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Report: The Nationals are also in on free agent Jason Heyward


It was reported earlier this afternoon that the Cardinals, Cubs, and Angels were the finalists for free agent outfielder Jason Heyward, but there’s a surprise team in the mix.

According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the Nationals have been revealed as the infamous “mystery team.” It’s unclear who has the top bid at this point, but Heyman also writes that it’s believed Heyward has at least one $200 million offer on the table.

If the Nationals were to sign Heyward, they’d presumably stick him in center field and continue to go with Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth in the corner spots. This would move young Michael Taylor back into a fourth-outfielder role, though he’s obviously good insurance with Werth’s recent injury history.

Given Heyward’s age (he just turned 26 in August) and all-around game, he’s regarded as the top position player on the market. Many expect he’ll end up with a 10-year contract. The market for position players has been slower to develop than the pitchers, but it sounds like things are finally heating up.

Nick Pivetta to rejoin Phillies’ rotation

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Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Nick Pivetta will rejoin the Phillies’ rotation, starting Tuesday’s series opener at home against the Cardinals. Vince Velasquez will remain in the bullpen.

Pivetta, 26, allowed 17 earned runs on 31 hits and eight walks with 16 strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings across his first four starts of the season. The performance resulted in a demotion to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. In six starts there, Pivetta had a much better 3.41 ERA with a 50/20 K/BB ratio in 37 innings of work.

Velasquez, 26, was solid as a starter, posting a 3.99 ERA across six starts. However, he averaged under five innings and 92 pitches per start. The right-hander tossed two scoreless innings out of the bullpen on Friday against the Brewers but was torched for four runs in two-thirds of an inning on Sunday. Mixed results, to say the least. The Phillies are trying to do what they can with their bullpen, currently missing David Robertson, Tommy Hunter, Pat Neshek, and Vìctor Arano.