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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals’ 2019 bullpen; Hall of Fame class takes + more...

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while we wait for the day that the Hall of Fame vote really matters to D.C. baseball fans again...

Chicago Cubs v Washington Nationals - Game Two Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

One day in the future, there will be Washington Nationals eligible for election to the Hall of Fame. Till then, we’re happy to just enjoy the celebrations when players we like get in and we’ll happily avoid all the third rail discussions about which players should/shouldn’t be in the Hall for whatever reason is stirring up internet outrage...

So, will Bryce Harper go into the HOF with a Nationals cap on? Don’t @ me. Just read your links...


Nationals may not make another bullpen move before spring training - (WaPost)
"... if [GM Mike] Rizzo has a guiding principle, part of his approach that threads through all of these winters, it’s his belief that winning starts on the mound and many players are needed to carry out that vision."

Wednesday morning Q&A - (MASN)
"Sigh, it’s been a long offseason, to say the least. But the good news is that something has to happen soon, right? Harper is going to be playing for somebody in 2019."

My 2019 Hall of Fame ballot (MASN)
Mark Zuckerman helped Roy Halladay, as he did Mariano Rivera (obviously, given that he didn't lose a vote) and Edgar Martinez. But he also voted for Todd Helton, Curt Schilling and Fred McGriff while leaving Mike Mussina off his ballot.


MLB's Top 10 shortstop prospects for 2019 (
The Nationals actually have *two* shortstops on this list, with Carter Kieboom and Luis Garcia both cracking the list (Garcia has one of the best arms), meaning the team is going to have a middle infield logjam or a potential replacement for Anthony Rendon one way or another.

Bryce Harper? Manny Machado? Rhys Hoskins has 'gut feeling that we’ll get one of them' (NBCS Philly)
Rhys Hoskins doesn't know which one they're getting, nor does he have any insider information. He just feels like either Harper or Machado will join him in the city of Brotherly Love, with the city being his best pitch to either player.

Angelo Cataldi: Phillies front office must do right thing — pick Bryce Harper over Manny Machado (PhillyVoice)
"Of course, none of this came as a surprise to anyone who understands Philadelphia, a city with a passion for sports, and for success, like no other major city in America. That MacPhail and Klentak needed to see Harper up close to understand this perfect fit is alarming, given that they are both in their fourth year running the Phillies."

Bryce Harper to the Cubs is so 2018, so let's turn our attention to Mike Trout (NBC Sports Chicago)
Harper, it seems, will not be heading to the Windy City. Bearing the question: will the Cubs, with a considerable amount of money already on the payroll, be the big-name suitors for Mike Trout?

Each MLB team's projected Opening Day rotation (
The three-headed monster in its third (fourth?) iteration will return, but the main question will surround who slots in behind Anibal Sánchez.

Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz weighs in on Bryce Harper - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Hear from John Smoltz regarding the ongoing Bryce Harper offseason decision."


Hittin’ Season #251: Interview with Phillies manager Gabe Kapler - (The Good Phight)
"On Episode 251, host John Stolnis has an exclusive interview with Phils manager Gabe Kapler."

Asdrubal Cabrera signs one-year, $3.5 million deal with Rangers - (NY Post)
"Asdrubal Cabrera’s preference was to return to Queens. Instead, the veteran infielder will have to settle for Texas."

Marlins pitching depth as good as it’s been since 2003 World Series - (Fish Stripes)
"Right now, a year-and-a-half after the first of their veterans-and-prospects swaps, the Marlins organization currently has more pitching talent and depth than in any year going back to 2003."

Braves re-sign OF Nick Markakis - (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
"The Braves finally addressed their outfield need - with the same person who manned the position the past four seasons."