Nationals

Georgia Tech starts fast, routs Wake Forest, 82-62

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Georgia Tech starts fast, routs Wake Forest, 82-62

ATLANTA (AP) Robert Carter Jr. scored a career-high 20 points, including seven in Georgia Tech's 16-0 run to open the game, and the Yellow Jackets beat Wake Forest 82-62 on Saturday for their first Atlantic Coast Conference win.

Carter, a 6-foot-8 freshman, made nine of 10 shots from the field, including two 3-pointers.

Georgia Tech (11-7, 1-5) was never threatened as it became the last ACC team to win its first conference game. It kept its leads in double figures for the final 38 minutes.

The Yellow Jackets made four of six 3-pointers in the 16-0 run and pushed the lead to 30 points at 37-7 on a 3-pointer by another freshman, Marcus Georges-Hunt.

C.J. Harris had 18 points for Wake Forest (10-9, 3-4), which fell to 0-4 in road conference games. The Demon Deacons fell flat following their 86-84 upset of No. 18 North Carolina State on Tuesday night.

The Demon Deacons closed the first half with a 7-0 run to trail 52-29 at the break. Georgia Tech then was scoreless for almost 5 minutes to open the second half, but Wake Forest, which managed only five points in the span, couldn't seize the opportunity.

After Wake Forest cut the deficit to 18 points, Carter's 3-pointer pushed the lead to 57-36.

The Demon Deacons had a 9-0 run midway through the half, including back-to-back baskets by Arnaud William Adala Moto, to pull with 67-49. Georges-Hunt ended the run with a 3-pointer.

Georgia Tech, which ranks 10th in the ACC and 239th in the nation with its average of 64.9 points per game, had its most first-half points of the season. It finished with a scoring high for a conference game.

Georges-Hunt had 12 points. Freshman Chris Bolden, who had 3-pointers at the start and end of the opening 16-0 run, and Mfon Ufofia each had nine points. Bolden made only his third start.

Each team started three freshmen.

Wake Forest freshman forward Devin Thomas, who scored a season-high 25 points with 14 rebounds and four blocked shots in the win over N.C. State, had eight points and 13 rebounds. Thomas made only three of 10 shots from the field and committed seven turnovers, including six in the first half.

Travis McKie had 10 points and Codi Miller-McIntyre had nine for the Demon Deacons, who made only 35.1 percent of their shots (20 of 57) from the field.

Carter's previous high was 19 points against UNC Wilmington.

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MLB Rumors: Josh Donaldson could reportedly end up with a four-year contract

MLB Rumors: Josh Donaldson could reportedly end up with a four-year contract

As the hopes for Anthony Rendon's return to Washington fade fast following Stephen Strasburg's record seven-year $245 million contract, Josh Donaldson comes more into focus for Nationals faithful. 

The Nationals had reported interest in him as far back as mid-November, and if they want to spend big on Strasburg and less on third base rather than spend on Rendon and find a cheaper pitcher, Donaldson represented the most value. 

But every team that misses out on Rendon will probably look right to Donaldson, and that reality is reportedly driving up his price. 

According to Mark Bowman, there is a growing expectation Donaldson will end up with a four-year contract. That might be a problem given he's entering his age-34 season, but for the Nationals, there isn't a major difference between a four-year deal and a two-year deal for Donaldson. 

He's coming off a very productive season in Atlanta, where he hit 37 home runs and drove in 94 runs to go along with a .379 on-base percentage. Realistically, Washington would need at least two years of solid production at third base from him to get ample return on their investment. 

Carter Kieboom figures to be in the mix this season at third or second base, but he's much better suited as a middle-infielder. Then, the Nationals have 19-year-old Luis Garcia on the way as one of their top infield prospects. 

By the time Garcia hits the majors he'll ideally go to third base to join Kieboom and Trae Turner as Washington's infield of the future.

And as Bowman notes, the DH could be coming to the National League by after the 2021 season. If Donaldson can still slug, that's an easy move for him to make and play out the last two years of his deal. 

So while a potential four-year contract can and should cause a bit of sticker shock, the Nationals are constructed where they can take that risk to help their team in the short term should Rendon leave for greener pastures. 

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Stephen Strasburg had a specific request in contract negotiations with Nationals

Stephen Strasburg had a specific request in contract negotiations with Nationals

According to Scott Boras, Stephen Strasburg had a specific request of the Nationals before he signed the largest contract ever for a pitcher. 

"He certainly wanted to make sure that [Nationals Park] was open every day in the offseason so that he can go there and work out," Boras said Monday. 

Per Jesse Dougherty, Strasburg has been working out since mid-November. For reference, the Nationals won the World Series on October 30. No days off. 

It's no surprise the Nationals granted the World Series MVP's request. Strasburg is coming off the best year of his career, and he wants to make sure he can work out all winter in the park he'll spend the rest of his career? What a difficult decision. 

Strasburg may not be the highest-paid pitcher of all time for long. Gerrit Cole will most likely command more years and a higher AAV from whoever he signs with this winter. 

But the more important thing for the Nationals and probably their fans as well, is that Strasburg will wear the "Curly W" for his entire career. And maybe another World Series trophy is in play with him, Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin headlining the best pitching staff in baseball. 

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