Nov 28, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
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 EST
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 EST
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 EST
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 EST
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 23, 2014, 9:44 AM EST
Age on Opening Day 2015: 22 How acquired: Signed as international free agent June 2010 Position: Second baseman/shortstop Prospect Rank: No. 10 in Nats’ org. (Baseball Prospectus) 2014 Team/Level: Single-A Hagerstown Suns 2014 Stats: 136 G, .315 BA, 559 AB, 176 H, 14 HR, 90 RBI, 31 2B, 7 3B, 91 R, 49 SB, 37 BB, 65 SO, .831 OPS 2014…
Nov 22, 2014, 10:07 AM EST
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,…
Nov 21, 2014, 8:04 PM EST
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, 1:42 PM EST
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…
Nov 21, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
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 EST
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 EST
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 EST
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, 5:40 PM EST
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…
Nov 18, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
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 EST
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, 12:00 PM EST
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…
Nov 17, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
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 16, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
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,…
Nov 15, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
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…
Nov 14, 2014, 1:05 PM EST
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…
Nov 14, 2014, 11:02 AM EST
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 EST
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 EST
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 EST
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)…
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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