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Harper on Yankees, $400M+ deal: 'Can't put a limit on players'

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Harper on Yankees, $400M+ deal: 'Can't put a limit on players'

VIERA, FL. — With the Nationals' 2016 spring training underway in Viera, it is officially a new year. Bryce Harper's 2015 season is in the past. Now it's time for the encore and what he can do to follow up one of the best individual seasons in recent baseball history.

Harper held his first media availability on Monday and through 17 minutes of meeting with reporters, he addressed a wide range of subjects, including his future in Washington.

Harper went in-depth on the topic and was at one point asked flat-out about the New York Yankees, who some have speculated he may join someday after being a fan of the team growing up.

"I'm a National and that's what I want to be right now," he said when the Yankees came up. "I've got a W on my chest for the next three years. I'm very humbled to put the W on my chest every single day. I love the nation's capital. I love D.C. I'm getting chills thinking about it right now. It's such a monumental town. It's such a beautiful town. I look forward to playing there for the next three years and that's what on my mind right now."

The most interesting stuff from Harper on the subject, however, dealt with the price tag it could cost to keep him. Harper made headlines earlier this month in a radio interview on the Grant and Danny Show on 106.7 The Fan when he said 'don't sell me short' of a potential $400 million contract.

Harper expanded on that notion, and spoke in general about his potential as a player on the field, on Monday.

"I don't want people putting limits on me in anywhere in life," he said. "Don't put limits on guys. Don't do everything to put limits on guys. Just let it play out like everyone hopes or thinks it will."

"I've got three years to play [on this contract]. I've got three years to do everything I can to play this game. Whatever I was talking about, $400 [million], or whatever everyone is talking about with money, you can't put a limit on players and you can't put a limit on what they do. Whether that's on the field or off the field, what they do. Everyone says the sky's the limit, but we've been on the moon. You can't really tell me that. Just about putting limits on guys and doing everything they can to put it in the media. "

We still don't know how much it will cost to keep Harper in Washington, but it keeps sounding like it could be more than $400 million.

Quotes courtesy of the Washington Nationals

[RELATED: Harper aims to put Papelbon issue to rest: 'It was squashed that day']

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Former Nats manager Jim Riggleman named interim manager of Reds

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Former Nats manager Jim Riggleman named interim manager of Reds

Remember Jim Riggleman, the infamous Nats manager that resigned from the position back in 2011 after a win against the Seattle Mariners? Well he's back in a managerial position.

Bryan Price was fired as manager of the Cinncinati Reds Thursday, after the team started the 2018 season 3-15. Riggleman, who spent four seasons as their bench coach, was named the interim manager to replace Price.

Riggleman was promoted to interim manager of the Nats in July of 2009, after Manny Acta was let go midseason. He stayed on as manager for 2010 and 2011, and he then resigned from the team on June 23, 2011 after a win agaisnt the Seattle Mariners. He had lead the team to a win in 11 of their last 12 games prior to stepping away.

The reason behind the dramatic exit was due to the organization not yet picking up his 2012 contract option. He had reportedly requested a conversation with the front office about his future with the organization, and was upset after they declined. At 58 years-old, he felt he deserved more respect.

He's been with the Reds organization since 2012, and has spent time managing the Padres, Cubs and Mariners, in addition to the Nationals. His career winning pct. with each team has been below-.500.

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Nationals fall after Mets score 9 runs in 8th inning

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Nationals fall after Mets score 9 runs in 8th inning

NEW YORK -- Yoenis Cespedes launched a grand slam during a nine-run outburst in the eighth inning that rallied the New York Mets past the Washington Nationals 11-5 on Wednesday night, preventing a three-game sweep.

Todd Frazier tied it at 4 with a two-run single and pinch-hitter Juan Lagares put New York ahead for the first time with a two-run double off ineffective setup man Ryan Madson (0-2).

Shut down by Tanner Roark for seven innings, the first-place Mets broke loose in the eighth and improved to 13-4 with a stirring victory against their NL East rivals.

Ryan Zimmerman homered twice, tripled and drove in four runs for the Nationals, who pulled off their own big comeback in the eighth inning of the series opener.

Two nights later, New York returned the favor.

Roark limited the Mets to two hits and left leading 4-2. Michael Conforto, Cespedes and Asdrubal Cabrera singled off Madson to load the bases with nobody out in the eighth. Jay Bruce fouled out before Frazier smacked a two-run single up the middle and advanced to second on the throw home.

After an intentional walk to Adrian Gonzalez loaded the bases again, pinch-hitter Wilmer Flores struck out. Lagares then lined a two-run double the other way, just inside the right-field line at the outer edge of the infield grass, to put the Mets up 6-4.

Sammy Solis walked Amed Rosario and Conforto to force in a run. Cespedes connected for his sixth career slam -- the third by the Mets already this season -- off A.J. Cole, sending fans into a frenzy.

Both of Cespedes' hits in the inning came on 0-2 pitches.

AJ Ramos (1-1) worked a perfect inning for his first win with the Mets since being acquired from Miami last July.

Howie Kendrick reached on an infield single for Washington in the first and Bryce Harper drew his 24th walk, most in the majors. Zimmerman, batting .121 at that point and struggling to make opponents pay for bypassing Harper, came through with a drive to left-center off Steven Matz for his second home run of the season.

Matz steadied himself after a 33-pitch first inning and retired his final 10 batters. He was pulled for a pinch hitter in the fourth after throwing 74 pitches.

Cabrera doubled to open the fourth and scored on Gonzalez's single. Zimmerman had a chance to start an inning-ending double play, but his throwing error from first base allowed another run to score on Jose Lobaton's RBI grounder as the Mets cut it to 3-2.

After Mets pitchers retired 16 in a row, Zimmerman's leadoff triple in the seventh got past a diving Bruce in right field, and Moises Sierra followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 4-2.

Zimmerman also hit a solo homer in the ninth.