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Report: Nats plan to shop Storen at Winter Meetings

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Report: Nats plan to shop Storen at Winter Meetings

The Nationals plan to gauge interest from other clubs about a potential trade involving reliever Drew Storen at the upcoming Baseball Winter Meetings in Nashville, according to a report from MLB.com.  

The move would signal another step toward the Nats' complete overhaul of their bullpen, something that's long been considered among the team's primary goals this offseason. 

Storen, 28, entered the 2015 season as Washington's closer and turned in one of the best stretches his career -- he had converted 29-of-31 save opportunities to that point -- only to have his role changed to the eighth-inning arm once the team acquired Jonathan Papelbon from the Phillies on July 28. It was apparent soon thereafter that the trade had a negative impact on Storen, who met with team officials to presumably express his displeasure with the decision to demote him.

Though it's not certain that his disapproval of the move to trade for Papelbon was the main reason why his season took a turn, it's clear Storen was never the same from that moment on. He would post an ERA of 6.75 with a 23/7 K/BB ratio in his new role, surrendering numerous late-inning leads in key games down the stretch. Ultimately, his disappointing campaign would end in mid-September when he slammed his thumb near his locker in a fit of postgame frustration after yielding a go-ahead home run to Mets slugger Yoenis Cespedes.   

Storen has spent the past six seasons with the Nats, compiling a 21-13 record with a 3.02 ERA over that span. For his career, he's converted on 96 of 116 save opportunities.  

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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.