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Monday, December 6, 2010

OK, This One IS Just A Rumor - Now

Sometimes I forgot that I'm nothing more than a mere blogger, posting from my home (not in a basement) with whatever I want to say being fair game.

I need to give up these standards from my previous life.

Nope, can't do it. But I CAN post stuff that I wouldn't write in the old days, I'm just going to make it clear what is and what isn't rock solid.

The Josh Willingham trade? That was rock solid and I wrote it that way. The Jayson Werth signing? That was very close to rock solid (well, it was rock solid - I just didn't know it at the time) and I wrote it that way.

I hinted at more yesterday and some of the regulars have done so since they got wind of Werth and expanded on that.

First, everyone expects Brandon Webb to get done. No shocker there. Low pay, high incentives, limited expectations. The Viera Invisible All-Stars need someone now that Wang has been non-tendered. Unless he signed elsewhere while I was sleeping.

But that's not the potential big one that has the world ready to buzz again. One more time - a mere rumor to this point. May not pan out at all. I know that and you need to know that before reading the next line.

Adrian Beltre.

Yeah, the guy whose bobblehead I lucked into when I saw the Nats play in Seattle in 2008 is something of a target.

Say what?

I asked my source to place it on the scale: pipedream or possibility or close to being done? Somewhere above pipedream and somewhere below close to being done. My guess is "being seriously explored by both sides" would work.

We'll see. As noted yesterday, keep your ears open.

The big question would become, where's he going to play? Although there's nothing in the rules that says you can't have two guys standing near 3B, it's not good baseball strategy. Someone has to play 1B. Can Beltre do that? Or, uh, ah, does the best third baseman in the game make a move? No way, right? Laughable, right?

One thing I have learned over the years is never say no way. Never laugh. Because you never know. You'd have laughed at me Saturday if I told you the Nats were about to drop seven years and 126 mill-yun on Jayson Werth. Some of you laughed yesterday when I swore "werth"while news was coming.

Again, RUMOR. Take it as such. But make sure all your alerts from blogs, Facebook and Twitter are set on high. Whether it's this or something else, the Nats are NOT done. Far from it.


Steven said...

Assuming Beltre is willing, you'd put him at 2nd and then let Espinosa and Desmond fight it out at SS.

Will said...

It doesn't seem to make much sense. Beltre has in the past been selective about where he plays. He notably took less money to sign with the Red Sox last offseason. I can't foresee him suddenly doing a 180 and taking the gobs of cash the Nats are offering him. It would be... how can I put this nicely... the stupidest move in the history of sports (Yes, worse than Ruth for cash, Bowie over Jordan, etc) to move Ryan Zimmerman from third. He's the best defensive 3B in the game. It wouldn't make sense to move him. So that means Beltre is willing to play at 1B? I don't see that happening, for the reasons I've already mentioned, but also because Beltre's value is largely based off his defensive abilities. Playing him at 1B would cut his value in half. He's one of the best at 3B, but at 1B, he'd be below average (assuming 2010 was a fluke and his numbers from 2005-2009 are a better indication of his ability).

I'm hoping the big surprise will be for an ace. I wrote about the possibility of acquiring one of the Angels SPs. It seems like a good fit for both clubs. Angels need offense (particularly at C and SS), the Nats need SP and have players to spare.

MikeHarris said...

Don't know if I made it clear in my initial post: I don't think it makes sense at all.

That doesn't mean I'm ruling it out.

I'd rather see LaRoche and a good pitcher added at this point.

Can Beltre play second?

Will said...

No, you made it perfectly clear, I'm just trying to find the logic behind this for the Nats... and I'm not having much success.

I think this rumor can be chalked up to "you scratch my back I'll scratch yours." The Nats are doing a favor to Boras in drumming up more interest in Beltre. Since the Red Sox acquired AGon, Beltre's prospects have thinned significantly. The A's also recently withdrew their 5 year offer for Beltre. So it seems like Boras is trying to make it seem like there's more demand for Beltre than there is. But it's a pretty thinly veiled rumor, because along with Tampa, Washington is just about the least likely suitor for Beltre.

What was that that Goebbels said about the "big lie"- a lie so absurd that one can only rationalize it by assuming there must be some basis in reality?

Unknown said...

No way Beltre comes to DC. I like the thought of getting a good defesive player with good pop from another infield position and making them a firstbasemen; but the Nats will be going after a left-handed bat to break up the right-handed dominance that the lineup currently holds.

I'm hoping for LaRouche being signed to a 2-year deal, because Pena is now going to get way overpaid due to too much competition from other clubs. Signing LaRouche to 2-years, also allows the Nats to go after Prince in 2011 offseason; or include LaRouche in a trade for Prince this season.

I'm also hoping for a reliable #1 SP, but thinking a #2 is realistic. Not sure who, or how, but I'm also hoping we don't get Pavano. He's the next incarnation of Loaiza if the Nats sign him.

Matt said...

There's one more interpretation -- Zim is on the trading block. Not probably what most people want to hear (me included), but Zim is the sort of player who really could land a top-tier pitcher.

Anonymous said...

How about Zim to SS and Desmond shipped out. Hasnt it always been said that Zim could be the best SS on the team at any given time?

grover said...

Beltre has said that he's more interested in the number of years he gets than where exactly he ends up. So from that angle Washington's willingness to go 7 years with Werth will surely entice Boras' other marquee FA.

I just don't see where you play Beltre other than 3B.

And if that's the case... Mr. Harris, which teams have the SP that would sooth your angst over the possible departure of Ryan Zimmerman?

Anonymous said...

Beltre HAS played some shortstop which leads one to infer that he could play a decent second base. You definitely move Espinosa to shortstop and trade Desmond along with Willingham (and others) for that young top of the rotation starting pitcher or two (hopefully).

Espinosa is a left handed bat since he is a switch hitter. As is Lombardozzi. But Rizzo believes in making sure players are finished before they leave the minors so Norris (a superior bat to Beltre?) and Lombardozzi spend another year or so along with Harper, Burgess, Marerro, etc.

Mike, I think what we are seeing is a REAL PLAN, carefully crafted, honed and refined by the likes of Rizzo and his brain trust to build a competitive team now. It is my contention that there are dependencies on acquiring certain players or types of players in order to open the possibility of trading others for younger and better pieces. It involves a great deal more risk and the need to be extremely stealthy! This is something Bowden would never be capable of that's for sure.

NatinBeantown said...

I'm less concerned about where he'd stand in the field than where he'd stand in the batters box. No way we have a R-R-R-R heart of the lineup. I think Will's backscratching theory sounds right.

Mike--thanks for the journalistic standards. There's nothing wrong with hot stove rumors, as long as they're clearly rumors. When there's fact, you and the other quality blogs will have that.