The fact that Davey Martinez, as a rookie manager, got the Nationals to an 82-80 record, did a lot to convince GM Mike Rizzo that the first-year skipper had what it takes to bring a World Series title to the nation’s capital (which Martinez did in his second year on the bench in D.C. in 2019).
“I’ve said this last year many times, you guys heard me,” Rizzo told reporters on a Zoom call announcing Martinez’s multi-year extension last month.
“That 82-80 season we had in 2018 was probably the most leadership, and one of the most difficult jobs any manager we’ve had here had to do.
“The record may not have been sterling, but to get us to 82-80 that season showed me that this guy is ready for stardom in the managerial ranks.”
“It was a grind in ‘18,” Martinez said, “but I really felt like no matter what the outcome is, that these guys were going to play hard until the last day of the season, which they did, for us to come out 82-80, I thought that was pretty successful, even though we didn’t get anywhere, and I thought at the end of that season, with the core guys that we had then, coming into 2019, this is going to be something special.”
Go read your links while we turn the above into a longer story...
After two productive years, is Kurt Suzuki's time in D.C. over? - (MASN)
"After clubbing 17 homers in 309 plate appearances in 2019, Suzuki hit only two in 129 plate appearances in 2020. What changed?"
Inbox: What's the Nats' biggest need for '21? - (MLB.com)
"The construction of the Nationals’ starting pitching rotation will be an offseason decision to watch. The biggest key is the return of Stephen Strasburg..."
Parker focused on fastball, curveball and splitter during Florida workouts - (MASN)
"Nationals 2020 fifth-round draft selection Mitchell Parker got into to his first professional instructional league intrasquad game this week against the Marlins."
More playing time, more production for Gomes - (MASN)
"Signed for $6 million next season, Gomes is coming back. The question is whether the Nationals will view him as their No. 1 catcher..."
Several Nationals players about to become free agents - (NBC Sports Washington)
"The Nationals are in the middle of a personnel purge because their messy 2020 has prompted them to pivot hard with the 40-man roster."
Michael A. Taylor's best Washington Nationals highlights - (WaPost)
“Taylor leaves a mixed legacy on the field in D.C., where he earned the nickname Michael K. Taylor with a portion of the fan base for his propensity to strike out.”
Previewing The 2020-21 Free Agent Class: Second Basemen - (MLB Trade Rumors)
"Asdrubal Cabrera (35): MLBTR’s Steve Adams said it best when previewing the market for third baseman: 'Cabrera isn’t a shortstop anymore, but he keeps hitting and is capable of playing second base as well as both infield corners.'"
Washington Nationals Star Max Scherzer Selling $15M Virginia Mansion - (realtor.com®)
"After buying a Florida mansion a few months ago, the Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer is now ready to part with his gorgeous Virginia home."
Alex Binelas: ‘Wisconsin is a baseball hotbed’ - (Baseball Prospect Journal)
"The Washington Nationals selected Binelas in the 35th round of the 2018 draft, but Binelas already had his sights set on Louisville."
After Further Review: As Fall Classic nears, a reminder of baseball's painful year - (newsadvance.com)
"A few miles away from the Bees’ home, Liberty Christian infielder and slugger Quade Tomlin signed a minor-league contract with the Washington Nationals."
NL EAST UPDATES:
Braves should be excited about their future rotation - (AJC.com)
"However Game 7 unfolds, the Braves can come away from this season feeling confident about their rotation’s outlook."
Marcell Ozuna Turns Things Around - (FanGraphs)
"While Marcell Ozuna’s bat spoke nearly as loudly during the regular season, the 29-year-old slugger had scuffled in the postseason prior to Thursday night’s Game 4..."
The Phillies announce pitching coach Bryan Price is retiring from full-time coaching. So the Phils are in the market for a new pitching coach. Price was on the job one year and is very highly regarded in baseball. This is a personal decision.— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyNBCS) October 18, 2020
5 concerns about Spencer Howard and his future with the Phillies - (The Good Phight)
"Will the front office prioritize signing J.T. Realmuto to a free agent contract after failing to sign him to an extension? Will the 2021 payroll decrease from 2020? If so, by how much?"
Steve Cohen response to Mets free agency scenario will say a lot - (NY Post)
"Not too much longer, Mets fans. By next month, Steve Cohen’s purchase of the team should become official, and then you can start debating legitimately whether you’d rather sign J.T. Realmuto or George Springer."
Derek Jeter dumps longtime Marlins executive Michael Hill - (NY Post)
"Miami Marlins executive Michael Hill’s 19-season tenure with the franchise has ended."