Johnny Damon on MLBNetwork Radio on SiriusXM a few minutes ago, talking about playing in 2013:
“I sure hope so. I’m not going to announce until the middle of spring … Seeing what Kansas City has done to their pitching staff, I wouldn’t mind going there and trying to finish where I started.”
Of course Kansas City is one of the few teams which has a very good, dedicated DH, so it’s probably one of the worst fits for Damon.
Still, him signing with the Royals would be fun. If for no other reason than we’d be certain to hear some analysis which, paired with the post-Wil Myers trade analysis from the same people in which Myers was all but totally discounted due to merely being a prospect, would work out to folks saying that Damon has more to add to the 2013 Royals than Myers would have.
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.