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Friday, February 22, 2019

Baseball

Report: Bryce Harper set to receive over $300 million

Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper clearly seems to be moving toward a deal, and it’s ultimately going to make him quite happy.

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Harper appears to have found an aggressive suitor in the Philadelphia Phillies, who are willing to meet his price. Nightengale reports that Harper is likely to receive more than the 10 years and $300 million he was offered by the Washington Nationals, though nothing is complete yet.

After a long offseason of waiting, all signs are pointing toward Harper ultimately signing with Philadelphia. Talk has intensified over the weekend that the two sides are moving toward a deal, and if the Phillies are willing to pay him upwards of $300 million, it seems likely he’ll make moves to sign sooner rather than later.

Report: Yankees would consider signing Manny Machado to ‘very short-term’ deal

Manny Machado

The New York Yankees were at one point believed to be the favorite to sign Manny Machado, but it sounds like the slugger may have to take a significant discount now if he wants to play in the Bronx.

Jon Heyman of Fancred reports that Machado is still expected to sign with the team that offers him the most money, which is hardly a surprise. However, Heyman notes that the Yankees still have interest in adding the 26-year-old on a “very short-term” deal.

Machado was at one point reportedly seeking a contract larger than the $325 million Giancarlo Stanton got from the Miami Marlins, so it seems highly unlikely that he will agree to a short-term contract. That said, the Yankees are said to be his preferred destination, so perhaps they could blow other teams away with a higher annual salary and less years.

We’ve already heard similar rumblings about Bryce Harper potentially signing a non-traditional contract, but it doesn’t sound like that is going to happen. While Machado may end up getting less money than he had hoped for, it makes little sense for him to sign a short-term deal when he’s 26 and his stock is this high.

Rob Manfred roasted on Twitter for payroll comments

Rob Manfred

Social media had a bit of fun at Rob Manfred’s expense on Sunday.

Addressing reporters at Grapefruit League Media Day in Fort Myers, Fla., the MLB commissioner said that he did not believe that payroll was a good indicator of success in the league, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan.

Manfred’s somewhat befuddling remark led to some funny Twitter reactions:

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MLB will test pitch clock in spring training

Rob Manfred

Major League Baseball has yet to commit to a pitch clock during the regular season, but they’re going to test it in spring training ahead of possible implementation.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said Sunday that the pitch clock will be used during spring training, and he is still negotiating with the players in hopes of using it with their backing during the regular season.

Manfred has made pace of play one of his signature issues and has taken significant steps to try and speed games up already. A pitch clock, while likely to be hated by some players, is a relatively clean, unobtrusive way to do more.

Mike Moustakas re-signs with Brewers on one-year deal

Mike Moustakas

Mike Moustakas had a fairly productive second half of the season with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2018 after they acquired him from the Kansas City Royals, and they have decided to bring the infielder back.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that Moustakas has agreed to a new one-year deal with the Brewers.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan adds that the contract is worth around $9 million.

Moustakas has shown some serious pop over the past two seasons. He hit 28 home runs in 2018 and 38 in 2017, but he has not been a highly coveted player in an era where less emphasis is placed on power numbers and more on average and on-base percentage. However, he did receive interest from several teams this offseason.

Unfortunately for Moustakas, he appeared to really mess up his free agency last year and has had to take less money since as a result. He could be a great value for the Brewers if he can duplicate his production from the past two years.

Shohei Ohtani targeting Opening Day return

Shohei Ohtani

The Los Angeles Angels aren’t expecting Shohei Ohtani to return to action until May, but that’s not stopping him from targeting a much quicker return to action.

Ohtani, coming off Tommy John surgery and expected to play exclusively as a DH in 2019, said Sunday that he’s aiming for an Opening Day return, over a month ahead of the team’s target.

Considering the Angels had openly said that Ohtani wouldn’t be ready that quickly, this is a very optimistic timeline, and probably unlikely. There’s nothing wrong with Ohtani aiming high as long as he doesn’t push himself too far in a bid to get ready sooner than he’s capable of being ready.

Report: Rival clubs believe Phillies are frontrunners for Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper

There appears to be some movement in the Bryce Harper sweepstakes.

Multiple reports indicate that the Philadelphia Phillies appear to have taken the lead in the pursuit of Harper. According to Andy Martino of SNY, rival clubs are beginning to act as though Philadelphia is the frontrunner.

This comes on the heels of MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reporting that things have “intensified” on the Harper front, with the Phillies in the lead.

For whatever reason, rumors linking Harper to the Phillies really intensified over the weekend. Nothing is done, but it certainly sounds like this saga may be moving to a close.