Washington Nationals Wiretap

Nationals More Aggressive On Bases Under Davey Lopes

Apr 13, 2016 7:33 AM

The season is still new, but the Washington Nationals have been more aggressive on the bases under new baserunning coach Davey Lopes.

Dusty Baker came to the Nationals looking to improve their running and hired Lopes to do just that. Washington has stolen six bases and been caught just twice. Bryce Harper stole just six bases all of last season, but already has three in 2016.

"That old Temptations' song, 'Runaway Child Running Wild,' you just don't run just to be runnin'," Baker said. "You run to advance a base. You run to get into scoring position to make it easier to score. Bryce said this is what he wanted to do and he was pleased that Davey was coming here so he could learn from Davey."

James Wagner/Washington Post

Tags: Washington Nationals

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Orioles, Nats Deny Reports Dan Duquette Could Leave For Washington

Apr 12, 2016 4:55 PM

Both the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals have rejected the idea that the Nationals are pursuing executive Dan Duquette to take over as the team's president.

Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press reported the possibility of a move for the executive.

Mike Rizzo currently serves the Nationals as the general manager and president of baseball operations.

Mike Berardino/Pioneer Press

Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Washington Nationals

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Barry Bonds Admires Bryce Harper, Calls Him 'A Beast'

Apr 11, 2016 8:15 AM

Bryce Harper acknowledged on Sunday that he idolized Barry Bonds growing up and called him the greatest hitter on the planet.

Harper's Washington Nationals took on the Miami Marlins, who hired Bonds as their hitting coach this offseason, over the weekend.

In 2015, Harper became the youngest player (22) in Major League history to hit 42 home runs and draw 124 walks. He did so without much protection in the lineup.

"When you are good, you are good. You don't need anyone behind you," Bonds said about Harper. "Bryce doesn't need any one hitting behind him. If he wants to be impatient and swing at everything, it's going to make it worse on him. But he is patient. He is a great hitter who doesn't need anyone behind him."

Bonds then called Harper "a beast," but cautioned about longevity.

"He doesn't compare to me yet. He has a long way to go [in order to be compared] to me. He is not even close to me," Bonds said. "But he is one [heck] of a ballplayer. I watch him, I admire and I look at him and I'm in awe. You don't see it that often. For my eyes to get real big and go, 'Wow,' you have to be something special. ... It's longevity that [I have to be] over-wowed about. Short-term don't do much for me. Longevity is where it's going to be. When I see these guys -- seven, eight, 10, 12 years down the road still doing what they are doing, then you will hear the real 'wow.' Right now, I'm impressed."

Bill Ladson/MLB

Tags: Washington Nationals, Miami Marlins

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Herbert Hoover Joins Racing Presidents At Nats Games

Apr 11, 2016 8:03 AM

Herbert Hoover, the nation's 31st president, has joined the Washington Nationals as the newest of the "racing presidents" at Nats home games.

Hoover once said baseball was the greatest of all team sports.

Hoover joins the other racing presidents -- George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and William Taft -- and won his debut race on Sunday during the Nats' game against the Miami Marlins.

According to the Washington Post, Calvin Coolidge, who was introduced in July 2015, was only a visiting racer, not a permanent addition to the squad.

ESPN

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Stephen Strasburg Will Start Nats' Second Game

Apr 2, 2016 11:18 PM

Stephen Strasburg will start the second game of the season for the Nationals at the Braves, a switch from the team's original plan.

Nationals manager Dusty Baker had said during spring training that Gio Gonzalez would pitch Game 2 in Atlanta on Wednesday. Strasburg had been scheduled to pitch Thursday for the Nationals Park home opener against the Marlins.

"We changed it around," Baker said before Washington's exhibition finale on Saturday against the Twins.

ESPN.com

Tags: Washington Nationals, Misc Rumor

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Nationals May Find Time For Michael Taylor At Jayson Werth's Expense

Mar 22, 2016 8:02 AM

The Washington Nationals owe Jayson Werth $42 million over the next two seasons, which hampered their ability to add a slugger in free agency this offseason.

Werth has presented a different problem this spring. Michael Taylor looks ready to become Washington's everyday center fielder, but he's blocked by Werth and Ben Revere.

The Nationals acquired Revere to be their leadoff hitter and would be best defensively with Taylor in center and Revere in left, but that leaves no place for Werth, who turns 37 in May.

According to sources, Dusty Baker likes Taylor, who is batting .485 with three homers and a 1.362 OPS in 34 plate appearances this spring.

Washington could start Taylor in center and platoon Revere and Werth in left, or pull Werth for better defense late in games.

Ken Rosenthal/FOX Sports

Tags: Washington Nationals, Misc Rumor

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Bronson Arroyo Doesn't Have Torn Rotator Cuff

Mar 19, 2016 1:31 AM

The rotator cuff in the throwing shoulder of Nationals pitcher Bronson Arroyo is not torn as initially feared, multiple media outlets reported Friday, citing sources.

Instead, Arroyo has an inflamed bursa sac that caused an MRI to be misread, according to Fox Sports, an injury for which he could return to throwing in seven to 10 days.

ESPN.com

Tags: Washington Nationals, Injury, Misc Rumor

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Bronson Arroyo Has Torn Labrum, Likely Ending Comeback

Mar 17, 2016 9:26 AM

After having Tommy John surgery and missing all of last season, Bronson Arroyo has been diagnosed with a torn right labrum, according to multiple media reports.

Arroyo had been attempting a comeback with the Washington Nationals.

The 39-year-old signed a Minor League deal in January.

"The last start he was masterful," Dusty Baker told reporters. "That's what kind of shocked us a little bit, how he didn't respond. Because he appeared like he was in no pain. But you just don't know. Especially as you get older, you don't know how you're going to respond between starts. That was the last test he had to pass."

ESPN

Tags: Washington Nationals, Injury

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Grievance Over Dan Jennings' Salary Settled In Nationals' Favor

Mar 15, 2016 8:12 AM

The Miami Marlins filed a grievance with Major League Baseball this offseason over how much the Washington Nationals are paying Dan Jennings.

Jennings is serving as a special adviser to Mike Rizzo for a reported $115,000. The Marlins took exception because they owe Jennings, who they fired, the difference between $1.5 million and whatever another job pays him this season.

The grievance was settled in favor of the Nationals prior to spring training, according to a source.

Chelsea James/Washington Post

Tags: Washington Nationals, Miami Marlins, Misc Rumor

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Nationals Have June 15 Deadline To Decide Mike Rizzo's Future

Mar 14, 2016 8:21 AM

The Washington Nationals have a June 15 deadline to decide whether or not to exercise the club option on Mike Rizzo's contract, according to a report.

The option actually covers both the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

Barry Svrluga/Washington Post

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Marlins File Grievance Over Dan Jennings' Salary With Nationals
The Marlins have filed a grievance and are "fuming" over Dan Jennings' salary with the Nationals as special assistant to general manager Mike Rizzo.

Barry Jackson/Miami Herald

Nats To Open Season With Max Scherzer
New Nationals manager Dusty Baker has confirmed that Max Scherzer will be the Opening Day starter April 4 in Atlanta.

ESPN.com

Bryce Harper Wants To Change MLB, Make It More Fun
Bryce Harper would like to change the game of baseball, elevating the profile of the sport through his play, his fashion and the charisma of his personality.

Tim Keown/ESPN

Rangers, Ian Desmond Agree On One-Year, $8M Deal
The Nationals had extended a $15.8M qualifying offer to Ian Desmond, but the shortstop decided to test free agency.

ESPN.com

Nationals Aren't Negotiating Extension With Bryce Harper
Mike Rizzo says the Nationals are not negotiating a contract extension for Bryce Harper with agent Scott Boras.

Chelsea James/Washington Post

Nationals Have Explored Extension For Bryce Harper
Scott Boras says he and the Nationals have held informal discussions about an extension for the 23-year-old.

Bob Nightengale/USA Today

Bryce Harper: 'I Don't Think I'm a Leader'
Bryce Harper is the reigning National League MVP.

Eddie Matz/ESPN

Papelbon Admits He Was Wrong, Apologizes For Choking Harper
Jonathan Papelbon told reporters on Friday that he has apologized to the Nationals for choking Bryce Harper late last season.

A.J. Perez/USA Today

Boras: Strasburg To Hit Free Agency After 2016 Season
Scott Boras confirmed on Monday that Stephen Strasburg isn't active in extension talks with the Nationals as Spring Training approaches.

Jon Morosi/FOX Sports

Bryce Harper: 'Don't Sell Me Short' On Huge Payday
Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper becomes eligible for free agency after the 2018 season.

ESPN.com

Brendan Ryan To Sign With Nationals
Brendan Ryan exercised a $1 million option with the Yankees, but was traded to the Cubs in the Starlin Castro deal. Chicago released Ryan shortly after.

Jeff Todd/MLB Trade Rumors

Lucroy Has Nationals On No-Trade List
The Nationals are interested in Jonathan Lucroy, but they are one of the eight teams on the catcher's no-trade list, according to a report.

Ken Rosenthal/FOX Sports

Nationals Teammates Don't Anticipate Problems With Papelbon
Despite issues towards the end of last season, Jonathan Papelbon's Nationals teammates doesn't anticipate any problems for the closer in 2016.

James Wagner/Washington Post

Could Nationals Make Bryce Harper First $400M Player?
In a column highlighting players that may be in line for a contract extension, Jim Bowden of ESPN projects that Bryce Harper could receive a $400-plus million deal from the Nationals.

Jim Bowden/ESPN

Washington's $110M Offer To Cespedes Was Spread Out Over 15 Years
The reported $110 million offer the Nationals made to Yoenis Cespedes was an unorthodox one.

Steve Adams/MLB Trade Rumors

Bronson Arroyo Signs Minors Deal With Nationals
Bronson Arroyo, who turns 39 next month, missed all of last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Associated Press

MLB, USADA Team Up To Investigate Al Jazeera Claims
Major League Baseball has asked the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to help its investigation into whether several players received banned drugs as reported in an Al Jazeera documentary.

T.J. Quinn/ESPN

Braves, Nationals, Padres Likely To Exceed International Spending Pool
The Braves, Nationals and Padres are all expected to exceed their international spending allocations for the upcoming July 2 period.

Ben Badler/Baseball America

Nationals, Reds Interested In Bronson Arroyo
It was rumored over the weekend that Arroyo had visited Great American Ball Park recently.

Ken Rosenthal/FOX Sports

Washington's Offer To Cespedes Is For Five Years
The reported offer the Nationals have made to Yoenis Cespedes is for five years.

Ken Rosenthal/FOX Sports