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Nationals prospect spotlight: Victor Robles

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Nationals prospect spotlight: Victor Robles

Age on Opening Day 2016: 18

How acquired: Signed as international free agent in 2013

Position: Outfielder

Prospect Rank: No. 3 in Nats' org. (Baseball America)

2015 Level/Team: GULF-GCL Nationals, NYPL-Auburn

2015 Stats: (two teams) 61 G, 261 PA, 213 AB, 48 R, 75 H, 11 2B, 5 3B, 4 HR, 27 RBI, 24 SB, 5 CS, 18 BB, 33 SO, .352 BA, .445 OBP, .507 SLG, .952 OPS, 21 HBP

2015 Analysis: One of the fastest-rising prospects in the game, outfielder Victor Robles got his first glimpse at professional baseball in the U.S. this year after previously appearing only in the Dominican Summer League. In 2015 he played 61 total games, beginning the year in the Gulf Coast League before moving on to play the majority of his season with the Auburn Doubledays of the New York-Penn League.

Robles turned 18 in May, but showed no signs of being overwhelmed in either the GCL or the NYPL. In both leagues he hit over .340 and stole bases with regularity. His combined numbers for this past season are very impressive and help demonstrate the variety of tools he brings to the equation. He projects as an elite hitter from the right side with plus-speed, a tremendous outfield arm and the potential for power down the road.

Robles was ranked as the 25th-best prospect in the Nats' farm system a year ago and is now considered by Baseball America as No. 3 behind only Lucas Giolito and Trea Turner. That is a significant jump for a guy who is still so young. He may be a few years away from the big leagues, but Robles looks like a future big league center fielder and perhaps even a star in the making.

2016 Outlook: This season should provide Robles an opportunity to start at one of the Nationals' Single-A affiliates. The likely landing spot is Hagerstown, where Robles could find himself earning a promotion elsewhere by the end of 2016.

The numbers Robles put up in 2015 are amazing, but it is hard to project how he will fare in Single-A. This season will be big in terms of evaluating Robles' future as a prospect and gauging how far he is from the majors. If he dominates against higher levels of competition, then Robles could put himself on the fast-track to Washington.

Right now the best-case scenario would seem to line up with Jayson Werth's contract. Werth has two more years left on his deal and will turn 39 in 2018. By then, Robles will be 20 going on 21. That's still very young, but it's not inconceivable to think he will be ready by then with the way he has developed so far.

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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