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Wire Taps: Happy New Year, Washington Nationals fans + Welcome to 2019!

Here’s hoping you all had a nice New Year’s celebration. While you’re recovering from a late night (and whatever else you were doing) get caught up on the latest news on the first day of 2019, which will definitely, likely, almost assuredly, be the year the Washington Nationals finally bring a World Series championship to D.C. (for the first time since 1924). Happy New Year!

NATS BEAT:

Why it’s smart for Mike Rizzo to wait to fill final roster spots – (MASN)
“Rizzo has been extremely busy, but there are still holes to fill for a team that expects to contend for the National League East title.”

Ask Boswell: Redskins, Nationals and Washington sports – (WaPost)
“Here what is so GOOD about the Rendon situation. The Corbin, Strasburg and Scherzer ($210M/7 years) deals give you a framework. Rendon is somewhere INSIDE those numbers.”

LeMahieu, Gonzalez and Harrison lead second base market – (MASN)
“2B or not 2B? That is the question … at least for the next six weeks or so.”

MLB’s best moments in 2018: David Price, Shohei Ohtani – (Yahoo!Sports)
“If Bryce Harper moves on from the Washington Nationals this winter, this might go down as his signature moment in front of the home fans.”

John Wall, Jay Gruden, Dan Snyder resolutions – (Washington Times)
“The Nationals general manager has done a fine job building rosters with Bryce Harper as a cornerstone. But assuming that Harper will be elsewhere next season, Rizzo’s formula for success requires tinkering.”

Another slow Hot Stove raises the question: Is it time for an MLB free agency deadline? – (NBC Sports Washington)
Boston Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski suggested at the Winter Meetings — which delivered all the liveliness of a stone column — a deadline should be considered.”

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Bryce Harper would succeed with Baltimore Orioles, but it won’t happen – (USA TODAY)
“In theory, it would be such a devilish move: The Orioles squiring Harper up the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, away from the team with which they’ve sparred in court over TV rights and whose very existence they opposed more than a decade ago.”

MLB New Years Resolutions: Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs and more – (SI.com)
“Debate the wisdom of the Nats turning their backs on their one-time franchise icon all you want, but now they have to figure out what the team looks like sans Bryce.”

Juan Soto ran the bases in reverse after a softball home run – (MLB.com)
On Monday, Nationals outfielder Juan Soto took his talents to a softball field and showed the opposing pitcher why he finished second in NL Rookie of the Year voting.

NL EAST UPDATES:

New Year’s resolutions for the Phillies in 2019 – (The Good Phight)
Aaron Nola – show more of that awesome personality to the general public.”

A year’s worth of predictions for NYC sports in 2019 – (New York Post)
“But by June the biggest story in radio is this: Howie Rose and Wayne Randazzo hit it off so well on Mets broadcasts they immediately become the biggest baseball must-listen on New York radio since the brief but spectacular pairing of Hank Greenwald and Tommy Hutton with the Yankees in the late ’80s.”

The best and worst of South Florida sports in 2018 – (Miami Herald)
“Worst personnel moves: 1) The Christian Yelich trade with Milwaukee. Yes, he wanted out, but he had an affordable contract and Miami was under no obligation to trade him.”

Ronald Acuña Showed Why He’s The Future Of Baseball With The Braves – (Uproxx)
“Atlanta garnered praise for their tear-down, largely due to an elite-level farm system, but 2018 was seemingly scheduled to be a building year with a mild step forward…”

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