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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals acquire Josh Bell from Bucs on Christmas Eve; What’s next for the Nats? + more...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while you wait to see what Mike Rizzo does next after adding a big bat to the middle of the lineup...

Pittsburgh Pirates v Washington Nationals Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

We’re going to let Washington Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo handle the link post introduction since he went out and got one of those middle-of-the-order bats he’d been looking for in the market this winter. There’s more work to do for sure, but after attacking “the fringes” over the last few weeks, Rizzo and Co. in the front office in D.C. got the big bat they were after and you can read a few takes below on who got the best of the deal in the instant-y reactions. Rizzo’s take?

“We are thrilled to be adding a player of Josh Bell’s caliber to our team,” Rizzo said in a press release on the deal. “[Bell] adds a switch-hitting power bat to our lineup. And we know Josh will be an outstanding addition to our clubhouse and our community.”

Happy with the latest addition? Tell us all about — Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

Nationals Acquire Josh Bell From Pirates:

Josh Bell acquisition doesn’t close door on Ryan Zimmerman’s return - (NBC Sports Washington)
"If anything, Josh Bell being traded to the Nationals makes Ryan Zimmerman’s return all the more likely."

Washington Nationals acquire Josh Bell in deal with Pittsburgh Pirates - (WaPost)
“He is expected to make roughly $6 million in 2021, his second year of arbitration eligibility, which should leave room for the Nationals to keep spending this winter.”

Nationals acquire first baseman Josh Bell in trade with Pirates - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Bell strikes out often and is a subpar defender at first base. He will, however, add some power to a Nationals lineup desperate for a boost."

Nats get big bat for Christmas, acquire Josh Bell from Bucs - (MASN)
"General manager Mike Rizzo found a much-desired big bat to stuff into the Nationals’ stocking just hours before the sun sets on Christmas Eve: Josh Bell."

Nationals trade for first baseman Josh Bell - (Washington Times)
"The Washington Nationals found an answer to one of their major needs Thursday, trading for first baseman Josh Bell of the Pittsburgh Pirates."

Bell heading to Nationals in trade with Bucs - (MLB.com)
"In his career, Bell has hit 261/.349/.466 with an .814 OPS. He averages .271 against righties compared to .232 against lefties."

Other Nats Links:

Kendrick's immeasurable impact on the Nationals - (MASN)
"Think about it. Do the Nats get over the hump and win a postseason series for the first time without Kendrick?"

Will Nationals partner catcher Yan Gomes with a big name or veteran? - (NBC Sports Washington)
"So, it’s not odd to hear Davey Martinez or Mike Rizzo say they foresee Gomes catching 90-100 games in 2020. He peaked at 135 as a 26-year-old in 2014."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

MLBTR Poll: Grading The Josh Bell Trade - (MLB Trade Rumors)
"Christmas Eve isn’t a time to expect blockbuster moves to take place in Major League Baseball, but the Nationals and Pirates came together on a significant trade Thursday."

Pirates trade first baseman Josh Bell to Nationals - (CBSSports.com)
"While noting that the Nationals don't have a particularly strong farm system right now, our own R.J. Anderson ranked Crowe, 26, as the Nats' No. 2 prospect and gave Yean, 19, a nod in 'others to know.'"

Josh Bell traded to the Washington Nationals - (Fake Teams)
"Bell had a down year last year, but brings a lot of power to the table. He hit 37 home runs and slugged .569 as recently as 2019, a top 15 mark in the league."

Nationals analyst on J.T. Realmuto: 'I just don't see it happening' - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Christmas has arrived but there still isn't much clarity with J.T. Realmuto's free-agent situation."

Each team's best prospect 'gift' - (MLB.com)
"Nationals: Trea Turner, SS - The No. 13 overall pick in the 2014 Draft had been in San Diego’s system for less than six months when the club sent him to Washington..."

NL EAST UPDATES:

A Phillies fan predicted their entire front office overhaul 3 months ago - (NBC Sports Philadelphia)
"This is ridiculous. More than three months ago, @YoshkeZoidberg on Twitter predicted the Phillies’ entire front office overhaul."

Mets' Steve Cohen says team needs to rebuild farm system - (New York Daily News)
"Steve Cohen, two months into being the new owner of the Mets, said he believes in the farm system."

How Marlins may manage innings counts - (MLB.com)
"Starting-pitching depth is a strength of the Marlins, and in all likelihood, the organization will lean heavily on it in 2021."

Drew Smyly’s curveball is backwards - (Talking Chop)
"To be clear, you probably should have already been excited about Smyly’s curveball in a vacuum."