Player News - Nationals

Date: Team: Pos:

Daniel Murphy, not even two months removed from knee surgery, is walking using a crutch.

Murphy underwent a debridement and microfracture surgery on his right knee in early October. The Nationals remain optimistic that Murphy will be ready to go for Opening day. The 32-year-old is coming off of a stellar season where he slashed .322/.384/.543 with 23 homers and 93 RBI in 144 contests.
Dec 16 - 12:26 PM

Max Scherzer told fans at Nationals' WinterFest on Saturday that he's fully recovered from the nagging neck, calf and hamstring injuries that plagued him throughout the 2017 season.

Despite the injuries, Scherzer still dominated the Nationals League en route to the Cy Young Award. The fact that he'll be fully healthy heading into 2018 only adds fuel to his already sky-high fantasy value.
Dec 16 - 11:33 AM

Koda Glover (shoulder) said Saturday that he expects to begin throwing off of a mound by January.

The right-hander ascended to the Nationals' closer role during the 2017 season before shoulder and back issues cut his season short cut his season short in June. With Sean Doolittle, Ryan Madson and Brandon Kintzler now in the mix, Glover will have to battle for a setup role in the Nationals' bullpen.
Dec 16 - 11:18 AM

Sean Doolittle (shoulder) said Saturday at Nationals' Winter Fest that he has already started light throwing.

Doolittle battled some shoulder issues during the 2017 campaign, but insists that he's full healthy and ready to go for the upcoming season. The 31-year-old posted a 2.81 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 62/10 K/BB ratio over 51 1/3 innings between the Athletics and Nationals in 2017. Barring the club signing a high-end closer like Wade Davis, Doolittle should open the season as the favorite for saves in the Nats' bullpen.
Dec 16 - 10:29 AM

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports that Matt Albers will sign a two-year contract next week.

Crasnick didn't identify the team that he's expected to sign with. Given the recent flurry of activity in the relief pitching market, Albers has become one of the better options available. The 34-year-old hurler posted a dominant 1.62 ERA, 0.85 WHIP and 63/17 K/BB ratio over 61 innings for the Nationals in 2017.
Dec 16 - 9:13 AM

Nationals re-signed LHP Tim Collins to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Collins made it back from a second Tommy John surgery in 2017 but struggled over 18 appearances in the minors with a 7.79 ERA. The left-hander hasn't pitched in the majors since 2014.
Dec 15 - 5:02 PM

USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports that the Nationals "are realistic and firmly believe" Bryce Harper will test free agency next offseason.

The two sides had preliminary discussions on a long-term extension last month, but, not surprisingly, they didn't go anywhere. The Nationals are still hoping to re-sign Harper, but he's going to see what kind of offers are out there in free agency. A record-setting contract is likely.
Dec 15 - 8:58 AM

Brandon Kintzler has agreed to a two-year free agent contract with the Nationals, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

Kintzler finished the 2017 season in Washington and will return to a setup role with the defending NL East champs after fielding interest from several other teams this winter -- some of whom might have given him a chance to close. His new agreement with the Nats carries a $10 million guarantee and it can jump to $16 million if certain incentives are reached and an option is exercised, per USA Today's Bob Nightengale. Kintzler owns a sharp 3.08 ERA in 125 2/3 innings since the beginning of the 2016 campaign, though the 33-year-old right-hander has never generated many swing-and-misses.
Dec 14 - 1:30 AM

Nationals GM Mike Rizzo confirmed that he recently met with agent Scott Boras to discuss a variety of subjects, including a possible extension for Anthony Rendon.

The headline in this report is the reported meeting to discuss an extension for Bryce Harper, but Rendon is another young star that Washington will hope to lock down for the foreseeable future. The 27-year-old third baseman is coming off a breakout season where he registered a .937 OPS along with 25 homers and quality defense at the hot corner. He's entering his second year of arbitration eligibility, and if he does hit free agency in 2020, he likely is looking at being one of the highest paid players at his position.
Dec 13 - 4:10 PM

Nationals GM Mike Rizzo reiterated Wednesday at the Winter Meetings that Daniel Murphy (knee) is expected to be ready for Opening Day.

Murphy underwent a debridement and microfracture surgery on his right knee shortly after the Nationals were eliminated from the National League Division Series by the Cubs and he'll likely take it easy for much of spring training, but it sounds like the star second baseman could be in Washington's starting lineup on March 29 in Cincinnati. Murphy, 32, batted .322/.384/.543 with 23 home runs and 93 RBI in 144 games this past season.
Dec 13 - 3:44 PM

Bryce Harper's agent Scott Boras told the media Wednesday at the Winter Meetings that he had "preliminary discussions" about an extension for his client last month with the Nationals.

Harper is on course to score a record-breaking contract in free agency next offseason, so the Nats would probably have to go well out of their comfort zone to make something happen before then. The 25-year-old superstar batted .319/.413/.595 with 29 home runs and 87 RBI in 111 games this past summer. He could have challenged for his second National League MVP if he didn't hurt his knee in mid-August when he slipped on a wet first base bag.
Dec 13 - 11:06 AM

LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that the Twins have met with the representatives for Brandon Kintzler and Juan Nicasio.

The Twins are obviously very familiar with Kintzler, who Neal writes is "very open to a return." The 33-year-old served as Minnesota's closer this past season before being traded to the Nationals at the July 31 deadline. Nicasio doesn't have as much closing experience as Kintzler, but he put up an excellent 2.61 ERA in 76 appearances this past season. The back-end of the Twins' bullpen is unsettled, so either of these pitchers could end up saving games.
Dec 12 - 2:19 PM

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that Francisco Rodriguez plans to continue his career next season.

K-Rod flamed out with the Tigers last season and was also released by the Nationals after catching on with them on a minor league contract. He'll turn 36 next month but isn't ready to hang up his cleats just yet. Rodriguez will have to settle for a minor league contract, but some team will probably give him a shot.
Dec 11 - 7:38 PM

Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports that the Nationals have expressed interest in retaining free agent reliever Brandon Kintzler.

Kintzler posted a 3.46 ERA in 27 appearances after being acquired from the Twins at the trade deadline. The Nationals haven't ruled out bringing him back, but he's drawn interest from other teams (the Cubs, Rangers, and Cardinals among them) and might find a more appealing situation elsewhere. As of now, the Nationals appear prepared to enter 2018 with Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle as their late-innings combo.
Dec 11 - 2:25 PM

Nationals manager Davey Martinez said Monday that Adam Eaton (knee) is expected to hit leadoff and play left field in 2017.

As expected. Eaton began last season in center field before suffering ACL and meniscus tears in his left knee, but Michael A. Taylor is the superior defender and the Nationals have an opening in left field with Jayson Werth hitting free agency. With Eaton hitting leadoff, the Nats figure to go with Trea Turner out of the No. 2 spot. Eaton should be ready to go for the start of 2018.
Dec 11 - 12:02 PM


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