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Monday, January 25, 2016

Brisbee: Absolutely nothing has gone right for the Nationals this winter

What utter nonsense. Why just the other day, Rizzo signed Billy Joel to perform another midsummer night concert.

The targets that joined

The Nats did add some bullpen arms, though, in Shawn Kelley and Oliver Perez. That allowed them to trade Storen away, and it made it palatable to lose out on O’Day and Aroldis Chapman. Still, there won’t be a lot of Shawn Kelley shirseys at their FanFest, I’m guessing.

No, the big splash was Daniel Murphy, whose best-case scenario is probably something like what Yunel Escobar gave the Nationals last year. They traded Escobar away to make room, exchanging tens of millions after the trade to buy a slightly younger, slightly more consistent second baseman. The move allows them to take their time with prospect Trea Turner, and it gives the lineup a lefty/righty balance it didn’t have before.

It’s not like Murphy is a bad player. On the contrary, he’s been helping the Mets win an extra game or two every season for six years, now. As the face of an entire offseason, especially an offseason that followed the most disappointing regular season in franchise history, he’s completely underwhelming.

Or, to put it another way, have you looked at the Nationals’ projected lineup this year?

  Ben Revere
  Anthony Rendon
  Bryce Harper
  Ryan Zimmerman
  Daniel Murphy
  Jayson Werth
  Danny Espinosa
  Wilson Ramos

For three names, you’re getting excited. Revere doesn’t walk, but he’s one of the few players in baseball you might trust to buoy his OBP with his batting average. Rendon had a disappointing season last year, but he’s still just 26 and preternaturally gifted. Harper stepped out of Baseball Simulator 1.000, and the rest of the league can’t do anything about it.

After that, though, it’s bleak. Zimmerman had a .308 OBP last year, and his body is an old soul. Murphy is a fine complementary player, but he makes you wince as a #5 hitter. Werth is coming off his worst season, and he’s 37. Espinosa is coming off one of his best seasons, but that still makes him a defense-first player you hide at the bottom of the order. Ramos has been a net-negative hitter for two seasons now.

The Nationals probably needed Cespedes more than the Mets did, really.

JEe (Jason) Posted: January 25, 2016 at 12:19 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, mike rizzo, nationals, nats, offseason, sucks, trades

 

 

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