Via Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune:
It’s far too early to talk about the possibilities, but the Padres are one of the clubs the Miami Marlins have talked to regarding right-handed, power-hitting right fielder Giancarlo Stanton.
Center suspects that the Fish would want infield prospect Jedd Gyorko and at least two other young players in return. Gyorko, 24, batted .311/.373/.547 with 30 home runs, 28 doubles and 100 RBI across 557 plate appearances last season between Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A Tucson. He was a second-round pick of the Padres in the 2010 MLB Amateur Draft.
Stanton isn’t necessarily being shopped, but the Marlins are fielding all offers and apparently reaching out to certain clubs with strong farm systems. The 23-year-old hit .290/.361/.608 with 37 home runs, 30 doubles and 86 RBI in 501 plate appearances last year. He is under contractual control through the 2016 season.
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.