VIERA, Fla. -- We're four full days into spring training and already it's clear much of the storyline around this camp is focused on two of the biggest names on the Nationals' roster: Ryan Zimmerman and Bryce Harper.
Zimmerman, as surely you know by now, is hoping to sign a long-term contract extension with the club, preferably before the first full-squad workout on Saturday. Agent Brodie Van Wagenen is in town and is expected to pick up negotiations with GM Mike Rizzo while here.
And Harper, of course, is always the center of attention, even more so this spring because of his hopes of making the Opening Day roster at 19. We've outlined all the reasons why that still seems unlikely, but I will say this: Harper, in the very early stages of this camp, sure looks like he belongs. Members of the coaching staff notice it, too; manager Davey Johnson joked yesterday that his coaches are having a tough time not raving about Harper in his presence, knowing all too well it will only add fuel to the argument for bringing him north with the club.
I discussed both Zimmerman and Harper last night during a segment on CSN's SportsNet Central (check out the video directly below). And I also appeared with old friend Russ Thaler on NBC Sports Network to talk about Harper, Stephen Strasburg and Davey Johnson's comparison of the current Nationals to his old Mets teams of the mid-1980s...
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