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Report: Nationals still looking for CF help


Report: Nationals still looking for CF help

When Jayson Werth returns later this season from a broken wrist it would seem the Nationals have a full outfield. Put Michael Morse in left and slot Bryce Harper and Werth in either center or right field. When Werth returns, there will be no other place for Michael Morse if Adam LaRoche continues to play as well as he has at first.

But even with a projected full roster, the Nationals are still looking for a true center fielder and they could be interested in a long-term solution. Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com Tweeted Thursday Washington has contacted teams around the league to let their intentions be known.

Bryce Harper is in CF today for 25th time in 53 starts. But Nationals are still telling teams they want to find a long-term answer in CF. DKnobler (@DKnobler) June 28, 2012

The continued search for a long-term center fielder is an interesting indication of what could be the Nationals' future plans. In getting a legitimate starting center fielder, they would in turn leave one of their current starters out. With a healthy Werth, the team would have four starting outfielders. Morse could move back to first base, but that would signal the departure of Adam LaRoche.

The 32-year-old LaRoche has a team option for next season and his return to form this year has increased his chances of returning with the Nats. If they choose to decline the option then LaRoche will become a free agent.

Even if they make a trade and let LaRoche walk this offseason, however, they would still have an excess of starting quality everyday players for this year's final months. There is the possibility of trading LaRoche before July's deadline, but as the team's home run (15) and RBI (48) leader it would be a surprise if they shipped him out midseason. LaRoche has been a huge part of their first place standing through the season's first three months. He has struggled recently though and seen his season average dip to .251. Maybe with his power numbers the Nats could be selling high.

In searching for a center fielder there are several candidates that have been linked to the Nationals in the past. Minnesota's Denard Span has come up before and he his enjoying a decent season with a .277 batting average. Peter Bourjos of the Angels has also been connected to Washington in the past, but his .237 batting average is a glaring weakness.

Another option would be B.J. Upton of the Tampa Bay Rays. Upton is set to become a free agent this offseason and is not expected to be back with the team. He is excellent in the outfield, but hasn't hit above .250 since 2008. He has a .247 average this season with a .305 on-base percentage, numbers that would slot him far down in the Nationals' batting order if acquired.

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Nationals, MLB betting odds and prop bets for 2017 season

Nationals, MLB betting odds and prop bets for 2017 season

Sports Betting Dime released betting odds and prop bets for the 2017 MLB season this week.

According to the sports book, the Nationals, in particular, sit well in their chances to win the World Series, as well as to have the NL MVP in Bryce Harper and the NL Cy Young Award winner in Max Scherzer.

Harper, at 5/1, also has the best odds to have the largest home run increase of any player in Major League Baseball this season among players who hit a minimum of 20 a year ago.

The Nationals and Orioles, for what it’s worth, also have 199/1 odds – sixth best – to meet each other in the World Series. The Orioles have 50/1 odds to win it in general.

But there’s also some interesting prop bets, as well, namely a number of things involving former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL quarterback Tim Tebow, who has been assigned to the Mets’ low Class A affiliate to begin the season.

For a full list of odds and props, click here.

RELATED: Donald Trump will not throw out Nationals Opening Day first pitch

Odds to win World Series

Chicago Cubs: 11/2

Cleveland Indians: 8/1

Boston Red Sox: 9/1

Los Angeles Dodgers: 9/1

Washington Nationals: 14/1

Baltimore Orioles: 50/1

Odds to meet in the 2017 World Series

Cubs-Indians: 13/1

Cubs-Red Sox: 16/1

Cubs-Yankees: 66/1

Mets-Yankees: 195/1

Dodgers-Angels: 166/1

Orioles-Nationals: 199/1

National League MVP

Kris Bryant (Cubs): 6/1

Bryce Harper (Nationals): 7/1

Corey Seager (Dodgers): 9/1

Nolan Arenado (Rockies): 9/1

Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers): 2/1

Max Scherzer (Nationals): 5/1

Noah Syndergaard (Mets): 8/1

National League Cy Young Award

Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers): 2/1

Max Scherzer (Nationals): 5/1

Noah Syndergaard (Mets): 8/1

Odds at least one player hits 50-plus home runs: 7/4

Over/under number of players to hit 40-plus home runs: 6.5

Odds Tim Tebow …

--gets an at bat for the Mets this season: 250/1

--retires or is released before the end of the 2017 World Series: 2/1

--over/under career MLB home runs for Tim Tebow: 0.5

Odds to have the largest home run increase from 2016 (minimum 20 HRs):

Bryce Harper (Nationals; 24 in 2016): 5/1

Giancarlo Stanton (Marlins; 27): 11/2

Gary Sanchez (Yankees; 20): 7/1

Jose Bautista (Blue Jays; 22): 9/1

Jose Abreu (White Sox; 24): 9/1

Odds Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez announce their engagement in 2017: 3/1

RELATED: 10 insane ballpark foods you'll find in 2017

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Donald Trump will not throw out Nationals Opening Day first pitch

Donald Trump will not throw out Nationals Opening Day first pitch

One of the most iconic moments in sports is when the President of the United States throws out a first pitch at a baseball game. In fact, every president dating back to William Taft in 1910 has thrown at least one Opening Day ceremonial first pitch during their time in office. 

At least for this year, Donald Trump will not join that long lists of presidents. 

According to Bryon Kerr, President Trump will not partake in the tradition due to scheduling conflicts.

Traditionally the ceremonial first pitch by presidents has been done on Opening Day, but also there have been presidents that have thrown the first pitch at the All-Star Game, and even during the World Series; none was perhaps more memorable that George W. Bush's first pitch in the 2001 World Series. 

Regularly presidents have thrown out the first pitch on Opening Day, but it is not uncommon for presidents to miss out on one of baseball's sacred days. George W. Bush only threw the Opening Day pitch in six of his eight years as president. He would also throw a Ceremonial first pitch in 2009, his first year out of office. Barack Obama would only throw one Opening Day first pitch and that was in 2010 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the now forgotten tradition. 

Before his presidency, President Trump has thrown one first pitch to start a baseball game. It was during the 2006 regular season at Fenway Park. 

RELATED: Tim Tebow strikes out in three pitches from Max Sherzer