Jayson Werth's walkoff homer gave the Nationals a 2-1 win over the Cardinals today and extended their NLDS series to a deciding fifth game tomorrow. Gio Gonzalez will start Game Five against Adam Wainwright and the Cards, with the winning team advancing to face the Giants in the NLCS. Here's the latest from Washington and elsewhere in the NL East…
- Nationals GM Mike Rizzo had some choice words for unnamed executives who were said to be rooting against the Nats due to the Stephen Strasburg controversy, reports CBS Sports' Jon Heyman. Rizzo again defended his decision to shut Strasburg down, also noting that the anonymous criticisms were "not how we do things in my neighborhood.''
- Davey Johnson joked that he could "pull a La Russa" and retire if the Nationals win the World Series, reports Heyman, though the manager is expected to return next season and Rizzo wants him back.
- Given the unpredictable nature of relief pitching, the Phillies' problematic bullpen could be turned around quickly, writes David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News. With Jonathan Papelbon's salary leaving little room for another pricey relief arm, Murphy suggests the Phils could explore a trade or target such lower-priced relievers as Koji Uehara, Luis Ayala, Jeremy Affeldt or Joel Peralta. Brandon Lyon could also be a Phillies target, as Murphy says the club was interested in the veteran righty three years ago before Lyon signed with Houston.
- Also on the topic of the Phillies' bullpen, Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News thinks a reunion with Ryan Madson would make sense, as Madson could be signed to an inexpensive deal as he looks to rebound and rebuild his value following Tommy John surgery.
- David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution outlines what he would do with the Braves this winter, a list that includes extending Martin Prado and installing him at third base, trading for Josh Willingham or signing a free agent outfielder like Nick Swisher or Cody Ross, picking up Brian McCann's option and letting Michael Bourn in favor of signing a cheaper center field option in Angel Pagan.
Mike Rizzo is a tough guy!
I’d be very happy with a bullpen of:
Salisbury said the bridges between Madson/Ruben have been restored so it could happen.
I think think he’s going to end up closing for somebody though. Would definitely love to have him back. He and Papelbon at the end of the game would be lights out… and really the best bullpen we’ve had since the 2008 playoffs.
It wouldn’t officially the off-season unless DOB was pondering the Braves acquiring Willingham.
I hate baseball these days! I mean, what team shuts down their best starter when they have a chance to win it all? I know they are still very good and capable of winning without Strasbourg but this is offensive to the fans of this great sport.
No, it’s really not. Protecting a long term asset and ignoring the cries of the ignorant and short sited is in the best interest of the franchise, and, by extension, the fans. If you want to hate on the game, hate it for money-rabid owners who don’t reinvest in their teams.
Mark Mulder of ESPN said it best. WSH was in a position to win when they handed the ball to Drew Storen in the 9th only to give up 4 to STL and lose the series. Stras wouldn’t have helped them in that situation. They had the starting pitching to win, but not the bullpen. WSH was deep enough at pitching to be able to shut down their best SP – not many teams would or could do that.
Rizzo threatened to shut down the reporter for even bringing it up.
i don’t like any of those braves suggestions except extend prado and move him to 3rd
Pagan isn’t a bad choice IMO. he won’t run more than $8 mill or so and that would leave a decent chunk of change to fill the LF spot.
you gotta take Mac’s option, if the shoulder MRI looks good. Bourn is gone, because of the agent. I’d rather get one or both of the Uptons than what DOB suggested.
Some are predicting BJ Upton to cost around what Bourn is going to cost. I don’t like BJ at that price, if we don’t get Bourn. I’m all for Bourn, but there’s no precedent in giving a speedy leadoff hitter $15M+ per year. Bourn/BJ are no exceptions.
Upton, his OBP hovering in the .300-330 range the last 4 seasons, averages 160K a season is not anyone a team wants hitting leadoff.
sure he has speed and power, is capable of playing great defense (when he wants to) and has a great arm, but he needs a manager (like Maddon) to keep him in line also to get what Tampa did out of him and that wasn’t worth the 10mAAV over 3-5 seasons he is probably going to garner in the FA market.
He ends up on a team and allowed to be “on his own” without stern leadership and he is more than capable of being one clubhouse destroying force with his lack of hustle that can come out at the worst of times.
Agreed, but I really don’t know if that’ll factor into a lot of financial talks. It will from the Braves end – not wanting a clubhouse cancer – but it’s surprising to see how many rumors BJ Upton is involved in considering his past. Many people are willing to take a flyer on him considering how young he is, the elite tools he possesses and the idea that he could even better in a better market as he’s had success in the toughest division in MLB.
just read the ajc article, and DOB opines we should trade Julio Teheran for Josh Willingham. Julio definitely doesn’t have the prospect value he once had but thats silly
Buying high on Willingham (when we passed up a possible opp to sign him coming off his time with WSH – who also chose not to re-sign him) and selling low on Teheran, who despite not the most impressive AAA campaign in ’12, still is the top RHP prospect not named Dylan Bundy.
the anonymous GM is fake tough.
I don’t think the Braves will re-sign Bourn because Boras isn’t taking a discount….and he is not worth15 mil per and someone will give it to him. The Braves will miss him more defensively than offensively…everyone wants to compare offensive numbers when evaluating someone (Pagan and Bourn very close)….Braves had the best defensive OF in the NL (maybe MLB) and Bourn was their best OFer. His range factor has to be out of this world. I wish they could trade McCann to fill LF or CF and re-sign Ross. Need more RH bats. Yanks could use a C and short porch in RF taylor made for BMac and he could DH some in the AL. I’m sure the Yanks will not trade Gardner but one can wish. Hypothetically, Willingham and Pagan in the OF would be nice offensively but the Braves would be significantly worse defensively,
Victorino is a good shorter-term CF option. Yes, he’s a little older than Bourn and some of the other CF options (BJ Upton, Pagan, etc.), but he’s stated he wants to be a starter which the rich Dodgers can’t promise him – though they’ve stated their desire to bring him back. Victorino has had a great career in the NL East, and no one knows PHI better than he does. Depending on what kind of offers he gets, he could be a great option that would allow us to have more money left over to focus on 3B or LF (wherever they can upgrade without having to move Prado).
Ew @ trading for willingham, signing a swisher or ross and pagan. that’s just gross.
Adding more than 1 of those will take the team AVG down 20 points alone. Factor in a lineup with Uggla & a slumping McCann and I can’t imagine how many runners in scoring position with be left on base.
bourn declined towards the last few weeks and won’t cost nearly as much as originally planned. i would look at re-signing him as they said they would.. much more than over paying for a swisher or ross.. or giving up players to acquire freaking willingham (WTF)
If the Braves listened to DOB, they would have Josh Willingham, Cody Ross, Carlos Quentin, Ken Griffey Jr. and a reunion with Jeff Francouer in the OF all at once. Jake Peavy would have been sitting in the dugout these last couple of years getting healthy and Alex Gonzalez would still be the SS. There is a reason why he is the team beat writer and not the GM. But you got the give the man credit, he does have a hundred or so regular basement bloggers kissing his arse everyday.
In all seriousness, the Braves have the money to resign Bourn and his market is not going to be what it was looking to be back at the All-Star break. His 2nd half was iffy and his injury at the end didn’t help his dollar amount. I agree that the Braves would miss his glove more than his bat. Pagan is not a bad choice, but I am wondering if this year is the Pagan we would see over the next couple of years or would he revert back to his sometimes offensive ineffectiveness? Prado at 3B is a given and LF…..let’s just say that Frank Wren will do something outside the box as he has been known to do in years past and will pull a trade no one saw coming.
PHI loves Bourn. Charlie Manuel has made recent comments pretty much indicating he’s their top target to go back to the kind of offense they once were (with speed at the top of the lineup). Take that with Bourn’s mutual interest in WSH, who also have more money than ATL to spend, and you’ve got more than 1 reason why ATL should have multiple CF backup plans – which they do. I like Pagan, but the longer SF stays in the playoffs the more likelihood they stick with Pagan, with or without getting Melky Cabrera at a discount. SF also has interest in Bourn, and more money than ATL.
I still like Headley at 3B if we’re considering trades. Why move Prado to another new position (though he has experience at it), when he’s been playing incredible LF defense and Headley is attainable and cost-controlled for the next few years. A nice package headlined by Delgado OR Teheran could do it. I don’t like the idea of trading either for much of anyone, but Headley is young David Wright with more power and possibly even better defense. Throw in he has a .302/.372/.464 outside of Petco and you see a great hitter. A negative is that he’s an average hitter vs. LHP (.261/.321/.401).