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Nationals reportedly one of four teams interested in free agent 3B Josh Donaldson

Nationals reportedly one of four teams interested in free agent 3B Josh Donaldson

On the heels of a historic run to their first World Series championship, the Washington Nationals will remain at the center of the baseball universe with Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon hitting free agency. 

Rendon figures to be the top position player available, and if he doesn't return to DC, it appears the Nationals already have their eyes on a potential replacement. 

According to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand, the Nats are one of four teams showing the most interest in former AL MVP Josh Donaldson along with the Phillies, Braves and Rangers.

Rendon, Donaldson, Mike Moustakas and Todd Frazier highlight a deep free-agent class at the hot corner, and Feinsand adds that teams who miss out on Rendon or don't want to wait for him to make his decision can turn to Donaldson. 

Donaldson is coming off a one-season stint with the Braves where he posted a .259/.379/.521 slash line to go with 37 home runs and 94 RBI. Entering his age-34 season, Donaldson isn't quite playing at the MVP-level he did with the Blue Jays, but it's clear he can still produce.

If the Nationals aren't comfortable with committing long-term money but still want some production and a veteran presence at third base, Donaldson could be the perfect fit. 

The Braves signed Donaldson to a one-year, $23 million contract last November, so there's a decent chance he'll make a decision sooner rather than later. 

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Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen claims the Mets have "probably the deepest rotation in baseball

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen claims the Mets have "probably the deepest rotation in baseball

By signing Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha this week, the Mets have built out quite the collection of starting pitchers. 

Porcello and Wacha will join Jacob de Grom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman and Steven Matz in New York's starting rotation, a group general manager Brodie Van Wagenen thinks quite highly of. 

"There was a lot talked about our lack of starting pitching depth over the last couple of weeks," Van Wagenen said on SNYtv Thursday. "I think that story has changed, and I think that we're probably the deepest starting pitching rotation in baseball."

Considering the Mets share a division with the Nationals, who still boast a starting rotation headlined by Max Scherzer, World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin, this is a pretty bold statement by Van Wagenen. 

Obviously he's the general manager and he has to say positive things about the club he's putting together. But to say those exact words on the heels of a rival winning a World Series because of their rotation? 

The Mets will host the Nationals in the first series of the season starting on March 26, so we may not have to wait long for these two rotations to face off. 

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Nationals prospect Sterling Sharp selected by Marlins in Rule 5 Draft

Nationals prospect Sterling Sharp selected by Marlins in Rule 5 Draft

The Nationals' No. 13 overall prospect is no longer in the organization, and it's not because of a trade that Washington made.

That's because the Miami Marlins selected pitcher Sterling Sharp with the No. 3 overall pick during Thursday's Rule 5 Draft. Sharp was susceptible to being drafted after the Nationals chose not to protect him by placing the right-hander on their 40-man roster.

The Marlins will pay Washington $100,000 for Sharp. The 24-year-old most remain on Miami's 25-man MLB roster for the entirety of the 2020 season or he will be offered back for $50,000.

Sharp, a 22nd round pick in the 2016 draft, made just nine starts for the Nationals Double-A affiliate Harrisburg in 2019 due to an oblique injury. His numbers were not especially eye-popping, as he posted a 3.99 ERA with an 8.2 K/9 ratio.

His performance in the Arizona Fall League was considerably better, where he put up a 1.50 ERA in six starts.

Sharp is incredibly athletic and could have played college basketball, according to MLB.com's Pipeline. Standing 6-foot-4, Sharp is known for his sinker and high ground-ball rate. In 2018, his last season fully healthy, he finished with 59.7 percent ground-ball rate, good for a Top 10 finish in all of the minors and the highest among qualified starters in the Nationals' farm system.

A three-pitch starter, Sharp has a solid changeup in his arsenal to go along with a low 90s fastball and his sinker.

Expected to make his MLB debut in 2020, Sharp could very well face his former team next season. As a divisional opponent, the Marlins will face the Nationals 19 times next season.

The Nationals did, however, select a prospect during the Minor League portion of the draft. Washington added switch-hitting shortstop Manuel Geraldo from the Giants system, who hit .255 with five home runs and 53 RBI in Double-A.

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