Andy Pettitte throws four scoreless innings in minors

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Andy Pettitte’s first minor-league tuneup on April 9 went well and yesterday his second outing was even better, as the 39-year-old left-hander tossed four scoreless innings against high Single-A hitters.

Pettitte threw 31 of his 47 pitches for strikes, whiffing three, walking zero, and allowing just two hits while inducing seven ground balls.

He’s expected to start again later this week and at some point soon Pettitte will presumably move up to Double-A or Triple-A, although he remains unlikely to rejoin the Yankees until next month.

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.