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  1. Point/Counterpoint: Should Storen’s role be secure?

    Dec 4, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    THIS WEEK’S DEBATE: SHOULD THE NATS ENTER 2015 WITH DREW STOREN AS CLOSER, OR SHOULD THEY LOOK ELSEWHERE? MARK ZUCKERMAN: I understand why we’re having this discussion, but I do think it’s a bit unfair to suggest the Nationals need a new closer. The argument for change essentially boils down to Storen’s performance in two…

  2. Majority of roster set to appear at NatsFest

    Dec 3, 2014, 4:29 PM EDT

    Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER

    The vast majority of the Nationals’ roster is scheduled to appear at next weekend’s NatsFest, with only a handful of prominent players not on the docket. The Nationals released more details for the Dec. 13 event, which is returning to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in downtown D.C. after being moved last year to…

  3. Span has surgery to repair sports hernia

    Dec 3, 2014, 10:43 AM EDT

    Photo via @thisisdspan

    Denard Span had surgery to repair a sports hernia, a relatively minor procedure that shouldn’t impact the Nationals’ center fielder’s preparation for next season, the club announced Wednesday morning. Span, 30, posted a photo on Twitter of himself in a hospital bed, giving a thumbs-up sign, though he didn’t reveal what happened. “God is so…

  4. Answering your questions, Part 2

    Dec 3, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    Over the weekend, I gave everyone the opportunity to submit Nats-related questions, and the response was so impressive, I needed to break up the answers into two full-length posts. If you missed it, here’s Part 1, with my answers to questions mostly pertaining to specific players. Now we move onto Part 2, which features questions…

  5. Nats tender contracts to all 10 arbitration-eligible players

    Dec 2, 2014, 5:09 PM EDT

    AP

    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…

  6. Nats must make tender decisions tonight

    Dec 2, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    AP

    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…

  7. Answering your questions, Part 1

    Dec 1, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  8. Minor league spotlight: Jake Johansen

    Nov 30, 2014, 12:47 PM EDT

    39947-johansenni

    Age on Opening Day 2015: 24 How acquired: Draft (2nd round), June 2013 Position: Pitcher Prospect Rank: No. 8 in Nats’ org. (Baseball Prospectus) 2014 Team/Level: Single-A Hagerstown Suns 2014 Stats: 29 G, 18 GS, 5-6, 5.19 ERA, 100.2 IP, 120 H, 70 R, 58 ER, 3 HR, 55 BB, 89 SO, 1.738 WHIP, SO/BB 1.62 2014 Analysis: The 2014 season provided…

  9. Ask the Insider

    Nov 29, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    ZuckermanNI_3-4

    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…

  10. How much will the Nats miss LaRoche?

    Nov 28, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  11. Point/Counterpoint: Who is biggest threat in NL East?

    Nov 26, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  12. How much money do the Nats have to spend this winter?

    Nov 25, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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…

  13. Trio of pitching greats highlights 2015 Hall of Fame ballot

    Nov 24, 2014, 12:44 PM EDT

    AP

    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…

  14. Who is Nats’ best player at his position?

    Nov 24, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    USA Today Sports Images

    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.…

  15. Minor league spotlight: Wilmer Difo

    Nov 23, 2014, 9:44 AM EDT

    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…

  16. Minor league spotlight: A.J. Cole

    Nov 22, 2014, 10:07 AM EDT

    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,…

  17. Report: White Sox sign LaRoche for 2 years, $25 million

    Nov 21, 2014, 8:04 PM EDT

    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…

  18. Nats sign RHP Billings

    Nov 21, 2014, 1:42 PM EDT

    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…

  19. When should the next wave of pitching prospects arrive?

    Nov 21, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    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,…

  20. Cole, Goodwin, Difo, Grace added to Nats’ 40-man roster; Mattheus, Florimon dropped

    Nov 20, 2014, 5:15 PM EDT

    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…

  21. 40-man roster decision time

    Nov 20, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    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…

  22. Point/Counterpoint: Will Nats regret Zim’s contract?

    Nov 19, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    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…

  23. ML coordinator Beasley leaves for Texas

    Nov 18, 2014, 5:40 PM EDT

    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…

  24. Revisiting last offseason’s major acquisitions

    Nov 18, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    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…

  25. Nats re-sign Purke to minor-league contract

    Nov 17, 2014, 4:42 PM EDT

    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…

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