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 13660 times)

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Offline English Natsie

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Indeed - there are no end of teams that can win, or lose, the April World Series. Let's see where we are in September... ;)

Offline Natsinpwc

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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
You got it right.  They need to do what’s best long term and not so dumb things to try and sneak into a wild card spot this year. 

Offline imref

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You got it right.  They need to do what’s best long term and not so dumb things to try and sneak into a wild card spot this year. 
I whole heartedly disagree. If you have a chance at the playoffs in 2024 you absolutely go for it. There's no guarantee of being close again next year. Remember, this team had one of the most talented rosters in Baseball from 2012 and 2019 and missed the playoffs several times.

Offline Natsinpwc

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I whole heartedly disagree. If you have a chance at the playoffs in 2024 you absolutely go for it. There's no guarantee of being close again next year. Remember, this team had one of the most talented rosters in Baseball from 2012 and 2019 and missed the playoffs several times.
But the wild card has been expanded since then.  And you want to be a long term competitive team.  Trade Williams. Hope some other veterans improve or stay hot and trade them. Winker. Gallo.  Etc. Then bring the young guys up.  It’s what the Caps did the last couple years at the deadline.  Being a buyer this year will just hurt them long term. 

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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what a silly thread
Sure. It's likely not to happen and maybe it's a waste of time, but with the Nats playing well, I wondered how long this has to continue to make anything other than the deal every vet you can and manage the prospects with an eye on team control as well as development becomes something to think about.

Personally, I kind of hope that the idea Gata mentioned up-thread of testing the market for Williams right now makes some sense. Sell high. They will need to clear a roster spot for Gray when he's ready, so maybe rather than demoting Parker or Corbin to the bullpen at the expense of a current reliever dealing Williams is the best option.

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 Natsinpwc

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Who would want Williams at this time among contenders?  And what would a realistic return be? 

Online Slateman

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Who would want Williams at this time among contenders?  And what would a realistic return be? 
I mean, if he has a low 4s ERA, someone will give you something. Particularly with the rash if injuries we're seeing.

Offline Natsinpwc

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I mean, if he has a low 4s ERA, someone will give you something. Particularly with the rash if injuries we're seeing.
Won’t most teams want to wait until the summer though?  Seems it would be better to have more than one team bidding.  Maybe the Braves? 

Online welch

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My hope is that the Nats stick close to .500 -- enough wins to make it worth going to a game, even though it's not an 85-win team. Even if Wood hits well enough to be called up in June. At the trade deadline, keep Thomas, Finnegan, and Harvey. They seem likely to be useful next season. So might Senzel, since House is well away from MLB, and since the Nats are not loaded with other 3B prospects. Trade Winker, who has been really good. Hope that some team wants Gallo, or even Robles.

A consideration, though: a truly bottom-gouging result this season gets the Nats a full-value Orioles-tank draft pick. This summer, the Nats are stuck with the 10th pick, although better in later rounds. Would that be worth finishing last? No.

Offline imref

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yeah, the only reason to completely tank this year is ethan holliday in 2025, and there's no way anyone is catching the White Sox / Rockies for the #1 pick.

Online Slateman

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Won’t most teams want to wait until the summer though?  Seems it would be better to have more than one team bidding.  Maybe the Braves? 
Oh now? Maybe Houston, Tampa, or Minnesota? They need innings out of their 4/5 starters right now. But I dont know that they're willing to hit the panic switch

Offline varoadking

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yeah, the only reason to completely tank this year is ethan holliday in 2025, and there's no way anyone is catching the White Sox / Rockies for the #1 pick.

The lottery is a bit complex...one never knows which spot you'll get if you qualify...

This seems to be a decent recap of the rules applied for the 2024 draft:

https://www.mlb.com/news/2024-mlb-draft-lottery-odds

Offline Natsinpwc

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The lottery is a bit complex...one never knows which spot you'll get if you qualify...
The first three teams all have the same odds.  Same as it has been the last couple of years.

Online nobleisthyname

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The first three teams all have the same odds.  Same as it has been the last couple of years.

It's complicated a bit by the consecutive years in lottery clause. The A's are not eligible for a lottery pick no matter how bad they are this season.

Offline Natsinpwc

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It's complicated a bit by the consecutive years in lottery clause. The A's are not eligible for a lottery pick no matter how bad they are this season.
Ah yes.  So do they still get the ping pong balls and then just move down? 

Online nobleisthyname

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Ah yes.  So do they still get the ping pong balls and then just move down?

I believe so. If I recall correctly this is how it worked for the Nats who were not eligible for this year's draft lottery. They actually were selected for the first overall pick so they had to throw it out and pick again.

Offline tomterp

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Probably ought to be a probability based decision - something like 10% or greater we go all in, else we deal for value. 

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Probably ought to be a probability based decision - something like 10% or greater we go all in, else we deal for value. 
That's maybe a model. I'm thinking more that it should not enter into Rizzo's decisionmaking until sometime in July.

For April and May, completely play that any success of Winker, Senzel, Robles, Williams, Corbin, Rosario, Gallo, or the 1-year relievers should be parlayed into a trade for additional prospect depth. Decision on Meneses and Thomas, Harvey, and Finnegan are just a touch more complex because of the additional year of control, but probably any offers better than last year's trade deadline should be considered. The only move to strengthen the team over that time frame would be activating Garrett and calling up Wood when they are ready. If we love Parker, I'd probably look to move Williams sooner than later to make room for Gray's return.

When we get to June, I think I'm in the same mode, but I think moving Harvey and Finnegan gets to be more likely as the serious contenders look to add to their bullpens. Wild-eyed optimist in me also is looking at Crews's development, which might make moving a corner outfielder more likely.

July is decision time. There is a scenario where there are still veterans around and not dealt, Garrett and Wood solidify a couple more roster spots, the rotation is shining, and this is a team still competing for a wild card. At that point, it's a tougher call.  If it is 6 teams contending for 2 spots, and we are sitting 5th, I probably don't push for a shot. I'd consider calling up Crews or House in July, but I don't deal anything, even a Daylen Lile or Cole Henry, to add a Candy type.

Offline Five Banners

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Everyone except perhaps Oakland/Sacramento and the Rockies may be in the playoff hunt when what seems to be the way too early trade deadline comes.

Online GataNats

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Who would want Williams at this time among contenders?  And what would a realistic return be?

Braves and Yankees for sure.   Brewers and Dodgers, probably

Offline Senatorswin

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If Winker is still hitting at the deadline I would not trade him. He was once a top prospect and has had some really good years between his age 23 and 27 years. I would rather trade Thomas then Winker if Winker is still hitting. You might not get much for Thomas but it would free up right field for Wood.

Online Slateman

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If Winker is still hitting at the deadline I would not trade him. He was once a top prospect and has had some really good years between his age 23 and 27 years. I would rather trade Thomas then Winker if Winker is still hitting. You might not get much for Thomas but it would free up right field for Wood.
Winker is a free agent after this season and turns 31. He is this year's Candelario

Online IanRubbish

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Winker is a free agent after this season and turns 31. He is this year's Candelario

Yes, he will not be here when the next winning season comes.

Also, this team is not finishing ahead of the Braves, Phillies, or Mets this year.  Just be thankful the Phillies and Mets are loaded with bad contracts that will cause problems in a few years, but not this year.


Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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So far, there's only 2 NL teams that have buried themselves - the Marlins and  the Rox. You probably have to assign one wild card spot to one of the Phillies or the Braves, with the other winning the division. Beyond that, it's just a bunch of teams in a pack once you weed out 2 more division winners from the rest. 9 teams for 2 spots.

But the thought for this thread is not what you think is likely. The thought is at what point would you move off of sell everything you can for prospects. Would the Nats being in a pack of 5 teams for 2 spots 2 weeks before the trade deadline even after you've sold some assets and called up Wood change your approach? 

How much would you change your approach? Would you stop selling relievers and veterans like Winker and Thomas? Would you do things like cut Gallo and call up Blankenhorn or Yepez if Gallo is not hitting homers and getting on base at a decent clip? Would  you look to call up Crews and House if they are ready and deal the guys blocking him (e.g., Thomas, Winker, Senzel)? would you look for a Candelario-like deal,  but with us dealing mid-tier 40+ FV prospects?

Yes, he will not be here when the next winning season comes.

Also, this team is not finishing ahead of the Braves, Phillies, or Mets this year.  Just be thankful the Phillies and Mets are loaded with bad contracts that will cause problems in a few years, but not this year.



Offline imref

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So gaming the season out in a Sunshine Squad Scenario:

May:
- Garrett up / Rosario DFA'd
- Gray back, Corbin to the pen (Gray returns to something like a 4.00 ERA pitcher), Parker / Irvin / Gore continue to pitch well. Williams too.
- End of May - team hovering around .500

June:
- Wood / Robles up, Young back to Rochester, Nunes DFA'd. New OF is Wood / Robles / Thomas. Wood holds his own and Robles plays something like he did in late 2023. The rest of the team continues to perform well, team is at or slightly above .500

July before the deadline:
- Robles traded for a prospect, Crews comes up and is the every day CF going forward
- Team stands pat on Senzel
- Rizzo trades some lower level prospects (Armando Cruz? Lispcomb? Lile) for some relief pitching help and maybe an upgrade over Meneses or Gallo depending on how they are doing
- Cavalli returns, sending Williams to the pen or we trade Williams for a prospect

August 1st lineup:
1. Abrams - SS
2. Thomas - RF
3. Winker - DH
4. Gallo / Meneses / Upgrage - 1B
5. Wood - LF
6. Garcia Jr. - 2B
7. Crews - CF
8. Ruiz / Adams - C
9. Senzel - 3B

Rotation: Irvin, Parker, Gray, Gore, Cavalli

Lots of things would have to break right, but other than House, we've got the core of our 2025 team in place and perhaps, just perhaps, we're in WC contention going to the end of the year.