UPDATE: Montero passed his physical, so it’s now a done deal.
The multi-player deal between the Yankees and Mariners headlined by Jesus Montero and Michael Pineda is moving closer to completion.
Montero was delayed from taking a physical due to weather, plane and visa problems in his native Venezuela, but Larry Stone of the Seattle Times reports that the 22-year-old arrived in the United States yesterday and was en route to Seattle.
The Pacific Northwest was rocked by a pretty nasty winter storm this week, so there’s no guarantee Montero’s travel plans went off without a hitch. However, assuming no problems with his flight and scheduled physical, an official announcement could happen within the next day or two.
The deal between the Yankees and Mariners, which was agreed upon last Friday, will send Montero and right-hander Hector Noesi to Seattle for Pineda and prospect right-hander Jose Campos.
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.