Mark Feinsand of the Daily News is talking to a source — I’m guessing a Yankees source — who says there will be big trouble in baseball if the Rangers get Cliff Lee:
“There will be a battle royale over this if Texas
gets Lee . . . Every other team in baseball is supplementing the
Rangers right now, so they have no business taking on Lee’s salary.”
That’s pretty incredible, actually, especially if it comes from a Yankees source. Baseball has given the Yankees a partial monopoly on the largest media market in the United States and, if it weren’t for the other 29 teams, the Yankees wouldn’t have any games to show on their big shiny network. To hear someone from that team complain about subsidies and that sort of thing is really, really rich.
I guess this guy would prefer that baseball do with the Rangers what it did with the Expos: tie their hands completely and let them die on the vine.
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.