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If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em: Will Harris signs with the Nationals

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When last we saw reliever Will Harris, he was entering Game 7 of the World Series for the Astros, trying to keep their slim 2-1 lead over the Nationals intact. Then, with the count 0-1, he uncorked a cutter that Howie Kendrick shot down the right field line, clanking off the foul pole for a two-run homer that gave the Nationals a 3-2 lead that they would not relinquish. A couple of innings later Harris would be officially credited with the blown save and the loss and the Nats would douse each other in champagne.

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em: last night Harris signed a a three-year, $24 million contract with Washington.

Game 7’s performance notwithstanding — hey, it was Zack Greinke‘s jam and relievers sometimes can’t get out of ’em — Harris is coming off the best season of his career. He went 4-1 with four saves and a 1.50 ERA in 68 relief appearances in 2019, striking out 62 batters against just 14 walks and six homers allowed in 60 innings. He has an excellent 2.84 career ERA in 419 games with the Rockies, Diamondbacks and Astros over the past eight seasons and he should be a strong addition to the Nats’ pen.

Check back in February for some fun stories about him meeting his new teammates. Check back on April 2 for the Nats’ home opener when the Nats are presented with their World Series rings and Harris has to stand there smiling like it isn’t awkward.

Reds sign Nicholas Castellanos to a four-year deal

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The Cincinnati Reds have signed outfielder Nicholas Castellanos to a multi-year deal. That’s the report from C. Trent Rosecrans and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Jon Morosi of MLB.com was the first to report the Reds as frontrunners. The deal is pending a physical. UPDATE: The deal is four years. Financial terms have yet to be reported.

With Castellanos in the fold the Reds are going to have a lot of outfielders when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton already on the roster. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps taking over short from Freddy Galvis, who could be dealt. Alternatively, the Reds could trade from their newfound outfield surplus.

Castellanos, however, will have left field to himself. While he’s shaky at best with the glove, he had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power.

Now that he’ll be playing in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.