Harper won’t play games for Nats’ GCL team

Bryce Harper’s professional career will begin sometime next week, when the Nationals introduce him to the media at Nationals Park and send him to the Nationals’ Gulf Coast League affiliate in Viera, Fla., for the end of their season. But Harper won’t play any games for the rookie league team, general manager Mike Rizzo said today.

Rizzo said Harper will work out with the team in the final days of its season, getting ready to play in the Nationals’ instructional league this fall.

“We’ll prepare him for instructional league in Florida,” Rizzo said. “He’ll get his work in with the GCL team, not playing any games. Contractually, he’s not going to play any games.”

The Nationals have not added Harper to their Arizona Fall League team, according to a source who has seen the team’s most recent roster. A source close to Harper told MASNSports.com’s Byron Kerr earlier this week that the Nationals would send the 17-year-old to the Arizona Fall League, though Rizzo said it was an “outside possibility” Harper would play in the league.