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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals’ Rule 5 eligible players; Nats’ use of the shift + more...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while we all wait for GM Mike Rizzo to shock us with a big trade or a free agent deal...

Miami Marlins v Washington Nationals Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Pitcher Sterling Sharp was selected by the Miami Marlins in last year’s Rule 5 Draft, and the Washington Nationals’ 2016 22nd Round pick debuted with the Fish, but didn’t stick, so he was returned to the Nats, but he’s eligible for selection again. That means the Nationals will have to make a decision before November 20th to add him to the 40-Man roster or risk the possibility that another team takes a chance on the 25-year-old right-hander.

Sharp is one of six players among the Nationals’ top 30 prospects according to MLBPipeline (along with catcher Israel Pineda; righty Joan Adon; backstop Raudy Read; IF/OF Cole Freeman; and OF Nick Banks) who are eligible for selection this winter if they’re not added to the Nationals’ 40-man roster as MLB.com’s Jim Callis noted yesterday in a story on the upcoming 2021 Rule 5 Draft. Check it out.

Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

Nationals free agency hunt: Marcus Semien - (NBC Sports Washington)
"As part of our ongoing look at individuals who could fit in different places for the Nationals, here is a look at former Oakland shortstop Marcus Semien."

Nationals' use of the shift shows change in defensive philosophy - (WaPost)
“In 2019, that meant the Nationals shifted on just 14.3 percent of their opponents’ plate appearances, good for 27th out of 30 teams. In 2020, that number jumped to 42.6 percent.”

Uncertainty abounds in minor league reorganization - (MASN)
"There is so much uncertainty surrounding the 2021 season, even as the calendar creeps forward and pitchers and catchers are due to report for spring ..."

How MLB qualifying-offer decisions affect Nationals in free agency - (NBC Sports Washington)
"The Nationals are expected to be in the market for starting pitching, an outfielder as well as both infield and catching depth this offseason, which puts all four of the QO-tagged players on their radar."

Inbox: Will Nats address pitching in market? - (MLB.com)
"One route the Nats could take is inking a big bat to a shorter-term deal to keep salary space open in the future."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

These prospects face roster/Rule 5 decision - (MLB.com)
"Here's a list of all 30 teams' Top 30 prospects who need to be protected to avoid being exposed to the Rule 5 Draft..."

From the Community: An interview with D.C. Central Kitchen Chief Development Officer Alex Moore | by Nationals Communications - (Curly W Live)
"Our blog post today features an interview with Alex Moore, the Chief Development Officer for D.C. Central Kitchen (DCCK), a nonprofit and social enterprise that combats hunger and poverty through job training and job creation."

Watch: A Look back at U.S. Presidents Throwing Out MLB's First Pitch - (Newsweek)
"It all began with President William Howard Taft in 1910."

Pirates trade failures and the curse of bad timing – (The Athletic)
"July 30, 2016: RHP Mark Melancon to the Washington Nationals for RHP Taylor Hearn and RHP Felipe Vazquez. This one is complicated."

NL EAST UPDATES:

Marcus Stroman accepts New York Mets' $18.9M qualifying offer - (ESPN)
"Right-hander Marcus Stroman has accepted the New York Mets' one-year, $18.9 million qualifying offer."

If Phillies are looking for a reliable closer, free agent Alex Colome fits the description - (NBC Sports Philadelphia)
"The Phillies had the worst bullpen in the majors in 2020 and manager Joe Girardi could not find a dependable closer in the mix of Hector Neris, Brandon Workman and Tommy Hunter."

Here's the state of the Marlins' farm system - (MLB.com)
"Miami's five best prospects -- right-handers Sixto Sánchez, outfielder JJ Bleday, righty Max Meyer, shortstop Jazz Chisholm, outfielder Jesus Sánchez -- have joined the organization since the start of 2019."

Freddie Freeman could become Braves’ first MVP in over 20 years - (AJC.com)
"If the expected result is unveiled Thursday night, first baseman Freddie Freeman will be the Braves’ first National League MVP since Chipper Jones in 1999."