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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals’ Qualifying Offers rejected by Anthony Rendon, Stephen Strasburg; Rendon finishes 3rd in NL MVP race + more...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while we all wait to see what Mike Rizzo does to build Washington’s new roster for 2020...

MLB: World Series-Championship Parade Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Rendon, now a free agent, received one first place vote (and no it wasn’t from a D.C.-based writer) in the National League MVP voting but ended up finishing third, on the day he rejected the Washington Nationals’ qualifying offer for the 2020 season. Where he ends up signing this winter is anybody’s guess, but if he doesn’t return to the Nationals in the coming months, he’ll be remembered as one of the best pure hitters to ever wear the curly-W. Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

Nationals must fight World Series nostalgia while building 2020 roster - (WaPost)
“'I don’t think you can create a roster with nostalgia,' [GM Mike] Rizzo said at the annual general managers’ meetings in Scottsdale this week. 'You’ve got to create a roster that will help us win in 2020.'"

Rendon, Stras reject Nats' qualifying offers - (MLB.com)
"Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg rejected their qualifying offers from the Nationals on Thursday, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan. Both decisions were expected for two of the top stars available in free agency."

Nats ensure draft pick compensation if Strasburg, Rendon leave - (MASN)
"Today’s decisions don’t preclude Strasburg or Rendon from re-signing with the Nationals, and sources say there remains interest on both sides."

Sean Doolittle on baseball’s unwritten rules, including proper champagne-spraying etiquette - (WaPost)
"Doolittle remains a champion of fun and was in awe of Juan Soto's bat drop in Game 6 of the World Series."

You might’ve forgotten they played for the Nationals, but these players will receive World Series rings - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Fifty players appeared in a game for Washington this season and every single one will be receiving a championship ring once they’re distributed next spring."

Josh Donaldson is the Nationals' best option at 3B without Anthony Rendon - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Tim Shovers breaks down how Josh Donaldson would be the Nationals' next best option at third base if they lose Anthony Rendon in free agency."

Rendon 3rd in NL MVP Voting:

Rendon places third in NL MVP voting - (MLB.com)
"Rendon put himself in the race for the National League Most Valuable Player Award with his breakout 2019 season, a career year that elevated him from perhaps baseball’s most underrated player to full-on superstar."

Rendon finishes a distant third in NL MVP vote - (MASN)
"It’s the best MVP ranking of Rendon’s career and the third-best finish by any player in Nationals history. Bryce Harper was the unanimous winner in 2015; Daniel Murphy placed second in 2016."

Anthony Rendon finishes 3rd in NL MVP voting - (WTOP)
"The 29-year-old Rendon set career marks in batting (.319), on-base percentage (.412), slugging percentage (.598) home runs (34) and runs batted in (126) this season, leading the NL in RBI and doubles (44)."

LOCAL BEAT:

Nationals opened for business at general managers meetings 15 years ago - (Washington Times)
"It’s a place where GMs gather, tell stories about each other, lay the groundwork for deals and take care of other business. It’s where the Washington Nationals officially began operations 15 years ago."

Houston restaurateur pays up on World Series bet after Washington Nationals win - (FOX 5 DC)
"On Thursday, Astros super fan Marcus Davis – who founded The Breakfast Klub restaurant in Houston – paid up on a World Series bet he made with Kamal Ben Ali, one of the family members who runs Ben’s Chili Bowl in DC."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

MLB’s Top 15 Teams: Champion Nationals Don’t Even Crack Top 5 In True-Talent Rankings - (Forbes)
"The Astros take first place in the regular-season team true-talent rankings, but the Nationals check in as a division champ, not a wild card."

Here's the best athlete in all 30 farm systems - (MLB.com)
"Nationals: Sterling Sharp, RHP (No. 13) - A two-sport standout in high school who was recruited to play college basketball, Sharp's tremendous athleticism is obvious in watching him on the mound."