The Marlins “flatly rejected” the Athletics’ demands for Gio Gonzalez

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Yesterday we talked about the Marlins’ interest in trading for Gio Gonzalez.  Later in the day Matthew broke down the possible players Oakland might ask for in return. Chief among them: Logan Morrison.

Today Clark Spencer reports that, yes, Logan Morrison was a requested player. As was Mike Stanton, but really, that was never going to happen. Either way, the Marlins “flatly rejected” the A’s trade proposals.

Which shouldn’t bug the A’s. They have the valuable pitcher here. As the winter wears on, other teams are going to start freaking out about their rotation and if that happens the likelihood that the A’s will be overpaid for Gonzalez increases.  And hey, if Oakland doesn’t like what it’s being offered, there’s always the trade deadline.

The have the cards. They should be prepared to hold them until the hear something they like.

Phillies owner John Middleton is in Las Vegas with Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper
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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.