Sports

Strasburg has harsh words for top draft pick

The Nationals' Stephen Strasburg had some pointed words for fellow No. 1 draft pick Bryce Harper: "If he doesn't want to play here, then we don't want him here."

Just like Strasburg a year ago, it appears that Harper and the Nationals will come down to the midnight Monday deadline in an attempt to reach a contract agreement. Harper, a 17-year-old slugger, is represented by Scott Boras, who is known for playing hardball during negotiations.

“If (Harper) wants to play here, he’s going to play here,” Strasburg said Sunday, after pitching five innings in the Nationals’ win over Arizona.

“He doesn’t need advice from anybody to convince him otherwise. If he doesn’t want to play here, then we don’t want him here.”

Boras has said that Harper is an interesting case because few high school sluggers have been taken No. 1 overall, so there are few comparable cases. Harper is also considered one of the top power-hitters to come along in years.

“There are few high school players in the draft history, since 1965, that have the extraordinary tool of power,” Boras said following the draft. “When it’s evidenced, it’s rare.”

SHORT HOPS

Texas Rangers starter Rich Harden is back on the disabled list, this time with tendinitis in his right shoulder. Outfielder Brandon Boggs was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City. … Braves rookie Jason Heyward has a swollen right knee and did not start against the Los Angeles Dodgers. ... Braves right-hander Kris Medlen is having elbow ligament-replacement surgery on Wednesday and will miss the remainder of the season. ... Mets manager Jerry Manuel says outfielder Jason Bay has started running for the first time since he went on the disabled list July 30 because of a concussion. ... Cleveland Indians designated hitter Travis Hafner was activated from the disabled list. ... Red Sox second baseman Jed Lowrie was out of the starting lineup for the second day in a row due to effects of the extreme heat. ... The Minnesota Twins plan to reinstate infielder Nick Punto from the 15-day disabled list before their next game. ... The Toronto Blue Jays placed reliever David Purcey on the 15-day disabled list after Sunday’s victory over the Los Angeles Angels and recalled left-hander Jesse Carlson from Triple-A Las Vegas.

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