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Wire Taps: Rick Schu returns to Nationals, Sean Burnett, Reed Johnson too

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Washington Nationals' hitting coach Rick Schu talked to MLB.com's Bill Ladson about returning to the bench in the nation's capital. Sean Burnett and Reed Johnson are back on minor league deals. Links and more from the last 24 hours.

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New manager Dusty Baker all-but announced Rick Schu's return as the Washington Nationals' hitting coach in an MLB Network Radio interview last week.

Baker, 66, talked about how important Schu would be as a resource when asked about getting up to date on the organization.

"I'm kind of like taking a condensed course on the team," he explained. "That's why I kept Rick Schu still in the fold, because I've got to have somebody there that kind of knows the players, that I trust his judgement.

"Rick Schu went to my high school. He's much younger than me, but he's from Sacramento. We're going to get together as soon as he gets off of vacation."

Schu's contract was not renewed by the Nationals, who parted ways with Matt Williams and his entire staff at the end of the regular season, but he will apparently be back working with Nats' hitters.

Washington Post writer James Wagner reported on Friday night that Schu was, "... expected to return as Nationals hitting coach, according to people familiar with the situation."

Schu confirmed the news on Monday in an interview with MLB.com's Bill Ladson, and he also told the Nats beat writer that he idolized Baker when he was younger.

"I always looked up to Dusty. You wanted to pattern your career after him because of the way he was on and off the field. He is an icon in Sacramento. He is a man I have a lot of respect for."

Schu joins pitching coach Mike Maddux, first base coach Davey Lopes and Chris Speier, who'll serve as either the third base or bench coach on Baker's staff.

Baker said they would also be looking for a bullpen coach, "a catching guy" and an assistant hitting coach...

NATS BEAT: Burnett and Johnson; AFL Update

• "Burnett turned 33 in September, and his recent history will make him a long shot, but there could be an opening for him, health permitting." - "Sean Burnett, Reed Johnson sign with Nationals" - Andrew Simon, MLB.com

• "In Johnson, the Nationals bring back another potentially important veteran presence. Johnson will be 39 next season..." - "Nationals bring back Reed Johnson, Sean Burnett on minor league deals" - Chelsea Janes, The Washington Post

• "Veterans Reed Johnson and Sean Burnett, whose careers have been derailed by injuries, will get another shot with the Nationals in 2016..." - "Nationals sign Reed Johnson, Sean Burnett to minor-league deals" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "Harper created runs at a rate that was 97 percent higher than the league average after you adjust for the era and home ball park he plays in (197 wRC+)." - "Why Giancarlo Stanton could challenge Bryce Harper for next year’s NL MVP" - Neil Greenberg, The Washington Post

• "Kieboom is hitting .257 and has a .395 on-base percentage in his last 10 games with two homers, seven RBIs and seven free passes." - "Notes on Kieboom, Simms, Bacus, Goodwin, Severino and Bautista" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "Storen was reportedly upset when the Nationals traded for Papelbon. And it would make sense he would want out of Washington after twice losing the closer's role." - "Five Trade Options For The Nationals" - David Driver, PressboxDC

NATIONAL(S) BEAT: Price in D.C.? #SignGreinke; Preach, Ken! Rays?

• "McGee and Boxberger have already drawn considerable interest from teams, including the Los Angeles Dodgers, Washington Nationals and Arizona Diamondbacks, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com tweets." - "MLB rumors roundup for November 16" - MLB Rumors - ESPN

• "The Max Scherzer-Price duo wasn't able to deliver a championship to the 2014 Tigers, but maybe they could do it in Washington." - "Where will David Price end up signing?" - David Schoenfield, SweetSpot - ESPN

• "While it wasn't with his hometown Kansas City Royals, the lifelong baseball fan embraced the sudden chance to live out a dream and took a job as the Washington Nationals' director of human resources." - "Major League Baseball proactively recruiting gay executives for team front offices" - Cyd Ziegler, Outsports

NL EAST UPATES: Hellboy; Chuck in Atlant; Bour finishes four--fifth in NL ROY

Phillies: "Simply put, Hellickson provides depth to the rotation. He is a veteran, but he also is just 28. So it isn't like Hellickson is at the tail end of his career." - "What is Phillies' postseason target date?" - Todd Zolecki, phillies.com

Mets: "Terry Collins reached the postseason as a manager for the first time this season when he guided the Mets to the NL East title..." - "Terry Collins’ 2 competitors for NL Manager of Year" - Dan Martin, New York Post

Braves: "Hernandez will now monitor the developments of recently acquired top prospect Sean Newcomb, Touki Toussaint, Kolby Allard..." - "Chuck Hernandez Minors pitching coordinator" - Mark Bowman, MLB.com

Marlins: "It appeared Bour wasn't part of Miami's plans in 2015 because the club signed veteran free agent Michael Morse to a two-year contract last December." - "Justin Bour finishes fifth in BBWAA ROY voting" - Joe Frisaro, marlins.com