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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals announce Jon Lester having thyroid surgery; Juan Soto makes 2021 debut + more...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while you wait to see how long it takes Juan Soto to hit his first HR of 2021...

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Miami Marlins v Washington Nationals Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images

In case you missed the updates from Wednesday’s game against the Marlins, Nationals’ sluggers Josh Bell and Kyle Schwarber both went yard in what ended up a loss, but the offseason additions gave their manager an up-close glimpse of the power they’ve both brought to the organization.

“It was good to see them both hit the ball out, and if we get some guys up in front of them, which I’m pretty confident we will, that’s encouraging for us,” Davey Martinez said on his post-game Zoom call with reporters. “Those two guys are going to hit in the middle our lineup, and also you see Starlin [Castro] do what he does, he had two strikes and hit a really nasty pitch to right field. He’s another guy that’s going to get on base for us and hopefully drive in some runs as well.”

Want to see the dingers?

Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

Lester Surgery:

Jon Lester to undergo thyroid removal surgery, leaves Nationals camp - (Washington Times)
"Washington Nationals starter Jon Lester is leaving the team’s spring training facility in Florida to undergo surgery in New York to remove his thyroid gland, manager Dave Martinez said."

Nationals starter Jon Lester to undergo thyroid surgery on Friday - (WaPost)
“Washington Nationals starter Jon Lester has left the team to undergo thyroid surgery in New York, according to Manager Dave Martinez.”

Nationals pitcher Jon Lester to have thyroid surgery after experiencing fatigue - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Martinez called the surgery a 'little procedure' and described Lester as 'upbeat,' saying the team just wanted him to take care of it now before it became a problem in season."

Lester leaves camp to have thyroid removal surgery - (MASN)
"Lester notably was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2006, underwent chemotherapy and returned to pitch in July 2007 and help lead the Red Sox to a World Series title (the first of three he has won with Boston and Chicago)."

Lester to have thyroid gland removed - (MLB.com)
"Starting left-hander Jon Lester is flying to New York on Wednesday to undergo a procedure to remove his thyroid gland on Friday..."

Nationals say lefty Jon Lester to have thyroid gland removed - (Washington Times)
"Washington Nationals left-hander Jon Lester is leaving spring training camp to have surgery for the removal of his thyroid gland, manager Dave Martinez said Wednesday."

Other Nats Stories:

Notes: Soto's debut; Bell, Schwarber jacks - (MLB.com)
"The smile on Juan Soto's face was nearly as big as his swing."

Report: Nationals eyeing Cuban Vaquero on international front - (MASN)
"When the new international signing period begins, likely in January, the Nationals are expected to make a big splash to sign one of the top outfielders in the class."

In first test of new lineup, Nats get homers from two new sluggers - (Nationals Pastime)
"So much of Martinez’s lineup construction right now is based on getting his best hitters to the plate with as much traffic on the bases as possible."

Before Victor Robles can bat leadoff, he must show Nationals signs of progress - (NBC Sports Washington)
"In a perfect world, Victor Robles is hitting leadoff for the Nationals."

Long explains contract issue that briefly left him unemployed - (MASN)
"Kevin Long was unemployed for about two weeks last fall, two weeks that confused a lot of Nationals fans and observers..."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Szymborski’s 2021 Breakout Candidates: Hitters - (FanGraphs)
"Kyle Schwarber, Washington Nationals - Schwarber has had some decent offensive seasons, but nothing that’s matched the crazy power potential we thought was possible after his major league debut in 2015."

MLB offseason grades for all 30 teams: Padres and Blue Jays ace it, Red Sox sputter, White Sox primed – (The Athletic)
"Washington Nationals - Grade: B - Trades: Acquired 1B Josh Bell from Pirates for RHP Wil Crowe and RHP Eddy Yean."

Examining the NL East's probable rotations - (MLB.com)
"Nationals - The known: Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin are returning to anchor the Nationals' starting rotation."

NL EAST UPDATES:

2021 Player Preview: Spencer Howard - (The Good Phight)
"The top pitching prospect struggled in 2020, but there’s still plenty to be optimistic about."

Trevor Bauer was ready to join Mets after merch fiasco: 'I'm done' - (NY Post)
"Rachel Luba didn’t convince the NL Cy Young award winner to sign with the Dodgers, but she told him to rethink his decision amid his frustration about merchandise popping up on his website prematurely suggesting he would sign with the Mets."

Sixto, Rogers nearing Grapefruit debuts - (MLB.com)
"Two frontrunners to round out the Marlins' rotation -- prospects Sixto Sánchez and Trevor Rogers -- are nearing their spring debuts, according to manager Don Mattingly."

Ian Anderson was great in October. Was that the real deal? - (AJC.com)
"A year ago, Ian Anderson felt nervous before his first spring start. A year ago, Ian Anderson was trying to make the Braves’ rotation..."