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 14004 times)

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Offline Slateman

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Since we are in the 3rd wild card position, the question is at what point should the Nats try to stay there?
No change in my thinking.


Offline BigMeech

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They should absolutely not go out of their way to push for a wildcard spot at this stage.  If the team makes a push as it is currently assembled then fine.  But the Nats should under no circumstances try and trade any worthwhile prospects for a half-season rental.  The rebuild seems to be going mostly according to plan and Rizzo should stay the course.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Of course, we aren't "all in" like the runs in 2014/2016/2017/2019 and shouldn't be, but I would not say there's no value in a stretch drive for entry into the tournament for a team and a fan base that has no experience there. And reality says there's not even a 1% chance that we are in a position to even try for that run near the trade deadline.

All that said, were we, say, the 3rd wild card team at the ASB, would you consider trading, say, an Andry Lara and a Kevin Made for a Jeimer Candelario type of upgrade at 1st base or 3rd? Or would you still say that you would not change your mind? Would you maybe be quicker to promote Dylan Crews (especially if you deal Lane Thomas) rather than save RotY eligibility for 2025? Would you be less inclined to deal Finnegan / Harvey / Floro / Thomas / Winker / Senzel and, if they are playing well, Rosario and Gallo?

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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They should absolutely not go out of their way to push for a wildcard spot at this stage.  If the team makes a push as it is currently assembled then fine.  But the Nats should under no circumstances try and trade any worthwhile prospects for a half-season rental.  The rebuild seems to be going mostly according to plan and Rizzo should stay the course.
OK, so playing the game, you might not deal some vets at the deadline were we actually in competition at the trade deadline.

Online nobleisthyname

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Of course, we aren't "all in" like the runs in 2014/2016/2017/2019 and shouldn't be, but I would not say there's no value in a stretch drive for entry into the tournament for a team and a fan base that has no experience there. And reality says there's not even a 1% chance that we are in a position to even try for that run near the trade deadline.

All that said, were we, say, the 3rd wild card team at the ASB, would you consider trading, say, an Andry Lara and a Kevin Made for a Jeimer Candelario type of upgrade at 1st base or 3rd? Or would you still say that you would not change your mind? Would you maybe be quicker to promote Dylan Crews (especially if you deal Lane Thomas) rather than save RotY eligibility for 2025? Would you be less inclined to deal Finnegan / Harvey / Floro / Thomas / Winker / Senzel and, if they are playing well, Rosario and Gallo?

Personally, I would be very much opposed to trading even mid-level prospects like the two you mentioned for a Candelario type upgrade. As for trading vets, I would still be inclined to sell, but probably would expect a higher return and hold onto them if the value wasn't there. Orioles trading Jorge López and Trey Mancini in 2022 is a decent comp for this scenario. I thought that was the right move for them.

Online Smithian

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I'm still against going out and spending capital to get players. Right now, they'd probably be trying to find a 3B and corner OF. Both those spots we have major prospects knocking on the door.

If pickups are made, it should be bringing on salary and trading out spare AAAA parts. Nothing of future value.

Offline Count Walewski

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I would still sell any contract expiring in 2024 or 2025 at the deadline to the highest bidder. I assign a fairly low value to getting the lowest wildcard spot and a very very low value to remaining in contention for it.

The worst thing you can be in MLB is mediocre. You want to be very bad and then very good.

Offline BigMeech

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OK, so playing the game, you might not deal some vets at the deadline were we actually in competition at the trade deadline.

It would depend how close we are.  If we're somehow a few games over .500 as the deadline approaches and it seems like the wildcard might be attainable with 83 or so wins, then I wouldn't be mad at Rizzo and company if they decided to see if the team, as assembled, could clinch a playoff spot.  Granted, if this were to come to pass, it would probably mean that a lot of the guys that we signed with the intention to trade them at the deadline were playing above what was expected and could fetch above their initial respected return at the deadline if we sold high on them.

I wouldn't be mad if they still sold at the deadline despite being in the aforementioned hypothetical position since it would be better for the long-term future, but I could see it pissing off a lot of fans considering it's been five years since we were in the playoffs.  My main concern is them trading prospects to pursue the wildcard, which would be extremely dumb and short-sighted. 

I don't think we really lose anything by not dealing the veterans if we're solidly in the wildcard race.  Worst case we miss out on a few mid-tier prospects that probably won't make any real impact with the major league club, if at all.  If a desperate team wows Rizzo with a trade offer, then you take it despite the record. 

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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there will be a shot to sell Finny, Harvey, and Thomas next year. Chancy, of course, because relievers can blow an arm or simply turn into a toad. As for Thomas, let's see  how he is. We may have blown it by not taking what we could last year.
Personally, I would be very much opposed to trading even mid-level prospects like the two you mentioned for a Candelario type upgrade. As for trading vets, I would still be inclined to sell, but probably would expect a higher return and hold onto them if the value wasn't there. Orioles trading Jorge López and Trey Mancini in 2022 is a decent comp for this scenario. I thought that was the right move for them.
The bold is probably right. Maybe Crews or Hassell can make a Winker split less painful if we were in it. I assume Wood will be up already. Williams will be gone if he's pitching like he is now.

Offline imref

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Talknats says a source told them that the Nats have money to spend at the deadline if they feel it's appropriate:

https://www.talknats.com/2024/05/09/the-nats-have-beaten-baseballs-best-lessons-to-be-learned/

Offline Five Banners

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Talknats says a source told them that the Nats have money to spend at the deadline if they feel it's appropriate:

https://www.talknats.com/2024/05/09/the-nats-have-beaten-baseballs-best-lessons-to-be-learned/

Just like they had money in the off-season to fulfill the stated goal of acquiring a starter?

Offline imref

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Just like they had money in the off-season to fulfill the stated goal of acquiring a starter?
i'm kind of glad they didn't acquire a starter.

And it's entirely possible they had money to spend but couldn't find anyone worth the cost.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Talknats says a source told them that the Nats have money to spend at the deadline if they feel it's appropriate:

https://www.talknats.com/2024/05/09/the-nats-have-beaten-baseballs-best-lessons-to-be-learned/
so i guess salary dump bats might be on the table. As long as nothing meaningful goes out the door, I am OK with that.

Offline IanRubbish

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Talknats says a source told them that the Nats have money to spend at the deadline if they feel it's appropriate:

https://www.talknats.com/2024/05/09/the-nats-have-beaten-baseballs-best-lessons-to-be-learned/

Spend money on what?  New chairs for the ball girls?  Getting Screech a city connect jersey that fits him?

 

Offline 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!!!!
up to 1.3%!

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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I'm not insulted - I think for the most part these are smart decisions. Whether the 2024 Nationals win 70 or 80 games is irrelevant - and in fact it would be better to win 70 games because of draft position. The relevant question is what decisions maximize the chances of the Nationals becoming good again in the near future and having a lengthy window of contention at some point in the late 2020's?

Manipulating the contract time of top prospects and playing guys who might be midyear trade candidates is exactly the right thing to do with that goal in mind. And thanks to the pioneering work of 76'ers fans last decade, most fans now trust the process and realize that. Or at least more did than before.

I'm a White Sox and Nationals fan (these are dark times for me) and the Nationals are in a far stronger position despite the results on the field this week. The Nationals have help coming from the minors very soon and an owner with a willingness to spend on big money FAs. Let's not get distracted by the ins-and-outs of a season whose primary purpose is to create draft capital and stockpile prospects.
The premise behind this thread is that the bold should be the grand strategy for the Nats, but there may be a point when, consistent with that overall strategic premise, it may start making sense to make decisions that don't adversely impact that approach but in 2024 may allow you to get into a playoff run.

A good example would be when to expose Wood, Crews and maybe others to MLB. Mr May or no Mr May, if the long run competitiveness of the Nats is best served by exposing Wood to the majors, you do it and worry about the trade value of Rosario later. Another might be bullpen deals. You might be willing to listen on everybody at any time, but you migh take a deal on Floro, JBarnes, or Law a bit quicker than a deal on Finnegan, Harvey, or Weems due to another year of control, and I suspect the price on Garcia might be even higher due to 5 more years of control of a power lefty. If you could place all 6 of those guys someplace for value, you probably do it, but if you are in WC position in July and haven't done it yet, maybe you only try to place 3 of them and hope that guys like Schoff and other relievers in the system can backfill.

Offline welch

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The Nats have players to win more than they have against Chicago, Boston, and Minneapolis. Time to be serious:
 

- DFA Robles, with cheers if he ever fulfills his promise, even with another team

- DFA Gallo to oblivion

- DFA Rainey to Rochester, in hopes that he, somehow, regains some of his power and gains control

- Send Nunez back to Miami. He is useless.

Welcome James Wood to replace Robles; welcome Lane Thomas to replace Gallo; Trey Lipscomb to replace Nunez. And Darren Baker next up as the Nats give up on Senzel.

Look toward Cavalli getting to start and look toward putting Corbin someplace where he cannot hurt the team. Gray or Corbin? Neither is that good.

Offline GataNats

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Again, Rosario needs to be dumped first or second

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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The Nats have players to win more than they have against Chicago, Boston, and Minneapolis. Time to be serious:
 

- DFA Robles, with cheers if he ever fulfills his promise, even with another team

- DFA Gallo to oblivion

- DFA Rainey to Rochester, in hopes that he, somehow, regains some of his power and gains control

- Send Nunez back to Miami. He is useless.

Welcome James Wood to replace Robles; welcome Lane Thomas to replace Gallo; Trey Lipscomb to replace Nunez. And Darren Baker next up as the Nats give up on Senzel.

Look toward Cavalli getting to start and look toward putting Corbin someplace where he cannot hurt the team. Gray or Corbin? Neither is that good.

Again, Rosario needs to be dumped first or second
In the spirit of this thread, I take it that both of you are saying max what we have already in house now, then look up at some point and see  if we  are in contention for the WC a bit later in the year?

Offline aspenbubba

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In the spirit of this thread, I take it that both of you are saying max what we have already in house now, then look up at some point and see  if we  are in contention for the WC a bit later in the year?

I agree with Welch as we are old-timers and not at all with GataNats. Rosario is the only position player that was acquired in Rizzo's quest for flippable players at the deadline who will garner any return close to what Candy got for us last season.  Gallo returns nothing as he will be out of the majors next year. Senzel will be Dickersoned and Winker may get us a Jordan Barley.

Online Natsinpwc

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I agree with Welch as we are old-timers and not at all with GataNats. Rosario is the only position player that was acquired in Rizzo's quest for flippable players at the deadline who will garner any return close to what Candy got for us last season.  Gallo returns nothing as he will be out of the majors next year. Senzel will be Dickersoned and Winker may get us a Jordan Barley.
You never know. Remember how bad Jon Lester was. And it was his last year. And got us Lane Thomas. On the other hand Schwarber got a nobody. It’s hard to predict. 

Offline welch

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In the spirit of this thread, I take it that both of you are saying max what we have already in house now, then look up at some point and see  if we  are in contention for the WC a bit later in the year?

I say compete with what the Nats have already, but don't bother to trade for anyone until the off-season.

No reason to keep Gallo and Senzel in hopes of flipping them. Neither is playing like Candelario; neither has ever been much. The Yankees took one look at Gallo and gave up. Senzel had a respectable rookie season but ever since, he has played just like he has this season. Both of them drag the team down.

Offline Slateman

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You never know. Remember how bad Jon Lester was. And it was his last year. And got us Lane Thomas. On the other hand Schwarber got a nobody. It’s hard to predict. 
All the more reason to show up with as many arrows in your quiver as you can

Offline IanRubbish

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You never know. Remember how bad Jon Lester was. And it was his last year. And got us Lane Thomas. On the other hand Schwarber got a nobody. It’s hard to predict.

It is hard to predict, but trying to flip has beens and never weres at the deadline isn't much of a strategy to begin with.  Enduring two/thirds of a season with these guys getting excessive playing time with fingers crossed that they'll bring back something more than a bucket of balls is a miserable fan experience, and a poor way to run a team.   Better strategy would be to fix drafting and development, or hold the GM accountable for struggling to do it for the last 10 years.