Nationals star Bryce Harper preempted any questions about his future, telling reporters including Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.com today that he’s focused exclusively on “winning and playing hard” in the current season. Harper also says he’s in top physical form entering what could be his final year in D.C. Zuckerman’s write-up and Harper’s comments provide some worthwhile perspective on what has been quite a notable MLB tenure for Harper, who is now the fourth-longest-tenured Nationals player at just 25 years of age.
More from the NL East:
- There was some ominous news to open camp for young Nationals righty Koda Glover. Per Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, shoulder soreness is preventing him from throwing at this point. New skipper Dave Martinez understandably said the club will look to bring Glover along slowly, particularly in view of the fact that the 24-year-old hit the shelf with rotator cuff issues after 19 1/3 otherwise promising innings in 2017. Hopes had been that the hard-throwing youngster might push his way back into the Nats’ late-inning mix after picking up eight saves last year, though he’ll first need to reestablish his health.
- Marlins owner Bruce Sherman held a discussion with the press, with Tim Healey of the Sun-Sentinel rounding up his comments. The organization’s designated control person, Sherman has mostly stayed in the background over the initial few months since the sale was completed. But he made clear he’s on board with the approach taken thus far by the front office while emphasizing the need for patience in building a sustainable contender. Most notably, perhaps, Sherman pushed back at the notion that the new ownership group is under-capitalized. “There’s nothing further from the truth,” he said. “We are a very sophisticated, well-heeled, financially set organization, not just for this year but for many, many years to come.”
- Unsurprisingly, the Mets’ binge on veteran free agents is likely over for the winter, per GM Sandy Alderson (via MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo). One might quibble with some of the decisions along the way, or see cause for another addition or two, but Alderson made clear he feels he has seen through his plans for the 2017-18 offseason. “We’ve come a long way from the Trade Deadline last year,” he said. “With Jason’s signing, we’re pretty much where we want to be. … I would be surprised, if not shocked, if somebody else walks into this clubhouse.”
- With Jose Reyes back in the fold and new additions Todd Frazier and Adrian Gonzalez helping to fill out the infield, the Mets are planning to see whether Wilmer Flores is capable of contributing on occasion in the corner outfield, David Lennon of Newsday writes. The idea is to create some more opportunities for getting Flores in the lineup against lefties. Though it’s anybody’s guess how he’ll fare on the outfield grass, Flores says he’s more than willing to give it a try if it means potentially expanding his role.