Now that Major League Baseball's free agency period has officially begun, the Nationals can start the process of reshaping their roster for the 2016 season. More specifically, that means they're finally free to address their much-maligned bullpen.
With the futures of setup man Drew Storen and closer Jonathan Papelbon very much up in the air, it's expected that the Nats will be in the market for many of the top relief arms available.
So with that in mind, it's no surprise that a report has already surfaced about which bullpen options the Nats might be interested in -- and it sounds like they might be looking up I-95 for some help. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports is reporting that Washington is among a number of clubs interested in Orioles right hander Darren O'Day.
O'Day, 33, has been in Baltimore since 2012, compiling a record of 23-8 to go along with a sterling 1.92 ERA. Known for his submarine-style delivery, he thrived as an eighth inning option for Buck Showalter's club, even serving as the closer on occasional when Zach Britton was unavailable (he notched 12 saves in four seasons with the Birds).
But despite the Nats' reported interest in O'Day, there's no guarantee they'll want to shell out the kind of cash that would be necessary to bring him to D.C. As an example, former Orioles reliever Andrew Miller -- who, like O'Day, was coveted by many teams a year ago -- wound up signing with the Yankees at four years, $36 million to be New York's closer. If O'Day commands that type of contract this time around, would the Nats be willing to match other teams' best offers?
It's that wonderful time of year again — when baseball teams flock to warmer climates for spring training and the regular season is practically around the corner — and Bryce Harper is already killing it.
It took the Washington Nationals a few games to brush away their offseason cobwebs and get back into gear, but since the beginning of March, they're riding a five-game win streak as of Sunday the 4th.
They are 6-4-1 in spring training going into Monday's matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Since Thursday, the Nats have taken down — in order — the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, defending World Series champion Houston Astros, the Detroit Tigers and the Mets again. Sunday's 6-2 win against the Tigers was in large part thanks to Harper's bat, as the star of the team drilled his first home run of spring training.
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Turn up the volume for this one because the sound of Harper's contact with the ball is just beautiful — and perhaps enough to get you pumped for the March 29 opener.
Harper blew this ball away in the bottom of the third for a two-run homer with Howie Kendrick on base. He also had a single in the fourth and finished the game with three RBI.
Gio Gonzalez was the winning pitcher for the Nats.
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We are fortunate enough to live in a world where we can watch a former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback (attempt to) hit against a three-time Cy Young pitcher in a Major League Baseball preseason game.
Max Scherzer took less than a minute to strike out Tim Tebow, who was batting cleanup for the Mets in a spring training game Friday. You can watch the whole at-bat here:
It looks like Tebow and Scherzer are starting to develop a pattern - last year’s matchup between the two went down the exact same way.
Tebow was able to redeem himself later in the game with his first hit of the year against Nats prospect Erick Fedde. He will likely begin the season with the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies, but Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he believes Tebow will eventually see some at-bats in the Majors.