Rays claim Brandon Allen off waivers from A’s

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When the A’s designated Brandon Allen for assignment last week I wrote that based on his minor-league track record plenty of teams would be smart to snag him off waivers.

Sure enough a contending team did just that according to Allen’s agent, who says the first baseman/corner outfielder was claimed by Tampa Bay.

Allen is a flawed player, striking out too much and offering little defensive value, and he’s yet to experience any success in the majors. However, he’s also still just 26 years old and has hit .286 with 59 homers and a .956 OPS in 253 games at Triple-A.

Tampa Bay and manager Joe Maddon are great at mixing and matching spare parts to magnify their usefulness, so it’s a good landing spot for Allen assuming the Rays can find some room for his left-handed bat in the lineup.

Bryce Harper is pandering hard to Philly fans

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Bryce Harper hadn’t even addressed his new hometown fans before his Phillies jersey started selling like hotcakes. Since then, he’s said all the expected things. Talking about joining the Phillies, he said, “From day one, it felt right … I always talk about family and being a family, being one unit, and I get that from this team. Every guy has your back and vice versa. I’m very excited to go into battle with these guys.”

Harper is continuing to pander hard to Phillies fans. Behold his latest Instagram post:

Has anyone ever really longed to see the Liberty Bell?

Harper also famously recreated that Chase Utley scene from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia with actor Rob McElhenney on Twitter:

In Harper’s next post, he will talk about alternating bottles of You-eng-ling beers with glasses of “wooder.” He’ll add that every so often he will treat himself to a steak sandwich with cheese on it, then go home to watch all of the movies in the Rocky series.