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Report: Nats sign swingman Petit to 1-year deal


Report: Nats sign swingman Petit to 1-year deal

NASHVILLE — Needing an experienced long reliever to take over the role vacated by last week's parting with Craig Stammen, the Nationals reportedly have come to terms with former Giants right-hander Yusmeiro Petit on a 1-year contract.

The Petit agreement, reported by the New York Post's Joel Sherman, has not been confirmed by the Nationals and is pending a physical.

Petit is no stranger to Nationals fans, who have seen firsthand the impact he can have on a game pitching long relief. The right-hander famously tossed six scoreless innings of 1-hit ball in Game 2 of the 2014 NLDS, earning the win for the Giants in their 18-inning triumph that altered the complexion of the series.

MORE NATIONALS:  Do the Nats need another left-handed bat?

Petit, 31, posted nearly identical numbers in 2014 (3.69 ERA in 39 games) and 2015 (3.67 ERA in 42 games) but was non-tendered by San Francisco, which chose not to go to arbitration with him. He is eligible for free agency next winter.

Over an 8-year career with the Marlins, Diamondbacks and Giants, Petit owns a 20-27 record and 4.59 ERA, with 57 of his 161 appearances coming as a starter. The Nationals would be looking at him as a reliever but would know he was available as an emergency starter if needed.

That's a role Stammen held for them the last four seasons but opened up when the club decided not to tender the popular right-hander a contract last week after an injury plagued year. Stammen missed most of 2015 with a torn flexor tendon in his throwing arm, and though he is encouraged about his prognosis for 2016, the club wasn't willing to take the risk and offer him the minimum $1.8 million salary he would have been required to receive had he been tendered a contract.

Asked Monday who would fill Stammen's role, general manager Mike Rizzo suggested a potential acquisition.

"We certainly have several internal candidates that we'll look to, and there's possibly something in the trade market or free-agent market that appeals to us," he said. "We'll definitely look into it."

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Bryce Harper wants Tony Romo to predict his future after AFC championship game


Bryce Harper wants Tony Romo to predict his future after AFC championship game

Bryce Harper has been having a little fun on Twitter lately with his fans, who are still anxiously waiting to hear which MLB team the coveted free agent will sign with this season. 

And the 26-year-old slugger's jokes continued through the AFC championship game between the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night. 

The Patriots' 37-31 overtime win over the Chiefs was broadcasted on CBS, so former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo was calling the game, along with Jim Nantz. Since Romo joined the broadcast booth for the 2017 season, he's repeatedly proven he can read a defense before a quarterback does and predict a play before it unfolds. 

He did it again during the AFC championship matchup, and fans watching were stunned at his accuracy. And that brings us to Harper, who chimed in with a joke about Romo's spot-on predictions.

So, does this mean Harper knows what his future team is?! Maybe he's growing as tired of the anticipation as fans (especially Nationals fans) are. 

Recently, he's been responding on Twitter to discussions about where he'll end up with shrugging and questioning emojis -- making light of the offseason's biggest mystery. 

After Romo's proven history of being able to predict the future on the NFL side with incredible accuracy, maybe he does know Harper's future too. Here's a look at some of his predictions from the Patriots-Chiefs game, as well as from his first couple seasons in the booth.


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Bryce Harper's longtime friend Kris Bryant says Harper isn't headed for Cubs


Bryce Harper's longtime friend Kris Bryant says Harper isn't headed for Cubs

After weeks of twists and turns and not enough information for any Nationals fan's satisfaction, the Chicago Cubs seem to be out of the race for free agent Bryce Harper.

Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant seemingly confirmed the news on Friday night from the opening ceremonies of the 2019 Cubs Convention.

"He's not signing here," Bryant said as he sat down with NBC Sports Chicago. 

Though there have been no official reports of whether or not the Cubs are completely out in the race to sign Harper, a word from one of Harper's longtime friends shouldn't be brushed aside.

Bryant and Harper took the field together in the 2016 MLB All-Star game, and faced off in the 2017 NLDS Cubs-Nats matchup. 

The pair have known each other since grade schoool, and played for rival high schools in Las Vegas. But despite their history, Bryant says that they haven't chatted much about the situation otherwise, choosing to focus on preserving their friendship.

"I never bring it up to him," Bryant admitted. "I try to be a good friend to him, and not talk about baseball when he doesn't want to talk about baseball."

"Whatever happens, I wish [him] the best."

You can see more of Bryant's interview with NBCSC below.