Kyle Lohse is facing college hitters in simulated games

4 Comments

Kyle Lohse is still unsigned and agent Scott Boras is still trying to land him a three-year contract for big money, but in the meantime the free agent right-hander is staying in pitching shape in Arizona.

Jeff Wilson of the Forth Worth Star Telegram reports that Lohse “has been working on a normal spring training schedule and is facing college hitters in simulated games.”

That’s smart, because if/when Lohse does sign somewhere he wouldn’t have much time to build up arm strength for the regular season. This way he’ll basically be ready to step into a rotation without pitch count limitations.

Phillies owner John Middleton is in Las Vegas with Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper
Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.