Nationals Arm Race

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

Farewell Matthew Purke


Shocker release.  Photo AP/Nati Harnik

Shocker release. Photo AP/Nati Harnik

Shocker of a press release today; the Nats have outright released Matthew Purke, he of the $4M signing bonus in the 2011 draft.

Thus ends one of the more expensive draft gambits of the Mike Rizzo era; Purke was a former 1st round talent (14th overall pick out of HS to Texas who had his deal nixed by MLB during the ownership crisis there) who blitzed through his freshman year at TCU but who suffered a shoulder issue that pushed him to the 4th round as a draft-eligible sophomore in 2011.  The Nats rolled the dice, gave him upper 1st round money and a MLB deal (one of the last of its kind before the new CBA eliminated such contracts).

His minor league stats are a cautionary tale.  3 starts in 2012 before shoulder surgery in August.  18 total starts in 2013 as he recovered from said surgery.  8 awful starts in 2014 before getting TJ surgery.

Despite having another option eligible, the team has decided to cut bait.  He had the TJ surgery on 5/29/14, meaning he would have likely  missed a good chunk of the 2015 season even if his recovery went perfectly.  Perhaps the team just decided he was never going to recover, that even a career as a reliever wasn’t in the cards.

I was surprised simply because of the one remaining option; why not keep him around one more season to see if anything could be salvaged from that huge signing bonus?  But we’re not in the GM’s office; maybe his recovery wasn’t on track and 2015 was looking like a lost season.  That’s perfectly reasonable.  And as we’ve discussed a ton lately, the Nats have more than a few critical rule-5 decisions to make and a full 40-man roster.  So looking for room, Purke was one of the first to go.  His release reminds me of the shock John Patterson release in spring training 2008; nobody saw it coming and we all thought he still could salvage an injury riddled career.  As it turned out, he never threw another MLB pitch.

Farewell Mr. Purke; i’m pretty confident he won’t be unemployed for long as another team rolls the dice on a non-MLB deal to see if he can turn into something.  The lesson here is easy: don’t give out 40-man spots if you don’t have to, because eventually they become pretty tough to work around.  If Purke was a normal draftee still on a minor league contract, simply put he’d still be with the organization.

11/17/14 Update: Nats announce that they’ve re-signed Purke to a minor league deal with a spring training invite.  Wow.  That’s the best possible outcome of this whole situation!  Off the 40-man but still in the organization.  Bravo Mike Rizzo!

Written by Todd Boss

November 14th, 2014 at 12:21 pm

88 Responses to 'Farewell Matthew Purke'

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  1. Wow. I didn’t see that one coming, either. According to the report in the Post, “By the time Purke was due to return from rehab, he would have been out of options.” Here’s hoping he can heal and get another shot in a couple of years . . . or at least that he’s invested his money wisely.

    But at least we’ve got the Frandsen signing to celebrate! (Ugh.)


    14 Nov 14 at 2:05 pm

  2. Yeah … if you assume he comes back in exactly 12 months from TJ that puts him two months into a 5 month minor league season. My guess is that he’s experienced some sort of setback already, pushing him into August, and the team probably just said “forget it” knowing that they’d have to expose him to waivers after NEXT season b/c he had no more options and he’d get plucked anyway. So why not just accelerate the timeline at a point where they are going to be scrounging for 40-man spots to protect better, more advanced, healthier minor leaguers?

    Todd Boss

    14 Nov 14 at 2:30 pm

  3. It’s interesting to think that there are bookends, within less than 24 hours, for the sign-the-wounded strategy: Rendon placed 5th in the MVP, and Purke was released. Have any other MLB teams signed injured players the way the Nats have? It might be worth a post that collects and grades the Nats’ walking wounded, which included at least Wang and Garcia beyond the draft picks. So far, Rendon is about the only real success story, although Giolito is trending well.


    14 Nov 14 at 3:41 pm

  4. Garcia was a minor league sign. No real investment.

    Teams sign players with injury histories all the time.

    What denotes the Nats is the willingness to risk on a currently injured high draft pick. Purke, Giolito, Fedde, Rendon.

    You win some, you lose some. They wasted more with the McLouth contract last year, and the LaRoche contract his first year.

    Rehab is not to be presumed. If he surfaces, it would be appropriate for him to be a minor league sign for the Nats. If he joins a different system after they have brought him along, perhaps he is not pursuing his rehab aggressively enough.

    Hard to believe another team would use a 40 man spot for him, but….


    14 Nov 14 at 6:58 pm

  5. I guess what I’m saying is, this isn’t Bobby Bonilla.


    14 Nov 14 at 6:59 pm

  6. I had suggested Purke would be cut last week (and right after the injury in the spring, but apparently that went against the CBA) – there are just not enough spots on the 40man for damaged goods with only one option left. Rizzo calculated that it was likely he’d run out of options before he was useful to the Nats, so might as well cut him loose now. Hopefully we can re-sign him to a minor league deal and keep the rehab going, but if not, oh well.

    Andrew R

    14 Nov 14 at 10:11 pm

  7. I think Purke was cut for the 40 man spot, plain and simple, and there will be more coming. They have kids to protect and a few FA to add. With Purke, despite our hope he would fulfill the promise of his freshman year at TCU, truth was he never came close to it and could have been outrighted at least 12 months ago, probably.

    But you can’t judge these kinds of injury gambles on a case by case basis. I think you throw them all into a basket and see if the aggregate return exceeds the aggregate cost. And Rendon probably tips the ledger enough to fund quite a few more gambles.


    14 Nov 14 at 10:28 pm

  8. I am with Wally but for different reasons

    The medical people know what’s possible. The heart of a man can be assessed before it is tested.

    Future injuries can happen to anyone.

    And the injury “prone” (Rendon) can change as well.

    Risk? Well, that’s easy. How about giving 325 m to a guy who got a near Tony Conigliaro?


    15 Nov 14 at 12:10 am

  9. Getting ready for the Rule V involves some pain. This should not have been a big surprise, his option status almost guarenteed this move.
    The Nats need some healthy lefthanders in the system.

    Mark L

    15 Nov 14 at 10:01 am

  10. i have come around to thinking the biggest, or most important, or maybe just the initial, questions to answer are internal? Once those are answered, the rest of the offseason strategy is easier to shape.

    Is Roark a pitcher who will give you 200 IPs at 3.50 FIP (last year’s numbers)? If yes, that’s very valuable and a rotation cornerstone (solid #3). So then, go ahead and trade or let JZ or Fister play&walk. Or does he regress to a back end guy that is only valuable pre-arb?

    Steamer projects Souza for 2.5 WAR with 19 HRs and 25 SBs. If you believe that is true, it lets them flip Span or be creative in moving Werth to free payroll.

    Who is Blake Treinen? 3.00 FIP in 50 IPs but such low K rates. Can he be a high leverage reliever, and let them move Clip? Is he a cheap, back end rotation option, or something more? Or less, a long reliever?

    These are the most important ones to answer. I assume they actually have answered them already, but we’ll see.

    Of all these questions, the one that I’d feel most comfortable with is Souza, because his D and base running should provide a floor to his value. I have really come to believe the best thing they could do this offseason is move Werth. I have heard all the counters – contract too large, no trade clause, too valuable hitter for a win now team. I am not persuaded by any of that, and think he can and should be moved to create as much payroll space as possible, and that we use it to lock up the rotation core, at least 2 of the 3.


    15 Nov 14 at 4:03 pm

  11. Wally, I’m with you on Souza, but Werth has a no-trade clause and he doesn’t want to go.
    Between Harper and Werth getting injured, Souza should get at least 400 AB’s next year.

    Mark L

    15 Nov 14 at 4:29 pm

  12. Wally, it’s your prerogative to not be persuaded by all of those counters to trading Werth (as well as clubhouse chemistry/culture, etc). Knock yourself out. But they’re valid, and I’m confident that Rizzo knows that, too. Brace yourself for MOAR BEARD in the OF in 2015.

    John C.

    15 Nov 14 at 5:02 pm

  13. The only place The Beard can and should go is LF. He’s still extremely productive offensively. Span is the potentially tradeable piece of the puzzle. What he might bring in return is open to debate, with only one year on his contract, but coming off a career year. The risk would be whether Souza could replace his production, but the Nats would have options with McLouth and Taylor if Souza can’t get it done.

    Let’s say that I wouldn’t be shocked if they trade Span, but I would be surprised. It’s possible, but I don’t think it’s likely. Like everyone else, though, I’m curious whether Souza can live up to the promise he has shown in the last couple of seasons.


    15 Nov 14 at 10:30 pm

  14. By all accounts, Werth has bought a house in NoVa and his family (two kids) has settled here. Imagine the conversation he’d have with his wife if he wanted to agree to waive his no-trade:
    JW: “Honey, the team has asked me to waive my no-trade clause and get traded to X city.”
    Wife: “Why the f*ck would we do that!? We bought a house here. You signed a 7 year deal here. The kids are in the middle of the school year. The Nats are in first place. You’re a fan favorite here. Why would we possibly want to leave now?”

    Todd Boss

    16 Nov 14 at 8:15 am

  15. Todd, you nailed it.

    I,for one, can’t wait to see what Souza can do.

    Mark L

    16 Nov 14 at 9:44 am

  16. When we knock around offseason plans, it’s often not clear whether people are responding to ‘can he be traded?’, ‘should he be traded?’, or ‘will he be traded?’. So that I am being clear on what I am saying:
    ‘Can he be traded’ – absolutely. He is a good player, his contract isn’t as prohibitive as it was, and players waive full or partial no trade clauses all the time. They are almost always financial instruments rather than guarantees to stay in a certain city.
    ‘Should he be traded’ – I think yes, for the reasons I have already said and won’t waste anyone’s time spelling them out again. And thanks to John C for allowing me to continue to hold an opinion on this :)
    ‘Will he be traded’ – almost certainly not. Less for the reasons stated, and more just because I think Rizzo thinks he is indispensable to the lineup and won’t even entertain it. And that’s fine, Werth is good and I don’t hate the guy.

    At this point, I have beaten this one to death, and I won’t keep bringing it up. Hopefully we will see what Rizzo will actually do soon.


    16 Nov 14 at 12:08 pm

  17. Players waive No-trades when a) they’re on sh*tty teams that are going no-where or clearly going into a rebuilding period and b) they’re older but they’ve never won a championship despite having made 10s of millions of dollars. I don’t think players waive no-trades when their team just won a pennant, when they’re still starting, when the team is still competitive, and when pundits still have them as favorites for 2015.

    That’s why I don’t even bother introducing the logic of trading a 35-yr old guy who still has 3 years and > $60M on his contract. Where’s he gonna go? What team can afford him, has a spot for him, and is going to be more competitive than the Nats project to be for the next three years?

    Todd Boss

    16 Nov 14 at 1:26 pm

  18. I’m with Wally. Todd, how about whether Werth sees his defense declining, guys like Souza and Taylor on the horizon, and decides he’d like to get to an AL team where he can do some DHing and keep himself more fresh, while leading a new up and coming team. Who knows.

    Also, who knows what werth’s wife would want. She’s from Illinois so maybe she wants to go home. I have no idea what my wife wants as she changes her mind so much, so predicting Jayson Werth’s wife’s thoughts?

    Werth is almost def not getting traded but it would make sense.

    Andrew R

    16 Nov 14 at 1:50 pm

  19. Andrew; agree …. but not for 2015. Call me on Werth after next off-season, when the Nats may be in “rebuilding/reload” mode, may have just said good-bye to four key FAs with nothing but comp picks coming back, and make statements to the effect of “we’re going with the kids.”

    Actually, more likely to happen after 2016, when the same thing happens again with even more key players. Suddenly this could look like a completely different, very young team in 2017, with Werth in his last year and the team struggling out of the gate. Yeah at that point I could see it; his kids will be on summer vacation, he’s a FA after the season anyway, so they’re going to be moving regardless, so he says “Mr. Rizzo, find me a winner.”

    Todd Boss

    16 Nov 14 at 2:41 pm

  20. I have been argumentatively exuberant about Souza for quite a while now, and while I think he will be a starting OF for the Nats, it will not be because Werth has been traded. Werth is going to start for the Nats in 2015, and that’s that. Souza may find a starting spot if Span is part of a trade, or if there is an outfield injury. And he will be on the 2015 25 man, as I do not see him being traded (unless it’s part of a multiplayer deal that nets an elite player or prospect.

    I can see Souza slotting in as a starting OF in 2016 and Taylor in 2017 unless Taylor has the kind of progression in 2015 that he did last year. Under those circumstances, we could see Werth becoming vestigial. by then we will know more about the Ryan Zimmerman experiment and the fate and progression of Tyler Moore and Matt Skole.

    But Taylor is such a good defensive prospect for CF that when his offense is clearly ready, I cannot see the organization holding him back for anyone, including Werth or Span.

    No one has mentioned the JZimmerman-Chicago chatter. I think something there was real or instigated by an invested party, and the silence to follow was only because the yield the Nationals get is entirely contingent upon an agreement being reached on an extension. If the Nats determine they are not going to meet his demand, and they know what his demand is, then if another team does meet that demand, better that the Nats know so that they can compare the proposed yield with a qualifying offer.

    It seems the trade market swings to the Nats once Sherzer and Lester sign. Then, Zimmerman becomes the best option for some team that truly wants a number 1. This is how Rizzo got such a great yield for Morse.

    As for the Cubs yield, everyone understandably is focused on the middle infielder to come back, but Kris Bryant is an attractive target.


    16 Nov 14 at 5:16 pm

  21. …and another thing. This team is not going to be in a rebuilding reloading mode for a long time.

    Rizzo makes it clear that they are strategizing for being a top team multiple years ahead.

    The farm system is catching up to the big club to enable reloading and a different approach to long term contracts. They are not there yet with all players, but they are there with certain positions, like pitching.

    The issues with Zimmerman and Fister are not whether they are replaceable after 2015. They are. It’s that they are champion players and this team will never forget it was once the Montreal Expos. The Expos saved money and killed a fan base by turning over too many integral talents. This ownership does not have to. So what, then, is an “integral talent?” That is the dilemma, impacted by trade discussions and the flexibility afforded by Cole/Treinen.


    16 Nov 14 at 6:12 pm

  22. I think that what happened with the JZim/Cubs story is that someone in Chicago wanted to leak a story to either put pressure on other teams that are interested in trading pitching for one of the Cubs’ extra middle infielders, or to put pressure on one of the free agent pitchers (Lester? Scherzer?) who was trying to push their price up.

    John C.

    16 Nov 14 at 7:19 pm

  23. Forensicane; are you suggesting Kris Bryant for Jordan Zimmermann?? I hope not; the #1 prospect in the game for one year (and 16.5M) of a good-to-very-good pitcher is one of those trade proposals that gets laughed out of chats.

    Todd Boss

    16 Nov 14 at 9:27 pm

  24. I pretty clearly stated above that whomever the Nats negotiate with will be a team that is prepared to meet his extension demands, and not one year of Zimm.

    As for being laughed at, I have a pretty good track record here for saying things that others dismissed but held up. I touted Tanner Roark here before others, I wanted Michael Taylor to be protected on the 40 man after a year in A+ and was laughed at, said Souza was the best Nats prospect last fall and was laughed at, regardless of where the pundits were ranking.

    And, I think I was specifically suggesting the Cubbies as a destination for JZimm a week before the rumors flew. So while I may be wrong sometimes, I think there is enough value to Zimm in a long term deal that this team would ask to include Bryant in such a package. Doesn’t mean they’d get him. But then, if Rizzo makes it clear that its a deal he does not have to make (and has Kilgore to be his toady), he plays the public message well.

    To be completely forthright, I can see the Nats trading both JZimm and Clippard in the same deal, depending on the haul. Now one may laugh at that, but it would sure end any concerns for payroll flexibility. And such a deal would involve multiple players — which was the specific verbiage of the rumors (“discussions about the players who would be involved”).

    It may be nothing, but if it’s something, it will have to happen after negotiations are undertaken (because a signed Zimm would yield a massive package), so no one benefits from it being public knowledge.


    16 Nov 14 at 10:06 pm

  25. John C, your idea is intriguing about someone negotiating against a FA by dropping a trade rumor. Of course, if the Cubs don;t want to pay Scherzer/Lester, somebody will.


    16 Nov 14 at 10:09 pm

  26. You cannot hear about this LaStella trade and not wonder whether the other show to drop is the Nats.

    The roster is at 39. No way Cole is the only guy they add early this week.


    16 Nov 14 at 10:19 pm

  27. Scherzer & Lester are going to be paid a ton by someone. Presenting alternatives is a way of trimming off a few million here or there. But I think the primary target of a leak would be another potential trade partner, like the Mets.

    Souza still isn’t the Nats’ top prospect; he’s not ahead of Giolito or Cole, and probably not ahead of Taylor as a prospect. What he IS is closer to being major league ready, which is not the same thing.

    John C.

    16 Nov 14 at 10:50 pm

  28. When I heard the J-Zim rumor, I actually thought it was classic Rizzo. The word got on the street that Zimmermann might be available and established what the price might be, right at the time of the GM meeting. Coincidence? I think not. And suddenly the national sites were talking more about J-Zim’s value than they were about Lester and Scherzer. So the availability got established, the price ballpark got established, the message got sent to J-Zim’s reps that he might be on the block if they don’t deal . . . and Rizzo got to deny everything. Love it.

    Look, they’re not going to re-sign both Zimmermann and Strasburg. They’re just not. That would be between $45 and 50 million a year tied up in just two players who don’t play every day, probably for seven years. If they aren’t going to pay that price, then it at least makes sense to see what opportunities might be out there. Stras would have more trade value at this point, though. The real chink in the trade-now scenario is that Cole and particularly Giolito need more seasoning.

    I think the Nats might have gotten a deal done with Zimmermann last offseason if they (Minniti?) hadn’t lowballed him to much and the Homer Bailey contract hadn’t happened. But that Bailey contract will be nothing as a comp once Scherzer and Lester sign.


    17 Nov 14 at 5:19 am

  29. Look at the return that Tampa got for David Price. Detroit acquired Price, sent Jackson->Seattle, Seattle sent Franklin to TB (career .213 hitter) and Detroit kicked in Drew Smyly (5th starter) and threw in a low-A Shortstop prospect (Willy Adames).

    So Price got Smyly, Franklin and Adames.

    And that was for a season and a half of a left handed Cy Young award winner.

    My point is this: the price for one year of control of a good pitcher isn’t nearly as high as we may think, no matter how creative our GM is in trade talks. Now, if you packed Zimmermann plus players and prospects, that might be enough to get Bryant. How much more? Probably a lot; we’re talking about the minor league’s best hitter, a guy who many think could have hit in the middle of a MLB team last season, and who is under team control for at least 6 and maybe 7 years if you play the super-2 game.

    Todd Boss

    17 Nov 14 at 12:31 pm

  30. Holy hell, a lot just happened. I think the Braves made an excellent trade. Looks like they are going to reload a bit. Funny thing, Bowden predicted this exact trade last week. The guy was a terrible GM but I think he is pretty good as a talking head.

    5 years for a 32 year old catcher? I think there is a ton of money in the game right now, and we all need to adjust upwards our expectations of market value.

    Even given that, that Stanton deal is just staggering. Almost no possible way it ends well, given all the factors involved (imo).


    17 Nov 14 at 12:37 pm

  31. This might be quibbling, but I actually think the Price trade was good for Tampa, it just came in the form of guys who weren’t well publicized. You can call Adames a Low A SS, which is true, but he also is now their #2 prospect, so he is well thought of. And Smyly will likely outperform his salary throughout his years of control. Franklin is the guy that I think is the weak part of the trade.


    17 Nov 14 at 12:43 pm

  32. Compare their return for Price to their return for Shields/Davis. I think Tampa held on to Price for too long.

    Todd Boss

    17 Nov 14 at 12:45 pm

  33. I think the Stanton signing is great – adds a ton of value to the franchise to have that monster of a hitter locked up for so long. I’d add $1.00 and offer the same contract to Harper today.

    Andrew R

    17 Nov 14 at 12:46 pm

  34. Braves trade; I wonder if they’re bearish on the health of all their TJ afflicted starters coming back.

    Todd Boss

    17 Nov 14 at 12:46 pm

  35. Although one year of Jason Heyward is suddenly worth Shelby Miller, quite a substantial (and surprising) return, unless the Cards know something about his arm that the Braves don’t.

    As for Zimmermann, I’m not jumping up and down and saying trade him. For the Nats, where they are right now, one year of a top-five starter is worth more than a couple of prospects, unless they are the five-star variety. As you note, to get more in return for J-Zim would probably require a package deal.


    17 Nov 14 at 12:48 pm

  36. Heyward: interesting trade. I think Heyward is good, but overrated; the defensive portion of his WAR seems inflated to me, and he never really “scared” me when up at the plate, especially when facing a lefty. But then again, Miller’s shine has clearly faded. They dumped him from their 2013 rotation (probably for innings limit reasons as I’ve groused about before) and then was their 4th starter this past off-season only because Wacha was hurt. so StL gets a pretty good starting RF AND a decent reliever for their 5th starter and a good prospect. I’ll take that.

    Todd Boss

    17 Nov 14 at 1:00 pm

  37. Andrew – would you really give that to Harper? I am usually pretty open to big contracts, but 12 years just seems like a monster. And would you offer it to Harper before Rendon?

    Todd – I think its comparable to the Shields trade, when you take into account that Davis was in there too. We won’t know for a few years when we see how each of the guys pan out. I couldn’t tell whether you liked STL or ATL in the Heyward trade? I like ATL better, but it does suggest that 1 year guys fetch more than we previously thought, especially if (a) they are elite, and (b) its done in the winter, when you can also get a pick.

    But I would much rather extend Fister and JZ, instead of trade them. Desi, I am a little more mixed on. I think he’ll stay good for 3 years and then drop off quickly, so a 6 year deal worries me quite a bit.


    17 Nov 14 at 1:39 pm

  38. Stanton deal/same for Harper: no way. Trout at $30M/year? sure. Kershaw? riskier but sure. Harper? too early. He’s not established himself as one of the top players in the game yet, not with the injuries. Great player? Yes. Potentially a perennial all star/mvp candidate? Sure. But he’s not there yet.

    Todd Boss

    17 Nov 14 at 2:18 pm

  39. Todd Boss

    17 Nov 14 at 4:04 pm

  40. Woo hoo! Best possible outcome! That was my hope for frandsen but hopefully they can do similar deals with Mattheus, Davis, Solano, and Leon and perhaps Kobernus.

    Andrew R

    17 Nov 14 at 4:11 pm

  41. Well played by the front office on the Purke front. There must have been some advance discussion as well with the player. For all we know, his recovery is going well — after all, he not only resigned but got a spring invite!

    He sounds loyal to the system and really, if you were coming off surgery, why would you want to be with any other organization in your rehab? Certainly the opportunity to advance as a LHP is here.

    Andrew, there is so much flotsam on the market now floating around like bone chips that perhaps this is indeed how the others will be handled as well.


    17 Nov 14 at 4:45 pm

  42. Here’s what I put at the bottom of the updated post:

    11/17/14 Update: Nats announce that they’ve re-signed Purke to a minor league deal with a spring training invite. Wow. That’s the best possible outcome of this whole situation! Off the 40-man but still in the organization. Bravo Mike Rizzo!

    Todd Boss

    17 Nov 14 at 5:07 pm

  43. I can’t generate quite the same excitement as you guys. Happy to have him back, but Purke hasn’t shown any reason to believe he will be that guy he was in college, so he seems like just another guy now. What am I missing?


    17 Nov 14 at 6:38 pm

  44. Apart from those goofy glasses and crooked cap and pictures that make him look stoned (and therefore a cult figure), there is actually a reason for folks waiting for him like puppydogs.

    The guy had, as a pro, real flashes of greatness. He lacked command and so when he moved up a level, he was exposed. But stuff he has, including that big curveball.

    Of course, he has yet to be cursed by McCatty (HRod – “pretty frickin bueno” Garcia – “three plus-plus pitches”). So we can wait and hope, without burning an option.

    And, he is a competitor who wants it. We cannot measure the heart of man. But we do know that TJ has a good history in this organization.


    17 Nov 14 at 8:26 pm

  45. Wally: I guess its just the hope of greatness. He was *great* coming out of HS, and he was *great* after his freshman year of college (where he went 15-0 for TCU). Greatness pre-shoulder surgery isn’t always a guarantee of greatness post shoulder-surgery (see our experiences with Cole Kimball, or the dropoff of the careers of people like Brandon Webb and Johan Santana, both of whom reached the pinnacle of success as pitchers and then disappeared).

    Todd Boss

    18 Nov 14 at 7:47 am

  46. Purke: good to have him back. It speaks well of the organization that he would want to stay with the Nats. Perhaps his new status will ease the stress and timetables. Both Souza and Hood finally bloomed once the spotlight left them.

    Extensions: I actually like the thought of exploring long contracts with Rendon and Harper in the wake of the Stanton deal. It’s the perfect time to try to do a deal with Harper. If he ever does explode for a monster year, his price goes up to Stanton level. But he and Boras shouldn’t expect Stanton numbers now, as Harper hasn’t come close to that level of production.

    Here’s the deal: you sign Harper and Rendon to something like 12-year deals. The contracts are sure to have opt-out clauses, but you’d still have them for their first three or four years of FA – their primes – at reasonable rates, then have the years after the opt-out jump to the $25M range for Harper and perhaps $20-22M for Rendon. But really, you’re thinking that these are going to turn out to be 6-7 year contracts, not 12-13, as they’ll very likely opt out unless they are broken down or have dramatically regressed.

    Sure there would be risks. Harper could turn out to be more Heyward than Stanton, good but not great. Rendon might be at his plateau now, not still on the upward curve that we hope. Or they could hit the chronic injury problems, like Kemp.

    There are risks in everything, but all things considered, there are fewer risks in buying up Harper/Rendon peak years in their 20s than paying Desmond and Zimmermann into their later 30s. And all and all, which players are the real core of the future of the franchise?


    18 Nov 14 at 7:56 am

  47. Extensions: we’d be buying “high” on Rendon right now; loved his 2014 season; was that peak or norm? And we’d be buying “low” on Harper; he’s yet to put together one full season to show what he can really do; is he 90% of Mike Trout or 50% of him?

    But any talk of an extension with either Harper or Rendon is useless. Why? They’re both represented by Scott Boras. Boras’s defining principles with players is to take them to free agency, create a market, drive up the price. Plain and simple. You can probably count on one hand his high profile clients who signed extensions prior to going to Free agency. In fact, I went searching for such a list and found a long thread on a NY newspaper where they could come up with like 2 or 3 examples, ever, of Boras players who signed extensions.

    Todd Boss

    18 Nov 14 at 8:47 am

  48. If the Nats offered the Stanton contract to Harper, Boras would take it. He’s no idiot.

    People are forgetting that this is all about the TV contracts. Teams like the Marlins need a marquee player for the TV partner to market. When you’re talking about $80MM/yr for a tv deal, paying a guy like Stanton or Bryce $25mm of that is just a cost of doing business (how much are they paying the stars of the Big Bang Theory this year?). Performance of a marquee player is only important to the contract in that it doesn’t become RG3-like where fans are so upset that they won’t watch – however, even a guy like A-Rod is a TV dream.

    Andrew R

    18 Nov 14 at 8:55 am

  49. AndrewR: well, yeah, good point. That’s why Boras didn’t even bother to go back to the Phillies for a counter offer on Werth’s 7/$126 deal; he knew that was tens of millions of dollars higher than what he thought he was going to get, so he took it.

    Stanton’s contract is such a massive overpay, its crazy. Is Stanton the best player in the game? Nope. But he’s certainly going to be paid like it. The thing that makes no sense to me for Miami’s sake is this: it is a bad sports town. They had the best NBA team for years and wouldn’t sell out and had crowds leaving before the game was over. The Dolphins were at one point this season in jeopardy of getting blacked out (probably not any more though). Marlins were 27th in average attendance in 2014. And Miami was 29th in local TV ratings in 2014. And per Wendy Thrum’s research, Miami gets just $18M/year from their RSN.

    So, in conclusion, I have no idea what Loria is doing.

    Todd Boss

    18 Nov 14 at 9:24 am

  50. I heard on the radio yesterday that the Marlins TV contract is coming up for bid soon. Whether rational or not, Loria has been told that the way to maximize a TV deal is by having a star locked up.

    Andrew R

    18 Nov 14 at 9:32 am

  51. Andrew, not sure where you heard that; Miami’s contract was signed in 2006 and isn’t up until 2020. or .

    If “soon” is “in 6 years” then sure. But no, otherwise they’re locked into a very low annual deal for 6 more seasons.

    Todd Boss

    18 Nov 14 at 9:44 am

  52. Count me in as against giving out anything more than a six-seven year deal. To anyone. MLB may not be the NFL, but presupposing that someone has a 13 year career of pinnacle productivity is a risk not worth taking if a team’s farm system and acquisitions via free agency mean that a replacement is only a step away. And then the contract is an albatross. Who would trade for Stanton after his first bad year? Who would trade for Ryan Zimmerman?

    I would be reluctant to even give more than a five year deal to most pitchers. How many truly sustain a high level of success for more than five years?

    If it makes for attrition, so be it. Pour the saved money back into scouting, development, and baseball presence in Latin America and other diamond prospecting.

    College teams have to turn their rosters over every couple of years or more if they are good. The great franchises can and do. The minor leagues and development are designed to create depth, and when depth is not there, trades from a position of depth.

    The Stanton contract may be justifiable, but Loria is a sociopath and he will be in handcuffs before the end of that deal. Why be guided accordingly?

    If the Nats cannot develop a replacement for Rendon and Harper within four-six years, they do no deserve to be a championship team.

    They can and should try to sign their talent, even at a high AAV, and trade them if they cannot for maximum return, as they traded Morse (for three useable pieces). That’s why you hire a GM who knows how to trade, and contracts people who know how to sign, and a scouting dept that knows how to draft.


    18 Nov 14 at 10:00 am

  53. For the record, I hate long-term contracts. Three or four years is about all you can reasonably project. If all the teams would just agree to play within those parameters . . . well, that would be collusion and would get everyone into trouble.

    I don’t know what the answer is. It seems like the market is starting to force everyone to consider contracts of seven years as the norm, and 10-13 if you’re trying to protect a young investment. Some of this thinking may still be driven by the PED era, when players didn’t age normally. But they DO age, and even most who have decent seasons in their later 30s have some very up-and-down years in between.

    Anyway, if you’ve got to overpay and over-extend, I’d rather do it for players in their 20s than in their 30s, if it’s possible. And I do agree that the Nats would be “buying low” right now on Harper, but that might actually be what would get Boras to give such a deal a chance.

    Shifting gears a little, but still related to the contract situations facing the Nats, I wonder if the Braves’ seeming concession for the next couple of years presents the Nats with an opportunity to retool a little, and perhaps give some kids a shot, without as much concern over having to win in the high 90s to win the division. It might also allow the Nats to think more in terms of structuring the team for the playoffs instead of the 162. (Swap a big arm for a big bat, for example?)


    18 Nov 14 at 12:27 pm

  54. Crasnick’s quite critical take on the contract and Loria in general:

    Todd Boss

    18 Nov 14 at 12:45 pm

  55. Braves: I wonder if they’re not looking at the Marlins (who with a healthy Fernandez are a lot closer to the playoffs than we may think) and the Mets (who could have a pretty formidable rotation in 2015 with Harvey, deGrom, Wheeler and their two best prospects Snydergard and Matz or Montero) and saying to themselves … man we’re in for a dog fight just for a WC.

    Todd Boss

    18 Nov 14 at 12:50 pm

  56. I couldn’t help thinking, while reading these latest comments, how much the owners get a huge benefit from the rules of the game forcing fans to take their side, without us really being aware of it.

    So hear me out: tens of thousands of kids dream of being big league players every year, including most of us once upon a time. They get weeded out through little league, travel, HS, college and the good (or lucky) ones eventually make the move into pro ball. A true american success story. Where they are assigned to a team without any input. That team has the right to keep them in the minors for 6 years (I think), paying less than minimum wage. Then if they do really well, they get promoted to the major leagues, where their employment rights and pay are controlled/restricted for another 7 years. And tehn finally, at long last, they become ‘free’: to find a job of their choosing, and negotiate their pay based on a free market. But now they are mostly past their prime. And we fans, including me, are horrified about the chance that our team would pay too much or too long.

    I get it, we’d all trade places with them, and they still make good money once they get to the majors, but it really is odd that we side with the mostly-faceless owners that we have virtually no connection with, instead of the ballplayers that we do.

    But even so, that Stanton deal is crazy :)


    18 Nov 14 at 2:07 pm

  57. Wally, good points all. The typical economic rules of supply and demand vastly skew the economic scale for pro players.

    But there’s also the union factor. The players union is pretty powerful, and they’re incentivized to protect their own interests. Minor league players are not union members, so their rights have been frittered away over the years by a union trying to protect its veterans. That’s why you see amateur slot bonus limits accepted … while ramrodding in the stupid qualifying offer system (which, ironically, has yet to be taken by any player getting one). If there was a minor league players union, i’m sure we’d see some different rules.

    Even the rules for 6 years within a system is a negotiated construct; it used to be worse. Rule 5 was designed to keep teams from hoarding mlb-ready players, again trying to find an adjustment to the system.

    One thing I’m not entirely clear on is this: once you get on the 40-man roster, are you earning MLB pay? I’ve seen different figures. So lets say that AJ Cole is added to the 40-man but starts next year in AAA. He’s not earning MLB min salary right? What is he earning? I bring this up b/c there clearly is a carrot to getting onto the 40-man and i’m wondering how much of a pay hike they get.

    Todd Boss

    18 Nov 14 at 2:40 pm

  58. I thought the 40 man benefit meant they started accruing service time, which is helpful towards pension and benefits, but did nothing for current salary. But I don’t know that for sure.

    My earlier point was just to make an observation, without knowing whether I even intended any takeaway other than ‘it’s weird’. The Lerners seem fine, as far as owners go. I know some people in the real estate business, who describe them generically as very hard negotiators, and I suspect that I would have almost nothing in common with Mark Lerner. Yet, because I root for the team, I have almost no choice but to be on his side when thinking of whether they should give JZ a 7/$175m contract, or Desi an 8/$120m deal, to use two guys who seem like good guys, and solid teammates, but with deals I would think are bad for the team. It’s weird because in almost any other instance that I can think of, I’d root for the player.


    18 Nov 14 at 4:46 pm

  59. I can’t say that I ever “root” for the Lerners. I root for Rizzo to make effective decisions that do the team right in the long run. I know in the end its Lerner’s money (well … as a way of thinking that is … they “earn” that money only by virtue of the fact that they were wealthy enough to buy the team in the first place, AND they were lucky enough to have Selig’s recommendation overtop of frankly more deserving ownership groups), but I also expect wealthy sports team owners to recognize that it isn’t all about money; that owning a team is like entering into a weird partnership with the fan base where they agree to spend money and root for the team while you agree not to run it with overriding profit motives.

    Todd Boss

    18 Nov 14 at 5:14 pm

  60. I think that one reason that the Lerners got the inside track to buying the team is that they are from DC and firmly committed to the area. Given the history of DC baseball with other owners, I’m OK with a local wealthy family getting an edge over carpetbaggers.

    Yeah, the Mets and Marlins could be better next year. And the Braves could be OK (especially if they sign Lester). If everything goes right. But they could also be significantly worse. The Nats didn’t have everything go right last year, and won 96 games.

    If you step back from all three teams, the Nats have the fewest question marks of them all. And if/when the Nats address the second base situation, we’ll see where those question lists stand.

    John C.

    18 Nov 14 at 8:16 pm

  61. And farewell to The Onion, Jhonthan Solano, released today, bringing the 40-man down to 38. One would think they will try to re-sign Solano to a MiLB contract. One would also think that Leon, who isn’t hitting at all in winter ball at last report, will be soon to follow.

    As for owners, I’m tempted to be smart and make it Lerner vs. Loria, but that’s too cheap and easy. (Why, oh why, did Stanton hitch his fate to that fraud? Perhaps he doesn’t remember the Expos . . .) I faulted the Lerners some in the past, particularly when the stadium opened and they spent nothing on the team. But that has changed, and it really does seem to be Rizzo who has patiently gotten them to open their wallets a little more at a time. (Kasten never could.) But I don’t blame them if they don’t want to go much beyond $150M at this point, all the more so if the MASN lunacy isn’t settled. You can build and maintain a playoff team at that general level. But you can’t extend everyone in sight, as some in the Natosphere want. Big, bad contracts don’t guarantee anything. Just ask the Phils, or the Dodgers, who would probably give away an OF or two for nothing to anyone who would take the contracts.


    18 Nov 14 at 8:21 pm

  62. Some teams are doing a lot of cutting in the last minute, hoping other teams’ rosters are set and they can get a player to accept a minor league deal. Maybe someone will surface who is worth snapping up (Instead of Florimon, or the RHP from St. Louis). The Nats got Frandsen in a last minute cut. Should be a fun 24 hours — even more fun if a trade is coming.

    I think that’s what has been part of the Nats dominoes game. They played Purke well by cutting him earlier — late in the game for some but giving the impression of damaged goods.

    Solano was an allstar in AAA. Not bad organizational depth, if they can get him back, Purke style.

    So far…

    1. Cole
    2. Grace

    with a day to go.


    18 Nov 14 at 8:30 pm

  63. Well, T-Mo has done all he can to pump up his trade value.

    You’d protect Grace over Goodwin or Skole?


    18 Nov 14 at 8:43 pm

  64. I think they create three more slots (Goodwin, Skole, Difo). I put Grace there because of the Wagner article. No way he pulls that out of his arse without the organization quietly telling him Grace is going to be protected. The Post is well sourced, as is Ladson.

    I still think they are working in a deal, be it involving Det (which would explain Grace) or others. But they can shed a few more if they have to.

    If they lost Skole because they protected Florimon, that would feel lousy.


    18 Nov 14 at 9:44 pm

  65. I don’t think they will protect five. I’ll go with three: Cole, Goodwin, and Grace.


    19 Nov 14 at 5:10 am

  66. I think they protect Cole, Goodwin, Difo for sure. Grace seems likely, and Skole is the bubble guy. I think he gets drafted by someone but they may be betting he won’t stick, a la Kobernus.


    19 Nov 14 at 7:44 am

  67. Grace seems like he’s closer to the majors, so yeah maybe he gets protected surprisingly. Same thing happened more or less with Barrett and Davis; weren’t the best prospects in the system but got protected b/c rule-5 is more about keeping players who you think can stick with another team’s 25-man roster.

    Todd Boss

    19 Nov 14 at 8:29 am

  68. In my rule-5 protection post I went with the order of Cole and Skole, then Goodwin, then Grace, then Difo (with hopes of resigning two MLFAs in Martin and Hood).

    Maybe that’s not the right order anymore. We’ll know by the end of today (not sure when today the list has to be filed, but its sometime today that 40-man rosters are updated ahead of rule-5).

    Todd Boss

    19 Nov 14 at 8:32 am

  69. Well, since today is the day, here are my predictions:

    The Nats will trade someone today for lower level prospects.

    I don’t think they release Leon. If they release someone it will be a pitcher or Florimon.

    There are a few people I am thinking about….

    Ross Detwiler – I cannot help but think that they keep Cedeno (for now) and cut Detwiler loose. Jerry Blevins did not disappoint and that has to make Detwiler’s chances for the 25 man next year even more remote. And he has an expendable salary.

    Tyler Moore – Much as I hate it, I see him being traded off his winter league performance. But not until players like LaRoche and Morse sign and teams who need power at 1B realize that he may be the most promising option out there. Unless, of course, he is part of a multiplayer deal.

    Taylor Hill – I can see him being packaged off to a second division team that would throw him in the mix for a starting job in the spring. That is the kind of deal or package I could see today.

    Tyler Clippard – His demands coming in arbitration, and his value right now will never be higher. If the team wants to pry away high grade middle infield talent from the Cubs (or anyone else), and they can sign him to an extension, that’s a way to get a major talent without giving up Zimm. (See Capps). Alternatively, Storen could go.

    Denard Span – Ironically, the Twins are looking for a CF. I would love to see the Nats give Souza an everyday position. But Span is Rizzo’s guy, and at 9m, I can;t see theem dealing their leadoff hitter, whatever his failures last year. Not even for Alex Meyer (just kidding).

    Danny Espinosa – I don’t see him being dealt, either. His actual value far exceeds his trade value, and Rizzo values defense more than we do. He will get his chances to rebound, though not as the opening day starter.

    Matt Thornton – I thought about this for Detwiler as well; seeing what Zack Duke got, the yield for him in a trade might be substantial. He is old but his value will never be higher. If he were traded I would be shocked and possibly dismayed but not at all surprised.

    JZimm – I think the key to JZ’s future is whether Fister signs. I’m thinking of the two simultaneously.

    Cuts – Mattheus, Eric Davis, Florimon and Kobernus would make room for Cole/Grace/Difo/Goodwin/ and Skole. If the team let Difo get away and he were to take off, someone would lose his job. Goodwin is a mystery because no one knows his injury. But seeing as he was drafted with Rendon and Meyer, I can;t see him being jettisoned, especially given the recent failings in drafts and Souza’s late blooming. I think he gets protected. Skole is a wild card. If they plan to trade Moore, they almost have to protect him. His numbers overall are not flashy, but I think it is because he deconditioned as the year wore on. I think Skole will have a big year in AAA next year after his rests.

    Keep an eye on Colorado (Wetzel) and Cincinatti (Miller). The new guys know their lower level talent. I think that is what the yield from trades will primarily be. A-/A+ level power, A-/A+ tools guys who play middle infield of corner OF and LH starting pitchers. The organization has a logjam of pitching at AA and AAA and lots of injury comebacks to triage. Below A+ it is thinner and there is more opportunity.


    19 Nov 14 at 9:42 am

  70. On Detwiler, I mean traded, not released.


    19 Nov 14 at 9:43 am

  71. PS – Martin is not a MLFA. He is with the organization through 2016. And he is still tearing it up. Definitely gives the team more flexibility in cost-saving decisions with expensive bullpen guys. He has nothing more to prove in the minors.

    Hood is, apparently,if one must guess, trying to find a situation where he could get a major league contract or a spring invite with a team for which he has a realistic chance of sticking. Brandon Laird may be a better bat to hope for a return.


    19 Nov 14 at 9:48 am

  72. Martin’s status is confusing to me. Plays in the Mexican league from 2007-2009 (ages 23-25) … where was he before that? Just amateur leagues in Mexico? Wait: i found the answer in a WP article from 2010:

    Amazing; he was pitching in a weekly amateur league in California, likely the same league that we play in (MABL/MSBL). Anyway, gets a trying and an offer from a Mexican league team in 2006, plays there for 3 years.

    So the article says the Nats “purchased” his contract at one point, then says “signed” him in another. Either way, it seems like an international signing. Except that he was already 25. So at the MOST he’s a 6-year player in our ML system, meaning 2015 is the final year of his contract (2010,11,12,13,14,15). Except that he wasn’t a kid either … so like a junior/senior college draftee you have to think he gets exposed to rule-5 earlier than a kid who was in HS or a 16-yr old In’tl signee … so does that mean he’s rule-5 eligible this year?

    Todd Boss

    19 Nov 14 at 10:13 am

  73. Doug Harris told Mick Reinhard he is in the organization next year (not Rule 5).

    It’s confusing, but Harris will get that right before we will. I think Mick may have brought this up here or on Luke’s board.


    19 Nov 14 at 10:49 am

  74. Well, if Martin is locked in for another year and is NOT rule-5 eligible … then you leave him exactly where he is. Minor league contract in AAA with an invite to ST to see if he can beat someone out and/or be ready to fill in for injury. Zero reason to add him to the 40-man until you have to.

    Todd Boss

    19 Nov 14 at 11:12 am

  75. Exactly.

    But every reason to trade a high priced player when you have a fifteen man bullpen of realistic options now.

    Certainly Martin is farther along now than Barrett was at this point in 2013.


    19 Nov 14 at 11:29 am

  76. …and Tampa Bay. Cubbage, the newbie, is coming out of several years with Tampa and no doubt has ties to Gardner. The Nats get their own Friedman intel.


    19 Nov 14 at 11:31 am

  77. News flash: the Nats have signed the guy who had the fourth-highest single-season HR total ever in college. But that was 1997, and they’ve now hired Brandon Larson as a scout. He actually finished second in HRs in ’97, to the Big Puma (41 to Larson’s 40), who was drafted two picks after him. The guy in third place on that season’s HR list was Troy Glaus. Both he and Berkman had more than 300 HRs in the majors, while Larson had 8. Larson spent his last affiliated professional season with the Nats, at Harrisburg in 2007.

    Eight picks after Larson, the Orioles took a lanky high school catcher from Illinois. He probably couldn’t even grow a beard then. I wonder what ever became of that Werth kid.


    19 Nov 14 at 8:03 pm

  78. Andrew R

    20 Nov 14 at 12:26 am

  79. Marlins “hope to renegotiate” their TV deal? Well, I “hope” someone gives me a new BMW. Who would give them a new deal when their ratings are so god-awful? Even if the Stanton contract was a gambit to try to increase revenues and increase ratings … they already had him this year and were nearly dead last in all those categories.

    Plus … what incentives would there be for a TV company to renegotiate? “Hmm; i’m paying $18M/year for a sh*tty team that barely draws …so yeah lets renegotiate the deal early so I can pay you more money!” What business would possibly agree to that?

    Sorry to sound argumentative. But come on.

    Todd Boss

    20 Nov 14 at 9:16 am

  80. No right-thinking TV executive would offer a new deal for the Marlins right now. First, they’re already locked in at a low rate for… what did you say, Todd, six more seasons? If they get better on the field (which they should) and their viewership grows, then the small TV deal looks like a big win for the network, stock goes up, bonuses for everyone! So why would you turn that into a loss by voluntarily giving away more money that you don’t owe simply because the Marlins signed a player they already had. And that brings me to my second point, the Marlins ratings were abysmal with Stanton on the team. Does anyone imagine their viewership will increase just because he’s *still* on the team? Their fanbase doesn’t even grow when they win the WS.


    20 Nov 14 at 9:49 am

  81. Seems like I am always taking the counter argument lately but … not so sure it is as crazy an idea as it first seems.

    No one is happy with low ratings: not the Marlins given what they get paid for it, nor the network given what they can sell advertising on it for (or the fee they charge the cable subscribers). So the network would happily pay more if they knew the ratings would be higher (of course, they would even more happily pay the same for higher ratings, but that is unlikely to happen so they have to start thinking about a compromise). No one would increase the Marlins fee now, but the network would love to see Loria spend some money to improve the product. But he doesn’t have to do that, and they are locked into paying and showing this crappy product for another 6 years. So it isn’t crazy for Loria to say ‘if I spend some money now and it boosts ratings, I’d like to see some of that additional revenue’, and the network feeling like that could be a good business arrangement. The problem is, Loria is such a snake, it could never be a fixed payment, cause once he negotiated it, he’d likely just drop payroll down to rock bottom and pocket the money. So it would have to be a profit sharing mechanism that floats up and down depending how ratings do. But I could see it happening.


    20 Nov 14 at 11:28 am

  82. If I own the Marlins’ TV contract, I would give Loria the full Angelos treatment and laugh in his face. (Not that I usually cite Angelos as a role model!) Seriously, what benefit would there be for the TV people to renegotiate, particularly with a “snake”? This is the same guy who opened the stadium and they traded half the team. (The Braves seem to be trying to one-up him, just getting approval for the stadium before trading half the team.)

    Getting back to today’s festivities, here is a useful list for the five of us who actually care about this stuff:


    20 Nov 14 at 12:11 pm

  83. Todd, does anyone know which organizations are at 40 now, and have not yet added from the minors?

    I would imagine that teams with greater depth are playing possum, hoping that when they outright players off the roster, others will already be at 40 and they can sneak players through waivers. The Nats got Cole Kimball back that way a few years ago (from Toronto).

    Its as if there ill be a flood of transactions between 1145 and 1215 tonight.


    20 Nov 14 at 12:40 pm

  84. The Mayo link KW just posted is the best overview that i’ve seen and I have it linked to the “post rule5” post placeholder that i’ll post so we have a spot to argue about who did or didn’t get protected :-)

    Todd Boss

    20 Nov 14 at 2:06 pm

  85. Well there you have it: Cole, Goodwin, Difo and Grace. Mattheus and Florimon let go. Skole exposed to Rule 5.


    20 Nov 14 at 5:31 pm

  86. It isn’t midnight yet. 😉

    We didn’t see the value of Florimon, but the Pirates sure did. Interesting. They would have had to pass on him in September when the Nats picked up up.


    20 Nov 14 at 5:41 pm

  87. Farewell to Mattheus, who played a useful role in 2012. Florimon, we hardly knew ye, but without options, he really didn’t have a place with the Nats anyway, nor was he tradeable.

    Even though I interjected Difo into the Goodwin-Skole conversation a few days ago, I’m still a little surprised they protected him. It’s very hard to see a low-A guy sticking somewhere else. But he’s really all the Nats have in the middle infield prospect-wise, unless you think Renda is going to grow another foot or so.

    Not protecting Skole doesn’t surprise me. He’s aging (in prospect terms), he’s blocked, he can’t play many positions, and he sputtered last year. Some second-tier team may be intrigued by his power potential and take him in the Rule 5 draft, but I’d say there is less than a 50% chance of that. I hope he stays with the Nats and finds his stroke in Syracuse. The Nats will need a LH bat or two sooner or later in 2015.

    And yet another deadline has passed with T-Mo still a Nat. I do hope they can get something in trade for him. Of the guys out of options, we’re down to T-Mo, Leon, and Cedeno (and Lobaton). Grace may be Cedeno’s nightmare.


    20 Nov 14 at 8:02 pm

  88. New posted specifically on the guys taken; I should have done this last night but I got caught off-guard on how early they did the adds.

    Todd Boss

    21 Nov 14 at 8:26 am

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