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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals’ first base options; Minor league affiliates + more Nats news...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while we all wait to see if GM Mike Rizzo has a surprise blockbuster the baseball world isn’t expecting...

Baltimore Orioles v Washington Nationals Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

While everyone is hoping for a normal offseason, normal Spring Training, and normal start to the 2021 season, nothing is guaranteed. Did you learn nothing from 2020? Will they be able to get 162 games in? Teams have been told to move forward as if there won’t be a DH in the NL in 2021. So that’s already an improvement over this past season. Though we like totally understood why they did it for the 60-game run, and agreed with the rationale. It’d be great if it was just a normal season though. But whatever. As long as there’s no runners on second in extras ever again. Ever. Ever. Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

Nationals need help at first base, and these three options could provide it - (Washington Times)
"The Washington Nationals have a gaping hole at first base that needs to be filled this offseason, but the clearest option is now out of the equation."

Can Juan Soto win the Triple Crown? ‘I gotta keep grinding, man’ - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Soto is still just 22 years old, but he’s already established himself as one of the best players in the sport."

‘Christmas came early': Ryan Zimmerman adds World Series trophy to bookcase - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Ryan Zimmerman’s wife, Heather, posted a video on Thursday of the Nationals infielder opening a replica World Series trophy and placing it on his bookshelf."

What Carlos Santana’s contract tells us about the Nationals and free agency - (NBC Sports Washington)
"The Nationals are empty at first base. They could again conjure a left-right platoon to resolve the issue."

Nationals extend invites to Rochester Red Wings, Harrisburg Senators, Wilmington Blue Rocks and Fredericksburg Nationals - (WaPost)
“On Wednesday, in another step of this confusing minor league baseball saga, the Washington Nationals extended invites to four affiliates...”

Rule 5 draft success stories are few and far between - (MASN)
"Did you know the Nats haven’t selected a player in the MLB portion of the draft since 2010? They’ve also had only one player poached from them in the last six drafts."

Adam Eaton finds himself in the middle of baseball’s past and present - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Juan Soto and Victor Robles -- whose on-field, in-game celebrating was corralled by Davey Martinez -- provided Eaton a look at what will be a more prevalent mindset in Chicago..."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Fredericksburg Nationals will maintain relationship with Nats - (WTOP)
"The baseball team once known as the Potomac Nationals has a new home in Fredericksburg, Virginia, with a brand new ballpark — and now there has been confirmation that an old relationship will continue with the Washington Nationals."

Harrisburg Senators invited to extend affiliation with Washington Nationals - (ABC27)
"The Washington Nationals are again offering the Harrisburg Senators a chance to play ball."

MLB teams extend minor league invites as part of reconfigured system - (WaPost)
“Having won the power struggle for control of the sport’s player development pipelines, Major League Baseball on Wednesday took its first public step to roll out its newly configured minor league system...”

Fresno Grizzlies to become Single-A affiliate for Colorado Rockies - (ABC30 Fresno)
"On Wednesday, city leaders announced that the Fresno Grizzlies will become the Single-A affiliate for the Colorado Rockies."

NL EAST UPDATES:

Imagining a Yankees-Phillies Zack Wheeler trade: Starting outfielder, pitching prospect as bait for a deal - (nj.com)
"If the Phillies are bleeding money or need to open up salary to re-sign J.T. Realmuto or Didi Gregorius, trading Jean Segura or Wheeler makes sense."

Angels emerge as Mets’ biggest competition for James McCann - (NY Post)
"Despite the belief that the New York Mets are the favorites to sign James McCann, the former White Sox catcher has other suitors."

Marlins invite four Minor League affiliates - (MLB.com)
"The Marlins have spent the past few seasons constructing one of the top farm systems in the Majors. On Wednesday, the organization cleared up where those prospects will play."

Atlanta Braves keeping Double-A team in Mississippi - (WTVA)
"The Atlanta Braves announced four teams it has invited to be part of the franchise’s minor league structure for 2021 and beyond, including the Mississippi Braves."