Taylor Teagarden fracturing his thumb put the Orioles in the market for some catching help and they acquired Chris Snyder from the Angels for reliever Rob Delaney (not to be confused with stand-up comedian/National Anthem singer Rob Delaney).
Snyder was once an above-average starting catcher for the Diamondbacks, but injuries have derailed his career and the Orioles are his third team this year. However, he was hitting .342 with seven homers and a 1.072 OPS in 21 games at Triple-A and Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com reports that the Orioles are expected to call him up to serve as Matt Wieters’ backup.
For now Luis Exposito was added to the roster at catcher, but his stay is slated to be short-lived.
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.