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Wire Taps: Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer Cy Young Finalists; Free agency begins; No qualifying offers extended

Two Nationals’ starters were named finalists for the 2017 NL Cy Young. Free agency officially began. Catch up on the latest Nats news...

MLB: Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Alright, hot stove season! Woot woot. Time to sit and wait for the Nationals to do approximately nothing, because The Team They Already Have Contains The Core Of A World Series Winner And They Just Have To Get Over The Hump, as always.

Here’s the news from slightly north of the Anacostia.

Nats could be a wild card in the free-agent market
The Nats will lose Jayson Werth and aren't expected to be major players in the market, but they've surprised us time and time again with big deals for players that the team doesn't necessarily "need." Also, don't forget that Scott Boras represents Jake Arrieta.

Twelve Nationals will be free agents, and most won't be back
No major league team has more free agents than Washington, but should we really be counting Alejandro De Aza? (Also, MLB Trade Rumors thinks that Brandon Kintzler is coming back.)

Nats make up two thirds of NL Cy Young nominees
The winner of the NL Cy Young award will be announced on November 15th on the MLB Network.

Nationals opt not to extend any qualifying offers
It wasn't much of a surprise, given that any player that did return was unlikely to do it to the tune of $17 million -- it wasn't in the right range at all.

AFL Update: Robles Fall-Star MVP; Kelvin Gutierrez impresses
Daniel Johnson hasn't been succeeding, but Kelvin Gutierrez returned from a minor injury to the tune of six hits in ten at-bats, including a triple, and good for four RBIs.

NL Awards Finalists: Dusty Baker misses cut, but Scherzer + Strasburg get nomination
Inside Washington, the hope is probably for Strasburg -- who has never won the award -- to get the hardware. In reality, it's most likely a competition between Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw. Also, Dusty Baker missed the cut. Sigh.

Unshockingly, Matt Wieters opts in to next year's contract
Matt Wieters was exceedingly mediocre and likely wouldn't have commanded any more than $5 million on the open market this winter. With that in mind, he took the guaranteed $10.5 million that the Nats had given him in March.

Looking For A Match In A Marcell Ozuna Trade - MLB Trade Rumors
"It's unlikely the Nats would be willing to part with Victor Robles, but even Juan Soto and Carter Kieboom could provide a good starting point."

The Nats can afford to lose Bryce Harper. They can't afford to lose Mike Rizzo.
Bryce Harper will most likely leave Washington in 2018, and the Nats will bounce right back. However, if they lose the man who has guided their franchise from a laughingstock to a plethora of minor league talent to a perennial contender, well, that's a different story.