The Nats sign Eric Bruntlett, some other guy

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The Washington Nationals have signed infielder Eric Bruntlett and first baseman Josh Whitesell.

The shocking thing about this is not so much that someone managed to snatch up Bruntlett and Whitesell before the bidding wars began, as it is that we learn about it through a team press release.

My guess:  Buster Olney and Ken Rosenthal were both trying to be the first to break this baby, encountered each other as they were going to meet the same source in a parking garage somewhere, and then killed each other in pitched battle, with the story being the ultimate victim in all of this.

As for the deals themselves, I can only assume that Bruntlett’s championship pedigree will combine with Jason Marquis’ veteran presence (and according to reports, Marquis is a veteran) to put the Nats over the top in 2010.  I think they had to take Whitesell because his daddy donated the money for the scoreboard or something.

Danny Duffy exits spring training game with left shoulder tightness

Danny Duffy
AP Images
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Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.

The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.

The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.