Nationals Arm Race

"… the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same – pitching.” — Earl Weaver

Rafael Martin DFA’d; the inevitable


Rough week for Martin. photo Nats official

Rough week for Martin. photo Nats official


With the news that Jayson Werth had to hit the D/L and the team suddenly needing a RH hitting options on the bench, new acquisition Ryan Raburn was called into action.

The Nats had finally run out of procedural moves that prevented them from cutting loose someone … and the answer to the question “who is the first guy off the 40-Man roster” this year goes to Rafael Martin.  Unfortunately for Martin, he was DFA’d yesterday to make room for Raburn.

Personally, I thought the team would cut loose under-performing AA hurler Jimmy Cordero before Martin … but he was 2nd on my list.  He’s struggled in AAA this year, and has been passed over for promotion by several 2017 NRIs.  The writing was on the wall, even given his SSS K/9 rates int he majors.  This year in Syracuse he’s sported a kind-of-unlucky 5.21 ERA with a 4/1 K/BB rate and a decent 1.27 whip.  But he’s also a 33-yr old junk baller who isn’t exactly a prospect anymore.

I’ll guess he passes through waivers, takes his assignment to AAA and may return to the Mexican league next year.

He’ll always have 2015 though (25 Ks in 12 innings).


Written by Todd Boss

June 6th, 2017 at 10:18 am

50 Responses to 'Rafael Martin DFA’d; the inevitable'

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  1. So long Rafael, you came close. Well, he had his chances to break through, he just did not capitalize.

    The biggest organizational lesson from this year is that you can never have too many arms-in-waiting at the upper minors. I am satisfied with the Eaton trade (because of the finances), and liked the Melancon trade but the totality of trading away Lopez, Giolito, Ray, Rivero, Hearn, Avila, Dunning, and letting Espino get away has been felt. Cole stalled, Martin declined, and Gott has underperformed, Voth has really underperformed, Solis is back on the DL, Glover is not showing sustained health and Ross has slumped badly. Fedde has been diverted on another path.

    Great arms are great arms. You can bet on a reclamation project, and good scouting will turn over a gem (Albers) or two if you use them the right way, but otherwise there is only so much one can expect of a castoff like Romero and a veteran like Turner. If they are used exactly as they should be, and the night is right, great. If not, well…

    And now, and for the rest of the year, the pitching cupboard that was overflowing is suddenly bare. Maybe Suero has something to offer, but otherwise, the Nats have been reduced to reclamations all over the system while other players cool their heels in extended spring training.

    I would hope that the system gets an infusion of college-tested and pro ready arms at the upper levels of the draft next week.

    The quantity for quality trading has to be rethought for the time being.

    Everyone knows how much I like Rizzo, and how much I love the Lerners and feel the “cheap” talk is an obscenity. But when I see that they did not sign Wilson Ramos, and the terms he got from Tampa Bay with his bat, I hope the organization realizes what a missed opportunity to sign under market. Weiters has been a very capable replacement, but he goes back on the market this fall and the Nats have no replacement for him. His righty bat would have been useful off the bench this year for that kind of money, with occasional starts to spell Zimm and playing DH.

    We are unbelievably fortunate for the great start the team has had.

    In the offseason, I hope the team trades from its surplus with more of the Mike Morse types of trades (lower minors) as opposed to the Yunel Escobar (upper minors) trade.

    By the way, how interesting to watch Brad Peacock finally blossom.


    6 Jun 17 at 11:37 am

  2. Not to be forgotten, of course, is Nick Pivetta. Or Mario Sanchez. How ironic that both Sanchez and Cordero are at the same level, same league, and Sanchez is outperforming him.

    The Nats are better served to get folks with more in the tank, like GioG, as opposed to those who MAY have more. And please — no more players in their walk years.


    6 Jun 17 at 11:54 am

  3. “Beer League” hits the bottom of the barrel! Actually, I doubt he’ll be claimed, but you never know. I’m amazed he has stayed on the 40-man this long.

    One of my ongoing concerns hasn’t been over the pitchers who’ve been traded, but the ones who haven’t been. Cole, Voth, and even Taylor Hill and Taylor Jordan all had times, coming off good years in the upper minors, when they had significant trade value. Of that quartet, only Cole was ever really thought of as potentially ending up in the Nats’ big-league rotation. Of course I know that teams always need that 6th and 7th starter, just as the Nats have this year already, but it seemed a waste not to get something for those guys when they had value, not to mention give them shots at MLB careers. Maybe those guys would “only” manage to be the next Tommy Milone or Brad Peacock, but that beats the heck out of the fate that befell Taylor Jordan, or even Taylor Hill now demoted to AA after years of toiling in the minors.


    6 Jun 17 at 1:08 pm

  4. Taylor Jordan was the player the Nats refused to part with when they traded Ray. So they definitely had high, high hopes for him. He got hurt. So did Christian Garcia. There is no way around that bad luck. What might have been…

    I doubt Taylor Hill ever had trade value. But Nate Karns did, they flipped him early, and got decent return.

    Voth’s decline is so disappointing. I suppose that when one of the WaPo muckrackers get bored, they will invent a scandal about how the Nats minor league pitching instruction screwed up Voth just as they screwed up Giolito.


    6 Jun 17 at 1:45 pm

  5. Taylor Hill had a 2.81 ERA and 1.12 WHIP at AAA in 2014. He slipped to 5.23 the next year but has never been close to what he did in 2015. Jordan got the quick call-up in 2013 after dominating in A+ and AA but then struggled at AAA in 2014. Voth had a 3.15 ERA at AAA last year. They all had value, at some point.

    I thought Karns was the model of what they should have done with the other guys. They got a controlled bench piece and two promising prospects for a guy who was (nearly) back-end MLB-ready. You can’t keep everybody, and not every failing starter is going to turn into Stammen or Clippard. In fact, most aren’t.


    6 Jun 17 at 2:30 pm

  6. Voth’s 2017 is perplexing absolutely.

    WP isn’t the only publication repeating the “Nats screwed up Giolito’s mechanics” fwiw. But its harder to excuse his 2017 performance either.

    Brad Peacock: i just picked him up on my fantasy team; he’s been on fire!

    Todd Boss

    6 Jun 17 at 7:13 pm

  7. One bright spot – Five nationals are all stars in the SAL: Kieboom, Johnson, Watson, Mills, and Corredor. That Soto was not named gives one pause about just how injured he may be.

    But congratulations to Corredor in particular. Now he has certainly taken a leap forward.

    Looking forward to your draft coverage, Todd. 2016 was quite a bumper crop. Let’s keep it going this year!


    6 Jun 17 at 8:58 pm

  8. I’ve got good draft stuff coming. Just waiting for next week.

    Todd Boss

    6 Jun 17 at 9:14 pm

  9. That draft preview of the 40 or so guys potentially linked to the Nats?! It’s going to be interesting. With all the flux, I do have hope that a star-quality player might actually fall to them at #25.

    Meanwhile, the big club is on cruise control, 7-1 on the trip thus far, +12.5 on the rest of the division, Max K’ing 14, and Koda slamming the door and putting Puig out to pasture. Closer mentality, anyone?

    Also, anyone else notice that Dusty is pulling his starters 10-15 pitches (basically an inning) earlier over the last few games?


    7 Jun 17 at 7:42 am

  10. I’ve long been on the “Ollie is washed up” train, but man he looked good in the 8th against Seager, Grandal, and A. Gonzalez.


    7 Jun 17 at 10:09 am

  11. I’ve been on the same “train,” often ready to put Ollie off at the next station. His 2017 splits are pretty telling, though: lefties are hitting only .200 against him, but RHB torch him for a .383 average and 1.153 OPS.

    The Dodgers are pathetic against lefties, though. They were last year as well.


    7 Jun 17 at 10:34 am

  12. Ollie looked damn good last night indeed. He owned those guys, good hitters all, made them look foolish. Its amazing to me that he can put out that kind of effort in a tight situation in an important game, then have a seasonal ERA of 4.63.

    Those are his 2012 splits, referenced by KW. I think you just use him for what he’s best at; situational matchups. He’s *perfect* against the lefty-heavy dodgers. Otherwise let him be a rubber armed innings soaker as needed (our version of Petit from last year) and who cares what his seasonal ERA is if he’s getting shelled in blow out wins/losses.

    A side note; I just happened to notice that hte Nats are up 12.5 games. TWelve and a half games! Its June 7th. I mean, are they going to win the division by 40 games? For context, if the Nats went .500 the rest of the way (53-32), they’d finish the year with 90 wins (about what projection systems predicted). But the Mets would have to go 66-38 to catch them here on out. 66 and 38. that’s a .630 winning percentage .. which is about where the Nats are right now as a team for the year. So we’d have to see the season flipped on its head, ala 2005, for the nats not to win the division. Fangraph’s playoff odds right nwo gives Nats a 98.6% of winning the division. Again, its June frigging 7th.

    And despite all that … Houston’s even more dominant.

    How about a Houston-Washington world series? The former Washington franchise versus the new one? Maybe the owners can place a side-bet; whoever wins gets to own the “Washington Senators” trademark.

    Todd Boss

    7 Jun 17 at 10:45 am

  13. (Houston isn’t the team in Texas that used to play in DC; that’s the Rangers)

    forensicane: But when I see that they did not sign Wilson Ramos, and the terms he got from Tampa Bay with his bat, I hope the organization realizes what a missed opportunity to sign under market.

    What? Ramos hasn’t played at all this year. No one knows whether he will be able to catch again, or what kind of shape his bat will be in. He was excellent in 2016 up until the injury, sure – but he was awful in 2015 (66 OPS+) and mediocre in 2014 (91 OPS+) the two seasons prior to that. I am a Ramos fan, but until he proves that he’s back and effective, there is a decent chance that the Rays flushed a pile of money down the drain.

    Rafael Martin made it to The Show. I tip my cap to him for chasing his dream into his 30’s.

    John C.

    7 Jun 17 at 10:59 am

  14. Houston vs Texas. duh. Man my brain is mush. I’m to embarrassed to edit my previous comment; i will leave it there for personal flogging.

    Todd Boss

    7 Jun 17 at 11:06 am

  15. Ramos: I saw some other random blog criticizing the Nats dealings with Wilson Ramos this past off-season, saying “the Nats let Wilson Ramos go to free agency.”

    I was like, “What??” They offered him a contract before he got hurt. They certainly would have pursued him and/or offered him a QO if he hadn’t gotten hurt. He was not going to play for more than half the 2017 season, so even if the Nats did resign him … they would have also had to acquire another catcher to frigging play the first half of 2017 anyway. AND, coming off a second knee surgery for a big dude, i’m also not convinced he’ll ever be able to catch effectively again, so he needed to move to the AL so he could slot into a DH position (is he even nimble enough to play 1B?).

    Lot of revisionist history with the Nats-Ramos situation it seems.

    Todd Boss

    7 Jun 17 at 11:10 am

  16. I wouldn’t mind Dusty scaling back the big three even more. Maybe play around with spot starts for Voth or Cole and bumping them a day back.

    That guy rooker that KW mentioned seems intriguing. 1b guy, which isn’t great, but seems like he can hit. But I’m willing to lay odds they focus on pitching.

    Still no news on soto and Kieboom’s returns. A little concerning.

    Todd – How’s the little Nats fan adjusting? The family doing well?


    7 Jun 17 at 11:25 am

  17. Hey Wally. New nats fan adjusting very well. She’s picking up english words, settling in. Went swimming with her for the first time last weekend which was pretty cute.

    Todd Boss

    7 Jun 17 at 11:34 am

  18. The revisionist history on Ramos isn’t as bad as that on Holland. There were a lot of reports in the offseason that he wouldn’t be able to pitch until June. Chelsea Janes attended his showcase for scouts in November–the only time teams got to see him before he signed–and she says now that he didn’t look like much then. She’s shocked at how well he’s doing. Anyway, the Nats didn’t “miss out” on Holland; they made the same evaluation that about 20 other teams did, that he might not be able to help for half a season and might be suspect for the other half. (In a related note, ask the Rangers how well Tyson Ross is pitching for them.)

    Like John, I wish Ramos well, but TB might be doing a little better if they’d spent that money elsewhere. (And thank goodness the Nats didn’t stick with Derek Norris, who has been awful for TB.)


    7 Jun 17 at 11:39 am

  19. I’m as shocked as anyone by the 12.5-game lead. Admittedly, I’ve been (too) dismissive of the Mets over the last two years, so when their team going into the season looked pretty suspect, I tried to reserve my judgment. Nope, I was right: they suck, and all their pitchers’ arms are falling off, just as we thought they would.

    Everyone points out that the NL East sucks, but the whole NL is pretty suspect, even the Almighty Cubs. I’ve pointed out that they had a practically perfect run with their pitching last season, but I didn’t expect the rotation to fall apart quite as fast as it has. The Nats are currently seven games ahead of the Cubs. In fact, if the Cubs don’t win the Central, they may not make the playoffs. They’re behind all three teams in the West. It would be one of the all-time great upsets if they lose the division to the Brewers or Reds.

    Now about those three West teams: can the pitching for the Rox and Snakes really hold up? We’ll see. I said last postseason that I didn’t think the Dodgers were that good of a team overall. They’ve got one (all-time) great starter, a great closer, and a couple of reliable bats in Seager and Turner. Grandal and Pederson run into one every now and then but K a lot. Bellinger could become a stud, but it’s very early with him, and he’s also K’ing at an alarming rate. I’m still mad we didn’t beat this team in October!


    7 Jun 17 at 11:55 am

  20. Wally, Rooker played RF for Miss. State last season and is said to be OK on either corner OF. He’s got more positional flexibility than Burger, the other big-power college bat, who is often described as “bad-bodied.”

    Kieboom was named to the SALLY league AS game, which I guess means they think he will be back in time to play. Soto was not, and he was having an even better season than Kieboom. I’m A-OK with them being VERY cautious with those two, though!


    7 Jun 17 at 12:00 pm

  21. Norris also now under investigation for physical abuse of his ex-fiancee. Just the kind of press (even if disproved) that is just never good. Another bullet dodged by this organization.

    Todd Boss

    7 Jun 17 at 1:05 pm

  22. If playoffs started today, your divisional NL champs are (in seed order): Washington, Colorado, Chicago Cubs, with the WC being Arizona at Los Angeles. Nats are showing right now they can handle LA in LA and would only face Kershaw once in a 5-game series if they burn him in the WC game. Colorado seems like a paper team (and the Nats absolutely obliterated them in their park earlier), and the Cubs had everything go right for them last year and the opposite this year it seems.

    Definitely looking like the Nats year.

    Todd Boss

    7 Jun 17 at 1:09 pm

  23. Keith Law ranks Rooker 92nd in the class, so he’d be a massive reach for 1st round. MLB has him more favorably ranked at 50th. BA 46th, MinorLeagueBall 63rd and d1baseball > 100. I agree with Law’s sentiments; he’s old, he’s likely limited to 1B given his size (6’4″ 215). Now, he played some corner OF earlier in his career, so if you think he can play RF he’s definitely a 2nd round bat. But he’s not on the table for the Nats 1st round pick.

    Todd Boss

    7 Jun 17 at 1:46 pm

  24. I have seen some mocks that have Rooker going at the end of the first round. (I would be horrified if the Cubs get him at 30!) Do I think the Nats would, or particularly should, go after him at 25? No, probably not. But that’s why I said in a recent comment that he would be one who would keep me up at night if I were running a draft board for some team. This is a guy who led the SEC in nearly every offensive category, the same SEC that might have four or five pitchers drafted in the first round. On paper, he’s very boom-or-bust, particularly because of age. If he doesn’t hit right away in the minors, he’ll get old fast. However, if he starts hitting 30 bombs a year in the minors, 29 teams are going to worry that they whiffed on the next Goldschmidt.

    My bet is that some team takes Rooker in the 30s, probably some team for which that will be the second pick. And he’ll probably sign under-slot because of age. I seriously doubt he’ll be there when the Nats pick again at 65. (Competitive Balance picks must die!)


    7 Jun 17 at 3:12 pm

  25. “Definitely looking like the Nats year.” Yes. If there was ever a year to “go for it,” it’s now. The NL in particular looks amazingly “down.”


    7 Jun 17 at 3:18 pm

  26. Ouch . . . playoff flashbacks . . . ouch . . .

    Someone please tell me again why Ryan Raburn is in the major leagues?


    7 Jun 17 at 6:39 pm

  27. Or at least why, with a RHP on the mound, Lind or Drew wasn’t pinch hitting.


    7 Jun 17 at 7:37 pm

  28. For those on Rooker, here’s a draft profile i just found.

    Raburn: he’s shown some potential at various points in the past few seasons … but he’s not getting any younger that’s true.

    Todd Boss

    8 Jun 17 at 8:47 am

  29. That’s the most out-and-out positive piece I’ve seen on Rooker. But you can’t fake those stats in the SEC. Also note the 18 SBs, which indicate enough mobility to stand in LF . . . and probably make that catch that Raburn flailed at yesterday. Yeah, Rooker’s big, but so are Werth and Harper.

    But . . . he turns 23 by the end of the year. How much does that dock him? If his bat is so good/advanced that he could be at Hags this summer and maybe check off Potomac and Harrisburg next summer, does that mitigate age? Rendon advanced at about that rate with an “advanced college bat.”

    As I’ve said, Rooker’s one who would keep me up at night if I pass on him.


    8 Jun 17 at 9:11 am

  30. I think it’s pretty encouraging that the Nationals not only ran out a 7-2 West Coast trip (often a testing ground for teams), but they took two of three in LA against a team that had been one of the hottest in baseball. Not too shabby.

    John C.

    8 Jun 17 at 9:18 am

  31. Rooker is already older than a number of active major leaguers, a big ding against him. I see the SBs too … but (a call back to Moneyball) so many draft evaluators seem to get hung up on height and weight, irrespective of the talent. Problem with Rooker is you kind of have to start him at short-A in 2017, then jump him straight to High-A to start 2018 when he’s 24. Well suddenly he’s already “old for the league” and he’s played half a pro season. Average age in high A this year is 22.5. So he has to be a super star all the way up. Not saying he can’t ..

    Todd Boss

    8 Jun 17 at 9:19 am

  32. John — agree completely about how solid a road trip it was. I’m thrilled with 7-2, but of course I also can’t help but be frustrated losing on two passed balls and a “double” that could have been caught.

    Rooker: DOB is 11/1/94, so 2018 would actually be his “age 23” season. I do understand why teams are skiddish on age, though.

    I’m a Moneyball guy. I prefer college players, and I believe that their stats mean twice to three times as much as those of HS kids do. We’ve all been around HS baseball and seen 120-pound 10th graders with 80 mph heaters on the mound. You’re not facing any of those in the SEC, even mid-week.

    As for HS hitters, there’s a small chance that Jordon Adell could drop into the later first round, and more of a chance that Bubba Thompson will. I’m not so set in stone that I would insist that Rooker or White or Warmoth would be better than those guys. But I don’t know. No one does. I do know that the HS guys would cost more to sign and take longer to develop.


    8 Jun 17 at 10:02 am

  33. Quick points on prospect age and the Nats: they’ve not been shy about signing “older” Latin players; in fact, some of their biggest successes signed at 17 or 18: Difo, Lopez, Marmelejos, and Bautista among them. Now, “young” for Latinos is still HS age. However, the Nats have also had some recent success with college seniors, at least with guys who have progressed well through the minors. Those who struggle get old fast, though.


    8 Jun 17 at 10:15 am

  34. John and Todd, at years end we will see who is right on whether a 13 million dollar commitment to Ramos for two years was wise.

    This is an organization that paid millions of dollars to pitchers out of the draft undergoing elbow surgery, with no guarantees of recovery, let alone matriculation to the bigs.

    Wilson is an all star with proven power and team integration. He’s proven to have the character to come back, even from a kid napping. He’ll have a lot of value in any lineup late in August and September and October, and I am still smarting from the LOB debacles that cost playoff games.


    8 Jun 17 at 11:36 am

  35. KW; agree of course on stats being better for college versus HS players. But from what I read these days, almost zero credence is now given to HS stats. All these high end kids participate in travel ball, summer tourneys and (especially the high end ones) the show cases. If every prep kid who projects in the top 3 rounds shows up in one of the showcases at some point (Tournament of Stars, Marrieta/Cobb WWBA, Perfect Game World Series, Under Armor, East Coast Pro, Area Code Games, Jupiter WWBA), then scouts can see them against the best possible prep competition and learn more than they would if they were pitching against little Rickie, the 5’4″ JV second baseman batting 9th in their district matchup.

    Todd Boss

    8 Jun 17 at 11:48 am

  36. Yeah, but what if that Trout kid from Jersey isn’t invited to the top showcases? Or if that Harper kid from Vegas is pooped from flying all over the country for these things? I know, I know. The scouts seem to set great store in these events. It was apparently a big deal for Carter Kieboom’s draft stock that he had gotten a hit off Riley Pint.

    It’s a weird system in which you pay more for under-developed personnel who you’re going to have to train for years, but you pay less for better-trained, college-educated personnel who should need half the training in your system. Just sayin’. The NFL gets it all done essentially for free!


    8 Jun 17 at 12:44 pm

  37. In a totally unrelated note, the bullpen was terrific in LA, giving up no runs and only two hits over six innings. In a totally related noted, Kelley and Treinen got the whole series off.

    Joe Ross is getting yet another chance tonight. This might be the last one for a while if he’s as bad as he was in OAK. If he fails, do they go with Jacob Turner as the fifth starter, or bring up Fedde? The need for Fedde-as-reliever seems less critical now, and the Super Two date should have passed.


    8 Jun 17 at 12:50 pm

  38. Chuckle of the afternoon:

    This guy not only thinks the Nats will take mega-knucklehead Seth Romero, but will have him in the major-league bullpen by September! It actually seemed like a pretty credible mock draft overall until I read that.


    8 Jun 17 at 1:14 pm

  39. KW you’re going to make me publish my mock draft post aren’t you? I havn’t seen this guy Alixa before but his mock seems decent… until the Nats pick. I completely agree with your take; his comment about how the Nats take “troubled kids” like Romero is completely wrong. When have we ever seen the Nats take a kid with the known make up issues you see here? PLus, if Carlson is still on the board at 25 I think they take him. I also think they’d go with Alex Lange before Romero.

    Todd Boss

    8 Jun 17 at 2:11 pm

  40. I’ve seen several mocks say that the Nats might take Romero . . . because they’ve taken injured players before. Say what? Does he have a brain injury? Would the Nats consider Hiura, Schmidt, or Tristan Beck, who have injury issues? Heck yeah. But like you, my impression is that they’ve really avoided the knuckleheads.

    (Hardly stated anywhere but probably relevant: Romero is a Boras client.)

    Take a swing at a full mock if you want, but it’s probably a futile exercise. I’d suggest more a mock Nats draft broad, listing 10-15 guys who might still be available in the order you’d take them. Even that’s hard, as I’ve seen guys like Faedo, Hiura, Peterson, Canning, Carlson, Baz, and even Adell who might go in the top 10-15 listed as potentially falling into the 20s. Guys who are generally listed in the teens like White and Burger could also fall.

    Who would you take from among Hiura, Burger, White, Warmoth, and Rooker if they were all available? Then sprinkle in the college arms as well as Adell and Thompson and it gets hard real quickly.


    8 Jun 17 at 2:55 pm

  41. Of your list, i’d go in order Rooker, Hiura, Burger, White and Warmoth.

    I’ll publish my mock draft collection with my top 5 and thoughts tomorrow. But i’ve seen any of these names associated with nats at #25: Lange, Houck, Romero, Beck, Schmidt, McConnell, Adell, Hiura, Crouse, Crowe, Sauer, Little, Peterson and Carlson.

    Nearly all of those names are collegiate arms. I suppose if a totally toolsy prep guy like Crouse, Carlson gets to you 10 picks later than you thought he’d go (kinda like how the team ended up with Giolito), then you do it. But otherwise i think they’re taking the best college arm that falls to them.

    If you asked me to order all those possible names: i’d want them in this order i think: Houck, Lange, Peterson, Carlson, Hiura, Adell, Little (an overdraft i think), Romero (at least he’s healthy), Beck, Schmidt, Crowe. I can’t see them taking McConnell, Crouse, Sauer

    Todd Boss

    8 Jun 17 at 4:49 pm

  42. Wow, Rooker over Hiura. My “love” of Rooker is well known, but I’d probably take Hiura if he fell. His profile reminds me a lot of Rendon, an “advanced” college bat that could make the majors quickly. He hit .442 this year (with a bad arm) and last summer beat out Luken Baker as the DH for Team USA.

    But if I were a bettin’ man, I’d be right with you in thinking that the Nats are likely to go college arm in the first round. And since the strength of the top of this draft is supposed to be college arms, it’s right in their wheelhouse.

    One thing some of the mockers seem to be missing is that the Nats like tall college pitchers (and HS pitchers for that matter). Schmidt and Canning are 6-1. They just don’t strike me as the Nats’ “type.” That would be Peterson (6-6), Faedo (6-5), Houck (6-5), or Lange (6-4). Of that crew, I think Faedo is a cut above and that the Nats would pee their pants if he somehow fell all the way to them (which I seriously doubt would happen). Things being more or less equal, I’d prefer Peterson’s left-handedness.

    Another thing people seem to be forgetting: the Nats have the fourth least pool money in the draft. I don’t know how they could afford one of the more elite HS guys even if they wanted to. Nearly half of their pool their money is the projected slot money for their #25 pick. Now, they might get an under-slot there with an older guy (Rooker) or an injured guy (Schmidt, T. Beck) and try to roll it toward a high-schooler in the second or third round. But I doubt they could make a play in the expected Baz or Adell money league.

    Also, in looking at the first-round college arms, imagine playing in the SEC every Friday night, against Wright, Faedo, Lange, Houck, Schmidt/Crowe, etc. It’s an insane list.


    8 Jun 17 at 5:57 pm

  43. Peterson over the other college arms, but not over Faedo.


    8 Jun 17 at 5:58 pm

  44. Wow that wouldn’t be near the order for me. I’d go Hiura, Warmoth, White. Neither Rooker nor especially Burger in the first round for me. I’d be happy with Rooker if he fell to the 2nd round, which I think has a chance.

    As for pitchers, the Nats seem to go for guys that aren’t getting a lot of pre draft hype. Here’s my out of the box guess: Brendan little.


    8 Jun 17 at 6:12 pm

  45. KW – I’d modify that a tad – the Nats like tall righties. They are ok with short lefties: Gio, Suarez, Luzardo. Especially with big curves. Like Little (and sorry Todd, I didn’t catch that you mentioned him)


    8 Jun 17 at 6:15 pm

  46. Taking this thread in two different directions:
    1) I enjoy watching Trea Turner play as much as anyone I can think of in the last several years, and I can only imagine how much it helps hitters to bat with him on base. The dude is crazy good, a smart player and that speed is a major force. There SBs in two innings so far.
    2) ESPN came out with a list of guys who could be available via trade. Several Marlins on there, including Yelich. I think it’s plausible, given the ownership and how they’ve played so far. I’d trade Robles + for him. I think the guy is really good, even though he isn’t having the best start this year. Think about Harper, Eaton and Yelich in 2018. Probably best OF in baseball, plus guys like Turner, Murphy, Zim and Rendon. I mean, you could throw Voth and Cole twice a week and still win 90 games.


    8 Jun 17 at 8:12 pm

  47. I’d be in for Yelich, although he’s been struggling a bit this year. He’s signed for five more years at a very reasonable rate. I know some of the folks at Nats Talk have been on the bandwagon for Ozuna for a long time, but he’s quite streaky and seems like a bit of a loose cannon.

    Here’s the rub, though: the Fish would want pitching in return, if they would trade within the division at all. I think the conversation would start at Fedde-plus. Of course the Nats have no other starters of note in the upper three levels of the minors, with Cole and Voth crashing thus far this year. But then I doubt a lot of other teams have top-flight starter prospects they’d be willing to trade, either.

    But yeah, I’d be willing to include Fedde in a deal for Yelich, at least as long as Joe Ross keeps pitching like he did tonight!


    8 Jun 17 at 10:19 pm

  48. Fedde, Cole, and MAT for Yelich. The Nats might have to throw in one of the A-ball arms as well. I’d have to think about that one. It would thin the Nats’ starting pitching reserve even more. On the other hand, it would add another significant piece toward extending the “window.” And they could add an advanced college arm at pick #25.


    9 Jun 17 at 8:34 am

  49. Just posted the MOck draft collection to get a look at who people are predicting for top 5 and our Nats pick. I’ll be honest; i just assume the Nats are going college arm at #25 so I havn’t even bothered to investigate any of the prep arms or hitters that might be there. So apologies if I couldn’t tell you even where Hiura plays (i don’t know; he must not have made the CWS field).

    Yelich: i had him in fantasy and dumped him. Season long slump. Marlins would be selling low at this point but Fedde/Cole/MAT/prospect for Yelich seems heavy. That’s basically our best SP prospect, two 4-A guys and a lottery ticket for Yelich. HOw good do you think he is?

    Todd Boss

    9 Jun 17 at 10:07 am

  50. Yelich has 15.3 BWAR and 14.0 fWAR over what is basically four full seasons of plate appearances, an average of 3.5-3.8 WAR per year. He’s only 25 and he’s controlled for five more years.

    The overriding question with Yelich, of course, is whether he’s the budding star he looked like in 2016, or the above-average regular he’s been in the other years. In his defense, he’s playing on a crappy team this year in an oversized mausoleum of a stadium. I’d probably be in a funk, too, if I had to contemplate five more years in that situation. (And even slumping, he’s better than MAT!)

    It’s probably a moot point anyway as he would seem to be one of their building blocks of the future, plus who knows if they’d consider trading him within the division. But yeah, I’d be interested, at the right price.


    9 Jun 17 at 11:17 am

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