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Stephen Strasburg to Bryce Harper: Sign if you want to play

Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg told first-round pick Bryce Harper flat out: Sign if you want to play, otherwise, we don't want you. 

''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.''

Strasburg was in a very similar situation last season before he signed for a record 15.1 million dollars, but Harper is slightly different because he is still just 17 years old.

Harper would be foolish not to sign, swapping a starting job in the minor leagues with an up-and-coming organization for a starting job on an independent league team that he certainly won't have any history with beyond one year. 

The Nationals fully expect to sign Harper before the midnight deadline Monday.