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Bryce Harper reaches 100 RBI for the first time in his career

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For the first time in his seven-year career, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper has reached triple digits in RBI. The 25-year-old lifted a sacrifice fly to left field to plate Adam Eaton in the bottom of the fourth inning of Monday night’s game against the Marlins, pushing the Nationals’ lead to 3-1.

Harper finished the 2015 season with a career-high 99 RBI en route to winning the NL MVP Award. His next-highest RBI total was 87 last year and 86 in ’16.

That a player as talented as Harper never reached 100 RBI prior to this year shows the fatal flaw in RBI as a statistic. Having a lot of RBI is very dependent on having RBI opportunities. Last year, Harper had the likes of Brian Goodwin, Wilmer Difo, and a past-his-prime Jayson Werth batting in front of him — none of the three exactly mavens of reaching base, at least as far as last year is concerned. Harper, of course, has also struggled to stay healthy — he has crossed 140 games in a season just three times — which has also been a factor in his depressed RBI totals.

Harper is a free agent after the season. Due to sky-high expectations, his 2018 has often been thought of as a disappointment, but he entered Monday batting .245/.391/.495 with 34 homers, 98 runs scored, and 126 walks (tops in the majors). In this day and age, hitting 100 RBI won’t move the needle too much towards a payday, but it doesn’t hurt. Those other numbers, which are excellent, will do most of the talking.

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.