UPDATE: The Nationals MAY pick Bryce Harper

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UPDATE: The Washington Post’s Adam Kilgore is not nearly as sure about the Nats choosing Bryce Harper. He quotes the Nats Director of Amateur Scouting as saying “I don’t think that’s etched in stone” about it.

Yeah, whatever. I suppose he has to say that because if he admits that the Harper is the guy now he just gives Scott Boras several more months to plan his negotiating strategy, but someone’s going to have to make a really strong case to not select Bryce Harper for me to believe that the Nats won’t, and so far I haven’t seen it.

9:15 A.M. There’s a parlor game going on right now in which people who know a thing or two about the amateur draft are scanning around looking for ballplayers not named Bryce Harper who the Nats could or should take with their first pick.

Not gonna happen. MASN’s Ben Goessling reports that the Nats have already made up their mind on the matter, and it’s going to be Harper barring anything wacko happening like him spontaneously combusting or coming down with a case of Beriberi or something.

Worth noting that some people suggested the Nats should stay away from Stephen Strasburg last year too.  They were just as silly as the people who think they shouldn’t draft Harper.

Padres sign Jordan Lyles

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The Padres announced on Sunday that the club signed pitcher Jordan Lyles to a one-year major league contract with a club option for 2019. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, Lyles will earn $750,000 in 2018. Pitcher Travis Wood was designated for assignment to create room on the 40-man roster for Lyles.

Lyles, 27, had miserable results between the Rockies and Padres last season, compiling an aggregate 7.75 ERA with a 55/22 K/BB ratio over 69 2/3 innings. While he specifically gave up 24 earned runs in 23 innings across five starts with the Padres, it was a small sample. A full season at the pitcher-friendly Petco Park, as opposed to Colorado’s Coors Field, might help revitalize his career.

Wood, 30, went to the Padres at the non-waiver trade deadline from the Royals this past season. Overall, the lefty posted an aggregate 6.80 ERA with a 65/45 K/BB ratio in 94 innings. He’ll earn $6.5 million this season and has an $8 million mutual option with a $1 million buyout for 2019. So, the Padres are just eating $7.5 million minus the league minimum, assuming Wood latches on elsewhere.