This morning I compared Buster Posey and Craig Biggio, but lamented that I couldn’t find any scouting reports of what kind of catcher Biggio was. The lesson here: I’m really, really lazy and should leave the researching to people who know what they’re doing. People like lar from Wezen-Ball, who tracked down this old story about Biggio from USA Today:
He was a competent catcher, tough, aggressive, good at blocking pitches
in the dirt but not very accomplished at throwing runners out.
never win a championship with him catching,” St. Louis manager Whitey
Herzog said. Herzog admires Biggio’s speed and bat, not his throwing.
Posey, in contrast, is supposed to have a canon back there. Still, it’s a neat idea to talk about it, and may become even neater if the Giants keep him squatting in the hot Fresno sun all summer.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.
Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.
As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.