Thursday night, after the Nats' fifth straight loss, Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo appeared on the Mike Rizzo Show on 106.7 the FAN in D.C., talking to Overtime host Danny Rouhier and answering questions from fans over the phones and on Twitter. As they came back from the first break, Rizzo was asked under what circumstances he'd consider trading high-end prospects for a starter like the Rockies' Ubaldo Jimenez?
Background: ESPN.com's Jayson Stark, in an article entitled, "Daily Rumble: Trade Ubaldo Jimenez?", wrote that several teams were in talks with the Rockies to see if the 27-year-old right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez was available. "[An] executive of one club involved in these talks says he was told that two National League teams," who hadn't been identified, were involved, and, "Other clubs [were] conjecturing that one of them almost certainly is Washington."
Mike Rizzo: "You really have to weigh the impact of Ubaldo Jimenez and what you're giving up. Now if you obtain, believe me, a quality top of the rotation starter like Jimenez, but if you leave three or four holes open in other parts of your ballclub it really doesn't make sense. Now if you're at the point in your franchise that you have the depth to fill in some of those three or four players that you're going to have to give away for such a great asset like Jimenez, then you're able to make those kind of trades. But I think to create three or four holes if you don't have the depth for it to get that one starting pitcher is a little short-sighted in the Nats' short history of being here in Washington."
"Michael Morse has done enough to solidify himself to hit in the middle of [the Nats'] lineup that's for sure," Mike Rizzo said when asked if the 29-year-old hard-swinging outfielder/first baseman would remain at first when Adam LaRoche returned from shoulder surgery in the second year of his 2-year/$16M dollar deal next year. "In a perfect world we get the Adam LaRoche that we signed that's a 25-HR, 100-RBI Gold Glove [calilber first baseman]," Rizzo continued, "Mike Morse goes to left field and is a 25-35 HR, 100-RBI left fielder and we've really replaced two powerful bats in the lineup."
• Clippard and Storen Trade Talk?:
Background: Though FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal, among others including MLB.com's Bill Ladson, has written that, the Nats are, "...unwilling to trade closer Drew Storen and reluctant to trade All-Star setup man Tyler Clippard," as the bow-tied FOXSports.com writer did in article entitled, "Nats, Twins have discussed Span", both pitcher's names have popped up repeatedly as the Deadline's approached. Is Drew Storen part of a package to get Denard Span from the Twins? Will the Nats have to part with Tyler Clippard to pry B.J. Upton from the Rays' outfield? Or Michael Bourn from the Astros? What will it take to make the Nats' GM move a pitcher like Clippard or Storen?
Mike Rizzo: "I think, Danny, it's kind of the flipside of the earlier questions about Jimenez. To flip a young controllable bullpen piece like a Clippard or Storen or even a young everyday player like an [Ian] Desmond, or a [Danny] Epsinosa or [Wilson] Ramos, and believe me we get inundated with calls about those players, and for us to do something like that it would really have to impact us greatly. It would have to be a long-term asset for us in a position that we don't have great depth. It would have to fill at least one whole on the ballclub not only for 2011 but for the long-term and that would impact us more than giving up one of those great young, controllable, inexpensive assets like those players we just mentioned."