The latest MLB rumors once again link Bryce Harper with the Phillies as the outfielder met with Phillies owner John Middleton on February 22nd in Las Vegas, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan. No deal was reached at the end of the meeting.
“Barring something completely unexpected, Bryce Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies will not be consummating a deal tonight, league sources tell ESPN. Owner John Middleton is in Las Vegas for more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal, sources said,” Passan tweeted.
With Manny Machado agreeing to terms with the Padres earlier this week, all eyes are on Harper with Spring Training upon us. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported the Giants, Padres and Nationals are among the teams still in the running for Harper. Heyman tweeted out that no deal had been reached with Harper while in Vegas along with the list of potential suitors for Harper.
While Philly appears to be in strong position, word is there is no deal yet with Bryce, and no expectation he will be returning east with Phillies owner John Middleton. “Just a meeting,” is the official word. SF, SD, Wash, maybe 1 more still in the game to varying degrees…While Nats owner Mark Lerner, in saying they’re “moving on,” left door open “a crack,” father Ted is a wild card and Nats people would prefer Harper go anywhere but Philly, it feels now like SF, SD and maybe even the dreaded mystery team r bigger threats to favored Phils.
Several Teams Are Interested in Denard Span
Heyman also reported that the market for outfielder Denard Span is “picking up.” MLBTradeRumors.com detailed why teams are interested in the veteran outfielder.
The financial commitment will certainly be low for whoever signs him, and Span has already collected a $4MM buyout from the Mariners. He turns 35-years-old later this week, but the gray-bearded veteran may have more to give. The lefty batsman remained productive at the plate with the Rays and Mariners last season – a .261/.341/.419 batting line, good for 1.5 fWAR. There’s not much power in his game – but there never was – and he maintains a good approach at the plate with the ability to put the bat on the ball. He walked at a 10.2% rate last year while only striking out 15.8% of the time. The .158 ISO doesn’t make him a commodity in the corner, but a 112 wRC+ suggests there’s still a place for Span somewhere in the league.
The Phillies Are Also Linked to Dallas Keuchel While Braves Rumors Swirl About Craig Kimbrel
Atlanta sports radio host John Kincade spotted Craig Kimbrel at the Orlando Airport. The Braves’ Spring Training is in Orlando causing many to speculate the pitcher is headed to Atlanta. Scout Honor podcast host Paul Crane reported on February 20th that the two sides were working on a one-year deal, but so far nothing has been announced.
“Word is.. rumblings about Craig Kimbrel + Braves for one year deal.. will update if and when hear more. @ScoutsHonorPod @929TheGame @knoxbardeen,” Crane tweeted.
In addition to Harper, the Phillies could be in the running for Dallas Keuchel.
“Heard again Philly is among teams that could be a possible landing spot for Keuchel. Padres apparently are not. They are looking at adding a starter but don’t see a fit,” Heyman tweeted.