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Mike Rizzo on Dusty Baker's contract: 'It's not going to be an issue'

Mike Rizzo on Dusty Baker's contract: 'It's not going to be an issue'

General manager Mike Rizzo doesn’t see any issue with how the Nationals handle the business of baseball even if others in the organization feel otherwise.

Rizzo spoke ahead of Friday’s series opener against Texas and one day after the Washington Post anonymously quoted a “key member” of the Nationals organization casting doubt on the spending decisions of Washington’s ownership group.

“The fact that anonymous sources say certain things about how we handle things couldn’t be farther from the truth,” Rizzo stated. “We’re an organization that does business the way we do it. It’s been successful for many, many years. Probably as successful as any team in Major League Baseball.”

Manager Dusty Baker’s expiring contract is among the potential distractions for the first place Nationals. Baker signed a two-year contract in 2016.

“It’s not going to be an issue. We’re not going to let it be an issue,” Rizzo said.

Washington, owned by the Lerner family, won the NL East division title in 2016 for the third time in five seasons. However, the Nationals have failed to win a playoff series since moving from Montreal in 2005.

The Nationals enter Friday with an NL-best 38-21 record. Despite a hefty divisional lead, concerns about a suspect bullpen remain.

The Post source described the owners as "the problem" in relation to not addressing the relief pitching. "The owners just don’t get it.”

Baker, the fourth full-time manager for Washington since 2011, recently told the Washington Post of his desire is to continue managing beyond this season. Rizzo described the 67-year-old manager as a "true professional."

“We’re going to continue to do business the way we do it,” Rizzo said. “We’re not going to allow it to be a distraction because we have too many things to accomplish this year and everyone is on the same page to accomplish them.”

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Max Scherzer Giving Away Memorabilia For Good Cause

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USA Today Sports Images

Max Scherzer Giving Away Memorabilia For Good Cause

By Ryan Wormeli

Max Scherzer is the ace of the Nationals staff, a fan favorite, and the 2017 National League Cy Young award winner. He's also a soon-to-be father whose wife, Erica May-Scherzer, once accidentally threw out the jersey he wore when throwing his 2nd career no-hitter. This time around, I'm guessing they talked it over first before deciding to sell some of his memorabilia garage-style for a new fundraiser.

We don't have any more information about the fundraiser yet, but May-Scherzer posted some photos on Twitter this afternoon. 

And in case you're wondering, no, the Scherzer family cat featured in one of the pictures isn't for sale (we assume). Plus, even if they were willing to part with their cat, considering Scherzer is on a contract worth over $200 Million, their price would probably be pretty steep. How much would you pay to adopt the cat of a 3-time Cy Young winner?

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Why Bryce Harper would be a bargain at $500 million

Why Bryce Harper would be a bargain at $500 million

$500 million.

That number is so hard to wrap your brain around, but it's a number a lot of professional baseball players may soon start seeing on their contracts.

One player who could be the first to see that amount within the next year is Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper.

Harper will become a free agent in 2018 and people are already projecting his market value at close to $500 million, if not more.

Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton signed a contract back in 2014 for 13 years, $325 million, holding the league record.

For Fancy Stats writer Neil Greenberg, $500 million is a bargain for someone of Harper's caliber.

"Harper is every bit as good [as Stanton] but he's also young," Greenberg told the Sports Junkies Friday.

"I mean, we don't see a player that's as good as Harper, that's as young a Harper, hit the market almost ever I want to say. You look at how many years of his prime he has left and then even if you start to give him just the typical aging curb off of that prime, he's probably worth close to 570 million dollars starting from 2019 and going forward ten years. And that includes also the price of free agency going up and other factors."

Harper, who is only 25 years-old, brings more to a team than just talent. He's one of the most recognizable figures in baseball, bringing tremendous marketing opportunities to an organization. Greenberg dove deeper into how that will increase his market value.

"And that's just for the on-the-field product. You talk about all the marketing that's done around Bryce Harper [and] what he does for the game. In my opinion, and based on the numbers that I saw, he's a bargain at $500 million."

Don't we all wish someone would say $500 million is a bargain for us?

After crunching the numbers, the biggest takeaway for Greenberg is the return on investment the Nationals have gotten out of Harper.

"Like if you look at his wins above replacement throughout his career, he's given you 200 million dollars in value for 21 million dollars in cash and he's due what another 26 or 27 million this year. I mean he's already given you an amazing return on investment."

"So, if you're the Nationals having - benefited from that - you know you have a little bit of, I guess, wiggle room in terms of maybe you're paying a little bit for past performance 'cause, you know, when a player is on arbitration in their early years they don't really get paid that much."

The Nationals still have Harper for one more season and many feel they need to make him an offer sooner than later. Whenever and whoever he gets an offer from, it's going to be a nice pay day for him.