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  1. Minor league spotlight: A.J. Cole

    Nov 22, 2014, 10:07 AM EST

    AP

    Age on Opening Day 2015: 23 How acquired: Trade with A’s & Mariners Jan. 2013 (drafted originally by Nats) Position: Starting pitcher Prospect Rank: No. 2 in Nats’ org. (Baseball Prospectus) 2014 Team/Level: Harrisburg Senators (AA) and Syracuse Chiefs (AAA) 2014 Stats: 25 G, 25 GS, 13-3, 3.16 ERA, 134 IP, 148 H, 60 R, 47 ER, 10 HR, 111 SO,…

  2. 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…

  3. Nats sign RHP Billings

    Nov 21, 2014, 1:42 PM EST

    Photo by USA Today

    In a move to boost their bullpen depth, the Nationals signed relief pitcher Bruce Billings to a minor league deal with an invite to major league spring training on Friday. Billings, a 29-year-old right-hander, made one appearance for the Yankees last season. He pitched for both the Rockies and Athletics in 2011. Billings has a 9.82…

  4. 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,…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. ML coordinator Beasley leaves for Texas

    Nov 18, 2014, 5:40 PM EST

    Photo by the Associated Press

    Nationals minor league coordinator Tony Beasley has left the organization to become the new third base coach of the Texas Rangers, the Nats announced on Tuesday. Beasley served the same role for the Nationals in 2006 on Frank Robinson’s staff before leaving to coach the Pirates for three seasons. He returned to the Nats in 2011 to…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. Minor league spotlight: Steven Souza, Jr.

    Nov 17, 2014, 12:00 PM EST

    Photo by USA Today

    Age on Opening Day 2015: 25 How acquired: Draft (3rd round), June 2007 Position: Outfielder Prospect Rank: No. 6 in Nats’ org. (Baseball America) 2014 Team/Level: Syracuse Chiefs (AAA) and Nationals (MLB) 2014 Stats: 96 G, .350 BA, 346 AB, 121 H, 18 HR, 75 RBI, 26 SB, 62 R, 25 2B, 2 3B, 52 BB, 75 SO, 1.022 OPS (at Syracuse) 2014 Analysis: This season was…

  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. Minor league spotlight: Michael Taylor

    Nov 16, 2014, 6:00 AM EST

    Photo by USA Today

    Age on Opening Day 2015: 24 How acquired: Draft (6th round), June 2009 Position: Center fielder Prospect Rank: No. 3 in Nats’ org. (Baseball America) 2014 Team/Level: Harrisburg Senators (AA), Syracuse Chiefs (AAA), Nationals (MLB) 2014 Stats: 110 G, .304 BA, 428 AB, 130 H, 23 HR, 64 RBI, 37 SB, 81 R, 20 2B, 3 3B, 57 BB,…

  14. Minor league spotlight: Lucas Giolito

    Nov 15, 2014, 6:00 AM EST

    AP

    Age on Opening Day 2015: 20 How acquired: Draft (1st round), June 2012 Position: Starting pitcher Prospect Rank: No. 1 in Nats’ org. (Baseball Prospectus) 2014 Team/Level: Single-A Hagerstown Suns 2014 Stats: 10-2, 20 G, 2.20 ERA, 98 IP, 70 H, 28 R, 24 ER, 7 HR, 28 BB, 110 SO, HBP, WP, 1.000 WHIP Quotable: “Physically it’s on a whole other level. You’re pitching every…

  15. Roster review: Blake Treinen

    Nov 14, 2014, 1:05 PM EST

    AP

    Age on Opening Day 2015: 26 How acquired: Trade with Athletics Jan. 2013 MLB service time: 65 days 2014 salary+bonuses: N/A Contract status: Pre-arbitration eligible 2014 stats: 15 G, 7 GS, 2.49 ERA, 50.2 IP, 57 H, 17 R, 14 ER, HR, 13 BB, 30 SO, 1.382 WHIP, 3.09 FIP, 0.2 WAR 2014 analysis: Acquired by the Nats in the three-team…

  16. 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…

  17. 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,…

  18. 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,…

  19. 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)…

  20. Best bench options for Nats in free agency

    Nov 13, 2014, 12:34 PM EST

    Photo by USA Today

    After letting Scott Hairston and Nate Schierholtz enter free agency, the Nationals have a few spots open on their bench to fill this offseason. Unless they decide to bring either player back, they will need some new reserves for pinch-hit situations and spot starts. We already looked at the second baseman available in free agency last week. Here is…

  21. 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…

  22. 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…

  23. 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…

  24. VIDEO: Matt Williams 1-on-1

    Nov 12, 2014, 12:00 PM EST

    Screen shot 2014-11-12 at 10.47.50 AM

    Tuesday night was a big one for Matt Williams, who won NL Manager of the Year in his first season as skipper. The 48-year-old guided a Nats team through injuries and adversity to an NL East championship and 96 wins, the best record in the National League. Soon after learning he won the award, Williams…

  25. 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…

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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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