Nationals Aiming To Make A “Splash”

The Nationals are going to pursue top players aggressively this offseason and they may be a sleeper team in the Cliff Lee sweepstakes, according to’s Jerry Crasnick. They are looking for an elite starter and Lee will be available to them within a few days.

"They're going to step up and try to get a top free agent,'' a baseball insider told Crasnick. "They'd like to make a splash.'' 

If Lee signs with the Yankees, the Rangers or someone else, the Nationals will consider trading for James Shields, Matt Garza or another potentially available starter. The Nationals have no interest in including Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa in potential trades, according to Crasnick.

The Nationals appear to be interested in Carl Crawford and have expressed interest in adding a top starter since the summer.

44 Responses to Nationals Aiming To Make A “Splash” Leave a Reply

  1. ze3 5 years ago

    It would be awesome to see a 1-2 punch of Lee and Strasburg in the same team, along with the power bat of Harper. Man, this could be an awesome team in 2012

    • Strasburg won’t be available till at least midseason

      • WolandJR 5 years ago

        typical tommy john surgery recovery times are 12-18 months. So, if everything goes well, he will be available by the end of 2011, and (knock on wood) will be ready to rock it out 100% for spring training 2012.

        • Derp, my timeline is totally off, I was thinking 2011.

          My apologies.

          • ze3 5 years ago

            Yeah, I was talking about the 2012 Nats. Its a shame baseball lost one of the most exciting pitchers for next year, good luck to Stras in his recovery

          • Guest 5 years ago

            In a way, it’s probably a blessing in disguise. By 2012, God willing, Harper will be MLB ready (doubtful, in my opinion but apparently some websites disagree with me), Zimmermann will have a full year under his belt, and Strasburg will be back. That also gets a year for the Lerners to get their heads out of their asses and stop mimicking the actions of the idiot owner right up 95 from them. In the words of one of my grad school profs, “There’s no logical justification for agreeing with any decision Peter Angelos made before 2006.” I love the O’s also but since the Nats moved to town and Cal retired, there’s been nothing to look forward to seeing on a baseball diamond around here. If I had $100 to bet, I’d put it down that he’s going to the Yankees but if by some godforsaken reason the Nats get him, it’s give me a reason (besides Strasburg) to get my ass out to a game in SE this season.

      • that’s why he said 2012

  2. RiverKKiller999 5 years ago

    This story is laughable…..Lee wants to play for a contender!

    • Lee wants to play for the most money possible. Wasn’t it him that said he’d play in Siberia if the money was right?

      • RiverKKiller999 5 years ago

        If the Nats offered Lee say 2 or 3 mill more you still think he’d sign with the Nats?

        • There is no way they can match New York dollar for dollar.

          • RiverKKiller999 5 years ago

            Yes ,I know ,I was just making a point to Jake Humphrey

          • The Lerner’s aren’t exactly cash poor, their market isn’t small and even the Yankees have a limit. If they really want to make a splash they can get Lee.

          • squadwagon6 5 years ago

            The lerners are the richest owners in baseball ! thats right more than the yankees ! So yes they can match New York dollar for dollar

          • Guest 5 years ago

            God I hope so but I just get the feeling with Cliff that’s it’s more about the money. He can get both money and a legit chance at a ring with the Yanks (as much as it pains me to say it). The Nats are a good couple years from competing for a pennant, IMO.

        • Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

          If the Pirates offered Lee 2-3 million more than anyone on the planet, he’d sign there. Money seems to come first to him, and after establishing himself yet still bouncing around teams, I don’t blame him.

      • HerbertAnchovy 5 years ago

        No- it was an “insider” that said he’d play in Siberia if the money was right.

  3. bigpat 5 years ago

    I could see them getting either Werth or Crawford and trading for a starting pitcher, one of the Rays group or maybe Greinke. I admire the fact they are willing to bring in some quality players, but right now it’s all talk until they actually do it.

    Next year they won’t be bad but once Strasburg comes back in 2012 they will be loaded.

    • “but right now it’s all talk until they actually do it. ”

      Agreed. They can go after the big names but if they keep coming up short they’re going to get a reputation as a team that wants to try but doesn’t have the heart to really go for it. Going out on a limb for someone like Lee could change that. Their payroll isn’t over the top, if they want to add a large contract to it they could do it.

  4. I think it’s more realistic of them trading for Garza and signing Werth than getting Lee. I like the direction the Nats are going. They’ll start competing in just a few years headlined by Strasburg (hopefully he comes back just as good as before he left) and Harper.

    • Natinals 5 years ago

      I agree. Garza and Werth would be my ideal offseason if I were Rizzo

    • Natinals 5 years ago

      I agree. Garza and Werth would be my ideal offseason if I were Rizzo

  5. I could see them making a trade for a quality player, but I don’t see many top free agents signing in Washington. It just reminds me of Mark Teixeira turning down the Orioles in favor of playing with the Yankees. Why go to a “rebuilding” team when you can go to Boston or New York and win right away? It just puts more emphasis on drafting and player development instead of outspending everybody. The Nationals have been doing a better job bringing up fresh talent, but that’s expected when you draft in the top 3 every season.

    • Natinals 5 years ago

      Its almost the same thing but you got to add in the fact that Teixiera is a mondo douchebag. Grew up in my area actually

    • Natinals 5 years ago

      Its almost the same thing but you got to add in the fact that Teixiera is a mondo douchebag. Grew up in my area actually

  6. The fact that they even would think for a second that Lee would come to Washington is laughable. Besides do they really think they can out bid the Yankees? Just like they thought they could outbid them for Tex? The bottom line is Cliff Lee will end up signing a 5 year deal worth around 115 million with the New York Yankees.

    • Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

      Just like the Jays couldn’t outbid the Yankees for Hechavarria? Red Sox couldn’t outbid the Yankees on Matsuzaka? They’re invincible in trades too. They weren’t outbid for Lee by the Rangers.

      Yankees fans like you give the Empire a bad name.

    • Just because the Yankees have the ability to give the players more money, doesn’t mean they necessarily will. If another team offers just as much, it doesn’t mean that the yankees will suddenly raise their budget just to acquire him. If they don’t think he’s worth what the Rangers or Nats offer, they won’t outbid them.

  7. Mike H 5 years ago

    Harper would be what – 20, 21 in 2012? And Strasburg would be just returning to the mound. More like 2013 or 2014 for the Nats I think.

  8. Jayson Werth seems like he’d make a really good fit in Washington, considering they have a pretty big hole in RF. They could platoon Morgan and Bernadina in CF.

    • Natinals 5 years ago

      Plus I can see Werth going to a team thats a little out of the limelight. Read an article in sports illustrated about him hating the attention. He also just became a Boras client and Boras and Rizzo are all buddied up. Just speculating

    • Natinals 5 years ago

      Plus I can see Werth going to a team thats a little out of the limelight. Read an article in sports illustrated about him hating the attention. He also just became a Boras client and Boras and Rizzo are all buddied up. Just speculating

  9. rockfordone 5 years ago

    Nats need to model themselves after Tampa. Pitching – Pitching and more pitching. Draft and player development not big name free agents. Tampa tried the free agent route early and failed. Now look at them. Won AL East -no not yanks or Red Sox. Tampa will be in it next year -pitching and defense and speed. they will be trading quality pitching for good players

    • It’s apples to oranges. Tampa is forced down that road because they don’t generate enough revenue to compete with the other markets for most free agent talent. At best, they are a 70 mil/year team, and they are going to have to downsize their payroll for next year.

      Washington, on the other hand, is a 60 mil/year at their worst. They exist in an area that, if they were to ever get good, or at least decent, could sustain a 80-90 mil/year payroll if they were decent, and maybe even 100~ mil if they were to make a playoff run (Very Twins-esque imo). They can afford it.

      • rockfordone 5 years ago

        No it isn’t. Name one 30 year old free agent who wants to play on a loser. Develop a core of players then go after missing piece in free agency.

        • You are entirely ruling under the assumption that contending for a title is everything. It isn’t. Money plays a large factor, and sometimes even a bigger factor than how good the team is.

          If that wasn’t true how did the Nats land Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham two years ago? Or Jason Marquis? Or the Orioles landing Miguel Tejada?

          Look, I’m not saying that developing core players from your farm is a bad thing, nor am I saying you should trade away those key pieces for big name players. What I am saying is that you should develop them WHILE going after the free agents if you have the money the spare. Which Washington does. And Tampa doesn’t.

          • Mike H 5 years ago

            I agree that the Nats have the potential where they are located to sustain a $100m payroll. There’s a difference between being a small market team and simply not drawing well because you’re not very good. Same goes for Pittsburgh, frankly. They have the same fanbase potential as St. Louis but are falsely considered a “small market” team.Evidence shows the Rays are simply in the wrong location. They are not seeing the resulting attendance, tv and overall revenue gains their success should logically cause.

        • Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

          That brings up a bit of a conundrum. Tampa has a winning team now, yet Crawford will undoubtedly play in a different uniform in 2011. The Rays have a good enough farm to keep up their success for at least few more years, but I think they’ll stumble a bit in 2011.

          • Which is my point. Unless you are talking about the Marlins, Pirates, or Padres, you just can’t compare another team to Tampa because their limitations force them to do things a special way.

  10. CommissionerBart 5 years ago

    Frankly, unless they can bring in Albert Pujols or a couple of the Giants’ young big 3 starters–and of course they can’t–there’s no other one or two players that they can OBTAIN who will quiet the fan discontent if they lose Adam Dunn. Dunn is a fan favorite because of his charismatic personality, his quiet leadership, his team play, and because apart from Zimmerman he’s the only darn player on the roster who can generate any significant excitement. Acquiring a player or players of equal or somewhat greater talent will not make the Nats’ fans forget that mgmt drove away Dunn. A superstar, yes. The names mentioned, no. So many Nats games are blowouts (on the wrong end) that at least everytime Dunn comes to the plate the crowd wakes up with anticipation that he might launch a bomb.

  11. HerbertAnchovy 5 years ago

    The Nationals need a few more years of solid drafting before they should worry about “big” free agent signings.

  12. I love what i’m seeing out of the Nats, as a Mets fan I’m truly scared of them; that said I doubt they’ll be a contender before Harper comes up to the majors as a true threat (he’s just turned 18) I’d give him until he’s at least 20, maybe 21. If you sign Lee you’re wasting at least 2 good years out of him and that is a total and utter waste to me. Strasburg won’t be there next year, and 2012 is still unclear for them. 2013 is a great target year for the Nats and there is sure to be another big free agents hitting the market than that they should pounce on. Save the cash for 2013 Nats, I as a Met fan still come down to DC cause your ticket prices are affordable (not just to watch Mets games either, nice stadium btw)

  13. CommissionerBart 5 years ago

    Glad you like the stadium. We’re all puzzled why in a city of history and classic architecture, the Nats’ park was designed as some quasi-modern cruise ship (yes, that’s right….the architects said it was designed to evoke a cruise ship exterior….’splain that one to me, please, Lucy).

    And why oh why are a good portion of the outfield seats and the press box colored a sickly orangish red rather than the bright red that is the Nats’ principal color??

    Otherwise, yes, it is a pretty nice stadium. (But we’d rather they moved Camden Yards 40 miles south!!)

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