Roy Halladay has made ten straight Opening Day starts. There will not be an 11th:
Pitching coach Rich Dubee is not ready to announce the Phillies’ opening-day starter in Atlanta, but read between the lines of what he’s saying and you can conclude that the decision is down to Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee.
Not surprising given the year he had last year, the years Lee and Hamels had last year and lingering health concerns.
I would like to know, however, whether anyone believes that this negatively impacts Roy Halladay’s Hall of Fame case. Because I don’t. Indeed, it’s quite silly to say this is a factor at all when it comes to assessing Halladay’s career.
I would like to know, however, whether who think Jack Morris should make the Hall of Fame on the basis of all of his Opening Day starts thinks this matters for Halladay. Because it can’t be some invented standard that only applies to Jack Morris, right?
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.