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Nats, Desmond avoid arbitration with $3.8M deal

Nats, Desmond avoid arbitration with $3.8M deal

WASHINGTON (AP) Shortstop Ian Desmond got a raise of more than $3 million on Friday, when the Washington Nationals announced they agreed to contracts with six of their seven arbitration-eligible players.

Desmond, who made $512,500 last season and was selected to the NL All-Star team, avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $3.8 million, one-year deal.

He's coming off a breakout year, when he batted .292 with 25 homers, 33 doubles, 73 RBIs and 21 stolen bases, and cut his errors from 23 to 15. He also hit .368 in his postseason debut for the NL East champions.

Other players agreeing were left-handed starting pitcher Ross Detweiler, right-handed relievers Tyler Clippard and Craig Stammen, and outfielder Roger Bernadina. The Nationals also gave a $2.5 million, one-year contract with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on Thursday.

The agreements left right-handed starter Jordan Zimmermann as Washington's last remaining player whose case could go to a hearing in front of a three-arbitrator panel in Phoenix next month. The sides exchanged arbitration figures but they also might reach an agreement before any hearing.

Zimmermann asked for $5.8 million, while the Nationals submitted $4.6 million. He made $2.3 million last season, when he went 12-8 with a 2.94 ERA last season, making 32 starts and pitching 195 2-3 innings.

Detweiler agreed to a $2,337,500, one-year deal, a raise from $485,000 last season, when he went 10-8 with a 3.40 ERA in 27 starts and six relief appearances.

Clippard also got a substantial raise, moving to $4 million next season after making $1,675,000 in 2012. After a series of injuries to other relievers, he shifted from a setup role to closer and had 32 saves in 37 chances, along with a 2-6 record, 3.72 ERA and 84 strikeouts in 72 2-3 innings.

Stammen agreed to a $2,225,000, two-year contract after going 6-1 with one save, a 2.34 ERA and 87 strikeouts in 88 1-3 innings across 59 relief appearances in 2012. Out of 81 players who agreed to terms with major league teams Friday, Stammen was one of only two who got a multiyear contract; Toronto Blue Jays catcher Josh Thole was the other ($2.5 million, two years).

Stammen will make $875,000 this year and $1.35 million in 2014.

Bernadina agreed to a one-year deal worth $1,212,500, after earning $493,000 last season as a reserve outfielder. He hit .291 with five homers, 25 RBIs and 15 steals in 227 at-bats.

All told, the six players with new contracts are guaranteed $14,725,000 in 2013 , an increase from $10.5 million for those players last year.

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AP Sports Writer Ronald Blum in New York contributed to this report.

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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.

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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.

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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