THE NatsGM Show Episode #76 – Special Guest James Ellsworth

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THE NatsGM Show Episode #76 has dropped and we are proud to welcome promoter for Adrenaline Championship Wrestling and WWE Enhancement Talent James Ellsworth!

James recounts his recent appearance on WWE Monday Night RAW facing Braun Strowman, how he received the opportunity to cut a promo, and where he came up with his catch phrase “Any man with two hands has a fighting chance”!  Then we talk about his promotion ACW, working as an independent wrestling promoter and some of their upcoming events.  Finally we play a quick game of the lightning round, where James shares his favorite “jobber”, Offspring song, and dream opponent.

Thanks to James for joining the show, and to our sponsor, No Halftime.  Please Rate, Review and Subscribe to the show on iTunes and thanks for listening!

Dollars Bring Burnett Back To Washington

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Friday afternoon reporter Chris Cotillo broke the news that the Washington Nationals had acquired veteran left-handed reliever Sean Burnett from the Minnesota Twins for cash considerations.  He will report to Triple-A Syracuse and provides a potentially intriguing piece of left-handed depth for Washington.

Many will remember Burnett from his previous stint in Washington from 2009-2012, when he established himself as one of the top lefties in the National League.  The Nationals acquired Burnett, along with Nyjer Morgan, in June 2009 from the Pittsburgh Pirates for Joel Hanrahan and Lastings Milledge.

Furthermore Burnett spent spring training with the Nationals this spring, but requested his release when he was told he would not make the Opening Day roster.  He has spent this season at Triple-A for the Braves, Dodgers and Twins, posting a 1.91 ERA and 28 strikeouts against 14 walks in 42.1 innings pitched.  Of note, Burnett has allowed only a .164/.203/.236 batting line over 55 at-bats against left-handed hitters this season.

Once one the top starting pitching prospects in baseball, early career injuries forced Burnett to reinvent himself as a reliever who combined good deception with a solid sinker, slider and changeup to get outs.  The 33-year-old rarely touches 90mph, but is productive because he limits his walks and hits allowed.

Typically a trade for Triple-A depth on an August Friday would go unnoticed, but this transaction has a chance to be impactful down the stretch.  Washington just lost LHP Sammy Solis to left-shoulder tendonitis, a particularly large concern considering his past shoulder injuries.  The other lefty in their bullpen, Oliver Perez, has struggled this season to a 5.61 ERA, 4.49 FIP and a .698 OPS allowed against lefties.  The Nationals have LHP Matt Grace on the 40-man roster and Nick Lee and Bryan Harper in the minor leagues, but might feel more comfortable turning to the veteran Burnett to get lefties out than that inexperienced trio.

If Burnett continues to get Triple-A hitters out the next 10 days or so, do not be surprised if he receives a promotion to Washington when rosters expand in September, or possibly before.  Every team needs bullpen depth in September, but the Nationals could particularly use additional arms to spell some veterans if they capture the division crowd with games to spare.

Another potential benefit of this deal is this could “rattle the cage” of Oliver Perez, who is under contract for next season.  This deal is the definition of a low-risk / medium reward trade and the potential benefit of Burnett have a two-month run of excellence, or Perez regaining his focus, is greater than parting with a small cash sum. Not all moves are major, but these are often the deals that separate mediocre front offices from the elite –  This is a good gamble for the Nationals.

THE NatsGM Show Live From SaberSeminar – Guest Kate Morrison

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THE NatsGM Show was at SaberSeminar 6 this past weekend and we were fortunate to catch up with Baseball Prospectus author Kate Morrison.

During our conversation, I ask Kate about her terrific 4-part article she co-wrote this summer about getting a job in baseball, the value of internships and the rise of hiring from the Ivy Leagues.  Next she gives her thoughts on the Texas Rangers, the moves they made at the trade deadline and their prospects of making the playoffs.  Finally, I ask her about Joey Gallo and his future as a major league hitter.

Thanks to Kate for sharing a few moments with us and to our sponsor, No Halftime and the No Halftime App.  Please Rate, Review and Subscribe to our show on iTunes – thanks for listening!

THE NatsGM Show – Live At SaberSeminar 6 with Rob Mains

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THE NatsGM Show shipped up to Boston this weekend for SaberSeminar and we are proud to have recorded a live episode with Baseball Prospectus author Rob Mains!

Rob and I discuss the recent Mark Melancon trade to Washington and the state of the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise both the rest of this season and in the future.  We then shift gears to talk about the usual situations surrounding Alex Rodriguez and Yasiel Puig.  Finally, Rob talks about Dave Dombrowski’s appearance at SaberSeminar 6 and some of the best moments from Day 1.

Special Thank You to Rob for joining the show and to our sponsor, No Halftime.  Please Rate, Review & Subscribe to our show on iTunes – Thank you for listening!