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Barrett reveals ankle injury, updates Tommy John rehab progress

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Barrett reveals ankle injury, updates Tommy John rehab progress

At first, it seemed as though Aaron Barrett simply wanted to make light of his appearance at the Nationals' WinterFest Sunday morning, opting to roll in to his media session driving a red four-wheel scooter. But his entrance, though humorous, gave way to a more newsworthy nugget: The 27-year-old reliever needed crutches to walk as he stepped out of the cart. 

Barrett, whose season ended prematurely after he underwent Tommy John surgery in September, revealed that he recently had surgery to fix bone spurs and bone chips in his left ankle. The original diagnosis of the issue was actually shared with him after a MRI done last December, but Barrett said he decided to pitched through any potential discomfort for all of 2015. However, now that his Tommy John rehab will sideline him for an extended period of time, he said he might as well take care of everything else that was bothering him. 

"Since I'm out [recovering from Tommy John], it was just best case scenario to get [the ankle] fixed now so I don't have any problems moving forward with my throwing program," he said. "All in all, I'm officially fixed and ready to come back a new man."  

As for the elbow rehab, Barrett believes that he's ahead of schedule. He said he's already doing workouts, and hopes to be able to play catch by February. 

"I feel great," Barrett said. "I actually have more range of motion now than before I had surgery. So I think that's probably a pretty good sign. So I'm happy with the progress. "

Barrett also delved into what led up to his eventual elbow injury, intimating that early-season overuse was a major factor. 

"I think I pitched in 30 of the first 60 games and was hot in 15 additional to those, so when you're hot in 45 of the first 60 games, I think it's a pretty heavy workload," he said.  "Obviously I was trying to manage that the best I that I could, but it eventually caught up to me. It is what it is and I'm ready to come back stronger than ever."

Typically, those who undergo Tommy John surgery take up to a year (or more) before they're pitching in the big leagues again. Barrett may be ahead of schedule, but it remains to be seen if he will be able to make his 2016 debut sooner than expected. 

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With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

WASHINGTON  -- The Washington Nationals say they have agreed to a one-year deal with 40-year-old reliever Joaquin Benoit.

The team announced the move Wednesday, along with placing pitcher Joe Ross on the 60-day disabled list as he recovers from Tommy John surgery in July.

The Nationals didn't release terms of the agreement, though a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Monday that it was for $1 million.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal wasn't official at the time.

MORE NATIONALS: FULL 2018 SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE

Benoit is a right-hander who first reached the big leagues in 2001. 

He has played for eight teams, finishing last year with Pittsburgh.

He has 764 career appearances, going 58-49 with a 3.83 ERA and 53 saves.

RELATED: 2018 MLB BETTING ODDS

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It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

So if you have not heard, Bryce Harper is going to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2018 season.

All off-season talking heads, baseball aficionados, radio hosts, etc. were speculating on where the outfielder’s destination will be next year.

And we are still a year away from it actually happening.

RELATED: VEGAS SETS OVER/UNDERS FOR 2018 MLB SEASON

Reporting to spring training on Monday, Harper did not waste any time telling the media how his press conferences were going to play out this season.

“If guys do [ask], or talk anything about that, I will be walking right out the door.”

Entering his seventh season with the Washington Nationals, the 25-year-old is coming off the second-best season, statistically, of his career. The 2015 NL MVP has hit .285 in his career, with 150 home runs and 421 RBIs. Unquestionably he is the face of the Nationals’ organization, if not, the best player in the team’s history.

If he does end the season without a contract extension, he will join Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson, and Barry Bonds as the top sought out free agents in MLB history.

One thing is for certain in terms of Harper’s free agency; Harper has given no inclination on where his landing spot will be.  The top three cities are of course his favorite childhood team, the New York Yankees; joining with one of his closest friends with the Chicago Cubs; or just staying with Washington.

Wherever he does land, it does appear that it will be the largest contract given to a free agent ever.

As for now we just wait and direct any of your calls to his agent Scott Boras.

READ ALSO: NATIONALS FULL SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE