Shane Victorino has been in L.A. for a week, but he wants to stay:
Victorino has informed his agents that he would like to re-sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the outfielder told ESPNLosAngeles.com on Monday … “I don’t want to just be a two-month or three-month rental,” Victorino said. “I want to be here.”
That’s a pretty quick change for a guy who said he wanted to be in Philly forever right up until the time he was traded. But I guess it’s bad form to not want to be where you’re wanted and vice-versa.
Whether the Dodgers feel the same way will obviously depend on Victorino’s salary demands in the offseason. And, more importantly, whether he improves on the 2 for 17 start he’s on in his new home. For his own sake, Victorino may find greener pastures in a town that has a need for a center fielder, and that’s not going to be Los Angeles for some time.
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.