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Terrerobytes: Washington's winter provides perspective

Nationals have little to show for a ton of rumors, and other items worth reading

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

In the post about Yoenis Cespedes' signing a couple of days ago, I threw out the question:

Would you rather see the White Sox miss out on the outfielders with no strong reported offers, or miss out on them the way the Nationals did, with their allegedly higher bid being rejected twice?

The two instances I'm referring to are the Nationals' failed pursuits of Cespedes and Jason Heyward, but I could've dug deeper. Fortunately, Grant Brisbee did, and his findings might make you feel a little bit better about the White Sox' offseason, because I couldn't adopt this headline for our purposes:

Nationals headline

There's more to it than just the free agents, but even when it comes to that area, there were way more near-misses than I instantly recalled:

Heyward signed with the Cubs. The Nationals were curious about Justin Upton, and he signed elsewhere. They were curious about Wei-Yin Chen, which would have freed up one of their starting pitchers to trade. They were talking contract with Mike Leake for the same reason. They missed out on Ben Zobrist, Swiss Army knife of the gods. Darren O'Day turned them down to stay put.They thought they had a trade for Brandon Phillips, but he demanded an extension to waive his no-trade rights.

The last of the bunch was the worst of the bunch, at least strategically. The Nationals were pursuing Yoenis Cespedes, which would have served a dual purpose of making their lineup stronger and poking the Mets in the eye. Instead, the Mets got Cespedes on what's essentially a one-year deal (assuming he opts out), which fits their needs and budget perfectly. The Nationals are instead left to hope for the best from a 37-year-old Jayson Werth as their main source of power after Harper.

Every team missed out on a target or three. The Nationals missed out on targets spectacularly, though, right up to their final failed pursuit of a crucial NL East player.

So, yeah, the lack of traction on an outfield solution is frustrating, but at least the Sox can point to a better infield for one feather in their cap. And while we don't have any evidence of strong offers, that's probably preferable to having a loser stink on them.


On the first anniversary of his commissionership, Rob Manfred said he stepped into a similar problem that he encountered in his first days, when he suggested that he might look into the idea of outlawing defensive shifts. This time around, apparently he wasn't negative enough on the idea of the National League adopting the DH, which he says won't happen anytime soon despite reports of owners coming around on the idea.

Another side effect of the Frazier trade: I keep forgetting David Freese is still out there.

Craig Edwards put this post together before Cespedes signed, but even though he didn't get the projected $100 million contract, the odd, front-loaded three-year deal keeps all of the numbers in line. Not only was the class of 2015-16 talented, but it was also notably younger than previous free agent crops.

Larry posted this in the comments a couple days ago, but I wanted to throw this in a Terrerobytes:

With a high average hitter, though, the opposite applies. Adding a second .300 hitter adds more runs than adding the first one; adding a third .300 hitter adds more runs than the second one. 

The reason this is true is that the power hitter is maximizing your ability to capitalize on opportunities, but is diminishing the number of opportunities that remain.   Because there are fewer opportunities left, fewer men left on base to drive in, each additional power hitter has fewer opportunities to work with.  But the .300 hitter is increasing both the number of opportunities, and the rate at which the team will capitalize on its opportunities. The more of those guys you add, the better.