New Washington Nationals’ skipper Dave Martinez met with reporters at the 2017 MLB Winter Meetings on Monday. As he prepares for his first season as a manager, he talked about the best piece of advice he received after he was hired by the Nats to replace an experienced manager who led the Nationals to back-to-back NL East titles and back-to-back losses in the NLDS.
“Best piece of advice I got was from Joe, obviously,” Martinez said, referring, of course, to Cubs’ skipper Joe Maddon, who mentored Martinez while he served as bench coach in Tampa Bay and Chicago.
“He told me just to be myself. He says, ‘You know what you're doing. You've been doing this next to me for a lot of years and just go have fun with it.’”
Good anecdote. Moving on. Time for some links...
At winter meetings, Nats GM Mike Rizzo again hunts for ‘value’ and ‘fit’
"Not on the Nationals’ agenda, at least according to Rizzo: acquiring a catcher to supplant Matt Wieters, prioritizing a middle infielder with everyday experience to fill in if Daniel Murphy misses time after October microfracture knee surgery or making any sort of a splash."
Nationals plan for flurry of activity
"Rizzo does love to seek value and has been known to make a deal he believes can make his team better even when there is no apparent need."
Rizzo said Nats declined mutual option for Lind because they think they can get a comparable bat for less than $5 million. "It doesn’t preclude us from going after Adam Lind himself."— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) December 11, 2017
Mike Rizzo on restocking the Nationals bench
"Kendrick is a free agent, and probably searching for a team that can guarantee him more regular at-bats. Rizzo isn’t closing the book on Kendrick..."
Rizzo suggests Nationals not looking for fifth starter
"It certainly hasn’t been Rizzo’s modus operandi - at least not since his club has been a legitimate contender - to have any uncertainty in his rotation heading into a season."
Martinez on Harper's future: "Can I lobby right now?"
"In his meeting with the media at the Winter Meetings on Monday, Martinez left little doubt that he wants to have Harper, a pending free agent, around for as long as possible."
MLB Winter Meetings rumors: Nationals interested in filling voids with Reed, Adams
"Relative to other contenders, the Washington Nationals have thus far had a quiet offseason."
One thing that's clear from Martinez/Rizzo: Wieters will catch fewer games this year. Rizzo said they are "cool with" Severino as the backup. I would imagine they would be cool with a more proven option at the right price, too.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) December 11, 2017
Dave Martinez sees room for improvement on Nationals roster
"Among all the rumors and deals circulating throughout this year's MLB winter meetings, the Nationals have remained a mystery."
New Nationals Manager Dave Martinez shows he can talk a good game
“'Best piece of advice I got was from [Cubs Manager Joe Maddon], obviously, and he told me just to be myself,' Martinez said. 'You know what you’re doing.'"
MLB Winter Meetings: 30 teams' biggest needs
"Washington made a big splash by acquiring center fielder Adam Eaton last winter, but the team's 2018 roster appears to be all but set."
Here's a winter meetings holiday shopping wish list for all 30 MLB teams
"New Skipper Dave Martinez has very few questions with his lineup, and possibly fewer in his rotation."
Nats and cardinals are among teams to check in on marcell ozuna. With 2 years to go before free agency, and marlins at least 3 years away from contention (at least!), he seems sure to go. Huge 2017 season, team leader.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 12, 2017
Nationals And Cardinals Check On Marcell Ozuna
"The St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Nationals are among the teams that have checked with the Marlins regarding the status of left fielder Marcell Ozuna..."
NL EAST UPDATES:
Braves' Alex Anthopoulos getting acclimated
"The Braves haven't provided any surprises, as they have told teams they are possibly seeking a controllable starting pitcher, at least one reliever and a third baseman."
Marlins Continue Begging Other Teams To Rob Their Clubhouse
"Time for some wholly unsurprising news! The Marlins front office’s brazen salary dump is continuing apace."
Mets should have seen this Matt Harvey disinterest coming
"The Mets’ best opportunity to sell low on Matt Harvey came on Dec. 1, when they could have washed their hands of him and bid him farewell for the low, low cost of zero dollars."
Pat Neshek, Phillies close to free-agent deal
"Pat Neshek said in July that he would love to rejoin the Phillies this offseason."