Archive for the ‘Washington Nationals’ Category

Washington Nationals Paying Jayson Werth $126 Million Is Insanity

December 24, 2010

The Jayson Werth signing has been bothering me since it was announced.

I understand the Nationals are looking forward, and with the loss of Stephen Strasburg for 2011, they feel they need a big name to energize the fan base. They realize a great ballpark alone will not draw forever. When Nationals Park opened in 2008, the attendance was 29,000 per game. Since then, it has dropped to about 22,500 per game.

The Nationals’ front office and ownership realize that realistically, Bryce Harper has to be at least a couple of years and probably more away from contributing at the big league level. And although Stephen Strasburg seems to progressing with his rehab on schedule, the organization has to be holding its collective breath awaiting his anticipated return in 2012.

But committing a seven year, $126 million deal to a player who has played over 135 games only twice in his career? Really? And Werth is soon to be 32, folks. Not 22, but 32. Think about that. Werth has only had more than 420 at bats in a season twice in his career.

Werth was a very productive player the past two years in a loaded Phillies lineup. He spent the greater part of 2010 hitting fifth behind Ryan Howard. Everybody agrees Ryan Zimmerman is a very good player on the upside of his career, but Zimmerman and Werth cannot do it alone for the Nationals. Having Nyjer Morgan and Ian Desmond in the lineup is just not as intimidating to opposing pitchers as seeing a lineup with Chase Utley and Ryan Howard.

There should definitely be more opportunities to pitch around Werth and make him prove he can be patient in a less potent lineup. His average of 153 strikeouts the last two seasons is definitely reason for concern.

He will definitely have much more pressure to provide protection for teammates rather then receiving protection from guys like Howard and Ibanez. In short, he, along with Zimmerman, will be “the guys”. It will not be like it was on the Phillies where he was one good hitter among many. Guys like Utley, Howard, Rollins and Ibanez will no longer be there to pick up the slack.

With 75 extra base hits in 2010, Werth certainly played at the level of an $18 million player. But looking three or four years down the road, it’s hard to imagine a 36 year old Jayson Werth producing anywhere near the $18 million level.

Time will tell, as it always does. If Werth produces to his contract, Harper lives up to the hype, Strasburg recovers to his early 2010 form and Zimmerman signs an extension, the Nationals could be a force to be reckoned with in three or four years.

If the Nationals are not a team to be reckoned four years from now, Jayson Werth is sure to receive a great deal of the blame from fans.

Sean Burnett to Sign with Nationals

December 23, 2010

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com is reporting Sean Burnett will sign a 2 year deal with the Nationals pending a physical.

Deal is reported to be for 2 years 4 million dollars with a 3.5 million mutual option for 2013.

 

Latest on Adrian Beltre, Brandon Webb and Jeff Francis

December 22, 2010
It is a slow day so far as Christmas approaches. Only a couple of minor updates this morning. 

The Adrian Beltre situation is getting more interesting every day. His Agent Scott Boras is reportedly asking for around 90 million over 5 years. The only two offers that have been publicized are a 5 year 64 million dollar offer from the Athletics that has reportedly been pulled. And a 5 year 70 million dollar offer from the Angels which has also reportedly been pulled.

Other teams have been mentioned as possible suitors for Beltre including the Rangers. But no other teams appear to have significant interest at the moment.

This appears to be a situation of Boras trying to get the Angels to bid against themselves. Angels owner Arte Moreno is a smart businessman and knows the biggest spending teams including the Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies are almost assuredly are not interested in signing Beltre.

My guess is the Angels will end up signing Beltre.

Brandon Webb rumors were rampant on Tuesday including a deal with the Rangers was eminent. These rumors were quickly rebuffed and Webb remains unsigned as of this morning. The teams most linked with Webb at this point are the Ranges, Nationals and Cubs. The were also whispers of a “mystery team” The idea of a mystery team sounds funny until you remember a mystery team ended up signing Cliff Lee.

Jeff Francis has been linked with five teams including the Mets, Nationals, Pirates, Rangers and Yankees. Francis has never lived up to his early career hype and battled shoulder problems. At this point in his career he is a low cost pitcher with some upside for a team looking to take a flier on a fifth starter.

Tuesday December 21, 2010 Day In Review

December 21, 2010

Orioles Turn Attention from Adam LaRoche to Derrek Lee

http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/sports/orioles/blog/2010/12/currently_at_impasse_with_laro.html

The Yankees Hit with 18 Million Dollars in Luxury Tax Down From 25.7 Million in 2009.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/12/21/sports/baseball/AP-BBO-Luxury-Tax.html?_r=1&ref=newyorkyankees

Theo Epstein Reiterates Papelbon is Closer After Finalizing Deal for Bobby Jenks

http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/extras/extra_bases/2010/12/epstein_papelbo.html

Angels on Again Off Again Interest in Adrian Beltre.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/sports_blog/2010/12/angels-pull-offer-to-beltre-off-table-but-door-is-still-open-to-sign-third-baseman.html

Brandon Webb is in Texas. Wait Brandon Webb is not in Texas.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20101221&content_id=16353822&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb

Athletics Finalize Deal With Rich Harden. Role as Starter or Bullpen to be Determined

http://www.insidebayarea.com/athletics/ci_16915018

Brandon Webb Not Expected to Make Decision Today

December 21, 2010
John Morosi of Fox Sports is reporting that Brandon Webb will not make a decision today about signing for 2011.

Webb has been linked to several teams including the Rangers, Cubs and Nationals.

Brandon Webb NOT in Texas Meeting with Rangers

December 21, 2010
T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com quickly shot down reports Webb is in Texas meeting with the Rangers.

The Rangers are still reportedly interested in signing Webb.

The Nationals and Cubs are still reportedly showing interest in signing Webb.

Stay tuned for further updates in the Brandon Webb saga.

Nationals Interested in Carl Pavano?

December 20, 2010

Bill Ladson of MLB.com is reporting representatives for Pavano had discussions with the Nationals on Sunday.

Pavano is arguably the most sought after free agent starting pitcher still available.

He is rumored to be asking for a deal in the 3 year 30 million dollar range.

He is coming off back to back effective seasons. He helped the Twins win the American League Central Division with 17 wins and a 3.75 ERA last season.

His past history of injuries definitely adds an element of risk to the team he ultimately signs with.

Strasburg Says Elbow Getting Stronger

December 20, 2010
William Ladson from MLB.com reported on Twitter that Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg said his elbow is getting stronger. Strasburg plans to visit Dr. Lewis Yocum after the holidays for a checkup. The hope is Dr. Yocum will be able to give Strasburg an idea about when he may be able to resume baseball related activities.

Strasburg is still expected to miss the entire 2011 season.

You can be sure the Nationals are going to be very careful with Strasburg. The hope is he will be able to resume his career in 2012.

Nationals Sign Rick Ankiel to 1 Year Deal for 1.5 Million

December 20, 2010
Jon Heyman of SI reported on Twitter that the Nationals have signed Rick Ankiel to 1 year deal for 1.5 million with 1.25 million in performance bonuses.

Zack Greinke Reportedly Traded to Brewers

December 19, 2010

Multiple sources are reporting a trade involving Zack Greinke will be completed today. Greinke fired his agent on Friday and his new agent informed the Royals of his demand to be traded.

The Brewers will reportedly send Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar, Jake Odorizzi and Jeremy Jeffress to the Royals for Greinke and Yuniesky Betancourt. The Royals will also reportedly send 2 million dollars to the Brewers.

The Nationals were also interested in acquiring Greinke.

Reports are conflicting but Greinke reportedly said he would not go to the Nationals. Also the Nationals were reportedly not willing to part with Jordan Zimmerman, Drew Storen and Danny Espinoza.