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2018 contributors Holland, Reynolds sign with NL West clubs

A pair of veterans who enjoyed some success with the Nationals found new homes Wednesday when Greg Holland reportedly agreed to a deal with the Diamondbacks and Mark Reynolds reportedly signed with the Rockies. Holland’s contract, first reported by The Athletic, guarantees the reliever $3.25 million with an additional $3.5 million possible in incentives. It’s a massive drop in salary for Holland, who despite waiting

Nats hire former manager, GM McKeon as senior adviser

Always eager to add more experienced baseball lifers to his scouting staff, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo has hired former big league manager Jack McKeon as a senior adviser. McKeon’s hiring, which has not yet been announced by the organization, was confirmed by a club source. It was first reported by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. The 88-year-old McKeon has enjoyed a life full of notable

How Nats pitchers are projected to perform in 2019

Yesterday, we looked at FanGraphs.com’s’ Steamer projections for the Nationals’ primary position players, an interesting assortment of optimism and pessimism, depending on the individual. Today we’ll look at those projections for the Nationals pitching staff. Fair warning: This one trends more toward the pessimistic end of the spectrum. Here we go ... MAX SCHERZER Actual 2018 stats: 18-7, 2.53 ERA, 220.2 IP, 300 SO, 0.91

How Nats position players are projected to hit in 2019

As spring training draws closer and closer, it’s reasonable to start wondering what kind of seasons individual players are likely to produce. No, we still don’t know every player who will be part of the Nationals’ 2019 roster, but we do know the vast majority of them at this point. Projecting stats from year to year is a tricky business, but there are no shortage

Looking at the Nationals’ current depth chart

We’ve examined how the Nationals’ 25-man roster might look if it was assembled today, a useful exercise during the winter to gauge what, if any, holes still remain. But as you well know, it takes a lot more than 25 players to get through a major league season. The Nationals used 53 players last year, their highest total since 2009 and only four shy of

Two more lefty relievers come off the board

If the Nationals intend to acquire another left-hander for their bullpen before spring training, they’d better hurry. The ranks of available arms are beginning to thin out. Two more southpaws came off the board Friday when Justin Wilson signed with the Mets and Oliver Pérez re-signed with the Indians. Wilson, owner of a 3.33 ERA and 1.268 WHIP in seven seasons with the Pirates, Yankees,

MASN to broadcast seven Nats exhibition games

Seven Nationals exhibition games will be broadcast on MASN this spring, the network announced today, including contests against the Yankees, Red Sox, Braves and Cardinals. MASN will televise the club’s Grapefruit League opener, Feb. 23 against the Astros, at 6:30 p.m. That marks the first of six home games at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches that will air live. The crew returns to West

Nearly three months in, do we really know what’s up with Harper?

As “Harper’s Bazaar” approaches the three-month milestone - yes, free agency began nearly three months ago! - resolution appears either to be coming much more into focus or has turned as cloudy as it’s ever been, depending on your reading of the tea leaves. Did the Dodgers’ surprise move to sign A.J. Pollock on Thursday quash any chance of Bryce Harper going to L.A.? Did

Three position players (zero pitchers) make top 100 prospects list

The Nationals are well-positioned to fill long-term holes in the outfield and infield from within their own farm system. Top pitching prospects? Not so much, at least according to Baseball America. The industry’s leading ranker of minor leaguers unveiled its annual top 100 prospects list Wednesday, and three members of the Nationals organization (Victor Robles, Carter Kieboom, Luis Garcia) were included. Robles, the dynamic young

Wednesday morning Q&A

It’s late January. The Hall of Fame Class of 2019 has been announced. Pitchers and catchers report in three weeks. Bryce Harper still hasn’t signed anywhere. Sigh, it’s been a long offseason, to say the least. But the good news is that something has to happen soon, right? Harper is going to be playing for somebody in 2019. Let’s take this opportunity to answer your

My 2019 Hall of Fame ballot

The 2019 Hall of Fame class has now been announced, and it’s quite a compelling class of inductees, huh? Mariano Rivera became the first player ever to be named on 100 percent of submitted ballots and permanently sealed the career Yankee’s legacy as the greatest closer of all-time. Roy Halladay was elected in his first year on the ballot, a bittersweet moment for family and

What to watch for on Hall of Fame election night

The hot stove league may be tepid right now, but at least baseball is providing us something us to get excited about later today: the Hall of Fame election announcement. Yes, it’s time to find out who’s in the class of 2019 in addition to Lee Smith and Harold Baines (who were elected last month by what used to be called the Veterans’ Committee but

A request for MLB to keep extra-innings rules as-is

How should a sporting event that’s tied at the end of regulation be decided? Just make the two teams keep playing until someone scores? Give both teams an opportunity before it’s over? Create a whole new set of rules in an attempt to get a final result sooner? If you watched yesterday’s NFL conference championships, surely you found yourself contemplating this very question. Was it

Host of 2018 Nationals still seeking jobs in tepid market

For all the attention lavished upon Bryce Harper and Manny Machado and their long, slow quest to sign with somebody before the start of spring training, there are a ton of other free agents still unemployed as we reach late January. And that includes a whole bunch of guys who played for the Nationals in 2018. Let’s look at those still-unsigned free agents and figure

News on a couple of former Nationals pitchers

Joel Hanrahan and Micah Bowie were teammates on the 2007 Nationals pitching staff, after which their respective careers took very different paths. Hanrahan, after crashing and burning when the Nats tried to make him their closer in 2009, wound up a two-time All-Star with the Pirates. Bowie, the consummate journeyman left-hander, appeared in only 10 big league games after leaving the Nats following that 2007

Better, worse or the same in 2019: Pitchers

Yesterday we looked at each of the Nationals’ position players and asked if they are likely to be better, worse or the same in 2019. Today we’ll do the same exercise with the club’s pitching staff. In some cases, this is simply about one player and examining his chances for improvement or regression from last year. But in some cases, this is about a specific

Nats add lefty reliever Nuño on minor league deal

Seeking for some more experienced left-handed options in their bullpen, the Nationals have signed veteran Vidal Nuño to a minor-league contract with an invitation to compete for a job in big-league camp this spring. The deal, confirmed by a club source, will pay Nuño $1.3 million if he makes the major league roster, according to Fancred’s Jon Heyman. It includes an opt-out clause if Nuño

Better, worse or the same in 2019: Position players

At this point, we have a pretty good idea what the 2019 Nationals are going to look like (with one obvious unknown still lingering out there). We can’t wait forever for Bryce Harper to make his decision, though, so we’re going to have to proceed around here as though the big guy isn’t coming back to Washington. (If he does, well, we’ll deal with that

Success of Nats’ winter still depends on rivals’ remaining moves

Have the Nationals had a good offseason? It’s easy to look at the eight major leaguers they’ve acquired since the 2018 season ended and declare they’ve enjoyed a successful winter. Patrick Corbin and Aníbal Sánchez filled obvious needs. Yan Gomes and Kurt Suzuki provide a clear upgrade at catcher. Brian Dozier is a solid pickup at second base. Trevor Rosenthal and Kyle Barraclough have the

Healthy and motivated, Dozier picked Nats over better offers

Even on the heels of a subpar 2018 season in which he played through a knee injury and saw his production decrease, Brian Dozier said he had multi-year offers from other clubs this winter. How, then, did it come to be that the veteran second baseman found himself on a conference call with Washington reporters this afternoon, discussing the one-year, $9 million contract he just

What would a 25-man roster look like today?

There are still four weeks to go until pitchers and catchers report, 10 weeks to go until opening day against the Mets. There’s plenty of time for things to change, and they probably will. Yet if the Nationals needed to assemble a 25-man roster today, they could easily do it. And there’s a decent chance that roster would look the exact same for Game 1

Monday morning thoughts on Dozier, Reynolds and Harper

A few thoughts as everyone wakes up this Monday morning and digs out from the weekend snowstorm ... * We should be hearing from Brian Dozier soon, perhaps as soon as today, now that the veteran second baseman’s one-year, $9 million contract with the Nationals has officially been announced. Dozier, who agreed to terms of the deal Thursday, passed his physical Sunday to finalize the

Dozier passes physical, Reynolds designated for assignment

Brian Dozier has passed his physical, making his $9 million contract with the Nationals official, so the club formally announced it has signed the veteran second baseman in the latest move of a busy offseason. Dozier, a former All-Star and Gold Glove Award winner with the Twins, agreed to terms of the deal Thursday but still needed to pass a physical before it could be

Will Taylor and Barraclough actually get to arbitration?

Will the Nationals really go to arbitration with Michael A. Taylor and Kyle Barraclough over a combined $525,000? For now, yes, but the chances of the club and the two players settling salary figures on their own before engaging in a hearing next month would seem to be pretty strong, given the lack of difference in their dueling offers. Cases that go to arbitration typically

Harper set to meet with Phillies as final decision looms

The long, slow, often behind-the-scenes dance Bryce Harper has been playing all winter has to come to an end eventually, right? I mean, he’s going to be playing for some team in 2019, and pitchers and catchers report for spring training in 4 1/2 weeks. Few are surprised the Harper saga has stretched into January, but most observers around the sport don’t expect it to

Rendon, Turner avoid arbitration; Taylor, Barraclough do not

The Nationals were able to agree to terms on 2019 contracts with Anthony Rendon and Trea Turner before today’s 1 p.m. Eastern time deadline, but couldn’t complete negotiations with Michael A. Taylor and Kyle Barraclough, who now must file for arbitration, according to a source familiar with the decisions. Players across baseball with three to six years of big league service time were engaged in

Deadline day for four arbitration-eligible players

It’s arbitration deadline day across Major League Baseball, which sounds like one of those really important days of the offseason with lots of dramatic news. But, to be honest, it isn’t nearly as interesting as some might think. The gist of what happens today: Players who are eligible for arbitration (more than three years’ big league service time but fewer than six, plus those pesky

Ross avoids arbitration with $1 million deal for 2019

The Nationals got a jump on Friday’s arbitration deadline, agreeing to terms tonight with Joe Ross on a one-year contract that reportedly will pay him $1 million. Ross, who was eligible for arbitration for the first time, gets a raise from his 2018 salary of $567,900, though not nearly as much as some others with comparable big league service time will receive because he missed

Nats agree to deal with veteran second baseman Dozier

The Nationals have agreed to terms with veteran second baseman Brian Dozier on a one-year contract, perhaps helping offset somewhat the power they would lose if Bryce Harper ends up signing elsewhere while also filling the one remaining vacancy in their projected 2019 lineup. Dozier’s deal, which is pending a physical, is worth a total of $9 million, with $2 million of that deferred, according

Fans’ guide to spring training, Part 2: The town

OK, you’ve made the decision to head to spring training in West Palm Beach. You’ve picked out your dates to watch the Nationals, whether for the mid-February morning workouts or the late March Grapefruit League final tune-ups. You know where to best position yourself to get autographs. But you don’t know how to get to West Palm Beach yet. Or where to stay. Or what

Fans’ guide to spring training, Part 1: The complex

We don’t know yet where Bryce Harper will be reporting for spring training, but we do know when the Nationals will be reporting for spring training, with or without their longtime slugger. The club officially announced key spring dates Tuesday, with pitchers and catchers set to report to West Palm Beach on Feb. 13 (with their first workout the following day) and position players set

Nationals bullpen has potential but few sure things

There is no more volatile position in baseball than relief pitcher, no more volatile position group than the bullpen. Only a handful of the very best relievers can consistently be counted upon year after year, so that always makes this aspect of the roster tougher to predict than others. Which also makes the Nationals bullpen both intriguing and nerve-wracking here as the 2019 season looms

Looking at Nationals lineups with and without Harper

As the world waits for Bryce Harper to make his long-awaited decision, the Nationals wait to figure out what exactly their 2019 lineup is going to look like. It’s no hyperbole to suggest this lineup would look dramatically different without Harper in it than with him, and not simply because of his large presence in the heart of it all. There are some significant domino

Can the Nats count on a full recovery from Kendrick?

There’s no denying the Nationals sorely missed Howie Kendrick last season. The veteran utilityman was being counted on both for his performance on the field and his leadership off the field. Then, six weeks into the season, he ruptured his right Achilles tendon. Though he made occasional appearances in the clubhouse so team doctors could check on his progress, Kendrick was mostly a forgotten man

On the importance of 30-plus starts from the Nats’ three aces

General manager Mike Rizzo, as has been noted here before, believes the single best path toward a championship is through a dominant rotation. No, you can’t win with great starters and nothing else. But he firmly believes no matter what other strengths your roster boasts, it won’t amount to anything without a top-notch rotation. Hence the significance of this winter’s Patrick Corbin signing. Along with

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