A Week in Review with the Washington Nationals: GM Winter Meetings
A weekly round-up of some of the big Washington Nationals and major league baseball stories over the past week.
Good Saturday morning, and Happy Veterans Day!
Welcome to our second off-season edition of the Weekly Roundup.
In this week’s edition, I will be covering the latest moves in the Nationals front office, the Nat’ moving up the start time of home games in 2024, and the latest from the GM Meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Let’s get to it!
What happened this week
Nationals Announce 2024 Coaching Staff
Chris Johnson was a major league third baseman for eight seasons. He spent the bulk of his big league career with the Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves. In 2022, he was named the assistant hitting coach for the Chicago White Sox. He was released earlier this offseason. New bench coach Miguel Cairo and Johnson served under Tony La Russa in 2022 on the Chicago White Sox.
Nationals Announce 2024 Home Game Times
This past week the Washington Nationals announced new start times for home games in the 2024 season.
Evening games will now begin at 6:45 p.m., while the majority of day games will remain at 1:05 p.m., 1:35 p.m. or 4:05 p.m. The Nationals will once again host their traditional Fourth of July game at 11:05 a.m., this season taking on division-rival New York Mets.
“Our goal is always to deliver a top-tier ballpark experience to our fans, and that includes making sure that attending a game at Nationals Park is as convenient as possible,” said Alan H. Gottlieb, Chief Operating Officer, Lerner Sports Group. “Starting our evening games 20 minutes earlier, combined with MLB rules that have significantly shortened game times, makes it easier for fans to stay the full nine innings — even on a school or work night.”
Nationals Park gates will continue to open at 5:30 p.m. for evening games and will open 75 minutes prior to the scheduled first pitch for all games unless otherwise noted.
Must reads on the Nats Report
This past week, I did a deep dive into the 2023 Rochester Red Wing Season. Rochester finished the first half in 2023 with a 34-39 record and sixth-place finish, 13.5 games back of first-half winner the Norfolk Tides. The Red Wings were one of seven teams in the International League to pick up at least 20 wins at home (21-16) in the first half.
The Rochester Red Wings finished the second half 15.0 games back of first-place Durham Bulls, going 32-41 with a run differential of -109.
If you want to know what happened this past year with the Nationals Triple-A team in Rochester, this is a must-read!
Moving On from the 2023 MLB Season
The Washington Nationals aren’t projected to make significant moves in the free-agent market this offseason, despite the hopes of many Nationals fans. The team has been actively restructuring its front office with key appointments.
The Nationals have also revamped their scouting department by recruiting three new personnel: Danny Haas as Vice President of Amateur Scouting, Brad Ciolek as Senior Director of Amateur Scouting, and Reed Dunn as Assistant Director and National Crosschecker in Amateur Scouting.
Additionally, the Nationals have already declined Victor Robles's club option. With this decision, the Nationals must now choose between not offering him a contract for 2024 or potentially proposing an amount higher than the $2.325 million he earned this season through arbitration.
It's worth noting that despite the Nationals' 40-man roster currently projecting 41 players once the individuals on the 60-day injured list are activated, Robles won't immediately become a free agent due to his remaining year of arbitration eligibility.
If the Texas Rangers could transform from over a hundred losses to champions within two years, the Nationals could likewise be on the path to reclaiming the World Champions title in the near future.
The Nationals can and must perform better. The fans eagerly await. How many days until pitchers and catchers report? We can't wait!
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