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UPDATED: Yunel Escobar traded to Angels

Dec 10, 2015, 7:00 PM EST

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UPDATED: 7:00 p.m.

After just one season in Washington, infielder Yunel Escobar has been traded by the Nationals to the Los Angeles Angels for a pair of right-handed pitchers. The team made the news official on Thursday evening.

In return for Escobar, the Nationals get talented young reliever Trevor Gott and 28-year-old minor league starter Michael Brady.

Gott, 23, had a 3.02 ERA in 48 appearances in 2015, his first season in the big leagues. He has a fastball that reaches 98 and averaged 96.1 miles per hour last season, good for 26th in the majors. He also relies on a curveball and a changeup.

Brady has pitched six seasons in the minors and has a 3.08 career ERA in 251 total appearances. He began his professional career with the Marlins before joining the Angels – who claimed him off waivers – after the 2013 season.

The Nationals trading Escobar is essentially them selling high after what was one of the best seasons of Escobar’s nine-year MLB career. He was acquired the previous winter in a trade with the Oakland Athletics that included reliever Tyler Clippard.

Escobar, who just turned 33, thrived during his one year in D.C. with a .314/.375/.415 slash line, 75 runs and 25 doubles in 139 games. He played primarily at third base for the first time in his career and produced mixed results defensively.

Escobar’s departure gives the Nationals some freedom in their infield, specifically to put Anthony Rendon back at his natural position of third base. They can then turn to Danny Espinosa and Trea Turner to fill their middle infield positions, or go out and acquire somebody new, as it is known they were interested in Ben Zobrist before he signed with the Cubs.

Gott is yet another bullpen acquisition for the Nats, who are reconstructing their relief staff this winter. He joins veterans Yusmeiro Petit and Oliver Perez as new additions. They are also expected to have right-hander Shawn Kelley in store, though his deal has not been made official by the team.

Acquiring Gott leaves the Nationals with 37 players currently on their 40-man roster.

123 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. veejh - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:16 PM

    Glad this got done. Sell high. Hopefully Gott turns into a superstar.

  2. joemktg - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:17 PM

    Should’ve seen this coming: Escobar at height of value.

    • unkyd59 - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:21 PM

      I think most of us did see it…

  3. unkyd59 - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:19 PM

    Career saves the older at Kentucky…

    • unkyd59 - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:20 PM

      Career saves record holder at Kentucky…(sheesh!)

      • natsfan1a - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:23 PM

        Gotta love auto corrects. 😀

      • ehay2k - Dec 10, 2015 at 7:13 PM

        My head hurt trying to decipher that!

  4. mjmcp - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:20 PM

    Agreed, it’s a solid move trading one guy due to decline for another due to breakout.

    • veejh - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:27 PM

      Exactamundo

  5. raleighnat - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:20 PM

    Sounds great.

  6. natsfan1a - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:22 PM

    Just when you think Rizzo’s out, he pulls you back in. One minute you think he’s got nothing, and then you find out he’s got Gott. Or something like that. Keep going, Rizz. Keep going.

    • alexva6 - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:30 PM

      as an homage to a real pro we lost this week I’ll say this

      I don’t have the resources to scout American League play but my sources seem to like this new kid and think he could be a good one.

      • ehay2k - Dec 10, 2015 at 7:13 PM

        You’re NEXT!

      • naterialguy - Dec 10, 2015 at 7:15 PM

        +1

      • sunshinebobby - Dec 10, 2015 at 8:00 PM

        I don’t eat the curly fries, either.

      • Drew - Dec 10, 2015 at 8:42 PM

        Do try the milk shakes. This month’s flavor is Jamocha.

        (And put a 202 in front of it to keep the phone company happy.)

  7. TimDz - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:26 PM

    Angel fans are not real happy….apparently, the Nats get Gott plus another yet to be named minor leaguer….Gott is 22 years old and under team control for five years. Hopefully, Rizzo and his scouts had this kid on their radar and expect big things from him….
    Thanks for the good season Yunel…best of luck in California…

    • veejh - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:29 PM

      Just think, maybe we get another Ross for the PTBNL. One can dream.

    • unkyd59 - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:32 PM

      There’s nothing better than the other teams fans being pissed about your trade😜

      • realdealnats - Dec 10, 2015 at 5:20 PM

        Righty-O

      • scbilly - Dec 10, 2015 at 5:43 PM

        There’s the fans for the other team still being pissed during the next offseason.

      • ehay2k - Dec 10, 2015 at 7:16 PM

        Well, there were plenty here pissed about giving up Peacock and Milone (and Norris, IIRC?) for Gio. Really can’t say that was a bad trade now.

      • davebinmd - Dec 11, 2015 at 10:40 AM

        @ehay2k, You left-out A.J. Cole, who of course came back with Treinen and Krol for Morse.

    • Section 222 - Dec 10, 2015 at 5:25 PM

      6 years of control since he didn’t come up until mid June last year. Not even a Super 2 for arbitration purposes.

    • Section 222 - Dec 10, 2015 at 5:26 PM

      6 years of control since he didn’t come up until mid June last year. Not even a Super 2 for arbitration purposes. I

  8. Dave - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:33 PM

    I’m glad we got a good year from Yuni, and I’m glad we got a promising pitching prospect back for him.

    And you know what? I’m mainly glad the Nats ended up not being part of the frenzy of over-paying for veterans this week. I tweeted last night that I was getting whiplash from the baseball-Twitter rumors this week.

    • veejh - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:36 PM

      Too many premature releases. The instant info world has its drawbacks.

      • Dave - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:41 PM

        Sort of like the Nats’ manager search, or?

      • veejh - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:47 PM

        Three muffs, by my count. Bud Black, O’Day, and Kelley.

      • ehay2k - Dec 10, 2015 at 7:17 PM

        You could add Zobrist.

      • Section 222 - Dec 10, 2015 at 5:27 PM

        I’m with you on the annoyances of rumors and premature “announcements.” But I don’t remember any report that O’Day had signed with the Nats, and it looks like Kelley may still sign with us. The whole Bud Black thing leaves a sour taste though.

      • Sonny G 10 - Dec 10, 2015 at 9:17 PM

        I used to have a lot of those:)

      • davebinmd - Dec 11, 2015 at 10:47 AM

        And the Nats did get Kelley signed for 3 years yesterday.

  9. langleyclub - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:35 PM

    Had to happen. With Rendon at 3rd, Escobar was not viable option at any other spot on the diamond.

    Nats acquire another former Padres farm-hand. The Padres traded Gott to the Angels as part of the Houston Street deal. Gott only pitched as reliever, even in the minors. Pitched in 48 MLB games in 2015. His K rate is not great 5.1, but he only gave up 2 HRs all year. Another bullpen option for the Nats.

    Absent an IF acquisition, looking like Turner may be the opening day SS. Wonder if Desi would consider a 1 year deal for the QO amount $15.8 to try to get his value up.

    • hersheyman - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:42 PM

      One of the things that came out of last year is that it showed the importance of defense, particularly IF defense. The entire left side of the IF was essentially a disaster. Now, they are going to have Rendon at 3B, and Id put Espinosa at SS – a terrific fielder who if he can hit 240-250 with 15-20 HR, he’s golden. Trea Turner or a potential signing at 2B is the way to go.

      • Section 222 - Dec 10, 2015 at 5:33 PM

        It’s that “if he can hit .240-.250 with 15-20 HR” that’s always been the sticking point. He hasn’t hit the promise of the first half of 2011 since then. Last year was a big bounce-back year and he still only hit .240/.311/.409 with 13 HRs in over 400 PAs. I’m not holding my breath, but it sure looks at this point like he’s our starting SS on Opening Day.

      • jfmii - Dec 10, 2015 at 5:38 PM

        Agree

      • davebinmd - Dec 11, 2015 at 10:57 AM

        What may be hidden between the lines of this trade is that the Nats believe Turner is ready to be the starting SS. He probably is, with maybe a few weeks worth of adjustment period while playing full-time. He’s taken 2 or 3 weeks adjustment with nearly every promotion. Judging whether he’s ML-ready based on that little bit of infrequent playing time at the end of last year, while sometimes playing at a new position, is probably unfair.

    • jd - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:50 PM

      You are right langley but I thought that after we struck out with Zobrist we would hold off trading Esco. I guess the fact that he can’t really play 2nd base made him pretty much useless to the Nats and I think it’s a nice haul even not knowing who the PTBNL is.

      • Section 222 - Dec 10, 2015 at 6:07 PM

        I like the deal too, but why do you say he “can’t really play 2B”? They never gave that a shot last year.

    • Guapo - Dec 11, 2015 at 10:23 AM

      Espinosa’s offense doesn’t matter if he plays stellar SS. Defense and pitching wins.

      The Cardinals won 100 games last year. They were the 24th highest scoring team in the majors.

      The six teams with the fewest runs allowed all made the playoffs in 2015.

      The fact that we traded Escobar with Desmond still on the market is frightening to me.

  10. veejh - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:41 PM

    Still, the Kelley deal hasn’t been finalized. I hope this still gets done in lieu of this recent trade. The more the merrier right now for our BP.

  11. philipd763 - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:49 PM

    This leaves us with Rendon at 3rd, Turner at SS and Espi at 2nd. I am not sure Turner is ready. I wonder if there’s any talk about bringing Desi back? The FA market for him seems cool. Maybe he can be had for $60 million over 5 years. Turner can season at Syracuse and eventually replace Espi at second base while Espi returns to his role as the utility infielder.

    • jd - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:53 PM

      I wouldn’t touch Desi for 5 years. Not with the steady decline over the past few years. Also the fact that he hits right handed is a strike against him. I think the Nats are more inclined to sign someone like Rollins for 1 year.

    • raleighnat - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:54 PM

      I love Desi. I do miss him though his plate approach could get beyond frustrating. But that ship has sailed. Span is who I’d like to see back.

      • npb99 - Dec 10, 2015 at 5:05 PM

        If healthy, yes. Big if.

  12. momhw - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:50 PM

    Just saw on MLB Rumors that Kelley is signed for 3 years, so that is a pretty big deal.

    • veejh - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:55 PM

      Yesssss

    • natsguy - Dec 10, 2015 at 5:22 PM

      Still not finalized until physicals. That is a major point considering two TJ’s.

      • davebinmd - Dec 11, 2015 at 1:12 PM

        Natsguy: The deal is official, so the physical has been done.

  13. philipd763 - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:51 PM

    With all these relief pitchers coming on board, Storen is as good as gone. Papelbon would be too if there was a taker but I doubt one is out there.

    • jd - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:56 PM

      I tend to agree. I think in the end the Nats will take anything they can get for Paplebon and eat as little as possible of his salary but I would be surprised if he ever pitches for us again.

  14. philipd763 - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:53 PM

    MLB Rumors:

    Nationals Are Pursuing Jason Heyward, Who Has $200MM Offer In Hand

    • raleighnat - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:56 PM

      I really think Heyward would be a huge mistake for that kind of money. He’s good but nowhere near that good. If he’s worth that, lord knows what it would take to ink Bryce to a long term deal.

      • jd - Dec 10, 2015 at 5:00 PM

        raleighnat,

        Heyward is the best defensive outfielder in the NL. puts up a .355 OBP every year and is the potent left handed bat we are missing in our lineup. How could signing him be a huge mistake?

    • raleighnat - Dec 10, 2015 at 5:02 PM

      I’d love to have him. I just think we could do a lot with $200M

      • Drew - Dec 10, 2015 at 8:49 PM

        He’s a fine outfielder, but he’s not a potent bat. He hits 20 homers and knocks in 65 runs.

        Yes I know about the inadequacy of RBIs as a stat.

        Just saying: Good all-around player. Not a potent bat.

  15. jd - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:55 PM

    And the Nationals are reported to be very strongly in on Jason Heyward.

    • langleyclub - Dec 10, 2015 at 5:01 PM

      Really surprising, given the massive long-term investment required. If Heyward gets a $200 million contract, what’s Bryce going to get?

      Guess old-man Lerner wants that ring before riding off into the sunset.

      • jd - Dec 10, 2015 at 5:15 PM

        Everyone is worried about the massive contract Harper will receive but it won’t do us any good building a team which has Harper, Scherzer and 23 dwarfs. If Heywards annual salary is in the $20 mil range it won’t be a huge problem because remember that Werth’s salary will fall off in 2 years and if you replace an expensive Strasburg in a year with a minimum salaried Giolito there’s more wiggle room. That’s why you have to have a constant pipeline of talent flowing in or you end up like the Phills.

        The attractive part of Heyward’s potential is the fact that he’s only 26. most free agents are in their 30’s.

      • NatsJim - Dec 10, 2015 at 5:56 PM

        The thing with Bryce, and I believe the Lerner’s understand this, is that barring catastrophic injury he’ll pretty much pay for himself at whatever price he signs for, or will at least pay for enough of his own contract that you’re getting a REALLY good deal on the player for whatever portion isn’t covered.

  16. futureme4 - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:55 PM

    So Rizzo turned one year of a $8.3m reliever Clippard into $5m Yunel Escobar. Got 2.1 fWar (or in the current environment $16m+ in value) from him then got rid of the $7m commitment for 2016 in exchange for 5 controllable years of a young power arm.

    I’ll say it again, Rizzo you magnificent bastard

    • raleighnat - Dec 10, 2015 at 5:00 PM

      6 years of control. He felt short of qualifying I just read.

    • natsfan1a - Dec 11, 2015 at 8:17 AM

      I read your book! (Wait, Mike wrote a book?)

    • davebinmd - Dec 11, 2015 at 1:05 PM

      @futureme4: The Post reported this morning that the Nats sent at least a couple million to the Angels with Escobar to off-set that $7m he’s owed, although the Nats also got a prospect from the Angels tossed-in.

  17. TimDz - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:55 PM

    Hope this isn’t true….unless there is an opt out after 3 years (the time Harper reaches free agency)…

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2015/12/nationals-are-pursuing-jason-heyward.html

  18. jd - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:58 PM

    Heyward puts up over 4 WAR every year and is only 26 years old. How could getting him possibly be a mistake?

    • veejh - Dec 10, 2015 at 5:03 PM

      We need money for Harper, and possibly Stras. That’s all I can think of.

    • NatsJim - Dec 10, 2015 at 5:31 PM

      And the Lerner’s know that, which is extremely encouraging if they are ok spending that kind of current money on Heyward – seems to be showing Bryce they will put talent around him and are confident they can/will pay him what it takes to stay.

      • jd - Dec 10, 2015 at 5:46 PM

        Bingo. You can’t win with Harper alone. There will always be 5 – 8 core expensive players. Some will come off the books during certain years and it’s important to have young cheap talent constantly flowing to the majors so you don’t have to increase the core number out of proportion. But to have an opportunity to lock up a 26 year old star who hits left handed and plays sublime defense is not something that comes along every year.

        It’s possible that one of the other bidders (Cubs? Cards? Angels?) will make this moot by throwing more money at him than is reasonable but there is no reason that the Nats shouldn’t be in on this very aggressively.

    • letswin3 - Dec 10, 2015 at 5:59 PM

      Alternative uses for $20 million per year are always valuable, but there are also several positives with Hayward. His OBP numbers are positive, he fields better than probably anyone in the league, he provides more team speed, he’s young and he hits from the left side. Moreover, the money we just picked up from losing the FORMER contracts of Escobar, Desi, Span, Fister and Zimmermann are more than enough to justify a big paycheck for Hayward. I too want to be able to convince Harper to complete his career in Washington, but only if he would be the catalyst to get us to the October fun days … by that I mean that we need to have complimentary players surrounding Harper, like Hayward. I’m not beating the Hayward drum, but if we sign him, I will be an enthusiastic supporter.

  19. hummel26 - Dec 10, 2015 at 4:59 PM

    Gott looks good. But now you’ve got two (maybe three) injury prone players in the infield. Really need an upgrade in the infield and a power bat in the outfield. The offense is NOT looking good right now.

    • alexva6 - Dec 10, 2015 at 5:00 PM

      by the looks of things, check back in 10 minutes

    • philipd763 - Dec 10, 2015 at 5:03 PM

      Add Heyward and the offense gets a lot better.

      • philipd763 - Dec 10, 2015 at 5:04 PM

        Add Desi and it gets even better.

      • raleighnat - Dec 10, 2015 at 5:05 PM

        I will be shocked if they get Heyward.

    • raleighnat - Dec 10, 2015 at 5:04 PM

      One thing at a time. I can assure you more is coming. This says to me they are signing or trading for an up the middle defender (which I don’t think they think Escobar is any more)

      • philipd763 - Dec 10, 2015 at 5:08 PM

        Getting rid of the free agent jitters would do wonders for Desmond’s fielding and hitting.

      • davebinmd - Dec 11, 2015 at 2:37 PM

        Desi was gone the day they traded for Turner, and he’s not coming back. Desi’s agent has even been reduced to marketing him at multiple positions that he hasn’t played: Outfield, 3B, 2B… due to the lack of interest in him on the open market as a SS (and offensively, as a strike-out leader).

  20. thewerthwhisperer - Dec 10, 2015 at 5:10 PM

    Tomorrow’s Washington Post?
    Nats Get Gott, Papelbom Gets Gone.
    (A guy can hope)

    • philipd763 - Dec 10, 2015 at 5:12 PM

      Where to? We aren’t eating his $11million salary!

  21. tcostant - Dec 10, 2015 at 5:31 PM

    Five more years of team control!

  22. jd - Dec 10, 2015 at 5:39 PM

    The PTBNL is 28 year old AA righty Michael Brady. Seems more like minor league depth. Not likely to be an impact player.

    • ehay2k - Dec 10, 2015 at 7:27 PM

      They said the same thing about Roark!

      • natsguy - Dec 11, 2015 at 9:04 AM

        He was a lot younger.

  23. jfmii - Dec 10, 2015 at 5:46 PM

    Would love to get Heyward. Great fielder and solid lefty stick

  24. rmoore446 - Dec 10, 2015 at 5:46 PM

    Various reports (CBS & PTI) say the Nationals are late entrants in the Heyward sweepstakes. Now that would be big…not sure if overpaying would be wise but it would be big.

    • chaz11963 - Dec 10, 2015 at 6:36 PM

      If you have to overpay, Heyward is a good candidate- young, steady performance, injury free, and gives you 150+ games/year.

  25. Doc - Dec 10, 2015 at 6:27 PM

    i’m a Jason Heyward fan, always have been.

    JDub to the AL for prospects!

    • ehay2k - Dec 10, 2015 at 7:28 PM

      Werth has a no-trade clause

      • npb99 - Dec 10, 2015 at 10:01 PM

        And what makes anyone think he has the numbers to be a DH?

  26. Pete "Hit 'n Run" Wood - Dec 10, 2015 at 6:45 PM

    I say get Hayward quick before the Lerners wake up some night in the middle of a nightmare!

    Having Petit in the pen could be a big plus. He was a Nats-Killer for the Giants.

    • wskyrnr21 - Dec 10, 2015 at 6:53 PM

      Along with a couple of other pitchers…………..

  27. iconicwoodencap - Dec 10, 2015 at 7:28 PM

    Of course the Nats might not land Hayward, but it makes me wonder if it isn’t hedging bets against Harper leaving, much like Sherzer was for JZimm. Obviously no one can replace Harper, but if he goes (imho he will) it would be good to have a solid, youngish LH outfielder. If Harper stays, it shows a serious commitment to building a solid contender. Stay tuned, right?

  28. philipd763 - Dec 10, 2015 at 7:38 PM

    Am I the only one on this thread who wants Desi back (for a reasonable price, of course). I would hope he has lowered his salary expectations. I suspect with the free agent jitters out of the way, his hitting and fielding would return to the norm.

    • natsjackinfl - Dec 10, 2015 at 7:39 PM

      Probably.

      • natfan33 - Dec 10, 2015 at 8:03 PM

        What is his norm? It has been slipping every year.

      • philipd763 - Dec 10, 2015 at 8:17 PM

        No, his offensive stats were good until last season. His fielding has been rather erratic for the past two seasons. He has a great arm, makes terrific plays but errs on some routine plays. He’s a Sarasota guy and has problems fielding in the cold April weather up north. Most of his errors are early in the season. The way I see it, if we were willing to pony up $60 million for four years for 35 year old Ben Zobrist, Desmond should be worth at least that much. 5 years and $75 million should get it done.

      • Eugene in Oregon - Dec 10, 2015 at 8:25 PM

        Your scenario: Ian Desmond, next five years for $75 million.
        More likely scenario: Trea Turner, next five years for less than $10 million, then spend the leftover $65 million on other needs.
        I prefer the 2nd option.

      • unkyd59 - Dec 10, 2015 at 8:27 PM

        He’s a threat to lead the league in strikeouts and errors every year… We have younger, less expensive options who may be better, soon. I love Desi, was among his biggest boosters… There’s no good reason to even bring him back for a year, because then he’d want to start, and try to boost his value, and his replacement, Turner, is ready for the Show…

      • letswin3 - Dec 11, 2015 at 3:17 PM

        I like Eugene’s math. Plus, I’m convinced that, after about 100 major league games, Turner will make Washingtonians have to scratch their heads to remember Desi.

    • unkyd59 - Dec 10, 2015 at 7:55 PM

      I think so, Philip…

  29. corkybb - Dec 11, 2015 at 12:22 AM

    Jason Heyward at $200 million for 10 years is a BIG bargain. He will go for more than 20/year for any number of years for which he signs.

  30. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 11, 2015 at 2:10 AM

    I think that ten years from now, $20MM/year for a solid starter isn’t going to seem like a lot of money. If they can get him for 10 years, $200-or-so million, I think that’s an easy decision.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 11, 2015 at 2:13 AM

      As we saw last winter, they can structure these longer-term big money deals very creatively, to minimize the impact on the the cash flow (and so can other teams), so if Heyward gets 10/$250, it wouldn’t surprise me at all.

  31. tcostant - Dec 11, 2015 at 7:31 AM

    Why is his strike rate so low, considering how fast he throws?

    • unkyd59 - Dec 11, 2015 at 8:22 AM

      He seems a pitch to contact type…

      • unkyd59 - Dec 11, 2015 at 8:22 AM

        ….”poor” contact, I’m assuming…..

  32. unkyd59 - Dec 11, 2015 at 8:24 AM

    If Riz he s Heyward and Chapman done today, I’m gonna let him take a nap….

    • unkyd59 - Dec 11, 2015 at 8:24 AM

      Gets… Gets them done…(sheesh!)

  33. Section 222 - Dec 11, 2015 at 8:32 AM

    I like the idea of getting Heyward if we can. He was one of those guys we could have taken in the draft instead of Ross Detwiler. After seeming like a big power guy in his rookie year, it seems like his game is getting better and better as he emphasizes speed and high OBP. And his defense is other worldly. I love the idea of him hitting before TTB and Bryce in the lineup, and I think he’s going to age well. But even if he doesn’t, he’s just going to be 26 next year. That’s just crazy.

    Lots of commenters seem to think that he would break the bank for a possible long term Harper extension. I disagree. Even at $20-25 large per year, the Lerners can afford him, especially with JW and Zim’s contracts coming off the books in the next few years. Harper’s contract is going to be in the stratosphere. But if we stop signing great players to play alongside him, why would he want to stay?

    • jd - Dec 11, 2015 at 9:21 AM

      Deuces,

      Well put. For next year we are losing the salaries of : Jordan Zimmermann, Ian Desmond, Doug Fister, Denard Span and Yunel Escobar (That’s close to $40 mil). It’s a normal evolution. Keep in mind also that the Nats may very well replace Strasburg with Giolito in 2017 and that would be a savings of another $10 – $15 mil. In another couple of years Gio Gonzalez contract will expire.

      In order to keep a team in constant contention you have to have a strong pipeline of young and cheap talent coming in to replace older declining talent. This way you can also augment your talent pool by signing appropriate free agents. Your strategy can’t be to save all of your money for one monster contract, you won’t win anything that way.

      Another point I’d like to make is that the Nats won’t lose Harper because they can’t afford him, because they can. If Harper leaves it’s because he will want to play elsewhere and the best way of pushing him to play elsewhere is by not surrounding him with good talent.

      • letswin3 - Dec 11, 2015 at 3:09 PM

        Spot on, JD. I think Harpers first thoughts before signing anywhere will be with his assessment of where he can be a big part of getting to several post-seasons. I know he’s a Yankee fan, and a Mantle fan, but he is about to enter his mid-twenties as one of the richest athletes ever, and I’m convinced that winning will be more important than wearing pinstripes … with supporting cast members being deciding factors. Everyone want’s to play in a WS, and Harper will be afforded an opportunity to evaluate organizations (and their cast of players) to decide which among them offers multiple shots at getting to the Big Dance.

  34. erocks33 - Dec 11, 2015 at 9:53 AM

    With Yunel now gone, why do I have this feeling that Rizzo is going to work something out with the Reds to bring Brandon Phillips here to play 2B? I believe he has to waive any trades, but I can’t imagine he wouldn’t jump at a chance to play for a contending team (and be reunited with Dusty).

    • jd - Dec 11, 2015 at 10:00 AM

      I don’t love that idea at all. Phillips is 34 bats right handed and is very expensive. I think the attraction with Zobrist was his flexibility and the potential to play every position. Phillips while an exceptional 2nd baseman isn’t that guy.

  35. Doc - Dec 11, 2015 at 10:09 AM

    WTF, Mark is leaving us!!

  36. davebinmd - Dec 11, 2015 at 1:09 PM

    Heyward has made his decision but not said who that is yet, except the Cards are out, and “the Nats are not optimistic” (MLBTR). Sounds like it’s the Cubs.

    • unkyd59 - Dec 11, 2015 at 1:31 PM

      SWOOP RIZZO! SWOOOP!!

  37. davebinmd - Dec 11, 2015 at 2:50 PM

    The Cubs are officially last year’s Dodgers, last year’s Dodgers were the Yankees from (pick a year)…

  38. rlndtln - Dec 11, 2015 at 9:30 PM

    Now trade Sroren and Papelbon for Chapman and the bullpen is set.Petit,Gott,Perez,Rivero,Treinen and Chapman and the 5 starters.Need a starter,infieldeR and lefty bat in OF.

    • donniebenth - Dec 12, 2015 at 6:10 PM

      Yes. Of course. But why in the world would the Reds trade Chapman for those two?

  39. Pete "Hit 'n Run" Wood - Dec 13, 2015 at 8:09 PM

    One thing we should not be worried about or obsessing about is the fact that the Nats will not be contending for the post-season in 2016. If they get lucky and reduce the injuries they might be a .500 team. Why? The SP will be worse, the BP could actually be worse too, and defense will be worse. And the fact that they offered a totally ridiculous $200K for Hayward is a sign the Lerners could be near panic-mode. If they want to throw money out there there are at least 7 others out there who would be better for this team than Hayward. Chris Davis, Cargo of the Rockies, Gordon, Charlie Blackmon and the Red’s 2B whose name I can’t remember,………for starters.

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ON THE RADIO

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.
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