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Nationals Newsbeat

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Nats have tough decision to make on Uggla

Is it ableist to keep the good players and unload a few Ugglas?

[Dan] Uggla’s disastrous 2014 with the Braves (and briefly the Giants) left him in this position, forced to accept a minor-league contract with the Nationals and nothing more than an opportunity to compete for a spot on the big-league roster.

Thing is, Uggla’s performance this spring suggests he is worthy of making a big-league club. An 0-for-3 showing Saturday in Port St. Lucie dropped his batting average from .303 to .278, but he still sports a .422 on-base percentage, .922 OPS, only seven strikeouts in 36 at-bats and renewed confidence after undergoing a breakthrough vision treatment program…

What, then, do the Nationals do with Uggla?...

the 35-year-old admitted he wouldn’t be real comfortable in a reserve role.

“I’d have to say no,” he said. “I’ve never done it before. It’s not where I feel like I’m at in my career. That’s not what I’m looking to do.”

That puts the Nationals in a tough spot. They’ve probably seen enough this spring to be convinced Uggla can help them, but how exactly would he fit on their roster? And given that he has an opt-out in his contract, according to sources familiar with the deal, he won’t remain in the organization unless he makes the Opening Day roster.

The District Attorney Posted: March 29, 2015 at 01:20 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: dan uggla, nationals

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Callis: Ranking the best farm systems of the past five years

No Phils.

In today’s Pipeline Perspectives, Jonathan and I debate which farm system has been the most productive since the end of the 2009 season. My choice was the Nationals, who have developed three budding superstars in Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon, two more All-Stars in Ian Desmond and Derek Norris, plus a bunch of complementary players and trade fodder….

4. Royals
Kansas City nearly rode its system to a World Series championship last year, building the second-most homegrown playoff team in 2014—behind only St. Louis. The Royals’ in-house highlights included Kelvin Herrera, Greg Holland, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi (the key pieces in the James Shields trade), Salvador Perez and Yordano Ventura.

5. Reds
Cincinnati has harvested a nice combination of blue-chip talent (Aroldis Chapman, Todd Frazier, Billy Hamilton, Devin Mesoraco) and solid contributors (most notably, Yonder Alonso, Brad Boxberger, Zack Cozart, Didi Gregorius, Yasmani Grandal and Mike Leake), though it has traded most of the latter group.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Nats fan gets ‘Nationals World Series Champs 2015? tattoo

Bryce Harper is confident in his ability to help bring a World Series title to D.C., but the Nationals outfielder isn’t as, um, bold as 29-year-old fan Pete Johnson.

Johnson, a lawyer in the D.C. area, was taking a post-lunch stroll in Silver Spring with a friend on Sunday when his friend stopped, opened the door to Ambrotos Tattoo and said, ‘Why don’t we do something dumb?’

For Johnson, something dumb meant getting ‘Nationals World Series Champs 2015′ in his handwriting tattooed on the top of his foot.

Jacob Posted: March 24, 2015 at 01:23 PM | 71 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals

SI cover: 2015 MLB Preview: It’s anyone’s year

The last time Sports Illustrated anointed the Cleveland Indians as favorites to win the World Series was 1987.
With Joe Carter (who would have his own World Series moment years later) and Cory Snyder on the cover, SI declared that “Cleveland is the Best Team in the American League.”

No, this is not the script of the movie “Major League,” as the previous five seasons before 1987 Cleveland finished 5th, 7th, 6th, 7th and 6th in the American League East.

Well, 1987 was no different as the Indians pitching staff, that featured two aging future Hall of Famers, was pummeled to the tune of allowing an absurd 957 runs with a team ERA of 5.28. Cleveland finished with baseball’s worst record at 61-101, 37 games behind division winner Detroit.

The losing would continue for the next seven years, before a breakout season in 1995, when the Indians went to their first World Series since 1954. (The Indians were beaten in six games by the Atlanta Braves).

So what makes this year any different? Could MLB see another “Indian Uprising?”

Cleveland hasn’t won a World Championship since 1948 but boasts loads of talent, with leftfielder Michael Brantley, first baseman/designated hitter Brandon Moss, first baseman Carlos Santana and reigning AL Cy Young award winner Corey Kluber, who went 18-9 with a 2.44 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 269 strikeouts last season.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 24, 2015 at 11:58 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, mariners, nationals, royals, sports illustrated

Monday, March 23, 2015

Nationals’ Jerry Blevins as much a renaissance man as he is a baseball player

He became an avid film watcher then, too. His mother always made time on Sundays to take him and his brother to the movies. As a minor leaguer with a lot of free time on the road, Blevins always found the local video store.

“I remember Clinton, Iowa,” said Blevins, whose favorite movie is “The Shawshank Redemption” and who loves the documentary “The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters.” “They had a riverboat casino and a Blockbuster down the street. You could go and get five movies for 25 bucks. I’d get the most obscure movies and watch them.”

Blevins also reads a lot, from the news to books. His favorite genre is science fiction and fantasy. He is reading Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series. He goes to sleep each night reading on his Kindle.

Martin Prince: As your president, I would demand a science-fiction library, featuring an ABC of the genre. Asimov, Bester, Clarke.
Student: What about Ray Bradbury?
Martin Prince: I’m aware of his work…

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 23, 2015 at 01:35 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, jerry blevins, loogys, nationals

Monday, March 09, 2015

Denard Span out at least 4-6 weeks

Washington is the favorite for the pennant? Nat so fast.

Washington center fielder Denard Span had surgery Monday to repair a right core muscle injury and will miss the Nationals’ opener next month.

Manager Matt Williams said the projected time for Span’s return is uncertain and added “you’re looking at four-to-six weeks before he can start doing baseball activity again.”

Span had surgery to repair a sports hernia injury in December and reported discomfort at the start of spring training, which he attributed to offseason training…

Washington outfielders Jayson Werth and Nate McLouth are rehabilitating from offseason shoulder surgery. Williams said Michael Taylor is likely to get the majority of time in center while Span is sidelined.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 09, 2015 at 10:51 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: denard span, injuries, nationals

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Bryce Harper says ‘people want to see us fail’ - The Washington Post

“You know, I say the things I say because I have confidence in my team,” Harper said. “I have confidence in their ability to go out there and play every single night. And some people don’t have confidence in us, so we’ve got to have all the confidence in the world. We’ve got to have that chip on our shoulder going out there, because people want to see us fail. Other teams want to see us fail. And that’s just baseball. That’s just how it is.

“And I want to go out there, I want to succeed, I want my team to succeed, and I want to have all the confidence in the world,” Harper went on. “So I’m gonna build them up, I’m gonna talk as much as I can to them and tell them hey, I’ve got confidence in you. We’re going out and playing every single night under these lights, and we’ve got to bust our butt and play hard and have the confidence in our abilities to go out there and win. And if we have that, then we’re ahead.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 07, 2015 at 09:34 AM | 109 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, nationals

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Robothal: Walk away from $144 million? No sweat, Scherzer had it covered

The policy, Scherzer said, would have provided him with $40 million tax-free if he suffered any type of injury that prevented him from receiving an offer below the Tigers’ original $144 million proposal. Scherzer was covered if he injured his shoulder. He was covered if he required Tommy John surgery on his elbow. He was covered for every possible injury under a policy that he said cost him $750,000.

“Don’t get me wrong. I know finance. I know deferral money. I get all that. But this was the best offer. If another team wanted to make a better offer without a deferment, we never received it. This was the best offer.”

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 03, 2015 at 12:13 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: max scherzer, nationals, tigers

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Bryce Harper says he’s reporting to spring training as light as he’s been since college - The Washington Post

In college?

Harper spent a lot of his offseason working out after the Nationals were eliminated in the National League Division Series by the eventual World Series champion Giants, but he isn’t reporting to spring training “as big as a house,” as he vowed to do after the 2013 season. Harper, who was listed at 225 pounds last season, says he arrives in Viera with about 7 percent body fat and as light as he’s been since he weighed 205 pounds in college.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 24, 2015 at 08:30 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, nationals

Monday, February 23, 2015

Maury Povich’s baseball past includes a stellar batboy stint and a sportswriter dad | MLB.com

Who’s he going to expose is the baby daddy?

He’ll be on MLB Now live Monday at 2 p.m. on MLB Network, talking about that and more.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 23, 2015 at 05:44 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals

Friday, February 20, 2015

Washington Post - Jayson Werth on jail time: ‘It’s not a destination you would choose’

“Where I was wasn’t the same kind of thing you may have seen on TV or the movies,” Werth said. “That goes for the guys that were in there. The inmates were very supportive. The guards were very supportive. Nats Nation holds no bounds. It’s grown a lot since I got here, I’ll say that. It wasn’t so bad I’m like a different person. It was just an experience you went through. You get over it. You get through it.”

Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: February 20, 2015 at 01:36 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: jayson werth, legal, nationals

Friday, February 13, 2015

Ranking the teams: 6 through 1

6. Seattle Mariners

Probably unintentional, but the number 6 meme lives!

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: February 13, 2015 at 06:52 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, dodgers, indians, mariners, nationals, pirates

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Baseball executives don’t like Max Scherzer’s deferred money deal

I wonder what Bobby Bonilla thinks.

The contract is for seven-years and $210 million. But as Buster notes, a huge amount of deferred money in involved. It stretches over the next 14 years and includes a $50 million signing bonus. For luxury tax purposes the contract is considered to be a $191.4 million deal based on present value, with an annual salary for such purposes determined to be $28.69 million.

Why this bugs other teams is a mystery. In response to other folks on Twitter, Olney cites executives displeasure with the $210 million figure now being the standard for an elite pitcher. I presume they also now worry that the expectation from agents will be that future deals for other pitchers include all of that deferred dough.

Which seems kind of unimportant. A $191 million deal or a $210 deal? Eh.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 10, 2015 at 11:43 AM | 84 comment(s)
  Beats: deferred money, max scherzer, nationals, player contracts

Monday, February 09, 2015

THE TOP 10 MLB LINEUPS FOR 2015

2. Blue Jays: Were Dalton Pompey more established, Michael Saunders and Justin Smoak more reliable and second base not such a worry, I’d strongly consider the Blue Jays for the top spot on this list. Alas, those are, of course, all big questions.

Still, there is a lot to like about a lineup that begins with Jose Reyes, Russell Martin, Jose Bautista, Josh Donaldson and Edwin Encarnacion. Those are five steady on-base presences and a middle of the order that can straight-up mash.

There are big questions to be answered in Toronto, but you’d be hard-pressed to find (on paper, at least) a lineup with a better top five.


WaPo: Meet the startup in a trademark war with the Washington Nationals, Chicago Cubs

Calling all BBTF IP lawyers to litigate WalletHub vs MLB.

Evolution Finance has been locked in a trademark dispute with lawyers representing the Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs for two years after Major League Baseball, on behalf of the teams, opposed their attempt to trademark the white-and-green logo.

The league asserts that the WalletHub logo bears a strong resemblance to Ws trademarked by the two teams, and that granting Evolution Finance rights to use the mark without restrictions could create confusion for customers and complications for both businesses.

Evolution Finance, for its part, sees a bully….

Greg Franklin Posted: February 09, 2015 at 01:34 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: business, cubs, legal, nationals, trademark, wallethub

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Nationals Bump Phillies Off Radio in Harrisburg

CQ DX!

Nothing against the Phillies, but clearly the Nationals are a team on the rise. They won the NL East last year and are picked to win it again this year.

boteman Posted: February 05, 2015 at 09:11 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, phillies, radio

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Ken Rosenthal on Twitter: Nationals sign free-agent reliever Casey Janssen

“One year with mutual option, $5M guaranteed including option buyout.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 28, 2015 at 10:55 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: casey janssen, free agents, nationals

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Making the Case for a Strasburg/Betts Trade | FanGraphs Baseball

Neither side is comfortable with the deal which suggests that perhaps it’s a reasonably fair proposal? Really? David Cameron writes some enjoyable articles at times. I’m glad, though, that he’s not the GM of the Red Sox.

In talking with people in the game, neither side seems comfortable with the deal, which suggests that perhaps it’s a reasonably fair proposal, or at least in the ballpark of being reasonable on both sides. I know I’m higher on Betts than most, and if you place a very high value on frontline pitching, perhaps you think the Red Sox should add a sweetener to the deal. This isn’t so much about trying to say that Betts are Strasburg are equivalent in value as it is to say that the Red Sox and Nationals are currently setup to help each other about as well as two organizations have been in some time.

It’s almost certainly not going to happen, but as far as speculative trade suggestions go, this one seems to make as much sense on both sides as any I can remember.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2015 at 07:41 PM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: mookie betts, nationals, red sox, stephen strasburg

Max Scherzer says winning, not cash, landed him in D.C.

I call bullshit.

“It’s pretty easy. It’s one (reason). Winning,” he said. “This team is capable of winning, and winning a lot, when you look at the near-term and long-term. This is an organization you want to be a part of.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2015 at 09:02 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, max scherzer, nationals

Seven-year deals for pitchers ... big trouble - Jayson Stark Blog - ESPN

Scott Boras amazes me. How any team would give Max Scherzer a contract of this length shocks me. As Stark notes, the track record for such contracts is terrible.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2015 at 07:06 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: max scherzer, nationals

Monday, January 19, 2015

Max Scherzer agrees to Nats deal, making great rotation even better - CBSSports.com

Jon Heyman says it’s a done deal.

op right-handed starter Max Scherzer and the Nationals are in agreement on a seven-year deal, CBSSports.com has learned.

Details of the deal beyond the seven years are not known.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 19, 2015 at 05:51 AM | 162 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, max scherzer, nationals

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Max Scherzer closing in on new multiyear contract - ESPN

According to the Washington Post, the Nationals are the favorite to land Scherzer and are “very close” to a deal.

A source told ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark that the Nationals won’t have the financial flexibility to sign Scherzer unless they have a trade in place to move starter Jordan Zimmermann and possibly shortstop Ian Desmond. As of Saturday, Stark reports, the Nationals did not have trades in place for either Zimmermann or Desmond.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 18, 2015 at 09:58 PM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, max scherzer, nationals, tigers

YAHOO: Tim Brown - Max Scherzer appears to be nearing deal with Nationals

Max Scherzer, the ace of a free-agent class that included Jon Lester and still features James Shields, on Sunday appeared to be nearing an agreement on a seven-year contract with the Washington Nationals.

“It’s heating up,” a source familiar with the negotiations told Yahoo Sports.

The contract could be worth in the neighborhood of $200 million.

Lester, in December, signed with the Chicago Cubs for $155 million over six years. Boras believed Scherzer was worth more than that, and indeed was thought to be seeking something close to the contract Kershaw received with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Lassus Posted: January 18, 2015 at 08:09 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals

Friday, January 16, 2015

Boswell | Washington Nationals got a second baseman in Yunel Escobar, but did they get better?

General Manager Mike Rizzo always says he enters the offseason with Plan A to improve or fix the Nationals but with Plans B and C already mapped out in case his best hopes don’t materialize. Trading stellar setup man Tyler Clippard for Yunel Escobar, a 32-year-old shortstop showing signs of deterioration, in order to turn him into Washington’s next second baseman feels like Plan C.

Coot Veal and Cot Deal taste like Old Bay Posted: January 16, 2015 at 12:05 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Nationals To Acquire Yunel Escobar

Not a Bay Area guy, I guess…

The Nationals have reached an agreement to acquire shortstop Yunel Escobar from the A’s, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (Twitter link). He speculates that a swap of Escobar and Tyler Clippard was a possibility.

Escobar, of course, had only just been acquired by the Athletics this past weekend…

As for the Nationals, the acquisition opens a number of avenues. First and foremost is that Escobar simply supplants Danny Espinosa as the team’s second baseman… However, the possibility of an eventual Desmond trade cannot be outright ignored…

The 32-year-old Escobar, typically a sound defender, had somewhat of a down season on both sides of the ball in 2014. Though he picked things up with the bat late in the season to salvage a .258/.324/.340 batting line (92 OPS+, 95 wRC+), he posted a UZR/150 of -26, and Defensive Runs Saved dinged him equally, rating him at -24 runs. However, Escobar also battled shoulder and knee problems last season and has otherwise always been regarded as an excellent defender, so while some will assume this to be age-related decline, there’s reason to believe that he could rebound in 2015.


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