Yesterday was not a great day for the Nationals, as Bryce Harper rejected their qualifying offer and Juan Soto lost Rookie of the Year. One would have thought those would have ended after their season ended.
Here’s the news from Nats Park:
Regular Nats Beat/National Beat:
Explaining my National League ROY ballot (NBC Sports Washington)
Todd Dybas explains why he was one of two BBWAA voters who chose Soto over Acuña, which came down to stats — plenty of them advanced — of which Soto took nine of sixteen.
Nationals' phenom Juan Soto finishes as NL Rookie of the Year runner-up to Braves' Ronald Acuña Jr. (NBC Sports Washington)
We are officially calling for a recount.
Finding a starting catcher ranks high on the Nationals' list of priorities (WaPo)
Realmuto? Grandal? Ramos? Suzuki? Will the Nats spend or trade, or just roll with... Pedro Severino?
Nationals’ Juan Soto finishes runner-up for NL rookie of the year to Braves’ Ronald Acuna Jr. (WaPo)
"Acuña was set apart, most likely by his defense, base running and role in pushing the upstart Braves into the postseason. While rookie of the year is an individual award, a close race can take team success into account. Acuña also showed more promise as a left fielder, a spot Soto was still getting accustomed to in 2018, making him a better all-around option given how similarly the two players fared at the plate."
Soto finishes runner-up to Acuña for NL Rookie of Year (MASN)
In the end, it was Acuña 27, Soto 2, and Buehler 1 in a very BIASED vote.
Harper, as expected, declines Nationals' qualifying offer (MASN)
Bryce Harper is officially an unrestricted free agent as of yesterday.
NBC Sports Harper-Palooza:
Why Bryce Harper sacrificed home runs to save his season (NBC Sports Washington)
Bryce Harper, it seems, made a minute change in his swing after the All-Star Break that only diminished his homer total and improved everything else, moving his average to .300 after the All-Star break. In other words: he tried to break out of the "homer-strikeout" cycle.
Red Sox won't be part of Bryce Harper's free-agent journey (NBC Sports Boston)
The Sox have no need for, and no interest in, Bryce Harper. For several reasons.
Build an A's roster for less than Bryce Harper's projected 2019 salary (NBC Sports Bay Area)
Oakland's starting lineup last year cost a little less than $30 million — one of the more conservative estimates of what Harper will get paid.
White Sox would have to pitch Bryce Harper on the future (NBC Sports Chicago)
"While 2019 doesn’t figure to be a season in which the rebuilding White Sox are ready to contend for a championship, there’s no doubt that adding Harper would match up with their long-term plans. Harper figures to be under contract for several very expensive years, enough time to get the likes of Eloy Jimenez, Dylan Cease, Luis Robert and Nick Madrigal to the big leagues and start making the planned annual runs at a World Series title."
Phillies could use Bryce Harper's personality just as much as his bat (NBC Sports Philadelphia)
"This is the winter the Phillies have been waiting for. This is the type of guy they have been waiting for. Bryce Harper... They have the need for a superstar talent.... There is so much to like about Harper as a potential Phillie."
How Giants could/should use Bryce Harper contract money in free agency (NBC Sports Bay Area)
Sure, the Giants could sign Harper — or they could add a frontline starter, a utilityman, and another outfielder.