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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals announce front office promotions; Nats sign Fernando Abad to minor league deal + more...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before GM Mike Rizzo makes the next big move of the winter...

2014 MLB Draft Photo by Taylor Baucom/MLB via Getty Images

The biggest news of the day on Wednesday? Washington’s Nationals officially announced the promotions of both Johnny DiPuglia (to Vice President, Assistant General Manager of International Operations from his role of Vice President of International Operations) and Mark Scialabba (from Director of Player Development — since 2013 — to Assistant General Manager of Player Development). While they don’t get as much press as others within the organization, both have played crucial roles in building up the minor league system and developing the prospects the Nationals have drafted and signed over the years, and they got hard-earned promotions after this year’s World Series win.

Also, Fernando Abad is back in the organization on a minor league deal. Not a bad addition.

Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

How the Nationals can solve their familiar fifth starter problem - (WaPost)
"The plan right now seems to a rerun of last season: Let Joe Ross, Erick Fedde and Austin Voth battle it out."

Scott Boras drives free agent frenzy as baseball's most famous agent - (Washington Times)
"Beloved by his high-profile clients, courted by powerful owners and a polarizing figure for fans, baseball’s most famous agent negotiated $814 million of contracts in little over three days last week."

Nats promote pair to assistant GM positions - (MLB.com)
"The Nationals on Wednesday announced the promotions of two key executives in their scouting and player development departments, elevating veteran farm director Mark Scialabba and Johnny DiPuglia to assistant general manager positions."

Nats announce promotions for DiPuglia and Scialabba - (MASN)
"[Johnny] DiPuglia was named the 2019 International Scout of the Year by the Scout of the Year Foundation. He has had a hand in the signing and development of Juan Soto, Victor Robles, Wander Suero, Wilmer Difo, Raudy Read and others."

Nats taking steps now to try to avoid World Series hangover - (MASN)
"Davey Martinez has experienced World Series hangover. Mike Rizzo has seen other clubs battle it after winning a title."

In the end, trust brings Stephen Strasburg ‘home’ to Nationals - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Max Scherzer doesn’t pitch many free agents. He talks to guys he knows. If the front office asked him to reach out, he would, it just doesn’t generally happen."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Washington DC sports fan celebrate banner year for teams - (Sports Illustrated)
"The idea is as old as the team: The Nationals don't have real fans. It started at the franchise's birth, in 2005, and, at least outside the Beltway, it has stuck."

The Three Batter Minimum Rule Barely Matters - (Fangraphs)
"If the Indians play an average opponent, the rule saves 0.42 pitching changes per game. If they play the Nationals, it’s just over half a change per game."

Nationals To Sign Fernando Abad - (MLB Trade Rumors)
"Abad, who turned 34 yesterday, appeared in 21 games with the Giants in 2019, totaling 13 innings of 4.15 ERA ball with nine strikeouts against three walks."

How Stephen Strasburg's contract affected the Yankees' negotiations with Gerrit Cole - (NBC Sports Washington)
"According to a story by Brian Fonseca of NJ.com, Boras had the Yankees hold their final offer to Cole for an extra day because of some new information that would factor into New York's decision making."

The 10 most successful franchises of the decade - (MLB.com)
5) Washington Nationals - 1 world championship, 5 postseason appearances: The Nationals had the fourth-most wins in baseball this decade, the third-most postseason appearances and some of the greatest players in the sport, with MVPs and Cy Young/Rookie of the Year winners everywhere."

These contenders still have big needs to fill - (MLB.com)
"The reigning World Series champions just lost their superstar third baseman and the best free-agent position player this winter, Anthony Rendon."

NL EAST UPDATES:

The Phillies Have Been Putting Together an Infield With a Bunch of Pieces - (FanGraphs)
"The Phillies have been rebuilding, depending on who you talk to, since anytime between 2012 and 2015. The real question now is, when did it end?"

If the Mets want to add bullpen depth, maybe they should take a look at ex-Yankee Chance Adams - (New York Daily News)
"Barring dramatic bounce-backs from numerous relievers, especially Edwin Diaz and Jeruys Familia, the Amazin’s will need significant contributions from pitchers that aren’t on the current 40-man roster to stand a chance at grabbing a playoff spot in 2020."

Kemp, Marlins agree on Minor League deal - (MLB.com)
"Veteran outfielder Matt Kemp was among the first group of non-roster invitees announced by the Marlins on Wednesday afternoon."

These could be next moves for NL East teams - (MLB.com)
"Braves: Find a big bat - It’s been no secret since the offseason started that this was the top priority for Atlanta."