Wire Taps: Washington Nationals' Pitchers And Catchers Report - Spring Training 2013 Officially Starts

Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE

The Washington Nationals' pitchers and catchers were trickling in yesterday, but today is the official report date for those players expected to be part of the 2013 roster and the others who are hoping to find a way to stick with the defending NL East champions. Pitchers and catchers report. Next stop: Opening Day...

The big news yesterday from the day before pitchers and catchers report this morning? Jordan Zimmermann's inching toward a new deal, but his arbitration case is scheduled for February 19th if no agreement is reached. And they're only talking a one-year deal now, nothing long-term yet. Danny Espinosa decided not to participate in the WBC for Mexico, opting instead to continue strengthening his shoulder as he rehabs a torn rotator cuff. A number of Nationals were in Viera, Florida on Monday, a day before pitchers and catchers were expected to report, but today is the official report date and some out there are eagerly awaiting Gio Gonzalez's arrival, expecting the 27-year-old left-hander to address the Miami New Times' report on the PED scandal out of Coral Gables, Florida to which the Nats' lefty has been tied by the notes of the anti-aging clinic in question's chief. Will Gonzalez offer anything more than a "No comment," on those questions? Should he? The left-hander was named to the US Team's WBC roster recently, he'll likely talk about that as well... Pitchers and catchers report today. Here's all the news from the morning after the first day in Viera, Florida. Links and lots of them, RIGHT NOW!!!:

• THE BIG STORY!!!:

• "Gio Gonzalez is scheduled to report to Space Coast Stadium and is expected to meet with reporters and answer questions about his alleged ties to the Miami clinic under investigation for distributing performance enhancing drugs." - "What's on tap for Day 1" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• NATS BEAT!!:

• "The sides are not, at this time, discussing a multi-year deal, [Jordan] Zimmermann said." - "Nationals, Jordan Zimmermann making progress in arbitration talks" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Same goes for [Matt] Purke, who told me today that he feels completely healthy after a lost 2012 season in which he only appeared in three minor league games." - "Nationals Pastime: Zimmermann talks contract negotiations, Purke talks about his health" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "If necessary, [Jordan] Zimmermann’s arbitration hearing is set for Feb. 19, which would mean he would have to leave spring training for a few days if chose to attend the meeting in Phoenix." - "Jordan Zimmermann’s arbitration hearing date set, ‘a little progress’ in talks" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "[Jordan] Zimmermann assured reporters at the Nats' Spring Training complex that he and the club were seeking a one-year deal, rather than anything long term." - "Zimmermann, Nats making headway on contract" - Joey Nowak, nationals.com: News

• "So when was the last time a team from Washington headed for spring training expected to be the best team in baseball? During the Calvin Coolidge administration maybe? Aw, whenever." - "MLB spring preview and offseason review" - Jayson Stark, ESPN

• "Indeed, as Nationals pitchers and catchers report for spring training, Ramos says there's only one hurdle left to cross before he'll know he's 100 percent back from a torn ACL and MCL..." - "Ramos nearly 100 percent after torn ACL" - Mark Zuckerman, CSN Washington

• "The Nationals plan to begin the season with [Wilson] Ramos serving as the backup to catcher Kurt Suzuki." - "Wilson Ramos on schedule with ACL rehab" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Since late January, Wilson Ramos has been in Viera, Fla. It’s a long way from chilly Washington, where he spent most of the offseason." - "Wilson Ramos feels strong, eager to prove he will be ready for season" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "Manager Davey Johnson has said that Ramos will enter the regular season as the backup to Kurt Suzuki, a move intended to make sure Ramos doesn't rush back and try to do too much too quickly." - "Nationals Pastime: Ramos nearly fully healthy, gunning for starting job" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "'World Series or bust.' Davey Johnson provided the theme of the Nationals’ season when he uttered those words at the winter meetings." - "Nationals spring training: 13 storylines for 2013" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "'We cannot look back. We have to move forward,' [Roger] Bernadina said. 'But the way the team looks -- it looks good on paper, but we have to do it on the field.'" - "Mulitple Washington Nationals reported to Spring Training early, revealing focus to defend National League East crown" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "'I'm looking forward to playing in that tournament,' [Roger] Bernadina said Monday. 'Last time, I heard it was good, so I want to play myself this time.'" - "Roger Bernadina excited to play for Netherlands in World Baseball Classic" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

Programming Note: "MASN and WUSA 9 are partnering to simulcast 20 MASN-produced Nationals games on WUSA 9 TV in D.C., during the upcoming 2013 season." - "Nationals Pastime: MASN partnering with WUSA 9 to simulcast 20 games in 2013" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "The starting rotation is set barring injury -- Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Ross Detwiler and veteran Dan Haren, who signed as a free agent." - "Time for the Nationals to spring back into action" - Brian McNally, WashingtonExaminer.com

• "Like the Nationals, Ian Desmond is entering Spring Training this year with a different set of expectations for himself and from others." - "Nationals ink reliever Ohman to Minors deal" - Joey Nowak, nationals.com: News

• "The Nationals today signed Will Ohman to a minor-league contract, extending the 35-year-old southpaw an invitation to big-league camp." - "Nats add LHP Ohman on minor deal" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "[Will] Ohman is added depth behind [Zach] Duke, the only Nationals left-hander on a major league contract, and [Bill] Bray, who, if healthy and effective, could make the roster as the bullpen’s second left-hander." - "Nationals sign Will Ohman to minor league deal" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "[Davey] Johnson will have another left-handed arm to monitor this spring, as the Nationals have announced they've signed veteran Will Ohman to a minor league deal with an invitation to big league spring training." - "Nationals Pastime: Nats sign Will Ohman to minor league deal, plus early notes" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Now instead of worrying about when the end will come, [Stephen] Strasburg can focus more on the business of pitching." - "Stephen Strasburg ready for 'unrestricted' 2013 campaign" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Stephen] Strasburg now says that he is over the fact that he was unable to help his team advance in the playoffs. He already is thinking about helping the Nationals go far in the postseason this season." - "Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg wants to improve in 2013" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "[Stephen] Strasburg, as he noted before, felt the Nationals and Manager Davey Johnson were quick to pull him from starts last season with the innings limit in mind." - "Stephen Strasburg reports to camp, hopes to throw ’200-plus’ innings" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "On the other side of Strasburg is the newest member of the Nationals' rotation, Dan Haren, who has plenty of veteran wisdom which he can impart on Strasburg, if he so chooses." - "Nationals Pastime: Strasburg '100 percent over' last season, eager to enter 2013 without limits" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "'I'm 100% over it,' Strasburg said of his season's abrupt conclusion, mandated by general manager Mike Rizzo to ensure Strasburg's safe recovery from 2010 Tommy John surgery." - "Stephen Strasburg on shutdown: 'I'm 100% over it'" - Paul White, USA Today

ICYMI: ESPN.com's Buster Olney's quick chat with Stephen Strasburg:

• "Second baseman Danny Espinosa will not play for Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic, he said today, backing out of the event in order to focus on rehabbing his left shoulder..." - "Danny Espinosa pulls out of World Baseball Classic, confident in shoulder" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "The decision, which [Danny] Espinosa revealed on Monday, was a difficult one for the 25-year-old who had looked forward to getting a chance to play for the Mexican team in the tournament." - "Nationals notes: Danny Espinosa drops WBC in favor of shoulder rehab" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "'It seems like a better decision. I'll get ready [for the season], I feel good, I feel strong,' [Danny] Espinosa said. 'It would have been cool to play for Team Mexico, being from an all-Hispanic community.'" - "Danny Espinosa won't play for Mexico in World Baseball Classic" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "If this was the market for [Denard] Span, then the Twins simply should have kept him, allowed him to continue to show that he’s over his concussion issues, and marketed him as trade bait at mid-season..." - "The 10 Worst Transactions of the Off-Season" - Dave Cameron, FanGraphs Baseball

• "[Gio] Gonzalez's teammates might have been surprised a couple weeks ago to hear the lefty's name linked to Biogenesis, an anti-aging clinic that reportedly was dealing players performance-enhancing drugs..." - "Nationals Pastime: Nats giving Gonzalez his space (plus clubhouse notes)" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama):

• NATSTOWN/NATS MINORS:

• "[Lucas] Giolito had just completed his third day of throwing since the surgery and, so far, said everything was feeling good." - "Minor League notes: Lucas Giolito, Sammy Solis, Spencer Kieboom and Will Ohman" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Here is the look at the guys that are going to have a direct effect upon - or could potentially be - pitching in Syracuse this season headed into spring..." - "Potential Syracuse Chiefs to keep an eye on in spring training (pitcher edition)" - Ben Meyers, The Auburn Citizen

• "The Nationals got Brad Meyers back from the Yankees, who took him in the Rule 5 draft and then returned him. Meyers pitched only one ..." - "Meyers' deception could be key change of pace" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "I’m no scholar on these things, so I only had a vague sense of what the Nats’ new batting practice hats were going to look like from this Uni Watch post in December." - "The Nats’ new batting practice hat" - Dan Steinberg, D.C. Sports Bog, Washington Post

• "Now, Teddy has a new rival, 'Bill' (William Taft's likeness). And the two will race all the way to Mt. Rushmore this month." - "Nationals racing presidents will head to Mt. Rushmore" - Matt Snyder, CBSSports.com

• "The racing presidents — George Washington, Tom Jefferson, Abe Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and the new addition of Bill Taft — will make a trip to Mount Rushmore to celebrate Presidents Day weekend." - "Nats’ Presidents to Race to Mount Rushmore" - CBS DC

• "The Nationals will promote the race as "Bill and Teddy’s Executive Adventure," and ask fans on Twitter to use the hashtags #VoteBill or #VoteTeddy beginning Friday to pick their favorite." - "Racing president auditions postponed as Teddy Roosevelt & William Howard Taft race to Mt. Rushmore" - Presidents Race Fan, Let Teddy Win!

• "Note to Nationals marketing staff: cancel that idea of all you can eat white chicken chili night at Nationals Park this year." - "Video: Stephen Strasburg says he wants to be a workhorse" - Nats Enquirer

• "The Best and Worst Hot Stove Moves of the 2012-2013 Offseason" - Ryan Sullivan, NatsGM

• "Gonzalez to play in WBC: why this is really Bad News for the Nats" - Todd Boss, Nationals Arm Race

• "One vote for having new nat Will Ohman do all the pre game introductions." - "If he can't pitch then I have a job for Will Ohman" - Bang! Zoom!

• "Though his call-up to the major leagues was a bit overshadowed by Bryce Harper’s the day before, Tyler Moore stepped into the spotlight in his own right during the 2012 season." - "2012 Player-By-Player Wrap Up: Tyler Moore" - Erin Flynn, The Nats Blog

• "Nats: Happy Pitchers & Catchers Day" - William F. Yurasko, William World News

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Mets: "According to sources, the Mets also offered Bourn — whose agent is the hard bargainer Scott Boras — four years and approximately $48 million, but their pursuit of the All-Star was fatally complicated by an unprecedented situation involving the team’s first-round draft choice." - "NY Mets fall short in landing free agent outfielder Michael Bourn as he signs with Cleveland Indians" - Andy Martino, NY Daily News

Braves: "Pitchers and catchers reported to spring training Monday, but they weren’t the only Braves in camp." - "J.Upton among Braves' early arrivals" - David O'Brien, www.ajc.com

Phillies: "Why should we pay attention to spring training and be cautious? GM Ruben Amaro and manager Charlie Manuel showed last year they have no problem giving a significant amount of playing time to insignificant and incapable players if they feel it is necessary." - "A Cautious Approach to Spring Training" - Bill Baer, Crashburn Alley

Marlins: "'We love our Marlins, but hate the ownership. I wish somebody would buy the team,' said [Gary] Cooper, a Miami resident." - "Marlins face tough task winning back fans" - Craig Davis, South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com

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