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Nationals could be interested in Aroldis Chapman

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A report from the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo suggests that the Nationals have expressed interest in free agent closer Aroldis Chapman. Chapman profiles as one of the top bullpen arms on the market alongside right-handed closer Kenley Jansen, and his list of known suitors includes the Giants, Yankees, Dodgers and Cubs.

Chapman drew interest from the Nationals at the 2016 trade deadline, but the Cubs gained an edge in negotiations after offering a package of prospects that included top talent Gleyber Torres. Over the final two months of the season, Chapman turned in a 1.01 ERA and 0.82 FIP in 26 2/3 innings with Chicago, decorating his efforts with 16 saves and a blown win in Game 7 of the Cubs’ World Series run.

While Chapman expressed his affection for the Yankees earlier this month, telling New York Sports Day’s Ray Negron that he’d “love to be a Yankee again,” competition for his services is expected to be fierce. He was previously reported to be seeking a contract in the five-year, $100 million range, which would be unprecedented for a major league closer.

Rays sign Carlos Gomez to a one-year deal

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The Tampa Bay Rays signed free agent outfielder Carlos Gomez to a one-year deal worth $4 million.

Gomez hit .255/.340/.462 with 17 homers in 105 games for the Rangers last year. He missed time due to various ailments, as he has frequently over the past several years, playing 118 games in 2016 and 115 games in 2015. He’s useful when healthy. He just has to find a way to stay healthy.

The Rays just traded away Steven Souza and designated Corey Dickerson for assignment, making room for Gomez. Dickerson was slated to make $5.95 million and, if he is not traded, the Rays will be on the hook for $1 million of that. Souza was making $3.55 million. Gomez will work in the outfield corner rotation with Denard Span and Mallex Smith, while Kevin Kiermaier will cover center.