Are the Washington Nationals going to pick up Denard Span's option? Who's going to play second for the Nats in 2015? What role will Michael Taylor and Steven Souza play on the major league roster? Can Wilson Ramos stay healthy? Will Ryan Zimmerman make it through a full season? Who's the backup first baseman?
Will GM Mike Rizzo strengthen a strength and add to the bullpen this winter? Do the Nats have the necessary in-house options to allow them to avoid spending on relievers?
What changes will the Nationals make to their bench?
Can the Nationals repeat as NL East Champions and take the next step of making it through of the NLDS?
If the Nats can't/don't sign Jordan Zimmermann, Ian Desmond or Doug Fister to long-term deals this winter, do they have to trade one, two or all of them this season?
When will the rest of the league figure Tanner Roark out?
The answers to all these questions?
Yes, or at least we think so. Stephen Drew. Triple-A outfielder and backup in Nats' outfield. Probably not. Maybe at first. Tyler Moore? Yes. Probably, but sign Andrew Miller anyway. Right-hand bench bat, maybe? Yes. Yes, I'd think at least one of them. Any... day... now.
The links which follow don't really answer any of the questions above. I just set the precedent of writing stuff here before transitioning to links and now feel tied to it even when there's not much to write about. All the Nats-related links we could find and more. Starting... RIGHT NOW!!!:
• Renda = Fall Star:
• "Nationals infield prospect Tony Renda of the Mesa Solar Sox was picked to play in the Arizona Fall League all-star game." - "Tony Renda picked for Arizona Fall League all-star game" - James Wagner, The Washington Post
• "The Nationals took Renda in the second round of the 2012 MLB Draft out of the University of California-Berkeley. He has a .291 career average in 313 minor league games." - "Nats’ prospect Tony Renda selected for AFL showcase" - Chase Hughes, Nats Insider
• "This year's contest will feature 14 players on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, headlined by No. 1 overall prospect Byron Buxton." - "Fall Stars Game filled to brim with talent" - Spencer Fordin, nationals.com
• Giolito in 2015?:
• "There could be an opportunity to give Giolito a nibble at Double-A to see how he fares, but the Nationals are being extremely careful with him." - "Could Lucas Giolito skip high Single-A next season?" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com
• Your Daily Message from the Dalai Lama on Twitter (@DalaiLama):
I’m optimistic that there is a growing appetite for peace in the world. Many young people are fed up with war and violence.— Dalai Lama (@DalaiLama) September 3, 2013
• NATS BEAT:
• "LaRoche and Soriano's options are not expected to be picked up, while Span's is." - "Nationals Pastime: Some of this, some of that" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com
• "The Action Team Captains were not the only ones up and out the door early Saturday morning, Washington Nationals pitcher, Craig Stammen, was on hand to help start the grocery assembly line at 8:30 am." - "Craig Stammen & Action Team Captains 'Pitch' in to Help Alexandria Seniors" - 3BL Media
• NATIONAL(S) BEAT:
• "Two of Wilson's grandchildren live in Arlington, Virginia, yet still support the Giants instead of the local Washington Nationals, daring to wear Giants gear to school." - "Baseball Giants a longtime love for Delaware man" - Meghan Montemurro, The News Journal
• "Not long after that day in the stands in Kansas City, Blanco found himself stuck in the minors with the Royals and then the Washington Nationals, contemplating the possibility of finding a new profession." - "Why Gregor Blanco is so motivated to beat the Kansas City Royals" - Alex Pavlovic, San Jose Mercury News
• NL EAST UPDATES:
• Philies: "Yoenis Cespedes’ decision to switch agents to Roc Nation is said to increase the likelihood the Red Sox will trade the Cuban slugger this winter while they can still get something substantial in return for him..." - "Roc Nation ties have Red Sox looking to deal Yoenis Cespedes" - Bill Madden, NY Daily News
• Mets: "The Mets believe that cozier dimensions in right-center should benefit righthanded hitters such as Wright and catcher Travis d'Arnaud, who have power to the opposite field." - "David Wright happy with Citi Field's cozier right-centerfield" - Marc Carig, Newsday
• Marlins: "Brian Ellington has been selected to represent the Marlins on the East Division squad in the Fall Stars Game on Saturday at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, Ariz." - "Marlins prospect Ellington selected to Fall Stars Game" - Joe Frisaro, marlins.com
• Braves: "After evaluating Dave Magadan, Bill Mueller and a few other candidates, the Braves announced on Monday that they have hired Seitzer to fill the hitting-coach role..." - "Braves hire disciplined Seitzer as new hitting coach" - Mark Bowman, braves.com