Hot Stove Rumor Roundup: Harper Sweepstakes Take Another Turn

Good morning Mets fans! The Winter Meetings are just around the corner, and the Hot Stove is getting ready to heat up.

Owner: Don’t Expect Harper Back In D.C.

Nationals owner Mark Lerner went on a Washington based radio station, 106.7 The Fan, and cast some serious doubt and negativity on the possibility of a Bryce Harper-Nationals reunion.

Well, when we met with them and we gave them the offer, we told them, ‘This is the best we can do,’” Lerner said, after reportedly offering Harper $300 million over 10 years back in September. “We went right to the finish line very quickly, and we said, ’If this is of interest to you, please come back to us and we’ll see whether we can finish it up.’ But we just couldn’t afford to put more than that in and still be able to put a team together that had a chance to win the NL East or go farther than that.”

Harper has been connected to a number of teams, including some of  Washington’s divisional rivals in the Mets, Phillies, and Braves, and other teams that seem to be serious in the sweepstakes, like the White Sox, Dodgers, and the Cubs. Harper, 26, is hitting the market for the first time and is poised to challenge the record for the largest deal on the free agent market ever signed.

Dodgers Will Wait To Hire New GM; Will Go To Vegas Without One

Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reported that “Dodgers Andrew Friedman said he has conducted no interviews for new GM, expects to restructure some duties and continue without one for the time being.”

Former Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi agrees to become to General Manager of the rival San Francisco Giants earlier in the off-season, leaving Friedman without a right-hand man.

The Dodgers were put through the grueling process of finding a new General Manager back in the off-season of 2014/2015, and have been under the watch of Zaidi since. Every year in Los Angeles, he lead the team to the post season and won two National League Pennants. From 2015-2018, the Dodgers were one of two teams to make the playoffs in some capacity every year, the Cubs being the other.

Charlie Morton To Tampa Bay?

According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, the Rays are considering Charlie Morton to fill a spot in their rotation for the 2019 season. Morton, 35, was with the Astros for two years, ending his tenure with an record of 14.7 and  3.62 ERA in 2017 and 15-3, 3.13 last year. Morton was an All-Star last season for the first time in his career, and owns a career post-season ERA of 4.60.

Topkin says “He seems likely to meet the Rays preference to do only a short term deal, given reports suggesting he planned to pitch only another year or two.”  He then added “Though the Astros declined to make him a $17.9 million qualifying offer, they are interested in bringing him back, reportedly making a one-year offer with an option.” Tampa has expressed interest in other starting pitchers, like the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard as their top option, but they now view him as unavailable.

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Jack is a teenage Mets fan from Southington, Connecticut, who has journeyed to Central Florida. Jack is a junior in Orlando. Follow him on twitter @jackramseyy