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Baseball in the District – What does interest in Zobrist and Leake mean?

Dec 10, 2015, 12:19 PM EDT

Photo by the Associated Press


We are back with another episode of ‘Baseball in the District,’ as the 2015 Winter Meetings are coming to a close. Tim Murray and I broke down what was a busy week for the Nationals and in baseball.

We first discussed the controversy started by Dusty Baker and gave our thoughts on that. We then shifted to the Nats’ bullpen and the minor moves they have already made, as well as what could be next.

Tim and I also examined the failed attempts to sign both Ben Zobrist and Mike Leake, and what the simple fact they were interested in both of those guys could mean in the big picture.

You can listen to the show on ESPN 980’s website or download it on iTunes.

  1. Eugene in Oregon - Dec 10, 2015 at 12:56 PM

    I see the offer to Mike Leake in the same context as I saw the offer to Ben Zobrist. If they had acquired either of them on the free agent market, it would have given them the latitude to trade one their SPs or INFs for a need that’s not (or no longer) available on the free agent market (e.g., a top-quality closer or set-up guy). But you’re not going to trade a Yunel Escobar or a Wilmer Difo or a Tanner Roark or a Joe Ross — all of whom might bring an specific, needed return — until you’ve filled their spot. Not every need can be met on the free agent market, so sometimes you have shuffle things around to set yourself up to make a trade.

    • Eugene in Oregon - Dec 10, 2015 at 2:42 PM

      Thank you.

    • letsallbaseball - Dec 10, 2015 at 2:46 PM

      Sometimes when a new article is posted everyone migrates over to it and leaves the old one behind. If you leave a comment you want some discussion on, no problem with posting it in the new article. It’s not like he copied and pasted someone else’s comment… that would be lazy!

    • veejh - Dec 10, 2015 at 3:31 PM

      I always appreciate Eugene’s comments, whether he copied and pasted them.

    • veejh - Dec 10, 2015 at 3:33 PM

      * or not

    • veejh - Dec 10, 2015 at 3:45 PM

      Looks like Escobar got traded anyways.

      • Eugene in Oregon - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:08 PM

        Yep. So much for my analysis.

  2. Doc - Dec 10, 2015 at 3:17 PM

    I’m OK with Eugene’s commenting.

    I sometimes wished I had waited to catch the next posting. Sometimes I’ll restate my last comment because the one on the last posting got lost in the shuffle.

  3. veejh - Dec 10, 2015 at 3:41 PM

    Escobar to the Angels. No word on what we got.

  4. TimDz - Dec 10, 2015 at 3:45 PM

    MLB Traderumors reporting A possible trade between the Nats and Angels involving Escobar….

  5. Doc - Dec 10, 2015 at 3:50 PM

    They are reporting Trevor Gott, a young 22 yr. old pitcher who made his ML debut in ’15. Originally drafted in ’13 by the Padres in the 6th round.

  6. jd - Dec 10, 2015 at 3:54 PM

    The Angels no. 10 prospect:

    10. Trevor Gott, RHP Video: Gott has been counted out at each level for being a smallish righty reliever, but now he’s knocking on the door and appears to have figured out a way to succeed. He works 93-96 and hits 97 mph with his four-seam fastball, which he locates well up in the zone, drawing awkward swings as it jumps on hitters. Gott’s 80-82 mph curveball is consistently above average, flashing plus for some, with a rarely used changeup. The Angels have Gott very close to Bedrosian internally and think Gott is better than the recently-traded R.J. Alvarez due to having the same stuff with better command. Gott will be in the upper levels in 2015 and could be a big league option late in the season with a likely 8th inning type role down the road.

    • veejh - Dec 10, 2015 at 3:59 PM

      ….and a PTBNL

      • virginiascopist - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:02 PM

        Any chance this year’s PTBNL will be as good as last year’s PTBNL?

  7. jd - Dec 10, 2015 at 3:54 PM


    Forgot to say that the previous report is from fangraphs.

  8. deelizzle - Dec 10, 2015 at 3:57 PM

    I’m seeing the seeds germinating on a Desmond re-signing.

    • jd - Dec 10, 2015 at 3:59 PM

      I doubt it very much. I am pretty sure Desi can still get a multi year contract somewhere and the Nats won’t go there.

    • veejh - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:00 PM

      Say it isn’t so. Time to move on.

      • Doc - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:19 PM

        Love Desi, but he needs to take his K’s elsewhere.

  9. jd - Dec 10, 2015 at 3:58 PM

    Once we conclude the deal with Kelly I am pretty sure Paplebon and Storen will be on the way out and we’ll have a brand new bullpen for 2016.

  10. jd - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:04 PM

    So right now our middle infield consists of: Espinosa,Turner, Difo. You know we are signing or trading for a veteran or 2. I hear Rollins for 1 year.

    • Eugene in Oregon - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:09 PM

      Taking the Dan Uggla role?

      • jd - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:17 PM

        I don’t know. I assumed that Turner will start in the minors at least long enough to mitigate the service time issue. In 2014 Rollins was very solid although he did stink up the joint in 2015. Who knows?

        Bottom line is that Escobar was fairly useless to the Nats if he couldn’t play a solid 2nd base and judging by the fact that he never did last year we must conclude that he probably can’t.

      • Doc - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:23 PM

        I’m gonna miss Escobar and his hits–and the fun that he had at directing the umps calls. He also had a great ‘escape from Cuba’ story.

      • natsfan1a - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:25 PM

        Yuni did provide some fun moments.





As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
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