Diamondbacks void contract of Socrates Brito after PED suspension

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Two months ago the Diamondbacks signed awesome-named Dominican outfielder Socrates Brito for $190,000, but the contract has been voided after the 17-year-old received a 50-game suspension for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports that Brito “tested positive for metabolites of Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance.” Brito is now a free agent, but assistant general manager Peter Woolfolk indicated that the Diamondbacks “will attempt to renegotiate new contract terms.”
When they signed Brito for $190,000 back in February the Diamondbacks compared him to Bernie Williams and projected that he was talented enough to be picked in the first three rounds had he been eligible for the draft. So now they’ll just get him for a bit cheaper and his American debut will have to wait an extra 50 games.

Phillies owner John Middleton is in Las Vegas with Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper
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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.