Jim Bowden tweets that both John Smoltz and Pedro Martinez will wait until after the season gets going to sign a deal, a la Pedro’s thing with the Phillies last year. The New York Post’s Adam Rubin reported as much a few weeks ago with respect to Smoltz. Most people probably assumed that Martinez would do it again considering that it worked pretty nicely for him last year.
I like it. In addition to a short season helping mask some of Smoltz and Pedro’s obvious durability concerns, they’ll simply look like more appealing options to a number of teams once the optimism of spring dissolves and teams’ existing starters get hurt or turn back into pumpkins or whatever.
The White Sox won’t make a bid for free agent outfielder Bryce Harper, Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reports. Believed to be the favorites to land shortstop Manny Machado in free agency, the White Sox watched him ink a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres. The club is apparently content with its roster otherwise.
Harper would certainly be an upgrade in the outfield, which currently features Adam Engel, Nicky Delmonico, and Jon Jay. It will soon feature prospects Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert.
Last season, Harper hit .249/.393/.496 with 34 hom eruns, 100 RBI, 103 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances. He led all of baseball, drawing 130 walks. Harper is also a six-time All-Star who won the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year Award and the 2015 NL Most Valuable Player Award.
The Phillies are still believed to be the favorites to sign Harper and the club is confident it will land him, Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Daily News reports.