Some believe that if Strasburg had stayed healthy he could have made it a three man race. --Adam Kilgore from washingtonpost.com
Nationals prospects continue to look good in the AFL as Lombardozzi was 3-5 with 2 doubles, Michael Burgess hit a homer and a triple, Sammy Solis pitched three scoreless innings, and Brad Peacock pitched a scoreless ninth. --Sue Dinem from nationalsprospects.com
Most of the prospects that the Nationals sent to the AFL are playing well and getting significant time for a team that looks like the favorite to win an AFL championship. That should not be overlooked, but it is mostly because of the way Bryce Harper has proved he can play with prospects three to four years his senior. Also not to be ignored is how well the catchers have looked in Fall action. --Mark Zuckerman at natsinsider.com
It seems that every rumor out there involves the Nats in some way this off-season. This is a good thing. The more free agents or trades they involve themselves in the more likely it is one of them will pay off. Yesterday it was rumored that the Nationals and Royals have begun talks on a trade for Greinke. --Phil Wood from masnsports.com
Also the rumor mill picked up that Rizzo is interested in trying to trade* for Dan Uggla. --Bill Ladson from nationals.com
*It was one thing when Jim Bowden was trying to put his dream outfield back together, but the players Rizzo drafted in Arizona are actually good, and not Wily Mo.
Speaking of Arizona players, Brandon Webb's stock isn't as high as it would have been had he stayed healthy, and he won't get the $10 million Ben Sheets got, but he could sign for $5-$6 million and his agent expects him to be ready by the time camps open. --Tim Dierkes at mlbtraderumors.com
Like I was saying about the Nationals being linked to a lot of different free agents. The Nationals are one of five teams interested in Carl Crawford. My personal opinion is he ends up an Angel. I think if the Rays had the money they would have signed him by now, and I don't think he is as willing as others to play for the Yankees or Red Sox. Maybe I am reading his personality wrong, but I think even if he isn't a Ray he will maintain some loyalty to the organization. --Mike Prada at dc.sbnation.com
Some in the media expect the Nationals to be big spenders this off-season. --Jon Heyman from si.com
More rumors and news after the jump (mostly rumors).
It could be painful if the Nationals want to make a trade as they would have to give up one of the middle infielders and either Ramos, Norris, or Zimmermann if they want anything good back, but is anyone untouchable? --Bill Ladson at nationals.com
Back to the Nationals as big spenders for a minute. With so little money tied up in current contract the Nats could spend big and only raise the payroll by a small amount. --Ben Goessling from masnsports.com
Does anyone know a team that might be in the market for a 17 year old, highly thought of, center field prospect? Cuba's Yasiel Balaguer defects. --Aaron Gleeman at nbcsports.com
Just how good was the NL rookie class in 2010? If a super team was constructed just from NL rookies they could win 99 games. Nationals rookies Ian Desmond, Drew Storen, and Stephen Strasburgall make the team, although Strasburg is on the DL even in fantasy land. --Cliff Corcoran at si.com
Nationals super prospects and auctions are starting to be a familiar theme as Bryce Harper's game worn AFL jersey is expected to bring in a lot of money*. --Chris Olds at blogbeckett.com
*This is one of the things I find interesting about celebrity in America. If they touch something or do something it suddenly becomes important. One of the selling factors of Pink's Hot-dog Stand in LA is that celebrities eat there. I am willing to bet if Christian Bale put up on auction the shirt he wore on Tuesday it would fetch far more than it is worth.