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One year later, it’s time for new-look Nats to look ahead

They celebrated the anniversary of the Nationals’ Game 7 World Series victory Friday night, commemorating the moment at 11:50 p.m. when Daniel Hudson struck out Michael Brantley on a down-and-in slider to set off a wild celebration at Minute Maid Park in Houston, at Nationals Park in Washington, and in homes and bars throughout the region. My god, has it really been a year? It

Is there any place for Cabrera on Nats’ roster next year?

Our offseason player review series continues today with Asdrúbal Cabrera, who struggled to consistently produce this season. PLAYER REVIEW: ASDRÚBAL CABRERA Age on opening day 2021: 35 How acquired: Signed as free agent, August 2019 MLB service time: 13 years, 27 days 2020 salary: $2,685,000 (prorated $1,110,926) Contract status: Free agent 2020 stats: 52 G, 213 PA, 190 AB, 23 R, 46 H, 9 2B,

If he returns, how would Kendrick fit into Nats’ 2021 plans?

Our offseason player review series continues today with Howie Kendrick, who faces a big career decision after becoming a free agent Wednesday. PLAYER REVIEW: HOWIE KENDRICK Age on opening day 2021: 37 How acquired: Traded from Phillies for McKenzie Mills and international bonus slot money, July 2017 MLB service time: 14 years, 91 days 2020 salary: $4 million (prorated $1,481,481) Contract status: Free agent after

Knorr returns to staff as Nats finalize coaching changes

The Nationals finalized their 2021 coaching staff today, filling the one vacancy that hadn’t yet been publicly announced with one of the longest-tenured members of their organization. Randy Knorr, who has been a player, coach or minor league manager with the Nats franchise since 2001 in Montreal, will join the big league staff for the fourth time in the last decade-plus, serving as first base

Nats decline options on Eaton, Sánchez, Kendrick, Thames

The end of the World Series last night meant the start of the offseason today, and the Nationals wasted no time making the first of many consequential decisions they’ll face during what should be a busy winter. The Nats declined to pick up the 2021 contract options they held on Adam Eaton and Aníbal Sánchez and declined to pick up their portions of the 2021

Harrison proved worth in short time, earned new deal for 2021

Our offseason player review series continues today with Josh Harrison, who quickly made a positive impact after his early season acquisition. PLAYER REVIEW: JOSH HARRISON Age on opening day 2021: 33 How acquired: Signed as free agent, July 2020 MLB service time: 8 years, 168 days 2020 salary: $1 million (prorated $348,253) Contract status: Signed for $1 million in 2021, free agent in 2022 2020

García dazzled at times, but still has a lot of room to grow

Our offseason player review series continues today with Luis García, who unexpectedly became the Nationals’ starting second baseman ahead of schedule. PLAYER REVIEW: LUIS GARCÍA Age on opening day 2021: 20 How acquired: Signed as international free agent, July 2016 MLB service time: 105 days 2020 salary: $563,500 (prorated $140,175) Contract status: Under team control, arbitration-eligible in 2024, free agent in 2027 2020 stats: 40

Stevenson threw himself into 2021 mix with torrid finish

Our offseason player review series continues today with Andrew Stevenson, who spent most of the summer at the alternate camp site in Fredericksburg, then wowed the Nationals after his late-season promotion. PLAYER REVIEW: ANDREW STEVENSON Age on opening day 2021: 26 How acquired: Second-round pick, 2015 draft MLB service time: 1 year, 122 days 2020 salary: $563,500 (prorated $71,645) Contract status: Under team control, likely

How should Nats evaluate McGowin’s electric September?

Our offseason player review series continues today with Kyle McGowin, who emerged out of the blue this summer to be an at-times dominant reliever. PLAYER REVIEW: KYLE McGOWIN Age on opening day 2021: 29 How acquired: Traded with Austin Adams from Angels for Danny Espinosa, December 2016 MLB service time: 139 days 2020 salary: $563,500 (prorated $80,990) Contract status: Under team control, arbitration-eligible in 2023,

Once healthy and in rhythm, Suero was effective for Nats

Our offseason player review series continues today with Wander Suero, who opened the season on the COVID-19 injured list but found his rhythm by September. PLAYER REVIEW: WANDER SUERO Age on opening day 2021: 29 How acquired: Signed as international free agent, February 2010 MLB service time: 2 years, 123 days 2020 salary: $582,200 (prorated $215,630) Contract status: Under team control, arbitration-eligible in 2022, free

Finnegan turned plenty of heads in rookie season

Our offseason player review series continues today with Kyle Finnegan, who turned plenty of heads as a 28-year-old rookie reliever. PLAYER REVIEW: KYLE FINNEGAN Age on opening day 2021: 29 How acquired: Signed as free agent, December 2019 MLB service time: 1 year 2020 salary: $563,500 (prorated $208,704) Contract status: Under team control, arbitration-eligible in 2023, free agent in 2026 2020 stats: 1-0, 2.92 ERA,

In reversal, Long will return as Nationals’ hitting coach

Kevin Long will be back as the Nationals’ hitting coach after all. Long and the Nats agreed to reunite on a one-year deal, a source familiar with the terms confirmed this afternoon, a surprising reversal from what appeared to be a parting of ways between the two sides nearly two weeks ago. Long, like everyone else on Davey Martinez’s coaching staff, had a contract that

Harrison returns to Nats for another year on $1 million deal

Josh Harrison joined the Nationals four days into the 2020 season. The veteran utilityman quickly made himself invaluable on and off the field, so much so that the club wasted no time ensuring he’d be back in 2021. The Nationals re-signed Harrison to a one-year deal this morning, making the 33-year-old the first of their pending free agents to get a new contract that will

After breakthrough season, Rainey looks like future closer

Our offseason player review series continues today with Tanner Rainey, who ascended to a prominent bullpen role before getting hurt. PLAYER REVIEW: TANNER RAINEY Age on opening day 2021: 28 How acquired: Traded from Reds for Tanner Roark, Dec. 2018 MLB service time: 1 year, 158 days 2020 salary: $572,200 (prorated $211,926) Contract status: Under team control, arbitration eligible in 2022, free agent in 2025

Will a normal spring and more depth help Harris in 2021?

Our offseason player review series continues today with Will Harris, who had an erratic debut season with the Nationals. PLAYER REVIEW: WILL HARRIS Age on opening day 2021: 36 How acquired: Signed as free agent, January 2020 MLB service time: 7 years, 102 days 2020 salary: $8 million (prorated $2,962,963) Contract status: Signed for $8 million in 2021 and 2022 2020 stats: 0-1, 3.06 ERA,

After difficult year, Doolittle faces uncertain future

Our offseason player review series continues today with Sean Doolittle, who was ineffective and injured much of this season and now faces an uncertain future. PLAYER REVIEW: SEAN DOOLITTLE Age on opening day 2021: 34 How acquired: Traded with Ryan Madson from Athletics for Blake Treinen, Jesús Luzardo and Sheldon Neuse, July 2017 MLB service time: 8 years, 122 days 2020 salary: $6.5 million (prorated

Martinez goes for familiarity with pitching coach Hickey (updated)

In choosing to let go several members of a staff that helped him win a World Series, Davey Martinez suggested he preferred to bring in coaches with whom he already had well-established relationships. Sure enough, Martinez’s first hire of the offseason is someone he already knows very well: Jim Hickey. The Nationals named Hickey their new pitching coach today, hiring the 58-year-old who spent seven

Was Hudson’s rough 2020 a fluke or cause for concern?

Our offseason player review series continues today with Daniel Hudson, who struggled to consistently close out games this season. PLAYER REVIEW: DANIEL HUDSON Age on opening day 2021: 34 How acquired: Traded from Blue Jays for Kyle Johnston, July 2019 MLB service time: 11 years, 106 days 2020 salary: $5,148,148 (prorated $2 million) Contract status: Signed for $6 million in 2021, free agent in 2022

After two productive years, is Suzuki’s time in D.C. over?

Our offseason player review series continues today with Kurt Suzuki, who continued to hit for average, but struggled to hit for power while continuing to struggle throwing out runners. PLAYER REVIEW: KURT SUZUKI Age on opening day 2021: 37 How acquired: Signed as free agent, November 2018 MLB service time: 13 years, 113 days 2020 salary: $6 million (prorated $2,222,222) Contract status: Free agent 2020

More playing time, more production for Gomes

Our offseason player review series continues today with Yan Gomes, who quietly put together a strong offensive season. PLAYER REVIEW: YAN GOMES Age on opening day 2021: 33 How acquired: Traded from Indians for Jefry Rodríguez, Daniel Johnson and Andruw Monasterio, November 2018 MLB service time: 8 years, 83 days 2020 salary: $4 million (prorated $1,481,481) Contract status: Signed for $6 million in 2021, free

Was strong finish enough for Fedde to earn spot in rotation?

Our offseason player review series continues today with Erick Fedde, who showed improvement after getting a chance to stick in the rotation. PLAYER REVIEW: ERICK FEDDE Age on opening day 2021: 28 How acquired: First-round pick, 2014 draft MLB service time: 2 years, 99 days 2020 salary: $563,500 (prorated $208,704) Contract status: Possibly arbitration-eligible in 2021, free agent in 2025 2020 stats: 2-4, 4.29 ERA,

Taylor’s time with Nats ends after outfielder clears waivers

Michael A. Taylor spent the better part of six seasons teetering on the fringes of the Nationals roster, perpetually in danger of losing his spot but always managing to stick around because of the club’s needs and his penchant for playing well enough at just the right moments to merit it. The outfielder’s time with the Nats, though, finally ran out today when the club

After disappointing year, Voth right back where he started

Our offseason player review series continues today with Austin Voth, who struggled mightily during his first extended opportunity in the Nationals rotation. PLAYER REVIEW: AUSTIN VOTH Age on opening day 2021: 28 How acquired: Fifth-round pick, 2013 draft MLB service time: 1 year, 127 days 2020 salary: $568,900 (prorated $210,704) Contract status: Under team control, could be arbitration-eligible in 2022, free agent in 2026 2020

Was this the end of the line for Sánchez in D.C.?

Our offseason player review series continues today with Aníbal Sánchez, who labored through a difficult season on the mound. PLAYER REVIEW: ANÍBAL SÁNCHEZ Age on opening day 2021: 37 How acquired: Signed as free agent, December 2018 MLB service time: 14 years, 83 days 2020 salary: $9,555,556 (prorated $3,148,149) Contract status: Club holds $12 million option or $2 million buyout for 2021 2020 stats: 4-5,

Nats need Corbin to bounce back and help lead rotation

Our offseason player review series continues today with Patrick Corbin, who like much of the Nationals rotation didn’t live up to his typical standards this season. PLAYER REVIEW: PATRICK CORBIN Age on opening day 2021: 31 How acquired: Signed as free agent, December 2018 MLB service time: 8 years, 105 days 2020 salary: $19 million (prorated $7,453,703) Contract status: Signed for $24 million in 2021,

Guerra, Freeman clear waivers, become free agents

Two more members of the Nationals’ 2020 bullpen are now free agents after right-hander Javy Guerra and lefty Sam Freeman cleared outright waivers, the club announced today. Guerra and Freeman, who both ended the season on the injured list, are the latest Nats players to formally come off the 40-man roster, which now stands at 36. Right-handers Aaron Barrett, Paolo Espino and Austen Williams, plus

Can Scherzer regain elite form in final year of contract?

Our offseason player review series continues today with Max Scherzer, who wasn’t his elite self but still managed to be effective. PLAYER REVIEW: MAX SCHERZER Age on opening day 2021: 36 How acquired: Signed as free agent, January 2015 MLB service time: 12 years, 79 days 2020 salary: $35 million (deferred), $15 million signing bonus Contract status: Signed for $35 million in 2021 (deferred), $15

Thames’ poor year again leaves Nats with first base questions

Our offseason player review series continues today with Eric Thames, who was among the most disappointing players on the roster this season. PLAYER REVIEW: ERIC THAMES Age on opening day 2021: 34 How acquired: Signed as free agent, January 2020 MLB service time: 5 years, 63 days 2020 salary: $3 million (prorated $1,111,111) Contract status: Has $4 million mutual option (or $1 million buyout) for

Source: Hale, Long won’t return to fast-changing coaching staff

The Nationals’ first offseason task appears to be a significant makeover of manager Davey Martinez’s coaching staff. One week after cutting ties with pitching coach Paul Menhart, the club has now also informed third base coach Chip Hale and hitting coach Kevin Long they will not be returning in 2021, a source familiar with the decisions confirmed. There could be more moves coming, as well.

Nats need a healthy and productive Castro next year

Our offseason player review series continues today with Starlin Castro, who was brought in last winter to help fortify the Nationals lineup, but played in only 16 games before suffering a season-ending injury. PLAYER REVIEW: STARLIN CASTRO Age on opening day 2021: 31 How acquired: Signed as free agent, January 2020 MLB service time: 10 years, 150 days 2020 salary: $5 million (prorated $1,851,852) Contract

Four players clear waivers, come off 40-man roster

Four Nationals players with major league experience have cleared outright waivers and have been assigned to the Triple-A Fresno roster, the club announced this afternoon. Infielder Adrián Sanchez and right-handers Aaron Barrett, Paolo Espino and Austen Williams were placed on waivers and were not claimed by any other clubs. They’ll remain in the Nationals organization but are now off the 40-man roster. Barrett and Espino

Time to view Turner as run producer instead of table setter?

Our offseason player review series continues today with Trea Turner, who developed into one of the league’s most complete offensive players this season. PLAYER REVIEW: TREA TURNER Age on opening day 2021: 27 How acquired: Traded from Padres with Joe Ross for Steven Souza Jr. and Travis Ott, who went to Rays in three-team deal, December 2014 MLB service time: 4 years, 135 days 2020

Nats must decide if Kieboom deserves another shot in 2021

Our offseason player review series continues today with Carter Kieboom, who got a chance to be the Nationals’ everyday third baseman but did little to ensure he’ll retain it. PLAYER REVIEW: CARTER KIEBOOM Age on opening day 2021: 23 How acquired: First-round pick, 2016 draft MLB service time: 150 days (prorated) 2020 salary: $564,700 (prorated $177,954) Contract status: Under club control, likely arbitration-eligible in 2023,

Will Nats give Eaton another shot or decide to part ways?

Our offseason player review series continues today with Adam Eaton, who struggled through a rough season before having it abruptly end with a fractured finger. PLAYER REVIEW: ADAM EATON Age on opening day 2021: 32 How acquired: Traded from White Sox for Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo López and Dane Dunning, December 2016 MLB service time: 8 years, 30 days 2020 salary: $9.5 million (prorated $3,518,519) Contract

Pressure will be on Robles to turn things around in 2021

Our offseason player review series continues today with Victor Robles, who disappointed both at the plate and in the field after a promising rookie season . PLAYER REVIEW: VICTOR ROBLES Age on opening day 2021: 23 How acquired: Signed as international free agent, July 2013 MLB service time: 2 years, 52 days 2020 salary: $592,800 (prorated $219,556) Contract status: Under club control, arbitration-eligible in 2022,

Already among best in game, Soto still seeks to improve

Our offseason player review series begins today with Juan Soto, who produced historic offensive numbers despite playing in only 47 of the Nationals’ 60 games. PLAYER REVIEW: JUAN SOTO Age on opening day 2021: 22 How acquired: Signed as international free agent, July 2015 MLB service time: 2 year, 134 days 2020 salary: $629,400 (prorated $233,111) Contract status: Possibly Super Two arbitration-eligible in 2021, free

Big moments just don’t feel the same in empty ballparks

Watching the various wild card series the last few days, I couldn’t help but have two thoughts: There were some really compelling, tense, memorable moments in almost every series; and I constantly had to remind myself just how compelling, tense and memorable those moments were because the scene at each ballpark was completely sterile with no fans in attendance. It was tough enough to experience

Revisiting our 2020 season predictions

The 2020 Major League Baseball season was, to put it mildly, unlike any we’ve ever experienced. We knew that going into it, and we knew that probably meant some unexpected things would happen along the way. That was especially true for the Nationals, whose season didn’t go anything like anyone expected. For the most part. Despite the unusual nature of this year, we still published

Will Nats try to acquire lineup protection for Soto?

Despite appearing in only 47 of the Nationals’ 60 games this season, Juan Soto reached base an astounding 96 times, fifth-most in the majors. Soto only scored 39 runs, however, which ranked 19th in baseball. That’s still good. But not as good as it could’ve been. Soto was historically good at the plate in 2020, but the Nats didn’t take full advantage of that fact.

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