“Take a deep breath, Bryce. You’re not going anywhere.”
One of my favorite articles to read every year is Bill Simmons’ annual NBA Trade Value. I love the concept and, as is usually the case, love his style.
So with the 1st half of the Nationals season in the books and the trade deadline not too far in the distant future, I thought I’d try and lay out a special Nats version of Simmons’ brainchild.
Please keep in mind that this list is nothing more than my personal opinions. And though I mentioned the trade deadline approaching, I understand that in all likelihood and move of much significance would likely happen after the season and not during. But still, I thought it’d be fun to give it a try.
Also, not every current guy on the team made the list. A guy like Jayson Werth, for example, didn’t (you know, because of that whole no-trade clause thing).
So if I were GM and I got a call asking about some of the guys, how would I respond?
“Give me anything and he’s yours”
-Mark DeRosa, Xavier Nady, Chien-Ming Wang
As in an upgraded washer and dryer set, maybe? Obviously these guys will more than likely be designated for assignment if anything.
“You have my attention. How can you help my team?”
-Tom Gorzelanny, Mike Gonzalez, Ryan Mattheus
Not really big names or big stars, but if any team did come calling for relief help, I’d at least listen.
“He probably means more to us than he’d mean to you”
-Jhonatan Solano, Jesus Flores, Chad Tracy
A couple of guys that wouldn’t get enough in return based on their role/impact on the team now and potentially in the future. Detwiler and Burnett may be a slightly different cases, but I didn’t feel like they’d
“Give me something decent and he’s yours”
Lannan is still just biding his time in AAA waiting for his next move. Will be a late season call up if Strasburg is shut down? Or will it be another bullpen arm? Either way, he’ll be a name very commonly mentioned in trade talks, as he has been since being sent down.
“You want some of my young guys? It’ll cost you”
-Anthony Rendon, Alex Meyer, Matt Purke, Brian Goodwin, Eury Perez
I know there are more I’m leaving off, but these are the names that come to mind as guys on the farm right now that could end up together in a package for say…another Gio?
“Only because it makes some sense”
-Rick Ankiel, Roger Bernadina, Edwin Jackson, Adam LaRoche
This is a tough group for me. I happen to like every single one of these guys. But a baseball team, particularly one that wants to win a championship, can’t have everything and everybody.
Ankiel and Bernadina have been great off the bench, but are they apart of the long-term plans? If they can carve out bench roles, then yes. But if they could be used as pieces to fill a bigger need elsewhere, then it could be bye-bye Shark.
Edwin Jackson is a little bit of a tough situation because of his 1-year contract. If he wants to re-up with the Nats, this becomes a non-issue and he’s moved down the list.
LaRoche, as great as he’s been, could find himself elsewhere only because Michael Morse will probably end up as the team’s starting 1B. You sort of know what you’re getting from LaRoche- good bat, little bit better glove, but not much else. Not that anybody necessarily wants to see him go, but he could be on his way out eventually.
“You know young quality arms are hard to find, right?”
-Henry Rodriguez, Craig Stammen, Sean Burnett, Ross Detwiler
All of these guys could have some really good value, especially as good as they’ve been so far this year. H-Rod, obviously, has had his problems but there’s always a market for a fireball reliever.
Stammen and Burnett are young and talented, and would be attractive options for teams looking for relief help. Detwiler still has a ceiling worthy of a fairly good pricetag I’d think.
“I’m listening, but don’t tell anybody.”
13) Steve Lombardozzi
Here’s where it gets tough for me. I’ve gotten to really like Lombo as a bench guy that can play multiple positions and lead-off against righty’s. But could he ever be a starting infielder on a championship team? Maybe, maybe not. At the right price, the Nats would have to listen to offers.
12) Tyler Moore
Similar to Lombo, Moore has given fans a lot to like this year- particularly in the power department. But would he ever be good enough to move Morse back to the OF permanently? He doesn’t seem to be a longterm OF himself, so where does he end up?
11) Drew Storen
This may be a tad unfair to Drew because he finds himself this in category mostly because he hasn’t thrown a pitch all season. And you know what? The Nats haven’t really missed him all that much. Now he should come in and be yet another rock out of the bullpen, but I’d certainly take calls on him.
10) Danny Espinosa
He’s so close to being everything the Nationals want and need in a 2B. He’s a defensive monster and has shown glimpses of some real power potential. But so far, he simply hasn’t been consistent enough, particularly from the left side of the plate. He’s probably not the answer batting leadoff and he could end up in a platoon situation if he can’t learn to hit righty’s better. Nobody wants to see him go, but it could make sense.
9) Wilson Ramos
Who knew the Nats had so much catching depth? I’m not saying its good enough to warrant moving Ramos, but so far suitable options behind him have proven worthy.
“You better blow me away”
8) Michael Morse
A bat like the Beast’s don’t come around too often. As mentioned earlier with LaRoche, he’ll probably need to find his way back to 1B sooner rather than later, but he’s the kind of middle of the lineup, power hitting 1B championship caliber teams need.
7) Tyler Clippard
I didn’t want to put a reliever this high on the list, but how could I not? Clippard has been fantastic, nearly perfect honestly, in any role he’s been asked to do. He’s been the kind of reliable that teams would pay a pretty penny for- and it’d have to be a really pretty penny for the Nats to actually listen.
“I’ll listen only because I’m bored, but it ain’t happening”
6) Jordan Zimmermann
Arguably the most reliable and consistent starter in the rotation (and that’s saying something with horses like Gio and Strasburg ahead of him), Zimmermann has carved out a perfect niche as the teams 3rd starter. If he ends up anywhere other than DC you’d have to believe it’ll be his doing, not the team’s.
5) Ian Desmond
Sure this is somewhat based on his ridiculously hot start this year, but you can’t deny just how much Desmond brings to this ballclub. He’s in many ways the straw that stirs the drink. He may be playing a tad above his career means, both offensively and defensively, but it’d take a heck of a lot to pry him away from the Nationals.
4) Ryan Zimmerman
The only reason he’s not in a lower category is the injury concerns- how long can he stay at 3rd base? But really, I think that’s all just nit-picking. As long as cortisone is legal, Zimmerman will continue to be an integral part of this team’s success.
3) Gio Gonzalez
2) Stephen Strasburg
1) Bryce Harper
These guys are good.