We mock his immaturity, but we must marvel at his abilities: Bryce Harper is playing in the Arizona Fall League, and he’s basically toying with it: He was was 2-4 with a homer and two RBI yesterday and, in the last eight games, he’s hit five homers and 17 RBI.
There are several players with better overall numbers on the AFL leader board right now, but they’re all at least a year — and in many cases several years — older than Harper. And they didn’t have a nearly .900 OPS across high-A and double-A ball at age 18 like Harper did in 2011.
The Padres have released right-hander Phil Hughes. He was recently designated for assignment.
Hughes was traded from the Twins to the Padres at the end of May in a deal that was, essentially, the Padres acquiring a Competitive Balance pick and agreeing to pick up half of Hughes outstanding salary, which is $13.2 million in 2019. The Padres used him for 16 relief appearances but he was terrible, posting a 6.10 ERA.
The 32-year-old is a 12-year veteran. Given that he’ll basically be free to anyone who wants him, it’s not unreasonable to think he’ll get a non-roster invite to someone’s spring training next year, but it could very well be the end for him as well.