Bryce Harper not expected to play before Friday

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Bryce Harper is out of the Nationals’ lineup tonight for the second straight game with a knee injury and Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com reports that he’s not expected to play again before Friday at the earliest.

That suggests the knee must be really bothering Harper, because there had been some talk of him serving as the Nationals’ designated hitter during a brief series in Baltimore. Apparently he doesn’t feel good enough to hit, let alone play right field.

Harper initially hurt his knee slamming into the outfield wall at Dodger Stadium two weeks ago and then aggravated it on the bases. He’s been diagnosed with bursitis.

Report: J.D. Martinez signing delayed by medical issue

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The Red Sox reportedly inked free agent outfielder J.D. Martinez to a five-year, $110 million contract last Monday, but there appears to be a slight hitch in the process. According to a report from Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston, the team is sorting through a medical issue that has delayed the signing. The specific nature of the issue has yet to be revealed, though Drellich adds that both the team and agent Scott Boras have involved additional medical experts in the process.

For what it’s worth, Martinez remained fairly healthy during his 2017 run with the Tigers and Diamondbacks. The 30-year-old outfielder spent six weeks on the disabled list after suffering a right foot sprain during camp, but managed to make a full recovery by mid-May and didn’t relapse once throughout the rest of the year. Of course, the medical issue holding up his new contract could be of an entirely different nature.

While spring training is already underway for the rest of the Red Sox, club manager Alex Cora doesn’t appear too concerned by Martinez’s absence — yet. “The thing I can do is my thing,” he told MLB.com’s Ian Browne. “My job here is to show up every day and get ’em ready.”