Comments on Rizzo MLB Network Interview And Other Rumors, Tweets, etc.:
• Rizzo does not respond directly to MLB Network Hot Stove analyst Jon Heyman's question about how close the Nationals were on Aroldis Chapman, opting instead to answer the second part of his question about free agent possiblities like Jon Garland, Orlando Hudson and Mike Jacobs. Mr. Rizzo's response? "They all interest me, they're all fine players," :
"We need to get a good fit here with the Nationals. We want quality people on and off the field, those are three outstanding human beings and great players, we've discussed all those guys, we've talked to all their representatives, and we're looking for the perfect fit and we're being patient, but we're certainly being proactive and aggressive...
"We're certainly not done yet..."
• MLB.com's Bill Ladson was not alone in wondering exactly how the 29-year-old former Met, Marlin and Royal Mike Jacobs would fit onto Washington's roster, noting in an article entitled, "Nats interested in free agent Jacobs", that the Nationals, "...already have Adam Dunn (at first) with Mike Morse as the backup." Jacobs hit .228 in 128 games last season with a .297 OBP, a .401 SLG, 16 doubles, 19 HR's and 61 RBI's for Kansas City.
• Joel Piniero signing with the Angels and Vicente Padilla signing with LA's Dodgers should have had Mr. Rizzo placing a call to free agent pitcher Jon Garland, who expressed a desire to pitch out West earlier this winter, to see if he'd consider throwing in DC now that his west coast options are dwindling...
• If Rizzo's now saying that he's looking for the "perfect fit", what does that make you think about him telling Washington Post writer Chico Harlan on Wednesday, that while the Nationals are interested in free agent second baseman Orlando Hudson, Rizzo's, "...not sure if it's a fit...but we've got three or four infielders we're looking at." Three or four? Hear that Hudson?
• ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick, in an article entitled, "Few spots left for remaining free agents", has the Nationals in on Ben Sheets, (Rizzo was "coy" about Sheets according to the Post's Mr. Harlan.) When it comes to second basemen, Mr. Crasnick lists the Nationals and Twins as the two teams that are in on Orlando Hudson:
"But unless Hudson's price compels the Nationals to act, they're ready to go with a combination of Cristian Guzman at second base and Ian Desmond at short -- or vice versa. That could change, of course, if Hudson's contract demands become more budget-friendly in February."
• Stephen Strasburg is, "...perfectly healthy," according to Mr. Rizzo, "He's in Spring Training preparation mode..."
• What are the chances Strasburg is one of the two young pitchers Mr. Rizzo told the Washington Post's Chico Harlan he would like to have in the rotation, along with, presumably, as of now, John Lannan, Jason Marquis and...Scott Olsen? Craig Stammen? J.D. Martin? Collin Balester? Shairon Martis? Garrett Mock?
• Back on the MLB Network, Al Leiter asks about the reshaping of the front office, saying Rizzo's made some "old-school" additions to the organization, comparing him to Pat Gillick with the Blue Jays, with the focus on, "player development and scouting"?
Rizzo: "Definitely. That's where I've cut my teeth in the game. I started as an area scout for twelve years and worked my way up to be a general manager, and to be mentioned in the same sentence as Pat Gillick is an honor believe me. We are certainly a scouting and player development organization, I believe that's how you have long-term success and it's a way of building for continuous success a la the Atlanta Braves' twelve division championships. Roy Clark was instrumental in that, putting together a lot of those teams, and we've brought in guys that are ex-general managers, ex-scouting directors, ex-players, that have great evalutation skills, and we're going to try to build from within, build our own so we can have continuous success over the years."
In Rizzo We Trust.