According to Jayson Stark of ESPN.com, the Rockies couldn’t trade Brad Hawpe right now “no matter what.” The reason? They might need to play Hawpe at first base depending upon the health of Todd Helton.
Don’t buy it. It would behoove the Rockies to trade Hawpe now if they have no intention of picking up his $10 million option for next season. Factoring in his horrible defense, his futility against left-handers and the fact that Seth Smith, Carlos Gonzalez and Dexter Fowler would make for a cheaper and more dynamic outfield, it’s very unlikely they will.
If the Rockies are truly sellers, they should be able to get by for a couple months of Jason Giambi, Melvin Mora and Brad Elrded at first base if it means getting a promising prospect or two. Hey, they could even find out if first base is a way to get Chris Iannetta in the lineup more regularly.
Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.
Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.
Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.