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Wire Taps: Patrick Corbin & slider tweak; Ryan Zimmerman wants to retire with Nats; Bryce Harper and Angels, Cubs...

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before the start of... the weekend? That’s all we’ve got...

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Washington Nationals v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

As the Winter Meetings approach, this could be the last weekend that Bryce Harper is considered a National. Then again, he may sign in Japan.

Here’s the scoop from South Capitol:

Patrick Corbin’s Game-Changing Tweak (Fangraphs)
Corbin's curveball and slider move similarly but to different extents, mixing it up enough to fool hitters with nasty off-speed.

Ryan Zimmerman: ‘I don’t think it’s any secret I’d like to finish' career with Nationals (WaPo)
Zimmerman doesn't expect his $18 million option to get picked up in 2020 — but he does expect to come to something of an agreement with the Nats in his quest to spend his entire career with the team.

Top first-round Draft picks for all MLB teams (
It's Chris Marrero!

Patrick Corbin; that’s one way to go to address the 2019 Rotation (Nationals Arm Race)
Corbin's financial commitment seems high, but he'll be moving to a neutral park at Nationals Park for his age 29-34 seasons. Hopefully, he ages gracefully — though he may crowd Erick Fedde out of the rotation.

There’s A New Ace In DC – Washington Signs Patrick Corbin (NatsGM)
"Overall this signing leaves me feeling extremely conflicted. On one hand, Washington desperately needed another starting pitcher, preferably a lefty, to replace Gio Gonzalez and Corbin was arguably the best starter available this offseason... but considering the large financial commitment, this contract has a strong chance of being a net negative."

Jon Heyman: Dodgers look like legitimate Harper bidders, Nats aren't out
The Nats may still be in on Harper, for whom a deal may take a very, very long time — also, the Corbin contract doesn't actually have that much deferred money on it, oddly.

Extending Paul Goldschmidt could be difficult; the DBacks’ return; a curious move by the Angels; more notes (The Athletic)
"The Corbin deal also is backloaded. He will receive a salary of $12.5 million in his first season – along with a signing bonus described as “small” (in relative terms) – and $19 million in his second. His average annual value of $23.3 million ranks 29th in major-league history and his total guarantee 38th, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts."

Why Theo Epstein’s budget issues are real and Bryce Harper looks like a long shot for the Cubs (The Athletic)
Sure, Bryant and Harper are having movie nights and going to Golden Knights games. But unless Theo Epstein has deceived the entirety of baseball, it just doesn't seem like the Cubs have the assets to get Harper.

Why the Angels should sign Bryce Harper (USA Today)
Three words: Trout. Ohtani. Harper. Sure, Harper and Trout could join up in Philly for 2021, but why wait to create the best offensive tandem ever seen in the majors?

MLB trade rumors: The Tigers won’t sign Bryce Harper, but it’d be fun - Bless You Boys
"With the American League Central, an already weak division, growing weaker still, Harper, along with the right lower-priced veteran signings, could allow the Tigers an outside shot to make a bit of noise within the division as early as this coming season."