 meetings, and this offseason, just when it seemed the Nationals may have finally struck their own blow in the mismatch, the Phillies won again. The Nationals may have signed Jayson Werth away from the Phillies in free agency, but late last night, the Phillies showed one reason why they let Werth walk. They were saving that money for Clifton Phifer Lee.

The gap in the National League East, the one the Nationals tried to narrow with the signing of Werth, just grew wider. The Phillies stunned the baseball world -- especially the Yankees and Rangers -- late last night when they signed Lee to a five-year, $120 million contract. Their 2011 rotation is now Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels and Who Cares.

The Nationals have 18 games against the Phillies, which means there's a chance that 15 of their games -- almost 10 percent of their schedule -- will come against Halladay, Lee, Oswalt or Hamels. There are going to be plenty of fast games at Citizens Bank Park next year. The Phillies' pitching dominance, on paper, increases the degree of difficulty for an NL East team even contending for the wild card.

The Phillies' signing of Lee may force the Nationals to reevaluate their plans for 2011. With the Phillies stocked, with Stephen Strasburg out until 2012 and with the Nationals' lineup still developing, does it make sense to go all out and trade for a Zack Greinke or a Matt Garza, both of whom are under contract for only the next two years?

At this point, it doesn't seem like either is the piece that would put the Nationals over the top. December is no time to wave a white flag. But the more prudent move may be to sign a free agent like Carl Pavano, rely on an excellent bullpen set a foundation for next year. The Nationals could make their push for a true No. 1 starter next year, when they can pair him with Strasburg and truly contend with the Phillies' arms.

The Werth signing signaled that the Nationals are hungry to compete. The Lee signing offered a reminder of the distance they still must cover and the time it will take to do so.

By Adam Kilgore  | December 14, 2010; 10:12 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Nationals 'aggressively pursuing' trade for Zack Greinke and Matt Garza; but can they make it happen?
Next: Nationals sign Matt Stairs

Comments

If it hasn't been said before... well, the Phillies have turned into the Yankees of the NL... or at least the Red Sox of the NL...

The playing field in the NL East just tilted so fast it is now on its head...

And all I really wanted was to sign Adam Laroche, man...

Posted by: Ghost7 | December 14, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

"The gap in the National League East, the one the Nationals tried to narrow with the signing of Werth, just grew wider."

Disagree completely.

By adding Werth to our team, and Philly adding Cliff Lee and losing Jayson Werth, I think we did indeed close the gap. If and when we add Adam LaRoche, then it's a no-brainer, we definitely closed the gap (but it's still certainly a gap a significant proportion).

Yeah, Cliff Lee's a stud. A stud who plays one game in 5.
And he only got a 26 - 22 won loss record the past two years.

Without Cliff Lee, the Phillies still have one of the best rotations in baseball. It's a great signing for them for sure, that will reap them benefits in the playoffs. But it's not like Cliff Lee is going to take them from a 90 win team to a 100 win team.

Posted by: Sunderland | December 14, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

This doesn't make sense to me: "The Phillies' signing of Lee may force the Nationals to reevaluate their plans for 2011. With the Phillies stocked, with Stephen Strasburg out until 2012 and with the Nationals' lineup still developing, does it make sense to go all out and trade for a Zack Greinke or a Matt Garza, both of whom are under contract for only the next two years?

At this point, it doesn't seem like either is the piece that would put the Nationals over the top."

The Nats won 69 games last season. I don't think they signed Werth and looked at trades for Garza or Greinke to put themselves "over the top." I thought they were doing it to be a competitive team and maybe get to .500 in '11 and then be ready to contend in '12 when Strasburg comes back and hopefully some other talent shows up or matures at the big league level.

And so what if Greinke and Garza have contracts that end in two years? Isn't there a chance they might actually sign here if the Nats are doing well?

The bigger factor is deciding whether to trade for Greinke or Garza isn't whether it puts the Nats "over the top" now. It's the cost to get them.

Posted by: baltova1 | December 14, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I'm going to believe he took less money because Yankee fans are so atrocious. He wanted to return to Philly, where the fans know how to behave.

Posted by: markfromark | December 14, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

The gap between the have and the have nots keeps getting wider. The Nats are toast in the NL East. Even the Marlins have their number.

Posted by: bupbups | December 14, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

After the Lee signing, it doesn't seem like we should be making a major trade to be more competitive with the Phillies RIGHT NOW because that feels implausible. Seems like the conversation should be more about what we can get for Willingham to maximize his value. Better to hold onto Desmond and Espinosa and Norris and Bernadina, see how Z'mann and Maya develop, watch Strasburg's recovery and think about moves to make a run in 2012.

I don't think our situation is nearly as bad as the Orioles trying to compete with the Yankees and Red Sox while hoping the Rays and Jays collapse, but the Lee signing surely gives us insight into the O's mindset.

My two cents.

Posted by: ArlingtonNatsFan | December 14, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Adam, thanks for the morning pick me up! NOT.........

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | December 14, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

baltova, right on. There has never been a notion that with another signing or two, we're going to catch Philly in 2011.

I wonder if he wanted to get his at bats. He's a pretty good hitter for an SP.

Posted by: Sunderland | December 14, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Kilgore still thinks he's up in Boston covering the Red Sox, and the Yankees just caught the big fish in the pond. Don't burst his bubble.

Posted by: FeelWood | December 14, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

BTW, it could be worse. How'd you like to be a Mets fan? They're supposed to compete with the Phillies and spend big money on players and they aren't doing squat this winter.

Posted by: baltova1 | December 14, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

But it's not like Cliff Lee is going to take them from a 90 win team to a 100 win team.

Posted by: Sunderland
===========================================
It isn't?

Who's the Phils' fourth starter last year? Do you see the Phillies not unloading Kyle Kendrick (33 starts, 11-10) or Joe Blanton (29 starts, 9-6)?

If Lee wins 20 games, there's your ten extra wins +/-.

Not saying it WILL happen, but you wouldn't get long odds betting on it in Vegas.

Posted by: gilbertbp | December 14, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Yeah Cliff Lee is great but he doesn't pitch every game. The Nat's still need to improve their competitiveness ASAP in order to develop an interested fanbase. Backing off for 2011 doesn't make sense. Then again, don't sell the farm just to get Greinke or Garza because the Phillies made a big move.

Posted by: Natmeister | December 14, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Yeah Cliff Lee is great but he doesn't pitch every game. The Nat's still need to improve their competitiveness ASAP in order to develop an interested fanbase. Backing off for 2011 doesn't make sense. Then again, don't sell the farm just to get Greinke or Garza because the Phillies made a big move.

Posted by: Natmeister | December 14, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Put me in line with those who say get solid starters, like Pavano or Shields, before trading the youth for Garza or Grienke. When the Nats have a chance to become a player in the division Grienke will be available for a type A pick; we won't be competitive until then. Continue to build a team that puts pieces in place then make the major moves... like the Phillies did years ago when they were a joke franchise.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | December 14, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

BTW, it could be worse. How'd you like to be a Mets fan? They're supposed to compete with the Phillies and spend big money on players and they aren't doing squat this winter.

Posted by: baltova1 | December 14, 2010 10:33 AM

The Mets might have made the best moves of the offseason just by getting rid of the Minaya regime - giving them a platform to start over.

Posted by: Kev29 | December 14, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

What....me worry...nah! We don't need no stinkin Lee. I do think his best days are behind him, except for his paydays, they are lookin good for him. Nats will be ok, just keep developing and building for 2012. Don't throw out 2011, but really, 2012 is where the promise land lies.

Posted by: cokedispatch | December 14, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Yeah Cliff Lee is great but he doesn't pitch every game.

Posted by: Natmeister | December 14, 2010 10:37 AM

Probably a good thing they held on to Halladay, Oswalt and Hamels then. They could have the corpse of Jamie Moyer throw with his other arm on the 5th day and still win 100 games.

Posted by: Kev29 | December 14, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like there's a little French influence in the Kilgore family tree. Waving the white flag on the 11 season 3 months before it begins. Let's hope the Nats FO is a little more stout.

Posted by: pwilly | December 14, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

That's loser talk, Adam. Grow a pair.

Posted by: upperdeck4 | December 14, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Excellent assessment Adam. I'm routing for Mike Rizzo, but he pumped his chest out a little prematurely. I think the big old boys just put him back in his place. Keep fighting Mike - bleed them white (another nice French phrase from WWI). At least the Werth move cost the Red Sox, Yankees and Phillies more than it cost the Nats. A good play, but it's still an uphill battle. Win 75-80 in 2011, win 85-90 in 2012 and we'll be at the park for you and players will start wanting to play in DC. That's the biggest hurdle imo.

Posted by: DCSec112 | December 14, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Not a big fan of advanced stats, but Cliff Leee WAR over the past 2 years, about 13.5 (total) and Blanton is about a 4. So according to this, Lee might be worth 9 wins over 2 season, or 4 - 5 wins a season, over the Phillies #5.

Regardless, the Phillies didn't sign Lee to get into the playoffs.

Oh, and Cole Hamels ain't all that. He's 22 - 22 pitching for the best offense in the NL the last two years.

Posted by: Sunderland | December 14, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

But it's not like Cliff Lee is going to take them from a 90 win team to a 100 win team.

Posted by: Sunderland
===========================================
It isn't?

Who's the Phils' fourth starter last year? Do you see the Phillies not unloading Kyle Kendrick (33 starts, 11-10) or Joe Blanton (29 starts, 9-6)?

If Lee wins 20 games, there's your ten extra wins +/-.

Not saying it WILL happen, but you wouldn't get long odds betting on it in Vegas.

Posted by: gilbertbp | December 14, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

>BTW, it could be worse. How'd you like to be a Mets fan? They're supposed to compete with the Phillies and spend big money on players and they aren't doing squat this winter.

Posted by: baltova1

Looks like the only thing the Nats are going to do is lose 10 homers and 30 rbis in their lineup next year. That Werth signing is really helping them attract more free agents this year, huh? Oh but the Nats don't have a chance to compete anyway, right? Then why would they bother signing Werth unless it helped them get more free agents? It's a tough one, take your time.

I got all day *muttley.gif*

Posted by: Brue | December 14, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

The Nationals should NOT change their plans at all based on the Phillies. They still play 144 games not against them. The Nationals should go out and try to be the best team they can be and let the cards fall where they may. I think trading for a stud pitcher is still the way to go. How many big free agents have the Nats missed out on - even if they pay more than the team that signs them? Trade for a stud pitcher and extend them. Don't worry about the Phillies.

Posted by: paulhealey | December 14, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

No team has ever won a game during the off-season and none ever will, so why write a defeatist article?

The sad truth is, that until the Nats show they can win consistently, they wont be getting any respect from players or other teams. It's as simple as that.

Posted by: KenzAFan | December 14, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

SSoorryy -- ddoouubbllee ppoosstt..

Posted by: gilbertbp | December 14, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Lee "wanted to return to Philly,where the fans know how to behave."Is that a serious comment?Sure,the Yankee fans were mean to Mrs.Lee.And in Philly,a fan threw up on the people in front of him.

Posted by: seanmg | December 14, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

I didn't realize the goal of the offseason for the Nats was to beat the Phillies. I thought it was to become a better team than last year. I'm also pretty sure that not every free agent has signed a contract yet and not every offseason trade has been made, so it might be a little early to jump to conclusions.

Posted by: baltova1 | December 14, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Everybody repeat after me...
"Wild Card"
"Wild Card"
"Wild Card"

Heck I'll even settle for

".500"
".500"
".500"

Okay. Okay...
"Go Potomac"

At least our organization can win the Class A Championship 2 of the last 3 years :)

Posted by: PNatsFan | December 14, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Matt Garza is under contract for three more years, not two.

Posted by: swanni | December 14, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the shining moment of sanity, baltova1. If the Nats can leapfrog the Mets and Marlins this season, I'll consider that to be a resounding success. Anything beyond that is unrealistic unless the Lerners start doing signings that make Werth's contract look like chump change.

Posted by: gilbertbp | December 14, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I'll still take the Braves starting rotation and bullpen (combined) over that of the Phils.

Posted by: guydezarn | December 14, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Hm, can't help but wonder what Jayson Werth is thinking right now. Well, at least he'll have lots of free time to count his money come October because he's probably played his last October game.

Posted by: plzgetreal | December 14, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

The Nationals at this stage of their existence aren't competing against the Phillies, they are competing against themselves.

We know that we won't win a division or a wild card in 2011 but we can get to .500 with the addition of one more good pitcher and a first baseman like Adam LaRoche.

I don't care what the Phillies do. I care that the Nationals come close to 81 wins next year. That will be a wonderful thing.

Posted by: rushfari | December 14, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

The Nats rotation isn't going to be the class of the division, but the lineup MIGHT:

Morgan
Werth/Desmond/Espinosa
Zimmerman
Willingham
Werth/Desmond/Espinosa
Werth/Desmond/Espinosa
Ramos/Lee
Ramos/Lee
Pitcher

***

With the exception of Lee and Morgan, all of those names are going to hit 0.260 - 0.300. Werth/Desmond/Espinosa/Zimmerman/Willingham will hit for a combined 0.280. That's pretty good.

If JZ pitches the way we hope he will and Marquis returns to form, the Nats can definitely win 80 games.

Posted by: jboogie1 | December 14, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Adam, I respectfully disagree. First of all, your query suggests that the only goal was to win the division this year. The goal is to get better - that's something every team tries to do every year. Re-evaluating whether to get better or not is - well kind of dumb.

Secondly, if the goal were to get to the playoffs this year, there is still the wild card. So, lighten up. They don't have to beat the Phillies if they win the wild card - at least not until the playoffs.

Finally, the conjecture that the Phillies signing of Lee may cause the Nationals to re-evaluate their plans is a little pointless. As Yogi said, "Everything changes everything" - not just for the Nationals but the Yankees, Rangers, Royals, Rays, etc....

Keep the blog rolling. News is most welcome.

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 14, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

plzgetreal, if Werth had re-upped with Philly, they likely would not have spent the cash for Cliff Lee.
Werth has a guarantee of $126M, so I think he's gonna be OK. And if you think over the next 7 years he'll likely not play any October baseball, you've not been paying attention.

Posted by: Sunderland | December 14, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

BTW, the Nats have signed Matt Stairs, so it didn't take long for them to counter that Cliff Lee thing.

Hah! Take that, Phillies, no 43-year old pinchhitters for you!

Posted by: baltova1 | December 14, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

plzgetreal: What is Werth thinking? If the Phillies still had Werth, they might not have been able to swing the deal for Lee, but we'll never know for sure (unless their FO comes right out and says that).

Posted by: dabagley | December 14, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Sunderland beat me to the same comment... :)

Posted by: dabagley | December 14, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

The Nats shouldn't care what other teams are doing anyway. Just worry about yourselves.

Posted by: authorofpoetry | December 14, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I think the argument that signing Werth makes the Nats attractive to free agents is absurd.

Players want $$$. Winning is an afterthought.

What would you rather have?

A) World Series ring?
B) an extra $10M for the next 5-7 years?

Posted by: jboogie1 | December 14, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

"I got all day *muttley.gif*

Posted by: Brue | December 14, 2010 11:00 AM"

Well then maybe you should go spend it somewhere where they know WTF language you're talking, Pants. Here you're just like the Mets, talking to yourself.

Posted by: FeelWood | December 14, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

We need to take advantage of the Werth deal, which shows that we are serious about building a contender, and start putting other complementary pieces in place. The first thing we need to do is sign Adam LaRoche to fill the gap at 1B, and then go after Pavano, at least to give us a veteran presence on the mound that will at least command some respect.

Posted by: LHeselden | December 14, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

It was Earl Weaver, natbiscuits, not Yogi.

Posted by: gilbertbp | December 14, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, ironically, that changes nothing :)

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 14, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

And nowhere is it posted we've signed Matt Stairs??

Posted by: SCNatsFan | December 14, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Hey, where's the outrage people?! This goes out to every baseball fan, not just Natstown. When LeBron James signed with Miami, there were NBA-lifers left in disgust, "How could the best free agents collude the way they did and make a good team the best? HOW DARE THEY!"

Where is the same resentment?! It's obvious the Phillies and Lee had this deal signed since the Halladay trade. Look at the numbers, look at the "insider" leaks. You mean to tell me that just six months ago, EVERYBODY in baseball knew Cliff Lee was going to where the money was? I believe the quote was that, "he'd play in Siberia if it gave him the most money". Talk about misinformation; he signed for two years AND $30 million less than two higher bids!

The only reason this sham skates is because the Yankees were screwed over in the process. The average fan, the ones who hate the Pinstripes, are rejoicing now that the evil empire and their endless bank account couldn't do what they aimed to do.

As for the Nats, we'll get there. We just have to wait for the Philly pitching staff to get old right when our team hits their prime. Keep your head up fans, in just a couple years, we're gonna be in the middle of a heavyweight battle royale.

Posted by: von_bluff | December 14, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Right on von_bluff : - )

Posted by: cokedispatch | December 14, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

What's most striking to me is that the Nats paid more for a 31 yr old, one time all-star OF than the Phillies did for an ace SP with a stellar playoff record. Which do you think is harder to come by?

Those of you arguing that the Nats did better because Werth plays every day are flat out wrong. For roughly the same amount of money you take a guy like Lee over a guy like Werth 10 times out of 10. The gap has not narrowed, it has widened, significantly. The Lee deal just makes Werth's contract look even worse than it already did.

Posted by: alwaysrecord | December 14, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Had Werth taken the Phils offer, reportedly around $50-$60 Mil, there still would have been money to sign Lee with some creative trades.

As for not paying attention, I've paid very close attention especially to all of the RISP left standing by Werth.

I think the Nats are putting too much faith in him. He is a nice complimentary player but a franchise player. Not so much. Keep in mind he has never hit 300 or had more than 100 RBI and is 32. He went for the $$$ and will get to watch fall ball on TV just like us poor folks.

Posted by: plzgetreal | December 14, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

>And nowhere is it posted we've signed Matt Stairs??

Posted by: SCNatsFan

Uh oh it's Matty Stairs baybee! Matty Stairs!! Pants thinks Stairs is the missing piece alright. FORTY-STINKIN-THREE YEAR OLD PINCH HITTER. Matty's lookin dead-red, Pants. Dead red! Way to take everyone's mind off the lack of pitching and focus back on the lack of a first baseman!!! Go Pants Go! Go Pants Go! The herd will say it's low-risk and good job Pants we have more pressing things to worry about instead of another roster spot going up in smoke!!! He can be part of that deadly lefty-lefty tandem with Willie Harris baybee!!!! Pants is being creative!! He should get his own art exhibit he's so creative!!!!!!

Posted by: Brue | December 14, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

The Nats aren't my #1 team, but living in DC I do root for them. Some of you are seriously deluded though. If both Strasburg and Harper live up to the hype and you add them to the current Nats team, guess what, they're still not as good as the current Phillies. If that even happens, the Nats are going to be sitting around going, "Hm, I wish we had an extra $120 million around to sign an ace SP."

Posted by: alwaysrecord | December 14, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Cliff Lee for 120 . There is a reason why some clubs are always around at the Playoff and other clubs are at home. It would have been better for the Nationals would have been better resigning Adam Dunn and using the extra ,oney to go after a top flight Pitcher like Lee He signed for 100 Million, The Nationals signed the Right Fielder for $127 Million
The Nationals need pitching. Levan Hanandez the old work horse is almost 50 Strassburg may not make it back so they should have targeted pitching first. Then resign Dunn he was already in the fold.

Posted by: Carprin | December 14, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Uh, Lee wasn't coming to DC, if the offer was 180 mil., he just wasn't.

Posted by: cokedispatch | December 14, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

What I don't necessarily agree with is the idea of making player moves for 2011 based upon what another team in the division has done.
It isn't like the Nats lost the NL East to the Phils by a game or so last season. The gap in the teams is still pretty significant...just in starting rotations alone before the Lee signing.
Other than Zimmerman the Phils are much better at pretty much every spot.
The Nats need to stick to THEIR plan...not react to someone else's.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | December 14, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Lee wasn't coming ...

Instead of Greinke or Garza perhaps a potentially cheaper Jimmy Shields?

At this point a prospects for a close to MLB ready pitching prospect trade might be in order? But who is going to give up a top notch pitching prospect for the Nats prospects?

Even 27 year "older" Garrett Mock is younger than Cliff Lee was when he first became a dominant pitcher at age 29. Halladay took until he was 23 or 24. Hamels really isn't dominant just consistent. Oswalt was more the phenom jumping off at age 22.

Most of the Nats pitching inventory still have time. You never know perhaps a couple will come into their own?

Posted by: periculum | December 14, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

@Carprin,

Losing Dunn to a DH role in the AL actually should significantly UPGRADE Nats pitching since most are pitch-to-contact sinker or psuedo sinker type pitchers. In other words: ground balls to the infield.

Dunn will be better suited to helping the White Sox than the Nationals.

Posted by: periculum | December 14, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

"Other than Zimmerman the Phils are much better at pretty much every spot."

Also, significantly older at every single spot. Which makes the SF pitching rotation still the very best in baseball. Mostly all are younger than the youngest pitcher in the Phil's rotation.

That in a nutshell is the Nats plan. Young, top notch pitching rotation and bullpen.

Posted by: periculum | December 14, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Except at third base, Florida is looking pretty decent ... especially SP wise.

Posted by: periculum | December 14, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm liking next year, but Nats need a solid 1B signing for 2-years - otherwise, I believe Danny Boy is being reincarnated on S Capitol Street. The Werth signing has to be one of a couple moves, but don't give up the prospects to "win" now (case in point, Expos trading Cliff Lee, Sizemore & Phillips).

If the Expos had held onto these prospects, the Nats would've already been contenders, considering the gaps the team has had in SP, CF & 2B over the years.

Posted by: kob76 | December 14, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

periculum,
While the Phils are older at most positions they're certainly not "old".
Rollins is closest to being past his prime but looking at them positionally, they're significantly better than the Nats.
Throw in Halladay, Lee, Oswalt & Hamels and it could be a long year.
Look at Atlanta too...good pitching, dealt for Uggla(who K's a lot but will produce runs)and the contributions from their farm system(Heyward and 1B Freddy ?).
The Nats could sign Pavano, deal for Garza and Greinke and STILL be well behind the Phils.
And the Werth deal is going to look really bad sooner rather than later. To think he'll produce the same way without Rollins, Victorino, Utley & Howard hitting around him is simply wearing rose colored glasses.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | December 14, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Halliday-Lee-Oswalt-Hamels. Doesn't and will not need to get any better than that. Did I see some non-baseball person state that 2008 WS MVP Cole Hamels was .500 pitcher? Pitchers have down years especially young ones - he's 26, so you throw that out plus you look at the ERA - he was amazing - he lost 2 games 1-0 back to back last year. I also disagree that the Phightins' are the Yunks of the NL. They still spend eons more than the Phils and most of the players the Phils bring in are thru trades - Blanton, Lidge, Doc, Oswalt. They sign very few High Money Free Agents. And Lee, well he should've never been traded last year. This is an admission to a mistake by Amaro however it did make them go and get Oswalt.

As far a the gap widening between them and the Nats - 1st of all the Nats need a real manager. Second get Garza. He's very good and he's young enough and so's Grienke.

Posted by: Dog-1 | December 14, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

The Nationals are only one or two players away from competing for a championship.

signed,
Redskins Fan

Posted by: redhotCAPSaicin | December 14, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to believe he took less money because Yankee fans are so atrocious. He wanted to return to Philly, where the fans know how to behave.

Posted by: markfromark | December 14, 2010 10:28 AM

=========================================

OK, you ARE joking, right? Yankees fans aren't the best, but it's nothing like 20 years ago. Philly fans -- of any sport -- are the worst in all America, hands down.

Posted by: spunkydawg1 | December 14, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Well, let's see what the Phillies are like in about 3 years when half the team is 35 and over and saddled with big contracts. The Nationals should stay the course, see if they can get Pavano or Webb, and maybe someone will be willing to trade somebody cheap by midseason...

Posted by: bromisky | December 14, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Adam, I like our deal and Werth more than their deal and Lee. All the hoopla and everyday internet sport front pages on Lee made me check his history. Gosh what's the big deal, I guess he was the "HOT" guy. Hopefully but not likely we will get a shot and take a chance on somebody that is a pitching workhorse and wants to be a "NAT". That's the key--go after players that will lock-in on his new team, city, and fans. Some players do that and some don't. We want "Nat" free-agents, not MLB free-agents. MLB free agents will just go thru the motions with our team, instead of fighting for and with US.

Posted by: CTaylor42 | December 14, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Any deal to get Greinke or Garza that includes Jordan Zimmermann has got to be a no go. We would be treading water and I for one think Zimmermann is about to break out. I love the thought of Desmond and Espinosa manning the middle for a decade....I like the idea of Ramos as our catcher for a decade. Greinke is signed for only 2 years.... Next year we will have Strasburg, Zimmermann, Lannan, Maya..perhaps Solis or Detwiler... The foundation of an impressive young staff.... That's the year to make a big trade... A trade for Garza who is signed for three years makes a lot more sense....

Posted by: Capitalist-1 | December 15, 2010 7:58 AM | Report abuse

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