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Strasburg takes big step in rehab; Escobar sits again

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Strasburg takes big step in rehab; Escobar sits again

The Nationals had some good news and some bad on the injury front Saturday as they got ready to take on the Chicago Cubs in an early afternoon start.

The good news was Stephen Strasburg threw a bullpen session for the first time in his recovery from a strained left trapezius muscle. The bad news was Yunel Escobar is out for the second straight day with a sore right wrist.

Manager Matt Williams said Strasburg threw 30 pitches.

"He threw 30 pitches today. All of his pitches in the bullpen and he came out of it feeling good."

Strasburg was placed on the 15-day disabled list May 30. He was removed from his start the day before in Cincinnati in the second inning with what was first described as neck tightness.

Strasburg has struggled this season while battling an assortment of minor injuries. He is 3-5 with a 6.55 ERA on the year.

Escobar hurt his wrist on a check-swing in the first inning of Thursday night's series opener against the Cubs. He had an x-ray that showed no broken bones, but his wrist remains sore.

Williams said Escobar's wrist injury is not likely to land him on the disabled list.

"I wouldn't anticipate it, but you never know," he said. "Escobar is okay. He'll get in here and get some treatment. Get in the cage and see what he feels like. He was available yesterday to play defense. We'll see where he's at."

Escobar is batting .316 this season with two homers, 14 RBI and 28 runs.

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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