UPDATE: Buster Olney reports that there are “no legs” to this. Sorry to hear about your legs, Justin Masterson. But you can live a full healthy life without them, I’m sure.
9:16 AM: Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Yankees are interested in Justin Masterson. Which makes sense, as the Yankees can use starting pitching and Masterson is a good starting pitcher.
As Nightengale notes, though, the best trade chit New York has at the moment is Brett Gardner, and the Indians don’t need a center fielder with Michael Bourn hanging around, so a three-team trade might make sense. Certainly one to watch over the next day or two. We learned yesterday that it’s fun to watch three-team trades develop.
But to be honest, I’m not sure why New York would be considerably better off trading Gardner for Masterson when there are so many starting pitchers available on the open market right now that would cost them nothing but money. Especially considering that Masterson is in his walk year. A Bartolo Colon reunion would be a useful, short-term thing for the Yankees, no?
Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper played some third base during Monday’s intrasquad game at Citizens Bank Park, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Harper had been pestering manager Joe Girardi for the opportunity and the skipper finally gave in.
Girardi told Harper, “No diving. And make sure your arm is loose.” Harper had the opportunity to field one ball, a grounder to his left and he made the play perfectly.
Why put Harper at third base? Girardi said, “I think it’s important the guys have fun. I saw him a week ago taking ground balls there and I was impressed. His hands worked well out front and he threw the ball across the field well. I told him, ‘You look good there.'”
Despite the solid showing, don’t expect Harper to show up at third base in a meaningful game anytime soon. That being said, the Phillies’ second and third base situations are still not cemented. Jean Segura will likely open the season at the hot corner with Scott Kingery at second, but things could change between now and Opening Day in 10 days.
Harper, 27, is coming off a solid first season with the Phillies. He hit .260/.372/.510 with 36 doubles, 35 home runs, 114 RBI, 98 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases across 682 plate appearances. Per FanGraphs, Harper’s 4.6 Wins Above Replacement ranked 16th in the National League. For some people, those numbers weren’t nearly good enough, so the expectations remain high as Harper enters year two of his 13-year, $330 million contract.