Nats have executed work, however Bryce Harper looms over offseason



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02 Dec 2018, 02:26 IST
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WASHINGTON (AP) — In every single place Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman goes nowadays, the identical subject arises: What’s going to occur with free agent outfielder Bryce Harper?

“As in the event that they suppose — I suppose as a result of I have been right here ceaselessly — I do know all of the solutions to the whole lot,” Zimmerman mentioned Saturday at Nationals Park through the membership’s annual fan pageant. “Yeah, you get that query fairly a bit.”

As a lot as Washington common supervisor Mike Rizzo already has executed to attempt to enhance a roster that flopped in 2018, that’s the important problem that’s going to loom over the offseason till it is resolved.

Harper was drafted No. 1 general by the Nationals in 2010, made his main league debut as a teen, gained the NL Rookie of the 12 months award in 2012, was a unanimous choice as NL MVP in 2015 — and now could possibly be gone for good at age 26.

“No matter workforce he is on is a greater workforce. He is one of many higher gamers within the sport. Loads of us would like to have him again right here. I do not suppose there’s anybody that would not wish to have him again,” Zimmerman mentioned. “However there’s lots of various factors that go into that. It is a difficult state of affairs.”

Washington, which went 82-80 and missed the playoffs, made a late-season provide to Harper that was not accepted, which was no shock.

“They have not confirmed their hand both method, so far as what their timeline is,” Rizzo mentioned. “I feel their timeline is: After they get the deal they really feel snug with, I feel they’ll transfer. I do not suppose there’s something urgency on their half. I feel after they get one thing they like, it’s going to most likely occur.”

Till then, Rizzo is making strikes to shore up his workforce.

That does not embody the outfield, although: The Nationals have already got Juan Soto, who was the runner-up for NL Rookie of the 12 months, together with Adam Eaton, prime prospect Victor Robles and Michael A. Taylor.

As for Harper’s future, Robles mentioned: “Everybody asks about that. Loads.”

Rizzo has added a pair of catchers, buying and selling with the Cleveland Indians for AL All-Star Yan Gomes on Friday with out relinquishing a prime prospect and signing free agent Kurt Suzuki to a $10 million, two-year deal final week.

He introduced in a few back-end-of-the-bullpen relievers, signing Trevor Rosenthal, a free agent coming off reconstructive elbow surgical procedure, and buying Kyle Barraclough from the Miami Marlins.

And he joined Nationals proprietor Mark Lerner in assembly lately with free agent beginning pitcher Patrick Corbin, a left-hander who went 11-7 with a 3.15 ERA as an NL All-Star for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2018.

“We go into the offseason with a guidelines yearly. We have checked just a few issues off up to now, however we’re removed from completed. And I feel that the Bryce state of affairs and filling a number of the different issues that we’re making an attempt to do are impartial of one another,” Rizzo mentioned. “We have at all times been a corporation that possession has given us the assets to do what we have to do to construct a championship-caliber membership, and I do not see that altering.”

NOTES: Requested about how his long-term deal may expire after subsequent season, except the Nationals choose up an $18 million membership choice for 2020, Zimmerman mentioned he does not anticipate “having any issues coming to an settlement shifting ahead.” Added the 34-year-old Zimmerman: “I nonetheless wish to get compensated pretty, nevertheless it’s not like I’ll go some place else and play for an additional couple bucks. I do not suppose it is any secret I wish to end right here.” … 2B/OF Howie Kendrick will likely be “full-go at spring coaching,” Rizzo mentioned. Kendrick tore his proper Achilles tendon in Could and missed the remainder of final season. … Requested whether or not the Nationals will make a push to signal 3B Anthony Rendon to a brand new contract this offseason, Rizzo replied: “I feel we should always. And I feel we’ve. And I feel we are going to proceed to take action. He is a man that we drafted, signed and developed and he is one in all our personal. He is a terrific participant that no one talks about.”

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