Craig Kimbrel makes all sorts of sense — and if the Nats don’t get him, it’ll be because of the luxury tax, which is the dumbest reason for a mega-billionaire to not sign a player. No amount of money can be stupid money when your net worth is $5 billion.
Anyway: here’s the news from Nats Park:
On the Nationals' interest in signing Craig Kimbrel (MASN)
Here's the thing: the front office is all in, but the Lerners will need convincing to hop the luxury tax (yet again). According to Pete Kerzel, they aren't too keen to do so.
Does the Nationals’ best lineup have Trea Turner leading off? (WaPo)
Trea has been getting some at-bats in the leadoff slot, which could make him a more serious baserunning threat in front of Adam Eaton and Anthony Rendon, who can drive him in more easily. If Turner does lead off, Eaton would follow him, then Rendon and Soto — but if Eaton led off, Turner would go second, followed by Soto and Rendon, trying to keep some spacing between his lefties. Regardless, the lineup will likely be much more consistent this year.
Here's where you can donate all of your unwanted Bryce Harper gear (NBCSW)
The Big Stick will take your old Harper jersey and donate it to Bread for the City, which will give it to someone who needs clothing. Plus: free whiskey!
Grace ready to build on breakthrough campaign (MASN)
After struggling to crack the majors since 2015, Grace finally made the leap last season, pitching to a 2.57 ERA in 56 appearances, in addition to finally overcoming his issues with getting lefties and righties out. Now, he's ready to further cement his status as a force in the bullpen.
Martinez appreciates the way Sánchez battles through adversity (MASN)
Anibal Sánchez had a rough outing on Sunday, as Spring Training goes — but he didn't seem too concerned, which was exciting for Davey Martinez. (Also, he's been a great clubhouse presence, leading everyone and helps to keep the "the Latin players together with everybody else and includes them in everything."
Charlie Manuel: ‘I told [Harper] I didn’t tell Hamels to hit him’ (NBC Sports)
In May 2012, Cole Hamels plunked Bryce Harper on the first pitch he saw. Charlie Manuel finally confirmed: he did not want Hamels to do that.
Inbox: How will Nationals bolster bullpen? (MLB.com)
Will the Nats go after Bryce Harper in 2032? Who was better at 19 — Soto, Harper, or Robles? And do the Nats need more bullpen arms?
Sanchez proud to be part of Nats' rotation (MLB.com)
“I feel so proud to be in that rotation,” Sanchez said. “I know something good is coming for the Nationals in D.C.”