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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals’ Joe Ross avoids arbitration; Ryan Zimmerman plans? Juan Soto recruiting efforts + more...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while you wait to see if Juan Soto can convince players to come to D.C. via Instagram.

Washington Nationals v New York Yankees Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Citing “a ‘multitude’ of factors” as The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal wrote this winter, Joe Ross opted out of participating in the 2020 COVID campaign, and in doing so, the 27-year-old right-hander forfeited, “$555,555 and [had] his free agency delayed by one year, until the 2022-23 offseason.”

Ross signed what is reportedly a 1-year/$1.5M deal with the Nationals on Tuesday, avoiding arbitration with the club after he signed for the same amount last January.

In 2019, Ross made 27 appearances (nine of them starts) for the Nats in the regular season, with a 5.48 ERA, a 4.59 FIP, 33 walks (4.64 BB/9), and 57 Ks (8.02 K/9) in 64 IP, then made a start and one relief appearances in the postseason on the way to Washington’s first World Series championship since 1924.

How will Ross do after a year off from competitive play? Are you penciling him into a spot at the back end of the rotation in 2021?

Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

Ross Avoids Arbitration:

Ross agrees to $1.5 million salary, avoiding arbitration - (MASN)
“The right-hander’s contract is for the same amount he was due to earn in 2020 before he elected to opt out of the shortened season.”

Reports: Nats, Joe Ross agree to $1.5 million deal for 2021, avoid arbitration - (NBC Sports Washington)
“As part of MLB’s agreement with the players association, Ross didn’t receive any major league service time while he sat out.”

Joe Ross, Washington Nationals agree to $1.5 million salary for 2021 - (WaPost)
“Ross is expected to again compete for the fifth spot in Washington’s starting rotation.”

Ross, Nationals agree to one-year deal - (MLB.com)
“Since he did not earn service time in ‘20, in which he was set to earn $1.5 million, he remains arbitration-eligible next year.”

Other Nats Stories:

Report: Nationals likely to ‘spread the money around’ in free agency - (NBC Sports Washington)
"While the Nationals have been linked as potential suitors for Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant and free agent infielder DJ LeMahieu, Rosenthal called it 'unlikely' for Washington to land either player."

Nationals awaiting a decision from Ryan Zimmerman on his return in 2021 - (NBC Sports Washington)
"'We're certainly gonna have Joe Ross on the team next year and [Zimmerman], we'll have to make a decision on him depending on what his feelings are with his family,' Rizzo said."

Nats prospect Cole Henry way ahead of game as 2021 approaches - (MASN)
"At fall instructional league play, Nats pitching coordinator Brad Holman said Henry showed a three-pitch repertoire with a fastball reaching the mid-90s and a 12-to-6 curveball."

Juan Soto appears to be recruiting Trevor Bauer to the Nationals on Instagram - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Bauer will have no shortage of suitors, and fans of just about every MLB team would be excited to see him come to their cities. But for Juan Soto, at least, the choice should be clear."

Stats don't tell story of Nats fans' adoration for Taylor - (MASN)
"Why was this part-time player with the .237 average, .291 on-base percentage and more than 10 times as many strikeouts as home runs so popular among Nationals fans?"

Report: Howie Kendrick expects to play in 2021- (NBC Sports Washington)
"Kendrick plans to play whether the universal DH returns or not, according to The Athletic. He could be a platoon option at first base in Washington, as could Ryan Zimmerman."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

How the Nationals can keep their window of contention open after step back in 2020 - (CBSSports.com)
"The Nationals need to get their star players some more help; here are three ways they can do it..."

Outfielder Michael Taylor joins KC Royals in MLB free agency - (The Kansas City Star)
"The deal with Taylor is for one year and $1.75 million, plus up to an additional $1 million in performance bonuses based on plate appearances, a source with knowledge of the contract told The Kansas City Star."

Fresno fights Grizzlies demotion - (Ballpark Digest)
"The city of Fresno is fighting a demotion of the Fresno Grizzlies (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) to the California League, and city officials say they’ve received time from Major League Baseball to find a solution."

NL EAST UPDATES:

MLB rumors: Will Phillies get rid of Vince Velasquez before deadline? - (PhillyVoice)
"The MLB's deadline to tender a contract to a player (who is under team control and has under six years of service time) is at 7 p.m. on December 2nd, and it is possible Philadelphia may decide to walk away from a player who has caused a steady stream of frustration and anxiety since he was first traded for in 2016: Vince Velasquez."

Mets' failure to lure execs is early Steve Cohen blemish - (NY Post)
"But the early days of the Steve Cohen/Sandy Alderson administration have been marked by their failure to lure the pickers."

Miami Marlins acquire Adam Cimber from Cleveland Indians, designate Jose Urena for assignment - (ESPN)
"The Indians sold side-arm reliever Adam Cimber to the Marlins on Monday for $100,000, and Miami designated right-hander José Ureña for assignment."

Is Braves Superstar And NL MVP Freddie Freeman Now On A Hall Of Fame Track? - (Forbes)
"On his first night as the NL MVP, Freddie Freeman spoke in admiring tones about one of his award-winning Braves predecessors."