Nationals

Quick Links

With spring training looming, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado aren't the only free agents still unsigned

With spring training looming, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado aren't the only free agents still unsigned

Everyone is waiting on Bryce Harper and Manny Machado to make their decision on where to play in the 2019 season. The free agency period this off-season has been overshadowed by Harper and Machado, mainly to see where the power will shift once these young, generational players pick their suitor.

While many of the 2019 free agents have found a new home, its gone mostly unnoticed. Still, there are still several notable names that are available with spring training just three weeks away. 

Notable Players Still Available

Bryce Harper, OF: Harper, along with his agent Scott Boras, is still looking for a deal worth upwards of $300 million. The Dodgers are assumed to be out of this race after they picked up A.J. Pollock. Teams Interested: Nationals, Phillies, White Sox

Manny Machado, SS: When and where Machado lands is still very much up in the air. Will he budge before Harper and sign with a tem first, setting the market for the remainder of the offseason? Teams Interested: Phillies, White Sox, Padres?, Mets?!

Dallas Keuchel, SP: There’s been an underlying assumption that Keuchel will return to his former club this entire offseason. Yet, the Astros have still yet to sign him. Teams Interested: Astros, Reds, Phillies, Braves

Craig Kimbrel, RHP: A lot of teams have found their top reliever already this offseason, but any team would be foolish to not pursue Kimbrel. Teams Interested: Red Sox, Twins, Phillies, Braves

Mike Moustakas, 3B: Moustakas has been on the back burner ever since the Royals won the World Series back in 2015. He was dealt to the Brewers before the 2018 trade deadline and could potentially return to Kansas City. Teams Interested: Royals, Padres, Mets

Gio Gonzalez, SP: Not too much news on Gonzalez during this offseason. While Nats fans are familiar with his inconsistencies, he could still help out a team, just not in a starring role. . Teams Interested: Braves, Twins,

Adam Jones, OF: The top outfield option, behind Harper, is now Jones, who at 33 has some of his best days behind him. Teams Interested: Mets

Off the Market:

Patrick Corbin (Nationals): Former Diamondbacks starting pitcher signed a six-year, $140 million deal with the Nationals early in December. 

A.J. Pollock (Dodgers): Former Diamondbacks OF agreed to a contract worth $55 million over a four-year period, with an option for a fifth year with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Jan. 24. 

Josh Donaldson (Braves): Former Blue Jays 3B agreed to terms on a one-year, $23 million contract to join his old general manager Alex Anthopoulos with the Braves. 

Yasmani Grandal (Brewers): One of the most sought-after free agents at his position, the former Dodgers C agreed to a one-year, $18 million deal with the Brewers on Jan. 10. 

Nelson Cruz (Twins): Still kicking it at 38, DH Nelson Cruz moved from the Mariners to the Twins this offseason for a year deal worth $14 million, with a team-option in 2020. 

Adam Ottavino (Yankees): Former Rockies reliever joins the Yankees for three years with a contract for $27 million to bolster a deep bullpen in the Bronx. 

Andrew McCutchen (Phillies): Perhaps in a tentative move, in case they do not get Harper, the Phillies added another former NL MVP to their outfield with the former Yankee for $50 million over three years. 

Michael Brantley (Astros): Former Indians OF signed with the Astros for a deal reportedly for two years and $32 million. 

Wilson Ramos (Mets): Gathering pieces, the Mets bring on the former Phillies C for a two-year, $19 million contract. 

J.A. Happ (Yankees): The Yankees were able to keep their SP for a $34 million, two-year deal. 

Nathan Eovaldi (Red Sox): The Red Sox keep their star SP for a deal reported to be upwards of $68 million for four years. 

Andrew Miller (Cardinals): Former Indians reliever Andrew Miller agreed to join the Cardinals for two years at $25 million. 

David Robertson (Phillies): Open salary space allowed the Phillies to build by bringing on the former Yankees reliever for $23 million over two year. Robertson will likely become the Phillies’ closer in 2019.

Kelvin Herrera (White Sox): With a brief stint as a reliever for the Nationals, Herrera is joining the White Sox for two years with a deal worth $18 million. 

DJ LeMahieu (Yankees): A lot of Machado to NYY rumors blew up in smoke when the Yankees added the stellar 2B from Colorado for a two-year, $24 million deal. 

Daniel Murphy (Rockies): Continuing his leapfrogging across the NL, the former Cubs 2B joins the Cubs at two years for $24 million.

Important Offseason Dates

Wednesday, Feb. 13: Pitchers and catchers report for the Washington Nationals
Thursday, Feb. 14: First full-squad workout for Washington Nationals
Thursday, Feb. 21: First game of Spring Training takes place (Mariners vs. Athletics)
Friday, Feb. 22: First Grapefruit League game takes place (Phillies vs. Rays)

MORE NATIONALS NEWS: 

Quick Links

Nationals’ decision to stall workouts shows just how precarious MLB season is

Nationals’ decision to stall workouts shows just how precarious MLB season is

The structure of the Major League Baseball season is built on a wobbly and shallow foundation. It took just three days for it to begin shaking.

The participants in the 2019 World Series cancelled their workouts Monday. Both the Nationals and Astros are concerned with and irritated by the lag in testing results being returned from the league. They followed league protocol Friday by taking their issued saliva tests. Results are supposed to be ready in 24-48 hours. They were not available Sunday. They were not available Monday. Both organizations shut their workouts down.

Mike Rizzo delivered a pointed statement following the testing failures by the league:

“Per MLB’s protocol, all players and staff were tested for Covid-19 on Friday, July 3rd  Seventy-two hours later, we have yet to receive the results of those tests. We cannot have our players and staff work at risk. Therefore, we have cancelled our team workout scheduled for this morning. We will not sacrifice the health and safety of our players, staff and their families. Without accurate and timely testing it is simply not safe for us to continue with Summer Camp. Major League Baseball needs to work quickly to resolve issues with their process and their lab. Otherwise, Summer Camp and the 2020 Season are at risk.”

RELATED: TWO NATIONALS PLAYERS TEST POSITIVE FOR THE CORONAVIRUS

Monday morning began with pom-pom waving about the league’s pending schedule release in the evening. A few minutes later, the Nationals announced their decision to pause their workouts. The Astros followed an hour later. The Angels moved their workouts from the morning to the afternoon in hopes their test results would be in beforehand. Nick Markakis opted out of the season in Atlanta after talking to teammate Freddie Freeman, who tested positive for COVID-19.

“Hearing the way he sounded on the phone kind of opened my eyes,” Markakis told reporters. “Freddie didn’t sound good.”

All of this occurred a day after several players wondered out loud about the stability of the season. Some, like David Price and Félix Hernández, wanted to observe what protocols looked like before they made a decision. They chose to leave after seeing the processes.

Sean Doolittle formulated a personal plan -- he and his wife, Eireann, who is high-risk -- will live apart, but close. Doolittle remained unsure three days into the process if he would continue participating while also saying he thought the on-site medical teams were doing everything possible to keep players safe.

“Like a lot of players, [I think] the opt-out provisions are not great,” Doolittle said. “There’s a lot of players right now trying to make decisions that might be participating in camp that aren’t 100 percent comfortable with where things are at right now. That’s kind of where I am. I think I'm planning on playing, but if at any point I start to feel unsafe, if it starts to take a toll on my mental health with all these things that we have to worry about and just kind of this cloud of uncertainty hanging over everything, then I'll opt out.”

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE NATIONALS TALK PODCAST

Monday’s news was more potshot than salve for those concerns. The league, yet to respond about the testing lag, received a clear and public jab from two of its most important franchises, though the majority of teams moved forward with their workouts as planned. Players are beginning to talk to each other about the actual risks. And, Monday’s bumps will reboot discussions at home. Expect more players choosing not to play this week. They already don’t trust the league. That lack of trust has been validated with the early botches in testing. It could switch their prior perspective.

The problem also exists within the most important thing: test results. Players who worked out Sunday in Nationals Park didn’t know if they tested positive Friday. But, they were all back to work, operating under all of the team’s mitigation efforts.

If players can’t trust the process, they can’t trust the testing. Then they can’t trust being on the field for two months or more while traveling. Which means they can’t play baseball in 2020.

The only upshot for the league is this happening now. Their window to fix it is tight. They likely don’t have time to shift to on-site, or at least local, testing instead of running everything through their converted lab in Salt Lake City. But, they can issue an apology, outline their course correction, try to restore faith in their system.

What they can’t do is guarantee anything. Those involved knew that all along. The questions existed around what they were willing to accept. A lag in testing is on the list of things they cannot.

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

MORE NATIONALS NEWS:

Quick Links

Nationals cancel workouts, temporarily close summer camp

Nationals cancel workouts, temporarily close summer camp

The Washington Nationals made it three days before they decided to shut down their workouts at Nationals Park because of coronavirus concerns.

“Per MLB’s protocol, all players and staff were tested for Covid-19 on Friday, July 3rd,” Mike Rizzo said in a statement. “Seventy-two hours later, we have yet to receive the results of those tests. We cannot have our players and staff work at risk. Therefore, we have cancelled our team workout scheduled for this morning. We will not sacrifice the health and safety of our players, staff and their families. Without accurate and timely testing it is simply not safe for us to continue with Summer Camp. Major League Baseball needs to work quickly to resolve issues with their process and their lab.  Otherwise, Summer Camp and the 2020 Season are at risk.”

The team announced two positive tests Sunday. They were both from the initial intake process which took place July 1. Those players were quarantined. In the meantime, the organization was awaiting further results --  a fledgling process which was coming under more and more scrutiny across the league. The organization’s decision to stop practicing came Monday morning.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE NATIONALS TALK PODCAST

Sunday, Sean Doolittle stated his concern about the lag in testing results -- Major League Baseball is using a lab in Salt Lake City, Utah -- as well as dissatisfaction with the limited PPE available to teams.

The Nationals practiced under extensive precautions during workouts, stressing safety and responsibility for everyone involved. Some players wore masks on the field (they are not mandated to do so). They used the home and visiting clubhouses, as well as an auxiliary space. Workouts were spread out from 7:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. None of it was enough to keep “summer camp” going.

RELATED: DOOLITTLE NOT SURE IF HE'LL PLAY IN 2020

Multiple players across the league have now tested positive for COVID-19 and expressed concern about whether the 60-game season can be played. The Nationals are scheduled to host the New York Yankees on July 23 as the marquee game to start the truncated season. Now, on the day the schedule was reportedly set to be released, the whole thing is in jeopardy after the defending World Series champions decided to pause their practices.

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

MORE NATIONALS NEWS: