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Zimmerman, Taylor and Escobar all sit out vs. Mets

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Zimmerman, Taylor and Escobar all sit out vs. Mets

In order to avoid a sweep against the first-place New York Mets on Wednesday, the Nationals will have to do so with three regular starters out of their lineup.

Ryan Zimmerman is out for the second straight day with a left oblique strain. Michael Taylor is still bothered by his sore right knee. And Yunel Escobar has come down with a fever, one that he played with on Tuesday night.

Zimmerman's status is no different than it was the day before, when his new injury was first revealed by the Nationals. He is day-to-day for the moment while the team tries to gauge exactly how serious the problem is.

Taylor, though, may be going through more than we once thought. The center fielder was diagnosed with a right knee contusion on Aug. 27 after colliding with the wall in center field against the San Diego Padres. He has been in and out of the lineup, but has continued to aggravate the injury by playing.

"Michael's knee is really, really swollen. It's difficult for him to move today," manager Matt Williams said.

The Nats insist there is nothing wrong with the ligaments or bones in Taylor's right knee, but Williams did acknowledge there could be something involving a bursa sac.

"Everything is structurally okay. There's bursa in there. He banged into the wall really hard. It will go down a little bit, but then when he plays on it it blows back up. We've gotta try to get that swelling out of there. You run risk of doing something else to it as well," he explained.

Bryce Harper had a more serious injury to a bursa sac in his left knee during the 2013 season. It hampered him for much of the year and required surgery in the offseason.

Taylor's problem isn't quite that bad, the Nationals say.

"Nobody knows exactly what is causing it. The fact that it is swelling up tells us there's a lot of fluid in there, so we've gotta try to get it out," Williams said.

Taylor, 24, is batting .243 with 14 home runs, 61 RBI and 15 steals this season. His presence in the lineup has become quite important in recent weeks with the loss of Denard Span for the season.

Escobar had three hits in Tuesday night's loss, but apparently did so while dealing with a fever that reached 103 degrees. The 32-year-old infielder is batting .320 with nine homers and 46 RBI in 121 games this season.

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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