As the offseason drags on, the idea that Bryce Harper may sign after pitchers and catchers report suddenly doesn’t seem so outlandish. It’s clear: baseball’s labor market has changed.
Anyhow, 27 days remain until pitchers and catchers report.
Here’s what’s going on in West Palm:
Will Bryce Harper and Manny Machado sign before Super Bowl Sunday and other burning questions (ESPN)
Eddie Matz thinks Bryce Harper will end up in L.A., though David Schoenfield thinks he's headed back to the Nats — either way, neither think much will happen until later in the month or early February, and both think Harper will get the larger contract. This and answers to other questions about sleeper teams (Anaheim!), the timing of the signings, and many more questions.
Top prospect defenders in each farm system (MLB.com)
"[Victor] Robles has game-changing abilities in center field. His near top-of-the-scale speed gives him range for days in center field, and he's made strides in improving both his reads and routes in the past two years. His plus-plus arm is among the strongest in the Minors, and he totaled 29 outfield assists from 2016-17 before an injury-plagued campaign in '18."
Why Bryce Harper might shine if he signs with the Phillies (SI.com)
Citizens Bank Park allows for a lot of homers. Bryce Harper is on track to start hitting more homers with age, at least up until his early thirties. Yes, he's only hit more than 35 homers once, and struggles to hit for average – but if any ballpark can make his success more likely, CBP is the place, especially given Harper's improvements on his launch angle and batting stance.
Nats add lefty reliever Nuño on minor league deal (MASN)
Vidal Nuño pitched to a 1.64 ERA last year for the Rays and has a career 4.06 ERA, and has a decent shot at the opening day roster given that Sammy Solis and Matt Grace aren't exactly locks.
Contract Crowdsourcing Results: Bryce Harper and Manny Machado (Fangraphs)
Fangraphs asked their readers the amount they thought Bryce Harper would get, and how long his deal would be in October. Then they did it again two days ago. Both numbers, unsurprisingly, went down.
Raiders’ Derek Carr to pitch for the Fresno Grizzlies? (The Fresno Bee)
Derek Carr asked to pitch in Fresno. Needless to say, this doesn't look like it'll go over well with Wander Suero or whomever closes out games in Fresno this summer.
Feds protest shutdown and Senate GOP at Nats Park (FCW)
Rank-and-file federal employees stood outside the home plate entrance of Nationals Park yesterday holding signs in protest of the government shutdown as GOP leaders discussed long-term strategy inside.