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Desmond could return Tuesday

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Desmond could return Tuesday

MIAMI -- Ian Desmond's lingering oblique strain is improving, and the Nationals are hoping their All-Star shortstop can play Tuesday night against the Mets in Washington.

"That's what he and I are both hoping for," manager Davey Johnson said before tonight's series finale against the Marlins.

Desmond, who skipped his first trip to the All-Star Game to rest an injury that has bothered him more than a month, played the first two games out of the break over the weekend but had to sit out Sunday afternoon's contest. He thought he might be available tonight but understands another day off might do him good.

"In the last couple days, it was pretty sore," Desmond said. "We are inside. It's not 100 outside anymore. Things like are a factor, I think. It feels better today. We'll see how it feels tomorrow."

Desmond has been taking anti-inflammatory medication and has been receiving treatment from Nationals massage therapist Tatiana Tchamouroff, who accompanied the club on this road trip.

"He said he could probably play today, but I don't want to take a chance," Johnson said. "He's too valuable to the ballclub to go out there and do something spectacular and hurt himself. So, hopefully we'll get by the danger period with another day off."

Danny Espinosa again started at shortstop Monday night, with Steve Lombardozzi at second base.

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Nationals avoid arbitration, reach deal with Bryce Harper and three others

Nationals avoid arbitration, reach deal with Bryce Harper and three others

The Washington Nationals avoided arbitration and agreed to one-year deals today with Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon, Tanner Roark and newly acquired catcher Derek Norris.

If team's and players didn't agree to contracts by today's 1 p.m. ET deadline, an independent arbitrator will rule on the contract at a later date and decide how much the player will play for in 2017. 

Harper and the Nationals agreed to a $13.625 million deal, which was significantly more than the $9.3 million contract that was projected by MLB Trade Rumors. Last season, coming off his 2015 MVP campaign, Harper made $5 million. The 24-year-old will be a free agent after the 2018 season. 

Harper is coming off a disappointing season by his standards, in which he hit just .243 with 24 homers, which was way down from his total of 42 dingers in 2015. 

According to multiple reports, Rendon signed for $5.8 million, Roark signed for $4.315 million and Norris' deal was for $4.2 million.

Roark made just $543,400 last season, which he vastly out-performed. Roark was one of the most consistent pitchers in the National League last year as he won 16 games and posted a 2.83 ERA in 210 innings of work. 

With today's signings, all of the Nationals' arbitration-eligible players are under contract for 2017. 

Related: Tanner Roark to replace Max Scherzer on World Baseball Classic roster

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LOOK: Bryce Harper got married in suit jacket lined with pictures of wife

LOOK: Bryce Harper got married in suit jacket lined with pictures of wife

Nationals star Bryce Harper has a bold fashion sense, that's for sure. Just take a look at that hair. But he a more romantic fashion risk for his own wedding with a custom suit jacket. 

He opted for a navy blue tuxedo with black piping. It was the lining that really stood out as special. 

If you look closely, you'll see photos of Harper and his wife, Kayla, decorating the lining of the jacket. 

There's also the date of wedding and script reading "Mr. and Mrs. Harper." 

He credited the makers of his tuxedo, Stitched, in the tweet. 

MORE NATIONALS: Nationals’ Bryce Harper ecstatic to see bride on wedding day