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Wire Taps: Nationals sign Tony Sipp; Patrick Corbin’s first inning troubles; Luxury tax...

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before the start of this afternoon’s Grapefruit League game with the Twins.

Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The Nats added a bullpen arm! Just... not that bullpen arm. But they did add a reliever with a name that has phenomenal pun potential. (Craig Kimbrel is still unsigned, if you were wondering.)

Here’s the scoop from South Florida:

Carter Kieboom’s transition to second base is next stage of his development (WaPo)
Kieboom has gotten enough reps at second now to know what it feels like — and after a full or half season in the minors at the position, he'll be able to learn more from Brian Dozier, who made the exact same transition six years ago.

Nationals’ second round of spring cuts includes 18-year-old standout Luis Garcia (WaPo)
45 players remain in big-league camp. Luis Garcia will likely be back soon — the story around Matt Reynolds and Brandon Snyder is a little more complex. (Garcia went down mainly for playing time, for what it's worth.)

With Tony Sipp, Nationals deepen bullpen, further lift expectations (WaPo)
The Nats are better today than they were yesterday. They could get a lot better with Craig Kimbrel or after the trade deadline — and they may be able to get him, at least if the prevailing sentiment in the clubhouse is any indication. But in the meantime, Matt Grace just got a load taken off his shoulder, and the team's bullpen at least *seems* deeper than before, and the Nats sure seem like they want to contend.

Nationals agree to deal with much-needed left-handed reliever Tony Sipp (WaPo)
Mike Rizzo was excited, Sean Doolittle felt bad for Sipp—welcome to the NL East, here's Harper and Cano!—and Jesse Dougherty pointed out that it still doesn't necessarily rule the Nats out from pursuing Craig Kimbrel.

Rizzo on Sipp: "He's a really good value for us" (MASN)
The Nats had their eyes on Tony Sipp all winter, but got his price down to what they wanted it to be, so they jumped on the opportunity to add another lefty specialist having dropped Sammy Solis.

The Washington Nationals Take a Sipp (Fangraphs)
Sipp spent the last five years with the Astros, improving the control on his splitter — and while 2016-17 were rough for him, he bounced back in 2018 and is projected to have a 3.96 ERA this year. He's a risky bet, but one that could pay off incredibly well if he can repeat last year's performance.

Sean Doolittle photographs Washington Nationals spring training (WaPo)
The Post gave Sean Doolittle a Polaroid. He took photos. The Post published them. Man, this guy is hard to like.

Despite lots of turnover, the Nationals are front runners again (BtBS)
"To wrap this up, we can distill the Nationals’ 2019 season into one main theme: value plays. Outside of Corbin, the Nationals made a lot of small tinkers to their 25-man roster that could end up producing a lot of positive value. Of course, the main storyline around Washington will be whether they can handle the loss of Harper (to a division rival, no less), but on paper, this team looks just as ready to compete for the divisional crown as they would in any other year."

On the Eaton-Turner-Soto lineup, Corbin's start and more (MASN)
Davey Martinez has played around with Eaton and Turner at the top of the lineup, and it's unclear which order will stick. In the meantime, Patrick Corbin had a rough first inning, which is something the team will try and eliminate from happening in the future.

Nationals hope to stay under luxury tax (
However, Rizzo wouldn't commit to staying put at the trade deadline.