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Dusty Baker wishes he had more time to fish during Nats spring training

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Dusty Baker wishes he had more time to fish during Nats spring training

VIERA, Fla. (AP) -- The spring training game between the Miami Marlins and Washington Nationals scheduled for Monday was rained out.

The game was canceled before it was set to begin.

Stephen Strasburg's start for the Nationals was pushed back to Tuesday against St. Louis. Max Scherzer will now pitch Wednesday vs. the Mets before the team heads north to play a pair of exhibition games in Washington against the Minnesota Twins.

This was to be the Nationals' last exhibition at Space Coast Stadium before they move into a new complex next spring in West Palm Beach. The Nats and Houston Astros will share the site.

Although the Nationals have held spring training in Viera since 2005, it was manager Dusty Baker's first spring training experience along the Space Coast.

"It's totally different than the rest of Florida," Baker said.

Baker said he enjoyed area, including time in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral.

"I just wish I could've had more time," Baker said. "I brought my fishing stuff but, man, it was very tough on those bus trips because I wanted the bus driver to stop every time I saw some water. It'd have taken me like nine hours (to get to a game)."

"Water on this side or that side. I've never seen this much water, ever. Man, there's got to be some bass in there. And some over there, too. Maybe some alligators and snakes. Maybe I'll come back and fish."

Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez made his last trip to Space Coast Stadium on Sunday. Gonzalez managed the Marlins' Class A affiliate in Viera when the stadium opened in 1994.

"I grew up here, in baseball terms," Gonzalez said. "My first job with an organization was here. There's a lot of memories. I can't believe how much has grown around this place."

He recalled in those early days, "it was us, the courthouse and a bunch of cows in between."

KOEHLER OK

The Marlins, who have been rained out three of the past four days, got a scare earlier in the day when pitcher Tom Koehler was hit just below his right elbow by a comebacker while pitching in a minor league game. The injury is not believed to be serious and he is listed as day to day.

NATIONALS CUTS

The Nationals sent seven players to the minor leagues, with shortstop Trea Turner being optioned to Triple-A Syracuse.

Baker said the team would like to keep nonroster invitee RHP Matt Belisle, but that details on a contract had to be worked out with his agent.

UP NEXT

Marlins: Miami will visit the Mets on Tuesday. Paul Clemens is the scheduled starter, but due to the rainout, the team might decide to alter its rotation.

Nationals: Strasburg will make his final spring training start as the Nationals visit Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals.

MORE NATIONALS: Top prospect Turner optioned to minors in flurry of Nats roster moves

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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