Feb 13, 2014, 4:32 PM EDT
VIERA, Fla. — Mike Rizzo had attempted all winter to upgrade his catching depth but insisted all along he’d be comfortable entering spring training with Jhonatan Solano, Sandy Leon or Chris Snyder backing up starter Wilson Ramos. And then on the first day of camp, Rizzo pulled off a deal long suspected, acquiring Jose Lobaton…
Jan 31, 2014, 11:39 AM EDT
Danny Espinosa came to Nats Fest last weekend a motivated man. He’s been told by both Matt Williams and Mike Rizzo he’ll have a chance to win the starting job at second base, and seems both thrilled and re-energized by the opportunity. Espinosa spoke with Mark in a one-on-one interview about his goals for spring,…
Jan 29, 2014, 2:38 PM EDT
After their 2013 season uncovered a glaring need for lefty relievers, the Nationals made sure they fixed the problem this offseason. On Dec. 11 they made yet another trade with the Oakland Athletics, this time to bring in 30-year-old southpaw Jerry Blevins. A lot is expected of Blevins who will be tasked with retiring lefties…
Jan 29, 2014, 11:57 AM EDT
Mike Rizzo stopped by at this past weekend’s Nats Fest to talk with Mark about the event, the team’s offseason and what he expects from Matt Williams’ first spring training. On the topic of their moves this winter, Rizzo had some interesting thoughts on trading for Doug Fister in particular. As you may recall, the…
Jan 26, 2014, 12:33 PM EDT
After a year that saw Danny Espinosa play through a torn rotator cuff, break his wrist, and hit .158 on his way to a demotion to Triple-A, the 26-year-old remains very much optimistic about 2014. He knows it will be an important year in the context of his MLB career, and considers 2013 to be…
Jan 21, 2014, 12:13 PM EDT
Mike Rizzo hasn’t been afraid in the past to make a surprise January signing, even at positions that already appear to be filled — ie. Edwin Jackson in 2012 and Rafael Soriano in 2013 — so it perhaps wasn’t all that surprising over the weekend when a report by FoxSports.com suggested the Nationals have some…
Jan 19, 2014, 10:10 AM EDT
Age on Opening Day 2014: 27 How acquired: Drafted in the 16th round, June 2008 2014 salary: N/A 2013 Stats: 63 G, 178 PA, 16 R, 37 H, 9 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 21 RBI, 0 SB, 8 BB, 58 SO, .222 AVG, .260 OBP, .347 SLG, .607 OPS, 1 E, -5.3 UZR (at OF), -0.6 UZR (at…
Jan 7, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
One of the Nationals’ top priorities over the next couple of months, as previously mentioned here and elsewhere, is to sign Ian Desmond and Jordan Zimmermann to long-term contract extensions. Why now? Because each player is two years away from free agency, and that’s usually the most popular window of opportunity to lock a guy…
Jan 6, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
If you’re having a difficult time remembering the Nationals’ most-recent roster transaction, don’t feel bad. It’s been 18 days since the Nats traded Corey Brown to the Athletics for cash considerations, and it’s not like that was an earth-shattering move to begin with. The Nationals, like most MLB clubs, essentially took two weeks off for…
Dec 30, 2013, 6:00 AM EDT
As we count down the final days of 2013, we are counting down the 10 most significant moments of the year for the Nationals. These aren’t necessarily positive (or negative) moments, and some didn’t even take place on the field. All, though, were significant in the big picture and defined the Nationals’ year. We continue…
Dec 19, 2013, 12:40 PM EDT
The Nationals have traded Corey Brown to the Athletics, sending the outfielder back to the franchise that originally drafted him in the eighth deal struck between Mike Rizzo and Billy Beane in three years. Brown had been designated for assignment last week by the Nationals, who needed to clear a space on their 40-man roster…
Dec 17, 2013, 2:43 PM EDT
Since Mike Rizzo took over as Nationals general manager in 2009, he’s found quite the trade partner in Billy Beane of the Oakland Athletics. Since late 2010, the two have orchestrated seven different trades, sometimes sending the same players back and forth in separate deals. Rizzo and Beane clearly enjoy doing business with each other,…
Dec 17, 2013, 6:00 AM EDT
Two more clubs signed free agent left-handers yesterday, and if you’re wondering why the Nationals couldn’t have landed one of these guys, you need only look at the bloated contracts said southpaws were given. Boone Logan, owner of a 4.39 ERA in eight major-league seasons, got a 3-year, $16.5 million deal from the Rockies. Meanwhile,…
Dec 12, 2013, 6:00 AM EDT
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Ten days ago, the Nationals needed a starting pitcher. They needed a left-handed bench bat. And they sorely needed a left-handed reliever. Then came the trade for Doug Fister. Then came the signing of Nate McLouth. And after Wednesday’s trade for Jerry Blevins, general manager Mike Rizzo could take comfort…
Dec 11, 2013, 6:08 PM EDT
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The Nationals talked to every left-handed reliever on the open market. And they inquired about potential trades with three or four clubs. In the end, Mike Rizzo decided a Jerry Blevins-for-Billy Burns swap with the Athletics made the most sense in multiple ways. “This was the best option we could…
Dec 11, 2013, 2:04 PM EDT
Nationals manager Matt Williams knows he is taking over a team with sky-high expectations. After winning 98 games in 2012 the Nats took a big step back by missing the playoffs with only 86 victories in 2013. Williams says the team hopes to reach their full potential in 2014, and make amends for what happened this…
Dec 11, 2013, 11:36 AM EDT
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Though he has remained out of sight since managing the final game of the season in Arizona, Davey Johnson remains a member of the Nationals’ organization. The 70-year-old former skipper officially is listed as a consultant in the club’s baseball operations department, and general manager Mike Rizzo has repeatedly said…
Dec 10, 2013, 6:04 PM EDT
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — On Tuesday morning, two Nationals sources downplayed trade talks involving Tyler Clippard or Drew Storen. On Tuesday afternoon, Mike Rizzo shot down the notion he’s even received a formal offer for either reliever. Or center fielder Denard Span. “We haven’t been fielding all that many calls on Clippard and Storen,”…
Dec 10, 2013, 2:57 PM EDT
The Nationals have already made what many expect to be their biggest moves of the offseason, acquiring Doug Fister to strengthen their rotation and Nate McLouth to bolster their bench. There still remains, however, a vacancy in their bullpen where the Nationals would like to add at least one left-handed relief pitcher. Mark caught up…
Dec 10, 2013, 8:41 AM EDT
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — After a strong bounce-back season in Baltimore, Nate McLouth figured to sign with a club this winter that would offer him the chance to win an everyday job. The Nationals, of course, had no such opportunity with Bryce Harper, Jayson Werth and Denard Span all entrenched in the outfield. But…
Dec 9, 2013, 7:54 PM EDT
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Conventional wisdom, entering the Winter Meetings, suggested the Nationals were in the market for a veteran backup catcher, someone who could be a reliable No. 2 behind Wilson Ramos. Mike Rizzo, though, appeared to quash that line of thinking on Monday, saying he believes Ramos can start 125 or more…
Dec 9, 2013, 6:43 PM EDT
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Though he admits he’s “actively” trying to acquire a left-handed reliever, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo suggested he isn’t facing any urgency to make a move this week during the Winter Meetings. “I think we’re going to take our time with it and get the right fit and see where…
Dec 9, 2013, 6:00 AM EDT
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Hello from the Dolphin Resort at Walt Disney World, where the Winter Meetings officially open for business this morning. That’s assuming everyone made it out of the snow/ice up north. By all accounts, it appears everyone associated with the Nationals did make it, including your trusty beat writer, who was…
Dec 7, 2013, 9:00 AM EDT
The Nationals have already addressed their need for another starting pitcher, trading for Doug Fister on Monday night. Then they closed out the week by bolstering their bench with the signing of Nate McLouth late Friday afternoon. So, what’s left for Mike Rizzo and Co. to do once they arrive in Orlando on Sunday for…
Dec 3, 2013, 12:24 PM EDT
General manager Mike Rizzo just wrapped up a conference call with reporters a few minutes ago. Obviously, last night’s trade for Doug Fister was the primary topic of discussion, but Rizzo also addressed some other issues, including the competition for No. 5 starter, the state of things at second base and the continued desire to…
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
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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