MASN’s Ben Goessling reports that the Nationals have a “strong organizational interest” in Carl Crawford. Which either means that they want to sign him when he becomes a free agent or else they really think he can help them sort out their messy closets.
Which is all very cute, by the way. You’ll recall that the Nationals had a strong interest in Mark Teixeira a couple of years ago and that didn’t go anywhere. I don’t suspect they have a snowflake’s chance to land Crawford either.
The success cycle: learn it, live it, love it. And understand that unless you’re at a certain point in it (i.e. the top of it), top free agents aren’t really going to all that interested.
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.