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Nats aim for sweep with Gio Gonzalez set to face Phillies

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Nats aim for sweep with Gio Gonzalez set to face Phillies

Nats (9-1) vs. Phillies (5-7) at Citizens Bank Park

After their second blowout of the Phillies in as many days, the Nationals enter Sunday with a chance to secure another sweep and push their winning streak to eight games overall.

Lefty Gio Gonzalez will take the mound in his second start of the 2016 season. He was strong in his debut with six scoreless frames against the Braves.

Veteran right-hander Charlie Morton (1-1, 5.23) will get the ball for Philly. This will be his third start of the season. He got roughed up for six earned runs in his season debut, but went 6 2/3 scoreless against the Padres in his last time out. 

The Nats have basically unloaded their bench for this one with Clint Robinson in at first base, Stephen Drew at shortstop, Chris Heisey in center field and Jose Lobaton at catcher. We'll see if they can keep it going with half their regular lineup on the field.

First pitch: 1:35 p.m.
TV: MASN, Ch. 9
Radio: 106.7 The Fan, XM 869
Starting pitchers: Nats - Gio Gonzalez vs. Phillies - Charlie Morton

NATS

CF Chris Heisey
3B Anthony Rendon
RF Bryce Harper
2B Daniel Murphy
LF Jayson Werth
1B Clint Robinson
SS Stephen Drew
C Jose Lobaton
RHP Max Scherzer

PHILLIES

SS Freddy Galvis
2B Cesar Hernandez
CF Odubel Herrera
3B Maikel Franco
LF Darin Ruf
C Carlos Ruiz
RF Peter Bourjos
LF Tyler Goeddel
RHP Charlie Morton

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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