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After finally getting a shot, Clint Robinson feeling extra motivation

The 2015 season was a year of firsts for Nationals first baseman Clint Robinson: He made his first major league opening day roster, played outfield for the first time in his professional career, blasted his first homer in the majors, experienced the birth of his first child and even pitched his first full inning in the big leagues. All of it happened for Robinson, 30,

Could Denard Span return to the Nationals?

With just two days remaining in 2015, plenty of attractive free agent outfielders remain on the open market. Beyond the Cubs winning the Jason Heyward sweepstakes - which the Nationals were in on - it’s been a quiet hot stove for a bunch of big names and big bats in the outfield. Yoenis Cespedes, Justin Upton and Alex Gordon headline the group still unsigned. You

Nationals reportedly sign veteran infielder Stephen Drew

The Nationals have reached a one-year, $3 million deal with free agent infielder Stephen Drew, according to CBSSports.com. Drew, 32, provides middle infield depth behind presumed starters Daniel Murphy at second base and Danny Espinosa at shortstop. The 10-year veteran brings another left-handed bat to Washington’s offensive attack. But Drew hit just .201/.217/.381 in 131 games for the Yankees last season. He did smack 17

Eighth- and ninth-inning bullpen plans still unclear for Nationals

Another potential closer option for the Nationals is off the board after fireballer Aroldis Chapman was added to the Yankees’ powerhouse bullpen in a trade with the Reds. It’s the second time the Reds reportedly agreed to deal left-hander this offseason after a trade with the Dodgers fell apart during the Winter Meetings when domestic violence allegations involving Chapman surfaced from this past October. The

Nats need more offense from Wilson Ramos in 2016

As he prepares to enter an important contract year with the Nationals, catcher Wilson Ramos is spending the winter with his family in his home country of Venezuela. He’s coming off his most durable season, which included catching both of Max Scherzer’s no-hitters. Ramos was also Jordan Zimmermann’s batterymate for the right-hander’s 2014 season-ending no-hitter, making him the first ever to catch three no-nos in

Nationals issue statement in support of Ryan Zimmerman after PED allegations

Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman was among several high profile professional athletes linked to performance enhancing drugs in an investigative report from Al Jazeera. The report alleges Zimmerman, as well as Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard, purchased and used the drug Delta-2, a hormone supplement that is banned by Major League Baseball. “It’s inexcusable and irresponsible that Al Jazeera would provide a platform and broadcast

New pitching coach Mike Maddux excited: “What an inventory of arms over here”

When the Texas Rangers surprisingly decided on firing pitching coach Mike Maddux after last season, the Nationals wasted no time jumping on the opportunity to bring him aboard. A brief conversation with new Nationals manager Dusty Baker a few years ago in Oakland established a memorable connection for Maddux, making the transition enticing. “You never know when you’re gonna be talking to somebody you’re gonna

Filling out Dusty Baker’s lineup card

Earlier this month, during what turned out to be a headline-making media session at the Winter Meetings, new Nationals manager Dusty Baker was asked who he plans to bat at the top of his batting order when the season opens in just over three months. “I’m not sure, man,” Baker shot back. “You’re asking me ... until I see them or until I work with

Christmas cheer or “Bah, humbug” after Nationals sign Daniel Murphy?

Stability has not been the case with the Nationals infield as of late. Last winter, general manager Mike Rizzo made a bold trade, bringing shortstop Yunel Escobar into the fold. Except the plan was for Escobar to play second base, a position mostly foreign to the veteran besides a few games in his 2007 rookie season. Escobar bristled at the move and eventually ended up

Nats reportedly ink Daniel Murphy to three-year contract (updated)

The Nationals have reportedly crossed two needs off their holiday wish list on Christmas Eve, agreeing to terms on a three-year deal with second baseman Daniel Murphy, pending a physical. The 30-year-old brings a much-needed left-handed bat along with a veteran infield presence. Terms of the deal are not yet known. Following a monstrous postseason, Murphy rejected the Mets’ one-year $15.8 million qualifying offer, choosing

Nationals stars excited for new opportunity with Dusty Baker

Loaded with talent, the 2015 Nationals fell woefully short of expectations. Disappointment led to public embarrassment and unnecessary finger-pointing. A year after being named National League Manager of the Year, Matt Williams was shown the door in a desperate need for a breath of fresh air. Enter Dusty Baker, not exactly fresh in age at 66, but exuding cool in style. With 19 strong seasons

Nats reportedly a finalist for Scott Kazmir, but what about Tanner Roark?

How satisfied is Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo with the starting rotation as we approach the new year? The starting five was solid in 2015, but certainly not the wrecking ball rotation predicted to destroy the National League en route to the postseason. Right-handers Jordan Zimmermann and Doug Fister have departed via free agency, leaving openings behind aces Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg and left-hander

Max Scherzer focused on cleaning up mistakes

When the Nationals signed Max Scherzer 11 months ago, it was viewed as an obscene addition to an already dominant starting rotation that would surely lead to a World Series berth. For the most part, Scherzer did not disappoint. But widespread injuries, underachieving around the roster and clubhouse friction led to playoff elimination in late September for the Nationals. Scherzer was arguably the National League’s

Plans at second base

In two months, the Nationals will head to Viera, Fla., for spring training, and not much is decided about the middle of their infield. Ian Desmond’s departure through free agency, the recent trade of Yunel Escobar and Anthony Rendon’s upcoming move back to third base have left holes at second base and shortstop. Danny Espinosa is presumed to be the Nationals’ opening day shortstop, but

Jayson Werth: “You can’t outrun Father Time”

In many ways, 2015 was a lost season for Jayson Werth in the twilight of his 13-year career. The 36-year-old waited until January before undergoing AC joint surgery on his right shoulder, leaving him unavailable to participate in most of spring training and delaying his season debut until April 13. When Werth did return, his struggled mightily at the plate, batting just .208 with two

Danny Espinosa primed for full-time shot at shortstop

The Nationals selected Danny Espinosa as a slick-fielding shortstop out of Long Beach State University in the third round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft. By the time Espinosa made his major league debut in September 2010, Ian Desmond was already entrenched as the Nationals shortstop, a position he played for six seasons at a high level. But with Desmond leaving via free agency and

Nats reportedly working to complete trade for Phillips (with Laffey note)

The Nationals reportedly have agreed on a deal with the Reds to acquire veteran second baseman Brandon Phillips, according to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal. As a player with 10 years of major league service and five consecutive with the same club, Phillips must waive his full no-trade protection to approve the move for the Nationals. It’s unclear what the Nationals are returning to Cincinnati in the

Papelbon’s no-trade list limits Nationals

Jonathan Papelbon’s short stay in Washington hasn’t been peaceful. An unwelcoming entrance preceded a disastrous dugout brawl with Bryce Harper leading to a season-ending team-imposed suspension. Now Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo is working to clear the embarrassment and start fresh in 2016. But it’s not so easy with Papelbon who brings a limited no-trade clause to the table. Let’s start with the positive. ESPN

Nationals, Reds reportedly in trade talks for Brandon Phillips

It’s no secret the Nationals are pursuing a veteran second baseman this offseason. During last week’s winter meetings, they made a run at versatile free agent Ben Zobrist - before he chose the Cubs - and were reportedly involved in trade talks with the Pirates for Neil Walker - before he was dealt to the Mets. New Nationals manager Dusty Baker has a connection to

Anthony Rendon heading back to the hot corner in 2016 (Baker’s staff finalized)

In 2014, Anthony Rendon led the National League with 111 runs scored while Bryce Harper missed 62 games after early-season thumb surgery. Last year, Rendon was on the pine for 82 games while Harper went bonkers in his record-breaking NL Most Valuable Player award season. Can you imagine the numbers both players could produce if they could stay on the field in 2016? Surely, Harper

Nationals finalize deal with Yusmeiro Petit, sign Nick Masset

The Nationals efforts to rebuild their bullpen continued on Monday as they officially announced the signing of right-handed reliever Yusmeiro Petit, while also inking righty Nick Masset to a minor league deal with an invite to major league spring training. On Saturday at Winterfest, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo confirmed last week’s reports that the team had reached an agreement with Petit pending a physical.

Ryan Zimmerman: “I just need to stay on the field”

The Nationals need Ryan Zimmerman in the lineup to reach the next level in 2016. Nagging injuries have made it difficult over the past two seasons as “Mr. Nat” has become “Mr. DL,” missing a combined 168 games. “The last two, three years have been frustrating for me,” Zimmerman said at Winterfest. “I mean, nobody wants to be on the field more than I want

After Tommy John, Aaron Barrett adds ankle surgery to his rehab

Late Sunday afternoon, with Jayson Werth sitting on his lap, Aaron Barrett came barreling down the cement floors of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on a motorized scooter. The two zoomed around batting cages and slides on their way to an autograph session while fans hurried to snap pictures. Though highly entertaining, it wasn’t a skit planned for Winterfest. After a tough season of

Top prospect Lucas Giolito invited to spring training

Last season, the Nationals starting rotation received a boost when 22-year-old right-hander Joe Ross made the jump from Double-A Harrisburg to majors. After an impressive rookie campaign - going 5-5 with a 3.79 ERA in 13 starts - Ross is expected to find a permanent spot in the starting five in 2016. Now the countdown is on to Lucas Giolito’s major league debut. The 21-year-old

Bryce Harper on contract talks and moving past the fight

Bryce Harper strolled through the curtains into the makeshift media area at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Sunday morning, and spoke in the nation’s capital for the first time as the National League’s Most Valuable Player at this weekend’s Winterfest. “It was just very good for our family, the organization and the team,” a humble Harper said about his honor. As phenomenal as

Rizzo disappointed Heyward passed on offer, talks Escobar trade and adding depth

Outfielder Jason Heyward was the latest of the marquee free agents passing on a lucrative offer from the Nationals, instead signing with another ballclub. Like infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist, Heyward chose to take his talents to Wrigley Field next season. Right-hander Darren O’Day, the best reliever available on the free agent market, gave the Nats their first bit of bad news in free agency a week

Veterans think Nationals can move past Papelbon-Harper fight distraction

Between mingling with fans, signing autographs and participating in game shows during Winterfest, Nationals players were shuffled through the bowels of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center for media sessions. A common question posed to most was how the team deals with the fallout from Jonathan Papelbon’s dugout brawl with Bryce Harper as the Nationals proceed into 2016. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo has reportedly

Nats still talking to Rockies, Michael A. Taylor still working to improve

We’ve been home less than 48 hours from the Winter Meetings, but the rumors continue to swirl. The Nationals remain in contact with the Rockies about a trio of left-handed hitting outfielders, one of the areas that general manager Mike Rizzo specifically wanted to improve this offseason. That’s not to say that veteran slugger Carlos Gonzalez, center fielder Charlie Blackmon or left fielder Corey Dickerson Continue reading ....

Mike Rizzo on Aroldis Chapman, Jonathan Papelbon and new bullpen additions

The Nationals have attempted adding sexy pieces to their ballclub early this offseason, like their recent hot pursuit of free agent outfielder Jason Heyward. But general manager Mike Rizzo’s biggest challenge over the winter months was overhauling a bullpen that stumbled mightily in a pennant race last season. So far, Rizzo has landed three relievers through free agency and two more via trade in the

A healthy Stephen Strasburg isn’t focused on contract year

Stephen Strasburg battled through nagging injuries for much of last season, but emerged from two trips to the disabled list as one of the top pitchers in the majors down the stretch. The Nationals won eight of Strasburg’s final 10 starts, while the right-hander went 6-2 with a 1.90 ERA, fanning 92 with just eight walks over 66 1/3 innings. A sprained left ankle in

For Ryan Zimmerman, another new manager

First baseman Ryan Zimmerman holds a unique distinction with the Nationals: He’s played for every manager who has skippered the club in its 11 years. Zimmerman made his debut as a rookie in 2005, when Frank Robinson helmed the Nats, and the year after when the Hall of Fame slugger was unceremoniously ushered out of D.C. He was there for the rebuilding years under Manny

Dusty Baker on Matt Williams, Sammy Solis on crowded bullpen picture

During his briefing with the media this morning at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, new Nationals skipper Dusty Baker quipped that he didn’t necessarily pack appropriately for his trip to Washington, D.C., and sounded like the unseasonably warm temperatures caught him by surprise. He made some new friends last night at the nearby Marriott Marquis, where a bunch of Nats fans hunkered down in

Welcome to Winterfest!

Welcome to Nationals Winterfest! Judging from the sandals, shorts and short-sleeved shirts I saw on the red army of Nationals fans marching toward the Walter E. Washington Convention Center this morning on the walk from my parking lot (kudos to Parking Panda for the sweet deal), there won’t be much of a snow-glazed tint to this weekend’s baseball festivities. Highs in the 60s and 70s?

Mark Lerner discusses Jonathan Papelbon-Bryce Harper fight

I texted a good buddy of mine yesterday asking whether I would see him and his sons at Nationals Winterfest this weekend. I inquired because this friend is a staunch Nats fan - the kind with a lower-level, full-season ticket plan who also makes the yearly pilgrimage along with his boys to spring training. This guy and his family love the Nationals, so naturally I

Does Jason Heyward make sense for Nationals? (deals for Kelley, Perez official)

Could the Nationals land the top free agent for the second straight year? Last January, it was ace Max Scherzer, and now the Nats are hot on the heels of free agent outfielder Jason Heyward, ranked the best among position players on many free agent boards. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com was first to report the Nationals diving deep into the Heyward sweepstakes and also adds

Yunel Escobar traded to Angels for Trevor Gott and Michael Brady

NASHVILLE - Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo waited until the end of the Winter Meetings to make a splashy move. Coming off arguably his best season at the plate, Yunel Escobar has been dealt to the Angels for reliever Trevor Gott. Gott was originally selected in the sixth round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft before being traded to the Angels in July 2014. The

Wrapping up a Winter Meetings wonderland

NASHVILLE - It wasn’t a loud week in the Music City for the Nationals, but as the Winter Meetings wrap up, Washington made some noise and - according to general manager Mike Rizzo - laid plenty of groundwork for the remainder of the winter. The Nationals aimed to sign Darren O’Day, the best free agent reliever on the market, when they arrived in Nashville, but

Nationals select former first-rounder Zack Cox in minor league Rule 5 draft

NASHVILLE - The Nationals survived this morning’s Rule 5 draft without losing any players. They passed on their pick in the major league portion of the draft, then selected Marlins minor league third baseman Zack Cox during the Triple-A phase. The Cardinals drafted Cox with the 25th overall selection in the 2010 First-Year Player draft after an All-American season at the University of Arkansas, where

Nationals still looking for lefty bat, help up the middle (Shawn Kelley update)

NASHVILLE - Multiple trips to the disabled list for Anthony Rendon and Ryan Zimmerman forced former Nationals manager Matt Williams to shuffle players around his infield throughout last season. Besides playing both middle infield positions, defensive wizard Danny Espinosa even appeared at first base and third base for the first time in his life. “I look at their infield defense, they had everybody on the

Looking ahead to the Rule 5 draft (Nats pass in major league phase)

NASHVILLE - This morning’s Rule 5 draft is the final order of business at the Winter Meetings. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo will be flying back to D.C. by the time the first selection is made shortly after 9 a.m.; he’s left his trusted front office lieutenants to handle the Rule 5 business. For those of you unfamiliar with the Rule 5, here’s a quick

Nationals reportedly sign Yusmeiro Petit for bullpen depth

NASHVILLE - The Nationals’ efforts to rebuild their bullpen continued Wednesday night at the Winter Meetings. The New York Post’s Joel Sherman reports that Washington has reached a one-year deal with right-hander Yusmeiro Petit, late of the Giants. Petit, 31, has bounced back and forth from the bullpen to the starting rotation during his eight-year career in the majors. He made just one start in

Comments from Boras’ scrum on Harper, Strasburg and Span

NASHVILLE - One of the most eagerly anticipated happenings of the Winter Meetings has finally taken place. Super agent Scott Boras held court during his annual scrum outside the media workroom at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center this afternoon, and didn’t shy away from talking about contractual issues surrounding two of the Nationals players - and one ex-Nat - he represents. Coming off

On second thought, Mike Rizzo says Nats are in the market for starting pitching

NASHVILLE - Less than 24 hours remain at the Winter Meetings and the Nationals have yet to add any players to their roster over the past three days. General manager Mike Rizzo continues to say the Nationals are laying a lot of groundwork for the remainder of the offseason, with a lot of irons in the fire. “If we were to leave here without making

Report: Nationals pursuing free agent starter Mike Leake (offer extended)

NASHVILLE - The Nationals have been preparing for the departures of veteran free agent right-handers Jordan Zimmermann and Doug Fister from their starting rotation. General manager Mike Rizzo has said in recent weeks that he was content in plugging right-handers Joe Ross and Tanner Roark into the starting five joining fellow righties Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg along with left-hander Gio Gonzalez. But Rizzo always

What’s the holdup with the Nats trading Drew Storen?

NASHVILLE - The Nationals came to the Winter Meetings determined to solve the Drew Storen dilemma. Yet as the annual offseason baseball confab hits the home stretch, Storen is still part of their bullpen. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo and new manager Dusty Baker are being careful in their comments, acknowledging the obvious but continuing to try and build up Storen’s trade value by reminding

Dusty Baker: “I’ve been in a must-win situation all my life”

NASHVILLE - Dusty Baker’s casual media session at the Winter Meetings yesterday afternoon ended up filled with a hint of controversy, some bravado and the idea that the new Nationals manager is capable of making headlines even when he’s not intending to. The Nationals will be Baker’s fourth managerial job after leading the Giants, Cubs and Reds to the playoffs. But Baker said yesterday that

Nats lose out on Ben Zobrist, still working on reliever Shawn Kelley

NASHVILLE - Day 2 of the Winter Meetings is winding down and the Nationals have yet to make any noise in Music City. Early morning reports that the Nats had landed free agent right-hander Shawn Kelley were apparently premature. In his daily media session, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo confirmed the team has not completed a deal with Kelley, but said the team remains interested

Rizzo: Negotiating a new deal with Harper likely a “unique and special situation”

NASHVILLE - Bryce Harper blitzed through a historic season at the plate, resulting in his first National League Most Valuable Player award along with several others accolades. At 23, Harper became the fourth-youngest player in the game’s storied history recognized as MVP and he emphatically introduced himself to the conversation as arguably the best player in baseball. After battling nagging injuries the previous two seasons

Of star sluggers he’s managed, Baker says Harper’s best comp is Griffey

NASHVILLE - If you think new Nationals manager Dusty Baker has spent the last month poring over videotape to dissect swings, checking in by phone with all of his new players and communicating daily with the brass on South Capitol Street about how things will be run under his tenure, think again. Since Baker had pretty detached himself from the day-to-day baseball grind until the

Dusty Baker says Jonathan Papelbon isn’t a distraction

NASHVILLE - Dusty Baker sat at a table this afternoon in a ballroom at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, swarmed by reporters for the first time since he was announced as the new Nationals manager a little over a month ago. Among the many topics the charismatic Baker discussed was how to handle volatile closer Jonathan Papelbon and the leftover baggage from the

Mike Rizzo: Nationals not hunting for starting pitching at Winter Meetings

NASHVILLE - A year ago at the Winter Meetings in San Diego, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo dismissed the idea of signing Max Scherzer, the best free agent available. A little more than a month later, the Nationals inked the ace to a then-record $210 million contract for a right-hander. Speaking Monday afternoon in a room at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, Rizzo

Is Rizzo willing to part with top prospects to bring trades across finish line?

NASHVILLE - By now, most observers expected the Nationals to have gotten a lot futher in their bullpen makeover, perhaps swinging a trade for an eighth- or ninth-inning arm. But here we are, entering the second day of the Winter Meetings at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, and the Nats have done nothing of significance. What’s more, the once-promising plethora of shutdown relief

Report: Free agent reliever Shawn Kelley heading to Nationals

NASHVILLE - It’s no secret the Nationals’ main focus this offseason is fixing the bullpen issues that haunted them throughout last season, especially down the stretch as they lost hold of first place and quickly descended out of playoff contention. ‘Whatever way we can improve the ballclub - whatever way we can improve the bullpen specifically - we’ll certainly do,” Rizzo said Monday afternoon at

Despite grievance, Rizzo says Nationals would welcome Papelbon back (with video)

NASHVILLE - A report surfaced late Sunday night that closer Jonathan Papelbon had filed a grievance against the Nationals for withholding his pay during a team-imposed four-game suspension at the end of the season. FOXSports.com reported this afternoon that the Major League Baseball Players Association actually filed the grievance shortly after the Nationals announced the suspension. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo announced Papelbon’s suspension on

Rizzo on who will play shortstop, inquiries on Escobar, interest in Rollins and more (with video)

NASHVILLE - Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo isn’t averse to trading for a shortstop, but if tomorrow was April 4, he’s sure there’s someone on the current roster who would be trotting out to the space between third and second bases in the bottom of the first inning on the final opening day at Atlanta’s Turner Field. “I have a comfort level that if today

Nats reportedly in contention to land versatile free agent Ben Zobrist

NASHVILLE - The Nationals have reportedly made it to the final four in the sweepstakes for versatile free agent Ben Zobrist. The Mets, Giants and Dodgers are the other three teams contending for Zobrist, who won the World Series with the Royals this season after coming over from the Athletics in a trade deadline move. Multiple reports have the 34-year-old Zobrist seeking a four-year deal

Report: Aroldis Chapman dealt to Dodgers, complicating Nats’ plans

NASHVILLE - For the second straight day, the Nationals appear to have lost out on a possible prominent bullpen target. FOXSports.com was first to report the Dodgers agreed to send two prospects to the Reds for closer Aroldis Chapman. The deal is pending a review of medical records, according to the report. The Nationals had reportedly been in trade talks for Chapman, who pitched out Continue reading ....

Keep an eye on Nationals’ talks with Rangers

NASHVILLE - If the Nationals are willing to deal Stephen Strasburg - and all indications are that they are at least open to discussions, with the right-hander one season away from free agency - keep an eye on the Rangers as a possible trade partner. Texas had interest in Strasburg last offseason, though the Nationals were content to see how strong their rotation could be

It’s time for Nationals to end the embarrassment with Jonathan Papelbon

NASHVILLE - Fifteen days ago, the Nationals tweeted a sweet happy birthday wish to Jonathan Papelbon, who turned 35. The felicitations seemed a bit bizarre from the Nationals, but they extend such nice sentiments to all their players. The move wasn’t popular with the fan base that wants Papelbon’s brief tenure in Washington annulled like a weekend Vegas wedding. Just forget about it and move

Jonathan Papelbon reportedly files grievance against Nationals over suspension

NASHVILLE - Jonathan Papelbon’s stay in Washington just gets messier for the Nationals by the minute. The veteran closer has reportedly filed a grievance against the Nats for withholding his salary during a team-imposed four-game suspension at the end of the 2015 season. Rob Bradford of WEEI.com in Boston reported the story Sunday night, citing multiple major league sources. The suspension resulted from Papelbon’s dugout

If Nationals are boxed out on Darren O’Day and Aroldis Chapman, what’s Plan B?

NASHVILLE - A few days ago, the projected outlook for the reconstruction of the Nationals bullpen appeared optimistic. Many believed Washington was in the driver’s seat to land right-hander Darren O’Day, considered the best free agent reliever on the market after his All-Star season with the Orioles. The next step was expected to be a blockbuster deal to acquire coveted Reds closer Aroldis Chapman, solving

Nationals won’t land reliever Darren O’Day (O’Day says reports “premature”)

We’re an hour from liftoff at Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport, and the Nationals have reportedly already lost one of their primary targets before the Winter Meetings even begin. Per a report from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, right-hander Darren O’Day will likely remain with the Orioles. The Nationals had made the sidearming set-up man one of their chief targets in an expected bullpen makeover. No

Nationals looking to make music at Winter Meetings in Nashville

The next few days in Nashville figure to be fast and furious as baseball’s brass converges on the famous Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center for the annual Winter Meetings. You’re likely to find Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo in the middle of some aggressive wheeling and dealing, with several important decisions on the horizon following a disappointing 2015 campaign. Chief among the Nationals’ concerns

Off to Music City for the Winter Meetings

In a few hours, the MASNsports.com contingent will be boarding a Southwest Airlines flight out of Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport, bound for Nashville and baseball’s Winter Meetings at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center. While the Winter Meetings get lots of attention for being the place major league executives and player agents meet and mingle to discuss possible trades and free agent signings,

Nats reportedly leading race for Darren O’Day

Last winter, the Nationals outbid everyone, landing the majors’ top free agent starting pitcher, Max Scherzer, with a blockbuster $210 million contract. A year later, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo apparently is nearing a deal with the top reliever on the market. Multiple reports have the Nationals as the frontrunner to sign right-hander Darren O’Day. The submariner went 6-2 with a 1.50 ERA and 0.93

If the Nats land a left-handed bat, where does he play?

Judging from the responses in our comments section and on Twitter, there’s a significant portion of NatsTown that wants general manager Mike Rizzo to come back from next week’s Winter Meetings in Nashville with an outfielder, preferably one who hits left-handed to break up the spate of righty sticks in the Nationals lineup. I’m not sure one will fit into his carry-on, and you know

Report: Nats agree to two-year deal with Oliver Perez

The Nationals have agreed to terms on a two-year, $7 million deal with left-handed reliever Oliver Perez, an industry source has confirmed. The signing ahead of next week’s Winter Meetings in Nashville is the first tangible move in general manager Mike Rizzo’s expected bullpen makeover. Perez would presumably inherit the 25-man roster spot and duties of southpaw Matt Thornton, who was not re-signed and remains

How interested should the Nationals be in Ben Zobrist?

It wouldn’t be the hot stove season if there weren’t rumors swirling about. And with the Winter Meeting looming next week in Nashville, the Nationals continue to be strongly linked to one of the more popular free agents out there, utility man extraordinaire Ben Zobrist. See, that’s what some fuel on the ol’ hot stove fire feels like. Multiple reports over the past few days

Nationals avoid arbitration with Moore, Lobaton (Stammen is lone non-tender)

The Nationals have agreed to a one-year, $900,000 deal with first baseman/outfielder Tyler Moore, reaching a pact ahead of tonight’s 11:59 p.m. Eastern time deadline to tender contracts to unsigned players. Moore was the first of eight arbitration-eligible Nationals to sign. CBSSports.com was first to report the agreement. The 28-year-old Moore has seen his statistical output and playing time fall over the past few seasons,

Will the Nationals non-tender any arbitration-eligible players?

Tomorrow is another one of those important housekeeping dates on the Major League Baseball offseason calendar. By 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, teams must offer their arbitration-eligible players contracts or non-tender those whose services they’re no longer interested in. While some Nationals players have multi-year contracts - think Max Scherzer, Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman, Bryce Harper and other guys who helped push the team’s

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