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Avila to Arizona could open door for Realmuto to D.C.

If it feels like we’ve been talking about J.T. Realmuto quite a bit this winter, well, we have. Such is the reality when you combine an awfully quiet offseason with one of the few positions the Nationals could try to upgrade with a Marlins franchise smack-dab in the middle of a fire sale. We’re talking about Realmuto again today, not because of anything the Nats

Nats sign Brignac to minors deal, Espinosa goes to Yankees

The Nationals are bringing in some extra infield insurance, signing veteran Reid Brignac to a minor league contract with an invitation to big league camp this spring. Brignac’s signing, which was confirmed by a club source and first reported by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, gives the Nats another experienced infielder whose services may be required if Daniel Murphy isn’t ready to return from his October

Report: Albers heading to Brewers on two-year deal

Matt Albers has reportedly agreed to a two-year contract with the Brewers, parlaying his career season in the Nationals bullpen into a $5 million deal in Milwaukee. Albers’ deal, reported by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, is still pending a physical. Once that final step is completed, the veteran right-hander will become the first prominent free agent who played for the Nationals last season to sign

Scherzer receives Cy Young, pair of Nats honored by Cavaliers

It’s been more than two months since he was named the National League’s Cy Young Award winner, but on Sunday night, Max Scherzer officially was presented with the award itself. Scherzer was among several players honored at the annual New York Baseball Writers’ Dinner, joined by fellow winners of the BBWAA’s annual end-of-season awards along with the winners of awards given out specifically to New

Has rest of NL East gained any ground on Nats this winter?

The Nationals’ offseason to date has not included any real additions, only the re-signing of free agents Howie Kendrick, Brandon Kintzler and Edwin Jackson, plus the swapping of Adam Lind for Matt Adams. There’s still plenty of time and, more importantly, plenty of available players to make some significant transactions that will dramatically alter things. But for now, the 2018 Nationals look a whole lot

Nats may not have to wait as long as Angels for first Hall of Famer

Vladimir Guerrero surprised some people this week when he (with the Hall of Fame’s consent) decided his soon-to-be-made plaque for Cooperstown will feature him wearing an Angels cap. Guerrero actually spent more time during his career playing in Montreal (eight seasons) than he did playing in Anaheim (six), with one season apiece spent at the very end with the Rangers and Orioles. But the outfielder

Is Realmuto next man up in Marlins fire sale?

Giancarlo Stanton was traded to the Yankees in mid-December. Marcell Ozuna went to the Cardinals a few days later. Christian Yelich was dealt to the Brewers last night, as the Marlins completed a stunning dump of their entire starting outfield - a really good one, too - in the span of six weeks. Which leaves one remaining question down in Miami: Is J.T. Realmuto next?

MASN to broadcast seven Nats spring training games

Seven of the Nationals’ Grapefruit League games this spring will be broadcast on MASN, the network announced today. The slate begins Feb. 25 when the Nationals host the Braves at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, which will be the site of all of the televised games this year. Three of the Nationals’ games against the Astros, their fellow ballpark residents - and the defending

Thursday morning Hall of Fame (and Nats) Q&A

The hot stove league paused yesterday - though I suppose you could argue it has been stuck on pause all winter - so the Hall of Fame election announcement could take center stage. And that was a good thing, because there was a whole lot to discuss with this year’s vote. It’s not simply the four players who were voted in (Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero,

My 2018 Hall of Fame ballot

You can call the system flawed, you can argue whether steroids users should be in or out, you can debate whether it’s more important to have been a consistent performer for 15 years or an elite performer for eight years, you can complain about who gets a vote and who doesn’t get a vote. Here’s what you can’t argue, though: The Baseball Hall of Fame

What to watch for on Hall of Fame election night

It’s Hall of Fame announcement day, which means two things: Several of the greatest players in baseball history are about to become immortalized forever, and far more attention will be paid to those very good-to-great players who aren’t elected this year, for a variety of reasons. Personally, I think it’s a real shame that we spend way more time and energy arguing over who didn’t

For first time in six years, Nats lacking top 100 pitching prospect

Monday’s release of Baseball America’s top 100 prospects list for 2018 was notable, from the Nationals’ perspective, for two reasons: Victor Robles’ ascension into one of the sport’s best prospects is complete, given his No. 5 overall ranking, and for the first time in a long time, the Nats have no pitching prospects on the list. Nope, no pitchers. Robles and fellow outfielder Juan Soto

Nats are one of few MLB clubs actually trying to win in 2018

Everyone has his or her own theory to explain why this offseason has been so slow across baseball. Is it collusion among the owners? Is it analytical evidence that suggests it’s not wise to spend big bucks on free agents? Is it Scott Boras? Here’s another theory I’ve seen floated from several others, and I do believe this one has some merit: There simply aren’t

Why a pitch clock probably would make a difference

There’s been a lot of talk in recent days about the threat of Major League Baseball implementing a 20-second pitch clock this season without the approval of the Major League Baseball Players Association, the two sides having gotten nowhere during joint discussions about ways to improve the sport’s pace of play. Whether the pitch clock happens this year or not, it is going to happen

Knorr returns to the dugout after a two-year break

A change of managers at the Triple-A level may not sound like a big deal. And from a pure baseball standpoint, it’s probably not. Still, the news that Randy Knorr will be managing the Nationals’ top minor league affiliate - news that had been reported 2 1/2 months ago but was officially announced by the club on Friday - is significant for many people within

Nats fans’ guide to spring training: The town

The primary purpose of any trip to spring training is to, you know, watch baseball players doing baseball things on baseball fields, all while soaking up the warm South Florida sun while all your friends back north are wearing parkas and shoveling snow. But there is more to a spring training trip than baseball. After all, you do have to eat. And baseball only takes

Nats fans’ guide to spring training: The complex

It may be tough to envision right now, what with white stuff coating the ground and wind chills still in the teens this morning, but spring training is fast approaching. In fact, it’s only four weeks away. Yes, in a mere 29 days there will be actual Nationals pitchers and actual Nationals catchers wearing actual practice uniforms and participating in actual drills in West Palm

If there’s a trade to be made, Nats have outfielders to spare

Though he has spent the majority of his career at second base, Howie Kendrick really has morphed into an outfielder over the last two seasons. Kendrick started 79 games in left field for the Dodgers in 2016, more than three times as many as he started at second base. And last season with the Phillies and Nationals, he started 57 games in the outfield, only

With Kendrick back in fold, Nationals bench looks complete

For all the star power and success within their everyday lineup and starting rotation, the Nationals know they would not have won 97 games and run away with a division title last season if not for the performance of their bench. When injuries knocked Bryce Harper, Adam Eaton, Jayson Werth, Trea Turner and Michael A. Taylor out for a minimum of five weeks apiece, how

Source: Kendrick returning to Nats on two-year deal

Turns out the Nationals’ midseason acquisitions last summer weren’t rental players after all. One month ago, they were able to re-sign reliever Brandon Kintzler. And now they’re bringing back veteran utilityman Howie Kendrick. Kendrick and the Nationals have agreed to a two-year, $7 million contract, a source familiar with the deal confirmed, ensuring the club has a valuable bench piece - not to mention a

What would the Nats have needed to offer for Gerrit Cole?

The Astros pulled off one of the biggest trades of the winter this weekend, finally snagging Gerrit Cole from the Pirates in exchange for four young players. The initial reaction from most: Houston didn’t give up a whole lot. Joe Musgrove, Colin Moran and Michael Feliz have all spent time in the big leagues in the last two seasons, but none is considered a top-tier

Turner, Rendon rate high on MLB Network “Top 10 Right Now!”

MLB Network trotted out the first two episodes of its annual “Top 10 Right Now!” series last night, revealing its picks for the best shortstops and third basemen in baseball entering the 2018 season. And it shouldn’t surprise you that the Nationals starter at each position wound up high on each list. Trea Turner rated as the fourth-best shortstop in the game, according to the

Why it won’t cost Nats that much if they have to pay luxury tax

In striking one-year deals with all three of their arbitration-eligible players yesterday, the Nationals also got some more clarity on their total team payroll - and its luxury tax implications - heading into the 2018 season. Obviously these numbers could still change depending on other moves the Nats make along the way, from potential free agent signings to potential trades both before and during the

Nats avoid arbitration with Rendon, Roark and Taylor (updated)

The announcement was delayed a bit, but the Nationals did agree to terms with all three of their arbitration-eligible players before today’s 1 p.m. deadline, avoiding hearings with Anthony Rendon, Tanner Roark and Michael A. Taylor. All three players agreed to one-year contracts, the club announced more than an hour after Major League Baseball’s deadline passed. Given the overload of similar deals being struck around

Nats face arbitration deadline with three key players

There has been precious little news this winter, but there was some news yesterday with Edwin Jackson’s return on a minor league deal. And there will be news today. Not huge news, but at this point, who are we to complain? Today marks the deadline for all major league clubs and all arbitration-eligible players to either agree to terms on their 2018 contracts or else

Nats bringing back Edwin Jackson on minor league deal

The Nationals are bringing back Edwin Jackson on a minor league contract, with a chance to compete for the final spot in their rotation this spring. Jackson and the Nats have agreed to terms on a deal that would pay the veteran right-hander $1.5 million if he makes the major league roster, with another $1.4 million possible in incentives, a source familiar with the contract

Thursday morning Nats Q&A

It continues to be a quiet offseason for the Nationals. (Though to be more accurate, it continues to be a quiet offseason for nearly every franchise in the sport.) The good news is that we are inching closer to baseball season. Pitchers and catchers report to West Palm Beach in a mere 34 days. So let’s take some time this morning to answer your burning

Nats need to figure out in 2018 if Robles is part of plan in 2019

Fifteen games and 28 plate appearances is hardly enough sample size to make legitimate evaluations of a young ballplayer. And yet even in his brief, end-of-season stint with the Nationals, Victor Robles turned a whole lot of heads. It was impossible not to notice the 20-year-old outfielder, who dazzled in his performance, in his athleticism and in his composure following his September promotion from Double-A

Nats still need bullpen help beyond the big three

The Nationals bullpen will enter the 2018 season in far better shape than it did a year ago. Lest anyone forget the open competition to be the closer between Blake Treinen, Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover. That won’t be an issue this time, not with Sean Doolittle, Ryan Madson and Brandon Kintzler all back in the late-inning roles they inherited (and thrived in) following their

Do the Nats need a No. 5 starter - or a No. 3 starter?

The Nationals need a fifth starter. Or do they? It’s easy to look at the current state of the rotation and conclude there’s a gaping hole behind the otherwise strong quartet of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Tanner Roark. Joe Ross won’t return from Tommy John surgery until July at best. Erick Fedde and A.J. Cole are unproven and/or uninspiring from what we’ve

What other franchises can match Nats’ playoff heartbreak?

There are many different kinds of miseries in sports. There’s the misery that comes from repeated losing year in and year out, as any fan of the National Football League’s Cleveland Browns can attest. There’s the misery that comes from repeatedly coming oh-so-close to winning the big one, as any fan of the Buffalo Bills can attest. And then there’s the misery that comes from

Soccer stadium opening sets up big All-Star week in D.C.

The Nationals have known for a while now they’d be getting new neighbors down the street from their ballpark. Now they know when those neighbors officially will move in: One day before the beginning of All-Star festivities on South Capitol Street. D.C. United will play its first Major League Soccer game at the brand-new Audi Field on July 14 after spending the season’s first 4

Nats like Realmuto, but not if Miami asks for top prospects

It’s no secret the Nationals want to get better production from their catchers in 2018 than they did in 2017. Not that it would be easy to get worse production. Nationals catchers - which means almost entirely Matt Wieters and Jose Lobaton - collectively hit .208 with a .275 on-base percentage, .319 slugging percentage and .594 OPS last season. They ranked 28th, 29th, 30th and

Nats pitchers and catchers set to report Feb. 14

Need a little something to warm you up on this most frigid day of the winter? Here’s some news that might do the trick: Spring training begins in 41 days. The Nationals announced their official reporting dates this afternoon, at which point we learned there are fewer than six weeks to go until we’ll be seeing and hearing the sights and sounds of the spring

Looking at stat projections for the Nats pitching staff

Yesterday we looked at FanGraphs’ Steamer projections for everyone in the Nationals lineup to begin the 2018 season. Today we’ll look at the projections for the prominent members of the Nationals’ pitching staff ... MAX SCHERZER Actual 2017 stats: 16-6, 2.51 ERA, 200.2 IP, 268 SO, 0.90 WHIP, 6.0 WAR Steamer 2018 projection: 15-9, 3.38 ERA, 207 IP, 257 SO, 1.09 WHIP, 5.0 WAR Comment:

Looking at stat projections for the Nats lineup

The 2018 Nationals are going to look a lot like the 2017 Nationals. With only a handful of exceptions, the same group of players that won 97 games last season is going to be back and making another run at it this season. So while many other clubs’ fortunes will be predicated in large part on how much they improved their roster during the offseason,

Will new year inject some life into ice-cold free agent market?

The new year has arrived. But does that mean all those free agents who are still out there will start picking their employers for 2018? It’s been a really slow hot stove league so far. Aside from the usual excitement right before, during and right after the Winter Meetings, there has been precious little action across baseball. And that was especially true over the holiday

Nationals New Year’s resolutions

Some good things happened in 2017. Some bad things happened, too. No matter how you felt about the previous year, everyone can agree we all want to strive to be better in the new year. That applies to the Nationals, as well. And so without further ado, here are the Nats’ resolutions for 2018, which every member of the club was nice enough to share

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