The waiting is almost over. Pitchers and catchers are set to report in just four days. Then we all start waiting again for Grapefruit League games to start, for the final exhibition games of the Spring, and then, eventually, for Opening Day. It’s still going to be a while, but it’s okay if you get excited about reaching the early milestones after a long winter.
At least the Nationals did make some big moves this offseason to make it a little easier to deal with the long wait... But still, can we start playing games ASAP? Go read your links....
Final haul and previous asks for Realmuto show why Nationals were hesitant - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Expect [Yan] Gomes to play every day in Washington, as much as that applies to starting catchers now. Probably 120 games or so."
Trevor Gott designated for assignment to clear spot for Hellickson - (MASN)
"They chose to make Gott the odd man out, a disappointing development for a young reliever who was touted as a potential long-term answer at the back end of the bullpen when he was acquired from the Angels in 2015."
Barraclough loses arbitration case - (MASN)
"Acquired from the Marlins in October in exchange for international slot bonus money, Barraclough is expected to hold a setup role in the Nationals’ opening day bullpen."
Nats win arbitration case vs. Kyle Barraclough - (MLB.com)
"The Nationals won their arbitration hearing against reliever Kyle Barraclough, a source told MLB.com on Friday morning. It was the club's second and final arbitration case."
Kyle Barraclough loses arbitration case with Nationals - (WaPost)
"With the Nationals’ pitchers and catchers reporting down in West Palm Beach next Wednesday, Barraclough has an unclear role in a shifting bullpen."
No. 4 prospect Victor Robles set to break out for Nats - (YouTube)
"Victor Robles got a nice taste of the big leagues in 2018 and the rookie stands at number four on MLB Pipeline's preseason prospect list."
Groundbreaking date for new Fredericksburg stadium set - (MASN)
"The moment that many local minor league baseball fans have dreamed of for longer than 20 years is coming closer to becoming reality."
RANDOM NATIONALS-RELATED STORIES:
‘One of a kind’ — remembering baseball legend Frank Robinson - (WTOP)
"The baseball world continues to mourn the loss of Hall of Fame player and manager Frank Robinson, who died Thursday at 83."
The National League has no intention to adopt the DH anytime soon, NL owners privately say. It quite likely will be a different story when the Collective Bargaining Agreement expires in 2021.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) February 8, 2019
Drivers wanted: Nats seek bullpen cart operator - WTOP
"The team is looking for a 'qualified professional' to drive its WGL Energy Bullpen Cart during all home games."
Can J.T. Realmuto lure big name to Philly - (MLB.com)
"Nationals ownership may feel obligated to match (or come very close to) the Phils' offer if they believe Harper is on the verge of going to Philadelphia, as opposed to a team outside the NL East, according to one source with knowledge of Washington's thinking."
The biggest crack in each NL East contender - (ESPN)
"The Nationals: Their lack of sluggers. The Nats will have to overcome a power deficit, if in fact Harper signs elsewhere."
NL East teams at the start of spring training - (WaPost)
"The Nationals were as busy as anyone this offseason and will head to camp with more than a third of the roster turned over..."
AP sources: Mets-Nats or Cubs-Cards for London in 2020 https://t.co/ylzZIfAZjE— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) February 8, 2019
NY Mets in London vs. Washington Nationals is a possibility in 2020 - (NorthJersey.com
"The New York Mets may have a date in London. Major League Baseball is considering matching them up with the Washington Nationals in a 2020 series across the pond, according to an Associated Press report."
Still awaiting Harper answer, Nats open camp with new faces - (Yahoo!Sports)
"As the start of spring training approaches, the Washington Nationals are waiting right along with the rest of the world to find out where Bryce Harper will be playing next season."