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Wire Taps: Nationals, Bryce Harper avoid grievance hearing, settle on 2015 salary

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There were some quotes exchanged over the weekend that made headlines, but the Washington Nationals and 22-year-old slugger Bryce Harper have reportedly settled their dispute over the 2010 no.1 overall pick's 2015 salary.

H.Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals and 22-year-old slugger will not have to go to that grievance hearing which was scheduled for Tuesday in New York.

Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore reported this morning that the Nationals and the 2010 no.1 overall pick, "... reached a settlement Sunday evening," on a contract for the 2015 season, "according to a person familiar with the situation."

As the WaPost reporter notes, "It is not clear how much the sides settled for," but the Nationals and Harper will avoid a hearing which was reportedly deemed necessary by Major League Baseball and the MLBPA after the Nationals and Harper's representatives failed to agree on the inclusion of a clause in his contract which would have allowed Harper to opt out of the 5-year/$9.9M major league deal he signed after he was drafted and opt into arbitration if he qualified before the end of the contract.

Harper's side believed their was an oral agreement that that clause would be included, while the Nationals reportedly said there was no such agreement.

There was a someone contentious exchange between the two sides this weekend after Nats' GM Mike Rizzo was asked about Harper not showing up at NatsFest, the yearly gathering of Nationals' players and fans.

"We're disappointed he's not here," Rizzo said, "but he chose not to be here because of the grievance."

The response from Harper's representatives came via The Washington Post's James Wagner shortly afterwords on Saturday:

"'I have attended NatsFest each year and always enjoy my experience with the fans, but was unable to attend this year’s event due to matters out of my control,' Harper said through his representatives. "I look forward to next year’s NatsFest.'"

That exchange launched a thousand headlines (ed. note - "1,000 articles is a rough estimate."):

• "Three days before that potential hearing, Harper did not come to NatsFest at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and General Manager Mike Rizzo took issue with that." - "Mike Rizzo ‘disappointed’ Bryce Harper chose not to attend NatsFest" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

• "Harper was originally listed among more than 20 Nationals players who were scheduled to appear at the club’s annual winter fan fest but chose not to attend within the last week..." - "Mike Rizzo 'disappointed' in Bryce Harper for not attending NatsFest" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "Just this weekend, the Nationals arrogant, abrasive young star Bryce Harper angered Washington fans when he failed to appear at an annual fan festival because he’s seeking to void the final season of the five-year, $9.9-million contract he signed when he was drafted." - "Montreal media and Canadiens fans need to learn lesson from Jean Béliveau" - Jack Todd, Montreal Gazette

• "If you needed any more proof that once the clock strikes midnight for Bryce Harper to become a free agent, he will leave the Washington Nationals, you got it Saturday..." - "LOVERRO: Bryce Harper's absence says a lot about his future with Nationals" - Thom Loverro, Washington Times

• "Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper was scheduled to attend NatsFest on Saturday, but decided against it..." - "Harper forgoes NatsFest with grievance looming" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com

• "Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said the star outfielder opted not to attend NatsFest, though he had previously been listed by the team among the participating players, because of the hearing..." - "Nationals Pastime: Rizzo on Harper grievance and absence, Werth and Detwiler deal" - Pete Kerzel, MASNSports.com

That wasn't the only time Rizzo's name was in the news this weekend for something odd-ish:

• "Rizzo, who was busy with NatsFest activities when the ESPN report came out, did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment." - "Blue Jays reportedly interested in Mike Rizzo (UPDATED)" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

• "A report by ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick earlier in the day said Toronto has 'expressed interest' in Rizzo as a candidate to replace Paul Beeston..." - "Mike Rizzo has not been contacted by Blue Jays about CEO position" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "In the midst of hyperactive roster shuffling and a relentless stream of deals big and small, Mike Rizzo and his Washington Nationals loomed conspicuously inactive..." - "Mike Rizzo talks quiet Winter Meetings, what’s next for the Nationals this offseason" - Chelsea Janes, The Washington Post

The words "bitter" and "bitterness" came up repeatedly at NatsFest:

• "Craig Stammen only watched Game 7 of the World Series. Matt Thornton said he watched a lot of the remaining postseason. Third baseman Anthony Rendon said he flipped on basketball..." - "NLDS loss to Giants left Nationals with a bitter taste" - Todd Dybas, Washington Times

Nationals Extension updates - Jordan Zimmermann, Doug Fister and Ian Desmond:

• "Just days after the Winter Meetings closed, several Nationals players find themselves caught up in trade rumors, particularly those who are set to be free agents after 2015." - "Nats’ Desmond, Fister & Zimmermann on recent trade rumors" - Chase Hughes, Nats Insider

• "Desmond said he’s not surprised or perturbed when his name comes up in trade negotiations." - "With no progress made on an extension, Ian Desmond says he’s focused on 2015" - Chelsea Janes, The Washington Post

• "How much Zimmermann, 28, is worth to the Nationals is the sticking point. He's going to be a free agent at the end of the 2015 season and has earned the right to test the open market." - "Nationals Pastime: Zimmermann and Fister on their futures in Washington" - Pete Kerzel, MASNSports.com

• "As for Desmond, time is running out for this group of players and he understands that Rizzo has to do what's best for the club..." - "Quartet takes break from rumors at NatsFest" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com

• "Rizzo said at the Winter Meetings in San Diego that the Nationals have had preliminary discussions with Desmond's representatives about a long-term extension." - "Nationals Pastime: Desmond: 'I want to be here and play here'" - Pete Kerzel, MASNSports.com

• "Doug Fister isn’t one to talk contracts. It’s not something he likes to worry about..." - "Doug Fister’s busy, busy offseason" - Chelsea Janes, The Washington Post

Call the 2B search off!!:

• "When told about Frandsen wanting a chance to be the everyday second baseman, Williams was surprised." - "Frandsen aiming for everyday second-base job" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com

• "After spending time at first, second and third base, as well as time in the outfield last season, Frandsen became the team's Swiss Army knife..." - "Nationals Pastime: Frandsen on second base: 'If opportunity arises, I'm going to take it'" - Brian Eller, MASNSports.com

• "Miller was part of the package offered by the Mariners in an effort to acquire outfielder Matt Kemp from the Los Angeles Dodgers." - "Mariners notebook: Miller’s most-likely future? Starting shortstop" - Bob Dutton, Mariners Insider - The News Tribune

Nationals' Bench and Bullpen chatter:

• "Neither Storen nor Clippard are guaranteed the job and both guys know it. It only takes an off week for fans to begin clamoring for change at the closer position." - "Nationals Pastime: Closer role an option for Clippard" - Brian Eller, MASNSports.com

• "What’s forcing the issue this spring is that Moore is out of Minor League options. That means the Nats can’t send him down without passing him through waivers..." - "Moore getting ready for one more chance" - Andrew Simon, All Nats All the Time

• "As a sinkerballer, Treinen doesn't get to use his bread-and-butter pitch to put hitters away when he's coming in from the bullpen." - "Nationals Pastime: Though role unclear, Treinen will stretch out as starter in camp" - Pete Kerzel, MASNSports.com

• NL EAST UPDATES: Phils' rebuild; Mets' SS search; Morse in MIA?; J-Up + Kemp in SD?:

• Mets: "The Mariners are not keen on trading shorstop Brad Miller, according to a report by the Tacoma News Tribune." - "MLB hot stove: Seattle Mariners not moving Brad Miller, leaving shortstop market even thinner" - Mike Vorkunov, NJ.com

Phillies: "Rollins, last week, wrote his next chapter by surrendering the no-trade rights that, for 17 months prior, were an impediment to any deal." - "Inside the Phillies: With Rollins gone, could Utley go too?" - Matt Gelb, Philadelphia Inquirer

Marlins:

Braves: