Bryce Harper is on the move in the Nationals’ batting order again.
Harper debuted as a No. 7 hitter, moved to the No. 3 spot after four games, shifted to the No. 2 spot for the past two games following Ryan Zimmerman’s return, and is now batting No. 5 tonight.
That makes four different lineup spots in 11 games for the 19-year-old. And because I’ve done this for each of the previous spots: Harper will be just the sixth 19-year-old to hit No. 5 in a big-league game since 1980, joining Ken Griffey Jr., Andruw Jones, Justin Upton, Juan Gonzalez, and Adrian Beltre.
At this point I’m actually hoping that manager Davey Johnson will keep moving Harper around the batting order until he’s started at least one game in each spot, just so decades from now when someone is looking up the same stuff I’ve been looking up about 19-year-old lineup placement he’s on every single list.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Orioles and Mets have discussed a trade for Matt Harvey.
Rosenthal says the discussions have involved a reliever going back to New York and observes that that Harvey and Brad Brach are projected for similar salaries in their final arbitration years which could make a financial match.
There have been a handful of Harvey rumors over the past couple of days, with a report coming out yesterday that the Mets have spoken with at least two teams about their fallen ace. Jon Heyman said today that the Rangers may have been one of those teams. Maybe the Orioles are the second or, perhaps, the third?
All if this has to be pretty deflating if you’re a Mets fan, given the promise and dominance Harvey showed before injuries waylaid him the past two seasons. Harvey is still just 28 but he made only 18 starts and one relief appearance last year, posting a 6.70 ERA with a 67/47 K/BB ratio in 92.2 innings.
If the Mets can’t find a trade partner this winter, they’ll clearly hope for him to rebound at least a little bit in 2018, allowing him to regain some trade value.