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Last Build Date: Wed, 22 Feb 2017 12:15:31 PST

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Nats' Tanner Roark relishes roles as starting pitcher (The Associated Press)

Wed, 22 Feb 2017 12:15:31 PST

Qfter he took Nationals' job in November 2015, Washington manager Dusty Baker made a call to Tanner Roark and asked the pitcher his preferred role. Roark was 15-10 with a 2.85 ERA in 31 starts in 2014 and dropped to 4-7 with a 4.38 ERA in 2015, when he made 12 starts and 28 relief appearances. When Doug Fister and Jordan Zimmermann left as free agents, Roark and fellow righty Joe Ross got a chance to join the rotation last year.

Spring Training 2017: Dealing with the Matt Wieters fallout (Big League Stew)

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 17:28:12 PST

The Nationals may have to make other moves after signing Matt Wieters. BIGGEST NEWS OF THE DAY: The Washington Nationals have agreed to sign free-agent catcher Matt Wieters to a two-year, $21 million deal. The 30-year-old Wieters hit .243/.302/.409, with 17 home runs, over 464 plate appearances with the Baltimore Orioles last season. Wieters’ deal contains an opt-out after just one year, so he could leave Washington following 2017 if he has a strong season.

Happy to have a 'J-O-B,' Lind lands in camp with Nationals (The Associated Press)

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 16:29:22 PST

Even if Adam Lind signed with an annual contender that has a first baseman coming off his worst season and an aging left fielder, he spoke in frank terms while discussing what his contract offer from the Washington Nationals meant. ''It's a J-O-B,'' Lind said. It wasn't until two days before Washington's position players began reporting to spring training that Lind found what presumably will wind up being that job - as a pinch hitter, primarily, but perhaps also as someone who could spell Ryan Zimmerman at first base or Jayson Werth in left field.

AP source: Matt Wieters, Nationals agree, pending physical (The Associated Press)

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 15:26:16 PST

After waiting and waiting to find a free-agent deal, four-time All-Star catcher Matt Wieters finally found a match with the Washington Nationals. Wieters and the Nationals agreed in principle on a $10.5 million contract for 2017, pending a physical, according to a person familiar with the deal. Wieters has played his entire career in the AL with the Baltimore Orioles after being taken with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2007 amateur draft.

Ian Desmond will spend spring trying to master first base (The Associated Press)

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 12:26:23 PST

Ian Desmond no doubt was a big offseason acquisition for the Colorado Rockies, a proven offensive player who should flourish at Coors Field. ''Being an athletic first baseman, I will be able to jump for balls a little better than an average first baseman,'' Desmond said. ''I don't think there's been a world championship team that hasn't had a quality first baseman,'' he said.

Report: Nationals sign Matt Wieters to two-year, $21 million deal (Big League Stew)

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 09:20:59 PST

Matt Wieters won’t have to travel far to be with his new team. The Washington Nationals are pushing all their chips to the center of the table. The team went all-in Tuesday, agreeing to a two-year, $21 million deal with free-agent catcher Matt Wieters, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. The move is a surprise considering the Nationals traded for Derek Norris in December, and it was assumed he would open the season as the team’s starting catcher.

Super subs are now key players on pitching-dominated rosters (The Associated Press)

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 08:59:11 PST

The Atlanta Braves have two of them, in fact. Peterson can play second base, shortstop, third base and all three outfield positions. Chase d'Arnaud does him one better, having added first base to his repertoire this spring.

White Sox seek solutions for outfield vacancies (The Associated Press)

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 16:15:27 PST

With two spots in their outfield vacated, the Chicago White Sox are hoping a familiar face can fill one, and that someone emerges from a crowded Camelback Ranch camp to fill the other. Center field is up for grabs, while right field is Avisail Garcia's, if he can hold onto it. ''We still want to get Avi in right to get him comfortable again and we know Melky (Cabrera), how he plays left,'' manager Rick Renteria said Monday.

Angels' Espinosa eager for Orange County homecoming in trade (The Associated Press)

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 14:59:43 PST

Growing up three miles from Angel Stadium, Danny Espinosa got to watch all the heroes of the 2002 Anaheim Angels championship team: Troy Percival, Garret Anderson, Tim Salmon and Darin Erstad, among others. Espinosa got the break most players only dream about when the Washington Nationals traded him in the offseason to the Los Angeles Angels, where he's slated to be the team's everyday second baseman. Espinosa, who played shortstop in Washington, could sense he might be moved.

For Werth, 'whole thing kind of hangs' on deal's final year (The Associated Press)

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 14:01:53 PST

Bryce Harper had not yet turned 10 when Jayson Werth made his major league debut, batting ninth and getting a pair of hits. A decade and a half later, the 37-year-old Werth and 24-year-old Harper are fellow outfielders and clubhouse neighbors at spring training with the Washington Nationals. In many ways, the history of the Nationals can be split into two segments.

'Here I come to save the day!' Eaton likes Mighty Mouse look (The Associated Press)

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 12:31:24 PST

Adam Eaton donned his ''go-to shirt'' - a gray T, with the words ''Mighty Mouse'' in red, and a sketch of the small-but-strong cartoon character who debuted in the 1940s - before and after the Washington Nationals' first full-squad workout of spring training on Sunday. The piece of casual clothing, purchased by his wife at a Nordstrom Rack, contains the nickname given to the 5-foot-8 Eaton in college at Miami (Ohio).

Harper won't elaborate on 'exactly why' 2016 was down year (The Associated Press)

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 11:56:00 PST

Bryce Harper says he knows ''exactly why'' he went from NL MVP honors in 2015 to a decidedly less-successful 2016. Or at least he wasn't on Saturday, when he met with reporters a day before the Washington Nationals' first official full-squad workout of spring training.

Lucas Giolito honors late grandfather, 'Seinfeld' actor Warren Frost (Big League Stew)

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 08:26:47 PST

Lucas Giolito (left) says goodbye to grandfather Warren Frost, who died Friday at age 91. Warren Frost, a veteran actor remembered most for his roles on “Twin Peaks” and “Seinfeld,” died on Friday. Giolito was the No. 16 overall pick of the Washington Nationals in the 2012 MLB Draft.

Strasburg hopes runs by beach prep him for 162-game marathon (The Associated Press)

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 13:31:22 PST

That Stephen Strasburg is at spring training with the Washington Nationals, ready from the get-go after missing the end of last season, does not necessarily excite him. Minus my Tommy John year, I've always been here Day 1,'' Strasburg said. The right-hander's 2016 came to an early end because of an injury, the second time in his career that he has not participated in a Nationals' postseason.

Still a Pirate, McCutchen calls move to right difficult (The Associated Press)

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 13:19:45 PST

Andrew McCutchen began what could be his final spring training with the Pittsburgh Pirates by moving to a new position. In late January, team management decided to move two-time Gold Glove winner Starling Marte from left field to center. McCutchen was switched to right field, a position he has never played in his professional career.

Nationals 2B Murphy on Tebow's batting: 'The power is real' (The Associated Press)

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 12:39:45 PST

No less an authority on hitting than last season's runner-up for NL MVP thinks Tim Tebow has some ability with a bat - he just needs more work. Washington Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy said Friday at spring training that he recently spent some time working on batting with Tebow, the Heisman Trophy winner and former NFL quarterback who now is pursuing a baseball career. Tebow is expected to be in minor league camp with the New York Mets next month.

Braves' Phillips happy to be traded back home (The Associated Press)

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 12:08:08 PST

Brandon Phillips was struck by the oddity of being traded to a team that includes 43-year-old pitcher Bartolo Colon. ''It's crazy being on he same team with the guy I got traded for,'' the new Atlanta Braves second baseman said Friday after his first spring training workout. Actually Phillips, now 35, never made it up to the Montreal Expos, who became the Washington Nationals in 2005.

Scherzer's knuckle causing pain; Nats make contingency plans (The Associated Press)

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 12:11:27 PST

Neither Max Scherzer nor Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker is certain the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner will be ready to pitch when opening day rolls around. Baker said he's thinking about contingency plans just in case his ace can't pitch when Washington starts the regular season April 3. This is a whole different ballgame,'' Scherzer said Thursday.

1B Adam Lind, Nationals finalize $1.5 million contract (The Associated Press)

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 17:24:31 PST

WASHINGTON (AP) -- First baseman Adam Lind and the Washington Nationals have finalized a $1.5 million, one-year contract.

Jose Quintana is ace of the Chicago White Sox - for now (The Associated Press)

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 13:17:14 PST

Jose Quintana is the ace of the Chicago White Sox - for now. With Chicago rebuilding, the 28-year-old All-Star left-hander knows he could be traded. Chicago dealt ace Chris Sale and outfielder Adam Eaton during the offseason for prospects.

Uncertainty still hanging over White Sox as spring begins (The Associated Press)

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 15:37:46 PST

The Chicago White Sox are a work in progress as spring training begins. Finally committing to a rebuilding project after four consecutive sub-.500 seasons, the White Sox are without former ace Chris Sale and outfielder Adam Eaton, who were dealt away for some of baseball's top prospects. General manager Rick Hahn said trade talks will likely not fade away.

Dusty Baker is back in West Palm Beach with his Nationals (The Associated Press)

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 13:04:57 PST

Like most Dusty Baker stories, this one starts a long time ago and involves Hank Aaron. In the spring of 1967, Baker attended a week of minor league camp for the Atlanta Braves in West Palm Beach. Baker left college to join the Braves, who were anchored by Aaron.

Don Mattingly has relaxed the Marlins' facial hair policy (Big League Stew)

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 11:48:37 PST

Don Mattingly, manager of the Miami Marlins and the former owner of a luxurious mustache, instituted a no facial hair policy for Marlins players in 2016. And now, a year later, he’s reversing course. Marlins players are now free to grow mustaches and beards and goatees. Mattingly changes facial hair policy this season.

Hot Stove Digest: Travis Wood signs two-year deal with Royals (Big League Stew)

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 16:35:30 PST

BRING HIM IN: The Kansas City Royals have signed pitcher Travis Wood to a two-year deal. By most rankings, Wood was the best pitcher left on the market. After posting a 2.95 ERA over 61 innings with the Chicago Cubs, Wood ranked as the 38th best player on the market this winter according to our own Jeff Passan. Travis Wood will get a chance to start again with the Royals.

AP Source: 1B Adam Lind agrees with Nats, pending physical (The Associated Press)

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 16:33:50 PST

Free-agent first baseman Adam Lind and the Washington Nationals have agreed to a $1.5 million, one-year contract, pending a physical, accordin to a person familiar with the deal. The person confirmed the agreement to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity on Monday because it had not been announced by the Nationals. The contract would pay Lind $1 million in 2017, and includes a club option for 2018 with a $500,000 buyout.

Baseball-Major League Baseball roundup (Reuters)

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 15:45:52 PST

New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter and his wife Hannah announced Monday they are expecting their first child, a baby girl. The 26-year-old model made the pregnancy announcement in a personal essay published on her husband's The Players' Tribune website. The announcement included a photo of the 42-year-old Jeter holding a bouquet of pink balloons.

Braves acquire Brandon Phillips in trade with Reds (Big League Stew)

Sun, 12 Feb 2017 11:03:32 PST

Brandon Phillips is returning to his hometown of Atlanta to play for the Braves. The Atlanta Braves announced Sunday that they’ve acquired veteran second baseman Brandon Phillips — an Atlanta native — from the Cincinnati Reds. FOX Sports Ken Rosenthal was the first to report a trade was nearing completion.

White Sox go young, rebuild after 4 straight losing seasons (The Associated Press)

Fri, 10 Feb 2017 10:44:49 PST

No more quick fixes for the White Sox: The overhaul is underway. The White Sox made their intentions clear with two huge moves at the winter meetings, and they come to spring training stocked with new young players and a huge task still in front of them. Virtually every Sox fan I've had a conversation with understands that and is eagerly embracing this and looking forward to when we start to see the fruits of this labor.

Nats, Red Sox to play exhibition at Naval Academy on April 1 (The Associated Press)

Thu, 09 Feb 2017 09:53:17 PST

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Washington Nationals will face the Boston Red Sox in an exhibition game at the U.S. Naval Academy on April 1.

After quiet offseason, Nationals count on Harper, Strasburg (The Associated Press)

Thu, 09 Feb 2017 09:03:48 PST

Instead of revamping their roster after yet another early playoff exit, the Washington Nationals head to spring training next week counting on a bounce-back year from Bryce Harper and a full season from Stephen Strasburg. The team's significant offseason changes were limited to adding outfielder Adam Eaton - at the cost of two top pitching prospects - and catcher Derek Norris. With three division titles in five years, but also three opening-series postseason losses, Washington still has 2015 NL MVP Harper (who slumped significantly last year) and 2016 NL MVP runner-up Daniel Murphy in the heart of the lineup, and 2016 NL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer at the top of the rotation along with Strasburg, who began last season 13-0 before getting shut down with an elbow injury.