Filtering by Tag: Mike Rizzo

Mike Rizzo: January Man

It was an innocent enough radio interview. The standard with Mike Rizzo late in the off-season with nothing happening. He was asked if everything on the checklist had been marked off and answered in the affirmative and then was asked if there were still moves left to be made. To this question Mike Rizzo gave the standard and cliched GM answer of anytime we can do anything to improve the club that makes sense for blah blah blah. You get the idea. There was nothing special at all about this interview. It was a time filler between Redskins talk on a local Washington DC radio station, but there was something in Mike Rizzo's voice. He sound ecstatic while talking about improving the team. Reading between the lines it was as if he was smirking into the phone and really saying watch what I'm about to do. 

Reading into voice inflection is no way to reach an honest conclusion, and nothing happening is just as likely as something, but Rizzo has a track record of late January/early February moves. On February 2 of 2012 Mike Rizzo in a surprise move signed Edwin Jackson to a pillow contract. He provided the soft place for him to land as he hadn't found the long term deal he was looking for. Edwin Jackson in 2012 was very much Edwin Jackson. He was inconsistent pitching either shutout or a blow-up, but he provided the Nationals with 189 2/3 innings they would've had a hard time filling without him. 

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Reaction to the Fister Trade

The best column on the Fister to the Nats trade I've read is from Dave Cameron of Fangraphs and my suggestion to you is that if you want an opinion of the trade, read that. It echoes what the majority of people think about the trade and there is no reason for me to write out the same thing when it has already been done, and by this time I am sure you know the details of the trade and have your own opinion on it. The other interesting reaction to the trade was from the depths of the Nats fan base that happen to live on Facebook. I didn't know this until last night but then a new Twitter account, @MASNCommenter, popped up. My curiosity wouldn't let me rest until I could discover the origin of these comments and it turned out to be the MASN Nationals Facebook page

It is almost alarming to juxtapose Dave Cameron's thoughts with those of the MASN comments. Most of the complaints on the Nats end are that the Nationals traded a left handed reliever and Steve Lombardozzi. To see either of these as a negative is a complete lack of fundamental understanding of baseball. Even if Lombardozzi was a good utility player, which he isn't, and Ian Krol an excellent left handed reliever, which he isn't yet, this would be a steal for the Nationals. Consider that last season Doug Fister had a 4.6 fWAR and in 2011 Gio Gonzalez had a 3.3 fWAR. In essence the Nationals got a pitcher coming off of a better season than Gio Gonzalez when they traded for him for far less of a price. The real get for the Tigers is Robbie Ray and I am not unconvinced that Dave Dombrowski and the Tigers scouts value Ray more than prospect evaluators do. The Tigers may view Ray as having top of the rotation potential whereas most everyone else views him as more of a back of the rotation type. That may be the case or the Tigers are continuing an effort they started when they traded Prince Fielder to clear up payroll to keep Scherzer, Cabrera, and to possibly add an outfield bat like Choo.

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Treading Water

Much has been discussed about the 'premature' shutdown of Stephen Strasburg, as the Nationals head into the last month of the regular season with a commanding lead over the Atlanta Braves for the top spot in the NL East. I won't inundate you with links for the thoughts, and opinions of many who have weighed in on the matter; a bit of googling or 30 seconds of listening in to the sports talk radio show of your liking will give you all of the fodder you need to keep abreast of the situation. In the end, the decision to keep Strasburg at what many consider to be a pedestrian 160ish innings for the season, postseason be damned, rests with but a handful of people; those people will continue to toe the company line, and say that this decision was done with the best of intentions, not only for Strasburg, but for the collective futures of those affiliated with the Nationals.
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