12:55pm -> We are LIVE from the NatsGM headquarters! I am back in the previously honored butterfly chair which has been upgraded since we last did this last month for the MLB draft… it now has a pillow for extra comfort! Let’s get this started… if you have questions or comments for me, leave them in the comments section, or you can send them to me on Twitter @NatsGMdotcom, Facebook search NatsGM, or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have already received a few questions, so I won’t waste any more time-
Terry from Towson -> “I know you are the NatsGM, but I was curious what you thought of the O’s trades of Uehara and Derrek Lee?”
Terry, thanks for the question and good hearing from you. Yes, I am the “NatsGM”, but I like to cover all of baseball and I have some friends with the Orioles, so I definitely love the Orioles as well and keep an eye of them.
As for the trades, I thought sending Uehara to Texas, along with cash, for Chris Davis and Tommy Hunter was simply a stellar move by Andy MacPhail. The Orioles clear about $4 million in payroll for 2012 by trading Uehara, who is a strong set up man and a nice but not tremendous bargain at $4 million per season, and likely fill two positions for 2012, with Davis the everyday 1B and Tommy Hunter slotting into the middle of the rotation. I hope the Orioles sit back and give Davis 500 ABs between the end of this season and the All-Star break next season and let him “sink or swim” with the job, because I really believe in his bat. Texas needed bullpen help rather desperately in front of Neftali Feliz, and Uehara is a huge upgrade for them and under contract for 2012, that said, they clearly sold low on two former big-time prospects. Very much like this deal for the Orioles.
In the Derrek Lee trade, they sent Lee to Pittsburgh for 1B Aaron Baker: Pittsburgh will cover his remaining salary, about $2.3 million and the Orioles will cover any bonuses. I saw Bates play years ago in the Cape Cod league and I did not believe he would hit for enough power with wood to advance particularly far in pro ball. So far, he has proven me wrong, as his 15 home runs this season show. I would still be surprised if he made it past the AAA level, but this deal was far more about clearing Lee’s remaining salary and clearing a place for Chris Davis, which this deal accomplishes both. Andy MacPhail makes another solid deal for the Orioles. Thanks for the question.
1:06pm -> Numerous people -> “NatsGM, where have your columns been about the Jason Marquis trade and the Jerry Hairston trade?”
Good call everyone, I have been slow to turn those columns around, as I have been under the weather most of this weekend. I will be publishing those columns tomorrow, so I do not want to steal too much of my own thunder, but here are my brief thoughts.
Jason Marquis for Zach Walters… Marquis has bounced back nicely this season after last years disaster, but the Nationals have some young arms that need innings and experience these next two months and Marquis was not coming back for 2012. Getting Arizona to take on the rest of the contract was excellent, and Walters is a decent middle infield prospect, nice deal for Mike Rizzo.
Jerry Hairston for Erik Komatsu… Hairston was signed fairly late this offseason but was an excellent signing for the Nationals, as he did a solid job of filling in for Ryan Zimmerman at 3B for most of the first half. Hairston is a nice player and could help the Nats for the rest of this season, but he would not add more than one or two wins at best down the stretch (likely much less), was not likely to return for 2012, and allows the Nationals to clear space for Brian Bixler, who deserves a chance. They also had the Brewers take on the remainder of Hairston’s contract, and received a nice outfield prospect who is thriving in Double-A this year. What’s not to like, really like this deal for the Nationals.
1:11pm -> I really hope that Zach Britton from the Orioles bounces back from that terrible outing and inning yesterday verses the Yankees. He has too much talent and I hope he can put that behind him and move forward.
1:15pm -> Ok, I do think Brian Bixler deserves a chance, as I think he can be a nice 25th man off the bench, but he should not be batting leading off. Nationals desperately need a center fielder + leadoff hitter.
Ed from Pennsylvania -> “What are your thoughts of the rumored trade of Drew Storen plus potentially Bernadina and Lombardozzi for Denard Span?”
Ed, thanks for reading and always sending in questions. It is interesting, as badly as the Nats need a center fielder, the poll I ran the other day about trading Storen straight up for Span, almost 50% of the voters said “NO” to Span, and 20% wanted more than just Span for Storen. I normally believe that trading relievers for everyday starters, particularly one at a position that you desperately need to fill, is a good strategy, but I worry that the Nationals would be creating a few holes by filling just one. I think I would eventually support a dealing Storen but I just think this would not be the best deal to make.
Thanks for the question!
1:34pm -> Just saw this posted on twitter “ TBrownYahooTim Brown With 150 minutes left, Twins don’t believe Span-for-Storen can get done. Time remaining, tho…” We shall see-
1:38pm -> Trade deadline day and MLB draft day remind me of how excited I used to get as a kid about Christmas morning or the last day of school. Just love this day and the action-
1:40pm -> Nice steal attempt Willie Harris, wow that was not even close. Great throw from Flores!
1:48pm -> Very curious what the Mets do this offseason. The reports say that they want to resign Reyes but it seems like they would have so much payroll wrapped up in Reyes, Bay, Wright and Santana and still have a lot of holes on their roster. Trading K-Rod and Beltran were both strong trades but I will be interested to see what course Omar Minaya takes this offseason, especially in light of the Bernie Madoff issues with the Mets ownership.
1:53pm -> Think GM Jack Z. and the Mariners regret that Mike Morse for Ryan Langerhans deal? Wow could they use his bat in the lineup right now. I do not think Mike Rizzo and the Nationals get enough credit for that trade. One of the biggest steals in recent memory.
1:56pm -> Cheap shot, but what happened to Jason Bay? How can he be batting .238 with only six home runs and be making $16 million. Yikes
Dave from NJ via email -> “It’s about two hours until the deadline, can you give us a couple trades that you think will happen?”
Dave, thanks for the question. With just a few hours left, I would be surprised if the Yankees did not make a deal, with Wandy Rodriguez or Brett Myers from Houston making some sense depending on price. I also think they could/should add a bullpen piece as well.
I still expect the Red Sox to make a deal for a bat as well, perhaps Josh Willingham to platoon with Josh Reddick and JD Drew. And I still believe the Nationals will trade Todd Coffey somewhere, perhaps Anaheim, and I think the Nationals somehow make a deal for a center fielder and with all the rumors of Denard Span, that would be the easy prediction.
Thanks for the question and good to hear from you!
2:17pm -> Certainly not a paid endorsement (though I am more than available) but Stoffer’s makes a delicious frozen lasagna. I have no idea why someone would slave away baking one when the Stoffer’s is so good. I am sure the food snobs out there will criticize me on this one, but for the convenience and ease, it is tough to beat.
2:19pm -> Big time baserunning blunder from Daniel Murphy, big break for the Nationals and Jordan Zimmermann to get out of that jam. Bottom of the 3rd 0-0.
2:35pm -> Ken Rosenthal is reporting via Twitter that Heath Bell has been traded to Texas… waiting for the details but another strong move to upgrade the Rangers bullpen along with Uehara yesterday. Edit -> Now being reported that it is Mike Adams, not Heath Bell. Supposedly the Padres are receiving Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland. Not a bad return for the Padres, as Erlin is a well-regarded prospect.
2:45pm -> One hour and fifteen minutes until the trade deadline and things “seem” relatively quiet for the Nationals. We shall see if the Twins or the Nationals blink this last hour. Plus, does anyone believe the Yankees and the Red Sox are not going to make a move. Gear up for the last hour, should be interesting!
2:49pm -> 2nd outstanding throw from Jesus Flores today, throwing out Jose Reyes to end the top of the 5th. GREAT sign to see that, as he has struggled since returning to the big leagues throwing out runners.
2:54pm -> All Nats fans have just a bit of extra incentive to see Jonny Gomes succeed: we want him to keep his Type B Free Agent status, as that could fetch the Nationals a draft pick this offseason. Nice to see Gomes 2-2 so far today.
3:00pm -> 0-0 End of the 5th inning… one hour to go before the trade deadline, what will happen?
3:07pm -> I thought the ground couldn’t cause a fumble?… oops, wrong sport. Tough break on a play for Jayson Werth. Side note, thank goodness football is back, mostly for fantasy football.
3:14pm -> Great effort from Jordan Zimmermann to strike out the side in the 6th to get out of a jam. Still throwing his nasty slider and the fastball is still hitting the mid 90s, but with over 100 pitches on this hot afternoon, he could be finished for the day. If so, just another tremendous outing from this young man. He is blossoming into quite a pitcher right in front of our eyes.
3:16pm -> Desmond leads off the bottom of the sixth with a double ripped to left field, then Zimmerman comes up and drives him home with a double crushed into the right field gap. Desmond is such a different hitter in the #2 spot. I hope they keep him there the majority of this season. 1-0 Nationals.
3:18pm -> Now Mike Morse hits a ball just inside the first base line for a double to drive in Zimmerman. Another big hit from Mike Morse, 2-0 Nationals.
3:24pm -> Rather surprised at the lack of trade activity around baseball this afternoon. I know yesterday was pretty active and this morning with the Bourn trade, but I expected many more deals. Maybe there is a flurry of activity in this last half hour.
3:27pm -> Rumor of OF Ryan Ludwick traded to Pittsburgh, not official yet- Nice to see the Pirates as buyers this time of year
3:34pm -> Nice nine pitch at-bat by Flores ends with him striking out to end the sixth inning. 2-0 Nationals and about 25 minutes until the deadline.
3:40pm -> And Sean Burnett continues to struggle, immediately giving up a solo home run to Scott Hairson to begin the 7th inning. 2-1 Nationals
3:45pm -> Burnett immediately settles down to retire the next three batters. Time to stretch as the Nationals are leading 2-1.
3:50pm -> Bob Carpenter just gave us a 10 minute warning…
3:54pm -> Zimmerman pops out to shortstop to end the 7th inning. 2-1 Nationals
4:00pm -> 4pm… lets see if anything trickles in late but I am surprised at the lack of activity today. Just four trades as far as I can tell, Bourn to Atlanta, Adams to Texas, Ziegler to Arizona, and Ludwick to Pittsburgh. Strange to see things pass with such little activity.
4:04pm -> Another 1-2-3 inning for Tyler Clippard this year, shutting down the Mets in the top of the 8th. Still 2-1 Nationals.
4:07pm -> Rumors going around Twitter that Erik Bedard has been shipped from Seattle to the Red Sox, waiting for confirmation…
4:09pm -> I know he has been bad so far this year, but Werth is definitely starting to turn it around. His swing and balance at the plate have been much better the past ten days. Big 1 out double from Werth and Espinosa looks to drive him in to add an insurance run.
4:16pm -> Both Espinosa and Cora strike out to end the 8th inning. Storen entering the game to close out the 9th inning, and yes, Storen is still a National. Looks like the Nats were quiet today but have not received “official word” yet.
4:25pm -> After getting the first two batters on weak ground balls, Storen gives up a solo homer to Scott Hairston, his second of the day and in back to back at-bats. Storen then gets the next batter to fly out to center field. Tie game, bottom of the ninth 2-2.
4:32pm -> Ankiel is phantomly hit with a pitch up and in, and the Nationals now have men on 1st and 2nd with no one out. Bixler is coming to bat and I would expect a bunt here.
4:34pm -> Apparently Brian Bixler is a poor bunter, as he lays down a second bad effort again here and he gets Jesus Flores thrown out at 3rd base.
4:39pm -> Bang! Zoom Go the Fireworks! Another Curly W goes into the books! Tough at-bat by Ian Desmond but he fights off a good 3-2 pitch and hits it over the mound which gets Rick Ankiel home from 3rd base. Big win from the Nationals 3-2 and a good series victory over the Mets!
4:41pm -> Want to give some quick props to Rick Ankiel for his baserunning in the bottom of the ninth, he did a terrific job getting a read on a pitch in the dirt to get over to 3rd base and then he got a tremendous break on the grounder hit by Desmond to score the winning run. Great job by Rick to score that run.
Thanks to everyone that joined me today for the Live Blog! While it was quiet on the trade front, it was a great win for the Nationals and a well-played game. I will return tomorrow with full write-ups of the Nationals trades of Jason Marquis and Jerry Hairston.
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