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Catching up with Nats Farm Authority

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Catching up with Nats Farm Authority

By Doug McKinneyCSNwashington.com

Brian Oliver runs the popular blog Nationals Farm Authority which tracks the next wave of talent in the Washington farm system. Check his stuff out here.
CSN: The Nationals selected Lucas Giolito with the 16th pick overall in the 2012 MLB Draft. While the HS power pitcher was injured for most of this past season, the medical reports coming back on Giolito are that nothing is structurally wrong with him and actually, he has been throwing from at least 60 feet. Talent-wise, some experts say the Nats got the best arm in the draft. What are your thoughts on the selection and what kind of ceiling could he have?

NFA: It was a great & gutsy move by Rizzo. Picking at 16, the Nationals were likely to potentially get a solid though not spectacular player. All things being equal (and healthy) Giolito was a top 3 guy. The Nats went with the one guy who was discussed as a potential 1 SP.

CSN: With that said, do the Nationals and Giolito agree to a deal before the deadline?

NFA: Yes. Once the Nats sign 3rd round pick Brett Mooneyham and 7th round pick Robert Benincasa, they'll have their max bonus (likely 3.2M). At that point, the ball's in Giolito's court. I think at the end of the day, he takes a top 5 bonus and gets his pro career started.

CSN: Are there any other selections that you think could be sleepers? What names should Nats fans be keeping a close eye on?
NFA: Of the guys that signed so far, there aren't any high ceiling guys. The players I am going to watch are Tony Renda (2nd round 2B) and Stephen Perez (8th round SS). Middle infielders are always in demand.
CSN: We haven't had a chance to talk much about them, but have what Steve Lombardozzi and (to a lesser extent) Tyler Moore done at the Major League level impressed you? Could the two find their way into Davey Johnson's line-up permanently?

NFA: Definitely Lombardozzi. He seemed destined for a utility spot but has, to date, shown a bit more than that. I'm not sure it's sustainable over the long term but he has earned a chance to play more than just utility time. Moore is another guy who has some upside but more than likely as a bench bat. His RH power is something valuable for Johnson to use. I'd imagine their performances will encourage him to use both guys more often.

CSN: If Nats fans wanted a breather from Major League action, which minor league affiliate would you recommend as must see this summer?

NFA: Right now Hagerstown with Matt Skole, Brian Goodwin, Alex Meyer & Matt Purke (injured), they have the best collection of higher ceiling guys.

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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.