In a story that is sure to fly under the radar in the New York media, Mets right-hander Matt Harvey is in attendance for Derek Jeter’s final game at Yankee Stadium tonight. Meanwhile, the Mets are playing the second game of a doubleheader against the Nationals in Washington, D.C.
Harvey, who grew up a Yankees fan, made no secret of the fact that was he was at the game. He posted the following picture and message on his Instagram account earlier this evening:
“Tonight is about #RE2PECT!! Saying farewell and paying the man this game has been blessed to have! A childhood idol and it’s now an honor to call a friend!!! #derekjeter“
While Harvey’s presence will provide some extra fuel to fans and columnists/talk radio hosts who have already made up their minds about his character and motivations, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson doesn’t seem to have a problem with it:
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.
Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”
On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”
Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.
Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.