Bryce Harper to meet the press in Washington later this week

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In news that probably would have excited Nationals fans a whole lot more before Stephen Strasburg’s injury, the team announced that this year’s No. 1 overall pick, Bryce Harper, will meet the Washington media for the first time Thursday.
Harper and the Nationals agreed to a five-year, $9.9 million major-league contract just moments before last Monday’s midnight deadline for draft picks to sign. That deal beat the previous draft record for a position player, which was $9.5 million for Mark Teixeira in 2001.
Harper won’t play in an official minor-league game until next season, but general manager Mike Rizzo said there’s an “outside possibility” that he’ll play in the Arizona Fall League after working out with but “not playing any games” for the rookie-ball team in Florida next month.

Brandon Morrow injured his back taking off his pants

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The Cubs’ bullpen got into trouble in the ninth inning on Tuesday afternoon during the first game of a doubleheader. Justin Wilson started the inning with the Cubs leading 3-2, normally a situation for closer Brandon Morrow. Wilson issued a leadoff walk to Austin Barnes, then gave up a single to Justin Turner. Morrow wasn’t warming up, curiously. Wilson ended up giving up a go-ahead two-run double to pinch-hitter Kyle Farmer and the Cubs went on to lose 4-3.

We now know why Morrow wasn’t available. He says his back tightened up taking off his pants early Monday morning, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports. Morrow said, “It’s frustrating any time you can’t get out there, especially when you can’t go for something as stupid as taking your pants off.”

Morrow, 33, has been terrific in the closer’s role this season for the Cubs. He owns a 1.59 ERA with a 25/9 K/BB ratio in 22 2/3 innings. He is also not available for the back end of Tuesday’s doubleheader, but it sounds like he won’t need to go on the disabled list.