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Updated: Nats clean house with coaching staff, hope some return

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Updated: Nats clean house with coaching staff, hope some return

UPDATED: 2:24 p.m.

The Nationals did not only part ways with manager Matt Williams on Monday morning, they let go of their entire coaching staff.

That list includes bench coach Randy Knorr, pitching coach Steve McCatty, hitting coach Rick Schu, first base coach Tony Tarasco, third base coach Bob Henley, defensive coordinator Mark Weidemaier and bullpen coach Matt LeCroy. All had contracts that were not renewed by the team.

That, however, is not to say none of them will return. GM Mike Rizzo announced on Monday that he has offered jobs to several of the assistant coaches to rejoin the team in different capacities.

"It's very tough to let anybody go that you're close to and you've worked with as much as I have with these people. We have not offered a renewal of a contract for any of our coaching staff. But that's not to say that some of the coaches will not be back if the new manager decides they are people they would like to have on the staff. It also doesn't restrict us from hiring them in different capacities in and around our system," Rizzo said.

Knorr, McCatty, Tarasco and Schu preceded Williams on the Nationals coaching staff. Henley and LeCroy were all part of the organization before Williams arrived in Washington.

Knorr has tied to the franchise dating back to 2001 when he last appeared in the majors with the Montreal Expos. He was a manager in the Nats' minor league system from 2005 to 2011 and became the bench coach for the big league team in 2012. Knorr interviewed for Nats' manager position in the fall of 2013 before Williams was hired and was retained after losing out on the job.

McCatty had been with the Nationals for seven seasons. The Nats pitching staff led the majors in ERA (3.03) and starters ERA (3.04) in 2014, but fell way short of expectations in 2015.

Schu joined the Nationals in the middle of the 2013 season as hitting coach after David Eckstein was fired. He spent five total seasons in the organization.

Tarasco was on the Nats' coaching staff for three seasons. He also spent the previous seven years in player development roles.

Henley and LeCroy were promoted to the big leagues from minor league coaching positions when Williams was hired before the 2014 season. Henley spent 22 years with the franchise and LeCroy lasted seven. Weidemaier joined the organization before the 2014 campaign as a new hire.

"We love all these guys. They've been with us for years and years and they've done a great job for the organization throughout their time here. We certainly hope that a handful of these guys take us up on the opportunity to work with us in a different capacity," Rizzo said.

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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.

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