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Wire Taps: Bryce Harper meets with Phillies; Will Nationals actually go to arbitration with Kyle Barraclough or MAT?

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before you have to go back to work tomorrow and admit to your friends that you were watching football or something instead of reading up on the Nats...

Washington Nationals v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

A contingent that included the Philadelphia Phillies’ GM and owner visited Bryce Harper in Las Vegas over the weekend, and the Philly folks came away thinking they knew the player better than they previously had, with John Middleton, the owner, who is on record saying that the Phillies plan to spend big this winter and might, “... even be a little bit stupid about it,” telling reporters it was a positive meeting that allowed them to get to know Harper, the man, as opposed to just Harper, the player.

“It was really impressive to spend time with him, know him better, answer his questions, we got to ask him some questions, learn about him,” GM Matt Klentak added.

“I think that’s a really important step in any negotiation, is kind of understanding what the other party is looking for - and now we’ll see where it takes us.”

Will it take Harper to the City of Brotherly Love? There’s some speculation about the $$$ it might take below... Get started on your links:

NATS BEAT:

Will Michael A. Taylor and Kyle Barraclough actually get to arbitration? - (MASN)
"Cases that go to arbitration typically involve a sizeable disparity between sides, almost always at least $1 million. The Nationals, Taylor and Barraclough aren’t nearly as far apart."

Nationals’ small salary gaps with Michael A. Taylor, Kyle Barraclough could loom large - (WaPost)
"Taylor and Barraclough could not agree to terms with the Nationals ahead of Friday’s deadline to exchange salary figures for a possible arbitration hearing."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Minor League Transactions - Baseball America
"Washington Nationals - Signed: RHP Scott Copeland | C Jake Lowery (re-signed)"

MLB may need a salary cap and floor to heat up Hot Stove season - (NY Post)
"We’ve all seen what has transpired: Team owners have by and large empowered their front offices to make more analytical and less emotional decisions. That has led to many free agents over the age of 30 being shunned."

Alex Bregman leads 2019 top 10 third basemen - (MLB.com)
"[Anthony] Rendon (.308/.374/.535, 130 wRC+, 24 HR) seems perpetually underrated, perhaps due to the strength of the position or the other stars on his own club."

Red Sox's Record Agreement With Betts Guarantees No Hard Feelings For Long-Term Talks - (Forbes)
"The Bryce Harper and Manny Machado situations this winter have reinforced the notion that the free agency process is a little broken."

BRYCE HARPER BEAT:

Phillies' meeting with Bryce Harper ends without a deal, but optimism builds about free agency prospects - (Philadelphia Inquirer)
"The meeting ended as expected without Harper’s signing a contract, yet there are still ways for both parties to label it a success."

Sunday Baseball Notes - Boston Globe
"Bryce Harper, OF, free agent — He may not get a better deal than what the Phillies offer, but if the Nationals are at $330 million, then the Phillies will likely trump it."

VIDEO: Philadelphia Phillies owner, GM meet with Bryce Harper in Las Vegas - Yahoo!Sports
"Both the owner and the general manager of the Philadelphia Phillies met with one of the Major League Baseball's top free agents on Saturday."

Philadelphia Phillies owner, GM meet with Bryce Harper in Las Vegas - (6abc.com)
"I think it was really positive," [John] Middleton said. "We really got to see the man. We watched the player for years, but we got to understand the man, what he'd be like in the dugout, the clubhouse, the community."

NL EAST UPDATES:

Mets fans ask about Bryce Harper, Jeff McNeil - (MLB.com)
"Look, I'm with you. I've made it clear on my various soapboxes that the Mets should sign Harper, which would transform their offseason from a good one to a transcendent one."

MLB rumors: Marlins showed interest in signing free agent DJ LeMahieu - (Fish Stripes)
"Coming off a season in which Starlin Castro served as a productive, everyday second baseman and prospect Isan Díaz emerged as his likely successor at that position, the Marlins made an attempt to sign...DJ LeMahieu?"

Braves fans ask about A.J. Pollock, trades - (MLB.com)
"Coming off a season during which he won a Silver Slugger and Gold Glove Award, Markakis is understandably seeking a multiyear deal or a raise of the $11 million salary he received each of the past four years in Atlanta."

Phillies' Arrieta sends warning message to future free agents
"For his services, the Washington Nationals handed [Patrick Corbin] a six-year deal for $140 million with a yearly average salary of $23.3 million. A pitcher who is statistically better and younger than Arrieta is making less than him. That’s what Arrieta is afraid of. That’s the warning."