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!
December 16th, 2010 at 9:07 pm
The big question that everyone’s asking is whether Werth can continue to put up numbers when not protected in the lineup.
Guess we’ll find that out next summer.
December 17th, 2010 at 6:59 pm
I was hoping they’d finally bolster their lineup this year, but if they wanna deal their best players to my team, I’ll take it. I AM curious to see what happens to Werth’s numbers this year
December 16th, 2010 at 9:08 pm
By the way, it’s snowing on your site.
December 17th, 2010 at 6:59 pm
WordPress gave us the option, how could we not?!
December 17th, 2010 at 8:00 am
Honestly, I kinda don’t get why one would sign Werth, then deal Wllingham (I know there’s a money-based answer to this, but the Nats have the cash). Seems to me that those two solve one’s corner outfield issues and are two complimentary parts of the 3-4-5-6 section of the Nats batting order…
December 17th, 2010 at 7:01 pm
Funny thing is they swear it wasn’t a money move, but we all know it was. IF Henry Rodriguez can somehow find some control, then they might come away okay from this deal. That’s a big IF though. Everywhere I turn and see them being questioned on this move, it’s the same response…. “He throws 103 mph!!!!”
December 17th, 2010 at 10:06 am
Nice one man! I think that Rob Neyer article made me want to post more A’s stuff haha! I think I’m warming up to the Beltre idea more than I originally was. His numbers weren’t as terrible in Seattle as I first thought, he still hit 25 homers a year there in that wide open pitchers park, so it makes me believe he could do the same. I hope they make one or two more moves, but would like to see them do it without trading away farm guys…
December 17th, 2010 at 7:03 pm
I just feel like having one more established guy in the lineup would give the whole team the confidence that they can contend. So, even though Beltre is far from a sure thing at the plate, having him, or someone else of the same caliber, would help convince the team, “hey, we’re pretty good on paper. Maybe we will be on the field too!”
December 17th, 2010 at 10:12 am
Nats’ GM Mike Rizzo is simply proving that the ‘morons’ in DC simply don’t reside in the White House or Congress but also within the Nats’ front office . The offense and pitching staff isn’t all it’s cracked up to be .
Owner Ted Lerner may well have the money but if they’re going to spend it at least do so wisely .
December 17th, 2010 at 7:04 pm
I really thought the Werth signing was the first of a string of acquisitions to move toward contention for the Nats, but then they take a step back, trading one of their few established big leaguers for some A’s afterthoughts.
December 20th, 2010 at 8:23 am
Nothing ever good comes out of Washington DC ….. from Congress on down to Nationals , Redskins and Wizards !
You’ve got to love Shanahan’s latest explanation for benching McNabb but at the same time the idiots the offer the guy a 5 yr contract paying $70 million albeit that they have a $3.5 buyout clause . But they’re still on the hook for part of the guaranteed money . Makes great sense doesn’t it ?
December 20th, 2010 at 9:33 am
Greinke now ends up with the Brewers do you get the feeling that George Steinbrenner is now spinning in his grave ?
December 22nd, 2010 at 12:44 am