We heard from Mike Rizzo for the first time this Spring (and he declined to talk about any player not on the current roster). We heard from Ryan Zimmerman, who thinks there’s an issue with free agency right now. We also heard from MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, whose opinion on setting expectations for certain free agents before they actually get to the market you’ll find below...
Go read your links. We’re busy with stuff, so no questions please...
Mike Rizzo Speaks:
GM Mike Rizzo details the state of the Nationals - (NBC Sports Washington)
"It was a busy offseason for the Washington Nationals to say the least. Hear from GM Mike Rizzo himself at Nats' Spring Training."
Rizzo "satisfied" with Nationals' roster as-is - (MASN)
“I really like the roster that we constructed so far,' Rizzo said Sunday evening during a local gathering of GMs and managers from most clubs that train in Florida."
Mike Rizzo when asked this evening where the Nationals stand with Bryce Harper: “We’re going to talk about the players we have on the team. We’re not going to talk about players that we don’t have on the team.”— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) February 17, 2019
As Bryce Harper saga drags on, Mike Rizzo says focus is elsewhere - (NBC Sports Washington)
"'Our payroll is quite a bit less than it was last season, and we feel we’ve got ourselves a team that should compete in the National League to play meaningful games September and beyond,' Rizzo said."
Mike Rizzo declines to talk about Bryce Harper - (MLB.com)
”’We’re going to talk about the players we have on the team,’ Rizzo said. ‘We’re not going to talk about players that we don’t have on the team.’”
Zim’s Got Opinions:
Ryan Zimmerman eyes more spring games in 2019 - (MLB.com)
"Ryan Zimmerman and the Nationals attempted a rather ambitious approach to Spring Training a year ago for the veteran first baseman."
Ryan Zimmerman speaks his mind ️ pic.twitter.com/TyQFC9PfMT— NBC Sports Nationals (@NBCSNationals) February 17, 2019
Ryan Zimmerman expects to be on the field more this spring; not happy with free agent slog - (NBC Sports Washington)
”Zimmerman used part of this winter to reflect on what may have caused his oblique problem last year.”
Other Nationals-related Things:
What to know as Nationals position players report to spring training -(WaPost)
"The Nationals’ position players officially report Monday, joining the pitchers and catchers who convened at the team facility Wednesday."
Manfred: Pitch clock this spring, free agency not broken - (MASN)
"Rob Manfred doesn’t know when you’ll see Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and the other still-unsigned free agents report for spring training, but he expects it to happen soon."
THE NatsGM Show #144 – Guest Adam McInturff - (NatsGM)
"The NatsGM Show Episode #144 is now available and we welcome friend of the Podcast, and 2080Baseball’s, Adam McInturff!"
As things intensify, Bryce Harper has multiple long-term offers for more than 30M a year. Philly is viewed as the favorite, as said here, but it is also said to an “evolving” market.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 18, 2019
The Nationals loaded up on pitchers and are betting their season on those arms - (WaPost)
"This spring, as you walk behind that fence, you may see more major league-quality arms than ever before — almost 20 of them."
Yan Gomes is an all-star catcher okay with splitting time. For the Nationals, that’s big - (WaPost0
"The Nationals had signed veteran catcher Kurt Suzuki the week before they acquired Gomes, so it was fair to wonder how they planned to use their two backstops, each of whom could be the top option for many teams."
Ryan Zimmerman not surprised Bryce Harper, Manny Machado unsigned - (AP/ESPN)
"Ryan Zimmerman finds it odd that so many teams now feel the need to announce they are trying to win."
The Nationals had a cabbage race in Spring Training - MLB.com
"On Sunday, the Nationals got their camp started with a race that involved passing a head of cabbage down the line..."
Rob Manfred earlier today: “When you pronounce three years ahead of somebody’s free agency the player’s going to be a $400 million player, when there’s never been a $400 million player in any sport, that becomes an impediment to the bargaining process."— Jamal Collier (@JamalCollier) February 18, 2019
Rob Manfred Says Baseball Doesn’t Have a Free Agency Crisis - (The New York Times)
"Manfred, the commissioner of Major League Baseball, is tired of hearing complaints from players and agents about the changing economic landscape of his sport."
Fantasy baseball rebound candidates for 2019 - (ESPN)
"From 2015-2017, Dozier led second basemen with 104 homers and 311 runs."
Reason for optimism for each MLB team - (MLB.com)
"Max Scherzer - His every start is a must-see event, and now he's the biggest name on a team that has had a tremendous offseason and might just be the NL's best team whether Bryce Harper returns or not."