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Which starter do you want to see in D.C.?

By now, it’s no secret that the Nationals are looking into ways to bolster their starting rotation by adding another arm. It might be via free agency. It might be through a trade. Regardless, the chances of the Nats bringing in another hurler at some point prior to the date for pitchers and catchers to report to spring training appear to be pretty good. We’ve

Another lefty reliever to consider

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving complete with some mix of family, food and football. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be munching away on turkey and stuffing for the next dozen meals or so, thanks to bags upon bags of leftovers that are now jammed into my fridge. Not that I’m in any way complaining. I think I could eat stuffing all day, every

Three things Nats fans have to be thankful for

A very Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there, from those around here in the DMV, to those a bit further from the district, to those checking in from abroad looking to get their Nationals fix on this holiday morning. Hope your day is filled with lots of great food, quality time with family and friends, and tryptophan-induced naps. A Cowboys loss wouldn’t be the worst

Three things Mike Rizzo has to be thankful for (plus roof thoughts)

It was really interesting reading everyone’s thoughts on the Nationals’ reported desire to put a roof over Nationals Park, and while it sure doesn’t seem like anything that will be happening anytime soon, it led to a solid discussion. If we can manage to ignore the $300 million figure that’s been tossed around (and it’s tough to do that, especially when that amount would come

Report: Nats hoping to install roof over Nationals Park

Mark Segraves of NBC4 has fired off an interesting tweet tonight, reporting that the Nationals are interested in installing a roof over Nats Park. In order to fund the roof, Segraves is reporting that the Nationals are asking taxpayers to put up around $300 million. The discussions are reportedly in the preliminary stages, but Segraves cites multiple sources who say that executives with the team

Three things Matt Williams has to be thankful for

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, which is by far my favorite holiday of the year and is now just a couple days away, I figured I’d start off a string of blog entries listing what various people affiliated with the Nationals have to be thankful for during this holiday season. These few days tend to be fairly quiet ones on the baseball calendar, as the

Nats trade Abad to Athletics for minor leaguer Wooten (Robertson outrighted)

The Nationals and Athletics have collaborated on a trade yet again. This time, the Nats are sending left-handed reliever Fernando Abad to Oakland for minor league outfielder John Wooten, a source confirms. MLB Network’s Peter Gammons was first to report the trade. Abad was designated for assignment by the Nationals last week, giving the team 10 days to trade or release Abad, or assign him

Haren finds a new home

Dan Haren is heading back west. After a roller-coaster 2013 season with the Nationals, the 33-year-old California native reportedly has agreed to a one-year, $10 million contract with the Dodgers that includes an option for 2015 that vests if Haren pitches 180 innings. The deal, first reported by FOXSports.com, is obviously contingent on Haren passing a physical. Haren went 10-14 with a 4.67 ERA with

Saying bye-a to Maya

The Nationals officially cut ties with Yunesky Maya this weekend, releasing the right-hander who general manager Mike Rizzo viewed as a top-of-the-rotation type of starter when he signed the Cuban defector to a four-year, $6 million deal in 2010. Maya’s release was first reported by Baseball America’s Matt Eddy. This move ends the Nationals’ experiment with the 32-year-old righty, a guy who the Nats trumpeted

New faces coming on the minor league level

Want a look into Matt Williams’ house in Arizona? Interested in taking a peek at his closet, where he’s started to run out of room for all his shoes? Want to know how (or why) Matt and his wife Erika can call or text message their oven? Sure you do. Erika gave a tour of the Williams home, which took three years to build and

A glimpse into just how dominant Tyler Clippard was this season

We’re all aware of how good Tyler Clippard has been since joining the Nationals in the trade that sent Clippard to D.C. and Jonathan Albaladejo to the Yankees. Fairly lopsided deal there, huh? Wonder how the Yanks are feeling about that one. In his five years with the Nats, Clippard has appeared in 337 games (an average of 67 per season) and pitched to a

Nats sign right-hander Daniel Stange to minor league deal

Mike Rizzo has reunited with another former Diamondbacks connection, as the Nationals have signed right-handed reliever Daniel Stange to a minor league contract with an invitation to big league spring training. In 2006, his final year as the Diamondbacks’ scouting director, Rizzo selected Stange with Arizona’s seventh-round pick in the First-Year Player Draft. Now Rizzo has given Stange a deal that will bring him to

Nationals announce front office promotions

In the wake of former assistant general manager and vice president of player personnel Roy Clark leaving the Nationals to join the Dodgers, the Nats announced a host of front office promotions today, highlighted by Doug Harris and Kris Kline both being named assistant general managers. Harris, who has spent the last four seasons overseeing the Nats’ farm system, will now have the official title

Going over all of yesterday’s happenings

Yesterday turned interesting in a hurry, huh? At first, we just had a run-of-the-mill offseason day, with teams quietly making tweaks to their 40-man rosters ahead of the midnight deadline to do so. The Nationals added Sammy Solis, Michael Taylor and Aaron Barrett to their 40-man roster and designated left-handers Fernando Abad and Tyler Robertson for assignment, leaving them with a full 40-man roster. Then,

Nats add Solis, Taylor, Barrett to 40-man roster; Abad, Robertson DFA

The Nationals added three players to their 40-man roster today, protecting left-hander Sammy Solis, outfielder Michael Taylor and right-hander Aaron Barrett from December’s Rule 5 Draft. In order to clear space on the 40-man, left-handed relievers Fernando Abad and Tyler Robertson were designated for assignment. Midnight tonight is the deadline for teams to set their 40-man rosters ahead of the Rule 5 draft. With these

Nats sign right-hander Gabriel Alfaro to minor league deal

I wrote yesterday that the Nationals had signed veteran right-hander Chris Young to a minor league deal with an invitation to big league spring training. Today, the Nats officially announced the Young deal, and also announced they’ve agreed to a minor league deal with another right-handed pitcher, Gabriel Alfaro. Alfaro, 30, has spent just two seasons in affiliated baseball in the United States, playing for

Top three reasons the Henley hire was a good one

I feel like David Letterman right now, rattling off a list of the top reasons Bob Henley was a good choice as the Nationals’ new third base coach. But I wanted to add a few nuggets on Henley, and why, based on what I’ve heard, the former catcher was a smart hire by Nationals manager Matt Williams and general manager Mike Rizzo. Full disclosure: I’ve

Nats hire Bob Henley as third base coach

Needing a new third base coach, the Nationals have decided to promote from within, and have hired Bob Henley for the position. Henley has previously served as the Nationals’ minor league field coordinator. The 40-year-old Henley has been with the Nationals/Expos organization for the last 11 years. He managed the Nationals’ Gulf Coast League affiliate in 2009 and led that team to the GCL title,

Nats re-sign Chris Young to minor league deal

The Nationals have re-signed veteran right-hander Chris Young to a minor league deal with an invitation to big league spring training, a source confirmed, providing a bit more starting pitching depth within the organization. Young had trouble staying on the field due to injury last season and got hit hard in his nine starts within the Nats system, going 1-2 with a 6.81 ERA. In

The market for starters might be starting to open up

Of all the free agent starting pitchers on the market this offseason, I felt that Tim Hudson was one of the guys who might have made the most sense for the Nationals if he had been available at a reasonable price. Hudson knows the National League East well from having spent the last nine years with the Braves. He has a career 3.44 ERA, and

A battle for bullpen spots

As a whole, the Nationals bullpen pitched to a 3.56 ERA in 2013, 17th-best in the majors. Nats relievers had a .252 batting average against (24th-best), put up a 1.29 WHIP (16th-best) and allowed a .679 OPS against (12th-best). Those aren’t horrendous numbers, but it was clear that the Nats’ bullpen dropped off from 2012, when that unit ranked seventh in the league with a

Keeping track of Walters, Brown and Rosenbaum down in Venezuela

The Arizona Fall League season has come to an end, with the Mesa Solar Sox, the team featuring eight Nationals prospects, falling to the Surprise Saguaros 2-0 in yesterday’s championship game. Nats outfield prospect Steven Souza went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts and one of Mesa’s five hits, and outfielder Brian Goodwin went 0-for-1 in a pinch-hitting role. None of the Nats’ four pitching prospects on

An update on Nats prospects in the Arizona Fall League

The Nationals sent eight prospects to the Arizona Fall League this offseason, and they have played a major part in the Mesa Solar Sox reaching the AFL championship game, which will be played today at 3:10 p.m. You can catch the game on MLB Network. You might have heard of all eight of the Nats prospects out in Arizona. You might have heard of none

Ranking the Nats’ remaining offseason priorities (updated)

Who misses Mauro Gomez already? I know I do. I had trouble sleeping last night, knowing he won’t be a part of Nationals spring training in a few months. I’ll never forget the time that Gomez was claimed off waivers in September and then didn’t appear in a single game for a Nationals affiliate. Or the time he didn’t get an at-bat within the organization

Werth finishes 13th in NL MVP voting

Had the Nationals put together a stronger season than they did, and had Jayson Werth not missed a month with a hamstring injury, the veteran outfielder might very well have played a major factor in the National League MVP voting. Instead, Werth finished 13th in the NL MVP vote, which was won by Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen. Werth received 20 points overall, and the

Nats request release waivers on Mauro Gomez

The Nationals announced today that they have requested release waivers on corner infielder Mauro Gomez, who has told the team that he plans to play the 2014 season in Japan. Gomez, 29, never actually played a game in the Nationals’ system. The Nats claimed him off waivers from the Blue Jays back on Sept. 5 of this year. Last season, Gomez hit 29 homers for

Thoughts on how Zimmermann could impact Nats’ offseason plans

While Jordan Zimmermann tied for the National League lead in wins this season and led the majors in ERA at one point about midway through the 2013 campaign, I guess he still has a little ways to go before he starts getting truly appreciated and known by those outside the D.C. area. For at least the first few hours after the NL Cy Young Award

Zimmermann finishes seventh in NL Cy Young voting

The Nationals had Gio Gonzalez finish third in the National League Cy Young voting last season. This year, Jordan Zimmermann was the top vote-getting Nats hurler, and he came in seventh. Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw, to no one’s surprise, took home his second Cy Young award in dominating fashion. Zimmermann received six third-place votes and three fifth-place votes. He finished the season with 19 wins,

A hodgepodge of morning notes (instant update)

The Manager of the Year awards were handed out last night, and they went to Pirates skipper Clint Hurdle and the Indians’ Terry Francona, giving both men their first such honor. Hurdle received 25 of the 30 possible first-place votes for National League Manager of the Year after leading the Pirates to their first above-.500 record since 1992. Pittsburgh finished the regular season with 94

Roy Clark leaves Nationals for Dodgers

A day after losing their third base coach, the Nationals have lost a key member of their front office. Roy Clark, who has served as assistant general manager and vice president of player personnel for the last four years, has left the organization to take a position with the Dodgers, according to ESPN.com’s Keith Law. Update: A source with knowledge of the situation has confirmed

Catching up on another possible offseason need

Down the stretch this season, the Nationals leaned heavily on catcher Wilson Ramos, who was finally healthy after missing most of the 2012 season with a knee injury and then twice landing on the disabled list due to hamstring problems in the first half of the 2013 campaign. If Ramos can stay healthy in 2014 (and, yes, that’s a big if), he’ll likely see a

Jewett joins Mariners (updated)

It turns out that new Nationals manager Matt Williams might need to tweak his coaching staff a little more than we originally thought. The Nats have granted permission for third base coach Trent Jewett to interview for the Mariners’ bench coach position under new manager Lloyd McClendon, according to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal. Jewett was expected to return to the Nats as third base coach, but

Taking a look at the latest Nats rumor

Just a couple of days after Denard Span was named the Nationals’ recipient of the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year award, there’s a report that the Nats might be open to trading their speedy center fielder. According to CBSsports.com’s Jon Heyman, officials from competing teams say that the Nats “appear willing” to listen to offers for Span, who hit .279/.327/.380 this season and was

Lookin’ at some lefties

General manager Mike Rizzo has admitted that he erred when he decided to put just one left-hander in the Nationals bullpen going into the start of the 2013 season. Rizzo and the Nationals looked around for left-handed relievers last winter, but instead of adding a new face or retaining Sean Burnett, Michael Gonzalez or Tom Gorzelanny, they opted to break camp with starter-turned-reliever Zach Duke

The cost to acquire a starter

Want to add a free agent starter this offseason? You’re going to have to back up a few Brinks trucks to land your guy. Or maybe a few dozen. FOXsports.com’s Ken Rosenthal is reporting that free agent righty Ervin Santana is seeking more than $100 million on a five-year deal, while right-hander Ricky Nolasco is looking for a five-year contract worth $80 million. This is

What could a long-term deal for Desmond look like?

This season, Ian Desmond made $3.8 million in what was his first year of salary arbitration, ranking him 17th among major league shortstops when it came to 2013 salary. Through the arbitration process, Desmond’s salary will likely almost double in 2014, as another strong season (which included his second straight Silver Slugger Award and being named a finalist for a Gold Glove) leaves him in

Ian Desmond wins second straight Silver Slugger award (updated)

For the second straight season, Ian Desmond has been selected as the top offensive shortstop in the National League by managers and coaches. Desmond won the 2013 Silver Slugger Award among NL shortstops after hitting .280 with a .331 on-base percentage, a .453 slugging percentage, 20 home runs and 80 RBIs this season. Desmond beat out the Rockies’ Troy Tulowkitzki, the Dodgers’ Hanley Ramirez and

Nationals announce 2014 spring training schedule

The Nationals announced their 31-game 2014 spring training schedule this evening, a slate that features 14 home games at Space Coast Stadium in Viera, Fla., beginning with their Grapefruit League home opener Saturday, March 1 versus the Braves. The Nats will kick off their spring training schedule a day before that home opener when they face the Mets in Port St. Lucie on Feb. 28.

Some of this, some of that

After being fired by the Nationals mid-way through the 2013 season, Rick Eckstein has found himself a new gig. Eckstein has been hired by the Angels as an assistant hitting coach who will also serve as an advance scout and liaison to the minor leagues, according to the Los Angeles Times. Essentially, he’ll be the seventh coach in the dugout. Eckstein had been the Nationals’

Starting to look at a couple more starters

As I mentioned yesterday, the Nationals did not issue a qualifying offer to either of their two free agents this offseason - Dan Haren or Chad Tracy. Again, no surprise there. Nine major league teams did issue qualifying offers to a total of 13 free agents yesterday, however, meaning we will see a bunch of guys hit the free agent market with their value being

Detwiler, Garcia reinstated from 60-day DL (plus Haren update)

The Nationals announced this afternoon that they’ve reinstated both left-hander Ross Detwiler and right-hander Christian Garcia from the 60-day disabled list, putting both hurlers back on the team’s 40-man roster. Detwiler missed the last three months of the 2013 season with a herniated disc in his back. He went 2-7 with a 4.04 ERA in 13 starts this season and last pitched on July 3.

What’s on tap for today and a free agent to watch

Remember when the Nationals shipped David DeJesus to the Rays in August just four days after they had acquired the veteran outfielder from the Cubs, and Nats general manager Mike Rizzo said that he’d be open to reuniting with DeJesus this offseason should he hit the free agent market? Yeah, that won’t be happening. The Rays have reportedly picked up DeJesus’ $6.5 million option for

A few quick Sunday notes

I might have missed Friday’s press conference where the Nationals introduced Matt Williams as their new manager, but I didn’t miss the quotes where Williams discussed how he wants the Nats to be aggressive under his watch. From the sound of things, Williams wants to put pressure on the opponent, be it on the basepaths, at the plate or in the field. The more that

Leftovers from Matt Williams’ introductory press conference

Now that you’ve had a day to chew on it, how do you feel about the beginning of the Matt Williams era? In his introductory press conference Friday, Williams sure sounded the part of a 21st-century major league manager, as forward-thinking and embracing of the advanced metrics now frequently used to dissect baseball as he was respectful of the game he loves and true to

LeCroy replacing Lett, Weidemaier joining Willams’ staff

New Nationals manager Matt Williams’ coaching staff will remain largely intact. Only bullpen coach Jim Lett, who began his Nationals tenure under Jim Riggleman and remained on Davey Johnson’s staff after Riggleman resigned, will not return. Lett will be replaced by Matt LeCroy, the former major league catcher who has managed at several levels of the Washington organization, most recently at Double-A Harrisburg. The return

Though game plan is fluid, Williams wants Nats to be aggressive

By his own admission, Matt Williams’ managerial style will be a work in progress. At his introductory press conference Friday afternoon at Nationals Park, the sixth field manager in Nats history was consistent in his use of the word “fluid” to describe how he’ll approach his rookie season as a major league skipper. “The plan’s fluid,” he said, “and it will present itself differently every

The challenges of being a first-time skipper (Souza added to 40-man)

Matt Williams has been around professional baseball for 27 years. He played 17 years in the big leagues, spent a few years getting a different perspective on the game when he worked as a Diamondbacks broadcaster and has been a part of Arizona’s coaching staff for the last four seasons. Williams has seen pretty much everything there is to see in pro baseball. His knowledge

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