“In my opinion, Bryce is the greatest amateur player ever to play baseball, and I am talking Mickey Mantle and others.”
— Tim Chambers, Bryce Harper’s college coach, in a piece about how Harper is just itching to sign with the Nats and get playing baseball. No pressure.
Worth noting that there is a 99.99999% probability that Harper will sign before Monday’s deadline. If he sinks back into next year’s loaded draft he loses a lot of money. Likewise, if the Nats don’t sign him it will just kill them, and will have rendered last year’s 100-loss season a disaster.
Why push it to the wire then? My guess is that Major League Baseball pressures the team with the top pick to hold off as late as possible to sign their guy so that the teams who pick from #2 on won’t have their guys saying “well, Harper signed for $X million, so I should get something close to that!”
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported on Monday that the Angels have received inquiries from multiple teams concerning starter Hector Santiago. He adds that the club is willing to listen to offers. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports and MLB Network reports that the Marlins are among the teams that have inquired.
Santiago, 28, has pitched to a 4.32 ERA with 96 strikeouts and 47 walks in 110 1/3 innings. Sabermetric statistics such as FIP, xFIP, and SIERA think the lefty has pitched even worse than his ERA indicates however, pitting 2016 as his worst performance to date.
Santiago is earning $5 million this season and will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility going into 2017.
We also learned earlier that, in an effort to bolster their starting rotation, the Marlins have also shown interest in Wade Miley of the Mariners and Jeremy Hellickson of the Phillies.
The Rangers placed DH Prince Fielder on the disabled list last week due to more neck discomfort. On Friday, Fielder met with Dr. Drew Dossett, who performed spinal fusion surgery on Fielder in 2014 for a herniated disk in his neck. Dossett has recommended another procedure, so Fielder will undergo season-ending surgery this week, Jeff Wilson of the Fort-Worth Star Telegram reports.
Fielder was having a rough season, batting .212/.292/.334 with eight home runs and 44 RBI in 370 plate appearances. He played in only 42 games in 2014, but returned in 2015 looking more like his old self. Unfortunately, neck and back issues are notoriously difficult to fix. Hopefully, this upcoming procedure does the trick for Fielder.
Fielder is owed $24 million per season through 2020, with the Tigers paying $6 million of it per season.