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Wire Taps: Ownership’s struggles; Carter Kieboom to AFL; Who will Nationals sign?

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before a long day of baseball starts with an ALDS matchup at 2:05 PM EDT in Houston.

MLB: Spring Training-Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

If you haven’t watched one of Juan Soto’s Instagram Live streams, we highly recommend it — it’s a cool way to interact with baseball’s coolest player.

Anyway, here’s the news:

What’s to blame for the Nationals’ lost season? Part IV: Ownership (WaP)
The Nationals' ownership, for the first time in their decade-or-so of control, has been more public — but they still refuse to comment on the news beyond personal statements, which has become a sore point this season. Moreover, their decision to throw Bud Black aside so Dusty Baker could mentor a successor — which didn't happen — left the team in an awkward spot, which led to Davey Martinez, which led to more troubles. And that's not even to mention the awkward timing of the sell-offs in August, which didn't even get the team under the tax line or a decent return.

What’s to blame for the Nationals’ lost season? Part V: The players - (WaPost)
"No one can win every year, but for stretches, some can. By all accounts, quantitative and qualitative, this team was talented enough to do that. And once again, it did not."

Looking at the Nationals' positions of need this winter (MASN)
The Nats need a new catcher beyond Matt Wieters, and they have a lot of options on the market such as Yasmani Grandal and Jonathan Lucroy. They also probably need someone to replace Daniel Murphy — there, too, they have a ton of options — think DJ LeMahieu and Brian Dozier. The bullpen is empty again, but Cody Allen, Zach Britton, Adam Ottavino, Andrew Miller, Craig Kimbrel, and David Robertson are all up for grabs.

Nationals FAQs for 2018-19 offseason (
Free agency starts five days after the end of the World Series, and then the signing period begins five days after that — so Bryce Harper, Matt Wieters, Greg Holland, and Jeremy Hellickson could leave by then. As for options, Sean Doolittle's $6 million team option feels like a given. (Also, the Winter Meetings are in Vegas this year, because of course they are.)

Team top prospects in 2018 Arizona Fall League (
The Nats will send Carter Kieboom, who is the #39 prospect in MLB, to Arizona this fall.

Mike Rizzo, Davey Martinez vow to improve "attention to detail" next year - (MASN)
"What prevented the Nats from winning more games, Rizzo believes, was poor execution of 'the little things' that make all the difference in a close contest."

Prospect Spotlight – Telmito Agustin - (NatsGM)
"Signed as an international free agent in October 2013 for $50,000, Agustin was born in Panama before moving to the Dominican Republic during his youth."