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Ramos returns to lineup as Nats face Matz and Mets

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Ramos returns to lineup as Nats face Matz and Mets

Mets at Nationals in Viera, Fla.

Wilson Ramos has returned to the Nationals lineup for the first time since having LASIK eye surgery last week. He will be back behind the dish with Stephen Strasburg on the mound making his second spring start. Strasburg will look for better results than his last time out when he gave up two runs in two innings.

The Nats' lineup is loaded today with Ben Revere, Anthony Rendon and Bryce Harper at the top. That's how I expect the top of their order to look like on Opening Day. Daniel Murphy is batting cleanup this afternoon, which is interesting, but not anything to read into.

The Nats will face off with Mets pitcher Steven Matz, who held an impressive 2.27 ERA in six starts as a rookie last season. The lefty was also good in the playoffs and enters 2016 with high hopes to be the next great Mets starter.

Behind Matz will be a few Mets regulars including Wilmer Flores and Travis d'Arnaud. There will also be a familiar face in Roger Bernadina. That's right, there will be a Shark sighting in Viera.

First pitch: 1:05 p.m.
TV: None
Radio: 1580 AM
Starting pitchers: Nats - Stephen Strasburg vs. Mets — Steven Matz

NATS

CF Ben Revere
3B Anthony Rendon
RF Bryce Harper
2B Daniel Murphy
LF Jayson Werth
DH Clint Robinson
1B Tyler Moore
C Wilson Ramos
SS Danny Espinosa
(RHP Stephen Strasburg)

METS

LF Alejandro De Aza
CF Juan Lagares
3B Wilmer Flores
DH Dominic Smith
C Travis d'Arnaud
1B Mark Krauss
2B Dilson Herrera
RF Roger Bernadina
SS Ruben Tejada
(LHP Steven Matz)

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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