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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals ban backpacks; Bryce Harper rumors + a Craig Kimbrel suggestion...

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Catch up on the backpack and Bryce Harper-filled last 24 hours in Nationals news...

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T-Mobile Home Run Derby Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The two biggest stories of the last 24 hours?: Michael A. Taylor lost in arbitration and the Nationals decided (for your safety) to ban backpacks from Nationals Park. Predictably, it didn’t got over well. The second part of that at least. MAT’s salary didn’t make much of a ripple, news-wise. The idea that fans who work and go to the park afterwards now won’t have the option of going straight to the game with their backpack? Not going over really well, which probably isn’t much of a surprise... Also: There are plenty of “Bryce Harper is going where?” stories below. Go read your links!:

NATS BEAT:

If the Nationals really want to go for it, do this instead of re-signing Harper - (NBC Sports Washington)
”[H]ere’s an unsolicited recommendation: Dig up the money for reliever Craig Kimbrel and start working on the Harper tribute video.”

Nationals Inbox: How will club fare in NL East - (MLB.com)
"I think this division is going to be really good, and it will be fun to have four competitive teams trying to win at the start of the season."

Michael A. Taylor loses arbitration case, will make $3.25 million in 2019 - (WaPost)
"Thursday was the first day of arbitration hearings — with Taylor going against the Nationals, and shortstop Carlos Correa clashing with the Houston Astros — and there are 13 more expected across the next two weeks."

Nationals win Michael Taylor arbitration case - (MLB.com)
"Taylor, who will turn 28 in March, began the 2018 season as the Opening Day center fielder, but he took a step back in his development."

Curly W Live Podcast — Episode 22: Alex Chappell – (Curly W Live)
”On the latest episode, we interviewed Alex Chappell (@ACorddry), the new on-field reporter for Nationals broadcasts on MASN.”

Condra-Bogan and Romero two pitchers dealing in Nats system - (MASN)
"A couple of pitchers who came over in late-season trades could be difference-makers again this year in the Nats system. Both spent time with high Single-A Potomac."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Stark: Is it time for an 88-year-old manager? Jack McKeon is ready if baseball is – (The Athletic - $$$)
"So here’s a brilliant little consulting tip for the Nationals – a tip so brilliant, in fact, that we’ll waive our usual fee:

"Let’s do this, OK? There is nothing we’d rather see this year – nothing – more than Jack McKeon making managerial history. Just let this man manage one stinking game. That’s all it would take."

Nationals To Sign J.J. Hoover - (MLB Trade Rumors)
"The Nationals have agreed to a minor-league deal with righty J.J. Hoover. Remaining terms of the pact are not yet known."

BACKPACKGATE:

Nationals Park rolls out new policy banning backpacks - (WTOP)
"If you’re planning on heading to a Nationals game this spring, beware: Nationals Park is banning backpacks."

Backpacks now banned at Nats Park, ESPN picks up May 19 game - (MASN)
"Fans previously had been allowed to enter the ballpark with backpacks, which, like other bags, were screened by security personnel at all gates. The team will no longer allow them..."

Nationals ban backpacks at Nats Park - (WaPost)
"[VP of Public Safety Scott] Fear said the Nationals are aware that many fans come to games on public transportation directly from work and bring a bag to carry clothes and laptops, which is one reason the team will continue to allow other types of bags."

Nationals ban backpacks at the ballpark – (HardballTalk)
"A few Nats fans tell me that the lines to get into the ballpark have been long in recent years and a big part of that is that bag searches take a long time."

BRYCE HARPER RUMORS:

Why Bryce Harper Would Suit the Padres, White Sox well - (SI.com)
"Until the next mystery team reveals itself, Bryce Harper is either returning the Nationals or choosing to play the next decade or so from among three of the four worst teams in baseball over the past six years."

Why Bryce Harper returning to the Nationals looks more and more likely - (NBC Sports Philadelphia)
"The way the offseason has played out, I now believe Harper will end up back in Washington after all."

VIDEO: What team will Bryce Harper end up on? Chris Russell weighs in - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Chris Russell discusses Bryce Harper's many options of where he will sign in 2019."