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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals introduce Starlin Castro; Nats now in/out on Josh Donaldson? + more

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while we wait to see what GM Mike Rizzo does next...

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Washington Nationals Victory Parade Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Starlin Castro was part of Miami Marlins teams that dropped a combined 203 games over the past two seasons, so he was happy to get an opportunity to move on to a better place once he reached free agency this winter.

“If it’s up to me, I’m always going to be on the good teams, but we don’t have the control in that kind of situation,” the 29-year-old infielder explained.

Given the opportunity this offseason, Castro signed on with the defending World Series champs, taking a 2-year/$12M deal from Washington.

“I always told my family if I can get in a position to make a decision, it’s going to be the Nationals,” he said on Tuesday afternoon, in a conference call with reporters, and once it actually was a possibility, he did what he said he would.

Welcome to Washington, D.C., Starlin.

As for the rest of you... Go read your links...


Welcome to D.C., Starlin:

How Starlin Castro fits with the Nationals - (WaPost)
"The Nationals were interested in Josh Donaldson throughout this offseason, even putting a four-year, $100 million offer on the table for the third baseman. But in the past six days, as they sped through a long to-do list, the Nationals have all but moved on from Donaldson."

How Nats' Opening Day roster is shaping up - (
"On top of new faces like Will Harris and Starlin Castro and, reportedly, Eric Thames joining the squad, Asdrúbal Cabrera, Howie Kendrick, Yan Gomes and Stephen Strasburg have all agreed to return, as well as reliever Daniel Hudson..."

After admiring them from afar, Castro thrilled to join Nats - (MASN)
"Starlin Castro always wanted to play for the Nationals because of two men: Alfonso Soriano and Davey Martinez."

With 10 years of major league experience, Castro sees value in being a mentor - (MASN)
"Castro said he is excited to be able to now call the duo [of Juan Soto and Victor Robles] his teammates, and at 29, with 10 years of experience, is more than happy to be a mentor if called upon to help."

Other Nats Stories:

Freeman's consistency and versatility keys to his success - (MASN)
"Infielder/outfielder Cole Freeman has put together two of the most consistent seasons in his first two campaigns in the Nationals organization."

Looking at potential lineup combinations - (MASN)
"With Anthony Rendon off to Anaheim to play alongside Mike Trout and take his family to Disneyland on off-days, the Nationals are missing a critical part of their championship lineup."

Two for the price of one? Nationals’ platoons are unconventional — and successful - (WaPost)
"How can you lose Bryce Harper one year, then subtract Anthony Rendon the next and still maintain a top offense?"

What history tells us about the Nationals starting rotation – (The Athletic)
"The alternate title for this story was 'How to avoid becoming the 2019 Red Sox.'"


Josh Donaldson Beat:

The Josh Donaldson suitor power rankings - (
"The Nationals are not acting like a team desperate to sign Donaldson … but then again, neither are the Braves, and yet someone eventually is going to sign him."

Could Donaldson decision be reached soon? - (
"The Braves and Nationals still appear to be the favorites to land Donaldson, who is seeking a four-year deal worth at least $100 million."

Other Nationals Stories:

Nats Sail on the Hudson, Punt on the Thames - (Fangraphs)
"While Washington hasn’t categorically ruled out Ryan Zimmerman returning in 2020, it’s increasingly difficult to see how he would fit on the roster."

Daniel Hudson re-signs with the Nationals - (Beyond the Box Score)
"The 2019 Nationals bullpen famously stunk. The biggest challenge Dave Martinez had to overcome in October was how he would avoid using any of his relievers not named Daniel Hudson or Sean Doolittle."

Ronald Acuña Jr., Juan Soto and Fernando Tatis Jr. Could Dominate The 2020s - (Baseball America)
”Ronald Acuña Jr., Juan Soto and Fernando Tatis Jr. could also be taking their first steps toward being recognized as all-time greats.”

Secret for new Nationals infielder Starlin Castro? ‘Launch angle’ - (ESPN)
”After a first half of 2019 with the Miami Marlins that he called ‘tough’ because he ‘hit too many balls on the ground,’ Castro said on a conference call with reporters Tuesday, ‘I just changed a little bit.’”

MLB superstar trades, sign-stealing punishment and more -- Passan answers 20 questions for 2020 - (ESPN)
”Third baseman Josh Donaldson remains available, and while the Minnesota Twins aren’t likely to enter the trade market should they not sign him, the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals are plenty equipped to.”