A random Dave Martinez quote before we get to the links, and as we come to end of 2017.
In the last year, we saw the Washington Nationals once again win the NL East, for the fourth time in the last six seasons, before once again losing in the NLDS, for the fourth time in four postseason appearances in the modern era of baseball in the nation’s capital.
Martinez, who’s been hired to take over a team with World Series aspirations in his first managerial gig at any level of the game, talked recently about getting to meet fans in Washington and sharing the same dream as all of us who’ve followed the team since it was the Senators, in some cases, the Expos in others, or those who joined on in 2005, when baseball returned to D.C., or later (what were you waiting for?).
“You can tell they want a winner and they want to close out the deal,” Martinez said of the fans he’s met thus far.
“Hopefully we can do that in 2018.”
Here’s hoping, though as my grandmother used to say, “Hope in one hand and **** in the other and see which fills up first.“ - [ed. note - “Uh, sorry, my grandmother actually had a problem with profanity.”]
Goodbye 2017. It was real. Well, goodbye in a couple days at least. On to the links...
A.J. Cole wants to be the Nationals’ fifth starter
"Cole seems as likely to start the season in the bullpen as anywhere, as the Nationals seem committed to at least chasing a fifth starter, if not reaching for a middle-of-the-rotation type to provide depth behind their veterans."
Top stories of 2017: Harper's knee injury
"As he took the field on Aug. 12 - after waiting out a 3-hour, 1-minute rain delay - Bryce Harper was about three-quarters of the way through a potential MVP season."
Grace preparing body and arm for big responsibilities in 2018 bullpen
"Grace said his most important takeaway from last season was how crucial it is for him to be in good physical shape for a grueling, 162-game campaign."
Top stories of 2017: Zimmerman's comeback
"There have been some other inspirational comeback stories in Nationals history, but none matched this one."
The Nationals have a precarious first base situation
"It was amusing to see that the Nats chose to sign Matt Adams. As Jeff Sullivan mentioned in a recent episode of Effectively Wild, Adams and Lind are basically the same player."
Top prospects set to break out in 2018 season
"Jesus Luzardo, LHP, A's No. 6 prospect: After Luzardo underwent Tommy John surgery in March 2016, the Nationals took him in the third round of that June's Draft."
The price of pitching is high, but is it too high for Cubs?
"The most noteworthy of those comes next winter, when Bryce Harper hits the free-agent market. The Washington Nationals superstar is expected to land the biggest contract in baseball history."
Miami Marlins listening to trade offers for Christian Yelich, J.T. Realmuto
"Washington is among possibilities for Realmuto. Arbitration-eligible for the first time, Realmuto is projected to make about $4.2 million next season."
Nationals Kicking Tires On 2 Star Free-Agent Closers
"The Washington Nationals have inquired on both star free-agent closers — Wade Davis and Greg Holland — and are said to like both."
When Bad Teams Sign Big Free Agent Deals
"The Werth contract was widely panned at the time it was signed. Though Werth concentrated most of his value into two of the seven seasons, the Nats didn’t come out that poorly overall."
NL EAST UPDATES:
Report: Braves' Adonis Garcia signs with Korean team
"Adonis Garcia is reportedly heading to LG Twins of the Korean Baseball Championship league, opening a spot on the Braves’ 40-man roster."
Miami Marlins listening to trade offers for outfielder Christian Yelich and catcher J.T. Realmuto in order to cut salary
"The Miami Marlins are now entertaining trade offers for outfielder Christian Yelich and catcher J.T. Realmuto, according to multiple reports."
What changed with Edubray Ramos?
"One of the more frustrating pitchers in the bullpen was Edubray Ramos. He has tantalizing stuff, but for the first part of the season, he just couldn’t put it all together..."
Pirates' Josh Harrison drawing considerable trade interest
"The New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays are among a handful of other clubs that have contacted the Pirates about Harrison's availability."