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Harper out of nightcap after taking pitch off leg

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Harper out of nightcap after taking pitch off leg

NEW YORK — Bryce Harper will not be in the Nationals' lineup for the second half of their day-night doubleheader after taking a 97-mph fastball to his left shin in the opener against the Mets.

Harper was struck in his back leg by Noah Syndergaard's sixth-inning pitch, falling to the ground in pain. He managed to stay in the game and two innings later hit the 2-run homer that propelled the Nationals to a 3-1 victory, but afterward had his leg wrapped in ice and was limping around the visitors' clubhouse at Citi Field.

"It felt like he threw it through me," he said following Game 1. "Not very fun to get hit in the shin with a heater like that. We'll see how I feel going into the second game. I want that RBI, so hopefully I can play tonight, see how I feel. But I won't push it."

Harper is attempting to drive in 100 runs for the first time in his career, still one shy of the century mark. He's also trying to win the NL batting title. After going 1-for-3 in Saturday afternoon's game, his batting average rose to .331. Miami's Dee Gordon had one hit in his first two at-bats Saturday in the opener of his team's doubleheader in Philadelphia, raising his batting average to .329.

"It would be awesome," Harper said of a 100-RBI season. "It's something that would be great for me. It would be the first time in my career. I had 98 in college, so I was two away. I don't want to get stuck at 99."

RELATED: Harper homers, as Nats take 1st of doubleheader at Mets

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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