Ichiro, Jason Motte are your players of the week

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I get the press release each week, don’t post about the Players of the Week each week. But it’s slow now and if I don’t post about this I’m just gonna put up more political crap and then no one wins. Well, except me because I love trolling people, but you all would hate it.

Your AL Player of the week: Ichiro. Who woke up from his recent slumber and went 15 for 25 with three doubles, two homers and six stolen bases. It’s like it’s 2004 all over again.

In the NL it’s Cardinals closer Jason Motte. All he did was save five games — all five of the Cardinals wins last week — without allowing an earned run.  Last year around this time is when the Cardinals bullpen really began to gel, by the way. Just saying.

Congrats Ichiro and Jason.  I hope you use your gift cards well.

Phillies owner John Middleton is in Las Vegas with Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper
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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.