Daily Archives: December 16, 2010

Werthwhile Move For The Nats?

This post isn’t really about Jayson Werth, but his signing did trigger a chain of events that caused me to take notice of the Washington Nationals. In regards to his huge contract, Werth said something to the effect of it shows that the Nats are ready to win. He and Ryan Zimmerman make a solid nucleus. I immediately got curious to see where the Nationals were at in terms of talent on their roster. So I checked out their depth chart, and I’m not impressed. I like to think I’m a pretty big sports fan, but I literally have not heard of half of their roster. Half of the guys I do know are probably just the result of scouring the fantasy waiver wire. I mean, I’ve heard of Nyjer Morgan and Ian Desmond, but I couldn’t really tell you much about them. They have a pitching rotation full of marginal number five starters and I couldn’t tell any of the guys in the bullpen from a group of sales reps at my local Lowe’s. Then today, they dealt one of the few remaining familiar faces, Josh Willingham, to Oakland. Are they really ready to win now, like Werth believes? Hell, if my employer gave me $18mil a year, I’d be unjustifiably optimistic as well. But this brings me to another topic….. the A’s.

We try to not to overdo it with A’s coverage, but Chappy and I are diehards. With the exception of Athleticsnation, there’s not a lot of A’s blogs out there, no matter what Rob Neyer tells us. (Seriously, a blog that’s been around less than two months?) Anyway, people are starting to take notice of the moves the A’s have made this offseason. None are worthy of Carl Crawford or Cliff Lee type press, but Billy Beane is quietly putting together a team that many feel may be able to contend – especially while the Angels, Rangers, and Mariners seem to be hibernating for the winter. So far, they’ve added David Dejesus, Hideki Matsui, Josh Willingham, Rich Harden (pending a physical –  never a sure thing with Harden), and Brandon McCarthy. The only notable prospects given up were Vin Mazzaro and Henry Rodriguez. I liked both of them, but neither were a sure thing in the big leagues. Besides, in typical A’s fashion, there are plenty of young arms in the farm system. I can’t help but wonder if the Giants’ World Series victory has forced the A’s hand a bit. They’ve maintained that they’re waiting for a new stadium before they try to contend again, but clearly they’re getting tired of waiting. While I don’t really expect them to make any more major moves (not that I’d call any of the aforementioned moves major), I’m curious to see what happens with Adrian Beltre. He spurned the A’s original offer, which I’m not really complaining about because it was a lot of money and I’m not sure he’s worth it. But it doesn’t seem like anyone else is really making a play for him. Combine that with the bats they’ve added this offseason, and maybe Beltre is warming up to the idea of playing in Oakland. He may not have any choice, unless he wants to take less money to stay in Boston or go somewhere else. While I don’t think Beltre would single-handedly put the A’s over the hump, his addition would give the team a legitimate big-league lineup, as opposed to the AAA roster they’ve been trotting out for the last two seasons. Perhaps it’s time to take part in a favorite pasttime over at AN, and pleasure myself with a little rosterbation. Let’s say the A’s do manage to acquire Beltre. Here’s what the 2011 lineup would look like…..

CF – Coco Crisp

LF – Josh Willingham

RF – David Dejesus

DH – Hideki Matsui

3B – Adrian Beltre

C – Kurt Suzuki

1B – Daric Barton

2B – Mark Ellis

SS – Cliff Pennington

Rotation: Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson, Gio Gonzalez, Dallas Braden, Brandon McCarthy (or Josh Outman, or Tyson Ross, or Bobby Cramer, or Rich Harden)

Suddenly, 2011 is looking A LOT better than 2010!