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Nats, NL East trade rumors

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Nats, NL East trade rumors

With another wild card added to the MLB playoff format, one could have guessed the weeks leading up to this years trade deadline would be a little crazier than years past. Teams that normally would be sellers are now in position to possibly make the playoffs and therefore have become buyers. The predictions have rung true with a few notable trades already having happened and one bizarre almost-trade involving Chicago and Atlanta.

It also seems there are, in general, more rumors this season than in recent years. Each team in the National League East, in fact, has been mentioned in various deals with each club with different reasons to trade.

Here is a roundup of what has been mentioned so far:

Nationals

With the expected shutdown of Stephen Strasburg, the Nats have been linked to several starting pitchers. Zack Greinke is the biggest name out there, but according to a recent report, the likelihood of him coming to D.C. is dwindling.

The possibility of a catcher has also come up with the absence of Wilson Ramos and the uneven play of Jesus Flores. A report last week mentioned Ramon Hernandez as a possibility and the Nats have been linked to Kelly Shoppach in the past. Catcher would seem to be a need for Washington, but nothing specific has been reported of late.

The other position thought to be on the Nationals radar is a middle infielder. Ian Desmond recently went to the disabled list, but they have Danny Espinosa and Steve Lombardozzi to hold down the fort. CSNs Mark Zuckerman has heard the Nationals may just stay put, here is his report.

Phillies

The Phillies continue to be among the most popular teams expected to be sellers at the deadline. Cole Hamels and Shane Victorino and been obvious names with expiring contracts, but now Hunter Pence is reportedly available.

Hamels and the Phillies continue to work through contract talks with their latest offer a reported 137.5 million. It would seem that if he is dealt, it will be a last minute move.

Marlins

Miami sent Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez to Detroit for a top prospect earlier in the week, but that was just the beginning of their dealing. Early Wednesday morning they traded Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers who is due 31.5 million over the next two seasons.

The Marlins may also trade the underachieving Josh Johnson if the price is right. The hard-throwing right-hander is the teams ace, but with the team trying to shed payroll could be a casualty.

Braves

The Braves were involved in the Ryan Dempster almost-trade that left them feeling rejected by his 105 rights. It was reported that Dempster wants to go to the Dodgers instead and turned down the offer to go to Atlanta. The Braves were offering one of their top pitching prospects in Randall Delgado.

Mets

New York has been sliding lately and is still without the injured Johan Santana, but still GM Sandy Alderson wont commit to being sellers. The Mets plan to keep their options open and may not make a deal bigger than the small one they made last week.

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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.

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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