Nationals Arm Race

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

Archive for the ‘Nats in General’ Category

BA Handbook Nats top 30 Reaction

one comment

Hassell is a top prospect and a major part of our future outfield. Photo via nbcsports

One of the big 4 of prospect rankings (BA, MLBpipeline, Fangraphs, and Keith Law) published their rankings this week, by way of their annual Handbook. Thanks to Luke Erickson who posted a 2-part post listing the names (part1 and part2). He also had his own reactions and thoughts.

Here’s the list from 1-30 for reference.

Last NameFirst NamePositionAcquisitionBonusBA Handbook rank
WoodJamesOF (Corner)2021 2nd26000001
Hassell IIIRobertOF (CF)2020 1st43000002
GreenElijahOF (CF)2022 1st65000003
CavalliCadeRHP (Starter)2020 1st30270004
HouseBradySS/3B2021 1st50000005
VaqueroCristianOF (CF)2022 IFA49000006
SusanaJarlinRHP (Starter)2022 IFA17000007
De La RosaJeremyOF (Corner)2018 IFA3000008
RutledgeJacksonRHP (Starter)2019 1st34500009
WhiteT.J.OF (Corner)2021 5th40000010
BennettJakeLHP (Starter)2022 2nd173480011
CruzArmandoSS2021 IFA390000012
HenryColeRHP (Starter)2020 2nd200000013
ParkerMitchellLHP (Starter)2020 5th10000014
LaraAndryRHP (Starter)2019 IFA125000015
WardThadRHP (Starter)2018 5th27500016
QuintanaRoismarOF (CF)2019 IFA82000017
CroninMattLHP (Reliever)2019 4th46450018
PinedaIsraelC2016 IFA45000019
FerrerJoseLHP (Reliever)2017 IFA?20
BrzykcyZachRHP (Reliever)2020 NDFA2000021
IrvinJakeRHP (Starter)2018 4th55000022
LeeEvanLHP (Starter)2018 15th12500023
LipscombTrey3B2022 3rd75850024
MillasDrewC2019 7th17000025
CarrilloGerardoRHP (Reliever)2016 IFA7500026
LileDaylenOF (CF)2021 2nd175000027
CateTimLHP (Starter)2018 2nd98620028
RamirezAldoRHP (Starter)2018 IFA45000029
FrizzellWill1B2021 8th17980030

And here’s my reactions. Note: the BA top 10 was previously published on 12/1/22 and nothing in the top 10 has changed. So, comments on the top 10 will sound familiar.

  • the top 8 are basically the same as anyone else’s top 8 for the system.
  • Hassell over Green, otherwise consistent with the last few rankings.
  • Rutledge at #9. I won’t go into it again. Relevant stats: 4th pro season, 4.90 ERA and 1.39 WHIP as a 25yr old in Low-A. $3.45M draft bonus, 1st rounder in 2019, and now on the 40-man.
  • As Prospects1500 did, T.J. White bumped up all the way to #10.
  • Cole Henry down at #13. Fangraphs had him at #2 in July.
  • Mitchell Parker at #14, as compared to Prospects1500, which had him buried at #27, or MLBpipeline, which had him similarly buried in the off-season. I like the respect here.
  • Rule 5 pickup Thad Ward at #16 now in the system. An indictment for sure, as Erickson noted.
  • Matt Cronin at #18, when others have had him well below. Is a lefty reliever specialist a good prospect, or a fungible replacement level player?
  • Israel Pineda, at #19 in the system. After years of underperforming, he hit well at AA this year, moved to AAA briefly and was added to the 40-man. Is this the real deal?
  • Jake Irvin. #22 here, #35 at Prospects1500, and outside the top 30 at the last MLB ranking. I mean, I guess if you’re scouting the score line his AA line this year wasn’t great (4.79 ERA), but his WHIP was decent, his K/BB good, and after years away thanks to injury and Covid it was a promising season. Now he’s on the 40-man and he’s gonna get MLB starts this year. Is this a #22 prospect?
  • Evan Lee at #23, when he was outside the top 50 on prospect1500. I think this is a decent ranking for now until we see how his injury shakes out.
  • Trey Lipscomb at #24; well below the lofty #15 spot Prospcts1500 had him.
  • Tim Cate, still hanging in there at #28. Just can’t let him go can you?

outside the top 30:

  • Any of our 2023 IFA signings; i guess BA doesn’t start considering them until they start playing.
  • Jared McKenzie: mid 20s in other shops, outside our top 30. we’ll see how he does in 2023.
  • Brenner Cox: #11 on Prospects1500, outside BA’s top 30? This seems like a miss.
  • Samuel Infante: Our 2nd rounder just three years ago is nowhere to be found. Our sordid history of sh*tty 2nd round picks continues. Stop me when you hear a name you like: Bennett, Lile, Infante, Forfeited for Corbin, Cate, Crowe, Neuse, Stevenson & Perkins, Suarez who didn’t sign, Johansen, Renda, Forfeited for Werth signing, Solis, Koburnus, Hood, Smolinksi & Zimmermann. OK, that’s frigging going back to 2007 before we find a for-real impact 2nd rounder. That’s ridiculous!!!
  • Jake Alu: ok so we can rank Cate in the top 30, a guy who has basically ZERO chance of playing in the majors at this point, versus Alu, who we can almost guarantee is going to break camp with the MLB roster in 2023.
  • Hey, at least they didn’t rank Yasel Antuna.

Written by Todd Boss

January 27th, 2023 at 9:52 pm

Posted in Nats in General

Are we sure this is the right Direction for 2023?

15 comments

Corey Dickerson, new Nats signing, from 2019, the last time he was good. Photo via wikipedia

Upon hearing the latest “1 year veteran FA lottery ticket” signing (Corey Dickerson), I paused to update the Big Board and slot in Dickerson into the starting lineup.

If the season opened today, here’s what we’re presumably putting out on the field:

CARuiz, Keibert#
1BSmith, Dominic*
2BGarcia, Luis*
SSAbrams, C.J.
3BCandelario, Jeimer#
CFDickerson, Corey*
CFRobles, Victor
RFThomas, Lane
DHMeneses, Joey

This lineup includes now three off-season signings in Dominic Smith, Jeimer Candelario, and now Dickerson. All of them are getting non-trivial money to come here, and all of them are going to start.

Here’s the thing. The team lost 107 games last year. We (arguably) had internal players to cover the three positions these guys are now projected to play.

Why exactly did we sign them, instead of playing our prospects??

So, instead of allowing Joey Meneses , who lest we forget hit 13 homers in 65 games last year en route to a 165 OPS+ figure, to play 1B primarily, we’ve bought Smith and guaranteed him the spot (2022 slash line for Smith: .194/.276/.284.

Instead of seeing if Carter Kieboom can actually hold onto the job at 3B, or (gasp) maybe give a shot to (arguably) the best minor league hitter we had last year in Jake Alu, we now get to watch some random guy named Candelario (2022 slash line: .217 .272 .361).

Instead of rolling the dice in LF with a guy like Alex Call (or even positionally-flexible Meneses or Alu) or newly signed Stone Garrett, or maybe even to continue to give ABs to Yadiel Hernandez (who had a 108 OPS+ last year at the position) … we get Dickerson, who is now on his 7th team at the age of 34, has zero history here, and is literally the definition of journeyman.

Is this what we really want as a fan-base? To have these positions filled by guys we couldn’t pick out of a lineup, instead of seeing if we have internal options that can grow into the positions?

What’s the goal in 2023? To only lose 106 games? Do we really care if we go 55-107 again? All our top prospects are babies, aged 19-20 and playing in the lower minors. It’s going to take several years for these guys to matriculate. We KNOW 2023 is a lost season already. The ownership is in flux, the damn MASN thing still remains unresolved, and we have $65M tied up in two starters who may never pitch again.

I mean, what’s next? Do we re-sign Nelson Cruz to paper over Meneses yet again and relegate him to the bench? What’s more valuable to the team: 4 months of a 1yr FA on the off-chance he has a decent summer and can be flipped for some low-A reliever at the trade deadline, or to see if guys like Kieboom, Alu, Garrett, heck maybe even Jeter Downs can compete?

Written by Todd Boss

January 11th, 2023 at 8:11 am

2022 Non-Tender Deadline Analysis

19 comments

I’m sure Voit wasn’t happy getting traded from a playoff contender to the worst team in the league. But now he’ll likely get to test the FA waters after a non-tender. (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

November is always a busy month for transactions. You have the end of the season and the parting of ways of FAs, then the declaration of dozens of MLFAs, then Rule-5 roster machinations, and now the Non-Tender deadline.

This is another long-running piece we try to do here every year. Here’s known links for years past analysis: 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011.

The non-tender decisions generally weigh options, salary projection, roster depth, and performance. So we’ll talk about all these factors for each player. Key resources to use during this analysis will include:

While it is true that the team could choose to non-tender pre-arb players this coming Friday (as they did last year with Mike Ford), they could do these moves at any time with any number of pre-Arb 40-man players who might be needed. I would have almost no problem DFA’ing any one of Fox, Palacios, Weems, Garrett, or Antuna right now. But they’re all pre-Arb players who aren’t even projected necessarily to make the 2023 active roster, meaning they’re costing the team a pittance. So we’ll skip those names for now.

Lets review every Arbitration-eligible player we have, in rough order of projected salary, and make some comments.

  • Voit, Luke: Acquired as a throw-in with the huge San Diego trade last season. Was on an Arb2 year contract of $5.45M but the Nats only had to pay the prorated amount of about $1.9M. Projects to $6.5M in 2023 salary. Two options left, so he could be optioned. He’s positionally limited to 1B or DH, is kind of a 3 true outcomes guy, with low BA, high Ks and decent power (22 hrs in 2022). The team has almost nothing invested in the guy and discovered Joey Meneses in 2022, a guy who plays the same position AND can play RF, who makes the minimum, and who drastically out hit Voit. Heck, i’d rather put Meneses at 1B and recall Yadiel Hernandez to bash it in RF in 2023. For me, a clear non-tender.
  • Robles, Victor. Here we go again. Another season, and another year of debating this guy. Nothing has changed from the last dozen times we’ve had this conversation: Its his third straight year of hitting at or below a .600 OPS figure but giving the team plus defense in CF (he’s a 2022 Gold Glove Finalist). He’s only 26 but already has 1675 MLB PAs, so its highly likely we have what we have in him at the plate at this point. He has an option left. He made just $1.65M this year but Cots projects him to $3.9M next. $3.9M is ridiculous for a 70 OPS production, no matter how good his defense is. Meanwhile, the team has Lane Thomas who gave above league average OPS production with power who can play CF, and just added a true CF to the 40-man in De La Rosa. We are after all pretty thin on the 40-man right now in terms of OF: Thomas, Robles, Call, Palacios, Antuna, and De La Rosa. If the season started tomorrow … are you really going to battle with Call or Palacios starting in RF? I hope not, and it lends me to believe the team will be looking at OFs in FA. What does that mean for Robles? Maybe if his projected salary wasn’t so high, you could make the argument to keep him. But not at $4M for what we’re getting. But I’m not the Nats, who have continued to give him chance after chance, so him getting non-tendered would be a shock.
  • Fedde, Erick: Another guy who comes up year after year. In 2022, he was awful, going 6-13 with a 5.81 ERA, a 5.15 FIP in 27 starts. That was good for just a 67 ERA+ figure. For that he earned 2.15M this year and is projected to earn $2.65M next. He has no options. Our working theory is that the team has kept giving him chances (as opposed to them cutting bait as they did with Austin Voth) precisely due to his signing bonus, and I continue to believe this is the case. That being said … if everyone is healthy Fedde looks like he’s 6th on the SP depth chart (behind Strasburg, Corbin, Grey, Gore, and Cavalli). But we know everyone is never healthy. Would you rather have Fedde instead of one of the rest of the possible SPs? Espino, Abbott, Adon, Irvin, Carrillo, Rutledge? Espino and Abbott were both swingmen and had medicore numbers on the year, but Espino proved he was much better in relief and seem to me to be better served in the bullpen. Same with Abbott; far better in the pen in 2022 than as a starter. So those guys don’t count. That leaves Adon (1-12 in 2022) and three guys who have never pitched in the majors. So, I hate to say it, but I think the team needs to tender Fedde to eat 2023 innings.
  • Finnegan, Kyle basically became our closer upon Rainey‘s injury, and performed adequately there. As a result of getting a bunch of 2022 saves, Finnegan’s price tag goes from a MLB minimum salary in 2022 to a projected $2.1M in 2023. No matter; he performed well, he’s our 2023 closer (Rainey had TJ surgery in August and likely misses most if not all of 2023), and you tender him.
  • Thomas, Lane: has been found money ever since we got him from STL in exchange for the fading Jon Lester. He hit above 100 OPS+ in 2022, plays all three OF positions, made the minimum last year and only projects to $1.65M this year. Easy Tender, could be our CF opening day starter if the team finally cuts ties with Robles.
  • Edwards, Carl was perhaps our best 2022 reliever after signing a MLFA deal, and now is inline to get a decent pay day as he exhausts his last arb year. Edwards’ career, by the way, is perhaps the most difficult options/arbitration case/service time player i’ve ever seen: he’s been outrighted multiple times, signed both major league and minor league deals, had multiple arb cases, played for 3 different teams in 2021 alone … to this day I cannot figure out which season counted as his third arb year, but here we are in 2022 and he’s facing his 4th and last arb case.
  • Rainey, Tanner: an interesting case. He had TJ on 8/4/22, so he’ll miss most of 2023, but he’s arbitration eligible and Cots projects him to nearly double his 2022 salary to $1.5M. Why pay $1.5M to a guy who’s not going to play and will just sit on your 60-day DL all year? If it was me, i’d non-tender him and immediately resign him to a minor league deal with a handshake agreement to do a call up on 8/1/23, with performance based bonuses. If he comes back and pitches a couple of months, then structure it so he gets more than the league minimum. But this way he stays with the team and rehabs with us. One would have thought the team would have tried to sneak him through waivers earlier and just flat outrighted him (as they did with other injured arms like Tetreault and Lee). Either way, he was so dominant in 2020 (and then so awful in 2021) that the team should roll the dice with him. Or not, and tender him and pay him as little as possible and throw him on the 60-day DL as soon as you can to free up the roster spot.
  • Vargas, Ildemaro: no analysis needed; the team already signed him for 2023, avoiding arbitration. Vargas played 3B primarily for the team after it became clear that Maikel Franco sucked, and was good. But Kieboom is healthy again, and the team added Alu, so my guess is that Vargas is signed on as one of our “backup middle infielders” for 2023, ready to plug in anywhere on the dirt as needed, while Kieboom/Alu compete for the starting 3B job.
  • Arano, Victor threw a ton of innings for us last year (appearing in 43 games). He wasn’t lights out, but he also wasn’t costing the team a ton. $900k last year, projecting to $1.1M this year; resign him and put him into the mix.
  • Harvey, Hunter was either our best or second best reliever in 2022 (with Edwards) after being claimed off waivers. Found gold again. His price tag for 2023 barely projects above the league minimum; no brainer to tender.

So, If it was me, i’d non-tender Voit, Robles, and make a side deal for Rainey.

My prediction for what the Nats will do? Non-Tenders for only Voit, keeping Robles, Fedde, and all the others.

Post-publishing Actuals? Amazingly the team cut bait with Fedde. Nats non-tender Voit and Fedde.


Nats Non-Tender history.

  • 2022: Nats non-tender Voit, Fedde
  • 2021: Ryne Harper, Wander Suero, and Mike Ford non-tendered, keeping Ross, Fedde, Voth, and Stevenson, all of whom I thought would get NT’d. By the end of 2022, Voth was waived, Stevenson outrighted, Ross injured, and Fedde awful.
  • 2020: No real non-tender candidates; all arb-eligible players tendered contracts at the deadline. Didn’t even write a post for the first time ever.
  • 2019, Just Javy Guerra, who was then re-signed to a combo MLB/MLFA deal a few days later and played for us for another couple of seasons. Glover retired, and the team tendered the questionable Taylor.
  • 2018, no-one non-tendered (Roark, Taylor, Solis all candidates in one form or another).  Solis negotiated a contract pre-deadline leading to his tender.
  • 2017: No non-tender candidates; all arb-eligible players tendered contracts at the deadline.
  • 2016: we non-tendered Ben Revere, waived Aaron Barrett before having to make the NT decision, and declined Yusmeiro Petit‘s option as a way of “non-tendering” him.
  • 2015: we non-tendered Craig Stammen, but kept NT candidates Jose Lobaton and Tyler Moore (eventually trading Moore after waiving him at the end of spring training).
  • 2014: we did not non-tender anyone, though a couple weeks later traded NT candidate Ross Detwiler to Texas for two guys who never really panned out for us (Chris Bostick and Abel de los Santos).
  • 2013: we did not non-tender anyone, only Ross Ohlendorf was a candidate, and in retrospect he probably should have been NT’d since he didn’t throw a pitch for the Nationals in 2014.
  • 2012: we non-tendered three guys (Jesus FloresTom Gorzelanny, John Lannan) in the face of a huge amount of arbitration players (10).
  • 2011: we non-tendered Doug Slaten deservedly, but tendered candidate Gorzellany.
  • 2010: we non-tendered Chien-Ming Wang, Wil Nieves, Joel Peralta.  We also outrighted 5 guys prior to the NT deadline, DFA’d two more in December, and DFA/dreleased four more guys prior to Spring training in a very busy off-season.
  • 2009: we non-tendered Scott Olsen, Mike MacDougal
  • 2008: we non-tendered Tim Redding, now the Pitching coach for our Auburn Short-A team, so I guess there was no hard feelings there 🙂
  • 2007: we non-tendered Nook LoganMike O’Conner.
  • 2006: we non-tendered or declined options for Ryan Drese, Brian Lawrence, Zach Day (it might have only been Day who was officially non-tendered)
  • 2005: we non-tendered Carlos BaergaPreston WilsonJunior Spivey.

Written by Todd Boss

November 17th, 2022 at 9:43 am

Post rule-5 Move Reactions

7 comments

Rutledge amazingly gets added to the 40-man. Photo via BA

So, in the wake of my big Rule-5 preview … i didn’t think the team was going to do much.

But they did a lot. Lets talk about the players added and the players removed.

Added:

  • Jake Alu inf
  • Matt Cronin lhp
  • Jeremy De La Rosa of
  • Jose Ferrer lhp
  • Jake Irvin rhp
  • Jackson Rutledge rhp

Alu: I thought Alu was a decent candidate for his AAA success, but was thinking perhaps the team would let him slide as someone who was perhaps seen as “undersized utility guy.” Clearly they favor him more, and this gives us more evidence that Alu is going to compete straight up with Kieboom this coming spring.

Cronin: So, in my preview I thought Cronin was the only “lock” to get added, based on his plug-n-play and his success in AAA. So, no surprise here.

De La Rosa: surprised he got added. The guy is only 20 and hit .197 in a few games in High-A. Yes he raked in Low-A; read that sentence again: he’s 20. Who is going to draft his guy and have him stay on a 25-man roster all year? I’m not doubting the guy’s ability, i just can’t believe someone would waste a roster spot on a 20yr old OF like him. If he was an arm? Sure. so we’re going to have at least one 40-man player in High-A next spring.

Ferrer: I didn’t think he was really a viable candidate since he was in High-A most of the year. Again, who would pick a guy who had only demonstrated he could succeed in A ball? Nonetheless, he’s here.

Irvin: Honestly, I didn’t think his AA numbers merited a spot. But, perhaps the Nats are thinking about his pedigree instead of his performance.

Rutledge: the most amazing selection of all. Reminder: he had a .4.90 ERA in LOW-A this year. This is entirely a protection based on protecting a big bonus and not the player on the field. You can generally count on one hand the number of 40-man players in A ball in a given year … and our team is set to have two of them in 2023. Amazing.

Now, lets be honest. I’m not “mad” about any of these additions. I’m always up for protecting our players instead of letting them go. I’m just kind of surprised that some of these guys got picked, knowing what we know about rule5.


Biggest surprises not to get protected? Millas of course, given our catching depth. Nobody else really; the only other guy i mentioned as being in the realm ofpossible to get protected was Brill.


Lets talk about who the team dumped to get here. Two days ago we were at 39/40 on the 40-man; now we have 6 new guys.

  • Seth Romero mercifully cut after yet another disgression: we’ll have a separate post-mortem post.
  • Tommy Romero dfa’d: no surprise here; he was perhaps 3rd or 4th on my list of “next guy to get the DFA.”
  • Jackson Tetreault: cut not because he merited it .. but because he’s hurt and thus passed easily through waivers. More importantly (and this is the exact same situation with Lee) … Tetreault was eligible to be outrighted against his will once he passed through waivers. So this (and Lee) were strategic outrights, knowing they’d be guaranteed to still be with the org. Well done .. and another example of how the roster rules continually screw pre-arb players in this sport.
  • Evan Lee: See Tetreault; Lee has a left flexor strain, a huge red flag for teams in the modern Tommy John happy era.
  • Yadiel Hernandez: The one that really shocked me. I mean, i had him possibly penciled in as the starting LF next season based on his bat. But then again, maybe this was a calculated gamble by the team to DFA a player who they could outright and control, as with Tetreault and Lee. The cuban sticks with the team but is bound for AAA once again, a situation that has to be a huge bummer for him.

Something tells me we’ll be seeing Tetreault, Lee, and Hernandez again. But not for a while. At least we retain them.

More interesting is why the team bothered to keep rif-raf on the 40-man like:

  • Fox, who went 2-28 in the majors and a middling .241 in the minors
  • Palacios, who posted a 46 OPS+ in a completely replaceable position.
  • Weems, who posted a 5.22 ERA in the bullpen as a RHP middle reliever.
  • Garrett, who gave up 7 runs in 9 innings
  • Antuna, who continues to have 9 lives, hitting .215 in High-A. He has one option remaining until finally this arrogant decision can be put behind us when, after he again flirts with the Mendoza line in the minors in 2023, he’ll be forced to be DFA’d thanks to the exhausting of waivers in the spring of 2024.

More moves have to be coming, including some non-tenders (a separate post on that forth coming as well), because the team has to get some reinforcements this off-season besides 20yr olds who hit .190 in high-A (ahem, De La Rosa). Right?

Written by Todd Boss

November 15th, 2022 at 9:04 pm

2022 Rule-5 Protection Analysis

16 comments

Cronin may be getting the 40-man call ahead of the rule5 roster deadline. hoto by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Its our Annual rule 5 protection analysis post!

This is our longest running recurring post. Every year, despite how little the rule-5 draft may actually matter, we’ve done this analysis, since we started writing this blog.

Here’s links to past years posts on this topic: 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010.

Reminder on the guidelines here: any 4-year college-aged draftee from 2019 or before who isn’t already on the 40-man roster is Rule-5 eligible this coming December, and any high-school aged draftee/International Free Agent from 2018 or before is newly eligible this year, assuming they were at least 18 as of June 5th of that year.  There’s always a couple of guys who have specific birthdays that move them up or down one way or the other; i’ll depend on the Roster Resource rules and the Draft Tracker for exact details, but apologies in advance if I miss someone.

Wrinkle for this year; thanks to the massive spate of injuries the team faced in 2022, we had to dump players just to get all our 60-day DL guys back on the 40-man. So there’s not a ton of room there to add players right now. The team outrighted two players last week (Perez and Berrera) to get to 39/40 on the roster … is that a hint as to what they’ll be doing for Rule5? Probably.

If they want to do more Rule5 protection additions, they’ll need to do more DFAs/releases/outrights/non-tenders … right now I see six players who seem to have little to no value on the roster based on 2022 performance (Machado, Fox, TRomero, Palacios, Weems, Garrett) and another handful of arbitration eligible players who just don’t seem like they’re going to be worth their projected salary (Voit, Fedde, Robles), so there’s definitely room to make some drops to add some of the guys we’re talking about below. We’ll have another conversation later about non-tender/arbitration candidates; but don’t be surprised if one or more of them is dumped this week.

In the mean time, lets talk Rule-5 Candidates!

Vital resources for this analysis: the Big Board, the Draft Tracker, and Roster Resource.

Group 1: Newly Eligible 2019 draft College Players this year worth consideration for protection:

Hitters:

  • Millas, Drew, a 7th rounder by Oakland in 2019 and who we acquired in the 2021 trade dump, perhaps is the most difficult Rule-5 choice we face (certainly the MLBpipeline guys think so). He’s a known prospect and has solid defense, but slashed just .211/.280/.296 once he got to AA. We’re not exactly “deep” in catchers in the organization (rostering just three right now), but we also have two known opening day catchers right now without argument, so Millas’ 2023 goal will be to learn how to hit in AA, then push his way to AAA. Does that sound like someone who is a risk to get selected in the Rule-5 draft? Not in the modern game, where teams routinely start their backup C twice a week. There’s no way a guy who hit .211 in AA would be trusted to call MLB games right now. I’ll say he’s a slight, slight chance to protect but not really a candidate.
  • Mendoza, Drew: 3rd rounder, 1B/DH: he of course *should* be a Rule5 protection … but this 3rd rounder has been a huge disappointment in his career. He slashed .208/.288/.316 as a 1B/DH repeating High-A in his age 24 season. Not a protection candidate.
  • Cluff, Jackson: 6th round SS: socially promoted to AA this year, where he slashed .190/.278/.278. I’ve questioned why he’s still in the system, let alone why he got nearly 400 ABs in 2022. Not a protection candidate.
  • Pratt, Andrew: 10th round Senior sign, still hanging around despite a career BA of .183. God bless him; signed for $10k and probably wasn’t expected to make it to 2020 season, let alone rostered 3 years later. Not a protection candidate.
  • Arruda, J.T.: 11th round middle infielder who got an above slot bonus. Couldn’t cut it at High-A in 2021, got hurt early 2022 and had decent numbers (as one would expect) repeating Low-A. Not sure what his career outlook is, but not a protection candidate.
  • Dunn, Jack, a 20th round senior sign who, like Pratt signed for $10k and was mostly an afterthought, now sits on the AAA roster as a middle infield backup. Great career; not a threat to be protected.
  • Strohschein, Kevin, a 21st round senior sign, posted a .586 OPS in high-A this year. Great that he’s still hanging around, but not a protection candidate.
  • Alu, Jake presents an interesting case for protection. In 2021 he hacked his way into a promotion to AA, where he didn’t suck. Then in 2022 he posted an .830 OPS in AA showing some power, which led to a AAA promotion where he posted a very solid .323/.372/.553 figure with 11 homers in 59 games (!) while playing mostly 3B (with some 2B cover). Is he possibly pushing his name towards meriting a 40-man spot? I mean … if Carter Kieboom hits .200 yet again in spring training, does the team consider someone like Alu instead of a 31-yr old retread like Ildemar Vargas for 2023? I mean why not? That all being said, is he someone who another team would pluck and stick on their MLB roster all year? Maybe? The Nats signed Alu as a Senior for a pittance ($10K) and in the neanderthal accounting of MLB clubs that means they very little “invested in” him, but players who hit .300 in AAA don’t grow on trees (our team had just 4 who hit .300 this year … and two of them had fewer than 6 games to do so). Personally, i’d protect him just to see what you have, but I could understand why the team might roll the dice on a lower profile guy.

This list recently included names like Ydens, Martina, Renda, and Barrios but they were all released in mid-2022.

Pitchers

  • Rutledge, Jackson, our 1st rounder in 2019 and the guy who some pundits as recently as last off-season thought was a better prospect than Cade Cavalli, toiled to a 4.90 ERA, a K/inning and a 1.39 WHIP while repeating Low-A in 2022. Low-A. First round college sign four years out of college. Its patently ridiculous. On the one hand the entire baseball world knows he’s a 1st rounder and knows he can put up 7ip/3H/0R/10K starts. On the other hand, he’s got way, way too many 4ER in 5IP starts to be trustworthy. If he was putting up like 12 K/9 stats, maybe someone would take him as a flier for a middle relief RHP guy, but he’s not. He’s not protectable, but he’s also an asset the team may feel the need to “protect.” I’d be shocked if he was protected, but hey, they also protected a guy a couple years ago in Antuna who was this low in the minors.
  • Cronin, Matt, 4th round power Lefty reliever who pitched most of the year in the back end of the AAA bullpen, posting good numbers. This is the textbook definition of the kind of guy teams would pluck in Rule-5, make the 7th guy out of the bullpen, and see if they found gold. I think he’s a lock to be protected.
  • Dyson, Tyler, 5th round pick in 2019, missed all of 2020 with injury. Not a protection candidate, but a good arm to watch in 2023.
  • Peterson, Todd, 7th rounder in 2019, struggled with injury in 2022 and ended the year on the 60-day DL. Not a candidate to protect, and someone who I hope rebounds to prior form.
  • Ribalta, Orlando ended the year as a middle reliever in High-A with decent numbers, but isn’t a threat to protect.
  • Knowles, Lucas worked as an effective swingman all year in High-A, but shouldn’t be considered a threat to be picked even so. Perhaps next year if he can repeat this performance in AA.
  • Moore, Davis missed the entire 2022 season with injury.
  • Willingham, Amos, like a lot of arms in this list, pitched well for High-A this year. Hi-A 25yr olds drafted in the teens don’t generally make prospect noise, and Willingham is in the same boat.
  • Yankosky, Tyler posted a 1.78 ERA in 21 mostly 8th/9th inning relief appearances and was well on his way to a promotion, then he got hurt in mid June and did not appear again. Someone to watch for in 2023 for sure, but not likely to get plucked.
  • Stainbrook, Troy was yet another High-A middle reliever in 2022, posting a 4.75 ERA with more walks than IP. Surprised he’s still on the roster and might not make it out of ST 2023.
  • Alston, Garvin, a 37th rounder in 2019 by the White Sox who we got in a little reported trade in April (it was such a minor deal that it’s unclear what we traded to Chicago for him; money perhaps? ). Nonetheless he pitched great this year, posting a 1.96 ERA in High-A and earning a promotion to AA in August (where he got shelled). Probably not a protection candidate in 2022, but a player to watch for in 2023.
  • Shuman, Seth: a 6th rounder in 2019 by Oakland who came to us in the Gomes/Harrison trade during the 2021 purge. He was pitching quite well in High-A’s rotation, but left a game early in early July and never returned. Its unclear what the injury was, and we hope he returns in 2023. Not a candidate.

Group 1 Rule-5 Protection Candidates: Millas (slight), Alu (maybe). Rutledge (doubtful), Cronin (lock).


Group 2: Newly Eligible 2018 High School-age drafted players under consideration for protection

This section is always easy, since we rarely draft HS kids, but this year there’s a big name.

  • Denaburg, Mason. 1st rounder 2018. Made 13 starts in Low-A this year after multiple seasons of injury issues. Obviously not a candidate to get drafted despite his 1st round pedigree. Example 1-A of why drafting prep RH pitchers in the 1st round is risky.

Group 2 Rule-5 Protection Candidates: none.


Group 3: Newly Eligible 2018 signed IFAs under consideration for protection:

Note; we have a ton of 2018 IFAs on the big board; i’m not going to bother naming these guys unless they’re out of rookie ball, even if they’re mentioned on roster resource as someone to watch.

  • Rivero, Yoander: hit a combined .214 between low and high A. Not a protection candidate.
  • De La Cruz, Christopher: hit well in FCL, but then struggled in Low-A. Not a candidate.
  • Caceres, Bryan: 5.92 ERA in a full year in the Low-A rotation. Not a candidate.
  • Theophile, Rodney: destroyed Low-A in the rotation, then put up a 5 ERA in high-A. Not a candidate. Just got selected to play for Nicaragua though in the WBC, so he’ll get some exposure. Someone to watch.
  • Ferrer, Jose ; Great year as the high-A closer, earning two promotions and ending the year in AA. Lefty, but undersized. Definitely a breakout candidate for us in 2022, but would he get picked? Perhaps. A small risk if he’s left unprotected.
  • Pena, Bryan: 5.74 ERA in low-A, not a candidate.
  • Guasch, Richard; trade bounty from Oakland for Gomes/Harrison; did well in High-A while repeating but got shelled in AA. Not a candidate.
  • De La Rosa, Jeremy: Crushed in Low-A in 2022, slashing .315/.394/.515. Moved up to High-A and struggled. A solid prospect for sure, not yet a rule-5 candidate. Someone to watch in 2023.
  • Atencio, Jose: Eight starts in Low-A this year, decent numbers. Not a candidate, but is only 21 and could be a name to watch in 2023.
  • Ramirez, Aldo: trade bounty for Schwarber, but who missed the entirety of 2022 with injury.

Group 3 Rule-5 Protection Candidates: Ferrer (maybe).


Group 4: Rule-5 Eligible Drafted/Domestic hold-overs of note: these are players who were rule-5 eligible previously but who put together a nice 2021 and might need additional thought. They’re sort of organized by draft year, from 2017 to earlier. Note; draft signings from 2015 hit 6-year MLFA this off-season, so they’re not listed here).

  • Tim Cate, 2nd rounder from 2018. 5.31 ERA in 21 starts in AA in 2021, and was subject of much discussion around rule-5 last year. As it turns out, it was all for naught; in 2022 he got demoted to High-A, then upon his return to AA posted a 6.16 ERA. Ouch. Is he even a prospect at this point? Unsure; certainly he’s not going to get protected.
  • Alex Troop, 9th rounder from 2017. He missed nearly all of 2018 with injuries, so he’s gotten a late start. He was a workhorse in AA in 2022, a swingman with middling numbers but filling in. Not a candidate to protect.
  • Armond Upshaw, 11th rounder from 2016. Promoted to AA in 2021, where he hit .186. Missed the entire 2022 season with injury. Not a candidate to protect.
  • Matt Merrill, a 2020 MLFA originally drafted in 2017 by Houston. Pitched his way out of the High-A rotation and ended the year as a swing-man eating up low-leverage innings and nearly a 7 ERA. His time may be short with the org.
  • Cody Wilson, 13th rounder in 2018: hit a combined .124/.225/.164 across three levels in 2021 as a backup CF. In High-A as a 26yr old in 2022. Not a prospect.
  • Onix Vega, 20th round catcher from 2018: hit .233 in Low-A in 2021, then was the starter in High-A in 2022 with decent numbers. If we’re not protecting Millas, we’re certainly not protecting Vega.
  • Cole Daily, 22nd rounder from 2018: hit just .193 across several levels in 2021 as he was bounced around to provide middle infield cover for the lower minors. Hit .222 in High-A in 2022. Not a prospect.
  • Reid Schaller, 3rd rounder from 2018: decent numbers as a middle reliever in High-A and AA in 2021, then an ugly 5.70 ERA in 2022. Not a candidate.
  • Jake Irvin, 4th rounder from 2018. spent all of 2021 recovering from Tommy John surgery, then was babied in 2022 to build back up arm strength. Finished in AA with middling numbers; he’s someone to keep an eye on in 2023 for sure, but not likely a candidate to get protected at this point.
  • Carson Teel, 16th rounder from 2018: had a decent 2021 season, earning a promotion from AA to AAA as a long man/spot starter. Same thing happened in 2022; bounced around and mopped up innings. Not really a prospect, just an org arm.
  • Ryan Tapani, 21st rounder from 2018 who never appeared in 2022; unsure if he’s even still with the organization at this point.
  • Justin Connell, 11th rounder from 2017: starting corner OF for high-A in 2021, then promoted to AA in 2022. Despite being with us forever, he’s only 23, but has never garnered much prospect buzz. Not a candidate to be protected.
  • Trey Harris came to us in the 2022 trade deadline and was a 2018 draftee, so he’s Rule-5 eligible. He didn’t exactly light AA on fire this year (.630 OPS) so he’s not likely to get plucked.
  • Matt Brill was a minor league R5 draftee and 17D guy. In 2022 for us he was great in AA, struggled in AAA. Seems like an edge-of-the-40man roster RHP reliever, not a guy who will stick in the majors. Low risk to get picked.

Names released from this list in 2022: K.J. Harrison, Jacob Condra-Bogan, Cole Freeman, Alex Dunlap, Jackson Stoeckinger, Gage Canning, Jacob Rhinesmith, Kyle Marinconz, Andrew Karp, Chandler Day, Frankie Bartow

Names no longer eligible b/c they’ve made it to MLB: Evan Lee

Names now MLFAs: Nick Banks, Andrew Lee, Ike Schlabach

Group 4 Rule 5 Protection candidates: Irvin (not really), Brill (doubtful)


Group 5: IFAs: 2017 and older

Again, if the IFA isn’t out of rookie ball there’s no point in discussing.

  • Jordy Barley, SS, trade return from San Diego for Daniel Hudson. Hit .203 in High-A, not a candidate.
  • Wilmer Perez, C. the 2016 IFA was mostly a backup Catcher in high-A, hit .206. same for 2022.
  • Geraldo Diaz, C. hit .217 as a backup catcher in Low-A in 2021, then .254 in 2022 as the notional starter. Still not a candidate to be drafted.
  • Viandel Pena, SS. Hit .214 in Low-A in 2021, then a few points higher in High-A in 2022. Not a candidate to get drafted.
  • Ricardo Mendez, OF. Hit .227 in HighA this year. Not a candidate.
  • Leandro Emiliani, hit .165 between the GCL and Low-A in 2021, then .228 in High-A in 2022. Still not a candidate to be drafted, unclear why he keeps earning promotions.
  • Pedro Gonzalez, SP. was in the 2021 opening day rotation for Low-A, demoted after giving up 19 runs in 9 innings. In 2022, he again got shelled in low-A, this time as a reliever. Time is running out for Pedro.
  • Carlos Romero, RP. Pitched as a swing-man in 2021 Low-A, posted a 5.00 ERA and a 1.63 whip. Still in that role in 2022, but pitched to a 3.36 ERA with 97Ks in 72ip. Interesting. Still not a candidate to get picked, but someone to watch in 2023.
  • Karlo Seijas, SP. somehow stayed in the Low-A rotation the entire season, making 22 starts and pitching to a 6.84 ERA. Got absolutely shelled in 2022 in Low-A and is on the restricted list; may have been released.
  • Jose Sanchez, SS. The 2016IFA Hit .232 as the part time SS in low-A, somehow got to High-A in 2022, hit .231. Not a candidate.
  • Alfonso Hernandez, SP. The 2016IFA showed a ton of promise after a solid 2021 season, but missed the entire 2022 season on the DL.
  • Niomar Gomez, SP. the 2016IFA threw just 6 innings in 2021 and then missed the entire 2022 season with injury.
  • Wilson Garcia, a C we signed as a MLFA but who is Rule-5 Eligible. he’s 28, he raked as a DH only in AA this year, and of course i’d be shocked if he got picked. But he’s on here.
  • Luis Reyes, a 2013IFA who’s still hanging around. He got no less than 21 starts in our system between AA and AAA, a ridiculous indictment of our development system as of late (that we opted to give so many starts in AA to a 28yr old versus a prospect). not a candidate.
  • Francys Peguero: a 13IFA who’s still hanging around. He had a 4.89 ERA in AA this year as a 27yr old. Not a candidate.

Names lost from this list in 2022: Juan Diaz, Omar Meregildo, Malvin Pena, Jorge Hurtado, Andry Arias,

Names no longer eligible b/c they’ve made it to MLB roster: Israel Pineda

Names now MLFAs: Gilberto Chu, Gilbert Lara

Group 5 Protection Candidates: no one.


Group 6: Former 40-man guys who have been outrighted previously

  • Jake Noll, 7th rounder from 2016. Its unclear whether a guy who has been outrighted is R5 eligible, but Noll is now 28 and put up serviceable numbers in AAA. I don’t sense he’s a candidate.

Group 6 protection candidates: none.


So, who would I protect?

Summary of above:

Group 1: Millas (slight), Alu (maybe). Rutledge (doubtful), Cronin (lock).
Group 2: none
Group 3: Ferrer (maybe).
Group 4: Irvin (not really), Brill (doubtful)
Group 5: none
Group 6: none

So, who would I would protect?

Based on there only being one 40-man spot open right now, I predict we protect just one player:

  • Matt Cronin

If we had more … I would consider protecting, in order of likelihood:

  • Jake Alu
  • Drew Millas
  • Jackson Rutledge
  • Jose Ferrer

Post Publishing Results: Wow, they added SIX players! Cronin, Alu, De La Rosa, Rutledge, Ferrer, and Irvin. A couple of these were pretty big surprises to me.

Written by Todd Boss

November 14th, 2022 at 1:19 pm

2023 Draft Order … not finalized

11 comments

This is a Tank. This is also what Washington did this season. Photo credit: some German newspaper; does it really matter? 🙂

(quick personal note: apologies for the radio silence here. I have not posted since September 9th, more than 6 weeks ago. Not that there was a ton to post about; when the team emptied its coffers of all remaining players with any trade value, it wasn’t a surprise how the rest of the season was going to play out. That being said, we moved at the end of August and i’m working multiple consulting gigs, and, well, its been tough to put the time in on this blog with so many other items pressing for my time. I hope to do better this off-season, doing some typical non-tender, arbitration, rule-5 posts, etc).

It seems typical that the Nats would manage to finish with their worst record since moving to 2005 (and nearly their worst record ever as a franchise, being only pipped by the amazingly bad 52-110 1969 Montreal debut season) in the exact same year that MLB goes to a draft lottery at the top of the draft. So, instead of having the biggest bonus pool and first crack at the top draft talent … we have to wait to see where we actually pick. Perhaps this is penance for the amazing set of circumstances that led us to pick 1st overall two years in a row, which netted us both Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper and set the franchise on a pathway towards multiple playoff runs and the 2019 World Series title.

How quickly the tides turn, and this year we finished 55-107, which guaranteed us the worst record in the league by a full 5 games over the Oakland Athletics.

So, how does the lottery work? Tanks to this excellent NBCsports article, here’s how it works:

  • Each non-playoff team is assigned odds of getting the top pick.
  • The worst three teams each have equal odds at 16.5%, meaning that despite the fact that Washington was worse than Oakland and Pittsburgh, we all have the same chance.
  • The lottery only lasts the first 6 picks, then goes in direct order after that.

So, We have basically a 1 in 6 chance of getting the #1 pick. We have right around a 50% chance of getting a top 3 picks, and we can pick no worst than 7th.

Here’s the exact draft odds/reverse standings for 2022.

So, its a coin flip that we get into the top 3, meaning its highly likely we get a really solid pick. I’ve already started collecting names for the top of the 2023 draft. Right now the top prospects are looking like the following:

College Prospects:

  • Dylan Crews, OF/RF LSU. Opted out of 2020 draft as a projected 2nd rounder, now might go 1-1. Hit .362/.453/.663 as a freshman. sept 2022 #1 player in the class.
  • Jacob Gonzalez, SS Ole Miss. Bonafide SS who hit .355/.443/.561 with 12 home runs and more walks (38) than strikeouts (34) his freshman year. #1 prospect in class Dec 2021.
  • Chase Dollander, RHP Tennessee. 2nd team AA in 2022, mid 90sfb with good off-speed. Helium guy mid 2022, not sure why he’s jumped other candidates.
  • Rhett Lowder, RHP Wake Forest. ACC pitcher of year in 2022, starred for Team USA summer 2022.

Prep Prospects:

  • Max Clark, OF, Franklin (Ind.) Community HS. Vanderbilt commit, lefty hitting OF prospect #1 prep player in the class as of mid 2021. Went 5-5 one day at Area codes. #1 prep player in draft per BA Sept 2022.
  • Walker Jenkins OF, South Brunswick HS, Southport, N.C. 18U national team as underclassman in 2021. #1 HS player in class per Fangraphs Dec 2021, #2 prep in class per BA Sept 2022.
  • Thomas White, LHP Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass. Uncommitted. Highly polished LHP starter.
  • Cam Collier, 3B Mount Paran Christian HS, Kennsaw, Ga.. Louisville commit, huge power, biggest bat in class.

So, even in the worst case, where the Nats are shut out of the lottery and pick 7th, one of these players is absolutely going to be available, or a player who pops up this coming spring. So, all is not lost: don’t forget that we have gotten really solid players drafting in the #4-6 overall range in the past:

  • Ryan Zimmerman was 4th overall in 2005
  • Ross Detwiler was 6th overall in 2007
  • Anthony Rendon was 6th overall in 2011 (via a set of circumstances that still boggles the mind to this day)
  • Elijah Green was 5th overall this year.

The lottery order likely is set at the Winter Meetings, so we’ll revisit this post then.

Until then … are you finding yourself actually rooting for Philadelphia and Bryce Harper in the playoffs? Are you rooting for San Diego with their own ex-Nat super star Juan Soto? Great games so far.

Written by Todd Boss

October 18th, 2022 at 9:34 am

Changes are a-coming for 2023

18 comments

Today, the MLB competition committee voted in three rule changes to go into effect in 2023. One is minor, but two are significant, major changes that will alter the sport.

Here’s a couple other opinion pieces on them, from the Athletic and Baseball America, but below i’ll put in my two cents.

Larger Bases, Pitch Clocks, and Shift Bans are going in. Lets talk about them one by one.

  • Bigger Bases: a non-issue, i’m not sure why anyone would really care about a slightly larger base. They avoid injuries and slightly help the running game. Studies show base-related injuries are down 13.8% since the larger bases were installed. And not surprisingly both the executives and players on the committee voted for this unanimously.
  • Pitch Clocks. I know current major league pitchers are going to whine about them. But the results speak for themselves: The average time of games in the minors where the pitch clock was implemented went from 3:04 in 2021 to 2:38 in 2022. That’s 26 minutes … ALL of it dead time watching the pitcher and batter stand there, waiting for the next pitch. This is a fantastic move that will have serious, positive watchability impacts on the game.
  • Defensive Shift bans: two players must now stay between 2nd and 3rd base (meaning, no more roving third baseman into short RF against lefties), and all players must have their feet on the dirt. The evidence supporting this change is pretty clear: as documented by Jayson Stark in this Feb 2022 piece, 4,802 hits were taken away by the shift in 2021, which is countered by 3,946 outs given away by shifts that gave away a standard ground ball. That’s nearly 1,000 extra hits gone from the game, primarily against left-handed hitters. So, this change will absolutely return some offensive parity to the game.

I like all three changes. I look forward to them in 2023.

Written by Todd Boss

September 9th, 2022 at 2:44 pm

Posted in Nats in General

Its Cavalli Time!

7 comments

Cade Cavalli gets the call Photo via Lookout Landing blog

So, the big news of the week is the call-up of top pitching prospect Cade Cavalli. The timing (and change in service time rules) means he’ll still be 2023 Rookie eligible and doesn’t burn enough time to blow a year of service time.

Is this premature? Probably not. Cavalli started out a little slow this year in AAA, basically getting shelled in five of his first seven starts. In mid May he had a 7.62 ERA. However, as of this writing through his combined 20 starts he’s gotten that seasonal ERA all the way down to 3.71. His AAA FIP is a nifty 3.23, and across the board he’s improved upon his 2021 AAA numbers in every category (K/9, BB/9, ERA, fip, whip, HR/9, etc etc).

HIs MLB debut was about what you’d expect; 7 runs in 4+ innings, 97mph on his fastball, 6 Ks almost all on his offspeed stuff (which looks amazing: his curve was knee buckling and his circle change at 88 with a ton of reverse movement was fantastic).

I can’t remember the last time we had a prospect debut with this much fanfare; Strasburg or Harper probably. His call-up was non-nats blog worthy, something we havn’t seen in a while.

As others noted, his start coincided with a big chunk of our “up the spine” future in place: Ruiz catching, Cavalli pitching, Abrams at short and Garcia at 2nd. None of them older than 24, all of them with prospect buzz.

The next generation of our franchise has started.

Written by Todd Boss

August 27th, 2022 at 7:04 am

Posted in Nats in General

Fun Observations with Current Rosters

9 comments

So, when both Luis Garcia and Yadiel Hernandez went down with injuries … the Nats active 26-man roster sports exactly ONE originally drafted/signed player (that being Victor Robles).

That’s pretty amazing.

Check out the big board, where all of our rosters are tracked in one place.

Now, in all fairness the roster does contain several players acquired as prospects in trade, which is kind of the point of a rebuild, so I thought it’d be interesting to squint at our rosters right now and do quick arithmetic of the roster construction to show where we are.

This data is as of 8/23/22 and depends on my Big Board being accurate (which it may not be b/c transactions are sneaky sometimes). Only looking at active players, not DL/restricted.


MLB Roster: 26 man.

  • Home Grown: 1 (Robles)
  • Prospects Acquired in trade; 6 (Ruiz, Voit, Abrams, Adams, Thomas, Grey)
  • MLB FAs: 5 (Hernandez, Cruz, Corbin, Finnegan, Cishek)
  • MiLB FAs; 9 (Vargas, Meneses, Franco, Sanchez, Espino, Edwards, Ramirez, Arano, Clippard)
  • Waiver claims: 5 (Call, Palacios, Abbott, Harvey, McGee)

So … 14 of our 26 active players right now were MILB signings or Waiver claims. Wow.


Lets take a look at the current AAA roster. Same analysis

  • Home Grown: 9 (Berrera, Sanchez, Alu, Stevenson, Johnson, Banks, Cavalli, Adon, Cronin)
  • Prospects Acquired in trade: 2 (Casey, Thompson)
  • MLB FAs: 0 of course.
  • MiLB FAs 14 (Johnson, JRodriguez, Nogoski, Flores, Gushue, Ponce de Leon, Kilome, Verrett, Weems, Sadzeck, Garrett, Machado, Baldonado, Avilan)
  • Waiver claims: 3 (Fox, Murphy, Perez)
  • Rule5: 2 (Brill, Taylor)

Yes, I realize that two of were originally our players (Johnson, Rodriguez). They left and came back, so they’re MLFAs. Also Gushue was initially acquired in trade, but left and came back. This is 2022 acquisition methodology.

So, 30 players in AAA, and 19 of them are basically ‘filler’ players b/c our system hasn’t generated enough depth to fill the AAA roster. At least we have 9 home grown players here, but of this group really only a couple are true prospects in jeopardy of pushing to the majors.


How about AA?

  • Home Grown: 17
  • Prospects Acquired in trade: 3 (Lara, Hassell,Harris)
  • MLB FAs: 0 of course.
  • MiLB FAs; 6 (Martin, Garcia, Herrera, Dopico, Gonzalez, Garcia)
  • Waiver claims:
  • Rule5: 1 (Young)

17 of the 27 on the Roster home grown as expected (and another 3 are trade acquisitions). But its a little suspect that we have 6 MLFAs in our AA. A couple of these MLFAs in Harrisburg are in their upper 20s and are clearly too old for the level. On the bright side, 6 of the 7 guys getting starts are home grown, which is a good sign.


High-A?

  • Home Grown: 26
  • Prospects Acquired in trade: 4 (Millas, Barley, Alston, Gausch)
  • MLB FAs: 0 of course.
  • MiLB FAs; 2 (Candelario, Merrill)
  • Waiver claims:
  • Rule5

So, 30 of 32 players on the roster home grown or acquired prospects.


Low-A:

31 players, 30 of which home grown and the one remaining is a trade acquisition in Wood.


Not much to look at below AA … this was more just a “holy cow look at the MLB roster” kind of post.

Written by Todd Boss

August 23rd, 2022 at 6:06 pm

Posted in Nats in General

What if they’d kept the Band together?

2 comments

It occurred to me, now that the Nats have sold off all their pieces and continued the dismantling of their 2019 championship team … wow, we’ve parted ways with a lot of very expensive players.

What would our team look like (in terms of payroll and lineup) had we kept all our big-time FAs over the past few years? Here’s a fun exercise, using 2022’s salaries.

  • C: Yan Gomes: $6M, flipped with Harrison for Millas/Shuman/Gausch in the 2021 purge
  • 1B: Josh Bell: $10M. Traded to SD with Soto in the 2022 purge for 6 player.
  • 2B: Josh Harrison: $5.5M. Traded away to Oakland with Gomes for Millas/Shuman/Gausch in the 2021 purge
  • SS: Trea Turner: $21M. Traded to LAD with Scherzer in 2021’s big trade to get Grey/Ruiz and assets
  • 3B: Anthony Rendon: $36M. Let walk as a FA, received a 2nd round supplementary pick that turned into Samuel Infante.
  • LF: Juan Soto, $17.1M. Traded to SD with Bell
  • CF: Victor Robles: $1.65M. He has remained our starting CF for four straight seasons now despite a carrer OPS+ figure of just 83.
  • RF: Bryce Harper: $26M. Let walk as a FA, received a 4th round supplementary pick that was lost to the Corbin signing.
  • DH: Kyle Schwarber; $19M. Traded to Boston in 2021 for Aldo Ramirez.

Rotation?

  • SP: Max Scherzer: $43M. Traded to LAD with Turner in 2021
  • SP: Patrick Corbin: $23M. Still here, posting a 7 ERA this season.
  • SP: Stephen Strasburg, $35M. Still here, might have a career-ending injury.
  • SP: Sanchez, Fedde, Ross all still here, a combined $6M or so.

The Bullpen is fungible, so we’ll just skip it from a salary and focus on the above.

Total payroll for this set of players and starters? $251M. For 14 players, no backups, no bullpen and no 40-man. Probably estimate $8M for your backups, $15M for your bullpen, $3M for the rest of your 40-man, and $16M for benefits and that’s a payroll figure of $293M. $60M more than the salary cap threshold, and still not as much as the Los Angeles Dodgers are spending this year.

Would we be a winning team with this lineup? Well, we’d certainly still have a starting pitching problem, since $58M is going to two players who are actively hurting the club (Corbin has a -3.4 WAR this season!). But the lineup would be a monster. How’s this for a lineup: Turner, Soto, Harper, Schwarber, Rendon, Bell, Harrison, Gomes and Robles. Phew. Good luck getting through that lineup 4 times a night without giving up some runs. Of course, some of these guys are hurt in 2022, so this wouldn’t actually be our lineup .. but hey, this is a fantasy post.

Just a fun thought exercise.

Written by Todd Boss

August 8th, 2022 at 4:04 pm

Posted in Nats in General