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Nats officially hire Dave Martinez to replace Dusty Baker

Nats officially hire Dave Martinez to replace Dusty Baker

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Dave Martinez's first managing job will come with a Washington Nationals team that expects him to produce nothing less than a World Series championship.

The Nationals announced on Monday that Martinez agreed to a three-year contract with an option for a fourth year.

Martinez has been the bench coach for Joe Maddon with the Chicago Cubs the past three seasons and with the Tampa Bay Rays for seven years before that.

"As we went through this process, it became clear the type of manager we were looking for -- someone who is progressive, someone who can connect with, and communicate well with, our players, and someone who embraces the analytical side of the game," Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said in a statement. "We came away from the process feeling like there was absolutely no one better suited -- who matched up to what this organization needs right now -- than Dave."

RELATED: Astros, Dodgers set World Series HR record amid questions about juiced balls

The 53-year-old Martinez replaces Dusty Baker, who was let go by the Nationals at the end of his two-year contract despite winning NL East titles and at least 95 games in each of his seasons. Baker's clubs were both eliminated with a one-run loss at home in Game 5 of an NL Division Series, against the Cubs this month and against the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2016.

When Baker was dismissed, Rizzo said: "Our expectations have grown. Winning a lot of regular-season games and winning divisions are not enough. Our goal is to win a world championship."

Martinez becomes Washington's sixth manager in 10 seasons. With players such as Bryce Harper, Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg leading the way, the club reached the playoffs four times in that stretch, but it has never won a playoff series.

Martinez played for nine major league franchises over 16 years, including four seasons with the Montreal Expos, the team that moved to Washington in 2005 and became the Nationals. Martinez, mostly an outfielder, retired as a player in 2001.

A news conference to introduce Martinez is expected after the World Series ends.

RELATED: Why Dusty Baker's departure wasn't surprising

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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.