We continue to hear chatter that the Reds are interested in Phillies outfielder Juan Pierre, but Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports that his teammate Shane Victorino is actually the club’s “top target” as they continue their search for a leadoff hitter.
As of now, the Reds refuse to meet the Phillies’ asking price for the Hawaiian outfielder. For what it’s worth, Paul Daugherty the Cincinnati Enquirer reported last week that the Reds turned down a deal that would have sent right-handed reliever Logan Ondrusek to Philadelphia for Victorino. If word of the nixed offer is accurate, that doesn’t sound like a very high asking price.
Victorino, an impending free agent, is hitting .261/.324/.401 with nine home runs, 40 RBI, 24 stolen bases and a .724 OPS in 101 games played this season. The Dodgers and Pirates are among the other teams who have reportedly expressed interest.
Jon Heyman has been hot on the free agent trail today, reporting that the Padres have made offers both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. The offer to Machado is believed to be for eight years and about $250 million, while the offer to Harper is believed to be for more than that.
Heyman was reporting on Harper earlier, tweeting that the Phillies are the favorite to sign him. He added this evening that Harper has multiple long-term offers at more than $30 million annually. Regarding Machado, Heyman noted that while Machado was believed to have had a preference for the East coast, he will go for the best deal now, which puts the Padres firmly in the picture.
The Padres reportedly met with Machado last week. A late entrant into the sweepstakes, the club has shown the willingness to spend, signing Eric Hosmer to an eight-year, $144 million contract last year. If he goes to San Diego, Machado would be the full-time third baseman with Luis Urias handling shortstop.
Nothing appears close, but we’ll take anything resembling a spark to light the hot stove.