A (non) update on Bryce Harper
At one point tonight at Dodgers Stadium, Mike Rizzo stood behind the batting cage, chatting with acquaintences and watching batting practice. About 20 yards behind him, Scott Boras stood behind the plate, chatting with Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti. For public view, Rizzo and Boras never spoke.
The Nationals coming to Los Angeles -- Boras's home base, hours away from where first overall pick Bryce Harper grew up and destroyed junior college pitching -- brings up an obvious question: What's going on with the negotiations between the Nationals and Harper?
The answer, as always at this time of year, is basically nothing. The two sides remain at a standstill, which is typical in what baseball people call the Kabuki dance -- the posturing and waiting that takes place between the early June draft and the mid-August deadline to sign those picks.
Harper has enrolled at classes at the College of Southern Nevada, according to a source. He's also met the new coach there; Tim Chambers, his coach this past season, went on to become the new coach at UNLV. Enrolling for classes, though, is part of the dance. Virtually every draft pick does it.
Ted Lerner, Mark Lerner, Rizzo and Stan Kasten all made the trip west for the Nationals' series here. Rizzo would not say whether the Nationals met with Boras and/or Harper, but it stands to reason they could use the opportunity to get some face time.
Either way, it's unlikley anything substantive will take place between now and hours -- if not minutes -- from the Aug. 16 midnight deadline. At 11:20 on the night of the deadline last year, the Nationals and Boras started to actually make substantive progress with Stephen Strasburg's record-breaking contract.
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