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Giolito & Turner, Nats' farm system ranked highly by Baseball America

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Giolito & Turner, Nats' farm system ranked highly by Baseball America

The future is bright for the Washington Nationals, whose farm system was ranked fifth by Baseball America this week in their annual list of the best organizations by minor league talent.

The only teams ahead of them are the Dodgers, Astros, Braves and Red Sox. A good reason for that is the Nats' depth of top prospects. Five of their players made BA's 2016 list of the top 100 prospects in baseball.

Lucas Giolito and Trea Turner, in fact, placed in the top 10. Outfielder Victor Robles was not far behind at 33rd, while pitchers Erick Fedde and Reynaldo Lopez were 82nd and 92nd, respectively.

For Giolito and Turner, their rankings of fifth and 10th overall were pretty close to where they landed on other lists around the baseball world. For Robles, however, his 33rd overall ranking is 30 spots ahead of where MLB.com had him on their list released earlier in the month. Lopez made BA's list despite being left off MLB.com's.

One part of these rankings that is always interesting is their prediction for when players still in the minors will make their MLB debuts. For example, they have Giolito making the majors this season. 

Click here for the full list of top prospects. And click here for BA's organizational rankings.

There is also the prospects special we did on 'Baseball the District' featuring Nats assistant GM Doug Harris.

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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