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Where will Nats get their relief?

Jul 28, 2015, 6:00 AM EST

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There were moments over the last month or two, and especially in the last day or two, when the notion of Tyler Clippard returning to Washington sure sounded plausible.

The Nationals’ most-glaring need as Friday’s trade deadline approaches is for experienced bullpen help, preferably a guy who could help bridge the gap between the club’s starters and closer Drew Storen. And who better to fill that role than the guy who did it so well from 2009-2014, the guy who made two All-Star teams and became a favorite of both teammates and fans alike during his tenure?

So when word started circulating Monday that the Mets, and not the Nationals, were closing in on a deal with the A’s to acquire Clippard, tensions in D.C. began to rise. And when that trade became official early Monday evening, with New York sending Class A right-hander Casey Meisner to Oakland in exchange for Clippard, that “oof!” you heard throughout town was the sound of Nats fans taking a collective punch to the gut.

Not only is Clippard not coming back to Washington. He’s going to be pitching for the club that currently sits 2 games back in the NL East, trying to make a legitimate push for the postseason.

Which leaves the Nationals where, exactly? Truth be told, not in a much different place than they resided Monday morning.

Look, the re-acquisition of Clippard would have been a wonderful story. The ovation he would have received upon emerging from the right-field bullpen at Nationals Park next week would’ve rivaled just about any we’ve seen in a decade of baseball in the District. But that doesn’t mean it would’ve been the best move the Nats could make.

It’s easy to forget there’s a reason — actually, several reasons — Mike Rizzo traded Clippard in the first place. He was entering his free agency year. He was going to be making significant money via arbitration in 2015 ($8.3 million, as it turned out). The Nats weren’t likely to re-sign him to a long-term deal after the season. And there were some concerns within the organization his best days were behind him.

That last point has come true to an extent. Clippard hasn’t enjoyed a great season. He has still been very good. But not as good as he has been over the last five years. His strikeout rate is down (from 10.3 per nine innings with the Nats to 8.8 with the A’s) while his walk rate is up (from 2.9 per nine innings last season to 4.9 this season).

So, maybe the Nationals weren’t quite as high on Clippard as everyone hoped they’d be. Regardless, this doesn’t change the fact Washington still finds itself in need of bullpen help.

Where does Rizzo turn? Well, there appear to be two lines of thinking here…

1. Go get specifically what this bullpen lacks: Another reliable setup man. Clippard wasn’t the only one available. There’s still the Padres’ Joaquin Benoit, the Diamondbacks’ Brad Ziegler and the Rays’ Brad Boxberger, among others.

2. Go really big and get one of the elite closers currently being shopped around: Aroldis Chapman, Craig Kimbrel or Jonathan Papelbon.

The latter may sound strange on first glance, because the Nationals don’t need a closer. They already have one of the majors’ most-effective ninth-inning guys in Storen. But if you’re trying to improve a bullpen, what better way than to acquire one of the best relievers in baseball? We’ve seen Rizzo make these kind of moves before, adding Max Scherzer to a rotation that didn’t appear to need him at the time, adding Rafael Soriano to a bullpen that already was well-stocked in late-inning options.

So there would be more than some logic in the pursuit of Chapman, Kimbrel or Papelbon, some of that attributed to the simple fact each is under contract beyond this season (and we know how much Rizzo prefers to acquire players under control for multiple years).

The question becomes how much the Nationals are willing to give up for one of those closers. And rest assured, the price tag isn’t cheap. The Padres reportedly wanted Trea Turner back as part of a package for Kimbrel. Not gonna happen. The Reds want a whole lot for Chapman, and rightfully so. Papelbon, meanwhile, has a no-trade clause and made it clear he’d only accept a deal to a club that will let him pitch the ninth inning.

So there are no shortage of obstacles to overcome if the Nationals are going to pull off a blockbuster of that magnitude. Which still makes the addition of a setup man the more plausible scenario.

Either way, the clock is starting to run out. Trades are happening all across baseball right now, from Clippard to the Mets, Johnny Cueto to the Royals and Troy Tulowitzki to the Blue Jays.

The Nats have 82 hours to figure out whether they want to join that party or not.

224 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. MicheleS - Jul 28, 2015 at 7:00 AM

    Just say no to Papleblown.

    • jeffreycbullock - Jul 28, 2015 at 7:50 AM

      Good one – I’ve also seen Phillies fans use “Papelbum.”

  2. rayvil01 - Jul 28, 2015 at 7:03 AM

    Sometimes these things play out per the script. Sometimes the answer comes from an unexpected place. Thornton after the waiver deadline last year was one of those. I’m expecting the unexpected. That’s been Rizzo’s MO.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 28, 2015 at 7:57 AM

      That’s exactly right and the trading doesn’t end on July 31.

      Many GMs communicating on the same player.

    • Hiram Hover - Jul 28, 2015 at 8:07 AM

      August is definitely a possibility, but it is also much more a roll of the dice.

      If Rizzo thinks this is a crucial need, Plan A is fix it now, and August is Plan B.

  3. rayvil01 - Jul 28, 2015 at 7:07 AM

    Tulo to the Blue Jays makes me scratch my head. Bats they got. Arms they need. They go and get a bat. What’s wrong with this picture? It only makes sense if some trading partner is keen on one of their bats. So they added before subtracting. We’ll see.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 28, 2015 at 7:40 AM

      Have to wonder if Rockiies now flip Jose Reyes to the Mets.

      • jd - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:02 AM

        Ghost,

        Do you think the Mets will bring back Reyes and his $21 mil a year salary? maybe if the Rockies pay half.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:35 AM

        They’d have to pay most of it

      • zmunchkin - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:23 AM

        MLB Trade Rumors is reporting that the Mets have no interest in Reyes.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:35 AM

        Based on the salary I can see why.

  4. coolhandbane - Jul 28, 2015 at 7:20 AM

    I think the question is will the nats make any trades. You know how Rizzo likes “his guys” and want to trust what we have.

    So everyone, do you think the nats will actually make a trade for a reliever?

    • jeffreycbullock - Jul 28, 2015 at 7:45 AM

      They HAVE to – but they won’t – the bullpen is the weak point – preseason prognosticators didn’t think about that.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 28, 2015 at 7:49 AM

      Yes, Rizzo will absolutely make a trade. Reds scouts were at Potomac checking out players.

      • jeffreycbullock - Jul 28, 2015 at 7:52 AM

        Seriously?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 28, 2015 at 8:57 AM

        Yes they were looking at several players to rate them and I am trying to get names from my Reds source who gave me the initial tidbits when I reported this on June 12 before Morosi had it.

  5. jeffreycbullock - Jul 28, 2015 at 7:44 AM

    Get Chapman at any cost – straight up for Strasburg or maybe toss in a low level prospect. The Nats only play the Reds 6 games a year – even Storen would understand that trade – the only thing Rizzo knows is signing free agents in the offseason – he doesn’t know blockbuster trades..

    • Bruxtun - Jul 28, 2015 at 9:27 AM

      You have no idea what you’re talking about. Rizzo makes good trades all the time. They’re usually in the off season, but he does a lot more than just sign free agents. Why is it that the people who are wrong the most often are the people who are most sure of themselves?

      • Soul Possession, My Sofa - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:38 AM

        “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”

      • jeffreycbullock - Jul 28, 2015 at 12:34 PM

        I never said I knew what I was talking about – yeah, I forgot about those trades.

    • hokiepokster92 - Jul 28, 2015 at 9:42 AM

      Remember the Gio Gonzalez deal? All he did was win 21 games in his first season with the Nats.
      Doug Fister deal was pretty good, too. Fister led the Nats starters in ERA last year.

      How about two kids named Trea Turner and Joe Ross acquired for Stephen Souza last year?

      Smaller scale trades: Ryan Langerhans for Michael Morse, Matt Capps for Wilson Ramos?

    • realdealnats - Jul 28, 2015 at 11:27 AM

      Soul Possession is at it again, this time stealing lines from Yeats’ famous essay on the trials and tribulations of a marathon baseball season.

  6. rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 7:45 AM

    The Nats have to make a big trade for Chapman or Kimbrel.I am starting to believe it maybe Kimbrel.

    • jeffreycbullock - Jul 28, 2015 at 7:48 AM

      like I said in my comment, that wouldn’t be a sign of disrespect to Storen – I say ditch Strasburg for Kimbrel or Chapman.

      • hokiepokster92 - Jul 28, 2015 at 9:44 AM

        Send Strasburg back to his hometown of SD. For Stras’s sake, maybe he’ll be happier pitching at home in that glorious SD climate.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 28, 2015 at 8:02 AM

      Rizzo is playing his own game of showing he has many options with Kimbrel, Chapman, Papelbon and Ziegler.

      Chapman is and has been the target since early June but Rizzo won’t give away the farm.

    • dcwx61 - Jul 28, 2015 at 8:12 AM

      Most of this mornings reports from Stark to Rosenthal to MLB trade rumors agree:

      All from MLB trade rumors
      “9:41pm: The Nationals are the team that is “hottest” after Kimbrel, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets.

      9:43am: The Nationals, Blue Jays and Astros are among the teams to have shown interest in Padres closer Craig Kimbrel, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The Astros, though, are concerned with the financial commitment that comes along with Kimbrel in the future, he adds.

      he inclusion of the Nationals is a bit peculiar at first glance, given Drew Storen‘s excellent 2015 season, but the team has had some bullpen issues beyond Storen. And, as the Royals made abundantly clear in 2014, a deep bullpen is a notable advantage in the postseason. Over the weekend, ESPN’s Jayson Stark speculated this weekend that the Nats could make a play for Kimbrel.”

    • masterfishkeeper - Jul 28, 2015 at 8:19 AM

      Kimbrel would be great, at the right price. However, I’m sure the San Diego GM is very reluctant to play poker with Rizzo again, having ended up in just his underwear after the last trade.

      • nats128 - Jul 28, 2015 at 9:24 AM

        Yep, but Preller has screwed up many deals with other teams like the Barves and the Turner/Ross/Souza trade was just 1 of them.

      • adcwonk - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:13 AM

        Yep, but Preller has screwed up many deals with other teams like the Barves and the Turner/Ross/Souza trade was just 1 of them

        That’s for darn sure. Put emphasis on the “many” in your statement.

        For those who haven’t see it and are interested in either: (a) how bad the GM of the Padres is; or (b) how fast a single person can really wreck a franchise — see http://grantland.com/features/aj-preller-mlb-san-diego-padres-national-league-west/

        in additional to Joe Ross and Trea Turner, Padres GM Preller traded away: Yasmani Grandal to Dodgers, and Jace Peterson, Cameron Maybin and Matt Wisler (their number 1 prospect — rated ahead of Ross and Turner) to Braves. Their farm system? According to the article: “Per Baseball America, the Padres traded away their no. 1 (Wisler), no. 2 (Turner), no. 4 (Ross), no. 6 (Fried), no. 9 (Eflin), no. 10 (Jace Peterson)”

        Wisler is now 5-1 3.43 with the Braves. Maybin is .280/.344/.396 as Braves CF (while the Padres outfield is made up of a bunch of corner outfielders), Peterson is only at .243 but is clutch (2d on the Braves in RBIs); Yasmani Grandal in LA is .281/.395/.506 and has the second highest fWAR of NL catchers (Posey is first)

    • zmunchkin - Jul 28, 2015 at 8:49 AM

      I wonder if the fact that Kimbrel’s contract runs thru 2018 is a factor? Drew is a FA after 2017. And if they both do well, then Drew is very tradable after next year.

      Depending on what Rizzo has to give up, I would be happy with either Kimbrel or Chapman.

      Tongue in cheek: maybe Rizzo and/or MW are going to embrace Davey’s BP A and B idea?

      Regardless of whether Rizzo trades for one of these two, I still think we will see a setup guy come into the picture. But maybe not until August.

      • Section 222 - Jul 28, 2015 at 12:18 PM

        Davey’s A and B bullpen never used two closers. It was two sets of 7th and 8th inning guys who worked every other night, whether we were winning or losing.

        That said, I’d be happy to have either Kimbrel or Chapman to either close, or share closing duties with Drew. I’m just worried about the price. But I trust Rizzo to not give up the store. He definitely knows the value of a farm system, but he also knows how to use prospects to get what he wants. Does anyone really miss Nate Karns or Robbie Ray, even though both are turning out ok?

  7. rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 8:06 AM

    The Mets gave nothing away and got Clip.

    • dcwx61 - Jul 28, 2015 at 8:09 AM

      he’s a potential #2 starter but who knows

    • virginiascopist - Jul 28, 2015 at 8:10 AM

      Therefore, if Rizzo had wanted him, he could have easily outbid the Mets for him.

      • rayvil01 - Jul 28, 2015 at 8:15 AM

        Bingo, Virginia! He was there for the taking. Rizzo has some other plan in mind.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 28, 2015 at 8:39 AM

        Yes.

      • therealjohnc - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:34 AM

        He could have – but at what cost? Unlike rlndtln, Meisner has value – he’s certainl not “nothing.” As I posted in earlier threads, I’ve seen a considerable split in value assessments of Meisner. Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs on Meisner:

        “Meisner is an inventory arm that could be a back-end starter, but he’s only 20, so the chance for Oakland winning a projection gamble and getting a mid-rotation guy is still alive.”

        Compare that with Keith Law of ESPN on Meisner:

        “If healthy, at worst he could be a Chris Young type with a better breaking ball, and at best he could become a No. 2 starter as he still has a lot of room for growth — both physical and mental.”

        Unsurprisingly, Law hates the deal from the Mets’ side. Both of these experts – and others that I’ve seen posting on minorleagueball and other prospect sites – think that Meisner does have considerable value even though he is not (yet, at age 20) a truly top tier prospect. If Beane is on the Keith Law side of the projection for Meisner – not unreasonable, because he did pull the trigger on the deal, then beating that offer would have hurt. Could the Nats have beaten that? Sure – but it would have taken more than Voth or Pivetta to do it. Lopez or Cole could have, but who wants to give up that much for 30 expensive innings from Clippard?

      • therealjohnc - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:36 AM

        Damn – to be clear, I meant to say “contrary to rlndtln’s opinion, Meisner does have value.” I did NOT mean to say or imply that rlndtln did not have value, and I really regret that what I posted reads that way. My kingdom for an “edit” function!

    • Hiram Hover - Jul 28, 2015 at 8:27 AM

      Beane is a pretty good GM too, you know. I domt think he got fleeced.

      Clip hasn’t been that successful as a closer and he’s pretty expensive as something less than a closer.

      • therealjohnc - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:30 AM

        What? You think that Beane and his group of professional talent evaluators, both sabremetric and scouts, are better than the opinion of an anonymous internet commenter? That’s just crazy talk!

    • bowdenball - Jul 28, 2015 at 9:03 AM

      The Mets gave away 6 years of control over a fringe prospect having an outstanding season for 20 innings of a slightly above average setup man.

      • texnat1 - Jul 28, 2015 at 9:46 AM

        Yep. Keith Law is roasting the Mets for this trade. The prospect is better than is being portrayed here.

  8. adcwonk - Jul 28, 2015 at 8:07 AM

    Clippard is, I think, the only pitcher is baseball to throw in 70+ games in each of the last five seasons.

    • jeffreycbullock - Jul 28, 2015 at 8:16 AM

      Then that may account for the decreased K rate and increased BB rate I read about.

      • nats128 - Jul 28, 2015 at 9:30 AM

        Also consider his Blown Save rate is 1 out of every 5. Thats not elite.

      • adcwonk - Jul 28, 2015 at 9:56 AM

        That’s exactly what I’m thinking . . . .

  9. fstop1970 - Jul 28, 2015 at 8:10 AM

    Does A.J. Cole + Wilmer Difo (+ maybe another A level prospect) = Kimbrel?

    • kirbs3256 - Jul 28, 2015 at 8:26 AM

      No, to much. With the $$ on Kimbrel it won’t take that many.

    • kirbs3256 - Jul 28, 2015 at 8:26 AM

      No, to much. With the $$ on Kimbrel it won’t take that many.

  10. rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 8:14 AM

    Everybody wants to steal these two top relievers.I believe to get either Chapman or Kimbrel it will take more than that.

  11. rayvil01 - Jul 28, 2015 at 8:14 AM

    James Wagner is tweeting that RZ will rejoin team in Miami. His batting performance on rehab doesn’t provide a lot of reassurance. He was like 1 for 15 or something.

    I like having the defense on 1B. But, I’m greedy enough to want him to bring a bat also. Wondering if he’s just hit a wall with his body. Not all MLB’ers age well.

    • dcwx61 - Jul 28, 2015 at 8:27 AM

      +1

    • Hiram Hover - Jul 28, 2015 at 8:38 AM

      I guess I’d feel better if he were 15-15 during his rehab assignment, but I don’t really care that much, to be honest. The point is to put him thru his paces, check out that he’s healthy, build up some conditioning.

      Once they’re satisfied that Zim is healthy enough to play, the only way to really know if he will come back strong is to bring him back,and see if he’s strong.

    • nattyboh1 - Jul 28, 2015 at 8:38 AM

      I trust Zim to find his swing, as long as he’s not hurting. We’ll see how he looks. Worst case you platoon him with CRob with CRob getting most of the starts and Zim being used often as a defensive replacement.

      • masterfishkeeper - Jul 28, 2015 at 8:45 AM

        Agreed. It’s hard to see how Ryan’s bat could just disappear. I’m optimistic he’ll be an improvement for the Nats at first, and maybe a significant improvement in September and later.

      • natsguy - Jul 28, 2015 at 8:49 AM

        Have you guys forgotten he has a bad shoulder. A real bad shoulder.

      • Hiram Hover - Jul 28, 2015 at 8:56 AM

        And he has been successful at the plate despite the bad shoulder in the past.

        Will he be now? We can speculate endlessly but the only way to know is to bring him back and see how he does.

        What else do you want them to do? I don’t see the point of all this worrying and complaining.

    • natsnatsnatswoo - Jul 28, 2015 at 9:01 AM

      Minor league rehab stats mean virtually nothing when taken out of context. What matters in a rehab stint is not how many hits a player gets, but how he looks when playing the game, and how he feels when it’s done and he needs to go back out there again the next day and the day after that. If RZ is okay in this respect – and they wouldn’t be bringing him up now if they didn’t think this was the case – the hits will come.

  12. rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 8:17 AM

    Great news.Now we need Span and Stras plus Chapman or Kimbrel and the Mets can keep Clip.

    • adcwonk - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:16 AM

      Emphasis on the Span part — who I think one of the best leadoff hitters in MLB. (Led NL in hits last year!)

  13. ehay2k - Jul 28, 2015 at 8:25 AM

    No mention here of team chemistry and the possible impact of that on bringing in a closer. The Soriano acquisition seemed to dampen the clubhouse vibe a lot. I’d rather we get a good setup guy, not someone who wants to take Drew’s job. Even more than a closer, I’d rather we get a good bat to shore up our offense, a bat that is not a defensive liability like Robinson. Speaking of which, did we DFA McLouth? He seems to have fallen completely off the radar. Is he even close to coming back? He was supposed to be the guy to spell our OF guys, or cover for someone in case of injury. He slid hard into the LF wall last year and in my mind, was never the same after that.

    • virginiascopist - Jul 28, 2015 at 8:38 AM

      I do agree regarding chemistry, which is one of the reasons I believe Rizzo is not interested in Papelbon since he ONLY wants to close and, therefore, would supplant Drew. If Chapman would be okay with co-closer status, I believe that would be acceptable, and I am sure Rizzo would make sure that both Chapman and Drew were on board before pulling the trigger. I don’t know if Kimbrel has ever addressed the possibility of not closing.

      As for McLouth, I know he’s on the 60-day DL. DFAing him would not clear space on the 40-man, and if he’s not healthy, no team would trade for him. In the “every cloud has a silver lining department,” if not for his non-recovery, we probably would have seen very little of Michael Taylor so far.

    • Joe Seamhead - Jul 28, 2015 at 8:48 AM

      I’m with you regarding the chemistry thing, ehay2k. I just don’t see how it would all unfold without creating a bunch problems. As to Nate McLouth? All I hear is he’s still on the 60 day DL.

      • nats128 - Jul 28, 2015 at 9:56 AM

        Mclouth had a setback and is back rehabbing in Florida. Doesnt sound like he will make it back before September 1.

  14. Theophilus T.S. - Jul 28, 2015 at 8:31 AM

    Cole is looking pretty expendable. Giolito’s promotion to Harrisburg says the Nats are thinking he’ll be in their 2016 rotation by, at least, mid-season, even tho he’ll be on a fairly restrictive innings limit. (That’s both Giolito and Ross behind Scherzer, Strasburg and Gonzalez.) Lopez, or at least his numbers, seems to have stalled and my heart wouldn’t be broken if he brought some serious bullpen help.

    Chapman makes sense to me only if the plan is to spin either him or Storen in the offseason. The Clippard history says the Nats don’t want to tie up that much money in the bullpen and both Chapman and Storen would become FAs at the end of 2016. Kimbrell has an extra year. (He’s not as intimidating as he was, maybe because Petco has been made more hitter-friendly.) If Padres insist on Turner that’s a non-starter as Rizzo spent the entire off-season lining up Desmond’s long-term replacement.

    I think Rizzo needs someone who’s a solid role-player.. Boxberger seems like a good option and the Nats have a mutually beneficial trade history w/ Tampa.

  15. rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 8:31 AM

    Who would this new bat replace?If we get Kimbrel or Chapman I do not understand based on the situation that Storen and the new closer could not take care of the 8th and 9th innings.Everybody is making millions and can multi task.

  16. Joe Seamhead - Jul 28, 2015 at 8:43 AM

    I have no idea what Rizzo will do.I don’t generally like giving up a lot of young talent for a relief pitcher, and Rizzo has actually done exactly the opposite on a couple of occasions. Capps for Ramos, Clipp for Escobar, and I think there was at least one or two others.

    BTW- Last Weds was the last time Tyler Clippard pitched for the A’s. He came in against the Blue Jays in the 9th, gave up the lead on 1 hit and 3 walks. He threw 40 pitches in the one inning and only 21 of them were for strikes. He has been somewhat inconsistent.

    Ghost, you mentioned the possibility of moving Werth to 1B. I am not always against moving players to a different position, and I talked about this as a logical move for the tail end of Jayson’s career a couple of years ago. Honestly, I thought that it would have made sense to have had him play at least a couple of games there during his re-hab, with the emphasis being on getting AB’s in. I think if Ryan Zimmerman’s possible return is derailed that move makes a ton of sense. CRob has shown why he is a career minor leaguer, Tyler doesn’t hit consistently enough, and though he has a great glove, Danny is a bit height challenged for the position.

    • rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 8:48 AM

      Zim and Crob will be the 1st baseman for the rest of the season.Taking a guy in mid season off the Dl to play a new position is not going to happen.TMO will be at 1st before Jason or Danny.

      • Joe Seamhead - Jul 28, 2015 at 8:54 AM

        If Zimm is healthy enough to play, he will. As to playing a “new” position, Werth played 1B early in his minor league career. You are not going to get to the WS with Clint Robinson at 1B, in my opinion. His bat doesn’t come close to justifying his poor glove. You are almost certainly correct that Werth probably won’t play 1B, but if Span comes back, and Zimm’s foot flares up again, I wouldn’t discount the possibility.

      • nats128 - Jul 28, 2015 at 9:40 AM

        Agree. Every thing depends on RZs health and production. Im not sure what the rush was to get RZ back. Werth you can see is needed in LF.

        Interesting read last night from Ghost on how Werth was a Catcher and a 1st baseman in the Minors for Toronto but was blocked by Carlos Delgado who was set at 1st base and thats when they switched him to the outfield.

      • nats128 - Jul 28, 2015 at 9:44 AM

        “Joe Seamhead – Jul 28, 2015 at 8:54 AM
        You are not going to get to the WS with Clint Robinson at 1B, in my opinion. His bat doesn’t come close to justifying his poor glove.”

        Hes been a singles hitter and then is giving up singles any where he plays and now is making errors. Hes a great story and a inspiration to persevere and your never to old.

    • ArVAFan - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:08 AM

      What, Danny can’t get taller? He’s done everything else he’s been asked to do!

      Werth does certainly fit the “taller” category.

      • zmunchkin - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:25 AM

        ROTFLOL!

      • kirbs3256 - Jul 28, 2015 at 12:15 PM

        Need a like button.

        +984

  17. natsfan1a - Jul 28, 2015 at 8:51 AM

    I guess we’ll know in a few days, unless Rizzo goes for after waivers deadline.

    In other news, the autoplay thing is *really, really* annoying.

    • natsfan1a - Jul 28, 2015 at 8:53 AM

      or after non-waivers deadline

      (can’t think with that video talking at me)

      • Joe Seamhead - Jul 28, 2015 at 8:55 AM

        That video thing is a vexation to all of our’s spirits.

    • Hiram Hover - Jul 28, 2015 at 9:04 AM

      +1 to 1a on the auto-play.

      Mark, if there is some way to tweak the settings or embed code so it doesn’t auto-play, we would all be very grateful.

      I don’t remember this being an issue before 2-3 weeks ago, and it doesn’t happen always now–for example, the vids in the Baseball Show post yesterday didn’t auto-play for me.

      • Mark Zuckerman - Jul 28, 2015 at 9:24 AM

        Sorry about that. Didn’t even realize the video was auto-playing til just now. Looks like we have a new video player that sets it to auto-play automatically. I need to figure out how to turn that off. In the meantime, I removed the video from this page, so no more worries!

      • Hiram Hover - Jul 28, 2015 at 9:25 AM

        Many thanks!!

      • natsfan1a - Jul 28, 2015 at 11:40 AM

        Thanks, Mark.

  18. rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 8:58 AM

    I was told here that Esco could not move to 2nd midseason.Here is a middle infielder,aSS that could not move.Now some are advocating all kinds of moves late in the season.

    • Joe Seamhead - Jul 28, 2015 at 9:14 AM

      You included. Wasn’t it just yesterday that you advocated playing Espinosa in LF?

      From all we’ve heard about Yunel Escobar, he has been the consummate team player and there is every reason to believe that he will do whatever MW asked of him.

  19. rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 9:16 AM

    Then they should move him to 2nd.

  20. Doc - Jul 28, 2015 at 9:18 AM

    Be careful trading young pitching talent. Both Nate Karns and Robbie Ray are having good starting rotation years.

    And both are closing in on plus side of the past trades.

    • rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 9:21 AM

      We want to win this year.

    • zmunchkin - Jul 28, 2015 at 9:25 AM

      Neither of those players would likely be on the 25 man roster for the Nats. They were organizational depth that were no longer needed.

      I agree that you need to be careful about trading away pitching prospects. But you need to factor in the likelihood of the player having a future with his current team.

      • nats128 - Jul 28, 2015 at 9:46 AM

        Value for value. Karns brought back Rivero, Lobaton and Vettleson.

      • kirbs3256 - Jul 28, 2015 at 12:17 PM

        and Rivero is GOOD.

    • bowdenball - Jul 28, 2015 at 9:38 AM

      Robbie Ray isn’t even on the Tigers any more. He was flipped for Shane Greene, who is having a terrible year.

      As for Karns, he’s having a good year to be sure, but that’s with the Rays, who are famous for working magic with fringe starting pitchers. It’s unlikely that he’d be as successful in DC or anywhere else for that matter.

      • nats128 - Jul 28, 2015 at 9:46 AM

        +1

  21. rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 9:19 AM

    I always felt You could move guys.I have advocated Esco moving.My only point is I was told you could not move Esco then how would the same guys now advocate moving Werth and Danny.

  22. rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 9:28 AM

    Guys if you want an all star closer you have to give up equal value.Why would either the Reds or Padres give up there closer for players that no future with our team?

    • virginiascopist - Jul 28, 2015 at 9:35 AM

      Just because they are players with no future on our team doesn’t mean they will have no future on other teams. The Padres, for example, pretty much gutted their farm system in order to go “all in” this year. They really need to replenish it. Trading Kimbrel as well as most likely one or two of their starting pitchers in exchange for our (as well as other teams’) “surplus” is the way they will accomplish that.

      • rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 9:38 AM

        Sounds so easy.Give them are throw aways so they can have a AAA team and send us Kimbrel.I wish that was the real world.They have already asked for Trea Turner.It is going to cost if we are going to get Chapman or Kimbrel a lot more than some of our 2nd tier guys.

      • virginiascopist - Jul 28, 2015 at 9:44 AM

        Oh, I’m quite sure they are demanding Turner back, but that will never happen. Our surplus is pitchers. My guess is they will solve their SS problem via trading off pieces like Upton and Cashner (maybe Tyson Ross); then they will need to replace their pitchers, and they can come to us for someone like Lopez or Cole (possibly Fedde) for Kimbrel. And, no, Rizzo won’t give them Joe Ross back either.

      • jd - Jul 28, 2015 at 9:53 AM

        rindtin,

        If you pay attention to all the trades going down you will notice one thing. No one is giving away their top prospects, especially for a reliever no matter how good the reliever is. I’ll explain to you the motivation for the Reds and Padres to move their closers: Neither of these teams is about to win anything any time soon and both of these guys make a lot of money. When you are a lousy team you want to do 2 things; shed salary and get prospects and quantity occasionally has to replace quality.

        Of course the Reds and Padres are asking for the moon, why wouldn’t you? but at the end of the day you take the best package available and you move on with your rebuilding process.

      • Hiram Hover - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:31 AM

        As a comp: the best reliever moved last year was Andrew Miller and the price was pretty steep.

        For 2 months of him, the Os gave up Eduardo Rodriguez, who was I think their 3 prospect going into 2014. Rodriguez was #23 on fangraphs all-MLB prospects list for 2015, and is putting together a decent rookie season right now for the Red Sox.

        The guys we’re talking about–Chapman and Kimbrel–both have an extra year. Miller was a pure rental, but also much, much cheaper (made less than $2M total last year).

    • jd - Jul 28, 2015 at 9:58 AM

      rindtin,

      BTW, some of the names being discussed here aren’t garbage. A.J.Cole is just 23, he’s not ready to crack our rotation but for a team like San Diego or Cincinati he might be an interesting project. Erik Fedde was drafted in teh 1st round and is a sure fire major league prospect, Wilmer Difo is a very good prospect and is quite close to the majors etc etc.

      We just don’t need to plug one hole and create another.The Yankees list the top 4 prospects as untouchable and they are talking about getting Hammels who is not a rental and is also a top of the rotation starter.

      • rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:04 AM

        The odds of any of these prospects making it to the majors and being a star is slim.Anytime you can get an all star closer for prospects you should do it if you are trying to win this year.This year is our best chance .You get 4-5 years to win it all and we are in the late stages with this group.It is not to say we can not have a run again after we lose.Denard,Fister,JZIM, and Desi.But this is the year to go all in.

      • jd - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:11 AM

        rindtin,

        This is where we disagree. I think you never go all in to the extent you suggest. You never give away players that are on the cusp of playing a major role on your team and doing it for years to come and are also not making the big bucks yet. Ross, Turner and Giolito certainly fit that description.

        What if you go all in this year and then you don’t? (trust me Chapman grantees nothing). Now you have nothing plus you just created a large hole in your starting rotation for 2016 (If you trade Ross). The point is you can add the missing pieces without giving away these essential parts.

      • rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:32 AM

        I would trade Ross for Kimbrel or Chapman.The only problem is neither team would make the trade.Remember Ross was in the Turner deal and they gave him away.

      • rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:44 AM

        Storen was real elite in 2012 and 14.You can take all the stats you have and I can tell you Kimbrel or Chapman would not have blown both games.

      • bowdenball - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:51 AM

        How can you tell us Kimbrel and Chapman would not have blown both games? They allow hits and walks and runs just like Storen does. Slightly fewer runs, perhaps, and in Chapman’s case a lot more walks, but the bottom line is that no closer is perfect. Storen is very very good. Chapman and Kimbrel are SLIGHTLY better than Storen. But that doesn’t mean they’re flawless- for all we know, one of them may have given up runs in the 9th inning in Game 1 or Game 4 of the 2012 NLDS and the series wouldn’t have even reached that fateful Game 5.

      • rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:59 AM

        This much I do know.We were lucky to foul off a pitch against Kimbrel in most of his save situations with the Braves.You can not compare 100 miles an hour to 94 in the 9th inning.Anybody would prefer to have Kimbrel in bottom 9 up a run in game 5 of the NLCS.I would sit back and count my money.I just can not say the same about Drew.The combo of Drew in the 8th and Kimbrel in the 9th gives us a real chance with Scherzer,Zim and Stras pitching 7 innings in the playoffs you can forget about all the AAA relievers we have suffered with this year.This is if you want o win a WS that DC has not had for almost 100 years.

      • bowdenball - Jul 28, 2015 at 11:13 AM

        I don’t understand this. The lead in the top of the 8th inning in Game 5 of the NLDS was one run. Why do you think Storen would have protected that lead?

        The facts are pretty simple here. Drew Storen is good. Kimbrel and Chapman are in fact slightly better, but Storen and many other Nats are still going to have to protect leads in high leverage spots in the postseason if the Nats are going to win a World Series. Adding one of them is just a small shift in the odds in our favor. It guarantees nothing; and for that matter if we don’t add anyone that also doesn’t guarantee anything.

        Also, you were totally wrong about the Nats being “lucky to foul off a pitch against Kimbrel in most of his save situations with the Braves.” We hit him OK, and did particularly well at Nats Park, where he gave up 6 runs in 17 innings. Here’s an absolute disaster of a blown save from Kimbrel vs the Nats in June of last season, when the Braves still had a division lead:

        http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/WAS/WAS201406200.shtml

      • masterfishkeeper - Jul 28, 2015 at 11:18 AM

        Bowdenball, why do you let facts get in the way of a good narrative? 😉

      • rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 11:20 AM

        Good luck with Jansen in the 8th and Storen in the 9th.Why do you think all reports are that Rizzo is trying to get Chapman or Kimbrel?Remember the 8th inning is not the 9th.

      • rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 11:35 AM

        You better get real with your comparison of Drew to Kimbrel.Kimbrel 2011,46 saves,2012,42,2013,50,2014,47.career 328 innings pitched,182 hits and 531 stike outs.He is a first round hall of famer.Those stats are off the charts.Drews best year 43 saves,75 innings,57 hits and 74 SO.There is zero comparison.You get this guy and have Drew set up you can win a WS.That is the only goal WS not wait till next year.Giving up Ross seems like a small consideration.If I told you we could get Turner and Kimbrel for Sousza we would have thrown a party.Thats what we would get here .

      • Hiram Hover - Jul 28, 2015 at 11:50 AM

        Apples to oranges.

        Kimbrel was used as a closer for all those years. Drew wasn’t. So of course he wasn’t racking up saves.

      • therealjohnc - Jul 28, 2015 at 11:53 AM

        You get this guy and have Drew set up you can win a WS.That is the only goal WS not wait till next year.

        You may be confusing “can” win a WS with “will” win a WS. I suppose you were all on board when Beane pushed all his chips on the 2014 square in post-season roulette … failed to make even the Divisional Round and now has a last place team that is being torn down and rebuilt.

        Bottom line is that there are teams that have won in the postseason with worse bullpens/closers than the Nats have, and teams that have lost with better ones. I don’t think that adding one more bullpen arm moves the needle all that much, and the question is how much it affects the team’s ability to come back to the playoff table for another attempt in the following seasons. Fortunately Rizzo is not only better at this than we are, he’s got a room full of very smart analysts (scouts and sabremetrics) to assist him.

      • adcwonk - Jul 28, 2015 at 11:56 AM

        You better get real with your comparison of Drew to Kimbrel.Kimbrel 2011…

        Why are you picking stats from a few years ago?

        Kimbrel has been greater than Storen — but Kimbrel has averaged 68+ games a year for the last four years (and is on that pace again this year), and this year his WHIP is at a personal high (except for his rookie year).

        Kimbel is owed $11M next year, and $13M the following. His WHIP is 1.119 this year

        Storen’s WHIP is 1.018 this year.

        Only one of those two pitchers, this year, has been able to go an entire month without surrendering a single run. That would be Storen in May. He’s also not been scored upon in July (not since June 21).

        Kimbrel has been incapable of putting together that kind of consistency this year. He just hasn’t.

      • adcwonk - Jul 28, 2015 at 11:58 AM

        Minor typo — let me re-state it with the correction:

        ===========
        Only one of those two pitchers, this year, has been able to go an entire month without surrendering a single run. That would be Storen in May. He’s also not been scored upon in July (not since June 24).

        Kimbrel has been incapable of putting together that kind of consistency this year. He just hasn’t.

      • rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 12:14 PM

        This is unbelievable.I am only asking to solve our BP problem by trading Ross for Kimbrel a future Hall of Famer.A trade the Padres would not make and you guys want to offer less and tell me we can win without him.Trust me our BP stinks besides Drew.Drew is a solid reliever that needs a lot of help.Kimbrel with Drew would be the answer.I am sure Mike Rizzo agrees and that is why he is trying to get Chapman or Kimbrel.What do you not understand.I am agreeing with Mike Rizzo the genius that we need one of these guys.I guess you know more than him.

      • bowdenball - Jul 28, 2015 at 12:18 PM

        Most people agree with this premise, rlndtln. The problem is that you are not “only asking to solve our BP problem by trading Ross for Kimbrel.” You are making a lot of baseless or downright false assertions in the process. People are disagreeing with those baseless/false assertions, not the underlying premise.

      • zmunchkin - Jul 28, 2015 at 12:18 PM

        If you would stick to facts, maybe . . . . . .

        Do you have a time machine and have you visited the future to see Kimbrel’s plaque in the HOF?

      • rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 12:24 PM

        Nobody in the history of baseball in there first 5 seasons has had stats like that.328 innings,182 hits.531 strike outs.He only needs a few more years in a Nats uniform and he is off to Cooperstown.Show me a reliever in there first 5 years with stats near those.

      • sec112 - Jul 28, 2015 at 1:11 PM

        With the exception of maybe Sandy Koufax, people don’t get into the Hall of Fame based on 5 years of performance. Otherwise Dale Murphy Would have a plaque. This is one of the reasons there are so few relief pitchers (5ish, depending on who you consider a relief pitcher) in the HOF. Very, very few relief pitchers are able to sustain excellence for more than a few years. If you look at the leaders in various categories, you’ll find only a handful of pitchers who appear in the top five for more than a few years. Kimberly has been very good – but particularly given recent regression, we’re a long way from knowing if he’ll succeed where Lee Smith, Billy Wagner and John Franco have failed.

        This, by the way, is my way of avoiding engaging in the rest of the argument because I wouldn’t trade Joe Ross for any of these guys, and I don’t buy that a great closer (or more accurately, a slightly better closer than you already have) guarantees you anything (I seem to recall Mariano blowing the save in Game 7 in 2001).

      • Bruxtun - Jul 28, 2015 at 12:29 PM

        “This is unbelievable”

        “what do you not understand”

        “I guess you know more than him”

        Put a sock in it and get over yourself. Almost nothing you’re saying is grounded in reality. You don’t know what you’re talking about, as is usual.

      • rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 12:37 PM

        You want to get personal let me know.

      • Bruxtun - Jul 28, 2015 at 12:56 PM

        Why don’t you try “objective” or “rational” before we try “personal”?

      • nats128 - Jul 28, 2015 at 1:03 PM

        +1 Its the constant negativity on the in-game threads that rubs me the wrong way

      • adcwonk - Jul 28, 2015 at 1:31 PM

        What do you not understand.

        What I don’t understand is your assertion that Kimbrel is — in 2015 — hands down better than Storen.

        Would he be a good addition? Of course!

        Is he worth selling the future for? No.

        Is he, right now, hands down better than Storen? Look at the stats — no.

      • virginiascopist - Jul 28, 2015 at 11:01 AM

        Just because Preller was stupid enough to give Ross away doesn’t mean Rizzo is. Okay, maybe “stupid” is a little harsh, but he clearly did not evaluate his own prospects as thoroughly as Rizzo did. At the time of the trade, I was excited to get Ross, but never expected him to advance this quickly (thought maybe he would compete for a rotation spot in 2017). Now, with his ascendance, it has almost made AJ Cole expendable, so I expect Cole is the first name Rizzo is floating out to either the Padres or Reds.

      • nats128 - Jul 28, 2015 at 12:10 PM

        Preller thought he was giving a way a starter who only had 2 pitches and wasnt throwing either consistently for strikes.

        Now hes kicking himself. He obviously knew Turner was good as everyone knew that but didnt value Ross enough and included him in the deal.

        Still a long way from declaring this as armed robbery but this could go down as one of the greatest fleeces in a long time.

      • virginiascopist - Jul 28, 2015 at 12:38 PM

        “Preller thought he was giving a way a starter who only had 2 pitches and wasnt throwing either consistently for strikes.”

        This is pretty funny because I’m almost positive prior to the trade Tyson Ross was saying how Joe had the potential to be a better pitcher than he was.

      • rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 12:40 PM

        Peller maybe slow but I doubt we can fool him twice.I think he has seen Kimbrel pitch.

      • nats128 - Jul 28, 2015 at 12:41 PM

        I heard that also. Older brother is definitely proud of his younger brother.

      • fstop1970 - Jul 28, 2015 at 12:45 PM

        Blown Saves:

        1997 ALDS

        2001 WS

        2004 ALCS Games 4 & 5

        The culprit: Mariano Rivera

        I guess Drew’s in pretty good company then and by your standards both Kimbrel and Chapman are greater closers that the pitcher most consider the greatest closer of all time.

    • adcwonk - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:29 AM

      Anytime you can get an all star closer for prospects you should do it if you are trying to win this year.

      jd had the best answer:

      What if you go all in this year and then you don’t? Now you have nothing plus you just created a large hole…

      That’s a great point — remember, the main goal during the season is to make the playoffs — because after that, it’s a crapshoot. The best team can run into some hot pitchers and/or have a slumping player or two, and then, poof, the season is gone.

      Case in point: just last year the Orioles — with the second most wins in baseball, got swept 3-0 in the playoffs by the Royals.

      And than the Angels, who had the most wins in baseball, got swept 4-0 by the Royals.

      And then the Royals lost in the WS to the Giants, who were tied in having the fewest wins of anybody in the playoffs.

      Fact is — Storen is having a helluva season. Yeah, we could use some 7th or 8th inning help, but no sense trading away the future for that when the odds are pretty decent that (presuming Span and Werth come back and are in form) we’ll make the playoffs

      • therealjohnc - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:41 AM

        You forgot the poster child for “all-in:” The 2014 Athletics. Give away Addison Russell and the rest of the farm for Lester and Samardzija, lose the Wild Card game and don’t even make it to the divisional round. Ouch!

      • adcwonk - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:49 AM

        (And they traded away Cespedes, too)

        Well, yeah, but now the A’s are, umm . . . in last place tied with the worst record in the AL.

        Good point.

        And I think Lester was a rental — and right now they have neither Lester nor Samardzija!

  23. veejh - Jul 28, 2015 at 9:50 AM

    I don’t care what kind of a season Kimbrel is having.

    Kimbrel > Clippard

  24. rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 9:50 AM

    Let them have there pick of those three and do it.

  25. jd - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:01 AM

    BTW,

    I don’t understand what the Blue Jays are doing. They already have one of the best hitting teams in baseball so they swap expensive shortstops (admittedly they got the better one) but they also throw in a pitcher they drafted in the 1st round last year who is back from TJ and is doing well.

    • adcwonk - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:30 AM

      I’m with you on that question. Can anyone explain it?

      (Toronto leads all of MLB in runs/game)

  26. jd - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:05 AM

    I think that if the Nats acquire Chapman or Kimbrel that will signal the impending end of Storen’s tenure with the Nats at the end of the year. That wouldn’t necessarily shock me because I think that deep down Rizzo doesn’t trust Storen when everything is on the line. I think that this is the motivation behind all the activity rather than the need for a 2nd closer during the regular season.

    • veejh - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:10 AM

      Do you think Rizzo is gonna hand the ball to Storen for the 3rd time in a crucial playoff game and watch Drew fail again? I don’t think he’s gonna let that happen.

      • jd - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:15 AM

        veejh,

        I think you are right. I disagree with him because I think that unfortunate circumstances contributed to the past failures (I think these were discussed ad nose um) but I think he kind of told you how he felt about Storen when he acquired Soriano. Storen wrestled the closers role back by tremendous performances both last year and this but I don’t think he can do anything to regain Rizzo’s full faith in him.

      • bowdenball - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:24 AM

        Got some news for you, veejh. It wouldn’t be the third time the Nats have handed the ball to Storen in a crucial playoff game. It would be the sixth time. The other three (in addition to the two famous blown saves):

        1. Storen protected a one-run lead on the road in St. Louis in the 9th inning with a 1-2-3 showing (one K) to win the Nats’ first ever playoff game.

        2. Storen protected the 1-1 scoreless tie in the top of the 9th before Werth’s famous walkoff in Game 4 of the 2012 NLDS. He gave up a walk and struck out two.

        3. Storen allowed one run on two hits but closed out Game 3 of the 2014 NLDS without further incident, never allowing the tying run to come to the plate.

        The narrative that Storen always chokes in the playoffs is perhaps the finest example of confirmation bias that exists for Nats fans. Everyone remembers only the two failures, and with good reason (although I don’t think he’s to blame for Game 2 in 2014). But nobody remembers these successes, which were huge and impressive, especially the first two. The first one, in which Storen retired Jay, Beltran and Holliday in order on the road in a one run game, is easily the most impressive save in Nationals history.

      • zmunchkin - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:28 AM

        Well said bowdenball.

        And lets not forget the close pitches and check swings that could have easily been called strikes in 2012.

        I still recall the commentary after the game about how you can’t give a team 5 outs and expect good results.

        The only thing I hold against Storen for 2012 is missing picking off Molina.

      • adcwonk - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:34 AM

        To repeat zmunchkin’s comment: well said, bowdenball!

        I want to add one more thing — I think Storen’s career has two different chapters: (a) before he was sent to the minors; and (b) after he was sent to the minors.

        He’s been consistently solid ever since (b). Yes, Rizzo didn’t trust him earlier, and got Soriano, but that was during the first chapter (a) of Storen’s career.

      • jd - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:36 AM

        really good analysis bowdenball. I for one am a big Storen fan. I am not convinced that Rizzo is.

  27. rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:11 AM

    I think that is true.Drew is a good closer but not elite.I think he is a perfect 8th inning guy.If we get Either Kimbrel or Chapman MW will have the flexibility to mix and match the 2,They could easily handle most of the 8th and 9th inning duties.If Drew does not like that situation he can then move on.

    • jd - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:18 AM

      By the numbers Storen is absolutely elite. He is ranked 9th in the majors by fangraphs (Kimbrel is 20th), Chapman is 2nd.

  28. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:14 AM

    Werth needs a 40 man spot since he’s on the 60 day DL. Could be Burriss and RZim for MdD.

    • nats128 - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:20 AM

      That seems to make to much sense. Then with a trade another 40 man spot would need to be made and a bullpen arm would go back to AAA.

  29. rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:20 AM

    Besides Burris who is going off the 25 man roster?I would prefer DFA Uggla and keep denDeker.

    • nats128 - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:44 AM

      Your 30 days from Sept 1st and expanding rosters. Uggla is the Nats best pinch-hitter in the larger sample size.

  30. rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:31 AM

    I would trade Ross even up for either Kimbrel or Chapman.The only problem is you would not get either for Ross.

    • adcwonk - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:36 AM

      Sorry — but that’s crazy. Ross has a fine future with many years of Nats control. Chapman is gone after next season, and Kimbrel is very expensive.

      • nats128 - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:47 AM

        +1 and if Ross latest start didnt start to quiet those that keep saying hes not that good, think again.

      • adcwonk - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:51 AM

        And, lest anyone forget, Ross is still very young. He’s a 1/2 younger than Bryce Harper — he just turned 22 in May!

      • nats128 - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:57 AM

        Whatever the Nats did mechanically with Ross when they got him from San Diego turned him from a struggling A & AA ball pitcher into a future star.

      • adcwonk - Jul 28, 2015 at 11:42 AM

        To adopt a maxim from somewhere else: the best thing about 21 year old pitchers is that they turn 22 😉

      • nats128 - Jul 28, 2015 at 11:52 AM

        You wish it worked with age as the main factor.

        The Nats probaly dont want to give away there secrets as to what they did in some fixes with Ross.

      • adcwonk - Jul 28, 2015 at 12:00 PM

        Good point. I’m sure coaching helped. (But I’m also guessing that maturing & plain old experience also helped — at least a little bit)

      • nats128 - Jul 28, 2015 at 12:40 PM

        Also mentoring from his older brother.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 28, 2015 at 11:17 AM

        When Joe Cool perfects a changeup and goes from a fastball/slider guy to 3 “+” pitches he could be a #1.

        Scouts can’t believe what the change of scenery did for him going from San Diego AA to Harrisburg. Not a chance Rizzo trades him for Chapman straight up. That ship sailed.

        Ross takes Fister’s spot in the rotation and if he can get the changeup then he becomes a top of the rotation pitcher.

    • jd - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:39 AM

      rindtin,

      You are slowly getting there. Yesterday you were trading Ross + Difo for Chapman. Fortunately for the Nats Rizzo won’t trade a key member of his 2016 starting rotation for a reliever.

      • nats128 - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:49 AM

        “Fortunately for the Nats Rizzo won’t”

        Fortunately for the Nats Rizzo won’t be listening to rintintin for trade advise. Thats about as smart as the suggest 4 years ago of Desi and JZ for BJ Upton.

      • rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:50 AM

        Ross for Chapman .

  31. adcwonk - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:42 AM

    My daughter, the Wonkling, texted me that RZ is rejoining the team tonight. I have no idea how she knows (or things she knows) that.

    fwiw . . .

    • zmunchkin - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:48 AM

      I saw a headline in the WaPo this morning that Werth and RZ were both in Miami for tonight. The article has no details about either being activated.

      • nats128 - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:54 AM

        “Ghost of Steve M. – Jul 27, 2015 at 7:59 PM
        That’s not good unless he’s in Miami.”

        Funny, I read this last night as a response to RZ not in the Harrisburg lineup last night.

      • zmunchkin - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:57 AM

        I had the same reaction Ghost did when I saw he was not in the lineup for Harrisburg. And I then saw Ghost’s comment.

        I hope RZ is in the lineup tonight. Given than Hernandez is pitching for the Marlins, defense will be at a premium.

      • nats128 - Jul 28, 2015 at 11:04 AM

        Im surprized.

        I thought for sure RZ would rehab a while longer. Is the rush to get him back the poor defense of CRob? If thats the case then T-Mo seems like he should have been starting as the better glove and the better RBI man in the middle of the lineup.

        Im confused as I dont get it.

  32. bowdenball - Jul 28, 2015 at 10:53 AM

    I don’t understand why people even think this trade is about Chapman/Kimbrel vs Storen. It’s about fixing the 6th. 7th and 8th innings, not the 9th inning.

    • nats128 - Jul 28, 2015 at 11:06 AM

      Its about making the bullpen better and more options for the postseason. Look what the Giants did with Romo and then Casilla. Didnt hear them whining.

  33. zmunchkin - Jul 28, 2015 at 11:18 AM

    Not sure which post it was, but Ghost commented yesterday after the news about Clippard to the Mets came down that he would wait until Friday afternoon to pass initial judgment on any trades. I agree.

    And it also occurs to me that if the target is indeed Kimbrel, I suspect that Rizzo won’t make that deal until Thursday night or Friday morning. We want Kimbrel as the option at closer for the Padres against the Mets for the next 3 nights don’t we?

    • virginiascopist - Jul 28, 2015 at 11:27 AM

      “We want Kimbrel as the option at closer for the Padres against the Mets for the next 3 nights don’t we?”

      Yes, but we take on the Mets immediately thereafter, so if it happens, after the weekend, I think Kimbrel will have gotten his fill of the Mets (and hopefully them of him as well).

      And if it should come to pass that the Padres haven’t found the right deal for Kimbrel by Thursday night, Rizzo may have more leverage.

      • zmunchkin - Jul 28, 2015 at 11:31 AM

        Yup. And I suspect the chances are high that any trades for Kimbrel or Chapman are coming later in the week. The Padres and the Reds will hold out as long as they can for a better deal. There is risk (to both sides) in such a strategy however.

    • nats128 - Jul 28, 2015 at 11:42 AM

      Read below on Ken Rosenthal on Nats and Papelbon. I hope not but he has the postseason experience.

    • nats128 - Jul 28, 2015 at 11:44 AM

      I agree. Why would people get upset until the dust settles.

  34. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 28, 2015 at 11:31 AM

    From Ken Rosenthal: Sources: #Nationals making progress on acquiring Papelbon from #Phillies. Papelbon has said he will only approve deal if he can close.

    • zmunchkin - Jul 28, 2015 at 11:36 AM

      I hope not!

      • nats128 - Jul 28, 2015 at 11:46 AM

        James Wagner is confirming that this is for real.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 28, 2015 at 11:49 AM

        I don’t like it. I hope this is a ploy. James Wagner tweeted this is progressing. The issue is the Reds want too much for Chapman.

      • Hiram Hover - Jul 28, 2015 at 11:52 AM

        Wait and see. Could be a deek move by the Phillies, to gin up interest in Papelbon. Could be a deek by the Nats, to conceal their interest in someone else.

      • zmunchkin - Jul 28, 2015 at 11:54 AM

        Hope your right that it is a ploy.

        The Nats confirm to Wagner that this is for real to send a message to the Reds and the Padres that there are other options. This is a pretty standard negotiating tactic in business.

    • Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 28, 2015 at 11:51 AM

      I came on here just to report this.. but I should have known you’d beat me to it.

      Now this move, I just cant get behind. I really hope this isn’t the case, at all…

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 28, 2015 at 11:56 AM

        Me too but if it comes down to a lesser prospect then I will be ok. I want Chapman but not to the point where u sell your future.

        Keep prospects for other deals. Get Ziegler or Benoit and consider Lind as a lefty bat and insurance if RZim can’t make it

      • virginiascopist - Jul 28, 2015 at 11:58 AM

        Me, too. This whole ‘I only want to close” bit sounds like it should be a non-starter for Rizzo. Maybe it’s all about Papelbon’s option which I assume is based on saves. If Rizzo could accept the option regardless, I wonder if Pap would forego his demand to close.

        I still think there are better options for Rizzo out there. As has been pointed out, on its face, our more pressing need seems to be middle inning relief.

      • nats128 - Jul 28, 2015 at 12:06 PM

        Rizzo doesnt like to be dictated to. The prices on Chapman and Kimbrel must be high for him to seriously consider Papelbon.

      • zmunchkin - Jul 28, 2015 at 1:22 PM

        If his demand to be the closer is just about getting his contract option, the terms of the trade could include that it be picked up. Is so, then depending on the price in prospects, maybe it’s a good deal. 

        Werth still has friends on the Phillies. I wonder if he has checked out whether Papelbon is the jerk everyone says he is. Remember that Uggla was also described as a clubhouse cancer

      • natsnatsnatswoo - Jul 28, 2015 at 1:22 PM

        The reason Papelbon only wants to be traded somewhere he can close is because he has contract options that vest based on games finished. So if an acquiring team was to guarantee those options he would likely not care whether he closes or not.

      • Hiram Hover - Jul 28, 2015 at 1:31 PM

        Some of the reports are that Philly would send $$$ to pay for part of Pap’s salary next year.

        That probably helps smooth the deal too, but it also raises the cost of what Philly expects in return.

      • therealjohnc - Jul 28, 2015 at 2:04 PM

        FWIW, I never saw Uggla described as a “clubhouse cancer” in Atlanta. He clashed with management, and the fans detested him for the sin of being well paid and not very good, but he was by all accounts very popular with his teammates. Remember when Freddie Freeman stood up for him earlier this year, and basically laughed at the Braves fans who booed Uggla?

      • therealjohnc - Jul 28, 2015 at 2:06 PM

        I suspect that Papelbon’s insistence on closing goes deeper than just his contract option. I remember a few years ago when he got bent out of shape because some guy named Mariano Rivera was chosen to close for the AL team ahead of Papelbon. Papelbon felt disrespected.

      • zmunchkin - Jul 28, 2015 at 2:30 PM

        realjohn, I have friends/relatives in Atlanta and they said that Uggla was regularly described that way.

  35. bowdenball - Jul 28, 2015 at 11:47 AM

    rlndtln-

    I totally agree that they should get Kimbrel or Chapman and have Storen set up. I think that would be a great move as long as they don’t give up too much. I’m disagreeing with your other statements and the certainty behind them. You seem convinced that Kimbrel or Chapman never blow saves or give up runs, which is demonstrably false. You also seem convinced that Storen cannot possibly handle the 9th inning of a close game in the postseason, which is also demonstrably false since he’s done it two or three times depending on how you characterize Game 3 last year. And finally you seem to think that whatever terrible fate you think awaits Storen if he were to pitch the 9th inning in the postseason could not possibly happen in the 8th, which makes no sense to me. There’s plenty of pressure in the 8th inning of a close game in the postseason.

    In short, I agree that a trade is a good idea, as do most Nats fans. I just totally disagree that the trade is a necessity or that Storen’s flaws necessitate it. The trade isn’t about Storen, it’s about the 7th and 8th inning, which is why I’d also be OK if they merely traded for Zeigler or Boxberger.

    Also everyone should remember that the postseason bullpen is expanded, includes the #5 starter and can be used without regard to rest/usage. So you’re not gonna see Janssen pitching the 8th even if the Nats don’t make a move. In the 7th and 8th you’ll probably see a bunch of lefty-lefty and righty-righty matchups with some hard-throwing starters possibly thrown into the mix depending on the situation.

    • nats128 - Jul 28, 2015 at 1:12 PM

      Are you quoting Mark?

    • rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 1:39 PM

      If you agree with getting them then you must think like me we can win a WS.

      • bowdenball - Jul 28, 2015 at 1:57 PM

        Of course I think we can win a World Series. We’re leading our division by 2 games in late July. Last year an 88 win team and an 89 win team met in the World Series. Anyone that’s currently over .500 could win the World Series, and a couple others could too (Orioles, Rays, Tigers).

    • Hiram Hover - Jul 28, 2015 at 1:43 PM

      Thanks for the level headed analysis here and above, bb.

      These are tough questions, and the this poster’s inability to stay on topic doesn’t make them any easier to discuss. The question here is not who’s going to Cooperstown in 15 years. And it’s not really about whether an elite arm would make the BP better–it would.

      The question is about what that arm would cost, and whether the price is worth it to the Nats. Some folks are so used to Rizzo turning straw into gold that they think Kimbrel, Chapman, etc could be had for peanuts, but a top prospect probably has to be part of the deal–I think the original poster is right about that. So if not Ross, at least one other guy from the Nat’s top 10 prospects.

      But even an upgraded BP, as you point out, is no guarantee, and Rizzo has to worry about not just this year but the years to come as well. Our consonant clogged friend refuses to acknowledge either of those things and goes off on tangents when challenged on them.

  36. rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 12:06 PM

    Kimbrel is a future Hall of Famer that we do not want to give Joe Ross for.Would we have traded Ross for Mariano Rivera,I guess not.Kimbrel will wind up with a better record than Rivera.I am positive Drew will never wind up in Cooperstown no matter what inning he pitches.

    • sec112 - Jul 28, 2015 at 1:18 PM

      Sorry for double posting this – but it ended up in the wrong place above.

      With the exception of maybe Sandy Koufax, people don’t get into the Hall of Fame based on 5 years of performance. Otherwise Dale Murphy would have a plaque. This is one of the reasons there are so few relief pitchers (5ish, depending on who you consider a relief pitcher) in the HOF (most of whom have a Cy Young or MVP year on their resume as well). Very, very few relief pitchers are able to sustain excellence for more than a few years. If you look at the leaders in various categories, you’ll find only a handful of pitchers who appear in the top five for more than a few years. Kimbrel has been very good – but particularly given recent regression, we’re a long way from knowing if he’ll succeed where Lee Smith, Billy Wagner and John Franco have failed.

      This, by the way, is my way of avoiding engaging in the rest of the argument because I wouldn’t trade Joe Ross for any of these guys, and I don’t buy that a great closer (or more accurately, a slightly better closer than you already have) guarantees you anything (I seem to recall Mariano blowing the save in Game 7 in 2001).

      • rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 1:29 PM

        Now you are criticizing Mariano .

      • sec112 - Jul 28, 2015 at 3:37 PM

        To be clear – by those guys, I meant Kimbrel or Chapman – I wouldn’t trade Ross straight up for either of them.

    • Bruxtun - Jul 28, 2015 at 1:37 PM

      Is this a joke? I’ll answer that: it is, but you didn’t intend it to be one.

    • adcwonk - Jul 28, 2015 at 1:42 PM

      Kimbrel is a future Hall of Famer that we do not want to give Joe Ross for.Would we have traded Ross for Mariano Rivera

      Oh, please.

      1. There is no guarantee that Kimbrel is going to be effective until age 43

      2. Even at age 43, Rivera had a better WHIP than Kimbrel has this year.

      and finally, please read this:

      3. Except for his rookie season Rivera never had a season with a WHIP as high as Kimbrel has this season. That’s right — 18 straight years. Even in his 19th season — age 43 — with over 1000 games on his arm — he pitched better than Kimbrel is pitching right now.

      So, it’s a bit ridiculous to compare the two.

      • adcwonk - Jul 28, 2015 at 1:48 PM

        (Correction — I read the numbers wrong. Sorry!)

        Rivera did indeed have three seasons with a WHIP of higher than 1.119 (which Kimbrel has now). Just three seasons out of 19. His last six seasons were all better than that, including his final season at age 43 — and in those last six seasons he was under 0.900 three times.

  37. nats128 - Jul 28, 2015 at 12:21 PM

    rlndtln – Jul 28, 2015 at 10:32 AM
    I would trade Ross for Kimbrel or Chapman.The only problem is neither team would make the trade.Remember Ross was in the Turner deal and they gave him away.

    rlndtln – Jul 28, 2015 at 12:06 PM
    Kimbrel is a future Hall of Famer that we do not want to give Joe Ross for.Would we have traded Ross for Mariano Rivera,I guess not.Kimbrel will wind up with a better record than Rivera.I am positive Drew will never wind up in Cooperstown no matter what inning he pitches.

    A hour and a 1/2 later and now the guy who wanted to trade Ross for Kimbrel or Chapman says he wouldnt have traded Ross for Mariano Rivera.

    At 45 1/2 years old I wouldnt trade Ross for Mariano Rivero either!

    • rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 1:35 PM

      Maybe you need to read my post.Would we have traded Ross for Mariano i said.I guess not I said.

      • nats128 - Jul 28, 2015 at 1:48 PM

        I read it like that.

      • Bruxtun - Jul 28, 2015 at 1:48 PM

        Would we have made that trade having known the future of his entire career? What a pointless discussion you’re having with yourself.

  38. rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 12:37 PM

    Bruxton.

    • jfmii - Jul 28, 2015 at 2:39 PM

      It is simply foolish to compare Kimbrel to Rivera, rindtin. Are you Kimbrel’s cousin? I don’t like to state opinions as fact, but I will say that it looks to me like Kimbrel is on a downward arc and to bet on him being in the HOF would not be a good bet.

      • rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 4:16 PM

        I am his brother.

  39. rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 2:41 PM

    thats was not my point.What I was saying that you guys would not have traded for Mariano in his prime as Kimbrel is now in his prime for a guy like Ross.

    • rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 2:42 PM

      Guys lets wait and see what Rizzo has to give for Kimbrel.

      • rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 3:01 PM

        career whip Mariano 1.000.career to date kimbrel.929.

      • adcwonk - Jul 28, 2015 at 3:14 PM

        career whip Mariano 1.000.career to date kimbrel.929.

        True — but Mariano’s is 1.000 for 19 years.

        I don’t think you are hearing what I am saying — so let me be more clear:

        Kimbrel this year is not performing as well as he has the prior years. You keep quoting K’s stats from 2011 or 2012, or even his lifetime stats. I am comparing this year — because, with a relief pitcher, you never know if, suddenly, mileage might be effecting him. (Clippard’s stats are significantly worse than his prior years, too — overuse? Maybe.).

        If you look at this year, Kimbrel and Storen are roughly equivalent, although Storen has been more consistent. I’m not making a value judgement, I’m just looking at their statistical performance.

        So, do you want to bet a potential future star, like Ross, who’s only just turned 22 and lots of years ahead of him, on a guy who *might* be facing problems and who is, currently, performing less consistently than Storen?

        I don’t.

        (And I’ll bet you any amount of money — right here, right now — that Kimbrel is not going to be pitching in the majors at age 43.)

  40. rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 3:49 PM

    Kimbrel pitched 5 years.He should be judged over the 5 years.Everybody has different quality years during a career.You were judging Kimbrels worst versus Marianos career.5 years is what he has pitched.What WHIP should I use to compare?I said originally with 5 more years with the Nats he was Hall of Fame bound.Now you want to call Ross a potential star with5 starts in the bigs but no credit to Kimbrel with 5 AS years. You want to compare Storen to Kimbrel in this year only.Look anyone alive even this year would rather have Kimbrel bottom 9 game 5 playoffs against the cCards over Storen.No knock on Drew just a fact and that is why Rizzo is trying to get Kimbrel.He is judging 5 years of work not 4 months.

    • rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 4:12 PM

      Royals get Zobrist from Oakland for the Royals top pitching prospect.This is a.268 hitter far from a star.The Royals are all in this year to win it.I applaud them as WS champs come once in a lifetime for most teams.

      • therealjohnc - Jul 28, 2015 at 4:22 PM

        Unless it all crashes and burns the way it did in Oakland. Or in Milwaukee when they went and got Sabathia. Or in Philadelphia when they put together their “Four Aces” rotation and still got bounced in the NLDS. That was a playoff-tested recent WS champion team that had won 103 games, too.

        I’ll applaud them if they’re holding up the trophy at the end of the season. But the usual thing that happens when you roll the dice like that is that you crap out.

      • therealjohnc - Jul 28, 2015 at 4:24 PM

        Of course, some might argue that the reason that the Expos are in DC is because (on top of everything else that happened) they traded away three prospects named Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore and Brandon Phillips for a few months of Bartolo Colon. They went for it, all right. Ultimately all the way to DC.

  41. rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 4:26 PM

    Ghost reports Papelbon to Nats.This is not going to go down with the critics here.Even I agree Drew is better and Papelbon said he will not pitch in the 8th.How does this sound guys.

    • rlndtln - Jul 28, 2015 at 4:28 PM

      We should have given them next to nothing,Right guys

    • scmargenau - Jul 28, 2015 at 4:31 PM

      Sounds like Snyder.

  42. senators69 - Jul 28, 2015 at 5:11 PM

    Rumors say its Papelboner to DC. If true, I hope the Boner is flexible. Dude is not getting any younger. Should be happy with 8th inning with possible 9th on a WS contender. Drew to be flexible too. BUT I would not F with Drew ito acquire Papelboner. Far as I’m concerned, Drew has earned the closer on the Nats.

    Of course, this may all be a smoke-screen for Chapman or Kimbrel to DC.

    I just don’t want to see Giolito, Ross, or Turner go. I’d trade Cole in a heartbeat…just don’t think he’ll amount to much in MLB.

  43. Soul Possession, My Sofa - Jul 28, 2015 at 7:03 PM

    BTW, the most famous, if not biggest, blown save in World Series history, even if they play for another hundred years..

    • Soul Possession, My Sofa - Jul 28, 2015 at 7:05 PM

      This was the year Eckersley finished 2nd for the Cy Young award. He walked 11 guys all year. The following year he walked 3. All Year. Whole season, and he walked 3 guys.

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