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Thursday, January 16, 2020

Ryan Zimmerman trading his baseball glove for a much bigger glove today

“That was the most nervous I have ever been coming into something. I was terrified”

JL72 Posted: January 16, 2020 at 11:34 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: hockey, nationals, ryan zimmerman

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Carter Kieboom believes he’s prepared to compete for Nationals’ third base job

And now, for a palate cleanser after the news of the day….

When Carter Kieboom made it to the majors, he announced his presence with authority.

The Nationals’ top prospect batted ninth against the San Diego Padres on April 26 for his MLB debut. Washington trailed 3-2 heading into the bottom of the eighth. Kieboom, just 21 years old, took a hanging slider and hit it to straightaway center field for a game-tying home run.

It was an incredible moment, one Kieboom and his family will look back on and remember for the rest of their lives. However, the game caught up to him quickly. Washington was forced to send him back down to the minors after he posted a .491 OPS with four errors in 11 games.

Despite the demotion, Kieboom wasn’t deterred.

 

QLE Posted: January 14, 2020 at 02:32 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: carter kieboom, nationals, prospects

Monday, January 13, 2020

Celebrations firmly behind them, Nationals’ prep for 2020 is under way

WASHINGTON—Stephen Strasburg trudged through the lower hall of Nationals Park with a stream of fans in his wake. He was wading through the second day of Nationals WinterFest, filled with interviews, autograph sessions and an escort to guide him from station to station.

Trea Turner pivoted to head up an external ramp on the concourse. A security guard pulled a temporary gate closed to allow him separation between fans and his path. The concourse, in general, was less populated than Saturday as the event wound down. Two stellar days of weather and a World Series title put the event in a space it lacked last year when it was cold and raining after a flop of a season.

It’s mid-January. Max Scherzer and Adam Eaton are already at the team’s spring training facility in West Palm Beach. Other players and coaches will be arriving progressively, most well before the mandatory reporting date of Feb. 17. Howie Kendrick and hitting coach Kevin Long began working together in Arizona, where both live in the offseason, about two weeks ago. The season starts in 10 weeks.

It’s next year, in the literal and metaphorical sense, for the defending champions. WinterFest brought several of the players back in front of each other for the first time since a booze-soaked close to the season in Houston. The roster is situated outside of Josh Donaldson what-ifs and wonder about Ryan Zimmerman’s future.

 

QLE Posted: January 13, 2020 at 12:54 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, that championship season

Monday, January 06, 2020

Thames to Nationals on 1-year deal (source)

I’m getting the sense the Nationals aren’t getting Donaldson.

The Nationals are still hopeful they can bring Josh Donaldson to D.C., but they continued their offseason of Plan B early Monday evening by agreeing with free-agent first baseman Eric Thames on a one-year deal worth $4 million with a mutual option for 2021, a source told MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand. The club has not confirmed the deal, which is pending a physical.

Thames will earn $3 million in 2020, and his second year will be worth $4 million with a $1 million buyout, according to Feinsand.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 06, 2020 at 09:16 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: eric thames, nationals

Nats, reliever Hudson reach 2-year deal (source)

The Nationals have agreed to a two-year deal to bring back veteran reliever Daniel Hudson, a source told MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand on Monday. The club hasn’t confirmed the deal, which is worth $11 million and could net Hudson another $1 million in bonuses for games finished, according to Feinsand.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 06, 2020 at 04:38 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: daniel hudson, nationals

Sunday, January 05, 2020

Kris Bryant trade talks between Cubs and Nationals ‘have gone nowhere’

The Nationals reportedly love Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, but trade talks between the clubs “have gone nowhere,” according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

Bryant’s name has frequented rumors this winter, with the Braves, Nationals, Phillies and Rangers being linked to him at one point or another. A trade has never been a foregone conclusion, as the Cubs aren’t going to move the star third baseman for anything less than what they deem to be fair value.

The Cubs have requested Nationals center fielder Victor Robles in Bryant trade talks, per multiple reports, but Washington has been reluctant to include him. Robles is less established in the big leagues, but he’s under team control through 2024.

Meanwhile, Bryant’s unresolved service time grievance is an elephant in the metaphorical negotiating room. If Bryant loses, he’ll remain under team control through 2021; if he wins, he’ll hit free agency after next season. The Cubs would net more for him in a trade if he has two years of control remaining rather than one.

 

 

QLE Posted: January 05, 2020 at 12:28 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kris bryant, nationals

Asdrubal Cabrera returns to Nationals on a one-year, $2.5 million deal

The Nationals have agreed to terms with infielder Asdrubal Cabrera on a one-year, $2.5 million deal, per multiple reports (Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic among them).

Cabrera, 34, won a ring with the Nationals last season. He was signed by the Rangers in January but then released on August 3. Three days later, the Nationals signed him as a free agent. In 38 games down the stretch, Cabrera slashed .323/.404/.565 with six homers and 40 RBI while walking more times than he struck out. He wasn’t quite as productive in the postseason, hitting .233/.250/.267.

Cabrera can handle second or third base adequately, in theory, but he’s lacking range at this point in his career.

The Nationals likely aren’t done adding this offseason—and Josh Donaldson to replace Anthony Rendon at third base would be the big fish—but they have given themselves depth around the infield. The only sure thing right now is Trea Turner at shortstop.

 

QLE Posted: January 05, 2020 at 12:15 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: asdrubal cabrera, nationals

Saturday, January 04, 2020

Report: Starlin Castro, Nationals Agree to Contract amid Josh Donaldson Rumors

Free-agent infielder Starlin Castro has agreed to a contract with the Washington Nationals, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

The deal is pending a physical and reportedly does not take the Nationals out of the running to sign third baseman Josh Donaldson. According to Rosenthal, Castro will play second base in Washington as the team begins its World Series defense in 2020. Joel Sherman added the deal is expected to be for two years.

A four-time All-Star, Castro now joins his fourth team after previous stints with the Chicago Cubs, Miami Marlins and New York Yankees.

Castro will earn $12 million on the deal, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

 

QLE Posted: January 04, 2020 at 01:11 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, starlin castro

Friday, January 03, 2020

Will Harris gets 3-year, $24 million deal with Nationals - HoustonChronicle.com

Free-agent reliever Will Harris is in agreement with the Washington Nationals on a three-year deal, removing one of the most valuable, consistent relievers from the back end of the Astros’ bullpen.

The signing ends a five-year Houston tenure that took Harris from a relatively unknown waiver claim to one of baseball’s most sought-after relievers. Multiple reports late Thursday put Harris’ deal with the Nationals at $24 million across three years — a remarkable contract for a soon-to-be 36-year-old reliever.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 03, 2020 at 06:46 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, nationals, will harris

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

The Nats closed out this decade with a title. What’s coming in the next one?

Now what?

That’s the question facing the Washington Nationals following a decade of growth and emergence which ended with a World Series title. Title attained, the next segment in the organization’s existence is pending.

From league-owned wobbling team to a new home park to annual contender to a breakthrough, the Nationals have evolved in stages. The next decade will be just their second full one since baseball returned to the District in 2005. It will be defined by how they defend their new title, whether paying Stephen Strasburg was the right decision and the evolution of two young stars, Juan Soto and Victor Robles.

The first step comes in 2020. No longer the pursuer, Washington steps into Opening Day as the defending champion, if not necessarily the team to beat.

Some considerations on what the World Champions will do in the years to come, in comparison with what they have done in the preceding decade.

 

QLE Posted: January 01, 2020 at 12:30 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, that was the decade that was

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Strasburg returns, hopes to play whole career with Nationals

WASHINGTON (AP) — Naturally, Stephen Strasburg thought of himself pitching for a team other than the Nationals.

After winning and being MVP of the World Series, Strasburg opted out of his contract and hit the open market. The possibility was real that he’d played his last game in a Washington uniform.

Instead, Strasburg followed the lead of boyhood idol Tony Gwynn by signing a $245 million, seven-year deal that could allow him to play his entire career with the Nationals. This contract has no opt-outs, no options and a full no-trade clause, Strasburg will be 38 when it expires and could become just the eighth pitcher in major league history to spend 17-plus seasons with the same franchise.

“It’s really hard to come by in this game,” Strasburg said Tuesday. “When you’re given an opportunity to be in one spot and grow as a person and a player, to be a part of an organization like this, you can’t really let those opportunities go by.”

A few words on the one that didn’t get away.

 

QLE Posted: December 18, 2019 at 05:31 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, stephen strasburg

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Nationals ‘love’ Kris Bryant but potential holdup could stymie trade talks

With Anthony Rendon officially joining the Angels, the Nationals have a vacancy at third base.

Washington has options to replace Rendon; Josh Donaldson is still available in free agency, and Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant could potentially be had via trade.

The Nationals have reportedly inquired with the Cubs about Bryant, and while they “love” the 27-year-old, their focus is on Donaldson, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. The Cubs would likely seek center fielder Victor Robles in a deal, a holdup on Washington’s end, Heyman said.

 

QLE Posted: December 15, 2019 at 12:33 AM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: kris bryant, nationals, trade talk, victor robles

Monday, December 09, 2019

Nats are front and center as Winter Meetings open - Nationals Pastime

Someone made the point on either MLB Network or Radio that the Nationals also might have to fit Juan Suto in sooner than later.

Given managing principal owner Mark Lerner’s recent claim in a taped television interview with former tennis player, lawyer and agent Donald Dell that the Nationals can’t afford to re-sign both stars, there’s increased pressure to lock up one of the two. They have to be careful not to get caught napping in this game of musical chairs and end up with neither still in uniform.

Complicating matters, of course, is the fact Scott Boras represents both players. Yes, the Nats and Boras have worked together many times over the years and worked out long-term deals for Max Scherzer, Jayson Werth and Strasburg (the deal he just opted out of with four years and $100 million remaining). But Boras isn’t known for moving swiftly when it comes to these negotiations, and given how many teams could be in the running - and how many prominent free agents he represents - he is once again in a position of strength this winter.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 09, 2019 at 03:23 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals

Nationals re-sign Stephen Strasburg to seven-year, $245 million deal

Jon Heyman reports that the Nationals have re-signed free agent starter Stephen Strasburg. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the deal is for seven years and $245 million. It’s a record for both annual average value and total value for a free agent pitcher.

Strasburg, 31, opted out of his previous contract with the Nationals last month. He had four years and $100 million remaining on what was a seven-year, $175 million extension. By opting out, Strasburg fetched an extra three years and close to $145 million.


Friday, December 06, 2019

Report: Nationals bring back postseason hero Howie Kendrick on one-year deal

The World Series champion Washington Nationals and Howie Kendrick, the National League Championship Series MVP, reportedly agreed to a free-agent contract on Friday.

Kendrick’s deal with the Nationals is for one year and $6.25 million, and it includes a mutual option for 2021. In 2020, he’ll make more than he did in the past two years combined — the most recent contract Kendrick signed was the two-year, $7 million deal he inked with the Nationals after the 2017 season.

A 10th-round pick in 2002, Kendrick is a .294 hitter over his 14-year career. He’s thrived in what’s become more of a part-time role. Over the past three seasons, he’s batted .325 with an .888 OPS. This past season in Washington was one of the best of his career.

During his age-35 season in 2019, Kendrick was one of the most productive hitters in Washington’s lineup. He mainly platooned at first and second base, and played 15 games at third. That setup kept him 132 plate appearances shy of the batting title, as he posted a .344 average and .966 OPS in 121 games.

Well, at least that’s one player the Nationals will bother to re-sign….

 

QLE Posted: December 06, 2019 at 11:07 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: contracts, howie kendrick, nationals

Nationals Owner Says Team Cant Afford Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon

tl;dr “Beyond tapped out”

Lerner also suggested the free agency process is generally misunderstood outside of baseball circles.

“They think you’re really back there printing money and it’s whoever goes to the highest bidder,” Lerner said. “It’s not that way at all. You give these fellas—there’s a negotiation that goes on, but…We’ve been pretty successful in free agency over time. You’re not going to get everybody. Certain players may want to go home, closer to where their home is. You never know the reason why people move on.

Bote Man Posted: December 06, 2019 at 08:24 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: anthony rendon, cheap owners, nationals, payrolls, strasburg

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Nationals owner Mark Lerner says team can’t afford Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon

The prime question as soon as Stephen Strasburg opted out of his contract was this: Could the Nationals afford to bring back Strasburg and Anthony Rendon? According to managing principal owner Mark Lerner, the answer is no.

“We really can only afford to have one of those two guys,” Lerner told Donald Dell in an exclusive interview. “They’re huge numbers. We already have a really large payroll to begin with.”

Lerner’s public stance suggesting Strasburg and Rendon is an either-or proposition for the defending World Series champions is new. Is it surprising? Not necessarily. Lerner could flatly state the organization is going to find a way to pay both. However, that’s poor negotiating. Being in between serves multiple needs: It keeps the door open on each player; it stirs the market without roiling it; it prepares fans for an outcome they don’t prefer.

Lerner has not hesitated to comment on pending and enormous free agent situations since becoming the more outward face of the team’s ownership group. His father, founding principal owner Ted Lerner, has stepped back, though remains the patriarchal voice on large expenditures. Here, like last year, Mark Lerner has answered early December questions about free agency with eyebrow-raising candor. His declaration about Strasburg and Rendon comes almost a year-to-the-day after he said about Bryce Harper, “I don’t really expect him to come back at this point. I think they’ve decided to move on.”

Well, this is one heck of a thing to announce when your season ticket holders are considering renewals….

 

QLE Posted: December 05, 2019 at 09:33 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: anthony rendon, cheap owners, nationals, stephen strasburg

Monday, December 02, 2019

Nats 1B Zimmerman plans to be back with champs _ or retired

WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman figures he’ll either find himself back with the World Series champions next season — or out of baseball.

“I think I’ve made my intentions pretty clear,” Zimmerman said Monday night, when he attended the premiere of a documentary about last season’s title. “It’s either play some more here or play more golf.”

The 35-year-old Zimmerman is the only player who has appeared for the Nationals in all 15 of their seasons since the franchise moved to the nation’s capital from Montreal in 2005. He was the team’s first pick in the amateur draft that year.

The club declined its $18 million option for next season on Zimmerman, who received a $2 million buyout and became a free agent. But he expects to return to Washington.

Something to watch for when the new season begins.

 

QLE Posted: December 02, 2019 at 10:28 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, ryan zimmerman

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Red Sox among five teams under pressure for MLB hot-stove splash

Red Sox: They won it all in 2018, missed the playoffs in 2019, fired Dave Dombrowski (head of their baseball operations), have a manager in Alex Cora who might be tied up in the Astros’ electronic pitch-stealing scandal from when he was their bench coach in 2017, owners calling for major pay reductions, and a great, popular homegrown player in his prime in Betts, who has given no indications he will re-sign in Boston before free agency.

So Chaim Bloom, who replaced Dombrowski, has a full plate at what feels like a pivotal moment for the organization to try not to get so caught up in maximizing this year’s team as to mess up the near future. Can Bloom trade Price or Eovaldi? What can be gotten for Betts, whose value is hurt by having just one year of control and a 2020 salary that will at least approach $30 million?

Jim Furtado Posted: December 01, 2019 at 09:34 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, nationals, phillies, red sox, twins

Friday, November 29, 2019

Stephen Strasburg’s projections through 2026 | MLB.com

Those numbers might seem conservative, as projections often are, and Strasburg did throw far more innings (1,187 1/3) over the past seven seasons. But he did that at ages 24-30, not 31-37, and his health record should cause some concern.

There was, of course, the 2010 Tommy John surgery. But that led to just one of Strasburg’s 10 career stints on the injured list, including seven from 2015-18 before he remained on the field this past season. Going back to ‘15, Strasburg ranks only 34th in the Majors in innings, and his history of injuries is probably the biggest reason to for caution. As Russell Carleton—who now works in the Mets’ front office—wrote for Baseball Prospectus a few years ago, the best predictor of pitcher injury is past injury.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 29, 2019 at 09:56 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, nationals, stephen strasburg

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Full share for World Series champion Nats drops to $382,000

NEW YORK (AP) — A full postseason share on World Series champion Washington was worth $382,358, down from $416,838 for Boston last year and the record $438,902 for Houston in 2017.

The commissioner’s office said Tuesday the Nationals voted 61 full shares, more than 14 partial shares and two cash awards. The Red Sox had 66 full shares, more than 10 partial shares and eight cash awards.

The players’ pool was nearly $81 million, the third highest behind a record $88 million last year and more than $84 million in 2017.

So, how do I get a share?

QLE Posted: November 26, 2019 at 10:30 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, shares, world series

Monday, November 25, 2019

Bill for Nationals-Orioles TV dispute tops $99 million

NEW YORK (AP) — The bill is coming due for what the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network should pay the Washington Nationals for television rights for 2012-16: more than $99 million.

A proposed judgment was submitted Friday in New York Supreme Court. The court in August upheld an April 15 decision by a Major League Baseball arbitration panel that set the Nationals’ TV rights for that period at nearly $297 million.

The Baltimore Orioles and Nationals jointly own MASN and have been fighting in court for years. MASN was established in 2005 after the Montreal Expos relocated to Washington and became the Nationals, moving into what had been Baltimore’s exclusive broadcast territory since 1972. The Orioles have a controlling interest in the network.

So, does this end things, or will there be more rounds of disputes to come?

QLE Posted: November 25, 2019 at 02:35 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dollah dollah bills, y'all, masn, nationals, orioles

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Judge says MASN should pay Nats based on MLB panel decision

NEW YORK (AP) — A judge has ordered lawyers for the Nationals and Baltimore Orioles to submit a proposed judgment of what the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network should pay Washington for television rights from 2012-16 based on the decision issued in April by an arbitration panel of three baseball executives.

New York Supreme Court Justice Joel M. Cohen wrote in a decision issued Thursday that MASN should pay the Nationals the $296.8 million recommended by the panel, minus rights fees MASN already has paid for that five-year period. Cohen said the clerk of the court should calculate interest on the net amount from April 15 through the date the remaining money is paid.

Cohen heard renewed arguments Tuesday and denied a motion by the Nationals to reargue the case that led to his Aug. 22 decision to confirm the arbitration award. He said the sides should jointly submit a proposed judgment by Nov. 21 and also said the Orioles are not precluded from seeking recalculations of MASN profit distributions.

The latest update in a long-running dispute.

 

QLE Posted: November 16, 2019 at 12:35 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: masn, nationals, orioles

Friday, November 15, 2019

You might’ve forgotten they played for the Nationals, but these players will receive World Series ri

When the Nationals took down the Houston Astros in the 2019 World Series, they did so with an active roster of 25 players to claim the District’s first title since 1924. But those 25 men aren’t the only players who contributed to the Nationals’ success.

Fifty players appeared in a game for Washington this season and every single one will be receiving a championship ring once they’re distributed next spring. On Thursday’s Nationals Talk podcast, hosts Tim Shovers, Todd Dybas and Chase Hughes picked out some names that Nats fans might’ve forgotten over the course of the seven-month season.

One of those players is Austin Adams, who pitched in just one game for the Nationals this season before being traded to the Seattle Mariners in early May. Another was Austen Williams, who, in one of his two relief appearances that came before he was shut down for the year with a shoulder sprain, allowed a home run to eventual National Gerado Parra.

An item of some interest, for considering who gets rewarded when a team wins a title.

 

QLE Posted: November 15, 2019 at 01:06 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: count da ringz, nationals, rings, world series ring

Friday, November 08, 2019

Nats World Series Win Affirmed Their Once-Questioned Existence in D.C.

From our own(?) Chris Needham:

D.C. baseball fans are told that their baseball history is actually Montreal’s. Hipster baseball fans who’ve never set foot in Quebec and can’t name any Expos other than Tim Raines and Pedro Martinez push for a version of history that prefers a corporate lineage to the over 100 years of baseball history in Washington: of Walter Johnson and Goose Goslin; of Josh Gibson and Buck Leonard.

Bote Man Posted: November 08, 2019 at 08:20 AM | 61 comment(s)
  Beats: fans, nationals, world series

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