You keep waiting for the news that the Washington Nationals have found their second baseman to break, waiting to hear that they've actually gone and dealt one of their starters, following the Twitter feeds of all the baseball writers in the country, at least until Twitter stops sending mobile notifications which they do late in the afternoon for the last month-plus for some people for some reason that defies explanation...
But so far, on Day 3 of the Winter Meetings... as far as the Nats are concerned, at least... nothing.
There's, or there are, plenty of rumors concerning the Nationals, however.
The Nationals, as Nats' GM Mike Rizzo likes to say, reportedly have a number of "irons in the fire," which means they're talking to other teams (20 was the number thrown around last night), but as of yet there is nothing official coming out of San Diego as far as the defending NL East champs are concerned. As for the rumors?
There's interest in Tyler Clippard, or "a lot of action" surrounding the veteran reliever as the Washington Post's James Wagner wrote this afternoon.
The Houston Astros, in particular, are rumored to have asked about the right-handed set-up man's availability before they went and signed Pat Neshek and Luke Gregorson today, but as the WaPost's Mr. Wagner wrote, the takeaway from discussions about the begoggled reliever is that, "Washington wants better than a low-tier prospect and trading him wouldn’t be simply to dump his salary," in spite of the fact that he's set to make a projected $9M in arbitration if it comes to that this winter.
In this afternoon's article, the WaPost's Nationals beat writer also speculated that left-hander Ross Detwiler, "seems like a prime candidate to be traded." Members of Detwiler's camp suggested in a recent Post article that a trade might be the best thing for the Nats' '07 1st Round pick who was moved into a relief role last season and saw only sporadic action before he was left off the postseason roster for the NLDS. Wagner writes that the Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers have expressed interest in Detwiler in the past, though the Jordan Zimmermann and Doug Fister situations might have to be resolved before the Nats start thinking about Detwiler's future.
New York Post writer Joel Sherman too is hearing that Detwiler might be available:
#Nationals also open to moving Detwiler to teams that value him as a SP and, therefore, would return more— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 10, 2014
Rizzo says teams asking about Ross Detwiler are interested in him as reliever & some as starter. Starter would obviously net more in trade.— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) December 10, 2014
As for the Nationals' search for a second baseman?
The WaPost's Wagner, who mentions that the Nationals are open to moving Anthony Rendon back over to second if the second base search ends up identifying a third baseman, wrote today that Washington inquired about Tampa Bay Rays' infielder Ben Zobrist, but noted that "it appears like a long shot to pry him away" from the Rays.
#Nationals still want 2b, talking to lots of teams about rlvrs Clippard, Blevins— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 10, 2014
BTW: In other Nationals/2B news:
Nats 2B prospect Tony Renda has been named to the Arizona Fall League Top Prospects Team. Hit .307/.381/.377 last year at Single-A Potomac— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) December 10, 2014
There was also a non-update on the Bryce Harper-opt-out-arbitration situation in the Washington Post's Mr. Wagner's Winter Meetings update today.
Harper's agent, Scott Boras, declined to address the dispute, which centers around whether or not there was an oral agreement on a clause which would let him opt out of the deal and into arbitration if he qualified, that didn't end up in the official contract the 2010 no.1 overall pick and his agent were presented with after agreeing on a last-second-ish deal before the deadline to sign that year's selections.
The dispute could end up in a grievance hearing at some point this month if there's no movement on the matter:
Scott Boras on Bryce Harper-Nats arbitration dispute: "I'm in discussions with the Nationals on that subject so I really have no comment."— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) December 10, 2014
Rizzo was asked about any progress in the discussions during an MLB Network Radio interview earlier this week, but politely declined to comment as well, telling hosts Casey Stern and Jim Bowden it was an "internal" matter.
"The Harper thing, that's an internal thing," Rizzo said. "He's family and we've got to take care of family, but it is a business and we have to take care of what we have to take care of."
Hearing on Harper arbitration dispute later this month. Boras said they've talked, Rizzo said hoping they can avoid the hearing.— Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) December 10, 2014