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NATIONALS WATCH

Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals for The Washington Times.

Latest Blog Entries

Lannan, Morse file arbitration numbers to MLB

The Nationals avoided arbitration with five of their seven eligible players, coming to terms with Jordan Zimmermann on a $2.3 million contract for 2011, with Tom Gorzelanny for $2.7 million, with Jesus Flores for $815,000 and with Tyler Clippard. They also bought out Gio Gonzalez's arbitration years while signing him to a five-year contract extension worth a guaranteed $42 million. The terms of Clippard's contract are not yet known. They did not, however, reach deals with left-handed starter John Lannan and slugger Michael Morse. Both filed arbitration numbers with the league office, along with the numbers filed by the Nationals, and it doesn't appear the sides are far apart with either player.

Prince Fielder and the Washington Nationals: fire up the rumor mill

Each day, it seems, brings another story linking the Nationals to Fielder. Monday morning, that story was from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Tom Haudricourt, who covered Fielder for the past seven years in Milwaukee. The story, linked in the first line of this entry, sourced an MLB official as saying that word is spreading within the industry that Washington has emerged as the favorite in the Fielder sweepstakes. According to a team source, unless the price for Fielder drops -- specifically in years -- that feeling may be premature.

A few thoughts on Detwiler, Lannan and Wang and how they'll all fit on the Nationals revamped pitching staff

Last year, the Nationals came to spring training with a competition for their rotation. Jordan Zimmermann was in, as was Livan Hernandez and John Lannan. Jason Marquis, fully healthy, was also a sure thing. And then there was the newly acquired Tom Gorzelanny and homegrown prospect Ross Detwiler competing for that No. 5 spot. And they competed well. Detwiler did nothing to disqualify himself from the conversation but with an option remaining and the possibility for more seasoning at Triple-A available, he found himself as the odd man out. Ten months later, the Nationals are shaping up to have a competition for the starting rotation yet again -- but this one has a very different complexion. The locks now are Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Zimmermann -- a top three that can compete among the game's best -- and that leaves Chien-Ming Wang, Lannan and Detwiler left to duke it out for the final two spots with one ticketed most likely for the Nationals bullpen.

Nationals GM Rizzo: "(Gonzalez) brings a presence in our rotation."

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo just wrapped up a conference call with reporters about the now official six-player swap that brought left-handed starter Gio Gonzalez to Washington, along with minor league right-hander Rob Gilliam, in exchange for catcher Derek Norris, right-handers Brad Peacock and A.J. Cole, and left-hander Tommy Milone.