Poll

Wood and Cavalli are with the Nats & we hold 3rd WC by a game on 7/23. What should the Nats do?

Tank! Sell any vet not under control after 2025. Restock. Target is a long term rebuild.
5 (18.5%)
Selective selling of FAs you can replace internally. E.g., Floro for Ribalta, Law for Ferrer, etc...
10 (37%)
Promote appropriately but otherwise hold tight and give the squad a chance.
8 (29.6%)
Try a Candelario trade in reverse to plug a weakness (1B) - say Made and Rutledge
3 (11.1%)
Go for it. Lots of CFs coming. Trade a Lile / Hassell / Vaquero and go for WC.
1 (3.7%)

Total Members Voted: 27

Voting closed: June 30, 2024, 12:27:53 PM

Author Topic: Change of plans - At what point would you push for a wild card in 2024?  (Read 14006 times)

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Online JCA-CrystalCity

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At what point should this team ad lib and go for the playoffs?

If this team stays close to .500 for a bit more time, you wonder if they chase a middling record and a wild card slot by calling up Wood, not dealing Winker or relievers, and by cutting deadwood like Rosario? Does that happen a week or two into May? What if they are 2 games out at the ASB? Do you stick to the plan regardless?

I don't think Rizzo would be opposed to changing plans at some point if there were an opportunity. Remember in 2021, there were the two July paths: add if they were contending and sell if not. You wonder if they would stick to the plan or improvise?

By the way, this all is likely to become moot when they play to their talent level and drift to 5 games under .500 and then further. This could all be moot by the end of this home stand if the chalk holds and they lose 3 or 4 out of the next 4, or really at any point when they have a sustained losing streak. But, what if the improbable happens again to Davey's team and they aren't falling apart?


Online nobleisthyname

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Re: Re: Re: Nationals vs Astros, Game 2
« Reply #1: April 21, 2024, 07:54:29 AM »
I think they have to commit to one final tank year. One thing that's been discussed by the talking heads at Fangraphs is how big the cluster of teams in the 80-85 projected win range is. It's a fairly significant outlier season in that regard and a lot of teams that have playoff aspirations on paper will end up disappointed.

The Nationals are of course not one of those teams and are projected for a bottom-5 record. Even if these early successes are real, it's hard to imagine the Nats not only entering that giant cluster of middling+ teams but rising to the top of them and making the playoffs. Keeping Winker, Thomas, Harvey, and Finnegan (and maybe Williams?) past July would be a mistake in my opinion.

Edit: Also the larger group of playoff contenders would mean a larger pool of potential buyers and a smaller pool of sellers, which would be good for the Nats should they end up as sellers.

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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Ah, Fangraphs. FWIW, below is a link to their playoff odds for the NLE.

https://www.wnff.net/index.php?topic=41322.msg2314137#msg2314137

If you look at the bottom axis, at near 0%, then you'll notice what seems to be a near flat red line. Those are the Nats playoff odds. But if you are a pure sunshine fan, you can hover at the start of the graph and see the Nats odds were 0.2%, and then hover over the end of the graph and see the odds are  0.4%. Double!!!!

Online Slateman

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This team has a 0% chance of a wild card. To even sniff it, this team would have to add some pretty significant pieces. Like one of Paul Blackburn/Jesús Luzardo and one of Pete Alonso/Luis Arraez/Jonathan India. And Rizzo isnt going to give up three years of a rebuild for one wild card spot.

Stay the course, sell at the deadline.

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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For me, my sense is you don't mess with Wood's development. If you think the dude is ready for the Dodgers series, then you bring him up this week and let the team play. If you think it is best for his development to hold off and keep him at AAA until mid-May, then you do so. If his play continues at the level of his spring and the start of AAA, then I don't think he has to be held back to the end of June, the ASB, August 1 (after the trade deadline), or late August (RotY eligible for 2025), but if the Nats think that is the right way to develop him, then that's what the team should do no matter the griping we are gonna do.

I think the rest of the season keys off how they are performing with Wood up. does he provide the increment to keep them near the wild card contention around the ASB. If yes, then I don't sell the relievers and likely not Winker or Thomas. I maybe even see if the equivalent of Made and Herz can bring a Candelario back, and consider whether a Crews could back fill for Thomas or Winker so they can be dealt.

To my thinking, I'm open to being surprised on the upside, but am unwilling to make a move to help the upside until much later. The only improvement to the roster I would do earlier would be to add Wood if he's ready, and I'd do that with no regard for how it impacts the team's projections. Strictly a development call.

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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This team has a 0% chance of a wild card. To even sniff it, this team would have to add some pretty significant pieces. Like one of Paul Blackburn/Jesús Luzardo and one of Pete Alonso/Luis Arraez/Jonathan India. And Rizzo isnt going to give up three years of a rebuild for one wild card spot.

Stay the course, sell at the deadline.
0.4% :)

I don't see making the kind of moves you say it would take. However, it's easier to upgrade a negative WAR position (that is, upgrade from a giant pile of poo) by bringing in an average player than it is to upgrade from an average position to a star. As my post above suggest, Made and Herz were the price for Candelario, so I don't see needing to spend much more to upgrade at, say 3B, DH, or 1B, if one of your line up has one giant black hole. Rotation I think is dependent on surprises, but if Gore / Williams /Irvin continue to defy gravity and Gray comes back as a 4.5 ERA inning eater, they would be in a position where just removing Corbin from the rotation is an upgrade worth a few wins.

A Wood call up has the potential to be a 3 or more win improvement over our current outfield. He would replace either the CF in CF or perhaps allow dropping one of Meneses or Gallo from every day (or both into a
<------- ).
Assuming he plays at about the level of one of last year's top rookies (not Gunnar, not Carroll, but say Josh Jung to James Outman range), he'd be around a 3.2 fWAR player. The Nats have gotten 0 WAR out of the Dh/1B combo and only 0.1 out CF, so you'd figure adding Wood and reducing somebody else's playing time would add about 2-3 wins if Wood can come in and play at the top of his class.

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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It may not be smart, but i think Rizzo is very willing not to deal players with another year of control. That's essentially the story of the 2023 deadline. Thomas, Finnegan, and Harvey stuck around because the price wasn't right. I could definitely see him taking a pass if the team is not out of contention at the deadline.

Online welch

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As best I read their contract statuses, Thomas, Finnegan, Harvey, and Rainey are all under team control and arb eligible next year. Why not keep them, and go all out in 2025? Thomas is pretty good, and good 8th-9th inning relievers are rare. (Rainey was throwing 95 mph yesterday, so maybe he's getting stronger.)

Winker might be the only player good enough to be flipped. No team wants Corbin. Gallo seems unlikely, and so does Robles.

Meanwhile, I am enjoying every win, and looking forward to seeing Cavalli and Rutledge in the rotation.

Offline IanRubbish

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No chance this team is a buyer, that implies spending more.

They're also dead last in the NL in runs scored, which is not surprising with half the lineup struggling to hit .200.   This is a bargain bin assembly of players.  Let's just hope Mini Me continues to pay to have the Screech costume washed on a regular basis, and doesn't get into a fight with the District over who's responsible for replacing urinal cakes in the men's bathrooms.

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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I could see this team having 5 positions filled by players on a 2 war or better pace or by a callup who should play at that level (Abrams, Garcia, Winker, Wood, and the pair of catchers). There still would be DH, 1b, RF, and 3rd base. If 2 of those players turn their seasons around (say, Thomas and Senzel), it's not that tough to patch 1 more spot without impacting the system. The patch might even be from AA.

I agree they don't trade a top 10 prospect*, but they don't have to.

* yoyo could become tradeable if House locks down 3rd. The easiest spot to get by without a prospect is 1B.

Offline IanRubbish

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The patch might even be from AA

Stone Garrett's coming along in Harrisburg and should be up within the next 10 days or so to replace Rosario.

3B is an issue because Senzel is doing nothing to earn the job, but keeps getting starts.  Kieboom, Lipscomb, any number of AA/AAA players deserve a shot over him.  Then there's the Gallo debacle.

I just don't see this org putting out the best lineup it can, but playing the contract, especially with duds like Senzel and Gallo.

There is also a weird situation with Lane where he's not getting XBHs, but is 9/10 stealing bases.  He'll come around, but he's using his feet to make up for a slumping bat, which is good, and why he's not in the same category as Senzel and Gallo.

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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Senzel has played a week. 1/4, 1/4, 0/4, and 1/4 in his starts. I don't see much but you have to give him 50+ PAs to start to guage his first predictive stats. Would you rather play Vargas?

Offline IanRubbish

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Senzel has played a week. 1/4, 1/4, 0/4, and 1/4 in his starts. I don't see much but you have to give him 50+ PAs to start to guage his first predictive stats. Would you rather play Vargas?

Senzel should never have been signed, Boras did a sales job on our fine exec leadership.  There's no reason for him to be here, especially with weak hitting stats.  Vargas should be a backup for younger players, especially with Kieboom, Baker, and Lipscomb in the system, and House on the way.   

Getting pitchers to stop doing the Hickey Shuffle should be the top priority, and that's definitely been improving the last week or so.  After that, lineup construction really has to improve.  This team is showing some promise, but it would be a lot more promising if they just played the best players available.

Online imref

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I'm not bothered by the Senzel signing. It's not like we have any other options at third and it didn't make sense to sign a big name who would have blocked House. The reports were that the team was trying to bring back Candelario.

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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by the way, the idea here is not what do you think is the best thing to do on 4/21/24, what you think is the most likely course of the season, or what will the team do.

The idea is, what scenario would change you to a "we should not sell any veteran for anything we can get at any time before the deadline, and we should not be managing prospect time in the majors based on keeping control of our better prospects for the most years of team control even if it means keeping a guy a bit longer than you would if you worried about your record."

To get really extreme, suppose Mitchell Parker continues to pitch like his first couple of starts and Gore / Williams /Irvin keep pitching well, and this team finds a way through the current roster plus Wood to score enough runs to actually being in wild card position at the all star break, would you still deal all the veteran talent you can at the deadline even if it means dropping from the wild card chase?

Offline Smithian

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If after 50 games this team is around .500, I’m open to the front office getting a bit frisky at the deadline.

But it is too early for major moves. I’m talking an extra bench hat or middle reliever. Not trying to find a starter.

The Nationals will have salary flexibility this offseason. I’d rather not trade assets when we have salary space. We’ll, assuming the Lerners will put any money in.

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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If after 50 games this team is around .500, I’m open to the front office getting a bit frisky at the deadline.

But it is too early for major moves. I’m talking an extra bench hat or middle reliever. Not trying to find a starter.

The Nationals will have salary flexibility this offseason. I’d rather not trade assets when we have salary space. We’ll, assuming the Lerners will put any money in.
even if they are in the WC chase, I don't trade a top 10 minor leaguer. The moves I'd do is maybe bring up Crews or House if they could do what Zim did in 2005, or possibly move some of the mid-teen guys in a package similar to Herz / Made were for the Cubs in order to get a Candelario equivalent in the corner infield.

Offline IanRubbish

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If after 50 games this team is around .500, I’m open to the front office getting a bit frisky at the deadline.

Please remember that our principal owner has had some serious health issues, and is neither prepared to be risky, nor frisky, at the deadline or any other point in the season.   You can increase his lifespan by offering to hire some scouts, or at least by setting up a fund that will pay for the bat boy's uniform for the remainder of the season.

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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Please remember that our principal owner has had some serious health issues, and is neither prepared to be risky, nor frisky, at the deadline or any other point in the season.   You can increase his lifespan by offering to hire some scouts, or at least by setting up a fund that will pay for the bat boy's uniform for the remainder of the season.
A bit cruel to joke about his health, imo

Offline IanRubbish

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A bit cruel to joke about his health, imo

I don't respect him, don't like what he's done to the fanbase, and don't care. 

He inherited a couple billion and squeezes pennies like no one's business.  He's got weak character, and that's on him to fix, not me.

I'll add he and his family have been feeding us BS PR since they bought the team and treat us like fools who are supposed to blindly follow whatever garbage Stan Kasten, and now Rizzo, throw at us regarding rebuilds, reboots, plans, 8-10 year championship runs, etc.  It's disgraceful and they should be embarrassed for the lack of pride they've taken in the product.  But no amount of money in their pockets can overcome the weakness in their souls. 

Offline GataNats

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I think the most prudent move would be to try to move Williams asap to these contenders with starting pitching issues.   We all know he’s going to turn into a pumpkin. 

Offline MorseTheHorse

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what a silly thread

Offline MorseTheHorse

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"To get really extreme, suppose Mitchell Parker continues to pitch like his first couple of starts and Gore / Williams /Irvin keep pitching well, and this team finds a way through the current roster plus Wood to score enough runs to actually being in wild card position at the all star break, would you still deal all the veteran talent you can at the deadline even if it means dropping from the wild card chase?"

Yes


Offline Natsinpwc

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Pirates were 16-7 at this time last year.  Hold those horses until at least mid May.