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Posted at 3:48 PM ET, 12/16/2010

Nationals receive Henry Rodriguez, Corey Brown from Oakland in Josh Willingham trade

By Adam Kilgore

In return for trading Josh Willingham to the Oakland A's, the Nationals will receive Henry Rodriguez and Corey Brown, a right-handed, 23-year-old fireballing reliever who made 29 major league appearances last year and a 25-year-old outfielder with speed, power potential and a proclivity for striking out. Neither Rodriguez nor Brown made Baseball America's most recent list of top Athletics prospects.

Rodriguez, who signed with the A's as an amateur free agent out of Venezuela, possesses one of the most powerful arms in baseball. His average fastball during major league games last season clocked 98.45 miles per hour, the fourth-fastest average in the majors. He threw one fastball 103.2 miles per hour, the third fastest pitch of the 2010 season.

Rodriguez has the ability to strike batters out but has suffered from control problems. In 27 2/3 major league innings last season, Rodriguez went 1-0 with a 4.55 ERA. He struck out 33, but also walked 13 batters.

Rodriguez also has experience as a closer. He saved 11 games in Class AAA last season. He is currently pitching in the Venezuelan Winter League, where he has five saves and 27 strikeouts in 20 1/3 innings pitched over 17 appearances.

Brown was the 59th overall pick in 2007. He reached Class AAA this season after dominating most of the year in Class AA, but he struggled once he arrived. Brown hit .283/.370/.466 (average/on-base/slugging between) AA and AAA with 15 home runs, 11 triples and 22 stolen bases. Brown struck out 129 times in 534 plate appearances.

Brown's splits between AA Midland and AAA Sacramento were large. In 90 games at Midland, he hit .320/.415/.502. In 36 games in Sacramento, Brown hit .193/.253/.378.

By Adam Kilgore  | December 16, 2010; 3:48 PM ET
 
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Next: Mike Rizzo and Josh Willingham on the trade

Comments

Good move for both clubs. The A's are quietly getting a very solid club together. A live arm and a good position prospect is a good haul for the Nats.

Posted by: dfh21 | December 16, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

REPOST:

Its 2009 that everyone is concerned about. He went 43 innings in AAA, struck out an eye popping 71 but also walked 38 and allowed 4 home runs. He had a 5.77 ERA and the WHIP was 1.740.

In 2010 Rodriguez struck out 31 and walked nine in 21.1 innings exclusively in AAA allowing 1 home run. ERA 1.69, WHIP 0.891.

He has hit triple digits on the radar gun. He will be 24 in February.

If nothing else Rizzo is consistent.

Posted by: periculum | December 16, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Not only were they not in the A's Top 10, but they did not even rate a real mention in the chat (Rodriguez was mentioned, but not it seems by way of a compliment).

Posted by: RedBee | December 16, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

This is great, two guys that we have never heard of for the Hammer. So let's see what Rizzo has gotten for two of the most popular players from 2010. A couple of minor leaguers and draft choices for Dunn.

Good going and people wonder why the season ticket base is below 10,000. This is the reason.

Oh, the great trade that Rizzo made a year and a half ago to get rid of Nick Johnson, anybody here what has happened to the players we got in that trade?
Thats right, the same with this trade we are left with the memories of what the hammer was.

Posted by: Golfersal | December 16, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

This is really the best we could get for Willingham?

Just hoping they're part of a multipart deal. Brown's OPS in AAA last year was an unsightly .631. This is "power potential?"

Posted by: gilbertbp | December 16, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

rodriguez looks quality and will likely be in this year's bullpen. pitched some for A's last year and mowed down AAA. he's only 23.

brown looks like the dumping of a failed first round draft pick, hoping for a change of scenery bounce for a 25 yr old who mashed AA last year but got squashed by AAA.

meh, i would have expected a tad bit more for the hammer. maybe rodriguez and somebody who isn't a 25 yr old OF who can't hit AAA pitching.

Posted by: DCPowerGator | December 16, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Hah! This has jumped over tragedy and gone straight to farce. At least Willingham would have been playing in a contract year. Apparently Phase 2 of the plan is go back to Phase 1.

Posted by: Section506 | December 16, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Section 506 -- Agreed. Phase 2, we hardly knew ye.

Bet Billy Beane gets more for Willingham in a July deadline trade than we got for him now.

Posted by: swanni | December 16, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

This is astounding. Look what you've done Nationals, swanni and I are now on the same page. And incidentally, he was right about your HD feed.

And swanni, you're right. Ol' Money Ball himself is going to make bank off the hammer, probably sending him to Philly with our luck.

Posted by: Section506 | December 16, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Looks to me like the Lerners woke up and took back control of the team.

Or, to be cynical (okay, I'm always cynical), the Werth deal was done right before the season ticket renewal deadline for PR reasons. Now we get the real team in action. Dump salaries; sign washed-up pitchers; trade for "prospects" who should be prospecting for different careers; and talk bravely about 'The Plan.'

Posted by: swanni | December 16, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Well...since Bryce Harper will be the best player in Nats' camp, and will destroy minor league pitching for 2.5 months until the Nats pass the deadline to start the kid's arbitration timeline this year, I guess they don't need a left-fielder.

Posted by: fischy | December 16, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

ps Adam - you'll want to edit the last line of your OP to change "fresno" to "sacramento"

Posted by: DCPowerGator | December 16, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

What happened to Rizzo? Did the five-year deal ruin him forever?

Posted by: swanni | December 16, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

One thing this tells me is that Rizzo believes he has LaRoche in the bag. He couldn't deal Willingham for prospects without LaRoche or equivalent.

So how about this.
Instead of keeping Hammer, we ink LaRoche and get 2 prospects. We get better defensively, we add a left handed mid in the middle of the lineup, the Morse / Bernadina platoon kicks in.

But even after signing LaRoche, there's still a lot of payroll room left, we're still at roughly 2010 payroll.

And that may mean Pavano?

Posted by: Sunderland | December 16, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Seriously -- this will hurt the 2011 squad, which will really miss the power in the middle of the lineup that Dunn and the Hammer provided -- but this sounds like a pretty good trade. You've got two guys that might struggle as they step up levels, but also seem to have lots of potential.

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

Yes, I will miss Hammer... Hammer was the man...

But, if, IF, this H-Rod guy can be a power closer and/or tandem with Storen in the role...

And if, IF, this Brown guy, who swings lefty and appears to have some pop and speed, can really play CF and provide some real competition to unseat Mr. Morgan from the CF job...

Then, not too shabby... we won't know those things until the end of Spring Training, or perhaps even later, unfortunately...

But, let's face it, on Opening Day, Hammer is 32, he wasn't going to finish 2011 with the Nats no matter what, he is often injured and is notorious for second-half slumps, his trade value was only going to decrease from this day forward...

And, signing him to an extension didn't make any sense, either, considering his injury history and advancing age...

Anyway, I'm sad to see Dunn and Hammer go, but I'm still waiting another couple of months before I make a judgement on the front office performance this off season...

Sign Laroche now! We need that lefty bat in our lineup for 2011!

Posted by: Ghost7 | December 16, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Sutherland - no, no, no -- The payroll now is in the mid 40s (Werth gets $10 million in 2011).

We've subtracted Dunn ($12M), Guzman ($8M), Capps ($4M), Willingham ($5M, but would have been more in arb.); Olsen ($1M), Kennedy ($1.5M)

With likely arbitration and scheduled salary bumps, Adam (or someone. Mark, Zuck?) said the payroll was around $41M. And that was before Werth. So add $10M for Werth and subtract $5 for Josh. We're in the mid 40s!

Posted by: swanni | December 16, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

This is very interesting. I'm with dfh in that it is a trade that benefits both clubs.

Assuming that Stras shows up in late August, someone will inform him that he is no longer the fastest pitcher on the club.

Willingham was probably worth less than we all thought. As Boz pointed out, his homeruns all landed in the same seat. That means that, essentially, he was hitting mistakes, or rather the same mistake, every HR that he hit.

By the way, don't bet that the As move Willingham in July. AL west may not be that strong and Tex saw a number of career or last gasp years. As may be in it 'til the end.

BTW, I'm watching the film of the '60 WS. I've seen HS fields that looked better than Forbes. My how times have changed.

Posted by: mikecatcher50 | December 16, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I fear that Rizzo is so grateful to the Lerners for the five year deal that he's starting to think like them.

Posted by: swanni | December 16, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I hope the previous posters are kidding. Willingham was great in the first half, but he's on the wrong side of 30 and his body is breaking down. Beyond that, I'm pretty sure that my 4 year old daughter can run faster than him. A defensive liability in left, I'm glad the Nats got at least something for him. I'm sure he would have been worthless at the deadline.

With Nick Johnson, Willingham and others, you're not losing all-stars. You're getting rid of what would amount to utility guys on a contending team. That's not what winning baseball teams are comprised of.

And as far as LF, I'd like to see Bernadina get a chance as an everyday player. Hanging on to aging veterans who have already hit their ceiling is the fastest path towards mediocrity.

Posted by: BuccostoNats | December 16, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Breaking NEWS: Werth promises that the Philly invasions are a thing of the past.

And they say I am Mr. negativity? Eh natinbeantown? Thanks for the kudos! Gee boys there's your replacement for Morgan. 11 triples, 15 homers between AA and AAA? Speed, centerfielder. Steals bases? AND BATS and throws left just like Morgan? His weakness is that he might be a combination of Elijah Dukes and Justin Maxwell on the left side. But he has a strong throwing arm, something Morgan will never have.

Rodriguez throws in the triple digits. He looks like an upgrade over former Nats closers (other than Matt Capps) and Capps sure could cause a few heart palpitations when he pitched in the ninth? Let him compete for a job with all the rest of the power arms.

One thing looks very certain at this point. If any starter fails to go five innings the opposition might be facing some really nasty stuff every inning thereafter.

Posted by: periculum | December 16, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

ANOTHER outfielder? Can Brown play 1st base?

Posted by: Juan-John1 | December 16, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I fear that Rizzo is so grateful to the Lerners for the five year deal that he's starting to think like them.

Posted by: swanni | December 16, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and LaRoche is overrated...notorious slow starter. I hope they have some kind of deal in the works for a 1B that doesn't involve Nationals named "Zimmerman" or "Desmond." Or that they sign Derrek Lee for less if they're truly going to make a run at Pavano.

Posted by: BuccostoNats | December 16, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

@sunderland,

I'm not sure Pavano could beat out what they currently have?

I could see a deal for Blanton except it would be with the Phillies.

No, they are going young ... prospects that are close to major league ready just as I thought they might when the cream of the free agent crop got signed. Beltre is the last quality signee not LaRoche.

There's a guy in Florida playing out of position in left field and other first base prospects who are blocked from entering the majors. And the 40 man roster is full. Looks to me like other trades are in the offing.

Posted by: periculum | December 16, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Well I said this was bs earlier, but I reserve the right to change my mind if we end up in the right place by Opening Day (and if this does not look like a cost-cutting move at that point).

I actually think this is a pretty good return on Willingham, it's hard to get prospects that are close to (or in) the majors in exchange for one-year rentals. Both of these guys might need some additional seasoning at AAA, which is fine, hopefully they will be ready for 2012, which is obviously what they are really planning for.

Now, having said that, we absolutely need to sign a first baseman, hopefully LaRoche. It doesn't sound like we'll be trading for a starter (which would have cost Willingham plus prospects), so maybe we sign Brandon Webb and hope that he and/or Wang pan out this time around.

In sum, if it ends up looking like we traded Dunn and Willingham for Werth and LaRoche, losing a bit on offense but gaining on defense and athleticism (and opening up a spot for Bernadina in left to see what he can do going into, ahem, 2012), I'm OK with that. Not great, mind you, but OK. If, however, we don't make at least one other big move, I'm definitely not OK and will show up even less than in 2010 (6 games, compared to 20 in prior years with shares of multiple season ticket plans not since renewed).

Also I agree that it's quite amusing to see Swanni and 506 on the same page, congratulations Rizzo, you've confused us all.

Posted by: BobLHead | December 16, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

BobLHead, the fact that you only went to six games last year demonstrates that you are on the growing Swanni/506 page. :)

Rizzo better have a few rabbits in his hat or we're going to see crowds of 8,000 next year on a regular basis.

And Phase 2? Well, I guess it was just a "phase."

Posted by: swanni | December 16, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

This is actually a pretty decent haul for Willingham. Two guys who are ranked 12th and 13th respectively in the A's farm system by Baseball America for a Willingham- a good hitter but average to subaverage defender, going into a contract year and coming off an injury...

The Hammer, while a stand up guy, is not as good as a player as a lot of you guys are claiming he is.

H-Rod will replace Peralta in the Bullpen, while Brown could be used as a potential trade chip in another deal...


Posted by: Cartaldo | December 16, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Well if Rizzo hang's on to JWill and he slumps he get's hammered, he trades him and he still get's hammered, i mean what did we think we could have gotten for Da Hamma, and can we please stop throwing Nyjer under the bus and give him a shot at redeeming himself.

Posted by: dargregmag | December 16, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Sources:Nationals are in the process of acquiring Matt Garza of the Tampa Bay Rays for Ian Desmond and 3 minor leaguers.

Posted by: hassanyj | December 16, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Something's wrong if the Nats think Dunn and Willingham are not worthy to be here, but Nyjer Morgan is.

Posted by: swanni | December 16, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Nyjer will get his chance at redemption, it appears... but, it certainly is nice to actually have some potential options should we see a repeat of 2010's performance from him...

Posted by: Ghost7 | December 16, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Let me see if I understand this. Last year the Nationals scored 655 runs, which was fewer than any team in the NL except Houston and Pittsburgh. So we trade (or just lose) two of our three top RBI guys for PROSPECTS. Wow. I'm a big fan of kool-aide ("hope springs eternal"), but I am at a real loss here. It's not like we have three Cy Young Award Winners or anything.

Posted by: ammonite88 | December 16, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Sources:Nationals are in the process of acquiring Matt Garza of the Tampa Bay Rays for Ian Desmond and 3 minor leaguers.

Posted by: hassanyj | December 16, 2010 4:40 PM

What sources?

Desmond, Norris, Brown, [minor league pitcher] for Garza...?

Posted by: Kev29 | December 16, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Something's wrong if the Nats think Dunn and Willingham are not worthy to be here, but Nyjer Morgan is.

Posted by: swanni | December 16, 2010 4:40 PM

Nobody wants him

Posted by: Kev29 | December 16, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Hassanyj is just messing around, don't get too excited.

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | December 16, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

So, in other words, forget about '11. Neither of these guys will have an impact on the big club (there are plenty of hard-throwing relievers around, & we have several already) in '11, or maybe at all. Looks like another last-place finish, so far. Let's hope there's more to come. But even trying to be optimistic, don't see Nats getting any kind of impact starter, & LaRoche has other options.

If the pitcher has arm trouble this year, Rizzo got fleeced. And with our luck.... But, hey, they'll save money on salary!

Posted by: nyskinsdiehard | December 16, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

I suspect Jayson Werth may be having some 'seller's remorse.'

Posted by: swanni | December 16, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

This is a good deal, I disagree with most everybody here.

Only time will tell of course. See what happens in the next few days....

Posted by: Cartaldo | December 16, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Edwin Jackson might be available again ... he would be cheaper trade wise than Grienke and Garza. Just a big added expense to the payroll which can easily manage it.

Posted by: periculum | December 16, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Deal makes sense. Nats have repeatedly said they like Bernadina most in left and clearly the new lineup was too right-handed hitting oriented.

Now as long as Bernadina can prove himself more than a fourth outfielder, that'll be just fine.

http://baseball.realgm.com/

Posted by: CJArlington | December 16, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

"So, in other words, forget about '11. Neither of these guys will have an impact on the big club (there are plenty of hard-throwing relievers around, & we have several already) in '11, or maybe at all."

You now have a guy who can give Morgan a good run for his money. He can field, has speed, and a strong throwing arm. He also hits for power. How can that NOT affect 2011? Do you really believe that Rizzo is the type to just hand Morgan the job again? He likes competition.

Rodriguez is on the roster. He has no options remaining. He is going to be in the bullpen unless he screws up big time in ST 2011 or gets injured. He might just make a guy like Clippard more available? Either way its good. Now, there are plenty of power arms to compete for closer, setup and etc. Burnett looks like he could end up as the soft tosser in the group.

Please no more Miguel Batista. Too many home runs.

Posted by: periculum | December 16, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I grew up an A's fan and have followed them since I switched allegiances in 2005 to Washington. Corey Brown is ok, better than probably Willie Harris. Obviously the wild card of this deal is Rodriguez. Although I'm starting to think this is part of a bigger deal for Garza or Greinke. If they sign LaRoche I'm fine with the deal as you picked up prospects and paid for your talent elsewhere, my fear is that it's just a salary dump.

Also, I wonder what kind of message this sends to the players. Perform well and we trade you (Willingham) or let you go(Dunn) sign a larger contract elsewhere. Either way we don't reward being good as a NAT. We'll be like the 'Skins who never resign their own players who do well, just the other teams.

Also, in no way was I implying race when I compared Willingham's locker room presence to Dukes or Morgan. I realize Dukes and Morgan are two totally different cases but they both became distractions in their own way. I think you are forgetting the Morgan fight, flicking off of fans, throwing ball at fans in Philly. Not anywhere close to Dukes, but not exactly what I want from the ballclub I'm rooting for. Regardless, sorry if anybody thought I was implying race had anything to do with Willingham being a better locker room guy than Morgan or Dukes.

Posted by: PNatsFan | December 16, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

PNatsFan -- Relax, Paul LoDuca is white and he was a lockeroom poison; Tim Redding wasn't much better; it comes in all flavors.

Posted by: swanni | December 16, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

It's funny, some were speculating that the A's were going to give up one of their top prospects in Chris Carter for a 32 yr old 1 tool player coming off knee surgery and a $6 million price tag...And a number of people here were not even happy with that.

Get a grip people. It's Josh Willingham! You think people were beating down our doors offering 22 yr old studs with no warts? There was no market for Willingham. I'm sure some AL big market teams would take him off our hands for nothing, use him as a 4th outfielder and DH, but who thinks he's an impact player?

We just got better defensively and faster on the bases, regardless of who they put in there. I'll take my chances with Bernie playing everyday in left.

Posted by: sollazo | December 16, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

yes Sollazo, a person who has seen the light!!

Posted by: Cartaldo | December 16, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo gets no respect from a lot of the same fans that were bowing at the altar of Jim Bowden 3 years ago.

Has Rizzo brought any Elijah Dukes or Dmitri Young type players here?

If anything the team has rid itself of the attitude cases and the guys that didn't want to accept coaching.

As indicated, I think the trade of Willingham is peripheral, he was not going to be a star here. He was already over 30 and in all likelihood had his best year in 2009.

Did anyone think the A's were going to give up their #1 prospect for Willingham?

You don't think the Nationals can replace a 15 homer guy in the lineup?

Give me a break.

The time to evaluate the team is in March when all the trades and free agent moves have been made and organizational prospects have either shown promise for the MLB roster or are candidates for being sent down.

Between now and then is simply too early to judge Rizzo and the team.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | December 16, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

And we had a fine locker room poison in the Latino flavor in FLop too.

I think that Rizzo did the right thing by 86-ing Willingham; and getting a multi-tool upside OF and a strikeout arm, even if not perfect prospects, was a decent pull for one year of a less than dead-bolt lock health reliable Josh. But this is only the right move if the club keeps making moves to fill out a decent lineup and rotation.

Posted by: dfh21 | December 16, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: PNatsFan | December 16, 2010 4:58 PM

Rizzo was smart not to overpay for Dunn, even though he overpaid tremendously for Werth and he made a good deal for Willingham. I dont know why people are upset that Rizzo got rid of a couple of guys who consistently hit below .280, were not clutch hitters and were strikeout kings. The Nats werent going to win with either one of those guys. Just because you arent familiar with the name on the jersey doesnt mean Rizzo didnt get good players.


Posted by: KingJoffeJoffer | December 16, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

From what I saw of Brown, he's got a long swing and he's a long way from knowing the strike zone. He can run into one occasionally, but it's not a regular thing by any means. He's basically a whiff machine who's at least a couple of years away.

I guess they could always use a maniac hard thrower in the bullpen, somebody for Ballester to emulate. The reason Pants picks up bullpen help is because it's EASIER. I'm trying to figure out what they'll save in terms of games next year. The starting rotation will be getting their asses kicked all over the place. Again. Riggleman will do the Dave Trembley bean counting thing and go '100 pitches let's take him out and give him his popsicle'. Usually in the 4th or 5th. Location is the number one problem for the staff and they get another wildman. The guy may turn out to be alright eventually, but he's a reliever, and unless you have a rotation, he's gonna get burned out from overuse like they all do. That's why they're easier to pick up.

Wang? Talk about pissin down your leg - that's the only guy he's signed three months into the offseason? I mean, he was still throwing ON FLAT GROUND when they finally shut him down at the end of the season. How is he going to a) pitch with any stamina/# of pitches, b) have any command whatsoever and c) have any VELOCITY whatsoever. With that mentality, Brandon Webb is a phone call away. Everybody else wants prospects and Pants ain't gonna give up any prospects. Hence he ain't gonna get any starting pitching. It's a salary dump. They could have platooned Willingham, because he's only making 1 million over the league salary average anyway. I think we're into Pants 2.5 now, because Pants 2.0 was signing high dollar free agents. This is the second part from the effin genius. A bunch of guesswork. And it happens immediately after Boswell posts a column about how 'prospects' was a dirty word compared to 'major league proven'. HE'S RIGHT GO PANTS 2 GO GO PANTS 2 GO!

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

@BobLHead,

"In sum, if it ends up looking like we traded Dunn and Willingham for Werth and LaRoche, losing a bit on offense but gaining on defense and athleticism (and opening up a spot for Bernadina in left to see what he can do going into, ahem, 2012)"

LaRoche wants 3 years. Do you think Rizzo is going to do that? I don't. He isn't that good.

The most likely scenario is that they are going to find a way to get a left handed hitting first base prospect who is blocked but is just about major league ready. This trade makes me even more convinced of that. Hopefully, they will be able to come up with a package with an AL team that will include Marerro who isn't going to play for Rizzo's Raiders.

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

Posted by: PNatsFan | December 16, 2010 4:58 PM

Rizzo was smart not to overpay for Dunn, even though he overpaid tremendously for Werth and he made a good deal for Willingham. I dont know why people are upset that Rizzo got rid of a couple of guys who consistently hit below .280, were not clutch hitters and were strikeout kings. The Nats werent going to win with either one of those guys. Just because you arent familiar with the name on the jersey doesnt mean Rizzo didnt get good players.


Posted by: KingJoffeJoffer | December 16, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

"HE'S RIGHT GO PANTS 2 GO GO PANTS 2 GO!"

@Brue == toten hosen.

Posted by: periculum | December 16, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Let's see, one season of Willingham for the potential of five seasons of Rodriguez & six seasons of Brown. From a baseball perspective, taking a chance on the upside of the deal (a closer under team control and/or a major league CF with some pop) is a reasonable risk compared with the worst case scenario (Willingham plays 150 games this year and has his normal season, and neither prospect pans out). Seems like a worthwhile gamble. Plus the Nats are building up a tradeable inventory of right handed flamethrowing relievers. From a fan's perspective, there are decreasing reasons to re-up season tickets this year, as opposed to the Nats being competitive in 2012 and beyond. That strategy would have been more palatable in 2006 or 2007 than it is now.

Posted by: chiefwj | December 16, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

We got the Hammer AND Olsen for Smolinski, Dean and Bonifacio. There was no way we were going to get some great haul for an old, oft-injured defensive liability in LF. This was a decent (not great) return I think. An upside power RP and an upside, speedy/power OFer. Not bad at all.

The biggest reason for hope and patience is that rizzo is obviously building this thing around the window we'll have with stras and harper. While the phils are getting old fast, the nats are very young and it won't take miracles for things to come together in a couple years.

Posted by: WrongDog | December 16, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Does even one person who is against this trade really understand that Willingham has not lasted even close to a full year with the Nats. He is not, as Sollazo said an impact player in any sense of the word. Will Ramirez work out? Or Brown? I don't know, but there's potential there. Willingham will always be a major health risk who, by the way, even when not hurt can go into prolonged slumps.

Posted by: jcampbell1 | December 16, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Does even one person who is against this trade really understand that Willingham has not lasted even close to a full year with the Nats.

Posted by: jcampbell1

Look, that's why you platoon him. Guys that can hit 25 homers don't fall out of trees. Plus he could back up at 1B. And you know he can pinch hit. That's more than Brown is going to do.

Update: Riggins was pimping a few minutes ago for Bryce Harper starting the year with the big club. They were memorializing Bob Feller, and he was 17 when he debuted in the big leagues, and Riggo says, 'if you're that age, what makes you less pre-disposed to playing in the majors as opposed to being another age? They went through the fact that the minors was some kind of prep school that ALL players had to go through. It's a joke. Harper should be on the field for the Nats on opening day. I mean, Riggo's a HOF - wrong sport, right idea> PUT HIM ON THE ROSTER PANTS!!!!!!

Posted by: Brue | December 16, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

They both have potential so I can't hate the trade but I was looking forward to Werth and Willingham and Zimmerman. I don't think this move would make Zimmerman too happy who wants to be competitive soon.

Posted by: avbanig | December 16, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Give up the Bama Hammer for two suspects who can't crack the mighty A's ML roster! Why? There's 6 million reasons why. We tried to send Pants to rehab, but he said, no, no, no! Pants, we ain't shopping at Landmark Mall, and we ain't going to NatsPark. 100 losses here we come again! 298 in three years! Now the best chance of seeing your home team shut out in baseball, Go, Pants, Go!

Posted by: flynnie321 | December 16, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

If this club had any history at all of success, then I could understand giving this trade the benefit of the doubt. Lacking that, I don't see how trading a starting outfielder for a relief pitcher (seems like Rizzo is hinting that we'll need a REALLY strong bullpen this year, for obvious reasons) & a minor leaguer who won't play on the big club helps this team this year. As of now, it's a club with no first baseman, no left fielder, and 4 back-end of-the-rotation starters (yes, I'm including Zimmermann here, until he proves otherwise).

This may be a good deal for the club down the road, but it does not to help this year. Sorry I'm not an optimist, I lived through the Bob Short era, when trading starters for prospects was the norm (to save money). As of now, imo we're still a last-place club in '11, and frankly, I don't really care about '12 at this point.

Posted by: nyskinsdiehard | December 16, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe that so many are making judgments without waiting to see the overall moves that Rizzo is going to make, You don't thing thay ransomed the farm for Werth without a major plan to spend money on major support. That wouldn't make sense now, would it?

Posted by: bobilly1 | December 16, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

The purge of the Bowden cancer continues...... Another Bowden guy is jettisoned. Willingham was just one of the better ones but he had many of the same attributes... Willy Mo Pena is gone. Dukes was just outright cut. Milledge traded for a scrappy hockey player. Dunn not resigned. Guzman and his obscene $8 million contract traded for two big bodied pitchers. Austin Kearns let go. If one looks at the type of player these guys were we see that they're not multi dimensional. On drafting Bowden went for the moon shot high schoolers with terrible results. The damage that man did should result in a criminal offense!

Posted by: Capitalist-1 | December 16, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

WOW!!! I thought Rizzo was only bringing in "character" guys? Well I guess Corey Brown's participation in the gang rape of a 14 year old girl as a senior in high school would make him a character, right? Hide your children when you come to Nats town gentlemen, b/c Mr. Brown likes them young.

Posted by: razorkid | December 17, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

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