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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals announce Non-Roster Invitees to Spring Training, hold first workouts today + more Nats links...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before the first new stories of the season start trickling out of West Palm Beach, FL.

Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

The Washington Nationals finally...finally...released the official list of their non-roster invitees to Spring Training yesterday, giving fans a complete look at the talent they’ve assembled for the 2020 campaign. There are a few intriguing names among the NRIs, though there are not too many position battles this time around, provided everyone’s able to get through the first workouts and Grapefruit League games in good shape. Before we move on to the links, here is the list of NRIs for this Spring:

Some prospects, some journeymen, it’s an interesting mix. Will anyone on the list force their way into the mix this Spring? We’ll find out over the next month-plus.

Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

Numbers Stories:

Nats invite 22 non-roster players to big league camp - (MASN)
"Along with the full 40-man roster, these non-roster invitees give the Nationals a total of 62 players in major league camp to open the spring, with more additions likely to come along the way."

Seven Nats exhibition games to be broadcast on MASN - (MASN)
"The Feb. 22 opener from West Palm Beach (6 p.m. on MASN) will be among the most anticipated spring training games in some time, with the Nationals taking the field for the first time as defending champions..."

3 predictions as Nationals begin title defense - (MLB.com)
"The starting third-base job is up for grabs, and the Nationals could go in a few different directions. Short of a trade, the team could name a 22-year-old prospect the starter, or on the flip side, choose a veteran."

Nationals report to spring training: 5 questions facing champs in 2020 - (Washington Times)
"The defending World Series champions were overshadowed this offseason by the Houston Astros — with whom they share a training facility in Florida — and that franchise’s colossal sign-stealing scandal."

Uh, Non-number stories?:

Nationals’ nonroster invites highlighted by Luis García and Dakota Bacus - (WaPost)
"The Washington Nationals will enter spring training with 62 players, including a full 40-man roster and 22 nonroster invitees."

Nationals non-roster invitees include prospect Luis Garcia and interesting relievers - (NBC Sports Washington)
"And if there is a portion of the Nationals’ non-roster invitee list for spring training with an outside chance of making the team, it’s among the relievers."

As Nationals and Astros arrive to shared spring training facility, all is quiet — for now - (WaPost)
"So on one plot of land, we will have the defending champs, the disgraced champs, the club that lost to the defending champs and the manager, Dusty Baker, who was fired for not leading the now-defending champs to a title three years ago."

Can Starlin Castro keep up his surprising offensive success with the Nationals? - (NBC Sports Washington)
"By signing Starlin Castro to a modest two-year, $12 million deal in January, the Nationals made one of their safest bets of the offseason."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Rule changes announced for 2020 season - (MLB.com)
"There are four categories of rules going into effect: the three-batter minimum for pitchers, roster limits, adjustments to the injured list and option periods for pitchers and two-way players, and a reduction in the time managers have to challenge a play."

One stat that will shape 2020 for each National League team - (ESPN)
"The number: 139. Anthony Rendon created about 139 runs in his 646 plate appearances in 2019."

World Series Champ Helps Steer Star Freshman to Wolfpack - (SI.com)
"But it wasn’t until he talked to Trea Turner of the Washington Nationals that he decided to follow a similar path to the 2019 World Series champion and come to Raleigh as the Wolfpack’s next star shortstop."

MLB players react to Astros scandal: What was said around the league at spring training - (NBC Sports Washington)
"With pitchers and catchers from across MLB reporting to their respective spring training facilities this week, many players are speaking with the media for the first time since the details of the Astros’ efforts to steal signs..."

NL EAST UPDATES:

Phillies 2020 PECOTA win projection is just 77 games - (NBC Sports Philadelphia)
"In reality, the Phillies have better than a 2 percent chance to win the NL East. PECOTA is not advertising itself as the Holy Grail but there are certain factors that are simply immeasurable."

Yes, the Mets Are Still for Sale. No, the Owners Don’t Have to Sell Them - (The New York Times)
"As Steve Cohen, the hedge fund billionaire, ended his bid for the Mets last week after months of negotiations, he left no doubt what he wanted to happen next, as a fan and an investor."

Brad Boxberger signs with Marlins - (MLB.com)
"The reshaping of the Marlins’ bullpen continues, as the organization reached an agreement Thursday with former All-Star reliever Brad Boxberger on a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training."

Braves pitcher Cole Hamels hurt, won't be ready for start of season - (AJC.com)
"Cole Hamels will miss at least three weeks as the newly-acquired Braves starter injured his shoulder during offseason workouts, according to manager Brian Snitker on the first day of spring training Wednesday."