Greg Holland
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Report: Nationals in discussions with Greg Holland

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The Nationals have reportedly engaged in contract negotiations with free agent reliever Greg Holland, per Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post. A deal hasn’t been finalized just yet, however, nor has the team confirmed the report.

Holland, 32, was released from the Cardinals last Wednesday after failing to log a single save in seven save chances and pitching to a career-worst 7.92 ERA, 7.9 BB/9 and 7.9 SO/9 in 25 innings — a performance that was undeniably hampered after he missed nearly four weeks with a right hip impingement. The right-hander looked no better during a brief rehab stint in the minors, and appeared to be a far way off from replicating the All-Star numbers and NL-best 47 saves he amassed with the Rockies in 2017. Still, he could yet provide some value to a bullpen that currently ranks 10th-worst in the majors with a cumulative 3.65 ERA and 1.7 fWAR this season (and whose closer is currently laid up with a stress reaction in his left foot).

Recent struggles notwithstanding, Holland’s track record attracted considerable interest around the league in the days following his release from the Cardinals. According to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo, five or six unidentified teams have already come calling for the closer. It helps, too, that Holland successfully passed through waivers last week, so any interested party will be able to restructure a new deal with the righty rather than paying off the rest of the $14 million salary the Cardinals agreed to at the start of the season.

Video: Pete Alonso hits home run no. 50

Pete Alonso
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Rookie first baseman Pete Alonso has launched what appears to be the beginning of an auspicious career, made all the more notable by the 50 home runs he’s produced for the Mets so far this season. The All-Star slugger pushed his home run streak to four straight games on Friday, collecting no. 50 on an eighth-inning fastball from the Reds’ Sal Romano.

It’s just the latest of a long line of accomplishments for the 24-year-old infielder. Entering Friday’s series opener against Cincinnati, the first-time All-Star carried a .266/.366/.590 batting line with a league-leading 49 homers, 113 RBI, a .956 OPS and 4.9 fWAR through 648 plate appearances. Among those who are still rounding out their rookie seasons in 2019, he ranks first in home runs and fWAR by a long shot: the White Sox’ Eloy Jiménez is second in home runs with 28 dingers, while the Astros’ Yordan Álvarez plays second fiddle in fWAR with 3.7 Wins Above Replacement.

Even more remarkable: Alonso is the second rookie in MLB history to deliver at least 50 home runs in a single season. The first? Aaron Judge, who clubbed a jaw-dropping 52 homers for the Yankees in 2017.