Nationals Arm Race

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

MLBTradeRumors FA prediction piece paints quite a rosy picture for the Nats…

27 comments

Could Keuchel look good in Nats colors too? photo via Houston Chronicle

Could Keuchel look good in Nats colors too? photo via Houston Chronicle

Baseball FA prediction pieces are, well, about worth the electrons they occupy in the interweb in terms of predictability.  But they’re off-season conversation starters, often good ones, and the first major publication of such a piece (from MLBtraderumors) seemed especially well thought out when it came to the Nats and their likely targets.  So I thought i’d pipe up.

Starting points: with the Trea Turner Super-2 fiasco and the Trevor Rosenthal signing, here’s a rough payroll figure for 2019:

  • $88M for 7 veteran players now under contract
  • $43M for the 7 arbitration eligible players we have (this assumes we re-sign everyone, including Sammy Solis and Michael Taylor and Tanner Roark even at $10M).
  • $8.75M for the remaining pre-arb players to fill out the 40-man (tangent: 26 players total $8.75M in salary outlay.  That’s less than what a 4th starter in Roark likely makes in arbitration.  While this has always been the case, I can’t help but think that this will become the defining issue of the next CBA negotiations).
  • $14.5M estimate for 2019 benefits
  • That totals $154.5M right now, leaving $51.5M or so for FA signings and moves.

So we have $51M to play with right now.  We primarily need a Starting Pitcher, a Catcher, and a 2b.  MLBtraderumors has us signing:

  • Dallas Keuchel for 4yrs/$82M for an AAV of $20.5M
  • Yasmani Grandal for 4yrs/$64M for an AAV of $16M
  • Brian Dozier, for 1yr/$10M.

So that’d be a total outlay of $46.5M on these three players, within the $51M budget but leaving precious little room for the “edge of the roster” kind of signings the team still needs (middle relief, loogy, corner infielder to platoon with Ryan Zimmerman, etc).

Its also notable that both Keuchel and Grandal would cost the Nats draft picks as Qualifying Offer extended players.  So if the team signed these two guys, they’d basically shred their 2019 draft.  Thanks to the idiocy of luxury tax management, if they signed one QO-assigned pick they’d lose their 2nd and 5th “highest picks” AND $1M from their international bonus pool.  If they signed a second QO assigned pick, they’d also give up their 3rd and 6th highest.  So, just so we’re on the same page, assuming the Nats lose Bryce Harper and sign both Keuchel and Grandal this is what their 2019 draft would look like:

  • 1st round: protected
  • 2nd round: forfeited
  • 3rd round: forfeited
  • 4th round: kept
  • post-4th round compensation pick for Harper: forfeited
  • 5th round: forfeited
  • 6th round and onwards; kept.

So we’d have just a 1st and 4th rounder, then 6th onward.  In other words … we’d be absolutely punting on the 2019 draft.

HOWEVER, here’s what your 25-man roster would look like with these 3 signings:

  • Rotation: Scherzer, Strasburg, Keuchel, Roark, Ross (with Fedde, Voth, JRodriguez as AAA backups prior to any Jeremy Hellickson-style reclamation signings)
  • Bullpen: Doolittle, Rosenthal, Barraclough, JMiller, Grace, Suero, Glober, Solis (pushing Adams, Gott, AWilliams and Cordero to AAA or to MLFA based on options issues).
  • Catching: Grandal, Kieboom with Severino/Read in competition (Severino has an options issue for 2019, complicating the situation).
  • Infield: Rendon, Turner, Dozier, Zimmerman (with Difo and Kendrick as backups)
  • Outfield: Soto, Eaton, Robles, with Taylor as a 4th outearning 2/3rds of the starting outfield.

I mean, that’s a heck of a rotation.  That’s 2 guys with Cy Youngs and a third in Strasburg who is clearly top 15 in the league.  Roark and Ross have both put up better-than-5th starter numbers.  I’d go to battle with that rotation.  The bullpen could use some bolstering, especially since Solis was so bad in 2018 and is out of options.  Kendrick backs up multiple spots when needed, Difo stays where he’s good ( a backup middle infielder).  We have a good starting C but will struggle during his off-days.

I’d be a-ok with this.

Now, lets say the team wanted to slightly vary its draft shredding.  They could replace Keuchel with Nathan Eovaldi or Charlie Morton both of whom have re-made their careers and wouldn’t have  QOs and would be cheaper.  Instead of Dozier they could go with someone like Jed Lawrie or DJ LeMahieu and get less production for less money and have a bit more for bullpen/backups.  There’s less on the Catcher market (would anyone trust Wilson Ramos and his two ACL injuries?), but there’s always the option to trade guys too.

thoughts?

 

27 Responses to 'MLBTradeRumors FA prediction piece paints quite a rosy picture for the Nats…'

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  1. I had forgotten that teams no longer have to surrender their 1st-round picks if they sign a QO’d player. Considering the Nats’ almost laughable record with 2d-rounders, they wouldn’t be giving up much!

    On the flip side, the Nats’ screwing up with the luxury tax leaves them only getting a 4th-rounder for Harper.

    I have seen a few folks refer to Keuchel as this year’s Arrieta, and I tend to agree — a formerly dominant starter who looks to be into his regression. The Phils paid Arrieta $30M last year for a 3.96 ERA and only about five and a half innings per start. It’s only gonna get worse, Philly fans.

    I’m not sure what the correct pitching play is. As I’ve said, I think Corbin is going to get the Lester contract based only one good season, . . . although I wouldn’t mind having him if the Nats really want to pony up that much. I think Eovaldi is going to get overpaid based on his postseason, plus he has two TJs, was mediocre during the regular season, and hasn’t logged a full season of starter innings since 2014. If you want a similar risk/reward at a much better price, look at Buchholz.

    Also, do they need a lefty in the rotation? Derek Holland and Miley are out there (as is Gio!), plus there’s my fantasy trade for MadBum. Ryu is better than Holland and Miley, but I think he’ll give a long look to taking the QO in LA.

    KW

    5 Nov 18 at 10:31 am

  2. 2B (or not 2B): I do NOT want Difo starting. If they truly think Kendrick will be recovered, then they’re probably covered. Lowrie seems headed back to OAK. Dozier fell off a cliff. Marwin Gonzalez has some appeal as a Swiss Army Knife, and one who hits much better than Difo, although his PH numbers are bad. If you’re going to spend $10M, I’d prefer Murphy over Dozier. I wouldn’t hate LeMahieu, although he really struggled this season plus is a Coors product. At least he’s very good defensively (two Gold Gloves). He and Dozier pretty much have only played 2B, though.

    KW

    5 Nov 18 at 10:36 am

  3. Here’s a discussion I don’t see folks having, anywhere, although I don’t look at everything in the Natosphere. I’ll say up front that it’s not necessarily what I’m advocating; it’s just curious that it’s not being discussed.

    For the last three-plus years, the Nats have made a lot of moves that seemed focused on having Fedde and Ross in the rotation in 2019 (possibly 2018, but that didn’t work out). The trade of Giolito, Lopez, and Dunning was a rousing endorsement of Fedde and Ross.

    Yet here we are staring at 2019, and NO ONE is talking about Fedde, who will be 26, being in the rotation, and many are floating scenarios to replace Ross. The Nats also have potential ready-now MLB starters in Rodriguez, Voth, and McGowin. One could make a decent case that any of those five could have a better 2019 than Eovaldi or Miley, and all but Ross would be making the minimum.

    What would I do? I’d probably plan for one of those guys to fill a rotation slot and declare a true open competition in West Palm (which rarely seems to happen). If Ross or Rodriguez isn’t the winner, I’d lean strongly toward keeping one or both on the big-league roster as a swing man. Also, I’d listen to reasonable trade offers on Fedde and Voth. If you don’t believe in either one of them by now, you’re probably never going to.

    If the Nats really believe they have two starters from among this group, that would open up some big-bucks FA possibilities in other areas. I don’t believe it, though. I think they’ve got to add at least one starter, possibly two, and maybe even three if they decide to trade or non-tender Roark. (I see Ghost is floating a “change of scenery” trade of Roark for Sonny Gray.)

    KW

    5 Nov 18 at 1:02 pm

  4. So, I’m ok with buying a replacement for Gonzalez. Doesn’t have to be lefty; don’t overpay for a lefty. Then you have Roark as 4th and Ross as 5th. I’m not advocating replacing Ross: i’m expecting him to return to 2016 form. He had a 125 ERA+ in 2016, posting excellent numbers for a back of the rotation starter and there’s no reason to expect post TJ he won’t return to that form. The rates of success on that surgery are pretty high by now, so it’d be a surprise if Ross did NOT return to form at this point versus not coming back.

    I’m not entirely convinced Voth, Rodriguez or McGowin are MLB ready. Fedde now has 14 MLB starts under his belt .l. and has exactly ONE quality start. Once, against Philly in 2018 when he gave up 8 hits and two walks in 6 innings but somehow only managed to give up 3 runs to qualify for the QS.

    I’m not sure I characterized the Lopez/Giolito/Dunning trade as a ringing endorsement of Rodriguez/Voth/Fedde. AT this point I characterize it as the team cashing in high on Giolito having clearly lost faith in him, cashing in also on Lopez’ big arm and trading from a position of depth (remember this trade was in dec 2016, so prior to Ross’ injury and with the Nats 2017 rotation projecting completely full). Maybe it was a huge mistake to assume perfect health of their 5 solid rotation names in the 2016-17 offseason, and sure enough it came to pass (though … the team still won 97 games even giving 28 starts to guys signed to minor league deals for the year, so how big of an issue could it have been really?)

    I think you go int 2018 with Scherzer, Stras, Big FA name, Roark and Ross. You have your current AAA rotation that includes Fedde, Voth and McGowin. And then you buy a Hellickson/Milone type to fill out AAA rotation, give them a 6/1 opt out, and that’s a good plan.

    Todd Boss

    5 Nov 18 at 2:17 pm

  5. There is a lot here, and I’m not sure how to respond, so I’ll just go with what I’d like to see them do.

    Trade for a young controllable starter. Someone like Jon Gray, Robbie Ray, even Stroman gets you a couple of years. Other than Robles, Kieboom and Denaburg, everyone else would be in play for that guy. Keep Roark and fill the 5th spot with Ross (I feel similarly as Todd), with the rest of the Fedde/JRod crew as depth/long man. I’d like to see some youth and controllability there to match Robles/Soto/Turner. If you can’t make that trade, then sign a guy without a QO. I’m close to giving up hope for Fedde as a starter, but think he could be ok in the bullpen despite his bad outing this year.

    Then add another quality high leverage reliever – ottavino would be ideal but if he’s too pricey, then I like Familia although I don’t like the personal baggage.

    Don’t resign Bryce. Do add a 2B on the cheap from that large group. For C, if grandal is unexpectedly cheap (like 3/$30m) I’d scoop him up, otherwise I’d look for a Lucroy/Suzuki type.

    I would not sign a pitcher with a QO, nor Grandal at 4/$64m nor Dozier at 1/$10m

    Wally

    5 Nov 18 at 3:06 pm

  6. Would you want CC at 1/$10m?

    Wally

    5 Nov 18 at 6:12 pm

  7. I’d take CC Sabathia at 1yr/$10M absolutely. Who do you think would be better in 2019 in the national League, Roark or Sabathia? CC has pitched in a band box in the brutal AL East for a decade, and has put up ERAs of 3.69 and 3.65 in the last two seasons giving 27 and 29 starts. He’ll get at least a half a point ERA bump coming to the NL and coming to a division with Miami and the Mets … so i’d bet he’d post a 3.20 ERA or so.

    Todd Boss

    5 Nov 18 at 9:18 pm

  8. OK, first post I may as well kick out the jams. Bartolo Colon as a $2 million innings eater. From the bullpen, not as a starter. Saving other arms.

    JimO

    5 Nov 18 at 9:56 pm

  9. KW

    6 Nov 18 at 5:47 am

  10. I’d be a-ok with Colon on the staff. If you sign both Colon and Sabathia though, can the Nats food budget support the additional demands of these two players? Colon listed as 5’11”, 285. Sabathia lists at 6’6″ 300lbs. Both of which are probably “light” on the scale :-)

    Todd Boss

    6 Nov 18 at 10:49 am

  11. Jim — welcome to the conversation. Your thinking is 100% correct: the Nats need some multi-inning guys, basically swingmen. I’m just not sure that a 70-year-old Deadbeat Dad is the right one, even if he is the last surviving Expo.

    The Nats had a real need for multi-inning guys last year to follow Gio, Hellickson, and Roark (during the first half when he was awful). Instead, Davey tended to burn up the ‘pen with four innings every night, one inning at a time, until guys like Solis, Madson, and Miller (second half) were toast.

    Who can do it? I think there are a couple of in-house candidates in Jefry Rodriguez and maybe Austen Williams, if he’s MLB-ready (Sept. left the jury still out). Of the available FAs, Tyson Ross would be high on my list. Frankly, Hellickson had much better numbers than Ross, though. If the Nats use him properly, I’d love to have him back. If the Nats sign two starters, Tyson’s little brother might get the swingman duty, although I generally agree with Todd with penciling him in the rotation.

    I’ll also admit a fascination with the original guy who (re-)started the multi-inning fad, Andrew Miller. He wouldn’t be a true swingman as he wouldn’t start, but if you’ve got him available for a couple of innings to get you to Rosenthal and Doo, that couple be a nasty combo . . . if healthy . . .

    KW

    6 Nov 18 at 11:06 am

  12. The FanGraphs 50 doesn’t include my starter crush, and that’s just fine with me. The less exposure he gets, the better. He had a 2.01 ERA, 1.04 WHIP over half a season (98.1 IP), although the 3.47 FIP suggests he got some help. Anyway, I’m talking about Clay Buchholz. Is he really that good? I dunno, but I’m thinking you could sign Buchholz AND Hellickson for the $10M Roark is going to cost all by himself.

    Buchholz did get shut down in mid-Sept. with “forearm tightness”; can’t find any subsequent reports. I assume AZ would like to have him back. But goodness, why are analysts still projecting multi-year deals for guys who were mediocre (Happ) to downright awful (Lynn) when there are guys like Buchholz and Hellickson who posted significantly better results?

    KW

    6 Nov 18 at 11:18 am

  13. Interesting to see the FG divide on Murphy: McDaniel says 2/$18, while the crowd says 2/$28. I’d find McDaniel’s deal awfully tempting but wouldn’t touch the crowd one.

    KW

    6 Nov 18 at 11:38 am

  14. Just noticed that Marwin Gonzalez is a Boras client. Hmm . . .

    Quick back-of-the-envelope stuff: taking Todd’s 51.5M to spend, I’m going to add the 14M the would get by offloading Roark, MAT, and Solis, so we’re at 65.5M. We were saying that they would probably keep 10M or so free under the tax line for midseason flexibility, but let’s make that 12M since Rosenthal has so many incentives. That leaves 53.5M to spend.

    Using McDaniel’s numbers, if they add Grandal, Murphy, and Marwin G., that’s $35M, so 18.5M left to spend. From that, they would need to get two of the second-tier starters we’ve been discussing, which I think they could do without much problem, plus maybe a little left over for one more bullpen piece.

    If they had Marwin, Murphy, Kendrick, and Difo, they would have a heck of a lot of positional flexibility in the Maddon mold. If they have Marwin, they could think of Murphy more at 1B than 2B. Some might say they’re redundant, but if healthy, I expect Murph to remain a heck of a LH bat for the next two or three seasons. If anything, if they got Marwin, they might think about moving Kendrick (saving $4M).

    All of this could be juggled, of course. Matt Adams would be a lot cheaper than Murph as the LH bat. After the Grandal or Ramos (12M) level, they could save a lot by going with Suzuki/Wieters/Lucroy at ~5M. The offense would lose a lot of potency, though.

    Or forget Marwin but sign Murph, Adams, and Grandal, which would leave them with ~26M left for pitching and still in play for one of the bigger-name starters. With Murph, Adams, and Wieters, they’d have ~34M left for pitching and could go after Corbin.

    I don’t know — how would you guys allocate funds for hitting vs. pitching?

    KW

    6 Nov 18 at 1:42 pm

  15. 65% pitching, 35% hitting.

    Under your plan, they’d need a decent 4th OF too.

    I don’t like Marwin at that price. I do like Murphy but that could be emotion coming through. If not Murphy, I’d see which of the long litany of retreads (Dozier, Harrison, Kinsler, etc) wants to jump eary at $5m + incentives. I bet they get someone and that’s fine until Kieboom is ready.

    Buckholz is a pure injury/cost equation. Figure you only get 80 IPs – would you give him $3m + incentives for more innings? I’d do that but thin he wouldn’t, and I wouldn’t go much higher.

    I don’t really want to DFA Roark, I think he’ll more than earn his salary next year. meaning I see upside there.

    Wally

    6 Nov 18 at 5:03 pm

  16. Some random thoughts. First of all, the Nats “should” have, based on the runs scored/conceded, been 90-72 and much more in contention than they were. Second, I agree with the perception that pitching let them down, when you think about Gio’s regression, Roark’s awful first half, Stras’s missed time, the relatively poor fill-in from Fedde, etc. However, even with all of that, and the partial bullpen meltdown, the Nats allowed only 10 more runs in 2018 than they did in 2017. But the offense scored 48 fewer runs, and it figures to be losing Harper and Murphy, two central cogs in the 2016-17 attack. One can talk about what they’ll gain from a full season of Soto, and how dynamic Robles and a healthy Eaton could be, but that’s a lot of power production to lose from the middle of any lineup.

    I don’t think it’s sentimental to argue that Murphy should still be pretty productive. Steamer estimates him at .286/.338/.463 with a wRC+ of 114 and 20 HRs. That’s a heck of a lot of bang for the buck for $9-10M.

    KW

    6 Nov 18 at 6:58 pm

  17. I’ll add that I could probably be convinced to spend bigger on starting pitchers if I really believed in any of them at the top of the market, but I don’t. Corbin was league-average in ’17 and awful in ’16. Keuchel has started his regression. Eovaldi is going to get overpaid because of the postseason. The Nats have done virtually nothing in Asia, so I don’t expect them to be in on Kikuchi, although he’s exactly what they need — a lefty #3-4 starter. That gets us to Morton, who I like, until I think about paying 16M for a guy who pitches five or six innings. Frankly, Roark at 10M may be a better bet than that.

    I don’t know. The pitching market confuses me, and I imagine I’m not the only one. You could probably get Buchholz, Hellikson, and T. Ross collectively for 10-12M, which is about the same cost you’d have to pay for Happ, Gio, or maybe even the awful Mr. Lynn.

    I dunno. If they keep Roark and sign Morton, that’s 50% of the budget right there. To get to Wally’s 65%, they’d spend another 7M on a bullpen arm, which probably wouldn’t get Miller, but maybe it could.

    KW

    6 Nov 18 at 7:20 pm

  18. CC back with NYY at 1/$8M. Probably wasn’t going to leave anyway.

    Lots of stuff breaking about the Nats having made a strong bid on Harper in Sept. and still interested. Let’s see, back of envelope, if the Nats got Harper, traded Eaton, Roark, Taylor, and Solis, they would probably have around $40M left. Can’t spend all of it because of incentives, so maybe $32M left they could spend.

    KW

    6 Nov 18 at 8:53 pm

  19. So look, don’t take this the wrong way, but I think you’re going about this the old way, which is to maximize the team’s 2019 chances. I liked your earlier point that they have to be ‘better’, but I think that should mean better for the next 3-4 years. They have a nice core, they should add one or two longer term pieces and then add some of these stopgaps and see what kind of run they can go on.

    So I like Ross as a starter for the next few years, I believe he’s shown enough recovery. Extend Rendon. but add another SP that’s going to be in their prime and around for 3 more years through a trade, and if possible, maybe a C or 2B that’s the same way.

    Then add a cost effective 5th starter (Hellickson would be fine by me), fill the other spots with short term vets and add some bench depth. That’s the kind of plan they should be implementing, not sign two or three stopgap pitchers.

    Harper is just a separate decision in my mind. DFA Roark then and trade Eaton to pay for him, I guess.

    Wally

    6 Nov 18 at 9:58 pm

  20. Wally, I don’t disagree with you — I just don’t know what the “best” way is to approach getting “better” while also continuing to make things sustainable. I’m not sure Rizzo & Co. do, either. With Bryce, did they really want him back, or did they just feel like they had to make him a credible offer they knew he wouldn’t take to look good to the fan base and to Boras? With Rendon, I imagine they’d do an extension in a heartbeat, but it takes two to tango.

    The concept of adding a starting pitcher through trade who is controlled for multiple years is great in concept, but they just don’t have enough to trade. They’re very limited if they’re not going to trade Robles/Soto/Kieboom, and Garcia by himself isn’t big enough fish (yet) to net much.

    I agree with Ross being in the rotation. Fedde SHOULD have been ready to be in the rotation as well, but he isn’t, which forces them to look elsewhere. The years of bad drafting are coming home to roost; in fact, without the Latin players, they’d be getting almost no internal influx.

    KW

    7 Nov 18 at 8:53 am

  21. Staring at the free agent stuff over lunch in order to avoid staring at the political stuff. Honestly, the pitcher who best fits the Nats’ needs/budget is Kikucki. He’s LH, reasonably young (27), and projected to cost $10-12M per. But since the Nats haven’t previously played in the Asian market at all, it’s difficult to project them starting now.

    Otherwise, it’s a weird pitching market. Corbin and Keuchel will probably get $20M-plus and have QO penalties attached. I think Ryu will take his QO so am not even really considering him. The next tier is Eovaldi and Morton at around $16M, with Happ in the same general neighborhood at $14. Third tier would be Gio and Lynn around $10-11M, if they can get it. There are so many questions about both that I could see the bottom fall out of their market. Kikuchi seems like a much better option at that price range. Cahill and Miley are coming in around $7M, and Anibal Sanchez is probably in there as well. Then you get to Hellickson, Buchholz, D. Holland, all of whom were actually pretty good in 2018 but who don’t seem to excite the masses for some reason.

    Who ya got?

    KW

    7 Nov 18 at 1:03 pm

  22. If you could get Eovaldi for 3/$48m, I’d be all over that. I suspect that’s way low and could see him even going 5/$90m when it’s all said and done.

    Everyone else just seems overpriced or not very good so I’d play at the Hellickson market.

    Wally

    7 Nov 18 at 3:15 pm

  23. What do you think it takes to get Paxton? Only controllable for 2 years, which is a little shorter than I’d like, but dominant when healthy.

    Zunino to Rays. Meh, not too excited by him. I like SEA’s side of that trade. I still don’t see a legit upgrade. Think it will be a Lucroy/Suzuki/Weiters type. I’d take the best defender. Really hope they don’t overpay for JTR.

    I think they are done with Harp.

    Wally

    8 Nov 18 at 10:31 am

  24. Eovaldi has only pitched a full season of starter innings once, and that was in 2014. He only threw 111 innings last year, so a team that is being careful with him isn’t going to use him for more than 140 in 2019. His ERA in Tampa in 2018 was 4.26, FIP 4.28. Any team that bets big on him as a full-time starter for three to five years is taking a massive risk.

    Of course Hellickson pitched even fewer innings than Eovaldi (91.1). But here’s the thing — I think a team could sign Hellickson, Buchholz (98.1 IP), AND Tyson Ross (149.2 IP) for a total of maybe $12M or so. Intentionally pair two of those on a given night, and the leftover one with J. Ross, and have them throw 3-4 innings each. If one of your other starters breaks down, you could stretch one of these guys out a little more.

    The “problem” with such an arrangement is that it eats into your seven bullpen slots, but if you’ve got a good chance of getting at least seven strong innings from these pairings, you shouldn’t be wearing out four ‘pen guys every night (at least theoretically).

    The game is moving more and more toward “bullpening” anyway, though. Why not just intentionally build part of your rotation to do it?

    KW

    8 Nov 18 at 11:21 am

  25. Paxton as a lefty would fit well with the Nats’ needs. Do the Nats have enough to move the needle on a trade? Would the M’s take a package of something like Fedde, Voth, and Crowe in return? That would be a lot of years of control for the Nats to give up in return for just two of Paxton, but if you get one legit starter in return for three AAAA guys, it might be worth it. (Voth is from U of Wash.)

    As for catcher, I keep trying to get myself excited about Grandal (power + framing), but goodness, the cost would be high, in addition to the QO penalty. If he takes the QO, the asking price for Ramos may bump up a mil or two. I would love to have the Buffalo offensively, but a three-year contract for his ailing legs would be a big risk. So I also keep coming back to Suzuki/Wieters/Lucroy in the $5M range (or less). Kieboom is fine as a backup, and Read will be fine in Fresno. Sevy is out of options and will be traded or DFA’d.

    KW

    8 Nov 18 at 12:23 pm

  26. Harper, Harper, Harper . . . Here’s the question that few seem to be asking: what if there’s no other offer better than 10/$300M? That’s a totally legit offer, although we know Boras would want at least a couple of opt-outs. If he wants a number higher than Stanton’s, add one more year, perhaps with a team buyout option.

    Here’s another question: did Boras want the number out there so teams know what the baseline is, and/or did Rizzo want it out there scare off other teams. SF and STL have already publicly said they’re probably not playing at that level. Hmm. The Yanks aren’t playing, the Dodgers have other needs, the Cubs already have the Heyward contract albatross, . . . So Bryce, do you REALLY want a couple of measly million more a year so you can be booed in Philly for more than a decade?

    Rizzo says the offer is no longer on the table. I would bet that it is, but it won’t be for much longer. Better read that market correctly, Scott.

    KW

    8 Nov 18 at 12:55 pm

  27. I agree that the Harper situation is pretty interesting to watch unfold. It would make me nervous if it was me, Boras has been pretty good in these situations and deserves the benefit of the doubt. Plus, I think they feel that somehow the Nats are the fallback for them, even if it no longer is 10/$300m.

    I dunno about your pitching tandems. What happens when one of the guys blows up ansonly gives you 1.2 IPs? Could crush your own for weeks?

    I get the risk in eovaldi everyone has some kind of risk, especially pitchers. That’s one I’d take with a three year price tag.

    Wally

    8 Nov 18 at 1:12 pm

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