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Stairs released, Bryan Harper signs

Aug 1, 2011, 7:10 PM EDT

Two items of note this afternoon before lineups are posted for the series opener against the Braves…

Matt Stairs was granted his unconditional release today, officially ending his playing tenure with the Nationals. The 43-year-old had been designated for assignment Wednesday to clear roster space for recently acquired outfielder Jonny Gomes.

Any other club could have plucked Stairs off waivers, or traded for him, but he passed through unclaimed, so the Nats released him. It’s likely his big-league career, spanning 19 seasons and 12 franchises, has come to an end.

Meanwhile, Bryan Harper (brother of Bryce) has signed with the Nationals. The left-hander was selected in the 30th round of the June draft out of the University of South Carolina. Harper will report to Viera and pitch in the Gulf Coast League.

  1. natsfan1a - Aug 1, 2011 at 7:15 PM

    Good luck to Matt, wherever life takes him next. Thanks for that exciting walkoff.Welcome to the new Harper on the block.

  2. Anonymous - Aug 1, 2011 at 7:27 PM

    I guess there wasn't an emergency anywhere?

  3. natsfan1a - Aug 1, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    Also, reading the tweet feed (or whatever you call it) at right, even though I don't follow hockey, I'll extend my congrats to the new Caps writer and selfishly hope that this gives our Nats Insider writer more time to cover baseball during the puck-ish time of year. :-)

  4. SonnyG10 - Aug 1, 2011 at 7:45 PM

    Good luck, Matt. Welcome, Bryan. GYFNG!

  5. Navy Nats Fan - Aug 1, 2011 at 7:45 PM

    Hey NatsLady – I have an extra JW Bobblehead with your name on it if you still need one.

  6. NatStat - Aug 1, 2011 at 7:47 PM

    So Nats' girls and guys wad' the buzz on the latest Harper??

  7. baseballswami - Aug 1, 2011 at 7:48 PM

    So Bryan Harper signs with the Nats, the older brother of Bryce. What – no press conference? No jersey presented by Ryan Zimmerman? No sports media? No photographers? No SI cover page? This kid must be very secure in himself to cope with being the older, less talented brother. I am sure he is a great kid, the family seems great – but man, strange situation to be in.

  8. natsfan1a - Aug 1, 2011 at 7:58 PM

    I think NatsLady said she obtained one from a Mets fan, Navy, but nice of you to remember her. I'd be happy to take it off your hands but am not sure what I'd have to barter. I've traded away all of my remaining spare bobbles, I think.

  9. Harper_ROY_2012 - Aug 1, 2011 at 8:03 PM

    So only 4 more starts for JZimm, sounds like the floodgates are about to be opened and Rizzo will be moving a lot of starting pitchers with waiver wire deals to make way for the young guns!

  10. ehay2k - Aug 1, 2011 at 9:02 PM

    I will trade a Nyjer Morgan or Dmitri Young bobblehead for the Werth one. I also have a Teddy, in box, with the CORRECT spelling of Roosevelt. That one is NOT available. ;-)

  11. NatsLady - Aug 1, 2011 at 9:05 PM

    Navy, thanks SO much for thinking of me. Yes, I bought one from a Mets fan after the game, and I don't have one to trade. So maybe someone else will trade with you.

  12. Steve M. - Aug 1, 2011 at 9:05 PM

    baseballswami said… So Bryan Harper signs with the Nats, the older brother of Bryce. What – no press conference? No jersey presented by Ryan Zimmerman? No sports media? No photographers? No SI cover page? This kid must be very secure in himself to cope with being the older, less talented brother. I am sure he is a great kid, the family seems great – but man, strange situation to be in. August 1, 2011 3:48 PM Good points. Still, Bryan Harper was drafted twice before and didn't sign. You just never know what this kid will bring to this team.

  13. pahou - Aug 1, 2011 at 9:14 PM

    hey I have an Ian Desmond bobblehead that was a giveaway on Sunday in Harrisburg to trade.

  14. Navy Nats Fan - Aug 1, 2011 at 9:28 PM

    ehay2k, I'm in for the Dmitri Young. When are you next at a game?pahou, sorry, I'm too much a fan of Da Meathook to pass up that option.

  15. rmoore446 - Aug 1, 2011 at 9:28 PM

    Maybe Bryan can be another Cloyd Boyer. He didn't match his all-star brothers Ken and Clete but he had a five year career as a pitcher for the Cards and Athletics.

  16. ehay2k - Aug 1, 2011 at 9:46 PM

    Hey Navy Nats Fan – I have tix for the 24th against the D-backs. Happy to trade, as I have 2 copies of da Meathook. How best to coordinate?

  17. Navy Nats Fan - Aug 2, 2011 at 12:23 AM

    ehay2k – I'll be at the game on the 24th and we can meet there.

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