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A favorite memory from the 2014 season

I’ll warn you all now: this blog post has nothing to do with the Nationals. Hope you’ll still be able to go on with your day. Yesterday, the legendary Vin Scully turned 87. When I turn 87, I’ll probably be struggling to make my way from my bed to the shuffleboard court out behind my retirement facility. Scully is 87 and still going strong as

WAR - what is it good for?

Some people buy into advanced metrics and put a lot of weight on the information they provide. Others still rely more heavily on the old-school statistics and aren’t willing to cannonball into the advanced metrics pool just yet. One of the more accepted advanced metrics in this day and age is WAR (wins above replacement). It’s become the catch-all metric that both fans and professional

Interested to see what lies ahead for Souza

Yesterday, I was thankful for family, friends and health. Today, I’m thankful that the button didn’t pop off my pants during Thanksgiving dinner and that I won’t be forced to participate in any Black Friday shopping. You couldn’t pay me to go to a mall today and battle the crowds. Not my cup of tea. Not even close. Steven Souza Jr.’s 2014 season was beyond

Things Nats fans have to be thankful for

It’s arrived - my favorite holiday of the year. Thanksgiving is a time for me to meet up with old friends, spend time with family, lay around watching football all day and smell the fantastic food my mom is cooking up in the kitchen. And then later on, I get to demolish said food. It’s also a time, of course, to realize what we’re thankful

Fedde takes a step forward in rehab process

I feel like Nationals fans got a pretty good idea of the type of player and teammate that Adam LaRoche is over the last four years. And so it shouldn’t surprise people that after signing a two-year, $25 million deal with the White Sox, LaRoche - who won a Gold Glove at first base just three seasons ago and was a finalist for another in

Nats players spread the wealth

Each year, teams that make the playoffs are given a bonus, a financial reward for reaching the postseason. The bonus pool that each team receives depends on how deep into that playoffs that team advances, and the amount that each player receives is based upon how generous the group is as a whole. Typically, this bonus amount ranges from what it would cost to buy

What Williams learned in 2014

We’ve got lots of action on the hot stove this morning. And all of it is coming out of Boston. FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reported last night that Hanley Ramirez is flying to Beantown today to finalize a contract with the Red Sox, one that will be in the five-year, $90 million range. Ramirez got his start in the Red Sox organization before being traded to

Desmond and Rendon getting noticed nationally

Nationals fans know what they have in Ian Desmond and Anthony Rendon. They know that Desmond has won three straight Silver Slugger awards among National League shortstops, and in those three years, that he has hit 69 homers, driven in 244 runs and posted an impressive slash line of .275/.326/.462. He’s also mixed in some speed with his power, stealing 66 bags over the last

LaRoche lands in Chicago

We knew that Adam LaRoche wouldn’t be returning to the Nationals for the 2015 season. Now we know where the 35-year-old first baseman will be suiting up for the next two years. LaRoche has agreed to terms on a two-year, $25 million deal with the White Sox, a contract that was first reported by USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. The deal will give LaRoche a hitter-friendly

Nats sign right-hander Bruce Billings to minor league deal

The Nationals have signed right-hander Bruce Billings to a minor league deal with an invitation to big league spring training, the team announced today. Billings, 29, was a 30th-round pick of the Rockies in the 2007 draft. He’s appeared in just five big league games in his career, allowing 12 earned runs in 11 innings. He made one appearance for the Yankees in 2014, allowing

On the 40-man decisions and trade rumors

Pedro Florimon, we hardly knew ye. The utility infielder, who the Nationals claimed off waivers from the Twins in mid-September, is now heading to the Pirates after Pittsburgh claimed him off waivers yesterday. Three organizations in a little over two months. The life of a professional baseball player can be an interesting one. The Nationals set their 40-man roster yesterday, adding A.J. Cole, Brian Goodwin,

Nationals add four to 40-man roster, release Mattheus; Pirates claim Florimon

The Nationals this afternoon selected the contracts of right-hander A.J. Cole, left-hander Matt Grace, infielder Wilmer Difo and outfielder Brian Goodwin. By adding these prospects to the 40-man roster, the Nationals protect them from the Rule 5 draft, which will be held Dec. 11 in San Diego at the Winter Meetings. To make room for those four players, right-hander Ryan Mattheus was placed on outright

Time to finalize the 40-man

Over the last week, we’ve seen the Nationals make a couple of moves that cleared up space on the team’s 40-man roster. Left-hander Matt Purke was released, and then subsequently re-signed to a minor league contract. That series of moves opened up a spot on the 40-man. On Tuesday, catcher Jhonatan Solano was also released, leaving the Nats with 38 players on their 40-man roster.

Beasley back in the bigs, possible landing spot for LaRoche (plus scouting hires)

With the news that the Nationals have released catcher Jhonatan Solano, the best nickname in the organization is now gone. “The Onion” was let go yesterday to clear a spot on the 40-man roster, in order for the Nats to protect qualifying minor leaguers from the Rule 5 draft. I’ll miss the various onion jokes that were tossed around when Solano delivered for the Nats

Nats release Jhonatan Solano

The Nationals have released catcher Jhonatan Solano, according to the team’s transactions page, clearing another spot on the team’s 40-man roster. Solano appeared in 36 big league games between the 2012 and 2013 seasons, and impressed in his first taste of major league action, hitting .314/.351/.571 in 37 plate appearances in 2012. He hit two homers and drove in six when helping to fill in

Interesting happenings within the division

There are days during the winter months when nothing really happens in the baseball world. There are, in fact, many such days. Rumors might spread, various free agent names might be kicked around and potential trades might be tossed out there, allowing fans and media members to speculate about what might go down. But often, days at a time go by without any real news

Some Monday morning notes

For anyone who watched the Redskins game yesterday, I’m sorry. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I flipped the game on for about 45 seconds, watched the Redskins offense turn a first-and-goal into a missed 47-yard field goal and that was about all I needed to see. This was the team’s effort coming out of a bye against a previously one-win Buccaneers squad. In

Turning our attention back to the bench

As it stands right now, the Nationals appear to have at least three, and possibly four, of their bench spots for 2015 accounted for. Kevin Frandsen avoided arbitration the other day, signing a $1 million contract for next season, with another $300,000 in incentives possible. He’ll be back as the team’s versatile, do-everything right-handed bat. Frandsen can play first, second, third or left field, and

More roster moves coming

Yesterday’s decision by the Nationals to release oft-injured left-hander Matt Purke took some fans by surprise. Purke was a third-round pick out of TCU in 2011. He was given a big league deal out of college. He was handed a $4.2 million contract. I get it; it’s news when a player like that is released. The Nationals took a chance on Purke in the draft,

Frandsen re-signs with Nationals (updated)

The Nationals have re-signed one of their top bench performers from 2014, re-upping with Kevin Frandsen on a one-year, $1 million deal for 2015, according to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. Per Crasnick, the deal also contains incentives that could pay Frandsen an additional $300,000. Frandsen hit .259/.299/.309 with the Nats in 2014, hitting one home run and driving in 17. Frandsen was the Nats’ top pinch-hitter

Rendon comes in fifth in NL MVP voting

Anthony Rendon’s stellar 2014 campaign got noticed across the baseball landscape. The Nationals third baseman finished fifth in the National League Most Valuable Player voting tonight, this in just his first full big league season. This is the highest a Nationals player has ever landed on the NL MVP ballot. Rendon got a total of 155 points in the balloting, and received one third-place vote.

Nats well-represented on Cy Young ballot

We all knew Clayton Kershaw was going to win the National League Cy Young Award last night. He did. We all figured it was going to be a unanimous vote, after Kershaw went a ridiculous 21-3 with a 1.77 ERA in 198 1/3 innings this season. It was. Kershaw became just the 14th pitcher to win the NL Cy Young by a unanimous vote, joining

Nationals will retain entire coaching staff for 2015

A day after Matt Williams won National League Manager of the Year honors, the Nationals announced that they will welcome back his entire coaching staff from the 2014 season. All seven members of the Nats coaching staff - bench coach Randy Knorr, pitching coach Steve McCatty, hitting coach Rick Schu, third base coach Bobby Henley, first base coach Tony Tarasco, bullpen coach Matt LeCroy and

On the Jordan Zimmermann trade rumor and what it all means

You know the offseason is truly under way when we have a report of a monster trade coming from one outlet, and multiple other outlets quickly shooting that report down. Last night, said report involved the Nationals and the starting pitcher who many people would consider to be the team’s ace. The Chicago Sun-Times reported last night that the Cubs are actively involved in talks

Williams on NL Manager of the Year award: “I’m proud of that and humbled by it”

Shortly after winning the National League Manager of the Year award, Nationals skipper Matt Williams took part in a conference call with reporters, discussing an honor that he said he considers an “organizational award.” The trophy will have his name inscribed on it. And Williams will forever have 2014 NL Manager of the Year on his resume. But not surprisingly, Williams was quick to deflect

Matt Williams wins NL Manager of the Year award

In his first year as a major league skipper, Matt Williams has earned the top award in his profession. Williams has been named National League Manager of the Year for the 2014 season, as voted on at the end of the regular season by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Williams received a total of 109 votes, including 18 of the 30 first-place votes. The

News and notes from around the NL East

Are there any other players out there named Manny that the Nationals can sign this week? They inked Manny Delcarmen and Emmanuel “Manny” Burriss to minor league deals yesterday, bringing back two players who spent 2014 at Triple-A Syracuse and giving both invitations to big league spring training. Manny Ramirez is still out there. Anyone interested? Starting tonight at 6 p.m. on MLB Network, the

Burriss, Delcarmen get minor league deals, spring training invites

The Nationals have agreed to minor league deals with infielder Emmanuel Burriss and right-handed reliever Manny Delcarmen, and both will get invitations to major league spring training in Viera, Fla. The 29-year-old Burriss signed a minor league deal with the Nats in December 2013 and hit .300/.377/.412 in 116 games at Triple-A Syracuse, where he played mostly shortstop. Burriss, a native of Washington, D.C., is

Some of this, some of that

While it might seem like the World Series just ended a couple days ago, the general managers’ meetings begin today in Phoenix, marking the first fairly significant event in the major league offseason. By “fairly significant,” I don’t mean that much wheeling and dealing typically happens during the GM meetings. If we come out of this four-day stretch with news of more than a couple

Another National excelling in winter league play

He’s not a minor leaguer that will sit atop various prospect lists or have Nationals fans clamoring for his jersey this winter. But Rafael Martin had a tremendous 2014 campaign, and he’s now dominating winter league action, as well. The 30-year-old reliever appeared at three different levels of the Nats’ minor league system this year, and put up a stellar 1.39 ERA in 58 1/3

A big few months for Moore

We all saw in 2012 what Tyler Moore is capable of. That season, Moore put up a .840 OPS and hit 10 home runs in just 156 at-bats in his first taste of the big leagues, putting himself on the radar of Nationals fans and seemingly positioning himself as, at the very least, a productive bench bat on the major league roster going forward. Things

Some more on the Silver Sluggers (and Japan All-Star Series update)

It had been six years since a team last had both members of the left side of its infield win Silver Sluggers. Derek Jeter and everyone’s favorite, Alex Rodriguez, accomplished that feat with the Yankees in 2008. Now Ian Desmond and Anthony Rendon are the newest shortstop/third base combo to take home baseball’s top offensive award. Last night, Desmond won his third straight Silver Slugger

Desmond, Rendon win Silver Slugger Awards

The left side of the Nationals infield was arguably as potent offensively as any team’s in the National League this season. And shortstop Ian Desmond and third baseman Anthony Rendon are getting the hardware to prove it. Desmond made it a three-peat, winning his third consecutive Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Award, while Rendon takes home the award for the first time. The awards were announced

Could some Nats take home hardware tonight?

The Nationals were shut out in the Gold Glove voting this year, with Denard Span coming up short to Mets center fielder Juan Lagares and Adam LaRoche losing out to Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. Tonight, we get another chance to see if any Nationals will take home some hardware. The Silver Slugger awards will be announced tonight beginning at 6 p.m. on MLB Network.

Nats announce 2015 spring training schedule (Yankees at Nats Park on April 4)

Four months from today, the Nationals will open their 2015 spring training campaign. It’ll be here before we know it. The Nats today announced their spring training schedule for next year, and they’ll open their Grapefruit League season with a home game against the Mets on Thursday, March 5 at Space Coast Stadium. Matt Williams’ ballclub will get a pair of visits from the National

A look back at Frandsen’s first season in D.C.

It might be easy to forget now, almost a month removed from the Nationals’ season coming to an end, but back in late April and into May, Kevin Frandsen was essentially an everyday player for the club, filling in at left field, third base, second base and first base, as needed. Signed by the Nationals to a one-year, $900,000 deal toward the end of spring

Span, LaRoche come up short in Gold Glove voting

Both Denard Span and Adam LaRoche came up short in their pursuits of Gold Gloves today. Span, a finalist among National League center fielders for the second straight year, lost out to the Mets’ Juan Lagares, and is still in search of his first career Gold Glove. LaRoche won a Gold Glove with the Nationals in 2012, but this time, he saw Adrian Gonzalez of

Williams a finalist for NL Manager of the Year

Matt Williams was recently selected as the Sporting News National League Manager of the Year, an award voted on by his peers. Tonight, we found out that he’s one of three finalists for the league-endorsed NL Manager of the Year award, voted on by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Also nominated for this Manager of the Year award are the Giants’ Bruce Bochy and

Free agency notes plus more on Fornataro

The offseason technically began the day after the World Series ended. Now free agency has officially gotten under way. As of 12:01 a.m., teams could officially start making offers to free agents, this after teams had the last five days to exclusively negotiate with their players who were set to hit the open market. The Nationals currently have five free agents - Adam LaRoche, Asdrubal

Nats hire Bob Miller as vice president and assistant GM (Fornataro claimed)

The Nationals announced today that they have hired Bob Miller as vice president and assistant general manager, filling the vacancy created when Bryan Minniti left the organization to join the Diamondbacks. Miller comes to the Nats after spending the last nine years as an executive with the Reds, most recently serving as vice president and assistant GM to Walt Jocketty. The 50-year-old Miller will assist

What’s the area you’d like to see be Nats’ biggest focus this offseason?

If the Nationals don’t end up trading away any of their key contributors this offseason, their roster in 2015 could very well look quite similar to how it did in 2014. After all, the Nats only currently have five players who are free agents this winter. Two of them were starting position players down the stretch and in the postseason (Adam LaRoche and Asdrubal Cabrera),

What to do with Detwiler?

As I mentioned yesterday, we shouldn’t expect to hear much news about Nationals players being non-tendered this offseason. The Nationals have 11 arbitration-eligible players (a list that you can find here), and are expected to tender contracts to pretty much all of them. The only real question mark, in my mind, is Ross Detwiler. Detwiler, a No. 6 overall pick of the Nats in the

A host of arbitration-eligible players

The Nationals have gotten the option decisions out of the way, with Denard Span returning for 2015, and Adam LaRoche and Rafael Soriano heading for free agency after having their options declined. In the coming days, the Nats will have to continue adjusting their 40-man roster, clearing space for minor leaguers who need to be added, and cutting players who aren’t deemed necessary to the

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