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Werth, Zimmerman activated off DL

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Werth, Zimmerman activated off DL

The Nationals will have two of their key injured veterans back in the lineup Tuesday night in Miami, with both left fielder Jayson Werth and first baseman Ryan Zimmerman activated off the disabled list in time for the club's series opener with the Marlins.

To clear roster space for the returning regulars, the Nationals optioned outfielder Matt den Dekker to Class AAA Syracuse and outrighted Emmanuel Burriss to Syracuse after the infielder cleared waivers.

With Werth and Zimmerman now off the DL, and with Anthony Rendon having returned from his own injury over the weekend in Pittsburgh, the Nationals will take the field Tuesday with seven healthy regulars for the first time since May 15, when Werth was hit by a pitch in San Diego and fractured two small bones in his left wrist.

The Nationals have not yet fielded a complete lineup with eight healthy regulars this season, and that still won't happen until Denard Span returns from a lingering back injury. The center fielder and leadoff man has spent the last 2 1/2 weeks on the DL and has yet to be cleared for full baseball activities.

Werth returns nearly 2 1/2 months since suffering his fractures, the third time he has missed significant time with a left wrist injury in his career. The 36-year-old played nine rehab games between Class A Potomac and Class AAA Syracuse, going 11-for-30 with two doubles, seven RBI, two walks and two strikeouts.

Werth, who missed the season’s first week while recovering from offseason surgery on his left shoulder, was hitting only .208 with two homers, 12 RBI and a .294 on-base percentage in 27 games when he suffered the wrist injury. But he had just begun to find his stroke prior to that, hitting .313 with two homers and a .910 OPS over his final nine games.

Zimmerman had been on the DL since June 9, when lingering plantar fasciitis in his left foot became too painful to continue to play. The 30-year-old had been trying to play through the ailment since late April and saw his batting average plummet to .209 with a .265 on-base percentage and .611 OPS that left him the majors' least-productive first baseman.

Zimmerman appeared in five games with Class AA Harrisburg while on rehab last week, going 1-for-15 with three strikeouts.

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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