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.

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.