Pedro to Philly is a done deal

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Pedro Martinez will once again be contributing to the Mets’ playoff push:

Martinez has agreed to a $1 million, one-year contract with the
Philadelphia Phillies, a person familiar with the negotiations told The
Associated Press on Tuesday night.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner was in town for a physical, and
the Phillies planned to hold a news conference on Wednesday, according
to the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because an official
announcement hadn’t been made.

OK, fine, I suppose that’s cynical of me. He could help the Phillies.
It’s just that after a long layoff combined with the kind of year he
had in 2008 — and actually, he hasn’t been particularly useful since
2005 — doesn’t give me a lot of confidence in his ability to be an
effective starter. The fact that they’re only paying him a million,
however, will hopefully allow the Phillies the freedom to cut him if he
doesn’t have anything.

And if he does? Hey, bonus.

The Nationals expect Bryce Harper to test free agency

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Earlier this week at the Winter Meetings, Scott Boras said that he and the Washington Nationals had had preliminary discussions about a contract extension for Bryce Harper. Harper, of course, can become a free agent following the 2018 season and is widely expected to command the largest contract in baseball history.

While that may have given some Nationals fans hope that no other team would get the chance to bid on him, the Nationals are of the view that they have no shot to sign Harper before he at least tests the free agent market. From USA Today’s Bob Nightengale:

A lot of this seems like mutual posturing, doesn’t it? Boras trying to make it appear as though the he and Harper are giving the Nats a fair hearing and the Nats trying to make it appear as though, no matter what they do, Harper is going to hit the market. I tend to believe, personally, that Boras and Harper are hellbent on testing the market, but it’s possible that there is some number that the Nats can offer to head that off, right? Maybe?

Either way: big year ahead for Harper.