MLB.com’s Bill Ladson reports that the Nats haven’t spoken with Bryce Harper yet about a contract. Harper was drafted on June 7th. The deadline to sign him or lose him is August 15th.
No one should be particularly concerned about this, however, because as everyone knows, Scott Boras is the agent, and as everyone who pays attention to such things, Scott Boras never, ever has his clients sign early. Remember: last year Stephen Strasburg didn’t sign until minutes before the midnight deadline. The year before that there was a giant hubub as Boras client Pedro Alvarez actually signed after the deadline but ended up getting a mulligan on it for reasons that remain rather murky.
So yeah, they haven’t talked, but no, it’s no big deal. In fact, it won’t be a big deal into around 10:30 P.M. on the night of August 15th.
You may recall that, back in May, Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor got into a fight with Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. Bautista slid late into second base, with which Odor took issue, so he punched Bautista in the face. That earned him a seven-game suspension.
With one out in the fifth inning of Thursday’s game against the Indians, Odor reached on a fielding error by first baseman Mike Napoli. Jonathan Lucroy then hit into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play. Odor slid hard into Jason Kipnis covering second base.
Kipnis, hearkening back to the Bautista fight, backed up as if he were afraid Odor would punch him. Odor got a good chuckle out of it, but it was the Rangers’ bench which perhaps enjoyed the joke most. The Rangers’ broadcast showing Adrian Beltre cracking up and telling his other teammates what had happened.
Rangers outfielder Carlos Gomez made his debut with his new team on Thursday night after a brief stint with Triple-A Round Rock. He started in left field and was inserted into the number eight spot in the Rangers’ batting order.
The Rangers made two quick outs in the bottom of the second inning, with Adrian Beltre grounding out and Rougned Odor striking out. But the inning was kept alive as Jonathan Lucroy singled and advanced to second base on a wild pitch, and then Mitch Moreland walked to bring up Gomez.
Gomez took a first-pitch cutter from Josh Tomlin for a ball, then jumped on another cut fastball, drilling it for a no-doubt three-run home run into the seats in left field at Globe Life Park in Arlington (#29 out of 30 in Craig’s ballpark name rankings).
Here’s the video.