Taking about the collision that knocking him out of Tuesday’s game, Yadier Molina called Josh Harrison’s hit a “clean play,” according to MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch.
“Clean play,” Molina said. “Clean play. That’s part of baseball. He did what he had to do and I did what I had to do. It sucks because you don’t want anybody to get hurt. This time it was me to get hurt. But it was a clean play.”
Molina passed another round of tests today to rule out a concussion. He still has neck soreness from the hit, but he hopes to be ready to play within the next couple of days. Tony Cruz is starting in his place tonight.
There hasn’t been any word yet from MLB on a suspension for Jake Westbrook, who plunked Harrison three innings after the collision. The league tends to police these things pretty randomly, but given that Westbrook’s throw was obviously intentional, the traditional five- or six-game ban is warranted.
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.