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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals acquire Josh Bell; Still room for Ryan Zimmerman + more Nats links...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while you wait to see what area of need Mike Rizzo addresses next...

Baltimore Orioles v Washington Nationals Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Josh Bell put up big numbers in 2019, and the Nationals are hoping for a return to form from the 28-year-old first baseman who struggled at the plate in 2020. Having acquired Bell over the holiday, however, GM Mike Rizzo is not done building the roster for 2021, and the switch hitting Bell coming to D.C. doesn’t necessarily mean there’s no room on the roster for Ryan Zimmerman, who’s hoping to return for a 16th season in D.C. after opting out of playing this past season.

“I’d think that the acquisition of Josh Bell isn’t going to prohibit us from looking for a good right-handed hitter that either comes off the bench or plays multiple positions or something like that,” Rizzo said when asked about Zimmerman in a Zoom call over the weekend.

“So, we certainly haven’t ruled out a Zim reunion, and that skill set still fits on our roster.”

Ugh, just announce a deal already. Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

Nations' offseason takes shape after signing of Josh Bell – (The Athletic)
"There are many different looks to Josh Bell’s swing, but the more Nationals hitting coach Kevin Long watched the years of tape on Washington’s newest middle-of-the-order bat, the more encouraged he became."

Nationals believe Bell is "a big upgrade for us" - (MASN)
"In the end, the move that made the most sense to Rizzo was a trade for Josh Bell: a power-hitting first baseman who put up huge numbers for the Pirates in 2019..."

Josh Bell represents a league-wide question: What to make of 2020? - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Mike Rizzo said batting coach Kevin Long has a distinct plan for Bell."

In Josh Bell, the Nationals added a big bat. Now Mike Rizzo might search for another. - (WaPost)
“Bell’s arrival invites a big question: What’s next for the Nationals?”

Josh Bell aims to be key piece in Nationals' playoff aspirations - (Washington Times)
"When Josh Bell stepped outside to call Ben Cherington back, the first baseman already had an inkling what the Pirates general manager would say on the other end of the line."

Josh Bell is capable of protecting Juan Soto in the lineup, but is he ready? - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Now that the Nationals have Bell in tow, the focus shifts to where he fits in the lineup."

TKCHZ?:

Nats' Rizzo says Bell trade won't prevent Zimmerman reunion - (Washington Times)
"Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo says the team isn’t ruling out a reunion with Ryan Zimmerman after acquiring slugger Josh Bell to play first base this week."

Is there still room for Zimmerman on 2021 roster? - (MASN)
"The last time Rizzo acquired a first baseman with the intention of starting him on opening day was 2011."

NL EAST UPDATES:

The scenario each NL East team must avoid in 2021 - (NBC Sports Philadelphia)
For the Phillies, failure would be losing J.T. Realmuto, missing the playoffs again, having a 10th straight non-winning season, further frustrating the fanbase and potentially Bryce Harper.

Steve Cohen taking 'fan-centric' approach to Mets ownership - (NY Post)
"Steve Cohen has Mets fans buzzing since officially become the majority owner less than two months ago."

Miguel Rojas has been a statistical clone of Martín Prado with Marlins - (Fish Stripes)
"The importance of the 31-year-old Venezuelan’s leadership cannot be overstated."

Brian Snitker remembers ‘great Braves ambassador’ Phil Niekro - (AJC.com)
"Braves manager Brian Snitker was a minor-league catcher during one of his earliest encounters with Hall of Fame knuckleballer Phil Niekro, which he estimates occurred in the late 1970s."