Entries Listing

Taylor signs with Royals, officially ending 11-year run with Nats

Michael A. Taylor’s 11-year tenure with the Nationals officially ended today when the enigmatic outfielder signed a one-year deal with the Royals, hoping a fresh start with a new organization will reinvigorate his career. Taylor had been on the open market since Oct. 15, after the Nationals attempted to outright him to Triple-A and he declined the assignment and elected free agency. Though the club

Monday morning Nats Q&A

Hope everyone had a nice, safe Thanksgiving weekend. As you’d expect, there was no significant news about the Nationals, who like most teams have been awfully quiet so far this offseason. Perhaps that begins to change this week, as November turns to December and pressure builds to address the roster. In the meantime, let’s take some time this morning to answer your questions about the

What item should top Nats’ offseason wish list?

Thanksgiving weekend, of course, marks the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season, though obviously this year is a little bit different from the norm. Black Friday did take place, but it wasn’t nearly the spectacle it usually is, and for good reason. Baseball’s shopping season also is different this year. We’ve already seen how slow the market has been to develop, and it’s probably

Even in 2020, much to be thankful for today

This traditionally is a day to take a step back and appreciate what we have in our lives, big and small, and give thanks for it. But this year? What are we supposed to be thankful for in November 2020? Actually, there’s a lot. Though this certainly has been among the most trying years any of has ever experienced, there have been some silver linings.

Nationals’ options for rotation help starting to shrink

This has been, unfortunately as expected, an awfully slow start to free agency across baseball. Teams so far have been reluctant to spend anything resembling significant money, perhaps because they want to wait and see what the 2021 season is going to look like before committing, perhaps because they already intended to make players wait as long as possible in the final year of the

Do Nats have the elite prospects needed in a big trade?

Mike Rizzo has never been shy about dealing away top prospects in exchange for big-name players who could immediately help his Nationals win. This is the general manager, after all, who dealt away Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo López and Dane Dunning for Adam Eaton prior to the 2017 season and then that summer dealt Jesús Luzardo and others to the Athletics for Sean Doolittle and Ryan

As football flails, MLB deserves more credit for 2020 season

Fifteen Division I football games were canceled last week because of players, coaches and others testing positive for COVID-19. The 2020 college football season is a mess, with different teams from different conferences playing a different number of games over different stretches of time. Yet all you really hear out of that corner of the sports world are complaints about the effect these scattershot cancellations

How many numbers will be retired from this Nationals era?

They’ve raised a pennant and a World Series flag, unveiled division title signs and a Ring of Honor. But here’s something the Nationals have yet to do during their 16 seasons in town: Retire somebody’s number. That day will come, though, and it may not be that far off, with a couple of obvious candidates at the tail end of their respective careers. To be

Nats protect Antuna, Adon from Rule 5 draft

The Nationals added two prospects to their 40-man roster today, believing infielder Yasel Antuna and right-hander Joan Adon needed to be protected from being lost in next month’s Rule 5 draft while taking a chance a few others won’t be gobbled up by another club. Antuna and Adon each had his contract purchased, elevating each player to the organization’s 40-man roster even though neither is

Friday morning news and notes

Some news and notes for you on this Friday morning ... * Today is the deadline for all clubs to add players to their 40-man roster and protect them from the Rule 5 draft, so look for the Nationals to make an announcement on a few guys at some point. The Rule 5 draft, which is scheduled to take place Dec. 10 to wrap up

Should a leadoff hitter be on the Nats’ shopping list?

It’s way too soon to start penciling in potential Nationals lineups for 2021, because there is so much that still needs to be determined before pitchers and catchers report a mere three months from now. But there is one fairly important question that probably needs to be asked right now, because the answer isn’t entirely clear. Do the Nats need a new leadoff hitter? They

Nats sign former Twins minor league lefty Clay to MLB deal

One year after hitting the jackpot with the signing of a reliever with extensive minor league experience to a major league contract, the Nationals are hoping they found another diamond in the rough with today’s signing of left-hander Sam Clay. Clay, who spent the last seven seasons in the Twins system but never reached the majors, was given a big league deal by the Nats,

As GM carousel keeps turning, Nats still have rock in Rizzo

Few executives in baseball history can claim to have accomplished what Theo Epstein has done during his career. Epstein’s legacy already was set for life when he built the 2004 Red Sox roster that snapped the “Curse of the Bambino” and brought Boston its first World Series title in 86 years. Then he one-upped himself and built the 2016 Cubs roster that snapped the “Billy

Source: Nats sign veteran slugger Tomás to minor league deal

Yasmany Tomás, the former Diamondbacks slugger whose defensive deficiencies made him high-priced bust, will get a chance to restart his career with the Nationals. The Nats have signed Tomás to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training, a source familiar with the transaction confirmed. The 30-year-old is scheduled to begin playing in the Puerto Rican Winter League next month, according to Cuban

Notable ex-Nationals left off 2021 Hall of Fame ballot

The 2021 Hall of Fame ballot officially was announced Monday, and though there are 25 notable names on the list the most notable thing about this year’s ballot might just be what’s not on there: a slam-dunk Hall of Famer. None of the 14 new additions to the ballot are guaranteed to reach the 75 percent vote threshold necessary for induction. And even among the

The current state of the Nationals’ depth chart

The Nationals haven’t added anyone new yet this offseason, but they have dropped quite a few members of the 2020 club over the last month-plus. In fact, their 40-man roster includes only 30 players at this moment, underscoring just how much work they still have ahead of them this winter. We’ve talked plenty already about the various holes on the roster and tried to identify

With Robles on roster, Dominican Winter League opens today

After such a short season, many ballplayers wondered if they should consider going somewhere to get more at-bats or throw more innings this winter. The answer from the Nationals front office: No, take a normal offseason, then report for spring training fresh and ready to go. That message doesn’t apply to every single player on the Nats roster, though. There are a handful of guys

Thoughts on some GMs in the news

The Marlins made history Friday, making Kim Ng the first female general manager of a major North American men’s professional sports franchise. Ng’s hiring was greeted with overwhelming praise from every corner of the baseball world and beyond, and it was comforting to see how much everyone understood how much the 51-year-old has earned this job and wasn’t simply handed it for the publicity. Ng

Nats’ lack of award candidates in 2020 was telling

Not that you need any reminders about how disappointing 2020 was for the Nationals, but here’s one more just for the sake of it: They didn’t have any finalists for any of the four major end-of-season awards. Nope, nobody from the Nats finished in the top three in voting for National League MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year or Manager of the Year. That’s

Soto finishes fifth, Turner is seventh in MVP voting

Juan Soto finished fifth and Trea Turner finished seventh in voting for National League MVP released tonight, garnering recognition for a season in which the Nationals as a team disappointed but their two biggest offensive stars produced as well as they have in their respective careers. Soto led the league in a host of offensive categories but didn’t play as much as most of his

Status of DH in 2021 looms large for Nationals

The Nationals have several lineup holes they need to fill this winter, and it’s no mystery where those holes are: A corner outfielder. A catcher. One or more first basemen. And perhaps either a second or third baseman. But there may be one more lineup hole that needs to be addressed at some point: designated hitter. We don’t know yet if the DH will return

Uncertainty abounds in minor league reorganization

There is so much uncertainty surrounding the 2021 season, even as the calendar creeps forward and pitchers and catchers are due to report for spring training in three months. And the uncertainty extends well beyond the major league season. If anything, there’s even more uncertainty at this moment about the state of Minor League Baseball in 2021. As you probably know by now, Major League

Every NL East club has reason to be motivated this winter

Mike Rizzo will tell you he doesn’t make a single offseason decision based on what other clubs are doing to their roster. The Nationals general manager’s sole focus is on improving his team, no matter what anyone else around the league is doing. It’s an admirable philosophy, of course, and it has served Rizzo well in his decade-plus in charge of the Nats. It also

Monday morning Nats Q&A

The offseason is now in full swing. Not that there’s much of any news of consequence involving the Nationals so far. If anything, this first portion of the offseason has raised more questions than provided answers. So perhaps it’s a good time to take some questions and attempt to provide some answers. I can’t promise I’ve got a good reponse for every query, but I’ll

Are Nats only in market for lefty reliever or perhaps more?

The Nationals are in the market for bullpen help this winter. Just like every winter. Guess you have to admire their consistency, right? The good news is, they’re in less of a bind this winter than they’ve usually been in the past. With Daniel Hudson, Will Harris, Tanner Rainey and Kyle Finnegan all returning, they’ve got a solid core group of right-handers already on the

Nats have multiple paths in search to bolster infield

The Nationals need a big bat, someone to hit behind Trea Turner and Juan Soto, and the most logical position for that person to play is a corner outfield position. But it doesn’t have to work out quite like that. Just as, let’s say, a presidential candidate has more than one path to 270 electoral votes, general manager Mike Rizzo has more than one path

Soto wins first Silver Slugger Award of career

Juan Soto’s massive offensive numbers in a shortened season weren’t enough to earn the Nationals star left fielder a top-three finish in the MVP race, but they were enough to earn him a Silver Slugger Award. Soto’s victory was revealed tonight, the first of a career that figures to include plenty more of these awards and perhaps an MVP or two as well. He was

Barrett, Sanchez, Snyder get spring training invites

Three mainstays in the Nationals organization will be back for another spring training with the club. Aaron Barrett, Adrián Sanchez and Brandon Snyder are among the group of players who will receive non-roster invitations to West Palm Beach next spring, a source confirmed. All figure to face long odds of making the big league roster, but that’s never been a deterrent for any of these

Catching market includes one big star, few other options

It’s perhaps not their No. 1 need this winter, but the Nationals absolutely need to add another catcher this winter. Unless they’re willing to enter 2021 with Yan Gomes as the clear-cut starter and either Raudy Read or Tres Barrera as his backup, the Nats are going to have to acquire somebody. That somebody could be a frontline starter who relegates Gomes to the bench.

Nats could go in one of several directions for rotation help

We looked at potential free agent outfielders that might interest the Nationals on Tuesday. Today we turn our attention to their other big need this winter: a No. 4 starter to replace the departing Aníbal Sánchez. Some teams don’t prioritize a No. 4 starter. The Nationals do. Look back at their best seasons over the last near-decade, and they’ve pretty much always had a good

No shortage of free agent outfielders for Nats to consider

Rank the Nationals’ most significant needs this winter and there’s no debate what tops the list: a big bat. Someone who can hit behind Trea Turner and Juan Soto. Someone who can lengthen the lineup. Someone who can fill the void created by Anthony Rendon’s departure last winter. (And, yes, obviously this all could’ve been avoided if the Nats just re-signed Rendon, but there’s no

Where the Nats’ payroll stands as the offseason begins

We raised the question Sunday of the Nationals’ approach to this winter, whether they might be willing to go against the expected grain of most of the league and aggressively pursue free agents while everyone else attempts to drag the process out and save money. We have no idea at this point if it’s even within the realm of possibility, mostly because we haven’t heard

As others cut costs, should Nats look to spend big this winter?

The start of free agency in baseball has long failed to live up to whatever advance hype comes along with it. If the first day of free agency in the NFL, NBA and NHL resembles Walmart on Black Friday, in Major League Baseball it looks more like a group of seniors strolling through the mall concourse at 9 a.m. on a random Tuesday. Owners don’t

« October 2020 | Main Index | Archives | December 2020 »