The Yankees asked the Rays about James Shields

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Hey, you can’t get anything in this nasty old world unless you ask for it, right? So give credit to Brian Cashman for actually making the call to the Rays to inquire about James Shields, even if there was less than a snowflake’s chance that anything would come of it.  I mean, weirder things have happened.

But yeah, it’s one thing for the Mets to shop Carlos Beltran to the Phillies and the Braves, but it’s a totally different thing for the Rays and Yankees to make a deal. Unlike Shields, Beltran is obviously a straight rental. Likewise, the Rays are still arguably in contention this year where the Mets are not. More significantly, the Rays are more likely to seriously contend in the next two years than the Mets are, so they certainly have no interest in strengthening their opposition.

But hey, can’t hurt to make such calls, can it?

Bryce Harper finally gets his first spring training hit with Phillies

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Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper hasn’t had the best spring training showing. After a delayed start because he didn’t officially sign until early this month, Harper made his Phillies debut on March 9. Then Harper had an injury scare when he was hit in the ankle by a pitch on March 15. Harper returned on Sunday and finally registered his first hit of the spring on Wednesday — a line drive up the middle.

Harper finished 1-for-2 with a walk on the afternoon. In 10 official at-bats, Harper is batting .100/.438/.100. As you can see, five total walks are helping that on-base percentage. Spring stats are largely meaningless, though, so no one should be worried about Harper with the start of the regular season just a week away.