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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals’ Joe Ross & Josh Harrison on the Players Alliance Pull Up Neighbor mobile tour + more...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while we wait to see if Mike Rizzo tries to bolster the starting staff...

New York Mets v Washington Nationals Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Josh Harrison talked previously about how he ended up in D.C. last season, after he signed with the Phillies but didn’t make their Opening Day roster out of Spring Training 2.0. Having left camp with Philadelphia, the veteran utility man was driving with his family back to their home in Cincinnati. He thought he had a deal in place with Atlanta, but Washington called and offered him a spot on their big league roster, something other teams weren’t willing to offer, so he took the deal.

“I was talking to a few teams, I was literally getting ready to sign with the Braves, I had drove home, my wife and my kids with me. I followed my wife, eight-hour drive, we left at like 4:00 in the morning, I’m getting ready to sign with the Braves,” Harrison explained, “... and I get 20 minutes from my house, and my agent calls and says, ‘How do you like being a National? “They want you right now?’ I said, ‘I love it, I wish they would have called eight hours ago.’

Harrison signed on with the Nationals, played out the season, and this winter, after testing free agency, he re-signed in the nation’s capital, returning for another season with skipper Davey Martinez and Co. We’ll have more on Harrison’s decision tomorrow. For now, go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

Ross and Harrison - Players Alliance Pull Up Neighbor Tour:

Players Alliance tour visiting Washington - (MLB.com)
"The Players Alliance’s Pull Up Neighbor campaign is stopping at 30 stadiums over two months, and the Nationals’ organization and players are getting involved."

Joe Ross was not comfortable playing last season, but feels good coming back - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Ross chose not to play in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, forfeiting his salary and the daily routine his family is ingrained with."

Nationals pitcher Joe Ross found his voice during a season away - (WaPost)
“While conversations and actions regarding social justice reverberated throughout baseball, Ross watched from afar and thought about his reach as a professional athlete.”

Ross doesn't regret opt-out decision, ready to return in 2021 - Nationals Pastime
"Though there remains plenty of uncertainty surrounding the 2021 MLB season and what protocols will be necessary to begin the season before the COVID-19 vaccine is widely distributed, Ross says he’s comfortable returning to play."

Ross and Harrison excited to join Pull Up Together campaign - (MASN)
"Current Nationals players Joe Ross and Josh Harrison are two of the 143 active members in the Players Alliance, which has helped to contribute $41.7 million to black communities across the nation."

Other Nats Links:

New additions won't matter if returning Nats don't improve - (MASN)
"What do the Nationals need in order to become a contender again in 2021? At this point, surely you can rattle off the list of needs."

Every player in the Nats Ring of Honor - (MLB.com)
"There currently are 23 players inducted into the Ring of Honor at Nats Park."

Juan Soto the recruiter? Nationals star eyeing a few top free agents - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Washington saw several key contributors hit free agency before declining options on several others. The result is a Nationals roster in need of some patchwork, and Juan Soto has a few ideas for how they might fix that up."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

2021 ZiPS Projections: Washington Nationals - (FanGraphs)
"There are a lot of names from the 2019 World Series championship that are no longer here, but the two most important ones are: Juan Soto and Trea Turner."

Podcast: Washington Nationals Top 10 Prospects - (Baseball America)
"Lacy Lusk joins Kyle Glaser to break down the Nationals farm system, including the close race for No. 1, whether Yasel Antuna's rebound is for real and what to realistically expect from Seth Romero and Mason Denaburg moving forward."

NL EAST UPDATES:

How the Philadelphia Phillies botched their rebuild -- and what it tells us about tanking - (ESPN)
"Like bank robbers digging underground to reach a vault from below, the Phillies dug and dug and dug -- but when they emerged from their tunnel, they were in the Rite-Aid bathroom across the street from the bank."

Mets in mix for Jake Odorizzi as pitching market heats up - (NY Post)
"The Mets are active in this arena and one pitcher they have expressed interest in is Jake Odorizzi. But the righty is believed to be much more engaged with other teams right now."

Winter baseball’s value for some top Miami Marlins prospects - (Miami Herald)
“The Marlins’ Jose Salas, Jesus Sanchez, Harold Ramirez, Lewin Diaz and Joe Dunand are playing organized winter ball to get extra reps before 2021 spring training...”

Three moves Braves should make this offseason, including re-signing Marcell Ozuna - (CBSSports.com)
"Atlanta's roster is a great balance of veterans and an impressive young core, and their offense during the abbreviated season was one of the best in all of baseball."