Nov 21, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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)…
Nov 13, 2014, 12:34 PM EDT
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…
Nov 13, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
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…
Nov 12, 2014, 6:33 PM EDT
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…
Nov 12, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT
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…
Nov 12, 2014, 12:00 PM EDT
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…
Nov 12, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
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…
Nov 11, 2014, 6:23 PM EDT
Updated at 8:40 p.m. Matt Williams had no substantive managerial experience prior to his hiring by the Nationals 12 months ago, aside from a few weeks in the Arizona Fall League and as a fill-in skipper for the Diamondbacks’ Class AA affiliate. Inexperience, though, didn’t prevent him from earning his profession’s top honor in his…
Nov 11, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
THIS WEEK’S DEBATE: WHO SHOULD THE NATIONALS MOST TRY TO LOCK UP TO A LONG-TERM EXTENSION: IAN DESMOND, DOUG FISTER OR JORDAN ZIMMERMANN? MARK ZUCKERMAN: With the offseason now in full swing, we bring back our popular Point/Counterpoint feature from last winter. Chase and I will debate one topic each week (give or take) while…
Nov 10, 2014, 12:16 PM EDT
The Nationals have re-signed infielder Emmanuel Burriss and reliever Manny Delcarmen to minor-league contracts, offering both players invitations to big-league camp next spring with a chance to make the Opening Day roster. Burriss and Delcarmen return to the organization after spending all of 2014 at Class AAA Syracuse, where each performed well. Burriss hit .300…
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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.
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- Can dramatic win be a momentum changer?
- Taylor ends it in the 10th with a walk-off 3-run HR
- Barrett has Tommy John surgery, out 12 months
- Taylor has MRI on bruised knee, expects to be back soon
- Roark on the mound as Nats look to continue dominance of Braves
- MLB Power Rankings: Braves sink to the bottom
- Blowout sets Zimmermann up nicely to face Mets
- Bryce Harper makes history without one swing
- Nats knock Braves out of the park in 15-1 pummeling
- Harper returns to Nats lineup, Taylor still hurting