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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals sign Luis Avilán to minor league deal; Mike Rizzo & Davey Martinez talk + more Nats links...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while you wait to see what metaphor Mike Rizzo chooses to discuss his work this winter...

Washington Nationals Summer Workouts Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Davey Martinez and Mike Rizzo last talked to reporters back in late September, (outside of Rizzo’s visit with the Sports Junkies earlier this month) when the two of them held a press conference to formally announce the manager’s multi-year extension. It has been a while since we heard from the Nationals’ brass, but both the skipper and the GM & President of Baseball Ops will meet with the D.C. press corps via Zoom this afternoon and it will be an opportunity to get a status check on how things are progressing as they work to rebound from a disappointing 2020 campaign.

How’s that catcher search going? Will they add to their rotation? How about that middle of the order bat? Why did Davey decide to go to a new pitching coach? Maybe we’ll get some answer-ish things. Maybe not. Either way. Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

Reports: Nationals sign Luis Avilán to pad left-handed reliever depth - (NBC Sports Washington)


"The Nationals have signed left-handed reliever Luis Avilán to a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training, according to multiple reports."

Monday morning Nats Q&A - (MASN)
"All of the significant roster holes they knew they had a month ago remain significant roster holes. They’ve made a handful of fringe transactions, but nothing all that consequential yet."

Report: Cleveland Indians follow in WFT footsteps, will change name - (NBC Sports Washington)
"The alteration follows years of protests deriding the name as racist, putting Cleveland in position to reconsider, then subsequently change the nickname, akin to the Washington Football Team."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

These are Nationals' top 5 pitching seasons - (MLB.com)
"Scherzer reached the 300-strikeout milestone, and he needed just 220 1/3 innings to do so -- the fifth-fewest innings of all time in a 200-strikeout season."

Phillies brass going to ask Bryce Harper to trust them - (NBC Sports Washington)
"A natural question was posed to Joe Girardi on Monday: Are you worried about Bryce Harper being upset?"

Dusty Baker, 71, unsure whether he wants to manage Houston Astros beyond 2021 - (ESPN)
"Dusty Baker isn't sure if he'd like to manage the Houston Astros beyond the upcoming season."

1 future Hall of Famer on each team - (MLB.com)
"Nationals: Max Scherzer, RHP: Has he already gotten himself in? Those three Cy Youngs, and the World Series title, have to do it, yes?"

Relive '20's most spectacular Statcast plays - (MLB.com)
"Nationals: Soto slams the Mets - [Lewis] Brinson might have robbed Soto of one homer, but absolutely no one was bringing back the pair of moonshots that the Nationals’ prodigy slammed over the course of one mid-August series against the Mets."

NL EAST UPDATES:

Indians facing massive Francisco Lindor trade headache - (NY Post)
"Sandy Alderson has indicated that the dearth of upper-level prospects has him wanting to buy, rather than trade for, solutions this offseason."

One of many pieces of Phillies' failed decision-making during rebuild - (NBC Sports Philadelphia)
"The Phillies made big news as this week came to a close by filling their front office leadership vacancy with two-time World Series-winning executive Dave Dombrowski."

Marlins Contract Extension Candidate: Sandy Alcantara - (Fish Stripes)
"In what looks to be a few more years before the team is a true championship contender, we review Sandy Alcantara’s Marlins tenure thus far and make the case for him here long-term."

Braves remain committed to name as other teams make changes - (AJC.com)
"The Braves continue to signal a commitment to their team name, including a spotlight on Native American culture and tradition in recent weeks, as other professional sports franchises have opted to change names."