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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals’ Minor League staff(s) announced; Bryce Harper meeting with Phillies + more...

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We know who’ll be guiding all the Nationals’ minor league affiliates, and we know Bryce Harper is set to meet with an NL East rival, by the end of this post, you’ll be a know-it-all too...

MLB: Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Bryce Harper is set to meet with the Philadelphia Phillies this weekend. That is all. Ok maybe not “all”. Will the Phillies make an actual offer? And why, after reporting that the Nationals’ latest offer was well over the $300M contract offered at the end of the season, does MLB Network Radio’s Jim Bowden (in the audio included below) say that if the Phillies don’t put an offer for over $350M on the table they are doing it wrong?

I guess anything over $300M and between $300M and $350M could be considered “well over $300M”? But when I read “well over” I guess I thought... ahh, whatever.

Anyway, go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

This week could offer an indication of where the Nationals stand with Anthony Rendon - (WaPost)
"The Nationals have repeatedly said they want to sign Rendon to a long-term extension. And Rendon, who is set to become a free agent following the 2019 season, has expressed interest in remaining in Washington."

Why Nationals GM doesn’t worry about phantom ‘mystery team’ contenders in Bryce Harper sweepstakes - (NBC Sports Washington)
"The caveat is coming this time of year. It enters at the end, after the prime suitors are listed, sprinkled in just in case. It’s the season of the 'mystery team'."

Anibal Sanchez could recreate 2018 success - (MLB.com)
"Sanchez had a resurgent 2018 season, but he will turn 35 in February and carries a spotty injury history. And before last year, he had simply not been very good for three seasons."

Nationals bullpen has potential but few sure things - (MASN)
"Rarely have the Nats entered a season with complete confidence in the relief corps they assembled. And even when it seems like that corps is worthy of confidence, often it’s not."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

How MLB Relocation And Expansion Would Play Out - (Forbes)
"A whole lot of time has passed since the Montreal Expos packed their bags and moved to Washington, D.C."

One question facing each MLB club - (MLB.com)
"Harper's free agency has been the biggest story in D.C. for years and it continues to loom over the organization as he remains unsigned."

Bryce Harper's Chances Of Finding A $400 Million Contract Are Thinning - (Forbes)
"All the talent, all the upside, all the possibility and promise – it’s all still on the market awaiting the proper offer."

Tanner Rainey Excited For His New Opportunity With The Washington Nationals - (Baseball America)
“'Obviously I’m hoping, number one, to be in Washington doing whatever I can to contribute to the team winning—whether it’s in middle relief or later,' Rainey said."

Nats allow season-ticket holders affected by the shutdown to postpone monthly payments - (WaPost)
"As the partial shutdown of the federal government dragged into its third week, the Washington Nationals offered a reprieve to season-ticket holders affected by the furlough."

Bryce Harper: Philadelphia Phillies, free agent to meet Saturday - (USA TODAY)
"Phillies general manager Matt Klentak met with Boras during the winter meetings in Las Vegas to discuss the player, but Harper and his wife, Kayla, did not attend."

NATS MINORS:

Is Victor Robles The Washington Nationals' Answer In CF For 2019? - (Baseball America)
"Kyle Glaser and Carlos Collazo discuss Juan Soto's meteoric rise, whether Victor Robles is a legitimate replacement option in center field for 2019, Luis Garcia and a D-II draft pick who the organization really likes."

Nats announce 2019 minor league staff - (MASN)
"Randy Knorr has been named the manager of the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies, highlighting the announcement of the Nationals’ 2019 minor league staff."

Matt LeCroy will be back to manage the Senators as Nationals announce Harrisburg’s 2019 coaching staff - (pennlive.com)
"Matt LeCroy will return for his fourth season as the manager of the Harrisburg Senators, the club and their parent organization, the Washington Nationals, announced on Monday."

Tripp Keister back as Potomac Nationals' manager - (insidenova.com)
"The Washington Nationals announced Monday that Tripp Keister will return as the Potomac Nationals’ manager for the 2019 season."

Wheeler to take over as manager of the Auburn Doubledays - (auburnpub.com)
"Ralph 'Rocket' Wheeler will take over as the manager of the Doubledays for the 2019 season."