On New Year’s Eve, a 25-year-old man named Michel Castillo Almonte was killed in the Dominican Republic. Orioles pitcher Alfredo Simon was arrested and jailed in the shooting, though he was later freed and allowed to come to the U.S. to pitch in advance of his trial.
He just had his trial and the jury acquitted him. Alfredo Simon is a free man.
The theory was that Simon fired a gun into the air in revelry, with the bullet coming down and killing Almonte. Experts testified that the bullet came from someone else’s gun, however.
Between that and the civil suit by the victim’s family being dropped earlier this year, Simon’s trials in this matter would seem to be over.
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.