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Wire Taps: Mike Rizzo’s 2021 Washington Nationals; NL East at the corners + more Nats links...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while you wait to see if Mike Rizzo’s gambles this winter pay off next fall...

Washington Nationals Victory Parade Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Washington Post columnist Thomas Boswell offered his take on the gambles Mike Rizzo is taking with his roster construction this winter, with a bunch of one-year deals and bounce-back candidates that the Nationals’ GM is counting on to get the club back to the playoffs after Washington won it all in 2019 and finished tied for fourth/last in the NL East in 2020’s 60-game campaign, which Boz notes, the Nats seemed to have written off as an anomaly.

Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

Nationals' free agents signings show Mike Rizzo's contrarian optimism - (WaPost)
“The Washington Nationals do not think 2020 ever happened. Most of the world wishes that were so.”

How does the NL East shape up at 1B, 3B? - (MLB.com)
"The unknown: For the second year in a row, the Nationals are giving Carter Kieboom the opportunity to earn the starting third-base job."

Protocols to begin 2021 season are similar to 2020 precautions - (MASN)
"With the pandemic still consuming the nation and vaccinations still not available to most Americans yet, baseball had little choice but to reinstate many of the procedures that were necessary last season.”

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

MLB Stuck With Millions Of Unused Bobbleheads From 2020 - (Radio.com)
The Pirates also had a bobblehead day set for Josh Bell, who they just traded to the Washington Nationals. It's unclear where those toys are. And most teams are dealing with similar "problems."

Dodgers will be dominant again, says projection system - (Yahoo!Sports)
"The next closest team in the division — the Washington Nationals — are only projected for 85 wins. PECOTA thinks the NL East is the Mets' to lose."

Division races look to be as tight as ever - (MLB.com)
"If you like heading into a baseball season being all but certain you know what's going to happen, then 2017 was the year for you. Prior to Opening Day, MLB.com polled 50 writers for predictions, and the answers were clear: Red Sox, Indians and Astros in the AL, and Nationals, Cubs and Dodgers in the NL."

MLB 2021 farm system rankings by Keith Law – (The Athletic)
"30. Washington - The Nats won the World Series in 2019, and as is often the case with teams that do so, they spent a lot of their prospect capital to get there."

NL EAST UPDATES:

Phils prepare for Spring Training - (MLB.com)
"Pitchers and catchers report for the Phillies, as Matt Moore and Chase Anderson get acclimated to the team."

Was signing Jonathan Villlar a good move by the Mets? - (SNY - YouTube)
"The BNNY crew discusses the recent move by the Mets to sign Jonathan Villar, with some concerned about the move and others raving about what he can bring to New York off the field."

Duvall agrees to deal with Marlins (source) - (MLB.com)
"The Marlins reached an agreement with free-agent outfielder Adam Duvall on a one-year Major League deal on Tuesday, a source told MLB.com."

2021 Atlanta Braves: Key season dates - (AJC.com)
"There has been no announcement on whether fans will be able to attend spring training games. Per MLB, fans will not be allowed to attend workouts."