The Indians turned a triple play last night. It was not one of those cool bam-bam-bam around-the-horn numbers. It was, like a lot of triple plays, partially a function of a base running mistake. This one, you will not be shocked to know, a mistake by Yasiel Puig, who — after the first two outs were recorded on a fly out + runner from third tagging up and being pegged at home — decided to break from first to second and and was nailed there.
But it was notable for more than some classic Puiging. It was notable because the call of a triple play was upheld only after a video review. Two of them. The first one on that play at second, where the umpire initially called Puig safe and Terry Francona challenged it. It was close, but I think the call was right. The second challenge was the play at home, where the base runner was called out, Don Mattingly challenged, but the call was upheld.
It took some time and was not as fun as some of those bam-bam-bam around-the-horn triple plays, but it was still pretty cool.
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.