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Werth sidelined again with "cranky" shoulder

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Werth sidelined again with "cranky" shoulder

Jayson Werth was out of the Nationals’ lineup Wednesday for the second straight game, his surgically repaired right shoulder still “cranky,” according to Nationals manager Matt Williams.

Werth, who had surgery January 9 to repair the AC joint of his shoulder, missed all of spring training and made his regular season debut one week late. He had been a mainstay in the lineup since then, though, getting only two games off and then starting 11 consecutive games before he was sidelined Tuesday.

Williams described this as “part of the progression” for Werth, who now will get three straight days off, with the Nationals’ next scheduled game Friday night against the Braves.

“It’s going to be cranky from time to time,” Williams said. “You know, surgery five months ago, it’s part of the rehab process, you get through stuff like this over time. So it’s a little cranky. With the off-day tomorrow, this is an opportunity to let it calm down as much as possible.”

Werth, who eluded reporters in the clubhouse prior to Wednesday’s game, was available Tuesday only in an emergency. He did stand in the on-deck circle for a minute during the bottom of the seventh, but he apparently was serving only as a decoy, getting Marlins manager Mike Redmond to bring in a right-handed reliever and allowing Williams to then send up left-handed Clint Robinson to hit instead.

When the Nationals needed a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the ninth, with the tying runner in scoring position, Werth was sitting on the bench. Tyler Moore wound up striking out to end a 2-1 loss to Miami.

Werth is off to a slow start this season, and surely the shoulder injury has played some role in that. He enters Wednesday hitting .176 and slugging .203 with only two extra-base hits in 19 games. He also has looked less than comfortable at times in left field.

“It’s something you go through when you’re coming back,” Williams said. “And at 35 years old, it’s a lot harder than when you’re 22 and younger. He’ll be ready to go Friday.”

RELATED: [Strasburg hopes chiropractor can fix shoulder]

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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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