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Rosenthal deal gives Nats another late-inning power arm

The Nationals, like most clubs, typically take their time in free agency, wait out the market and strike when they have an opportunity to sign a player over the winter. Today, they showed they aren’t afraid to dive right in, though, and swoop up an appealing free agent only days after he became eligible to negotiate with teams. In agreeing to terms with Trevor Rosenthal,

Surprisingly successful Miller should be part of 2019 bullpen

As our offseason coverage kicks into high gear, we’re going to review each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Justin Miller, a surprisingly successful addition to the bullpen. PLAYER REVIEW: JUSTIN MILLER Age on opening day 2019: 31 How acquired: Signed as minor league free agent, January 2018 MLB service time: 2 years, 129 days 2018 salary: $545,000 Contract status: Under

How will Holland’s D.C. turnaround affect his market?

As our offseason coverage kicks into high gear, we’re going to review each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Greg Holland, a midseason pickup who rediscovered his old form. PLAYER REVIEW: GREG HOLLAND Age on opening day 2019: 33 How acquired: Signed as free agent, August 2018 MLB service time: 7 years, 22 days 2018 salary: $14 million (Nats were only

Nats pick up Doolittle’s option, Harper headlines new free agents

Not that there was ever any doubt they would, but the Nationals today formally announced they have picked up Sean Doolittle’s $6 million option, guaranteeing their All-Star closer will return in 2019. With the World Series now complete, baseball’s offseason began this morning, with 145 major leaguers officially becoming free agents. That list includes eight Nationals players: Bryce Harper, Matt Wieters, Mark Reynolds, Greg Holland,

Dominant when healthy, Doolittle is surest thing in Nats bullpen

As our offseason coverage kicks into high gear, we’re going to review each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Sean Doolittle, who had the most dominant season of his career but missed two months with a foot injury. PLAYER REVIEW: SEAN DOOLITTLE Age on opening day 2019: 32 How acquired: Traded with Ryan Madson from Athletics for Blake Treinen, Jesus Luzardo

Rodriguez earned a chance next spring, but in what role?

As our offseason coverage kicks into high gear, we’re going to review each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Jefry Rodriguez, who surprisingly made his major league debut this year and quickly made a name for himself. PLAYER REVIEW: JEFRY RODRIGUEZ Age on opening day 2019: 25 How acquired: Signed as international free agent, January 2012 MLB service time: 52 days

Would the Nats take another flyer on Hellickson?

As our offseason coverage kicks into high gear, we’re going to review each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Jeremy Hellickson, who proved a surprisingly effective acquisition when he wasn’t injured. PLAYER REVIEW: JEREMY HELLICKSON Age on opening day 2019: 31 How acquired: Signed as free agent, March 2018 MLB service time: 8 years, 45 days 2018 salary: $2 million (plus

Nats need Fedde to be part of staff, whether starter or reliever

As our offseason coverage kicks into high gear, we’re going to review each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Erick Fedde, who is still trying to find his footing in the big leagues. PLAYER REVIEW: ERICK FEDDE Age on opening day 2019: 26 How acquired: First-round pick, 2014 draft MLB service time: 150 days 2018 salary: $545,000 Contract status: Under team

Anthony Rendon again a Gold Glove finalist

For the third straight year, Anthony Rendon is a finalist for a Gold Glove Award. Now the Nationals third baseman can only hope he doesn’t lose out to Nolan Arenado for the third straight year. Rendon was revealed today as one of the top three vote-getters among National League third basemen, joining the Rockies’ Arenado and the Brewers’ Travis Shaw. The winner will be revealed

Healthy again, Ross will be asked to step up next season

As our offseason coverage kicks into high gear, we’re going to review each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Joe Ross, who returned in September healthy more than a year removed from Tommy John surgery. PLAYER REVIEW: JOE ROSS Age on opening day 2019: 25 How acquired: Traded with Trea Turner from Padres for Steven Souza Jr. and Travis Ott (who

Roark heads into contract year in need of a rebound

As our offseason coverage kicks into high gear, we’re going to review each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Tanner Roark, who labored through a ragged season. PLAYER REVIEW: TANNER ROARK Age on opening day 2019: 32 How acquired: Traded from Rangers with Ryan Tatusko for Cristian Guzman, July 2010 MLB service time: 5 years, 55 days 2018 salary: $6.475 million

Another injury-filled year leaves uncertainty around Strasburg

As our offseason coverage kicks into high gear, we’re going to review each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Stephen Strasburg, whose season was disrupted by neck and shoulder injuries. PLAYER REVIEW: STEPHEN STRASBURG Age on opening day 2019: 30 How acquired: First-round pick, 2009 draft MLB service time: 8 years, 118 days 2018 salary: $15 million Contract status: Signed for

After “best season” of career, Scherzer will still try to improve

As our offseason coverage kicks into high gear, we’re going to review each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Max Scherzer, who even after back-to-back Cy Young Awards found ways to get better. PLAYER REVIEW: MAX SCHERZER Age on opening day 2019: 34 How acquired: Signed as free agent, January 2015 MLB service time: 10 years, 79 days 2018 salary: $15

His stock having tumbled, Severino faces uncertain future

As our offseason coverage kicks into high gear, we’re going to review each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Pedro Severino, whose opportunity to be the club’s No. 1 catcher didn’t go as well as hoped. PLAYER REVIEW: PEDRO SEVERINO Age on opening day 2019: 25 How acquired: Signed as international free agent, December 2010 MLB service time: 1 year, 90

What can Nats expect from Kendrick after Achilles rupture?

As our offseason coverage kicks into high gear, we’re going to review each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Howie Kendrick, who was poised to be a key veteran presence on the team before rupturing his Achilles tendon. PLAYER REVIEW: HOWIE KENDRICK Age on opening day 2019: 35 How acquired: Signed as free agent, January 2018 MLB service time: 12 years,

Robles poised to realize potential, if Nats have a spot for him

As our offseason coverage kicks into high gear, we’re going to review each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Victor Robles, the top prospect whose return to the majors was delayed until September due to an elbow injury. PLAYER REVIEW: VICTOR ROBLES Age on opening day 2019: 21 How acquired: Signed as international free agent, July 2013 MLB service time: 51

Stuck on bench this season, what’s Taylor’s future with Nats?

As our offseason coverage kicks into high gear, we’re going to review each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Michael A. Taylor, who wasn’t able to capitalize during his latest opportunity to play every day and wound up buried on the bench by season’s end. PLAYER REVIEW: MICHAEL A. TAYLOR Age on opening day 2019: 28 How acquired: Sixth-round pick, 2009

Harper’s eventful 2018 set the stage for eventful 2019

As our offseason coverage kicks into high gear, we’re going to review each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Bryce Harper, whose eventful season on the field is now going to be followed by an eventful offseason at home. PLAYER REVIEW: BRYCE HARPER Age on opening day 2019: 26 How acquired: First-round pick, 2010 draft MLB service time: 6 years, 159

Eaton should be healthier in 2019, but Nats still face decision

As our offseason coverage kicks into high gear, we’re going to review each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Adam Eaton, who was briefly sidetracked in his return from a major leg injury but wound up healthy and productive by season’s end. PLAYER REVIEW: ADAM EATON Age on opening day 2019: 30 How acquired: Traded from White Sox for Lucas Giolito,

Brilliant as a rookie, what can Soto do for an encore next year?

As our offseason coverage kicks into high gear, we’re going to review each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Juan Soto, who made his major league debut far sooner than anyone expected and then performed well beyond anyone’s expectations. PLAYER REVIEW: JUAN SOTO Age on opening day 2019: 20 How acquired: Signed as an international free agent, June 2015 MLB service

Did Kieboom show enough to merit No. 2 catching job in 2019?

As our offseason coverage kicks into high gear, we’re going to review each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Spencer Kieboom, who was supposed to be in D.C. short-term but wound up sticking around most of the season. PLAYER REVIEW: SPENCER KIEBOOM Age on opening day 2019: 28 How acquired: Fifth-round pick, 2012 draft MLB service time: 149 days 2018 salary:

Veteran Reynolds proved valuable in-season addition

As our offseason coverage kicks into high gear, we’re going to review each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Mark Reynolds, who joined the club in May out of necessity and wound up contributing the rest of the season. PLAYER REVIEW: MARK REYNOLDS Age on opening day 2019: 35 How acquired: Signed as minor league free agent, April 2018 MLB service

Is Wieters’ time in D.C. over, or is there any chance of a return?

As our offseason coverage kicks into high gear, we’re going to review each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Matt Wieters, who finished strong after a slow start followed by a significant injury. PLAYER REVIEW: MATT WIETERS Age on opening day 2019: 32 How acquired: Signed as free agent, February 2017 MLB service time: 9 years, 129 days 2018 salary: $10.5

After extended look, Difo still hasn’t earned everyday job

As our offseason coverage kicks into high gear, we’re going to review each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Wilmer Difo, who received extensive playing time this season and tried to make the case for himself as a long-term starting second baseman. PLAYER REVIEW: WILMER DIFO Age on opening day 2019: 26 How acquired: Signed as international free agent, June 2010

Nats acquire reliever Barraclough from Marlins for slot money

The Nationals got a jump on the Hot Stove League today and sought to begin making over their bullpen, acquiring Kyle Barraclough from the Marlins in exchange for international bonus slot money, a rare October trade that brings an experienced late-inning reliever to Washington. Barraclough, 28, has spent the last four seasons in Miami’s bullpen, and though he struggled when given an opportunity to close

Will pressure of free agency bother unflappable Rendon?

As our offseason coverage kicks into high gear, we’re going to review each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Anthony Rendon, who yet again quietly put together an all-around season that merited consideration on the National League MVP ballot. PLAYER REVIEW: ANTHONY RENDON Age on opening day 2019: 28 How acquired: First-round pick, 2011 draft MLB service time: 5 years, 130

After strong all-around year, Turner now just needs to fine-tune

As our offseason coverage kicks into high gear, we’re going to review each significant player on the Nationals roster. We continue today with Trea Turner, whose first fully healthy big league season featured more home runs but fewer stolen bases. PLAYER REVIEW: TREA TURNER Age on opening day 2019: 25 How acquired: Traded with Joe Ross from Padres for Steven Souza Jr. and Travis Ott,

Health, not production, will again be key for Zimmerman in 2019

As our offseason coverage kicks into high gear, we’re going to review each significant player on the Nationals roster. We begin today with Ryan Zimmerman, who once again produced when he was healthy but once again wasn’t healthy as much as the Nats needed him to be. PLAYER REVIEW: RYAN ZIMMERMAN Age on opening day 2019: 34 How acquired: First-round pick, 2005 draft MLB service

Why Joaquin Benoit never threw a pitch for the Nationals

When Koda Glover reported to spring training and immediately had a recurrence of the shoulder pain that ended his 2017 season, the Nationals wasted no time acquiring a replacement right-hander for their bullpen. On Feb. 19, they signed Joaquin Benoit to a one-year major league contract that guaranteed the veteran reliever $1 million. The insinuation was clear: They weren’t confident in Glover’s health, and they

Revisiting those opening day media predictions

We spent all week holding everyone with the Nationals - players, the manager and coaching staff, the front office, ownership - accountable for their disappointing season. Now it’s time to hold someone else accountable for a disappointing season: ourselves! Yes, it’s time to revisit those opening day predictions made by all of us who cover the Nationals. It has become an annual tradition, and I

Rizzo, Martinez vow to improve “attention to detail” next year

Shortly after noon on Sunday, Mike Rizzo stood in the dugout at Coors Field and gave his end-of-season assessment of the 2018 Nationals, a team that had received plenty of elite performances from individual stars, outscored the opposition by 89 runs and yet barely finished over .500. What prevented the Nats from winning more games, Rizzo believes, was poor execution of “the little things” that

Looking at the Nationals’ positions of need this winter

The Nationals’ biggest offseason need may be in the starting pitching department, but it’s far from their only roster need heading into 2019. Between free agent departures and other areas that simply need an upgrade, there’s no shortage of items on general manager Mike Rizzo’s to-do list this winter. Let’s run through the positions that are likely to be addressed in the coming months ...

Nats must find way to improve rotation, internally and externally

If you had to pick one - and only one - defining characteristic of the Nationals during their seven seasons as a contender, the answer would be simple: a good, often great, rotation. This didn’t happen by accident. Mike Rizzo’s No. 1 goal in building a roster is to assemble an elite rotation. He saw firsthand what a difference that makes when he was farm

A primer on Bryce Harper’s pending free agency

As we transition into offseason mode around here, we’re going to spend a few days looking at the most pressing offseason storylines for the Nationals. And there’s no debate that the single most pressing storyline involves the guy who was the pre-eminent storyline of the entire season. You know the deal with Bryce Harper by now. No sense rehashing his wild 2018 campaign. Or trying

After 82-80 season, Nationals admit there’s work to be done

In 2018, Max Scherzer had what the already three-time Cy Young Award winner considered the best season of his career. Juan Soto produced one of the greatest seasons in history by a teenager. Anthony Rendon essentially duplicated his numbers from the previous season when he finished sixth in National League MVP voting. Bryce Harper, despite a dismal first half, finished with 34 homers, 100 RBIs,

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