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A "little conversation" with Mike Rizzo convinced Mark Reynolds to sign with the Nationals


A "little conversation" with Mike Rizzo convinced Mark Reynolds to sign with the Nationals

If you didn't know who Mark Reynolds was before Sunday, you certainly became acquainted with him during the Nats' 6-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

In his first game as a National, Reynolds homered twice and went 3-4-4 after being called up from the minors when first baseman, Ryan Zimmerman was placed on the 10-day disabled list.

Quite the first impression, huh? 

However, Reynolds is no stranger to the big leagues. The 34-year old became a free agent after the 2017 season and turned down several minor league offers, feeling he deserved more.

A 12-year veteran, Reynolds raked up 30 home runs and 97 RBIs with the Colorado Rockies just last year. It was until April, after becoming content with staying home and taking care of his kids, that the Nats came calling - again - and convinced him otherwise. 

"We liked him at the beginning of spring training," Nats GM Mike Rizzo said on the Sports Junkies Wednesday.

"We reached out and made an offer. At that time, he wasn't ready to take a minor league offer because of the season that he had and then finally we circled back and kind of gave him a little conversation saying you know, 'what are you waiting for? What are you trying to accomplish here?'"

"'I wanna get back to the big leagues,'"[Reynolds said].

"I said, 'well sitting there's not going to help you get back to the big leagues because if an injury happens, if something does go wrong with a team, you're going to have to go through four weeks of spring training to get prepared so you might as well do the four weeks now, and then when something happens, you get the go right away.'"

The "little conversation" worked and Reynolds made the Nats his eighth major league team. 

"We kind of mapped out a plan of attack for him and he accepted it and we signed him the next day, and like I said, two weeks later, he's in the big leagues for us."

Snagging stars is what Mike Rizzo does best and Reynolds will continue to try to make his impression felt against the New York Yankees tonight. 


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Washington Nationals Roundup: Anthony Rendon extension not coming soon

Washington Nationals Roundup: Anthony Rendon extension not coming soon

The Washington Nationals are a week away from Opening Day, so players are rounding into form for the start of the season.

They didn't play Wednesday, but here are the latest news and notes from Spring Training.

Players Notes:

Star third baseman Anthony Rendon was offered a contract extension from the Nationals, though it wasn't enough to entice Rendon to agree to sign.

On Tuesday, fourth-starter Anibal Sanchez surrendered two runs in five innings, and has a 2.77 ERA in Spring Training.


RP Koda Glover: Elbow, but should be ready for Opening Day

OF Michael A. Taylor: Knee, out indefinitely

Coming Up:

Thursday 3/21: Cardinals @ Nationals (Split squad), 6:35 p.m., FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches

Friday 3/22: Nationals @ Marlins: 7:05 p.m., Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium

Saturday 3/23: Cardinals @ Nationals 1:05 p.m., FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches

News update courtesy of Rotoworld


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Sean Doolittle talks everything from sliders to tweets on the latest episode of The Racing Presidents podcast

Sean Doolittle talks everything from sliders to tweets on the latest episode of The Racing Presidents podcast

Curious thing when Sean Doolittle hops on Twitter: multiple replies from his wife, Eireann Dolan, begin to show up. She, in theory, is working on coursework for a Master’s degree while stationed in the other room. But, she finds time to enter a depth-filled discussion or mock a photo choice of her husband on his derriere which randomly accompanied a story involving him.

“Maybe that’s in the syllabus,” Doolittle said.

Their case of two-room tweeting comes up at the end of our 1-on-1 sit down with the Nationals’ All-Star closer in the latest edition of The Racing Presidents podcast. We talked with Doolittle early in spring training when Bryce Harper remained unsigned and a lagging free agency period was fresh. He used his platform during the winter months to express irritation with the process baseball was going through.

He also uses his Twitter account often and judiciously. Doolittle addresses a range of topics, some with political ramifications, some specific to his sport, others to rebut what he deems a silly media take, as he did Wednesday with Colin Cowherd. Social media can be a dangerous place for famous people with opinions. How does he approach it?

“I would say do your homework before you press tweet on anything you do,” Doolittle said. “And then once you’ve done your homework, do it again. Double-check your work. I try to -- whenever I weigh-in on something -- I’ve done a bunch of research online, I’ve read a bunch of articles. I’ve really tried to consider both points of view. And, obviously, you’ve got to be careful about the way you phrase things so nothing can be taken out of context. I think that’s why some of the topics I’ve weighed-in on there’s been a thread of multiple tweets because I don’t want the 280-character limit to be the reason that something I said could be taken out of context. I want to be able to have that nuance and people understand really what I’m trying to say.”

There’s more on that, where Doolittle is with trying to master a slider and what he thinks can be better with baseball’s collective bargaining agreement.

The guys also had a lot of other baseball happenings to talk about. Most notable is the Anthony Rendon negotiations. NBC Sports Washington reported Wednesday that Rendon turned down a late February extension offer from the Nationals. Rendon said discussions have essentially come to a “halt” between himself and the Nationals. However, that doesn’t mean they are over.

Also on this episode: how Mike Trout’s enormous contract extension relates to Bryce Harper’s situation, Gio Gonzalez joining the Yankees and joy around the fact we’re eight days from Opening Day.

Listen, subscribe, rate, and stay tuned for a 1-on-1 conversations with Ryan Zimmerman to close the week.