The Nationals at one point had the highest rated farm system in all of baseball, but a lot can change in a year. Baseball America released their top 50 prospect rankings on Thursday and not a single Nationals' player is on the list.
The Nationals' farm system of course took a hit when they traded four of their top young players to the Oakland Athletics for Gio Gonzalez. They also saw their standing suffer when their top prospect Bryce Harper, the top rated prospect overall last July, was called up to the big leagues for good.
But not having a top 50 prospect is a little unsettling when looking towards the future. The Nationals would like to restock their minor league teams and it may just be time that they need. They have drafted several players in recent years who project as top prospects, they just haven't shown enough to be included on the list quite yet.
2011 first round picks Anthony Rendon and Alex Meyer could be in the next top 50 list for instance. Rendon has been hurt this season after being picked sixth overall and Meyer has pitched well enough to be picked for the Futures Game, but only at the Single-A level. Left-hander Matt Purke is also expected to move fast through the minor leagues but has had a slow start to his professional career.
The big league Nationals aren't hurting for young talent at the moment as the team possesses one of the best young rosters in the majors. But as their young draft picks develop, don't be surprised to see a few future Nats on these lists in the future.
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
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.
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