Tagged: Nationals

Regular Season Preview: The Washington Nationals

The Washington Nationals had a very bad 2008 to say the least.  They finished with the worst record in the MLB, and didn’t get consistency out of any one player all year long.  The Nats decided that they needed to add some power to the lineup, so they went out and made Mark Teixeira a very large offer.  Rumors say that it was nats.jpgmore than 200 million!  However, Tex decided he would rather be on a winning team, so he opted for the Yankees’ offer.  It might have been a good thing, though, because the team signed Adam Dunn for 2 years, 20 million, a huge bargain.  Dunn will bring nearly the same offensive production as Teixeira and comes at a much cheaper price.  He will add a very big bat to the Washington lineup.  The Nationals added a couple of nice role players when they traded Emilio Bonifacio and others to the Marlins for Scott Olson and Josh Willingham.  They also cut Tim Redding and signed Daniel Cabrera to take his place.

Unfortunately, this team has about a 3% chance of competing.  Unless a lot of young players step up big time, and unless the Phillies, Mets, Braves, and Marlins all have a lot of injuries, the Nats don’t have a chance.  The goal for this year’s National team should be to win 70 games, a large improvement from the year before.  Keep on building young talent, maybe sign a free agent or two in the offseason, and aim for competing in 2011, or 2012.  Maybe 2010 if they show a big improvement this year.

Sorry Nats fans, but 2009 won’t be much better than the last.

Where Will Manny Ramirez Go?

Where in the world will Manny Ramirez go? The Yankees are obviously out after signing Mark Teixeira, and neither the Angels nor Mets are interested. I think it’s safe to say that the Red Sox won’t be signing him, so that leaves only the Dodgers. Of the other large market teams, the Cubs and White Sox don’t make any sense.

Manny RamirezI guess that there could be some strange wild card teams, but most of the clubs people are throwing out there don’t make much sense for the team. For example, why would the Nationals want Manny? I understand that he would bring in a lot of fans to the game, but he would not make them a winning team. The reason that they pursued Teixeira was so that he would be there when they were a contending team. Signing Manny for a 2 or 3 year deal wouldn’t make sense, basically because they won’t be contending in 2 or 3 years. Not to mention all of the trouble he would bring to DC. I wouldn’t be surprised if he hit the trade block the summer that he got there, if he does indeed sign with Washington. I doubt it, unless he comes for only 1 year.

The Braves have the money and the need, but I doubt that Bobby Cox would even entertain bringing in a player with Manny’s attitude. Like the Nationals, I guess they could make an inquiry if Ramirez would come on a 1 year deal. That way Cox could always just deal him at the trade deadline if the team is not in contention or if Manny is Manny. Still, I would call it a stretch.

The Reds might consider Ramirez if the price drops drastically and they think they can compete. However, why wouldn’t they have just resigned Adam Dunn instead of signing Manny? Not the perfect fit, is it.

Since there is no great fit for Manny other than the Dodgers, I think he returns to L.A., but at a very under-market rate. Earlier in the year he was offered 2 years, 45 million from the Dodgers, but he declined. That was back when Man-Ram thought he could get a 6 year deal. The offer was pulled at the start of free agency, and no one has made an offer since. I still think that the Dodgers are interested, but not at the price they offered earlier in the year. My prediction is that Manny will go crawling back to the Dodgers while whining for the 2 year, 45 million dollar offer that he didn’t even consider. The Dodgers will respond by offering him 1 year, 20 million. Manny will go shop himself to other teams, but when he finds out that no one wants him, he will sadly accept the Dodgers offer.

It serves Manny Ramirez right that no one is interested. He was a lazy jerk to the Red Sox, and now he’s going to pay for it. Ha Ha!

Angels are Out of the Running for Mark Teixeira

I had to take the weekend off from blogging. Sorry I didn’t let you know, but let’s get back to baseball.

The Angels are out of the running for Mark Teixeira. They pulled out when team owner Arte Moreno concluded that Tex didn’t want to play for the Angels, and would rather go to the east coast. Their 160 million offer is off the table, so Teixeira’s next team will be the Red Sox, Nationals, Orioles, or possibly Yankees. The latter don’t seem completely involved, but you never know about a team that has Hank Steinbrenner as the president.

Mark Teixera

With the Angels out, the Red Sox seem like the clear frontrunner to me. BoSox president John Henry said that “we’re not going to be a factor,” but I believe that was just a negotiating ploy. Several baseball writers have said that the Red Sox offer of 8 years, 180 million is still on the table. I’m guessing that Scott Boras went to the BoSox and stated that he had a better offer on the table from a different team. It looks like Henry effectively called Boras’s bluff, because if the unknown team was the Nationals, they would’ve signed him by now. It couldn’t have been the Angels, because they’re out, and the Yankees GM Brian Cashman said that they had not made an offer. The Orioles appear reluctant to raise their 7 year, 140 million dollar offer. So it looks like Boston’s offer of 8 years, 180 million is the best on the table. This is just me trying to draw conclusions, though. No one really knows who’s offering what except for Tex and Boras. This is making me crazy!

Now that Tex won’t end up an Angel, who will? They have about 22 million left to spend, and are looking to add a power hitting outfielder. A cheap starter could be under consideration, also. Brian Fuentes could make sense if his price drops down; the Angels are his first choice because they will give him a closer’s job, play on the west coast (where he is from), and are a contending team. I don’t consider the bullpen or the rotation a need, however, and would rather just get a great bat.

Manny RamirezYou can’t call Manny Ramirez a perfect fit, but he sure does make a lot of sense. He can DH most of the time, and is truly the only bat on the free agent market not named Mark Teixeira that can scare pitchers. If I see Manny hitting behind Vladimir Guerrero, I’m just as scared as if I see Tex. I know that Ramirez doesn’t have gold glove defense, and he has an attitude problem, but there is no difference between the two hitting wise. For some reason I have a feeling that the Angels will pass, but I don’t think they should.

Adam Dunn

If not Manny, then Adam Dunn makes a ton of sense. Dunn is no Manny or Tex, but he is still a 40 homer bat that will bring you an OBP in the .360 to .380 range. A lot of people get blinded by his poor defense, low batting average, and lack of emotion, but he is one of the most consistent bats in the MLB. He also brings some versatility because he can play both first base and left field. If I were the Angels, I would DH him, because like I said before, he has poor defense. Some other options that would make sense for Anehiem are Milton Bradley, Bobby Abreu, and Pat Burrell.

So the Angels are out on Tex, the Red Sox and Nationals look like the frontrunners for his services, and the Angels could pursue Manny Ramirez, Adam Dunn, Milton Bradley, Bobby Abreu, Pat Burrell, or Brian Fuentes. I can’t wait to find out how all of this happens.

Red Sox Offer Mark Teixeira 8 Years, About 180 Million

Mark Teixera I have previously stated that the Red Sox offered Mark Teixeira 8 years, 160 million. Today, I am receiving different news. The offer seems to be in the 180 million range. Mike Lynch says it’s 184 million. Buster Olney and Peter Gammons say it is for 176 million. Dan Roche says it’s for 180 million. So, the offer is 8 years and 22-23 million per year. All of the writers also say that Red Sox owner John Henry and GM Theo Epstein will meet tonight with Mark Teixeira and Scott Boras. They hope to get a deal done by Friday morning. It definately looks like Boston is the frontunner.

The question is, will the Nationals or Angels up their offer to match the BoSox one. I don’t know if either one will. If I had to make a guess, I would say that both teams would let Tex go to Boston because of some solid backup plans. The Angels could move on to sign Manny Ramirez, Adam Dunn, Pat Burrell, or Milton Bradley. There are a ton of guys sitting around that could come on bargains. The Nationals look like they will move on to Dunn and Orlando Hudson. I could be wrong though. I wouldn’t be surprised if Arte Moreno demanded that GM Tony Reagins match the Red Sox offer. I could also see Jim Bowden matching it. Who knows?

To me, it looks like the Red Sox are the frontrunners with the Angels second in line and the Nationals breathing down Los Angeles’ neck. Tex could go to any of these destinations, but I favor Boston a bit because of this new offer.

This should be really fun to watch. Just like CC Sabathia set the market for pitching, Mark Teixeira will set the market for hitting. A lot of things are being hung up because of teams and players waiting for Tex to sign. I can’t wait to see how this ends up.

Red Sox Offer Mark Teixeira 8 Years, 160 Million at  Least

After the Angels, Nationals, and Orioles made their offers to Mark Teixeira, the Red Sox jumped in. Today, they offered at least 8 years, 160 million, maybe more. To recap, the Angels and Nationals offers were both 8 years, 160 million while the Orioles offered 7 years, 140 million. The O’s won’t be raising their offer, but it is possible that the other 3 teams do.Mark Teixera

I’m glad the Red Sox finally made an offer. Hopefully, things will start cooking now. With 3 teams offering the same or almost the same amount, Tex will have to chose where he wants to go the most. Obviously, I’m not Teixeira, but I think that Boston would make the most sense for him. He gets to win more than the Nationals do while also staying near his Baltimore home. By the way, it looks like the Orioles are out because of their reluctance to raise their offer. I don’t think that they were all that serious anyway; they just put in a bid so that could say that they tried. There’s no way Tex is taking 140 million.

So now that this is a 3 team race, things will get interesting. Will the two teams that don’t get their offer tentatively accepted raise it or drop out? Will Teixeira get only 160 million, or will he get the 200 million he’s been asking for? Where is his preferred destination? The good thing is that all of these questions will be answered soon. I do think that Teixeira will sign before Christmas, and I still believe it will be with the Red Sox. He will tentatively accept their offer, but will report back to the Nationals and Angels first. I have no idea whether either team would raise its offer. If one or both do raise their offer, will the Red Sox also? Or will they drop out?

This is going to be a very, very fun thing to watch over the holiday season! Hopefully he’ll sign before Christmas.

Player Market: Matt Holliday In 2009 – 2010 Offseason

I know that it’s really early to start talking about this, but I started to wonder where Matt Holliday will sign next offseason.

Yankees (frontrunners)  If my estimation is correct, the Yankees will have 158 million committed on their 2010 team unless they sign a free agent to a multiyear deal this offseason. Lets say that they’ll put their payroll in the 200 – 210 million dollar range. That would leave 42 – 52 million left to spend. The outfield corners and designated hitter look like the only holes. Holliday is the best player available in the outfield, and I’m sure that the Yanks Matt Hollidaywill go all-in to try to lock up this great slugger.

Red Sox (frontrunners)  They’ll pursue him partly because the Yankees are in on him, but also because they would love to add Holliday to their ball club. The BoSox inquired on him while he was with the Rockies, because they thought he would be the perfect Red Sox player. Jason Bay is a free agent, opening up a hole in left field. I’m not sure if the Red Sox would like to make record breaking contracts back-to-back years, so I don’t think the BoSox will go all-out in order to sign Holliday if they already have Mark Teixeira. If Tex goes elsewhere, look for Boston to go hard after Holliday.

Angels (frontrunners)  This is pretty much the same thing as with the Red Sox. If the Angels sign Tex this offseason, they’re less likely to sign Matt Holliday next offseason. If Holliday goes somewhere else, the Angels are a big player for Matt. A lot of money should be opened up when John Lackey’s, Kelvim Escobar’s and Vladimir Guerrero contracts end. With “Vlad the Bad” not so “bad” anymore, the Halos could always look at the younger Holliday. Matt makes a lot of sense for their club if Teixeira isn’t signed first.

Dodgers (possible)  If Manny Ramirez doesn’t resign in Dodger Blue, the other LA team could decide to go after Matt Holliday. I don’t know if they’ll be willing to go past the limits for Holliday the way the Yankees, Red Sox, and Angels probably will. This remains a possibility, however. 

Cardinals (slim chance)  I named them because I think they have a chance to sign Holliday, even if it is a slim chance. They aggressively pursued him in trade talks with the Rockies, and were reportedly close to an agreement. If they did aquire Holliday, they would like to talk extension with him. So that could possibly mean that they would be willing to fork over the 200 million+ that would be necessary to sign Matt. I just don’t think that a mid-market team like the Cards would be willing to pay at least a fifth of their payroll on one player. The above mentioned teams are much more likely.

Nationals (dark horse)  They’re aggressively pursuing Mark Teixeira this year, and that leads me to believe that they could do the same with Holliday if Tex signs elsewhere. Remember, they were in trade talks with the Rockies if a window for an extension would be granted. I think that means that they would be willing to offer the 200 million+ it would take to sign him. They might be outbid by the larger market clubs like the Yanks and Red Sox, but I think that they’ll throw a pretty high number in front of Holliday’s face.

Mark Teixeira has Massive Offers on Table

4 teams are aggressively pursuing Mark Teixeira, and I mean aggressively. The Orioles, Nationals, and Angels have offers on the table while the Red Sox appear to be nearing an offer. The Angels proposal is believed to be 8 years, 160 million. The Nationals offered 8 years, 160 million also, while the Orioles proposed 7 years, 140 million.

Mark TeixeraThe Orioles are unlikely to raise their offer, so they’re pretty much out unless Tex decided to take 20 million less to return home to Baltimore. I doubt it, because if he wanted to be close to home so bad he could just accept the Nationals offer. Unless the O’s change their mind, Tex won’t be in black and orange next year.

The Angels and Nationals are both offering the same amount, and it might come down to Teixeira’s preference. He could either go close to home and wait a while before contention by signing with the Nats, or he could jump right into contention with the Angels. However, the latter option requires he goes far away from his Baltimore home. I don’t know which one he will chose, but he might not have to. I think that the Nats would be willing to raise their offer, so my strategy would be to report back to the Nationals and say that he is about to accept the Angels offer. That would probably lead Nationals’s GM Jim Bowden to make a 9 year, 180 million offer. Then, the Angels could match the offer and Tex has the same decision as before except he’ll get an extra 20 million. Or, the Angels decline to raise their offer and Tex becomes a National. Either way works outAngels.

OriolesOf course, this is assuming that the Red Sox don’t jump in, which is very unlikely. They’ll probably go all-in for Tex in an attempt to lure him to Boston. If they match the Angels’ and Nationals’ offers of 8 years, 160 million, I think they’d get him. Tex gets to go to a perennial playoff contender while staying close to his home. It’s the best of both worlds. Like I said before, the Angels and/or Nationals could always just raise their offer by a year. If one or both of those teams end up raising their offer, the BoSox could follow.

It looks like all 3 of these teams are desperate to sign Mark Red SoxTeixeira.Nationals A bidding war is very likely, and I think that in the end, Tex will get the 10 years, 200 million he wants. This is how it will happen. The Red Sox jump in to offer 8 years, 160 million, and Tex decides on their offer if no team adds a year. The Angels drop out, and the Nats up their offer to 9 years, 180 million. The Red Sox jump right to 10 years, 200 million and sign him because Jim Bowden isn’t given permission to match the BoSox offer. This is just my prediction, though.

I can’t wait to find out where Mark Teixeira ends up. All I know is that Tex is going to be a very rich man when it’s all said and done.

Mark Teixera has Offers on the Table

Mark Teixera’s agent, Scott Boras, says that he has recieved a number of offers for Teixera. He isn’t talking about teams that are interested, but actual offers that Tex could accept at any time. Boras didn’t say how many teams, or which teams, but Teixera has at least two offers on the table. The Angels haven’t made an offer yet. The 5 teams interested in Tex are the afermentioned Angels, Red Sox, Oriols, Nationals, and Yankees.

I doubt the Yanks have made a true offer, because they would be unable to sign CC Sabathia in that situation. They are interested in him as a backup plan to CC, but probably didn’t make an offer to Tex yet. It’s possible they could squeeze both Tex and CC into the payroll, but it seems they would prefer another starter like AJ Burnett or Derek Lowe.

So it is between the Red Sox, Nationals, and Oriols. At least 2 of those 3 teams have made offers. It might have even been all three. I find the Sox as the most likely team to make an offer. He is their offseason priority, and I have a feeling that he could end up in Boston when it’s all said and done. They probably already made him a contract offer that would exceed the 8 year, 160 million dollar contract they gave to Manny Ramirez. That was their biggest contract in club history. Tex will get paid more than that, from the Red Sox or a different team.

The Nationals and Oriols are the two sleepers in this market. I could see either team offering 10 years, yet I could see either team not even making an offer. I slightly edge toward the Nats. They seem like they’d be the team to spend a ton of money. Remember, there was a rumor that the Nats were preparing to offer Teixera 10 years, 200 million. If that were true, they would probably win him over. The Oriols also could have made an offer, but I’m guessing it’s more in the 6 year, 120 million range. That won’t get it done.

I have a feeling that Tex has gotten a big offer from some team. This might have been the reason that the Angels contacted CC Sabathia’s agent. It could be that there is a 10 year offer on the table from someone. 10 years is something the Angels will not do; they haven’t given an indication that they’d offer 8. The Angels may be moving on from Tex and moving onto Sabathia.

I used to hate the idea of the Nationals signing Teixera, but I’m starting to understand it. They are in a market that could potentially grow large. Washington DC has a lot of people in it. A 100 million dollar payroll isn’t out of the question. They won’t hit that range in ’09, but later on it’s possible. The Nats need someone to fill the seats, and hopefully Tex will be that player. Of course, they’d have to pull him away from the Red Sox, Angels, Yankees, and Oriols first. 

Red Sox could Go All-in for Mark Teixera

The Red Sox could decide to go all-in for Mark Teixera, offering him a huge contract to get him to come to Boston. It seems like the Angels and Red Sox will be the two biggest suitors because the Yankees will focus on CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett or Derek Lowe. The Nationals have become a dark horse candidate because of a rumor of them offering Tex 10 years, 200 million. I don’t really think they will go that far, however. The Oriols are another possibility, but they seem more interested in AJ Burnett and Rafael Furcal. So this thing is mainly between the Red Sox and Angels. I will now list the backup plans for whichever team that loses the Teixera bidding.

  • If the Angels lose out on Tex, they will have to turn to other hitters. Adam Dunn hasn’t gotten much interest from other teams, so he would be pretty easy to lure to LA to be the team’s next first baseman. The Angels could also trade for Garret Atkins should a Teixera deal fall through. Dan Uggla has been rumored, but the Marlins look like they’re done trading veterans after dealing Mike Jacobs, Josh Willingham, Scott Olsen, and Kevin Gregg. Pat Burell is an option. He could be the DH while Kendry Morales will attempt to take over at the cold corner. The same thing would happen in the event of a Milton Bradley signing. It’s also possible they sign CC Sabathia, but he wants to sign right away. The Angels would be basicly droping out of the Teixera bidding if they signed CC. The Halos will get a bat either way.
  • If the Red Sox aren’t able to aquire Tex, they will look to add starting pitching instead of hitting. Beyond Tex, there aren’t any first basemen significantly better than Mike Lowell. Plus, they could keep a team leader, while letting Kevin Youkilis remain at first base. A starter like AJ Burnett, Derek Lowe, or Ben Sheets all make loads of sense for Boston. Like I’ve said before, they could always sign both Teixera and a starter. Once Lowell and his 12 million per year is dealt, the Red Sox would have 42 million to drop down on Tex plus a starter.

The bottom line is that either the Red Sox or Angels will have Teixera next year unless something crazy happens.

Marlins Trade Josh Willingham and Scott Olsen to Nationals

After the Holliday blockbuster last night, another trade has happened. The Marlins have traded Josh Willingham and Scott Olsen to the Nationals for second base prospect Emilio Bonifacio and 2 other minor leaguers, shortstop Jake Smolinski and pitcher PJ Dean. The Marlins needed to clear salary this offseason, and they have done that by trading Mike Jacobs, Willingham, and Olsen already. I’m going to say it right away: the Nationals won this trade by a large margin. Willingham is a solid left field option; Olsen is an OK #4 starter. They gave up only Emilio Bonifacio whom is probably going to become the Willy Tavares of second base, a middling pitching prospect, and a decent shortstop prospect. Finally, a good move by Jim Bowden. I have no idea what the Marlins were thinking on this trade. I’m not upset they traded Olsen; he had to go. I’m not thrilled with it but I can understand why they traded Willingham. I’m more angry that they didn’t get anything back they could use. Current second base prospect Chris Coghlan is just as good if not better than Bonifacio. With Hanley Ramirez locked in at shortstop, there’s no need for Smolinski. The pitching prospect is decent, but that’s all they could use in this deal. To me this was a waste of players by the Marlins. It was clearly a payroll motivated move. The two good things we can take from this is that the trading season has officially started, and that Jim Bowden is not mentally insane. At least, I don’t think so.