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Three key stats the Nationals hope to improve in 2016

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Three key stats the Nationals hope to improve in 2016

BY RICH GOLDBERG, CSNMA RESEARCHER

Three key statistics the Nationals will look to improve in 2016.

Unsavory situation: The Nationals had 23 blown saves last season, the most among all MLB teams with a winning record. Jonathan Papelbon converted 17 of 17 save chances with Philadelphia last season but had 2 blown saves in 9 opportunities with Washington. Blake Treinen had 3 save chances last season, and converted none. 

Bad medicine: Denard Span, Anthony Rendon, Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth missed a combined 324 games in 2015, the equivalent of 2 full MLB seasons. Each was out a minimum of 67 games. In total, the Nationals placed 23 players on the disabled list last season, with 7 players missing over 50 games due to injury.

Start me up: Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez started a combined 87 games last season and averaged a combined 92 starts the past 4 seasons. But this season's Nationals fourth and fifth starters, Tanner Roark and Joe Ross, won 9 games out of a combined 25 starts last season. The rest of the 2016 Nationals roster combined for 1 start last season. That start belonged to Yusmeiro Petit, with the Giants.

MORE NATIONALS: Baker ready to return to Atlanta, where his MLB career began

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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.

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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