Jacoby Ellsbury sitting for third straight game Sunday

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Jacoby Ellsbury was scratched from the Red Sox lineup Sunday against the Orioles after failing to make it through a pregame throwing session. This according to Tim Britton of the Providence Journal.

Ellsbury has now been sidelined for three consecutive games and the only thing Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine has said about that injury is that it’s a “situation” involving the center fielder’s left shoulder. Not the one he dislocated back in April.

The 29-year-old will presumably try again Tuesday night for the start of a three-game series with the Rays.

Ellsbury is hitting .277/.321/.382 with four home runs, 26 RBI and 14 stolen bases in 70 games played this season. He batted .321/.376/.552 with 32 home runs, 105 RBI and 39 steals in 158 games last year.

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.