OK, so "Omar Infante, All-Star" isn't quite as funny now

15 Comments

I was among the many people who mocked Omar Infante’s presence on the All-Star team and I’ll stand by that mockery, because at the time he was a 28-year-old career-long utility man who wasn’t even playing every day for the Braves.
However, he’s been on fire since the All-Star break and after going 4-for-6 with two homers yesterday to help give Lou Piniella a horrible send off Infante is now hitting .378/.422/.546 in 33 second-half games (including 27 starts).
That works out to a nifty .968 OPS, which is 206 points higher than the .762 OPS that got him picked for the All-Star game in the first place. Atlanta needs Infante more than ever in the wake of Chipper Jones’ season-ending knee injury and he’s responding by actually, you know, playing like an All-Star.

Phillies owner John Middleton is in Las Vegas with Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper
Getty Images
8 Comments

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.