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Washington Nationals: Weekend Rumors, Links And Bryce Harper.

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• I never knew they were in, but according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the St. Louis Cardinals, "...have apparently put aside any pursuit of free agent pitcher Chien-Ming Wang." Mr. Strauss repeats the claims by Chien-Ming Wang's agent's about Wang signing with someone within 10 days in this weekend's Cardinals Beat post entitled, "Pujols Five Becomes Pujols Six". Not sure whether that's 10 days from now or 10 days since MLB.com writer Bill Ladson first reported that a decision would be made within 7-10 days back on February 10th, which would mean Wang's decision should come in the middle of this week just as pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to Spring Training.

• I know Chien-Ming Wang's decision is possibly still days away, but as a member of the DC Faithful pointed out this morning, if you check at the Washington Nationals' official website, you can already buy a Chien-Ming Wang player name and number t-shirt at the Nationals' official site (Look)? Is Collin Balester going to lose his #40 again? Or has someone at the Nationals' official site just jumped the gun? MLB is usually pretty careful about this stuff...

• NOTE: Elsewhere in Mr. Strauss' article, Cards' Pitching Coach Dave Duncan says his son Chris, who signed a minor league deal with the Nationals this winter, "...is participating in an early hitters’ camp with Washington Nationals coach Rick Eckstein in suburban Orlando,":

"The younger Duncan, whom the Cardinals traded to the Boston Red Sox last year for infielder Julio Lugo, is apparently over the lingering effects of 2008 surgery that replaced a cervical disc with a prosthetic. Duncan signed a minor-league contract with the retooled Nationals and will attend major-league camp as a non-roster invitee."

• The College of Southern Nevada Coyotes dropped two of four games this weekend, beating Central Arizona College in both games of a doubleheader on Saturday while dropping Friday's and Sunday's games to Arizona's Cochise College. Bryce Harper, the Coyotes' catcher and the consensus no. 1 overall prospect with the MLB First-Year Player Draft now just six months away, played in all 4 games this weekend, going 7 for 16 with 3 doubles, 1 HR and 6 RBI's leaving the 17-year-old with a .349 AVG (15-43) after 11 games in which he's now collected 6 doubles, 1 triple, 3 HR's and 15 RBI's while posting a .420 OBP and a .744 SLG (1.164 OPS). The Coyotes are off until Thursday when they play the first of 4 games in 3 days against Chipola College (FLA) and Cypress College (CAL). 

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Speaking of no.1 prospects, Jordan Zimmermann, the Washington Nationals' no.1 prospect heading into the 2009 season tells MLB.com's Bill Ladson in an article this weekend entitled, "Zimmermann itching to get back on mound", that, "He is hoping to play in a big league game by early September. Currently, Zimmermann is throwing the baseball from 90 feet on flat ground." Could Nationals fans be watching Zimmermann and Stephen Strasburg pitching in the rotation by the end of this season?