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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals introduce Jon Lester; Brad Hand in D.C. + more Nats links

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before Mike Rizzo signs and introduces another player...

Chicago Cubs v Washington Nationals Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

What has Jon Lester excited about joining the Nationals? Lester, 37, agreed to a 1-year/$5M deal with Washington on Wednesday, and he talked on a Zoom call about what excites him about the team in his new home.

“I think just kind of the youth,” the 15-year veteran said. “I mean there’s a lot of youth here. Obviously, you’ve got one of the best players in baseball in your outfield [Juan Soto]. And for me, personally, it’s the staff. I’m excited to be with these guys and see and kind of pick their brains and see what makes them successful and what drives them. Because that’s part of what drives me is seeing what those guys do and learning something from these guys.”

“So I’m excited about that. I know [Nationals’ manager] Davey [Martinez] obviously brings so much fun to the table, so I’m excited about that,” Lester, who has history with the Nats’ skipper from the time they spent together in Chicago, said.

“I’m excited about having fun and just playing baseball and hopefully we win a lot of ballgames.”

Go read your links...


Lester joins Nationals:

Lester comes to D.C. with one goal in mind: "I want to win" - (MASN)
"Jon Lester, suffice it to say, doesn’t need to prove anything to anybody at this point in his life."

New Nationals pitcher Jon Lester wants to 'bring another ring' to Washington - (NBC Sports Washington)
"With a pedigree like his, and the rest of the rotation, it's no surprise Lester has just one thing on his mind as he comes to Washington: winning."

Jon Lester on choosing Nationals over Cubs: ‘Sometimes you need to move on’ - (NBC Sports Washington)
"As for his new ballclub, Lester is excited to pitch alongside the Nationals’ trio of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin..."

Jon Lester on deal with Nationals - (
"Jon Lester discusses his deal with the Nationals and coming to a team with both new and familiar faces..."

Talk to the Hand:

Brad Hand calls getting velocity back up ‘one of my biggest priorities’ - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Brad Hand has heard it all offseason. He may be a three-time All-Star who led the majors in saves last season, but all anyone has talked about this winter has been his velocity."

On Hand's velocity, Lester's physical and Realmuto's signing - (MASN)
"Much has been made of Brad Hand’s diminished fastball velocity last season, and it has been presented as perhaps cause for concern..."

Hand joins Nats' bullpen: 'I like our chances' - (
"Late-inning reliever or closer? The label doesn't matter to Brad Hand."

Other Nationals Stories:

Washington Nationals sign Blake Swihart to minor league deal - (WaPost)
“The Red Sox drafted Swihart in the first round of the 2011 draft. In the time since, he’s been slowed by health issues and concerns about his defense behind the plate.”

Top Prospects: Cavalli, WSH - (
"Cade Cavalli's powerful 6-foot-4 frame helps him generate easy velocity to compliment his four-pitch mix."


Phillies sign J.T. Realmuto and appease Bryce Harper, now what? - (NBC Sports Washington)
"So, Harper is happy, the lineup got its cleanup hitter back and Realmuto won’t be suiting up for any of the Phillies’ divisional foes."

Detroit Tigers sign catcher Wilson Ramos to one-year, $2 million deal - (Detroit Free Press)
"His best season came in 2016 with the Washington Nationals, when he posted a .307 average, 22 homers and 80 RBIs in 131 contests."


Todd Zolecki on Realmuto deal - (
" reporter Todd Zolecki discusses the Phillies' five-year deal with J.T. Realmuto and other free agents the team may look to sign..."

How could the Mets signing Trevor Bauer impact Jacob deGrom? - (SNY - YouTube)
"On BNNY, Anthony Recker explains how signing Bauer could impact Jacob deGrom."

City looks at settling suit on Miami Marlins sale $1 billion profit - (Miami Today)
"Miami commissioners will consider settling a lawsuit with the Miami Marlins over a dispute concerning, among other things, the increase in the baseball team’s value when it was sold."

Here are the new names for Fox Sports South, Southeast - (
"The regional sports networks on which Braves, Hawks, Atlanta United and Dream games are televised unveiled their new names Wednesday."