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NL East: Syndergaard, Fernandez set to square off for first time

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NL East: Syndergaard, Fernandez set to square off for first time

Regardless if you're a fan of either team, Tuesday night's matchup between the New York Mets and Miami Marlins at Citi Field is sure to have a little extra juice to it. In what could be the start of a big-time NL East pitching rivalry, Noah Syndergaard and Jose Fernandez will square off for the first time in their young careers. 

Syndergaard is coming off a stellar rookie campaign that helped the Mets earn a trip to the World Series, and he figures to be one of the key cogs in New York's rotation for 2016 and beyond. Meanwhile, Fernandez, who won 2013 NL Rookie of the Year honors, is 1-0 with a 1.64 ERA in four career starts against the Mets. 

"It's going to be exciting to see," Mets manager Terry Colins said, via NJ.com. "I say this all the time, when we have a matchup like that, if you're a baseball fan, you're going to enjoy [Tuesday] night. It's the classic of these two young bright stars that are on the scene, going to face each other. It's never fun when you've got to go face those guys, but it's a great challenge. And that's what these guys do, that's why we play this game is to go out and compete against the best. It'll be fun to see."

No matter which pitcher comes out on the winning end, the one certainty is that the two will be lighting up the radar gun. According to Fangraphs, Syndergaard's average fastball velocity in his young career is 96.5 mph — not to mention he threw a 95 mph slider in his 2016 debut — while Fernandez's average fastball is 95 mph. 

And while Syndergaard looked like his usual self in his first start of the season (six shutout innings, nine strikeouts vs. the Royals), Fernandez will look to rebound coming off a rough outing in which he allowed five runs in 5 2/3 innings to the Detroit Tigers. 

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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.

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