Tag Archives: Jayson Werth

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!

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MLB Winter Meetings

Probably the most exciting time of the MLB offseason is seeing the hundreds of millions of dollars flying around. The winter meetings always produce plenty of rumors, and usually end with at least a few big names traded or signed to new teams. I was especially excited about this year, since I wrote a while back that the A’s actually have some money to spend on some free agents this year. It has just made me follow the winter meetings all that much closer! Here’s a few thoughts on the things I thought that were interesting that have taken place so far.

Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox seems like a solid deal for both sides. The Padres lost their best player and fan favorite, but got prospects that they are very familiar with since Jed Hoyer (Padres GM) used to work in Boston’s front office. We won’t know if the trade was all that even until the prospects hit the majors for a couple of years, but if they somehow pulled a Hanley Ramierez type player out of the deal it might not be as lopsided as everyone thinks right now. The Padres knew they couldn’t afford him next year, and I thought that they would give it a run this year after last year’s solid season. I thought they’d wait and see where they were at the All-Star break, but it’s probably better to trade a healthy Gonzalez now, instead of risking that he’ll be injured with diminished value later. Adrian just shot up my draft board for fantasy baseball. Just look how good Beltre did last year moving from the unfriendly hitting confines of Seattle to the playing pepper with the Green Monster.

Jayson Werth’s megadeal of 7 years and $126M seems like a horrible signing to me. Boras gets money for his clients though, and his clients are always happy with the deal. Does Werth have Carlos Beltran written all over it? Don’t get me wrong, I love the way Jayson plays, but for this much money after only two productive years in a hitters park is a head scratcher to me. Why are the Nats bogging down their payroll when they suck? It feels like the same kind of deal Gary Matthews got with the Angels. Just ask them how much they like that guy! Doesn’t signing Adam Dunn seem like a more reasonable option? I’d rather keep Dunn with less years, and maybe struggle for a year or two. When Bryce Harper and Steven Strasburg are playing at the level we all think they will, then would be the time to figure out what you need most and spend all your money. Not now, when you aren’t positive of what your team needs really are. I guess they might have a real plan if they really do throw “huge” money at Cliff Lee, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

Tiger, Frank, and Jaime can all get a good laugh about this divorce stuff!

McCourt Vs. McCourt in court. Jaime and Frank finished up their first trial as they were competing for the rights to own the Dodgers in what has been a very messy divorce. The court ruled that Frank’s document stating he was the sole owner of the team will be thrown out because it was illegally made after the original prenup, so the team is still 50% hers and 50% his. If one of the two can’t buy the team outright, it’s been assumed that they will sell the team, which would make a lot of Dodger fans happy. Unfortunately though that won’t happen soon, and there will be another trial trying to prove that Frank’s original company was the reason they were able to purchase the Dodgers, so he will try to prove that he should have sole ownership. Looks like the Dodgers are going to be battling with Arizona for last place in the division this year.

The A’s offseason started with a bang as they made a couple trades and pickups with David Dejesus and Edwin Encarnacion. They won the rights to talk to Japanese pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma as well. We already dumped Encarnacion, and never really came close to signing Iwakuma, so I guess all that was smoke and mirrors. We may have just been blocking the Rangers and Mariners from Iwakuma since they were the two teams we outbid to have the rights to negotiate with him. It never really felt like a deal was getting done for him, especially for the money he was asking for to be our 5th starter.

I do want the A’s to spend this year, and they have the money to do so, but I think I’m more encouraged on what they haven’t spent their money on! They were rumored to be talking to Lance Berkman, which sounded like bringing back Giambi, Sweeney, or Piazza type in. I’m not a fan of that method anymore, because we’ve only gotten one Frank Thomas, and the rest looked washed up like they were. Now Berkman’s the Cardinals problem, and I still don’t understand why they got him when he has to play in the outfield, unless they want to slot him in instead of Pujols. Another guy they were rumored going after was Adrian Beltre. I was just as happy to see that they withdrew their contract offer to him, because he only plays good in contract years. I hope the Angels end up with him, and he turns into Seattle Beltre that didn’t care. I’d much rather go for a guy like Josh Willingham at a highly discounted price…


MLB Trade Deadline Actually Makes Sense

My favorite trade deadline in all of sports is baseball’s July deadline. Basketball might be a close second, but baseball is the most interesting for both teams involved in a trade. Pretty much anyone could go anywhere. In basketball, we only see trades that fit within contract constraints hence the creation of the ESPN trade machine. Basketball also has a lot of players that are disgruntled with their current team only to be shipped away for basically nothing, so the talent traded isn’t all that exciting except for the team that gets the big name player. In baseball, we at least see talent traded for talent. You’re either a team building for the future, and stocking the farm system with prospects or you are going to improve your team to compete for a championship that year by sacrificing your farm system. In short, you get trades that actually make sense for both clubs kind of like when your a kid trading baseball cards with a friend. Even if it’s a high risk high reward proposition for all teams involved. Sure we may not know who the AAA guys are that were in the trade off hand, but if you’re a fan of that crappy team that just gave away their star, you instantly have hope for the future, and want to see these guys called up as soon as possible. I doubt the A’s will be wheeling and dealing since they have little to offer other teams. Maybe we can get a couple of project guys for Sheets, but I’m not holding my breath at this point. Here’s a few guys that I think could make an impact on a contending team that sound like they are on the block.

Pitchers – Obviously Cliff Lee was by far the best pitcher on the market, and he was gone before we could even start the rumor mongering about him. After him there isn’t a whole lot of big names out there, but there’s a few impact players that could make a difference.

Dan Haren – It sounds like the D-Backs want more than a kings ransom of prospects for Haren, and it’s doubtful that teams are willing to give that much up to get him, but if someone can pull of a deal to grab him, he’s by far the best pitcher in the market. He usually doesn’t do as well in the 2nd half of the season, but it’s hard to say adding an ace of his status isn’t worth it for anyone seriously contending for a pennant. The Twins desperately need someone of his pedigree. He’s also not a short term fix since he’s locked up through 2012, so it’s a move that could yield more than one playoff run.

Roy Oswalt – It’s tough to see a lot of teams wanting to give up a ton of prospects, AND have to pay Oswalt $25M on top of that. Plus, he has a no trade clause that would make things even more tricky, but then again I’m sure you could persuade him to waive that clause if he has a chance at pitching some meaningful games. He made a trade demand, but made his small list of teams that he’d like to go to… Houston might have to send some cash in any deal made.

Joakim Soria – I think the Royals must be riding the short yellow bus thinking they are in the race, but somehow, in spite of their record each year, they seem to think they are. I don’t think they’ll trade away one of their only players worth having on the roster, unless they get some godfather offer from someone. They’d deal Soria five times before Grienke though, or he would be on the list as well.

Ted Lilly, Ricky Nolasco, Jake Westbrook, Edwin Jackson, Kevin Millwood, and Wandy Rodriguez – None of these starters are going to be an ace for teams, but they might be cheaper to get than the other guys mentioned above. I like Lilly and Nolasco the most of the bunch. I don’t see any of them really making a huge impact on teams unless a team like the Yankees needs to grab someone they know can hold down the fort while others get healthy from injuries.

Octavio Dotel, Jason Frasor, Kerry Wood, Brandon Lyon, Kevin Gregg, David Aardsma, and Aaron Heilman – These are all guys you could bolster that bullpen with. Everyone needs some reliable guys that they can call on in a sticky situation. Some of these guys might not be sexy names or guys you’d really be all that excited about if your team traded for them, but they will be invaluable in bridging that gap to the closer.

HittersThere aren’t a ton of teams looking for hitters, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Giants, Angels, Padres, and possibly the Cardinals try to make a move that would improve their offenses.

Prince Fielder – It’s pretty unlikely any offer they will receive would match what they want for him. He’s as big a name as you could find on the trading block, but it sounds like there’s not many ways he’d actually be traded. It’s more likely he ends up being traded over the off season than the July deadline.

Jayson Werth – The Phillies haven’t given the five tool outfielder a new contract that he was asking for. If they keep playing mediocre ball, and fall behind the Mets and Braves further than they are, don’t be shocked if Werth is moved for the right price. I can’t think of many teams in the hunt that couldn’t use an upgrade in the outfield.

Corey Hart – The more likely player to leave the Brew crew. He’s only moving if they get some pitching in return, it’s just a matter of what teams are willing to give up. The Giants sound intriguing possibly giving up Sanchez or Bumgarner, and Corey would provide Buster Posey some protection or vice versa.

David Dejesus – He’s in the same boat as Soria with a breakout season this year. It would be nice to see him in another uniform playing some meaningful games, but for some reason Kansas City’s front office always thinks it’s still in the race.

Adam Dunn – He’s the big guy that a lot of teams will look at as a rental with a solid track record of performing. I hope he doesn’t don the Angel red in place of injured Kendry Morales, but I wouldn’t be shocked if they did pull out a trade as an answer to division leading Rangers big move in acquiring Cliff Lee.

Everyone else on the Marlins, Blue Jays, Astros, Diamondbacks, Cubs, and Orioles – All of these teams have some interesting players that could help a team out. None are extremely exciting, but are guys that could mildly upgrade a position for a playoff bound team. Should be fun when it gets closer to the deadline!


World Series Game 4 Preview

Joe Blanton PhilliesI’m still having trouble getting excited about the World Series this year. This game is intriguing to me though. I guess it took sending a former A’s player to the mound in Joe Blanton for me to get excited about it. I think Blanton will do better than people expect him to, especially since fans in Philly and New York are doubting him. He could go six and hold the Yankees to two or three. I was kind of excited to see Swisher actually do something last night, but in the midst of Halloween celebrations, there were other things that were more worthy of my attention. The old CC on short rest storyline is always over hyped. The guy has done it like fifty times already, we don’t need to keep hearing about it. I’m sure he’ll be extra fired up after losing the first one to Lee. One thing I’ll never understand about A-Rod is how all of New York forgives him when he gets one hit. If we start hearing the Mr. October bs again, I might have to boycott the rest of the series. Hasn’t he been sucking just as bad as Ryan Howard this whole series? Hopefully Blanton’s tendency to give up the long ball doesn’t include him serving one up to A-Rod… Jayson Werth has been hands down the scariest hitter on either team. I hope Philly can pull out a win, but they might have to wait another night like when they have Lee on the mound. I’m hoping for a slugfest tonight, which would improve Philly’s winning odds. Hopefully they can get to CC early or else they probably won’t get to him at all.