The Nats win the Bryce Harper Sweepstakes

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They haven’t popped champagne just yet, but with the Pirates’ win against Los Angeles yesterday, the Nats can now finish no worse (better?) than a tie for the worst record in baseball. If the Pirates lose out and the Nats win out, they’ll both finish 59-103. 

But, because the Pirates took the season series 5-3 against the Nats, Washington wins (loses?) the tiebreaker, thereby entitling them to draft one Bryce Harper. That is, if getting the rights to take a 16 year-old kid whom Scott Boras will try to have moved to Andorra or something in order to make him a free agent constitutes “entitlement.”

Congratulations, Nationals, you did it! Now all that is left is for Adam Dunn to hit two homers so he can finish with an even 40 for the fifth season in a row and the season will have been an unequivocal success!

Red Sox ask Hanley Ramirez to report 15-20 pounds lighter next spring

Hanley Ramirez
The Associated Press
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Hanley Ramirez was a complete failure in left field this season in Boston and he batted just .249/.291/.426 while appearing in only 105 games. Ben Cherington, the man that signed him to a four-year, $88 million free agent contract, is no longer with the Red Sox. It’s time for some tough love …

Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo, who just inked a two-year extension to return as John Farrell’s bench coach, told Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald on Sunday that Hanley has been asked to drop 15-20 pounds over the offseason. There have been similar conversations with Boston’s other free agent failure, Pablo Sandoval.

Ramirez is expected to start at first base for the Red Sox in 2016.

Video: Clayton Kershaw notches his 300th strikeout

Clayton Kershaw
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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Clayton Kershaw entered Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Padres needing six strikeouts to become the first pitcher in 13 years to whiff 300 batters in a single season.

He did it within the first nine batters of the game, whiffing Yangervis Solarte, Clint Barmes, Austin Hedges, and Travis Jankowski once each and Melvin Upton Jr. on two different occasions.

Here was the milestone matchup against Upton Jr. with two outs in the top of the third …

The last pitchers to reach 300 strikeouts in a season were Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. They did so as teammates on the 2002 Diamondbacks.

Kershaw is lined up to face the Mets in Game 1 of the NLDS.