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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals’ “sabermetric voice”; former Nats’ player in Super Bowl ad + more...

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before GM Mike Rizzo does something that shocks the baseball world.

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Maryland Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

This thing on? Anyone still here as we all wait for the start of Spring Training, assuming that the Washington Nationals are done building their roster for the 2020 campaign? There will probably be some minor league deals with invitations to West Palm Beach handed out over the next few weeks, but is anyone expecting a surprise or two before the start of the Nats’ defense of their World Series title? While you think about your answer, go read your links...


Better, worse or the same in 2020: Pitchers - (MASN)
"By his standards (and his standards alone), Max Scherzer regressed some last season. His numbers (2.92 ERA, 1.027 WHIP, 243 strikeouts to 33 walks) were still really, really good."

Kevin Long dissects Juan Soto’s World Series Game 1 home run off Gerrit Cole - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Before the Nationals faced off with the Houston Astros in the 2019 World Series, Washington’s hitting coach Kevin Long sat down with FOX Sports analyst Tom Verducci."

Soto: "I don't think I am better than anybody, but nobody is better than me" - (MASN)
“'I never think in that way,' Soto said. 'I always think I’m a baseball player like the other baseball players on the team. I just try to do my job, try to get my job done and try to help the team the most I can.'"

Nationals Spring Training Preview: Outfielders locked into their roles - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Juan Soto, Victor Robles and Adam Eaton are all locked into their respective positions, making for a drama-free spring among the starting outfielders."

Better, worse or the same in 2020: position players - (MASN)
"It was such a problem area in 2017 and 2018, but the additions of Kurt Suzuki and Yan Gomes completely turned this position from a weakness to a real strength in 2019."

Budweiser’s New Super Bowl Ad Stars Washington Nationals - (NBC Sports Washington)
"The commercial features a clip of Anthony Rendon celebrating with the trophy in the locker room while being doused in beer."


How Sam Mondry-Cohen Went From Intern to Nats Assistant GM - (Fangraphs)
“'Mike [Rizzo] wanted to have some kind of sabermetric voice, as he could kind of see the way the game was going,' Mondry-Cohen explained. 'He wanted that voice to be represented some way in the front office, and it’s what Adam Cromie and I were able to provide for him. To this day, he wants a data-driven opinion.'"

Ranking the names of major league ballparks - (HardballTalk)
"With these what you see is what you get. At least for now, as I expect that the Marlins, Nationals and the Angels would go to corporate names if someone were to cut them a check."

Each team's most decorated prospect, 2010-19 - (
"A breakout campaign in 2016 propelled [Victor] Robles into the conversation as one of baseball’s top prospects, and he made the Nationals postseason roster the following year after debuting as a September call-up."


The Phillies were accused of using technology to steal signs 117 years before the Astros - (Philadelphia Inquirer)
"While many in baseball continue to urge harsh penalties, the Houston Astros might want to cite historical precedent as a defense for their sign-stealing."

Five pressing Mets questions Luis Rojas will have to answer - (NY Post)
"3. What’s the plan for the rotation? The Mets have six starters — Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, Steven Matz, Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha — for five spots. What gives?"

What will the Marlins' bullpen look like in 2020? - (
"After devoting much of the offseason to upgrading a stagnant offense, the Marlins’ attention in the weeks leading up to Spring Training has shifted to the bullpen."

Anthopoulos On Donaldson, Ozuna, Rotation, Payroll - (MLB Trade Rumors)
"The Braves took one of the last high-end free agents off the board when they inked Marcell Ozuna to a one-year, $18MM contract Tuesday, but the signing looks like a mere consolation prize for the team."