Actually, what he said about his prized client was “no baseball person in his right mind will have the guy catch.” Which seems strange considering Harper himself is on record as saying he wants to catch and every team would value his bat way higher as a catcher than they would elsewhere (even though his power would play anywhere).
I don’t see how you don’t at least start the guy as a catcher if you’re the Nationals. That is what will provide the team the most value, certainly, both for what he is and because it is much easier to fill holes elsewhere than at catcher. Indeed, one of the non-catching positions most commonly cited as a potential destination for Harper is third base, and the Nats are already set there with Mr. Zimmerman, thank you very much.
All I can think that’s animating Boras here is the history of catchers having a longer road to get to the majors and the fact that the tools of ignorance lead to more wear and tear than other positions. The former consideration would potentially put off free agency for Harper. The latter would make free agency a less-valuable proposition.
But those aren’t the Nationals’ problems, so maybe Boras should change his phrasing from “no team in its right mind will put Harper at catcher” to “no agent in his right mind would want Harper to play catcher.”
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.