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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals’ free agent targets; Nats’ lack of postseason hardware this winter + more...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before GM Mike Rizzo shocks us all by doing something smart though not necessarily splashy...

New York Mets v Washington Nationals Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

A well-built Braves’ roster. A confident up-and-coming Marlins (who made the postseason this year and made history hiring the first female MLB GM yesterday). A rejuvenated Mets’ organization finally free of the Wilpons. It’s — oh that’s right the Phillies too. But as we were saying, it’s not going to get any easier to be contenders in the NL East, so Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo and Co. in Washington’s front office have a lot of work to do this winter as the try to bounce back from a disappointing defense of their 2019 World Series crown.

There’s a lot of big baseball news below. Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

Nationals free-agent solutions: Nats mailbag part 2 – (The Athletic)
"The Nats don’t have a public budget and the options they declined were expected regardless of the financial climate. If I had to guess, I’d put them in the middle of the pack, which presents a change from offseasons past when they were near the top."

Nats' lack of award candidates in 2020 was telling - (MASN)
"Not that you need any reminders about how disappointing 2020 was for the Nationals, but here’s one more just for the sake of it..."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

What Kim Ng becoming Marlins GM means for women in baseball – (The Athletic)
"Kim Ng has done the work. Long after she became deserving of an opportunity to lead a major-league organization, the work has paid off."

An Astrophysicist Explains The Challenges Of De-Juicing The Baseball - (Defector)
"Major League Baseball is in the era of the dinger. Batters slugged 6,776 dingers in the last full regular season (2019), which is notable for being about 1,200 more dingers than the year before, and about 600 more dingers than 2017, which was at the time the dinger-est year in MLB history."

Tipsheet: New Mets owner ready to exploit depressed MLB market - (stltoday.com)
"Cohen’s aggression as a hedge fund operator brought him fame, fortune and some notoriety too. Now he sounds really open his vault to Mets president Sandy Alderson and make his mark in Our National Pastime."

NL EAST UPDATES:

Live MLB free agency rumors: J.T. Realmuto officially declines Phillies qualifying offer - (PhillyVoice)
"For those who are knowledgable about such things, J.T. Realmuto rejecting the Phillies' $18.6 million qualifying offer comes as no surprise."

Mets' Noah Syndergaard talks with Steve Cohen, throws off mound - (Newsday)
"If you had been curious about the state of Noah Syndergaard, he offered an impromptu update Thursday: muscular, shirtless and sweaty."

Miami Marlins Hire Kim Ng as Baseball’s First Female G.M. - (The New York Times)
"Ng has twice been an assistant general manager, but after 30 years in the game she will be the first woman to lead a front office."

How Atlanta Braves' Freddie Freeman won 2020 National League MVP - (ESPN)
"Here's a closer look at the stats and performances that separated Freeman from finalists Mookie Betts and Manny Machado for the award."