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Turner sent to minors with Zimmerman back from paternity list

Turner sent to minors with Zimmerman back from paternity list

Ryan Zimmerman has been reinstated by the Nationals after three days on MLB's paternity list, while shortstop Trea Turner is heading back to Triple-A Syracuse after spending the weekend with the big league club.

Zimmerman is expected to return to action on Tuesday night when the Nationals play at the Chicago White Sox. He and his wife Heather welcomed their second child last week.

Turner, 22, appeared in two games for the Nationals during their weekend series at the Cincinnati Reds. On Friday night in his season debut he went 3-for-3 with a walk. On Saturday he was used as a pinch-runner and on Sunday he did not play.

Turner goes back to Syracuse where he's held a .310 average through 50 games with three homers and 24 RBI. Manager Dusty Baker told reporters in Cincinnati the plan for Turner from the outset was to just bring him up for a few days. That allows him to get another glimpse of the majors before going back down to Syracuse to continue working on his game, particularly with his defense.

Sending Turner down further illustrates the Nationals' confidence with Danny Espinosa as their starting shortstop and Stephen Drew as their backup middle infielder. Despite batting just .197, Espinosa does have eight homers - he's on pace for 23 this season - and continues to play strong defense in the field. Drew is not carrying a high average either at .189, but the Nats see value in his ability to competently play third base, second base and shortstop.

Zimmerman rejoins the Nationals with a .250 batting average in 48 games with eight homers and 26 RBI. His .763 OPS is fourth on the team.

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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