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Nationals place Bryce Harper on 10-day disabled list with a bone bruise

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The Nationals placed right fielder Bryce Harper on the 10-day disabled list with a “significant bone bruise” in his left knee, the team announced Sunday. Harper sustained the injury in the first inning of Saturday’s series opener against the Giants after slipping on first base and hyperextending his left knee. Nationals’ general manager Mike Rizzo told reporters that he doesn’t believe the injury is season-ending, but doesn’t have a clear timetable in mind for Harper’s recovery just yet.

While Harper’s loss is a blow to the Nationals’ lineup, it’s certainly not the worst-case scenario for their star hitter. An MRI failed to reveal any tendon or ligament damage, and it doesn’t look like the injury will have an adverse effect on the outfielder’s 2018 campaign with the club. Fellow outfielder Michael Taylor (right oblique strain) was activated from the 10-day disabled list in a corresponding move and will assume Harper’s spot on the active roster for the time being. Assuming Harper doesn’t hit any snags in the rehab process, he could be looking at a return to the field sometime in mid- to late September.

Harper, 24, left Saturday’s game with a .326/.419/.614 batting line, 29 home runs and a 1.034 OPS through 472 PA in 2017. This is his first stint on the disabled list since 2014.

Report: Giants in “serious discussions” with Reds to acquire Billy Hamilton

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Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the Giants are engaged in “serious discussions” with the Reds to acquire center fielder Billy Hamilton. Talks are apparently advanced enough that a deal could be completed before the end of the Winter Meetings on Thursday.

It’s no secret that the Giants would like to make an upgrade in the outfield this offseason, as the club has also been linked to Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. Currently, the Giants’ outfield consists of Denard Span, Hunter Pence, and Jarrett Parker.

Hamilton, 27, owns a meager .248/.298/.334 batting line across parts of five seasons in the majors with the Reds. However, he has plenty of speed, having stolen at least 56 bases in each of the last four seasons. Hamilton is also well-regarded for his defense, which would be a boon at spacious AT&T Park.

Hamilton is in his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. He’s projected to earn $5 million for this coming season. Buchanan notes that the Rangers are also interested in potentially acquiring Hamilton.