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Span begins rehab with Class A Potomac

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Span begins rehab with Class A Potomac

In the middle of a month filled with negative developments, something positive actually is happening for the Nationals on Sunday: Denard Span is beginning a rehab assignment with Class A Potomac.

The injured center fielder and leadoff man, on the disabled list since July 10 with lower back pain, is expected to be in the lineup Sunday night when Potomac hosts Wilmington at 6:05 p.m. at Pfitzner Stadium, his first step toward rejoining the big-league roster.

This significant development comes only a week after Span suffered a setback in his attempted recovery from the lingering injury, one that left the 31-year-old openly admitting he didn't know if he'd be able to return this season. He was able to resume baseball activities quickly, though, and has spent the last week working out at Potomac while the big-league club has been struggling through a brutal West Coast trip that has left its season teetering on the brink.

If the Nationals can get Span back, they would boast a fully healthy lineup for the first time in 2015. And few members of that lineup have proven more important to the team's fortunes than Span, who is hitting .304 with a .367 on-base percentage, .798 OPS and 11 steals in 11 attempts in 59 games played.

Span's importance to the Nationals has been dramatic this season. They're 11 games over .500 when he plays, but now are 11 games under .500 when he doesn't play, leaving the club a disappointing 58-58 and 4 1/2 games back in the NL East entering Sunday's series finale in San Francisco.

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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