Rumor Roundup: Dodgers Pressuring Phillies in Harper Saga

Good Morning Mets fans! Yesterday was a wild one that included Rockies third basemen, Nolan Arenado receiving a massive contract extension as Logan Barer of MMO covered. Tuesday also added much more drama in the Bryce Harper saga. Check out all the wild news from the hot stove, below!

Dodgers May Push Phillies Hand

As Randy Miller of NJ.com tweeted out, a source close to Harper claims that his top choices “all along” have been the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs and that he does not “prefer” to sign with the Philadelphia Phillies. Miller cited Harper’s non-desire to play for Phillies Manager, Gabe Kapler due to his strategy of analytics and overall “quirkiness,” as crucial factors.

After meeting with Harper for a second time over the weekend and being looked at as the favorite in this sweepstakes, the Phillies are reportedly “worried” that Harper may take a long term deal if the Dodgers offer one, after L.A met with the superstar last weekend, as well, says Jon Morosi of MLB Network. Morosi also notes Harper’s desire to play close to his home town of Las Vegas, along with being able to train in Arizona, as attractive persuasions.

This news also comes after reports that the Phillies have made an offer to Harper that exceeds $300 million for 10 years, but that the superstar and his agent, Scott Boras are demanding an opt-out after the 3rd year, which Philly is unwilling to agree upon right now, says broadcaster, Angelo Cataldi.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports believes that the Arenado extension, which includes a third-year opt-out, could “pave the way” for the Phillies to give one to Harper. This factor, along with the Dodgers sudden re-emergence in this sweepstakes may push the Phillies to ultimately ante up if they want their guy.

Nightengale says the expectation is that Harper makes his decision by the end of the week. Will it be the Phillies, or will the Dodgers offer a long term deal and steal the highly touted free agent away? Stay Tuned!

Cardinals Extend Mikolas 

According to Derrick Goold of St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the St. Louis Cardinals have signed their ace pitcher, Miles Mikolas to a contract extension. According to Jon Heyman of Fancred, the deal is for four years and is worth $68 million, with the potential to reach a total value of $70 million in overall value. This contract also has a full no-trade clause, says Heyman.

As Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic noted, this deal will not include Mikolas’s 2019 salary, but will cover 2020-2023. This extension allows the Cardinals to control Mikalos through his age 34 season. Mikolas’s new deal also includes a $5 million signing bonus, along with a yearly salary of $15.75 million, per Nightengale.

After spending three seasons with the Yomiuri Giants in Japan, the 30-year-old pitcher had a breakout campaign with the Cardinals in 2018. Mikolas burst onto the scene last year with an astounding 18-4 record, 2.83 ERA, 3.28 FIP, and 1.07 WHIP in 32 starts.  He also induced a 36.6% swing and miss rate on balls out of the strike zone, which was ranked third behind Cy Young winner, Jacob DeGrom and Nationals new ace, Patrick Corbin.

Rangers Sign Forsythe 

The Texas Rangers have signed infielder, Logan Forsythe to a minor league deal with an invite to major league spring training, per club announcement. According to Heyman, Forsythe could potentially earn up to $2 million if he reaches the big leagues this season.

At age 32, Forsythe split time with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Minnesota Twins last year. The veteran infielder struggled mightily at the plate last season slashing .232/.313/.391, 70 wRC+, and only 2 home runs in 416 at-bats. Despite his offensive woes the past two seasons, Forsythe experienced success in 2015 and 2016 with the Tampa Bay Rays. During this stint, he hit .273/.347/.444 in 1200 plate appearances.

Cards Add a Catcher 

After extending their number one starter, the Cardinals were not finished yesterday adding former Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals catcher, Matt Wieters to a minor league deal, per Goold.

Wieters spent the last two seasons with the Nationals, where he averaged a .231/.309/.359 stat line and 82 wRC+ in 199 games. Before signing with the Nats, the veteran catcher played his first 8 big league seasons with the Orioles, where he was a four-time All-Star and hit .262/.320/.427.

About Pat Ragazzo 45 Articles
NJ kid, recent college graduate, die hard Mets Fan since the age of 10. Studied Communications at Salisbury University and currently pursuing a career in sports media and TV/Radio Production. Worked as a Production Assistant on several WFAN broadcasts live from New York Giants Training Camp last summer. Please check out my sports Twitter page @ragazzoreport for advanced and unique insight around the NFL & MLB.