Nationals

Quick Links

Mike Rizzo confirms rumors that the Nationals are interested in Josh Donaldson

Mike Rizzo confirms rumors that the Nationals are interested in Josh Donaldson

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo confirmed rumors that have been surfacing for weeks surrounding the organization: Washington has interest in signing free-agent third baseman Josh Donaldson.

Rizzo spoke with reporters on Tuesday following Stephen Strasburg's press conference, which announced the ace's seven-year, $245 million contract that he signed last week. That's when Rizzo was asked about the team's potential plan at third base, where they have a massive hole to fill following Anthony Rendon's departure to Los Angeles.

"Yeah, I think we have an interest in Josh Donaldson," Rizzo said. "We've had conversations with a lot of different people and a lot of moving parts. He's one of them."

With Rendon gone, Donaldson is by far the best remaining third baseman available. The 34-year-old is coming off a rebound season with the Atlanta Braves, where he hit 37 home runs and 94 RBIs on a .259/.379/.521 slash.

If the former MVP chooses to sign elsewhere, the Nationals options are slim. Rumors have surfaced that Donaldson wants a four-year contract close to $100 million.

Should Washington be unable to land Donaldson, they could also explore the trade market. The Cubs are reportedly considering trading third baseman Kris Bryant, someone the Nationals could potentially get creative to work out a deal with. 

Colorado's Nolan Arenado has reportedly been made available, but the Nationals won't trade for a contract they were unwilling to give to Rendon in the first place.

"Yeah, there's a bunch of different ways to construct a roster," Rizzo said. "We feel that we have great options both internally and in the free-agent market and in the trade market. So we will explore those like we do every year and try to construct a team that Washington can be proud of and gives us a chance to win another World Series."

Rizzo was complimentary of the Nationals' ownership group, the Lerner family, and how they've been financially fair with Rizzo in terms of constructing a championship-caliber roster.

"The ownership has been more than fair with the way we've allocated funds with this team," Rizzo said. "I think that will continue to be so. You have to be creative and smart with how you spend your money, and I think we've been that."

MORE NATIONALS NEWS:

 

Quick Links

Brian Dozier on World Series run with Nationals: ‘I’d do it again for anything’

Brian Dozier on World Series run with Nationals: ‘I’d do it again for anything’

Brian Dozier has played nine seasons in the major leagues for four different teams. He’s made the playoffs three times, made an All-Star team and won a Gold Glove. His career has been a respectable one and he’s formed particularly deep ties with the Minnesota area after playing his first six and a half seasons with the Twins.

And yet when he looks back on his playing days, it’ll be his one year with the Nationals that stands out the most. In an interview with MASN’s Dan Kolko aired Wednesday, Dozier talked about what he missed most about the team now that he’s playing against them as a member of the New York Mets.

“The team is what made it,” Dozier said. “Oldest team in baseball, all the veterans, we had fun, we knew how to have fun in the locker room, outside, all that kind of stuff and it was game on in between the lines. That was really important and it goes to show you that when you’re not playing baseball or whatever down the road, switching teams and all that, the relationships that you have and you build are off the charts and last year was probably the most fun I’ve had.”

Dozier struggled at the plate for most of the year, hitting .238 with 20 home runs and 105 strikeouts over 105 games. He lost his job as the team’s starting second baseman to midseason acquisition Asdrúbal Cabrera and had just seven plate appearances in the playoffs.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE NATIONALS TALK PODCAST

But Dozier made his most important impact in the clubhouse. A fluent Spanish speaker, he helped a roster full of Latin Americans gel and feel comfortable letting their personalities flourish. With his own rendition of Pedro Capó’s song “Calma” and repeated shirtless playoff celebrations, he did plenty to endear himself to Nationals fans as well.

He may have only played one season in D.C., but it was a season that he won’t soon forget.

“That was fun times, man,” Dozier said. “I’d do it again for anything. For another ring.”

Stay connected to the Nationals with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS:

Quick Links

Juan Soto welcomes cardboard cutouts of family to Nationals Park

Juan Soto welcomes cardboard cutouts of family to Nationals Park

As Juan Soto made his return to the Nationals lineup on Wednesday after dealing with a positive COVID-19 test to begin the season, his family was in the stands to cheer him on. Well, sort of.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, no fans are allowed at MLB games. Instead, teams have opted to place cardboard cutouts of supporters in seats throughout the ballpark to make the atmosphere feel a little more normal. So of course, Soto's family was "in attendance" for his first game back in left field as the Nationals star had custom cutouts made. 

In a perfect gesture, Soto greeted his cardboard relatives by slapping an RBI double to left field in his first trip to the plate. Though there was no applause from the seats, you can bet there was plenty of cheering going on wherever they are watching the game.

Soto's connection with his family runs deep, and it was on display throughout the Nationals 2019 World Series run. From getting tackled by his father after his clutch knock in the NL Wild Card Game to having a traveling fan club at the World Series, the Soto's are clearly his No. 1 supporters.

RELATED: AS SOTO RETURNS, BASEBALL IS REMINDED HOW MUCH IT MISSED HIM

So while the pandemic may be keeping them from being there in person, there was no chance Soto was going to return to action without a way to have his family cheer him on.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE NATIONALS TALK PODCAST

Stay connected to the Nationals with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS: