Nationals Arm Race

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

2022 Nats Draft Class Review


Bennett is our 2nd rounder, photo courtesy of Sooner Sports

Here’s my review of the 2022 Draft Class, with call backs to the various draft boards out there and some thoughts along the way about signability, likely bonus machinations, etc.

By the way, the Draft Tracker is now updated. There are four tabs of interest for the 2022 draft:

  • Main Draft Tracker tab: shows Nats draft picks dating to 2005
  • 2022 Draft Class Worksheet, where we have schools, commits, twitter feeds, and will track signing/bonuses
  • 2022 Local Draft Class worksheet; tracking all DC/MD/VA players. This year I count 9 players with DC-area ties drafted, the highest being Nick Morabito out of McLean/Gonzaga HS, who went in the 2nd round supplemental round and probably goes pro instead of going to Va Tech. By the way, I might be missing players here who were from DC/MD/VA but who went to out of area colleges; if i’m missing someone comment here and I’ll add them.
  • Nats Drafting position by year, along with our 1st rounder each year. Maybe we’ll be 1-1 again next year (its certainly trending that way right now).

For reference below, the major Draft boards in use here are:

I pay for some things, not for others, so this isn’t a comprehensive list of boards out there. There are other draft boards out there (CBSSports/R.J Anderson, Baseball Prospectus behind a paywall, PerfectGame behind a paywall, Prospects365 & 20/80 baseball seem to be out of business), but if they don’t go beyond the top 50 or if I don’t subscribe they’re not here.

So, 1-20, here’s some thoughts on the picks one by one.

1. Elijah Green, picked 5th overall. HS OF (Center) from IMG Academy in Florida.

Ranks: #3 by MLB, #4 Law, #5 BA, #11 Fangraphs, #5 ESPN, #2 Prospects1500.

Thoughts: we already dove into our #1 and #2 picks in a previous post, and we’ve litigated it a bit in the comments. Green’s stature speaks for itself: 6’3″ 225 as an 18yr old, has 70-grade speed (which you can’t teach), which means he’s a CF despite being built like his NFL linebacker father. A power hitting CF with speed and a plus arm projects to some special names in the game’s history (Mays, Griffey, Trout). The knocks on him are a lot of swing-and miss, a lesser hit tool. The low pundit on him (#11 by Longenhagen) criticizes the hit tool and his junior year stats, but notes that it has trended up. Law basically says that Green has a higher ceiling than even Druw Jones, but his floor is lower thanks to current swing-and-miss, hence being ranked #4 instead of #1 in the class. But that’s heady praise.

To me, this pick is acknowledgement by this team that they need to take some big swings at an up-side/all-ceiling player to replace the star power we’ve let go (and will soon let go) out of this franchise. If Green turns into the next coming of Ken Griffey Jr, people are going to forget about the $440M contract that Juan Soto refused so sign awfully fast. That’s the gamble, and I’m ok with it.

By the way, I don’t perceive Green to be a massive over-slot deal. $6.4M is the slot, and Green’s leverage with the Nats at #5 fell precipitously once he passed by Texas at #3. There’s no way he’s holding out for $8M when literally no mocks had him above Jones and/or Holliday. I could be wrong, but (and this is burying the lead somewhat) I don’t see a ton of tanked picks throughout the rest of the top 10. I do see some savings though, so maybe this is a slightly over-slot deal in the end. I’ll go with maybe a $6.6M bonus as a guess.

2. Jake Bennett, picked 45th overall, LHP Starter from U of Oklahoma

Ranks: #68 by MLB, >100 by Law, #41 BA, #55 Fangraphs, #76 ESPN, #38 D1Baseball, #77 Prospects1500

Bennett seems to be a bit of an over-reach, based on the general consensus of the ranking boards. Which makes me wonder if its a slightly under-slot deal. In stark contrast to everything I said about Green being a ceiling pick … Bennett is a “floor” pick. Meaning, scouts already see him as a durable, polished, sturdy LHP starting pitcher work horse who projects as a #4-#5 starter. His best pitch is a change-up, he can hit the upper 90s when he needs to, and he’s effective against both sides of the plate. His mechanics remind me of Cole Hamels, which would be a great comp and career.

Bennett made himself a ton of money by pitching pretty well in the post-season for Oklahoma, in front of a ton of scouts, eyeballs, and TV cameras. He got the win in the regional against Liberty, then gave up just 1 ER in the super Regional against #4 Virginia Tech. Then in Omaha he got the win against TAMU before taking the Loss against eventual champs Ole Miss (still giving a 10K/0BB performance and keeping the team in the game before OK’s bullpen blew up).

He’s a huge guy; 6’6″, a college teammate of our own Cade Cavalli, and was a prior draft pick of the Nats in 2019. They liked him then, and they like him know. I’d bet he signs for slightly under the $1.77 slot and is effective quickly. We can hope for Hamels, but maybe he’s something like a Tom Gorzelany, but hope we get more out of him than we’re getting right now from Tim Cate.

3. Trey Lipscomb, picked 84th overall, a 3B from Tennessee by way of Urbana HS in Clarksburg.

Ranks: MLB #136, Law >100, #142 BA, #85 Fangraphs, #166 ESPN, #46 D1baseball, #123 Prospects1500.

He’s a 4th-year Junior, so scouts are calling it a “senior sign.” But this is a guy who blew up for the best team in the land all year. He led the SEC in XBH and RBI, hit 22 homers (albeit most at the bandbox they call a stadium in Knoxville). Fangraphs called him the best senior in the draft. Well, the Nats got him.

He is 6’1″ with a strong arm and could probably play 2B in a pinch based on his size. No real nits with his hit tool; clearly shows lots of power. I like the local connection. The slot value is $758k, and I could see him going for a couple hundred thousand less.

So, two straight likely under-slot deals; why? Well, as it turns out we’re about to pick not only one more, but two more prep HS kids that need to be bought out of college.

4. Brenner Cox, picked 111th overall, a prep Outfielder from Texas.

Ranks: Only ranked by BA: #351 and Prospects1500 #287.

The scouting report on him says he’s got a two-sport commitment to play both football and baseball for Texas. Perfect Game ranks him 10th in the state of Texas; that’s saying something. There’s little else to go on other than to say that he’s a plus runner, a true CF who will stay there.

Usually this kind of player would scream “going to school,” but according to the Dallas Morning News, Cox was in DC earlier for a workout and has agreed to rough terms, and plans on forgoing his college. So, that’s interesting. I’ll bet he gets more than the $549k slot value and joins the franchise.

5. Jared McKenzie, picked #141, a Junior OF (CF) for Baylor

Ranks: MLB #142, BA #139, Fangraphs #150 or so, ESPN #168, Prospects1500 #150

So, based on the ranks, the Nats basically got a player valued almost exactly where they drafted him, which makes me think this is a 100% slot draftee. Call the player, ask if he’ll sign for exactly $410,200 and if he says yes, make the call.

McKenzie’s picking is a gamble that he returns to his form of his first two college seasons, where he hit .389 combined, as opposed to the egg he laid in the Cape last summer or the BA he posted this year that was 100 points less. He’s played nothing but CF for Baylor, but probably projects as a LF in pro ball. Let’s hope he’s more than Nick Banks once he gets settled in.

6. Nate Ochoa, picked #171 overall, a Prep SS from a Canadian HS with an Alabama commit.

Ranks: not ranked by anyone.

Well, the only place I could find info on Ochoa was on and on his twitter account. Canadian junior national team, he’s listed as a 6’4″ short stop who clearly has to move to 3B in the pros. Quick bat, clearly has some power. He has a verbal commitment to Alabama and has had it for months; is it solid? How much to buy him out of it? Slot value of $308K; I wonder if $500k does it. Suffice it to say, under the modern draft rules … you don’t pick players unless they’re signing.

7. Riley Cornelio, picked #201 overall, a Junior RHP Starter from TCU

Ranks: MLB #244, BA #295, #85 D1Baseball, #177 Prospects1500

Cornelio was in TCU’s rotation all year, and got the start in their regional. He was hit or miss on the mound, but projects with two plus pitches (slider and a 99mph 4-seamer fastball) to go with a sinking low 90s fastball and a 12-to-6 curve. He’s got everything he needs to succeed in the pro game. He’s listed as a redshirt sophomore but has already turned 22 and likely signs, probably for less than slot at this point.

What can he be? His stats this year weren’t great, but his tools are solid. Maybe someone can coach him up and turn him into a serviceable starter.

8. Chance Huff, picked #231, a RHP Junior starter (but likely pro reliever) from Georgia Tech.

Ranks: #268 BA, #253 Prospects1500

Huff’s college numbers are … not great. He had 16 appearances (15 starts) this year for Ga Tech and had nearly a 7.00 ERA. Despite that, BA has him projected right where he got picked; 8th/9th round. Why? Because he probably can succeed as a reliever, which he was for his first two seasons.

He’s already 22, so i’m betting he signs for something under the $191k slot, maybe something closer to the $125k 10th round+ figure.

9. Maxwell Romero Jr, A college junior C from U of Miami.

Ranks: BA #406, #376 Prospects1500.

Well, he’s definitely a catcher: 6’1″ 218. He hit for a ton of power this year (12 homers) and is a solid defensive catcher. That’s definitely worth a flier, especially for a 9th pick. I think he signs for slot and probably has a decent minor league career.

10. Murphy Stehly, a utility 5th-year senior from Texas.

Stehly was a 2nd team All American this year! So how his he hanging around in the 10th? Because he’s a 5th year senior, he’s turning 24 later this year, and he’s badly undersized (5’10”) and overweight (210lbs). Nonetheless, the dude raked this year: .367/.424/.662 with 19 home runs hitting ahead of the Hispanic Titanic in Texas’ lineup. He’s listed as a corner OF .. but he also managed to play all four INFIELD positions for Texas this year. Based on his size … i wouldn’t put him at 1B or SS, but i’ll bet he could pass as a 2B in a pinch.

This is a heck of a 10th rounder/senior sign for me. He’ll take a haircut off the $154k slot, but maybe not that much based on his production this year. Honestly, I can’t wait to see what he does in the minors. I would not be surprised if he rakes.

So, before we get to the 11-20 picks, each of whom can go for $125k before jeopardizing any bonus pools, lets squint at the top 10 picks and guess what the team is doing with the bonuses:

  1. Green: Over slot ($200k)
  2. Bennett: Under slot (-$100k)
  3. Lipscomb: Under slot (-$200k)
  4. Cox: Over slot? (+$100k)
  5. McKenzie: Slot
  6. Ochoa: Over slot (+$200k)
  7. Cornelio: Under slot (-$50k)
  8. Huff: Under slot (-$75k)
  9. Romero: Slot
  10. Stehly: Under slot (-$75k)

Based on this accounting … the three prep players we drafted all get over slot deals, and we save the money on mostly the 2nd and 3rd round picks to do it.

11. Luke Young, Juco RHP Starter from Midland College

Ranks: #389 BA

So, Young is only 20 and has committed to go to Oklahoma State next year out of Midland, which is a Juco in Texas. He’s 6’3″ and only weighs 167; that’s ridiculous. I can’t imagine him signing for $125k given that he’s got a likely weekend starter spot at a Big12 school lined up for next year, and with a repeat of his performance this year he’ll be a major draft prospect.

But, if they get him … sits 94-96, with upper 70s breaking pitch and had great K/BB numbers. I’d take that for $125k.

However, I will say that the 5% overage capability on bonus pools really comes into play here. On an $11M total bonus pool, 5% is more than $500k. Which means … we could throw an extra $500k at someone, somewhere, and get them. Maybe Young takes $125k plus $500k and now suddenly that’s 5th round money. So, the negotiations should be interesting to see as they flow in. The #11 pick in particular is the place where teams try to get someone that slipped out of the top 10 rounds as teams took senior signs/money savers, and throw more cash at them. Nats have done it more than once (J.T. Arruda got more in 2019 as an 11th rounder, Armond Upshaw in 2016 got 400k, Andrew Lee got $180k in 2015, Weston Davis got $200k in 2014, etc), and may do it again here.

12. Nick Peoples, a Prep Corner OF from a CA HS.

Ranks: not ranked.

Not much out there on him: he’s from Los Angeles, has a commitment to New Mexico State. Perfect game ranks him 16th in the state of California this year, no mean feat. 6’5″ 205 switch hitter with a ton of projection, but completely unranked by any service and only committed to a lower-profile baseball school and conference. I think he signs.

13. Marquis Grissom Jr., a draft-eligible Sophomore RHP starter from Georgia Tech

Ranks: BA #261.

In a draft full of sons of former major leaguers, Grissom doesn’t quite project as highly as some of the other famous names (Holliday, Jones, etc). He worked in Ga Tech’s rotation this year and was wild. Really wild: in 61IP, he managed 16 HBP, 7 WPs, and 42 walks. Um. BA’s scouting report says he’s got some velocity, and great separation between his FB and his curve, but that everything gets hit. He’s age 21 now and could go back to school; if he can show any improvement in his control he’s a higher pick next year … where he’ll still have a year of eligibility and a bit of leverage. Interesting decision he faces; I’ll bet he signs for the $125k.

Some have thought that this is perhaps a “legacy pick,” since Grissom’s father was a former Expo. I don’t. I don’t think the current ownership group could care less about what happened with this franchise prior to 2005, and the fan base in Washington DC is now a generation removed from an era where Grissom was an important player for the Expos. I feel like Nats fans are “aware” of stars from Montreal (Andre Dawson, Gary Carter, Pedro Martinez, maybe even Tim Raines if they’re saavy). But we’re also more likely to remember who these guys left Montreal for, since the franchise could never keep its stars (in order for me: Dawson->Chicago, Carter with the Mets, Martinez in Boston, Raines in New York playing out the string).

14. Courtland Lawson, a 4th year junior SS from Tennessee by way of the DC area

Ranks: BA #322

Lawson was a Paul VI player for several years (hello to Billy Emerson! ), then transferred to Dominion HS for his senior year before heading to Tennessee. He barely played until this year, when suddenly he’s the starting SS for the best team in the land. He’s already 22, so despite being a “junior” he’s probably done with school and should sign. But he doesn’t project to much in the pros: he hit just .210 in SEC play this year and most of his tools are fringe-average. Its a dream come true to sign for his home team, and I can see him hanging around for a couple seasons in the FCL or perhaps Low-A as a SS/3B backup.

15. Kyle Luckham, a senior RHP starter from Arizona State

Ranks: BA #316

I’ll take a senior starter who was in the rotation for a Pac12 team and held his own. He doesn’t project as much, but he takes the ball, gets deep into games, and seems like a gamer. Not a bad 15th rounder.

16. Everett Cooper, a prep SS/2B from the Pro5 Baseball Academy in NC by way of Owings Mills, MD

Ranks: none.

Could be a “show me” pick, where the team shows some interest in a prep player. I can’t imagine Cooper signing based on the fact that he relocated to the baseball factory down in North Carolina, or based on the tools he showed in the perfect game videos. He’s committed to go to ODU, and I think he’d benefit from heading to school. If he signs, I can’t see him succeeding in pro ball.

17. Blake Klassen, a Junior 1B/DH guy from UC Santa Barbara

Ranks: BA #423.

Klassen raked this year (.352/.413/.648 with 10 home runs), but has no position other than 1B/DH, and will have to hit his way forward. He’s nearly 22 already, likely signs at this point b/c he probably can’t improve upon what he’s already done, and he’ll be nearly 23 in next year’s draft. Even though he’s a junior this reads almost like a senior sign.

18. Brad Lord, a senior RHP reliever from U of South Florida

Ranks: none

Lord is a redshirt junior (aka a “senior”) and was USF’s Friday starter this year. He doesn’t have great numbers, is basically unranked, and seemed to have trouble going deep into games this year (most of his starts are 4ip-5ip style). He seems like the type that they’re drafting because he has some reliever potential.

19. Johnathan Thomas, a senior OF from Texas Southern

Ranks: none

Thomas’ claim to fame is that he’s the leading base stealer in NCAA in 2022. He’s quite undersized (5’7″) and seems like a classical senior sign at this spot. Here’s an article about him in the local paper. Somewhere in his twitter or elsewhere there’s mention of a commitment to Purdue, perhaps for grad school/5th year, but he got drafted and presumably got offered some money, so odds are he’ll give it a shot. Can he turn into a Nyger Morgan kind of guy? Someone who grinds their way to the majors on speed and defense? We’ll see.

20. JeanPierre Ortiz, a prep SS from IMG Academy in Florida by way of Puerto Rico

Ranks: MLB #212, BA #373

Our #1 pick’s teammate at IMG likely gets drafted as a scout working Green noticed him and liked him. He’s listed as a plus defender, with some questionable bat skills, and has a college commitment to Florida International (not exactly a baseball powerhouse in Florida). He also was on the mound for IMG, enough so that scouting reports list that as a viable plan B. In the end though, he didn’t come state-side and go to IMG to sign for $125k, so odds are he goes to school.

So, I don’t really see any picks in 11-20 who could go significantly over slot other than Young; they’re either likely to take $125k or aren’t signing. I sense the team signs the top 10 picks, #11 Young either gets a ton of cash over slot or goes to OSU and doesn’t sign, we get Peoples out of his college commitment, but don’t sign the other two prep guys in the 11-20 range Cooper or Ortiz. Which would make for 17 (18 if they get Young) of the 20 players signing. Anything above this would be a surprise to me, given that my read on the bonus pools is that they’re all accounted for.


Some will say this is a one-player draft. I’m not sure I’d characterize it completely like that. Bennett seems like someone who’s gonna make it. There’s guys in the top 10 who I like (Lipscomb, Cornelio, Stehly) who could be sneaky good. I like Young at #11. So, we’ll see what happens.

Written by Todd Boss

July 20th, 2022 at 9:37 am

Posted in Draft

47 Responses to '2022 Nats Draft Class Review'

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  1. Thank you, I appreciate the compilation!

    Curious as to how promotions and assignments are doled out, not to mention the trade deadline actions.


    20 Jul 22 at 10:47 am

  2. Great analysis, certainly the best I’ve seen on all 20 rounds of our draft this year. Thanks, Todd.

    The “one-player draft” epithet is always reductive, but that said, I think it’s about as true as it ever is for the Nats this year. Aside from the R11 and R20 fliers, I think Green is the only player we actually drafted lower than he was ranked by I like Bennett as a high-floor type, but I don’t think he cracks even a pretty soft top-ten for us right away. Lipscomb is fine with some upside as an underslot senior sign type; I’d have liked him better as a fourth- or fifth-rounder than as a third-rounder. I didn’t really pay much attention to Young, but maybe he’s a Jackson Tetreault type if the Nats can find enough money in their bonus pool to sign him. But really, Green is the only potential “impact player” here unless someone really surprises (which could always happen), and as we have discussed ad nauseum at this point, I think Green is really risky and I’m just not convinced he is going to hit enough.

    My (preliminary and substantively meaningless) grade of the Nats’ draft: D+

    My (preliminary and substantively meaningless) re-ranking of Nats prospects, assuming Todd’s 18/20 draftees sign:

    1. RHP Cade Cavalli
    2. OF Elijah Green
    3. RHP Cole Henry
    4. SS Brady House
    5. OF Jeremy De La Rosa
    6. OF Cristhian Vaquero
    7. SS Armando Cruz
    8. RHP Jackson Rutledge
    9. RHP Jake Irvin
    10. OF T.J. White
    11. RHP Andry Lara
    12. LHP Jake Bennett
    13. SS Sammy Infante
    14. 2B/SS Viandel Peña
    15. RHP Zach Brzykcy
    16. RHP Mason Denaburg
    17. LHP Evan Lee
    18. LHP Mitchell Parker
    19. RHP Aldo Ramírez
    20. RHP Jackson Tetreault
    21. OF Daylen Lile
    22. LHP Matt Cronin
    23. SS Lucius Fox
    24. C Drew Millas
    25. RHP Cory Abbott
    26. 3B Jake Alu
    27. RHP Seth Shuman
    28. OF Josh Palacios
    29. 3B Trey Lipscomb
    30. RHP Rodney Theophile


    20 Jul 22 at 10:54 am

  3. Great stuff, Todd.

    Can’t wait to see how many are signed. This where I get to put on my general managers hat and see who gets how much.

    Mark L

    20 Jul 22 at 11:17 am

  4. It should definitely be interesting to see how these guys fit into our top 30. Can’t disagree with sao’s list. I’d bet Green slots in below House but above our DSL-based guys.

    Todd Boss

    20 Jul 22 at 11:27 am

  5. In 31 games with the Trenton Thunder in the MLB draft league this summer, Ochoa Leyva was extremely underwhelming: .224/.354/.269, with no homers or triples and three doubles, 11 walks, 19 Ks. He’ll be 20 before next season and seems quite raw. But I’m sure he fills out a uniform well . . .


    20 Jul 22 at 11:37 am

  6. I don’t hate the Bennett pick, but it was pretty head-scratching to take him over Tidwell or Priellip. We thought at the time of the pick that they were trying to save money for Green, but apparently they were for Cox as well. I think they already had a deal in place for him.

    BTW, Bennett was also a high school teammate of Cavalli in addition to college.


    20 Jul 22 at 11:44 am

  7. I love the Lipscomb pick, whether he pans out or not. Of course I loved the Hague, Wiseman, Banks, and Mendoza picks. One of these days, one of these guys is going to hit like they did in college. I was lobbying for Melendez or DiChiara, but Lipscomb has more mobility/defensive versatility than those guys, maybe even than the much-maligned defense of Jacob Berry.

    I love the Stehly pick as well, particularly by that round. If he hits, he’s a steal, maybe even a Max Muncy who won’t embarrass himself at 2B. If he doesn’t hit, it was only a 10th-round pick.

    All in all, I like guys like these who have actually been successful, vs. someone like McKenzie who has to be “fixed,” or a big kid like Ochoa Leyva who hasn’t actually done anything.

    There was video of the Kris Kline/Mark Baca Zoom with reporters after the second day. They spent a lot of time talking about what would need to be “fixed” with some of the players, particularly McKenzie and the pitchers, and the “tools” of the high schoolers. I don’t want guys who need to be fixed. I want ones who have already been successful. There’s too much fixation on velocity and not enough on getting guys out. That’s why Hjerpe fell to the Cards at #22. He’s going to be getting guys out in the majors for several years before any of those high school arms get there, if they ever do.


    20 Jul 22 at 11:58 am

  8. Kline and Baca thought Cox would have been a lot more highly ranked if he had spent more time on the showcase circuit. And when he did showcase, it often was as a pitcher. I’m not a big fan of high schoolers, but I like this pick in this round, if they don’t overpay to get him. Reminds me of what they did with T. J. White in the 5th round last year, another player without a lot of showcase exposure.

    I do scratch my head at the emphasis on drafting outfielders, though — three of the first five picks, including two high schoolers — with so much young OF talent already in the ranks: de la Rosa, White, Lile, Quintana, and Vaquero, the $5 million man, with some expectation that they’ll sign Soto’s little bro this winter (which may go out the window if big bro is shipped out).


    20 Jul 22 at 12:06 pm

  9. Kline and Baca said that McKenzie started trying to pull everything this year and go for big power in his draft year. (Sounds like what happened to Nick Banks in his junior season.) McKenzie’s Ks almost doubled, and his BA dropped almost 100 points, as Todd said. His sophomore slash of .383/.453/.626 was exceptional. Considering that he barely attempted to steal, I assume he’s more of a corner OF, so he’ll have to show big power to be MLB-viable.

    I put the Billy Burns comp on Thomas. He’ll at least be fun to watch. (Don’t throw that glove, Nyger!!! Ah, the Bad Ol’ Days . . .)


    20 Jul 22 at 12:17 pm

  10. As for whether the high schoolers sign, I’ll make the same point that I did at Nats Prospects: they’re not choosing between going pro and a full-ride college scholarship. With only 11.7 scholarships per NCAA team, there are very, very full “full rides,” all the more for guys who didn’t have a grade in the first three rounds of the draft. Of course presumably families who could pay for their kids to attend baseball academies also have the money for college. But at some point that bill gets steep.


    20 Jul 22 at 12:24 pm

  11. Prep players signing: 11.7 scholarships; 100% good point. If someone is looking at a 1/4 scholarship to New Mexico State versus a check for $125k … that can be a difference maker. We’ve absolutely had prep kids sign after the 10th round. Michael Cuevas: 23rd rounder, took 125k … now he’s cruising in 2022 in the highA rotation

    Todd Boss

    20 Jul 22 at 1:41 pm

  12. Some of these suggested packages for a Soto trade in Bowden’s latest are frankly pretty underwhelming:

    I think Bowden is assuming the Nats also offload Corbin and ask the other team to take on most or all of his salary, which would naturally limit our return. Unclear whether subtracting Corbin from the deal would mean significantly shinier packages on the table, although that seems logical given what an anchor the Corbin contract is.


    20 Jul 22 at 2:14 pm

  13. Sao, thank you for sharing your interesting a very creditable Nats prospect rankings. Honestly, I have no idea how one is supposed to compare some of these guys. It’s not even apples to oranges, it’s apples to ribeyes. I mean, Cavalli is on the cusp of the majors, Green hasn’t even played pro game, House only had a month where he wasn’t injured, and Vaquero is the age of a high schooler and playing in what could charitably be called a semi-pro league. Cruz and de la Rosa look significantly better in 2022 than they did in 2022 than they did in 2021. Rutledge is still struggling, while Denaburg has emerged from witness protection.

    I guess it’s fair to say that Cavalli, House, and Green are the Nats’ top three, although we were told when Vaquero signed for a king’s ransom that he was of the same caliber. Obviously Cavalli is way ahead of all of them as far as advancement is concerned. I don’t see him as an “ace,” though. I mean, at two years younger, Stras was dominating at AAA and making his electric MLB debut. (Happy 34th birthday, Stras.) Cavalli isn’t that guy. So I would put the POTENTIAL ceilings of House and Green above Cavalli’s. And I believe in the likelihood of House reaching his ceiling more than I do Green, but Green’s tools argue that he’d be higher if everything actually clicks. So I’m confused.

    To add more confusion, the Nats figure to add at least three prospects of this exalted caliber if they trade the Big Kahuna (which I think will happen). So we may be making another list in less than two weeks.

    I’m still not at all sure what to think of de la Rosa, who came to life this year while repeating A level. I’m still not convinced that he’s a top-tier prospect, more of a bench-caliber MLB projection right now in my mind. I would have Vaquero and Cruz ahead of him, even though they’re greater unknowns.

    I’m probably in the minority, but I still think that Denaburg has one of the top-10 POTENTIAL projections in the system. Of course some of that has to do with not believing much in the projections of some of the others. I have no idea what I’d say if you asked whether I believed more in the potential of Denaburg or Lara. If we’re being honest, both are probably ahead of Rutledge at this point. He’s a real mess right now.


    20 Jul 22 at 2:39 pm

  14. I hope the Nats don’t try to include a Corbin dump in a Soto trade and instead completely max out the return. That said, there aren’t many franchises that have the depth of high-level prospect capital that would be true compensation for Soto. So it’s a conundrum.

    I also don’t see how dumping Corbin changes much for the Nats’ fortunes. They’ll only have him and Stras making big bucks after this season (well, and Max!). Dumping Corbin wouldn’t change how much they could or couldn’t participate in free agency, even at the highest level. In short, to me, dumping Corbin would only look like the ownership is being cheap, even though the current owners probably won’t even still be around to pay it.

    Keep Corbin and demand the highest market price for Soto. Odds are that several teams would still be willing to bid.


    20 Jul 22 at 2:49 pm

  15. Bowden’s suggested packages (again, I think this would be for Soto+Corbin, which would dilute our return if that’s what the Nats insist on doing):

    Yankees: SP Michael King or INF Gleyber Torres, SS Anthony Volpe or SS Oswald Peraza, OF Jasson Domínguez or C Austin Wells, SP Ken Waldichuk

    My take: This isn’t amazing, but it isn’t terrible, especially if we can get one or two lesser pieces to round it out (I like Luis Medina, and the Nats may covet Roderick Arias). My issue with King/Torres as the obligatory “young MLB-ready talent” in this deal is that both of their clocks have been running since before the pandemic, making them effectively just placeholders rather than additions to the team’s core. And looking at the Yankees’ roster, I don’t see any better options if that’s what the Nats want.

    Rays: OF Josh Lowe, INF/OF Vidal Bruján, SP Taj Bradley, two of SP Sandy Gaston, SP Cole Wilcox, SP Nick Bitsko, SP Ian Seymour

    My take: I can see this getting the Nats’ attention, although Lowe and Bruján haven’t exactly taken MLB by storm since debuting last year. Bradley looks like a future stud, and while Wilcox is hurt, 1) that doesn’t typically scare the Nats off and 2) we know they like him, given they drafted him once. But this does have the feel of a quantity-over-quality package.

    Blue Jays: OF Teoscar Hernández or OF Lourdes Gurriel Jr., SP Nate Pearson, SP Ricky Tiedemann, two of INF Orelvis Martínez, INF Otto López, INF Jordan Groshans

    My take: Hernández is 29 and a free agent after next season; why would the Nats want him? Gurriel is 28 and a free agent the same year as Soto. Pearson is damaged goods and turns 26 in a month. I like Tiedemann, but I’d expect him to be the return for someone like Robles or Finnegan, not Juan freaking Soto. I think this deal would be panned, and rightfully so.

    White Sox: OF Eloy Jiménez or 1B Andrew Vaughn, SS Colson Montgomery or SS José Rodríguez, OF Yoelqui Céspedes or OF Óscar Colas, SP Anderson Severino or SP Jason Bilous

    My take: Jiménez is having a terrible season and I don’t know why Bowden even floats him here; Vaughn is vastly preferable. The other names in this aren’t headliner-quality for a deal like this; if we were trading Bell to the White Sox for a Montgomery or a Colas, sure, but this is Soto we’re talking about. This seems like another stingy package, but honestly, I just don’t think the White Sox have the high-end prospect stock to pull off this trade.

    Mariners: OF Kyle Lewis, OF Jarred Kelenic, SS Noelvi Marté, SP George Kirby or SP Emerson Hancock

    My take: First of all, Bowden doubts whether the Mariners would agree to include Marté. For me, negotiating for the Nats, I’m not even listening unless he’s in the deal. Lewis is another in the vein of MLBers whom I guess Bowden figures would just cheaply replace Soto in the lineup for a couple years; that doesn’t really interest me since we’re gonna suck for those couple years anyway. I don’t think much of the free-swinging, underachieving Kelenic at all. I’d want both Kirby and Hancock in this package to make it work, and I’d probably want another supplemental piece or two. I don’t care if Kelenic is in the final package or not.

    Mets: INF Jeff McNeil, OF Dominic Smith, SS Ronny Mauricio, INF Brett Baty or INF Mark Vientos

    My take: This is a laughably poor offer. I like the way he plays the game, but McNeil is 30 years old. Smith, 27, is having an awful season, and it’s well known the Mets would be happy to dump him anywhere. Mauricio is a glove-first type who isn’t expected to be much of an offensive contributor. And there’s no pitching in here at all. This is a joke, especially considering I think the Nats would need to be blown away to even consider trading their best player to the Mets, if only for dignity’s sake.

    Cardinals: Four or five of INF Jordan Walker, INF Nolan Gorman, INF Brendan Donovan, OF Juan Yepez, SS Masyn Winn, OF Alec Burleson, SP Michael McGreevy

    My take: Now we’re talking — provided Walker is actually on the table, which Bowden doubts he would be from the Cardinals’ side. But if they’re open to it, I happily do something like Walker, Gorman, Winn, and McGreevy here. The one drawback I see is that the Nats might want more than one pitcher in the return. If the Cards are a hard no on Walker, I’m much less interested.

    Dodgers: INF Gavin Lux, SP Ryan Pepiot or SP Bobby Miller, two of INF Miguel Vargas, SS Wilman Díaz, INF Michael Busch, OF Andy Pages

    My take: This feels like a deal we could have gotten last year if, during the Scherzer/Turner trade talks, Mike Rizzo said, “You know what, let’s forget Ruiz and Gray and just start over from scratch.” I really need to see two of Pepiot, Miller, and Dustin May in here before it starts looking like the kind of package a prospect-rich team would have to give up for, once again, two and a half years of Juan freaking Soto.

    Padres: SP MacKenzie Gore, INF C.J. Abrams, OF Robert Hassell III or OF James Wood, SP Víctor Lizarraga or SP Kevin Kopps

    My take: Yet again, this feels like a cheap return for Soto. I would ask for both Hassell and Wood, and instead of the rando throw-ins (who the hell is Kevin Kopps, exactly?), I would want Campusano or Merrill. A significant part of my bearishness on this might be that I don’t think that much of Abrams, whose power hasn’t shown up *at all* in the professional ranks, but I know opinions on him vary. The Padres undoubtedly have the pieces to get Soto, and they’re also one of a few teams that could swap bad contracts with us, which makes them an appealing trade partner. But this, as presented, is a very bad deal.

    Giants: SP Kyle Harrison, OF Heliot Ramos or OF Jairo Pomares, SS Marco Luciano or OF Luis Matos, two more “mid-level” prospects, one more major leaguer

    My take: This reads like Bowden ran out of time or ideas when writing this piece. If he can’t at least conjure some speculative names to round out the package, I don’t know how viable the Giants are as a trade partner.


    20 Jul 22 at 3:22 pm

  16. FYI, there are now some NDFAs being signed post draft. We already have 2. I’m putting them in the 2022 draft worksheet on the Draft Tracker.

    Todd Boss

    20 Jul 22 at 4:20 pm

  17. LOL, well, no one ever accused Bowden of being a brilliant GM. But where’s Dave Cameron when we need him? He used to do his trade value breakdown at FanGraphs every year.

    There probably needs to be some ground rules of logic for a Soto discussion. The Nats very likely aren’t going to trade within the division; I think Passan or someone has already reported that. They aren’t going to trade with the O’s, just because. (Plus the O’s and Pirates, despite a lot of prospects, aren’t close enough to winning for something like this to make sense for them. Tigers probably too.) They also have no need for Dominic Smith-like MLB junk. They’ve got enough of similar players already.

    They also don’t need a catcher, even though I see catchers popping up in some of the proposed packages. That would only make sense if the player — an Austin Wells, maybe — is going to hit well enough to move to 1B/DH.

    What DO they need? Well, I’d say at least two starting pitchers, although if they really believe in Cavalli and Henry, it might only have to be one. In addition to one to two high-caliber starting pitching prospects, I’d say they need at least one star-level talent, top-20 nearly ready prospect, plus a couple of other top-100/150 or so guys with a good chance at the everyday lineup. In short, it needs to be a transformative trade. So as Sao says, some of Bowden’s either/or things would need to become both/and.

    Yes, any talk with the Cards HAS to start with Walker. If not, hang up. If you’re not putting at least one top-20 prospect on the table, then you’re not playing. I scratch my head at why I’ve seen several sources willing to have the Dodgers include Lux in a trade, but I do understand from the Nats’ point of view why that might be a part of the conversation, namely that the Dodgers don’t have any super-high prospects (no one higher that FV 50 on FG), and that Nats don’t need Cartaya. A conversation that started with Lux, May, and Miller would get my attention, though.

    Yeah, it’s a big issue with the Padres whether one thinks Abrams is the next Lofton, or the next Robles. With Abrams and Gore, you have two guys who probably would be included on whom there are very divided opinions. But I could see the Halos being very aggressive players in trade talks, as they were last year.

    Mariners and Rays both have a lot of prospect chips with which to play. Do the Rangers want to bid? They certainly spent win-now money on Seager and Semien. Of course what they need most to improve is starting pitching, so conversations that start with Leiter and/or a certain just-drafted PTBNL might end quickly. Do the Tigers think they’re close enough to bid? What about CLE? They’ve quietly got a lot of prospect capital and are very close in their division.

    And of course the Yankees, Dodgers, and maybe the Bosox are the 800-pound gorillas. Jays and even Trashstros could be lurking. Really, for at team that’s going to be in the postseason, Soto is THE all-in chip that really could change the odds.

    It’ll be interesting. I do think it’s going to happen now, and that Rizzo will have three or four teams bidding so will get pretty close to what he wants. If not, he can walk away from the table and wait for the winter.


    20 Jul 22 at 8:51 pm

  18. Looking at the FA signings; Ciuffetelli is from U of Oregon, not Oregon State. Significant improvement for him this season, down to 3.55 ERA. He’s almost as wild as some of the guys they drafted, though.

    Pogue is 6-5, 235 — LOL, they love those LARGE guys. Florida is a top pitching program. Pogue didn’t pitch in 2021, so I assume he had Nats elbow. His low walk rate is promising.


    20 Jul 22 at 9:06 pm

  19. KW thanks for the correction, fixed it online.

    So, we’re already starting to see some signing bonuses for the top 5 guys pop up, which I think will guide us as to what we think Green gets. The slot values and already-signed guys for top 5 go:
    1. 8.84M: Holliday (Boras client): has an agreement > 8M but probably not full slot. May have agreed to slightly less than Jones.
    2. 8.19M: Jones (Boras client): signed for exactly slot: $8,185,100.
    3. 7.59M: Rocker (Boras client): already signed with Texas for $5.2M
    4. 7.00M: Johnson (? representation): no news yet, but rumors were that Pittsburgh wanted to “cut a deal” here to save some money for later. So I’d expect some savings off slot. but perhaps not much.
    5. 6.49M: Green (? representation)

    So, what’s interesting here is that the perception is that Johnson is getting less than slot. I can’t recall a team mocking Green to Pittsburgh ever, which seems to imply Green won’t be taking a haircut. Maybe the Nats promoised him $7M. But the downside sliding of Green after pick #5 may also come into paly here.

    Todd Boss

    21 Jul 22 at 9:27 am

  20. According to Sao, Green is represented by the same group that reps Lindor, SportsMeter. Their guy is making $34M to hit .248 for the Mets after hitting .230 last year. What a country!


    21 Jul 22 at 2:27 pm

  21. Here are some musings on a Soto deal/trade:

    1) I think the primary motivating factor for the leak last week was to the potential buyers of the franchise, i.e., “if you want to take the short term asset that is Juan Soto and convert it into a long term asset, it will cost more than 15/450. Adjust your bids for the team accordingly.”

    2) I think the ship has sailed on the LERNERS signing Soto to a long term deal. I do not think the ship has sailed on a new ownership group signing him. If Soto isn’t traded at the deadline, I suspect the team will have new owners in time to pursue a Soto extension (if they want to).

    3) I think a trade-deadline-deal for Soto is going to be hard to pull off. It is absolutely true that 2.33 years of Soto (plus three postseasons) is more valuable than 2 years of Soto (plus two postseasons). This means that the return for Soto SHOULD be higher now in theory compared to the offseason. I’m not sure theory matches reality in this context. The major problem: it would be hard to match Soto’s value by just including prospects; if MLB players are off limits, then the prospect price may just be too high for any other team to be able and willing pay. And the best prospect-only offer may just not be enough for the Nats. If the Nats wait until the offseason, they might be able to get current MLB players involved (e.g., a pre-arb pitcher or something similar)? For teams that are either going to make the playoffs or could make the playoffs, it’s really hard to give up MLB players at the deadline because in one sense you are decreasing your playoff odds by subtracting from the MLB roster. My view is that such a trade is far more likely to happen during the offseason. So, even though the buyer is getting less Soto in the offseason, the best package may come in the offseason.

    4) The one thing that will make me really angry is if Soto is packaged with another contract (Corbin, almost certainly if it happens). The Nats farm system being what it is, the best strategy for the team is to trade money for prospects whenever possible. Attaching Corbin would be pursuing precisely the opposite strategy – trading prospects (the difference between the worse return for Soto+Corbin and the better return for Soto solo) for money (i.e., not having to pay Corbin in the future). That would be both bad strategy and evidence of cheapness. I’m worried this is what will happen if Soto is traded at the deadline.


    21 Jul 22 at 5:23 pm

  22. Hi Derek, it’s good to see you chiming in. I love Soto. He’s not only one of my all-time favorite Nats, it’s also the sense that you truly are watching a generational player, a modern Ted Williams.

    That said, I think the Nats have gotten themselves in such a hole talent-wise that they have little choice but to put this massive trade chip on the table and try to rebuild. Other than Cavalli and Henry at AAA, they’ve literally got no other internal potential help for the big club above the recently promoted Jeremy de la Rosa at A+. The upcoming free agent crop isn’t strong, particularly with pitching, so I just see no way that the Nats can get back into contention without bringing in four or five guys who can hit the majors in the next couple of years.

    Risky? Of course. The main piece the Marlins got in return for Yelich was Lewis Brinson, who makes Robles look like a superstar in comparison. (But they made extraordinary hay out of the Ozuna trade.) We’ve seen with our own eyes the flops of “can’t miss” Robles and Kieboom, among others.

    I actually like the potential of the trade happening now because teams are desperate and have a deadline, so they have to bid and can’t fool around with not making the best offer. At the same time, Rizzo doesn’t have to take any of the offers. Soto’s isn’t an expiring contract by any means, and if teams don’t bid enough, the Nats can keep him and put him on the market again in the winter.

    The problem with clinging to the hope of an extension is that Soto is a Boras client, and one who seems to have big dreams of a massive payday. If anything, his departure would ease the potential financial burden of a new ownership group plus improve the overall franchise.

    I completely agree that if they do trade him, don’t include a Corbin salary dump to lower the return. That would be a cheapskate move that would leave a bad taste in the mouths of those of us who understand the dynamics of the situation. It’s Soto straight up. Put your best deal on the table, or risk having him on the opposition facing you in the postseason, crushing your dreams.

    It occurs to me that the Nats had five players on the championship squad who have gotten or will end up with contracts with AAVs over $30 million — Max, Stras, Rendon, Turner, and Soto. Of course the Stras and Rendon deals already aren’t looking good, and someone is going to be giving Trea six or seven years starting in his age-30 season.


    21 Jul 22 at 9:45 pm

  23. My overwhelming thought in all of the Soto extension/trade talk is that the most likely scenario for Soto playing in DC long-term is to trade him now, and let a new ownership group bid to bring him home when he reaches FA. He seems destined to not sign an extension and this would allow the team to accelerate the re-build with a prospect haul, and show that new ownership is committed to winning (an issue cited by Boras this week). Risky for sure, but it leaves a glimmer of hope…


    22 Jul 22 at 8:18 am

  24. I’m already exhausted by Soto trade talk, and its only been going on a few days. Unlike with Harper, the nats gave him more than a fair extension offer. Most guaranteed dollars ever. He said no way; clearly he wants both an AAV and total contract record. so, It is difficult to fault the Natioanls brass for taking the approach they’ve taken; “you’re not going to sign for this ridiculous sum of money? Well F you then i’m going to try to turn you into something of value before you walk out the door and leave us nothing but a 2nd round draft pick.”

    I’d do the same.

    Back to draft: 3 picks signed, including Lipscomb for slot, which is weird b/c i think we all thought he was an under slot deal. Which makes me wonder how much more they can spare to over slot green and/or pay their 11th rounder.

    Todd Boss

    22 Jul 22 at 10:41 am

  25. speculation is exhausting. especially when you (and I mean me) cannot decide what outcome I actually want.


    22 Jul 22 at 10:55 am

  26. Really surprised that they gave slot to Lipscomb. He’s a senior signee with no leverage. I guess technically he could claim a COVID year and go back to school, paying his own way $25K+, so unlikely.

    What other picks have signed?

    I agree with Todd about Soto — if our money isn’t green enough for him, then maximize the deal for him now. Lord save us from two-plus more years of ridiculous extension rejections.

    NG, I actually had a similar thought to what you suggested about the possibility of the Nats trying to bring Trea back this offseason. Don’t know that it would be wise to make that kind of investment when your team isn’t very good, but I guess that’s what everyone said about the Werth contract.


    22 Jul 22 at 1:08 pm

  27. @Todd, it’s a point well taken, although I don’t fault Soto for betting on himself. He *will* probably end up making more over the course of his career by going year-by-year and then landing a free agent contract — which @MG is quite right in saying could well be in D.C. under new management.

    The Nats enjoy one of the biggest and wealthiest media markets in the country, will have new owners whom one certainly hopes are going to be in a mood to spend (why else would you buy a baseball team?), and will presumably still have friendly faces like Luis García, Josiah Gray, Keibert Ruiz, and Lane Thomas (our “core”, such as it is) by then. I see a lot of speculation like for sure it’ll be the Mets or the Yankees or the Dodgers — the usual suspects, of course — but IMO, the Nats should be right in the mix there unless things go *so* badly at the deadline that Soto/Boras won’t even deal with us under brand-new owners and likely an entirely new front office.

    Anyway, if Boras/Soto actually want a record-setting AAV and fifteen guaranteed years, that’s a $660M contract, half again as large as the (already record-breaking) contract they just turned down. If that’s what Boras is telling Soto he’s worth, no wonder they didn’t bother to counter.


    22 Jul 22 at 1:13 pm

  28. Oh, I don’t blame Soto for holding out for more, considering the direction that salaries are going. When you look at Bradley Beal getting a FIFTY MILLION AAV over five years, and a $50M AAV for Aaron Rodgers as well, you have to suspect that MLB salaries are actually somewhat on the low side. At the same time, those contracts aren’t for 13-15 years, and not all of the Rodgers rate is guaranteed.

    I don’t think there’s any obligation to keep Soto and give new ownership the chance to sign him, though. I get the Harper/Rendon vibe that he’s heading for the open market regardless.

    And I don’t think the Mets would be a trade partner, no matter how much Met fans want to say it. I don’t see the Dodgers having the prospects to do it unless they include “graduated” guys like Lux and May, as we’ve discussed. With the Yankees, I’m not sure the cost/benefit for then to expend so many chips to get Soto, with them running away with things. They sure haven’t gotten very far in the postseason, though.


    22 Jul 22 at 2:25 pm

  29. If Soto wants an AAV in the $35-$40M range … that’s 20% of a $200M team payroll. there’s only 6 teams at that threshold right now: LAD, NYM, NYY, BOS, SDP, and PHI. I just do not think “stars and scrubs” works in baseball; its “stars and more stars” if you’re spending money … and if you’r enot, then you need to have an awfully big player development advantage to keep up. TBR, Cle, teams like that.

    Nats need to reset, get young, get prospects, and grow them into a team. Unless they’re going to spend $230M (spoiler: they’re not), they just can’t compete.

    Todd Boss

    22 Jul 22 at 2:35 pm

  30. BTW, back to prospects, Fangraphs has already added our 2022 draft class to the prospect ranks,1&type=0&pageitems=200&pg=0&team=wsn

    Green #5, Bennett #8, Lipscomb #17, Cox #26, McKenzie #32. Bennett slots in just ahead of Corrilla, just behind Rutledge.

    Todd Boss

    22 Jul 22 at 2:37 pm

  31. If I’m Soto, I would have to be blown away by the dollars to sign a 10+ year contract with the Nats without knowing who the owner is going to be. There are MANY examples in sports of terrible owners hamstringing their franchises. There’s absolutely no guarantee that the new Nats owner won’t be one of those people. For Soto to hitch his (extremely extremely valuable) wagon to the Nats for more than a decade, I think he’d want to know the identity of the owner or be paid handsomely not to care about it.

    This is why I don’t think the ship has sailed for Soto signing an extension – it’s just that the trade deadline needs to pass without him getting trade and the franchise needs to transfer ownership before it can happen.

    For me, Juan hasn’t given strong indications that he’s committed to going to FA like Harper or Rendon. There are so many examples of athletes saying “I don’t negotiate during the season,” that Juan easily could have done that but didn’t. That suggests he’s at least open to an extension.

    But it’s now clear that he’s not going to give a substantial hometown discount – and, as insane as it is, 15/440 would be a big discount compared to what he would get on the open market, IMO.


    22 Jul 22 at 2:53 pm

  32. There’s no doubt that the MLB luxury tax line hasn’t kept pace with evolving realities, and the owners didn’t budge on changing it much in the new CBA. So there are only two options for winning: go over the tax line with a bunch of crazy, too-long free agent contracts, or develop a lot of home-grown, controlled talent. You can fill in a little with mid-level contracts, but that only works if you’ve also got Turner/Soto/Rendon type talent all still under team control.

    The Nats have spent right up to the line but have only gone over it in years where they made accounting mistakes. But they’re mostly in the toilet right now because of a decade of drafting/development futility. And of the guys they did get to the majors, Robles, Kieboom, and Fedde, haven’t really cut it. The only way I see them getting back in contention is collecting some top-flight prospects from other teams. They can’t buy their way out of this. (Although the Mets sort of have.)


    22 Jul 22 at 3:39 pm

  33. Another wrinkle here is reports that the 15/440 offer was heavily backloaded? Why not front load a deal over the next couple of years while the team has guys like Gray/Ruiz/Cavalli making pre-arb salaries? Admittedly that pushes the team close to the luxury tax to not compete, but with the hope that the salary cap continues to grow and then you’d have lower salaries in the later years to further add to the team. Wouldn’t that be a way to diffuse Soto/Boras concerns over the re-build?


    22 Jul 22 at 3:42 pm

  34. Presumably backloaded offer because of the Stras and Corbin contracts plus still paying a lot to Max in deferred payments. I’m actually surprised that so many players have still signed with the Nats over the years despite all of their deferment shenanigans.


    22 Jul 22 at 6:33 pm

  35. Yeah it’s too bad the CBT is calculated based on AAV in this instance so that the team (new owners) can’t use the unused tax space to clear out future commitments like those to Corbin and Stras. The players should love the opportunity to get paid up front.


    22 Jul 22 at 6:46 pm

  36. To add to the local products list, Magnus Ellerts (Woodbridge HS; FL SW State) was drafted in the 11th round (#331 overall) by the Cleveland Guardians.

    I know this because I’ve played baseball on local teams with his dad and the family is pretty excited about it 🙂

    John C.

    22 Jul 22 at 7:08 pm

  37. I see that Elijah Green signed at slot, which is surprising. There were a lot of rumors that he wanted $8M. 10th rounder Murphy Stehly signed for just $10K, so $144,800 slot savings.

    I guess most of their slot savings will be going to Cox, the 4th rounder, and maybe some of the other high schoolers. Frankly, I would have rather them spent it on drafting Tidwell or Priellip over Bennett. Despite Bennett’s great tournament performance, it’s hard to think that they had him ranked ahead of those other two.

    I also wish they had taken another college SS or two in addition to Lawson. They’re in desperate need of a SS-capable utility guy with Fox not looking good and Cluff all but washed out (currently .187 at AA). I’m not sure why they haven’t promoted Jose Sanchez. Lawson would only have to hit a little to stick around for a while.


    23 Jul 22 at 1:37 pm

  38. For those with Insider access, here’s Buster Olney’s interesting overview of the market for Soto. He compares a Soto trade to that of Babe Ruth:


    23 Jul 22 at 2:03 pm

  39. Callis also politely expressing surprise that the Nats paid slot for Lipscomb:

    According to Nats Player Development, all of these have signed, although only a few of the amounts have been posted:

    1. Green
    2. Bennett
    3. Lipscomb
    4. Cox
    5. McKenzie
    6. Ochoa
    8. Huff
    9. Romero
    10. Stehly

    No word on 11th-20th. Only Riley Cornelio (7th) unsigned from top 10, which seems like record signing times. Must have been a lot of pre-draft deals in place.


    23 Jul 22 at 7:17 pm

  40. They’ve already signed 9 of 10! Green for his slot value. amazing. Stehley a sr sig $10k so they saved a ton of $$ there, should be really interesting to see dollar figures when they start to flow in.

    Todd Boss

    23 Jul 22 at 9:27 pm

  41. Meanwhile, is it possible to look worse than starting the second half with 10-1 and 7-2 losses to a last-place team? (Well, yes, it probably will be even worse after they trade a quarter of this pathetic squad.)


    24 Jul 22 at 8:21 am

  42. Crazy story to show why the service time issue should have been better addressed in the new CBA. The Nats drafted Lucas Giolito 10 years ago. He turned 28 a couple of weeks ago. He’s appeared in the majors in at least parts of seven seasons, yet he still wasn’t arb-eligible this season. He will be arb-eligible this offseason, then a free agent the subsequent offseason when he’s 29, approaching the season in which he’ll turn 30.

    Since folks still lament Giolito as one who got away, note that he’s really struggling this season: 5.12 ERA, 1.46 WHIP. His BA against has jumped from .218 last season to .280 this year. He’s also been terribly unlucky, with a .350 BABIP against. In other words, he would fit right in with the current Nat rotation . . .


    25 Jul 22 at 8:27 am

  43. Service time is still a mess, agreed. But the bonus structure for amateur players is still whack too. Not sure how to fix it.

    Giolito in 2022 is SSS: look at his last three seasons; all quite similar: ERA+ between 125-135, ERAs in the 3.40-3.50 range, down ballot Cy Young votes. I mean, he’s at worst a #2 starter in the league and he’s earning just $7.45M this year. He was a 4-win player last year, and wins on the open market go for like $8-$9M.

    Todd Boss

    25 Jul 22 at 11:09 am

  44. FYI, Baseball America has published all the signing bonuses for our players.

    If you can’t see that i’ve put them into the draft tracker.

    We’ve basically gone slot or just a hair over for most of our draftees, even Green. Cox got a huge overage: $1M on a $549 slot. The 10th rounder got a $10k senior sign. Which leads us to 7th rounder Cornelio, who has a slot figure of $249k and the most we can offer him is exactly $411,695. So … if he doesn’t sign for that, we could then offer 11th rounder 411k-241k+125k or around $295k … may not be enough. I’m beginning to think we may not sign as many 11-20th rounders as we thought.

    Todd Boss

    25 Jul 22 at 11:20 am

  45. Cornelio had a 4.68 ERA and is already 22. I don’t see a lot of bargaining leverage there.

    Cox is a repeat of what they did with Infante — overdrafting and overpaying a kid they believe in who isn’t very high on other boards. I don’t mind it as much with Cox simply because he’s 11 months younger at the time of the draft than Infante was. That said, I still would have rather had Tidwell or Priellip over Bennett and spent the extra money there.

    Of the potential overpay younger players in picks 11-20, Peoples interests me the most. He’s already huge and just turned 18 yesterday. But a commitment to New Mexico State isn’t impressive, so one suspects he’s pretty raw to not get Pac-12 interest.

    They took Young in the 11th so probably will make a credible offer to him. Can’t see them going too high for Cooper and Ortiz, but with these things, who really knows?


    25 Jul 22 at 11:57 am

  46. Oh, I would take Giolito over anyone the Nats have now. (Admittedly, that’s a low bar.) I haven’t followed the Chisox so don’t know why he’s having such an off season.


    25 Jul 22 at 12:05 pm

  47. […] my 2022 draft class review, I went through a rough guess as to how I thought the bonus calculations would go, and how many of […]

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