The Nationals have become the subject of many trade rumors in recent days, most involving their apparent interest in adding a big piece to their struggling bullpen.
Aroldis Chapman's name has been thrown out there, so has former Nats' pitcher Tyler Clippard's. And on Monday they were linked to Padres closer Craig Kimbrel.
The report comes from Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, who says the Nats spoke with the Padres about Kimbrel, the former Braves closer. Heyman says the talks stalled when the Padres offered a proposal involving shortstop prospect Trea Turner returning to San Diego. The Nats acquired Turner in a three-team trade over the offseason that brought the former Padres' first round pick to Washington.
Turner has thrived since joining the Nationals and is the clear heir apparent to Ian Desmond at shortstop. His value long-term in the organization is obvious and it's no wonder the Nats would turn down a trade offer involving him.
They may not part with Turner, but the Nats' reported interest in Kimbrel is interesting. Kimbrel, 27, is by most accounts the best closer in today's game. He has been an All-Star in each of the last four seasons, has earned Cy Young votes in each of those years and three times has received MVP votes. This season he holds a 2.75 ERA - high for his standards - and 29 saves in 30 chances.
Kimbrel is also under team control for the next three years and his salary goes up to $11 million in 2016. They would essentially be acquiring a new closer for the next two to three seasons at least.
Whether they pull the trigger on a trade this big or not, it appears the Nats are serious in adding a big boost to their bullpen before the pennant race heats up.
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.