Washington Nationals News: Washington Post names Bryce Harper 2015 baseball Figure of the Year

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Today’s District Daily features stories on Bryce Harper being named the Washington Post’s baseball Figure of the Year and Mike Rizzo’s negotiation with new Washington Nationals reliever Shawn Kelley.

Good evening DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily. Get caught up on the latest Nats news and opinions with some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web below.

In today’s Daily, the Washington Post’s Barry Svrluga names Bryce Harper the Post’s 2015 baseball Figure of the Year. As Svrluga writes in his article, Harper deserves the recognition because of his stellar overall production in 2015 and his impact on the game itself.

Harper dominated in all aspects of the game last season, slashing .330/.460/.649 while hitting 42 home runs and driving in 99 runs. The 23-year-old carried the Nationals’ lineup all season long and led the league in almost every major offensive category.

As Svrluga notes, Harper — and many others — hyped the Nationals as World Series favorites during Spring Training last season. While the Nationals ultimately had a disappointing year and failed to live up to those expectations, Harper finally lived up to his own hype and developed into the best player in the game.

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Harper was crucial for the Nationals in 2015, and he’ll be just as important for the team next season. Hopefully for Harper, his team can live up to expectations in 2016 as well as he lived up to his own expectations last season.

Also in today’s Daily, Federal Baseball’s Patrick Reddington discusses some interesting comments made by new Nationals reliever Shawn Kelley about his contract talks with general manager Mike Rizzo.

Be sure to check out both articles below, they’re definitely worth a read. And as always, stay tuned to DoD for all your Washington Nationals needs.

2015: The year Bryce Harper blossomed into baseball’s best player

(Barry Svrluga, Washington Post)

As 2015 draws to a close, The Washington Post reflects on the figures that commanded the spotlight. These are the names that most impacted their sport and the sports world as a whole … for better and for worse.

His year began, essentially, when he plopped himself down on the bench in the home dugout at Space Coast Stadium and was asked about the signing of Max Scherzer, the offseason’s most expensive free agent. Bryce Harper said a lot of other things that day, but they essentially whittled down to six words that crystallized where the Washington Nationals stood at the dawn of 2015, and Harper’s attitude about the whole thing: “I was like, ‘Where’s my ring?’” Read full article here.

Shawn Kelley on dealing with Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo: Master Negotiator

(Patrick Reddington, Federal Baseball)

Veteran right-handed reliever Shawn Kelley, 31, signed a 3-year/$15M deal with the Washington Nationals earlier this month, after meeting with the Nats at the Winter Meetings and agreeing to terms. Coming off a 1.0 fWAR campaign in 2015, Kelley went into free agency for the first time after putting up a 2.45 ERA, a 2.57 FIP, 15 walks (2.63 BB/9) and 63 Ks (11.05 K/9) in 51 ⅓ innings pitched for the San Diego Padres.

He lived near Nashville, Tennessee, where the Winter Meetings were held and thought it would be a good idea to meet with interested teams personally.

“I don’t live too far away from there,” Kelley explained, “and I was kind of just there to meet some people, talk to some teams if they wanted to get to know me a little better on a personal level and it just kind of came together in the matter of an evening really with the Nationals, and then we had to work through some contract stuff.” Read full article here.

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