Cuba eliminates Chinese Taipei from World Baseball Classic with 14-0 victory

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After being crushed by Cuba earlier this morning, Chinese Taipei has been eliminated from the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

Cuba topped Chinese Taipei 14-0 in a game which ended in the seventh inning due to the mercy rule. The big blow was an eight-run sixth inning.

Frederich Cepeda, Yasmany Tomas, Jose Abreu and Alfredo Despaigne all homered for Cuba while Danny Betancourt, Norberto Gonzalez and Raciel Iglesias combined to hold Chinese Taipei to just three hits.

Cuba, who lost their second-round opener to the Netherlands, is slated to play the loser of Sunday’s game between Japan and the Netherlands. That game will take place on Monday.

Padres may have more interest in Dallas Keuchel than Bryce Harper

Dallas Keuchel
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An interesting tidbit today from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who noted that ongoing talks between agent Scott Boras and the Padres have focused more on starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel than slugger Bryce Harper. Earlier this week, there were conflicting reports on the Padres’ level of interest in Harper — MLB Network’s Jon Heyman heard the club had not ruled out another big signing after getting Manny Machado, while Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune talked to multiple sources who believed otherwise — but any agreement between the two is looking unlikelier by the day.

As for Keuchel, Rosenthal cautions that a potential deal is still a “longshot,” especially as the team has other, cheaper options in mind. The 31-year-old southpaw turned down a qualifying offer from the Astros last year and is likely angling for something north of the five-year, $90 million contract extension he rejected from the club in 2016. He’s coming off of another solid performance in Houston, where he went 12-11 in 34 starts with a 3.74 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 6.7 SO/9, and 3.6 fWAR through 204 2/3 innings in 2018.

While Keuchel has failed to garner substantial interest around the league this offseason, Heyman points out that the Phillies are looking to establish themselves as frontrunners for the lefty — and they’re far less likely to have hang-ups about his asking price, too.