Found July 20, 2012 on
Blog So Hard Sports:
Tampa Bay Rays
The hot stove is heating up with the non-waiver trade deadline coming up on July 31st.
Now seems like the right time to look at what players the Nationals could go after and what players Washington could offer in order to make a deal happen.
Last month we talked about the limitations the Nats may face as the deadline approaches. Now that we have seen Bryce Harper show that he can man center and Roger Bernadina’s defensive prowess can be used in late game situations when Davey Johnson decides to go with a strong defensive alignment (I’m looking at you Michael Morse), I don’t think the Nats will look to add help in center.
Depending on how John Lannan does tomorrow night against Atlanta may have a huge influence on how Mike Rizzo decides to shape his plan to replace Stephen Strasburg. However, this morning trusted baseball insider Jon Heyman tweeted that the Nats are going hard after Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Ryan Dempster.
Dempster is a sure bet to be moved and is arguably the best arm on the current market. Most sources have had him linked to the Dodgers over the past week or so but apparently the two teams have been unable to agree on what players to exchange.
The 35-year old would be a welcome addition in D.C. and provide a major upgrade over current in house Strasburg replacements John Lannan and Chien-Ming Wang. Dempster holds a no-trade clause, but I would be shocked to see him turn down a potential deal to come to DC. He is also in the final year of his contract so he could become a 4-month rental which can be viewed as a positive or a negative.
I would prefer to see the team go after his teammate Matt Garza instead. First off he’s under contract through the 2013 season, he is seven years younger than Dempster, and he has pitched well in the playoffs — winning two starts for the Rays in their 2008 World Series run.
With Edwin Jackson scheduled to hit free agency this off-season, the Nats would have a staff of Strasburg, Gonzalez, Zimmermann, Garza and Detwiler heading into next season. That’s about as good as it gets and would make the team unquestioned NL favorites in 2013.
ESPN’s Jayson Stark tweeted this afternoon that the Nationals are pursuing 4-5 pitchers and I think that Zach Grienke, James Shields, Francisco Liriano and Wandy Rodriguez may be among the players they are looking at.
As some of you may remember Greinke rejected a trade that would have brought him to DC in a package that was rumored to include Jordan Zimmermann, Drew Storen, Danny Espinosa and Derek Norris back in the winter of 2010.
I don’t see Rizzo being able to offer the caliber of prospects a team like Texas or Atlanta could if the Brewers decide to cut ties with him. There have been reports of Milwaukee offering an extension north of 100 million dollars to keep him in Wisconsin but nothing has happened yet. I would steer clear of this guy and look elsewhere.
Shields, Liriano and Rodriguez are all wild cards but would come at a significant discount compared to the other three guys. When these pitchers are in the zone they are as good as it gets in the bigs, but when they go cold it is not pretty. Having said that, I think the Nats could make a deal for one of these pitchers if things fall through with Dempster or Garza.
Liriano may make the most sense here since he has experience in the bullpen and could be used there until he is needed to take over for Strasburg sometime in September. This move would give Davey another left handed option to go to out of the pen. On top of that, pitching coach Steve McCatty has done a great job with the Nats and could help Francisco find his mojo. This is the move I think makes the most sense. Low-risk, high-reward deals always make this Nats fan happy.
The Nationals could dangle outfielder Corey Brown, who has been mashing in AAA. Due to the current outfield situation he seems like the perfect trade bait for the Nats to use. Only 27 years old, the former first round pick could be the center piece of any deal that Washington makes. He was part of the Willingham trade with the A’s that also garnered Henry Rodriguez.
Pitcher Alex Meyer, picked 23rd overall in last year’s draft, could also be moved to acquire a quality established pitcher. He throws in the upper 90’s and showed off a devastating slider in the Future’s Game over All-Star weekend. The Nats are working with him as a starter after he was used primarily as a closer while at Kentucky. If moved on a bullpen path, another team could be looking at a pitcher on the fast track to the bigs.
After the haul it took to land Gio Gonzalez, I hope the Nats can make a deal without tapping their farm system too much.
Ultimately the front office hasn’t let us down yet.
I say in Rizzo we trust!
As a fan what would you like to see the Nationals do? Discuss in the comments section below.
BEST OF MAXIM
(You wouldn't know if he won or lost from watching a Jordan Zimmermann postgame interview. Screencap via MASN/TV)
Nationals 4, Mets 3: Ho-hum. Just another series win for the Nats. 17 wins over .500.
Ho-hum; just another quality start for Jordan Zimmermann. His line: IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 95 pitches, 68 strikes. Hey, he got the W for this one!
Dear Steve Lombardozzi...
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The Washington Nationals have removed outfielder Bryce Harper from the lineup after two innings in the opening game of a day-night doubleheader against Atlanta.
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Having already witnessed one David Wright home run on the day, Roger Bernadina made up his mind to never let it happen again. So when Wright bombed a ball over his head in center, Bernadina was going to catch that ball no matter what, even if it meant literally pretending nothing would stop him. Too
Washington Nationals center fielder Bryce Harper returned to the lineup as a pinch-hitter in the second game of a doubleheader Saturday against the visiting Atlanta Braves after suffering a bruised ankle early in the first game. Harper fouled a Ben Sheets pitch off his left foot while attempting to bunt in the first inning of Game 1. He was examined by the Nationals training staff...
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The Washington Nationals were defeated by the New York Mets 9-5 this afternoon so the guys have the evening to themselves. Washington relief pitchers Drew Storen (who made his season debut today) and Tyler Clippard are planning to see the highly anticipated movie The Dark Knight Rises, like just about everyone else [...]
The Washington Nationals announced that they have activated Xavier Nady from the DL and have designated him for assignment. The move was necessary as a roster spot was needed for John Lannan as he is set to start game one of the double header today.
When Nady wasn't on the DL, he hit just .157 with 3 home runs and 6 RBIs in 102 at bats for the Nats.
The Nationals signed Nady...
Braves 11, Nationals 10. 11 innings. With AP Photos. Up by nine runs with Stephen Strasburg on the mound, the Washington Nationals seemed to be in perfect position to take the first of a four-game series with Atlanta and jump another game ahead of the Braves in the standings.
Then everything went wrong. Strasburg gave up four runs in the sixth inning, the Braves scored another four...
Bryce Harper returned from an ankle injury to single and score as a pinch-hitter, and Roger Bernadina had a tiebreaking hit in the seventh inning as the Washington Nationals earned a split of the day-night doubleheader with a 5-2 victory Saturday night.
Harper injured his ankle in the opener and was lifted after the second inning. The Braves won the first game 4-0 behind Ben Sheets...
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Bryce Harper returned from an ankle injury to single and score as a pinch-hitter, and Roger Bernadina had a tiebreaking hit in the seventh inning as the Washington Nationals earned a split of the day-night doubleheader with a 5-2 victory Saturday night.
Harper injured his ankle in the opener and was lifted after the second inning. The Braves won the first game...
ZNN is brilliant yet again as Nats take series from Mets. [WaPo]
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