Entries Listing

Nats rank ninth in ESPN’s list of top farm systems

The Nationals might have graduated a number of their top prospects to the major leagues in recent years (see: Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon), but they still have one of the more talented minor league systems in baseball, according to one analyst. ESPN.com’s Keith Law ranks the Nats ninth in his list of the top farm systems, and places six Nats minor leaguers on

Could Stammen find his role changing slightly?

We’ve talked about how Tyler Clippard and Rafael Soriano’s departures create a hole at the back end of the Nationals bullpen, and how roles might have to be adjusted this upcoming season. There are certainly guys who could be used in higher leverage situations, should they prove they are capable of handling the load. We’ve mentioned Casey Janssen, Matt Thornton, Aaron Barrett, Blake Treinen and

Werth sentenced to five days in jail for reckless driving (updated with Nats statement)

Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth pleaded guilty to reckless driving charges today in Fairfax County Circuit Court and has been sentenced to serve five days in jail. In addition, his driver’s license will be suspended for 30 days. Werth, 35, was sentenced to 10 days in jail (with 170 days suspended) on Dec. 5, and lost his driver’s license as a result of the verdict. Werth

MASN announces Nationals spring training broadcast schedule (with website news)

Three weeks from tomorrow, Nationals pitchers and catchers will report to Viera, Fla., to kick off spring training. Just over than two weeks after that, the first Nats spring training broadcast will air on MASN HD. MASN has announced its spring training broadcast schedule, which will feature seven games during the Nats’ 2015 Grapefruit League campaign. The first broadcast will be Saturday, March 7 at

Nats sign reliever Casey Janssen to one-year deal (updated)

The Nationals might have just found their replacement for Tyler Clippard in the eighth inning. The Nats have signed former Blue Jays closer Casey Janssen to a one-year, $5 million deal with a mutual option for 2016, a source confirmed. FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal was first to report the signing. Janssen, 33, became the Blue Jays’ full-time closer in 2012, and posted 81 saves in 91

What can realistically be expected of Giolito?

Lucas Giolito’s stock was high when the Nationals selected the Harvard-Westlake High School product with the 16th overall pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. Giolito’s stock has only risen since then, even with the 6-foot-6 right-hander needing Tommy John surgery just a couple of weeks after he was signed. The 20-year-old is the top pitching prospect in baseball, according to the prospect gurus at

A couple of intriguing non-roster invitees

Seemingly every year, there’s at least one non-roster invitee who makes a major impression in spring training, and ends up surprising people and cracking the opening day roster. Sometimes, it’s a veteran who had been signed to a minor league deal with an invitation to big league spring training. Guys like Chad Tracy, who are looking to find their way back into the fold in

Taking a look at the remaining free agent relievers

The Nationals don’t currently have a need, per se, for another reliever. Tyler Clippard has departed, going to Oakland in the trade that brought Yunel Escobar to D.C., but the Nationals could look to fill Clippard’s eighth-inning role in 2015 with some combination of Aaron Barrett/Matt Thornton/Blake Treinen. All three posted strong numbers in 2014 and all three are highly thought of within the organization.

Matt Williams’ message to Tanner Roark

We all know the situation Tanner Roark is in. After winning 15 games last season and posting a stellar 2.85 ERA in a breakout year, Roark, almost unfathomably, will likely start the season in the Nationals’ bullpen. That is, of course, assuming that the Nats don’t trade any of their starting pitchers before opening day. There’s always the chance of injury when it comes to

How far things have come

When listening to Max Scherzer explain his reasoning for signing with the Nationals a couple of days ago during his introductory press conference, one thing stood out to me above all others, and that’s that this franchise has come a long way in the last handful of years. From 2008-10, the Nats lost a total of 298 games. Their winning percentage was .386 during that

Rizzo, Williams have a history with Scherzer (Meek, Ka’aihue sign minor league deals)

Mike Rizzo’s history with Max Scherzer is well-documented. The Nationals general manager was the scouting director in Arizona in 2006 when the Diamondbacks selected the hard-throwing Scherzer with the No. 11 pick in the first-year player draft. Rizzo scouted Scherzer, and loved what he saw out of the young right-hander. And when it came time for the Diamondbacks to make their first-round pick, Rizzo had

Video: Scherzer discusses what brought him to D.C. (with Rizzo, Williams interviews)

After getting a brief tour of the home clubhouse at Nationals Park and signing his contract early this afternoon, it became official - Max Scherzer is a Washington National. Scherzer met with reporters today, discussing the process that he went through this offseason as he waited to see where he’d end up and what eventually lured him to D.C. The $210 million sure doesn’t hurt,

Rizzo: With Scherzer deal, Nats have “strengthened a strength”

Most people looked at the “>Nationals rotation as 2014 morphed into 2015 and saw the strongest starting five in the major leagues. General manager Mike Rizzo looked at the potential juggernaut on the mound and thought about only one thing: making it even more imposing. The Nationals introduced Max Scherzer on Wednesday afternoon after the right-hander put pen to paper on a seven-year, $210 million

Getting a chance to hear from the newest National

What a banner year it’s been for the NFL. Oh, wait. Did I say “banner year”? I meant disastrous year filled with public relations nightmare after public relations nightmare. The latest NFL issue deals with the ESPN report that came out late last night saying that 11 of the Patriots’ 12 footballs used in the AFC championship game were significantly underinflated. I don’t know about

Roark’s role set to change in 2015

While I’m sure those on the Nationals roster are excited about the addition of Max Scherzer, with the right-hander joining an already-loaded rotation, Scherzer’s reported seven-year, $210 million deal has a major impact on one National in 2015. That player is Tanner Roark. Roark won’t publicly come out and complain about how his role will change if the Nats decide not to trade one of

So what now?

Good morning, Nationals fans. Your team just made the biggest move of the offseason. Max Scherzer is coming aboard, according to multiple reports, on a seven-year contract that will pay him upwards of $180 million. This is without a doubt the biggest move of the baseball offseason, a signing that would have brought a 100-loss team into the national conversation. The difference here is that

Reports: Nats to sign Max Scherzer to seven-year deal

The Nationals are closing in on a deal with right-hander Max Scherzer, the top free agent available this offseason, according to multiple reports. Update: Reports have the Nats signing Scherzer to a seven-year contract, and FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal says the deal is worth more than $180 million. A first-round pick of the Diamondbacks in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft when Nats general manager Mike Rizzo

A big spring ahead for Taylor

From a developmental standpoint, 2014 was a massive year for Nationals outfielder Michael A. Taylor. Selected out of high school as a sixth-round pick back in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, Taylor was viewed as a potential center fielder at the big league level early on because of his speed and defensive ability. He made his way through the low levels of the Nats minor

Another option to consider in the late innings

When discussing possible in-house replacements for Tyler Clippard in the eighth-inning role, the names of Aaron Barrett and Blake Treinen have been thrown around by myself and others. Both are young and still relatively inexperienced at the big league level, but both have shown promise in their limited major league action. There’s a far more experienced option in the organization that we haven’t talked much

What’s left to do? (Nats avoid arbitration with Strasburg, Storen, Fister)

As of 5 p.m. yesterday, the Nationals had eight arbitration-eligible players with whom they still needed to finalize contracts for the 2015 season. As of this morning, that number is down to four. As my colleague Pete Kerzel noted last night, catchers Wilson Ramos and Jose Lobaton, right-hander Craig Stammen and second baseman Danny Espinosa all have agreed to terms on deals for 2015, avoiding

Stammen joins Ramos, avoids arbitration (Espinosa, Lobaton agree to terms)

The Nationals have been busy heading into Friday’s deadline for arbitration-eligible players to come to contract terms before exchanging salary figures with their clubs. Earlier today, they announced that catcher Wilson Ramos had agreed to terms on a contract for 2015, avoiding arbitration. This evening, right-handed reliever Craig Stammen also came to terms, leaving the Nats with six unsigned players who are arbitration-eligible (the Nats

Mike Rizzo on the Nationals’ acquisition of Yunel Escobar (Ramos wins award, signs)

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo’s reasoning for trading reliable reliever Tyler Clippard to the A’s on Wednesday night for infielder Yunel Escobar was simple: The deal, made from a position of relative strength and involving a player who would be a free agent after 2015, fills an immediate need at second base with a veteran that the Nationals can control for up to three seasons.

How to fill the eighth-inning role?

Last night’s trade that sent Tyler Clippard to the Athletics in exchange for Yunel Escobar probably was tough for a lot of people in the D.C. area to take. Clippard was beloved by many fans for his walk-out music, his pleasant nature and his consistency. He was highly regarded by those in the organization because of how genuine and stand-up he was, and his willingness

Nats acquire Yunel Escobar for Tyler Clippard (updated)

The Nationals and Athletics have agreed to yet another trade. And this one involves more than just prospects or players that can fill out the back end of a roster. The Nats have acquired shortstop Yunel Escobar, and will send popular reliever Tyler Clippard to Oakland in exchange for the 32-year-old infielder. CBSsports.com first reported the Nats had acquired Escboar, and MLB.com first reported Clippard

Another move to add catching depth

The Nationals lost one of the catchers at the high levels of their minor league system earlier this offseason when they released Jhonatan Solano, who was out of options entering the 2015 season. Over the last 24 hours, they’ve added two catchers who could help improve their organizational depth behind the plate. Yesterday morning, the Nats signed 30-year-old backstop Steven Lerud, a former third-round pick

Some arbitration notes and minor league signings

There are all sorts of league-mandated deadlines involving arbitration-eligible players during the offseason. And boy, is it entertaining, thrilling stuff. Is that sarcasm jumping off the page at ya, or what? To start the process off, teams must tender contracts to their arbitration-eligible players (players with at least three years, but fewer than six years of major league service time) by a certain date early

A quietly busy offseason

If you look strictly at the moves that the Nationals have made so far this offseason, it might seem like members of the organization’s front office have been kicking back and enjoying some down time over the last few months. We all know that’s far from the truth, but in terms of actual additions to the organization, it’s been almost entirely minor league deals and

One less middle infield option

The second base option most frequently linked to the Nationals this offseason is heading elsewhere, as Ben Zobrist got shipped from the Rays to the Athletics yesterday in a deal that also sent shortstop Yunel Escobar to Oakland. How often do you see a team trade away both of its starting middle infielders in one deal? I can’t remember such a case, at least off

An underrated area of strength

Anyone who followed the Nationals closely last season remembers that pretty much from Day One of spring training, manager Matt Williams said he was going to make sure that his team played an aggressive brand of ball, putting pressure on opponents with their baserunning style. That is indeed how things played out for the 2014 Nats. I came across a tweet yesterday from John Dewan,

More on Werth’s surgery and its impact on the Nationals (surgery a success)

In case you missed the news late yesterday afternoon, Jayson Werth will have surgery to repair the AC joint in his right shoulder today, a procedure that is expected to sideline the Nationals outfielder for two to three months. Werth will have the surgery at the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minn. The procedure, similar to the one Ryan Zimmerman underwent in October 2012, will force

Werth scheduled for surgery Friday on AC joint in right shoulder

Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth will undergo arthroscopic surgery on the AC joint in his right shoulder tomorrow, a source has confirmed, and is expected to be sidelined two to three months. The 35-year-old Werth dealt with inflammation in his right AC joint last season, when he slashed .292/.394/.455 in 147 games. The problem in his throwing shoulder caused him to miss six games in August

Assessing the starting pitching market a year from now

We’re all well aware by now that if the Nationals are not able to reach contract extensions with Jordan Zimmermann or Doug Fister by the end of the 2015 season, those two will be set to hit the free agent market. That would leave the Nats in a bit of a tough spot - two of their top starting pitchers would then be in a

Matt Williams’ ties to a couple of newly elected Hall of Famers

The Baseball Hall of Fame grew by four members yesterday, its largest new class since 1955, as Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio all received the call that they are heading to Cooperstown. The selection process and the voting strategies of many baseball writers who receive a ballot (I am not one of them) have come under fire in recent years, and

A big year upcoming for Solis

The ability and potential that Sammy Solis possesses are clear. A 6-foot-5, 250-lb. left-hander who was a second-round pick out of the University of San Diego in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, Solis has been highly ranked on various lists of the top prospects in the Nationals organization since being drafted. The question now is whether Solis, 26, can stay healthy long enough to showcase

West Palm Beach agrees to negotiate land swap for new Nats spring training site

The Nationals’ long search for a new, permanent spring training home moved a step closer to a positive resolution on Monday. The city of West Palm Beach, Fla., has agreed to begin negotiations on a swap 160 acres of land at 45th Street and Haverhill Road to Palm Beach County for 1.8 acres of county-owned land in West Palm Beach. That transaction, if completed, could

Blevins looking to build off strong finish to 2014

The overall numbers posted by Jerry Blevins during the 2014 season probably aren’t to the 31-year-old left-hander’s liking. After back-to-back seasons of posting an ERA at or below 3.15 and a WHIP under 1.075, Blevins saw his numbers inflated in 2014, as he pitched to a 4.87 ERA and 1.238 WHIP in 64 games spanning 57 1/3 innings. He did have some impressive peripheral numbers,

Treinen’s role uncertain in 2015

Blake Treinen was quite valuable in 2014 as the Nationals’ sixth starter, the guy they called upon when one of their starting five landed on the disabled list or when they needed a spot start in a doubleheader. In his first taste of the big leagues, Treinen impressed, posting a 3.00 ERA in his seven starts. He had trouble his third time through the order,

A different look at the crop of pending free agents

We’ve talked a lot this winter about the crop of pending free agents that the Nationals have and how it will be interesting to see how general manager Mike Rizzo proceeds with that group. When discussing the Nats’ list of upcoming 2015 free agents, five names are usually listed - Jordan Zimmermann, Doug Fister, Ian Desmond, Tyler Clippard and Denard Span. Pretty strong list there,

Some of this, some of that

Yesterday afternoon was a bit strange for me. Not only did I actually get a chance to sit in the seats at Nationals Park and watch a sporting event, but there was a hockey rink smack-dab in the middle of the field. Play ba ... wait, no. We’ll have to wait a few more months for that. Yesterday’s Winter Classic was a very enjoyable experience,

What’s an acceptable result in 2015?

Well, hello, 2015. Nice to see you. Hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable New Year’s Eve, and that you’re not feeling too beat up this morning after any late-night celebrating that might have gone on. I’ll plead the Fifth on that one, personally. Remember a couple of days ago when I said that I wouldn’t be attending the Winter Classic and would instead be

« December 2014 | Main Index | Archives | February 2015 »