Nationals place Bryce Harper on disabled list with knee injury

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UPDATE: It’s official. The Nationals placed Bryce Harper on the 15-day disabled list and called up Erik Davis from Triple-A.

11:25 PM: The Nationals resisted putting Bryce Harper on the disabled list after he crashed into the outfield wall at Dodger Stadium on May 13, but now they have little choice.

Harper missed his fifth straight game last night due to bursitis in his left knee and is “likely” to be placed on the disabled list, a source tells Amanda Comak of the Washington Times. The Nationals are expected to call up right-hander Erik Davis in a corresponding roster move.

Harper hasn’t played since he left last Sunday’s game. The 20-year-old outfielder was still hobbling after a workout Thursday and was expected to sit out this weekend’s series against the first-place Braves. Some extended rest sounds like the right idea, but the Nationals could have him back by June 11 if all goes well.

This is a tough time for the underachieving Nationals, as Stephen Strasburg left last night’s start with a strained right oblique and could also be looking at a trip to the disabled list. Davey Johnson’s club will enter play today at 28-27 on the year.

The Marlins made an empty threat. Giancarlo Stanton made an empty promise.

Associated Press
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I covered the main press conference about Giancarlo Stanton earlier, but afterward he and his agents fanned out to various TV shows, radio shows and reporter scrums from which some new, fun things have spun out. Part of what they’ve talked about is silly and meaningless, part of it just meaningless.

Here’s the silly and meaningless, from a Marlins official, apparently, trying to bully Stanton into accepting either the Giants or the Cardinals trades despite the fact that he told them beforehand that he was not willing to go to either of those teams:

This is silly because it comes off like a threat. Like the worst possible thing that can happen to a guy is to stay with the very team that is making the threat. It’s like telling your wife that if she does not leave you, she’s stuck with you forever.

It’s meaningless too, in that Stanton has an opt-out clause after 2020. If the Marlins could not make a trade Stanton would approve, he’d simply collect close to $90 million and then leave at age 30. Oooh, don’t throw me into that briar patch, Mr. Jeter!

Not that Stanton’s people are offering statements of serious gravitas. His agent was asked about Stanton’s opt-out rights, which he retains even though he’s now with the Yankees:

That may very well be true! He just got here and everything is going great so far. It’s totally empty, of course, because anything can happen between now and the fall of 2020. If the big time free agents of the next two years sign for the sort of money that makes Stanton look underpaid, he’ll certainly opt-out, even if he wants to stay with the Yankees. Ask Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia how that works. The opt-out clause is pure, unadulterated leverage for a player and unless he totally craters over the next three seasons he’ll most certainly use it, regardless of present desires.

Which, hey, that’s how things work when a big trade or free agent signing happens. Everyone who has lost looks bad and everyone who won sounds happy. Then, later, the baseball happens.