Nats have decided on No. 1 pick, they just aren't telling

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According to Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said he has decided who to select with the No. 1 overall pick in next month’s First-Year Player Draft, but he isn’t ready to say who that person is.

“We’re not going to announce who it is right now, but we feel we’ve
narrowed it down to one specific person,” Rizzo said.

That specific person is almost certainly Bryce Harper. The 17-year-old phenom put up videogame-like numbers for the College of Southern Nevada during the NJCAA Western District Tournament this past weekend, going 12-for-13 — including four home runs and 10 RBI on Saturday night. As I detailed last Saturday morning, Harper also hit for the cycle on Friday. All in all, not a bad weekend.

Rays trade Jake Odorizzi to Twins

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The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.

With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.

Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.