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Wire Taps: Bryce Harper rumors; Washington Nationals’ rumored increased offer stirs things up + more...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while we try to figure out where Bryce Harper is leaning as Spring Training approaches...

Miami Marlins v Washington Nationals Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Will Bryce Harper return to D.C. in 2019? How much over $300M is the Nationals’ latest offer to the 26-year-old outfielder if the rumors of an increase are accurate? How would a Harper return impact the rest of outfielders that are on the Nats’ roster? All that and more below as we wait to see where Washington’s 2010 No. 1 overall eventually signs.

Get caught up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news, right now!:

NATS BEAT:

On the importance of 30-plus starts from the Nats' three aces - (MASN)
"It’s not unfair to suggest that more than anything else, the fate of the 2019 Nationals will rest on the shoulders of those three starters."

After four years covering the Nats, goodbye for now - (WaPost)
"It’s just a game — a heartbreaking, heartwarming, life-changing game that can mean as much to you as you let it. And please, never be shy to let it mean something to you."

Harper and Machado are connected as teams pursue them - (MASN)
"It appears again that the Bryce Harper hot stove is connected to the Manny Machado hot stove."

What does Juan Soto think of his first season with the Nationals? Well, he was impressed - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Sound, solid, just fine are all applicable to Soto’s first season. An increase in exposure didn’t turn him into an introvert."

Report of increased contract offers to Bryce Harper is a reminder the Nationals are still an option - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Bryce Harper contract rumors continue to ramp up with the new calendar year."

Nationals outfielders 2019 breakdown - (MLB.com)
"Here's a look at the Nationals' outfielders, what questions they will carry with them into the start of Spring Training and how their playing time might be affected if Harper does reunite with his former team."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Dozier, Pollock Strong Bounceback Candidates Remaining In Free Agency - (Forbes)
"Though he will almost certainly have to take a pay cut, Dozier isn’t very far moved from being an elite player."

Suarez, Roark expected on Cincinnati Reds Caravan stop in Evansville - (Courier & Press)
"Cincinnati Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez and starting pitcher Tanner Roark are expected to be among those attending the team's annual caravan stop this month in Evansville."

Victor Robles Will Benefit From More Playing Time - (RotoBaller)
"As of now, it looks like Robles will man centerfield for the Nationals to open the season and his speed will be useful either at the top or bottom of the lineup."

MLB rumors: Nats submit latest offer to Bryce Harper; Yankees could hang on to Sonny Gray - (CBSSports.com)
"After plenty of back-and-forth between the Washington Nationals and Bryce Harper this offseason, it appears that the Nationals are back in the Harper sweepstakes."

The latest on Bryce Harper and Manny Machado - (Yahoo!Sports)
"Sometimes, but not always, the game ends where it makes the most sense. Today, that has Harper with the Nationals. It’s where the money is. It’s where the familiarity is."

NL EAST UPDATES:

Mets' 3 remaining paths to an everyday center fielder - (SNY)
"While the Mets' projected starting outfield currently consists of Michael Conforto, Juan Lagares and Brandon Nimmo, that doesn't mean that will be their outfield come Opening Day."

Phillies' free agency signings show they could be joining baseball’s bullpen revolution - (Philly.com)
"Mike Rizzo’s proclamation that 'starting pitching is king,' probably still holds true as we near the end of the second decade of the 21st century."

2019 Philadephia Phillies Top MLB Prospects Podcast - (Baseball America)
"Sixto Sanchez oozes potential but there is reason for concern. Plus, Mickey Moniak's prospect stock and two sleeper LHPs to keep an eye on."

Wei-Yin Chen trolls Marlins, changes uniform number to match salary - (Fish Stripes)
"[Chen] will take home the highest salary on the Marlins this season...exactly $20 million. Even though he would never admit to it if that was the real motivation, that’s All-Star-caliber trolling from a non-All-Star-caliber pitcher."

Inbox: Can Braves repeat as NL East champions? - (MLB.com)
"Just like we had no idea the Braves would win last year's division crown, we can't definitively say how much the acquisitions of Edwin Diaz (Mets), Patrick Corbin (Nationals), Andrew McCutchen (Phillies) and maybe Bryce Harper (???) will influence this year's NL East race."