Author Topic: If we had signed Desmond  (Read 424 times)

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Online imref

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If we had signed Desmond
« Topic Start: January 13, 2022, 11:17:04 AM »
Another great article from Zuckerman on what could have been, but fortunately wasn't:

https://www.masnsports.com/nationals-pastime/2022/01/what-if-desmond-took-the-nationals-107-million-offer.html

Offline Elvir Ovcina

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Re: If we had signed Desmond
« Reply #1: January 13, 2022, 03:08:19 PM »
Another great article from Zuckerman on what could have been, but fortunately wasn't:

https://www.masnsports.com/nationals-pastime/2022/01/what-if-desmond-took-the-nationals-107-million-offer.html

Desmond's a good guy and a talented player who pretty clearly became satisfied with where his talent and initial approach were getting him and didn't seem inclined to give the extra effort to get to another level. 

That's fine and actually laudable on a societal level - there is such a thing as good enough, and when it involves getting paid the thick end of $100 million for a career, even better - but it's not cohesive to maximizing wins in a team sport.  He always seemed like a good player who had the talent to be a great player.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: If we had signed Desmond
« Reply #2: January 13, 2022, 03:25:49 PM »
Desmond's a good guy and a talented player who pretty clearly became satisfied with where his talent and initial approach were getting him and didn't seem inclined to give the extra effort to get to another level. 

That's fine and actually laudable on a societal level - there is such a thing as good enough, and when it involves getting paid the thick end of $100 million for a career, even better - but it's not cohesive to maximizing wins in a team sport.  He always seemed like a good player who had the talent to be a great player.
funny, but I always viewed him a limited player who maxxed out on his ingrained approach.  He got where he got by hacking, and that worked for a while until it didn't.  The base running stayed good long enough for some 20/20 seasons, which is a heck of an accomplishment.  His D was pretty good for a big shortstop but his hands were not great.  I don't think you train out of that.  I never had an expectation that he'd age well, and his O ended up better than I thought he was going to be.  TBH, I always thought Espinosa was going to surpass him.  Shows what I know.

Offline Mattionals

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Re: If we had signed Desmond
« Reply #3: January 13, 2022, 03:57:32 PM »
funny, but I always viewed him a limited player who maxxed out on his ingrained approach.  He got where he got by hacking, and that worked for a while until it didn't.  The base running stayed good long enough for some 20/20 seasons, which is a heck of an accomplishment.  His D was pretty good for a big shortstop but his hands were not great.  I don't think you train out of that.  I never had an expectation that he'd age well, and his O ended up better than I thought he was going to be.  TBH, I always thought Espinosa was going to surpass him.  Shows what I know.


I still think if Espinosa dropped batting lefty, his career would have been much longer. He had all the defensive prowess in the world, and his right handed swing was sublime. He was very stubborn to "try it out in ST" and then bail when the season came around. If he committed to being a solely right hander, he probably would have hit at least enough to be a long term regular and fringe all star just because of that defense. He could have been close to Andrelton Simmons.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: If we had signed Desmond
« Reply #4: January 13, 2022, 05:21:48 PM »

I still think if Espinosa dropped batting lefty, his career would have been much longer. He had all the defensive prowess in the world, and his right handed swing was sublime. He was very stubborn to "try it out in ST" and then bail when the season came around. If he committed to being a solely right hander, he probably would have hit at least enough to be a long term regular and fringe all star just because of that defense. He could have been close to Andrelton Simmons.
When he came up, he could draw a walk, which is why I had hope for his power / eye / speed / defense combo.  I would have been happy with .236 / .340 / .440+, stellar D, and keep you honest baserunning.

Offline nfotiu

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Re: If we had signed Desmond
« Reply #5: January 13, 2022, 07:22:36 PM »
When he came up, he could draw a walk, which is why I had hope for his power / eye / speed / defense combo.  I would have been happy with .236 / .340 / .440+, stellar D, and keep you honest baserunning.
I always thought Espinosa was the more talented player and was a lock to be a long term middle infielder here   I remember there was talk of an injury he was hiding or refusing surgery on or something.  I wonder if that was his downfall, or he just got they yips and spiraled into a career ending slump.   

Offline Senatorswin

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Re: If we had signed Desmond
« Reply #6: January 15, 2022, 08:10:44 PM »
I always thought Espinosa's downfall was he fell in love with the long ball. If he had realized he wasn't a home run hitter the way he played defense I think he could have been the Nats second baseman for a long time.

Offline Senatorswin

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Re: If we had signed Desmond
« Reply #7: January 15, 2022, 08:12:13 PM »
After the 2019 season it was who do the Nats sign, Strasburg or Rendon. Now it looks like they may have been better off to let them both walk.

Offline Slateman

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Re: If we had signed Desmond
« Reply #8: January 15, 2022, 10:47:57 PM »
After the 2019 season it was who do the Nats sign, Strasburg or Rendon. Now it looks like they may have been better off to let them both walk.
No. Rendon's injury isnt career ending nor chronic. Rendon also played the vast majority of the 2020 season and put up similar numbers. Unless that changes, I still would have much preferred Rendon.

Strasburg had an injury that already had a clock on it (TJS) and had a history of getting dinged up and being unable to be a steady part of the rotation. Until his contract year, Strasburg hadnt made 30 or more starts since 2014, and only once had made it above 25 starts. Dude was ALWAYS hurt. He was so often unable to pitch due to injury that prior to 2019, he made three postseason starts. The Nationals played 19 postseason games from 2012-2017, and Strasburg was only able to pitch in three of them.

If any other team had signed Strasburg to such a ludicrous deal, we would have mocked them.

Offline Senatorswin

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Re: If we had signed Desmond
« Reply #9: January 15, 2022, 11:54:26 PM »
No. Rendon's injury isnt career ending nor chronic. Rendon also played the vast majority of the 2020 season and put up similar numbers. Unless that changes, I still would have much preferred Rendon.

Strasburg had an injury that already had a clock on it (TJS) and had a history of getting dinged up and being unable to be a steady part of the rotation. Until his contract year, Strasburg hadnt made 30 or more starts since 2014, and only once had made it above 25 starts. Dude was ALWAYS hurt. He was so often unable to pitch due to injury that prior to 2019, he made three postseason starts. The Nationals played 19 postseason games from 2012-2017, and Strasburg was only able to pitch in three of them.

If any other team had signed Strasburg to such a ludicrous deal, we would have mocked them.

In his Nats last year Rendon led the league in doubles and RBI. In 2020 his first year with the Angels the only thing he led the league in was hitting into double plays. His BA went down 33 points and his slugging percentage went from .598 to .497. He's two years older coming into this year at 32 in June. He'll make 36 million this year and 2023 thru 2025 he'll make 38 million a year. That's more than Mike stinking Trout is going to make. Of course in 2021 he didn't give the Angels anything. He was bad before he got hurt. It looks like the Nats were lucky they didn't sign him.

Offline Slateman

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Re: If we had signed Desmond
« Reply #10: January 16, 2022, 08:32:29 AM »
In his Nats last year Rendon led the league in doubles and RBI. In 2020 his first year with the Angels the only thing he led the league in was hitting into double plays. His BA went down 33 points and his slugging percentage went from .598 to .497. He's two years older coming into this year at 32 in June. He'll make 36 million this year and 2023 thru 2025 he'll make 38 million a year. That's more than Mike stinking Trout is going to make. Of course in 2021 he didn't give the Angels anything. He was bad before he got hurt. It looks like the Nats were lucky they didn't sign him.
2019 wRC+: 155
2020: 153

Offline Natsinpwc

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Re: If we had signed Desmond
« Reply #11: January 16, 2022, 08:41:36 AM »
In his Nats last year Rendon led the league in doubles and RBI. In 2020 his first year with the Angels the only thing he led the league in was hitting into double plays. His BA went down 33 points and his slugging percentage went from .598 to .497. He's two years older coming into this year at 32 in June. He'll make 36 million this year and 2023 thru 2025 he'll make 38 million a year. That's more than Mike stinking Trout is going to make. Of course in 2021 he didn't give the Angels anything. He was bad before he got hurt. It looks like the Nats were lucky they didn't sign him.
They could have used the money saved on Strasburg/Rendon to sogn a few good players.  Now the result is tanking.  Oh well. 

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: If we had signed Desmond
« Reply #12: January 16, 2022, 10:54:04 AM »
2019 wRC+: 155
2020: 153
6th in fWAR in mlb for 2020. Better than Soto. Rendon 's gonna tail off, probably, by the end of his contract, but this  is a bounceback year and he's still one of the best players in baseball

Offline Senatorswin

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Re: If we had signed Desmond
« Reply #13: January 16, 2022, 11:24:44 AM »
2019 wRC+: 155
2020: 153

I don't know much about such things but if you look at all the Player Value batting statistics like WAR etc. he was an average player in 2020 and bad before he got hurt in 2021. All those stats are way down from 2019 to 2020. I like Rendon and he was a major reason the Nats won the world series but I'm also glad we're not strapped with his contract. If he had kept the same production he had when he was with the Nats his contract would have been worth, it but he hasn't so far.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: If we had signed Desmond
« Reply #14: January 16, 2022, 11:55:57 AM »
I don't know much about such things but if you look at all the Player Value batting statistics like WAR etc. he was an average player in 2020 and bad before he got hurt in 2021. All those stats are way down from 2019 to 2020.
you realize WAR is a counting stat, and the number he accumulated in 2020 was over a 60 game season, not 162? He was 6th in MLB for position players by fangraphs WAR in 2020. Behind friedman, betts, jose Ramirez, Trea Turner,and one other player, but ahead of Soto and I think Trout. He had a great first season with LAA.

Offline Slateman

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Re: If we had signed Desmond
« Reply #15: January 16, 2022, 01:48:34 PM »
I don't know much about such things but if you look at all the Player Value batting statistics like WAR etc. he was an average player in 2020 and bad before he got hurt in 2021. All those stats are way down from 2019 to 2020. I like Rendon and he was a major reason the Nats won the world series but I'm also glad we're not strapped with his contract. If he had kept the same production he had when he was with the Nats his contract would have been worth, it but he hasn't so far.
He was 6th in WAR in 2020 and had a .915 OPS. How is that "average?"

Offline Senatorswin

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Re: If we had signed Desmond
« Reply #16: January 16, 2022, 08:32:04 PM »
He was 6th in WAR in 2020 and had a .915 OPS. How is that "average?"

A blind man could see his performance fell off significantly from 2019 to 2020. He led the league in double plays, his average fell off significantly, his slugging fell off significantly. I don't need these stats to tell me what's already obvious but in 2019 his WAR was 7.1. In 2020 it was 2.2. I looked at a table and a WAR from 2-3 is a solid starter. At 3-4 would be a good player. WAR 1-2 is a role player. So at 2.2 Rendon was an average player. In 2021 before he got hurt he was bad. I hope he rebounds but so far the Nats are lucky they didn't decide to pay him 38 million a year.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: If we had signed Desmond
« Reply #17: January 16, 2022, 08:49:35 PM »
I don't need these stats to tell me what's already obvious but in 2019 his WAR was 7.1. In 2020 it was 2.2. I looked at a table and a WAR from 2-3 is a solid starter. At 3-4 would be a good player. WAR 1-2 is a role player. So at 2.2 Rendon was an average player.
you realize WAR is a counting stat, and the number he accumulated in 2020 was over a 60 game season, not 162? He was 6th in MLB for position players by fangraphs WAR in 2020. Behind friedman, betts, jose Ramirez, Trea Turner,and one other player, but ahead of Soto and I think Trout. He had a great first season with LAA.
at this point, I am reminded of something dcfan used to say. 

FWIW, you used Baseball Reference's WAR to get 2.2.  He was 19th in BWAR in 2020 among position players.  In 2019, he was 8th.  A fall off, but that 2.2 is close to 6 WAR over a full season on a per game basis.  That's a terrific player.  Oh, his OPS+, a rate stat, he was 20th.

Offline Natsinpwc

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Re: If we had signed Desmond
« Reply #18: January 16, 2022, 08:51:01 PM »
A blind man could see his performance fell off significantly from 2019 to 2020. He led the league in double plays, his average fell off significantly, his slugging fell off significantly. I don't need these stats to tell me what's already obvious but in 2019 his WAR was 7.1. In 2020 it was 2.2. I looked at a table and a WAR from 2-3 is a solid starter. At 3-4 would be a good player. WAR 1-2 is a role player. So at 2.2 Rendon was an average player. In 2021 before he got hurt he was bad. I hope he rebounds but so far the Nats are lucky they didn't decide to pay him 38 million a year.
WAR is a counting stat.  You cannot compare seasons without adjusting for the far fewer games in 2020. 

Offline Slateman

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Re: If we had signed Desmond
« Reply #19: January 16, 2022, 10:32:18 PM »
A blind man could see his performance fell off significantly from 2019 to 2020. He led the league in double plays, his average fell off significantly, his slugging fell off significantly. I don't need these stats to tell me what's already obvious but in 2019 his WAR was 7.1. In 2020 it was 2.2. I looked at a table and a WAR from 2-3 is a solid starter. At 3-4 would be a good player. WAR 1-2 is a role player. So at 2.2 Rendon was an average player. In 2021 before he got hurt he was bad. I hope he rebounds but so far the Nats are lucky they didn't decide to pay him 38 million a year.
It was a 2+ WAR in a 60 game season. What was the highest WAR in 2020 in all of baseball?

Offline Senatorswin

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Re: If we had signed Desmond
« Reply #20: January 16, 2022, 11:08:33 PM »
Just compare who Rendon was with the Nats and then with the Angels. He had a big drop from 2019 to 2020 and then again from 2020 to 2021 before he got hurt. It's clear. Not a guy I want to commit 38 million a year to.

Online imref

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Re: If we had signed Desmond
« Reply #21: January 16, 2022, 11:24:06 PM »
Long term big deals for guys in their 30s usually don’t work out well. We’ve had two exceptions to that rule.

Offline Natsinpwc

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Re: If we had signed Desmond
« Reply #22: January 17, 2022, 07:45:40 AM »
It was a 2+ WAR in a 60 game season. What was the highest WAR in 2020 in all of baseball?
His 2.2 WAR in 2020 equates to a 5.9 WAR in a normal year by my quick calculations.  A drop from 2019 but no one is going to sustain that level.  Except Ohtani and Soto maybe.  I think the risk is there for any player over 30.  Problem was they thought Kieboom could replace at least some of his production but has not.  The good news is the Lerners can save some money.  Which is the important thing. 

Offline Natsinpwc

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Re: If we had signed Desmond
« Reply #23: January 17, 2022, 07:46:42 AM »
Just compare who Rendon was with the Nats and then with the Angels. He had a big drop from 2019 to 2020 and then again from 2020 to 2021 before he got hurt. It's clear. Not a guy I want to commit 38 million a year to.
We get that.  Did you want to pay Strasburg all that money for basically zero production in 2020/21 and uncertainty going forward?  That seems even a bigger mistake.

Offline Slateman

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Re: If we had signed Desmond
« Reply #24: January 17, 2022, 08:00:25 AM »
Just compare who Rendon was with the Nats and then with the Angels. He had a big drop from 2019 to 2020 and then again from 2020 to 2021 before he got hurt. It's clear. Not a guy I want to commit 38 million a year to.
But he didnt. Hence the .900+ OPS and 150+ wRC+.