UPDATE: A pretty big correction is in order. Earlier today I was given a picture by a source who had access to a National League ballpark and who was told by a ballpark employee that the photo below was, in fact, the replay machine used at the park. I have been told by Major League Baseball sources and sources from the ballpark in question that my source and the ballpark employee was mistaken. The picture is of a video monitor used by the groundscrew, not umpires for replays.
Major League Baseball shared with me photos of the actual replay monitors used. While I was told that I am not permitted to use the photos, I can describe them: they are 19″ Panasonic flat-panel monitors. I am told that they have HD capability. This conforms with what was reported about the state of the replay equipment used by MLB in the wake of the Angel Hernandez-Adam Rosales home run incident a couple of weeks ago. While there has been some question about whether the system was uniform, I am told by MLB that it is.
There is still much to be said about the state of replay in Major League Baseball and whether the current rules and procedures in place are sufficient to get the calls right. But it is not the case, contrary to my earlier post, that any park is using non-HD monitors for replay review.
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.