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Carlos Beltran steps down as Mets manager as sign-stealing fallout continues

Carlos Beltran steps down as Mets manager as sign-stealing fallout continues

The Astros' sign-stealing scandal claimed its third victim Thursday as Carlos Beltran stepped down as manager of the Mets.

Due to his involvement in the Astros scandal, Beltran is now out before writing a single lineup card for the Mets. New York hired him at the beginning of November to replace Mickey Callaway. 

Following the MLB's ruling to suspend Astros manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow for a year for their involvement in a sign-stealing controversy dating back to 2017, Houston decided to fire both of them. Beltran spent his last season in the majors (2017) with the Astros and was the only player named in commissioner Rob Manfred's report. 

Alex Cora was also implicated in the Astros investigation as well as an ongoing investigation into the 2018 Red Sox, who he helped manage to a World Series title. Cora and the Red Sox "mutually parted ways" on Tuesday. 

The scandal has rocked the baseball world, leaving no team especially the Nationals unaffected by it. Not only do the findings on the Astros validate an impressive World Series run, but now a division rival are forced to look for a new manager with just a month left before pitchers and catchers report. 

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Daniel Hudson cracked up when he saw Sean Doolittle's reaction to his new contract

Daniel Hudson cracked up when he saw Sean Doolittle's reaction to his new contract

When Daniel Hudson re-signed with the Nationals, nobody was more excited about it than fellow relief pitcher Sean Doolittle. 

Luckily for us, Doolittle was recording the Nationals Talk Podcast with Todd Dybas when he found out. 

“No way! Are you serious?!” Doolittle said when Dybas informed him of the contract.

CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN TO THE EPISODE

After the two-year, $11 million deal was made official Tuesday, Hudson told reporters how friends of his sent him links to the podcast so he could listen. 

"I’m not on social media anymore, but people sent me that link," Hudson said. "I heard it was pretty funny how that conversation kind of went from -- I think you guys were talking about Star Wars? It was a pretty funny reaction."

When the Nationals signed former Astros reliever Will Harris to a three-year, $24 million contract, Hudson didn't think he'd be back in Washington. But then the team circled back to him the very next day, and much to the relief of Doolittle, eventually reached a deal to bring Hudson back.  

"I had been kept in contact with Doo throughout the whole offseason," he said. "He was just kind of asking me how things were going and kept reiterating how much he wanted me to be back and I kept saying how much I wanted to be back as well, as soon as everything broke I got a text message from Doo saying how excited he was."

The Nationals won a World Series despite a shaky bullpen throughout the year, and not only have they bolstered the unit with Harris, but they were able to retain the two most reliable relievers from last season. 

Repeating a World Series championship hasn't happened in the National League since the Reds of the 1970s. It'd be hard to expect the Nationals to pull off back-to-back titles, but they've made all the right moves this winter. 

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MLB Rumors: The Nationals are one of three teams to reportedly offer Josh Donaldson a $100 million contract

MLB Rumors: The Nationals are one of three teams to reportedly offer Josh Donaldson a $100 million contract

The third base free-agent market is all but dried up, leaving 34-year-old slugger Josh Donaldson as the last big name on the board. 

After a season in which he hit 37 home runs and drove in 94 runs for the Braves, Donaldson was widely considered the second-best option at third base this winter behind Anthony Rendon. 

When it was reported that Donaldson could end up with a four-year deal, it was difficult to determine what team would be willing to go that far for a player past his prime. 

Not only were the Nationals one of the team's reportedly willing to give Donaldson four years, they could also throw him some serious money on top of it. 

"There are three teams that are making very serious offers to Josh Donaldson," Feinsand said on MLB Network Thursday. "The Twins, the Nationals and the Braves all have four-year offers out to him in that $100 million range."

Feinsand also noted the Dodgers and Rangers as two teams who could get in the mix, but the primary suitors are Minnesota, Washington and Atlanta. 

Donaldson has been able to create a robust market for himself thanks to the massive drop off in available third baseman after him. If the Nationals don't land Donaldson and are uninterested in players like Todd Frazier and Asdrubal Cabrera, they could turn to the trade market to fill their need at third. 

The Nats have had reportedly explored trades for Kris Bryant and Nolan Arenado, but have refused to include Victor Robles in any trade

If you're looking for any of the aforementioned scenarios to resolve soon, you might be disappointed. Feinsand mentioned how Donaldson has the luxury to wait teams out to try and get as much money as possible since there aren't many alternatives to choose from. 

For Bryant, he's still in the middle of a grievance with the league over his service time, so a trade for him is unlikely until that's resolved. And then there's Arenado, who the Rockies may not even want to trade in the first place. 

The wait continues. 

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