Friday, February 26, 2021
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The Morning Briefing: Washington Nationals Agree with Juan Soto, Trea Turner, and Josh Bell on salary Avoid Arbitration

From International Signings, Arbitration deadlines and the New York Yankees making serious moves it was a pretty busy end to the week. Here are your Saturday Morning headlines and analysis.

Good Saturday Morning, Washington Nationals Fans. Thank you for starting the weekend with us. 

Today’s Morning Briefing is brought to you by BreakingT. BreakingT offers high-quality, real-time sports merchandise with original designs. Products include T-shirts, hoodies, mugs, masks, prints, and more. Purchase your favorite Washington Nationals BreakingT shirt. Howie Kendrick’s Clang to the Soto Shuffle, celebrate the Washington Nationals in style, and don’t forget to #WeartheMoment.

Phew, what a Friday! If yesterday is any indicator of what will happen this season, we are in for a treat. 

Yesterday, the Washington Nationals agreed with Trea Turner, Juan Soto, and Josh Bell on salaries, therefore, avoiding arbitration. We have all the details. From the article: “Players with three years of MLB service time have the ability to go to arbitration for their yearly salary for the following three years. In those three years the players normally receive an increase in pay after every year and if the two parties cannot agree to a number, they will take their own figures to arbitration.” 

Steve Mears from reports that “While clubs have been told to plan on arriving on-time for Spring Training, there is a healthy amount of skepticism because of COVID concerns. Athletes were not given any special dispensation to get early vaccinations.” Make sure to read his article about International signings. 

Talking about International signings…. 

The Washington Nationals signed ten international prospects. Richard wrote an article outlining all the signings, including 16 Year Old International Shortstop Prospect Armando Cruz. From the article: “As we have been reporting all week long, according to a report the Washington Nationals have signed 16-year-old International shortstop prospect Armando Cruz. According to reports, The Washington Nationals have agreed to a 3.95 million dollar signing bonus for the international prospect.” 

According to Mark Feinsand from, a total of 13 MLB players did not reach agreements on Friday and have exchanged salary figures with their clubs. It will be interesting to see how this develops over the next few weeks.

The 2019 Washington Nationals are in the rearview mirror. If you needed any more indication that the Washington Nationals have moved on from players from the 2019 World Series team, yesterday signings closed the book. From Howie Kendrick retiring, Adam Eaton signing with the Chicago White Sox, and now, catcher Kurt Suzuki has inked a one-year, $1.5M contract with the Los Angeles Angels. Additionally, according to Robert Murray of FanSided, former Washington Nationals infielder Wilmer Difo signed a minor league deal worth $1MM with incentives should Difo make the Major League roster with the Pittsburg Pirates. Difo had spent the past decade-plus in the Nationals’ system, with Washington initially adding him as an international amateur. He has picked up big league playing time in each of the past six years, with the bulk of that work coming from 2017-18.

We were all waiting for the New York Yankees to make some moves off-season, and it looks like they did on Friday. In the morning, the New York Yankees signed top free-agent second baseman DJ LeMahieu to a six-year, $90M contract, then last night, the New York Yankees reportedly signed two-time CY-Young award winner Corey Kluber to a one year $11M contract. Yeah, in less than 24 hours, the New York Yankees spent over $100M on salaries. Not a wrong way to spend a day if you can. 

With the scheduled start of Spring Training just over a month away, Major League Baseball and the Players Association still need to sort out some essential details for the 2021 season. According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, they include some “easy” issues, including health and safety protocols, and some “harder” problems, such as if the universal designated hitter and expanded postseason will return in 2021. Other rules from 2020 that might be returning in 2021 are the 7-inning doubleheaders and runner on 2nd base in extra innings. 

Podcast Alert: Tune in on Monday for a brand new episode of In the Clubhouse. Richard sits down with the President of What the Pros Wear, Mike Carozza, discussing baseball equipment. It’s an exciting conversation that you don’t want to miss. After listening, please rate, review, and share the podcast with your friends and family. You can find “In the Clubhouse” on your favorite podcasting platform. 

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