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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Lunchtime Links, Rumors, Jayson Werth, Prince Fielder, Yoenis Cespedes.

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• [Yawns]...Is it time for Spring Training yet? The big news yesterday was D.C. GM Mike Rizzo's comments about the team's troubles finding the center fielder they've been after all winter. That and his comments about the Prince Fielder market. The Nats have said time and time again that they plan on going with Adam LaRoche at first in 2012, but no one wants to believe they're out of the market for the big soon-to-be-former Brewers' first baseman. Rizzo said again that the Nats will likely go with LaRoche at first, and having looked at the center field market they are comfortable going with Jayson Werth in center if they have to, though the GM did say they've scouted Yoenis Cespedes extensively without saying one way or another whether they'll get involved in the bidding for the 26-year-old soon-to-be international free agent. Are the Nats done adding big-name talent to the 2012 roster? Is it all about bench bats and bullpen arms from here on out? Is it time for Spring Training yet? No, it's time for links, RIGHT NOW!!!...


• "In an era when true sluggers get more rare every year, Fielder, 27, is on a Hall of Fame path so far. Some team may get a surprisingly decent though dangerous deal soon." - "Prince Fielder’s price is not right for Nationals right now" - Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post


• "Few teams could experience a midseason managerial resignation like that and actually emerge in a better place, but in hiring Davey Johnson the Nationals managed to do just that." - "Best Moment of 2011" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "9. But between Ryan Zimmerman, Danny Espinosa, Mike Morse, Ian Desmond and Anthony Rendon, the Nationals have a lot of options." - "The 10 best infields in Major League Baseball" - Buster Olney, ESPN

• "Ryan Zimmerman had already entered the regular season less than 100 percent healthy, having strained an abdominal muscle and his groin during spring training." - "Worst Moment of 2011" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "[Jayson] Werth is no stranger to center field, having played 123 games there in his nine-year career. But the most games he's played there in one season is 31 in 2008." - "Nats seem to be leaning toward Werth in center" - Pete Kerzel,

• "The Nationals made a risky gambit when they traded four prospects to Oakland last week for one player..." - "Pitching is now minor problem for the Nationals" - Brian McNally, Cheers & Jeers | Washington Examiner

• "During the Winter Meetings, manager Davey Johnson acknowledged that he called DeRosa after it was learned that first baseman Chris Marrero would not start the 2012 season on time." - "Source: Washington Nationals nearing deal with Mark DeRosa" - Bill Ladson, News

• "Barring a high bid on Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes, the Nationals will enter the 2012 season with Jayson Werth in center field." - "The Nationals may wait to land their center fielder" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "Last Friday night, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo spent almost 20 minutes on a conference call with reporters talking about the Nationals pre-holiday haul." - "Rizzo talks Fielder, LaRoche and first base... again" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Mark] DeRosa appeared in just 73 games between 2010 and 2011 with the San Francisco Giants, hitting .235/.313/.279 with one homer and 201 plate appearances." - "Nationals, Mark DeRosa officially agree to one-year deal" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "Having joined the Nats as an assistant general manager and vice president of baseball operations on July 26, 2006, Rizzo was no newcomer to the organization." - "What if ... Jerry Dipoto had gotten the GM gig that went to Mike Rizzo?" - Pete Kerzel,

• "The 36-year-old can play multiple positions, and Washington hopes he solidifies a bench that manager Davey Johnson wasn't entirely happy with by the end of the 2011 season." - "Nationals sign utility veteran DeRosa" - Brian McNally, Washington Examiner

• "I know he had injured his left wrist but I had him in the World Baseball Classic and he's a really quality guy. I really like him." - Davey Johnson on Mark DeRosa - "Nationals announce one-year deal with Mark DeRosa" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Remember when the Nats moved over .500 in June for the first time since 2005, on the strength of 11 wins in 12 days? That was awesome. Then, like two seconds later, Jim Riggleman resigned..." - "Top 11 D.C. sports moments of 2011" - Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "To suppose that we can achieve peace through violence is altogether misguided."


• "One of those players we will hear from is former Georgia Tech third baseman Matt Skole, who had a very promising start to his career with Auburn." - "New wave of prospects expected to move up from Auburn in spring" - Byron Kerr,

Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional: Aragua 6, Caracas 3 - Wilson Ramos (ARA) - 0 for 1, Henry Rodriguez (ARA) - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 3 K's - Box Score.

Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional: Magallanes 12, Zulia 4 - Carlos Maldonado (ZUL) - 0 for 2, 1 BB; Sandy Leon - 1 for 1, 1 RBI - Box Score.

Liga de Beisbol Dominicano: Licey 6, Gigantes 4 - Jhonatan Solano (LIC) - 2 for 4, 1 2B, 2 RBI's; Atahualpa Severino (LIC) - 0.2 IP, 0 H - Box Score.


• "With a world of possibilities still open to the Washington Nationals this off-season, it’s starting to look more and more likely that Jayson Werth will be in center field when opening day rolls around." - "Could Jason Michaels start season in right field for Nats?" - Dave Nichols, District Sports Page

• "At some point this offseason, I realized I wanted Nationals GM Mike Rizzo to sign the 5 foot 11 inch, 285 lb. (listed) Prince Cecil Fielder because of a promise he made to the fans of DC." - "The Promise of Fielder" - The Jackobeam Chronicles

• "As he tweeted, Bryce Harper got a dog for Christmas. He named him Swag, which is awesome in and of itself. Now, however, Swag has his own Twitter account. Yep." - "Bryce Harper’s Dog Takes Twitter" - Keara Dowd, Win For Teddy

• "Strangely enough, we're having a hard time recalling any of these highlights, save for Werth's line drive HR off fat Joe Blanton and the Phillies." - "Believe it or not, there is a Jayson Werth 2011 Highlight reel" - Nats Enquirer

• "Just yesterday’s Bill Ladson reiterated that Wang will be part of the Nationals rotation. That leaves just one spot for the battle of young lefties between Ross Detwiler and John Lannan." - "Detwiler vs. Lannan: Battle for the Rotation" - Joe Drugan, The Nats Blog


Phillies: "As you are no doubt aware, the Phillies acquired closer Jonathan Papelbon in November, agreeing to a four-year, $50 million contract with a fifth-year option." - "A Lesson in Playing the Market" - Bill Baer, Crashburn Alley

Mets: "The Poynter Institute highlighted this correction to a New York Times blog post from last May regarding the name of R.A. Dickey's bat as one of six notable ombudsman corrections in 2011." - "An item in the Extra Bases baseball notebook last Sunday misidentified, in some editions, the... - Matthew Artus, Amazin' Avenue

Braves: "Today we continue our off-season series examining the Atlanta Braves non-roster invitees (NRIs) to spring training with a look at utility infielder Drew Sutton." - "Braves NRI In-Depth: Drew Sutton" - gondeee, Talking Chop

Marlins: "But the point is that the Marlins are building a ballpark that couldn't be more Miami if they made you lick a flamingo's beak before entering." - "Has The Marlins' Spending Spree Done Them Any Good?" - Grant Brisbee, Baseball Nation