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Washington Nationals: Winter Meetings Wrap.

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Before the Winter Meetings, the Washington Nationals made clear that they did not think it was absolutely essential that they add the pitching help they need from the top of the free agent class or within the three-day span of the Indianapolis Winter Meetings, as DC GM Mike Rizzo explained to's Bill Ladson, who wrote in a 12/2/09 article entitled, "Pitching the focus for Nats at Meetings", that fans shouldn't, "...look for the the Nationals to attempt to break the bank," in pursuit of free agent help, as they did last Winter in their pursuit of Mark Teixeira, who we've been told, time and again, was seen as a once-in-a-generation talent, but instead should accept the fact that it's more, "...likely that Rizzo will make trades." 



• The LIST.


• Guzman To Second, Desmond At Short?

• Bally To The Bullpen? WT...


• The LIST as the DC Faithful are calling it, (ed. note - "No one is calling it that."), that Rizzo gave to Washington Post writer Chico Harlan for an article entitled, "Reading Material, Shopping Lists", of pitchers that the Nationals were interested in this winter, started with 14 names, but as the Winter Meetings officially end following tomorrow's Rule 5 Draft, the list has been shortened some, from, "Jason Marquis, Randy Wolf, John Lackey, Cliff Lee, Jon Garland, Kevin Millwood, Tim Hudson, Brad Penny, Joel Piñeiro, Braden Looper, Jarrod Washburn, Brandon Webb, Brett Myers, John Smoltz and more..." to, as the Post's Chico Harlan wrote in two Nationals Journal posts entitled, "The starting pitching shopping list", and "The starting pitching, Pt. II":

"(Jon Garland and)...almost every established free agent starting pitcher except the A-lister, John Lackey. So, the Nats would entertain the possibility of Jarrod Washburn, Joel Pineiro, Vicente Padilla, Jason Marquis, and John Smoltz."


After Washington Post writer Dave Sheinin wrote about Elijah Dukes' winter, he added a note to the end of an article entitled, "Nationals notes: Dukes, L. Hernandez", about the Washington Nationals making contract with the agent for Mr. National Himself, Livan Hernandez, the original Nationals' Ace, who has openly expressed his desire to return to the nation's capital since the end of the '09 season. Mr. Sheinin writes that Hernandez's agent, "(Barry) Praver would not characterize the talks", but in the Washington Post writer's opinion it would take, "...a one-year contract with a low base and ample performance incentives."

-- (ed. note - "Do you want to see Livan Hernandez return to the Nationals? From what I've read in the comments, it's pretty much split amongst the DC Faithful...Should the Nationals let Livan teach Strasburg the eephus?")

• Guzman To Second, Desmond At Short?'s Bill Ladson was Twittering throughout the Winter Meetings, letting Nationals' fans know what was going on long before it went into print (as were the Washington Times' writers), and the biggest revelation out of the final day in Indianapolis was that the Nationals had made up their minds about what to do with their twenty-ten middle infield:

"It appears the Nats will take a chance with Cristian Guzman at second base. That means Orlando Hudson is not coming to DC."

Does that mean that Ian Desmond is officially a "Go!" at short? Are the Nationals still going to try to find another option at short?

• Bally To The Bullpen? WT...

The other interesting thing that's Bill Ladson Twittered was the idea that:

"The Nats may rely on some of their youngsters in the bullpen. Luis Atilano, Collin Balester and Craig Stammen are candidates."

As the Nationals' system produces more pitching, some of the older starters who haven't established themselves are going to have to make the move to the pen to make room for the next wave of pitchers. Is Balester on that list in your mind? (ed. note - "Not mine.")...What about J.D. Martin? Shairon Martis? Atilano? Stammen? Ross Detwiler? Is this Washington's way of saying why sign relievers when we have all these arms under contract?