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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals’ next move after Anthony Rendon signs with Angels; Josh Donaldson? Kris Bryant? Other?

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news now that the 2019-20 Winter Meetings are in the rearview mirror...

real estate neighborhood housing where we live Photo by Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Where do Mike Rizzo and Co. in the Nationals’ front office turn now? A 4-year deal for free agent third baseman Josh Donaldson? A trade for Kris Bryant or Kyle Seager or some other controllable third baseman no one is thinking of right now but the Nationals have already scouted extensively?

The 2019-20 Winter Meetings are over, but the Hot Stove is still warm. What’s next for the Nats?

Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

Post-Rendon Coverage:

MLB Rumors: Third basemen the Nationals are reportedly linked to if they don't sign Josh Donaldson - (NBC Sports Washington)
"According to [Ken] Rosenthal and Jon Heyman, Washington is looking at Starlin Castro and Maikel Franco."

Nationals could be a landing spot for Kyle Seager if Mariners make him available - (NBC Sports Washington)
"But another option emerged Thursday night when The Athletic reported that the 'possibility is increasing' of the Seattle Mariners trading Kyle Seager."

How will Rendon be remembered in D.C.? - (MASN)
"When Anthony Rendon departed Wednesday night, fans seemed to direct their ire not at the player but at the Nationals themselves..."

The best moments of Anthony Rendon’s Nationals career - (WaPost)
"Anthony Rendon arrived in Washington not with a bang but with a yawn."

The Nationals are pursuing Josh Donaldson. Their offseason will be judged on how that goes - (WaPost)
"If they land Donaldson, the towering investment in Stephen Strasburg looks a lot smarter. If they don’t, the argument that they should have prioritized Anthony Rendon could get a bit louder."

Anthony Rendon and the Nats made sensible decisions. Why does it feel so lousy? - (WaPost)
"Anthony Rendon always played like an angel in D.C. Now he’ll be an Angel in Anaheim, 2,662 miles away."

Anthony Rendon could have been prevented by Nationals from leaving for Angels - (Washington Times)
"They reportedly tried at various points to make a deal with Rendon. But as they do, they never made the commitment that would have closed the deal..."

Anthony Rendon out of the picture, making Nationals' to-do list clearer - (Washington Times)
"The Nationals entered the winter with not one, but two marquee free agents hitting the market, and both major question marks were answered this week."

Nationals lose Sharp to Fish in Rule 5:

Nats lose pitching prospect Sharp to Marlins in Rule 5 draft - (MASN)
"The Nationals lost right-hander Sterling Sharp to the Marlins in this morning’s Rule 5 draft, ending a wildly eventful Winter Meetings with the departure of a promising-but-raw pitching prospect."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Rule 5 - Sterling Sharp to MIA:

Marlins select Nationals' pitcher Sterling Sharp in MLB Rule 5 Draft - (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
“'He has an incredible sinker,' Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. 'When you look at the metrics and his ability to put the ball on the ground, it’s one of the top ground-ball rates in all of baseball.'"

Miami Marlins take Sterling Sharp in MLB’s Rule 5 Draft -(Miami Herald)
“'We got a lot of good feedback from him,' Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. 'This is not a high-velo guy. This is a different skill set and tool package than other guys in our pen.'"

Rumorville:

How Strasburg's $245 Million Deal Is Structured to Pay Far Less - (Bloomberg)
"A whopping $80 million, equal to one-third of the contract’s total value, won’t be paid until 2027. And that IOU, which will be paid in three annual installments after the actual contract ends, only accrues interest at a paltry rate of 1% a year."

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred Says Baltimore Is Still A ‘Viable’ Baseball Market- (Forbes)
"There [have] been questions raised about the future of the Orioles because of sagging attendance and ongoing dispute with the Washington Nationals over revenue from their shared television network."

MLB trade market to heat up after wild winter meetings for free agents - (USA TODAY)
"There are four teams in the Donaldson sweepstakes – the Washington Nationals, Atlanta Braves, Texas Rangers and Dodgers – and the three losers will still need a third baseman."

Jon Daniels On Missing Out On Anthony Rendon: "It Sucks" - (105.3 The Fan)
"'I'm not going to sugarcoat it. It sucks,' [Jon] Daniels told reporters Thursday on the final day of the winter meetings in Southern California."

Ranking Josh Donaldson's potential landing spots now that he's the best available third baseman on the market - (CBSSports.com)
"The league had Rendon leaving D.C. even before Mike Rizzo locked up Stephen Strasburg, so the Nationals inking Donaldson has seemed like a distinct possibility for a while."

Five MLB teams to spend more on top two players than some clubs pay entire roster - (CNBC)
"The eye-popping contracts means the Yankees and Nationals could spend more on their top two players next season than some teams pay for their entire roster."

The Biggest Winner of the Winter Meetings? Scott Boras - (The New York Times)
"[Scott] Boras is well-known — some would say notorious — for his patience, often waiting until January or February to find the right market conditions for his clients."