Good morning Mets fans, spring games may have kicked off this weekend, but free agent rumors are still flying around! Let’s check out the latest in the Bryce Harper sweepstakes…
Harper Set to Meet with Additional Clubs
According to Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports, there are reportedly additional teams set to meet with Bryce Harper in Las Vegas. This report comes as a bit of a surprise after Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies met all day Saturday, which resulted in whispers that a deal between the two sides could be finalized as early as Monday, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports.
While the Phillies are still considered to be the favorite to land Harper, the slugger and his agent, Scott Boras have allegedly been negotiating with two other teams, “with more to follow,” says Heyman.
At this point, the Phillies seem to be the most logical destination for the 26-year-old super star given their situation, but the sweepstakes will continue on at least into the beginning of this week. Besides Philadelphia, The San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres remain IN on Harper, with at least one “mystery team,” still in the mix, as well.
Dodgers in on Harper
As Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reported this morning, the Los Angeles Dodgers were one of the teams, who met with Harper over the weekend. This news comes after L.A Manager, Dave Roberts was allegedly spotted in Las Vegas on Sunday.
Jim Bowden of The Athletic believes that if the Dodgers offer is close to the Phillies, that Harper will choose L.A. The only remaining question is if the club will offer 10 years, as the Phillies did, or a record average annual value, which the super star is seeking.
Despite this report, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic notes that the Dodgers are only interested in making a short term offer to Harper at the moment, which he is not expected to settle for.
Stay tuned for developing news regarding this saga as it appears to be inching closer to the finish line!
Cardinals Extend Martinez
The St. Louis Cardinals have signed first basemen/outfielder, Jose Martinez to a two year extension through the 2020 season, per club announcement. As Jon Heyman of Fancred notes, the deal is worth $3.25 million plus incentives.
At age 30, Martinez had a breakout season for the Cardinals last year, where he hit .305/.364/.457 with a 125 wRC+. As Derrick Goold of The St. Louis Post mentioned, The club had the power to send Martinez to a team in Japan, where he would have had the opportunity to make more money, but instead rewarded him with an extension for his successful campaign. This deal ultimately delays Martinez’s first year of eligibility for arbitration until 2021.
This new contract comes in the wake of the team’s acquisition of All-Star first basemen, Paul Goldschmidt via trade from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Martinez started 84 games at first base for the Cards last year, but with the arrival of Goldschmidt, it can be assumed that the majority of his playing time this season will come from right field, where he played 46 games in 2018.