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Mark Zuckerman

  1. Point/Counterpoint: Who is biggest threat in NL East?

    Nov 26, 2014, 6:00 AM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    THIS WEEK’S DEBATE: WHICH NL EAST RIVAL SHOULD THE NATS WORRY ABOUT MOST IN 2015? MARK ZUCKERMAN: We have to begin by pointing out the Nationals won the NL East by 17 games this season, and none of the four other clubs won more than 79 games. So the gap between the defending champs and…

  2. How much money do the Nats have to spend this winter?

    Nov 25, 2014, 6:00 AM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    The Nationals don’t have to fill many roster holes this winter. They need a second baseman. They might need another bench player. And they might need another reliever. The Nationals also could choose to do way more roster altering than that, should they decide to make a trade or sign a prominent free agent or…

  3. Trio of pitching greats highlights 2015 Hall of Fame ballot

    Nov 24, 2014, 12:44 PM EST

    AP

    The Baseball Hall of Fame revealed its 2015 ballot on Thursday, and the list surely will add even more fuel to the annual debate about which of the game’s greats deserve enshrinement in Cooperstown. Pitchers Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz are the biggest names of the 17 newcomers on an already-crowded ballot, along with the…

  4. Who is Nats’ best player at his position?

    Nov 24, 2014, 6:00 AM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    ESPN’s Buster Olney began posting his annual Top 10 players at each position lists last week, running through catchers and then all four infield positions. (NOTE: You’ll need to be an ESPN.com Insider to access the full articles.) And, I believe, he’ll continue this week with the three outfield positions, then starting pitchers and relief pitchers.…

  5. Report: White Sox sign LaRoche for 2 years, $25 million

    Nov 21, 2014, 8:04 PM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    Adam LaRoche didn’t have to wait long this winter to find employment. The veteran first baseman, who became a free agent after four seasons with the Nationals, has agreed to a 2-year, $25 million contract with the White Sox, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. Chicago wasted little time acquiring LaRoche, completing the deal before…

  6. When should the next wave of pitching prospects arrive?

    Nov 21, 2014, 6:00 AM EST

    AP

    Whether it happens via trade this offseason or free agency the next two offseasons, the Nationals star-studded rotation is most likely going to undergo change sometime in the near future. Unless the Lerner family starts doling out massive contracts the likes of which it (not to mention other franchises) has been reluctant to offer to date,…

  7. Cole, Goodwin, Difo, Grace added to Nats’ 40-man roster; Mattheus, Florimon dropped

    Nov 20, 2014, 5:15 PM EST

    AP

    The Nationals added four prospects to their 40-man roster Thursday, protecting all from next month’s Rule 5 draft, clearing space for one of them by dropping veteran reliever Ryan Mattheus. Right-hander A.J. Cole, outfielder Brian Goodwin, infielder Wilmer Difo and left-handed reliever Matt Grace all had their contracts purchased, putting them on the organization’s 40-man…

  8. 40-man roster decision time

    Nov 20, 2014, 6:00 AM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    An active major-league roster, as you surely know, consists of 25 players (provided the calendar doesn’t read September). But as any astute baseball fan also knows, an organization’s 40-man roster is just as significant over the long haul, because it’s from that expanded pool of candidates that teams select their 25 active players. And early each…

  9. Point/Counterpoint: Will Nats regret Zim’s contract?

    Nov 19, 2014, 6:00 AM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    THIS WEEK’S DEBATE: WILL THE NATS ULTIMATELY REGRET RYAN ZIMMERMAN’S CONTRACT EXTENSION? MARK ZUCKERMAN: The easy answer at this moment is to say that yes, they will regret it. Really, who wants to be on the hook for $86 million (the minimum Zimmerman is still owed) to a guy who can no longer play the…

  10. Revisiting last offseason’s major acquisitions

    Nov 18, 2014, 6:00 AM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    I read somewhere yesterday that 50 percent of the continental United States was covered by snow, the earliest date that has been the case in more than a decade. So it only makes sense that the Hot Stove League has fired up a bit earlier than usual this winter. Three major transactions went down in…

  11. Nats re-sign Purke to minor-league contract

    Nov 17, 2014, 4:42 PM EST

    AP

    Matt Purke, the former highly touted left-hander who was released by the Nationals on Friday, has re-signed a minor-league contract with the organization. Purke will get an invitation to big-league spring training, where he’ll continue his rehab from the Tommy John surgery he underwent in May, though he’ll no longer be on the club’s 40-man…

  12. What would Stanton’s $325 million deal mean for Harper?

    Nov 17, 2014, 6:00 AM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    When Scott Boras, during an August 2013 trip to Nationals Park, was asked generically for his thoughts on contracts that buy out a young player’s arbitration years, the super agent answered as only he can. “I’m more into 12-year deals for young players,” he said that afternoon, perfectly straight-faced. Boras never mentioned any one player by…

  13. Nats release oft-injured prospect Purke

    Nov 14, 2014, 11:02 AM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    The Nationals have released left-hander Matt Purke, a once-touted prospect whose career with the organization was derailed by a string of arm injuries. Purke, 24, was taken by the Nationals in the third round of the 2011 draft, then offered a major-league contract worth more than $4 million to sway him from returning to TCU…

  14. Frandsen re-signs with Nats, avoids arbitration

    Nov 14, 2014, 9:56 AM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    The Nationals have come to terms with Kevin Frandsen on a 1-year, $1 million contract, avoiding arbitration with the veteran infielder and ensuring their most-productive bench player from this season returns in 2015. A source familiar with the deal confirmed it also includes up to $300,000 in performance bonuses. The signing hasn’t been announced by the club yet,…

  15. The Nats’ all-time stats leaders after 10 seasons

    Nov 14, 2014, 6:00 AM EST

    2009 AP file photo

    The Washington Nationals have now existed, believe it or not, for 10 full baseball seasons. For those of us who were there that first morning in Viera in the spring of 2005 or at a sold-out RFK Stadium two months later, this does not seem possible. Ten years? How did that happen? It did happen,…

  16. Rendon finishes 5th in NL MVP vote

    Nov 13, 2014, 8:06 PM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    No Nationals player has come close to winning the NL MVP Award in the club’s 10 seasons in the District, but Anthony Rendon just came closer than any previous one. Rendon placed fifth in balloting for this year’s NL MVP, the best finish by any Nationals player to date, besting former sixth-place finishers Alfonso Soriano (2006)…

  17. Nats winter ball update

    Nov 13, 2014, 6:00 AM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    While most ballplayers are well into their offseason downtime, enjoying life away from the park for awhile, there are a handful out there still playing ball and trying to get an early jump on 2015. Winter ball is in full swing throughout the Caribbean, and a few members of the Nationals organization are seeing significant…

  18. Zimmermann 5th in Cy Young vote, Fister 8th, Strasburg 9th

    Nov 12, 2014, 6:33 PM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    Three Nationals pitchers received top-5 votes for the NL Cy Young Award this season, with Jordan Zimmermann leading the way and finishing fifth in balloting released Wednesday evening. Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw was the unanimous winner of his third Cy Young Award in four seasons, selected by all 30 members of the Baseball Writers’ Association…

  19. Entire coaching staff will return in 2015

    Nov 12, 2014, 12:30 PM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    Not that there was any reason to assume otherwise, but the Nationals officially announced Wednesday they are retaining their entire coaching staff for 2015, establishing the kind of continuity that group has not enjoyed in seven years. All seven members of manager Matt Williams’ staff will return next season: bench coach Randy Knorr, pitching coach Steve…

  20. Nats would want a boatload in any deal for Zimmermann

    Nov 12, 2014, 6:00 AM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    The Nationals drafted Jordan Zimmermann. They developed him. They rehabbed him through Tommy John surgery. And they groomed him into one of baseball’s best and most consistent pitchers, a huge piece of their 2012 and 2014 NL East championships. So why on earth would they even consider trading Zimmermann away now? Well, it should be made…

  21. UPDATED: Williams wins NL Manager of the Year Award

    Nov 11, 2014, 6:23 PM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    Updated at 8:40 p.m. Matt Williams had no substantive managerial experience prior to his hiring by the Nationals 12 months ago, aside from a few weeks in the Arizona Fall League and as a fill-in skipper for the Diamondbacks’ Class AA affiliate. Inexperience, though, didn’t prevent him from earning his profession’s top honor in his…

  22. Point/Counterpoint: Who should get long-term deal?

    Nov 11, 2014, 6:00 AM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    THIS WEEK’S DEBATE: WHO SHOULD THE NATIONALS MOST TRY TO LOCK UP TO A LONG-TERM EXTENSION: IAN DESMOND, DOUG FISTER OR JORDAN ZIMMERMANN? MARK ZUCKERMAN: With the offseason now in full swing, we bring back our popular Point/Counterpoint feature from last winter. Chase and I will debate one topic each week (give or take) while…

  23. Burriss, Delcarmen returning on minor-league deals

    Nov 10, 2014, 12:16 PM EST

    AP

    The Nationals have re-signed infielder Emmanuel Burriss and reliever Manny Delcarmen to minor-league contracts, offering both players invitations to big-league camp next spring with a chance to make the Opening Day roster. Burriss and Delcarmen return to the organization after spending all of 2014 at Class AAA Syracuse, where each performed well. Burriss hit .300…

  24. Previewing MLB awards week

    Nov 10, 2014, 6:00 AM EST

    USA Today Sports Images

    Last week, they handed out Gold Gloves and Silver Sluggers. This week comes the main event: the announcement of MLB’s four major awards handed out by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. The fun begins tonight with the two Rookie of the Year Awards, continues Tuesday with Manager of the Year Awards, picks up Wednesday…

  25. 30-for-30 series tells Hernandez brothers’ dramatic story

    Nov 4, 2014, 11:23 AM EST

    AP file photo

    For those who have followed the Nationals closely over the last decade, there are few figures more beloved than Livan Hernandez, the charismatic, overweight-yet-surprisingly-athletic, fun-loving right-hander who threw the first pitch in club history and until only recently held most of the team’s pitching records. The man we know simply as “Livo” will forever be attached to…

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ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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