Earlier this week Troy Renck of the Denver Post reported that the Cubs are interested in Ian Stewart and now he says the Rockies asked for Blake DeWitt in exchange for him.
DeWitt doesn’t hit much, but he’s much more versatile and valuable than Stewart defensively and also under team control through 2014.
Not so long ago the notion of trading Stewart for a utility man-caliber player like DeWitt would have seemed crazy for the Rockies, but with Stewart’s value at an all-time low and trade options limited by his projected $2.5 million salary for 2012 they might be willing to simply swap him for someone younger, cheaper, and capable of keeping third base warm until top prospect Nolan Arenado is ready.
DeWitt began his career with the Dodgers and came to the Cubs in the mid-2010 swap for Ted Lilly and Ryan Theriot.
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.