Since 1998, ESPN The Magazine has named someone their “NEXT” athlete. It’s the person who, according to ESPN, “is a future leader or trailblazer in their sport.” They just named Buster Posey their NEXT athlete for 2011. Buster Olney has a nice writeup of Posey here.
I think Posey has as bright a future in baseball as anyone. But for his sake, I hope that ESPN has changed its criteria for choosing its Nexteroo. The last two baseball players chosen: Joba Chamberlain and Kaz Matsui.
Yeah, well, the title isn’t the NEXT good athlete. Just NEXT.
The White Sox won’t make a bid for free agent outfielder Bryce Harper, Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reports. Believed to be the favorites to land shortstop Manny Machado in free agency, the White Sox watched him ink a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres. The club is apparently content with its roster otherwise.
Harper would certainly be an upgrade in the outfield, which currently features Adam Engel, Nicky Delmonico, and Jon Jay. It will soon feature prospects Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert.
Last season, Harper hit .249/.393/.496 with 34 hom eruns, 100 RBI, 103 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances. He led all of baseball, drawing 130 walks. Harper is also a six-time All-Star who won the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year Award and the 2015 NL Most Valuable Player Award.
The Phillies are still believed to be the favorites to sign Harper and the club is confident it will land him, Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Daily News reports.