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National League

Nationals’ Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer Have Heated Exchange In Dugout

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Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg didn’t have the kind of return he was hoping for during his first start in six weeks, allowing 6 runs on 8 hits over 4 2/3 innings, but it was an incident off the mound that has people talking.

After being yanked with two outs in the fifth, Strasburg headed back to the dugout and was greeted by teammate Max Scherzer who patted him on the shoulder and the two engaged in a discussion.

That conversation seemed to escalate quickly and then Strasburg abruptly got up and walked briskly to the tunnel, with Scherzer following.

“It’s part of family, man. You got to be in the family,” Strasburg said about the incident after the game. Asked whether he and Scherzer had talked again since the incident, Strasburg said: “You’ve got to be in the family. You’re not.”

Scherzer had a discussion with rookie manager Davey Martinez prior to meeting with the media.

“We had a really good conversation, I’ll just say that,” Martinez said. “It was addressed. Look, they’re very competitive. Everybody is. I’m glad we talked. It’s over. Let’s move forward. These guys are professionals. We’re good. I’m good that we had the conversation. This stuff happens. I’ve been on teams where guys wanted to choke each other. It’s a long season. They get it. They understand. We talk about it. I don’t want to lose sleep about it. It was a really good conversation. I’ll just leave it at that. Things are good.”

dropped to 6-7 on the season with a 3.90 ERA on the season.

Miami Marlins

Marlins Release Dan Straily

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The Miami Marlins have released right-hander Dan Straily, according to Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill (h/t MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro).

Straily will be going on release waivers and is he clears, he will his free agency Wednesday afternoon.

Straily, 30, pitched the tune of a 4.20 ERA last season for the Marlins.

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Harper Jumps Ship To NL East Rival Phillies

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OF Bryce Harper now owns the biggest free agent deal in North American pro sports (Yahoo!)

A representative of the Guinness Book of Records had better be present on April 2 when the Philadelphia Phillies come to Washington DC for their first meeting with the Nationals in 2019. Because, when a certain player that will be donning a Phillies jersey that wore a Nationals jersey last season steps to the plate for the first time, the subsequent boo might break the sound barrier.

Bryce Harper was the face of the Washington Nationals from April 28, 2012 until September 30, 2018, his last game with the team. Seeking pastures greener, Harper tested the free agent market all winter long to see whom would shovel out the most. Washington attempted to resign its franchise cornerstone, but a deal could not be reached and Nationals’ owner Mark Lerner announced on February 22 that his team was walking away.

That opened the door for a team the Nationals are very familiar with to officially capitalize. It was reported earlier today that Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies had come to terms on the biggest free agent contract in the history of North American professional sports. The club has not confirmed yet, but the deal is reportedly a 13-year, $330 million blockbuster that includes a no-trade clause and no opt-outs (the latter of which is an extreme rarity in today’s MLB). If true, the 26-year-old Harper will be in a Philadelphia uniform until he’s 40.

Fellow marquee free agent Manny Machado inked a 10-year, $300 million deal with the San Diego Padres on February 19 that was the biggest free agent deal in North American professional sports for all of nine days. Everyone knew that Harper’s deal would exceed it in terms of pay, but not a lot saw it being more in terms of years. Unless he agrees to waive his no-trade agreement, Harper could be a Phillie until he retires. The amount of the deal is interesting seeing as Harper is coming off a year that saw him bat just .249, though he did hit 34 home runs and broke the century mark in RBI for the first time in his career.

Whether intentional or Harper’s part or not, the signing is a pretty big slap in the face to his former club. Philly and Washington have been rivals since the days of the Montreal Expos. And though it may not be tantamount to Babe Ruth going from Boston to New York, it’s one of the biggest examples of stars joining rival teams in sports history. The Nationals won’t be the same team without Harper, who was the centerpiece of what was once a potent offense. The team is trending downward however and the absence of its biggest bat may have the basement calling.

The Phillies, on the other hand, may have become contenders as a result of gaining such a big star. Gabe Kapler’s team turned many heads in 2018 and wound up missing the playoffs by a far slimmer margin than was ever expected. Giving a young team on the rise a jolt in the form of one of the game’s biggest names could pay handsomely in a hurry. Harper has been on-and-off in his career and has struggled a lot with injuries, but the Phillies are obviously confident that a change of scenery will do the outfielder good.

Is the signing wise? Did Philadelphia overpay for a star who has struggled with consistency? Find me on Twitter at @Flat_Manigen74 and let me know.

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National League

Phillies, Bryce Harper Agree to 13-Year, $330 Million Deal

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The Philadelphia Phillies seem to have finally gotten their big superstar this offseason, and at a historically hefty price to boot.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Harper will sign a 13-year, $330 million deal with the Phillies after a months-long courtship this offseason.

According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, Harper’s deal with the Phillies will not include any opt outs, adding that Harper “didn’t want one.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, Harper’s deal will include $20 million as a signing bonus with no deferred money.

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