Mike Rizzo scouts Bryce Harper, likes what he sees

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Bryce Harper cover small.jpgThe Post’s Adam Kilgore reports that the talk of his allegedly bad attitude and his high asking price has apparently done nothing to dissuade the Nats from drafting Bryce Harper first in next months’ draft. In fact, it sounds like Washington is hotter for Harper than they ever have been:

Nats’ GM Mike Rizzo went out to Vegas to see him play in two doubleheaders and all Harper did was gor 6 for 12 with two doubles and four walks.  Nats’ director of amateur scouting Kris Kline called Harper, “a huge
priority for us.” As for those attitude problems, Kline says “I think he’s got great makeup . . . I have absolutely no
problems with the kid’s makeup. He’s a great kid.”  Kline went on to call him “a class act.”

This all sounds like a team that is transitioning from scouting Harper to selling him as the next new face of the Washington Nationals.

Yankees trade Chase Headley, Bryan Mitchell to the Padres for Jabari Blash

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The New York Yankees have traded third baseman Chase Headley and pitcher Bryan Mitchell to the San Diego Padres for outfielder Jabari Blash. Joel Sherman of the New York Post was the first to report the trade. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was the first to report that Blash was coming back in return.

Headley, a third baseman, hit .273/.352/.406 for the Yankees last year. He, of course, played for the Padres from 2007 through the middle of 2014, when he was dealt to New York. Mitchell has pitched 48 games for the Yankees, most from the pen, over four seasons, with an ERA of 4.94 in 98.1 innings. He doesn’t strike out many and he walks a lot. He throws hard.

Blash, an outfielder, has hit .200/.323/.336 with eight homers in 279 big league plate appearances. Blash has shown a lot of power potential in the minors, but has not yet put it together in the bigs. Given what the Yankees have in their outfield at the moment, he’s going to be organizational depth or, perhaps, a chit in a future trade.

This would seem to be an exercise in salary clearing by the Yankees in anticipation of another move, as it takes about $13 million off of their payroll. Which is about how much was added to their payroll for 2018 in the Giancarlo Stanton deal. That could get Todd Frazier back for them, perhaps. Or it could help them retain CC Sabathia or go after another starting pitcher. The club likewise maintains an interest in getting under the $197 million payroll threshold which would trigger yet another year of 50% luxury tax payments for the Yankees.