Dec 6, 2013, 6:00 AM EST
THIS WEEK’S DEBATE: BY SEASON’S END, WHERE WILL DOUG FISTER RANK WITHIN THE NATIONALS’ ROTATION? MARK ZUCKERMAN: Though he figures to open 2014 as the Nats’ No. 4 starter, I don’t expect Fister to be the team’s fourth-best starter next season. I expect him to be much better. In fact, I’ll say he winds up…
Dec 5, 2013, 6:00 AM EST
With their starting rotation now set upon the acquisition of Doug Fister, the Nationals’ top priority becomes a left-handed reliever. Mike Rizzo admitted as much on Tuesday, saying: “It’s a spot that we feel that we have to upgrade.” Trouble is, there aren’t many remaining options on the free-agent market. Javier Lopez (Giants) and Manny…
Dec 4, 2013, 12:25 PM EST
The Nationals’ trade for Doug Fister was met with reaction from across the baseball world. Most were surprised Mike Rizzo was able to acquire a pitcher of Fister’s caliber without giving up more than Steve Lombardozzi, Ian Krol and Robbie Ray. What made Fister so attractive to the Nationals? And why did they get him…
Dec 4, 2013, 6:00 AM EST
Players across the majors usually get non-tendered for good reason: They haven’t performed nearly well enough to merit the salaries they’d command via arbitration. So, the 43 newly minted free agents who became available late Monday night don’t exactly leave scouts drooling. But non-tendered players do make for affordable reclamation projects, and sometimes they prove…
Dec 3, 2013, 6:32 PM EST
Doug Fister has been traded before, so he wasn’t shocked when he got the call from Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski last night. It also helped that Fister’s new club, the Nationals, boasts one of baseball’s best rotations and has visions of competing deep into October next season. Here are some highlights from Fister’s conference…
Dec 3, 2013, 12:24 PM EST
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…
Dec 3, 2013, 9:00 AM EST
Mike Rizzo was determined to bolster the Nationals’ rotation this winter, and he didn’t sound too keen on going back to the same free-agent well he delved into the last two offseasons. No, it became obvious early on the Nats’ general manager wanted to acquire a starter via trade, perhaps one not all that dissimilar…
Dec 3, 2013, 12:23 AM EST
The Nationals re-signed right-hander Ross Ohlendorf late Monday night and tendered contracts to their eight other arbitration-eligible players, choosing to keep all for 2014. All major-league clubs had until 11:59 p.m. EST to tender contracts to players not yet signed for next season, and many teams elected to non-tender players and make them free agents.…
Dec 2, 2013, 8:54 PM EST
The Nationals have acquired right-hander Doug Fister in a trade with the Tigers, adding an experienced-yet-affordable starter to their rotation in exchange for Steve Lombardozzi, Ian Krol and prospect Robbie Ray. Fister immediately bolsters a Nationals rotation that already includes Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann and Gio Gonzalez, and provides insurance in case left-hander Ross Detwiler…
Dec 2, 2013, 6:00 AM EST
The Thanksgiving holiday weekend has come and gone, the Winter Meetings begin one week from today and the Hot Stove League (you would assume) is about to kick into high gear for the Nationals, who have been awfully quiet to date. Perhaps they will make some news before the end of the day, though, with…
Nov 22, 2013, 6:00 AM EST
We’ve created a new weekly — or, depending on how motivated we are, perhaps bi-weekly — feature here at the Insider in which your two trusty authors will be engaging in some heated debates over matters of great concern to the Nationals. These are the kind of either/or scenarios that may not ever play out…
Nov 21, 2013, 3:50 PM EST
The Nationals signed reliever Daniel Stange, one of Mike Rizzo’s former draft picks in Arizona who pitched this season at Class AAA with two different franchises, to a minor-league contract. Stange, who turns 28 next month, is a husky (6-foot-2, 210 pounds) right-hander who has made seven career big-league appearances (four with the Diamondbacks in…
Nov 21, 2013, 1:09 PM EST
The Nationals have made several alterations to their scouting and player development departments in the wake of Roy Clark’s departure for Los Angeles, announcing several front office promotions on Thursday. Clark, who had served as assistant general manager and vice president of player personnel since 2009, left the Nationals to join the Dodgers earlier this…
Nov 21, 2013, 9:00 AM EST
Before the offseason really heats up — I mean, heats up here in D.C. Based on last night’s earth-shattering trade, I’d say the offseason is now in full swing in both Detroit and Texas — it’s perhaps worth one final look back at last offseason. The Nationals didn’t conduct many transactions during the 2012-13 winter,…
Nov 20, 2013, 8:09 PM EST
Needing to make tweaks to their 40-man roster before Thursday’s midnight deadline to protect players from being lost in next month’s Rule 5 draft, the Nationals purchased the contracts of pitchers Sammy Solis and Aaron Barrett and outfielder Michael Taylor while designating left-handers Fernando Abad and Tyler Robertson for assignment. Solis, Barrett and Taylor were…
Nov 19, 2013, 6:00 AM EST
The Nationals have done an impressive job building a successful franchise, mostly with home-grown prospects, but there are ramifications of such an endeavor. Such as an ever-increasing payroll. When Mike Rizzo replaced Jim Bowden as general manager in 2009, the Nationals’ payroll stood at $60 million, a figure that ranked 27th among MLB’s 30 franchises.…
Nov 18, 2013, 6:00 AM EST
Pose the following question — What was the biggest reason the Nationals underperformed this season? — and you’d probably get various forms of the same answer: They didn’t hit enough. Which leads to obvious questions about the possibility of upgrading the lineup this winter in hopes of fielding a more offensively productive group in 2014.…
Nov 16, 2013, 6:00 AM EST
The Nationals have been playing baseball in this town for nine years now, and with each passing season they write more and more of their own history. Which means their all-time stat leaderboards are beginning to look more and more legitimate. The first couple of times I compiled these leaderboards, the lists induced tears and…
Nov 15, 2013, 9:31 AM EST
We haven’t given as much attention this year to the Arizona Fall League as in years past — that’s unfortunately what happens when there are no Nationals prospects the likes of Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper or Anthony Rendon participating — but there have been some notable performances out west over the last month. Beginning with…
Nov 14, 2013, 7:00 PM EST
One of the great perks — and daunting responsibilities — of serving as a member of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America is the opportunity to vote on MLB’s major postseason awards. The BBWAA annually hands out four awards in each league: MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year, and…
Nov 14, 2013, 6:00 AM EST
If you’ve ventured outside the last couple of days and felt the shock of a cold, sustained wind strike your face, you know we’ve been getting a early taste of winter here in the D.C. area. And if you’ve been following news out of the baseball world the last week or so, you also know…
Nov 13, 2013, 6:00 AM EST
It’s no secret Mike Rizzo would like to acquire another starting pitcher this winter, and it’s clear the Nationals general manager is willing (if not eager) to explore the trade market for such a pitcher. And there are two legitimately elite starters out there right now who could be dealt: David Price and Max Scherzer.…
Nov 12, 2013, 6:00 AM EST
The Nationals can’t begrudge Trent Jewett for leaving the organization and accepting a job as the Mariners’ new bench coach. Jewett has longstanding ties to Lloyd McClendon and wanted to become the new Seattle manager’s right-hand man, giving up his third base coaching job in D.C. There’s nothing wrong with that, and the Nationals won’t…
Nov 9, 2013, 6:00 AM EST
With MLB free agency officially underway — don’t get too excited yet, because players typically don’t start signing for several more weeks — we’re taking a broad look at players the Nationals could pursue, based on positions of possible need. We conclude today with backup catchers… The Nationals have believed for some time now that…
Nov 8, 2013, 6:00 AM EST
With MLB free agency officially underway — don’t get too excited yet, because players typically don’t start signing for several more weeks — we’re taking a broad look at players the Nationals could pursue, based on positions of possible need. We continue today with bench players… The Nationals’ bench, touted as a real strength on…
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