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Wire Taps: Nationals weekend in review; Nats' qualifying offers? Bud Black intro?

Now that the World Series is over and the Kansas City Royals are the 2015 champs, the National League is up for grabs again. Will the Washington Nationals bounce back for a disappointing season? The time to start building is now, though it began already, really.

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

So now that the whole World Series thing is over with, congrats Royals, or whatever, we can get back to discussing what the future holds for the Washington Nationals. So, which players will get qualifying offers? The Nationals have until Friday to offer them and the players then have a week to decline them... doesn't everyone decline?

Maybe, just maybe Denard Span won't if he gets one? He told MLB Network Radio last week that the Nationals know his stance on such things though he didn't offer any details as far as what that stance is, so...

Two of the big names potentially heading onto the free agent market said goodbye to the nation's capital once the season ended which is probably a sign... right?

Will any of the free agents-to-be return to the nation's capital? Where will the Nats find the bat (or two) everyone thinks they need?

Will GM Mike Rizzo be able to rebuild the Nats' bullpen this winter? A Baltimore-based writer offered an opinion on one reliever who might make sense.

When are the Nationals going to officially introduce Bud Black as their new skipper?

The Miami Marlins got their introductory press conference out of the way early this morning, introducing former Los Angeles Dodgers' manager Don Mattingly and confirming his four-year deal. When does Black get his own presser? Probably soon-ish. Who will make up his coaching staff? One rumored possibility won't be joining him according to a report this morning. [ed. note - "See the National(s) Beat below."]

Did you hear about Bryce Harper getting the NL Hank Aaron Award this weekend?'s Jon Heyman reported that the Nationals' 22-year-old slugger declined to go to New York to be recognized because... He didn't want to get booed?

• "Why did Harper choose to not show up? Well, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, he didn't want to get booed by the rival Mets crowd." - "Report: Harper didn't go to NY for award to avoid Mets fans' boos" - Chase Hughes, CSN Mid-Atlantic

Harper, who's now a blond-ish, slightly sinister-looking future NL MVP... did, however, record a nice acceptance speech:

As for the rest of the "news" about the nation's capital's Nationals? It was an admittedly slow couple of days of news, which shouldn't be too much of a surprise, but now that the season is officially over... there will be even less to talk about... that's not where I thought that sentence was going. On to the links...

Dusty Baker was disappointed to [not hear] about Bud Black getting the gig in D.C.:

• "I was really disappointed," Baker said of missing out on the Nationals job, which he heard about from his wife, Melissa, "but I was in a place for a couple of days where you can handle disappointment. It gave me strength." - "Dusty Baker on Nationals, minority managers and his new book" - John Shea, San Francisco Chronicle

• "It could be for a variety of reasons, all seemingly solid and legitimate ones. But when you chose Black over Baker, you had better be right..." - "Isn't it bizarre respected manager Dusty Baker doesn't have a job? - Thom Loverro, Washington Times


• "On one hand, Ramos finally had an injury-free campaign in 2015, logging 125 games behind the plate after averaging 63 a year for the previous three seasons, when hamstring and hamate injuries got in the way." - "Nationals Pastime: What does the future hold for Wilson Ramos?" - Pete Kerzel,

• "An afterthought in spring training, Felipe Rivero caught his big break after the Nationals decided to covert him into a reliever." - "Nationals roster review: Felipe Rivero" - Mark Zuckerman, CSN Mid-Atlantic

• "Manager Tripp Keister told me of Simms last outing: 'He's throwing well. Pitched out of trouble in the first inning and then found his delivery and threw well. No earned runs.'" - "Bautista, Severino and Simms notes" - Byron Kerr,

• "Catcher Spencer Kieboom has done nice job so far in the Arizona Fall League for the Salt River Rafters." - "Salt River tied for first place as AFL week begins" - Byron Kerr,

NATIONAL(S) BEAT: No Balsley for Nats + Vegas odds for 2016

• "The Dodgers are 8-1 at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, followed by the Chicago Cubs, New York Mets, Toronto Blue Jays and Washington Nationals, who are all 10-1." - "Vegas odds favor Dodgers to win '16 World Series" - David Purdum, ESPN

• "Heading into the end of the season with a September sweep of the Washington Nationals, a division rival, was icing on the cake, fans said, and the surge through the playoffs only raised the excitement around this team." - "For Mets' fans, team's road to the World Series simply 'amazin'" - Andrew Wyrich,

• "Taylor Jordan: Former Merritt Island High pitcher was 0-2 with 5.29 ERA for the Washington Nationals. He was 5-6 with a 2.95 ERA for Triple-A Syracuse." - "Tracking Brevard’s stars: Nelson picks off Big Ben" - Hillard Grossman, Florida Today

• "Best landing spot: Orioles fans will cringe, but the Washington Nationals would be a perfect fit. They desperately need to fortify their bullpen and always seem to find money to buy players." - "If Darren O'Day is offered closer money, don't expect him to stay with Orioles" - Dan Connolly, Baltimore Sun

• "With Andy Green hired last week as the Padres’ full-time manager, Balsley also had been considering a move to Washington, sources said. Black will soon be named the Nationals’ new manager." - "Darren Balsley returning as Padres pitching coach" - Dennis Lin,


Mets: "The Mets' unlikely 2015 run has come to an end a mere three wins from their ultimate goal." - "Mets eliminated: Pennant, young arms aplenty but owners still problem" - Dayn Perry,

Marlins: "The Miami Marlins made it official Monday morning, introducing Don Mattingly as their ninth manager since 2002 under Jeffrey Loria’s ownership." - "Photos: Marlins introduce Don Mattingly as manager" - Sun Sentinel


Phillies: "Morandini's hire means Phillies manager Pete Mackanin's coaching staff is complete." - "Mickey Morandini named Phillies' 1B coach" - Todd Zolecki,