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Tracking down some former Nationals position players

If you’ve been thinking this offseason has been awfully quiet so far, you’re not alone. The World Series ended four weeks ago, with free agency officially beginning five days later, and there has been next-to-no significant news across the baseball world. Eventually, that will change, most likely in the days leading up to the Winter Meetings (which begin Dec. 11 in Orlando). Until then, we’ll

Despite concern after ACL tear, Eaton should be upgrade for Nats

We’ve spent a decent portion of the offseason to date talking about members of the 2017 Nationals who won’t be part of the 2018 Nationals, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t take some time to talk about a guy who barely played in 2017 who is positioned to play a whole lot in 2018: Adam Eaton. The club’s biggest acquisition last winter, Eaton was

Postseason player shares revealed

They may have failed to advance beyond the first playoff round once again, but the Nationals still managed to earn some extra cash for their brief October run. The team was awarded $2,746,264.04 to be split among its players and other selected personnel, according to figures released Monday by Major League Baseball. That total, which also was awarded to the three other clubs that were

What free agent starters might the Nats consider this winter?

The Nationals’ No. 1 need this winter, arguably, is a starting pitcher. They’ve got four well-established guys set to return next season in Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Tanner Roark, but they have no obvious choice to be the fifth starter. Joe Ross, who held that job for most of the first half of the 2017 season, had Tommy John surgery and won’t

Is there a role for lefty Grace in next season’s bullpen?

As we transition into offseason mode here, we’re reviewing each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Matt Grace, who made a career-high 40 appearances this year ... PLAYER REVIEW: MATT GRACE Age on opening day 2018: 29 How acquired: Eighth-round pick, 2010 draft MLB service time: 1 year, 65 days 2017 salary: $535,000 Contract status: Under team control in 2018, arbitration-eligible

Ross will have to re-establish himself after Tommy John surgery

As we transition into offseason mode here, we’re reviewing each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Joe Ross, whose erratic season was cut short by a major elbow injury ... PLAYER REVIEW: JOE ROSS Age on opening day 2018: 24 How acquired: Traded from Padres with Trea Turner for Steven Souza Jr. and Travis Ott, who were sent to Rays in

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

It’s Black Friday, aka the busiest shopping day of the year. If you’re into waking up at 3 a.m. and physically fighting with strangers over a discounted toaster oven, that is. But, hey, some people live for this stuff. They have a few items they absolutely must buy, and this is the best deal they’re ever going to find on them. So traditional manners need

What the Nationals are thankful for this year

There’s a lot of reason to be upset with the world right now, but - believe it or not - there’s a lot more reason to be happy. I often remind myself of this. There’s way more good than bad in the world, way more good people than bad people. We only hear about the bad stuff more. And so on this Thanksgiving, it seems

Rest of NL East still has a long way to go to catch up to Nats

No matter what moves they make or don’t make this winter, the Nationals are going to enter the 2018 season as the overwhelming favorite to win the National League East again. It’s hard to imagine, quite frankly, a scenario in which that wouldn’t be the case. That doesn’t mean the Nats are guaranteed to win their third consecutive division title and fifth in seven years.

On this year’s Hall of Fame ballot (and a former National on it)

Last year’s Hall of Fame ballot included the first inductee who played part of his career for the Nationals. This year’s ballot includes the guy who threw the first pitch in Nats history and became a longstanding fan favorite. Livan Hernandez is one of 19 players listed on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time this winter, a ballot that also includes 14

Nats’ exhibition schedule includes game vs. Twins in D.C.

The Nationals announced their 2018 spring training schedule today, one that again takes advantage of their conveniently located new complex in West Palm Beach and concludes with a final exhibition against the Twins in D.C. Twenty-five of the Nationals’ 31 Grapefruit League games in Florida will be played in Palm Beach County, either at their shared complex with the Astros or a short 15-minute drive

Nationals add Gutierrez, Rodriguez to 40-man roster

The Nationals added third baseman Kelvin Gutierrez and right-hander Jefry Rodriguez to their 40-man roster in advance of today’s 8 p.m. league-wide deadline, protecting both prospects from being lost in next month’s Rule 5 draft. Neither Gutierrez nor Rodriguez appears on the Nationals’ various top-10 prospects list - or is big-league ready - but each is viewed within the organization as worthy of retaining without

Nationals have 40-man roster decisions to make

Major league clubs face an 8 p.m. deadline today to add players to their 40-man rosters and thus protect them from being taken away during next month’s Rule 5 draft. It’s not one of the high-profile deadlines of the offseason, but it can be an important one nonetheless. Consider some of the names the Nationals protected last winter for good reason, as it turned out:

What can Nats expect from Fedde after disappointing 2017?

As we transition into offseason mode here, we’re reviewing each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Erick Fedde, who made his highly anticipated debut this year ... PLAYER REVIEW: ERICK FEDDE Age on opening day 2018: 25 How acquired: First-round pick, 2014 draft MLB service time: 39 days 2017 salary: $535,000 Contract status: Under team control in 2018, arbitration-eligible in 2021,

Hard-throwing reliever Romero will get another chance in 2018

As we transition into offseason mode here, we’re reviewing each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Enny Romero, who had an up-and-down first season in Washington ... PLAYER REVIEW: ENNY ROMERO Age on opening day 2018: 27 How acquired: Traded from Rays for Jeffrey Rosa, February 2017 MLB service time: 2 years, 72 days 2017 salary: $551,000 Contract status: Under team

Friday morning Nats Q&A

It’s been quite a long time since we did one of these things. And quite a bit has happened to the Nationals since then. Dusty Baker was let go. Dave Martinez was hired. Daniel Murphy had knee surgery. Max Scherzer won another Cy Young Award. Plus a lot of other stuff. So let’s take a step today and give all of you an opportunity to

Rendon ranks sixth in MVP voting, with four other Nats on ballot

Though none of them produced the kind of season worthy of an MVP award, five Nationals did earn recognition as also-rans in the annual voting for the National League’s best player. Anthony Rendon finished sixth in MVP voting, with Max Scherzer finishing 10th, Bryce Harper (who may have been headed for the second MVP of his career before suffering his major knee injury in mid-August)

Even with Cy Young showing, 2017 was a grind for Scherzer

It’s easily forgotten now, because so much has transpired since, but Max Scherzer had a serious problem in spring training. He couldn’t throw a fastball with his normal grip, the pressure of the side of the ball on the previously fractured knuckle on his right ring finger too painful. Things got so bad that Scherzer, who had to withdraw from the World Baseball Classic due

Max Scherzer wins third career Cy Young Award (updated)

Max Scherzer just joined an awfully exclusive club featuring some of the greatest pitchers in baseball history: three-time Cy Young Award winner. And he’s not exactly sure how to process it all just yet. “That’s why I’m drinking a lot of champagne tonight,” the right-hander said with a laugh, some 90 minutes after learning of his victory. “Look, anytime you win a Cy Young Award,

Nats’ new staff complete with hiring of Blanco as bullpen coach

The Nationals announced the hiring of Henry Blanco as bullpen coach this morning, officially filling the final position on new manager Dave Martinez’s staff. Blanco is no stranger to Martinez, having served as the Cubs quality assurance coach the last three seasons while the latter was bench coach. He previously was an assistant coach and bullpen catcher for the Diamondbacks. The 46-year-old former catcher has

What a Cy Young Award would mean for Scherzer or Strasburg

The results of this year’s National League Cy Young Award vote, which will be announced at approximately 6:45 p.m. Eastern time, won’t change Max Scherzer or Stephen Strasburg’s career stats. No matter what happens tonight, Scherzer still owns a 141-75 record, 3.30 ERA and 2,149 strikeouts during an awfully impressive career. And regardless of tonight’s winner, Strasburg remains 84-45 with a 3.07 ERA and 1,288

Where the Nationals payroll stands heading into the winter

The annual GM meetings are taking place this week in Orlando. It’s the kind of event where a lot of stuff is discussed but very little is actually done. Most clubs and most players prefer to wait until the Winter Meetings in December to start getting serious about contract negotiations or blockbuster trades. But this is the unofficial beginning of the Hot Stove League, with

Previewing BBWAA awards week

It’s awards week in baseball, with the big four - MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year - set to be handed out over the next four nights by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Despite their success and deep roster of players who enjoyed impressive seasons, the Nationals have an opportunity to emerge with only one of these four awards.

Erratic this season, Solís is hardly a sure thing for Nats

As we transition into offseason mode here, we’re reviewing each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Sammy Solís, who labored through an erratic season. PLAYER REVIEW: SAMMY SOLIS Age on opening day 2018: 29 How acquired: Second round pick, 2010 draft MLB service time: 2 years, 84 days 2017 salary: $545,700 Contract status: Under team control in 2018, arbitration-eligible in 2019,

After surprising season, will Albers fit into Nats’ 2018 plans?

As we transition into offseason mode here, we’re reviewing each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Matt Albers, perhaps the biggest pleasant surprise of the season. PLAYER REVIEW: MATT ALBERS Age on opening day 2018: 35 How acquired: Signed as minor league free agent, January 2017 MLB service time: 10 years, 141 days 2017 salary: $1.15 million Contract status: Free agent

Should Nationals try to re-sign Kintzler, keep “Law Firm” together?

As we transition into offseason mode here, we’re reviewing each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Brandon Kintzler, who excelled in a setup role after his July 31 acquisition from the Twins. PLAYER REVIEW: BRANDON KINTZLER Age on opening day 2018: 33 How acquired: Traded from Twins for Tyler Watson and international bonus slot money, July 2017 MLB service time: 6

Murphy wins second straight Silver Slugger Award

Daniel Murphy won his second consecutive Silver Slugger Award this evening, deemed once again the best offensive second baseman in the National League. Murphy was the only Nationals player to win a Silver Slugger this season, despite dominant offensive performances by several teammates. Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon, though, lost out at their respective positions to Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado, respectively, while Bryce Harper’s

Nats add three more to staff, including pitching coach Lilliquist

The Nationals have hired Derek Lilliquist as pitching coach, Tim Bogar as first base coach and Joe Dillon as assistant hitting coach, adding two more experienced members to new manager Dave Martinez’s staff plus another first-timer with ties to the organization. In announcing the additions of Lilliquist, Bogar and Dillon along with the previously reported hiring of Chip Hale (bench coach), Bob Henley (third base

Can key midseason pickup Madson do it again in 2018?

As we transition into offseason mode here, we’re reviewing each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Ryan Madson, whose midseason arrival helped transform the Nats’ struggling bullpen into a strength. PLAYER REVIEW: RYAN MADSON Age on opening day 2018: 37 How acquired: Traded from Athletics with Sean Doolittle for Blake Treinen, Jesus Luzardo and Sheldon Neuse, July 2017 MLB service time:

Hale joining Martinez’s staff as bench coach (plus awards note)

Former Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale will join new Nationals manager Dave Martinez’s staff as bench coach, according to multiple published reports. Hale, 52, skippered the D-backs in 2015 and 2016, compiling a 148-176 record (.457) but never finishing higher than third in the National League West in his rookie season. He spent last season as the bench coach on manager Bob Melvin’s A’s staff and

Wieters exercises $10.5 million option, will return to Nationals

Matt Wieters will remain with the Nationals for a second season. The veteran catcher has exercised his $10.5 million player option, a source familiar with the decision confirmed, ensuring he’ll remain a member of the Nationals for 2018 on the heels of a disappointing debut season in Washington. Wieters’ decision, which had to be made over the weekend, had become expected in recent weeks. When

Doolittle seized closer’s role and now expects to keep it long-term

As we transition into offseason mode here, we’re reviewing each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Sean Doolittle, who was acquired in July to help fix the Nats bullpen and wound up excelling as closer. PLAYER REVIEW: SEAN DOOLITTLE Age on opening day 2018: 31 How acquired: Traded from Athletics with Ryan Madson for Blake Treinen, Jesus Luzardo and Sheldon Neuse

How will Roark bounce back from an erratic season?

As we transition into offseason mode here, we’re reviewing each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Tanner Roark, who labored throughout the first half of the season but then found himself again down the stretch. PLAYER REVIEW: TANNER ROARK Age on opening day 2018: 31 How acquired: Acquired from Rangers with Ryan Tatusko for Cristian Guzman, July 2010 MLB service time:

Does Martinez hiring signal an analytical shift for Nationals?

The Nationals have never been confused for a progressive, analytics-first organization. These aren’t the Astros or the Dodgers or the Cubs or the Rays. But neither have the Nats been stuck in old-school ways. They may have taken the slow-and-steady route over nearly a decade, but they do utilize numbers and have implemented them into their daily and long-term decisions. General manager Mike Rizzo, a

Nationals hire well-regarded hitting coach Kevin Long

Dave Martinez’s inaugural staff with the Nationals will include at least one experienced, well-regarded coach. Kevin Long, who has a long list of supporters after a decade with the Yankees and Mets, has been hired as the Nationals’ new hitting coach, the club announced this evening. Long, 50, becomes the first member of Martinez’s staff, bringing instant credibility and experience to the first-time manager’s coaching

Four years later, Nats hand over the reins to Dave Martinez

Mike Rizzo had the opportunity to hire Dave Martinez four years ago. The Nationals needed a new manager following Davey Johnson’s planned departure, and the former major league outfielder - at that point still bench coach for the Rays - was among the candidates Rizzo interviewed before selecting Matt Williams. Rizzo again had the opportunity to hire Martinez two years ago. The Nationals again needed

Nats “optimistic” Murphy will be healthy by opening day (updated)

Buried amid the Nationals’ latest managerial change was the news that one of the club’s most important players - Daniel Murphy - needed significant knee surgery at season’s end. And though team officials believe the All-Star second baseman will be fully healed well before the start of the 2018 season, they can’t definitively say that just yet. Murphy had debridement and microfracture surgery two weeks

Great in regular season, Gonzalez hit familiar bump in October

As we transition into offseason mode here, we’re reviewing each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Gio Gonzalez, who enjoyed perhaps the best regular season of his career but once again struggled in October. PLAYER REVIEW: GIO GONZALEZ Age on opening day 2018: 32 How acquired: Traded from Athletics with Robert Gilliam for A.J. Cole, Tommy Milone, Derek Norris and Brad

With dominant second half, Strasburg reached new heights

As we transition into offseason mode here, we’re reviewing each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Stephen Strasburg, who put together the best season of his career and capped it with a dominant postseason performance. PLAYER REVIEW: STEPHEN STRASBURG Age on opening day 2018: 29 How acquired: First-round pick, 2009 draft MLB service time: 7 years, 118 days 2017 salary: $15

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