Quote of the Day: Low-hanging fruit edition

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Buster Olney — who isn’t known to crack wise on Twitter very often — cracked wise on Twitter this afternoon in response to the Wilpon-Madoff mess:

The Mets’ best defense in Madoff suit: We signed Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo to $60m deals-and WE were supposed to sniff out Ponzi scheme?

See, that’s funny, but there is a core of horror there for all Mets fans.

As far as I can see, there really are really only two explanations for the Wilpons’ current mess: (1) they were, as the bankruptcy trustee alleges, willfully blind or even indifferent to the warning signs that surrounded the Bernie Madoff investments; or (2) they were simply ignorant of all of the risks and warning signs despite their vast investment experience and business sophistication.

Negligent or dumb?  Take your pick.  Neither one is very comforting.

The Nationals expect Bryce Harper to test free agency

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Earlier this week at the Winter Meetings, Scott Boras said that he and the Washington Nationals had had preliminary discussions about a contract extension for Bryce Harper. Harper, of course, can become a free agent following the 2018 season and is widely expected to command the largest contract in baseball history.

While that may have given some Nationals fans hope that no other team would get the chance to bid on him, the Nationals are of the view that they have no shot to sign Harper before he at least tests the free agent market. From USA Today’s Bob Nightengale:

A lot of this seems like mutual posturing, doesn’t it? Boras trying to make it appear as though the he and Harper are giving the Nats a fair hearing and the Nats trying to make it appear as though, no matter what they do, Harper is going to hit the market. I tend to believe, personally, that Boras and Harper are hellbent on testing the market, but it’s possible that there is some number that the Nats can offer to head that off, right? Maybe?

Either way: big year ahead for Harper.