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Wire Taps: Will Washington Nationals’ title defense start in July? Eric Thames talks & more Nats links...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before we get all excited about the possibility of the 2020 season in July...

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Ballparks Remain Empty On What Would Have Been Baseball’s Opening Day Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Spring Training 2.0 in mid-June and the start of the 2020 campaign in July? Are you ready for baseball’s return? Are they rushing things? Will empty stadiums for MLB teams be real, real weird, or will you take any kind of baseball you can get? Eric Thames talked yesterday. There’s some Nationals trivia below. Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

Thames Talks:

Eric Thames on KBO, coloring books, Nationals - (MLB.com)
"The return of the Korea Baseball Organization this week brought back memories for Eric Thames."

Thames staying in shape, rekindling hobby during shutdown - (MASN)
"The 33-year-old slugger has had the Nats coaching, training, and strength and conditioning staffs check in to see how he was coming along over the past seven weeks."

Other Nats Stories:

Shortstop Cluff has experience coming back from time away from the game - (MASN)
"In a breakout 2019 season, Cluff slashed .327/.458/.518 with 20 doubles, three triples, four homers, 12 stolen bases and 56 RBIs, garnering the attention of pro scouts, especially the Nats."

How many games are needed for a legitimate season? - (MASN)
"But how many games are necessary for a season to feel complete? If they start up in mid-August and play 60 games before holding a modified postseason tournament, will that feel legitimate?"

Nationals trivia: Who did Stephen Strasburg hit his four home runs against? - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Stephen Strasburg is huge. He’s 6-foot-5, 235 pounds. 'Running into one' is an actual strategy for someone that size."

Bryce Harper Explains His Entire Free Agency — (The Nats Report)
"Former Washington Nationals superstar Bryce Harper goes in-depth and details one of the most anticipated free agency periods for a player ever, finally, in his own words."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Nats stars, Expos legends top club's int'l history - (MLB.com)
"3. Juan Soto, Dominican Republic - Some prospects take time getting adjusted to the Majors. That wasn’t the case for Soto."

MLB return-to-play proposal expected within week, sources say - (ESPN)
"Major League Baseball expects to offer a return-to-play proposal to the MLB Players Association within a week as teams have begun to encourage players to prepare for a "spring" training that could begin in mid-June..."

Nationals Outfielder Michael A. Taylor Buying and Selling in Florida - (realtor.com®)
"Washington Nationals outfielder Michael A. Taylor is busy making real estate moves in Florida."

NL EAST UPDATES:

Joe Girardi asked about potential July 1 start date for MLB's regular season - (NBC Sports Philadelphia)
"Asked Tuesday by the 94WIP Morning Show whether he thinks baseball could return on July 1, Phillies manager Joe Girardi lent it a bit of credence by saying he's 'heard some chatter about that as well.'"

Darryl Strawberry opens up on rookie season that launched Mets revival - (NY Post)
"He has owned his mistakes, shared his regrets, arguably as much as any professional athlete of his time. Yet when Darryl Strawberry chatted on the phone last week, he shared one I hadn’t heard previously."

Miami's Top 5 international signings of all time - (MLB.com)
"On MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 International Prospects list, the Marlins are the favorite to sign the No. 9-ranked player, Cuban shortstop Yiddi Cappe, according to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez."

Braves’ new division rivals: Josh Donaldson and the Twins? - (AJC.com)
"When he declined to meet Josh Donaldson’s asking price, Alex Anthopoulos knew the third baseman was gone."