The Brewers and Pirates got involved in a nasty brawl yesterday afternoon in Pittsburgh after outfielder Carlos Gomez flipped his bat on a triple, which ticked off starter Gerrit Cole. Martin Maldonado was right in the middle of the skirmish and landed a punch on Travis Snider, who showed up to the ballpark today with a shiner and a cut under his left eye. MLB will issue punishments in the coming days, but Snider’s teammate, Russell Martin, still wants Maldonado to see his comeuppance.
This, of course, will never happen, but it’s clear that emotions are still running high here. Anyway, here’s what Maldonado had to say about Martin’s challenge:
The Pirates will play the Brewers in Milwaukee for a three-game series beginning on May 13. This likely isn’t the last we have heard of this situation.
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.