No. 1 pick Bryce Harper to play in the Arizona Fall League

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After initially indicating that they wouldn’t send Bryce Harper to the Arizona Fall League, the Nationals have changed their mind. According to general manager Mike Rizzo, the No. 1 overall pick will play for the Scottsdale Scorpions “effective immediately.”
Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that Harper will be on the Scorpions “taxi squad,” which means he’ll only play twice per week. According to Ladson “the club did not want Harper to be idle for the next two months” after hitting .319 in his unofficial professional debut in an instructional league.
Because Harper is only 17 years old the Nationals had to request a special exemption from MLB to allow him to play in the AFL, but that obviously wasn’t much of a hurdle given that MLB is surely in favor of Harper and the AFL getting as much attention as possible.
Despite changing their stance on Harper playing in the AFL the Nationals are expected to send him to Single-A for his official pro debut next season.

Report: Mariners acquire Chris Heston from the Giants

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Jon Morosi of MLB Network and FOX Sports reports that the Mariners have acquired starter Chris Heston from the Giants. The Giants will receive a player to be named later, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

Heston, 28, logged only five innings in the majors this past season as he battled an oblique injury and otherwise spent most of his time with Triple-A Sacramento. Heston was solid out of the Giants’ rotation in 2015, posting a 3.95 ERA with a 141/64 K/BB ratio in 177 2/3 innings over 31 starts.

Heston will be under team control through 2021. He’ll provide depth for the Mariners’ rotation in the meantime.

Joe Nathan wants to pitch in 2017

DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 16: Joe Nathan #36 of the Detroit Tigers pitches in the ninth inning of the game against the Seattle Mariners at Comerica Park on August 16, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Mariners 4-2.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images
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Joe Nathan‘s agent, David Pepe, says his client wants to pitch in 2017, per ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. “He’s like the Energizer Bunny,” Pepe said.

Nathan, 42, came back from Tommy John surgery in July, pitching two scoreless innings for the Cubs with four strikeouts and two walks. The Cubs released him and the Giants picked him up, and Nathan went on to pitch 4 1/3 scoreless innings down the stretch with five strikeouts and two walks.

According to FanGraphs, Nathan’s velocity wasn’t where it used to be, which is to be expected of a pitcher in his 40’s coming back from major elbow surgery. Still, with teams always on the hunt for bullpen depth, it would be shocking if Nathan didn’t get any bites before spring training starts.