Dec 2, 2014, 5:09 PM EDT
The Nationals tendered 2015 contracts to all 10 of their unsigned, arbitration-eligible players on Tuesday, a group that includes Ross Detwiler and Danny Espinosa, two players whose future with the organization has been in doubt. For now, the Nationals chose to retain all 10 of those players, tendering them contracts in advance of Tuesday’s 11:59…
Dec 2, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
All MLB clubs face more roster decisions tonight, with a midnight deadline to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players. It’s mostly a procedural event, with the vast majority of arbitration-eligible players (those with more than three years but less than six years of big-league service time, plus the Super-2 players who qualify) being tendered contracts and setting the…
Dec 1, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
When I opened up the metaphorical phone lines Saturday morning and invited everyone to “call in” with their questions on the Nationals, little did I know the circuits would light up like this. Seriously, though, thanks and major props to all of you who submitted some really intelligent, interesting questions. I wish I could get…
Nov 29, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
Do you have a question about the Nationals you’ve been dying to ask? Well, you’re in luck, because I’m opening myself up for business. Yes, your trusty Nats Insider is now taking your questions. Not stupid questions. Not rhetorical questions. Good, insightful questions. Submit them here in the comments section, and I’ll pick out the…
Nov 28, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
We had known, really, since late in the season that Adam LaRoche would not be returning to the Nationals in 2015. That common-sense assumption, though, became reality this week when the White Sox announced they signed the veteran first baseman to a 2-year, $25 million contract. The reasons for LaRoche’s departure — and why the…
Nov 26, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
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…
Nov 25, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
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…
Nov 24, 2014, 12:44 PM EDT
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…
Nov 24, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
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.…
Nov 21, 2014, 8:04 PM EDT
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…
Nov 21, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
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,…
Nov 20, 2014, 5:15 PM EDT
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…
Nov 20, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
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…
Nov 19, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
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…
Nov 18, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
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…
Nov 17, 2014, 4:42 PM EDT
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…
Nov 17, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
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…
Nov 14, 2014, 11:02 AM EDT
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…
Nov 14, 2014, 9:56 AM EDT
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,…
Nov 14, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
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,…
Nov 13, 2014, 8:06 PM EDT
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)…
Nov 13, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
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…
Nov 12, 2014, 6:33 PM EDT
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…
Nov 12, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT
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…
Nov 12, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
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…
NL EAST STANDINGS
THE BASEBALL SHOW
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 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: 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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