John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer has the news:
Just spoke to Hall of Famer Barry Larkin. He has not heard from the Reds about the manager opening. He would be interested if the club calls.
“I’d certainly talk to them,” he said.
Larkin managed Team Brazil during this year’s 2013 World Baseball Classic and acknowledged to the Enquirer on Wednesday that he “really enjoyed that.”
“I would like to manage a team with more talent someday,” continued Larkin, who spent all 19 of his major league seasons with the Reds. “I think I would enjoy that.” He is currently employed by ESPN.
Cincinnati fired Dusty Baker on Friday after a six-year run. Baker is already seeking another gig.
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.