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Report: Nats agree to deal with former Mets 2B Daniel Murphy

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Report: Nats agree to deal with former Mets 2B Daniel Murphy

UPDATED: 5:47 p.m.

The Nationals have found their left-hitting second baseman, as 2015 NLCS MVP Daniel Murphy has agreed to terms on a three-year, $37.5 million deal pending a physical. The news was first reported by Jim Bowden of ESPN.

Murphy joins the Nationals after starring for the rival New York Mets in the playoffs. He is a veteran of seven MLB seasons, all with the Mets. Murphy made the All-Star team in 2014.

The Nationals will forfeit their first round draft pick (17th overall) because Murphy was extended a qualifying offer after the 2015 season. Murphy rejected the one-year, $15.8 million deal to test free agency. The Nats will receive a compensatory pick (29th overall) themselves for extending a QO to Jordan Zimmermann, who signed with the Tigers earlier this offseason.

Murphy joins Washington after hitting .281 with 14 home runs, 73 RBI and a .770 OPS in 130 games in 2015. He is a career .288 hitter in 903 total games since making his debut in 2008.

Murphy exploded in the 2015 playoffs to club seven homers and drive in 11 runs in 14 games. He was a force in the Mets lineup, as they made it all the way to the World Series before falling to the Kansas City Royals.

The Nats had been seeking infield help for much of the offseason. They chased Ben Zobrist in free agency and nearly traded for Brandon Phillips. Murphy now replaces Yunel Escobar - who was traded to the Angels - in the Nationals' infield.

Murphy projects as the Nats' starting second baseman with Anthony Rendon at third and Ryan Zimmerman at first. Shortstop will be filled by either Danny Espinosa or Trea Turner.

Murphy, 30, does bring some defensive versatility despite having limited range. He has played the majority of his career at second, but does boast 190 games at first base and 86 at third. He played 17 games at first base in 2015, which could come in handy given Zimmerman's trouble staying healthy.

The fact Murphy bats left is a big asset for the Nationals who were seeking balance for their lineup. The departure of Adam LaRoche after the 2014 season, and with Denard Span expected to leave in free agency this winter, the Nats were left with a very righty-heavy batting order. Murphy now joins Bryce Harper to make it at least two lefties in their lineup. Espinosa also bats switch and could earn the starting shortstop role in spring training.

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Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

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USA TODAY Sports Images

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.