When MLB changed those rules, the Nats still blew up the new slot system this year by drafting “unsignable” Lucas Giolito — the teenager with the 100-mph fastball. They convinced him he’d be happy as a Nat and, come hell or high water, they’d treat his already sore elbow with as much respect and restraint as they had Zimmermann and Strasburg. He signed.
Few thought Jayson Werth was worth $126 million, especially when much of the money was to bring attitude, swagger and professionalism. Now the Nats have swagger, Natitude and professionalism.
Everybody, including me, thought they should sign Dunn and Josh Willingham to multiyear contract extensions in 2010. Both are having big years, but Rizzo wanted better defense along with his offense. He got it.
Everybody, including me, said they should sign free agent Mark Buerhle and, if they failed, deal for a well-known veteran starter like Zack Greinke. Instead, they traded four prospects for lesser-known, joyful Gio Gonzalez, who has been exactly the vibrant personality that the Nats needed to enliven their gifted but dry-to-droll rotation.