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Wire Taps: Former Nationals' GM on Jordan Zimmermann talk, Nats rumors, links

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On Monday, one former Washington Nationals' GM offered his thoughts on all the Jordan Zimmermann chatter this winter. He wasn't the only one talking Zimmermann. There were a numbers of Nats-related rumors out there. Links and lots of them....

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I know. I know. You're already tired of the hot stove season and the rumors. More than a few people have said so.

And fans across NatsTown are fed up and annoyed with all the stories this winter quoting anonymous "sources" and unnamed rival executives which have said that the Washington Nationals are considering or will/should/could consider trading 28-year-old righty Jordan Zimmermann this winter. It's not just one writer, of course.

The idea that the Nats could deal their '07 2nd Round pick has taken hold out there over the last few weeks.

On Monday, former Nationals' GM Jim Bowden discussed the possibility on the MLB Network Radio show "Inside Pitch" when a caller brought up the rumors.

In the former major league general manager's mind, there's no way for Washington will trade Zimmermann unless they are sure that they can replace him in the Nationals' rotation.

"You don't want to trade Jordan Zimmermann unless you can get an ace starter back. Because you're trying to win a World Series here." -Jim Bowden on the MLB Network Radio show "Inside Pitch"

"You don't want to trade Jordan Zimmermann unless you can get an ace starter back," Bowden said.

"Because you're trying to win a World Series here. To me, the only way you trade Jordan Zimmermann is if you know you have Max Scherzer in your back pocket... or Cole Hamels in your back pocket. If you don't have that, then you hold on cause you're good enough to win a World Series in 2015. Can't do it."

"If you can replace Zimmermann in the rotation by signing a free agent like Scherzer, then you can use Zimmermann, in my opinion, to start building up that system again and trade him for a package of prospects.

"So, for example, let's kind of go through this. If you can cut a deal with Max Scherzer and he's signed and you get him for six years or seven, whatever it's going to be, and then you realize that you can't sign Zimmermann and you've already gotten to that point where you acknowledge you can't sign him... so you've got Scherzer signed, now you take Zimmermann and instead of Hamels, you hope that the Red Sox will give you a package for Zimmermann, and you go get the package from them and try to get the 3-4 prospects that you get back so you have that next generation of young players coming in Washington, and you continue to build through development and scouting."

The problem? All that's left is one year of control of Zimmermann.

"Really hard to get equal value for Zimmermann for one year left and free agency," Bowden said. "But a package of prospects works only if on the back door you've got Scherzer coming in."

Considering Scherzer reportedly turned down the Tigers' offer of six years and $144M... that route is going to be an expensive one. It's hard to imagine the Nats making a deal for Cole Hamels (Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo hasn't spoken highly of the lefty in the past either)... where is the ace that the Nationals would need in order to trade Zimmermann coming from then?

As mentioned, above, Bowden's not the only one talking about a potential Zimmermann deal...

• "Another fascinating scenario would be dealing for the Nationals’ Jordan Zimmermann. Washington is making the righthander available a year before he hits free agency." - "As Red Sox beef up lineup, still plenty of pitching options" - Nick Cafardo, The Boston Globe

• "'Logical, but still in the idea stage,' was what one Cubs official responded to my theory that Mike Rizzo would sign Max Scherzer in Washington and trade Zimmermann, possibly to the Cubs." - "Hanley, Red Sox Reunion and Free Agent Rumblings Around The League" - Peter Gammons, GammonsDaily.com

• "Though the Red Sox are said to be all but ruling out moving Mookie Betts, he could be used to get Washington's Jordan Zimmermann, who is under control for just one more year. The Nationals need second-base help and Betts could return to his original position." - "Adding Ramirez, Sandoval gives Red Sox many trade options" - Sean McAdam, Comcast SportsNet - CSNNE.com

• "The Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves, Washington Nationals and New York Yankees are other teams speculated to be interested in the lefty hurler." - "Gammons: Jon Lester to meet with Cardinals next week" - Scott Wuerz, Cheap Seats Blog | News Democrat

• "The Nationals, though, might be the best fit for Scherzer, are willing to spend and have a good history with Boras — but even they'd likely to have clear payroll space, and trade a pitcher like Doug Fister or Jordan Zimmermann." - "Tigers, Red Sox look like perfect trade partners" - Tony Paul, The Detroit News

How about some other links out there in NatsTown...

MLB.com's Bill Ladson took a look at the Nationals' best players at each position since 2005:

• "2B Ronnie Belliard: This was a tough one because the Nationals have never had a great second baseman. What about Jose Vidro? The answer is no." - "Zimmerman rates among Nats' players of decade" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com

NatsInsider.com's Mark Zuckerman talked Buster Olney's position rankings and payroll:

• "But the Nationals don’t really have anybody at the moment who presents a serious case for being the best player in the majors at his position." - "Who is the Nationals’ best player at his position?" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "The Nationals don’t have to fill many roster holes this winter. They need a second baseman. They might need another bench player. And they might need another reliever." - "How much money do the Nationals have to spend this winter?" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

Buster Olney looked at the best left fielders in the game:

• "Justin Havens of ESPN Stats & Information made a strong case that I should place Harper higher on this list -- No. 1, in fact." - "Top 10 MLB left fielders: Where does Hanley Ramirez fit in?" - Buster Olney, ESPN

How does Panda's deal affect Ian Desmond? Ask Boswell:

• "Desmond is worth more on the market right now than either Panda (supposedly about $100M for 5 yrs) or HanRam ($90M/5yrs)." - "Ask Boswell: Redskins, Nationals and Washington sports" - Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post

Happy B-Day, Mr. Rizzo:

• "Phil Rizzo, a member of the inaugural class (2008) of the Professional Baseball Scouts Hall of Fame, turned 85 on Monday, reaching a milestone birthday without slowing down." - "Wishing a happy 85th birthday to Phil Rizzo" - Curly W Live

The Nationals got their playoff shares recently:

• "The Nationals divvied up more than $2 million in playoff shares, Major League Baseball announced Monday, handing out 58 full shares along with 10.52 partial shares." - "Nationals hand out playoff shares" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

• "The Nationals, who lost to the Giants in the NLDS, had a total pool of $2,015,860.01 to distribute. That is an average of $29,418.13 per player." - "MLB postseason shares released, including Nats" - Chase Hughes, Comcast SportsNet Washington

Your Daily Message from the Dalai Lama on Twitter (@DalaiLama):

Fangraphs.com's Jeff Sullivan on Adam LaRoche's deal with the White Sox:

• "Following a career year in 2012, LaRoche was extended a qualifying offer, and a market never developed, so he re-signed with the Nationals for two years and $24 million." - "White Sox Turn $25 Million Into Adam LaRoche" - Jeff Sullivan, FanGraphs Baseball

More Fangraphs (or Rotographs in this case):

• "That’s where Steven Souza and Michael Taylor enter the picture. They’re both thoroughly blocked by veteran studs, and they both have massive fantasy potential." - "Steven Souza and Michael Taylor: Buried in Washington" - Brad Johnson, FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball

The Nationals were surprised he was there and happy to get him:

• "Many scouts felt Reetz might not sign, so some teams shied away from the talented 6-foot-1, 195-lb. prospect." - "Baseball Prospectus No. 7 Nats prospect: Jakson Reetz" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

WDWL:

• "Switching gears a bit, with Matt Williams' first season as a big league manager in the books, one might wonder what he learned over the course of the 2014 campaign." - "Nationals Pastime: What Williams learned in 2014" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

NL EAST UPDATES: Hamels rumors, Giancarlo by the #s, Braves in on Tomas?:

Braves: "The Braves already traded Jason Heyward, so there's room for the 24-year-old Tomas, who they like as a young power source. John Hart, the Braves' new president of baseball operations, is known to be a big proponent of power." - "Padres, Braves, Giants among clubs after Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas" - Jon Heyman, CBSSports.com

Mets: "Earlier today, the Mets announced that pitchers and catchers will report to spring training on Thursday, February 19, 2015." - "Mets Spring Training: Pitchers and catchers to report February 19, position players February 24" - Chris McShane, Amazin' Avenue

Marlins: "Rarely are deals done by AAV over the life of the contract, and as we noted prior, the Marlins have been notorious for doing what’s called 'back-loading'..." - "Inside The Details Of Giancarlo Stanton's Mega-Contract With Marlins" - Maury Brown, Forbes.com

Phillies: "Last week it was reported that the Phillies had done background scouting work on some of the Red Sox top prospects." - "MLB hot stove: Cole Hamels would reportedly waive no-trade clause if Red Sox pick up option" - Matt Lombardo, NJ.com