While the Atlanta Braves shook things up in the division this weekend, trading second baseman Tommy LaStella to the Chicago Cubs for right-hander Arodys Vizcaino and dealing Jason Heyward to the St. Louis Cardinals in return for right-hander Shelby Miller this morning, things have been relatively quiet in the nation's capital.
Let's catch up on the latest Nats-related news.
There's still chatter about the Washington Nationals pursuing a second baseman.
The fact that the Nats are known to be in the market for a second baseman has them getting mentioned in connection to every available infielder.
• "[Stephen] Drew is expected to receive a low base contract with heavy incentives. The Mets, Yankees, Dodgers, A’s, and possibly the Nationals (second base) could have interest..." - "Marlins serious about hooking slugger Giancarlo Stanton" - Nick Cafardo, The Boston Globe
• "The Nats and A's are among other teams that may address second base." - "Yankees, Blue Jays inquire on Kendrick, but Angels may keep him" - Jon Heyman, CBSSports.com
Veteran Washington Post columnist Thomas Boswell was asked in a chat with readers this morning what he thought about the possibility of the Nats just sticking with Danny Espinosa at second this season:
• "Almost no chance that the Nats come to spring training with Danny as their everyday second baseman." - "Ask Boswell: Redskins, Nationals and Washington sports" - Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post
There was some more action in the Nationals' front office this weekend, with the Nats making another addition to GM Mike Rizzo's staff:
• "Wetzel spent the past 15 years with the Colorado Rockies as a special assignment scout, working with everything from the amateur draft to international scouting..." - "Nationals hire Terry Wetzel as special assistant" - James Wagner, The Washington Post
There was also a profile of another member of the Nationals' front office out of Pittsburgh:
• "The 2001 Freeport graduate recently became an assistant general manager for the Washington Nationals, getting a bump up from the team's director of baseball operations position." - "Freeport grad Cromie takes advantage of his opportunities, serves as assistant GM for Nationals" - Doug Gulasy, TribLIVE
The Nationals' prospects competing in the Arizona Fall League wrapped up their run:
• "The Mesa Solar Sox, featuring seven members of the Nationals’ organization, wrapped up their Arizona Fall League schedule this past Thursday with a tie in the final game of the season." - "Wrapping up the Arizona Fall League" - Mike Feigen, Curly W Live
MASN's Byron Kerr talked to Baseball Prospectus' writer Chris Mellen about BP's recently-released list of the Nats' Top 10 prospects:
• "Chris Mellen, co-director of the Baseball Prospectus prospect team, says Difo has the tools you like to see in a player that can advance..." - "Baseball Prospectus Nats top prospects No. 10: Wilmer Difo" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com
Byron Kerr: Baseball Prospectus Nats top prospects No. 10: Wilmer Difo http://t.co/bYP57ZlCQE— Byron Kerr (@masnKerr) November 16, 2014
CSNWashington.com's Chase Hughes has been highlighting some of the top prospects in the organization as well:
• "When CSN spoke to Giolito during the season, he talked about the improved command of his offspeed pitches." - "Nationals minor league spotlight: Lucas Giolito" - Chase Hughes, Nats Insider
• "Taylor dominated Double-A with a .313 average, 22 homers and 34 steals in 98 games with Harrisburg. He then moved on to Syracuse..." - "Nationals minor league spotlight: Michael Taylor" - Chase Hughes, Nats Insider
• "2014, however, saw Souza explode at Triple-A Syracuse and become the International League MVP and rookie of the year. He was also named the Nationals’ minor league player of the year." - "Nationals minor league spotlight: Steven Souza, Jr." - Chase Hughes, Nats Insider
We're still holding our breath and waiting for the announcement that Matt Purke has returned on a minor league deal:
• "Washington has released oft-injured left-hander Matt Purke, whom the Texas Rangers took with the 14th choice overall in the 2009 draft." - "Washington releases former Texas Rangers top pick" - Gerry Fraley, Dallas Morning News
Washington cuts its losses with Matt Purke. More at http://t.co/k8akWn8jot— Gerry Fraley (@gfraley) November 17, 2014
Here's an update on some changes coming to Nationals Park:
• "The Washington Nationals this offseason are creating an ultra-exclusive luxury club at Nationals Park called Club 24." - "Nationals creating ultra-exclusive Club 24 at ballpark" - Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Daily
Last week, one Sirius/XM MLB Network Radio host predicted that Max Scherzer would end up in D.C., I'm guessing and so is someone else, that the signing would hypothetically take place after the Nats deal one of their starters...
• "The agent didn't mention any specific teams in that predicament, though the Nationals had trade rumors regarding Jordan Zimmermann last week." - "Tigers not closing door on Scherzer's return" - Jason Beck, MLB.com
NatsInsider.com's Mark Zuckerman wants to know how much Bryce Harper will get after Giancarlo Stanton's record-seting deal:
• "Boras never mentioned any one player by name, but the insinuation was obvious. He was talking about Bryce Harper..." - "How does Giancarlo Stanton’s new deal impact Bryce Harper?" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider
MASN's Dan Kolko (who will earn another mention today when we post the winners of the 2014 SB Nation MLB Awards), wrote this weekend about the work that's left to be done:
• "The Nationals took a chance on Purke in the draft, selecting a player who had battled a shoulder injury while in college, and it didn't pan out." - "Nationals Pastime: More roster moves coming" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com
• "If those four players listed above - Frandsen, Lobaton, McLouth and Espinosa - all are back in bench roles, that really only leaves one bench spot left to be won." - "Nationals Pastime: Turning our attention back to the bench" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com
That's it as far as Nats-related links, so here are a few NL East links and then we're getting out of here:
• Mets: "After spending the last four seasons with the Washington Nationals, it appears Adam LaRoche will be in a different uniform come Opening Day 2015." - "2015 Free Agent Profile: Adam LaRoche" - Steve Schreiber, Amazin' Avenue
• "Where they look next for offensive help will be interesting to see. They're rumored to be seeking a trade for a proven shortstop..." - "Terry Collins thinks Mets will make playoffs in 2015" - Mark Townsend, Big League Stew - Yahoo Sports
• Braves: "I hate this trade. I understand it, but I hate it. I hate trading a talent of such magnitude as Jason Heyward at any age..." - "The Braves trade Heyward: I understand it, but I still hate it" - Mark Bradley, AJC.com
• Marlins: "Giancarlo Stanton reportedly is on the verge of signing a record-setting 13-year, $325 million contract with the Marlins." - "Stanton, Marlins reportedly have record $325 million deal" - Joe Frisaro, marlins.com
• Phillies: "The Phillies are officially buying into the idea of a rebuild and Hamels represents an efficient way for them to restock their minor league system quickly." - "Red Sox have already shot down a couple of Cole Hamels trade proposals from the Phillies" - Bill Baer, HardballTalk