So, 2018 huh? Yeah. It was a year alright. Moving on. What? We can’t just put it behind us and move on? Not until Bryce Harper signs elsewhere you say? It appears, from the links below, and some of the headlines they generated, that simply mentioning that the door is not closed on Harper returning to D.C. is enough to get people writing articles citing your article as proof that Harp and the Nationals aren’t splitsville just yet. Don’t @ me. It’s not a topic we’d ever write about just to annoy people, it’s just that until Harper signs on with a new team, the stories will continue... Happy New Year. Drink responsibly.
The Nationals’ 2018 plan had problems in reality - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Rest Ryan Zimmerman in spring training so he can be healthy? Good idea. Didn’t work. Bring back veteran setup relievers? Reasonable idea. Didn’t work. Play a recuperating Adam Eaton heavily at the start of the season? Not a great idea. Didn’t work."
Odd offerings in sports in 2018: weird science, camels, soup - (Washington Times)
"The Washington Nationals brought three camels to spring training, a proclamation that this year they would finally get over the playoff hump. Well, the hump was big and there were no playoffs for the Nationals, just the lasting scent of camel’s breath."
Top stories of 2018: Harper's up-and-down contract year - (MASN)
"It had been looming since ... well, to be honest, since the day the Nationals drafted Bryce Harper and everybody started wondering what would happen once he became a free agent."
Is Difo better as a regular or in a utility role? - (MASN)
"Through this complicated dance, I’ve wavered on whether second base is best turned over to someone who has played the position on a regular basis in recent seasons or whether the Difo/Kendrick duo can suffice."
Tourism official: Hagerstown needs more sports tourism facilities - (heraldmailmedia.com)
"Spedden said a new stadium could help draw people to the area and instill confidence for a potential new owner for the Washington Nationals' Class-A affiliate."
Best MLB stories of 2018 - (MLB.com)
"His fans were ready. His dad was on the mound. He'd swallowed several American flags prior to taking the field..."
New Year's Prospect Wishes For All 30 MLB Teams - Prospects1500
"I would love the Nationals to be ’super’ aggressive with Luis Garcia and challenge him by starting him in AA next year."
Sunday Notes: Analytics Have Changed, Leadership Hasn’t Changed - (Fangraphs)
"One of the two players who stood out to Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez is barely removed from eating at the kids’ table. While Anthony Rendon is 28, Juan Soto played his entire rookie season as a teenager."
MLB rumors: Nationals not ruling out Bryce Harper reunion; Blue Jays acquire Clayton Richard from Padres - (CBSSports.com)
"Also working against a Harper reunion is that Washington is in pretty good shape in the outfield."
MLB free agency: Examining A's best remaining options at relief pitcher - (Yahoo!Sports)
"Oakland has expressed interest in bringing [Shawn] Kelley back, and the feeling appears to be mutual. The 34-year-old right-hander was terrific last season after coming over from the Washington Nationals, posting a 2.16 ERA and 0.78 WHIP in 16 2/3 innings."
Mets great Dwight Gooden dishes on GM Brodie Van Wagenen - (SNY)
"Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen has won over at least one of the franchise's legends."
The Top 10: Best Kern County college, pro sports moments in 2018 - (bakersfield.com)
"Ridgeview and Bakersfield College graduate Justin Miller was a stalwart in the bullpen for the Washington Nationals with a 7-1 record, a 3.61 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 52 1/3 innings."
NL EAST UPDATES:
Phillies' biggest needs before Spring Training - (MLB.com)
"The Phillies will enter 2019 a better team than the one that finished '18. But how much better are they -- and how much better should they be?"
Mets still have work to do in early 2019 - (MLB.com)
"With Spring Training still a month and a half into the future, here's a look at the Mets' to-do list between now and the report date for pitchers and catchers..."
Marlins have 5 items on offseason to-do list - (MLB.com)
"The Marlins also have maintained that they have no urgency to deal Realmuto. He has two more seasons left being arbitration-eligible, and he isn't a free agent until 2021."
What's on the Braves' radar headed into 2019 - (MLB.com)
"As the Mets and Nationals have upgraded their pitching staffs, Braves executives have questioned whether it's more important to react by prioritizing a valuable arm or another big bat."