Padres first baseman Yonder Alonso has been out since Monday with a sore right wrist and Bernie Wilson of the Associated Press reports that he’ll be placed on the disabled list.
According to Wilson the Padres will call up Triple-A corner outfielder/first baseman Jake Goebbert to replace Alonso, who’s hit just .210 with five homers and a .591 OPS in 69 games this season. Alonso’s bat has simply never developed like the Padres hoped when they acquired him from the Reds for Mat Latos in December of 2011.
He’s now a 27-year-old career .266 hitter with a .714, and while that’s a lot better than it looks once you account for pitcher-friendly Petco Park his average of nine home runs per 150 games just doesn’t cut it at first base.
Goebbert, meanwhile, is a 26-year-old career minor leaguer with a modest .437 slugging percentage in 131 total games at Triple-A, although that includes much better numbers there this season. San Diego acquired him from Oakland last month in exchange for Kyle Blanks. He’s hardly a high-upside prospect, but it’ll be interesting to see whether the Padres stick with Goebbert for a while if he hits right away.
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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.