District 34 podcast: Bryce Harper's 2018 salary and Nats bullpen solutions

It's baseball from here on out in Washington, D.C., after the local hockey and basketball teams' respective playoff runs came to bitter ends.

That being said, it's always baseball on the District 34 podcast with myself and Byron Kerr, presented by MASNsports.com. And the Nationals, a first-place team with a nine-game lead in the National League East, are always an exciting team to talk about.

District-34-sidebar.jpgFor this week's episode, let's first discuss the big news from over the weekend of Bryce Harper and the Nationals agreeing to a $21.625 million salary for 2018 and a $1 million bonus if he win NL MVP honors. Although unprecedented to get such a deal done almost a year in advance (not to mention the record amount for an arbitration deal), Harper and the Nats avoid the sometimes ugly arbitration process this upcoming offseason.

Of course, Harper becomes a free agent in the 2018 offseason, so what, if anything, does the mean for the former MVP's future with the Nationals in terms of a long-term contract? Does this help the Nats' chances of signing Harper for the long run, or is it just getting a formality out of the way early?

Obviously, it's hard to talk about the Nationals and not mention the bullpen nowadays. But Blake Treinen, Enny Romero and Koda Glover combined for a strong performance to seal an 8-4 win Tuesday night at PNC Park. Is this a sign of better things to come, or do the Nats brass still need to look for help? And if help is on the way, could Erick Fedde, newly transitioned to a reliever role with Double-A Harrisburg, be the guy Mike Rizzo turns to for support?

All of that is discussed and much more, including Jacob Turner's value to the Nationals and minor league updates, on this week's episode of District 34. Thanks for listening and spreading the word, and be sure to subscribe, rate and review District 34 on iTunes and Google Play!

Also, please leave any questions or topic suggestions in the comments section below, and hit us up on Twitter @Bobby_Blanco and @masnKerr; we would love to incorporate as much fan input as possible throughout the season!

Game 39 lineups: Nats at Pirates
Turner to start tonight vs. Pirates, Harper finall...

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