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So what if the Nats lost the season opener? Let's celebrate baseball season

So what if the Nats lost the season opener? Let's celebrate baseball season

Baseball is finally back! For our new feature, Fresh Takes, Travis Thomas explains why this is such a beautiful week for sports fans.

MLB Opening Day is always a rite of passage for us sports fans.

It’s the one day where even the most purist of seam heads understand that analytics and sabermetrics don’t matter. Opening Day crowds always represent the mixing bowl of the casual fans, the FOMO event seekers and the baseball diehards.

In my humble opinion there is no place on Baseball planet earth that better represents that than Washington DC. I walked around the concourse at Nats Park, I sat with you the fan, I shook hands and kissed babies all under the umbrella of love for the Nationals.

Some asked me what I thought of Bryce leaving? Most wanted to know if I thought this was “the year”? The weather was amazing, and although the beers were following, the chill vibe of the atmosphere within the stadium kept it from becoming a sloppy drunk fest.

Opening Day not only represents new hope for the local baseball team, but it embodies what makes the District so unique and a great sports town overall.

Now let’s win the World Series and get yet another Championship Parade in this city like we deserve!

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Juan Soto greets Nationals fans while dressed as Santa Claus

Juan Soto greets Nationals fans while dressed as Santa Claus

The winter can feel like one of the slowest seasons of the year, especially for baseball fans who long for the season to pick back up again.

But Nationals outfielder Juan Soto met with fans on Saturday at a Dick’s Sporting Goods in Bailey's Crossroads, Virginia, and did his best to make them feel merry by getting in the holiday spirit.

Soto already helped give D.C. the greatest gift of all in a World Series title, so maybe he really is Mr. Claus.

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Nationals sign reliever Kyle Finnegan to major-league deal

Nationals sign reliever Kyle Finnegan to major-league deal

The Nationals announced their first move toward rebuilding their bullpen for the 2020 season Sunday, signing right-hander Kyle Finnegan to a major-league deal.

Finnegan, 28, became a free agent for the first time this winter after seven seasons in the Oakland Athletics’ minor-league system. The A’s drafted him in the sixth round of the 2013 Draft out of Texas State, originally developing him as a starter until converting him into a reliever in 2016.

Oakland granted Finnegan an invite to Spring Training ahead of last season, but he never made his way onto the team’s 40-man roster. His breakout season was in 2019, when the organization asked him to lower his arm slot to generate more movement on his pitches.

Finnegan posted a 2.66 ERA with 14 saves over 42 appearances for AA-Midland and AAA-Las Vegas last year. His fastball has touched triple digits in the past but sits in the mid-to-upper 90s. His newfound success has also seen him rack up more strikeouts, as evidenced by his K/9 that jumped from 9.7 in 2018 to 12.8 in 2019.

Prior to signing with Washington, Finnegan joined the Aguilas Cibaenas of the Dominican Winter League. He has a 2.31 ERA in 14 appearances so far this winter.

The Nationals’ 40-man roster now sits at 30 with the addition of Finnegan following non-tenders of Javy Guerra and Koda Glover. It will move up to 32 once the signings of Yan Gomes and Howie Kendrick are made official. The move comes less than 12 hours before the MLB Winter Meetings are scheduled to begin in San Diego.

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