Any day now we’ll know who is going to be playing third (and second) for the Washington Nationals in 2020. For now, you have to settle for these links, with some year-endy stuff in the last 24 hours and a travel guide take on the Walter Johnson statue that is kept outside the Home Plate Gate in Nationals Park. Go read your links...
Will new reliever rule keep Nats from adding another lefty? - (MASN)
"It feels like the Nationals have perpetually been searching for a left-handed reliever who can consistently get left-handed hitters out. Because they have."
Gio Gonzalez joins White Sox; many former Nats now free agents - (MASN)
"Last week, former Nationals starter Tanner Roark got a deal with the Toronto Blue Jays for two years, worth $24 million."
How costs for Juan Soto and Victor Robles are influencing the Nationals’ current, and future, plans - (NBC Sports Washington)
"When asked last April if he noticed the Acuña deal, Soto said yes. He also said he was not worried about how it could influence his future, deferring to his agent, Scott Boras."
Seven Turning Points from the Year in Sports - (The New Yorker)
"The World Series favorites, the Astros, had the odds on their side; the Nationals talked about believing in themselves."
How MLB’s Hot Stove Got Hot Again - (FiveThirtyEight)
"But as Boras spoke to reporters on Dec. 9 about the great a match made by Strasburg and the Nationals, he was asked why the deal took some time to come together."
Twins like Nats are said to have been very aggressive in bid to land star 3B Josh Donaldson. Big question is whether incumbent Braves will match 4 years. Belief is their intention was to stop at 3, but things can change in free agency. Dodgers, Rangers seen unlikely to go 4.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 20, 2019
Carter Kieboom, Tim Cate form next wave for Nats - (MiLB.com)
"'Over the years, we've traded a number of players away to get what we needed at the Major League level,' said Mark Scialabba, the Nationals' assistant general manager focused on player development."
Walter Johnson Statue – Washington, D.C. - (Atlas Obscura)
"Discover Walter Johnson Statue in Washington, D.C.: This statue of one of baseball’s greatest pitchers looks like something out of a sci-fi horror movie."
NL EAST UPDATES:
Phillies agree to minor-league contracts with local products Phil Gosselin and Matt Szczur, two others - (Philadelphia Inquirer)
"With an additional spot to fill on the bench next season, the Phillies will audition four players with big-league experience, two of whom have local ties."
It’s hard to take Yoenis Cespedes’ comeback seriously - (New York Daily News)
"The question marks surrounding Yoenis Cespedes’ potential return to a Major League dugout will take at least a few months to be answered. But the oft-injured slugger made one thing clear: he’s motivated to gain back some trust."
Marlins to open Brew Hall at Marlins Park - (MLB.com)
"Marlins Park's makeover for the 2020 season will receive an additional enhancement."
These are the top 10 Braves of the 2010s- (MLB.com)
"Here is a look at where Heyward, Acuña and others rank among the top 10 Braves of the past decade."