Bryce Harper: Nationals “will be the Yankees of the NL East”

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Prior to making his Arizona Fall League debut tomorrow Bryce Harper chatted with Byron Kerr of MASNSports.com and had some interesting things to say about the Nationals’ future:

I think in the next couple years we will be the Yankees of the NL East. I have been telling everyone that. We are going to roll. We are going to win some World Series. That is everyone’s goal. [Field coordinator] Bobby Henley preached that from day one: “We are going to win the NL East someday.” I really believe that. Hopefully, we bring a couple of World Series to Washington, D.C.

The whole “we will be the Yankees of the NL East” thing is obviously pretty amusing, but my favorite part of the above quote is that a Nationals coach picked “we are going to win the NL East someday” as his big motivational tactic.  Of course, if the Nationals don’t “win the NL East someday” they’ll be one of the least successful franchises in the history of sports. Someday is a long time.

Mariners, Indians and Rays make a three-way swap

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The Indians, Mariners, and Rays are working toward finalizing a three-team trade. The full details have not been revealed yet, and there are conflicting reports as to who is going where, but we know that Carlos Santana and Edwin Encarnacion are involved.

Initial reports have the Mariners getting Edwin Encarnacion from the Indians in exchange for Carlos Santana, with Cleveland also receiving first baseman Jake Bauers from the Rays. Outfielder/third baseman Yandy Diaz will reportedly head to Tampa Bay along with a player to be named later. There has been a conflict in the past few minutes, however as to where Encarnacion is actually going: Seattle or Tampa Bay. Mark Feinsand of MLB.com says it’s Seattle, Bob Nightengale says it’s Tampa Bay. We’ll know soon enough, I suppose.

Santana played for the Phillies last year and was traded to Seattle just a couple of weeks ago. He’ll never have a chance to wear a Mariners uniform and, instead, will go back to Cleveland, where he played his entire career until 2018. Encarnacion has spent the last two years in Cleveland. Santana is owed $35 million over the next two seasons and has a 2021 buyout. Encarnacion is owed $24 million in 2019 if you include the buyout on his 2020 club option.  If Encarnacion is going to Seattle, you have to figure that the Mariners will flip him in mid-season if possible.