Bryce Harper goes 2-for-4 with a steal in Triple-A debut

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Bryce Harper made his Triple-A debut yesterday–more than six months shy of his 20th birthday–and went 2-for-4 with a double and a stolen base.

Dave Sheinin of the Washington Post notes that Harper’s arrival at Triple-A generated nowhere near the hype of Stephen Strasburg reaching the minors’ highest level in 2010, as Syracuse’s ballpark “was less than half-full … with only a small media contingent on hand.”

Harper admitted afterward that he tried “to do way too much” while in Nationals camp and “getting sent down made me calm down and stay within myself.”

Now we’ll see how long he stays down.

Report: A’s trying to finish deal for Jeurys Familia

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The Athletics appear to be closing in on a deal for Mets’ right-hander Jeurys Familia, according to reports from ESPN’s Buster Olney. Nothing has been finalized just yet, however, as the Mets confirmed that they would not be announcing a trade tonight and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic points out that other teams may still be in the mix for Familia’s services. It’s not clear what the A’s would be giving up in any potential deal for the reliever.

Familia, 28, has been pitching well this season. He currently sports a 2.88 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and 9.5 SO/9 through 40 2/3 innings — across-the-board improvements from his last run with the Mets in 2017 — and has racked up 17 saves to boot. He’s due another $3 million for the remainder of 2018, and Rosenthal adds that the club is willing to throw some cash in the deal in order to guarantee a better return for the closer.

While the A’s have one of the better bullpens in the American League, sitting seventh-best with a 3.50 ERA and 2.8 fWAR, they still have a ways to go in order to overtake the Mariners and Astros for a postseason berth by season’s end. Familia’s contract expires at the end of the year, but he should provide enough short-term value to give the A’s the boost they need.