The Player of the Week Awards came out, and the winners are R.A. Dickey in the NL and Paul Konerko in the AL.
Dickey was 2-0 in two starts, striking out 21 batters and allowing a single earned run in 14 and a third innings pitched for a 0.63 ERA for the week.
No surprise at all in the AL: the white hot White Sock, Paul Konerko. Konerko went nuts last week, going 14-for-24 with four doubles, three home runs, 10 RBI, two walks and 10 runs scored in six games. He was tops in all of baseball in batting average, slugging percentage and OBP and was tied for first in RBI and total bases. As we mentioned yesterday, his entire season has been crazy pants.
Congrats Paul and R.A. Two of my favorite players — and a lot of people’s, I think — were the two best last week.
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.