The Washington Times - August 1, 2011, 03:00PM

The Nationals made two minor moves this afternoon, the first officially cutting ties with pinch hitter Matt Stairs, who’d been designated for assignment on Wednesday to clear space for Jonny Gomes and the second bringing Bryce Harper’s brother Bryan into the organization.

Stairs, 43, served the Nationals off the bench for much of this season and hit .154 with one double and two RBI in 56 games. There was little doubt Stairs would remain in the Nationals organization after being DFA’d last week. Even if he cleared waivers, which was likely, he’d have been well within his rights (and probably expected) to decline an assignment in the minor leagues. It will be interesting to see if any contending teams take a flyer on Stairs as we come down the stretch of the baseball season.

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In other news, Bryan Harper, a left-handed pitcher out of the University of South Carolina and a 30th-round draft pick of the Nationals has agreed to terms with the organization and will be brought into the fold this week. Harper, the brother of Nationals phenom Bryce, was drafted No. 907 overall after serving in a bullpen role for South Carolina as the Gamecocks worked their way to two straight National Championships. 

Harper announced the news on his twitter feed, saying that he was “joining my brother and becoming a National. I leave for Florida on Thursday!!” He will report to Florida later this week and begin his professional career.