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Harper tweets to Stanton to join Nats

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Harper tweets to Stanton to join Nats

While many baseball fans were tuning in to see who won each league’s manager of the year awards on Tuesday night, the Miami Marlins pulled off one of the biggest blockbuster trades in recent memory. 

According to FoxSports.com, the Marlins are close to sending Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes, Emilio Bonifacio and John Buck to the Toronto Blue Jays. That’s three starting position players and their two best pitchers, all in a salary dump that virtually erases all the money they spent last offseason in preparation for their new stadium.

Heading to Miami in return are shortstops Yunel Escobar and Adeiny Hechevarria, pitchers Henderson Alvarez, Anthony DeSclafani, and Justin Nicolino, outfielder Marisnick, and catcher Jeff Mathis.

The Marlins make this trade in a clear attempt to shed a massive amount of salary, upwards of $90 million according to FoxSports.com. They already traded closer Heath Bell to the Diamondbacks in late October and seem resigned to not be competitive in 2013.

Before the trade deadline in 2012 they got rid of Hanley Ramirez in a trade with the Dodgers and sent Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez to the Tigers. Those deals were apparently just the beginning of their overhaul.

All the moves combined change the entire dynamic of the Marlins and their status in the National League East. Next season they will still have Giancarlo Stanton and Logan Morrison, but surrounding them will likely be a group of young players and prospects.

Stanton himself expressed frustration on Twitter after news of the trade broke:

Alright, I'm pissed off!!! Plain & Simple

— Giancarlo Stanton (@Giancarlo818) November 13, 2012

With their superstar young player mad enough to tweet his disapproval, naturally people started responding saying he should come join their team. One of those people was Bryce Harper.

@giancarlo818 you can always come play for the Nats! We will take you anytime! Get some red, white, and blue in your life!

— Bryce Harper (@Bharper3407) November 14, 2012

Unfortunately for Stanton, it appears the Marlins aren’t looking to trade him, at least according to some reports. And the Nationals aren’t likely to trade for Stanton, although seeing the deal the Marlins just pulled off it's likely most general managers have inquired.

Either way the Marlins’ trade on Tuesday night essentially eliminates them from the conversation for several years. The N.L. East is now no more than a four team race, at least for the foreseeable future. 

 

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Ivan Rodriguez becomes first former Nationals player to be voted into Hall of Fame

Ivan Rodriguez becomes first former Nationals player to be voted into Hall of Fame

Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez became the first former Nationals player (2005-present) to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday. He was inducted in his first year of eligibility, marking the 52nd first-ballot hall of famer in history. 

Rodriguez, who was the first free agent signed by current Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, played the final two seasons of his career with Washington in 2010-11. During his time in D.C. he hit .254 six homers and 68 RBI. Pudge's greatest contribution to the Nationals came from his leadership and work ethic. He guided Stephen Strasburg through his rookie season and also helped develop Wilson Ramos so he could pass the torch to him. 

During his 21-year career, Pudge made 14 all-star teams, won 13 gold gloves, won seven silver slugger awards, led his league in caught-steeling percentage nine times, and was named American League MVP in 1999 with the Texas Rangers. He became a World Series champion in 2003 with the Florida Marlins. Pudge's 13 gold gloves are the most ever by a catcher, and his 2,844 career hits are the most ever by a player who appeared in 50 percent or more of their career games as a catcher.  

In addition to Rodriguez, former Montreal Expos great Tim Raines was inducted to the Hall of Fame. Raines is the franchise leader (Expos/Nationals) in walks (793), runs (947), stolen bases (635) and triples (82). Raines was an all-star seven times and he won a silver slugger in 1986 with the Expos. He is the only player in MLB history with at least 100 triples, 150 homers and 600 RBI in a career, and the only player to steal at least 70 bases in six consecutive seasons. 

Related: Bryce Harper wants Nationals to spend money on players, not team store

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Bryce Harper wants Nationals to invest in Matt Wieters, Greg Holland more than facilities

Bryce Harper wants Nationals to invest in Matt Wieters, Greg Holland more than facilities

Bryce Harper isn't one to keep his opinions to himself. The Nationals slugger is outspoken about what he wants, whether that's to "Make Baseball Fun Again" or to make at least $400 million on his next contract

On Wednesday, he gave his take on how the Nats should be investing their money this summer. Here's Harper responding to a tweet from ESPN's Jim Bowden.

Harper's message: Players over everything else. Sorry, gift shop. 

It's plain to see where the 2015 NL MVP is going with this. Obviously, he wants as much talent around him as possible for a chance to win the World Series. 

Matt Wieters, a four-time All-Star catcher, and Greg Holland, a two-time All-Star closer, could be significant additions to Washington's roster. 

Harper is set to become a free agent in 2018, at which point an organization like the New York Yankees will be prepared to offer him both a massive salary and a massive investment in the players around him.

The slugger probably hopes his current team will try to surround him with winning pieces in an effort to keep him. But if a report about the Nationals' reaction to his contract demands proves accurate, they may have another agenda. 

There's Harper drama around the Nationals? Just a regular Wednesday here in Washington.

MORE NATIONALS: Nationals avoid arbitration with Harper, three others