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Sunday, July 05, 2009

Washington Post: Rizzo Promises to Deal Only if Offers Are Right (RR)

The Washington Nationals have baseball’s worst record, a stockpile of tradable veterans and a regular lineup with six of eight position players aged 29 or older. But acting general manager Mike Rizzo said yesterday that he feels no obligation to conduct a fire sale, and downplayed the notion that the weeks leading to the July 31 trading deadline would result in team-altering player movement.

“A big transition period? I don’t think that,” Rizzo said. “We’ll make deals based on good baseball decisions. ‘Fire sale’ means you want to dump people. We don’t want to dump people.”

Among those on Washington’s 40-man roster, only two players—third baseman Ryan Zimmerman and catcher Jesús Flores—have the entrenched status where you can assume they’ll be starting in 2011. Adam Dunn’s two-year, $20 million contract expires at the end of 2010. Cristian Guzmán’s two-year, $16 million expires at the same time. Nick Johnson, currently earning $5.5 million, will be a free agent at year’s end. Another veteran in the group drawing trade interest, corner outfielder Josh Willingham, is under club control (and arbitration eligible) for two more years.

also from the Post: Dunn’s 300th Sparks Nats To a Victory

the Nats’ holiday jerseys (photo with the Dunn story) were hideous.

Coot Veal and Cot Deal taste like Old Bay Posted: July 05, 2009 at 10:59 AM | 13 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nationals

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   1. TerpNats Posted: July 05, 2009 at 12:55 PM (#3242465)
1. The "tradable veterans" aren't all that good or valuable.

2. Since teams value their prospects far more than they did 20 or even 10 years ago, if you can peddle them, you're not going to get much. The days of getting a Jeff Bagwell or John Smoltz back for pennant race help are long gone. The best the Nats can do would be to get some marginal prospects to boost depth at Hagerstown or Potomac.

3. Rizzo seems capable at scouting players, but trading for, then developing players are entirely different animals. I'm not yet convinced he can excel at either of the latter two tasks.

Unless Rizzo pulls off something unexpectedly spectacular before July 31, I see no reason why the Nationals shouldn't look outside the organization to hire a GM for 2010.
   2. Darren Posted: July 05, 2009 at 01:05 PM (#3242467)
The last paragraph of post 1 is very interesting. Rizzo is not likely to get a lot of credit for standing pat and turning down bad offers. He could be a little bit risky in trying to pull off a major move.
   3. Mr Dashwood Posted: July 05, 2009 at 01:27 PM (#3242473)
I don't see the point of trading a veteran simply because he's got trade value. What you get back is equally important. Either it helps you or you don't do the deal.

Everyone wants the Nationals to trade Nick Johnson and to move Adam Dunn to first base. Dunn has shown no greater ability to play that position than left-field. If anything, he's looked worse. Johnson's injury history is going to count against him in deals, reducing his value to quarters on the dollar. And it's not as if the Nationals have a sure-fire can't miss long-term replacement in the organization.

Nobody talks about Cristian Guzmán much for reasons that are not quite clear to me, but appear to be related to fielding. Are these the same people who want to move Dunn to first? The Nationals actually do have a replacement in the organization for him, although it's a definite downgrade - Alberto Gonzalez, the former Attorney General. He definitely doesn't hit as well as Guzmán, and his fielding seems to be about the same.

The Nationals do have a surfeit of corner oufielders, including the aforementioned Dunn, but only Josh Willingham is at all marketable, unless someone wants Dunn. Nobody accepts Elijah Dukes' good behaviour represents a genuine conversion. (We'll know when they do when we start seeing articles about it in the paper.) Austin Kearns is playing too badly for his contract.

The Nationals have no depth anywhere else, except young pitching. If I were them, I'd see what I could get for Stammen or maybe Balester. But that would probably be an older guy like Nyjer Morgan again.

Unlike TerpNats, I can see a reason why the Nationals shouldn't look outside the organization for their next GM. It depends on why Rizzo came into the organization in the first place. If he was brought in pending Bowden's next encounter with hubris (which did occur, as we all knew it would), then it's Rizzo's turn, as planned. I don't think I'd hold any lack of trades against him. As TerpNats' (2) notes, it's a different market nowadays. You don't discard a skill as in TerpNats' (3) without being absolutely sure what you'll get back is equal or better.
   4. Mr Dashwood Posted: July 05, 2009 at 01:31 PM (#3242474)
I kept this separate from my reply to TerpNats, because it is very special news to me. From TA:
After yesterday's game, the Nationals again made room for Bergmann, designating Jesús Colome for assignment. Colome, who had an 8.40 ERA in 15 games (15 innings), must be traded, released or placed on waivers within the next 10 days. If he clears waivers, he can report to the minors or become a free agent.

Oh frabjous Day! Calloo! Callay!

They should have done this two weeks ago.
   5. Mister High Standards Posted: July 05, 2009 at 03:02 PM (#3242509)
Fra, I don't think the sentiments you exprssed at the start and end of point 3 are the same.
I don't see the point of trading a veteran simply because he's got trade value. What you get back is equally important. Either it helps you or you don't do the deal.


I AGREE

You don't discard a skill as in TerpNats' (3) without being absolutely sure what you'll get back is equal or better.



I DISAGREE

The difference is in a case liike Johnson. His value to another team is going to be higher to his value to yours, because frankly his utility is lower to the Nats since he will not be worth draft pick compensation (I think) and he is walking, and he is taking Dukes roster spot, which isn't clear to me is a good idea. I would reconcile myself to not being able to get equal or better value for NJ's skills in a vacuum and deal him for a couple of live arms and hope one pans out.
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 05, 2009 at 03:25 PM (#3242513)
I think there's a big difference between Dunn/Guzman/Willingham and Johnson.

The first 3 are controlled for 2010 (and 2011 for Willingham) so have value to the Nats in putting a better product on the field going forward. Plus, you get other shots at trading them. You only trade them if you like the return.

Nick Johnson is a FA, won't be back, and could get hurt any moment. You move him for the best offer, regardless.
   7. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: July 05, 2009 at 03:55 PM (#3242522)
And Johnson won't bloody likely be type A, so yeah, you have to move him for whatever 23 year old live arm he'll bring.

For whatever reason the people running major league front offices just don't seem to like Adam Dunn very much. I don't really know that the Nationals are going to get anything approaching proper value for him, so they might as well keep him.
   8. Mr Dashwood Posted: July 05, 2009 at 09:28 PM (#3242822)
Do we know that Nick the Sick won't be back? Has he said under no circumstances would he re-sign with the Nationals? I'm always behind the curve on the latest news. Might a two-year deal with the Nationals be appealing, especially as their young pitchers got better?

The problem I foresee in trading him is that the Nationals don't have anyone obvious to fill-in at first. It all depends on what one thinks of Dunn as a firstbaseman. He's a better outfielder. Which says it all, really.
   9. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: July 05, 2009 at 09:40 PM (#3242826)
Would you re-sign with the Nationals if they weren't offering like twice the money everyone else was?
   10. Esoteric Posted: July 05, 2009 at 10:12 PM (#3242847)
Would you re-sign with the Nationals if they weren't offering like twice the money everyone else was?

Big words coming from a rabidly devoted Pirates fan.
   11. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: July 05, 2009 at 11:04 PM (#3242888)
Oh, it is on now.
   12. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 05, 2009 at 11:34 PM (#3242902)
For whatever reason the people running major league front offices just don't seem to like Adam Dunn very much.

I'd love to see the Yankees trade for Dunn in the offseason. Matsui and Damon's contracts are up, and even if they keep Damon, they need a OF/DH type.

Dunn fits perfectly with the Yankees' offensive approach, and would have to hit 50 HR with the RF in the new Stadium.
   13. Dr. Vaux Posted: July 05, 2009 at 11:40 PM (#3242904)
They're going to do something about that in the off-season, right?

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