Dec 15, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT
Mark got a few Nationals players one-on-one at this past Saturday’s NatsFest at the Walter E. Convention Center. We will roll those videos out this week, beginning with Stephen Strasburg today. Strasburg was glad to be back in front of the fans at the annual convention Saturday. In this clip he talks about how that…
Dec 15, 2014, 9:17 AM EDT
Avoiding a grievance hearing that was set for Tuesday, the Nationals and Bryce Harper settled on their own late Sunday night, agreeing to a 2-year, $7.5 million contract that establishes the star outfielder’s salaries for both the 2015 and 2016 seasons, a source familiar with the deal confirmed. The two sides had been setting themselves…
Dec 15, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
Ryan Zimmerman has always understood the value of a good first baseman. And he’s determined to become one himself, now that he knows once and for all he’ll be moving across the diamond on a permanent basis. “I’ve been lucky to play with a couple really good first basemen,” the long-time third baseman said Saturday…
Dec 14, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT
There were no shortage of topics to discuss Saturday at NatsFest, some of it related to on-the-field matters, some of it related to off-the-field matters. Sebastian Salazar and I addressed several pressing issues in this segment that aired on Comcast SportsNet. We talk about the biggest dilemma facing the Nationals right now (sign pending free…
Dec 14, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
The Nationals’ annual offseason convention known as ‘NatsFest’ is usually held in late January, right before the team heads to Viera, Fl. to begin spring training and preparing for Opening Day. It is generally a time to recap the winter for each player and a time to meet new additions to the roster. This year,…
Dec 13, 2014, 5:24 PM EDT
The Nationals haven’t been contacted at all by the Blue Jays regarding any potential interest in Mike Rizzo for their team president position, a source with direct knowledge said Saturday afternoon. A report by ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick earlier in the day said Toronto has “expressed interest” in Rizzo as a candidate to replace Paul Beeston…
Dec 13, 2014, 3:51 PM EDT
Updated at 5:05 p.m. Bryce Harper was a no-show Saturday at NatsFest, deciding not to make a public appearance only three days before a scheduled salary grievance hearing between the star outfielder and the organization. Harper was originally listed among more than 20 Nationals players who were scheduled to appear at the club’s annual winter…
Dec 13, 2014, 10:49 AM EDT
Hello from the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, home once again to NatsFest. There was a huge line of fans snaking around the floor level of the center waiting to get in before doors opened to season ticket holders, so it looks like there’s going to be a big turnout today. Most every player of…
Dec 12, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
Just over two weeks ago, Mark and I debated which of the Nationals’ rivals in the NL East would be their biggest threat in 2015. The idea came from the Braves taking a step back by trading Jason Heyward, and the emergence of the Marlins and Mets as up-and-coming teams. I argued the Braves were…
Dec 11, 2014, 4:19 PM EDT
Updated at 6:08 p.m. Ross Detwiler, whom the Nationals drafted No. 6 in the country seven years ago but never fully developed into the front-line starting pitcher they hoped, has seen his time with the organization come to an end. Detwiler was traded to the Rangers on Thursday afternoon for a pair of minor leaguers,…
Dec 11, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT
SAN DIEGO — A Winter Meetings that saw the Nationals sign zero free agents and make zero trades concluded Thursday morning with zero players selected and zero players lost in both the major-league and minor-league portions of the annual Rule 5 draft. It’s the first time that has happened in club history, but it’s perhaps…
Dec 11, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
SAN DIEGO — The Nationals will have a starting second baseman by the time Opening Day rolls around, whether they sign a free agent, pull off a trade or even move Anthony Rendon back to the position (creating a hole at third base in the process). But the market for second basemen thinned some in…
Dec 10, 2014, 10:28 PM EDT
SAN DIEGO — For all the buzz that seems to have descended upon the Winter Meetings this evening, the Nationals have yet to actually complete any transactions since arriving in town Sunday night. So, for those wondering if anything has happened along the lines of this headline-grabbing tweet from a couple hours ago, rest assured…
Dec 10, 2014, 7:48 PM EDT
SAN DIEGO — From the day they signed him to the largest contract in franchise history on the eve of the 2010 Winter Meetings, the Nationals knew the day might come when Jayson Werth would need to move to left field and open up right field for Bryce Harper. “We hope we have that problem…
Dec 10, 2014, 2:22 PM EDT
SAN DIEGO — While most of you probably were tucked away in bed at 1:30 a.m. EST, the lobby here at the Manchester Grand Hyatt was abuzz, the news of Jon Lester’s signing with the Cubs sending everybody at the Winter Meetings into a late-night frenzy. The Lester saga had loomed over these entire meetings,…
Dec 10, 2014, 11:58 AM EDT
Another day passed at the 2014 MLB Winter Meetings without the Nationals making any news. They still have big priorities to take care of, but seem to be taking their time as they work through their to-do list. Mark caught up with Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo on Tuesday night to get an update on…
Dec 10, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
SAN DIEGO — Matt Williams seemed to go out of his way this season to try to take pressure off Bryce Harper and not ask his 21-year-old outfielder to carry a Nationals lineup that featured plenty of other potent and experienced bats. But after seeing Harper finish 2014 strong after an injury-plagued first half, culminating…
Dec 9, 2014, 11:07 PM EDT
SAN DIEGO — Matt Williams addressed a number of topics during his 31-minute Winter Meetings media session late Tuesday afternoon, including some interesting thoughts on the plan for Bryce Harper in 2015. (I’ll have a full post on that subject in the morning.) The recently crowned NL Manager of the Year revisited his first season…
Dec 9, 2014, 9:20 PM EDT
SAN DIEGO — Though they didn’t meet Tuesday, the Nationals expect to sit down with Jordan Zimmermann’s representatives before leaving the Winter Meetings on Thursday morning. And both general manager Mike Rizzo and manager Matt Williams are hopeful the two sides can find the common ground on a long-term extension that has eluded them the…
Dec 9, 2014, 2:35 PM EDT
SAN DIEGO — While most of the attention at these Winter Meetings has been on big-ticket free agents like Jon Lester and Billy Beane’s complete makeover of the Athletics, there’s been another intriguing, under-the-radar storyline that could bode quite well for one of the Nationals’ best players. Teams are starting to hand out record-setting contracts…
Dec 9, 2014, 11:53 AM EDT
The Winter Meetings began on Monday and though there was plenty of Hot Stove action around the league, the Nationals have remained quiet so far. They continue to negotiate a long-term extension with Jordan Zimmermann and they still have a hole at second base. Mark checked in with Geico SportsNet Central last night to give an…
Dec 9, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
SAN DIEGO — There is no more-pressing question facing Mike Rizzo right now than this one: Are his Nationals going “all-in” and trying to win the World Series in 2015, or do they need to sacrifice short-term possibilities for long-term stability? Rizzo himself recognizes this. “It’s a delicate balance, there’s no question about it,” the…
Dec 8, 2014, 9:42 PM EDT
SAN DIEGO — The Nationals are open to a variety of options to fill the one obvious hole on their roster: second base. How much variety? Enough that they’ll also consider acquiring a third baseman instead and moving Anthony Rendon back to second. “The roster flexibility works in our favor,” general manager Mike Rizzo said…
Dec 8, 2014, 7:52 PM EDT
SAN DIEGO — Mike Rizzo didn’t offer definitive answers to the majority of questions posed at him during the Nationals general manager’s first media session of the Winter Meetings. But he did come as close to definitive as he gets when asked about Drew Storen’s status as the club’s closer entering 2015. “We trust Drew,”…
Dec 8, 2014, 3:08 PM EDT
SAN DIEGO — Things are just starting to heat up here at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, where team execs, agents and everyone else in the baseball world have had a chance to adjust to West Coast time and get down to work on Day 1 of the Winter Meetings. Keep in mind that because of…
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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 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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