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Rest of NL East has been aggressive early this offseason

For the Nationals, this has been a fairly quiet offseason so far. There’s still a long way to go before pitchers and catchers report to West Palm Beach, Fla., and certainly there will be plenty of significant roster moves made between now and then. But so far, the Nats have re-signed reserve outfielder Chris Heisey to a one-year deal and added a few players on

Nats watch as Cespedes returns to Mets for reported $110 million

If the Nationals are going to bolster their lineup with another right-handed slugger, they’ll have to find somebody other than Yoenis Cespedes. Cespedes agreed to a new deal with the Mets today, returning to New York for four years and $110 million, according to a host of reports. The 31-year-old outfielder had signed a three-year, $75 million with the Mets last winter but enacted an

How much are Nats willing to give up in a blockbuster trade?

There’s been a lot of chatter already this offseason about blockbuster trade possibilities, with White Sox ace Chris Sale at the top of the list and the Nationals among the clubs widely speculated to be contemplating a deal for the left-hander. It’s a long and winding path, of course, to get from the kind of preliminary chatter we’ve heard so far to an actual trade

Where the Nationals’ organizational depth chart currently stands

With a brief Thanksgiving break behind them, the Nationals get back to work today on what is sort of the unofficial first true day of the hot stove league. Yes, roster moves have already been made over the last few weeks and a few other clubs have already signed a handful of prominent free agents. But most of the significant offseason transactions happen between Thanksgiving

Could the Nationals give Revere another chance?

In all of the discussions we’ve had since the season ended six weeks ago about the various choices the Nationals have for their 2017 outfield, we’ve kind of glossed over one more option that isn’t all that outrageous: bringing Ben Revere back as the starting center fielder. Revere turned into a forgotten man over the season’s final two months, once he was bumped from his

Ramos progressing in rehab from right knee surgery

We’ll never know what might have been had Wilson Ramos not torn the ACL in his right knee on Sept. 26, whether it would have altered the Nationals’ postseason fortunes and whether it would have altered their chances of re-signing him this winter. Neither Ramos nor the Nationals can do anything about that now. They can only look forward. And for Ramos, that means some

What’s your Black Friday shopping wish for the Nationals?

It’s Black Friday, which means around the country people stayed up all night so they could fight off their fellow citizens with sticks trying to snag a cheap television or washing machine or Tickle Me Elmo or whatever it is people fight each other over these days. (Suffice it to say, I don’t know a thing about any of this. I prefer to do my

What the Nationals are thankful for today

It’s a tumultuous time in the world, but today we all pause to spend time with family and friends and appreciate what we have. That applies to the Nationals, as well. (Hey, these guys are human beings. They have feelings, too!) And so in honor of this fourth Thursday of November, we present to you what each of the following Nats are most thankful for

Nationals acquire hard-throwing reliever from Phillies

The Nationals have acquired reliever Jimmy Cordero from the Phillies for a player to be named, hoping the hard-throwing right-hander can bounce back from an injury-plagued season in Philadelphia’s farm system and become a late-inning arm for them at some point. Cordero, 25, had been designated for assignment last week by the Phillies, who needed to clear space on their 40-man roster for other prospects

Is an experienced closer necessary to win a World Series?

It is perhaps the Nationals’ biggest dilemma this winter - who’s going to pitch the ninth inning? - and there is no easy solution to the problem. The Nationals could sign one of the three big-name closers on the open market this winter, luring Aroldis Chapman or Kenley Jansen to D.C. or bringing Mark Melancon back. They could take a chance and entrust the job

Who could be first National enshrined in Cooperstown?

The 2017 Hall of Fame ballot was released yesterday, and as noted here, there’s a decent chance Ivan Rodriguez could become the first ever permanent resident of Cooperstown to have played for the Nationals. Rodriguez, of course, would not go into the Hall wearing a curly W cap on his head. He’d almost certainly be a Ranger, with only a passing mention of “Washington, N.L.”

Former Nat Ivan Rodriguez among 34 Hall of Fame candidates

There are a number of Hall of Famers who played at least a portion of their careers in Washington, but none played for this incarnation of the Nationals, and none sports a plaque that includes the words: “Washington, N.L.” That could change next summer if Ivan Rodriguez is inducted to the Hall in his first year of eligibility. Rodriguez, who caught for the Nationals in

Monday morning Nats Q&A

It’s been a while since we did one of these, so it seems like a good time to bring back the Q&A. What to discuss? Well, there’s the question at catcher, at closer and perhaps one other spot in the lineup. There’s the question of pursuing another big-name starting pitcher. There’s the question of Trea Turner’s eventual position on the field. There’s the question of

Nats sign former Orioles prospect Snyder to minor league deal

The Nationals have signed former Orioles first-round pick and Northern Virginia product Brandon Snyder to a minor league contract. Snyder, who turns 30 this week, will have an invitation to big league camp with an opportunity to compete for a spot on the opening day roster, according to a source familiar with the deal. The Orioles made Snyder the 13th overall pick in the 2005

Heisey deal is official, outfielder returns to Nats for $1.4 million

The Nationals officially announced their one-year contract with Chris Heisey this morning after the outfielder passed a physical, ensuring one of their most productive bench players returns in 2017. Heisey will earn $1.4 million in base salary plus incentives, according to a source familiar with the deal. The two sides had agreed in principle to the contract Nov. 11, but its completion was pending the

New spring training facility starting to take shape

We are a mere 14 weeks away from the Nationals’ spring training opener, which means pitchers and catchers are due to report to West Palm Beach in roughly 12 weeks (no official date yet). Which raises a fairly important question: Is West Palm Beach going to be ready for the Nats? Crews continue to work furiously on the brand-new Ballpark at the Palm Beaches, the

Voth, Bautista among five players added to Nats’ 40-man roster

The Nationals added five players to their 40-man roster this afternoon, in the process protecting outfielder Rafael Bautista, first baseman Jose Marmolejos, catcher Raudy Read, infielder Matt Skole and right-hander Austin Voth from being scooped up by another organization in next month’s Rule 5 draft. The additions, which were required to be made before a 5 p.m. EST deadline, leave the Nationals with 36 players

Where the Nats’ 40-man roster stands on decision day

There’s a deadline this afternoon around baseball. It’s not one of the major deadlines, like the trade deadline or the qualifying offer deadline. But it’s nonetheless a potentially significant one when it comes to organizations keeping their best prospects from getting swooped up by another club. By 5 p.m. EST, all teams must add any players they wish to protect from being selected in the

Murphy finishes second in NL MVP vote to Bryant

Daniel Murphy had an MVP-caliber season and might well have taken home the hardware had he put up the same stat line in a previous year. This year, though, Murphy was forced to take a back seat to Kris Bryant, who as the best player on the best team in baseball easily captured the National League MVP. Bryant, the brightest young star on a Cubs

Explaining my NL Cy Young Award ballot

Voting for the annual Baseball Writers’ Association of America awards rarely is simple. Sure, every once in a while you get a no-brainer - Bryce Harper for National League MVP in 2015 - but most of these decisions are tough. And few I’ve ever voted for were tougher than this year’s NL Cy Young Award ballot. As I started compiling a list of candidates in

On a boat in paradise, Scherzer celebrates another Cy Young win

Max Scherzer and his wife, Erica, have been going on boating trips with old college friends and their spouses every November for years. It’s an annual tradition, and one the Scherzers weren’t about to pass up, not even when it overlapped with another annual tradition: the announcement of the Cy Young Award winners. “For the past few years, we all get together over this time

Scherzer wins Washington’s first-ever Cy Young Award

The Nationals handed Max Scherzer the largest free-agent contract ever given to a pitcher two winters ago, believing the right-hander was among the best starters in baseball and worthy of leading their star-studded rotation for years to come. Two seasons in, Scherzer has lived up to the contract. And tonight came perhaps the most significant validation of that: He won the National League Cy Young

How much payroll can the Nationals add this winter?

Yesterday, I raised the subject of the Nationals possibly pursuing a big bat this winter, someone who could be inserted into the heart of their lineup between Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy and add some more consistent firepower to a batting order that was effective this season but seemed to be lacking at times. Some have since raised an important question that ties into that

Baker finishes third in NL Manager of the Year vote, Roberts wins

Dusty Baker finished third in voting for National League Manager of the Year, recognized by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America for helping lead the Nationals back to the postseason in his first season at the helm. Dave Roberts, who had to overcome a Dodgers club ravaged by injuries in order to win a division title, won this year’s award. The rookie manager

Could the Nationals pursue another big bat this winter?

The Nationals’ top needs this winter are fairly clear-cut. They need a closer, whether they re-sign Mark Melancon or acquire someone else. They need a catcher, whether they bring back the rehabbing Wilson Ramos, give Pedro Severino a chance or look outside the organization. They need to decide whether Trea Turner is their center fielder or shortstop, and address any domino effects of that decision.

Turner finishes second to Seager in Rookie of the Year voting

Trea Turner was phenomenal for half a season. But Corey Seager was great for the full season, and that’s why the Dodgers shortstop beat out the Nationals center fielder for National League Rookie of the Year. Seager was named the winner this evening, a unanimous choice by all 30 voting members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (two from each NL city) and 150

Your primer to this week’s BBWAA award announcements

The season ended two weeks ago, free agents are beginning to sign with new clubs and every team around baseball is fully ensconced in reshaping rosters for 2017. But first, there’s still one final task that must be completed before everyone can truly turn the page on the 2016 season: Hand out the major individual awards. That process will play out over the next four

Did Burnett earn a major league contract for 2017?

As we transition into offseason mode here, we’ve been reviewing each significant player on the Nationals roster. We conclude today with Sean Burnett, who returned to D.C. in September and impressed. PLAYER REVIEW: SEAN BURNETT Age on opening day 2017: 34 How acquired: Purchased from the Twins, August 2016 MLB service time: 8 years, 116 days 2016 salary: $1 million Contract status: Free agent 2016

How prominent a role could Glover have in 2017 bullpen?

As we transition into offseason mode here, we’re reviewing each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Koda Glover, who surprisingly emerged from the minors as a power-armed reliever. PLAYER REVIEW: KODA GLOVER Age on opening day 2017: 23 How acquired: Eighth-round pick, 2015 draft MLB service time: 51 days 2016 salary: $507,500 Contract status: Under team control in 2017, arbitration-eligible in

Source: Heisey returning to Nats on one-year deal

Chris Heisey, a key member of what became a productive bench for the Nationals this season, is returning in 2017. Heisey has agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Nats worth $1.4 million plus incentives, according to a source familiar with the deal. ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick was first to report the signing, which won’t become official until Heisey passes a physical. The 31-year-old

Nats need Perez to be more consistently effective in 2017

As we transition into offseason mode here, we’re reviewing each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Oliver Perez, who had an erratic first season in the Nats bullpen. PLAYER REVIEW: OLIVER PEREZ Age on opening day 2017: 35 How acquired: Signed as free agent, December 2015 MLB service time: 12 years, 144 days 2016 salary: $3 million Contract status: Signed for

Murphy, Ramos win first career Silver Slugger Awards

Daniel Murphy and Wilson Ramos each won Silver Slugger Awards this evening, further confirmation of the standout offensive performers the two key members of the Nationals lineup were this season. It’s the first Silver Slugger, awarded to the best offensive player at each position in each league by managers and coaches, for both Murphy and Ramos. And both had air-tight cases to win. Murphy led

Trusted in key late spots, Solis figures prominently in ‘17

As we transition into offseason mode here, we’re reviewing each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Sammy Solis, who wound up as one of the club’s most reliable left-handers out of the bullpen. PLAYER REVIEW: SAMMY SOLIS Age on opening day 2017: 28 How acquired: Second-round pick, 2010 draft MLB service time: 1 year, 118 days 2016 salary: $507,500 Contract status:

Murphy voted NL Most Outstanding Player by peers

Daniel Murphy earned the Nationals’ first end-of-season award tonight when he was named the National League’s Most Outstanding Player as part of the annual Players Choice Awards. Murphy was selected by his peers in the NL in voting that was conducted in mid-September. He beat out the Cubs’ Kris Bryant and the Rockies’ Nolan Arenado, the other two finalists. “That, for me, is the highest

Treinen blossomed into trusted escape artist out of bullpen

As we transition into offseason mode here, we’re reviewing each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Blake Treinen, who stepped up to become Dusty Baker’s most trusted reliever in tight situations. PLAYER REVIEW: BLAKE TREINEN Age on opening day 2017: 28 How acquired: Acquired with A.J. Cole and Ian Krol from Athletics in three-team trade that sent Michael Morse to Mariners,

Rendon comes up short in Gold Glove voting to Arenado

Anthony Rendon is widely regarded as one of the best defensive third basemen in the National League. But he’s not regarded as being better than Nolan Arenado, and so this evening Rendon was left to watch as his counterpart from the Rockies won the Gold Glove Award over him. Arenado was the choice by NL managers and coaches who submitted their votes at the end

Kelley succeeded in setup role, will be asked for more in 2017

As we transition into offseason mode here, we’re reviewing each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Shawn Kelley, who became a key part of the bullpen in his first season on D.C. PLAYER REVIEW: SHAWN KELLEY Age on opening day 2017: 32 How acquired: Signed as free agent, December 2015 MLB service time: 7 years, 128 days 2016 salary: $4 million

Murphy, Scherzer, Turner, Baker finalists for BBWAA awards

The Baseball Writers’ Association of America revealed finalists for each of the sport’s major awards this evening, and the Nationals find themselves smack dab in the middle of it all. The Nationals have a finalist for each of the four big National League awards: Daniel Murphy (MVP), Max Scherzer (Cy Young), Trea Turner (Rookie of the Year) and Dusty Baker (Manager of the Year). Three

No qualifying offer from Nationals to Ramos, now a free agent

The Nationals will not extend a qualifying offer to Wilson Ramos before today’s 5 p.m. EST deadline, according to a source familiar with the decision, making the rehabbing catcher a free agent who can now sign with any club in baseball. The decision, which had been expected since Ramos suffered a major knee injury in late September, doesn’t prevent him from re-signing with the Nationals

Nats release schedule for inaugural spring in West Palm Beach

For the last 12 years, while they trained in remote Viera, the Nationals were forced to criss-cross the state of Florida each spring, with every Grapefruit League road game a minimum one hour’s drive away. That all changes next spring, in a dramatic way: The Nationals will play 28 of their 33 exhibition games within a 15-minute drive of their new ballpark in West Palm

Is Melancon a good long-term investment for Nationals?

As we transition into offseason mode here, we’re reviewing each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Mark Melancon, who excelled after his acquisition at the trade deadline but now is a free agent. PLAYER REVIEW: MARK MELANCON Age on opening day 2017: 32 How acquired: Acquired from Pirates for Felipe Rivero and Taylor Hearn, July 2016 MLB service time: 6 years,

Underwhelming debut took some luster off Giolito’s bright star

As we transition into offseason mode here, we’re reviewing each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Lucas Giolito, the top pitching prospect who underwhelmed in limited action. PLAYER REVIEW: LUCAS GIOLITO Age on opening day 2017: 22 How acquired: First-round pick, 2012 draft MLB service time: 39 days 2016 salary: $507,500 Contract status: Under club control in 2017, arbitration-eligible in 2020,

How does Reynaldo Lopez figure into Nats’ 2017 plans?

As we transition into offseason mode here, we’re reviewing each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Reynaldo Lopez, who impressed in his abbreviated rookie stint. PLAYER REVIEW: REYNALDO LOPEZ Age on opening day 2017: 23 How acquired: Signed as amateur free agent, June 2012 MLB service time: 43 days 2016 salary: $507,500 Contract status: Under club control in 2017, arbitration-eligible in

Sidetracked by injury in 2016, Ross has something to prove

As we transition into offseason mode here, we’re reviewing each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Joe Ross, whose promising season was interrupted by a shoulder injury that kept him sidelined until September. PLAYER REVIEW: JOE ROSS Age on opening day 2017: 23 How acquired: Acquired from Padres with Trea Turner for Steven Souza Jr. and Travis Ott (traded to Rays

Nationals pick up Gonzalez’s 2017 option, cut loose Petit

Gio Gonzalez is returning to the Nationals in 2017 - and possibly 2018. Yusmeiro Petit is returning to the free agent market. The Nationals announced today they have picked up Gonzalez’s $12 million option for next season, keeping the veteran left-hander in their rotation. But they are declining Petit’s $3 million option, cutting loose the rubber-armed reliever. The decision to retain Gonzalez may at first

After erratic year, Nats have decision to make on Gonzalez

As we transition into offseason mode here, we’re reviewing each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Gio Gonzalez, who after another erratic season faces a somewhat uncertain future with the franchise. PLAYER REVIEW: GIO GONZALEZ Age on opening day 2017: 31 How acquired: Acquired from Athletics with Robert Gilliam for A.J. Cole, Tommy Milone, Derek Norris and Brad Peacock, December 2011.

Back in full-time starting role, Roark seized opportunity

As we transition into offseason mode here, we’re reviewing each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Tanner Roark, who returning to full-time starting duties this year and put up stats comparable to his breakthrough 2014 season. PLAYER REVIEW: TANNER ROARK Age on opening day 2017: 30 How acquired: Acquired from Rangers with Ryan Tatusko for Cristian Guzman, July 2010 MLB service

For Strasburg, yet another season of dominance and injury

As we transition into offseason mode here, we’re reviewing each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Stephen Strasburg, who was on track for his best season in the majors before an elbow injury abruptly shut him down. PLAYER REVIEW: STEPHEN STRASBURG Age on opening day 2017: 28 How acquired: First-round pick, 2009 draft MLB service time: 6 years, 118 days 2016

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