December 15, 2010
The Nats still don’t have a first baseman, and while Derrek Lee is still available, it’s been pointed out that the Nats would be more interested in a lefty. Werth, Zimmerman, Desmond, Willingham, Morse, Ramos, Flores, and Pudge are all righties. Danny Espinosa is a switch hitter. Of the potential starters, Nyjer Morgan and Bernadina are lefties. That’s a serious lack of middle of the order LH hitters.
Here are some guys that might be available on the cheap, either through free agency or via a trade. I’m not including real studs or young guys with years of control. I’m thinking more of guys that could be actually acquired.
Adam LaRoche – Let’s mention him first, as he’s the lead dog in the race. He’s a free agent, and he may be the best available. Here’s what I said about him a month and a half ago: “If you believe Pena had a down year, why not LaRoche? He only had a .788 OPS this season, but was just above .840 for the 3 seasons prior.” He can field, and he’s hit most seasons, so as long as last year can be thought of as flukey – his BABIP is no excuse, it was .330 last year, a career HIGH.
James Loney – He’s been linked to a few trade rumors already, and part of that is because he’s a first baseman without much power. He’s had an OPS of .751 in his last 3 seasons, pretty awful for a 1B. Playing in LA may have something to do with that. His numbers at home in his career (all with the Dodgers) are a lousy .268/.334/.377. Away from the cavernous Chavez Ravine, he hit an impressive .307/.361/.493. It makes one think he could be an effective, even good, first basemen if he were to have a home park slightly smaller than Dodgers Stadium. 2400 PAs makes me almost sure of that, as does that fact that he has double the HRs away than at home.
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August 27, 2010
It was revealed today that Stephen Strasburg needs Tommy John surgery. Disappointing for sure, but it is at least a reliable surgery with a reliable recovery time. If this was shoulder surgery or something else, he might never throw 99 again. Instead, we miss a year of him when we need him least, assuming that 2011 wasn’t going to be a playoff year anyway. And he should come back the same guy, the chances are in the 80-90% range, maybe even higher now. But he does miss a year of development that would help him be a better pitcher in 2012. So it’s time to quit your crying about this. If you’re only into the Nats for Strasburg, see ya in 2012. If you’re not, let’s see what this means for the team. The recovery time likely has him starting the 2012 season. The Nats can really focus their efforts on building for 2012, instead of 2011. What does this mean for next season?
- Josh Willingham is trade bait. His injury means he won’t be easy to move in the offseason, but his contract ends in 2011. After that, to extend him would mean a long term deal for a 33 year old outfielder who is good but not spectacular. I doubt they’ll want to keep him.
- The Adam Dunn contract situation takes on a new color. No longer will they be getting him for 3 or 4 years of contention. Instead, with 2011 being another “getting ready” year, they may feel he isn’t worth the signing. They could play someone else in the meantime until more 1B options are available.
- Chris Marrero may have taken Dunn’s place as the 1B for the “good” team. He’s batting .295/.352/.454 in AA Harrisburg this year, and another solid year in AAA puts him in the majors. Unfortunately, Rizzo will have to make a decision on Dunn before he knows what Marrero will be. Read the rest of this entry »
May 27, 2009
On Trading Nick
According to everyone everywhere, the Mets are interested in trading for Nick Johnson. They’re not the only team, but with the loss of Delgado and their need to make the playoffs before everyone gets too old and they have to lean on a pretty barren farm system, they may be the frontrunners. According to Yahoo, there are actually some names associated with this trade, other than Johnson and Omar Minaya. These names include Jon Niese, Mike Antonini, Eddie Kunz and Bobby Parnell.
Parnell is the only even slightly established major leaguer. He’s 24 and has pitched great so far. This year he’s had 19 2/3 relief innings, a 2.29 ERA, 22 H, 9 BB and 16 K. He was the Mets #5 prospect according to Baseball America. They like his “heavy” fastball alot, saying he may have 3 plus pitches, and mention that if the Mets didn’t sign K-Rod he’d be a good candidate for closer. Baseball Prospectus ranked him at #9, seeing him as more of a potential set-up man. Also, both mention his fastball tops out at 97 mph, although Yahoo said he hit 100 on the gun in Fenway last weekend.
Kunz, the other guy ranked in both, falls in at #10 for both BA and BP. Read the rest of this entry »