So this is the first edition of
HardballTalk Extra, which is the name we’re giving this little video adventure. Today Tiffany Simons — who is a total pro and knows what she’s doing — and I — a complete amateur who literally filmed his half of this from his freakin’ basement — talk about Oliver Perez, Bryce Harper and Pete
Vuckovich. Pete Vuckovich? Yeah, Pete Vuckovich. Because like, why not?
But before you press play, allow me to note that we were gonna do another take of this to smooth out my (multiple) rough edges, but then the power went out at my house preventing us from doing so. I’m approximately 100% sure that Tiffany, Matt, Brian and the other people putting this together back at the studio did a monster facepalm when that happened and are now at a happy hour somewhere telling their friends that, really, they don’t have electricity west of the Hudson River.
And did I mention that I’m new at this and that I was in my basement? OK, now I’m just pathetically grovelling, but please be merciful and take my word for it when I tell you’ll that I’ll get better. Enjoy the show:
An interesting tidbit today from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who noted that ongoing talks between agent Scott Boras and the Padres have focused more on starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel than slugger Bryce Harper. Earlier this week, there were conflicting reports on the Padres’ level of interest in Harper — MLB Network’s Jon Heyman heard the club had not ruled out another big signing after getting Manny Machado, while Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune talked to multiple sources who believed otherwise — but any agreement between the two is looking unlikelier by the day.
As for Keuchel, Rosenthal cautions that a potential deal is still a “longshot,” especially as the team has other, cheaper options in mind. The 31-year-old southpaw turned down a qualifying offer from the Astros last year and is likely angling for something north of the five-year, $90 million contract extension he rejected from the club in 2016. He’s coming off of another solid performance in Houston, where he went 12-11 in 34 starts with a 3.74 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 6.7 SO/9, and 3.6 fWAR through 204 2/3 innings in 2018.
While Keuchel has failed to garner substantial interest around the league this offseason, Heyman points out that the Phillies are looking to establish themselves as frontrunners for the lefty — and they’re far less likely to have hang-ups about his asking price, too.