The stove should get cooking any day now. Preferably with some retaliatory punches, which seem to be the theme of the day.
Here’s what’s new in Washington:
The NL East just became an arms race. The Nationals better bust out the big guns. (WaPo)
Josh Donaldson has been as good as or better than Bryce Harper in every way when healthy. The Phillies will go for broke in the free agent market. It's either compete right now with Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, or jumpstart a reboot. Regular signings like Kurt Suzuki no longer cut it if they choose the former option — the Nationals need to go with their A-listers if they want to make it back to October. Think Patrick Corbin, Dallas Keuchel, Craig Kimbrel, David Robertson, and others — free agents that mean the Nationals can't sit around and wait for Bryce Harper.
Brittany Ghiroli: Ignoring warnings and taking risks leads to D.C. (The Athletic)
The Athletic finally, finally, finally has a Nationals beat writer. Ghiroli covered the Orioles for MLB.com for a few years, and will now write about the Nationals and help The Athletic produce video.
Top prospects playing in winter leagues (MLB.com)
Victor Robles is in the D.R., but he's only hitting .154, so take from that what you will.
Bryce Harper makes so much sense for Yankees (MLB.com)
"But you have to understand something: If the Yankees think they can spend their way past the Boston Red Sox, they are going to do that... if the Yankees ever could find a trade partner for Giancarlo Stanton, I believe they would move him, even if they had to eat some of original contract with the Marlins... signing Harper makes as much sense as signing Reggie Jackson."
Suzuki signing was smart - if Nats sign another catcher, too (MASN)
Suzuki isn't J.T. Realmuto or Wilson Ramos, but he could – keyword, could – be good for some decent offensive production. But the Nationals need to be ready for a platoon, or for an injury, or for a more defensive-minded catcher.
News on four Nationals pitchers from Arizona Fall League (MASN)
“I think they are all potentially useful relievers. I don’t think any of them is a super key component of a pitching staff, but they could all be useful.”
Bumgarner isn't walking through that door (Nationals Baseball — Sweetspot)
The Giants are selling — but only Will Smith seems like a feasible option.
The Nationals' next tough call: Whether to tender a contract to Sammy Solis (WaPo)
"But less than a million dollars — or less than a half million more than the major league minimum — might not be too much to stick with Solis. In fact, a person familiar with the Nationals' thinking on the matter suggested that, as of earlier this month, they were leaning toward tendering a contract to the lefty."