Pitchers and catchers report tomorrow. Davey Martinez will speak to reporters for the first time at Spring Training on Thursday. It’s all getting started. How can you tell? There are an abundance of articles being written again. The winter freeze is officially over! Links, links, links, all coming your way. Get caught up now. Go read your links...
Mike Rizzo and Davey Martinez enter spring training as champions and lame ducks - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Rizzo is in for another hard negotiation. He joked after his new deal in 2018 what a battle it is with the organization’s lawyers when trying to finish a contract between the sides."
Nationals’ Mike Rizzo and Dave Martinez both seek contract extensions - (WaPost)
"Given Martinez’s option, the Nationals could wait until next offseason to discuss an extension, according to multiple people with knowledge of their thinking. Rizzo’s situation, conversely, has a quickly ticking clock."
John Smoltz says Nationals’ top starters have ‘better stuff’ than Braves’ historic Big 3 - (NBC Sports Washington)
"NBC Sports Washington’s Nationals Talk crew sat down with Smoltz and asked him for his impressions of the trio Washington has built atop its rotation."
https://t.co/RDTj5m8cBd EXCLUSIVE: MLB is planning a radical change to their postseason perhaps by 2022, hoping to move from 5 to 7 teams in each league and -- get this -- have the teams with the best records pick their playoff opponents.— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) February 10, 2020
The Nats are bringing back their navy blue alternates. Yes, they’ll eventually be for sale - (WaPost)
"Nike did not respond to a request for comment, but a Nationals spokeswoman said the popular navy blue alternate jerseys will return this season and be available at the team store at Nationals Park."
Nationals to host ‘Champions Week’ with World Series banner reveal and ring ceremony - (NBC Sports Washington)
"The Nationals announced Monday morning that they’re going to host 'Championship Week' during the team’s first homestand of the 2020 season."
Nationals’ 2020 promotions, bobbleheads, giveaways schedule - (WaPost)
"The Nationals on Monday announced the first details of how they will celebrate their World Series title at Nationals Park this year with the release of their 2020 promotional schedule."
Spring training storylines: Finding the right lineup combo - (MASN)
"It’s surprise quiz time, folks. Do you remember who batted leadoff for the Nationals on opening day last season? Who hit sixth? Who hit eighth? (No peeking allowed.)"
2020 ZiPS Projections: Washington Nationals - (Fangraphs)
"[Juan] Soto didn’t quite meet his 2019 projection — yes, the OPS was close, but offense went up league-wide — but he was still a superstar, and with the departures of Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon in consecutive winters, he’s now undoubtedly the centerpiece of the offense."
Juan Soto, MVP? @DSzymborski's 2020 ZiPS projections for the Nationals have him among the league's elite hitters, but is that enough to help the defending champs overcome the loss of Anthony Rendon? https://t.co/cEsKHZBO1p— FanGraphs Baseball (@fangraphs) February 10, 2020
Death Stars and dynasty disasters: Ranking the offseasons of every MLB team – (The Athletic)
"The world champions lost their best position player — and they still had a good winter."
Making The Trip: Jim, Ricky check in on World Series champs at Nationals Park - (NBC Sports Philadelphia)
"Salisbury and Bottalico popped into the Nationals Park pro shop down in Washington, D.C., to get a better look at the defending World Series champion Nationals."
Inside the unprecedented scandal set to pollute West Palm Beach and the alternate baseball universe the Nationals are forced to live in – (The Athletic)
"Ten days after the Nationals’ World Series parade, The Athletic released an exclusive report detailing how the Houston Astros stole signs electronically in 2017."
Astros projected to win 98 games coming off scandal - (Yahoo!Sports)
"The reigning World Series champs might have some issues defending their title. The New York Mets (88 wins) are projected to topple the Washington Nationals (87 wins) in the National League East."
Report: MLB considering major postseason expansion, changes - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Did your team barely miss the MLB postseason last year? They might be in luck in the near future."
No idea who made this new playoff format proposal, but Rob is responsible for releasing it, so I’ll direct this to you, Rob Manfred. Your proposal is absurd for too many reasons to type on twitter and proves you have absolutely no clue about baseball. You’re a joke.— Trevor Bauer (@BauerOutage) February 11, 2020
NL EAST UPDATES:
Spring training 2020: A look at a huge Phillies roster - (Philadelphia Inquirer)
"They finished last season with a .500 record thanks to a starting rotation that appeared flawed before the season had begun. And now they come to camp with a roster that seems to grow by the day with players ready to inhale the soft breezes of Florida."
Wilson Ramos' Mets plan to avoid another Syndergaard debacle - (NY Post)
"After failing to mesh last season with Noah Syndergaard in particular — to the point the right-hander pushed for other options behind the plate — Ramos says he’s doesn’t anticipate such turbulence in 2020."
Jarlin García, José Quijada claimed off waivers - (MLB.com)
"Before opening Spring Training on Wednesday, the Marlins handled some unfinished roster business on Monday afternoon."
Braves roster preview: Rotation could be formidable ... or position of... - (AJC.com)
"More than any other spot — including the bullpen, third base and outfield — how the rotation shakes out is paramount to the Braves’ success in 2020."