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Nationals Daily Evolutions 12/17/10

I would call that a busy day yesterday. I have to say I am going to miss Josh Willingham and my wife is going to miss him even more. To me this felt a bit like when Dunn signed with the White Sox. We knew it was going to happen and it was just a matter of where and when. I wish Willingham all the luck in the world and hope that along with Matsui and DeJesus he can give Oakland the offense they need. --Mark Zuckerman at

Oakland is a good place for Willingham. When his knees or back start bothering him he can rest a bit by DHing. The players that the Nationals got back might not be part of the future, but neither was Willingham. Still it was a decent haul for an injury prone 31 year old corner outfielder in the last year of his deal. --Dave Nichols from

Mike Rizzo says that this deal wasn't about clearing salary, and Willingham says he enjoyed his time here and will miss the Nationals. --Adam Kilgore at

Lost among all the high and low points of last season was the horrifying vision of Joel Zumaya lying on the ground clutching his elbow. He had thrown a pitch so hard that he broke a small bone in his elbow. One of the players the Nationals got back for Willingham throws that hard. Let us hope the same fate doesn't await him. 

To anyone watching it has become clear that Rizzo has a philosophy and he wants an athletic team made up of guys that can play both offense and defense with an emphasis on defense. --Mark Zuckerman from

Yesterday it came out that the Nationals are indeed on Greinke's list of teams he has to approve a trade to. Whether he would or not is unknown, but a lot of what Greinke does is a mystery. --Joe Posnanski at 

The Nationals have brought back Chien-Ming Wang. --Ben Goessling at

The Nationals are also still interested in Brandon Webb. --Bill Ladson from

Also interested in Rick Ankiel. --Phil Wood at

Werth thinks that he can help to lead a revolt and expunge the vile Phillies fans from Nationals Park. --Dan Steinberg in The D.C. Sports Bog       


The Nationals do not intend to nail a glove to a wooden sign post and place it at first base. It is highly likely that either Adam LaRoche* or Derrek Lee will play first. --Mark Zuckerman at

* I have seen it reported that the Orioles have a three year offer on the table for LaRoche. I could not find any articles that confirm this however, but I will say that if this offer is on the table it is exactly what LaRoche has said he wants, and the only reason he hasn't signed with Baltimore yet is because he doesn't want to play in Baltimore. It is unknown at this time if any other teams have offers on the table even though the Nationals and Padres have been linked to LaRoche.

There are always other options, and one of them could be a former outfielder that enjoys having balls bounce of his head for homeruns and going on reality TV shows. But at 46 he is in the best shape of his life and is ready for a comeback and has the video to prove it. --Aaron Gleeman from

The Nationals are hoping that Matt Stairs can play late inning hero a lot more often than Willie Harris did. Here are some numbers to help understand the long career of Matt Stairs. --William Yoder from 

Around the NL East

After turning down a four-year/$48 million offer from the Marlins Dan Uggla was traded to the Braves. Now it is reported that he is nearing a five-year/$60 million extension. --Carroll Rogers at