Well, Manny Machado finally signed — so that’s one off the board. In other news, if anyone ever says the phrase “stupid money” again, Wire Taps will close. Permanently.
Here’s the news from Florida:
Nationals are toying with idea of batting Victor Robles ninth as ‘second leadoff hitter’ (WaPo)
Victor Robles will likely start the year on the Nats' Opening Day roster, hitting in the middle of the lineup or even serving as a second leadoff hitter, meaning the Nationals' lineup could go Robles-Eaton-Turner 9-1-2, complementing an incredibly balanced (and fun) lineup. The only question: can Robles handle the bigs?
With Machado heading to San Diego, attention turns to Harper (MASN)
“That’s good for the game,” said Max Scherzer, who set a record for free agent pitchers with his seven-year, $210 million contract four winters ago. “Good for the stars of the game to get signed, and a face of the game to get signed for a 10-year contract. When you see players this young reach free agency, I know we have aging curves, but even with these aging curves players are still productive out to age 36. From a free agent standpoint, to see a player get his prime cut all the way out to age 36, that’s good for the game.”
Howie Kendrick? He wants everyone to know he is fully healed (NBCSW)
Howie Kendrick went largely forgotten last season, despite Davey Martinez's best efforts. Forgotten no longer: Kendrick is back on the field, working with Brian Dozier and the squad in full workouts, ready to make an impact — though he knows that Dozier likely has the starting job.
MLB rumors: Giants are still 'in the picture' to sign Bryce Harper (NBC Sports Bay Area)
Nobody knows if the Giants are in the foreground or background of the Bryce Harper picture, but they're still in the running
Phillies have most to gain by signing Bryce Harper (Yahoo! Sports)
The Giants, White Sox, Nats, and, yes, the Phillies, are considered the top tier teams to land Harper – likely in that order.
Padres Not Pursuing Star After Signing Manny Machado (Bleacher Report)
The Padres have given up their pursuit of Bryce Harper, according to the San Diego Union Tribune and USA Today (though Jon Heyman says they haven't ruled him out).
Nationals hold first full-squad workouts (MLB.com)
"And that had to send a message that we're serious about the defense. We're serious about all the little things that nobody really thinks about. Everybody thinks about the home runs and strikeouts and things, but we're going to do all the little things right," Davey Martinez said.
Nationals await Bryce Harper's decision (MLB.com)
Manny Machado is finally, finally off the board — and he's off first, meaning Harper has the chance to top Machado in whatever deal he gets, something the Nats don't really seem particularly interested in.
MLB Pipeline Releases its 2019 Top 30 for Washington (Nationals Prospects)
MLB thinks Israel Pineda is a top ten prospect. Baseball America thinks Seth Romero is a top ten prospect. Both sides disagree with each other on both.
With Max on the mound and Soto at the plate, it’s starting to look like Nationals baseball (WaPo)
Meaningful baseball is still a long, long ways off. But for one quick moment on a practice field, with camera crews on hand and reporters around — oh yeah, and Max Scherzer and Juan Soto faced off – the offseason finally feels like it'll wind down sooner rather than later. In the meantime, the Nats are working on, you guessed it, the fundamentals!
First full workout includes extra work in field, live BP showdown (MASN)
The circle of trust is back! Hooray... (Also, the outfielders tracked down balls in the corners and gaps, while Howie Kendrick frolicked through the field, and Max Scherzer will get the ball during the Grapefruit League opener. But when is Sunday Funday?)