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Deadline day for Nats draft pick Giolito


Deadline day for Nats draft pick Giolito

It's been 40 days since the Nationals selected right-hander Lucas Giolito with the 16th overall pick in this year's draft, and not much about the relationship between the two has changed since then.

As is so often the case with baseball's draft, serious contract negotiations between player and club rarely takes place until the final hours before the league's imposed deadline. That deadline used to fall around Aug. 15, but the sport's latest collective bargaining agreement pushed that day up to mid-July, which has finally arrived.

Thus, by 5 p.m. EDT today, Giolito and the Nationals must come to terms on a contract and submit it to MLB headquarters or else sever their relationship. Giolito would accept his scholarship to UCLA and pitch next spring for the Bruins. The Nats would receive next summer's 17th overall draft pick as compensation.

That's an outcome neither side wants to reach, and the odds favor a deal being struck today before the deadline.

If anything, negotiations should be less complex now than they were in previous years. That's because in addition to the earlier deadline, the new CBA limits how much money each club can spend on signing bonuses for its top 10 draft picks. Teams that surpass that figure by a small amount are subject to a monetary fine. Teams that surpass the figure by a larger amount will lose future draft picks.

The Nationals, according to club sources, are not willing to incur any penalties in exchange for signing Giolito. Which means they can't offer him more than the roughly 2.8 million they have remaining from their original draft contract pool of 4.4 million.

Team officials believe that will be enough money to convince Giolito (who grew up in Southern California to a family full of actors and Hollywood producers) to sign. Mike Rizzo, who has successfully signed all six first-round and compensatory-round picks drafted by the Nationals since he took over as general manager in 2009, rarely drafts a player he doesn't believe he can sign.

Rizzo took a chance on Giolito -- who a year ago was projected to be one of the first players off the draft board but slipped to 16th due to questions about the state of his elbow -- but felt the pitcher's upside was worth the risk and had an inkling he would choose to sign instead of attending college.

Now the two sides must work out the precise terms of his contract by 5 p.m., hoping they can find common ground before MLB's deadline passes.

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Logo for 2018 MLB All Star Game in D.C. revealed

Logo for 2018 MLB All Star Game in D.C. revealed

The Washington Nationals will host the 2018 MLB All Star Game next July.

On Wednesday, the team officially released the logo for the event.

This will mark the fifth time the All-Star Game has been held in D.C., with the last one dating back to 1969 at RFK Stadium. 


The logo clearly incorporates the Washington Capitol surrounded by a patriotic red, white and blue theme. 

One of the biggest things to look forward to is Bryce Harper participating in the Home Run Derby.

Harper has avoided participating in the competition in recent years but has committed to playing when the event is in D.C.

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Nationals win 6-2 after Stephen Strasburg leaves in second inning


Nationals win 6-2 after Stephen Strasburg leaves in second inning

PHOENIX -- Stephen Strasburg left after struggling with his control in the second inning, and the Washington Nationals wrapped up a successful nine-game trip with a 6-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.

There was no word from the Nationals during the game explaining the standout right-hander's departure.

Strasburg, 10-3 with a 3.31 ERA entering the game, uncharacteristically walked the No. 8 and No. 9 batters in the second inning before departing with a 5-0 lead. He threw 51 pitches, 29 strikes.

Brian Goodwin's leadoff homer ignited a four-run first inning off Robbie Ray (9-5), who lasted five innings, allowing five runs.

Bryce Harper singled in the first to extend his hitting streak to 16 games.

Wilmer Difo hit his second home run of the season off reliever T.J. McFarland in the seventh.

Joe Blanton (1-2) got two outs and earned the win.

The NL East-leading Nationals took two of three in Arizona to go 7-2 on the trip.

Nine players batted for Washington in the opening inning. Goodwin started it with a booming shot high above the home run line across the batter's eye in straightaway center.

Difo and Harper singled and Ryan Zimmerman's sacrifice fly made it 2-0. Daniel Murphy walked and Anthony Rendon singled in a run. Jose Lobaton capped the scoring with a two-out RBI single before Strasburg bounced into a fielder's choice to end Ray's 39-pitch inning.

Arizona broke through with two runs in the fifth.

Chris Iannetta had a pinch-hit single with one out and David Descalso walked before Ketel Marte and David Peralta each singled in a run. With runners at first and third and one out, Blanton came on to strike out Paul Goldschmidt and got Chris Owings to ground into a fielder's choice.

The Diamondbacks had runners at second and third with one out in the sixth but Enny Romero struck out A.J. Pollock and Descalso bounced out to second. Romero left the game in the seventh with an apparent injury.

Arizona, 3-6 since the All-Star break, stranded 11 runners.

Washington's Andrew Stevenson, called up from Triple-A Syracuse, was 0 for 2 in his major league debut.


Nationals: Washington placed OF Chris Heisey on the 10-day DL. Heisey strained his left groin in Saturday night's 4-3 victory. Additionally, OF Ryan Raburn was placed on the bereavement list.

Diamondbacks: J.D. Martinez appeared in his first game in Arizona as a Diamondback after missing three games with a bruised wrist, the result of being hit by a pitch in his Diamondbacks debut. He walked as a pinch hitter in the seventh.


Nationals: Washington has Monday off and hosts Milwaukee on Tuesday. RH Edwin Jackson makes his second start for the Nationals.

Diamondbacks: Arizona begins a three-game home series against Atlanta on Monday night. Zack Greinke (11-4, 2.93 ERA), 9-0 with a 2.41 ERA in 11 home starts, goes for the Diamondbacks. R.A. Dickey (6-6, 4.14) counters for the Braves.