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Nationals introduce new second baseman Daniel Murphy

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Nationals introduce new second baseman Daniel Murphy

The Nationals introduced their biggest offseason acquisition so far on Thursday, as second baseman Daniel Murphy made official his jump from the NL East rival Mets to Washington, where he is signed to play the next three years.

As is custom for introductory press conferences, Murphy donned a Nationals hat as well as his new uniform. The jersey number? Well, this is awkward.

Murphy will wear No. 20, the digits most recently worn by Ian Desmond, one of the most accomplished and popular players in team history. Desmond is expected to sign elsewhere in free agency, though as of Murphy's press conference, he was still without a contract. 

For Murphy, the foundation for his deal was laid at the 2015 Winter Meetings. Murphy had seen the moves the Mets had made this offseason and thought staying in the division and on the East Coast would make for an easy transition for him and his family.

"Negotiations were swift. This was the place where I wanted to be," he said. "Both sides felt this was a good fit and the right fit for both of us."

Murphy spoke to Nationals player Matt den Dekker, whom he played with in New York, to get information about the clubhouse in Washington. And after he signed he reached out to Ryan Zimmerman, Michael Taylor, Gio Gonzalez and others. Zimmerman, in particular, has been helpful in getting Murphy settled in the city.

Murphy said he hopes to work on his consistency on defense at second base. GM Mike Rizzo also addressed the topic, which has become a common criticism of the veteran.

"I've seen him make some unbelievable plays at second base," Rizzo said, noting he knows Murphy very well having watched him for years play against the Nationals.

As for the number, Murphy said it was between No. 20 and No. 29 before he made the decision. He chose No. 20 and was pleased to hear the previous success of those who have worn it before, including Ian Desmond and former manager Frank Robinson.

[RELATED: Nats' Rizzo on if Papelbon or Storen will be traded, odds Span returns]

[RELATED: Nats GM Mike Rizzo on Ryan Zimmerman's Al Jazeera lawsuit]

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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