Well, now we know where the Washington Nationals’ minor league affiliates will (likely) be in 2021, and as Nats’ GM Mike Rizzo noted in the club’s press release on the announcement on sending invitations to each of the four organizations (to Rochester, Harrisburg, Wilmington, and Fredericksburg), “all four affiliates are located in the northeast and mid-Atlantic regions, with Harrisburg, Wilmington and Fredericksburg located within 120 miles of Nationals Park.”
They also thanked Fresno for two great seasons with the Grizzlies as the Nationals’ affiliate, so nothing personal, Grizz, but that situation wasn’t ideal, obviously, and pending official acceptance of all the invites, some more of this winter’s questions have been answered.
Red Wings, Senators, Blue Rocks, and the FredNats... now here’s hoping there’s actually a minor league season this year. Go read your links...
Soto is an All-
Star MLB First-team(er):
Washington Nationals Juan Soto named to All-MLB first team - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Juan Soto was not a National League MVP finalist, but he did make it onto the first team All-MLB team revealed Wednesday night."
Juan Soto honored as All-MLB first-team outfielder - (MASN)
"Soto, who led the majors in on-base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS during the shortened season, was a first-team selection..."
Soto moves up to All-MLB First Team - (MLB.com)
"In only his third Major League season, Soto became the youngest player to win the National League batting title when he tallied a .351 average at the age of 21."
Other Nats Stor
What should Nats prioritize in search for new corner outfielder? - (MASN)
"Here’s one seemingly obvious desire the Nationals have: They need their new corner outfielder to hit for more power than [Adam] Eaton did."
The Washington Nationals have invited the following four organizations to become Minor League affiliates in Major League Baseball’s new player development structure, pending acceptance of the invitation.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) December 9, 2020
// https://t.co/9mcN42rqUL pic.twitter.com/5tbA039cZI
Nationals extend invites to minor-league affiliates - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Harrisburg and Fredericksburg are holdovers. Rochester replaces Fresno as the Triple-A affiliate -- which was previously known. New to the group is the Wilmington Blue Rocks in Delaware."
Nats announce 2021 minor league affiliate invitations - (MASN)
"The invites have not yet been formally accepted, but Wilmington already officially accepted the invitation on Twitter and the other three affiliates have current longstanding relationships in place with the Nationals."
We are thrilled to learn the @Nationals Advanced-A affiliate will likely make Frawley Stadium their home. Despite these very challenging times, we have been working hard to make improvements at the Stadium & maintain Wilmington as an attractive location for minor league baseball. https://t.co/aLCZR7wHb2— Governor John Carney (@JohnCarneyDE) December 9, 2020
Wilmington Blue Rocks to live on as Washington Nationals affiliate - (Delaware Online)
"The Wilmington Blue Rocks are reborn again, having apparently survived Major League Baseball’s gutting of the minor leagues."
NL EAST UPDATES:
2021 ZiPS Projections: Philadelphia Phillies - (FanGraphs)
"Long story short, the Phillies and Braves reworked their rosters over roughly the same time frame but the Braves made the playoffs in three consecutive seasons, while the Phillies are still looking for their first campaign over the .500 mark."
NY Mets owner Steven Cohen communicates to fans via Twitter - (NJ.com)
"Cohen has done everything from asking for suggestions on making fans' experiences better to seeking their thoughts on the most interesting players who were non-tendered at last week's deadline."
Mets getting close with free-agent catcher James McCann, sources tell The Athletic. Deal expected to be four years.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 9, 2020
How No Universal DH Affects the Marlins in 2021 - (Fish Stripes)
"One of the silver-linings in what was a strange 2020 season was the implementation of the universal DH-rule. Now, NL teams are being told to prepare for a reversion to a one-DH league."
Braves have plenty more moves to make this winter - (AJC.com)
"It remains to be seen whether the Braves make a move during the virtual meetings this week."