Monday, August 1, 2011

Assorted Trade Deadline Thoughts

Yesterday's 4PM trade deadline came and went without much fanfare as the Nationals were able to scratch out a victory (in game and series) vs the hated New York Mets. Most of the action came in the days prior to the non-waiver trade deadline, as the Nationals were one of the most active participants this year - making three trades in total. Let's take a bit of a look into those three trades as well as throwing down some opinions about the moves NOT made by Mike Rizzo.

July 26 - Jonny Gomes for Bill Rhinehart and Chris Manno
- Got the Nats a platoon partner for Laynce Nix - yippee. It seems that Rizzo is trying to recreate the exact same platoon that the 2010 Reds used to win the NL Central.
- Its a right-handed "power" bat - who conveniently is slugging over 60 points lower than his career average. No wonder the Reds were ready to cut the cord.
- The prospects given up were nothing special. Rhinehart is a DH-in-waiting. Chris Manno is a shut-down closer - but he is 22 and playing in High-A against far younger competition. Not a loss of prospects by any stretch of the imagination.

July 30 - Jerry Hairston for Erik Komatsu
- This is exactly what the Nationals should have been doing this trade season - trading veteran pieces for prospects.
- Komatsu is a 22 year-old outfielder who is going to be assigned to AA Harrisburg. He has an insanely high OBP (.398 in 4 MiLB seasons), but he doesn't have the range to play center or the power to play a corner OF position - he projects as a 4th outfielder at best IMO.

July 30 - Jason Marquis for Zach Walters
- Zach Walters is a SS by trade but many scouts believe that he doesn't have the range for it. I see him as more of an organizational piece, a super-utility player who can do anything.
- It seems like some of the Nats brass are delusional in thinking that he could play CF, as some unnamed Nats official was quoted saying just that. Here's a hint, if he doesn't have the range for SS, he probably doesn't have the range for CF.
- I like this trade, Walters has a solid average with no real penchant for power, but he has been able to improve his doubles numbers in the past year - much like Ryan Zimmerman, who was never projected to display much power coming out of UVA.
- The Nats saved $2.5 million on this deal - hopefully this can go to signing of 3rd Round Draft Pick Matt Purke.

The Moves That Didn't Happen
- I have to say that I am a bit disappointed by the lack of Sunday moves for Mike Rizzo's Nationals. As of today the team employs several veteran pieces that have little to no future in the organization. I would expect at least one waiver-wire move in the next month to make up for today's silence.
- RE: Storen-Span. I love Drew Storen and I am glad that I woke up today and he was still a National. But... I would not have been heartbroken had he been traded to the Twins for Denard Span. Relievers have a finite value in the sport, and its not near as valuable as any member of the starting nine. Sentimentiality aside, if we could've traded a reliever for an everyday CF/Lead-off Hitter then I would've been absolutely OK with the move, eventually.
- I think that Rizzo had a giant misstep in not dealing Sean Burnett when he had the chance. Lately it seems as if all Burnett has done is let inherited runners score, give up hits, and struggle to retire lefties. When the Yankees expressed interest in Burnett in early July Rizzo should've jumped at the opportunity. Buy low, Sell High - this is the code.
- Same thing with Todd Coffey and the Rangers.
- Sort of trade related - I am ecstatic that Ross Detwiler is going to be Thursday's starter - its time to see if he is part of the future.
- Sort of trade related - Congrats to Maya on his 1st career MLB win. I hope he can use his new-found quickness-to-the-plate and accuracy to develop into a quality piece.

Things I Would Like to See for the Remainder of 2011
- Livan Hernandez, Todd Coffey, Tom Gorzelanny, and Rick Ankiel being traded via waivers.
- Brad Peacock, Tom Milone, Ross Detwiler (as a starter), Stephen Lombardozzi, Corey Brown, Collin Balester (with a real shot at the 'pen), Matt Antonelli, and wait for it.... Chris Marrero.

The Nats are not going to challenge for the Wild Card, there is just not enough offense for it. And I don't know about you, but I would rather see the young guns play just to see what they have, instead of suffering through veterans trying for one last hurrah/paycheck.

Well, CapBallers, what are your thoughts on the trades of the past week? What would you like to see in the final two months of the season? Sound off in the Comments!


  1. Storen for Span is a legitimately tough call. Maybe they really do see him as one of those rare franchise closers like Mariano Rivera or Trevor Hoffman. Even if Storen is in the second tier (with Rick Aguilera, Lee Smith, John Franco, Billy Wagner, etc.), that's still a valuable player.

    That said, the lack of a good leadoff man and CF is getting ridiculous. We haven't progressed much from the days of " that was how bad Nook Logan hit when he was ON steroids?!"

  2. I would have said yes on the Span trade even if Storen was included if Span was absolutely proven to be healthy - he is not back yet and and concussions are always iffy. Too risky given his health at this time. I think that's actually what squashed it more than anything.

  3. Interesting fact that I heard yesterday - the Nationals have used 27 centerfielders since they arrive in Washington. How many can you name?