Author Topic: Sunshine Squad 2022 - It Can Only Get Better  (Read 966 times)

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Offline The Chief

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Re: Sunshine Squad 2022 - It Can Only Get Better
« Reply #25: August 03, 2022, 02:27:51 PM »
The reason this seems worse than 2008-09 is because it started from a much better place.  To get from a World Series win with several young, core pieces remaining to the present state in two seasons is pretty jarring.

The 2020 "season" made it very easy for me to divorce from MLB on a day-to-day basis.

Offline Mattionals

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Re: Sunshine Squad 2022 - It Can Only Get Better
« Reply #26: August 03, 2022, 02:29:22 PM »
Or it can just turn into a DC-located version of the Pirates.

When you trade stars for prospects, those prospects better hit at a high enough rate and to a high enough degree and get you into serious playoff contention.  Otherwise you're just in a perpetual rebuild.

The reason this seems worse than 2008-09 is because it started from a much better place.  To get from a World Series win with several young, core pieces remaining to the present state in two seasons is pretty jarring.  Yes, there's nowhere to go but up, but there's no guarantee the height of that rise is any more than mediocrity.


Yea, but that happens with any franchise. The smart way forward is not to just hope all these players pan out, but use the renewed prospect depth to develop some talent, possibly trade some prospects for other MLB ready pieces when the time comes, and supplement with FA signings where necessary. This is exactly what the Dodgers, Yankees, Cardinals, and any other team that we all wish the Nats were like, do.

Offline mimontero88

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Re: Sunshine Squad 2022 - It Can Only Get Better
« Reply #27: August 03, 2022, 02:29:28 PM »
Or it can just turn into a DC-located version of the Pirates.

When you trade stars for prospects, those prospects better hit at a high enough rate and to a high enough degree and get you into serious playoff contention.  Otherwise you're just in a perpetual rebuild.

The reason this seems worse than 2008-09 is because it started from a much better place.  To get from a World Series win with several young, core pieces remaining to the present state in two seasons is pretty jarring.  Yes, there's nowhere to go but up, but there's no guarantee the height of that rise is any more than mediocrity.
2008-09 was NOT a better place. We had Ryan Zimmerman. That was basically it. The farm was so bad, we were referring to John Lannan as our future ace. John freaking Lannan.

Here are our top 10 prospects from 2008 according to minorleagueball.com:

1. Chris Marrero
2. Ross Detwiler
3. Michael Burgess
4. Justin Maxwell
5. Jordan Zimmermann
6. Collin Balester
7. Josh Smoker
8. Adam Carr
9. John Lannan
10. Glenn Gibson

Of all those dudes, John Lannan managed to be an average pitcher for a few years. Zimmermann became a #2-3 guy, but again, only for a few years. And Ross Detwiler became a very adequate long reliever who basically just threw fastballs because his other pitches sucked. Everyone else sucked. We didn't get a single viable position player out of the entire system.

The farm system now is WAY better than the farm system was then, It's not even close. No one in that farm system contributed to the team winning a World Series.

Offline The Chief

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Re: Sunshine Squad 2022 - It Can Only Get Better
« Reply #28: August 03, 2022, 02:31:34 PM »
2008-09 was NOT a better place.

I don't think he was saying that, just that this feels extra crap by comparison.  We still had "baseball is back in DC!  New stadium!" vibes back then.

Offline mimontero88

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Re: Sunshine Squad 2022 - It Can Only Get Better
« Reply #29: August 03, 2022, 02:33:43 PM »
I don't think he was saying that, just that this feels extra crap by comparison.  We still had "baseball is back in DC!  New stadium!" vibes back then.
Ah, reread and realized what he was saying. Yeah, it definitely feels worse coming from the World Series, but we're in a better place to rebuild than we were back then and we still had a World Series caliber squad by 2012. While there isn't necessarily a back-to-back Strasburg and Harper coming this time, the larger farm system is still much healthier than it was back then so I'll still maintain what I said for some sunshiney perspective.

Offline Smithian

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Re: Sunshine Squad 2022 - It Can Only Get Better
« Reply #30: August 03, 2022, 02:34:06 PM »
I wouldn't expect any serious progress unless they start filling in the cavernous hole that now exists in the middle of their batting order, and I'm wondering how they intend to go about doing that. There is no one in the organization that remotely fits the bill, unless we're talking Voit and Joey Meneses, who btw homered in his mlb debut last night. Heavy hitting free agents cost money, and now that the Nats have basically become the Pittsburgh Pirates, I'm hard pressed to see them spending any.
In the interim, this is being run like a low budget club. I don't like it. It is what it is with ownership transition. But for second half of the 2010's, this club was in or close to the Top 5 of MLB payrolls regularly. And now we've had baseball reporters throw out price tags that could surpass the Mets record sale.

The Nationals aren't going to turn into the Dodgers, but it's ridiculous to think the club is permanently low dollar.

Offline van lingle mungo

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Re: Sunshine Squad 2022 - It Can Only Get Better
« Reply #31: August 03, 2022, 04:04:41 PM »
There is kinda a false assumption here that the Nats won't spend money forever. Sure, there is no reason for them to do it right this second, but that's fine. They can suck right now without much consequence as they rebuild/develop the farm. This is what a rebuild looks like. It's fine. In the long run, James Wood looks pretty promising to be the MOTO bat that we build around so there is someone in the organization even if he's not ready yet.

I'm not making any assumptions longterm. I'm just wondering what the lineup is going to look like moving forward, as Smithian seems to think that it might be a reasonable expectation to see serious progress soon. Wood and Harrell won't be ready for at least 2 years, assuming they are ever ready at all.

We've just witnessed a team go 35-69 with a 3/4/5 of Soto, Bell, and Cruz and no pitching to go with them. How ugly are things likely to get with no big bats AND no pitching? I don't even want to think about it.

Offline Elvir Ovcina

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Re: Sunshine Squad 2022 - It Can Only Get Better
« Reply #32: August 03, 2022, 04:09:50 PM »
2008-09 was NOT a better place.

Yes, that's exactly what I meant.  We were in a much better place for prior to this rebuild - and thus, the rebuild should be easier but in some ways more painful - than then.  The '08-'09 teams were a low bottom off a non-peak, as opposed to off a World Series peak.

Online HalfSmokes

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Re: Sunshine Squad 2022 - It Can Only Get Better
« Reply #33: August 03, 2022, 04:16:05 PM »
I'd like to see new ownership come in and sign a deal with some of our young players to lock them up through their arb years and maybe buy out a year or two of FA. I would love that to happen with Ruiz, but he is a Boras client, so forget that happening.

I'd love to see a new owner hold Boras clients in AAA right up until the day that they have to promote them or lose them to free agency. If you only get six years, you might as well try to line them up with peaks

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Sunshine Squad 2022 - It Can Only Get Better
« Reply #34: August 03, 2022, 04:45:57 PM »
Or it can just turn into a DC-located version of the Pirates.

When you trade stars for prospects, those prospects better hit at a high enough rate and to a high enough degree and get you into serious playoff contention.  Otherwise you're just in a perpetual rebuild.

The reason this seems worse than 2008-09 is because it started from a much better place.  To get from a World Series win with several young, core pieces remaining to the present state in two seasons is pretty jarring.  Yes, there's nowhere to go but up, but there's no guarantee the height of that rise is any more than mediocrity.

But I choose to believe in the optimistic case.  I think at least three of these dudes will be quite good.  I just hope it's all at the same time.
But for the last paragraph, this post really belongs in a Revival of the Legion of Doom thread.


However, as much as folks talk about how old the 2019 squad was, there was a core of Turner (team control 3 more years), Soto, an impressive Robles, plus the highly touted Kieboom, a successful Corbin, 2 years of Max, all before you get to whether you could extend the world series MVP or, longer shot, the guy who was a top 5  MLB WAR leader for 4 or 5 years.  Even the come down from 6/30/21, as Boz wrote, is spectacular.  At least there's no place left to go but up. When that happens and how far are the questions.

Offline mimontero88

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Re: Sunshine Squad 2022 - It Can Only Get Better
« Reply #35: August 04, 2022, 08:49:58 AM »
I'm not making any assumptions longterm. I'm just wondering what the lineup is going to look like moving forward, as Smithian seems to think that it might be a reasonable expectation to see serious progress soon. Wood and Harrell won't be ready for at least 2 years, assuming they are ever ready at all.

We've just witnessed a team go 35-69 with a 3/4/5 of Soto, Bell, and Cruz and no pitching to go with them. How ugly are things likely to get with no big bats AND no pitching? I don't even want to think about it.
It's gonna be a bumpy ride for a bit. After years of being a perennial winner, I can see where that's hard to swallow for some, but it's a part of baseball if you aren't a luxury tax team. You're going to lose players and have to rebuild from time to time. A lot of us managed to stay fans in the dark days from 2005-2010 (not 2011, the 2011 team showed signs of where we were heading). There are other things to keep you entertained in the meantime. September callups are way more exciting when the team is bad. Following the prospects is a lot more fun. I would rather we win the World Series every year too, but it's not like losing teams don't also have intrigue.

Offline PowerBoater69

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Re: Sunshine Squad 2022 - It Can Only Get Better
« Reply #36: August 04, 2022, 09:18:37 AM »
2008-09 was NOT a better place. We had Ryan Zimmerman. That was basically it. The farm was so bad, we were referring to John Lannan as our future ace. John freaking Lannan.

Here are our top 10 prospects from 2008 according to minorleagueball.com:

1. Chris Marrero
2. Ross Detwiler
3. Michael Burgess
4. Justin Maxwell
5. Jordan Zimmermann
6. Collin Balester
7. Josh Smoker
8. Adam Carr
9. John Lannan
10. Glenn Gibson

Of all those dudes, John Lannan managed to be an average pitcher for a few years. Zimmermann became a #2-3 guy, but again, only for a few years. And Ross Detwiler became a very adequate long reliever who basically just threw fastballs because his other pitches sucked. Everyone else sucked. We didn't get a single viable position player out of the entire system.

The farm system now is WAY better than the farm system was then, It's not even close. No one in that farm system contributed to the team winning a World Series.

The 2008-2009 teams had one big advantage, near $0 in future guaranteed contracts. Only Guzman had a guaranteed deal beyond the current year and that was two years for $8 million per year if I remember correctly. The Nats had the least amount of future payroll commitments in MLB. This is what allowed Rizzo to go on a spending spree that led to the playoff run.

Offline Mattionals

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Re: Sunshine Squad 2022 - It Can Only Get Better
« Reply #37: August 04, 2022, 09:32:40 AM »
The 2008-2009 teams had one big advantage, near $0 in future guaranteed contracts. Only Guzman had a guaranteed deal beyond the current year and that was two years for $8 million per year if I remember correctly. The Nats had the least amount of future payroll commitments in MLB. This is what allowed Rizzo to go on a spending spree that led to the playoff run.


Assuming that Stras and Corbin's contracts right now are somehow financial albatrosses is just hyperbole. There are too many holes to fill with just money alone, and by the time the (hopeful) cream rises to the top of all these prospects, Corbin will be off the books and Strasburg won't matter much. Sure, dead money is dead money, and we will know soon enough if the new owners are cheap or willing to spend. It will come down to how the handle the Strasburg contract IMO. If they purchased a franchise knowing that Strasburg is an immovable sunk cost, then cry fowl that they can't add payroll because of it, they are firmly in the "cheap" category. It's not some hidden cost, Strasburg's financial paper weight is firmly attached to the organization and is also well known.

Offline mimontero88

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Re: Sunshine Squad 2022 - It Can Only Get Better
« Reply #38: August 04, 2022, 09:33:10 AM »
The 2008-2009 teams had one big advantage, near $0 in future guaranteed contracts. Only Guzman had a guaranteed deal beyond the current year and that was two years for $8 million per year if I remember correctly. The Nats had the least amount of future payroll commitments in MLB. This is what allowed Rizzo to go on a spending spree that led to the playoff run.
Our future commitments aren't great, but they're not crippling either. Our rebuild most optimistically makes us competitive around the middle of this decade. By then, Corbin and Strasburg will be off the books or close to it and Scherzer will only eat up $15 million a year for a few more years.

Offline Smithian

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Re: Sunshine Squad 2022 - It Can Only Get Better
« Reply #39: August 04, 2022, 09:40:38 AM »
The 2008-2009 teams had one big advantage, near $0 in future guaranteed contracts. Only Guzman had a guaranteed deal beyond the current year and that was two years for $8 million per year if I remember correctly. The Nats had the least amount of future payroll commitments in MLB. This is what allowed Rizzo to go on a spending spree that led to the playoff run.
I don't think the salary situation is completely screwed here.

They only have two more years or Corbin. No one thinks they're spending for next year's team. And if everything breaks right and they want to spend in 2024, Corbin won't cripple them. His deferred salary is negligible.

Strasburg contract is an abject disaster. With deferred money, it is ~$25 million a year through '29. It sucks. But if we have the luck of some prospects popping and the Nationals actually should be trying to contend, the payroll should be at $175-$200 million. The Strasburg contract is a disaster, but a serious ownership group would still be able to spend quite a bit.

Offline PowerBoater69

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Re: Sunshine Squad 2022 - It Can Only Get Better
« Reply #40: August 04, 2022, 09:45:53 AM »
Our future commitments aren't great, but they're not crippling either. Our rebuild most optimistically makes us competitive around the middle of this decade. By then, Corbin and Strasburg will be off the books or close to it and Scherzer will only eat up $15 million a year for a few more years.

Not insurmountable, but a big negative compared to 2009 when we had no money committed, with Zim, JZ, Desmond, and Espinosa in the system. Guzman playing well enough to return Roark in a trade, and added Stras and Storen in the draft. The core of the 98 win 2012 team was in place with an unlimited budget to fill in the gaps.

Offline Smithian

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Re: Sunshine Squad 2022 - It Can Only Get Better
« Reply #41: August 04, 2022, 09:49:22 AM »
Not insurmountable, but a big negative compared to 2009 when we had no money committed, with Zim, JZ, Desmond, and Espinosa in the system. Guzman playing well enough to return Roark in a trade, and added Stras and Storen in the draft. The core of the 98 win 2012 team was in place with an unlimited budget to fill in the gaps.
That's fair.

I think it says something that Rizzo wasn't going to attach Corbin with Soto or Bell. If he was desperate to shed payroll, someone would have taken on Corbin money in return for holding onto a prospect in a trade. Maybe Rizzo looks at our salary structure and doesn't consider that Corbin and Strasburg money as significant after how much has been shed past two deadlines.

Offline mimontero88

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Re: Sunshine Squad 2022 - It Can Only Get Better
« Reply #42: August 04, 2022, 10:56:35 AM »
Not insurmountable, but a big negative compared to 2009 when we had no money committed, with Zim, JZ, Desmond, and Espinosa in the system. Guzman playing well enough to return Roark in a trade, and added Stras and Storen in the draft. The core of the 98 win 2012 team was in place with an unlimited budget to fill in the gaps.
Yeah, it's certainly not ideal, but because it isn't insurmountable, I'd rather be where we are now with a top 10 farm system than where we were in 2008. Certainly, Zim, JZ, and Desmond were helpful pieces in 2012, but really the core of that team also included a lot of players who weren't there in 2008 yet - Strasburg (even though they shut him down), Harper, Werth, Morse, Gio, etc., were all big pieces for us that year that weren't there in 2008.

Offline mimontero88

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Re: Sunshine Squad 2022 - It Can Only Get Better
« Reply #43: August 04, 2022, 10:58:17 AM »
The 2012 team's payroll was under $100 million. If new ownership is willing to spend up to the tax to win, we won't have a problem signing free agents assuming a few of the new prospects pan out since they will all be cost controlled while we're still paying dudes their deferred money.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Sunshine Squad 2022 - It Can Only Get Better
« Reply #44: August 04, 2022, 11:13:32 AM »
The 2012 team's payroll was under $100 million. If new ownership is willing to spend up to the tax to win, we won't have a problem signing free agents assuming a few of the new prospects pan out since they will all be cost controlled while we're still paying dudes their deferred money.
I'd think they could go with a strategy where they were willing to give out 1-3 year contracts to vets would not hold back or block the prospects with ETAs in '23-'25.  There just aren't that many of them.  There's still no 3rd baseman before 2025 even if you move House to 3rd and he hits a normal progression from low A to the majors.  well, there's Jake Alu, but the point is a bit of spending on not the top tier FAs can make for a palatable professional product. 

Online Natsinpwc

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Re: Sunshine Squad 2022 - It Can Only Get Better
« Reply #45: August 04, 2022, 11:16:51 AM »
I'd think they could go with a strategy where they were willing to give out 1-3 year contracts to vets would not hold back or block the prospects with ETAs in '23-'25.  There just aren't that many of them.  There's still no 3rd baseman before 2025 even if you move House to 3rd and he hits a normal progression from low A to the majors.  well, there's Jake Alu, but the point is a bit of spending on not the top tier FAs can make for a palatable professional product.
We don’t have the many prospects on the way. But should be easy! 

Online HalfSmokes

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Re: Sunshine Squad 2022 - It Can Only Get Better
« Reply #46: August 04, 2022, 11:33:02 AM »
The 2012 team's payroll was under $100 million. If new ownership is willing to spend up to the tax to win, we won't have a problem signing free agents assuming a few of the new prospects pan out since they will all be cost controlled while we're still paying dudes their deferred money.

If we had prospects who panned out, we wouldn't have to fill so many holes with free agents. The bright side is we have a shot at a top pick, and taking consensus top picks is where Rizzo shines. Hopefully the new owners get a new GM to run the draft. 

Offline bluestreak

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Re: Sunshine Squad 2022 - It Can Only Get Better
« Reply #47: August 04, 2022, 11:59:00 AM »
If we had prospects who panned out, we wouldn't have to fill so many holes with free agents. The bright side is we have a shot at a top pick, and taking consensus top picks is where Rizzo shines. Hopefully the new owners get a new GM to run the draft.

He shines at following consensus. What exactly is his value add, lol?

Offline Smithian

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Re: Sunshine Squad 2022 - It Can Only Get Better
« Reply #48: August 04, 2022, 12:04:18 PM »
He shines at following consensus. What exactly is his value add, lol?
Rendon was a risky pick. Scherzer was a big get that turned out better than we could have dreamed. Turner was a steal. Murphy was a great signing. Jayson Werth was a good risk to take.

He constantly fond guys like Howie Kendrick, Stephen Drew, Kurt Suzuki, Matt Adams, Doug Fister, and Chad Tracy who came in and filled roles.

It isn't like he sat on his ass and let Harper and Strasburg carry the show.

Offline mimontero88

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Re: Sunshine Squad 2022 - It Can Only Get Better
« Reply #49: August 04, 2022, 12:24:43 PM »
Rendon was a risky pick. Scherzer was a big get that turned out better than we could have dreamed. Turner was a steal. Murphy was a great signing. Jayson Werth was a good risk to take.

He constantly fond guys like Howie Kendrick, Stephen Drew, Kurt Suzuki, Matt Adams, Doug Fister, and Chad Tracy who came in and filled roles.

It isn't like he sat on his ass and let Harper and Strasburg carry the show.
This. The man turned Matt Capps into Wilson Ramos. He turned Ryan Langerhans into Michael Morse. It's kinda amazing how many of these moves he not only got right, but totally nailed. These smaller moves are less obvious, and they're the difference between being a good team and being a great team.