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Miami New Times releases images linking Gio Gonzalez to Biogenesis (updated)

The Miami New Times has released images they obtained from the notebooks of Anthony Bosch, an alleged distributor of performance-enhancing drugs, images that appear to connect Gio Gonzalez and his father Max to Bosch and his anti-aging clinic, Biogenesis. The images show the five times that Gonzalez, a 21-game winner with the Nationals last season, appeared in Bosch's records, and the according to the New

What's next for Gio Gonzalez? (with spring training note)

When I woke up yesterday morning, my initial intention was to lead off my morning blog entry writing a couple lines about Nationals infield prospect Cutter Dykstra and former "The Sopranos" actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler getting engaged. Then something slightly (just slightly) more important went down. Yesterday's news that six major leaguers had been linked to an anti-aging clinic called Biogenesis that was heavily involved in

Linked to alleged PED supplier, Gio Gonzalez denies any usage (Nats issue statement)

A bombshell has been dropped on the Major League Baseball community this morning, as a report in the Miami New Times details a number of major league players who are linked to a Miami-area anti-aging clinic called Biogenesis, which allegedly supplied massive amounts of performance-enhancing drugs. Among those players is Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez, a Hialeah, Fla. native, who won 21 games last season and

Desmond feels he "just scratched the surface last year"

Entering spring training, every Nationals player - every player in the major leagues, for that matter - has the same goal for 2013. That goal is to be holding the World Series trophy at the end of the year. Pretty simple stuff, really. Nothing too groundbreaking. Beyond that, however, there are individual goals that many players set for themselves, goals that, if accomplished, will help

Extending the conversation about extensions

A day after NatsFest, an event which was so popular that some fans unfortunately were held back from entering for an extended period because the Walter E. Washington Convention Center was filled to capacity, there are still plenty of tidbits to pass along from conversations with a number of Nationals players. First, a few more injury notes. Jayson Werth says that his left wrist, which

Storen, Clippard react to Soriano signing, crowded bullpen

Drew Storen found out about the Nationals' surprise signing of closer Rafael Soriano just like many fans. He saw it on Twitter. Storen, who saved 43 games for the Nats in 2011 and then returned from elbow surgery last year to post a 2.37 ERA in 30 1/3 innings, then contacted his fellow reliever and in-season roommate Tyler Clippard and broke the news. "I just

Hearing from Harper on declining to play in WBC, lineup positioning

Bryce Harper won't enter spring training this year with all eyes on him, like they were last year. He won't enter spring training trying to impress manager Davey Johnson or trying to win a spot on the 25-man roster, like he did last year. This time around, the 20-year-old outfielder will just go in trying to get himself in the best shape possible to be

Werth: "I think we've got the best team in baseball"

Ready for some good one-liners so far from NatsFest? Jordan Zimmermann on possibly increasing his innings this season: "The way it looks, I'm going to have to throw five innings and the bullpen should be able to handle it." Ian Desmond on having some more "daddy strength" after the birth of his second son earlier this offseason: "Yup, double dose this year." Bryce Harper, sarcastically,

Espinosa played with torn rotator cuff last season

A couple things are different about Danny Espinosa from the last time we saw him. First, he's got a massive beard, which he started growing around Oct. 1 and hasn't shaved since. That will go before spring training starts. Also, he finally knows what was wrong with his left shoulder, which bugged him for the better part of the final two months of last season.

Rizzo on All-Star Game, Vasquez, Zimmermann, more

Danny Espinosa still has his beard, and it's still fierce. Never say I don't bring you all the important updates. Mike Rizzo took part in a fan Q&A session here at NatsFest at bit ago, and at one point was asked about the chances of the Nationals and Washington D.C. getting to host an All-Star Game. Rizzo's response? "We deserve the damn All-Star game, I'll

A fun-filled day ahead

It might still be January and spring training still might be nearly three weeks away, but for today, at least, Nationals baseball will be in full swing. In just a little bit, I'll be taking off for the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in downtown D.C. to take part in NatsFest, which runs from noon-4 p.m. Season ticket holders can arrive even earlier for special

Things getting interesting in the NL East

I'd imagine there aren't many baseball fans who would object to me saying that not much is being expected of the Miami Marlins or New York Mets this season. The Marlins, who downright stunk last year, traded away the vast majority of their established major leaguers, and while there is buzz around the league that the Mets could be major players for free agent center

A chance for Moore to do more

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the starting second baseman for your Washington Nationals. Players have a lot of time to themselves in the offseason. Some fish, some play golf. Danny Espinosa might be doing some of that, but he's also growing one of the fiercest beards I've ever seen. A number of Nationals players have embraced full-on beards in the past, with Jayson Werth's previously

The science of team chemistry

Essentially, the Nationals' five-man bench was finalized months ago. Chad Tracy signed a one-year extension covering the 2013 season during the Nationals' postseason run last year, keeping him a part of the Goon Squad, which will also contain Steve Lombardozzi, Tyler Moore, Roger Bernadina and whichever catcher doesn't start that particular day - Kurt Suzuki or Wilson Ramos. That five-man group didn't really leave room

Random news and notes, including some Detwiler talk (DeRosa signs with Toronto)

The Nationals had been considered one of the favorites to host the 2015 All-Star Game. That won't be happening, however. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the Reds will be given the Midsummer Classic in 2015, likely leaving D.C. out of the All-Star Game picture until at least 2017. The league office prefers that the All-Star Game alternates between American League and National League cities on

Soriano move affects other bullpen arms

Before I delve into some Nationals talk, indulge me as I drop a quick Ravens statistic for anyone who might have followed me over from that beat last year. Joe Flacco has thrown for 853 yards with eight touchdowns and zero interceptions in the postseason. He's outplayed Peyton Manning and Tom Brady the last two weeks, and this is the second season in a row

Managing the expectations

Davey Johnson and Bryce Harper were in New York last night to receive some hardware. Back in the U.S. after a lengthy trip to Africa with his wife, Johnson was presented with his National League Manager of the Year award, and Harper was given his NL Rookie of the Year at the New York Baseball Writers' Association Dinner. Here are the dapper Johnson and Harper

Davey Johnson comments on the passing of Earl Weaver

Nationals manager Davey Johnson played under legendary Orioles manager Earl Weaver for four years from 1968-72, making three All-Star games in that time. Last night, Weaver passed away at 82. Weaver was beloved not only by fans in Baltimore, but by those who suited up for him, as well. Johnson has said in the past that Weaver was a mentor of sorts to him, and

Breaking down why the Nats remain high on A.J. Cole

At Thursday's press conference at Nationals Park, Nats general manager Mike Rizzo said he feels "very fortunate" to have gotten the package that he did in return for Michael Morse, who was under contract for only one more season. That package consisted of right-handed prospects A.J. Cole and Blake Treinen, and a player to be named later, who will be selected from a list of

Nats avoid arbitration with five players, swap salary figures with Zimmermann

The Nationals have avoided arbitration with left-hander Ross Detwiler, as the two sides agreed to terms on a $2.3375 million deal with performance bonuses for the 2013 season. Detwiler will earn $25,000 if he reaches 200 innings pitched this season, according to CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman. Detwiler's agency, CAA Sports, announced the terms of the deal. Another CAA client up for arbitration, Drew Storen, agreed to

Storen's roller-coaster ride of a career continues

Sixteen months ago, Drew Storen was putting the finishing touches on a 43-save season which, in the eyes of many, made him one of the top young closers in baseball. Today, Storen finds himself a set-up guy, a pitcher who had hoped to put a crushing blown save behind him and prove he could still close at an elite level, but instead will be primarily

Espinosa added to Mexico's provisional roster for WBC (Storen avoids arbitration)

Major League Baseball announced its provisional rosters for the World Baseball Classic this afternoon, and two guys on the Nationals' 40-man roster are in line to participate in the event. Danny Espinosa is on the roster for Team Mexico. Espinosa was born in Santa Ana, Calif., but his father is Mexican. Nats outfielder Roger Bernadina is also set to participate in the WBC; the 28-year-old

Rizzo: Soriano will close, Nats still confident in Storen

The Nationals introduced their new right-handed reliever, Rafael Soriano, at Nats Park this evening, and while general manager Mike Rizzo was quick to say that he still thinks highly of Drew Storen, he left no doubt as to who the Nats plan on utilizing as their closer. "Suffice it to say, Raffy is here to pitch the ninth," Rizzo said. "He has done it successfully

Morse, Nats both benefited from slugger's time in D.C. (programming update)

Michael Morse joined the Nationals organization on June 28, 2009, coming over from the Mariners in return for outfielder Ryan Langerhans. At the time, Morse had just 300 major league at-bats under his belt, having struck out 65 times and had hit just three home runs and in his brief big league tenure. He was a 27-year-old without a set position, a guy who broke

Morse traded to Mariners in three-team deal (with multiple updates)

The Nationals have found a new home for Michael Morse, shipping the power-hitting outfielder/first baseman to the Mariners in a three-team deal that also involves the Athletics, according to an industry source. In return for the 30-year-old Morse, the Nationals will get minor league pitcher A.J. Cole, who the Nats traded to the A's in the Gio Gonzalez deal last winter. Washington will also get

Examining all aspects of the Soriano signing

If you missed Bryce Harper's appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" last night, you also missed Kimmel's first "clown question" reference coming four seconds after Harper walked out on stage. No, seriously. I'm not kidding. Kimmel's very first comment to Harper referenced the famous, "That's a clown question, bro" incident in Toronto last season. Wish I could say I didn't see that coming. Yesterday's news that

Nats sign reliever Rafael Soriano (another update)

Another Scott Boras client is coming to the nation's capital. The Nationals have signed right-handed reliever Rafael Soriano to a two-year, $28 million deal with a vesting option for a third year, according to Yahoo! Sports. Update: A source confirms the report. The terms listed above are accurate. Soriano's third-year option, worth $14 million, vests if he finishes 120 games over the next two seasons.

Looking at where Harper will hit in 2013

If you don't mind staying up close to or past midnight tonight, you'll find the 2012 National League Rookie of the Year making an appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," a late-night talk show on ABC. Bryce Harper will be swinging by the set for an interview with Kimmel, whose show starts at 11:35 p.m. It's too bad Harper hasn't been able to have any cool

To tinker or not to tinker? That's the question

Given the state of the Nationals' roster going into this offseason, general manager Mike Rizzo and manager Davey Johnson could have essentially run out pretty much the exact same team in 2013. They could have left Bryce Harper in center field and put Michael Morse in left. They could have kept Jayson Werth as their leadoff hitter, given the high on-base percentage Werth put up

Do you want Nats players suiting up for the World Baseball Classic?

Despite lots of Twitter campaigning this past week, Bryce Harper came up short in the voting for the cover of MLB '13 The Show. Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen will grace the video game's cover after receiving over 108,000 votes via Facebook and Twitter. Harper received 42,542 votes and finished fifth in voting that also contained CC Sabathia, Miguel Cabrera, Matt Kemp, Buster Posey and Ryan

Examining the Morse market

The Tampa Bay Rays have been mentioned around baseball as one team that could look to make a deal for Nationals left fielder/first baseman Michael Morse. Joe Maddon's team is still looking for more offense, and the Rays have pitching that could be dealt in order to bring in a middle-of-the-order bat. The Baltimore Orioles seem to make a lot of sense for Morse, as

A hodgepodge of random notes (Nats sign Ohlendorf, West)

Lost in all the Adam LaRoche/Michael Morse stuff the other day, I forgot to mention that it looks like the Nationals will have a new speedy outfielder wearing jersey No. 2 this season. Denard Span tweeted that he will be wearing No. 2 with the Nationals, which was his number while playing with the Twins. The previous owner of that jersey number, Roger Bernadina, apparently

MASN to air six Nats exhibition games

Even if your boss, significant other or parental unit won't allow you to make a trip down to Viera, Fla., to see a few Nationals spring training games in person, you'll have a chance to catch a number of Nats exhibition games on the small screen. I know, I know. It's not anywhere near the same thing, but for those of you starved for baseball,

Let's look more at the lack of lefties (updated with Hall of Fame note)

Back at the Winter Meetings in December, Davey Johnson said that he'd ideally like to add another left-handed reliever to his bullpen, giving him better match-up options late in games. General manager Mike Rizzo echoed that sentiment, but said that the Nationals don't necessarily need to add a late-inning lefty. Rizzo's reasoning was that with Tyler Clippard, Craig Stammen and Ryan Mattheus in the Nationals'

Why move Morse?

In the wake of the news that Adam LaRoche has signed a two-year deal with the Nationals worth a guaranteed $24 million, the most popular question among fans, by far, seems to be the following: Why would the Nats trade Michael Morse? Morse has become a popular guy with teammates and fans over the last couple years, thanks largely to his offensive production (it's tough

Rizzo talks LaRoche signing, Morse trade options

After a few months of extended talks which saw little actual negotiating, the Nationals and Adam LaRoche today agreed on a two-year contract worth a guaranteed $24 million, a deal which brings one player in but will almost certainly send another out. LaRoche returns for the 2013 and 2014 seasons and has a mutual option for 2015, as well. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo viewed

Nats to host Yankees for March 29 exhibition

The Nationals made an announcement a couple minutes ago, but it in no way relates to Adam LaRoche re-signing, Michael Morse's future or anything along those lines. Because LaRoche needs to fly to D.C. for a physical before his new two-year contract can be finalized, we'll probably have to wait a day or two before the Nationals make a formal announcement that they've reached a

LaRoche returns to Nats on a two-year deal (deal is official)

It took a while, but the Nationals have gotten the guy they wanted all along. After lengthy negotiations centering around the length of a deal, the Nats and first baseman Adam LaRoche have agreed to terms on a two-year contract, a source has confirmed. LaRoche, who won Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger awards for his performance this last season, gives the Nationals great lefty-righty

Looking at the Suzuki/Ramos situation

In past years, the Nationals have entered spring training with a number of jobs up for grabs. Position players have battled for starting roles, pitchers have competed for spots in the rotation or a seat in the bullpen and guys lower down the depth chart have tried to merely get their name on the 25-man roster. This spring, we'll see some of that; a couple

In the on-deck circle

The similarities are a bit eerie. The Nationals led Game 5 of the National League Division Series 6-0 after three innings only to see their offense go silent. Their opponent, the visiting St. Louis Cardinals, chipped away and eventually left D.C. fans heartbroken. The Redskins led the NFC wild card game 14-0 after one quarter only to see their offense completely shut down. Their opponent,

The waiting is working

If the Rangers were considered a possible landing spot for Adam LaRoche a couple days ago, it's hard to believe they still are today. Texas reportedly has agreed to terms with first baseman/outfielder Lance Berkman on a one-year, $11 million contract, a deal which includes a vesting option for 2014. Berkman, a switch-hitter, gives the Rangers more pop from the left side of the plate

Howell to sign with Dodgers

After watching Sean Burnett, Tom Gorzelanny and Michael Gonzalez all leave D.C. to sign elsewhere, the Nationals now have seen another left-handed reliever go off the market, as well. J.P. Howell, a lefty who the Nats had been targeting for a spot toward the back of their bullpen, has agreed to terms with the Dodgers, according to multiple reports. According to ESPN's Buster Olney, Howell's

Some of this, some of that

I saw a report yesterday that the Royals had signed first baseman Chad Tracy to a minor league deal and immediately did a double take. Had I blacked out for a few days and missed something? Nope. Turns out former Rockies manager Jim Tracy has a son. That son happens to play first base. That son also happens to have the name Chad. The Nationals'

Finding some offense from the No. 9 spot

We've talked often about how the Nationals' projected 2013 lineup appears pretty strong from 1-8 in the order. Power, on-base percentage and speed; regardless of whether Adam LaRoche returns or not, the Nats will have a potent top eight in their order in multiple facets. One thing we haven't talked that much about is how the Nationals' No. 9 hitter often will give this lineup

New year, same waiting game

The holidays are over, the calendar has turned and my headache has finally started to dissipate. Hello, 2013. Hope everyone had an enjoyable new year celebration and hasn't found the transition back to the real world to be too jarring. We might have put 2012 in the rear-view mirror, but we still find ourselves asking the same question today that we asked for the final

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