Bryce Harper will not participate in the World Baseball Classic this spring, agent Scott Boras said, allowing him to condition for the long season as he heads into his first major league opening day.
Harper, 20, would have given the WBC a powerful attraction and the U.S. team a formidable outfielder. But he’ll stay with the Nationals during spring training trying to build off a Rookie of the Year season in which he hit .270/.340/.477 and played stellar center field defense.
General Manager Mike Rizzo said he will be open to, and even supportive of, Nationals players who want to play in the event. The WBC will be played for a third season, and in the past the chance of a player sustaining an injury in the event has scared off teams from sending their players.
“When we’re asked about it, we’ll certainly give our opinion on it,” Rizzo said. “But if some of our players give the U.S. a chance to win, we’d certainly be honored to have our players participate.”