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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals’ bullpen and rotation questions; Gio Gonzalez talking with NL East rival + more...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news now that pointy ball is over and pitchers and catchers are getting close to reporting...

Washington Nationals v New York Mets Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

So now that pointy ball is over for the year, surely Bryce Harper and Manny Machado will be signing soon, right? Right? Say “Right”... please? There wasn’t a whole lot going on on the Nationals beat in the past 24 hours (though the MASN folks are troopers), but we did find some other links to keep you busy while you watch video of the truck filled with equipment pulling out of D.C. on the way to West Palm Beach... Go read your links:

NATS BEAT:

Like Soto, Garcia demonstrated hitting and fielding abilities as a teenager - (MASN)
"P-Nats manager Tripp Keister believes [Luis] Garcia is not far away from being an impact player in the major leagues."

Revamped rotation will need to return to elite form this year - (MASN)
"It’s no secret how the Nationals have attempted to build a championship-caliber roster over the last seven seasons: with a dominant rotation leading the way."

Beyond Doolittle, Nats bullpen is full of question marks - (MASN)
"The only sure thing in the entire bullpen is the man who pitches the ninth inning. Sean Doolittle arguably was the best closer in the National League last season..."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Why This NL Team Would Prefer To Sign Bryce Harper Over Manny Machado - (NESN.com)
"But while the Padres are the new kids on the block in the sweepstakes, showing serious interest in Machado and reportedly meeting with Harper earlier this week, the franchise prefers one star over the other, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman."

Gio Gonzalez could be next piece to Mets’ overhaul - (New York Post)
"According to industry sources, team officials have maintained dialogue with veteran left-hander Gio Gonzalez’s camp, as general manager Brodie Van Wagenen searches for a potential upgrade over Jason Vargas at the rotation’s back end."

Sandy Alderson regrets letting Daniel Murphy leave Mets - (New York Post)
“'The one thing I regret — and I told him this — was not signing Daniel Murphy,’' Alderson said by phone Friday. 'We’ve kept in touch. He’s a great person and a really good player.'"

Unlike NFL, baseball players pay a big price for PED use - (Boston Globe)
Craig Kimbrel?: "The Twins have inquired and the Nationals need one more guy in the pen and have the money to do it."

Previewing the 2019 Hagerstown Suns - Notes from the Sally
"RHP - Mason Denaburg - Age 19, listed 6’4″ 195 lbs, bats and throws right. He was drafted 27th overall in the 2018 draft out of High School in Merritt Beach, FL (Palm Bay area)."

Every team's current WAR leader with club - (MLB.com)
"Ryan Zimmerman, 38.0 WAR - The original Nat would still be first even if Bryce Harper re-signs (27.4)."

Greg Holland’s fastball won’t cut it anymore - (Beyond the Box Score)
"The Nationals picked him up shortly thereafter, where he posted solid numbers — a 0.84 ERA alongside a 25 to 10 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 21 1⁄3 innings pitched."

NL EAST UPDATES:

Here's why Mets and free agent Gio Gonzalez are at an impasse - (SNY)
"The Mets have interest in signing free agent LHP Gio Gonzalez and have remained in touch with his camp, but that interest is not currently at a multiyear level, reports SNY's Andy Martino, who notes that Gonzalez is still holding out for more than a one-year deal."

MLB Network Top 10 reinforces how much of a steal Aaron Nola was in 2018 - (NBC Sports Philadelphia)
"MLB Network has been ranking the top 10 players league-wide at each position, and it was no surprise to see Nola make the cut among starting pitchers."

J.T. Realmuto the focus of Reds-Marlins talks - (MLB.com)
"The Marlins and Reds remain engaged in trade talks for All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto, and one package being discussed includes catcher Tucker Barnhart and infield prospect Jonathan India."

Q&A: Austin Riley of the Braves on rise through minors, knee injury - (AJC)
"Braves third-base prospect Austin Riley met with the media at Chop Fest on Jan. 19 at SunTrust Park."