Today, in sentences you probably wouldn’t have believed two years ago, much less four months ago: with eight days until spring training, Bryce Harper remains teamless. Funny how the most consequential offseason in this team’s history has felt not all that consequential or timely.
Here’s the scoop from South Capitol:
Three-batter requirement for all pitchers, universal DH part of proposals that could bring big change to baseball (The Athletic - $$)
MLB reached out to its union with some proposals, which included creating a minimum number of batters a pitcher could face. The union responded back with incentives for teams not to tank, in addition to calling for a universal DH. It would all change before 2019 — but it doesn't seem all that likely that the two sides will agree, though Rob Manfred looks likely to add his pace of play measures before the year.
Yankees' Aaron Judge would welcome fellow right fielder Bryce Harper (ESPN)
"He's got more speed than me, man," Judge said, smiling. "Wherever he wants to play. We'll make it work."
MLB’s Farce of Trying to Sell Not Buying Bryce Harper and Manny Machado (The Ringer)
Baseball's best free agents are nowhere near signing, and the mid-tier players are even further. Clubs haven't taken advantage because.... well, they want to cut payroll for now and create, uh "flexibility," though who needs flexibility when you aren't winning games? (And why are teams so dumbstruck by the luxury tax, anyway? And why don't they understand that free agency is supposed to let them combine cheap and expensive players?)
The latest reason Yankees should swoop up Bryce Harper now (NY Post)
It looks like Nolan Arenado will be in Denver for the foreseeable future — so the Yankees should get the bat they thought they were getting next year now.
Bryce Harper to Padres would require moves (MLB.com)
The Padres would need to trade one or two outfielders, find a third baseman, and fix up the rest of their team if they indeed did make the plunge on Harper.
Is there room for nuance in the Bryce Harper discussion? (Half Street Heart Attack)
Why can't the Harper conversation go something along the lines of: hey, he's useful, but the Nats shouldn't just give him $300 million because that's what he asked for?
MLB's 10 best position player duos for 2019 (MLB.com)
It's America's favorite set of favorite players!
Nats hoping two new catchers will be better than one star (MASN)
"Manager Davey Martinez has yet to provide a plan for his two new catchers, but they should get comparable playing time early in the season, perhaps with one of the two earning more starts later on if he proves better than the other. Gomes has better numbers against lefties, and Suzuki has slightly better numbers against righties, but it’s not enough disparity to mandate a platoon situation."