The Marlins continue to insist that slugger Giancarlo Stanton is unavailable via trade, but it appears that Logan Morrison could be had.
While no deal is considered imminent, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi are reporting that Morrison is drawing “significant” trade interest. Aside from Stanton, Morrison was the Marlins’ most-asked about player at the GM meetings this week and the club is willing to listen to offers.
Morrison is coming off a down year in which he hit .242/.333/.375 with six home runs and 36 RBI in 85 games after returning from knee surgery, but he’s still just 26 years old and has shown some power potential and on-base ability in the past. He’s arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter, so he likely won’t be around by the time the Marlins are competitive again. Similar to Ike Davis with the Mets, he could do well with a change of scenery.
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.