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Posted at 5:35 PM ET, 12/13/2010

Nationals 'aggressively pursuing' trade for Zack Greinke and Matt Garza; but can they make it happen?

By Adam Kilgore

Once Cliff Lee signs -- we can all only hope it happens before the next presidential election -- the rest of this offseason's starting pitching dominoes can start to fall. The teams willing to trade prized starters will wait for Lee in order to bring whichever team loses out on Lee, the Yankees or Rangers, into the bidding. The few remaining free-agent options will wait and hope Lee's enormous contract helps enhance their value.

When it happens, the Nationals, like with pretty much every other development this offseason, will insert themselves into the thick of things. They have tried hard to find a front-of-the-rotation starter. They offered Jorge De La Rosa a bigger contract than he signed, and they got involved with Lee before the price spiraled out of control.

On the pitching front, the Nationals will now turn their attention toward either signing right-handed free agent Carl Pavano or acquiring one of the two big prizes who could be available via trade -- Zack Greinke of the Kansas City Royals and Matt Garza of the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Nationals are "aggressively pursuing" a trade for Garza or Greinke, but it is difficult to see them actually pulling it off, a major league source said.

Both pitchers, especially Greinke, the 2009 American League Cy Young winner, have attracted several suitors. The abundance of teams interested has ratcheted up the price, perhaps higher than the Nationals are willing to go. Any trade scenario would likely require the Nationals to give up shortstop Ian Desmond and/or starter Jordan Zimmermann, something the Nationals are unlikely to do.

"Here's the problem they have: They're not going to trade Desmond," one major league source said. "He's a guy they think is going to be their shortstop for the next 10 years. That's a really tough guy for them [to trade]. It almost negates getting that pitcher. Same thing with Zimmermann. Everybody else [aside from Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth] is fair game. They're not going to move Desmond. They'd move [Danny] Espinosa in a heartbeat."

What else could the Nationals offer? The Nationals are willing to trade outfielder Josh Willingham, but his salary -- he'll likely make roughly $6 million this season in arbitration -- would make him unattractive to the Royals and especially the Rays. Outfielder Roger Bernadina would also be available. Both teams, particularly the Rays, need bullpen help. The Nationals, who are trying to add a back-end reliever themselves, might reluctantly include Drew Storen or Sean Burnett in a trade.

The Nationals could also include a catcher in any trade package. With an apparently healthy Jesus Flores, Ivan Rodriguez and Wilson Ramos on their 40-man roster and top prospect Derek Norris likely two years away from the majors, the Nationals are well-stocked at catcher. If the Nationals are convinced Flores is healthy, the source said, "I think they'd move Ramos."

Without Desmond and Zimmermann, there is serious doubt some combination of those players would bring Greinke or Garza in return. It would probably hinge on how much the Rays or Royals value players such as Bernadina, Espinosa and Ramos, but any Nationals offer without Desmond and Zimmermann would likely be trumped.

"I don't see Washington having enough to do a deal with Kansas City," the source said. "I don't see that they have enough to offer unless they were willing to discuss a Desmond or a Jordan Zimmermann, and I don't see that happening. I can't see anyone else for Kansas City that gets them excited enough to do it."

If the Nationals can't deal for Greinke or Garza, there is still another trade option. Many in baseball believe the Rays will also listen to offers for James Shields, who turns 30 next week, has thrown more than 200 innings four consecutive seasons. After a down 2010, when he had a 5.18 ERA, Shields could benefit from a switch from the AL East to the National League.

The Nationals are also still in the running for Pavano, who is weighing interest from several teams, including the Brewers and Twins.

By Adam Kilgore  | December 13, 2010; 5:35 PM ET
 
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Comments

Shields would be nice if the combo of players above is the price, although I really hope Desmond and Espinosa get the chance to show they can be our middle infield for years to come.

I think its a question of what we can get for Willingham (if we eat part of his salary), Ramos (if Flores is healthy), Bernadina and one of the bullpen arms and one of the numerous #7 starters we have. That won't be enough for Garza or Grienke.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | December 13, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Fascinating that they value Desmond over Espinoza. As long as they don't trade Zimmermann.

Posted by: FriendofalltheWorld | December 13, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Why is Desmond's value so much higher than Espinosa's? We've heard that the Nats think Desmond has superior range, but is that true of MLB generally? Also, doesn't Espinosa project to have more pop?

Posted by: derek_w_moore | December 13, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

The Nats don't need to tear down what they have only begun to build in order to get a starter in a trade. Big mistake. They have begun to get some promising young pieces in place: Desmond, Espinoza, Bernadina, Ramos, Zimmermann, Storen. They plan to try to get serious about winning by using youth & speed, with a couple of veteran pieces to add a little experience and fire (Werth, Zimmerman, Pudge). Yes, they need a SP. Sign Pavano. You don't tear down half the house to add a nice front porch.

Posted by: eyestreet | December 13, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Derek, if other GMs wanted Espinosa, he'd be gone.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 13, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

I am against giving up any players that we do not have as surplus at this moment. It makes no sense to give up a young starter in the field for an older pitcher. If the price then becomes two young starting players or more for a pitcher then definitely don't do it. Hopefully, another GM will see the value in Ramos or Flores plus a Willingham or Slaten. If not, then hold this hand until 2012. Questions about the potential of Desmond, Storen, Espinosa, Ramos, Flores, Bernardina will be answered by then.

Posted by: driley | December 13, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

I certainly hope that the "trade Espinosa in a second" source isn't connected to the Nats. Talk about a way to reduce a guy's trade value.

I really love this kind of post, Adam. Rizzo is appropriately close-to-the-vest about potential trades, and trade rumors with any credibility whatsoever fill in the void nicely.

I hope we land a solid starting pitcher or two, but I am certainly convinced that the team is trying.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | December 13, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Uggggh, this mad lust for Ian Desmond is something that boggles my mind.

Posted by: dfh21 | December 13, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

"Uggggh, this mad lust for Ian Desmond is something that boggles my mind."

Likewise. The idea that the Nationals would be more willing to give up Espinosa AND Storen instead of Desmond makes little sense to me.

This may be a case where the best deal is the one that isn't made. This is an improved but far from top-flight farm system. There are some promising guys in the lower minors but few who are going to help soon apart from possibly Norris, whom I expect to make a quick ascent, at least offensively, in 2011.

I'd rather take a chance on someone like Webb than mortgage the future for two years of Greinke.

Posted by: RRCarlo | December 13, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

"Uggggh, this mad lust for Ian Desmond is something that boggles my mind."

Likewise. The idea that the Nationals would be more willing to give up Espinosa AND Storen instead of Desmond makes little sense to me.

This may be a case where the best deal is the one that isn't made. This is an improved but far from top-flight farm system. There are some promising guys in the lower minors but few who are going to help soon apart from possibly Norris, whom I expect to make a quick ascent, at least offensively, in 2011.

I'd rather take a chance on someone like Webb than mortgage the future for two years of Greinke.

Posted by: RRCarlo | December 13, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

not sure the value of desmond over espinosa either, and the nats apparently have stud 2b in lombardozzi that will be up sometime in 2011. I say move espinosa back to ss then trade a package of flores,desmond,clippard for greinke. interchange the clippard part with a solid bullpen piece or minor league prospect. Greinke is only 27, he is to the Nats what Greg Maddux was for the Smoltz/Glavine and the braves. Infield and catching is the organizations only depth.

Posted by: wrw0601 | December 13, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

>On the pitching front, the Nationals will now turn their attention toward either signing right-handed free agent Carl Pavano or acquiring one of the two big prizes who could be available via trade -- Zack Greinke of the Kansas City Royals and Matt Garza of the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Nationals are "aggressively pursuing" a trade for Garza or Greinke, but it is difficult to see them actually pulling it off, a major league source said.

Get those ducks lined up for failure, Pants! Let's see, no Lee, probably no Pavano because he'll want too many years, no Greinke, no Garza. Nobody to trade? Really? Maybe if they had built a real roster, they might have someone under contract long enough to actually move someone! Instead, they have a couple people they covet, and the rest are just hanging on year-to-year. What, KC wants prospects because they're cheap? Ya don't say. I guess there aren't as many prospects in the Nats cupboard as we're being led to believe. That's right kids, their minor league system isn't that great, and there certainly aren't any major league ready players they're willing to part with. Don't believe me, listen to the inside sources!

Recap: They don't want to buy a pitcher (Lerners/Pants). They are unwilling to trade for a pitcher (Pants). Shields will fit right in with his meatball (5.18 ERA oh dear god) approach. But he played for the Rays, so maybe some success will rub off. Go Pants Go! Go Pants Go! They're in the game!!!!

Posted by: Brue | December 13, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Desmond is a Stud! Like the Post. If you don't get it, you don't get it. The errors will come down to between 15-25 this year with a decent first baseman,and he has legitimate power, speed, range and arm. What's not to love?

Posted by: tommy11599 | December 13, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Giving up key pieces under team control for Greinke which is only 2 years for $13 million a year doesn't do much of anything to get this team into the playoffs as this team isn't going to the playoffs this year with or without Greinke.

Save your money Rizzo and save the players.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | December 13, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Trading a handful of prospects makes sense if you make a negotiation of a contract extension a condition for acquiring Greinke. He is an ace. I say trade Desmond, keep Zimmermann. It makes no sense to trade one of your two top SP prospects for another pitcher.

Posted by: paulhealey | December 13, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

I'd move Desmond/Hammer/Norris/Storen for Greinke. I don't want to lose Zimmermann and I'm not interested in Garza.

I think that's the kind of deal it will take to get Greinke.

If there's a real chance to get him we gotta do it.

Move Danny to short, sign a guy like Orlando Hudson to play 2B until Lombardozzi is ready in 2 years, platoon Morse & Bernie in LF, drop some real cash on Rafael Soriano to close and your good.

Imagine 2012s possible rotation of Greinke, Strasburg, Zimmermann, Lannan. That's playoff caliber

Make the move Rizzo, this would be a huge step in the right direction.

Posted by: DMoney28 | December 13, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Sign Pavano and give up no players. These trades will only make sense when the team is in the Playoff hunt in July then you make a trading deadline deal like the Phillies did with Oswalt last year and Texas did with Cliff Lee.

Do you really think you are guaranteed Greinke circa 2009 as Greinke's career numbers are back of the rotation stuff.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | December 13, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

I agree with RRCarlo. Giving up good young players for Greinke would be a serious mistake -- he's under contract only through 2012. The Nationals need to focus on the long term, and definitely shouldn't mortgage the future just so they can achieve short term mediocrity.

Posted by: Dynatic | December 13, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Somebody would have to go if you trade for a pitcher. If you look at the starting lineup now Zimm makes the most sense.

2011 to date:

1. L. Hernandez(Innings eater an needed for Mayas growth)
2. J. Lannan (Club Favorite)
3. J. Marquis (No value)
4. Y. Maya (Big Signing)
5. J. Zimmermann

Posted by: hansenjo | December 13, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Trade Desmond/Zimmermann for Garza or Grienke, period. Crazy to trade Espinosa or anyone except maybe Willingham. Throw Willingham in a for a decent AA pitcher.

Posted by: shred11 | December 13, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Here's my two cents, which combines some ideas put forth here already:
I think signing of Werth (and hopefully LaRoche soon) enables us to trade Willingham. While I'd like to keep Desmond, if we can get something like Greinke for Desmond and Willingham and a few other pieces, I say go for it. (I worry that Desmond's mistakes are the kind of mental ones that he should be over by now, and his offense is good but also replaceable. Yes, he's only been in the league two years, but he didn't just pick up baseball). So...Desmond, Willingham, Ramos (keep Norris) and Slaten (keep Storen).That might be enough. If Greinke is all he's cracked up to be, it might be worth it. Then, move Espinosa to short, sign a short term second baseman like Hudson, while you wait for Lombardozzi.

Posted by: johnmdonnelly | December 13, 2010 10:09 PM | Report abuse

When considering trading for Grenike or Garza do not forget the Sizemore , Phillips and Lee trade which ruined this franchise for years.

Posted by: mjames0 | December 13, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Desmond and Espinoza are both good young talents. Desmond has made too many errors while Espinoza has significant holes in his swing. My understanding is that Desmond has better range but both have good arms. Apparently Desmond also has superior clubhouse presence. Both have good energy and hustle.

I doubt the team wants to trade either one. But if they have to let one of them go, Espinoza is probably the one to go.

The Rays maintain they have enough middle infielders. My guess is the only thing the Nats could give the Rays for a starting pitcher is a package that includes Drew Storen Marerro, and Wilson Ramos.

The Royals might take a package that includes Espinoza and a King's ransom.

I still like Wandy Rodriguez from the Astros, but I think the consensus is that with that team up for sale, they will be reluctant to give up a name player - even for a package of youth.

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 13, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

I have to think that a huge component of this is PR. After years of selling The Plan and having absolutely no MLB-ready prospects to deal, we are going to deal the first ones we have (Desmond and Zimmermann)? No we're not. This is about announcing the team as a player. If we can get a starter for Marrero and some of our AFL pitchers then do it. But after years of enduring sub-par play from mediocre free agents, we've finally grown our own middle infield. No way we should discard that lightly. Wait another year.

Or is that "waste another year." Don't go back to Rockville. Seriously, it's about 2012-13 now. That might suck based on 2008-2010 and The Plan 1.0 and even 2.0, but it's true. We are simply not in position to trade multiple MLB-ready prospects for a single player, because then we will have to fill the holes with comparatively expensive older declining players. That is no fun.

Build the Nationals. Add FAs at key positions when we are close. It was always the right plan, they just failed to execute. It's closer to fruition now, but as an earlier poster said, "you don't tear down half the house to add a nice front porch."

Posted by: BobLHead | December 13, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

@Brue

you're and idiot. spending too much for a 31 year old pitcher is dumb. Same with signing a 35 year old in Pavano. Keep drafting and gettin bargains. Eventually, when the young-uns get good and the team has a chance to win and a deep farm system, free agents will want to come here.

I hope you dont run a business. you'd run it in the ground with that attitude.

(See Dan Snyder)

Posted by: jmurray019 | December 13, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Baseball Prospectus has hopeful evaluations of the Rule Fivers - Elvin Ramirez and Brian Broderick. They call Elvin "a lock" to stick if he keeps up the 98 MPH fastball. And Brian "has a shot" because "he sure knows how to pitch".

The thing with Rule 5 pitchers is that they usually try to limit exposure, but eventually the rest of the staff gets stressed and they have to leave the youngster out there in mop up. You kind of need some 7-8 inning starters to keep the workload down if you want to keep them for a full year.

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 13, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I'd love to see them sign LaRoche and trade for Garza. TB needs a 1B, LF, DH and relievers. They also need a catcher. Give them Willingham (+ $), Ramos, Clippard and Marrero. It fills several needs for them, although we might need to replace Clippard with Storen. It would be worth it.

Posted by: NatsWin | December 13, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't trade Zimmermann or Desmond either. Aside from Strasburg, Zimmermann is probably our pitcher with the highest ceiling. He may turn out to be better than Greinke and Garza. You really don't do that much to improve the staff if he is traded. As for Desmond, he's quite a hitter for a middle infielder and he can field. A lot of his errors were trying to make the amazing play happen. He has a chance to be a very good one. I also don't like the idea of trading Espinosa as you can already see he's going to be a good fielder and he has some pop. The only thing I guess is will he hit enough, but I liked what I saw from him. Regarding Lombardozzi, I heard he gets mixed reviews. Some scouts think he's great. Others see him as just a utility guy.

Posted by: curlyWfan | December 13, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Fascinating that they value Desmond over Espinoza. As long as they don't trade Zimmermann.

Posted by: FriendofalltheWorld | December 13, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse


---------------------------------

I really don't get all the love for Desmond either, especially valuing him over Espinosa. That and the way they love Morgan makes me wonder about their ability to evaluate talent.

Posted by: egoodman8 | December 13, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

@jmurray019

"I hope you dont run a business. you'd run it in the ground with that attitude.

(See Dan Snyder)"

That's it! Brue's secret identity is Dan Snyder. They're equally lovable and have the same business sense.

Posted by: Snopes1 | December 13, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

CLIFF LEE TO THE PHILLIES!!!! That's all we need.

The wait is over. Cliff Lee has agreed to sign with the Phillies, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. The deal is worth about $100MM over five years, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (on Twitter).

1. R. Halladay
2. C. Lee
3. R. Oswalt
4. C. Hamels
5. J. Blanton

We need Greinke or Garza now more than ever. Then Dumpster dive for Webb and give him two years with an option. If you got one of the two and with Webb a year healthier our 2012 starters would look like this.

1. S. Strasburg
2. Z.Greinke / M. Garza
3. B Webb
4. J. Lannan
5. L. Hernandez

Not the Phillies, but could give them a run for their money.

Posted by: hansenjo | December 14, 2010 12:43 AM | Report abuse

BTW

This particular blog got picked up by CBS.

The Nationals want to deal for a pitcher and are "aggressively pursuing" a trade for Matt Garza or Zack Greinke, a major-league source tells Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post .

http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/22297882/26423751

Posted by: hansenjo | December 14, 2010 12:47 AM | Report abuse

Poor Morse,

He looses his job and his number....

Mike Morse will be wearing a new number for the Nationals next season.

The 28-year old outfielder has worn No. 28 for 130 games over the last two seasons for the Nationals, but he'll have to give that up because among the other perks in Jayson Werth's contract, he has it written into the contract that he gets to wear the No. 28, the same number he wore in Philadelphia.

FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal has more details from Werth's seven-year, $126 million contract with the Nationals. In addition to keeping his number, Weerth will get $500,000 for his first MVP with the Nats and $200,000 for finishing second through fifth. He would receive $1 million if he wins a second MVP and $1.5 million for every subsequent MVP.

Morse had a pretty good season in 2010, hitting .289/.352/.519 with 15 home runs and 41 RBI in 98 games, but now projects to backup Werth in right field. He can play first base, and the Nationals are still looking for one of those.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

Posted by: hansenjo | December 14, 2010 12:52 AM | Report abuse

Gosh, I guess the Lee signing means the Nats won't win the NL East next year. I'm crestfallen. The Braves must be praying one of those Phils' starters gets hurt. What a rotation!

Posted by: nats24 | December 14, 2010 1:01 AM | Report abuse

You have to give up value to get value, but I would not trade Burnett. He showed the second half of last year that he's a stud, and probably could close. If the Nats are going to improve, the way baseball is today, the team will need a high-quality 7th/8th inning guy like Burnett. And really reliable ones aren't as common as some think.

Posted by: nats24 | December 14, 2010 1:10 AM | Report abuse

I joined this website "123 Get Samples" and i got free stuff from it, it took about a week for me to receive? something i actually wanted so just join them and it is easy and free

Posted by: millerbrittney14 | December 14, 2010 3:04 AM | Report abuse

I think Rizzo would let Desmond go. What other choice does he have now that Cliff Lee is returning to the Phillies? IN order to compete in the NL East with the Marlins and Phillies vastl improved pitching?

At this point they aren't even close to the competition without an influx of quality starting pitching?

Posted by: periculum | December 14, 2010 3:37 AM | Report abuse

"We need Greinke or Garza now more than ever. Then Dumpster dive for Webb ....

1. S. Strasburg
2. Z.Greinke / M. Garza
3. B Webb
4. J. Lannan
5. L. Hernandez"

_________________________________________________________

Right now it looks more like this:

1. TBD (Stephen Strasburg in Sept.)
2. Jordan Zimmermann
3, Jason Marquis
4. Ross Detwiler
5. Yuniesky Maya
6. John Lannan
7. Garrett Mock

Swing man/innings eater: Livan Herandez replacing Miguel Batista.

Posted by: periculum | December 14, 2010 3:43 AM | Report abuse

I don't get the deals some here are willing to make for Greinke. Most assume the Nats will not come close to being a playoff team next year. So why on earth would the Nats give up a Desmond or an Espinosa for a pitcher they will have for one competitive year? If, for Garza, they gave up a couple of good relievers such as Clippard and Kimball, add a Marrero, a Burgess, and a Peacock or Milone, then okay.
Bob L Head makes a lot of sense with his post.
Also, my future Nats will have Ramos catching and Norris at first base, maybe as soon as 2012.

Posted by: jcampbell1 | December 14, 2010 6:11 AM | Report abuse

You people are missing a key point: the Royals have made it clear they expect to get a starting pitcher as part of the package for Greinke and they want one that can pitch in the big leagues either at the beginning of the middle of 2011. If the Nats are going to make a trade with KC, it almost certainly has to include J. Zimm. Which probably makes a deal with Tampa for Garza more likely.

Posted by: baltova1 | December 14, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Oh, Lord, I needed a good laugh and I got one! Cliff Lee turned down an extra $50 M from the Yankees because their fans were rude to his wife and the Rangers families in the ALCS! Have they never been to Phillies Field/CBP? Have they SEEN Phillies fans? Oh, what a $50 M mistake!

Posted by: flynnie321 | December 14, 2010 7:53 AM | Report abuse

I think the Lee signing proves two things:

1) The Nats were smart to sign Werth, and 2), they need to make a move to get a starting pitcher.

Forget being a playoff contender, the price to just be a competitive team in the NL East just got a lot steeper. A lot of people are talking about not sacrificing the future, but even if the young guys start coming through in the next couple of years, do you really think the Nats are going to have enough talent within the system to compete with what the Phillies will have? And do you think the Mets and Braves are going to sit back and not react to this move?

It's great that the Nats made a bold move and signed Werth. But if you do one of those types of moves, you have to do more. And you have to do more of them now because the Phillies just upped the ante. I'd prefer they sign Pavano, even to a multi-player deal, but they have to seriously consider a trade for either Greinke or (more likely) Garza.

Posted by: baltova1 | December 14, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

OK. This sucks. When the Nats dropped out of the Lee sweeps I thought "anyone but the Yankees". Well this is 1000 times worse. How in the hell are supposed to get anyone worth a d@mn to come here now when you've got a monster like Philly in the same division? Jeezus, Hamels is their 4th freaking starter now. The ultimate doom and gloom scenario I know but Philly keeps a choke hold on the division for the next 5 years keeping the Nats "plan" in recovery mode just in time for big draft picks and homegrown talent to start the exodus via free agency.

If I believed in god I'd ask him/her why oh why did you make me a DC sports fan?

Posted by: RicketyCricket | December 14, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

flynnie, Lee's going to Philly precisely because he has been to, played in and for, CBP and the Phillies fans. He loves them. God help him.

Posted by: mojo6 | December 14, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

@Brue

you're and idiot. spending too much for a 31 year old pitcher is dumb. Same with signing a 35 year old in Pavano. Keep drafting and gettin bargains.

Posted by: jmurray019

Bargain basement shopper, huh? I guess you get your tickets on stubhub too. Gotta save that money! The Phils ain't lookin too dumb right now, are they? Oh, everybody said 'you give Lee seven years and it's a big mistake'. Far as I can tell, he only signed for five. Citizens Bank Park opened in '04, and the Lerners got their new playpen in '07, it's time to start trying to win baybee! Everybody talking about trade possibilities - someone needs to tell Pants you have to give something up in order to receive. If your own prospects aren't developing fast enough (and they aren't) you need to get someone else's. Either that or major league players in return. Otherwise, you're gonna be left with making excuses like you.

Posted by: Brue | December 14, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

I hate the Phillies

That's all. Have a good day

Posted by: Kev29 | December 14, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

The Braves must be praying one of those Phils' starters gets hurt...

Posted by: nats24 | December 14, 2010 1:01 AM |

The Braves must be praying two or three of those Phils' starters gets hurt.

Fixed it for you.

NL East is starting to look like the AL East. Both divisions have two dominant teams, two pretenders, and a DC area team looking to climb out of the hole.

Posted by: gilbertbp | December 14, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

"Desmond is a Stud! Like the Post. If you don't get it, you don't get it. The errors will come down to between 15-25 this year with a decent first baseman,and he has legitimate power, speed, range and arm. What's not to love?"

Posted by: tommy11599 | December 13, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Seriously! The one time a DC franchise that stocks its talent pool with young prospects, and these loons just HATE IT. Then, in their next breath, they complain about the Redskins signing "over-the-hill" (completely ignoring the historical context) free agents.

Shame DC is not a better sports town.

Posted by: jboogie1 | December 14, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

It's clear Lee went where he wanted to go regardless of the money, so blame Rizzo et al all you want, he wasn't coming here.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | December 14, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Philly now has 2-3 ace starting pitchers on their team in Halladay, Lee, and Oswalt. But how many will they have on opening day? There is at least a possibility that Oswalt, Hammels, and/or Blanton are dealt for an outfielder. This is complete fantasy on my part, but I would love the irony of trading Oswalt to the Red Sox for a package that included J.D. Drew. Or slightly more likely Oswalt to the Rangers for a package of outfielders and prospects.

Lee's signing is a great move for the Philly's but in a warped (very warped) way could have short term benefits for the Nationals. If Florida and New York cry uncle now, Washington can take a step up. Maybe establish themselves as a third place team in 2011. Which might just make them a very attractive place to be in 2012. (I know I'm dreaming, but say Josh Johnson or another stud piutcher entering the market in 2012 signs with Washington then 13 months from now the Nationals could be looking at a pretty imposing rotation of their own Johnson (or other stud), Strasburg, Zimmerman, Solis, and Lannan.

In the meantime, let's find another outfielder, a firstbaseman, and a fill in starter. Also a solid utility player - preferably lefthanded and a closer or setup man (depending on how they want to use Storen). Get cracking.

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 14, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Rizzo better be thinking on his feet pretty quickly. W/the Filthies signing Lee and developing a rotation for the ages, the rest of the NL East just took 3 steps backward. No way this team is even the slighest bit competitive if they don't land a frontline starter and at the very least Adam LaRouche to play first. However I heard that Ryan Church and Ryan Langerhans are currently unemployed and looking for work. Dumpster Dive Mike your up!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | December 14, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

@TippyCanoe,

If the Rays can compete with the Red Sox and Yankees, the Nats can compete with Philadelphia.

Posted by: jboogie1 | December 14, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Dont' worry too much. Their "star" 1b, 2b, and ss are all in decline, and they just lost their stud rf. Also, Lee is good, but not that good (as in Halladay). Still, they aren't going to give up a lot of runs in 2011.

Posted by: FriendofalltheWorld | December 14, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

>If the Rays can compete with the Red Sox and Yankees, the Nats can compete with Philadelphia.

Posted by: jboogie1

Says who? The statements by Kilgore's 'insider' who said that the only two suitable prospects in a trade for Greinke that are anywhere near major league ready are JZimm and Desmond. That doesn't say much about their other prospects. See, other teams don't overrate the Nats prospects the way the Nats do. That's why Pants can't pull the trigger, because he's anal - he has so much rhetoric invested in his 'plan', that he'd look like a total jackass if he suddenly abandoned it. You thought Phase 2 was here? That's the phase where they add major league talent to the roster instead of waiting for prospects to make it/not make it. The problem with phase 2 is that Pants has waited SO LONG this offseason that a lot of the cream as far as buying players - is gone. Now they have to look at trades. Have you seen any trades happen this offseason? The O's have made at least a couple, and they have a new left side of the infield as a result. Look at the Marlins - at least they have enough sense to draft guys that throw 95 mph. How many did the Nats draft besides Strasburg? Storen? That's it. And they're so stoopid they won't even give him a shot at starting. The rest of the pitching is a bunch of guys who can maybe throw 90 and get by on pitch to contact. Whatever that means. The Nats are WORSE than they were on Oct. 1, and the clock is ticking.

Posted by: Brue | December 14, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Woe is me. We're doomed - all doomed.

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 14, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Brue, I'm amazed how you wake up each day and see the worst in the Nats. You are truly the 'pants' of fans.

With Lee, Halliday, Hamels, Oswalt and Blanton no team in MLB can compete with that rotation; many 6 team fantasy leagues couldn't field competitive teams. For Rizzo to throw away what little young talent we have to finish second in the division is ludicrous. Stick to the plan. This is not our time but we need to continue to get pieces to get us closer and at that time we get the big FAs. We, like 4 other teams in the division, have to see that at the moment there is one team light years ahead of us.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | December 14, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Well, at least we don't open against the Phils this year.

Posted by: NatsFly | December 14, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

It's clear Lee went where he wanted to go regardless of the money, so blame Rizzo et al all you want, he wasn't coming here.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | December 14, 2010 8:32 AM

Very good point, SC, and one that some people who keep "Panting" about Rizzo's failings should keep in mind.

Posted by: baltova1 | December 14, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

So, apparently, the Nats are not the only team that values Desmond highly.

Posted by: jboogie1 | December 14, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

"The statements by Kilgore's 'insider' who said that the only two suitable prospects in a trade for Greinke that are anywhere near major league ready are JZimm and Desmond. That doesn't say much about their other prospects."

That's not what the source said. He said, "I don't see that they have enough to offer unless they were willing to discuss a Desmond or a Jordan Zimmermann, and I don't see that happening. I can't see anyone else for Kansas City that gets them excited enough to do it."

The Royals have made it clear they want a starting pitcher and a middle infielder as part of the package for Greinke, and those guys have to be major league ready. For the Nats, that means J. Zimm and Desmond and they don't want to give them up. (Me, I'd give up Desmond, but not J. Zimm) BTW, the Yankees are supposedly out of the running because they don't have the right mix of prospects to offer, since they don't have the middle infielders. Maybe we should spend some time bashing their farm system and its lack of prospects, based on your "logic?"

Posted by: baltova1 | December 14, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

NL East is starting to look like the AL East. Both divisions have two dominant teams, two pretenders, and a DC area team looking to climb out of the hole.

Posted by: gilbertbp | December 14, 2010 8:21 AM

Things are looking good for the Philthies, no doubt about that. But let's not go comparing them and the Braves to the Yanks and Sox. The Phillies backed into this signing - what a coup! If anything, the AL East is starting to look more like the AL East we all expect again. The Yankees and Red Sox spent big, the Rays are shedding payroll and the Jays and Orioles are just hoping to build into outside contenders.

Our division is significantly different - we are not the Rays because we have the optimal stadium already in place. The Mets sure as heck have major advantages over the Jays and Orioles. The Marlins are masters of the low budget, with lots of young talent and a new stadium finally coming. Also, every team in the NL East sits in a high major media market. The only division with 5 metropolitan areas over 5 million people.

Posted by: Kev29 | December 14, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Ok, so far in this off season (that follows the back to back to back last place finishes) we've lost Dunn and gained Werth. That aint enough. Not by a long shot.

Rizzo has lots of money to spend to fill their needs either via taking on contracts or free agent signings. Time for this historically timid club to act.

Posted by: dfh21 | December 14, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Ok, so far in this off season (that follows the back to back to back last place finishes) we've lost Dunn and gained Werth. That aint enough. Not by a long shot.

Rizzo has lots of money to spend to fill some of their needs either via taking on contracts or free agent signings. Time for this historically timid club to act.

Posted by: dfh21 | December 14, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I find the authority of the source mentioned in this post questionable. If the Nationals would move Espinosa "in a heartbeat" then my opinion of the Nats brain trust immediately changes. Personally, I feel it is Espinosa, not Desmond, that they should be extremely reluctant to move. Desmond will have to make great strides to be a premier major league shortstop. Frankly, I think it may be more likely that he changes positions at some point in the future ...

Posted by: mgilham | December 14, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Ian Desmond Blows, my left nut plays better defense and can hit better.

Posted by: pjohn1 | December 14, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I find the authority of the source mentioned in this post questionable. If the Nationals would move Espinosa "in a heartbeat" then my opinion of the Nats brain trust immediately changes. Personally, I feel it is Espinosa, not Desmond, that they should be extremely reluctant to move ...

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

Carl Pavano? what a joke

Posted by: SkinsWins | December 14, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

It's clear Lee went where he wanted to go regardless of the money, so blame Rizzo et al all you want, he wasn't coming here.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | December 14, 2010 8:32 AM

Very good point, SC, and one that some people who keep "Panting" about Rizzo's failings should keep in mind.

Posted by: baltova1 | December 14, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

In order to "keep in mind" anything, you have to possess a mind in the first place.

Posted by: jboogie1 | December 14, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Poor Jayson Werth. He got dollars and was promised the club wasn't done.

Well, it appears Washington is shying away from offering anything more than an incentive deal to Pavano and won't trade 'invaluable' prospects to Tampa for Garza.

Pena signed with the Cubs already.

If the Nats miss out on LaRoche, my guess is they will end up signing some back of the rotation guy that is close to Livan Hernandez and call it a day.

It seems the Werth signing was all this team really had in its bag of tricks.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | December 14, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

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