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Wire Taps: The Washington Nationals, The Winter Meetings, The Hot Stove...Finally.

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• LINKS AND LINKS AND...You've made it this far, be brave. One week from today the Winter Meetings begin in Dallas, TX. It's not fair to expect a bombshell deal like last year's 7-year/$126 million deal for Jayson Werth, but it's safe to say Nats fans will be checking their computers, mobile devices and Edison Stock tickers early and often next Sunday and throughout the next two weeks as they wait to see what the Washington Nationals and D.C. GM Mike Rizzo have planned. Can the Nats find the center fielder/leadoff man and veteran arm they've clearly stated they need? Over the weekend we looked at what the Nationals want and how they might get it. The estimable (tough grader) Doghouse handed out report cards for the Nats' pitchers, some of whom will uncomfortably have to ask their parents to sign them today. We also examined how the new CBA and its rules on revenue sharing and the Draft will affect the Nats going forward. Here's what the rest of NatsTown was writing about this weekend...

• THE BIG STORY: 

• "The center field market is tougher to discern. There aren't any obvious free agents who fit the Nationals' specific need..." - "Ready to ignite the Hot Stove" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• NATS BEAT: 

• "Unfortunately for Washington, there are no elite center fielders on the open market -- and certainly none that get on base at the high clip Rizzo is looking for." - "Nationals' holiday shopping about to start in earnest" - Brian McNally, Washington Examiner

• "The Phillies decided not to offer right-hander Roy Oswalt arbitration, effectively reducing the price it would cost the Nationals to sign the veteran starter." - "No arbitration offer for Oswalt; pitcher would cost Nationals less" - Ben Goessling, MASNSports.com

• "When it came to giving back to the D.C. metro area in 2011, the Nationals were second to none, and shortstop Ian Desmond played a tremendous role in giving back." - "Nationals give back to local kids, veterans" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "All of that is pertinent to the Nationals because we know they’re a potential suitor for Oswalt." - "Phillies didn’t offer Roy Oswalt arbitration, which matters for Nationals" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "It's no secret the Nationals have benefited from big spending in the last three drafts, dating to when they gave Stephen Strasburg $15.1 million in 2009." - "Another look at the Nationals' aggressive drafts" - Ben Goessling, MASNSports.com

• THE KID UPDATE: 

• "Gary Carter, the former Mets great currently battling brain cancer, suffered 'slight bleeding' on his brain last week that is not believed to be a serious health threat..." - "No concern over Carter's slight bleeding" - Ian Begley, Mets Blog - ESPN New York

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "Other human beings have a right to peace and happiness that is equal to our own; therefore we have a responsibility to help those in need." 

• NATS MINOR LEAGUES/WINTER LEAGUES: 

• "In 2011, right-hander Brad Peacock had one of the best overall seasons of any minor league pitcher in the Nationals' short history." - "Baseball America's top Nats prospects - No. 3: Brad Peacock" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "Baseball America executive editor Jim Callis said the Nationals' top selections of Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper and Rendon were the best haul in a three-year period in major league draft history." - "Baseball America's top Nats prospects: No. 2 - Anthony Rendon" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• Liga Mexicana del Pacifico: Mazatlan 9, Los Mochis 4 - Rafael Martin (MAZ) - 1.0 IP, 1 K - Box Score.

 Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional: Caribes 2, Aragua 1 - WIlson Ramos (ARA) - 0 for 1 - Box Score.

 Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional: La Guaira 6, Magallanes 5 - Jesus Flores (MAG) - 0 for 4, 1 K - Box Score.

• Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional: Caracas 5, Lara 4 - Josh Wilkie - 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB - Box Score.

• Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional: Zulia 7, Margarita 3 - Carlos Maldonado (ZUL) - 1 for 5, 1 2B, 2 K's - Box Score.

• Liga de Beisbol Dominicano: Licey 5, Escogido - 2 - Jhonatan Solano (LIC) - 0 for 1, 1 R; Wilman Rodriguez (ESC) - 1.0 IP, 1 K - Box Score.

• Liga de Beisbol Profesional de Puerto Rico: Ponce 6, Mayaguez 4 - Hassan Pena (PON) - 0.1 IP, 0 H - Box Score.

• "Winter League Roundup" - NationalsProspects.com

• NATSTOWN: 

• "I’m no lawyer, but  something about the new CBA (collective bargaining agreement) seems like it really shouldn’t be legal." - "I’m no lawyer, but something about the new CBA…" - Nat Anacostia, Nats Noodles

• "Beauty and the Beast Mode? Apparently, Michael Morse is now engaged." - "Oh, look, Michael Morse is Engaged!" - Nats Enquirer

• "One good indicator of his progress is that Ramos has improved every year since being drafted, particularly since coming to the Nats organization." - "Nats 2011 Grades: Wilson Ramos" - Keara Dowd, Win For Teddy

• "Given his substantial pay increase, many Nats fans thought they'd be getting a juggernaut at the plate." - "Biggest Surprises of 2011 - #5: Jayson Werth" - Joe Drugan, The Nats Blog

• "Atahualpa Severino - Age 27 - Extremely limited service time (0.028 years). How he became a Nat: Signed by the Expos as an amateur free agent." - "A Few Good Men: 31 - Severino" - Mac, Capitol Baseball

• "Before we get too deep into the off-season, I thought it’d be good to do a level set of what exactly this team is in the market for." - "Nationals off-season todo-list: 2011 edition" - Todd Boss, Nationals Arm Race

• NL EAST UPDATES: 

Marlins: "Add left-hander C.J. Wilson among those the Marlins will try to woo with a South Florida visit and stadium tour." - "Miami Marlins to host C.J. Wilson Monday; nothing on tap with Prince Fielder" – Juan C. Rodriguez, Florida Marlins – Sun-Sentinel

Mets: "Fans who bring up the fact that David Wright holds or is close to holding many of the club’s all-time offensive records might change their minds on their favorite player once they read this." - "Misleading Stats On David Wright Change Everything" - Ed Leyro, Mets Merized Online

Phillies: "Jimmy Rollins turns 33 years old today, and even if he doesn't play another game in his career, he'll have had a pretty good run." - "The Phillies may have to offer five years to bring back shortstop Jimmy Rollins" - Buster Olney, MLB - ESPN

Braves"Tim Hudson, Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson are locks. The latter two spots will feature some combination of Brandon Beachy, Mike Minor, Kris Medlen, Arodys Vizcaino, Randall Delgado and Julio Teheran." - "Atlanta Needs Its Starting Pitching Depth" - Eric Seidman, FanGraphs.com