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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals bring Howie Kendrick back; Phillies interested in Anthony Rendon + more Nats links...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while we all wait for the Winter Meetings to get going...

Washington Nationals v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Howie Kendrick is back with the Nationals (pending a physical). Anthony Rendon is among the players the Phillies are interested in, “luxury tax be damned,” as Bob Nightengale put it. Stephen Strasburg met with the Yankees, who are convinced he’ll return to Washington on a new deal. The Winter Meetings officially start tomorrow.

What will Mike Rizzo and Co. do out in San Diego? We’ll find out this week. Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

Howie Kendrick Returns!:

Nationals finalizing deal to bring Kendrick back in 2020 - (MASN)
"The Nationals are finalizing a deal with Howie Kendrick to bring the postseason hero back for at least one more season."

Howie Kendrick’s 6 best moments of the 2019 season - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Kendrick was limited to just 121 games during the regular season but played an important role for the team in the playoffs with some hits that will forever live in Nationals lore."

Howie Kendrick agrees to one-year deal with Nationals - (WaPost)
"Kendrick will turn 37 in July. He has a lengthy injury history that includes tearing his right Achilles’ tendon with the Nationals in 2018, and he had a series of hamstring issues this past spring."

Kendrick staying with Nationals (source) - (MLB.com)
"The Nationals are bringing back one of the most important hitters from their World Series run, reaching an agreement to sign veteran Howie Kendrick to a one-year contract worth $6.25 million..."

Other Nats Links:

Hundreds sought Washington Nationals vanity license plates in Virginia during World Series run - (WaPost)
"Some messages targeting former Nationals player Bryce Harper were rejected, however."

Scott Boras doesn’t buy Mark Lerner can’t afford both Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Boras spoke with The Athletic shortly thereafter and didn’t agree with the notion that Washington was strapped financially."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Howie Kendrick and Nationals Aim for a Repeat - (FanGraphs)
"Kendrick put on a good show in the postseason as well, winning the NLCS MVP and then hitting a two-run homer in Game 7 of the World Series that gave the Nationals a lead they would not surrender."

Phillies plan to pursue Anthony Rendon, free-agent third baseman - (USA TODAY)
"The Philadelphia Phillies, luxury tax be damned, plan to strongly pursue free-agent third baseman Anthony Rendon..."

Owner Mark Lerner Is Lying About The Nationals’ Financial Flexibility - (Forbes)
"That is a whole lot of cash. And the Nationals can certainly afford both salaries. Lerner, stating the opposite, is lying. Period."

Yankees Don't Expect Strasburg To Leave The Nationals - (WFAN)
"While the Bronx Bombers reportedly enjoyed their meeting with the latter, WFAN’s Jon Heyman says the Yankees don’t anticipate Strasburg leaving the Nationals."

7 teams to watch at the Winter Meetings - (MLB.com)
"To publicly announce that they can't sign both Strasburg and Rendon may be a negotiating tactic or a way to brace their fans for losing one of their cornerstones."

NL EAST UPDATES:

MLB Rumors: Phillies expected to pursue 3B Anthony Rendon, despite likely sky-high price - (PhillyVoice)
"The Phils are expected to pursue All-Star third baseman Anthony Rendon, according to a report Friday from USA Today's Bob Nightengale, despite the fact that he'll likely garner the offseason's most pricey contract..."

RHP Brad Brach re-signs with Mets - (New York Daily News)
"Right-hander Brad Brach re-signed with the Mets on a one-year deal reportedly worth $850K with a $1.25 million player option for 2021."

The Marlins Had a Good Week - (Fangraphs)
"But, at least so far, the Marlins have taken a different approach. Rather than sit back and view the offseason from afar, as many other organizations seemingly do, they’ve been active..."

Braves seeking power bat at Winter Meetings - (MLB.com)
"If the Braves can re-sign third baseman Josh Donaldson, or at least gain another legitimate power threat, they will justify the significant commitments they have already made to strengthen their bullpen, rotation and the catching position."