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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals’ World Series rings; Howie Kendrick talks Astros + more Nats links...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before you get your ring finger measured...

MLB: Washington Nationals-Workouts Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Adam Eaton had his opportunity to weigh in on the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal on Tuesday morning, but the veteran Washington Nationals’ outfielder didn’t really offer a whole lot in the way of criticism, opting instead to discuss the impact of the coverage on his own club’s preparation for the defense of their World Series crown.

“Well, this is the most media we’ve had,” Eaton joked. “Honestly, I kind of like it from our end of the standpoint, because we’re not the focal point. It’s easier for us to put our World Series trophy behind us, the World Series behind us, and look forward to this year, so we’re excited for the opportunity to compete for another trophy, and like I said, to have all the high-ranking media over there half the time, it’s kind of nice for us to have a normal offseason and normal Spring Training just trying to get ready for 2020.”

Thanks, Astros. Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

Howie Doin’?:

Howie Kendrick has no sympathy for Astros, criticizes Rob Manfred's handling of scandal - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Asked on Tuesday morning if he -- a veteran about to play his 15th season -- was concerned about how Houston’s scandal reflected on baseball at large, Kendrick explained his view in simple and direct terms."

Notes: Kendrick on re-signing; first look at third base - (MLB.com)
"As Howie Kendrick celebrated the Nationals' World Series championship last year, he wasn’t certain if he would be reunited with his teammates this season. He had a hunch, though."

Kendrick never doubted he'd back with Nats for another year - (MASN)
"Howie Kendrick went home to Arizona a few days after the World Series ended, a free agent with no assurances of returning to the same Nationals club he had just helped lead to victory."

Other Nats Stories:

Nats getting fitted for rings today, won't see them until April 4 - (MASN)
"Players, coaches, support staff and front office executives all will be fitted for their championship rings over the next two days."

Mike Rizzo probably isn’t leaving the Nationals, but what are the Lerners waiting for? - (WaPost)
"Los Angeles Dodgers team president Stan Kasten says of Rizzo: 'Mike is the worst self-negotiator in the history of baseball. Who buys a new house [close to the park] with only one year left on a contract?'"

Carter Kieboom to step into void left by Rendon - (Washington Times)
"Kieboom had to answer questions about the uncertainty of replacing the ghost in the room — Rendon, who left for a seven-year, $240 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels."

Higher expectations, same mindset for Nats in '20 - (MLB.com)
"It’s not about acting as if the victorious seven-game World Series against the Astros never happened, though. It’s about not resting on laurels and avoiding complacency in the next season."

Why Juan Soto says he just wants to make the Nationals - (WaPost)
"He agreed to a $1.5 million bonus, the largest the Nationals had given to an international player. His family was ecstatic. He could not wait to get going. But before he did, and before the ink was dry, he got a message from Johnny DiPuglia."

Nats' infield intentions take shape during first workout - (MASN)
"The Nationals are giving Kieboom every opportunity win the starting job at third base, but if the organization’s top prospect is deemed not ready at the end of camp, it’ll be [Asdrúbal] Cabrera over there instead."

With the Nationals at Spring Training: Third things first - (WTOP)
"While Kieboom is learning the ropes at third, three Nats veterans have had the bulk of their experience at the position deep in their careers."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

National's World Series hero Howie Kendrick ready to repeat - (WJLA)
"Of course Kendrick couldn't escape his first media session of the spring without addressing the Houston Astros cheating scandal."

West Palm Beach holding World Series parade for Nationals - (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
"But before the games begin at the FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, the Nationals will look back and celebrate October’s championship with West Palm Beach."

Get to know the Nationals' Eric Thames. Washington's next fan-favorite player - (wusa9.com)
"Eric Thames is going to quickly become a fan-favorite among the new Nationals players."

Who are the richest MLB team owners - (Fox Business)
"A prominent real estate developer and founder of Lerner Enterprises, Lerner bought control of the Nationals franchise in 2006 for $450 million. He retired as the team’s 'control person' in 2018 and ceded management to his son, Mark Lerner."

NL EAST UPDATES:

McCutchen plans to be ready by Opening Day - (MLB.com)
"[Andrew] McCutchen opened camp Monday behind his teammates. Phillies manager Joe Girardi said they plan to bring him along slowly, meaning nobody should expect to see him in a Grapefruit League game this weekend."

Mets giving J.D. Davis chance to overcome third base woes - (NY Post)
"J.D. Davis began last season playing third base, but the Mets aborted that plan early because of a combination of factors."

Yamamoto will 'do whatever it takes' to start - (MLB.com)
"When right-hander Jordan Yamamoto takes the mound for the Marlins in their Grapefruit League opener on Saturday against the Mets, Miami's rotation battle will begin."

Braves' Nick Markakis says every Astro 'needs a beating' for sign stealing - (ESPN)
"Atlanta Braves outfielder Nick Markakis has joined the chorus blasting the Houston Astros over their sign-stealing scandal, telling reporters 'every single guy over there needs a beating.'"