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Wire Taps: Nationals rumors + Stephen Strasburg surgery + Bryce Harper's future

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Scott Boras broke some news on Washington Nationals' starter Stephen Strasburg. Nats' GM Mike Rizzo talked Wilson Ramos, Michael Taylor and more. One reporter asked Rizzo about the potential of a long-term deal with Bryce Harper...

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Will the Washington Nationals try to sign Bryce Harper to a long-term extension? FOXSports.com's Jon Morosi asked Nats' GM Mike Rizzo that question on Wednesday. You can read more about Rizzo's answer below, but to sum it up, he said that the Nationals have Harper under contract for the near future (through 2018) and he has a long history with Harper, but he wasn't giving anything away if the Nationals have started any discussions:

Morosi and others in Boca Raton, Florida for the GM Meetings were talking a lot about former Nationals' no.1 overall picks yesterday with news on Stephen Strasburg as well. Strasburg reportedly had a non-cancerous growth removed from his back.

From what the Nationals told Washington Post writer James Wagner, Strasburg will be fine and he's on schedule for the start of the 2016 campaign, which could be his last in a Nats uniform unless he and the team start talks of a long-term deal at some point this winter:

Will Strasburg walk after the 2016 campaign like Ian Desmond and Jordan Zimmermann before him?

One reporter, MLB.com's Richard Justice, threw out a rando trade suggestion involving Strasburg that he thought might make sense after the New York Yankees made a deal yesterday:

What will the Nationals do to fill the holes left by their departing free agents? There are rumors of interest in super-utility man Ben Zobrist again this winter, for what seems like the eleventh year in a row.

Do the Nationals need to add a starter? And how about the outfield? Denard Span's leaving too, but that just means it's Michael Taylor Time for reals this season apparently...

NATS BEAT: Rizzo on Span, Ramos, Strasburg stories + more

• "And for those clamoring for a Span reunion, Rizzo indicated earlier Wednesday that the Nationals intend to use Taylor in center field in 2016..." - "Notes from the GM meetings: Rizzo, Zobrist, Span, etc." - James Wagner, The Washington Post

• "While some observers outside D.C. suggested Papelbon was in the right to get on Harper’s case for not busting down the line on a routine fly ball, those who watch the Nationals on a regular basis almost uniformly disagreed." - "Papelbon’s issue isn’t with teammates. It’s with fans" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "Over his tenure, Desmond watched the Nats transform themselves from a 100-loss team to one facing high expectations each year." - "Ian Desmond looking to win World Series" - Andrew Simon, MLB.com

• "Purke was drafted with a lot of promise, but has been saddled with various injuries during his career." - "Purke on list of minor league free agents; De Los Santos update from Arizona" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "The Nationals have backup catcher Jose Lobaton under team control for two more years. And young prospects such as Pedro Severino..." - "Mike Rizzo on Wilson Ramos: ‘He’s a guy that it would be difficult to find a better replacement for’" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

• "Some clubs will undergo massive roster renovations. Others will make only a few tweaks here and there. The Nationals?" - "How much do the Nationals have to spend in 2016?" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

Strasburg update via Scott Boras:

• "The agent described the growth as 'muscular' and said it lacked 'cancerous intentions.' Still, it created irritation that Strasburg had to deal with during the season." - "Stephen Strasburg had surgery to remove growth" - Andrew Simon, MLB.com

• "Stephen Strasburg dealt with what he referred to as a 'knot' in his back during the 2015 season. Now his agent says that the knot was really a non-cancerous 'muscular' growth..." - "Nationals Pastime: Boras: Strasburg had muscular growth surgically removed from back" - Chris Johnson, MASNSports.com

• "Later on Wednesday, a Nationals official clarified that Strasburg had a lesion removed from his right upper back and he is on a normal offseason schedule." - "Stephen Strasburg has growth removed from his back" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

NATIONAL(S) BEAT: Nats' batboy + Fister chatter

• "Like most 21 year olds, Spenser Clark has big dreams. However, unlike most 21 year olds, the aspiring baseball general manager already has one foot in the door and is building relationships within the game..." - "Washington Nationals batboy embraced by team after coming out as gay" - Mark Townshend, Big League Stew

• "With the pressure of free agency, Fister threw awfully, which perhaps wouldn't bode well in terms of coming to the Bronx." - "Spend Hal's Money for New York Yankees: Doug Fister" - Andrew Marchand, Yankees Blog - ESPN

NL EAST UPDATES: Phillies' targets; Trade Simmons?; Marlins' starters

Marlins: "The Marlins have made it clear they covet at least one, perhaps two free-agent starters. They're surveying the market for possibilities at the General Managers Meetings." - "Marlins seek free agent starting pitchers" - Joe Frisaro, marlins.com

Braves: "Under John Hart and especially John Coppolella, they’re open to trading anybody. That’s not to say they’re determined to rid themselves of Simmons." - "Would Braves deal Simmons? Sure" - Mark Bradley, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Phillies: "Free agency, as new Phillies general manager Matt Klentak has said, is not the best place to invest when looking to acquire surplus value." - "Klentak: Phillies will shop in international market" - jake Kaplan, Philadelphia Inquirer

Mets: "Matt Harey‘s agent, Scott Boras, now believes the Mets appropriately handled his client’s innings limit, even though he pitched 216 as opposed to the doctor-recommended 180..." - "Boras now backs Sandy Alderson’s use of Matt Harvey" - Metsblog