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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals without Ryan Zimmerman; Top Nats’ storylines as Spring Training 2.0 starts + more...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while we wait for players to start arriving in the nation’s capital...

2019 World Series Game 7 - Washington Nationals v. Houston Astros Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced on Tuesday afternoon that the Nationals’ request for a waiver to hold Spring Training 2.0 in the nation’s capital would be approved.

With the club reuniting on Wednesday so everyone can be tested in advance of the start of workouts as they attempt to ramp up for the start of the 2020 season (on July 23rd), that’s at least one hurdle cleared as the defending World Series champions and the rest of MLB’s teams attempt to bring baseball back during an ongoing pandemic. Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

Minor league season officially canceled - (MASN)
"The thousands of other players that fill out every organization are left with nowhere to play this year."

What are the chances Ryan Zimmerman returns to the Nationals in 2021? - (NBC Sports Washington)
"The career Nationals infielder announced via his agent Monday that he plans to sit out the 2020 season amid the coronavirus pandemic."

Ian Desmond opts out of MLB season in powerful Instagram message - (WaPost)
“On Instagram, Desmond wrote about systemic racism and a lack of inclusion in baseball.”

Torres felt "natural knack for catching" early on - (MASN)
"[Ray] Torres got the call from the Nats after the draft and agreed to terms, forgoing a scholarship offer to LSU."

Here are 5 Nats storylines heading into camp - (MLB.com)
"The Nationals' roster and projected lineup will look a lot different when Summer Camp opens on Friday from the last time the team was together in West Palm Beach, Fla., in March."

No Ryan Zimmerman for the first time in 15 years only makes 2020 weirder - (NBC Sports Washington)
"For 15 years, he operated in a Nationals uniform, standing out at third base until his uncooperative shoulder forced him to first base."

Play Ball; Watch Ball:

No fans, no problem: Finding the best views of Nationals Park - (NBC Sports Washington)
"For Nationals fans, a number of Navy Yard institutions serve as their only chance to see live baseball this season. Here’s are the best views of Nationals Park in town."

Muriel Bowser approves Nationals to train, play in D.C. - (Washington Times)
"D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Tuesday that she will approve the Washington Nationals’ waiver to hold training and games without spectators."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Four Players Opt Out Of Major League Season - (FanGraphs)
"Neither Zimmerman nor Ross is reportedly considered high-risk; it’s not known whether Leake and Desmond are."

Nationals roster for MLB restart: Five things to know as Washington tries to defend its title - (CBSSports.com)
"Well, they retained a lot of major free agents, including Stephen Strasburg. But they lost Anthony Rendon. That's a gigantic roster subtraction."

#SorryDidYouSayGrowlifornia?:

How Each MLB Team Plans To Pay Minor Leaguers In 2020 - (Baseball America)
"Nine teams previously announced they would pay their minor leaguers through roughly the end of the season."

Baseball Stadiums Are Closed to Fans—but This Guy’s Balcony Is Open for Business - (WSJ)
"With a clear view into Petco Park from his apartment, Chip Messenger is one of the few people who will be able to see Major League Baseball in 2020 with his own eyes, not through a television screen. He suddenly has a lot of friends."

NL EAST UPDATES:

How Whartongate internet scandal rocked the Mets, Bobby Valentine - (NY Post)
"Brad34 — aka Brad Rosenberg, a graduate student at Wharton — innocently provided the match that ignited what became known as Whartongate, which may have been the first major sports media controversy that was launched by the power of the internet."

Uncle Phils? Cutch re-enacts 'Fresh Prince' scene - (MLB.com)
"As Andrew McCutchen arrived back in Philadelphia with Summer Camp set to open soon, he found himself in an empty rental home."

Canceled Minor-league season impacts Miami Marlins prospects - (Miami Herald)
"With the 2020 minor-league baseball season canceled, the Miami Marlins and CEO Derek Jeter are trying to figure out how to make sure their prospects don’t lose precious development time."

Here are 3 Braves storylines heading into camp - (MLB.com)
"Ronald Acuña Jr. could shift from right field to left field if needed. But he could find himself in center field on those days when [Nick] Markakis and Ender Inciarte might sit against lefties."