Washington Nationals News: Are Nats still favorites to win the NL East?

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Nov 5, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker (L) and Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo (R) smile at a press conference introducing Baker as the new Nationals manager at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 5, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker (L) and Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo (R) smile at a press conference introducing Baker as the new Nationals manager at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /
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Today’s District Daily features stories on the Washington Nationals’ odds of winning the NL East and Harper’s MVP Award presentation.

Good evening DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily. Get caught up on the latest Nats news and opinions with some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web below.

In today’s Daily, MLB.com’s Andrew Simon discusses how the Washington Nationals are still considered the favorites to win the NL East in 2016, despite the fact that the Mets retained free agent slugger Yoenis Cespedes.

As Simon notes, the Nationals were in strong pursuit of Cespedes before the outfielder elected to return to the Mets — a team he helped guide to the World Series in 2014. Despite the Mets signing Cespedes, however, the Nationals are still the favorites to win their third division title next season.

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With perennial Cy Young contender Max Scherzer and MVP Bryce Harper on board, along with a solid mix of veterans and younger players on the roster, the Nationals should be able to compete with the Mets’ stellar rotation and their Cespedes-led offense. Only time will tell if the Nationals can turn their on-paper success into wins on the field, which they were unable to do last season.

Also in today’s Daily, MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg discusses Bryce Harper receiving the franchise’s first ever MVP Award.

Be sure to check out both articles below, they’re definitely worth a read. And as always, stay tuned to DoD for all your Washington Nationals needs.

Despite Mets’ moves, Nats faves in NL East

(Andrew Simon, MLB.com)

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? Read full article here.

Emotional Harper presented with MVP Award

(Chad Thornburg, MLB.com)

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. Read full article here.

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