Indians will use Brett Myers out of the bullpen when he returns from DL

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Indians manager Terry Francona confirmed that Brett Myers will be used as a reliever when he returns from the disabled list, per MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian. Myers has been on the DL since April 20 after suffering from right elbow tendinitis and a mild ulnar collateral ligament sprain. He is expected to join short-season Mahoning Valley on Monday for a rehab assignment, but there is no timetable for the right-hander’s return.

Prior to the injury, Myers posted a disappointing 8.02 ERA in four starts. The Indians had signed him to a one-year, $7 million contract in the off-season, but they do have an $8 million club option for the 2014 season, so they have some interest in seeing him right the ship out of the bullpen.

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.