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Nats extend contract with Single-A minor league affiliate

Nats extend contract with Single-A minor league affiliate

The Nationals have re-upped to sign a new deal with the Single-A Hagerstown Suns, the team announced on Tuesday. The Nats and Suns will continue their player development pact through the 2018 season.

Hagerstown has been an affiliate of the Nats since 2007. Some of their best players have made stops there including Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg.

"We are pleased to extend our Player Development Contract with the Hagerstown Suns, a relationship we have had now for nine-plus years," GM Mike Rizzo said in a press release. "The Suns play an integral role in developing the next wave of talent to advance through our system. Some of our best players have spent time learning how to play the game the 'Nationals Way' while in Hagerstown. We're glad to continue our working relationship with them."

"Hagerstown has been a tremendous partner of ours," assistant GM Doug Harris said. "From being Bryce Harper's first professional home, to helping players like Wilmer Difo flourish, to raising the current wave of young talent impacting our organization at the big-league level, our relationship with the Suns has played a large role in our overall success." 

"The Hagerstown Suns franchise has been a great partner for our minor league players and staff over the past ten seasons and we are excited to extend our commitment for the foreseeable future", said director of player development Mark Scialabba.

Hagerstown plays in the Low-A South Atlantic League. Before joining the Nats organization, they were a Mets affilliate in 2005 and 2006. Before that it was the Giants (2001-04), Blue Jays (1993-00) and Orioles (1982-92). Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan played two years for them as a prospect of the Blue Jays.

The Nats have another Single-A affiliate in the Potomac Nationals. Their Double-A squad is the Harrisburg Senators and their Triple-A club the Syracuse Chiefs.

[RELATED: Harper has best game in months as Nats beat Rockies]

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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