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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals’ future 2B - Wilmer Difo? Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg talk Cy Young...

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while we wait for Washington’s next big move this winter...

MLB: NLDS-Chicago Cubs at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve written about the WinterFest conversations with the Washington Nationals’ 1-2 punch at the front end of the rotation recently (actually the Stephen Strasburg piece goes up later this morning).

What both Max Scherzer and Strasburg stressed in talking about finishing first and third, respectively, in Cy Young voting, was the fact that they are more interested in team success than personal accolades.

I know, I know, “Of course they’re going to say that.” But as I note every time someone tells me that after a player, manager or a GM says something similar, “Or, just maybe it is actually what they think?”

Scherzer said that he does, of course, consider the history of the award, and his place in baseball history now that he’s won three Cy Youngs.

But, he said, “... that’s not what motivates me to go out there and continue to pitch.”

“Trying to win a World Series is what this is all about, and trying to get better in 2018,” Scherzer said.

“So, it’s nice, don’t get me wrong, I hear it, but it’s just not what’s on my radar of what I want to try to accomplish in 2018.”

“It’s an honor for sure,” Strasburg said when asked about his third place finish, “but I’ve found that there are a lot of things that have to go in your favor for things like that, so a long time ago I tried to focus on attainable goals that I can control and that I can focus on, so I’m going to continue to do that, and I think the ultimate goal for me is not the Cy Youngs, but it’s the World Series, and I think that just comes from playing a team sport, and that’s kind of what gets me going, that gets me excited is coming together as a team and accomplishing something great.”

NATS BEAT:

Next season could be Wilmer Difo’s audition to be Nationals’ future second baseman
"A year ago, Wilmer Difo was still a relatively unknown quantity, a toolsy infielder whose luster as a prospect was fading entering his age-25 season."

2017 In Review: The top highlights from each month of a great year
"2017 was another busy year for the Nationals — filled with memorable wins, milestones and lots of fun times on South Capitol St."

Nats selected for three early-season Sunday night games
"Catching up on more news during my vacation last week, I see that ESPN unveiled roughly one-half of its “Sunday Night Baseball” slate for the 2018 season."

Thoughts on last week's Adams and Milone signings
If I’ve learned nothing else in 13 years on this beat, it’s this: The best way to ensure the Nationals make some offseason news is to go on vacation.

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Cubs' series clincher over Nationals was one for the books
"What words best describe how you felt after the Cubs outlasted the Nationals 9-8 last October in Game 5 of the National League Division Series?"

Hot Stove Update: 10 MLB players we're still waiting on this winter
"Both the Toronto Blue Jays and Washington Nationals have been mentioned as underdogs for the outfielder."

NL EAST NOTES:

Who the odd man out in the Phillies outfield should be | David Murphy
There will be an odd man out in the Phillies outfield. That much is clear, now that Carlos Santana is in the fold and Rhys Hoskins is the starting leftfielder.

Top 5 most improved farm systems in 2017
"Miami should have gotten more when it traded Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna, and its system still ranks in the bottom third."