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Nats try to beat heat in Atlanta

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Nats try to beat heat in Atlanta

ATLANTA -- The good news: It's a bit cooler today in Atlanta than it was yesterday when the city's all-time record high temperature of 106 degrees was set. The bad news: "Cooler" in this case is a whopping five degrees. It's still expected to be 101 degrees when Tim Hudson takes the mound at 1:35 p.m.

Like Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez has been preparing for this for several days, knowing what the conditions were going to be like here. The Miami native hopes to fare better than his San Diegan teammate did.

By the time this game begins, Strasburg, Gonzalez, Ian Desmond, Bryce Harper and Tyler Clippard will know whether they've been named to this year's All-Star team. It should be a cool scene inside the clubhouse as multiple players learn their fates. Check back for a full report on that, and please check the Nats Insider live game thread for updates throughout...

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at ATLANTA BRAVES
Where: Turner Field
Gametime: 1:35 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, Ch. 50, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 184
Weather: Partly cloudy, 101 degrees, Wind 3 mph out to RF

NATIONALS (44-32)
2B Steve Lombardozzi
RF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
LF Michael Morse
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
CF Rick Ankiel
C Jhonatan Solano
LHP Gio Gonzalez

BRAVES (41-36)
CF Michael Bourn
LF Martin Prado
RF Jason Heyward
3B Chipper Jones
2B Dan Uggla
1B Freddie Freeman
SS Andrelton Simmons
C David Ross
RHP Tim Hudson

UMPIRES
HP Tim McClelland (cc), 1B Brian Runge, 2B Ted Barrett, 3B Marvin Hudson

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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