Harper, Harper, Harper. If you’re already tired of the Bryce Harper free agent drama then we suggest you just skip to the “Nats Beat” section below where there are a couple non-Harper stories today, because the rest of the links (outside of the NL East links actually) are Harper-related after news that he visited with the Nats again before Christmas and he is going to be visiting with the Phillies soon came out yesterday. Enter at your own risk... you might be in a Harper overload by the time you’re done:
Rumors swirl but Bryce Harper’s market remains far blurrier than Manny Machado’s - (WaPost)
"According to a person with direct knowledge of Harper’s process, the 26-year-old and his agent, Scott Boras, met with Nationals owner Ted Lerner for five hours on the Saturday before Christmas."
Harper's hot stove heats up with arrival of 2019 - (MASN)
"Boras might hold off on a deal already in place for Harper while he waits to see to what Machado gets. Then Boras can try to do better than that for his client."
NATIONAL(S) HARPER BEAT:
Or maybe not: New report says White Sox won't go over seven years with Bryce Harper, Manny Machado - (NBC Sports Chicago)
"Some new info trickled out on the Bryce Harper front Wednesday, with ESPN's Jeff Passan writing that the White Sox are willing to guarantee a 10-year deal to the biggest name on the free-agent market. Or maybe not."
Bryce Harper rumors: Nationals still hanging around in sweepstakes for free-agent slugger - (CBSSports.com)
"The Nationals still hanging around, being the only team he's ever known and the other team that has reportedly made a formal offer seems like something important."
Bryce Harper and Manny Machado free agency rumors - (Yahoo!Sports)
"Perhaps the most interesting tidbit from Wednesday’s rumor mill is how involved the Nationals remain despite owner Mark Lerner seemingly dismissing a reunion before the winter meetings."
My first tweet of 2019 is to remind you that all 30 baseball teams could afford to give Bryce Harper a 10-year contract and would all have a better chance of winning the World Series if they did.— Jared Diamond (@jareddiamond) January 2, 2019
Bryce Harper And The Washington Nationals Might Not Be Done Yet - (Deadspin)
"When last we left the Bryce Harper Derby ... absolutely nothing was happening, or so we were led to believe."
Nationals’ ‘impatient’ offseason approach has had a positive snowball effect - (WaPost)
"But their aggressive offseason approach produced a snowball effect of sorts, and that has them well ahead of schedule as spring training nears."
The Biggest Remaining Needs for Last Season’s MLB Playoff Teams - (The Ringer)
"Just last season, the Nationals went from preseason favorite to summer seller by the trade deadline, and chances are some unfortunate teams with 2019 aspirations will follow that downward direction this season."
Lifting the lid on new secondary logos - (MiLB.com)
"Named after the apocryphal founder of baseball, the Doubledays are going with a more abstract Abner on their home cap in 2019..."
Anibal Sanchez's deal with Washington Nationals includes $2 million in bonuses for starts - (ESPN)
"Anibal Sanchez can earn an additional $2 million in bonuses for starts in each of the next two seasons as part of his $19 million, two-year contract..."
10 MLB Prospects We Hope Have A Healthy 2019 After Struggling With Injuries - (Baseball America)
"[Victor] Robles has been injury-prone throughout his career, a trend that may continue given how close he stands to the plate and his aggressive, all-out mentality."
NL EAST UPDATES:
These free agents on Mets' radar as they continue to build 2019 roster - (SNY)
"The Mets are still looking to move a catcher, most likely Kevin Plawecki, who has been at the center of trade rumors since they signed Wilson Ramos in December."
Source: Phillies plan to meet with Bryce Harper even as they await Manny Machado's decision - (NBC Sports Philadelphia)
"In fact, a person close to the player tells NBC Sports Philadelphia that a face-to-face meeting between Harper and Phillies officials is being planned for “the next week or so,” in Harper’s hometown of Las Vegas."
Marlins claim Rosell Herrera from Royals
"On Wednesday, the club announced it has claimed infielder/outfielder Rosell Herrera off waivers from the Royals. He has been added to Miami's 40-man roster, which is full."
Examining Braves 2019 outfield options - (MLB.com)
"Adding a frontline starting pitcher might be the most influential move the Braves could make this winter."
Incumbent Nats shouldn’t be counted out of Harper derby. Of course they shouldn’t. Club owner Ted Lerner fairly recently met with Harper (sometime after the winter meetings). It is thought to have been a good meeting, too, fwiw. @chelsea_janes 1st mentioned meeting— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 2, 2019