Wire Taps: Washington Nationals On Non-Tender Deadline Day.

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 11: Wilson Ramos #3 and Doug Slaten #45 of the Washington Nationals celebrate after a 8-2 victory against the Houston Astros at Nationals Park on September 11, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

• Over the weekend we took a look back at two years of the Washington Nationals' starter search, dug into new reliever Ryan Perry's background and discussed the potential international solutions to the Nats' existing needs. Today the talk turns to non-tender candidates, with three Nationals (Jesus Flores, Tom Gorzelanny and Doug Slaten) question marks approaching tonight's midnight deadline to tender contracts. Will Flores be back behind the plate backing up Wilson Ramos? Will Tom Gorzelanny be back in the Nationals' bullpen? Doug Slaten? 2011 was just a down year right? Did you hear that Nori Aoki will be posted today? Could the Nats sign the "best pure hitter" to come out Japan since Ichiro as SI.com's Jon Heyman referred to him recently to solve their center field/leadoff issues? Hot Stove, posting fees, non-tender candidates...When does Spring Training start again?

• THE BIG STORY!!!:

• "Yakult Swallows' president Tsuyoshi Kinugasa told reporters today that the team filed the necessary paperwork to post Norichika Aoki." - "Yakult Swallows file posting paperwork on Norichika Aoki" - Gen, Yakyu Baka

• NATS BEAT:

• "Coyness aside, the Nats are in. Rizzo has scouted Darvish in person and he's had some of his trusted lieutenants see the hard-throwing right-hander more recently." - "Who's in on Yu Darvish?" - Pete Kerzel, MASNSports.com

• "So far, the Nationals have been shut out. They wanted Buehrle but wouldn’t offer him a fourth year." - "In MLB free agency, teams face the Albert Pujols dilemma: How much is too much?" - Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post

• "Outfielder/first baseman Michael Morse, left-hander John Lannan, and right-handers Jordan Zimmermann and Tyler Clippard are locks to be tendered new contracts." - "Gorzelanny, Slaten, Flores sweating out Monday's non-tender deadline" - Pete Kerzel, MASNSports.com

• "'Obviously it's a tough situation. I've been with the Nats for eight years and I made a lot of good friendships with my teammates, coaches, (pitching coach) Steve McCatty, all the managers, minor league coaches, players.'" - "Balester reacts to being traded from the Nationals to the Tigers" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "The impetus of the trade, from the Nationals' perspective, might be the roster flexibility it will provide." - "Balester traded to Tigers for Perry" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "The Orioles have been monitoring Cespedes for the last few years. They've already gotten plenty of looks at him, including games televised in the Dominican." - "Quick Cespedes update" Roch Kubatko, MASNSports.com

• "[Ryan] Perry averages about 95 miles per hour with his fastball, which he mixes primarily with a slider. He could fill a role similar to Todd Coffey..." - "Nationals trade Collin Balester to Tigers for Ryan Perry" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "Ryan Braun certainly doesn’t fit the image fans conjure up when they hear that a baseball slugger has been accused of using performance-enhancing drugs." - "Ryan Braun unlikeliest of sluggers facing drug suspension" - Chris Jenkins, AP/Washington Times

• "Mostly, Balester was an odd man out in D.C., never able to pitch well enough to crack the rotation and decent enough in relief..." - "A closer look at the Perry-for-Balester swap" - Pete Kerzel, MASNSports.com

• "In the Nationals' case, seven players are arbitration-eligible this winter: Tyler Clippard, Jesus Flores, Tom Gorzelanny, John Lannan, Michael Morse, Doug Slaten and Jordan Zimmermann." - "To tender or not to tender?" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "The non-tender deadline is an intriguing period. It's always interesting for teams to see which other players hit the open market and become free agents at this point in the offseason." - "Sizing up the Nationals non-tender decisions as the deadline approaches" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "'The one I am waiting on is Tatusko,' Knorr said. 'He has movement on every pitch. If he can ever control the movement on his pitches, it (can be) electrifying.'" - "Pitchers Stammen, Slaten, Tatusko and Mandel could be bullpen fixtures in near future" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "According to a person with knowledge of the situation, the Nationals’ best offer to Buehrle was $39 million over three years..." - "The Nationals’ final offer to Mark Buehrle was not close" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "'It’s a little bit sad,' Balester said in a phone interview. 'I’ve never been with another team in my life.'" - "Nationals send Collin Balester to Tigers for Ryan Perry" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "With inner strength or mental stability, we can endure all kinds of adversity."

• NATS MINOR/WINTER LEAGUES:

Liga Mexicana del Pacifico: Mexicali 10, Mazatlan 5 - Rafael Martin (MAZ) - 1.0 IP, 1.13 ERA - Box Score.

Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional: Aragua 4, Zulia 3 - Wilson Ramos - 1 for 4, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 R - Box Score.

Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional: Magallanes 3, Caracas 1 - Jesus Flores - 2 for 4, 1 2B, 1 R; Henry Rodriguez (CAR) - 0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB - Box Score.

Liga de Beisbol Dominicano: Escogido 11, Aguilas 2 - Eury Perez (ESC) - 3 for 6, 1 RBI, 1 K - Box Score.

Liga de Beisbol Dominicano: Licey 4, Estrellas 4 - Jhonatan Solano (LIC) - 0 for 3; Atahualpa Severino (LIC) - 0.1 IP, 1 K - Box Score.

• NATSTOWN:

• "This is the 'Non-Tender Deadline,' or the last day for teams to tender 2012 contracts to players under reserve." - "Nats non-tender deadline decisions" - Todd Boss, Nationals Arm Race

• "Steve Lombardozzi - Age 23 - MLB Service Time 0.023 Years. How He Became A Nat: Drafted by the Nationals in the 19th round of the 2008 entry level draft." - "A Few Good Men: 40 - Lombardozzi" - Mac, Capitol Baseball

• "[Collin] Balester, 25, was originally drafted by the Montreal Expos in the fourth round in 2004. He came up as a starter but was moved to the bullpen full-time in an effort to utilize his power arm." - "Nats acquire reliever Ryan Perry from Tigers" - Dave Nichols, NatsNewsNetwork

• "His success continued in 2011, albeit diminished. His ERA was 4.47. Compared to 2008 and 2009, when his ERA was 6.05 and 5.44 respectively, 4.47 seems quite excellent."- "Evaluating Livan Hernandez: Is Tricking The Umpire A Skill?" - Bryce Wilson Stucki, The Nats Blog

• "While you're sitting around waiting for Mike Rizzo to do something this offseason (the B.J. Upton Watch is ongoing)..." - "With Pudge gone, will Bryce Harper switch from #34 to #7?" - Nats Enquirer

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Braves: "8. Jair Jurrjens, RHP, Braves - He appeared to be available, but the Braves may have to hold on to him, given their concern about Tommy Hanson’s shoulder..." - "The purse strings get a bit tighter over at Fenway" - Nick Cafardo, The Boston Globe

Mets: "Even if you weren’t alive in 1962, you know the story of the original Mets. They lost 120 games, which set a modern day record for futility that stands to this day." - "Mets fans need to bask in the spirit of '62" - Jeff Bradley, NJ.com

Marlins: "It was a staggering sum given the Marlins’ spendthrift history of sifting through debris to construct low-budget rosters..." - "Image makeover: Miami Marlins viewed as viable threat" - Clark Spencer, MiamiHerald.com

Phillies: "MLB Trade Rumors projects Kendrick at $3.2 million if he were to go to arbitration — certainly a hefty sum for a player whose role on the team is murky at best." - "Phillies Must Make Tough Choice Involving Kyle Kendrick" - Bill Baer, Crashburn Alley

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