I know many people call it a sad day when a legend passes away, but in many ways it should be a time to look back and reflect on their accomplishments and legacy. The joy they brought people with their life's work. Sparky Anderson was known as a humble man, and while I only know of him as a person from pages of books and recordings of past baseball seasons I still feel as if by learning about Sparky Anderson I learned something from him. Posnanski writes about all the human qualities that made Sparky a great baseball manager and George Anderson a great human being. --Joe Posnanski from si.com
Good news for the Nats might be that the Cubs don't intend to spend a lot of money, and would rather try and have Nick Johnson at first instead of Adam Dunn. Bad news however is I heard the Red Sox are in the market for a first baseman and intend to move Youkilis to third. --suntimes.com and necn.com
A breakdown of the top 50 free agents and where they might end up. Pena and Webb only ones expected to end up with the Nats. --Ben Reiter at si.com
The Nats want you to believe they are serious about going after Cliff Lee and news has been leaking out that they are lurkers in the bidding, but are they really lurking if their intentions to bid have already been announced. --Jerry Crasnick at espn.com
Of course the Nationals tried this once before and didn't quite realize to get a free agent of this magnitude they would have to seriously overpay. If they are going to be big spenders they should spend with conviction. --Pete Kerzel from masnsports.com
The Yankees don't plan to pursue Crawford or Werth. If the Nationals want to spend Werth is the most likely person there to take the money. --Ben Nicholson-Smith at mlbtraderumors.com
The Yankees have already failed once to acquire Lee and many don't expect them to fail again as obtaining Lee appears to be their only off-season goal. --Dave Cameron from fangraps.com
So, if free agency isn't the way to get better and the Nationals don't have the prospects to make a trade then how do they get better? Have patiences and wait for Bryce Harper. --Cliff Corcoran at si.com
Everyone expected Darvish to be posted this off-season, but that isn't happenning, but he is likely to be posted next off-season, but by then his arm will have another season of wear and tear. --Craig Calcaterra at nbcsports.com
News from the AFL, other winter leagues, and more after the jump.
More on Derek Norris from the baseball prospectus podcast. --baseballprospectus.com
Espinosa is only one of the prospects that might benefit from the departure of Adam Kennedy. --Mike Henderson from nationalsdailynews.com
Of course if the Nationals really want to be insane they could go after a free agent second baseman* and bring in the king of scrap. --David Lint from ftlotn.com
*Should be noted if you add up Kennedy, Guzman, and Espinosa's WAR you get 1.3 and David Eckstein finished the year with a 2.0 WAR which is also higher than Desmond's which would drop if he was moved to second like many think he should be. Getting David Eckstein, moving Espinosa to short, and trading Desmond for a starting pitcher might actually be a good move for the Nationals.
Another player in the AFL that has looked good is Cole Kimball as he is ready to add even more depth to what some would argue is an already deep bullpen. --Byron Kerr at masnsports.com
The Nationals were one of the poorest defensive teams in baseball, but the only player that is routinely criticized is Dunn. Ever wonder why that is? --Harper at natsbaseball.com