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Nats and Cubs round out their rosters ahead of NLDS clash

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Nats and Cubs round out their rosters ahead of NLDS clash

WASHINGTON (AP) -- John Lackey is on the World Series champion Chicago Cubs' roster for their NL Division Series against the Washington Nationals.

Lackey was not among the starting pitchers that Cubs manager Joe Maddon had announced for the NLDS that begins in Washington on Friday night, so his status was in doubt. Lackey, a right-hander, has won three World Series titles, but he was only 12-12 with a 4.59 ERA this season for the NL Central champions.

Also in Chicago's bullpen, in a mild surprise, is left-hander Justin Wilson, who had a 5.09 ERA in 17 2/3 innings with the Cubs after arriving from the Detroit Tigers in a trade. But he also has this key career stat: Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy is 0 for 6 against Wilson with three strikeouts.

RELATED: NATS NAME STRASBURG STARTER FOR GAME 1 VS. CUBS

The Cubs chose to go with two catchers instead of three, with Alex Avila backing up Willson Contreras. They kept Rene Rivera off the roster even though he came up big down the stretch, going 15 for 44 after Chicago selected him off waivers from the New York Mets in August. Outfielder Kyle Schwarber could catch in a pinch.

The Nationals also kept only two catchers, starter Matt Wieters and backup Jose Lobaton, while dropping Pedro Severino.

In the bullpen, Washington dropped right-hander Joe Blanton and kept a total of four lefty relievers, including Enny Romero and Sammy Solis.

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Washington put two reserve rookie outfielders on the roster, 20-year-old Victor Robles and Brian Goodwin.

Robles made his big league debut Sept. 7 and has 24 career at-bats in the majors. Goodwin hasn't played for the Nationals since mid-August because he went on the disabled list with a groin injury.

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Max Scherzer Giving Away Memorabilia For Good Cause

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USA Today Sports Images

Max Scherzer Giving Away Memorabilia For Good Cause

By Ryan Wormeli

Max Scherzer is the ace of the Nationals staff, a fan favorite, and the 2017 National League Cy Young award winner. He's also a soon-to-be father whose wife, Erica May-Scherzer, once accidentally threw out the jersey he wore when throwing his 2nd career no-hitter. This time around, I'm guessing they talked it over first before deciding to sell some of his memorabilia garage-style for a new fundraiser.

We don't have any more information about the fundraiser yet, but May-Scherzer posted some photos on Twitter this afternoon. 

And in case you're wondering, no, the Scherzer family cat featured in one of the pictures isn't for sale (we assume). Plus, even if they were willing to part with their cat, considering Scherzer is on a contract worth over $200 Million, their price would probably be pretty steep. How much would you pay to adopt the cat of a 3-time Cy Young winner?

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Why Bryce Harper would be a bargain at $500 million

Why Bryce Harper would be a bargain at $500 million

$500 million.

That number is so hard to wrap your brain around, but it's a number a lot of professional baseball players may soon start seeing on their contracts.

One player who could be the first to see that amount within the next year is Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper.

Harper will become a free agent in 2018 and people are already projecting his market value at close to $500 million, if not more.

Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton signed a contract back in 2014 for 13 years, $325 million, holding the league record.

For Fancy Stats writer Neil Greenberg, $500 million is a bargain for someone of Harper's caliber.

"Harper is every bit as good [as Stanton] but he's also young," Greenberg told the Sports Junkies Friday.

"I mean, we don't see a player that's as good as Harper, that's as young a Harper, hit the market almost ever I want to say. You look at how many years of his prime he has left and then even if you start to give him just the typical aging curb off of that prime, he's probably worth close to 570 million dollars starting from 2019 and going forward ten years. And that includes also the price of free agency going up and other factors."

Harper, who is only 25 years-old, brings more to a team than just talent. He's one of the most recognizable figures in baseball, bringing tremendous marketing opportunities to an organization. Greenberg dove deeper into how that will increase his market value.

"And that's just for the on-the-field product. You talk about all the marketing that's done around Bryce Harper [and] what he does for the game. In my opinion, and based on the numbers that I saw, he's a bargain at $500 million."

Don't we all wish someone would say $500 million is a bargain for us?

After crunching the numbers, the biggest takeaway for Greenberg is the return on investment the Nationals have gotten out of Harper.

"Like if you look at his wins above replacement throughout his career, he's given you 200 million dollars in value for 21 million dollars in cash and he's due what another 26 or 27 million this year. I mean he's already given you an amazing return on investment."

"So, if you're the Nationals having - benefited from that - you know you have a little bit of, I guess, wiggle room in terms of maybe you're paying a little bit for past performance 'cause, you know, when a player is on arbitration in their early years they don't really get paid that much."

The Nationals still have Harper for one more season and many feel they need to make him an offer sooner than later. Whenever and whoever he gets an offer from, it's going to be a nice pay day for him.