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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals start Erick Fedde in Grapefruit League opener; Mike Rizzo on Juan Soto, Trea Turner + more...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while you wait to see if anyone gets extended this spring...

MLB: Washington Nationals-Workouts Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

Davey Martinez broke some news on Friday. He named his starter for the Grapefruit League opener on Sunday afternoon.

“[Erick] Fedde will start the game,” the Nationals’ manager told the D.C. press corps on his daily Zoom call from West Palm Beach.

Why Fedde?

“Just by talking to [Jim] Hickey, and he’s ready to go, so go ahead and get him out there. He looks good, and built him up a little bit, so feel like he’s be the guy.”

While we’re asking, how about an Opening Day starter? Has he decided on that one yet?

“We’ll keep that in ‘the Circle’ right now.”

It’s dang hard to get in that Circle of Trust. Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

Martinez on Fedde starting opener, Hand closing and Parra's knee - (MASN)
"Fedde will be limited to 30 pitches, which means the Nationals are hoping to get two innings out of him in the outing at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium."

Notes: Fedde to start spring opener - (MLB.com)
"Erick Fedde will get the nod on Sunday afternoon against the Cardinals when the Nationals open Spring Training games at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium in Jupiter, Fla."

Mike Rizzo says he plans to talk to Soto, Turner about contract extensions - (NBC Sports Washington)
"According to the man who helps make those sorts of decisions, the Nats are also keen on keeping Soto and Turner around for a while."

Bell ready to be the guy who hits behind Soto - (MASN)
"The most important hit in Nationals history - well, until he produced an even more important hit three weeks later - came moments after the opponents intentionally walked Juan Soto."

Nats want Kyle Schwarber to get ‘squatty,’ return to his slugging ways - (WaPost)
“This is how Kyle Schwarber and Kevin Long wound up at a high school in Tampa with a shared goal of improving a swing.”

NL EAST UPDATES:

Kintzler one motivated, seasoned reliever - (MLB.com)
"His nickname is 'Salt,' after all, so the mood fits. A 15-minute conversation with him this week at BayCare Ballpark offered every reason why."

Dellin Betances looks sharp early in Mets spring training - (NY Post)
"Dellin Betances throwing to hitters was a win-win. Pete Alonso did take him deep, but Betances also induced some funny-looking swings..."

Atlanta Braves’ Brian Snitker, Oldest National League Manager, Gets Newest Contract Extension - (Forbes)
"Brian Snitker, oldest manager in the National League, begins bid for fourth straight division title with contract extension."

Castano, Neidert get first cracks to impress - (MLB.com)
"The 24-year-old Neidert, who is the organization's No. 11 prospect per MLB Pipeline, made the Opening Day roster as a reliever but missed time with COVID-19."