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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals’ new Triple-A affiliate; trying to read Bryce Harper tea leaves...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while we wait for something newsworthy to happen in Washington (in terms of baseball news, mais bien sûr)...

MLB: Washington Nationals at Colorado Rockies Russell Lansford-USA TODAY Sports

How did the Nationals’ Triple-A affiliate end up in Fresno, CA? Where will Bryce Harper sign, if not back in Washington? How many fibers are intertwined in a shredded wheat biscuit? If you want the answers to all these questions, or, uh, most of them, read on and catch up on the latest Nationals news...

NATS BEAT:

How did Derek Lilliquist affect Nationals pitching staff? Need for improvement remains - (WaPost)
"Derek Lilliquist wasn’t initially in the Nationals plans for 2018. Most people in the Nationals organization hoped Mike Maddux would return as pitching coach last season."

After strong all-around year, Turner now just needs to fine-tune - (MASN)
"Almost exclusively a leadoff hitter or No. 2 batter in his first two seasons in the majors, [Trea] Turner opened 2018 in an unfamiliar spot: batting sixth for the Nationals."

2018 Arizona Fall League Preview - (MLB.com)
"Baseball's finishing school opens again on Tuesday, when the Arizona Fall League will begin its 27th season."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Danny Gallagher: sports journalism hasn’t changed - (The Concordian)
”While the Expos still called Olympic Stadium home, Danny Gallagher was one of the people behind the team’s media coverage as a beat writer for the Montreal Daily News.”

Bryce Harper to the Cubs? His personal connections to Chicago could make it happen - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Bovada updated their odds on Harper’s ultimate landing spot after the regular season ended, and they’ve got the Nationals as the fifth-most likely team for him to (re)join."

How & why Fresno Grizzlies, Washington Nationals hooked up - (The Fresno Bee)
"Now the Astros are gone as well, and this time the prevailing feeling is more one of confusion. The Washington Nationals? How in the world did that happen?"

Despite Defeat, Braves Believe Experience Is Best Teacher - Forbes.com
"Bryce Harper, who has spent his entire career with the arch-rival Washington Nationals, could be in play..."

New Players Are Stepping Up To Bat In D.C.'s Sports Media Scene - (DCist)
"It wasn’t long ago that D.C. sports were an overall sad affair. It was a volatile and generally disappointing time about a decade ago..."

NL EAST UPDATES:

Sixto Sanchez to miss Arizona Fall League - (MLB.com)
"The Phillies hoped Sixto Sanchez, their top prospect by MLB Pipeline, could make up for lost time in the Arizona Fall League..."

La Russa makes case on guy he thinks should be next Mets GM - (NY Post)
"As the Mets consider their possibilities for general manager and head of baseball operations, Gary LaRocque’s advocates include a Hall of Fame manager."

Marlins fans ask about Victor Victor Mesa - (MLB.com)
"From a development standpoint, the biggest takeaway from the Major League roster was that 24 rookies got a chance to play at some point."

Anibal Sanchez will continue playing, hopes to remain with Braves - (AJC.com)
"Anibal Sanchez experienced a revival with the Braves that he hopes will continue into 2019."