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Wire Taps: Nationals exercise Sean Doolittle’s option; more Bryce Harper chatter...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news on a rare offseason day that actually has a lot of links...

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

There was some actual news yesterday (with the Nationals exercising the $6M club option for Sean Doolittle in 2019) and plenty of speculation (when Bryce Harper officially hit free agency), so catch up on the latest news on Washington, D.C.’s favorite baseball team and enjoy a link-filled day...

NATS BEAT:

Cardinals 'underrated' player in Nationals' Bryce Harper sweepstakes - (106.7 The Fan)
"Speculation has been raging for months, years even, about where Harper will land — Yankees, Cubs, Phillies, a return to the Nats?"

Offseason Position Discussion : Outfield - (Nationals Baseball)
"We'll go into all the choices but this is the presumed plan - which to me appears to be the Nats let Bryce walk and Eaton, Soto and Robles/MAT take over in the OF."

Bryce Harper officially becomes free agent - (MLB.com)
"The most anticipated free agency in recent baseball memory began at 9 a.m. ET on Monday, when Bryce Harper officially hit the open market."

Where will Bryce Harper play in 2019? A comprehensive guide to the leading contenders - (WaPost)
"Now, the worrying — and the speculating — can really begin. Technically, all 30 teams could negotiate with Harper and his agent, Scott Boras, for Harper’s services, as of Monday morning."

How will Holland's D.C. turnaround affect his market? - (MASN)
"Holland is a free agent once again, and the market for him surely will be different this time around."

Dominant when healthy, Doolittle is surest thing in Nats bullpen - (MASN)
"It was easily overlooked because of that foot injury that knocked him out for two months, but Doolittle had one of the most dominant seasons by a reliever in major league history."

Three D.C. writers started The Sports Capitol. NBC Sports Washington just hired them all - (WaPost)
"Earlier this year, three veteran Washington sportswriters launched a subscription-based website with no venture capital funding, no outside backing and no idea whether it would succeed."

Monday Quickie - Winter of our BryceContent - (Nationals Baseball)
"So now we move into free agency and the number one thing is getting the Bryce Harper decision made and out of the way."

Salt River AFL Week 3 wrap-up: C. Kieboom and Barrera hot at plate - (MASN)
"Kieboom played second base again and had his best offensive game of his AFL season, crushing his first homer, a two-run shot, and going 3-for-4."

How the Nationals look as MLB free agency gets underway - (WaPost)
"The value of this year’s qualifying offer has been set at $17.9 million, and Harper will almost certainly decline it. When he does, the Nationals can still sign him to a longer-term deal."

Max Scherzer may not win the Cy Young, but his family won Halloween - (WaPost)
"Nationals ace Max Scherzer and his wife, Erica, are good at Halloween, and they’re passing on their creativity and love of dressing up to their almost-1-year-old daughter, Brooklyn."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Potential Pitch Mix Improvements for Free Agents (Part 2) - (FanGraphs)
"With the Nationals, he threw his sinker 28% of the time and the 4-seamer 26% of the time. With the Brewers, it was 40% four-seamer and 19% sinker."

Analyzing each club's biggest offseason need - (MLB.com)
"If Harper leaves town, the Nationals should be able to pursue one or two other free agents, namely starting pitchers to insert behind Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Tanner Roark."

Bryce Harper should sign one-year deal - (MLB.com)
"So here's a question: Should Bryce Harper sign a one-year deal this offseason?"

Nationals' Noll has big game in Fall League - (MLB.com)
"After hitting 11 homers across two levels during the regular season, Noll smacked his first homer of the fall in the game's opening frame..."

NL EAST UPDATES:

Atlanta Braves Top 20 prospects for 2019 - (Minor League Ball)
"1. Ian Anderson, RHP, Grade A-: Age 20, first round pick from high school in New York in 2016, posted 2.49 ERA in 119 innings between High-A and Double-A..."

Manny Machado on the Marlins? It's not that long a longshot - (Sun Sentinel)
"Can you picture Manny Machado in a Miami Marlins uniform?"

By hiring Brodie Van Wagenen as GM, Mets have chance to finally be the innovators - (SNY)
"The critics have a point -- Brodie Van Wagenen's lack of experience running an MLB front office, which is zero, might be an issue now that the Mets officially named him GM on Monday night."

Harper, Machado lead Phillies' Hot Stove - (MLB.com)
"The Phillies' most important offseason in more than a decade officially started on Monday."