Nationals Daily Evolutions 12/21/10

SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 08: Rick Ankiel #28 of the Atlanta Braves celebrates after hitting a solo home run in the tenth inning of the National League Division Series with the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on October 8, 2010 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

"Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain-
To thy high requiem become a sod."  John Keats "Ode to a Nightingale"

Lying on his death bed and listening to the sweet song of a nightingale outside his window Keats penned this poem about many things. The longing for the suffering to end and a reflection on his own life. The unreachable dream and success through failure was a reoccurring theme in Romantic literature. To the baseball world Joe Posnanski is the nightingale that we can never hope to write as wonderfully as. I may be starting off with this but I implore you to save it until last. Nothing you read today about baseball will be as wonderful as Posnanski's take on Jose Canseco. --Joe Posnanski at

Yesterday the Nationals made a few minor signings the most major of those was signing Rick Ankiel to fill the role Willie Harris had last year. If Ankiel ends up as anything more it won't be a good sign for how the youth is progressing. --Dave Nichols at

Longtime Cardinals fan and deadspin founder Will Leitch let's us know exactly how we will feel about Rick Ankiel. Funny thing is I talked to my friend who is a Braves fan and he said the exact same thing, but only in different words. --Will Leitch at

In much more important news, Stephen Strasburg is progessing right on schedule and will begin a throwing program in January. He is even strengthening his shoulder so that he doesn't end up injuring that while trying to come back from elbow surgery. --Mark Zuckerman from 

Moving forward the Nationals have something that many clubs wish they had, payroll flexibility. Of course having it and using it are two different things, but in Rizzo we trust. --Dave Sheinin from

Now why is payroll flexibility such an issue? Case study: The Tampa Bay Rays. --Tracy Ringolsby from

As for that flexibility disapearing as Werth gets older and more expensive. That might not be the case. --Matthew Coller from

With the signing of Ankiel, Wang, and Matheus the current 40 man sits at 43. Who stays? Who goes? Or is a trade in the works? --Mac at         

Adam LaRoche continues to sit on the three year deal from the Orioles. --Jen Royale from

The Dodgers would like a right handed power hitter and the Nationals need a left handed first baseman. Is there a trade to be made? Also how do we know that Michael Morse doesn't suffer from Ryan Church syndrome?

Desmond had a very high error total last season, but did look like he was improving in the second half of the season. Let's just hope his ceiling is higher than Yuni Betancourt. --Pete Kerzel at

Who did the Nationals have on the table for Zack Greinke? Some but not all of Zimmermann, Espinosa, Storen, Norris, and Perez. --Ken Rosenthal from

Hall of Fame election is coming up and Jon Heyman tells us why he didn't vote for Bert Blyleven. --Jon Heyman at

Derek Norris looks like he could be a special player. If there is a player I am second most excited about from the minors it would be him. I think the first is obvious, but for SEO sake it is Bryce Harper. --Byron Kerr at


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