Nationals Arm Race

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

Livan re-signed; great move to shore up 2011

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Over the weekend, the Nationals took the first post-Strasburg step towards shoring up the 2011 rotation by extending FA-to-be Livan Hernandez through 2011.  No published financial figures but various tweets and rumors put it at $1M base plus a ton of incentives.  If this is indeed the case then his deal is an absolute steal considering his performances this year.  He’s pitching at a 2.7 WAR, which is valued at $10.8M per season per fangraphs.

(Small tangent; click on the link to see who our 3rd most valuable starter by WAR is; yes indeed its Craig Stammen, demoted to the bullpen despite having the 3rd best advanced stats of any of our starters.  Unfair to the poor guy.  Perhaps he’ll get his chance again in 2011).

Livan has been an integral reason why the Nats are not clamoring towards another 59-loss season, having come out of nowhere (i.e., a minor league contract in spring training) to lead the staff.  He’s given us 18 quality starts in 27 outings, pitched into the 7th inning 12 times, and is averaging6.5 innings a start.  the team is 14-13 in his starts (42-62 in everyone else’s starts).

Here’s how 2011 is now shaping up, with no FA pickups (and not considering any of our AA prospects)

  • Locks: Zimmermann, Marquis, LHernandez
  • Considered (in order): Maya, Lannan, Olsen, Detwiler, Wang
  • DL for 2011: Strasburg
  • Minors/relievers/Left out: Atilano, Martin, Chico, Mock, Martis, Thompson, Stammen

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