Josh Bell, Juan Soto, and Trea Turner all avoided arbitration with the Nationals, who signed 10 (or maybe 11) international free agents yesterday. It was a big news day in Washington. I don’t want to keep you much longer when there is plenty to get to, so we’ll just tell you the same thing we do every day: Go read your links...
NATS BEAT (INT’L SIGNINGS/ARBITRATION AVOIDANCE):
International Signing Day:
We’ve agreed to terms with ten international free agents.#NATITUDE pic.twitter.com/aWgyRAXND5— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) January 15, 2021
Nats' Latin American program has come a long way - (MASN)
"DiPuglia signed Victor Robles in 2013 for a still-modest $225,000. Two years later, he inked Juan Soto for $1.5 million, finally topping Gonzalez’s record bonus."
#Nats assistant GM Johnny DiPuglia on SS Armando Cruz: “He’s a middle of the field guy that we normally look for. Shortstop, elite defender. Really good makeup. A high energy kid, loves the game. We got a good one." Cruz turns 17 tomorrow.— Byron Kerr (@masnKerr) January 15, 2021
Nationals sign shortstop Armando Cruz to $3.9 million bonus - (WaPost)
“By signing 16-year-old shortstop Armando Cruz with a $3.9 million bonus Friday, the Washington Nationals kept stretching two of their core philosophies.”
Highly touted shortstop among Nats' 10 international signings - (MASN)
"In all, the Nats announced 10 signings. The list includes five pitchers, three outfielders and two shortstops."
Armando Cruz, #5 on @MLBPipeline’s Top 30 Int’l Prospects list, makes it official with the #Nationals. pic.twitter.com/vLok0AEje4— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) January 15, 2021
Nats to add No. 5 international prospect - (MLB.com)
"The Nationals are adding one of the best defensive shortstops on the international market to their Minor League system."
Nationals sign Dominican shortstop Armando Cruz for record $3.9M - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Washington’s $3.9 million bonus ties fellow infield prospect Yasel Antuna for the franchise record for the highest guarantee handed out by the organization to an international prospect, surpassing names such as Juan Soto and Luis García."
Nationals Avoid Arbitration With...
Nationals reach deals with Juan Soto, Trea Turner, Josh Bell to avoid arbitration - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Soto was arbitration-eligible for the first time this year after being designated as a 'Super 2' player because of the amount of service time he’s accrued in his short major-league career."
The Nationals and Juan Soto settle at $8.5 million, per source.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) January 15, 2021
Nationals avoid arbitration with Juan Soto, Trea Turner and Josh Bell - (WaPost)
“Turner received $5.55 million more than he made in 2020. Soto got a significant raise on his team-assigned $629,400 salary from last year. And Bell, whom the Nationals acquired in a recent trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates, saw a $1.5 million bump.”
Nats avoid arbitration with Soto, Turner and Bell (updated) - (MASN)
"The Nationals last went to an arbitration hearing in 2019, when they couldn’t agree to terms with either outfielder Michael A. Taylor or reliever Kyle Barraclough."
Other Nats Stories:
Trading for Kris Bryant comes with its own set of risks and rewards - (NBC Sports Washington)
“In no uncertain terms, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo shut down the notion that Washington was in on the Kris Bryant sweepstakes in December.”
Who are Nats getting in Kyle Schwarber? ‘You’re not going to find a better person’ - (NBC Sports Washington)
“As Kyle Schwarber joins the Nationals for the 2021 MLB season, he’s a name that Nationals fans may have heard plenty, but not really know a ton about.”
The 7-inning doubleheaders and runner on 2nd base in extra innings are coming back in 2021. Will the universal DH and expanded playoffs soon be retuning, too? https://t.co/mi1KGCOvQl via @USATODAY— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 15, 2021
Thurman believes Soto can be an above-average defender - (MASN)
“When Victor Robles is going well, he is an elite center field defender. But can Schwarber and Juan Soto hold their own on the corners?”
Close to home: Nats players born in the DMV - (MLB.com)
"Take a look at those from Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia who went on to wear a Nats jersey, as well as notables who lived in the area before going pro."
REAL ESTATE BEAT THAT YOU SHOULD NOT READ ANYTHING INTO:
Team effort produced Nats ace’s Virginia showcase - (WaPost)
"The Scherzers got lots of help en route to their modern mansion overlooking the river."
Notable International Signings: 1/15/21 - (MLB Trade Rumors)
“Cruz officially joined the Nationals today for the most money the Nationals have ever paid out to single player during the international signing period.”
RHP Gustavo Rivas 450K (VZ)— Britt Ghiroli (@Britt_Ghiroli) January 15, 2021
RHP Genderson Zapata 200K (VZ)
LHP Gabriel Agostini 170K (VZ)
OF Jean Estrada 90K (VZ)
RHP Jeffem Leon 10K (Aruba)
Nats bonus pool for this signing period was $5,348,100. Signing bonuses of $10K or less don't count toward a team's bonus pool. (2/2)
Alexandria Sportsman’s Club to Host Nats’ Mark Scialabba - (The Connection)
"Mark Scialabba, Assistant General Manager, Player Development for the Washington Nationals, will be the featured speaker during a webinar presentation for the Jan. 20 Alexandria Sportsman’s Club meeting."
We asked executives: Acuña, Soto or Tatis? - (MLB.com)
"Ask just about any baseball fan to identify the brightest young star in the game and you’re likely to get one of three answers: Ronald Acuña Jr., Juan Soto or Fernando Tatis Jr."
NL EAST UPDATES:
An updated look at Phillies' bullpen depth chart after Archie Bradley signing - (NBC Sports Philadelphia)
"Archie Bradley’s resume the last four years should put him atop the pecking order in the Phillies’ bullpen, though it remains to be seen if he’ll be their closer."
Mets, Smith avoid arb with 1-year deal - (MLB.com)
"The Mets have agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million contract with infielder Dominic Smith, a source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand on Friday."
Marlins ink No. 10 international prospect - (MLB.com)
"The club has agreed to a multimillion deal with shortstop Yiddi Cappe, No. 10 on MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 International Prospects List."
Braves organist announces he’s back for 13th season - (MLB.com)
"It remains to be seen when fans will flood Truist Park again, but the noted background sound when the opposition walks into the batter’s box will be audible."