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Deadline day for Nats draft pick Giolito


Deadline day for Nats draft pick Giolito

It's been 40 days since the Nationals selected right-hander Lucas Giolito with the 16th overall pick in this year's draft, and not much about the relationship between the two has changed since then.

As is so often the case with baseball's draft, serious contract negotiations between player and club rarely takes place until the final hours before the league's imposed deadline. That deadline used to fall around Aug. 15, but the sport's latest collective bargaining agreement pushed that day up to mid-July, which has finally arrived.

Thus, by 5 p.m. EDT today, Giolito and the Nationals must come to terms on a contract and submit it to MLB headquarters or else sever their relationship. Giolito would accept his scholarship to UCLA and pitch next spring for the Bruins. The Nats would receive next summer's 17th overall draft pick as compensation.

That's an outcome neither side wants to reach, and the odds favor a deal being struck today before the deadline.

If anything, negotiations should be less complex now than they were in previous years. That's because in addition to the earlier deadline, the new CBA limits how much money each club can spend on signing bonuses for its top 10 draft picks. Teams that surpass that figure by a small amount are subject to a monetary fine. Teams that surpass the figure by a larger amount will lose future draft picks.

The Nationals, according to club sources, are not willing to incur any penalties in exchange for signing Giolito. Which means they can't offer him more than the roughly 2.8 million they have remaining from their original draft contract pool of 4.4 million.

Team officials believe that will be enough money to convince Giolito (who grew up in Southern California to a family full of actors and Hollywood producers) to sign. Mike Rizzo, who has successfully signed all six first-round and compensatory-round picks drafted by the Nationals since he took over as general manager in 2009, rarely drafts a player he doesn't believe he can sign.

Rizzo took a chance on Giolito -- who a year ago was projected to be one of the first players off the draft board but slipped to 16th due to questions about the state of his elbow -- but felt the pitcher's upside was worth the risk and had an inkling he would choose to sign instead of attending college.

Now the two sides must work out the precise terms of his contract by 5 p.m., hoping they can find common ground before MLB's deadline passes.

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Nationals re-sign Howie Kendrick for two-years


Nationals re-sign Howie Kendrick for two-years

WASHINGTON  -- The Nationals have agreed to a $7 million, two-year contract with outfielder Howie Kendrick, a deal subject to a successful physical.

Agent Pat Murphy confirmed the deal to The Associated Press on Monday. USA Today was first to report the deal.

Kendrick, 34, hit .293 with seven home runs and RBIs in 52 games with Washington after he was acquired from Philadelphia. The versatile right-handed hitter got just three plate appearances off the bench in the playoffs.

In 12 major league seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, Dodgers, Phillies and Nationals, Kendrick is a .291 hitter with a .755 OPS. He's now primarily an outfielder for Washington after playing left field, second base, first base and other positions throughout his career.

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See hilarious highlights from Nats' Racing Presidents tryouts

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See hilarious highlights from Nats' Racing Presidents tryouts

Ever wonder how you can become one of the Washington Nationals' Racing Presidents or what it takes to get the job?

The team recently detailed the requirements and held tryouts on Sunday for the next group of presidents to carry on the 12-season tradition.

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While the basic requirements are pretty standard — be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma, etc. — the specifics are quite unusual compared with a typical job. Among them, presidential candidates need to be at least 5-foot-7 but no taller than 6-foot-6 and able to run from centerfield to first base in a 50-pound costume. Needless to say, those who were invited to try out had to be in pretty good physical shape.

So in bitter cold temperatures, participants raced against each other in a 40-yard dash with the 50-pound costume on. They also danced.

Here are some of the highlights from Sunday’s Racing Presidents tryouts.

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