Nationals Arm Race

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

Nats Blogosphere/Blog-Roll and RSS Feed Review 2015


So, with the addition of to the Nats Blogosphere, I decided to re-visit my blogroll and to do some adding/removing as necessary.  I culled through my RSS feed and did some re-arranging.  The last time I really dug into a review of the Nats blogosphere was in March 2013, and lots has changed since then.

Here’s what my collection of Natsmosphere links looks like now.  Let me know if you think i’m missing any.  This is a combination of Nats blogs and “blogs” run by Nats beat reporters.  I don’t count baseball columnists like Tom Boswell or Thom Loverro as “bloggers” here since they’re columnists and don’t entirely focus on the nats.

Note: in some cases i’ve found that blogs that I thought went dark really just changed affiliations, changed their host name, eliminated their RSS feeds (like, or something else.  And it definitely seems like we’ve lost a “blog” from the Washington Times after Amanda Comak left the Times to go work for the team.  So, please help me correct this list and tell me if I’m missing anyone.

Active blogs (generally have posted something in the last week, though some have been idle for a few months and have been given a pass):

All Nats All The Time (Ladson)
Citizens of Natstown (Landwermeyer, Huzzard, Hogan, OHara, Davila)
Clem’s Baseball (Andrew Clem)
DC Baseball History (Audley, Hornbaker, et al)
Distinguished Senators (Senators Ryan)
District on Deck (Flax, Book, Somers, et al)
District Sports Page (Nichols, Levitin, et al)
Federal Baseball (Reddington & Huzzard)
Hagerstown Suns Fan Club (Spedden)
IBWAA – DC (Nichols)
Let Teddy Win (Scott)
MASNsports Byron on the Nats (Kerr)
Mayflies & Bigflies (Mick Reinhard)
Nationals 101 (Frank and Susan Lattuca)
Nationals Baseball (Harper)
Nationals Buzz (MASN beat rptrs Kerzel, Witherite, etc) (Erickson, Whitzman)
Nats Enquirer (ck)
Nats Insider (Zuckerman & Hughes)
Nats Journal (Wagner, Janes)
Nats Noodles (Nat Anacostia)
NatsGM (Sullivan)
Natstradamus Blog (Luigi de guzman)
Notes from Natstown (Comak)
Red Porch Report (Eaton & Sullivan; RSS feed broken)
TalkNats (Ghost of Steve M et al)
The Nats Blog (Yoder, Drugan, Flax, et al)
The Nationals Review (Fleigel)
Washington Nationals Blog: Nationals Home Plate (Yahoo)

Recently Inactivated blogs: per my RSS feed, no new posts in months or years.  Could be because of RSS issues; let me know.

z DC is for Baseball (Sean Hogan now at Citizens)
z First Ladies of Baseball (Ashley & Maggie; blog seems dead)
z For Love of the Nationals (Lint; inactive)
z Lady and the Nats (NatsLady; was blogging in Apr2015 and then stopped)
z MASNsports The Goessling Game (went to ESPN)
z Nationals Inquisition (Drew Kinback; quit after 2015 season)
z Nationals Watch (was Comak; no WT blog?)
z Nats Exposed (Karl Kolchak: stopped blogging Oct 2014)
z Nats Fan Girl (Jenson; no longer blogging)
z Nats Nation (Section 138; stopped writing)
z The Zimmerman(n) Telegram (stopped 2014)


Beat Reporter Review

By the Way, am I missing any beat reporters?  By my count, here’s the outlets covering the Nats and their beat reporter:

  • MLB: Bill Ladson
  • Washington Post: James Wagner, Chelsea Janes (formerly Adam Kilgore, Barry Svrluga)
  • Washington Times: Zac Boyer, Todd Dybas?  (formerly Amanda Comak)
  • Comcast Sports Net: Mark Zuckerman, Chase Hughes
  • MASN: Byron Kerr, Chris Johnson, Pete Kerzel, Olivia Witherite
  • Washington Examiner: Stopped covering sports in 2013.

Does anyone else cover this team regularly in print?

13 Responses to 'Nats Blogosphere/Blog-Roll and RSS Feed Review 2015'

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  1. I’ll move the discussion forward to here. I’m assuming that Boras found the market for Wieters soft at the GM meeting as they’re taking the QO.

    Wieters and AJP were the only catchers on the market with any known actual contact with a baseball, so you have to wonder if interest in Ramos will go up with both now spoken for. Of course the Nats can’t trade Ramos unless and until they have a better option in hand. The oft-mentioned potential upgrades include Lucroy, Vogt, and Norris. The latter two in particular are not known for much behind the plate beyond squatting.


    13 Nov 15 at 3:36 pm

  2. And Kimbrel to the Bosox. Hot stove is already heating up. Huge price for him, though. That probably upped the ante for Chapman . . . and perhaps increased the possibility that the Nats will be rolling with Pap.


    13 Nov 15 at 10:09 pm

  3. I am not surprised that some QO’s were accepted, it was bound to happen. Brett Anderson was the only mild surprise, I figured someone would throw 3/$30m at him. In hindsight, it looks like Span would have accepted too, and the Nats knew that and didn’t want to commit the money. It’s curious that they aren’t that interested in bringing him back, he fits almost perfectly. Maybe it is the medicals, like someone said, or maybe they like den Dekker? Seems not though, since they never mention him but I certainly like what he did in Sep. Fluke?

    Freeman sure would look good, wouldn’t he? My guess is that, for salary purposes, RZim would have to go back (which is negative value) so we would have to add more in prospects, something like Lopez, Difo, maybe Fedde or Voth? If they could do it without touching their top 3, it could be very compelling. But I think it is a pipe dream.

    But this is shaping up as a very exciting offseason overall. Looks like BOS paid a ton for Kimbrel. I mentioned it earlier, but I have a feeling that the Nats are going to shake it up, and can’t resist speculating.

    Here is a proposal for Riz:
    1) Rendon and Cole to CLE for Carrasco, Zimmer and Urshela; plus
    2) Stras to NYY for Gardner and Mateo.

    I don’t think those are lopsided trades. I know Rendon is a potential superstar but our roster gives us opportunities to replace him, and how else do you get a package like that? CLE could jump at the chance to get a cost controlled superstar 3B (injury risk, of course, but again, how else would they have the chance at someone like him?).

    We take a slight step back in 2016 but add Zimmer and Mateo for the future, shore up the OF near term (MAT back to 4th OF) and long term, add two young IF prospects. Doesn’t help the bullpen. For 2016, IF would be the biggest risk – Escobar(3B), Espy (SS) and Turner (2B) – so they would probably have to pick up an AssCab type to fill in for injuries or underperformance, although Urshela helps and Difo can be ready mid season. Plus, they don’t need to sign a FA pitcher to replace Stras, and can keep our 1st round pick.

    Here is what I am hoping doesn’t happen: we toss out a king’s ransom in prospects for Chapman. He’s great, but I don’t want to pay all that for a 1 year guy (but I am worried that Rizzo is fixated on him).


    14 Nov 15 at 9:22 am

  4. On topic:
    Here’s one you missed:
    Washington Nationals Fan Forum

    Also, according to the last post, it appears that Nats Enquirer is going away.


    14 Nov 15 at 3:34 pm

  5. Thanks Dave, I didn’t ever read the last post on CK’s nats Enquirer blog that closely; indeed looks like he’s done.

    I’ll add in WNFF: i’ve never really followed it b/c there’s not RSS feed (maybe there’s one now, who knows).

    thanks for the updates, links coming shortly.

    Todd Boss

    14 Nov 15 at 8:58 pm

  6. I can’t see the Nats trading Rendon. He is a two way player and the team values defense. He has positional versatility. And he is young and has a higher ceiling. And the organization lacks depth at his position.

    I also think the Stras market will be delayed and depressed until all of the aces are off the free agent market. The next Nats moves will be acquisitions of assets, not divestitures. That enables trade flexibility when the supply of free agents dry up.

    I’m really hoping they sign Zobrist for the above reasons. And O’Day is obviously attractive and hopefully they are not in a bidding war with LAD over him.


    15 Nov 15 at 12:18 am

  7. Of course, an asset can come in by trade, like Chapman (especially if he were ticketed for the rotation). But I really don’t like the idea of a rental, especially for the bullpen. We’d be right back to remaking the bullpen next year.

    I’m also hopeful the Nats make a run at Cueto, for all of the above reasons.


    15 Nov 15 at 12:21 am

  8. Wally, I like your willingness to be aggressive. I still get the feeling that the Nats just think they’re a couple of players away. They may be from the playoffs, because the NL East is so bad, but not from having a team that can get beyond the first round.

    That said, I agree with forensicane that Rendon isn’t going anywhere, unless the Nats have some secret bad medical stuff on him. They’d be selling low on him right now anyway.

    I think the Nats will be players in the Zobrist and O’Day markets, but so will half of baseball, so we’ll see. Considering how much those two have been discussed, they may be off the board by Thanksgiving. Signing Zobrist would give the Nats the option of trading Escobar.

    The Kimbrel trade upped the ante for Chapman, both in the number of teams that will be in the mix and in the price. Based on what has been mentioned that the Reds wanted mid-season, I would say the price starts at Lopez, Robles, and perhaps another arm of the Simms level. That would be a heck of a lot to give up for just one year of Chapman.

    For out-of-the-box trade ideas, I’m not sure why no one is mentioning Michael Taylor as a potential chip. If the team continues to have its doubts about him (the Natosphere sure does), then why not see what he might bring? I know he’s young, cheap, flashes power, and plays great defense, but can the team live with someone who strikes out a third of the time? That leaves me with fears of an Espinosa-like career arc.


    15 Nov 15 at 7:37 am

  9. Moving Rendon: totally against it; you’d be selling low and he’s shown his potential to be a 5win player. For like $2M a year. A 5win player on the open market is going to cost 10 times that. You KEEP players like Rendon and build around htem until they hit FA.

    There’s no reason, given who the Nats have under cost contained control, to think they’re punting on 2016 or trading away major pieces. You try to win when you have Strasburg, Scherzer, harper, Rendon. you don’t trade them away like you’re a poor franchise in a horrible stadium deal.

    Todd Boss

    15 Nov 15 at 8:54 am

  10. The Kimbrel trade was god-awful. Boston fans who know the “value” of the “proven closer” are kicking htemselves that they now have a decision maker who would trade away such significant prospects for a 60-inning reliever who’s role was rather equitably filled last year by a 41-yr old soft tossing retread. Dumb, dumb.

    But hey, we’re the team that acquired a “proven closer” ourselves, at an 8-figure cost, supplanting a guy whose numbers were BETTER than his, and lighting our clubhouse chemistry on fire. So maybe there’s something to the idea of acquiring closers. Hey! i’ve got an awesome idea. Lets trade Giolito, Fedde and Robles for Aroldis Chapman! Better yet, lets not get any salary relief, and then we’ll tell Papelbon he’s now the 8th inning guy and we’ll tell Storen to suck it we’re not trading you and you’re going to be a middle reliever. Welcome to the party Dusty!

    Todd Boss

    15 Nov 15 at 8:57 am

  11. I think that amidst these discussions, we have to realize that nothing is as it seems and that Rizzo’s comments are absolutely meant to affect trade negotiations.

    And with that said, I happen to be high on Taylor, but I could see him being a trade chip precisely because he has the kinds of tools that teams pay dearly (see Souza) for. And, the centerfield market is thin. And you had better believe other GMs are asking about Taylor.

    Ross Perot, for those of you who recall him with the fondness I do, used to express an amused respect for the way Arabs negotiate. He would say that if you were to go to a market and want to get a camel with a lame leg, the Arab vendor would wax about how the camel was not for sale because he was unusually wise and a cherished member of the family because he was so helpful and such a valuable asset. And essentially talk you into paying a kings ransom for a lame camel.

    Of course Rizzo is going to talk up Papelbon and Storen. He was prepared to go with Mike Morse AND LaRoche a few years ago, then got his deal. That’s just the way he is.

    I envision a very active trade market. I think the new braintrust has to identify the players they like on other teams. Also remember that Dusty has to get a full debrief from Schu, who is on vacation. Once all of that is complete — including the input of a new bench coach (see below), then the Nats will have more clarity about whom they target (as they did Fister and Scherzer and Span before them) and who is truly expendable.

    As for the coaching decisions, obviously the Nats are waiting on someone, whether it is a Dodgers candidate like Bob Geren or David Roberts or Dave Martinez — or someone else whose contract just expired — before pulling the trigger on Speier’s placement on the staff. And with Schu away and not yet meshed with Dusty to download on the team inside the clubhouse, of course they can be patient while Rizzo gets a feel for the market and teams like the Red Sox and Angels set trade values and free agents start to come off the board.

    I have huge confidence in the Nats’ ability to trade under Rizzo. There is so much more yet to be done, including restaffing the holes in the developmental system.

    In the meantime, if he is talking up Espinosa, Taylor, Ramos, Storen, Papelbon, that is exactly what he should be doing.

    Everything is revealed in time. The Blevins trade is looking pretty good right now. So is the Souza trade, so is the Clippard trade. Let’s just sit back and watch Rizzo do his thing, because this is arguably the best part of his thing.

    But the influence of Dusty is important. The Nats dumped Rich Hill last year. Was that Rizzo or Williams? Cedeno was clearly Williams. Experience counts for something and that will include critical decisions about such 26th men as Tyler Moore, Rafael Martin, and AJ Cole.


    15 Nov 15 at 10:49 am

  12. Well, on Rendon, I think maybe I should have given a bit of rationale for the idea. I was trying to rebalance the roster: right now, too many RHBs, big questions in the OF, no lead off hitter, excessive IF value. But at the same time not materially altering their 2016 chances.

    So Rendon/Stras go, Carrasco/Gardner (+ maybe Urshela) arrive. I think that is mostly the same talent base for 2016, probably a little less, but in return it solves the leadoff spot while adding a LHB, and shores up the OF. For the future, it loses three more years of Rendon but adds back three years of Carrasco while picking up two premium prospects. The specifics of this one may not work, but I think the concept is definitely something that Rizzo should be exploring deeply. And doing just one side of the trade wouldn’t work, because it would weaken the team unacceptably for 2016. If you trade Stras, you need to acquire a quality SP to replace him. You could add a FA, but I didn’t want to give up the pick and thought Carrasco was probably a more cost effective option anyway.

    I wouldn’t sell low on Rendon, and despite a bad year, I don’t think the Nats would have to because most will chalk it up to injury. The trade I proposed brought back more value than the Donaldson trade last year, for instance. But even more philosophically, I don’t think any player ever should be off limits, not in baseball. Harper, Trout et al may require such a large package as to effectively get to the same place, but I think a GM should always be open to listen (which I am sure Rizzo is).

    But also, the bit about ‘Rendon is a 5WAR player making $2m, so we have to keep him’, is, of course, perfectly accurate (the first part). But the conclusion I reach on the 2d half of that statement is, while that player is valuable to everyone, he probably is more valuable to a small market team than a big one, like the Nats, so they should see if they could take advantage and get an overpay. CLE cannot buy a 5WAR guy on the open market, that guy makes $20m+/yr. We can, so that gives us more options and I’d try to maximize that discrepancy.


    15 Nov 15 at 4:22 pm

  13. The one upper tier prospect I would not be surprised to see go this offseason is Fedde. He’s still placing highly on prospect lists, still getting a pass because of the TJ, but none of the reports from the Nats’ farm have have made him out to be anything special. Maybe he comes back at full strength this year and makes a big leap forward, but if not, his value is going to slide quickly. Plus the Nats have plenty of other RH arms in the pipeline.


    16 Nov 15 at 5:21 am

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