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Report of increased contract offers to Bryce Harper is a reminder the Nationals are still an option

Report of increased contract offers to Bryce Harper is a reminder the Nationals are still an option

Bryce Harper contract rumors continue to ramp up with the new calendar year.

After an ESPN report of the Phillies and White Sox being willing to offer Harper a 10-year contract, there is another report that the Washington Nationals offered Harper another, more lucrative deal of their own. 

The initial offer Bowden was referring to was the 10-year, $300 million deal with no opt-outs the Nats offered once the season ended. 

Clearly this serves as another reminder that Washington is still in the Harper race. This comes fresh off of the heals of the same ESPN report that detailed the Nats meeting with the former league MVP multiple times throughout this offseason. 

In fact, using the language of Bowden's tweet, it suggests that there have been a series of offers and an ongoing conversation between the two parties. 

Back during the Winter Meeting's Scott Boras, Harper's agent, spoke with NBC Sports Washington to support this report.

“[The Nationals are] a multi-billion dollar franchise. Their attendance has gone up from way back when they started in the early 2010s. The winning has been great. I’m sure they want to get to the higher levels. But for franchises that hope to aspire to where they are, I think it’s all gone positively. It’s been a great working relationship with the Lerner family and the Nationals and Mike Rizzo. For those reasons we just continue to talk and see where we can go.”

And in all likelihood, it will not be the last conversation they have. 

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    Brian Dozier on World Series run with Nationals: ‘I’d do it again for anything’

    Brian Dozier on World Series run with Nationals: ‘I’d do it again for anything’

    Brian Dozier has played nine seasons in the major leagues for four different teams. He’s made the playoffs three times, made an All-Star team and won a Gold Glove. His career has been a respectable one and he’s formed particularly deep ties with the Minnesota area after playing his first six and a half seasons with the Twins.

    And yet when he looks back on his playing days, it’ll be his one year with the Nationals that stands out the most. In an interview with MASN’s Dan Kolko aired Wednesday, Dozier talked about what he missed most about the team now that he’s playing against them as a member of the New York Mets.

    “The team is what made it,” Dozier said. “Oldest team in baseball, all the veterans, we had fun, we knew how to have fun in the locker room, outside, all that kind of stuff and it was game on in between the lines. That was really important and it goes to show you that when you’re not playing baseball or whatever down the road, switching teams and all that, the relationships that you have and you build are off the charts and last year was probably the most fun I’ve had.”

    Dozier struggled at the plate for most of the year, hitting .238 with 20 home runs and 105 strikeouts over 105 games. He lost his job as the team’s starting second baseman to midseason acquisition Asdrúbal Cabrera and had just seven plate appearances in the playoffs.

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    But Dozier made his most important impact in the clubhouse. A fluent Spanish speaker, he helped a roster full of Latin Americans gel and feel comfortable letting their personalities flourish. With his own rendition of Pedro Capó’s song “Calma” and repeated shirtless playoff celebrations, he did plenty to endear himself to Nationals fans as well.

    He may have only played one season in D.C., but it was a season that he won’t soon forget.

    “That was fun times, man,” Dozier said. “I’d do it again for anything. For another ring.”

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    Juan Soto welcomes cardboard cutouts of family to Nationals Park

    Juan Soto welcomes cardboard cutouts of family to Nationals Park

    As Juan Soto made his return to the Nationals lineup on Wednesday after dealing with a positive COVID-19 test to begin the season, his family was in the stands to cheer him on. Well, sort of.

    Due to the coronavirus pandemic, no fans are allowed at MLB games. Instead, teams have opted to place cardboard cutouts of supporters in seats throughout the ballpark to make the atmosphere feel a little more normal. So of course, Soto's family was "in attendance" for his first game back in left field as the Nationals star had custom cutouts made. 

    In a perfect gesture, Soto greeted his cardboard relatives by slapping an RBI double to left field in his first trip to the plate. Though there was no applause from the seats, you can bet there was plenty of cheering going on wherever they are watching the game.

    Soto's connection with his family runs deep, and it was on display throughout the Nationals 2019 World Series run. From getting tackled by his father after his clutch knock in the NL Wild Card Game to having a traveling fan club at the World Series, the Soto's are clearly his No. 1 supporters.

    RELATED: AS SOTO RETURNS, BASEBALL IS REMINDED HOW MUCH IT MISSED HIM

    So while the pandemic may be keeping them from being there in person, there was no chance Soto was going to return to action without a way to have his family cheer him on.

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