Strasburg among Nationals on rebound for '16?

Strasburg among Nationals on rebound for '16?

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals need to stay healthy in 2016 if they want to return to the postseason. Last season, 17 players went on the disabled list -- mostly for lengthy periods.

MLB.com takes a look at Nationals players who could be "On the rebound" in 2016. Four of the six players listed below missed time in '15 because of injuries.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nats' equipment loaded on Truck Day

Clubhouse manager oversaw 30,000 pounds of gear that will make trip to Florida

Nats' equipment loaded on Truck Day

The Nationals loaded their equipment truck Monday and prepared to move their baseball equipment from Nationals Park to Space Coast Stadium, their Spring Training facility in Viera, Fla.

Victory Van Corporation, the official moving company of the Nationals, will move 30,000 pounds of equipment for the 865-mile trip.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bryce Harper and Joc Pederson went to the Super Bowl

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Bryce Harper and Joc Pederson went to the Super Bowl

There are a lot of reasons to be jealous of Bryce Harper and Joc Pederson. First of all, they get paid to play baseball! Second, they're both really, really good at baseball. But now you can add another thing to the list -- they were both at Super Bowl 50.

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Baker recalls lessons from Aaron, Gilliam

Nats' new skipper looks back on mentors during Black History Month

Baker recalls lessons from Aaron, Gilliam

WASHINGTON -- When Nationals manager Dusty Baker looks at the wall in his house in California, he is reminded that black history is celebrated every day, not just during Black History Month in February.

There are photos of former player and coach Jim Gilliam, Baker's former coach with the Dodgers; Hall of Famer Hank Aaron; and former Braves farm director and general manager Bill Lucas and his father, Johnnie B. Baker Sr. Baker said he has been successful for more than 50 years in professional baseball because of those people.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nats hopeful Goodwin takes next step

Highly touted prospect is coming off a promising winter-ball campaign in Venezuela

Nats hopeful Goodwin takes next step

WASHINGTON -- After being chosen as a compensation pick in the 2011 MLB Draft and receiving a $3 million signing bonus, outfielder Brian Goodwin was projected to be the Nationals' leadoff hitter of the future.

But a left shoulder injury and some struggles in the field have left Goodwin's future a little less clear. During his four years in professional baseball, the left-handed hitter has a .251 batting average with 44 home runs, 201 RBIs and a .345 on-base percentage. After being listed by MLB.com as one of the Nationals' top five prospects in 2012, Goodwin was most recently listed as the 24th-best prospect in the organization.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Baker's journey to be chronicled in Network doc

Baker's journey to be chronicled in Network doc

WASHINGTON -- Dusty Baker managed some good teams over the years, but he calls the 2016 Nationals the most talented team he's had. It helps that the team has outfielder Bryce Harper and right-hander Max Scherzer on the roster.

As Baker prepares for his first season in the nation's capital, MLB Network will premiere "Dusty: A Baseball Journey," hosted by Bob Costas and premiering Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nats agree with infielder Ryan on Minors deal

Nats agree with infielder Ryan on Minors deal

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals added to their Spring Training roster on Tuesday, agreeing to terms with veteran infielder Brendan Ryan on a Minor League contract, the team announced.

Ryan could improve Washington's infield defense if he makes the team. In that scenario, he could potentially back up Daniel Murphy at second base.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Giolito has best combo of tools among pitching prospects

Nats' Giolito, Dodgers' Urias obvious leaders; Rockies' Hoffman surprising company

Giolito has best combo of tools among pitching prospects

Some pitchers get by with just one plus pitch. They get to the big leagues with an upper-90s fastball or a hammer curve. Those with a combination of the two have the chance to be extremely successful in some role at the highest level.

Throw in a third above-average or better offering and better-than-average control? Now we're talking top-of-the-list kind of arms. It should come as no surprise, then, that the top two pitchers on MLBPipeline.com's recently released Top 100 Prospects list -- Lucas Giolito of the Nationals and Julio Urias of the Dodgers -- have the best combination of pitching tools among all pitching prospects.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayo on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kent believes Baker will bring out best in Nats

2000 NL MVP says his former skipper is 'able to tap into the individual'

Kent believes Baker will bring out best in Nats

WASHINGTON -- Former Major Leaguer Jeff Kent expects Dusty Baker to have a successful run as manager of the Nationals. Kent said Baker will bring a comfortable atmosphere, which will allow the players to play the game the right way.

Kent should know. From 1997 to 2002, he flourished with the Giants under Baker, who was then the manager in San Francisco. Kent hit .297 and averaged 29 home runs and 115 RBIs during his six years with the Giants, and he won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 2000. Kent said it helped that Baker knew Kent's talent level and put him in the middle of the lineup the moment he arrived. According to Kent, it gave him so much confidence on the field.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Who will protect Harper in Nats' lineup?

Productive seasons from Zimmerman, Werth crucial for club in 2016

Who will protect Harper in Nats' lineup?

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals have made some solid acquisitions this offseason. They added two left-handed hitters to balance the starting lineup, signing free-agent second baseman Daniel Murphy and trading for outfielder Ben Revere from the Blue Jays. By getting Revere, the Nationals have their leadoff hitter to replace Denard Span, who signed with the Giants.

"We [gave] our manager, Dusty Baker, a lot of different ways to go," general manager Mike Rizzo said recently. "We feel good about where we are at -- balance-wise in the lineup, athleticism, speed."

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Robles among those with best set of tools on Top 100 list

Robles among those with best set of tools on Top 100 list

Ever since Byron Buxton started tearing up the low Class A Midwest League and emerging as baseball's best prospect in 2013, the Twins center fielder has been drawing comparisons to Mike Trout.

Trout had done the same three seasons earlier, earning parallels to Mickey Mantle. Veteran scouts said Trout had the best combination of tools they had seen in years. Now they're saying that Buxton has the best combo since Trout.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Assistant GM Harris discusses state of Nats' farm system

Giolito, Robles, Turner among prospects on verge of reaching Washington

Assistant GM Harris discusses state of Nats' farm system

Since 2009, Nationals assistant general manager Doug Harris has overseen the development of the farm system. Under his watch, the Nats have seen players like Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon, Joe Ross and Tanner Roark work their way to the Major Leagues. MLB.com caught up with Harris recently to talk about the current state of the Minor League system.

MLB.com: Let's talk about Lucas Giolito, the team's No. 1 prospect, according to MLB.com. What has impressed you the most about him?

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

4 Nats prospects in Top 100; Giolito is No. 3

Right-hander the top-ranked pitcher on list, trails only Seager, Buxton

4 Nats prospects in Top 100; Giolito is No. 3

The Nationals are coming off a disappointing 2015 season that saw them slip to 83 wins and fall short of the postseason. But fortunately for Washington, help is on the way.

The Nats placed four players on MLBPipeline.com's 2016 Top 100 Prospects list, which was unveiled on Friday night. Right-handed pitcher Lucas Giolito (No. 3) led the way, followed by shortstop Trea Turner (No. 11), center fielder Victor Robles (No. 63) and right-hander Erick Fedde (No. 78). The Dodgers are the only other club to land a pair of prospects within the top 15.

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Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Arroyo inks incentive-laden Minors deal with Nats

Arroyo inks incentive-laden Minors deal with Nats

CINCINNATI -- Free-agent pitcher Bronson Arroyo will not be getting back together with the Reds, but he will be reunited with a central figure from his old team. Arroyo agreed to a Minor League contract with the Nationals on Tuesday that will have him pitching for former Reds manager Dusty Baker.

If Arroyo makes the team out of Spring Training, he would receive a base salary of $2 million. The incentive-filled contract can earn Arroyo up to an additional $6 million if he makes at least 32 starts.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Turner makes MLB Pipeline's Top 10 SS Prospects list

Dodgers' Seager tops list, Philly's Crawford and Brewers' Arcia next up

Turner makes MLB Pipeline's Top 10 SS Prospects list

MLBPipeline.com will unveil its 2016 Top 100 Prospects list on Friday on MLB.com. The Top 50 will be revealed during a one-hour show on MLB Network at 9 p.m. ET. Leading up to the release, we look at baseball's top 10 prospects at each position.

Even with Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor and Addison Russell graduating to the big leagues, shortstop remains the glamour position for up-and-coming talent. Corey Seager, J.P. Crawford and Orlando Arcia rank among the elite prospects in the game, while Dansby Swanson, Alex Bregman and Brendan Rodgers were the first three picks in the 2015 Draft. Interestingly, the top six shortstop prospects and eight of the 10 best belong to National League clubs.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Raines optimistic about final HOF ballot

Former Expos star fell only 5.2 percent short of election in 2016 voting

Raines optimistic about final HOF ballot

NEW YORK -- Next year will be Tim Raines' 10th and final chance to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and he likes his chances of joining former Expos teammates Gary Carter and Andre Dawson in Cooperstown.

Raines feels confident about his chances because this year's Hall of Fame voting results, which were unveiled on Jan. 6, show how close he is to election. Raines was named on 69.8 percent of the ballots cast by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, short of the 75 percent required for induction in Cooperstown.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Emotional Harper presented with MVP Award

Emotional Harper presented with MVP Award

For the first time in franchise history, a Nationals player was handed the league's most prestigious individual honor on Saturday night, as Bryce Harper received his National League Most Valuable Player Award at the Baseball Writers' Association of America Awards presented by Esurance.

Harper joined many of baseball's best in swapping his uniform for a tux and heading to the New York Hilton amid frigid blizzard conditions for the annual event, which had to be scaled down to a private ceremony when dangerous weather prompted a New York City transportation shutdown. The proceedings will be broadcast on MLB Network at 10 p.m. ET on Friday.

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Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Despite Mets' moves, Nats faves in NL East

Projection system still puts Washington ahead on paper, even after Cespedes deal

Despite Mets' moves, Nats faves in NL East

When Yoenis Cespedes reportedly made his long-awaited decision on Friday night, it appeared to shake the National League East. A talented player, whose arrival in New York last summer helped change the division race, had chosen to return to the Mets over an offer from the rival Nationals.

There is little doubt Cespedes will help the Mets in 2016. There is little doubt he would have helped the Nats had he elected to come to D.C. But will the effect of the signing for both clubs actually match the hype?

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Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Alyson Footer

Billy Joel returning to Nationals Park

Billy Joel returning to Nationals Park

Billy Joel's expansive coast-to-coast ballpark concert tour scheduled for the upcoming season will bring him back to several venues he has played in the past, including Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

The Nationals and Live Nation announced Thursday morning that Joel will perform at the Nationals' ballpark on July 30, marking the musical legend's third visit there. Joel most recently played to a sellout crowd at Nationals Park in July 2014.

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Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Lyle Spencer

Kings of the road: Trout, Harper among top bats

Pair of young sluggers headline top hitters away from home

Kings of the road: Trout, Harper among top bats

Since his full-time emergence on the Major League scene as the Angels' otherworldly center fielder in 2012, Mike Trout has been, among other things, the "King of the Road," seizing that title from Miguel Cabrera.

Over the past four seasons in road tests, where the playing field levels for everyone, Trout leads the sport in slugging (.572), runs (457), runs created (8.59 per 27 outs), total bases (695) and on-base plus slugging (.974) -- all by substantial margins.

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Lyle Spencer is a national reporter and columnist for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @LyleMSpencer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Baker says Murphy, Revere fill needs for Nats

Manager likes what left-handed-hitting duo brings to the lineup

Baker says Murphy, Revere fill needs for Nats

WASHINGTON -- With second baseman Daniel Murphy and outfielder Ben Revere on the roster, manager Dusty Baker likes the way the Nationals are shaping up for the 2016 season. The Nats signed Murphy to a three-year, $37.5 million deal this offseason, and they acquired Revere in a trade with the Blue Jays.

Baker pointed out that the Nationals needed left-handed hitters to balance the starting lineup, and Murphy and Revere solve that problem. The Nats needed a leadoff hitter after losing Denard Span, and Baker said Revere will be at the top spot.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

For this year only, Trade Deadline to be Aug. 1

Adjustment made because July 31 falls on a Sunday

For this year only, Trade Deadline to be Aug. 1

This is a leap year, and for Major League Baseball, it will mean a one-day leap in the annual non-waiver Trade Deadline.

The non-waiver Trade Deadline this season will be moved to Aug. 1 from the traditional July 31 -- which in 2016 falls on a Sunday. The deadline is 4 p.m. ET, and on July 31, there are seven games scheduled to begin between 1-1:30, five between 2-3:30 and three at 4. There are only eight games on Aug. 1, all of which are night games.

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Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bat Pack: Top swingin' quartets ranked

Addition of Upton gives Tigers' offense one of baseball's hardest-hitting cores

Bat Pack: Top swingin' quartets ranked

On Wednesday, the Tigers officially added Justin Upton to a lineup that already featured some accomplished offensive players.

Miguel Cabrera is one of the best hitters of a generation, a two-time American League Most Valuable Player Award winner with four batting titles in the past five seasons. J.D. Martinez has broken out in a big way the past two seasons, with 61 home runs and a .543 slugging percentage. Victor Martinez had a rough 2015 but led the AL in OPS the year before. And Upton, who received a six-year contract worth $132.75 million, has eclipsed 25 homers in five of his past seven campaigns.

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Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Giolito No. 1 on MLB Pipeline's Top 10 RHP Prospects list

Giolito remains atop list, while Glasnow moves up to No. 2

Giolito No. 1 on MLB Pipeline's Top 10 RHP Prospects list

MLBPipeline.com will unveil its 2016 Top 100 Prospects list on Friday, Jan. 29, on MLB.com. The Top 50 will be revealed during a one-hour show on MLB Network at 9 p.m. ET. Leading up to the release, we look at baseball's top 10 prospects at each position.

The endless search for pitching means that most of baseball's top 10 right-handed pitching prospects were in high demand as amateurs. Five of the 10 hurlers were first-round picks and seven of them received a seven-figure bonus, with Jose De Leon (who signed for $35,000 as a 24th-rounder out of Southern University) the only one of the who emerged from obscurity.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Stevenson on MLB Pipeline's All-Defense Prospect Team

Twins' Buxton garners most votes for best defensive prospect

Stevenson on MLB Pipeline's All-Defense Prospect Team

Baseball is often a game of numbers. Especially with the explosion of advanced metrics, a player's performance can be quantified in many ways.

While strides have certainly been made in measuring defensive ability in the same manner, there is still more subjectivity when evaluating glove work. That doesn't mean defense and run prevention aren't important. If the offseason deals for pitching and the large contract Jason Heyward signed with the Cubs are any indication, keeping runs from crossing the plate has increased in value.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayo on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Turner, DeShields have case as MLB's fastest men

Statcast shows the rookies excel in reaching 21-mph mark on bases; Trout stands out for speed-power combo

Turner, DeShields have case as MLB's fastest men

It's rare for teams to get a lot out of a player picked in the annual Rule 5 Draft. So when the Rangers snatched Delino DeShields from the Astros last offseason, there wasn't much reason for high expectations.

As it turned out, Texas found the fastest man in the Majors in 2015 -- at least by one measure.

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Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.