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Report: Nats 'making progress' in trade for All-Star closer

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Report: Nats 'making progress' in trade for All-Star closer

With the 2015 trade deadline just three days away, rumors linking the Nats to some of the game's best closers are heating up. The latest came on Tuesday afternoon and it connects the Nats to Phillies' closer Jonathan Papelbon.

Here is what Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports tweeted, saying that the two teams are "making progress" towards a deal:

Sources: #Nationals making progress on acquiring Papelbon from #Phillies. Papelbon has said he will only approve deal if he can close.

— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 28, 2015


Papelbon, 34, is one of the biggest names on the market as a six-time All-Star and former World Series-winning closer. The right-hander has been excellent this season despite playing for the last-place Phillies. He has 17 saves with 1.59 ERA through 37 appearances this season.

The tricky part with Papelbon, however, is his contract. He is due to make $13 million in 2016 by way of a vesting option if he finishes 14 more games this season. He also has a no-trade clause and has reportedly told the Phillies he will only accept a deal if it means he will close for his new team.

There's also the always-tricky situation of trading within your division. The Nationals would likely have to give up several promising prospects to acquire a closer like Papelbon, do they want to help the Phillies replenish their farm system? The Phillies appear to be a few years away from winning, but surely the Nats do not want to help them get back to contention any faster.

Whether it's Papelbon or not, there seems to be building momentum the Nationals will bring in a relief pitcher sometime soon.

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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