Offseason Questions For The NL East

The offseason is officially over, but we've still got a few questions.  Our Offseason In Review series can be found here, and questions for the NL East are below.

  • Will the Braves regret not finding a way to keep Javier Vazquez in the 2010 rotation?  Will an extra two weeks of Jason Heyward justify free agent eligibility after the 2015 season?
  • Having already cut many of their scrap heap relief pickups, will the Marlins' streak of unearthing bullpen diamonds in the rough end?  Will bypassing Major League free agency cost the team wins in 2010?
  • Could the Phillies have signed Placido Polanco or a comparable player for a significantly smaller commitment?  Will they regret trading Cliff Lee for prospects?
  • Did the Mets overcommit to Jason Bay, given the lack of comparable offers?  Given the team's array of needs, will they rue putting all their eggs in the Bay basket?
  • Could the Nationals have matched the production of Jason Marquis and Ivan Rodriguez with smaller commitments to different players?  Will they lament letting pitching prospect Marco Estrada go in favor of reliever Tyler Walker?

24 Responses to Offseason Questions For The NL East Leave a Reply

  1. bjsguess 5 years ago

    Answers …

    Braves: Won’t regret trading Vazquez. Will regret what they accepted though for him though. The extra 2 weeks of Heyward is absolutely not worth starting his FA clock.

    Marlins: Won’t win the division but they seem to have discovered the right formula for putting a $35m team that is capable of winning half their games. They won’t make the playoffs but they will be respectable.

    Phillies: Minor screw up with Placido. Overpaid slightly but not a huge deal. Trading Lee was a really bad idea.

    Mets: Overpaid for Bay. Years 1 and 2 should be fine. 3 and 4 could be really rough. I would have opted to spread the wealth around and bring in good players for multiple spots.

    Nats: Nats management, like some posters here, think they can compete in 10. IMO they have ZERO chance. They flushed money down the toilet on Marquis and I-Rod.

    • j6takish 5 years ago

      Marlins will keep with the formula too. They cheaply crank out winning seasons, and are just playing the numbers game and hope to hit the lottery again (2003)

    • kidlax17 5 years ago

      The extra 2 weeks of Heyward is defnitely not worth starting his FA clock a year early, but it IS worth the backlash that would likely occur from the ATL fanbase if they had sent him to the minors. Not to mention the confidence boost he gives the team just by being on it. None of this will matter once they sign him longterm & buy-out his arb years.

      And I HIGHLY doubt the team has any regret in what they got for Javy –> Salary relief, Melky, and a phenom pitching prospect. Not a band haul for a guy w/ 1 year left on his conotract. If it weren’t for having Melky on the team we’d be opening the year w/ a rookie RF, a platoon player in Diaz, and a CF who got only 6 hits all of spring training! Having Melky on the team gives us speed, flexibility, and confidence that if anyone 1 OF goes down, they have another guy to step in and contribute on a high level.

      • You diss Diaz yet he’s by FAR a better player than Milky. Milky is a below average, 4th outfielder. The Brave would be more than fine w//o him. Heyward is no ordinary rookie.

    • NL_East_Rivalry 5 years ago

      Gonna go out on a limb and say Heyward will be a Brave for a while, so the two weeks is not a problem, but if they are unable to keep Heyward, then it will be a bad idea, UNLESS they barely squeeze in the WC or Division. If you wait 2 weeks, I say go for the 2 months and avoid Super 2.

  2. bigpat 5 years ago

    Like Tim said earlier when he reviewed the Nats, they had the opportunity to spend money but didn’t to it very wisely. Marquis wasn’t a very good signing, even if he is durable and gives innings, they should have just waited to get a guy like Garland or Piniero who are much better pitchers. The Pudge signing was pointless, unless they were just going to give him 1M or so for a year to be a mentor and split time.

    I actually like the Nats a lot and their team has a lot of promise, I just feel their moves in free agency weren’t very impressive. Capps wasn’t a bad signing though.

    • natsintexas 5 years ago

      The Nats never had a chance with Piniero of Garland because they didn’t want to come to DC.

      As a Nats fan I’m happy with the offseason and I don’t care the team overspent for their free agents. The team still has a below average payroll and did not raise it above last year’s team. While overpriced, the Pudge and Marquis signing will not handicap the team long into the future. If overspending is what it takes to not lose 100 games this year than so be it . The fans will not stand for another season like the last two.

  3. Pseudonymus Bosch 5 years ago

    I really can’t see the Nationals regretting Marco Estrada; the guy has a 7.20 ERA in 20 major league innings. Small sample size, yeah, but the guy turns 27 this year. The Nationals have a sort of “bonus round” of new players coming in around June 4-6: Chien-Ming Wang and Ross Detwiler off the 60 day DL, Stephen Strasburg and Drew Storen up from the minor leagues. I think their strategy is to hang on for dear life until the cavalry shows up, but that’s not a good way to build confidence in youngsters. I could see them going .500 after June 4 if all four guys are on their games, but by then 75 wins may already be the dream scenario.

    I think the Phillies will regret trading Cliff Lee, but that’s because I don’t have much faith in Cole Hamels.

    The Mets needed to trade everybody and do a full rebuild. Sadly, few of their players are really tradeable.

  4. Pseudonymus Bosch 5 years ago

    FWIW, if the Nationals trade Jason Marquis and Adam Dunn for prospects to save the $$ and make a huge offer to Carl Crawford or Jayson Werth next offseason, you’re looking at a 2011 pitching rotation with Strasburg, Wang (under team control), Zimmermann, and Lannan, and a lineup with Nyjer Morgan, Crawford/Werth, Ryan Zimmerman, Josh Willingham, Adam Kennedy (option), and Ian Desmond/Danny Espinosa. If it stayed healthy, that would be a playoff team. I might even tell them to keep Dunn for the extra pop; if Guzman, Marquis, and Capps are off the books, that’s $20 million to spend right there.

  5. Bravoboy10 5 years ago


    Braves can live with dealing Vazquez, they’ve atill got the NL’s best rotation. Nobody wants to see Hudsdon, Hanson, Jurrjens, Lowe in the playoffs and people seem to forget that after April Kawakami had a 3.38ERA and the worst run supposrt in all of baseball. Melky offers versatalite depth now and Vizcaino(the actual centerpeice) gives Braves fans something to look forward to as he rises with Julio Teheran. Heyward will decide himself if he was worth trading 2 weeks in Bobby’s last season for accelerating his FA clock.

    Marlins still have a respectable team as long as someone else in that rotation figures it out behind Johnson and Nolasco. Bullpen is iffy, especially with Nunez being a huge unknown.

    I didnt like the Polanco signing from their perspective. They could have gotten equal production at a lower price this year without a multi year commitment. I dont think Placido Polanco is that much better than Adam Kennedy. Yes they will regret trading Lee in October. Could have traded Blanton and been able to keep Lee, then get comp picks to help the farm system.

    Jason Bay makes them a better team obviousley, but I think a combination of players including such as Piniero and Cameron would have helped more.

    Nationals shouldnt have signed Marquis period or Pudge for two years. Garland will give you at least 90% of Marquis for 20% of the price. Pudge would have been great for one year as a tutor, but Flores is a solid catcher and Pudge doesnt make them better.

    • comish4lif 5 years ago

      Bad Math here – first of all, the Nats made Garland an offer and he wanted to stay on the west coast. Also, Garland gets $4.7M this year, and Marquis gets $7.5M, that’s a lot closer to 63% than to 20%, even if you count the fiull $15 the Nats owe Marquis, it’s still more than 31%.

      Flores is not a solid catcher, or maybe he is. But since he’s frequently hurt and in the “resting phase” of his rehab, the Pudge as a mentor signing isn’t bad.

      And I’ll reiterate what others have sad, neither signing (Marquis/Pude/Kennedy) represents much as far as long term commitments, and it does out a slightly better product on the field – coming off of back-to-back 100 loss seasons, te Nats front office need to do a little something – wish that theyhad done more…

    • Cameron has said he will not play LF or RF…only CF…so that eliminates him from the Mets…

      also…giving Piniero 9 million now means eliminating either Pelfrey/Maine or Niese from the rotation…

      I don’t think the Mets were prepared to do that as of yet…not when you can possibly have Webb or Oswalt around July for the same amount. And if 2 out of those 3 are pitching good..then there is no need for Piniero.

      I will say I STRONGLY disapprove with what they are doing with Mejia…I’ve seen the movement on his fastball/cutter and it is SIIIIICCCCK…if he is able to harness his change-up…this kid is looking like Pedro (expos era)…( who coincidentally started as a reliever with the dodgers )

  6. TwinsVet 5 years ago

    These questions don’t seem to controversial:

    Braves – Of course they’ll miss Vasquez. Nobody in their rotation is going to repeat on his 2009 numbers. That said, it’s incredibly unlikely he would have repeated, so the 2010 version of Vasquez will not be missed. As for Heyward, it makes perfect sense in a “win now” mentality.

    Marlins – No reason to believe they won’t do what they’ve always done; patch together bullpen arms and have the opportunity for hungry kids to prove themselves at the big league level.

    Phillies – It’s been well established they overpaid for Polanco, and or course trading an ace for prospects is always regrettable now, and almost always pays off years down the line.

    Mets – Again, well established they overpaid Bay. And yes, it’s going to hurt them.

    Nationals – Amusing question, since it presumes Pudge/Marquis will have any admirable level of production whatsoever. They won’t.

    C’mon, Tim, you can pose questions that make people go out on more of a limb than this!

    • Goal definitely was never controversy or making commenters go out on a limb.

      • TwinsVet 5 years ago

        Fair enough. Just seems this set of questions was pretty common-sense. Doesn’t spawn much compelling discussion.

  7. j6takish 5 years ago

    The Nats are in a very similiar situation as the 2004 Tigers. An atrocious ballclub that is unattractive to free agents of any kind, have to over pay for any sort of players to consider coming over. Except, instead of overpaying for Magglio Ordoenz and Pudge in his prime, they over paid for Pudge in his decline…

  8. GravediggerHebnerTRDMB 5 years ago

    The Mets may have overpaid for Bay in certain contexts, but not in the context that they were going to sign one of the two big name available free agent left fielders and they didn’t sign one to an 8 year, $137 million contract.

  9. drumzalicious 5 years ago

    The Braves won’t regret the Vazquez trade if Vizcaino and Dunn reach their potential. Cabrera is already paying off in a big way. Not to mention the strong showing from all of our starting staff this spring although Derek Lowe was terrible today.

    Heyward will be a lifelong Brave. There is no question about it. Unless of course he just does not want to be there if he does then the team will get it done. By the time he gets expensive the Braves will be done with Lowe, Hudson, and Chipper which are their biggest contracts. The payroll will likely go up as the attendance does better with a prime example being todays sold out game at the Ted. Heyward hitting that Homerun only went towards boosting the fans confidence.

    As far as the rest of the division.

    The Nationals tried to sign a lot of different players but the fact of the matter is none wanted to actually go to D.C. Why would Lackey or some other A Level super-star want to go to a team that has been so terrible? I think they did pretty well for what they had. They should have just signed a couple of 200 inning arms to protect their younger guys in the rotation. Marquis will help but another arm would have been nice. Maybe a high risk signing like Washburn would have been nice as well.

    The Mets were idiots. Their offense if healthy is one of the best in the league. They should have gone out and signed Lackey instead of wasting money on Bay. He is a good player but a signing of Lackey and Adam LaRoche or Mike Cameron would have done a lot more for that team. It takes the pressure off of Santana and the offense to be amazing during every game.

    Phillies IMO did well picking up Halladay but were foolish in signing Polanco.

    Marlins were the Marlins. The extension of Josh Johnson was OK. I don’t know that they shouldn’t have just traded him for a boat load of talent instead of signing that extension

    • How has Milk-Man paid off? He hasn’t done a thing yet.

      • drumzalicious 5 years ago

        I mean except give us a ML average player to fill in for McLouth. If it were not for him we would be having Blanco in CF -.-‘

      • drumzalicious 5 years ago

        I mean except give us a ML average player to fill in for McLouth. If it were not for him we would be having Blanco in CF -.-‘

  10. TimotheusATL 5 years ago

    “Lack of consistency” in the Mets’ rotation…now there’s a positive spin :)

  11. drumzalicious 5 years ago

    the thing about those comparisons is that only one of those players is actually playing up to their contract value and thats Carlos Lee. The rest are under performing.

  12. drumzalicious 5 years ago

    the thing about those comparisons is that only one of those players is actually playing up to their contract value and thats Carlos Lee. The rest are under performing.

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