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A "little conversation" with Mike Rizzo convinced Mark Reynolds to sign with the Nationals

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USA TODAY Sports

A "little conversation" with Mike Rizzo convinced Mark Reynolds to sign with the Nationals

If you didn't know who Mark Reynolds was before Sunday, you certainly became acquainted with him during the Nats' 6-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

In his first game as a National, Reynolds homered twice and went 3-4-4 after being called up from the minors when first baseman, Ryan Zimmerman was placed on the 10-day disabled list.

Quite the first impression, huh? 

However, Reynolds is no stranger to the big leagues. The 34-year old became a free agent after the 2017 season and turned down several minor league offers, feeling he deserved more.

A 12-year veteran, Reynolds raked up 30 home runs and 97 RBIs with the Colorado Rockies just last year. It was until April, after becoming content with staying home and taking care of his kids, that the Nats came calling - again - and convinced him otherwise. 

"We liked him at the beginning of spring training," Nats GM Mike Rizzo said on the Sports Junkies Wednesday.

"We reached out and made an offer. At that time, he wasn't ready to take a minor league offer because of the season that he had and then finally we circled back and kind of gave him a little conversation saying you know, 'what are you waiting for? What are you trying to accomplish here?'"

"'I wanna get back to the big leagues,'"[Reynolds said].

"I said, 'well sitting there's not going to help you get back to the big leagues because if an injury happens, if something does go wrong with a team, you're going to have to go through four weeks of spring training to get prepared so you might as well do the four weeks now, and then when something happens, you get the go right away.'"

The "little conversation" worked and Reynolds made the Nats his eighth major league team. 

"We kind of mapped out a plan of attack for him and he accepted it and we signed him the next day, and like I said, two weeks later, he's in the big leagues for us."

Snagging stars is what Mike Rizzo does best and Reynolds will continue to try to make his impression felt against the New York Yankees tonight. 

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Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

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Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

WASHINGTON -- Juan Soto, the youngest player in the majors at 19, hit a three-run homer in his first career start as the Washington Nationals defeated the San Diego Padres 10-2 on Monday.

Mark Reynolds had two solo home runs for the Nationals, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Bryce Harper had a homer and an RBI double.

Soto's drive highlighted a five-run second inning for Washington. The promising outfielder, who played for three minor league teams this season, hit the first pitch from Robbie Erlin (1-3) over the Nationals bullpen in left-center field. Soto also singled.

Soto's homer traveled an estimated 442 feet at Nationals Park. He earned a standing ovation from the crowd and the teenager responded by taking a curtain call. Per Baseball-Reference.com, Soto became the first teenager to hit a home run in a major league game since Harper on Sept. 30, 2012.

Called up to Washington on Sunday, Soto became the first 19-year-old to make his major league debut since Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias in 2016. He entered that game in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter and struck out.

Washington's starting left fielder began the season at Class A Hagerstown. He hit a combined .362 with 14 homers and 52 RBIs in his three minor league stops.

Gio Gonzalez (5-2) allowed two runs and two hits in seven innings.

San Diego's Franmil Reyes, playing in his seventh career game, also hit his first career home run.

Trea Turner hit a pair of RBI doubles for Washington. Reynolds had three hits.

Erlin surrendered six runs and seven hits over four innings in his third start of the season. San Diego had won three in a row.

Reyes connected for a two-run homer in the fourth inning, but the Padres' lineup generated little else against Gonzalez, who allowed one run over six innings in a no-decision at San Diego on May 9.

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.

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Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

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@MLB

Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

Juan Soto, the highly-regarded 19-year-old Nationals' prospect, got his first major league start of his career tonight. 

How did it go, you ask? Surely it would take Soto - who was in Single-A less than two weeks ago - some time to adjust? 

What were you doing at 19??

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.