Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: AdamKilgoreWP and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS
Posted at 5:08 PM ET, 12/16/2010

Mike Rizzo and Josh Willingham on the trade

By Adam Kilgore

Let's do this quick, bullet-point style. Here are highlights from General Manager Mike Rizzo, who just completed a teleconference with reporters, and Josh Willingham, who spoke with the Post in a brief phone conversation, on the trade that sent Willingham to the Oakland A's:

>> Rizzo said "the decision to trade Josh was not based on his salary or money whatsoever." Rather, Rizzo felt like now was the time he could get his best return. Rizzo also listened to offers on Willingham last year at the trade deadline, and he felt the A's offer in the past few days trumped what he been offered in July.

"A lot of things that went into the decision to trade Josh now, instead of waiting through spring training or waiting to the trade deadline," Rizzo said. "We felt that this an attractive. It was a better package than we got last year at the trade deadline for Josh."

>> The Nationals need to replace someone who, when healthy, was one of their best offensive players. In left field, "The easy answer would be a platoon system with [Roger] Bernadina and [Michael] Morse," Rizzo said. "We feel productivity offensively should be consistent with what we've had there in the past."

>> Rizzo believes Henry Rodriguez, who is out of options, will begin the season in the Nationals' bullpen. In the coming years, he envisions Rodriguez as either a set-up man for Drew Storen or a potential closer. He said Corey Brown will probably start the year in Class AAA Syracuse.

>> Willingham harbors no ill feelings toward the Nationals. He said the front office and Rizzo always treated him fairly. He was not expecting to be traded, but he wasn't surprised, either.

"I'm excited, because I think Oakland has a chance to be really good," Willingham said. "Baseball is a business. Everybody wants to do what's best for them. Washington was a place that enjoyed. I enjoyed the people and the teammates like Adam and Zim, everybody. When you're comfy in a place, you don't want to leave."

Willingham had said he hoped to stay with Washington and sign a contract extension. But he understood the Nationals' position.

"Am I upset that it never happened?" Willingham said. "No, I'm not upset. If it was meant to be, than it would have happened. You never what's going to happen with the A's. Maybe I'll sign a two-year deal with them. We'll just go with whatever goes."

By Adam Kilgore  | December 16, 2010; 5:08 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Nationals receive Henry Rodriguez, Corey Brown from Oakland in Josh Willingham trade
Next: Chien-Ming Wang is re-signed by Nationals

Comments

Sounds like Rizzo actually plans to keep these two guys, rather than package them with someone else for a pitcher/1B.

That ugly noise you just heard was Brue driving his car off a bridge.

Posted by: gilbertbp | December 16, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

So we got younger, got a major league bullpen arm that throws hard and added to our system two more players that will help reaplce or be a part of a deal for Garza or Grienke. But...

I bet the Nats trade for Fausto Carmone. Wait for it...

Posted by: jmurray019 | December 16, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Well, that's what Rizzo is telling YOU now about Rodriguez and Brown.

There's no guarantee one or both aren't part of a package to be dealt, with Rodriguez being the most likely.

I think what Rizzo saw in Willingham is a player that no longer is going to be able to play 162 games. His body is starting to break down at 31 and may be used in a DH or platoon role in Oakland.

His days as a regular full-time position starter may be over.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | December 16, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

The Post should trade Kilgore for a Proofreader To Be Named Later.

Posted by: nunof1 | December 16, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

"That ugly noise you just heard was Brue driving his car off a bridge."

Brue is Mr. Toten Hosen.

Posted by: periculum | December 16, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

I still suspect its going to be a blocked first base prospect or Morse. But the SP has to come first. It might end up being Edwin Jackson.

Posted by: periculum | December 16, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

mumof, it's an on-the-fly blog. Chill.

Posted by: gilbertbp | December 16, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

>> Rizzo believes Henry Rodriguez, who is out of options, will begin the season in the Nationals' bullpen.

That's like signing a Rule 5 pick. If he continues to have control problems, either he gets torched with the big league club or he gets picked up for free, right? So now, not only is he not major league proven to any extent, you can't even send him down. The two worst cases. Unless RoyHobbs is right, and they're trying to get together a package with these guys. That's the first thing I thought of. But I don't think Pants would turn it into much, since they weren't highly rated anyway. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe this is Pants 3.0 now, salary dumping and re-signing injured starters like his mentor Bowden. Look familiar? At this point I just wish he would go back to Pants 2. Put it in reverse Pants quick!

Posted by: Brue | December 16, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

You don't see the word "comfy" in quotes from athletes very often.
Loved the Hammer, glad he's making bucks, but I think Rizzo did the right thing here and got about as much as he could for him.

Thought maybe we'd get the A's in interleague this year, but we got mariners at home and Angels on the road for the AL West.

Posted by: Sunderland | December 16, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Right on jmurray. I'd bet on Carmona for a variety of reasons. And Swanni will be right behind Brue.

Posted by: jcampbell1 | December 16, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Willingham is a class act. I'm sorry he's leaving. 'Loved those grand slams.

Posted by: Natsgal | December 16, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

If by "not major league proven" you mean "struck out 33 (with 13 walks) in 27.2 major league innings last year and is only 23 years old," then you'd be right.

Why would anyone not like upside for old and broken?

Posted by: WrongDog | December 16, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

>If by "not major league proven" you mean "struck out 33 (with 13 walks) in 27.2 major league innings last year and is only 23 years old," then you'd be right.

Posted by: WrongDog

Yeah dats cool. I just wonder what he looks like in his 58th appearance because he's out of options.

Posted by: Brue | December 16, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer We Lost the Class from Alabama! Pure class, a big bat, a reason to go to the park - 'by, Josh! Enjoy the beautiful Bay area, lift a glass at Chez Panisse to your fans who've been left behind for the coming plague of a season, and see you on TV in the playoffs!

Posted by: flynnie321 | December 16, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

This has nothing to do with a salary dump, it has to do with management believing in Morgan (and right or wrong, and I think they are wrong, they do) and looking at Willingham, Morse and Bernadina as three players with maybe one spot. Willingham got them the most and as I'm not familiar with the As players I trust Rizzo got the best he could. Still, I'll feel better with a 1B and SP (other then Wang) in the fold.

Looks like the two rule 5 picks are toast unless we are packaging players to be sent elsewhere.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | December 16, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

He said: "We feel productivity offensively should be consistent with what we've had there in the past."

I guess I could accept that coming from the mouth of the GM of the Rangers, but not from someone with a team generally in the lower 25% of MLB.

And "should be" means it won't be.

Posted by: mike8 | December 16, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Ugh, it's like Jim Bowden without the fun. Always overselling prospects, never wearing leather pants on a Segway.

Anytime the answer in baseball is platoon, it means you've got a stop-gap measure. When you hear "platoon" mid-season you think "at least we have the depth to cover our injuries/disappointments". When you hear "platoon" in December, you better be thinking "I hope they return to selling Ben's at all the hot dog stands or else it's going to be a long nine innings."

Posted by: Section506 | December 16, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

>Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer We Lost the Class from Alabama! Pure class, a big bat, a reason to go to the park - 'by, Josh! Enjoy the beautiful Bay area, lift a glass at Chez Panisse to your fans who've been left behind for the coming plague of a season, and see you on TV in the playoffs!

Posted by: flynnie321

Only thing he deserved more is getting dealt to the Giants! Pure class. Remember when his brother died and he stayed in there and knocked the cover off the ball in his honor?

I think Pants needs a brain MRI to see if there's any activity in there. I'm beginning to think he doesn't believe in something fundamental to the game itself - scoring runs.

Posted by: Brue | December 16, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Also, saying that you really like DC and would like to stay on the team has become the kiss of death.

Posted by: mike8 | December 16, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

I guess it's pointless to remind everyone that the Nats aren't playing again until April and that Rizzo has some time to make more moves, which he probably will? And that it's silly to slam him based on this trade alone, without knowing what else is to come? I know, what fun is it being logical and all...

Posted by: baltova1 | December 16, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

With the Acta ties, I could see Carmona or Sizemore. There is a chance we could get Grady, a lefty, who is on the 60 day DL for microfracture surgery possibly on the cheap, since they love the guy behind him. Acta always liked Morrero, Maxwell and Lannan.

salary's

Carmona $5,087,500
Sizemore 5,766,666

Posted by: hansenjo | December 16, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

The no options thing is a little concerning, but if he pitches poorly enough to be sent to the minors he's got a decent chance of passing through waivers anyway. If both Elvin Ramirez (Rule 5) and Henry Rodriguez make the team there will be at least three relievers throwing 95-100 at the end of games. Pretty exciting if they can also throw strikes. That would be a pretty decent shut down relief corps. Clippard, Burnett, Slatten and Balester could make up the rest of the pen.

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 16, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

The non "toten hosen" (or is it "hosen bozen") perspective:

Currently on the 40-man roster:

Power arms in the bullpen:
Rodriguez
Ramirez
Balester*
Clippard
Storen

Intermediate arms:
Carr
Stammen
Slaten*
Burnett*
Atahualpa*

Soft tossers: None.

SP Power arms:
Strasburg [injured]
Zimmermann
Mock
Kimball

SP intermediate arms:
Maya
Detwiler*
Thompson*
Broderick
Chico*
Martis
Atilano

SP soft tossers:
Marquis
Hernandez
Lannan
Martin


Clearly the bullpen looks vastly improved from 2006 on even without adding a veteran closer or looking down into the minors.

Starting pitching is still very, very weak but difficult to find at the top of the rotation.

Posted by: periculum | December 16, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

With the addition of Rodriguez and Ramirez to the bullpen, it looks like they may be positioning to include Clippard in a package to try to get a starter.

Posted by: hapster | December 16, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Also, saying that you really like DC and would like to stay on the team has become the kiss of death.

Posted by: mike8 | December 16, 2010 7:05 PM
===========================================
Actually, I don't think it means anything other than that you're not a pain in the butt in the clubhouse. Werth said something similar regarding how he likes his 7-year deal because it gives his family stability. He'd probably like DC a lot less if his deal was for 2 years at $10 million a year, like Dunn's. And Dunn kept saying how much he liked DC, too.

I've lived in the DC area for 25+ years even though I make a lot less than any of those guys. Hell, I make a lot less than Wil Nieves. But you don't hear me blowing off about how much I like it here.

Talk is cheap.

Posted by: gilbertbp | December 16, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Dunn then Willingham. We now need to get rid of Zimmerman. He hits too many homeruns and he has only played for a losing team. Plus he is friends with Dunn. Thank god we picked up Matt Stairs. Maybe we can get Mench back.

Posted by: CountDemoney | December 16, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

58' tossers:
CM Wang

Posted by: Sunderland | December 16, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

I liked Willingham and Dunn but Josh is a broke down 31 year old with back and knee problems. Dunn was a fun guy to watch but he is the poster boy for the DH role. I'll take what we got for both.

Posted by: RireGrist | December 16, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

As far as I can recall, only the most malcontent of players will say anything bad about the town they play in. They all say they liked where they were and they're really looking forward to being where they're going. Basically, they're polite.

Posted by: markfromark | December 17, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Willing-hammer - I'll miss you! Good luck in Oakland!!!

I'll also miss your little boy circling the bases again and again and again at the KIDS RUN THE BASES. At least I thought it was you and your boy!!! Hard to tell from the upper deck!

Posted by: CALSGR8 | December 19, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Willing-hammer - I'll miss you! Good luck in Oakland!!!

I'll also miss your little boy circling the bases again and again and again at the KIDS RUN THE BASES. At least I thought it was you and your boy!!! Hard to tell from the upper deck!

Posted by: CALSGR8 | December 19, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

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

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




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company