Nationals Baseball: The Nats Offseason : Scenarios

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

The Nats Offseason : Scenarios

One Worst Case : The Nats go hard after Cliff Lee. While consumed with that, Garza is dealt, Grienke is officially pulled off the table and Vazquez is signed. When Lee goes elsewhere, the Nats find their options limited. Rizzo however, can't get past the "true #1" he promised the Nats would go after so he deals Desmond plus some junk to the Braves for Derek Lowe. To cover his bases, Rizzo also tosses a Sheets like deal to Webb. Having just added 20-25 million to the payroll, the Nats can't make any serious moves offensively. They let Dunn walk. Both Pena and Lee price out of what the Nats can offer. The Nats throw up their hands and sign Lyle Overbay to cheaply man first, ostensibly because of his defense. They make no other moves, and start pumping up Roger Bernadina as best they can as a full time right fielder.

Sort-of Expected: The Nats go hard after Cliff Lee, but he goes elsewhere. They try to deal for Garza but get outbid by a more desperate team. They try to deal for Grienke but with no real impetus to get a deal done this year, the Royals asking price is too high for every team. Seeing the pitching options close up, the Nats grab Javy Vazquez on an cheap 1-year deal, and thanks to Rizzo's personal connections are able do the same with Brandon Webb. With money now "free" the Nats push hard after Jayson Werth instead and are able to sign the free agent. Rizzo fritters around the edges but is unable to make any other deals of significance.

One Best Case: The Nats go hard after Cliff Lee. They drastically overpay, and they shock the world by getting him. It's also thought that Lee liked going back to the National League and being able to stick it to the Phillies. With all the money spent, the Nats wait out the free agent market and work the trade market. They are able, surprisingly, to grab Matt Kemp from the Dodgers, giving up not too much, when the "right-place right-time" opportunity presents itself while Rizzo is fishing for James Loney. Carlos Pena watches as his demands and a saturated market full of "ok" FA firstbasemen combine to make him one of the last men standing. The Nats are able to sign him to a cheap incentive laden deal. They end free agency snatching up Brandon Webb, who also didn't find the deal he was looking for, in part thanks to Ben Sheets being unable to justify his big "trust me" contract in 2010.


Wally said...

Sheesh, that first one is pretty bad, as is Dunn walks, they only add Webb and Pena, and its Bernie in right, NoMO in CF and Pena at 1B.

My best case is trade for Garza, sign Kuroda, sign Werth (or trade for a productive guy, but I can't see the farm system supporting two significant trades) and resign Dunn (although in this case, I would be ok with one of the lesser guys like Huff or LaRoche). Should still be under $85m in payroll. I understand it isn't happening.

My expected case is no top starter, one or two mediocre types like Javy or Garland, and an Overbay/Berkman, with NoMO, Hammer and Bernie/Morse in the outfield. Would love to be wrong.

Wally said...

Just scrolled through a Fangraphs chat, and Dave Cameron thinks we are the fave to get greinke. What am I missing? How does that happen? Maybe I am feeling reverse fan-bias?

Harper said...

you get Lowe in the first one too. If it really does end up being just Webb and Pena - that's a complete Rizzo failure and a drop right back into the low 60s (barring young player breakout)

That's nice best case - basically this year with Werth and Garza. I can see this next case

The Nats seem very serious about trading for a #1 and they have just enough prospects to make a believable non-Strasburg, non-Bryce bid. Greinke has generally dismissed high-tension areas as possibilities, and given his make-up big market teams maybe gunshy. The Twins are intra-division. Factoring all that in who else could it be? Cincinnati? San Diego? At that point the Nats are as good as any potential suitor.

Wally said...

I hope that is right, I would be very pumped to see then get Greinke. From the teams you name, seems like Cincy could beat our proposal easily (Alonso, Mesoraco, Wood?), but I could easily be wrong. Maybe Espy and Norris, plus two other Eury Perez types?

Doesn't it feel like if they don't do something big this offseason, they ought to trade RZim now? If they are truly building towards 2012/2013, he will be 28, at his peak, looking at a big time contract as he starts to decline. If the RedSox offered Casey Kelly, Rizzo and Ellsbury for Zimm (and kept Youk at 1B), don't you have to listen at least, especially if you essentially are going to wait for Strasburg's return until adding big pieces?

Harper said...

Well you listen to anything I guess, but it would be unheard of to trade an legit All-Star player, young and with three years left on a reasonable contract. Even if A team gives you their current 5 best prospects it's doubtful you end up with a single player as good as Ryan (the question would be if the total package would give you enough value)

Anyway If Zimm keeps going like he's going he should be able to get a big package in the summer of 2013 if they need to deal thne.

Wally said...

I thought that Zimm had only two years left on his contract; three makes it a little better, and your last point, that he should get a decent return in his last year anyway, is probably right.

And to be clear,I would not like to see them go this route, I would like to see some spending right now.