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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals’ Max Scherzer and his ankle; Stephen Strasburg throws + more Nats links...

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while you wait to see if Davey Martinez mentions Rogelio Armenteros again today...

Max Scherzer, like most players you hear from, would prefer to have fans back in the stands in 2021, if it’s safe.

“The fans should be in the stands, 100%. You can do it. We’re in outdoor stadiums. Fans need to be allowed to come into the ballpark,” the 36-year-old starters said on Friday.

He meant, to be clear, that they 100% should be back, not necessarily at 100% capacity right away. But no one wants empty stands and pumped in crowd noise again.

“We can engineer a way around it,” Scherzer explained. “I don’t see any reason why not. So, hopefully cooler heads prevail, we look at this pragmatically, and we get some National fans out there, because trust me, as ballplayers, we definitely miss them and we miss the atmosphere that they bring.”

Go ready your links...

NATS BEAT:

Scherzer Stories:

Max Scherzer says ‘who knows’ how the new baseballs will play in 2021 - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Scherzer’s stance is consistent with the one he took in 2019 when MLB was accused of altering the balls to drive up home runs without informing players or the public."

Scherzer confident ankle will be fine, not ready to talk contract - (MASN)
"Scherzer said this injury occurred while he was running two weeks ago in preparation for the official start of camp. In his mind, it’s a simple ankle sprain."

Scherzer, Corbin on spring goals - (MLB.com)
"Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin talk about what they plan to focus on in Spring Training and look forward to the new season."

Nats’ Max Scherzer dealing with sprained ankle at spring training - (WaPost)
“For a half decade now, he has led the Nationals into Opening Day as their unquestioned ace.”

Max Scherzer campaigns for fan attendance: ‘I don’t see any reason why not’ - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Nationals starter Max Scherzer spoke on a Zoom call Friday and made it clear which side of the debate he stands on."

Soto + More:

The Washington Nationals should offer Juan Soto big money now - (WaPost)
“An enormous, unexpected opportunity just dropped in the lap of the Washington Nationals.”

Soto ranks No. 5 on Top 100 - (MLB.com)
"Nationals outfielder Juan Soto ranks No. 5 on MLB Network's Top 100 Players Right Now."

Nationals set minor league coaching staffs - (MASN)
"Now that Major League Baseball has announced minor league affiliations and schedules for the 2021 season, the Nationals took care of one remaining piece of unfinished business..."

Notes: Strasburg looks 'real good' - (MLB.com)
"Stephen Strasburg threw off a bullpen mound on Friday, the second day of pitchers and catchers workouts, at Spring Training."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

What could Tatis deal mean for Juan Soto? - (MLB.com)
"This is about the numbers Soto has been putting into the books since he got to the big leagues as a teenager."

Every team's prospect to watch this spring - (MLB.com)
"Nationals: Cade Cavalli, RHP (MLB No. 99) - The 2020 first-rounder arrives to his first Spring Training camp as his organization’s only Top-100 prospect."

NL EAST UPDATES:

After breakout '20, Fried seeks more success - (MLB.com)
"This year, Fried has come to Spring Training confident in his ability to build off his 2020 success."

Alfaro's 'wake-up call' & preparations for '21 - (MLB.com)
"After watching the Marlins' first playoff appearance in 17 years from the bench, Jorge Alfaro got back to work."

Phillies spring training 2021: Pitcher Brandon Kintzler bets on himself to win a job in MLB - (Philadelphia Inquirer)
"The 36-year-old reliever doesn't overpower hitters with a heat-seeking fastball. But he understands how to navigate a lineup and possesses veteran savvy that the Phillies can use."

Jacob deGrom address his Mets future in Trevor Bauer aftermath - (NY Post)
"DeGrom, 32, will earn $35.5 million in each of the next two seasons. But a new bar was set by Trevor Bauer..."