Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com passes along word that Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith is auctioning off his 13 Gold Glove awards and various other items for “estate and family planning.”
According to Crasnick, in addition to all the Gold Glove awards Smith is also selling World Series rings from 2006 and 2011 that the Cardinals gave him as gifts, 11 rings he got from being chosen for All-Star games, and other awards.
No further details yet on why exactly Smith would do something like this, but reading between the lines it’s hard to imagine he’s doing well financially. Smith, who participated in a bunch of the All-Star festivities in St. Louis three months ago, is 57 years old and earned more than $30 million during his 19-year career.
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.