Before he will even start his second full MLB season, Anthony Rendon has already usurped former Gold Glove winner and Face of the Franchise Ryan Zimmerman as starting third baseman, led the National League’s best team in WAR, and finished top 5 in MVP voting. He’s done this all while playing half of those games at a brand new position. The only question that seems to remain for Rendon is whether he will be able to sustain this extraordinary level of success or whether he will fall victim to the dreaded sophomore slump.
With spring training upon us, I thought I would take stock of the club’s roster and how they got here. Take a look below at the Washington Nationals starters and how they ended up with the organization:
C Wilson Ramos - Traded for former closer Matt Capps
1B Ryan Zimmerman - No. 4 pick in the 2005 First Year Player Draft
2B Yunel Escobar - Traded for set-up man Tyler Clippard
SS Ian Desmond - Drafted in the third round of the 2004 First Year Player Draft
3B Anthony Rendon - No. 6 pick in the 2011 First Year Player Draft
CF Denard Span - Traded for hard throwing pitching prospect Alex Meyer
RF Jayson Werth - Free agent, signed a 7-year, $126 million contract in 2011
LF Bryce Harper - No. 1 pick in the 2010 First Year Player Draft
SP Max Scherzer - Free agent, signed a 7-year, $210 million contract in 2015
SP Stephen Strasburg - No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 First Year Player Draft
SP Jordan Zimmermann - Drafted in the second round of the 2007 First Year Player Draft
SP Doug Fister - Traded for prospects Steve Lombardozzi, Ian Kroll, and Robbie Ray
SP Gio Gonzlez - Traded for prospect A.J. Cole, Tommy Milone, Derek Norris, and Brad Peacock
SP Tanner Roark - Traded for Cristian Guzman
Six trades in which the Nats gave up Cristian Guzman, A.J. Cole (got him back), Tommy Milone, Derek Norris, Brad Peacock, Steve Lombardozzi, Ian Krol, Robbie Ray, Alex Meyer, Tyler Clippard, and Matt Capps. The Nats are +24 in WAR cumulative in those trades.
Two free-agent acquisitions, totaling $336 million over 14 seasons.
Six draft picks, including two No. 1 overall, four top-10 picks, one second round pick, and one third round pick.
Though far from official, the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros’ proposed Spring Training complex in Palm Beach County received a major endorsement on Wednesday. In a letter on his website, Governor Rick Scott announced that he was pleased with the project’s terms and was happy to reach an agreement to keep the two teams in Florida. More from Scott’s statement:
“Florida is proud to be the home of fifteen spring training teams, and we are excited to announce that the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros have chosen to stay in Florida for the next 30 years. Spring Training has helped to bring Florida families together, create jobs in our communities, and drive tourists to our state. Florida is undoubtedly the best state for baseball, and we look forward to many more years of Spring Training attracting visitors and creating opportunities for Florida families.”
Now Palm Beach County’s Legislative Delegation must push the project through Florida’s House and Senate. As noted here on Tuesday, environmental concerns surround the project, as the its construction currently violates state law because of its proximity to Damn M, a drinking water supply. Previous reports indicate that it is expected to pass through the legislative process, with Scott’s announcement signaling that it already has his approval. If all of the pieces fall into place, the Astros and the Nationals new facility will open in 2017.
Last week two major steps were taken to push the Washington Nationals’ and the Houston Astros’ proposed $135 million Spring Training complex in West Palm Beach toward becoming a reality. The first was the approval of a land swap between West Palm Beach and Palm Beach County that allows the county to take control of the 160-acre property slated for the facility. Within a matter of days, the county’s Legislative Delegation agreed to propose a modification to a state law that would loosen restrictions on where development can occur near area water supplies.
The Washington Nationals have released their 2015 Spring Training TV and Radio schedule, and it pretty closely mirrors what we saw in 2014. There will be seven games televised on MASN, one more than last year, with 10 games picked up by Charlie and Dave on the radio. Some of these broadcasts will overlap.
This list does not include games that are available from the opposing team’s broadcast affiliates. We will update the list with a new post and all that information when it is available for those that are MLB.tv subscribers who are interested in tuning into those broadcasts.
We rejoiced in the end of football season by digging into the Casey Janssen trade and the Nats bullpen. Then, we fought out who should win The Nats Blog’s writing competition to pick the best starting pitcher, and Craig talks about the exciting state of Nationals’ prospects.
This post is the final installment of a series we’ve been running here on The Nats Blog, debating which of the club’s stellar five (Sorry Roark) starting pitchers is actually the best. On Monday I made an argument that Max Scherzer was the team’s top hurler, only to be countered by Joe who on Tuesday claimed Stephen Strasburg was the best. Andrew made his arguments for Jordan Zimmermann on Wednesday, and Zach made a gallant effort on behalf of Gio Gonzalez yesterday.
Today, however, I will be debating the merits of Doug Fister. Doesn’t this mean that you are arguing against yourself you may be asking? Yes I am, deal with it. Continue reading…
On Monday, Will made the case for Max Scherzer as the Nationals’ best starter, followed by Joe’s argument for Stephen Strasburg on Tuesday and Andrew’s claim for Jordan Zimmermann on Wednesday. Now comes the moment readers of The Nats Blog have anxiously anticipated: the minor league guy is making a case for Gio Gonzalez.
Logically, Gonzalez is not better than Scherzer, Strasburg, or Zimmermann, and might not even stack up favorably to Doug Fister, whom Erin Flynn will discuss tomorrow. A typical season for Gonzalez features good strikeout numbers, but also a high walk rate and an ERA somewhere in the mid threes with an FIP that’s not too far off that mark. Those are good numbers, but unlikely to make him the Cy Young Award contender that Scherzer, Zimmermann, and/or Strasburg seem destined to be this year. Continue reading…
According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Nats have come to terms on a one-year, $5 million deal with former Blue Jays closer Casey Janssen.
Source: #Nationals sign free-agent reliever Casey Janssen, one year with mutual option, $5M guaranteed including option buyout.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 28, 2015
At the age of 32, Janssen saw his production decrease dramatically toward the end of last season. In 2012 and 2013 he averaged 28 saves with a 2.55 ERA, only to see the wheels fall off a bit in 2014 with a 3.94 ERA with 25 saves. In reality, things really seemed to fall apart in the second half of the season for the right-hander. Janssen posted 14 saves with a 1.23 ERA in the first half of 2014, but only 11 saves with a 6.46 ERA in the second half.
It’s unclear what specific role Janssen is expected to play in the Nats bullpen. As we discussed yesterday, there is some general ambiguity as to who will play what roles behind likely closer Drew Storen. I’m sure in a perfect world scenario for GM Mike Rizzo, Janssen regains his form of previous seasons and takes Tyler Clippard’s spot as the club’s set-up guy.
This post is the third installment in a series where The Nats Blog’s staffers will each stump for one arm from the Nats’ loaded rotation as the best of the bunch. Will made the case for Max Scherzer Monday, and Joe argued for Stephen Strasburg on Tuesday.
I hold my colleagues in the highest esteem, but I’m afraid they’re wrong here. Scherzer and Strasburg may be the bigger names, but Jordan Zimmermann is the best of the Nationals’ starters.