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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals’ owner Mark Lerner says Nats “really can only afford one”: Stephen Strasburg or Anthony Rendon; Scott Boras says, “... special cherry trees create revenue bloom.”

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news and read what Mark Lerner had to say about Stephen Strasburg & Anthony Rendon...

MLB-Game three of the NLCS between the Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals Photo by Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images

Well, congrats, Mark Lerner. You did it again. A year after he created some controversy by saying he believed Bryce Harper (who was still a free agent at that point) would not come back, the Nationals’ Managing Principal Owner told NBC Sports Washington’s Donald Dell that when it comes to Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon, the team, “really can only afford to have one of those two guys.”

No one is quite buying that, it appears, least of all Scott Boras, the super-agent for both of the free agents, who told The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal today that he thinks after winning it all this year, “World Series momentum has blossomed, millions in DC.”

“Everyone in DC knows special cherry trees create revenue bloom,” Boras added. Oh, this will be a fun couple weeks/months waiting for this situation to resolve itself. Meanwhile, a few opinion-havers have opinions... Go read your links:

NATS BEAT:

BIG STORY:

Nationals owner Mark Lerner says team can’t afford Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon - (NBC Sports Washington)
"The prime question as soon as Stephen Strasburg opted out of his contract was this: Could the Nationals afford to bring back Strasburg and Anthony Rendon? According to managing principal owner Mark Lerner, the answer is no."

vs

Scott Boras responds to Mark Lerner, saying Nationals are experiencing ‘revenue festival’ – (The Athletic)
”Scott Boras, the representative for free-agent third baseman Anthony Rendon and right-hander Stephen Strasburg, had a pointed response to Nationals owner Mark Lerner saying he could not afford to re-sign both players.”

Opinion-y opinions:

Mark Lerner says the Nationals can’t afford both Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon - (WaPost)
"Both Strasburg and Rendon will require huge contracts, and the Nationals already have a substantial amount of money committed to a handful of players."

Scott Boras holds all the cards representing Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg - (NBC Sports Washington)
"The Yankees and Nationals are among the favorites to sign the top pitchers on the free-agent market, both of whom are represented by agent Scott Boras."

Mark Lerner, Nationals owner, says team can only afford either Stephen Strasburg or Anthony Rendon - (Washington Times)
"Washington Nationals fans will have to say a bittersweet 'goodbye' to at least one of the key players from their first World Series championship."

How much can the Nats actually afford to spend this winter? - (MASN)
"Conventional wisdom has stated they’re more likely to retain Strasburg and less likely to keep Rendon, who has no shortage of suitors following a brilliant regular season and postseason."

Other stuff:

Task force created to support minor league teams - (MASN)
"U.S. Reps. Lori Trahan (D-Mass.), David McKinley (R-W.Va.), Max Rose (D-N.Y.), and Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) this week announced the formation of the Save Minor League Baseball Task Force."

Nats ready to get to work at Winter Meetings - (MLB.com)
"Before the baseball world turns its attentions to the Winter Meetings, here’s a refresher of where the Nats stand as they descend upon San Diego."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Nationals forced to choose between Stephen Strasburg, Anthony Rendon - (USA TODAY)
"At least one key member of the Washington Nationals' World Series championship team will not be returning in 2020."

Washington Nationals Say They Can’t Afford Both Strasburg And Rendon - (Forbes)
"Surely, the Nationals could find a way to pay for both players—who are both represented by Scott Boras—but to say so would show too much of the ownership group’s hand."

MLB Winter Meetings: Burning questions as rumors fly around baseball - (USA TODAY)
"For the second consecutive year, the Winter Meetings will unfold in the hometown of a Washington Nationals legend seeking a nine-figure commitment and lifetime contract."

Source: Stephen Strasburg, Angels had face-to-face meeting – (Orange County Register)
"Although the Angels have been widely assumed be in the thick of the race to sign Gerrit Cole, they have also had a face-to-face meeting with Stephen Strasburg, according to a source."