The Nationals went all in on Yoenis Cespedes and lost. They lost someone else shortly after to the Houston Astros as well.
A couple of weeks ago we were all living in the Yoenis Cespedes sweepstakes. We were all checking our phones to see if he had signed with a team yet. Peter Gammons tweeting that the Astros are in on Cespedes had Astros fans all happy.
Astros fans were now calling for the signing of Cespedes even though the Astros have plenty of outfield depth. Fans just wanted a blockbuster signing so that they could talk about something. The Astros never leaked out any information on whether they were interested. Ultimately I don’t think the Astros considered it. Jeff Luhnow did not bite for Cespedes like a lot of teams did. He stayed calm under pressure and continued to make progress on a signing that would happen a week in the future.
A team that was head over heals for Cespedes was the Washington Nationals. They also had plenty of depth at the outfield position but seemed to forget that when the Cespedes name popped up. Mike Rizzo, Nationals GM, got way to caught up in emotion and fandom and sent Cespedes a deal. He didn’t stay calm under pressure like Luhnow. He wanted to make a big deal for a huge star when he didn’t need to in the first place. Rizzo offered Cespedes a contract instead of offering another player that would be way cheaper and could help out the ball club as well.
The player that Rizzo and the Nationals seemed to forget about was starting pitcher Doug Fister. Fister spent the last two season with the Nationals. In 2014, Fister went an astounding 16-6 with a 2.41 ERA. In 2015, there was a drop, and this may be the reason Rizzo forgot about Fister. But just because a pitcher has a down year doesn’t mean he can’t regain his form the next season. Rizzo and the Nationals swung on Cespedes and missed and ultimately lost another player in Fister. Luhnow had a plan the whole time for the Astros this offseason. It was to add a closer and another starting pitcher to strengthen the bullpen. They definitely strengthened the back end of the rotation with Fister. You could say that the Fister signing will have more impact on a team than the Cespedes signing.
Luhnow had a plan the whole time for the Astros this offseason. It was to add a closer and another starting pitcher to strengthen the bullpen. They definitely strengthened the back end of the rotation with Fister. You could say that the Fister signing will have more impact on a team than the Cespedes signing.
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A lot of people probably would shoot down that statement, but the key word is “team”. Cespedes is a great player and there is no doubt about. He definitely would make an impact on any team he played for, but the Astros or Nationals signing Cespedes would only hurt the team. If the Astros or Nationals would have ended up signing Cespedes, then it would of probably been for a lot of money and both teams probably would have had traded a key player on the team. Instead the Astros didn’t make that foolish mistake to even consider it. They kept
Instead, the Astros didn’t make that foolish mistake to even consider it. They kept Carlos Gomez, who probably would of been traded, saved a ton of money and signed Fister. Not only did they sign a CY Young Award Finalist, but only had to pay seven million dollars. The Mets are paying Cespedes 75 million dollars for three years.
The depth that Fister will provide for the rotation is more than what would of happened if the Astros signed Cespedes. Brent Strom helped Dallas Keuchel, Collin McHugh and others to have great seasons. Strom will put his magic touch on Fister and return him to his CY Young caliber self. Rizzo and the Nationals should learn from Luhnow in this scenario. Don’t go all in when you don’t have to and search for that missing piece. The missing piece was Fister.