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Wire Taps: Nats' Matt Williams is NL MOY, Nationals' Jordan Zimmermann trade rumors

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Washington Nationals' skipper Matt Williams was named the 2014 NL Manager of the Year last night, but the big story came later when rumors surfaced which said the Chicago Cubs and Nats were talking Jordan Zimmermann.

Patrick Smith

Matt Williams' moment in the sun lasted all of about three hours after he was named the NL Manager of the Year for 2014, then all of NatsTown was talking about a rumor out of Chicago that said the Cubs and Washington Nationals were in talks about a potential deal for Nats' right-hander Jordan Zimmermann.

Williams' nod was just the fourth by a first-year manager since they started handing out MOY awards, but it was no match for a hot stove rumor, especially one as big as a potential Zimmermann deal.

Unfortunately, for the sake of rumor-mongers everywhere, or fortunately if you can't stand the idea of Zimmermann in another uniform, after the first report, there were plenty of refutations, with subsequent stories and tweets all citing sources which shot down the original rumor from sources of Chicago Sun-Times' writer Gordon Wittenmyer:

Some other Chicago-based Cubs beat writers talked to sources who said nothing was up:

Is there anything to the original report? The sources that Wittenmyer cited seemed pretty sure that something was up.

Of course, the other writers' sources were equally clear that nothing was happening. From the D.C. side?:

We'll see how this plays out. Will Zimmermann, Ian Desmond or Doug Fister (aka potential members of the free agent class of 2015), get dealt if they are unable to agree on long-term extensions to keep them in the nation's capital? It's Hot Stove time... prepare to get frustrated and possibly be elated...

And prepare for links and lots of them. Starting... RIGHT NOW!!!:

• Zimmermann and the Cubs rumors (Chicago side):

• "The Cubs are reportedly in contact with the Nationals regarding a potential trade for right-hander Jordan Zimmermann, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Neither club has commented on the report." - "Report links Cubs to Nationals' Zimmermann" - Cash Kruth, cubs.com

• Zimmermann and the Cubs rumors (D.C. side):

• "The Nationals and Zimmermann are not currently talking about any extensions, according to a person familiar with the situation." - "Nationals, Cubs reportedly talking Jordan Zimmermann" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

• "General manager Mike Rizzo declined to offer specifics when asked if any progress was made on any of the team's free agents." - "Nationals, Cubs reportedly talking about Zimmermann" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com

• "For the Cubs, everyone in the baseball world knows they covet pitching. They have everything a rebuilding team would want but pitching." - "Reports of Zimmermann to Cubs deal shot down" - Chase Hughes, Comcast SportsNet Washington

• Matt Williams named 2014 NL MOY:

• "Since the inception of the award in 1983, Williams is just the fourth first-year manager ever to win it." - "Nationals Manager Matt Williams named 2014 BBWAA NL Manager of the Year" - Amanda Comak, Curly W Live

• "Williams called the honor an 'organizational award' and credited General Manager Mike Rizzo, his staff and his players." - "Matt Williams named National League Manager of the Year" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

• "Williams won the NL Manager of the Year Award on Tuesday night, beating out a pair of more-experienced counterparts..." - "UPDATED: Williams wins NL Manager of the Year Award" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "'While this is an incredible acknowledgement by the writers, I know we have bigger goals to accomplish in Washington and I look forward to the challenge that the 2015 season will bring.'" - "Nationals Pastime: Matt Williams wins NL Manager of the Year award" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "This time it was for real. Williams was given control of a Nationals club many felt was capable of winning the NL East..." - "Old-school Williams part of new breed of managers" - Tracy Ringolsby, nationals.com

• "Be careful before blaming managers for teams that fail to meet expectations in the playoffs. It’s the easy way out." - "In baseball, blaming the manager is easy — just ask the Nationals’ Matt Williams" - Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post

• "The trophy will have his name inscribed on it. And Williams will forever have 2014 NL Manager of the Year on his coaching resume." - "Nationals Pastime: Williams on NL Manager of the Year award: 'I'm proud of that and humbled by it'" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Williams was humble after winning the award. He credited the Nationals' organization for the success he had this past season." - "'Humbled' Williams named top NL manager in first year" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com

• Your Daily Message from the Dalai Lama on Twitter (@DalaiLama):

• Matt Williams named 2014 NL MOY (National Coverage):

• "The Nats played the game the way it was supposed to be played, on a daily basis, and took their level upward as the season progressed." - "Bochy simply best skipper in Majors for 2014" - Mike Bauman, sfgiants.com

• "The job Williams did obviously caught the attention of voters, and the proof was in a steady rise to the top and right out of sight in the NL East for the Nationals." - "Nats' Williams, Orioles' Showalter win Manager of Year Awards" - John Schlegel, orioles.com

• "In D.C., Williams inherited a good roster that had underachieved in 2013." - "Matt Williams, Buck Showalter win Manager of the Year awards" - Mike Oz, Big League Stew - Yahoo Sports

• "Matt Williams walked into his first big league managing job with a team supposedly poised to win." - "Matt Williams named NL Manager of the Year" - Paul White, USA TODAY Sports

• "The results might have looked a lot different had the postseason been considered..." - "Matt Williams wins NL Manager of the Year; Bruce Bochy third" - Henry Schulman, San Francisco Giants: The Splash

• "Members of the Baseball Writers Association of America, who voted on the award, chose Williams ahead of Pirates manager Clint Hurdle and San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy." - "Pirates notebook: No repeat for Clint Hurdle as manager of year in NL" - Bill Brink, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

• NATS BEAT:

• "If the Nationals are doing their due diligence on Ian Desmond, Jordan Zimmermann and Doug Fister — all core players who have one year left before they hit free agency and are prime candidates for extensions — they will watch and take note of the market." - "GM meetings begin, and the Nationals have much to consider" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

• "If the Nationals decide to let Espinosa swing right-handed exclusively, they could try to acquire a left-handed-hitting second baseman to platoon with Espinosa." - "Nats could keep Espinosa on right side of plate" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com

• "Second base may be the Nationals’ clearest hole, but Desmond’s status looms over that decision." - "Washington Nationals don’t have long list of problems, but second is first on their list" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

• NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

• "This is another second-base option, at least for 2015, but Ian Desmond is a free agent after the 2015 season, so Andrus would be insurance if the Nationals can't sign Desmond." - "Five trade possibilities for Elvis Andrus" - David Schoenfield, SweetSpot Blog - ESPN

• "The Baltimore Orioles-controlled regional sports network has filed a large batch of documents seeking discovery to explore the specific role of league Chief Operating Officer and Commissioner-elect Rob Manfred in the dispute." - "MASN case postponed following 'significant discovery battle'" - Eric Fisher, Baltimore Business Journal

• "A pack of baseball cards that Detroit Tigers fan Kenny Sledge of Hudson, Michigan, recently purchased at a Target in Toledo, Ohio, included an Ian Krol card that features a picture of Ray on the front of it." - "Photo mixup: Robbie Ray appears on 2014 baseball card of Detroit Tigers teammate Ian Krol" - Chris Iott, MLive.com

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Phillies: "On Tuesday according to Bob Elliot of the Toronto Sun, the Toronto Blue Jays have acquired about Hamels along with veteran second baseman Chase Utley and reliever Antonio Bastardo." - "MLB hot stove: Toronto Blue Jays inquire about Phillies' Chase Utley, Cole Hamels (report)" - Matt Lombardo, NJ.com

Mets: "No matter what, though, the team to beat in the NL East will still be the Nationals. But Washington also is seeing better stuff brewing in Queens." - "How Braves’ future plans could open door for Mets in NL East" - Joel Sherman, New York Post

Marlins: "But if the Marlins hope to convince Giancarlo Stanton into agreeing to a long-term extension, they know they might have to soften their stance and make an exception for their prized slugger." - "Miami Marlins might have to soften 'no-trade' stance to secure Stanton" - Clark Spencer, Fish Bytes

Braves: "'We're wearing some bad contracts,' Hart said. 'So your ability to play in the free-agent game is going to be more restricted.'" - "'Bad contracts' to limit Braves' free-agent options" - Mark Bowman, braves.com