Trade

Nats Add Two Interesting Prospects to the System in Detwiler Trade

The Nationals waited for the Winter Meetings to conclude before making a move, dealing LHP Ross Detwiler to the Texas Rangers for two prospects: 22 year old RHP Abel De Los Santos and 21 year old 2B Chris Bostick.

De Los Santos benefited by being moved from the starting rotation to the bullpen before the 2013 season; from 2010-12 where he was predominately a starter, De Los Santos put up the following stat line: 3.81 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 8.32 H/9, .64 HR/9, 2.43 BB/9, 8.47 K/9 and 3.35 K/BB ratio. Since being moved to the bullpen in 2013, he’s gone 2.58 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 6.36 H/9, 0.55 HR/9, 2.86 BB/9, 10.41 K/9 and 3.65 K/BB. While he spent his third straight season in A ball, he was still only 21 years old, so he wasn’t considered old for his level. His ceiling is as a middle reliever at the ML level, but if he can keep those BB and K rates right where they are, he stands a decent chance of reaching it. Making strides in 2015 is vital if he wants to reach the bigs; he needs to put on a strong performance for the Nats to have no choice but to add him to the 40-man and protect him from next year’s Rule 5 Draft. Continue reading

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.

Trades shouldn’t be viewed in a vacuum and if I were a Tigers fan I wouldn’t like this deal but I would be waiting for what is next. As far as what the Nationals received they got a very solid starting pitcher with a career 3.54 ERA and 3.44 FIP. Fister isn’t a strikeout pitcher with a career K/9 of 6.28 but he doesn’t walk many batters with a career 1.81 BB/9 and he doesn’t give up a lot of homers and has a career 0.70 ERA. Fister has pitched in both Seattle and Detroit and both of those home parks are known as pitchers parks but Fister’s splits of a 3.21 ERA at home and 3.91 ERA on the road are not extreme and nothing to worry about. Fister has also only pitched in the AL and has done very well in interleague play with a career 2.09 ERA in 73 1/3 innings against the NL. That is a limited sampling but the benefit of pitching in the NL should outweigh the negative of no longer pitching in Comerica.

The trade for Fister bolsters an already deep Nationals rotation and because they were able to move the Tigers off Taylor Jordan and on to Ian Krol they also bolstered their pitching depth. As it stands right now Detwiler would be the Nats fifth starter with Ohlendorf and/or Roark going to the bullpen as long relief/spot starter and Taylor Jordan and Nate Karns starting the season in AAA as emergency pitching depth. Fister is an obvious upgrade over what the Nationals had in Dan Haren in 2013 and Edwin Jackson in 2012. If he is himself you’re looking at around 200 innings and a 3.50 ERA. A typical fourth starter should give around 180 innings with a 4.00 ERA so in both regards the Nationals have upgraded what it was thought they were looking for. They also didn’t give up a lot. It was thought that the Nationals would be more interested in someone like the Cubs Jeff Samardzija but the thought was that the Cubs were seeking impact prospects. For his career Samardzija has a 4.19 ERA and 3.94 FIP. For a better pitcher the Nats gave up less talent than it was assumed they’d have to give up for Samardzija and not to mention the amount of talent they would have had to give up for David Price.

This was a typical against the grain type of trade that good GMs make and one thing I’ve criticized Rizzo for in the past. I always felt Rizzo was a GM who liked to go through the progressions of the off-season. To follow the rhythm of the moves. That he would try for Price until Price was gone and then move onto Samardzija and then onto Garza. Following all the other GMs that would do the same thing and thus raising the price for every pitcher along the way. Instead of following the progression Rizzo went out and got a pitcher that no one was even reporting was available and did so for a very low price. Another big part of this is that Fister is still under his original contract and is arb eligible for this season and next at a lower cost than free agents or David Price. Because of the lower cost for Fister if the posting system does get ironed out and the Nationals do want to bid on Masahiro Tanaka they have the ability to do so.

Over the last two seasons Mike Rizzo rode the rhythm of the off-season and signed whoever was left on the market and would accept a one year deal when all the big names were gone. This off-season he went against the grain and surprised everyone with a move for an underrated pitcher. This is a great deal for the Nationals, gives them one of the best rotations in the NL, and does nothing to get in the way of any other off-season plans.      

Normal
0

false
false
false

EN-US
X-NONE
X-NONE

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin-top:0in;
mso-para-margin-right:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt;
mso-para-margin-left:0in;
line-height:115%;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”;
mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”;
mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}

 

New Nats addition: Dakota Bacus

 

It’s not a huge surprise that the Nats dealt Kurt Suzuki this morning, as he
was a pending free agent backup catcher with over $1 million left on his
contract (plus a $650,000 buyout on his option). I was a bit surprised that the
Nats got a solid prospect in return for him – 22 year old RHP Dakota Bacus.

Bacus is the type of pitcher who can
move up the organization quickly after being converted from being a starter to
a reliever (similar to another guy the Nats got from the A’s, Ian Krol, in that
respect). He’s seen a huge uptick in his ability to strike out batters out of
the bullpen (between 10.5-11 K/9 as a reliever, under 5 K/9 as a starter) and
strikes me as a Craig Stammen type who gets a bunch of ground balls with decent
control and the ability to strike out guys when needed.

Bacus was a fan favorite for the Beloit
Snappers this year, posing as the “Whitewall Ninja,” trolling around
the outfield during games with a white jersey and ski mask, blending into white
walls. He does not claim that he’s truly the Whitewall Ninja; calling him
“he” in interviews, but it is apparent that the Ninja is truly Bacus’
alter ego. In an interview with Benjamin Hill of MiLB.com,
Bacus said that when it first started, “the goal was to see how far he
could get out there before being caught by any of the umpires”. The USA
Today blog FTW has more photos here.

He’s seen by Matt Eddy of Baseball America as “a fairly
standard-issue righty…who’s maxed-out physically” that profiles as a
middle relief type. Eddy mentions that he’s got an average fastball (various
sources put him at 90-93 MPH) and solid control of his slider and also notes
that he’s had success in his conversion to the bullpen this season (3.25 ERA,
11.0 K/9, 3 BB/9 and only 1 HR allowed in 36 innings as opposed to 3.69 ERA, 4.85
K/9, 2.74 BB/9 and 5 HR allowed in 85 and 1/3 innings as a starter).

The 2012 9th round pick out of Indiana
State University wasn’t rated as a top 20 A’s prospect by John Sickels of Minor
League Ball, but made his Honorable Mention list (meaning he was likely in
the top 30) and was rated
as a C prospect
 in December. A
year ago
, Sickels wrote that Bacus was too old for the competition
he was dominating in his first sting of minor league baseball, but was still
one to keep an eye on.

Jim Callis of Baseball America
considered Bacus a “personal
cheeseball
” going into last year’s draft and mentioned that
he has a solid 3 pitch mix between his fastball, slider and changeup. Callis
profiled Bacus as a #4 starter or middle reliever who could reach a ceiling as
a set-up man with his plus (at times) slider.

In November, Jim Shonerd of Baseball
America mentioned in a chat that his changeup has a nice
sinking element to it, but that he also needed to work on his mechanics. He was
rated the #220 overall prospect in the Baseball America top 500
before last year’s draft.

Bacus joins Ryan Tatusko as the only
two Indiana State University pitchers in the Nationals organization.

  Normal
  0
 
 
 
 
  false
  false
  false
 
  EN-US
  X-NONE
  X-NONE
 
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
 
 
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin-top:0in;
mso-para-margin-right:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt;
mso-para-margin-left:0in;
line-height:115%;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”;
mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”;
mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}

Mike Rizzo Gets His Man

 

Mike Rizzo has had his Adrian Veidt moment. After years and years of searching for a centerfielder that can lead-off the Nationals have found one in Denard Span. Consider for a moment that in 2010 the Nats team OBP from the lead-off position was .300 flat then dipped below .300 in 2011 rising to a still terrible .325 in 2012 while Denard Span for his career has a .357 OBP. If the Nationals had weaknesses in 2012 it was at the lead-off position and with outfield defense where Michael Morse is a -20.4 UZR/150 left fielder. Bryce Harper will improve on that and Denard Span combined with Harper and Werth will make the Nationals outfield a defensive sight to behold. 

Since I am a little late to the Denard Span party here are a few links from around the web that wrap up the trade nicely from multiple perspectives. 

Dave Cameron of Fangraphs writes that the Nationals stole Span from the Twins.

Meanwhile Bill from TPA suggests that because of bad Twins trades of the past this one looks good in comparision

Joe Lemire of si.com writes about the effect the Span trade will have on the Nationals, Twins, and the rest of baseball. 

And for the local prospective here is Admanda Comak. 

As far as what this trade means for the rest of the Washington Nationals off-season it could be glorious if they do spend the money they would have spent on Bourn or Upton on Greinke or it could be a boring stretch until they sign Dan Haren or Shaun Marcum sometime in January. That all has yet to be determined as does the futures of Adam LaRoche and Michael Morse in Washington. We can and will speculate all we want on that, but only time can truly answer those questions. For now the Nationals have a true centerfielder who can lead-off.