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Zim to begin rehab games; updates on Rendon and Espinosa

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Zim to begin rehab games; updates on Rendon and Espinosa

Ryan Zimmerman will begin a minor league rehab assignment on Sunday with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators as he continues to work his way back from plantar fasciitis in his left foot.

Zimmerman will appear with the Senators for the first time since he was a prospect in 2005. The Nationals first baseman has been on the disabled list since June 10.

CSN caught up with Zimmerman on Saturday and he explained how he will play through the injury for the rest of the season. He has a specially-made orthotic insole in his left cleat and said he is getting used to playing with it.

“I’ll play with [the orthotic] for the rest of the season. Those things nowadays are so advanced, it’s almost better than wearing a regular shoe because it’s made for your foot. If you’ve never had problems with your feet then you don’t really mess with them, but if you do it’s a pretty simple fix,” he said.

Zimmerman is batting .209 through 56 games this season.

Rendon checks in after first minor league rehab assignment game

Anthony Rendon was in the Nationals' clubhouse the day after completing his first minor league rehab assignment game with the Single-A Potomac Nationals. Rendon played third base and went 2-for-2 against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.

"It’s only been three innings in but at the most part it feels fine right now. I had one ball to my left and felt good. I didn’t die and I’m here the next day so step in the right direction," he said.

Rendon said he feels like his rehab is going well and hopes to return soon from his latest injury, a strained left quadriceps muscle. He has appeared in only 18 games this season due to a host of ailments including a left MCL sprain and tightness in his oblique.

"If I knew what was causing it, I probably wouldn’t be getting injured especially this year. I feel like I haven’t changed my routine over the last couple years and I guess it’s just not my year health-wise," he said.

Espinosa feels fine day after with calf muscle cramps

Danny Espinosa is back in the lineup one day after leaving the Nats' loss to the Dodgers in the ninth inning with cramps in his calf muscles. Espinosa thinks the heat wave sweeping through Washington was a big factor, as he started feeling discomfort in the sixth inning.

"[The heat] caught me. I was cramping in the sixth inning. I had been cramping in the sixth inning. Even when I got the basehit I felt it when I was going down the line, it was tight. Then the following inning with the double off the wall, I went out for the double cut and kind of leaped for the ball and I felt it grab," he said.

Espinosa says he will try and stay hydrated in Sunday's game on an afternoon that could see the temperature eclipse 95 degrees.

"I'll probably take a couple of more IVs before the game to make sure I'm really, really hydrated," he said. "I'm not sore today or anything, I just needed more fluid. Fifteen innings in cleats didn't help either, it isn't easy on your calves and it isn't easy on anything else. I feel fine today."

Espinosa said not playing during the All-Star break could also have contributed to him cramping up.

"Could have. I don't know, never thought about that. It could have. Getting back in cleats, yeah. It could have been strain on the calf."

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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