3 Moves The Nationals Need To Make

November 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

1. Sign Prince Fielder: I know, I know, I have written about it before, but it is true. The best singular move the Nationals can make is to sign the big time slugger. While most of the focus in Washington is on finding a starting pitcher and a centerfielder (two other big needs, see below), adding an impact bat is key. The Nationals finished near the bottom on the league in just about every major hitting category, and while the upgrade in CF will help they need more.

Yes Prince Fielder is expensive, but you also have a year  where the Yankees and Red Sox won't be bidding, and other big market teams like the Dodgers, White Sox, etc. are out of the running. The Nats can afford him, and can save a good chunk of change next year by dealing Adam LaRoche.

Adding Fielder to that lineup, instantly makes everyone better, and if Michael Morse can continue his onslaught of opposing pitching, the Nationals offense could really be something to be feared. I realize it creates a potential logjam for when Bryce Harper is ready, but you cross that bridge when you need to. You don't pass up an impact bat like Prince Fielder simply because you hope that Morse can hit the same and Harper will be ready by June.

2. Sign Roy Oswalt: Yes there are a number of interesting pitching options out there, but I think Oswalt is the best option for the Nationals. Oswalt should definitely come cheaper than a C.J. Wilson or an Edwin Jackson. And he has the unique of being a former 'ace' pitcher, which could lend some valuable for Stephen Strasburg. I know there are some injury concerns, but if he checks out medically, I think he'd be the perfect addition to the Nationals rotation to slot in the 3rd pitchers spot.

3. Trade For Peter Bourjos: The Nationals need a centerfielder, but the options aren't great on the open market. And while long-time Nationals target, B.J. Upton is likely to get non-tendered, Washington can do better. Bourjos is young, under team control for 5 more years, and could be the answer to their lead-off problems. Bourjos, isn't a perfect lead-off hitter since he still doesn't take a ton of walks, but his .271/.327/.438 slash line is a huge improvement over what Nationals centerfielders did a year ago, .241/.299/.363. Bourjos also offers plus-plus speed, and could be a 40-50 SB type of guy (he only had 22 SB last year, but that should improve). And as his slugging percentage shows, he's not just a slap hitter. Bourjos had 49 extra base hits last year (out of 136), including 26 doubles, 11 triples and 12 home runs. On top of that Bourjos is one of the best defensive centerfielders in the league right now. While the Angels don't have to trade him, with veteran OF's at the corners and uber-prospect Mike Trout ready, Los Angeles will be willing to make a deal. It will cost a good bit, probably Drew Storen and a prospect or two, but it would be worth it.

16 responses to 3 Moves The Nationals Need To Make

  1. I would rather them just sign Upton than give up Storen…but interesting idea.
    I like all 3 suggestions. But what happens to Morse when Harper is up? Utility player to back up Fielder and Harper? DH when they play the AL?

    • Good afternoon, Megan
      To answer your question, simply follow my plan, because in 2013, Morse (possibly before) moves back to first base, where he's a much more valuable asset, Werth moves over to Left Field and Harper takes over Right Field. With my plan, as good as the team would be in 2012, it would be even better in 2012. Neither Strasburg or Zimmerman would have innings limits and Buehrle would continue being the consistent starting pitcher that he is. As much as Steve loves his plan, I love mine even more, mainly because no prospects would be lost, and the roster ends up being greatly improved.

      • How would the Nats be a better team? Just b/c LaRoche and Zimmerman are healthy (and Zimmerman was for most of 2011), and the young guys are a year older? Your only upgrade to the lineup is Reyes and Upton, and that isn't nearly as much as Bourjos and Fielder.

        • From your reply, it sounds (reads) as though you seriously believe that Oswalt is a better pitcher that Buehrle? the only thing better Oswalt is, is less expensive.

          Fielder is the worst fielding first baseman in the Majors, and he's not built to have a long career, unless you count the last few as a DH. I grant you that Bourjos is an outstanding defensive outfielder, but the Nats would have to give up at least one Active Roster player (likely Clippard or Storen), and at least one other top prospect to get him, or at worst, one Active Roster player and a couple slightly lesser prospect. Personally, I wont give up the farm unless I'm getting an impact player in return. IMO, a potential Gold Glove just doesn't make that trade worthwhile.

          Before I would ever sign Oswalt, I would give guys like Peacock and Milone a chance to earn that same spot in the rotation, because Oswalt is just not enough of an upgrade. he doesn't come close to comparing to Buehrle.

          My moves upgraded the team at three positions that need to be upgraded. I like Desmond, but for me the team comes first. You Offer an out of shape, terrible defensive player, an injury prone starting pitcher, and an excellent defensive Center Fielder, who bat is a total unknown in the National League.

          As for LaRoche, he'll likely be traded sometime next year, because the Nats know that they have an outstanding option at First Base in Morse.

          You like your deal, I like mine.. Thing is, the odds are that the Nats wont be signing Type A's Fielder or Reyes, and it's entirely possible they wont be signing Oswalt or Buehrle either. As for the Center Field problem, it's also very possible that neither Bourjos or Upton will ever be Nats either.

      • It just sucks to see that every other team in the division is posed to be major thtares in the next few years, around the same time that many on the Phillies roster will be old enough to become AARP members. This is another reason why I HATE trading away so many prospects, and free agency is awfully hard to count on when it comes to getting younger talent. Ruben is going to have to make some very difficult decisions in the next few years if he truly WANTS the team to have sustained success, and the jury is out on if he has the self-control to keep from emptying the farm system continually to go after his latest white whale. By the way, what do you think the trade value would be for Shane Victorino, Chase Utley etc.? I don't want to have to think this way, but Ruben has to find a way to rebuild the farm system SOMEHOW and that may mean trading away one or more major leagues players while they have considerable trade value.

    • The Nats are going to be a force very soon, and it looks like its going to coincide exctaly with the decline of our time at the top because of the amount of aging players we have committed to. Not saying that all of our prospects would have panned out, but when you think about, d'Arnaud, Donald, Knapp, Taylor, Drabek, Gose, Villar, Singleton, Santana, Colvin, etc is a young, large, and talented enough group that surely a few WILL. And these are all the guys we traded AFTER 2008. And since 2008, we have not won another World Series. Say what you want about getting to the Series, winning 100 games, and yadayadayada .the trophy case is all that matters, and we have not had a reason to open it since 08.

    • JIJI said on May 19, 2012

      The Nationals should win at least ten more games this year. I was very imeserspd with Jordan Zimmerman in the games I saw him last year. He will not be on an innings limit this year like last, but Strasburg will. I'm not sold on Harper yet, but he will be good in a few years, and think they really have to get better on their up the middle D. IMO, Desmond is not the answer there at SS or CF. Not much talk about it, but they could also be a player for Rollins. That would sting.

  2. Yea hard for me to get behind any move involving Storen. I'd think Clippard would be more disposable, but certainly wouldn't be as big a bargaining chip.

  3. Sorry – can't go along with you on this one. You want the Lerners to turn into Dan Snyder and grab the high-priced guy on the market, even if you don't need him. While I actually have my doubts that Morse will be able to sustain the kind of success he had this year, there's a decent chance you can get solid production out of the first base position with either him or LaRoche. I think signing Fielder to an obscene contract is risky. Yeah, maybe the Lerners can afford it, but if Fielder gets weighed down with all that money in his pocket and under performs, then that would be two years in a row that they went bust on the high-priced acquisition. And not to mention that they need to sign Zimmerman to a big extension. The money is not endless and they should spend where the biggest needs are.

    And that would be signing a quality starter. I don't think Oswalt was that valuable to the Phillies this season. It could be argued that the only reason his numbers weren't worse this year was because he WAS playing for the Phillies. He'll turn 35 during the upcoming season and he appears to be headed into the down side of his career. Wilson is a couple of year younger and he's a lefty. I think the good chance of getting a few upside years out of him and having the lefty in the rotation to complement Strasburg and Zimmermann makes Wilson a logical move, even if you have to pay more than you would to get Oswalt.

    And as for Bourjos, so what if you get more run production with him in your line-up. Who is going to close the game out if Storen is gone? Rodriguez is too erratic to be your closer and I don't think you want to start a tryout process for closers when you are now at the point of actually being a legitimate contender. I wouldn't mind having Bourjos, but the cost shouldn't leave you with a new major hole to plug elsewhere on your roster.

  4. Not only would I not sign Prince Fielder, I'd avoid him like the plague, because he'll have burnt himself out long before his contract is over. Only a fool would be willing to pay upwards of $25 million, for potentially as many as three years for a few good years form a player. If you're willing to waste as much as $75 million on a player, go right ahead, bit not me, and hopefully, not anyone in the Nats organization either.

    Not only is signing Roy Oswalt a bad idea, it puts the Nats back in Jim Bowden days when all they could sign were injury prone, over the hill pitchers, in hopes that they would catch lightning in a bottle. NO THANK YOU!

    The only Type A player that I would spend money on, is Jose Reyes, who is the perfect leadoff machine. He hits for average, gets on base, has extra base, as well as some long ball power, (certainly more than Ian Desmond) as well, he'd add speed at the top of the line-up.

    As for trading Drew Storen for Bourjos, that's a move of desperation and doesn't need to be made, EVER.

    My moves would be, to sign Reyes, which would light up the eyes of every free agent on the market, then approach Mark Buehrle with a two year deal with a vested option for a third, and only if need be, a vested 4th year as well. Once those two are signed, wait for the Rays to non-tender B.J. Upton and approach him to play CF on a short (3 years) contract, with either mutual or vested options for however many more it takes. Upton would be the ideal player to follow Reyes in the line-up. You follow those two with; Zimmerman, LaRoche, Morse, Werth, Espinosa and Ramos (may he be safely returned home to his family and friends), and, along with the pitching, you have a more than very competitive contending ball club. Plus you've not traded away any prospects, your closer, or any one off the 40-Man Roster.

    Your moves reek of Jim Bowden and should be avoided at all costs.

    • @Kenzfan:

      How do you figure you only get 3 productive seasons out of one of the best and youngest hitters to be on the free agent market?

      And how is Oswalt a Bowden move?? I fail to remember him every acquiring a pitcher even remotely resembling Oswalt.

      And since when is trading a closer for a stud CF prospect a move of desperation?? Since when is a closer more valuable than an every day player?

      Look I love Reyes, but you question investing money into Fielder, but are content to give it to a SS who is a year older and hasn't played more than 133 games since 2008. Yes he fills our leadoff need, but the Nats have plenty of depth in the middle of the infield and in a year Rendon is going to need 2B to play (unless you plan on getting rid of Ryan Zimmerman) And while I'm a B.J. Upton fan why give him 3 years since he hasn't shown he can hit? Are we going to pay him at the rate the Rays were going to and what he'll want $8-11 million a year? Because if so I think I'd prefer the impact bat of Fielder and the leadoff man young CF in Burjos.

      The Nats can't horde on to prospects and relievers, because that is exactly what Jim Bowden did do and it got them in trouble. They need to put together the best roster they can and yes that does include Fielder (which in case you didn't realize he is a bit younger than Morse as well).

      • The Nats biggest priority isn't another First Baseman. They have a greater and more pressing need for a legitimate leadoff hitter and/or Center Fielder. Fielder isn't a leadoff hitter and he doesn't play Center. He's a waste of money. Instead, I would spend the money you would have spent on Fielder and Oswalt to fill one of those pressinbg needs, a real leadoff hitter, like Reyes and a starting pitcherm who could not only be an influence on the younger pitchers, but lead the staff, not a number 3 or 4 starter, like Oswalt. Then either sign or trade for a Center Fielder that wont weaken the team's pitching depth.

        While Bourjos may well be the solution in Center the Nats need, and I'm not 100% against trading for him, I just cant see the Nats weakening the roster to fill one spot, because you know as well as I do, it may very well end up costing more than one player off the Active Roster, plus a prospect. He may be too high a price and cost more than the Nats can afford. It would be like taking two steps back to take one forward. It simply doesn't make sense.

        While Oswalt would be an upgrade over someone like Hernandez, he's a downgrade when compared to Buehrle. If the Nats want someone at First base who can hit for power and average, and play well defensively, they already have that person in Michael Morse, and to a lesser degree, Adam LaRoche, so there's no need to spend $25 million a year on a player at a position that they shouldn't be in a rush to fill.

  5. Sorry to poop on your parade but there's no way the Angels are parting with Bourjos for a reliever, even one as good as Storen. We're talking about a 2nd year CF who's 2011 dWAR alone was worth more than Storen's entire campaign, WAR-wise

    • As i mentioned it will probably cost a good prospect as well, but like it or not closers always cost pretty good talent, especially when they are this cheap and have this much service time left. It might not be ideal for the Angels but they have a glut of OF's and have serious needs in other areas.

  6. The Nationas will have too many out fielders. Maybe they should've saved money by not signing Jayson Werth becaude there is too many outfielders.

  7. LAA already has a Drew Storen clone. Consider:

    Player A: 9.99 K/9, 3.88 BB/9, 2.98 ERA
    Player B: 8.84 K/9, 2.39 BB/9, 2.75 ERA
    (These players both have the same amount of service time too)

    You're right the Angels have plenty of OFers, but the best way to solve the logjam is not to get rid of your best log.
    (and Jordan Walden is Player A and Storen is Player B)