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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals’ remaining needs for 2019 + more...

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while we wait for that second baseman/reliever/fifth starter to sign...

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: DEC 29 Howard at Georgetown Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Bryce Harper and Kris Bryant (and their significant others) spent New Year’s Eve together, which those who want to see it as a sign of something are seeing as a sign of something, but there are also those out there who are reiterating that the Nationals aren’t quite out of this thing yet (more open door talk). There is also some second base chatter out there. It’s link time, get to it...

NATS BEAT:

The 9 most pressing questions for the Nationals – (The Athletic - Subscription Required)
"While [Mike] Rizzo said earlier in the winter he was OK with a Howie Kendrick-Wilmer Difo tandem, he admitted in Las Vegas that the club was looking for upgrades."

More changeups could help keep Glover healthy - (MASN)
"The Nationals couldn’t end the season on a run that netted a playoff spot, but right-hander Koda Glover was able to finish the season healthy for the first time in two campaigns."

Max Scherzer has an idea on how to speed up baseball - (NBC Sports Washington)
"An easy way to jolt conversation with Max Scherzer is to ask if he has ideas. About anything."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Why the baseball world is waiting on Manny and Bryce - (ESPN)
"Harper has met multiple times with representatives of the Washington Nationals, according to a club source, and the possibility of a return to the place he spent the first seven years of his career persists..."

Bryce Harper rang in the new year by celebrating with Cubs star Kris Bryant - (CBSSports.com)
"Obviously, matters such as these -- involving hundreds of millions of dollars and possibly the bulk of Harper's career -- probably won't be determined by whether he's got an old buddy on the team, but presumably it can't hurt."

Bryce Harper Spends New Year's Eve with Kris Bryant Amid Cubs Rumors (Bleacher Report)
Bryant and Harper were together on New Year's. In other news, Harper went to the Hollywood sign in eighth grade and saw the Liberty Bell once.

New Year's resolutions for every MLB team (MLB.com)
The Nationals are about to lose a big star (or maybe they aren't, but who knows?) — so they should emulate the Seattle Mariners of 2001.

Baseball Hall of Fame 2019: After 140 counted ballots - ( NJ.com)
"Rick Ankiel, LHP/OF - 2019 Hall of Fame candidacy: Ankiel is on the ballot for the first time and has received no votes (0 of 140)."

Satan, storms and Jayson Werth: 2018's most-read stories
"2. Jayson Werth on dropping his agent and MLB’s ‘super nerd’ problem: Former Washington Nationals staple and Chatham Glenwood High School graduate Jayson Werth had a lot to say in a wide-ranging interview after leaving major league baseball."

How NL Teams Have Addressed Their Weakest Positions Of 2018 - (MLB Trade Rumors)
"While the newly-acquired Yan Gomes and Kurt Suzuki should be a big help behind the plate, the Nats also haven’t been lax in observing the second base market."

NL EAST UPDATES:

Live free agency updates: It's 2019 ... and Manny Machado is now on the clock - (PhillyVoice)
"The prize free agent had made it known that his decision wouldn't come until the new year, and the prevailing belief among baseball experts is that [Manny Machado] will sign before fellow free agent Bryce Harper, who has also been linked to the Phillies this winter."

Brodie Van Wagenen needs to finish what he started for Mets - (New York Post)
"The Mets’ December to remember served as a solid start to this offseason, but now what about January?"

A Lewis Brinson breakout and more bold predictions for the 2019 Marlins - (Fish Stripes)
"I tried this Marlins bold predictions exercise in 2018. It went so catastrophically bad that I won’t even provide the link to it."

Braves Wonder Whether 2019 Will Bring Good News Or Bad News - (Forbes)
"The Atlanta Braves, who once won a record 14 division crowns in a row, will have a tall task starting a new streak – even with the first one already in the books."