Entries Listing

When do the Nationals address Rizzo’s contract status?

His offseason isn’t over by a longshot. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo still has much left to do. There’s a hole at third base after Anthony Rendon bolted for big bucks in Disneyland as a free agent. There’s work to finish in the bullpen, probably with a reliable arm that can get outs in crunch time. There may be the need for a second baseman

Where does Carter Kieboom fit best in Nationals infield?

Few players will have a microscope trained on them in spring training like Carter Kieboom, who will get a laser focus usually not afforded rookies. It will take another move and several weeks to determine exactly what role Kieboom will have with the Nationals in 2020, and in that way alone, the upcoming camp will be a lot like Kieboom’s first on the major league

Why Nats need to find a veteran catcher behind top tandem

When the Nationals re-signed catcher Yan Gomes to a two-year, $10 million contract in late November, it assured them of retaining their productive tandem behind the plate for at least another season. Gomes rejoined Kurt Suzuki, who is entering the final campaign of a two-year, $10 million deal inked last offseason. That’s two catchers who the veteran Nationals pitchers love throwing to, two guys who

How well is Taylor suited to be a fourth outfielder?

Even if math isn’t your strong suit, it’s easy to see that Michael A. Taylor is the odd man out in the Nationals outfield. Contract status, defensive prowess and previous production dictate that Juan Soto will start in left field in 2020, with Victor Robles in center and Adam Eaton in right. So where does that leave Taylor, who was tendered a contract last season

Was 2019 a one-time thing or the start of something even bigger?

The 2019 season was a long time coming for the Nationals. After eight years as contenders, after 15 years in the District, after 51 years as a franchise and after 95 years without a World Series title in D.C., this Nats club was the one that finally broke through and hoisted the Commissioner’s Trophy. Along the way, the members of this championship team won over

How the Nationals depth chart looks at this point

We’ve talked a lot about what the Nationals still need to do this winter to get their roster back into full form, whether that includes the re-signing of players who helped them win the World Series or the addition of newcomers who could help offset the losses of key figures. But what do the Nats already have internally to address any positions of need? If

Will new reliever rule keep Nats from adding another lefty?

It feels like the Nationals have perpetually been searching for a left-handed reliever who can consistently get left-handed hitters out. Because they have. Sure, there have been a few guys over the years who have been successful: Mike Gonzalez in 2012, Matt Thornton in 2014, Sean Burnett and Sean Doolittle over multiple years. But there have been far more failures than successes in this department:

How far are Nats willing to go to sign Donaldson?

The Nationals are interested in Josh Donaldson, this much we know. But how far are they willing to go to try to lure the top remaining free agent third baseman to D.C. in the hope he can fill the very large hole created by Anthony Rendon’s departure? Donaldson won’t come cheap. That has become obvious. The veteran slugger, who turned 34 last week, appears likely

Nationals make few changes to minor league staffs

The Nationals are retaining the vast majority of their minor league coaches from this season, but several will be in new roles in 2020. Among the changes announced by the club today: Longtime Double-A Harrisburg manager Matt LeCroy is shifting to a roving position as quality control coordinator, Triple-A Fresno pitching coach Brad Holman is taking over as minor league pitching coordinator and Billy Gardner

Lefty Abad reportedly signs minor league deal with Nats

The Nationals will extend spring training invitations to a swath of players who sign minor league contracts this winter, and among those players will be a veteran reliever who previously pitched for the organization. Left-hander Fernando Abad has agreed to terms with the Nats on a minor league deal, according to The Athletic. The 34-year-old will compete with countless others in West Palm Beach, Fla.,

Nats taking steps now to try to avoid World Series hangover

Davey Martinez has experienced World Series hangover. Mike Rizzo has seen other clubs battle it after winning a title. So the Nationals manager and general manager are already trying to establish a tone that will combat the fatigue and malaise that inevitably follows a championship season. The key message they want to deliver to their players: Be ready to go right from day one of

Healthy again, Scherzer will head to Florida in two weeks

When last we saw him inside a ballpark, Max Scherzer was drenched in champagne and beer, his body and his mind completely exhausted after a gutsy Game 7 start to help lead the Nationals to their first World Series title. Scherzer, who pitched three days after receiving a pain-relieving injection in his neck that forced him to miss his scheduled Game 5 start, admitted that

Now a Nat for life, Strasburg says D.C. has “become home to me”

Stephen Strasburg, like most every baseball-loving kid who grew up in San Diego, fell in love with Tony Gwynn. And not strictly for his performance on the field. Strasburg understood that Gwynn represented the Padres in every possible way. He was San Diego’s Own, a Hall of Famer who spent his entire 20-year career with one franchise and remained closely connected with the franchise and

Strasburg press conference today at Nationals Park

Stephen Strasburg last week decided to spend the rest of his career with the Nationals. Today he’ll get a chance to explain why. Strasburg, who signed a seven-year, $245 million extension eight days ago at the start of baseball’s Winter Meetings in San Diego, is scheduled to hold a press conference at 11 a.m. today at Nationals Park to officially announce his side of the

Monday morning Nats Q&A

Well, it was an eventful week for the Nationals out in San Diego, where they were the center of attention at the Winter Meetings, with both positive and negative results. They re-signed Stephen Strasburg for seven years and $245 million. Then they watched Anthony Rendon leave for seven years and $245 million. Which leaves them in a bit of a predicament as they try to

Rendon says he and Nats “just couldn’t come to an agreement”

Anthony Rendon officially was introduced by the Angels on Saturday, donning a familiar red cap but with a halo surrounding a big A instead of the curly W he wore the last seven seasons. Yeah, it’s going to take some time to get used to that image. As Rendon explained to reporters during his first news conference on the West Coast, it was the persistence

Enigmatic Taylor finds himself in familiar position this winter

As things currently stand, there is no spot in the Nationals lineup for Michael A. Taylor. He would seem to fit in well as the club’s fourth outfielder, one who is well-equipped to take over at any position if anyone else got hurt. Of course, all of that depends on the 28-year-old showing he can hit with consistency at the big league level. And if

What the Nationals still need to address this offseason

Baseball’s offseason, believe it or not, is already halfway complete. The regular season ended 2 1/2 months ago. Pitchers and catchers report in two months. For the Nationals, of course, this offseason has been much shorter to date. One of the downsides of going to the World Series is the delayed start to the winter, leaving much to be done in a compressed window. The

Nats lose pitching prospect Sharp to Marlins in Rule 5 draft

SAN DIEGO - The Nationals lost right-hander Sterling Sharp to the Marlins in this morning’s Rule 5 draft, ending a wildly eventful Winter Meetings with the departure of a promising-but-raw pitching prospect. Sharp was the third player selected overall in the Rule 5 draft, which gives clubs the opportunity to acquire prospects from other organizations who were left off their 40-man rosters this winter. The

How will Rendon be remembered in D.C.?

SAN DIEGO - When Bryce Harper departed 9 1/2 months ago, Nationals fans directed their ire at the star outfielder, blaming him for turning down the club’s best offer and accepting a then-record-setting deal with one of their most hated rivals. And when Harper made his return to D.C. in a Phillies uniform five weeks later ... well, those fans left no doubt about how

Source: Rendon heads to Angels for $245 million

SAN DIEGO - In the end, Anthony Rendon chose to switch coasts and switch leagues but still manage to stay out of the spotlight he strives to avoid by signing with a franchise that already has two of the game’s biggest stars on its roster. Rendon agreed in principle to a seven-year, $245 million contract with the Angels tonight, according to a source familiar with

Satisfied with No. 5 starter options, Nats focused on relievers

SAN DIEGO - With Stephen Strasburg officially back for the long term, the Nationals know they’ll enter the 2020 season with the same starting quartet that was instrumental in their World Series victory. Strasburg rejoins Max Scherzer, Patrick Corbin and Aníbal Sánchez as a formidable foursome that will again serve as the backbone of this roster. What about the final spot in the rotation? That’s

Nats shift three coaches into new roles, add one new staffer

SAN DIEGO - The Nationals are shuffling three of their coaches to new positions for the 2020 season, with Tim Bogar taking over as bench coach, Chip Hale moving to third base coach and Bob Henley switching to first base coach. Every member of Davey Martinez’s World Series winning staff returns next season, with one exception: Pat Roessler has been hired as assistant hitting coach,

With or without Rendon, Nats have infield spots to fill

SAN DIEGO - Whether or not Anthony Rendon re-signs with them, the Nationals are going to need to address other needs across their infield this winter. It’s a complicated puzzle with several moving parts. But all paths ultimately lead to the same place: Multiple transactions necessary to fill out their entire infield before spring training. If they had to fill out a lineup card today,

Rizzo wants to improve bullpen now, not next summer

SAN DIEGO - The Nationals won the World Series despite boasting - if that’s the proper word for it - the majors’ worst bullpen during the regular season. They managed to pull that remarkable feat off thanks to two key developments along the way: The acquisition of Daniel Hudson at the July 31 trade deadline, and the willingness of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick

Strasburg making direct pitch to Rendon, Nats to sign new deal

SAN DIEGO - While Stephen Strasburg was motivated to get his new deal with the Nationals done early this offseason, Anthony Rendon appears to be more willing to let the free agency process play out over the course of the winter. If Rendon somehow winds up rejoining the Nationals, though, Strasburg may play a key role in making it happen. The World Series MVP and

Guerra returning to Nationals on minor league deal

SAN DIEGO - It’s not nearly as big a deal as the others they’ve given out so far this winter, but the Nationals did make sure they’re bringing back yet another member of their World Series roster who could have been headed elsewhere. The Nats agreed to terms with reliever Javy Guerra on a minor league contract for 2020 late Monday night, according to a

Forget the old narrative: D.C. is Strasburg’s home for life

SAN DIEGO - Stephen Strasburg always wanted to go home to the West Coast. He wasn’t an East Coast guy. He didn’t like humidity, and his stats in hot and sticky weather would back up that claim. He was only a National because that’s the organization that drafted him in 2009, not because he chose to play in Washington. Surely he’d want out as soon

Strasburg signed deal he believes won’t hinder Nats’ other plans

SAN DIEGO - Citing him as “one of our most popular and most important players on the roster,” general manager Mike Rizzo officially announced the re-signing of Stephen Strasburg to a record-setting contract this afternoon, kicking off the Winter Meetings with the kind of bang the Nationals have only occasionally delivered at this annual event. “As you all know, he’s a player near and dear

Source: Strasburg re-signs for seven years, $245 million

SAN DIEGO - Only hours into the opening day of the Winter Meetings, the Nationals have checked off one of their biggest boxes of the offseason: re-signing Stephen Strasburg. Strasburg and the Nationals have agreed to terms of a new contract that will pay him $245 million over seven years, a record deal for a major league pitcher both in total value and average annual

Pitching lesson with Menhart, photo with trophy up for auction

SAN DIEGO - How would you like to get a personal bullpen session in with a World Series champion pitching coach? Or get a family photo session with the Commissioner’s Trophy? Those items are now up for bid as part of the Major League Baseball’s annual Winter Meetings auction, which this year benefits ALS Charities. Bids can be placed here and remain live until 10

Nats are front and center as Winter Meetings open

SAN DIEGO - It’s not unusual for the Nationals to hold a position of prominence at the Winter Meetings, given all the prominent players they’ve employed and/or pursued over the last decade, but they’ve never held a position quite like this. The Nats front office reported to the Manchester Grand Hyatt on Sunday night not only as the recently crowned World Series champions but as

Nats sign career minor league reliever Finnegan to MLB deal

SAN DIEGO - In their quest to refortify a bullpen that was in a constant state of change all season, the Nationals have signed Kyle Finnegan to a big league deal, taking a chance on a 28-year-old right-hander with a big arm and eye-popping minor league numbers this season but zero big league experience. Finnegan has spent the last seven years in the Athletics’ farm

Nationals have trade chips if they’re inclined to deal

The entire baseball world today makes it way to San Diego, where on Monday the 2019 Winter Meetings open for business. As always, the focus will be on free agents, many of them key members of the Nationals’ championship roster. But the odds of Stephen Strasburg or Anthony Rendon signing this week probably aren’t great. Agent Scott Boras is still in the preliminary stages of

Fates of second-tier free agents just as critical to Nats’ chances

So much attention has been paid - and will continue to be paid - to the Nationals’ two biggest free agents this winter: Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg. But let’s not forget the host of other key veterans from their World Series roster who currently aren’t under contract, because their fates are plenty important to the franchise’s chances in 2020 as well. Friday’s deal to

Nationals finalizing deal to bring Kendrick back in 2020

The Nationals are finalizing a deal with Howie Kendrick to bring the postseason hero back for at least one more season. Kendrick and the Nats have agreed to the framework of a one-year contract that will pay him $6.25 million in 2020, with a mutual option for 2021, a source familiar with the deal confirmed this morning. The deal, first reported by the Washington Post,

How much can the Nats actually afford to spend this winter?

There’s a lot of talk about the Nationals and money right now, namely how much money they can spend in an attempt to keep Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg. This comes after managing principal owner Mark Lerner, in an interview with former tennis player, lawyer and agent Donald Dell on NBC Sports Washington, claimed the club “really can only afford to have one of those

Rest of NL East now trying to unseat champion Nationals

The National League East is a competitive division, if not always in the actual standings then at least in the mindset four of the five franchises take when trying to outdo each other. And that hasn’t changed one bit since the Nationals won the World Series. If anything, the major participants in this division appear to be growing even more competitive with each other. The

What to make of other clubs’ pursuits of Rendon and Strasburg

Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon are free agents. They’ve been free agents for a month now. One or both could still end up re-signing with the Nationals. But right now, they’re free agents. Which means they’re free to talk to any club that wants to talk to them. It all sounds so basic, but sometimes we tend to forget basic matters. As much as everyone

As celebrations wrap up, time for Nats to get back to work

They gathered Monday evening at The Anthem along the Southwest Waterfront, Mark Lerner and Mike Rizzo and Ryan Zimmerman and several thousand Nationals fans who wanted to watch the premiere of the official 2019 World Series documentary and celebrate the ballclub’s achievement en masse one more time. Lerner talked about the moment he knew his team was going to win the series (when Astros manager

Guerra non-tendered, Nationals will bring back others

The Nationals did not tender contracts to relievers Javy Guerra and Koda Glover before tonight’s league-mandated deadline, essentially releasing both right-handers, though the oft-injured Glover had already announced his retirement earlier this afternoon. The club did tender contracts to four other arbitration-eligible players: Trea Turner, Michael A. Taylor, Joe Ross and Roenis Elías. None of those players have agreed to terms on 2020 contracts yet,

Unable to overcome injuries, Glover retires at 26

Unable to get himself healthy enough to pitch this year after missing much of the previous two seasons with various injuries, Nationals reliever Koda Glover surprisingly announced his retirement from professional baseball this afternoon. “I write to you all today with great despair, that I will be announcing my retirement from professional baseball,” the 26-year-old wrote in a message posted to his Twitter account. “I

Nationals face several decisions at deadline (Strickland signed)

It’s non-tender day across Major League Baseball, a day when a handful of players from each club worry they might get dumped but in most cases survive to live another day. How’s this all work? Well, players who are eligible for salary arbitration - those with more than three years but fewer than six years of big league service time - must be tendered a

Nats sign Difo for $1 million, avoiding arbitration

The Nationals have agreed to terms with Wilmer Difo on a 2020 contract that will pay the utility infielder $1 million if he’s on the big league roster, a source familiar with the deal confirmed this afternoon. The signing, which was first reported by USA Today, comes one day before Major League Baseball’s deadline for clubs to tender contracts to all arbitration-eligible players. It means

After erratic season, Suero needs to find formula for consistency

As our offseason coverage kicks into high gear, we have reviewed each significant player on the Nationals roster. We conclude today with Wander Suero, who led the staff in relief appearances while being wildly inconsistent game to game. PLAYER REVIEW: WANDER SUERO Age on opening day 2020: 28 How acquired: Signed as international free agent, February 2010 MLB service time: 1 year, 123 days 2019

« November 2019 | Main Index | Archives | January 2020 »