Juan Soto achieved Super Two status! He’s going to be expensive. Max Scherzer getting an extension hasn’t been discussed... at least not as far as Mike Rizzo has heard. Rizzo and the Nationals’ skipper spent a combined 82+ minutes with the media on Tuesday, talking about the club’s offseason moves and plans as Washington’s 2019 World Series winners try to get back to the postseason after a disappointing 2020 run. There is plenty of news below, why are you still up here? Go read your links...
Nationals’ Big Bat Search:
Mike Rizzo and Dave Martinez discuss Washington Nationals' offseason - (WaPost)
“Mike Rizzo was fine with admitting that, no, the Washington Nationals don’t have any offers out to free agents.”
Rizzo: Big bat is No. 1 priority, owners willing to pay for it - (MASN)
"After watching his club struggle to maximize the MVP-caliber offensive performances it got from Turner and Soto during the shortened 2020 season, Rizzo determined the addition of another significant hitter is necessary for 2021."
Nationals prioritize finding big bat this offseason - (Washington Times)
"There’s never been a secret as to how general manager Mike Rizzo went about building his Washington Nationals roster."
What the Nationals' big bat pursuit will tell us – (The Athletic)
"In an offseason where real, definitive answers are hard to come by, Tuesday felt — at times — like an important dissertation in D.C. baseball."
More Notes From Davey And Rizzo:
Nats GM Rizzo: No 'serious conversation' about Kris Bryant - (Washington Times)
"Rizzo laid to rest any such speculation pretty plainly during a video conference call with reporters Tuesday."
#Nationals' skipper Davey Martinez mentioned that #Cubs' 3B Kris Bryant's name, "... has definitely come up in conversations," within the #Nats' front office this winter, but GM Mike Rizzo had this to say when asked about the possibility of trading for the infielder: pic.twitter.com/hpfyu6eOFk— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) December 15, 2020
National manager Davey Martinez will take coronavirus vaccine but won’t require players - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Nationals manager Davey Martinez will not require his players to take the coronavirus vaccine once it’s available, though the skipper plans to do so himself as soon as he’s able."
No ‘substantive’ conversations yet about an extension for Max Scherzer - (NBC Sports Washington)
"For now, both Scherzer and the Nationals are operating in definitives. Scherzer will be back for 2021."
Nationals haven’t had ‘serious’ conversations about Kris Bryant in years - (NBC Sports Washington)
"On a Zoom call with reporters, Rizzo said the Nationals have not 'had a serious conversation about Kris Bryant in probably two years.'"
Strasburg's return to full health crucial to formulating 2021 rotation - (MASN)
"With Strasburg returning to full health, manager Davey Martinez is excited to have the strength of his pitching, the top three arms in the rotation, together again."
Among the players who qualified for arbitration by reaching Super Two status, per source: Yankees’ Clint Frazier, Gleyber Torres and Luke Voit; Braves’ Max Fried and Mike Soroka; Dodgers’ Walker Buehler; Mets’ Dom Smith; Nationals’ Juan Soto; Brewers’ Brandon Woodruff.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 15, 2020
Other Nats Links:
Nationals choose their four minor league managers for 2021 - (WaPost)
“The Washington Nationals have designated the four managers who will lead their minor league affiliates in 2021.”
Notes on Mendoza, Cluff and Snyder from alternate site - (MASN)
"And when the 23-year-old Mendoza got going, the Florida State product demonstrated how he had been able to increase power in his swing by shortening his path to the ball."
Washington Nationals GM dispels idea of acquiring Chicago Cubs' Kris Bryant - (ESPN)
"Moments after his manager mentioned that Chicago Cubs star Kris Bryant has 'come up' in conversations, Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo quashed any ideas of acquiring the former MVP."
We asked @Nationals manager Davey Martinez if he's ever seen a hitter like Juan Soto before.— MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (@MLBNetworkRadio) December 15, 2020
He said Barry Bonds. Immediately.
Which doesn't work, because at age 21, Juan Soto's OPS was '. pic.twitter.com/sbuZaEKXLM
Could the Nationals trade Max Scherzer this winter? Cases for and against dealing three-time Cy Young winner - (CBSSports.com)
"Maybe the Nationals will have another poor season in 2021, pushing Scherzer to sign elsewhere so he can win again before he retires. Who's to say he won't decline and the club will want to walk away?"
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."
What if Scherzer had never been a Tiger? - (MLB.com)
"The baseball world changed dramatically on Dec. 8, 2009, when the D-backs, Tigers and Yankees came together to make a six-player deal, with Max Scherzer winding up in Detroit."
#Nats have been rumored to be in the catching market this winter, after Yan Gomes and Kurt Suzuki did pretty much all the catching for the #Nationals the last two years. Suzuki is a FA now, so are they looking for a backup or a catcher who will share duties with Gomes?: pic.twitter.com/VCGMI2thgt— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) December 15, 2020
NL EAST UPDATES:
Dave Dombrowski focused on fixing Phillies bullpen that still makes Joe Girardi wince - (NBC Sports Philadelphia)
"In consecutive years, the Phillies have hired two of the most accomplished people available to be their manager and president of baseball operations."
Mets eyeing Liam Hendriks in potential free agency plan - (NY Post)
"The Mets, according to a source, are among the teams showing interest in Liam Hendriks, who is regarded among the top relievers on the free-agent market."
Why Peyton Burdick of the Miami Marlins is highly rated - (Fish Stripes)
"Ranked the Marlins’ 16th best prospect, Burdick went through the Marlins instructional league for a month and a half that began late September."
Will the Braves be challenged within the division? - (valdostadailytimes.com)
"But just for chuckles, how close is the rest of the division to being a legitimate threat to supplant the Braves as the division's best? Lets start from the bottom up shall we."