Bryce Harper expects a record-setting bonus

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Bryce Harper2.jpgJon Heyman of Sports Illustrated has a source telling him that Bryce Harper is going to seek to break Stephen Strasburg’s record $15.67 million signing bonus when he’s selected next
month, almost certainly by the Nats. Man, he gets all the scoops.

I’m a bit skeptical. MASN’s Ben Goessling reported a couple of weeks ago that Scott Boras himself — who represents Harper — has said that he does not consider Harper to be in the same class as Strasburg. I suppose this could be negotiation ju-jitsu of some kind, but it’s probably the truth.  A near-finished pitching prospect is simply much closer to contributing to a major league team than is a 17 year-old slugger who plays a position — catcher — at which prospects tend to most slowly mature. In light of that I’d be a bit surprised if Harper gets more than Strasburg gets, pre-draft campaigning notwithstanding.

Still, there’s very little doubt that Haper will get the record bonus for a position player. That mark is currently held by shortstop Tim Beckham, to whom the Rays gave $6.15 million in 2008.

The Nationals acquire Marc Rzepczynski from the Athletics

ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 25:  Marc Rzepczynski #35 of the Oakland Athletics throws against the Texas Rangers in the fifth inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on July 25, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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The Nationals have acquired left-handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski and cash considerations from the A’s in exchange for minor league infielder Max Schrock.

Schrock is a 21-year-old second baseman who has been pretty darn impressive in A-ball this year, but the Nats can be excused for giving up promise in 2018 or whatever for some bullpen help come playoff time. Rzepczynski walks a few too many guys for my taste but he strikes ’em out at a pretty decent rate for a LOOGY and the Nats could use another southpaw reliever apart from Oliver Perez. This is especially true given how many tough lefty hitters they may face in the playoffs.

On the basic merits, sure, Rzepczynski for Schrock may look pretty dang good for the A’s in a few years. But this October the A’s will be watching on TV from home while the Nats will be trying to win it all, making the trade pretty darn understandable from their point of view.

 

Video: Minor leaguer dives over the wall to rob a home run

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Meanwhile, in Tulsa, Zach Welz of the visiting Arkansas Travelers made a spectacular catch. It was the catch Torii Hunter tried to make on that famous David Ortiz homer in the playoffs a few years back except Welz made it.

Watch as he topples over the wall to come up with the would-be dinger off the bat of Tulsa Drillers first baseman Cody Bellinger: