Miguel Olivo out indefinitely with strained groin muscle

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Miguel Olivo was carted off the field during Saturday’s game after falling to the ground in pain from a groin injury and an MRI exam revealed that he has a strained adductor muscle.

According to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times “there’s no real timeline on when he may be able to return to action” and “the official word is that the team will ‘proceed cautiously’ in Olivo’s rehab due to the nature of the position he plays.”

In other words, his status for Opening Day is definitely in question. In the meantime he’ll stay in shape as much as possible by doing some throwing and Seattle will turn to Adam Moore and Josh Bard behind the plate.

Moore struggled in his first crack at the starting job last season, hitting .195 in 60 games, and the Mariners signed Olivo to a two-year, $7 million contract to take over primary catching duties. As far as fallback catching options go, however, Moore and Bard are pretty good ones.

The Nationals expect Bryce Harper to test free agency

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Earlier this week at the Winter Meetings, Scott Boras said that he and the Washington Nationals had had preliminary discussions about a contract extension for Bryce Harper. Harper, of course, can become a free agent following the 2018 season and is widely expected to command the largest contract in baseball history.

While that may have given some Nationals fans hope that no other team would get the chance to bid on him, the Nationals are of the view that they have no shot to sign Harper before he at least tests the free agent market. From USA Today’s Bob Nightengale:

A lot of this seems like mutual posturing, doesn’t it? Boras trying to make it appear as though the he and Harper are giving the Nats a fair hearing and the Nats trying to make it appear as though, no matter what they do, Harper is going to hit the market. I tend to believe, personally, that Boras and Harper are hellbent on testing the market, but it’s possible that there is some number that the Nats can offer to head that off, right? Maybe?

Either way: big year ahead for Harper.