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The Starting Nine: Nationals Links On Bryce Harper's Weight, Jayson Werth's Worth

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So you're not sitting around monitoring Twitter, searching #Nats, sifting through aggregators and sorting through hundreds of random blog posts and stories about the Washington Nationals? We try to make it easy for you with "The Starting Nine," a collection of the stories you need to read...

Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

We understand, sort of, not really, that not everyone can spend their offseason waiting around for some news on the Washington Nationals to break. So if you find yourself wondering what you missed in the last week, catch up every Monday with The Starting Nine. Nine topics/stories that will keep you in the know as far as what's going on with the nation's capital's Nats. We're also including "The Rotation" below, the Top 5 Stories from the last week on Federal Baseball...

1. So, How Much Weight Does Harper Want To Add?:

• "'I want to go into spring training about 240, 245,' said Harper, who weighed around 218 pounds at the end of the 2013. 'I'll lose about 20 pounds during the season.'" - "Bryce Harper is trying to fatten up" - Anna McDonald, SweetSpot Blog - ESPN

2. I'm Sorry, How Much? And Try To Work In A Running Into A Wall Joke:

• "Now Harper has a specific weight in mind. He told ESPN recently he hopes to report to spring training at over 240 pounds." - "Harper expects to weigh 245 pounds by spring" - Chase Hughes, Comcast SportsNet Washington

• "Rather than taking off the weight gained over the holidays, Harper would like to keep his and continue adding to it over the six weeks." - "Bryce Harper looking to add weight before 2014 season" - Mark Townsend, Big League Stew - Yahoo Sports

• "In part, it's surely to add power, but it's probably also to help him better withstand the rigors of a six-month regular season." - "Bryce Harper's plans : 'Let the body heal ... and get as big as a house'" - Dayn Perry, CBSSports.com

• "My only question when it comes to Harper packing on the pounds this offseason is how that added weight will affect his surgically repaired left knee..." - "Nationals Pastime: A few quick Harper notes" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

3. And By Everyone, I Mean Everyone Loves The Nats' Trade For Fister:

• "A month ago, the Nationals acquired Doug Fister in a bizarre trade that only required the team to give up a decent starting pitcher prospect, a middle reliever and a utility infielder." - "Doug Fister Heads to Nation’s Capital" - Mike Podhorzer, FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball


4. So, You Don't Think Matt Williams Will Hit Span Eighth?:

• "Span will be the leadoff hitter, and he did a great job during the second half of last season. I believe his consistency will continue in 2014." - "Inbox: Will Denard Span hit leadoff for Nationals in 2014?" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

5. NO #WSOB!!! NO #Stras4CY!! A's vs Nats??:

• "The competition in the Senior Circuit is as fierce -- and young -- as ever, but it's the 'old' phenom from 2010, Strasburg, who will have the best season among NL pitchers." - "Top 10 predictions for the 2014 baseball season" - Joe Lemire, SI.com

• "Last winter the Nationals dominated 'prediction season,' and this year may be no different." - "Nationals off to a good start in 'prediction season'" - Chase Hughes, Comcast SportsNet Washington

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

7. 52-9 Should Probably Get You A Promotion, Yes...:

• "Patrick Anderson, who guided the Gulf Coast League Nationals to a 52-9 record and a league title, now will try is hand as the new manager of the low Single-A Hagerstown Suns." - "Back in home state, Anderson ready for new challenge" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

8. Getting Back To Business Posts:

• "What’s on the Nationals’ agenda for the roughly 38 days that remain until the start of spring training?" - "Washington Nationals get back to work following holiday break" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "The Nats acquired left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins in a trade with the Athletics on Dec. 11, then officially signed outfielder Nate McLouth to a two-year contract on Dec. 12." - "Nationals Pastime: Tough decisions lie ahead in future offseasons" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

9. #TotesWerthIt:

• "Given the exploding salaries we’ve seen across free agency the last couple of months, it’s not outrageous at all to suggest another club would offer Werth that deal right now." - "Point/Counterpoint: Would you give Jayson Werth $83 million now?" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider