Dec 9, 2013, 6:02 PM EDT
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Danny Espinosa’s future with the Nationals has been in question since the struggling second baseman was demoted last summer and never returned to the big-league roster. But would the Nats prefer to trade Espinosa now, despite his relatively low value, or do they still believe he can play an important…
Dec 9, 2013, 11:41 AM EDT
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre all were unanimous selections to the Hall of Fame today, a trio of baseball’s greatest managers honored together with enshrinement in Cooperstown. Cox, La Russa and Torre were voted in by the Hall’s Expansion Era Committee, a 16-person panel that includes Hall…
Dec 9, 2013, 6:00 AM EDT
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Hello from the Dolphin Resort at Walt Disney World, where the Winter Meetings officially open for business this morning. That’s assuming everyone made it out of the snow/ice up north. By all accounts, it appears everyone associated with the Nationals did make it, including your trusty beat writer, who was…
Dec 7, 2013, 9:00 AM EDT
The Nationals have already addressed their need for another starting pitcher, trading for Doug Fister on Monday night. Then they closed out the week by bolstering their bench with the signing of Nate McLouth late Friday afternoon. So, what’s left for Mike Rizzo and Co. to do once they arrive in Orlando on Sunday for…
Dec 6, 2013, 5:15 PM EDT
Seeking an upgrade to a bench that was among the majors’ least-productive units this season, the Nationals are adding a veteran with significant experience. And paying him like an everyday player. The Nationals have come to terms on a 2-year contract with outfielder Nate McLouth, pending a physical, a source familiar with the deal confirmed…
Dec 6, 2013, 6:00 AM EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 24, 2013, 9:29 AM EDT
Age on Opening Day 2014: 23 How acquired: Signed as free agent, 2007 MLB service time: 70 days 2013 salary+bonuses: N/A Contract status: Arbitration-eligible in 2017, free agent in 2020 2013 Stats: 9 G, 8 PA, 8 AB, R, H, SB, 3 SO, .125 BA, .125 OBP, .250 OPS, 0.0 WAR 2013 analysis: Eury Perez…
Nov 22, 2013, 6:00 AM EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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 EDT
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…
NL EAST STANDINGS
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 12:35 p.m.
Full season schedule
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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