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Wire Taps: More Bryce Harper chatter; Racing Presidents tryouts + more Nationals news...

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Catch up on the last weekend in Washington Nationals news while you settle back into work following the holidays...

MLB: All Star Game Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

It was a slow news weekend, so there weren’t too many links to pick from (except from our friends at MASN, who kept plugging away. Way to go!).

There is still plenty of Bryce Harper chatter from the weekend, so those of you who are in the “NO MORE HARPER!” camp might want to take the morning off from the links, though there is some interesting non-Harper stuff below...

Enter at your own risk, Harper News H8RS:

NATS NEWS:

Looking at Nationals lineups with and without Harper - (MASN)
"It’s no hyperbole to suggest this lineup would look dramatically different without Harper in it than with him, and not simply because of his large presence in the heart of it all."

Nats top prospects: No. 4 - RHP Mason Denaburg - (MASN)
"The excitement the Nationals have for their new high school top draft pick, right-hander Mason Denaburg, is equaled in Baseball America’s Nats top 10 rankings."

Can the Nats count on a full recovery from Kendrick? - (MASN)
"No one can say for sure at this point, but the Nats have to be prepared for the possibility [Howie] Kendrick is significantly diminished or perhaps can’t even play for part of the season."

Nationals hold 2019 Racing Presidents tryouts - (FOX5)
"While baseball season is still months away, dozens of people came, got into the spirit, and put on some big heads to take their shot at becoming this year's racing presidents."

Photos: Nats’ Racing Presidents audition brings out fierce competition - (WTOP)
"There’s already chatter about who may run for U.S. president in 2020, but for fans of the Washington Nationals, a more important presidential contest broke out on Sunday afternoon."

NATIONAL(S) NEWS:

Rosenthal: Free-agency possibilities abound for Kimbrel; Yankees tighten their spending; Keuchel’s shrewd move – (The Athletic)
"The Athletics made a strong bid for free-agent right-hander Aníbal Sánchez, extending him a three-year offer before he accepted a two-year, $19 million deal with a club option from the Nationals."

Baseball free agent market, trades too slow to develop - (Boston Globe)
"Jim Bowden reported the Nationals’ offer to Bryce Harper was more than the 10-year, $300 million reported, and that it was only a first offer."

Baseball great Dusty Baker wants to harness the power of the sun - (The Spokesman-Review)
"Baker Energy Team’s products aren’t limited to solar. Since he left the Nationals in 2017, he’s expanded its offerings, which now include microgrids, battery and electric-vehicle charging stations and energy-management systems."

Stephen Strasburg 2019 Outlook: Healthy Year Means Success - (Rotoballer)
"At some point Strasburg may have to change his approach on the bump to preserve his arm for the future, as he will be turning 31 years old in July."

Even If Cubs Land Bryce Harper, They Have Work to Do to Get Back to 2016 Success (Cubs Insider)
The Cubs probably shouldn't want Bryce Harper. But say they got him, anyway — would that even qualify them to make another deep run into October? Is their pitching really there, their defense really up to snuff, their bullpen able to contend with world-series winners? And for what it's worth, Harper isn't bringing quite the postseason pedigree.

Bryce Harper To Dodgers Possible If Kikuchi Contract Model Used, Sherman Says - (International Business Times)
"The Washington franchise for whom Harper played from 2012 to 2018 are now said to be the favorites to land the right-fielder with the Phillies currently in second spot."

NL EAST UPDATES:

Live free agency updates: Phillies may have the highest offer to Machado, plus the latest MLB trade rumors - (PhillyVoice)
"If the Phillies want to get stupid with their money, now is definitely the time."

Cleveland Indians Trade For Kevin Plawecki, New York Mets Add Starting Option - (Baseball America)
"Just two hours after swinging a five-player trade, the Mets sent backup catcher Kevin Plawecki to the Indians for righthander Walker Lockett and infielder Sam Haggerty."

Don Mattingly discusses J.T. Realmuto's future - (MLB.com)
"Marlins manager Don Mattingly hasn't ruled out the possibility of having J.T. Realmuto on his squad this season."

2019 Atlanta Braves Top Prospects Podcast - (Baseball America)
"Kyle Glaser and J.J. Cooper take stock of the Braves farm system, which is flush with pitching and upper-level talent."